I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 218
218. Mutual Aid (2)
I freed all the maidens and Protectors that were kidnapped by Swesi.
I wasn’t sure what was done to them, but there were a few amongst them that weren’t all there in their heads.
However, Dan said that they will return to normal after returning back to their homes and resting for a bit.
He explained that they were charmed by a hex, but it wasn’t something that caused permanent damage.
Just like that, only Berlette remained in the Mobile Storage, and I immediately headed for Dump’s home.
As expected, the sound of hammering was ringing there.
I opened up the door to Dump’s workplace and headed in.
Noticing me despite the loud noise, Dump turned to greet me.
“Sir Guardian. I’ve been waiting for you.”
“I also wanted to visit you as soon as I could.”
“Huh? Did you notice the completion of the artifact?”
“Did you succeed? I have even better news for you.”
“Ho ho. I wonder what it is. There’s only a week left before the day you planned to execute your plan. I really put in all the effort I could to finish it even a little faster. Please come and see.”
“Ah… The planned date was a week from now. But the plan has changed a little.”
“Hm. I see that you needed more time to prepare. There’s no need to rush. I believe in you. But I am really curious as to the good news that you’ve brought me.”
“This is the first time I’ve seen Sir Guardian make a face like this. And you’re not confirming the artifact that you’ve been desiring for so long.”
“Is that so? This takes priority. It’s within the storage.”
“Oh…? Is it a unique crafting material?”
“You should see for it yourself.”
“Let out Berlette.”
“Huh! What did you just say? I didn’t mishear that, right? You definitely said Berlette!”
“Thankfully I wasn’t late.”
The Mobile Storage let out Berlette.
She ran towards to Dump, who was covered in dust and metal powder, and the reuniting between daughter and father that everyone can imagine came to be.
Dump wasn’t able to returned the hug with his dusty hands and was just crying for a long time.
He could’ve hugged her tight and expressed joy from the reunion, but I was sure this just showed how precious she was to him.
His tears of joy that needed not be wiped or be ashamed of told me so.
Unlike her father, Berlette was calm.
She also did cry, but she did not let herself be overtaken by emotions and comforted her father instead.
After confirming that Berlette was safe, Dump looked towards me.
“Sir Guardian… How could this be…”
“I moved the plan ahead by a week. Things worked out a lot better than I had planned.”
“Thank you. Thank you so much. I don’t know how to repay this debt…”
“I am ashamed and sorry for saying this, but I didn’t do this just to save your daughter. I also wanted additional benefits for myself. I’m not the saint that you think I am.”
“That’s not true. Even if you did do this partially for your benefit, my daughter has returned home safe and sound. Even though you say that, I’m sure that you had me and my daughter in mind.”
“I’m positive. My life is only yours, Sir Guardian.”
“That’s not true…”
“Ah. How could I forget. As I have said before, I’ve succeeded in creating an artifact. Because of my reunion with my daughter, I…”
“I understand. I’ll check out the artifact tomorrow. I think it’s a good idea to revel in your happiness right now.”
“That’s not true! If I can’t even do this much, I don’t think I could face you without being ashamed of myself.”
“Please confirm it now. This is the only way father and I can return the favor.”
“She’s right. I was able to confirm that my child has returned safe and sound. I cannot take advantage of your good will any further.”
“Yes! The only one I was able to succeed was with the armor. And I was just barely able to complete it right before you came. And while I did succeed in creating it, I am not sure that I was able to apply the stats that I wanted to put on it. I’ll show you it right away.”
While Dump had left to bring the armor, I called Dan from the storage.
I did not have the ability to identify the artifacts in this world.
This was probably the case with the items that dropped from monsters and also with the items created by humans.
To confirm the abilities of the artifacts, I needed a Protector from this world.
And the best person suited for that right now was Dan.
“Master. Wasn’t today’s work over?”
“Sorry, but something minor came up.”
“Always welcome to. Ah. This is the home of the lady general. We’ve met at the castle, right? My name is Dan.”
“Yes… Thanks to you, I was able to return safely. Thank you.”
“Heh! It wasn’t anything…”
“It was really a good thing to bring you amongst all those guards.”
“Huh? Master, what do you mean by that all of a sudden…”
“I don’t think you really that bad of a person. Just an idiot who tried really hard to pretend that he’s bad.”
“Don’t change. I’m sure you already know that it would be the right thing to do.”
Who would see Dan as a member of Swesi.
Just a couple days ago, he was the captain of all the guards.
He did not directly participate in the human trafficking, but he was a member who assisted in the wrongdoing of Swesi.
To think that those who were kidnapped would become indebted to him.
It really was ironic.
Much more so after seeing him genuinely happy at their thanks.
Hearing what I said, Dan became sheepish and smiled awkwardly.
He probably also knew just how much he had changed in the last few days.
I was also rather troubled.
After becoming an Awakened back on Earth, I never had an ally like him.
To put it simply, if you categorized people as good and evil, Dan would belong in the evil category.
Unlike him, people like Jong Ho or Ho Jin around me would belong in the good category.
The monster Karin had also stood on the side of my enemy before, but because Karin never moved with intentional malice, I could let it go.
This was the reason why I was troubled.
The members of the radical faction and Swesi, who have died at my hands.
Was there a guarantee that there was no one like Dan.
At the surface level, they were evil.
They didn’t care for the lives of other people like themselves and dreamed of things beyond unethical.
However, there were probably people who could’ve lived a righteous life like Dan.
I, however, did not notice and saw them all as enemies instead.
I was partially embarrassed at myself for thinking that they had to receive punishment for being a bad person before.
I concluded and judged them with just the reason that I was stronger than them.
Almost as if I was some god that was above everything in the world.
There was a deafening silence between Dan, Berlette, and I.
With some words I had tossed out without much concern, I had created a heavy mood.
The person to break the long silence was Dump.
Dump, who had carried the heavy looking armor with great difficulty spoke with a bright smile.
His words of embarrassment had a hint of pride in them.
“Sir Guardian! This is it. This is the armor that I have succeeded in creating.”
“Thank you for your hard work. Can you tell me the stats on it?”
“If it was created to my ideal design, it should have 30% damage reduction and 30% damage absorption. And it should have a bonus 20% attack damage increase.”
“What’s the issue?”
“Is that possible? The stats are much higher than what I have obtained so far…”
“Hm… This would be the case if it was crafted to my ideals. Such a top of the line equipment would be difficult even for a special class smith of the castle to make.”
“Ah… Then I shall confirm it now.”
“Yes! This is my first successful creation, so please do not hope for too much. A disappointing outcome might be the case here.”
“Of course. Dan, I need you to check it for me.”
“Yes master. I knew that would be the case and took off my armor I was wearing ahead of time. Then…”
Dan put on the armor as if he had been waiting to do so.
The effects that Dump had mentioned were actually really amazing.
To think that such powerful effects, and three to boot, would be attached to a single artifact.
It was obvious that the amount of damage reduction, absorption, and attack increase would be reduced if it wasn’t of the highest quality, but the type of effects themselves would not change.
Quieting my breath, I focused on Dan.
Dump was the same.
It seemed that he had rather high hopes for his first successful creation.
It didn’t take long before Dan to speak up.
“Hm… It’s a bit iffy.”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t hesitate and tell us already.”
“Yes! If the results weren’t good, then I’m sure that it is due to the creation process. Please let me know now.”
“The effects aren’t even half of what you had targeted for. The damage reduction is 14%, the absorption at 13% and attack damage increase is at 9%.
“This isn’t as good as I thought. It looks like I need to work harder.”
“It’s the first time. I think that this much isn’t a bad result.”
“Please give me back the armor. I should be able to recover at least some of the material put into creating it.”
“No, I shall be using it.”
“Huh? When I was changing the appearance of the equipment you were wearing before, I saw that the equipment you are wearing now is still better than this…”
“That’s correct. I will be using it… But it won’t be me… But it’ll also be me…”
“Master! Perhaps it’s for me?”
“Mm. No. I’ll be equipping it on the clone. Please give me the armor and other failed attempts. They will be useful for some time.”
“That’s good. I understand. Please wait a bit more. I will be making equipment of the highest caliber with everything I got.”
“You have already succeeded over halfway. I’ll be waiting.”
“Yes! And my reliable assistant Berlette has returned as well now…”
Dump and I weren’t disappointed by much with the lower than expected stats.
This was the first successful creation of an artifact after all the failures so far.
If he remembers how to create an artifact, then there will be more successes than failures.
By continuing to succeed, he will be able to refine the method to the point of making an artifact of the highest quality.
If the artifact was able to perform at the level he aimed for, and I was able to equip both myself and the clones with those highest quality artifacts, there would be no need to worry or be afraid of my contest with Barub.
I had obtained a massive amount of power by defeating Swesi.
Not only did I make up the distance in one go, but I had obtained growth far surpassing that of Demon.
My plan ahead was already set as well.
Hunting in the unexplored territories? I could obtain a fair amount of power doing just that.
However, I will be picking a method that is much faster and much more costly, and even a bit dangerous.
“Shall we go visit the nobles that engaged in trading with Swesi?”
“Hm… Just like last time, my intuition is giving me the signal. I shall guide you.”