Chapter 23 - An Invitation
The night passed by spectacularly as I binged on food and familiarized myself with my fast-expanding array of skills. There were many and I was increasing them at a very fast rate that doesn’t seem like it would reduce any time soon
I went over every single one of the support skills to try and gain a better understanding of just how much they were increasing my damage output with my skills. I would get the chance to possibly observe this change more noticeably today after I use my offensive skills for the first time after adding 8 more new support skills in a day
I left the Pristine Residency while activating the full extent of [Stealth] so that I could avoid any unwanted attention as I made my way towards the awakened center. I browsed over the skills once more and as expected, nothing of value was there
I held many rank C skills currently that would make a ton of money if sold, but I was planning on holding onto them for now until I began making my way over to some of the inner cities of the Empire where it was possible to buy rank B skills. The knowledge spread over on hunting platforms mentioned that their prices ranged upwards of 10 million because of their high demands and very little supply
They were my next goal, as I could only obtain a rank B skill book at a very low chance with the rank c Dungeon I was currently clearing. Seeing nothing else catching my eye at the awakened center, I left for [Solael’s Castle] right away
When I arrived at the huge monolith though, there was someone obviously out of place standing near it. It was a curvaceous woman in a tight business suit checking her watch as she waited for something
No hunters were cl.u.s.tered around [Solael’s Castle] as normal rank C hunting squads didn’t dare dive into the dungeon, so the only person she could be waiting for here was...me
I removed my stealth and appeared a few feet away, startling her from my sudden appearance. A bright smile bloomed on her face as if she had found the huge treasure she was looking for
"Hello Mr. Osmont, my name is Amelia Ross and I’m here on behalf of Vice Admiral Magnar of Star City"
Her words started off very normal but the end was explosive. I was immediately intrigued as Star City was one of the core defense cities in the Empire, with the government spreading its clutches in almost all industries and activities. Also, I had never come across any high titles such as Vice Admiral before
I replied back with a smile "What can I do for you?"
She nodded with a relieved expression and continued "I won’t waste too much of your time Sir Hunter, so I will give the message I was instructed to for you to read at your leisure" A thin folder with papers appeared on her hands and she handed it to me, finishing her last words as she left hurriedly
"Oh, Mr. Osmont, many of the files in there are confidential, so we are counting on your discretion"
I nodded at these words and watched her get in a black sedan that quickly pulled away. A confidential file huh, what exactly do you contain?
The first paper was an introduction from the one known as Vice Admiral Magnar, and he kept things very much on point. He was hiring rank B hunters or higher to work with the government to raid the rank B dungeon, [Mangrove Swamp]. Half the loot would go towards the government as they provided you with money or anything else you wished for that they could provide
If you were patriotic enough and enlisted in the Empire’s army, you would be in the first row of hunters who can select skills and items useful to them in their vast armory while also receiving the full benefits of the military
There were very few papers in the file, and the last one was the even more eye-catching one, with the entire paper only holding two sentences that made me very concerned
"This is highly confidential information that only the top hunters have available currently, please exercise great control. Enemies are heading towards the Blessed Empire that could cause the deaths of billions if we continue to be complacent."
Only 2 sentences, but they made me attach a much greater importance to this file. An enemy coming to attack the Empire? My mind’s gears were turning as I wrapped my head around this new information and what I should do next. Who could it be? Was it beasts...or was a war approaching?
I was thinking for quite a while but nothing came to mind. I had too little information currently and needed to learn much more. I made some quick calculations and change of plans and shot a text towards the people I had dived into [Solael’s Castle] with 2 days ago. The original plan was to dive with them once more before I began looking at ways to make them stronger and then make my way towards the inner cities of the Empire, but that would have to be accelerated.
When I finished that I placed the file with very troubling information that also held a contact number I would be calling by the end of the day in one of my storage rings and then went into the dungeon
I didn’t forget to test the increased effectiveness of my offensive spells after the addition of [Sharpen], [War Cry], [Retaliation], [King’s Rage], [Military Tactics], [Unpredictable], and [Elemental Damage]
The damage of all skills was boosted by quite a bit, with some of the qualities of the skills also improving. [Flames of Torment] now seemed like it was a coagulation of extremely long and thick heavy flames, the width of it becoming slightly larger. A single [Explosive Rune] was now effective to completely cover the huge head of the TITAN and cause it to explode right away. As for [Smite], the 10 golden blades of light became even larger, their handles even more distinct and edges even sharper
I continued my testing and experimentation of skills for the next 8 hours, clearing the dungeon more than 26 times and coming out around the time I texted the 5 people. It was already evening outside when I left the dungeon with my storage rings full. I was lucky enough to receive another rank B skill, meaning there around a 4% chance for it drop from the rank C TITAN of this dungeon as it was very similar to yesterday
More than 17 rank C skills came out this time around, with 6 items. It was two pairs of [Igneous Sword]s, [Igneous Armor], and [Fiery Boot]s. Of course, there were also a ton of cores after all the runs
The 5 that I texted were situated outside the monolith as I instructed, with Anderson’s old party members reverentially looking towards me and Rachel standing there with the same confident expression.
They’re some of the top hunters of this city, so when they heard that I was clearing the dungeon alone on the news they must have had an even better idea of what my level of power was then common hunters.
I was already spent from running around the past 8 hours and wanted to make it quick. "It doesn’t seem like I’m going to be in Outer Bank X for much longer" I paused as I watched their expressions change to shock and concern before continuing
"So I’ll be making sure that there is still a team that is able to clear this dungeon when I leave"
Relieved expressions returned but they still seemed concerned. I didn’t bother explaining and took out the pairs of [Igneous Swords]s, [Igneous Armor], [Lightning Boots], and [Fiery Boot]s along with 22 rank C skill after putting aside 2 that I wanted to absorb later.
I had received 2 igneous armors and 1 sword yesterday, and then two more of each today. Removing the one I was wearing myself, there were 4 once you added the one that was taken from Anderson. I lied and said that I found most of the skill books and items in Anderson’s storage ring
The two Knights and Rachel looked at me to make sure I wasn’t joking before they went forward and grabbed an armor and sword each. The items weren’t of much value to me, and I wanted to leave the city without any bad after-taste so I had to do this. This was just one of the consequences for taking down the previous rank B hunter of the city
I had Rachel take the [Fiery Boots] and Dan grab the [Lightning Boots], feeling bad for one of Mages that wast getting anything as there were only 4 armors, but they wouldn’t be on the front lines for now. I then laid out the skills for them to choose any that fit them. Everyone was able to gain something this time around, and 15 rank C skills remained after they picked and absorbed the skills in front of me
Once this was done I took out the rank B skill that dropped today. [Enlightened Fervor: Build up the strength inside you and release it with a swing of your weapon]
I was thinking how I would set up a system where [Solael’s Castle] could be cleared once I was gone, and the easiest answer would be to have a rank B hunter lead the team to clear it. One of the faster ways to do this was to have a hunter with stats nearing the peak of rank C and have them learn a rank B skill
I was struggling with myself this entire day while I was farming the dungeon on whether I would be able to let go of a rank B skill if it was something that fit well with my guidelines currently. Luckily, or unluckily, it was a skill on the far spectrum of Berserker skills that also required a weapon, so it made the decision much easier
I also understood that it would become even easier for me to gain rank B skills, whether that was by staying here and diving into [Solael’s Castle] daily to get 1 a day or move towards an area that had a rank B dungeon for me to gain them even faster. So today, I’ll be making someone a rank B hunter and have them dive into the dungeon