I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 201
201. Time Is Fast
It’s been 30 days since I had arrived in Hell.
In the blink of an eye, almost 1/3rds of the time had passed.
I had learned the basics of this world from Dump, and spent the rest of the time focusing on hunting.
I did not dig deep into the strange happenings within the castle that I had first asked Dump about.
It really didn’t matter and I didn’t care what the nobles were up to.
It was because if it wasn’t something that was harmful to me or interrupted in what I was doing, then I really didn’t have a reason to get involved.
With all the effort I’ve put in since, I had grown nearly strong enough to defeat the monsters in the unexplored territories.
I was only able to cross the 10th tier to the starting zones of the unexplored territories and pick apart enemies bit by bit, but this was definitely a huge improvement since the start.
It had come to the point where I couldn’t progress any faster.
While I was hunting, I wasn’t disturbed by anyone, and there were none to look at me with suspicion.
The issue of travel time that had plagued me for some time had been solved the day I saw the skill encyclopedia.
There was the existence of return scrolls in this world.
They dropped from regular monsters at a low rate and they looked like thin rolled up paper.
If I rip that item, then I return to a place I’ve set to.
It was the same with how Warp was used.
Everything was going so well, adding great speed to my growth rate.
It was enough growth for me to nearly regain half of my strength that I had lost since beginning the bet with Barub.
However, you could say that this was just the start.
After all, I finally had the same level of strength as Barub now.
Well, that would be the case if Barub did nothing but breathe in this world.
I had no way of knowing just how strong he had grown all this time.
Hell allowed growth at a rate that couldn’t be compared to the rate back on Earth.
Compared to only receiving 5 points worth of stats after going through an immense amount of hardship, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this world was made for growth.
However, this was only possible because I had come here with cheat like powers.
If I started as a beginner Protector here, this amount of growth would be impossible beyond imagination.
Was it because I had used all my luck at the start?
Elite monsters did not appear once since my hunting at the start.
That obviously meant that the only skills I possessed were the Cloning Jutsu and Mobile Storage.
I had all the jewels and miscellaneous artifacts sold through Dump, receiving the highest form of currency called cores in return.
To buy the incredibly expensive skill books, the jewels were nowhere enough.
To put it simply, if jewels were iron, then cores were diamond.
I could copy any of the skills that the Protectors used.
However, that was just trying to mimic the appearance of the skills.
I wasn’t able to fully copy the effects and positive benefits of the skills.
If I attacked using the power of the gods, magical energies, and mana that I posses, then it would be stronger than the skills of the Protector, but to obtain few of the skills that I could not even dare copy, such as the Cloning Jutsu, I didn’t have a choice but to gather money.
“To think that no matter where I go, I must grind. What a life I live.”
My proficiency using the storage had already reached the maximum, becoming large enough to shove all of Larkenta in it.
Just imagine how many jewels I could obtain in a 20 hours continuous hunt.
The amount was already more than enough to fill all the rooms of the inn I had rented.
To be able to hold everything, that is why I did not hold back on investing.
Dump had relocated his smithy from the flea market.
It was obvious, since just from gathering all the jewels I’ve given him as a backer, he would have enough to live like a noble.
However, this did not mean he stopped using the hammer.
He had his own grand dream.
Instead of creating garbage miscellaneous goods for the flea market, he wanted to make weapons using rare and expensive materials with his own unique method.
He hadn’t made anything solid yet due to all the failures so far, but I believed that if it’s him, he would succeed in making something amazing.
Until then, I wasn’t going to stop supplying him with goods, and I will be rewarded with his creation eventually.
He definitely could just buy the title of a noble with the money instead of going through hardship like now.
However, Dump did not do so. To be more precise, he couldn’t.
It was because of his hidden daughter, Berlette, was on the line.
While Dump could easily buy the title of noble with the money, his daughter could not do the same.
If the truth comes out that he had been disobeying the order of the castellan and hid the girl all this time, then instead of an increase in status, he would instantly become a huge criminal.
No one knew what was happening to the girls who were taken, but seeing as though none returned and not a single one of them contacted their families back outside with a letter, it was assumed that something vile was happening to them.
“Welcome, Sir Protector.”
“Yes. Nothing happened, right?”
I found Dump and Berlette, both of whom moved to a new place far from the castle.
It was a remote place also far from the housings, so far that even the soldiers of the castles did not patrol often.
Berlette, who had completely dropped her guard around me, was without her armor and wearing her regular clothes instead.
Not only that, but she wasn’t cutting her hair short anymore and letting it grow out instead.
It seemed that she was finally enjoying life like a person.
“I will be counting on you again today.”
“Whew. You have gathered so much in a short time. I guess it’s proof that your hunting is going smoothly? Hoho.”
“Yes, thanks to you.”
“Then I shall bring the horse and cart.”
Seeing the jewels gathered in the Mobile Storage, Dump went outside.
Having solid connections due to working for a long time in the market, he was able to sell this incredible amount of jewels I brought in every couple days.
I was very thankful that he chose to keep on the low instead of standing out.
After Dump left, Berlette, who was boiling soup in the kitchen spoke to me.
“How are you doing recently? Are the lost memories coming back to you?”
“Yes… Well, it’s little, but it’s returning bit by bit infrequently.”
“Is that so? It seems that you’re pretty bad at lying, Sir Guardian.”
“I don’t think you’re the type of person who can fool anyone.”
Seeing my flustered reaction due to her unexpected words, Berlette laughed playfully.
I didn’t even know why she said something like that.
“A Protector who brings an insane amount of high ranking jewels every three days.”
“I’m positive you’re one of the few ranker Protectors of Larkenta. But that person doesn’t want to find out about their past? Doesn’t that seem a little strange? It’s obvious that this person would be a noble of incredible wealth and title.”
“You don’t need to tell me the truth. You could be wanting to forget the past or hide it, after all. It’s difficult to make a decision early, but… I don’t think you’re a bad person, Sir Guardian. Whatever you’re hiding, or whatever the reason for coming to us is, I think you’re an okay person who should continue staying next to my father.”
“Ah… I see….”
“Father said time and time again. He said that it’s almost as if Sir Guardian has come from another world.”
“That’s why he’s so pure without any stains. If you’re a Protector… It’s hard to be like that here. If my father who is known for being inflexible and stubborn amongst even the merchants recognizes you, then you must be a good person.”
I was unsure just how corrupt Hell was, but could I compare it to the cruel world I experienced?
Berlette’s words about how I was without blemish came as quite the new shock to me.
Not only did it bring me shock, but it felt unfitting.
“All done. You haven’t eaten yet, right?”
“Not even once. You’ve not joined us for a meal yet. Come and sit here.”
When the conversation that felt more like an interrogation was nearing its end, Dump came back.
Shaking the water off and hanging up the raincoat that had blocked the rain that fell as if there was a hole in the sky, he spoke.
“All the preparations are complete. If it is urgent, we can leave right away, Sir Guardian.”
Dump saw the 3 spoons on the meal kitchen table and gave a small smile.
“Berlette. Did you ask Sir Guardian ahead of time?”
“Of course. Right? Sir Guardian?”
“Yes… That’s right. If it is okay with you, then may I partake in the meal…”
“Of course! Not only is it okay. Hohoho. It’s an honor. Please, do sit.”
“Ah! It almost slipped my mind. Have you seen this poster?”
Dump put down the spoon immediately and went to the corner of the room to bring a piece of paper back.
It was a worn piece of paper with tears all over, almost as if it was torn off from someplace.
Since it was filled with letters I could not recognize at a glance, I merely stared at Dump’s face.
“May I ask what it is about?”
“When I went near the castle to sell the jewels a couple days ago, this is something one of the guards you hired to protect us brought back.”
“To put it simply, it was a poster that asked people to become willing slaves on their own.”
“To become a slave?”
“Yes. Do you remember me speaking about something called the Festival of Blood?”
“Yes. I remember that you told me it was a cruel game where one fights with his or her life on the line.”
“That’s correct. While the Festival of Blood was treated by the nobles as a simple amusement before, the event was gathering interest from the merchants and the citizens recently.”
“Is that so?”
This wasn’t something that I really needed to give much attention to.
However, since Dump was raising his voice out of passion and doing his best to explain, I was merely giving an appropriate amount of response in return.
However, I heard something in a brief moment that made me lament not being able to read the letters on the poster.
“But within a single month of the festival, apparently someone rose to the position of king of the festival. However, the way this person fights is completely different the way others have fought previously.”
“What do you mean…”
“No one can tell what class of Protector they are. Apparently they use some kind of power that no one has ever seen or heard of before. Not only that, but that power is so strong that no one can tell just how powerful it is, and that there are no enemies worth contesting against them. This poster’s contents state that they’re seeking new challengers.”
“Please continue. Tell me in greater detail!”
“Huh? Sure… Originally, the Festival of Blood was a competition between criminals and slaves, and the Protectors were not involved. However, with the appearance of this beast portrayed on this poster, the fight has changed to a competition between Protectors. The request to become a slave on one’s own will is actually them saying that they want to find someone who can defeat this beast here.”
“Their advertisement is that they’re giving the challenger who becomes a slave on their own will a chance to defeat the wild beast, obtaining great wealth and honor if they manage to do so. Not only that, the prize includes a great amount of political power that even the Protectors cannot earn.”
I really didn’t register any of the other words.
I only focused on the part about how this beast was ignoring the classes of the Protectors and using a completely different power.
It was because it made me think of someone specifically.
“Is it possible that I could spectate the Festival of Blood?”
“Without being a noble, it would be very difficult. Many of the citizens are heavily interested in it, but they can’t see it in person, and the most they can do is listen to rumors told by third hand accounts.”
“I have to confirm that person’s strength myself.”
“What do you mean…”
“Checkmate. I got you. You little…”
Dump and I headed near the castle together.
The thought of processing a massive amount of jewels wasn’t even on my mind.
I only wanted to confirm that person’s strength with my own eyes.
To do that, I needed to become a noble.
Hoping that beast was actually Barub, I quickened my pace.