Chapter 41. Event Dungeon (4)
“Wow, you guys get along pretty well.”
When I stopped glaring at father and looked up, Ye Hwaya, or rather Hwaya Eleni Mastiford, was there. She was even more beautiful than on TV.
Her fiery red eyes and flame red hair stole people’s attention and refused to let go. Plus, she had a provocative hourglass figure that accentuated her curves! For the sake of Yua, I almost wanted to ask what she ate to grow so well.
Most importantly, the red dress she was wearing left a strong impression. I opened my mouth staring at her dress fixedly.
“Nice to meet you, Mastiford-ssi. Are you sure you should wear a fluttery dress like that for battle?”
“Hmph, what do you know? This is a battle dress I personally commissioned the 45th Floor Shop to make with material dropped from a named monster. It raises my magic by 50 points! Though, it decreases my strength, dexterity, and constitution by 10…”
I was thinking her Korean was excellent when I realized her words didn’t match her mouth’s movement. I suspected that the dungeon translated our words when we were talking in the communication channel. It seemed I was right.
“Mastiford-ssi, what language am I using right now?”
“Of course it’s Engli… Eh?”
She seemed to have noticed too. We were both talking and listening in our mother language. I thought this translation service only worked in the communication channel, but it looked like all conversation between dungeon explorers was translated automatically.
Thinking back, this was probably why I could talk to explorers from other continents with no problem. Without thinking more about it, I put the thought away and smiled.
“As you know, I’m Yeon Hwawoo. Nice to meet you, Mastiford-ssi.”
“Hmph, I’m not really interested in getting along with someone suspiciously covering his face, but I’ll accept your handshake for now.”
Mastiford reached out and met my hand with a sour look. For someone who was called the Flame Witch, her hands were incredibly cold. I then looked at Minami standing behind her.
I had heard she was mixed before. She had a black ponytail with grey streaks, and had emerald eyes. Although it wasn’t as pronounced as Mastiford, she was still a beautiful young lady. Moreover, although she was slightly shorter than Yua, she was more grown in other areas. Ah, just what do I do about Yua!?
With a complicated heart, I reached my hand out toward her as well.
“Nice to meet you, Minami-ssi. I’m Yeon Hwawoo.”
“N-Nice to meet you. Uuu. Sorry, b-but I’m not really good with men…”
I doubted whether she couldn’t even do a handshake, but I still retracted my hand. Immediately afterwards, father got up from his seat and spoke in a deep voice.
“I’m Kang Yungoong. Nice to meet you.”
“Mm, nice to meet you, Ajusshi. You aged well.”
“Hahaha, you are quite beautiful yourself, young lady! Your mother must be a beauty as well!”
This was the first time I was hearing father’s societal tone of voice. Scratching the goosebumps I was getting, I asked Mastiford.
“By the way, is the mana surrounding us an isolation magic? No one is looking this way.”
As much as Mastiford herself did not want to admit it, she was Korea’s only SS-rank ability user. If she appeared at a café at a metropolitan area, the surrounding people should have gone wild, as if they just saw a top-class celebrity. However, it was too quiet. It was so quiet that it was impossible not to notice.
Mastiford smiled contently and nodded her head.
“Yep. I used an anti-recognition magic to prevent people from noticing us and a magic to erase our traces. I was originally a magic practitioner from Britain.”
“Before you even became a dungeon explorer?”
“Correct1! I was chosen as Second Dungeon’s dungeon explorer thanks to my outstanding talent in magic.”
I was surprised. The first surprise was the fact that magic existed even before Two Moon incident occurred. The second was that she was directly chosen as an explorer of the Second Dungeon. Finally, it was that ‘correct’ wasn’t translated to its Korean equivalent. This dungeon translator was even better than I thought!
In any case, it seemed Mastiford was extremely proud of the ‘Second Dungeon’ title. I told myself to never tell her which dungeon I came from before my level surpassed hers.
“I-I… from a shrine, my father was a priest…”
This time, Minami started introducing herself. Ah, a Japanese shrine. I’d visited one with father before during our training. When we drew our fortunes, father got Great Curse and I got Great Blessing. He then proceeded to snatch my fortune, and a deathmatch ensued between us. For the record, I managed to defend it, and it was still enshrined in my room.
In any case, if Minami’s father was a priest, then she was…!
“A shrine maiden!”
“A part-time shrine maiden. I suddenly felt mana one day as I was working part-time.”
Well, I heard there weren’t real shrine maidens nowadays… but how is that fair? Are Japanese shrines overflowing with so much mana that a part-time worker would feel it!? Oh, how much I suffered to gain mana!
“Father used to be a Second Dungeon explorer, and he let me become a dungeon explorer after knowing I obtained mana. He passed away soon after that…”
I see. So until two years ago, her father was the fifth dungeon explorer, but he passed away after making his daughter a dungeon explorer. I finally understood. Father, Mastiford, and I became quiet after hearing that her father had passed, but Mastiford soon shouted cheerfully.
“Alright, let’s hurry into the dungeon before my magic runs out!”
“I agree. Let’s go.”
We left the café and headed to the Gate. On the way, Minami’s clothes caught my eyes. Its light, semi-transparent fabric revealed a hint of her skin.
“Minami-ssi, didn’t you say you were a tank? Are you okay with clothes like that?”
“Ah, thanks for worrying about me, Yeon Hwawoo-ssi. But this is a drop from a named monster, so it’s strong and sturdy.”
“Oh, I see…”
I’m wearing a Floor Master set. I’m not jealous in the slightest! I walked forward embarrassed, and saw father laughing. Like I said, I’m not jealous!
In a bit, we arrived in front of the Gate, a whirlpool of grey clouds. On top of it, the letter ‘A’ could clearly be seen. Mastiford first glanced at the ability users guarding it and confirmed that they would not notice us.
“Alright, let’s go in.”
“We didn’t form a party yet.”
It was extremely simple to form a party. After expressing the will to form a party, you just had to shake your hands with the people you wanted to invite to your party. After the four of us formed a party, she nodded and put her hand on Gate. At the same time, we all heard a message.
[Would you like to enter the A-rank Event Dungeon, ‘Spider Den’?]
“… I suddenly don’t want to enter anymore.”
Mastiford’s face suddenly lost color. As I knew the reason, I urged her on.
“W-Wait. I-I hate spiders!”
“It’s too late for that!”
I lightly pushed her in.
“Uwaak!” Like in a manhwa, she screamed as she fell into the Gate. Because the party leader had gone in, we were sucked into the dungeon too.
‘I feel like I’m riding a rollercoaster.’ With that, I lost my consciousness.
That was the first thing I heard when I woke up. I looked around. I was in a completely dark forest, dense with trees I had never seen before. The sky was no longer blue, but jet-black. At the same time, two moons, one yellow and one red, were lighting up the world.
We were all together, though Mastiford was glaring at me with a demon-like face. I retorted lightly.
“I know what my name is, even without you yelling it.”
“You pushed me! My heart wasn’t ready for it!”
“Mastiford-ssi, think about it. Who was the one that made us come here?”
“Who’s the party leader that has to go in first?”
“… Me. BUT!”
“Who’s the one that has to understand our situation and make plans?”
“… Me. Hiing, Sumireeee!”
“Yes, unni. Don’t cry. There, there.”
It was nice seeing two beauties hugging each other, but I wondered if Mastiford understood what I said. Excited by the new environment, father was looking around fiddling with his spear. He was better than the two of them by a wide margin.
“If you’re done crying, let’s go.”
“You, I’m going to burn away all your hair one day.”
“Just tell me when so I can get it insured.”
“As if I would!”
Strange. Why did jokes come out so smoothly when I was with Mastiford?
“I can feel something all around us.”
“It’s certainly different from the dungeon.”
“Event Dungeons usually have various environments. However, there is always only one clear condition.”
“Killing the boss.”
Mastiford answered as she lit up a ball of flame on her hand. Immediately afterwards, something flew toward us from every direction.
[Spider webs! Master, burn them!]
Following Peika’s advice, I let her infuse herself in my gauntlet so she could shoot out lightning as she pleased. Her lightning then collided with the webs flying toward us, burning them to crisp. Minami, who was watching from behind, flinched and took a step back.
“I’ll go to the front!”
Father seemed to have discovered the enemy’s position as he charged at a direction with his spear. I had also mostly figured out the number of spiders flying toward us and their positions.
“Those are some huge spiders. They’re almost as big as Mastiford.”
“Don’t say that!”
Mastiford screamed as she shot out fire everywhere. It was perfect, except her overly strong flames burned up the trees along with the spiders crawling down from them. Not even ashes were left of the spiders. I felt slightly regretful that the expensive monster remains were disappearing into the skies.
“Mastiford-ssi, can you freely extinguish your fire?”
“Yeah, I can just withdraw my mana.”
“Then let’s burn up all the trees as we go. That way, we won’t need to worry about ambushes from above. Haat!”
As I talked, I stabbed my gauntlet into the head of a spider that used its string like a rope to fly from a tree across me. Pzzt. With a crackling sound, the lightning and the spider’s head exploded.
Its disgusting bodily fluid splashed out in all direction. It did not drop a Bluestone either. It was not until later that I’d learn that Bluestones, blue nuggets that were found in monsters, were rather rare. That is, they didn’t drop from just any random monsters. I dissected the pigeon from long ago, but it didn’t have one either.
As I was thinking that, the two girls who saw the spider exploding in front of their eyes screamed.
“I-I hate spiders!”
Mastiford stretched her arms out and sent dozens of balls of flames flying. Any spiders and trees that were hit by them were burnt up in an instant. There was truly no environmental destruction like it. Even an arsonist would bow down to her skills. Father, who was watching after killing a spider with his shockwave spear attack, gasped.
“So strong. Khm, if only I awakened to an ability like that!”
“Just do your job.”
Mastiford was truly powerful. She was proving the worth of an SS-rank ability user. No matter where a spider came from, when she stretched her arms out and sent her flames out, that would be the end. There wasn’t much for the rest of us to do. The few times that we had to take action was when spiders that were lying hidden underground suddenly popped up.
The spiders had tough carapace that were hard to penetrate with pure strength. However, I had my fists strengthened with Spirit Aura and mana, and father had his shockwave-infused spear techniques. We both had no problem killing the spiders in one blow. Although I was ready for a certain amount of risk, it seemed I didn’t need to worry too much.
For the record, we did not find even a single Bluestone. It was because Mastiford burned the majority of spiders we came across to a crisp. Since we were here to clear the Event Dungeon and not to farm money, I stayed quiet.
I was rather down from seeing Mastiford’s ability, but it seemed Minami thought differently. Seeing father and me killing the spiders so easily, she spoke in awe.
“You two are really strong. I heard monster spiders were at least B-ranked and had hard carapaces that many abilities could only scratch.”
“Hahaha, don’t underestimate this Kang Yungoong!”
“I understand, so keep looking forward.”
Exploring a dungeon with father was more embarrassing than I imagined. Swinging my fist out and throwing spiders by their legs, I did my job silently until one hour later, when I sensed something and stopped everyone.
1. This was in English, i.e. it wasn’t translated by the dungeon’s system