I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 199
199. Opening Act. Festival of Blood.
“Demon. Go forth. Go and announce the start of a new Festival of Blood.”
“Come! The king of this battlefield is I!”
At Millions’ command, Barub walked towards the battlefield.
Where the corpses rolled about and the stench of blood was heavy, a giant man excitedly wait for Barub’s arrival.
Holding the seat of the king amongst regular civilians in the Festival of Blood for so long, he had become extremely arrogant.
He had the confidence that no matter who the opponent was, he would just pull their heads off and bathe in their blood.
However, the opponent was Barub.
Barub wasn’t a budding greenhorn who just started walking on the path of a Protector, but someone who could kill the average Protectors in the link of an eye.
Millions and the crowd watched what Barub was doing with complete silence.
Barub, who approached close to the huge man, was without any equipment.
Not only did Barub not have any weapons, but had headed into the battlefield without any armor.
Contrasting that, the huge man was equipped with pretty decent defensive equipment and a weapon, perhaps due to being recognized by all that he had achieved so far.
The first attack was done by the huge man.
The sword swung accurately at Barub’s neck.
It was a perfect attack that wouldn’t surprise anyone if it cleanly cut off Barub’s head.
For a regular human, it was obvious that this man was very talented in the art of the sword.
However, the moment that the sword touched Barub’s neck, instead of their head being cut off, the huge man’s arm were ripped into shreds before popping like a balloon.
The arm that held onto the sword had evaporated into a steam of red.
Wide eyed from the pain and shock, the man flailed around wildly while backstepping.
See his reaction, Barub quietly muttered.
“You claimed to be a king…”
“AAAAH! M… Monster. Ugh!”
“I shall pull out that insolent tongue for you. I am the king of this world. I cannot tolerate using that term so lightly.”
“How pathetic. Now it really begins.”
Barub’s coarse hand covered the man’s mouth and increase the pressure of the grip on the man’s face.
Without even being able to mutter a whimper, his head popped and blood rained down like a waterfall.
Tossing the limp corpse of the man far aside, Barub stood in the center of the battlefield.
It was obvious that there would be no more challengers.
After all, it was obvious that anyone who wasn’t at least a Protector would have a chance now.
The crowd cheered and Millions gave off a satisfied smile.
“Now! With this, the new festival has started. The rules are the same as before, with the exception that the Protectors can join as well. I look forward to an opponent who can face off against the wild beast Demon. Demon!”
At Millions’ call, Barub followed him back inside.
It was obvious that the marquis was vile and disgusting, but Barub followed him without much concern.
Barub knew that the marquis was peculiarly similar to with how they were.
Someone who enjoyed a cruel game within the confines of the rules they set for themselves.
No remorse or regret were felt in the slightest for it either.
Barub returned to Millions’ estate and laid down in the large room specifically picked out for them by the marquis.
It had been four days since Barub had arrived in Hell, but other than killing the guard, they had not really obtained any growth.
However, Barub did not feel any pressure to hurry up.
After all, Barub managed to get through the issue with Millions’ ambitions and how it affected the Blood Festival.
They believed that it wouldn’t be long before they were able to obtain vast amounts of strength that could not be obtained even through great effort.
They were positive that this was a wise decision.
Just like how lead or mercury poisoning works in the food chain, killing the Protectors who are apex predators to obtain their strength would be the fastest and most effective way for growing stronger.
However, if there was one thing to worry about, it was the difference between the celestial plane and Hell in terms of strength.
Min-Cheol’s strength was that of killing all the gods other than Karupedan’s. Millions’ strength was far beyond that.
There was a chance that a Protector far stronger than Barub would appear.
However, those who participated in the tournament weren’t swordsmen, but had to be either slaves or criminals to partake in the festival, and that meant that the number of people insane enough to throw away their good life and honorable position to participate would be few.
There was the possibility of enticing potential candidates with rewards, but it would take some time before any fish would take the bait.
If Min-Cheol’s appearance was that of a rugged man in his early 30s with a scar on his face, then Barub had received a body that left a far greater impression.
Barub’s body looked like an elderly in their 50s or 60s, but the body was radiating such a strong energy that no one could even think of trying anything.
A trained body that would make age irrelevant and calm emotionless eyes painted a picture of what an expert would be like in a cultivation manhwa.
Laying on a bed made of stacked straw, Barub looked at the ceiling and sank into deep thought.
“How amusing. To think that I would be acting the role of someone’s lackey… Kuha! After meeting that human, I’m experiencing all sorts of new experiences.”
Barub had finally become fully acclimated to their human body.
Not only that, but they, Barub, were capable of hosting any amount of strength within themselves, because they had enough capacity to do so.
Barub sorted through their future plans as they thought about all the delicious prey that would come their way before long.
However, that didn’t last long.
They could hear sounds from outside.
“Demon. Marquis Millions seeks you.”
“Such an annoyance…”
I could hunt up to the 10th tier without any risks.
To be more clear, I decided to be a bit more greedy and headed into the unexplored territories.
However, the monsters there were so strong that I couldn’t even face them.
Taking them one or two at a time was somewhat possible, but due to the sheer number of monsters, to try making a chance to do so was extremely difficult.
It felt as though each regular monster was an elite one.
I arrived at the conclusion that going any further would be difficult and decided to remain at the 10 tier for now.
This actually could be a good outcome.
As I had said before, one’s growth could not be checked with numbers.
It was because stats or levels didn’t increase here.
That was why the only place I could find my limit and confirm my growth was the unexplored territories.
The moment that I am able to kill the monsters in the unexplored territories with ease, or I am able to slowly increase my number of monsters I can handle from one or two, that is when I would know. What better way was there than this to confirm with absolute confidence in my growth.
I finished my hunt along with my needlessly positive self rationalization.
“Aha. Have you returned, Sir Protector?”
“Yes. Nothing happened while I was gone?”
“Of course. Not only did I keep the rooms on the floor you are residing empty, but I had the entire building emptied. Not a single outsider has come on.”
“You didn’t need to go that far… Regardless, I am thankful. Here you go.”
“Oh! I didn’t tell you this because I wanted additional jewels…”
“Please take them. I look forward to your continued cooperation.”
“Yes! Of course! I should do so. You must be tired, so please head in.”
Finishing my short chat with the innkeep, I went into my room with haste.
It was because I wanted to check on the loot that I had obtained by defeating the elite monster as soon as possible.
The first thing to do in my room was to take off my armor and change into clothing that was commonly worn around here.
I did hurriedly pick up the artifacts, but these items did not have the appearance of something commonplace at all.
Even if I undid the sack right here and now, it was obvious that no one would know what these items were for or how to use them.
The place I planned to head for was Dump’s smithy.
“I apologize for coming in almost every single day.”
“No need to worry about that. I thought you’d come so I was waiting for you. For what reason have you come here today?”
“It’s just that I was in the middle of hunting when I met an elite monster that you mentioned before.”
“Oh my! That could’ve been a disaster! How are you in one piece?”
“Yes, thankfully I am…”
“I was quite worried. After all, there is nothing written about elite monsters in the encyclopedia.”
“I noticed. Due to how rare their appearance is, I guess there is no information on them?”
“That’s part of the reason, but all elite monsters have different appearances. No elite monster is identical to another in this world.”
“Are you telling me that an elite monster has a different appearance each time they show?”
“Yes. That’s right. That’s why not even the ranked Protectors can fight them recklessly. Even if they formed a party, they’d be busy running for their lives. It’s to be expected, since there is no information on the elite monster they’re facing. After all, even in the tier 1 zone, an elite monster with the strength befitting of the monsters from the unexplored territories could appear.” 1
“They appear… at random? And they do not carry strength matching that of the tier of the hunting ground they’re in…”
“Yes. Most of the elite monsters are taken care of by the unit serving directly under the castellan, the ‘Knights.’ Sometimes there are some elite monster hunters who try to strike it rich in one go, but this attempt shouldn’t be done unless you have two lives. Why would anyone try fighting an elite monster unless they’re crazy? Well, it is extremely fortunate that you were able to escape without any issues.”
“Hmm… I’m not insane, but I fought against one and won. That’s why I have come here.”
“Huh? You defeated an elite monster? Oho… How fortunate this turned out to be. It must’ve been an elite monster that wasn’t very strong. The Heavens have helped you.”
“Yes… Well, those in the celestial plane aren’t that compassionate, but I guess I’ll have to think of it that way.”
“Ah. It’s nothing.”
“Hoho. Will you have some tea at least?”
“I’m alright. Due to artifacts spilling out as loot, I hastily picked them up and made my way over here, but since I do not know how these items should be used, I came here to ask for assistance.”
“If that’s the case, then do not worry. I’m not a Protector, but I have seen and learned a lot while being involved in this market for some time.
“What is the matter?”
“As expected… I did think that you slayed a monster in a high tier zone after seeing the size and quality ranking of the jewels you’ve given to me before, but to think that you were this strong…”
“You should get your memory back as soon as possible. You must’ve been someone with a high ranking position within the castle…”
“Are these items worth that much?”
“These items are so precious that they cannot be obtained with money or jewels.”
Dump pointed at the scroll that gave off a golden light that was pulled out from the sack while speaking.
Perhaps too uncomfortable to even hold the item with his hands, his hands hovered around thin air, as if an invisible barrier was blocking his way.
Pictographs similar to the ones written on the skill books that exist back on Earth were on the surface of the scroll.
I asked Dump.
“What is this?”
“It’s a skill scroll.”
The thought of if I had the Eye of Insight, I could find out the use and the effects of the skill in one go really filled me with regret.
It was at the moment that I was going to chastise myself for getting tricked by complacency and forgetting how precious it was.
“Could you find out what skill this is?”
“Please wait a moment.”
Dump didn’t even look back as he ran out of the store.
Did about 3 minutes pass just like that?
With rough breathing, Dump returned.
In his hand was a parchment similar to the size of the monster encyclopedia.
“Whew… This is the skill encyclopedia. Most information on skills are in here, so I shall give a look over to it to try finding it.”
“Yes. Let us search together. I shall search for this.”
“Understood. Then I shall do this one.”
There were two scrolls that I had obtained after defeating the elite monster.
The pictographs were different from each other, and even the thickness of the scrolls were different as well.
With a great amount of hope, I focused my all on searching for the skills by figuratively staring holes into the encyclopedia.