[Entering Single Player Special Dungeon!]
[Difficulty: Fourth Dungeon]
[The Shaman's Partner III: Your path was blocked by the unknown stone gate but you haven't given up locating Nikorei and the others. You started to train yourself in harsher ways, giving your best efforts in an attempt to open the unknown stone gate. Though as the Sanctuary Trials are near, you had to take the ferry to the trial island first]
[Main Mission 1: Clear the Holy Knight Trial in 1 week, 0/7]
[Main Mission 2: Open the unknown stone gate in 6 months, 0/180]
[Temporary language pack, Disappears upon exiting the dungeon.]
[Clothing, backpack, weapons, and other items remain unchanged, Temporarily altered appearance, Returns to normal upon exiting the dungeon.]
[Note: This a special dungeon. You can fail the Main Mission, but you will have to pay 400 Points as a penalty and your highest attributes will drop by one point. If your points are insufficient, the system will deduct from your equipment. If your equipment is insufficient, you will fail.]
When the blinding light disappeared, Kieran found himself in a narrow room.
The ground beneath his feet kept wobbling, allowing him to suspect that he was in a ship.
"I'm taking the ship to the trial island now?"
Kieran glanced over the description of the mission background and started to size up the surroundings.
His backpack was beside his leg, leaning on the wooden hammock that supposedly belonged to him. On the other side of the hammock was the pillar of the cabin, a calendar was hung on top of it.
Er1000. 4. 16.
The date on that calendar. It was the ending of spring and summer will arrive soon.
It has been almost 4 months plus since he left the dungeon, though when he saw the scenery outside through the round window in the cabin, it was the middle of a harsh winter.
No! It was even denser and colder than winter itself, everything was white!
The scenery had an endless white over everything.
Even with Kieran's extraordinary sight, he couldn't see what was at the end of the white snow.
All he could see was snow, frost and translucent ice.
The ship that he was on was slowly cruising on the horizon.
As the ship cruised forward, the thin layer of ice on the surface of the sea was being moved aside by the edge. Some of the ice was being crushed into smaller pieces, but most of it was being laid over on top the unbreakable ice.
Kieran felt heart-stricken when he saw the hardened ice. He believed that if the captain of the ship had a slight misstep or minor mistake at steering the wheel, the whole ship would sink into the bottom of the harsh ice with her crew.
"The captain must be very experienced and must have been here many times during his younger days!" Kieran made an educated guess with the utmost assurance.
Other than a well experienced veteran, no one could easily cruise through the layers of ice, not even one gifted with endless talent.
Unless, some mystical means were involved!
Though it was not something a common native could have, or in other words, one with such talents wouldn't be at the steering wheel of a ship.
Nothing was certain however, Kieran didn't forget where the ship was heading.
The Sanctuary Trials!
No one could assure him who would be the one steering the ship.
It might be a common captain or it might even be the trials overseer!
In the past, back in Kieran's old workplace, he had witnessed more than once that such petty tricks were being used to test job applicants. He saw some pleasant surprises and some accidental embarrassments as well.
Regardless of what situation Kieran saw, he had the best impression of the smile from those who had the initiative.
The smile towards an unexpected surprise and the smile to dissolve embarrassment.
Smiles never changed because the ones who smile always gained something out of the encounter.
Kieran still remembered clearly back in the days, an authorized high ranking officer reprimanded some arrogant applicant and after that he fired two of the staffs that handled the recruitment.
The whole company underwent a huge change.
However, when the company seemingly had lost two veteran staff members, the benefits that came with the relief was ten times, no, hundred times better than two veteran staff members' contributions.
Therefore, Kieran didn't object to such methods to approach applicants, but he wasn't willing to be one of them.
Being an observer was the best option for him.
As observant as he was, Kieran's Intuition picked up a multiple presences that were far stronger than common natives but he didn't have the intention to probe more.
He slightly closed his eyes and leaned back on his wooden hammock.
The thin mattress and blanket was something to complain about in such a harsh cold weather but with [Secondary Element Damage Resistance], Kieran was feeling nothing more than a cool breeze.
Kieran's breath was slow and relaxed, organized and calm.
The [Knights of Dawn Body Tempering Art] energy in his body was circulating throughout every inch of his muscles, the energy was tempering his body at a slow speed that he himself couldn't even determine.
Though one thing was for sure, when he leveled up [Knights of Dawn Body Tempering Art] to a certain limit, his body would definitely face drastic changes, qualitative changes and to the very foundation itself!
Before that, even with the system's aid in progressing, Kieran's grinding was nowhere near complete.
Seconds turned into minutes. When the sky turned dark, a sailor brought over an simple meal on a tray to Kieran. Three pieces of bread, some vegetables and a piece of ham.
The vegetables were dry, absent of any flavour. Same went for the ham, it was more like chewing hardened cowhide. The drink on the tray had hot cocoa labeled on it by the system but it was nowhere near hot, it was at most at room temperature and didn't have any taste to it.
In simple words, the meal was less than pleasant, nothing much to praise.
The ice shoveling sounds that lingered in Kieran's ears wasn't an issue for him though.
In order to unfreeze the ship and enable a somewhat smooth cruise, the sailors had to shove away the ice on top and below the ship from time to time.
Compared to the sailors that had to work under such harsh environments, Kieran considered himself a lucky guy. Even more so, the simple meal was much better than the fast food he had in real life.
Kieran gobbled down the dry bread, the little vegetables and the only ham jerky, even the so called hot cocoa was finished with a single gulp.
He then let out a breath of satisfaction,it would be better if the portion was bigger.
Though, not everyone in the ship shared the same satisfaction as Kieran.
"What is this? Are you feeding me what pig's eat? No! Even pigs had better meal than this! Don't forget that I paid enough money to get on this ship, the amount was even enough for me to buy this broken shi UGH...!"
The "ship" word was not even uttered completely and the clamour halted abruptly.
After a couple seconds later, something was thrown down to the sea.
What was it? The answer was self-explanatory.
"They are harsher than expected huh!"
Kieran commented without including his emotions in it since he had some thoughts on the ship's management.
He was going to continue his practice of the [Knights of Dawn Body Tempering Art] but a series of footsteps outside heading towards his cabin interrupted him.