Chapter 21 - Our Sunbae-nim Did This? (5)
From time immemorial, the red color signified a warrior, and the blue color signified a magician. Of course, the population of magicians was very small compared to the warriors. This was why it was clear, who this was prepared for.
“Normally, Heroes are are able to learn both. They possess the power of a warrior and the power of a magician.”
“But I can’t use magic!”
“I already know that fact, so you don’t have to repeat it.”
During their spare time, he had tried to teach her the basics of magic. However, all his attempts had failed.
She was dumb. She was so obviously dumb that no one would be able to say otherwise. If one gave her a sword, she was a genius, who could easily take down monsters that were much higher in level than her. At the same time, she was an idiot, who couldn’t figure out a simple math problem. It was said that the heavens was fair in its dealings. This truth was never felt so keenly as when he looked at Maetel.
“That is why you have to learn how to do magic.”
“We can split them between us in a friendly way!”
Maetel let out a pure laugh. This really wasn’t something that should be laughed at. Artpe kept sighing as they ran down towards the plaza that existed below the fountain.
When they touched the floor, the entrance made by Maetel closed as a ceiling slid into place.
“Would you look at this…..?”
This felt weird. Artpe narrowed his eyes as he looked at his surrounding. Fortunately, they were in a large space. A waterway had been created, so there was a constant stream of fresh water available. It was so clear that they would be able to drink it straight out of the waterway. They also wouldn’t have to worry about running out of air.
However, there were no exits here.
“Basically, the Dungeon hasn’t ended yet….?”
Now that he thought about it, he had killed the Death Knight, who had been the last monster connected to the Record Link. They had received EXP from it, yet the energy of the Record Link still remained in this place. He was sure there weren’t any monsters left. However, it seemed a test remained. Maybe, the act of learning the Skills was a form of test.
“There is something written here, Artpe.”
Maetel had walked towards the altar before Artpe, and she was pointing at a section of the altar.
“Huh. You are right.”
Artpe headed towards the altar, and he could see hard characters carved into it. If he was to be precise, this was the language of the Ancient Empire. No one in this world would have an easy time reading it. However, Artpe was an exception since he possessed the Read All Creation ability.
“‘I congratulate you for overcoming the trials, beginner hero. Anyone who was able to find this place would know about me, so I won’t talk about myself.’...... Even this introduction is all wrong.”
“He must have been a really famous person.”
“Fame erodes away over time. He was foolish for not knowing this.”
Artpe read those arrogant words. He sneered at the desire for fame that was unique to humans. Maetel didn’t know about his slimy inner thoughts, so she continued to laugh, while saying Artpe was smart.
Of course, Artpe didn’t care about learning about the name of the hero. He had a general idea as to who it was. The man boldy wrote about beginner heroes. He was probably a former hero from a generation or several generations ago.
Artpe didn’t know who the previous generation’s hero was. He didn’t even know the name of the previous generation’s Demon King. He just knew that the language of the Ancient Empire was being used here, so at the very least, this Dungeon was several hundred years old.
“‘I had faith that a hero would one day be born again in this land. I also believed that this hero would come looking for my tomb. However, I cannot give you the secrets of the hero just because you are a junior, who respects your sunbae. This is why I put forth the Record Link to test you. Please forgive me.’”
“It seems this person was born around here too.”
“Yes and he was spectacularly forgotten by everyone.”
By its outside appearance, how could this be the grave of a previous hero? No one in his past life knew about this truth! At this point, it was a wonder as to how the information became so perfectly hidden!
Still, it was believable when he thought more on it. There was a high probability that Maetel was a descendant of this previous hero. It was normal for the family of heroes to have one or two secrets.
“‘I believe any hero that was able to safely reach this point will be able to complete the next task. I trust you, and I will not be suspicious of you. I have placed these presents here for my junior. All you have experienced to reach this point were lessons. I placed a mixture of skill and spell that is tied to the Record Link. You should learn it before you leave.’”
The words ended there. Artpe was surprised by this fact. He thought the man would continue to boast by writing around 10,000 words, but he had ended it more cleanly than Artpe had expected.
“Well, let me see…..”
After reading all the words, Artpe’s gaze once again headed towards the altar with the books placed on top of it. One was a spell book and the other one was a skill book. He had wondered why he couldn't read the content of the books with his Read All Creation ability. The flow of the Record Link was connected to the books.
He had never expected to see skills that were completed using the influence of magic. In his past life as one of the Four Heavenly Kings, he had never heard of such a thing.
Maybe it was a matter of course since no one in his past life had discovered this place. He had always believed that Record Link was full of side effect, so he never thought about such unimaginable benefits it could bring.
‘The Record Link wasn’t made with the intent of just tormenting us..’
Artpe was enlightened. Of course, the anger at the sunbae, who had driven Maetel and him to the brink of death, still remained!
“This sunbae really cared about his juniors!”
“I think so, too. Now let us worry about what is to come.”
He was now sure of the sunbae hero’s intent. However, Artpe’s personality wouldn’t let him cross a stone bridge when he could destroy and build a steel bridge. He used his Read All Creation ability to carefully inspect his surrounding.
“What is it, Artpe?”
“It’s nothing. It just feels a little bit off to me. However, I don’t see anything abnormal.”
He was sure there were no additional traps here. He was only slightly worried about the fact that all the Mana within the Dungeon was being funneled into the altar….. Since they had already reached this point, they couldn’t make additional preparations. There was nothing they could do that would make them more prepared for what was to come.
If so, it was time to move forward. It didn't matter what was waiting for them. It was time to act.
“I’m ready, Artpe.”
“Me too. …..Alright. Now.”
Artpe and Maetel exchanged glances. They stepped forward at the same time, and they reached out their hands towards their respective book. At that moment, they felt a pressure as if their entire body was being sucked towards the book. Their hands stuck to the books.
“Endure it. If we falter here, the Record Link will run out of control!”
All the Mana within the Dungeon was flowing towards the two books placed on top of the altar. All the records that had mounted for the past year was being split into two. It flowed into the two books using the Record Link, and after it finished its mission, it dissipated.
“Ooh-ahhhhh. I’m tired. This is too difficult.”
All the tasks completed by Artpe and Maetel was influenced by the effect of overwhelming Mana, and it was formed into a skill and a spell. Each appeared in front of their respective owners. However, Artpe’s face crumpled when the new magic spell established itself within his brain.
When he entered this Dungeon, he had accomplished his tasks by using Mana. What he did was more of a magic manipulation rather than using a magic spell. Still, he never expected a strange magic that contradicted the root theories of magic and Mana to come into being!
If he learned to use it properly, he thought it could be something incredible. However, this was a magic spell unbefitting a magician! It was questionable as to whether he should actually call this a magic spell!
“Ssssp. Since this is a Unique Magic for heroes, I have no choice but to learn it…. Ooh-ahhhhhhhh!”
At that moment, a big event occurred. What would happen if the Mana maintaining the Dungeon was split and sent into the books on the altar? Of course, the Dungeon would collapse! Artpe had been worrying about such a situation !
“I knew something like this would happen! Shit! That bugger of a sunbae!”
An advanced concept of magical circuitry was being impressed upon his body. However, he didn’t even have the chance to be happy about it. He had to learn the skill as soon as possible, so he could escape this Dungeon!
Artpe grinded his teeth as he looked towards Maetel. In terms of battle skills, she possessed a god-given talent. If it’s Maetel, she should be learning the skill at a faster rate than him….
“Hey you fooooooooooool!”
Maetel had her head down as if she was perfectly powerless. He never expected her to fail at acquiring the skill! The timing of this was too perfect. This was like a bad joke! He wished she would do this at a later time when they could afford to do so!
Artpe gritted his teeth as he raised his hand. The blue leather bound book had already done its part, so it was completely gone now. He would be able to use the magic at any time.
He could use it right now.
Others wouldn’t be able to see it, but strings of black mana extended out from his five fingers. Up until now, Artpe had directly manipulated Mana to solve problems in the Dungeon. The reason being he had only a single spell in his arsenal. It seemed the Unique magic spell was fixed into taking on a similar form!
“Koohp. Break it all!”
Of course, Artpe would have been very disappointed if that was all there was to it. However, the Mana String he was using was undeniably a spell. It was a miracle that started out as Mana, but it was shaped into becoming a spell. Unlike the threads he manipulated before, the Mana String could interact with magical energy. Moreover, it was very high in physical power as it was able to affect nature.
This was why the five strands of Mana String was able to stop the Dungeon’s ceiling from collapsing, and falling on top of their heads.
“Artpe is incredible! You are too strong!”
“If you have the time to be impressed by me, you should learn the Skill!”
“But this is too hard…. Ughhh.”
“Hey you fooooooooooool!”
It didn’t matter if Artpe’s mana reserve was enormous. It was impossible to prop up the Dungeon’s collapsing ceiling indefinitely! Artpe screamed as he diligently controlled the Mana Strings. Maetel clung desperately to the skill book.
The black Mana Strings boasted an overwhelmingly more powerful destructive force compared to the ones that controlled the shield with the Slow Down curse. Moreover, there were five of them!
The five long strands of black Mana Strings started to spin violently, and it was grinding up the entire Dungeon. Artpe was fighting desperately. He had activated the Hyper Rubbing. It was such an overpowering sight that it made one wonder if he was really fighting for his life.
“My Mana consumption is that much higher! Hurry up and succeed before it is too late, Maetel! I’ll do anything you want if you succeed! Please hurry up!”
“Anything!? Ah, I did it! I learned it! Hurray!”
“You are really honest about your desires!”
The red leather bound book was finally gone! By the look of Maetel’s bright eyes, it seemed she had learned the skill. He was puzzled as to why a genius of martial arts like Maetel had struggled to learn the skill. He wondered what it was. However, Artpe didn’t have the time to ask such questions!
“Artpe! The altar!”
“I know. Hurry up and take my hand!”
It seemed the disappearance of the two books was a trigger. The altar kept spinning as it lowered into the ground. The flow of water that had been swirling around the space started to gather itself towards the space vacated by the altar. The water was being sucked into it.
After he checked what was going on, he quickly grabbed Maetel’s hand. He used his other hand to destroy the rocks that were falling towards them. They threw themselves into the portal where the water was exiting. There must be a path leading outside!
“Artpe, I don’t think this tunnel is intact…...”
“Of course. There isn’t much Mana left. That bastard of a sunbae was good at handling spells, but he was terrible at preserving and distributing Mana. That damn….!”
Fortunately, they could see a faint light at the end of the passageway. Artpe spat out all kinds of swear words as water splashed every time they took a step. They moved quickly.
It was around this time when Maetel was finally free from the aftereffect of acquiring the skill. She bit her lips as she tugged at his hand, and she carried him on her back.
“What the hell. What does that skill with the slightly cool name do….. Ooh-ohhhhhhhhhhh!?”
Maetel started running faster. It was as if she was about to evaporate the water on the floor with her blazing speed. She did so in the nick of time, since the passageway started to collapse. An incredible amount of water was falling towards them!
Artpe was having a hard time seeing his surrounding, so he desperate extended his Mana Strings. He dispersed the water and the falling rock fragments that were falling towards their heads.
“Hurrrrrrrrrry up, Maetel!”
“We are almost there! I can see the exit, Artpe!”
The light was getting closer. However, Artpe’s Mana was also bottoming out! They had only a little ways to go. Were they going to be buried like this? It was an end befitting the weakest amongst the Four Heavenly Kings, but Maetel was also here with him!
“I’ll give you my Mana, Artpe!”
“….. Uh? Do you even have Mana to spare…. Uh?”
Mana started flowing into him from Maetel. Artpe hadn’t used his Link magic. At that moment, Artpe was taken aback, but he soon came to an understanding.
“You said Record Drive. You….”
“The skill has a similar effect as Artpe’s magic! It has a wider range of use…. Anyways, hurry!”
Maetel didn’t have to urge him on. He was already using his spell. All the Mana received from her was put straight into the Mana Strings.
Before Artpe and Maetel’s heads could be bashed open, the chunks of rocks were grinded away in an instant. They threw themselves towards the light right before they reached the end of the passageway.
“Yes! This is it!”
He could hear the sound of water. Water was everywhere. Artpe let out a refreshing smile as he shouted out his words.
“It’s a waterfall! Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!”
This was how the heroes were successful in escaping their very first Dungeon. The two heroes were 13 years old, and they were beings that defied all the records and history of the continent. This was the moment when the strongest little hero duo stepped out into the world.