I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 154
154. Hide and Seek
While I was busily looking through the pile of loot that Ifrit dropped using Eye of Insight, I noticed Karin and Belkoseu’s strange behavior.
Almost as if they had planned this before, their shoulders raised up in astonishment, and they could not hide both their fear and shock.
I thought at first that perhaps the Demon King had come near, but I could instinctively tell that something far worse had occurred.
I asked Belkoseu, who was staring blankly into space.
“Hey, Belkoseu. And Karin too. Why are the both of you so shocked? Is the Demon King coming?”
“Kuhuu….. I would rather welcome the Demon King……..”
“What do you mean by that?”
“The Demon King really has done it.”
“What do you mean he did it?”
“He has undone the seal on the Chimera. All of the demonic realm will be destroyed. The worst case scenario has come true.”
“Jamon….. No, it might be even stronger than him. From this moment on, it’ll begin its hunt.”
“It will begin searching for someone strong enough who can give him a promising battle. It will take its time enjoying butchering its opponents. Not only that, but none can escape the Chimera once it starts tracking you down, and this includes the spell you use to escape the Demon King each time…..”
“You mean that the Chimera can accurately pinpoint the location of magical energy signatures?”
“That’s right. It can use the ability that Karin is using, and without a cooldown to boot. And with how fast it moves…… No matter how much we try to outrun it, it will eventually catch up with us. Your human physical capabilities are amazing, but compares against the Chimera, it’s nothing but a petty parlor trick.”
“What do you think we should do?”
Hoping that Karin had something in mind, I asked him.
However, it didn’t seem that Karin had anything concrete.
After a brief moment of hesitation, Karin spoke up.
“Keruuu…… Min-Cheol. The length of time the Chimera is released for isn’t that long. In human time, it will take roughly 12 hours. However, it won’t be easy avoiding it for 12 hours.”
“The Chimera isn’t an opponent we can face right now. This means that we’ll have to completely hide ourselves in the demonic realm until the Chimera is sealed away again…..”
“Kel. As you are aware, there is a way. However, it is true that this method is highly dangerous.”
“Are you talking about going through the Gate and hiding back on Earth?”
“That’s right. However…… If we do get stuck in the crack between dimensions….. You will probably come to the conclusion that it would’ve been better to die at the jaws of the Chimera.”
That was right. It wasn’t as if there was absolutely no way to avoid facing off with the Chimera.
However, as Karin had said, that solution would be highly risky.
If we did get stuck in the crack in between dimensions, we would be forced to wander in a space where time has stopped, cursed to stay forever and spend a hellish eternity.
The chances for that to occur wasn’t that high, but I didn’t even know what was going to happen a few hours from now, so who knows what would happen if we took the chance.
“It’ll be the equivalent meeting tiger after trying to avoid a fox. Can we not do as what Berdan did, which would be to hide our magical energy as much as possible in order to avoid being tracked down by the Chimera?”
“The Demon King and Ladin have probably already done so, since they are aware of the strength that the Chimera carries…….”
“Belkoseu, is it possible for you to do so as well? Do you have an Authority that lets you hide magical energy signatures?”
“That’s right. However, the Chimera probably already has detected our magical energy signatures. No matter how much we try to hide it now….. Even the slightest amount of magical energy we give off, it’ll find us using that. The Chimera is not an easy opponent in the slightest.”
Listening to what Belkoseu was saying, I couldn’t help but feel the anger inside of me rise.
We couldn’t win.
We couldn’t escape.
We couldn’t avoid being chased down.
The conclusion that was drawn was that we were going to be defeated no matter what in the end.
It was as if he were spectating a fire across a river, acting as if this was none of his business.
Not hiding my anger, I stared at Belkoseu and spoke curtly.
“Hey, Belkoseu. I know that you have the body of an immortal, but that’s not the case for us. So stop beating the bush and tell us a solution if you can think of one! Have you forgotten? Without us, even after an insane amount of time passes, you still won’t be able to rise to the seat of the Demon King, right?”
However, as if finding this whole situation amusing, Belkoseu faintly smiled while speaking.
There wasn’t a single part of him that I liked.
However, without any plans, we couldn’t help but listen intently at what he was saying.
“The first thing we have to do is to leave this place immediately.”
“We do not know which monster the Chimera has targeted right now. Like a predator hunting for its prey, once it sets its sights on a target, it does not lose it. I pray that we were not selected as the first target.”
“What about after? Do we need to keep hiding our magical energy and hide the entire time?”
“You’ve gotten half of it right. We will continue hiding our magical energies and stay on the move. And while we travel around, we will be leaving behind bait to keep it off our tail as best we can. In order to reduce the chance of being found out, we’ll be leaving behind some very tantalizing bait for sure.”
“We’ll be leaving traces of magical energy all over the place.”
“These traces of magical energies will work like illusions. It will be similar to the magical energy you’re exuding, but this shell that you’re leaving behind will be empty. If there are magical energy readings with the same color spread out all over the place in the demonic realm? That means that the chances of it finding us will be reduced by that much.”
“So we’ll be making false copies to confuse the Chimera?”
“Guess we have no other choice. Karin, please hurry up and pick these up. We’ll be leaving immediately.”
Karin urgently picked up all the loot.
I noticed that Jong Ho was standing next to him with a hopeless expression.
Almost as if talking to himself, he muttered.
“Sigh…… Do I have to write out the will I’ve been thinking of in my head now? There’s not even a single peaceful day, is there.”
“Are you the negativity man or something. Hyung-nim, hurry up and pick up the jewels and stones. We don’t have time.”
“Hyung-nim! Even if you’re going to die, you cannot die! Do you understand?”
“What a strange declaration, but for some reason, I can put my trust in it.”
Following Belkoseu’s plan, we moved without rest.
Thankfully, we did not encounter the Chimera so far.
However, we knew that it would eventually come searching for us.
After all, there was no way that the Chimera would leave alone the two humans with the 3rd and 4th most magical energy after all.
The artifacts and the skill books we’ve obtained wasn’t of that much importance compared to the current situation we were in.
Due to the Chimera’s appearance, there was a 12 hour timer of death ticking, so the loot that dropped wasn’t on my list of priorities at this moment.
Right now, priority stood with doing all that we could to survive.
Coming back from beyond the edge of the demonic realm, we noticed the giant orbs in the sky.
Belkoseu knew exactly what they were.
These orbs basically told us how long the Chimera had left before being sealed away again.
As we moved throughout the demonic realm, Belkoseu copied our forms and began to put them all over the place.
It was an amazing ability to say the least.
Not only did it copy my outer appearance perfectly, but even the color of the magical energy that was being exuded was the same.
Even Karin, who had the ability to detect magical energy signatures, could not discern which magical energy was ours when he had his eyes closed.
With this much, I had hope again that we’d be able to escape the Chimera.
Time passed by as we continued to move feverishly.
The dark red orbs in the sky had been reduced to 3 at this point.
For a moment, we could see the Chimera’s silhouette swallowing the giant orb in one bite.
From just a glance, its shape didn’t look that much different from a Manticore.
However….. if we could see its shadow this clearly from the other side of the demonic realm, I could not even begin to imagine just how large it was.
The one positive was that the Demon King had stopped his hunt after us.
It must be that the Chimera’s existence was also a huge obstacle for the Demon King.
If the Demon King was also on the move right now, this would become a living hell.
Time passed some more.
There was only a single orb in the sky left.
Since each orb disappeared roughly every 2 hours 30 minutes, this meant that there was 5 hours or so left before we could stop running.
Traces of our magical energy had been spread far and wide throughout the demonic realm.
Since these copies were identical to the original, the Chimera wouldn’t be able to find us right away without an insane amount of luck.
My anxiety had dissipated enough for me to start feeling hunger again.
Counting the time since the battle with Ifrit, we had been moving on an empty stomach for quite the time.
While we were running as fast as we could, I spoke to Karin, who was cradled in my arms.
“Can you pull out something to eat from your pouch?”
“Keheh…. Can you actually eating something in this situation?”
“We’re different from you guys. It’s nearly a day since we last ate.”
“Do you also want to eat something, hyung-nim?”
“Whew. I’ll decline. I feel like I’ll throw up no matter what I eat right now.”
“Is that so? Then at least drink some water. I feel like you’re going to collapse before we even finish running away from the Chimera.”
“No, no. I feel like I’m going to choke even if it is water. Don’t mind me, you should eat.”
“I understand. We just need to wait out roughly 5 more hours. Let’s hold on a little longer.”
“Right. I don’t think time has gone this slowly before in my life.”
“Karin, is it possible to search the location of the Chimera? To check the distance between us, I mean.”
“Sadly, it cannot be done. The Chimera does not exude any magical energy.”
“Hasn’t it been going around picking strong monsters to butcher as it pleased? Then shouldn’t the magical energies of the those monsters go to the Chimera…..”
“Normally, that’s the case.”
“That means that the Chimera in holding onto a massive amount of magical energy. Is it possible that similar to how Ifrit was, it does not have magical energy at all?”
“Keru. That’s right. No matter how much Belkoseu and I stay on guard, we won’t be able to predict its approach. However, as you saw when it swallowed one of the orbs, the Chimera is massive in size, so we should be able to see it coming with just our eyes alo-…..”
As Karin was about to finish speaking, something giant suddenly blocked our path forward.
Only after seeing it did we hear the sound of its decent, which sent out a massive shockwave.
Since it broke the sound barrier, that meant that whatever it was in our path was faster than sound itself.
We were running at incredible speeds.
This giant monster had suddenly blocked our path.
Due to how massive this monster was, its shadow completely covered the area around us.
Its fierce Fear howling made Karin faint on the spot.
It must be its incredible killing intent that pressured Karin into submission.
“Kuhuk……. I spread countless traces all over. Chimera….. How did you….”
From Belkoseu’s mouth did a sigh-like monologue came out.
Chimera. It had appeared before us now.
Sounding like metal being grated together, it spoke.
“You playthings before I go to the Demon King hide pretty well. Kurururu……”