Book 2: Chapter 483
Book 2: Chapter 483
There are people screaming on the ground.
That was what Yang In-hyun had said, but Lukas didn’t hear any screams. Nevertheless, he noticed that there was a disturbing atmosphere in some areas on the ground.
At first, he was expecting to see people being attacked by demons, monsters, or some other kind of monstrous being.
But it was different.
The scene that Lukas saw was not one of an attack or slaughter.
It was a mine. A huge mine that was rarely seen.
The current time was 4:37. It was much too early for the sun to have set, but the entrance of the mine was exceptionally dark and shady. The reason for this was that the entire mining area was covered by a black fog. As if it was alive, the black fog surrounding the area seemed to be actively blocking the sunlight.
This proved that the dark atmosphere that Lukas had sensed was not a trick of the eye or a feeling.
The role of the black fog wasn’t simply to block out the sunlight. It also served to hide the signs of the mine to an extreme level. The size of the entire mining area was comparable to that of a small city, but it would have been impossible even for people with extremely keen senses to notice the signs of life within the black fog.
Yang In-hyun was probably the only one who could have sensed this incongruity from thousands of metres in the air.
“It’s a formidable being.”
Yang In-hyun leaned on the wall of the aircraft as he said this.
Others might not realise, but the being that had spread the black fog was not easy to see. This was made clearer by the fact that even Lukas and Yang In-hyun had not yet figured out their identity.
“This probably has something to do with that [VIP] group.”
He thought that this was somewhat of a guess. After all, there were definitely many strong beings in this universe aside from those in VIP.
As Yang In-hyun’s words flowed into one ear and out the other, Lukas carried out spatial movement with Pale.
And in an instant, they arrived at the entrance of the mine. There were no guards at the entrance. He knew this from the beginning, and that was why he boldly used spatial movement.
He could feel the black fog wriggling and trying to wrap around his body. Lukas stood still and didn’t refuse the unpleasant contact.
On the other hand, Pale spat to the side with an expression of disgust.
“Something in this place is not right.”
Although he agreed.
“Hold it in…”
After saying that, the first thing he did was analyse the fog that was touching him.
Naturally, it wasn’t a natural phenomenon. It wasn’t magic. If he had to classify it, he would say that it was some kind of evil technique, but it was at such a high level, it could be called an authority*. (*: The same level as demigod abilities.)
It was at this moment that Lukas’ eyes turned black for an instant. The wriggling movement of the black fog around his body stopped for a moment.
Then, it flowed straight past Lukas and Pale and continued as it was. After that, the black fog no longer tried to wrap around their bodies.
Looking down at her body, Pale said.
“What did you do?”
“After analysing it, I tricked it into no longer being able to perceive us.”
“…please lower your voice from now on.”
Lukas’ face was a bit tense.
This was because when he analysed the black fog, he had sensed a fragment of a familiar power within it.
Perhaps the Lightning God also sensed it because he began to let out his uniquely unpleasant laugh.
…The one who was controlling this mine might end up being more troublesome than he initially expected.
* * *
The inside of the mine was dark. It wasn’t that there was no light, but it was so faint that it was difficult to see the path.
Moreover, the air was very murky. Of course, considering that it was a mine, the air couldn’t be that clean, but this was a bit different.
Lukas felt that even a healthy person would not be able to survive a year in this place.
The fact that his body clearly existed at that moment made him uncomfortable. Lukas roughly blocked his nostrils with his robes.
Then, he decided to head a bit deeper.
As the earthy smell intensified, a metallic sound resounded in the distance.
‘The sounds of pickaxes?’
Lukas’ steps gradually slowed. Eventually, the passage came to an end and unfolded into the form of a large open workspace.
It was at that moment that Lukas realised what the ‘screams’ Yang In-hyun had heard were.
With a glance, he could see hundreds of people doing their best to mine minerals. But it was clear that they weren’t working of their free will.
Their appearances were worse than beasts.
They wore pieces of cloth that were hardly better than rags and couldn’t be called clothes on their too skinny bodies. Their hair and faces were so soiled by dirt that he could tell how bad they smelt from a distance.
They didn’t seem… lethargic.
Instead, their expressions were filled with desperation and anxiety. The reason for that was easy to find.
There weren’t just humans in the workspace.
Standing in the centre like a statue was a 12 armed monster. It was enormous. Its head was so high that it reached the high ceiling of the workspace.
In addition, dozens of eyes were embedded into its face seemingly at random and Lukas realised that its pupils were constantly moving around and keeping a close eye on the workers.
It seemed they had captured humans and were forcing them to work.
For what reason? And why?
First, he decided to continue analysing the situation.
People were vigorously swinging pickaxes, shovelling the ground, or pushing minecarts.
‘What are they mining?’
From Lukas’ perspective, there didn’t seem to be any useful minerals in this mine. In other words, their work was completely useless.
Or was there something hidden that couldn’t be determined through Lukas’s analysis?
The monster clapped its hands forcefully. The wind pressure from the clap spread out in all directions, causing dust to scatter.
It was just a clap, but it was quite fearsome.
The degree of sheer strength
[I t’s fo od dis tribu tion ti me.]
The monster spoke bluntly in a broken voice.
At that, the emotion of ‘living’ appeared on the faces of the people who were working frantically.
Small fat monsters waddled in from another passage. Each of them clutched a dirty leather pouch in their fat fingers.
The people staggered to the front of the little monsters. Then, they cupped their hands together like bowls and pushed them forward.
With ghastly laughs, the monsters opened their leather pouches. Then, they grabbed something from within them and gave it to the people.
It was boiled beans.
‘It’s feeding time.’
If that was the case, then was what they were doing distributing food?
It was absurdly lacking. It was so little that even a newborn baby wouldn’t feel full after eating it.
Each person was only given at most a clump of worthless beans.
“A, a bit more…”
At that moment, a little boy uttered in a pitiful voice. One of the fat monsters looked at the boy with pale eyes before kicking him in the stomach.
Retching, the boy collapsed to the ground. The monster didn’t stop there and instead proceeded to mercilessly stomp on the boy with its wide feet.
The boy’s fragile body was soon covered in wounds. In the meantime, the beans that the boy had been given, scattered on the ground.
Even while barely holding on to consciousness because of the pain, the boy scrambled to pick them up. Then, he shoved the beans into his mouth, not caring about the sand and stones that accompanied them.
Lukas narrowed his eyes.
He wondered if he should put his analysis aside for later and kill them all first.
That impulsive but undoubtedly human thought resounded strongly in his mind.
‘…a bit more.’
He forced himself to bear it and continued observing the situation.
The food distribution time was very short. Probably less than 10 minutes. Since they were only given a clump of beans, it was inevitable that the time given for them to eat was also short. They weren’t even given time to take a break for a while.
Without even bothering to converse with each other, people lay scattered all over as they tried to get some rest.
[I t’s wo rk ti me.]
The monster’s clap caused them to stagger to their feet once more.
Despair bloomed on their faces once more, but their bodies looked for their tools as though they were used to it.
It was then.
A boy in the corner couldn’t stand up. It was the boy who’d been beaten almost to death by one of the fat monsters.
He tried to stand several times, only to fall back to the ground every time.
Lukas realised that the boy had an injury that wouldn’t allow him to get up through grit or spite alone. A fracture.
He shouted while crying his eyes out, but even as his thighs shook heavily, he couldn’t even pretend to stand.
This scene was captured by the giant monster.
[Ca nnot mo ve.]
The monster’s broken voice sounded once more.
“Hi-, hiik! N-, no! That’s not true! I can still move!”
The boy struggled even harder. It was quite pitiful to see only his upper body struggling.
“Wa-, wait. Someone, please, just help me stand up for a while.Please…!”
He hurriedly looked around while shouting, but the people around him just pretended they couldn’t hear with terrified faces.
[Ca nnot mo ve.]
At the same time, one of the monster’s arms began to stretch towards the boy. Then, it picked the boy up like he was catching a bug.
In the monster’s huge palms, the boy was held like a small mouse.
“A-, ah. Mom…”
[Th en w ill ea t.]
The monster’s chest cracked open, and within it, a purple tongue writhed. All of the people turned their heads away at the bizarre and terrifying sight.
When this happened, Lukas could no longer keep watching.
He would use magic to kill the monster. Stealthily, but not destructively. At that moment, in a place like this…
…The time it took Lukas to go through that series of thoughts was less than an instant.
Even if he were to cast a spell after considering it, he wouldn’t have had any issue saving the boy.
That was why what happened next took even him by surprise.
Without a sound.
The monster that was about to devour the boy, split in two.
It was cut.
He hadn’t even noticed.
Even in his surprise, Lukas was able to wrap the boy, who had fallen free, in wind so that he could land gently.
At the same time, the two halves of the monster collapsed, creating a large dust storm. The lights hanging from the ceiling swayed heavily, causing the lighting in the entire workspace to flicker. As soil and small pieces of stone fell, the people crouched and covered their heads.
Lukas ensured that the young boy landed gently.
Then, he looked towards the person who had shown themselves without even bothering to hide and killed the monster.
Pale was standing there blankly.
The scene of her standing there as small bits of stone fell on her made it seem as if she was just standing in the rain.
“Wh-, what just happened?”
“Bullseye is dead…?”
The people who had been crouching straightened their backs once more.
Lukas had no choice but to also step out of the passage.
He didn’t receive an answer.
Now that he thought about it, she’d been very quiet for a while. How long had it been? Since Pale’s attitude became strange.
It was only after he called her name again did Pale turn her head. Her face was surprisingly expressionless. It didn’t suit her.
When she smiled, she was Pale, when she showed little emotion, she was the Blue Knight.
But it felt like he’d found another side other than those two.
Pale looked at Lukas for a moment before her gaze turned away. Although her gaze was on the boy, she wasn’t looking at the boy. Pale’s pupils were focused on the boy, but there was a completely different scene in her mind.
The light in Pale’s eyes slowly began to dim.
This place was really unpleasant.