I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 198
Chapter 198. The Real Hunting Begins at the 11th Rank (2)
The number of Frost Queens that had gathered was reduced in an instant.
On top of that, the nearby area became an inhospitable environment unfit for life, covered in both intense heat and cold.
At least for a couple hours, it will be difficult for anyone to get close to said area.
I could see a couple of jewels shining through their broken half transparent forms, and I could see that both the size and ranks of these jewels were nothing like what I had seen so far.
I was positive that the increase in rank was the reason behind such a huge difference.
Not only would this be true for the quality of the loot, but it would also be the case for the amount of strength completely absorbed by me.
I could not check with my eyes due to a lack of indicators, but I was sure that if I kept on absorbing the strength of my enemies, the end result would be amazing.
“Even picking up these jewels poses a problem. I guess I’ll just pick up some of the big ones and throw out the rest.”
Jewels dropped at a 100% rate.
Because of that and how the Frost Queens gathered in a group, the amount of jewels they had collectively dropped was quite a lot.
If I could grow stronger by buying some artifacts with currency, I would be gathering these jewels like no tomorrow, but I had not received any information of such so far, so I couldn’t help but look at these jewels like stones on the roadside.
Due to the sheer amount, I had even dug holes between hunts to not get spotted as I casted Warp, returning to my residence to drop them off.
The 1 pyeong 1 shabby inn room had already been filled to the brim with jewels, and I even had to consider using the next room over.
The presence of the Frost Queen horde that I thought would stream in endlessly had all but disappeared.
At the rate I was going, I felt confident enough to not only take down the 9th tier, but the 10th tier as well without breaking a sweat.
It even made me hope that I would be able to go all the way into unexplored areas.
Shoving some jewels in the sack without much thought, I went onwards.
“Just like Pied Piper of Hamelin.”
Going forwards without being stealthed caused a massive amount of monsters to aggro on me.
Looking behind after running for a while, I saw countless monsters forming a mob group in the shape of a big triangle.
However, there were no issues with this situation.
This was just a part of hunting hordes.
Not only that, but I was sure that the stampede of monsters would have already frightened any nearby Protectors into fleeing.
Also, my form was completely covered by my armor, and I could always change the appearance of my outerwear as needed.
With the castle as the center, no matter which direction in 360 degrees you left outwards to, you could always arrive at each tier without issue, so even if someone did see my appearance now, the chances of meeting again was slim.
Even if someone did see my horde hunting strategy right now, I was sure that nothing would be out of the ordinary.
Wouldn’t there be someone in this world with strength on par with me already?
Others would just see me as a ranker Protector seeking to get to higher tier hunting grounds.
The most important thing here was to not use skills that of an Awakened, but skills that the Protectors here use.
What I was scared of was Barub, not the Protectors of this place.
“The way they’re grouped reminds me of bowling pins. Feels like I should try for a strike?”
The electricity in the air gathered, and dark clouds appeared in the sky.
The entire sky was a clear blue except for the area where the monsters and I were present, with darkness descending swiftly at our location.
The attacks that would follow this odd phenomenon would be far stranger and something grandiose.
After all, this skill was one of the most fantastical skill effects that I had observed so far, and the damage dealt was also among one of the most powerful.
This horde gathering method was also the same method of hunting the Protector who had casted this spell had used.
Isn’t there a saying that copying is the mother of all inventions?
It’s a rule of thumb to copy what looks good and figure things out from then on.
The pitch black sky poured down an insane amount of electricity.
Even the range of this skill was vast, and was so vast that it was enough to cover me and all the massive number of monsters that had gathered.
Other than the sound of lightning splitting across the sky and the sound destruction in its wake, I could only hear the sounds of the demonic monsters crying out.
The lightning bolts that dug into the monsters searched for a way out, raviging their bodies in the process and hopped from victim to victim, eroding their lifeforce.
Due to the constant stream of lightning continuing on for quite some time, the monsters began to fall one by one, and eventually, only the jewels remained where the monsters once stood.
For a brief moment, I wondered if I should pick up the jewels in this decimated hunting ground.
“Is this enough to qualify as a strike? But how long will it take to pick up all these… Hm? Seems a single arrogant pin is still alive?”
There was one demonic monster that was leisurely pulling themselves out of the pile of corpses.
The location I was in was probably somewhere at the border between the tier 8 and 9 areas.
Even if this estimation wasn’t accurate, I had not seen this monster anywhere in the encyclopedia.
The encyclopedia was so well made that it exceeded my expectations, serving as an excellent guide.
It was a perfect manual that allowed me to see up to the 10th tier of Hell’s hunting grounds, and was made well enough for me to consider it like a textbook.
To think that such a great encyclopedia was incorrect was hard to believe.
Not only that, but this monster had survived what all the other monsters perished from.
“An elite mob? Looks like today is that day I will update the encyclopedia.”
The monster let out a common monster skill, Fear, which was a sharp howl that now dug into my ears.
The monster’s appearance was like that of half human and half monster.
The top half was that of a feline animal, similar to a leopard or cheetah, while the lower half was that of a human, standing up with their two feet.
Since I had already faced quite a lot of hidden bosses back on Earth, I did not feel any worry for this new development.
On the contrary, I was quite happy with the encounter. I was quite excited for what this monster might drop as loot.
As I heard from Dump yesterday, elite demonic monsters drop amulets that completely outperform craftable ones.
I was also positive that there would be additional benefits to defeating them.
In the blink of an eye, the monster had closed the distance and was attacking me.
“A nameless kitty like you pushes their claws at me the moment we meet?”
I used both the lightning attack I had used just before and Normal Breath at the monster.
I wasn’t limited by cooldowns or mana deficiencies.
I could produce any effect of magic freely to my imaginations.
The monster that had been allowing attacks to go through without any barriers suddenly jumped back to make distance between them and me.
They must’ve realized that they had no chance of winning.
While the breath attack didn’t reach, the electric attack kept chasing after them.
“Oh? You’ve made distance? Against a mage? Looks like the intelligence level of the monsters here are not much different from all the monsters back on Earth.”
It looked like Normal Breath would not reach them anymore.
That meant that I would need to use magics with greater range.
Since I had traveled through the higher tier hunting grounds while hidden, I was able to see some decent spells that were proving very useful.
If I have the time, I was planning on asking Dump for an encyclopedia that explains the skills of a magician.
Accompanied by a chilling sound, thousands of arrows surrounded the area.
It was a skill called Celestial Arrow.
“Shall I begin the hunt?”
I pointed at them.
Similar to how bullets are loaded into a gun before being fired, tens of arrows gathered to each of my sides, readying to fire.
I casted the attack at them right away, and razor sharp arrows flew towards them without hesitation.
With swift movements, they had avoided roughly 90% of the attacks, but due to the sheer number of Celestial Arrows, even being hit by 10% of the remaining attacks dealt a massive amount of damage.
As time passed, they slowed further, and the arrows that penetrated all over their body began to release all sorts of powers like magical energies, torturing them.
The monster that had pushed their claws at me to attack at the start was now fully occupied trying to flee.
However, even their attempt at fleeing didn’t last long.
As the monster stopped moving, all the arrows pierced their body, and they perished on the spot.
The scene reminded me that of a hedgehog or a cactus.
On top of the dense pile of arrows that had successfully penetrated, I could see a pretty huge jewel and a few artifacts floating above.
Looking around, I quickly went towards the items and took them, then quickly fled the scene.
It was because I had concluded that it was a bad idea to stay here long at a spot where such a ruckus had occurred.
If this was back on Earth, I would’ve immediately checked what I had obtained, but I pushed down my anticipation and headed for higher tiers.
The Festival of Blood was taking place on this battlefield.
A large man was bashing his sword and shield together, trying to get the crowd riled up.
However, the nobles at the stadium seats only talked amongst each other or something other trivials.
So far it was too insignificant to warrant any excitement.
The large man was a slave that held the title of champion for over 2 months.
Besides the Protectors, you could say that this was the strongest amongst the regular civilians.
The nobles had long lost interest in such boring fights.
Since they had no other way than to go see the Festival of Blood to sate their boredom, they had come here, but it had become a place to have talks in order to form connections for the nobility.
It was true that the current situation was far from the original purpose behind the creation of the festival.
A malnourished thin slave went towards the yelling man, almost as if being shoved towards him.
Anyone could tell what would happen afterwards.
As expected by everyone, the slave’s head was lobbed off in a single cut, and the huge man held the malnourished slave’s head that was twisted in a horrific expression in his hand.
From the neck of the body that was sprawled out on the floor, blood spurted out as if it was being pumped out.
Despite the scene being very simulating and cruel, the crowd did not react.
It was then.
“Everyone, please give me your attention!”
“What is this?”
“It is Marquis Millions!”
Due to his appearance, the crowd’s focus shifted on to him.
Despite holding both position and power only granted to a few, he did not use his power without reason.
He was the subject of respect for those below him, and even those equal or stronger than him could not deal with him as they pleased.
The appearance of a person like him caused a greater stir in the crowd than the bloodletting at the festival.
“Greetings to all the nobility gathered here. I am Marquis Millions.”
“There is a reason why I have so rudely interrupted the festivities and appeared before everyone here.”
“The fight between regular civilians. I grow so bored that I cannot watch any longer. Isn’t that the same for everyone gathered here?”
“A couple days ago, I was able to meet a wild beast that was not tamed. I can see a few of you who were there to witness the moment back there.”
“Is he perhaps talking about the one who smashed the guard’s head?”
“I think so.”
“To revive the Festival of Blood that is slowing losing its meaning, I, Millions… For the amusement of the nobility gathered here! I plan to enter the wild beast into this festival.”
“Offering up a Protector as tribute for the festival?”
“What do you think, everyone! Do you agree with me? Greater brutality! Do you not want to see more blood?”
The crowd erupted in applause and cheered Millions.
The roar of the crowd swelled further when Barub appeared at his gesture.
Just like that, the curtain of the Protectors Festival of Blood that Millions and Barub wanted was rising.
“I shall take that as your approval. Firstly, we shall remove the old and announce the start of a new beginning! Demon!”