I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 219
219. Playing in the Big Leagues
After Swesi disappeared in a single day, bad rumors began to circulate amongst the nobles.
The rumor was that Swesi, the organization that provided them with maidens and young Protectors, was destroyed in an instant.
And that it was at the hands of a single person.
Most of the nobles did not believe in this rumor.
After all, it was hard to believe that the organization Swesi, which had the combined combat prowess of a count, had been taken down by a single person.
It was understandable, as if this rumor was true, then at least someone with the strength of a marquis was behind this.
However, out of every marquises, which numbered less than 10, there was not a single one amongst them that did not trade with Swesi.
Swesi was the organization that did the dirty work for them so that they would not have to dirty their own hands.
Of course there was a price that needed to be paid, but the cost was cheap in comparison to the work.
So it didn’t make sense for these marquises to strike down Swesi.
Because Swesi consistently informed the nobles about the supply of products before, the lack of information on the current whereabouts of Swesi and their vacant headquarters only raised suspicion and confusion.
The nobles hid this problem instead of going public, and waited for either Swesi to return or another organization that would pick up this type of work.
Despite Min-Cheol destroying Swesi and kicking up a storm, the hype for the Festival of Blood did not cease.
On the contrary, the step up in quality of the festival only increased the size of the crowd, and Millions’ fame also increased due his ownership of the strongest slave.
The slaves of the training center had been butchered by Millions’ dog, Demon.
However, new slaves had already replaced them in the underground training center under Millions’ mansion.
There were also far more replacements than the previous number of slaves.
This proved that the number of people willing to become slaves would not stop as long as the excitement of the festivity continued.
The number of matches continued to increase, and the slaves continued to show off their new skills in an attempt to win support and attention from the crowd.
Contrary to that, the king of the festival, Demon, merely kept their title and the number of matches they partook in decreased.
To be frank, there weren’t any worthy adversaries against them.
With the Protectors, they became exponentially stronger each time they fought.
It was obvious since the winner would fully absorb the strength of the defeated.
This gap in power only exponentially increased the longer the champion held their position.
That was why no slaves stronger than Demon could appear right now.
These slaves would instead be able to face those climbing from the bottom rung.
The crowd still loved how the Demon fought.
It wasn’t fancy or presented impressive effects, but it clearly showed the overwhelming difference in power.
However, this wouldn’t go on for long.
As you may be aware, a crowd’s interest can die off easily.
The crowd’s response will grow cold, as if to make you wonder if they ever even liked it in the first place, and they will wish for a new king of the festival.
Millions and Demon were both aware of this as well.
However, the two of them weren’t very concerned about it.
What went on Millions’ head as he did whatever he pleased with the festival was a mystery, but at least for Demon, it was simple and certain.
Demon’s goal wasn’t to keep the title of king in the festival for long.
Their only goal was to obtain power within this realm called Hell in order to return to the celestial plane.
To them, fame and power here didn’t mean anything.
Already more than half the days of the agreed 100 days had passed, and it wouldn’t be long before they would return from Demon to Barub.
They were still subjugated by Millions’ strength and forced to follow his commands for now, but they would continue to grow their strength by consuming the slaves of the underground training center.
Not only that, but they planned to do so for the nobles and monsters as well.
After all, they even had the desire to bear fangs against their own owner, Millions.
For Demon, this world was just a hunting ground to grow stronger in.
There wasn’t anything that separated the humans from the monsters.
In their eyes, everything that drew breath and carried red blood appeared as prey.
“Master, I found it!”
“Good. We’re going back.”
To find out about the nobles that traded with Swesi, we had headed out to find the accounting book.
Swesi’s headquarters were empty, but in case of visiting nobles, we moved at dawn.
As expected, thanks to Dan’s excellent performance again, we were able to find the account book without much trouble.
Far thicker than most law books, the accounting book was filled with information on many transactions.
The book was filled with the names of high ranking nobles that could be recognized by name alone due to their high status.
“I think marquises are too hard right now. We’ll be focusing on counts.”
“Yes. But… Master.”
“I think we’ll have to approach this differently than how we did with Swesi.”
“It’s only this quiet because Swesi sneakily committed criminal activity. It won’t be the same case for the nobles.”
“They have enough political power to shake up all of Larkenta. Think about what they’ll do if each of the nobles are ambushed one by one. Do you think they’ll just sit still? They’ll do everything in their power to find out who is responsible.”
“Hm… That’s true. So what’s your suggestion?”
“Since you have set your sights on counts, you have to finish it all in one go.”
“In one go? Are you telling me to defeat all of the counts at the same time? You’re saying that hit and run guerilla tactics are not possible?”
“Yes, that’s right. It won’t be possible to attack twice. Unless you, master, has enough power to face off against counts, marquises, and the castellan. If you leave a time gap between the attacks, then there is a high chance you’d be captured on the second attack.”
“So I have to take out all the counts with the first attack… Do you have any good plans in mind?”
“That, I’ll have to think of one with time.”
“But if we are able to succeed in defeating just the counts separately in your plan to defeat all the nobles written on this accounting book, then everything else will work out smoothly.”
“Well, their power will continue to pile up within me as I take them down.”
“That’s correct. By absorbing the power of all the counts, you’ll naturally obtain enough power to overwhelm a marquis, and by taking down the marquises, your power will be greater than that of the castellan.”
“In theory, this plan seems as simple as it can be.”
“First, we’ll have to wait until the nobles, who are on alert due to the disappearance of Swesi, relax their guard. If we move hastily without a solid plan, it won’t end well for you or me.”
“I’m aware that it’s better to take our time and go through everything. However, I don’t have that much time left.”
“Huh? Do you have a terminal disease or something?”
“Hm. Something similar to that. Everything needs to be taken care of within the next 40-ish remaining days.”
“Hm… Then how about this?”
“The day that Mr. Dump succeeds in creating artifacts is the day we’ll choose to attack. You’ll have to finish maxing out the skill proficiency of your cloning skill anyways.”
“The growth of my own strength would stop, but I’ll increase my combat capabilities with external factors. And then we go on with the plan then?”
“Yes! That’s right. Rather than ruining everything by moving carelessly, this has at least a little increase in the chance to succeed.”
“You’re right, but…”
“Also, I think you should invest some time in obtaining more useful skills.”
“The… You said that it was a terminal disease, but I think the reason why you have to leave here is something else. I saw the fight between you and the top 5 of Swesi before, and it looked as though master wasn’t from this world.”
“I told you. I’m a god.”
“Pfft! Right, you did say that. The only skills you use that the Protectors use here are Mobile Storage and the cloning skill, right?”
“Hm… Yeah. I wasn’t able to focus on that because I was so busy fighting.”
“With your storage filled to the brim with cores and overflowing with goods that can be traded used to purchase skill scrolls, don’t you think this is the most ideal situation to remedy that?”
“Let’s do that for now then. As you are aware, my plans might change at any given moment. I could be going into action as early as tomorrow.”
“I am aware of that. Let’s head back to the castle as soon as dawn passes.”
“Alright. Rest for now.”
Even the atmosphere of the marketplace within the castle was different from the marketplace outside.
Just from looking at the shape and number of stocked goods, I could tell that they were on another level.
I sensed leisure rather than a desperation to keep afloat from the merchants, and I could not see any questionable pandering to customers.
Rather, I saw merchants not selling their artifacts to unfamiliar nobles.
“It feels a little like this is another world.”
“You cannot compare the merchants from the outside with those here. They are craftsmen that the castle has recognized.”
“Is that what Dump dreamt of?”
“That’s probably the case. A spot here is something that any blacksmith or alchemist would hope for.”
“I feel bad for Dump by asking this, but…”
“If he fails, can I buy from here?”
“Well… It’s only an if, but if he does fail in creating artifacts that is.”
“If you could buy from here, then I’m sure we would’ve proceeded with the plan right away, even possibly today.”
“I am positive that the craftsmen will not offer us any of the highest tier artifacts. They would only do so to the marquises and the castellan. No matter how much money you have, it means that you cannot purchase any weapons, armor, and Protector talismans.”
“Hm… What about skill scrolls then?”
“As long as you have the cores, you can purchase as many as you want. There are no Protectors that would learn the same skill twice, so there’s more supply than a need in this case.”
“This is only half satisfying.”
“Let’s head that way. The skill store should be there.”
I followed Dan to where the stores were lined up.
The stores looked rather vacant due to the Festival of Blood that was currently going on at this time.
We arrived at the skill scroll store.
The first thing that I noticed were the scrolls that filled up the entire wall.
The number was immense, and slightly differently shaped scrolls were laid out neatly.
An old woman in the center of the store was sipping on tea.
Frowning with one one eye, she looked at the both of us with a unpleasant expression before opening her mouth, which Dan stood in front of me to respond.
“The items you’re seeking?”
“Grandma. Show us some demon god ranking skill scrolls.”
“Pff. Demon god rank? Seems a hick from the countryside has come to sightsee the castle.”
“If it’s cores, we have more than enough. Show us already.”
“Why are you trying to see goods you can’t even use! Get lost, you rascal!”
“Hey I said I’ll buy them, so why are you doing this? Here! Look. If it is cores, here…”
“I’ll be using them. May I see some of the scrolls?”
“Kuhuhu. Should’ve said so from the start. What kind of a stubborn fool dares to look at demon god scrolls?”
“Well. The nerve of that grandma!”
The old woman did not even show the items to Dan.
Despite holding a lot of cores in his hand, as if being to see through Dan’s capabilities, she determined that Dan would not be able to use these items.
Contrary to that, only after I spoke up did she give a small smile and raised her slouched body.
Opening the safe in the corner of the store, the old woman muttered.
“If it’s scrolls, they are overflowing. But I wonder if there is anything that would fill his capabilities… Kuhuhu. Maybe this might do.”
“Grandma. Why are you talking to yourself? Are you still insulting me?”
“Should I tame him… Or will I be eaten…”