Chapter 40 - How to destroy a dungeon
I was standing at the front of a room where a long oval table was situated, with many new faces sitting and expectantly waiting. Nobody in the room spoke when I walked in, and even now more people were taking their seats in a hushed manner
The Vice Admiral led me to a chair to the front of the room and stood behind me. I could see some familiar faces in the crowd that I recognized, one of them being the man that inadvertently propelled the sequence of actions these past few days, Lightning Hand. When he met my gaze, he gave me that same boisterous smile and laughed.
The moment it seemed like everyone was there, buzzing voices rang out as the discussions began. The whole process took an entire hour and was filled with many boring arguments and discussions, but the core things to take out were the same. Much of the discussion revolved around the repeatability of erasing a dungeon, and whether we should be actively erasing them at all. Sparks began to fly when these comments rose, as for some it was common sense to destroy the dungeons that could release monsters anytime if they weren’t regularly cleared.
I didn’t speak fully about my power, but people could make inferences about it after knowing the process that was required to completely destroy the rank B dungeon
I recalled the words that were urging me to move faster before I rose up from my seat, quieting the many voices in the room. I looked around me as I said, "I’ll be moving to confirm everything with another rank B dungeon. Once the process is clear, we will know how to proceed from here on out"
I wanted to take a more active role in the world around me after seeing everything that was happening. My first step in doing that was to replicate what I did yesterday. There was still an army of monsters approaching from The Barrens, and who knows what else is lurking out there. I didn’t know how much time I had before I was thrown into something else, so I was going to move fast.
I left the conference room to start acting on my plans as soon as everything wrapped up. Elizabeth was already up and moving, making it clear she wanted to come along. Having this rank A hunter with me would not be a bad idea, as it would provide another cover for how expansive my strength that allowed me to clear a rank B dungeon more than 40 times in a day was
The next target was one of the two remaining rank B dungeons in Star City, [Lion’s Den]. Magnar and other officials moved to watch the development outside the monolith as we dived. Lightning Hand and other rank A hunters that had arrived in Star City were going to test the same thing by forming multiple teams to clear the third dungeon in the City, [Bullish Arena]
Multiple rank A hunters formed more than 10 teams that were filled with rank B’s in the city and the groups moved in on the dungeons. The ones heading to [Lion’s Den] would be me, Elizabeth, and a few other teams while the rest would go towards [Bullish Arena]
The goal was to meet the number of times I cleared the now extinct [Mangrove Swamp] and see if it was applicable to the rest of rank B dungeons. After this was understood, the tests would be expanded for the other ranks of dungeons
I was able to see the power of another rank A Hunter firsthand as Liz summoned the humongous eagle the moment we were transferred into [Lion’s Den]. The eagle had flawlessly shining dark feathers that were as sharp as knives and piercing claws that brought fear onto the monsters that began appearing
We were located in a bleak grassland environment where multiple large lions were circling us. The eagle’s imposing air was holding some of them back as the woman atop the eagle laughed in that alluring tone and commanded the eagle to move forward, its outspread wings acting as sharp blades that decimated everything in sight
I wasn’t going to be left behind as my figure flew to the other groups of lions that were soon blasted away with an even stronger [Frigid Impermanence] that was now boosted by two new cold specific support skills I obtained from the military inventory.
[Greater Cold Penetration- Ignore the enemy’s resistance as cold skills deal increased damage] and [Cold Fire- Cold type skills attach freezing flames onto the enemy] made the already damaging skill even more destructive as any beast in its range of attack would be turned into meat and bones, with the cold spreading into the surroundings and attaching onto nearby beasts
Blue flames could be seen spreading to any beasts that were in the blast area as they screamed out painfully before their bodies were frozen cold.
[Lion’s Den] was an expansive space of shrubs and grassland with dens on lions here and there. We had to fly around for more than 30 minutes blasting away hordes of lions before we were faced with the impossibly large TITAN that had a glorious lions mane flowing in the wind
Liz looked at me as her lips twisted up in a mischievous smile and said, "He’s all yours, let’s see how fast you can take it down"
She seemed to be enjoying herself as she gave me a thumbs up while lying on her stomach atop the flying eagle to watch the show. I looked at this figure as I recalled memories from last night before I quickly shook myself out of it and focus on the matter at hand
The lion instinctively felt the danger when I neared and moved back, barely evading the epicenter of the casted [Frigid Impermanence] as the freezing flames in the periphery jumped on its body. It stopped to let of a roar of pain, but it would be the last time the huge jaws opened as another [Frigid Impermanence] bloomed explosively from its head, cutting short the roar and blasting chunks of meat and brain matter into the ground
I ignored the cheerful sounds of clapping behind me as I picked up the [Core]s and [Item] that dropped from the boss.
We repeated this dungeon multiple times until a few hours later, on our 28th dungeon run something occurred. Throughout the runs, Liz had done nothing but summon the huge eagle that did all the work in dismembering the monsters that I began looking favorably to getting a powerful summoning skill of my own in the future so I could just sit back and watch someone else do the work for me
Her eagle would have been out of commission after the first few dungeon runs as its body was littered with injuries. If it wasn’t for me casting [Guardian’s Light] after every dive thereafter, the huge eagle would have had to be de-summoned and summoned again to be back in top shape. That summoning process took more than half of all energy reserves Elizabeth had, so she would usually dive into rank B dungeons a few times a day before calling it quits
She stopped being surprised at my constant casting of spells after the first few dungeon runs as her cheerful expression became more complicated. I wasn’t too worried at showing some level of my power as I was confident in myself to withstand many of the things that could come at me, and I had to stop hiding if I wanted to move further into the future
The change that was occurring currently on our 28th dungeon run was our surroundings literally cracking as if they were glass. The lions in the den in front of us were disappearing as if they were dust as a green light spread out to cover the eagle and us as we disappeared from the dungeon halfway through. We were transferred to the outside world where we could see the imposing monolith with cracks all over
Anyone that was remotely close to the monolith moved back as many people got the chance to witness the destruction of another dungeon for the first time in history. It looks like the other teams were doing well enough to clear the dungeon more than 12 times after my team was on our 28th run. The team that finished the dungeon for the 40th time was the trigger that caused the instability where any remaining teams in the dungeon were ejected out and the eventual destruction we just witnessed
This was working proof that the theory was correct. Dungeons could be destroyed. I listened to the triumphant sounds around me as I turned my head to the woman beside me. We were both standing on top of her black eagle as the monolith exploded. I was surprised to find tears dropping from her crystal clear eyes as she watched the sight. She turned to me and talked in a serious expression for the first time since I met her
"You didn’t expect to see me cry so soon?" She was wiping away the tears that kept on falling as she continued, "I don’t know if you understand the full significance of what we are doing, but for many of us, it is liberation"
She looked forward at the sight of hunters hugging one another and said, "I have watched countless people die before me as I was forced to keep on going into these dungeons day in and day out. I felt like I would go crazy if I had to keep on doing this for the years to come. The only way I could cope without breaking down was to put on a happy face and keep on going"
She looked back at me as she said the next words. "So thank you for making something like this happen. Thank you, and please do not stop"
I watched the sight of the sorrowful girl in front of me as she tried to form a smile on her sad face before I let out a sigh and brought her head to my chest, making sure to remove the rough [Scale Armor] and place it into one of the storage rings beforehand. I didn’t particularly have strong feelings of attachment towards this person as I had only met her for a few days now
Even the one night we spent together, I attributed it to just a fling from the growing interest around me. She was much more alluring than many of the women I had come across recently, but I always felt like she was putting up a face so I kept my emotions out of it. Her words repeated in my head as she sobbed. Liberation?
I already made up my mind long ago for what I was doing. There were too many things I didn’t know, and much more that I didn’t understand. Even without her reminder, I would not be stopping any time soon