Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
A black sphere appeared in the center of the dimensional tear, and it grew bigger and bigger, crackling with black lightning.
"Is that a dungeon!?" Ho Sung murmured while staring up at the UFO-shaped structure taking shape right before his eyes. Never had he seen anything like it. To further add to his surprise, a salamander-like monster the size of an orca came out of the black hole. It was a basilisk. At nearly level 1,200, at that.
"How is this possible? A dungeon and a monster appearing at the same time? And it's a basilisk of all monsters? This can't be normal," Ho Sung murmured, taken aback by the bizarre phenomenon. At that moment, a familiar voice came out of nowhere.
"Open the door. I'm eating inside the car," Min Sung said, looking down at the bowl of ice cream in his hands. Then, just as Ho Sung was about to reply, the basilisk leapt and landed right in front of him and the champion with a ground-shaking impact, causing the ground to explode into debris of asphalt and a thick, gray cloud of dust. Thankfully, having covered the bowl with a plastic lid, the champion was able to prevent the dust from getting into his ice cream. However, when the basilisk, roaring ferociously, launched itself toward Min Sung and swung its massive claw, the bowl of ice cream exploded in Min Sung's hands.
As the champion stared down at the ice cream melting away in his hands in a daze, the civilians around and inside the stores started to run away, screaming in panic. Amid the chaos, Min Sung, with his hands covered in melted ice cream, opened the inventory and pulled out his Orichalcon Dagger.
"You won't get away with this," he said, glaring fiercely at the basilisk with cold eyes. At that, Ho Sung stepped forward and said, "Sir, I'll go fetch that ice cream shop clerk and bring you another bowl this instant." Without even waiting for the champion's reply, Ho Sung turned around and went on his way to look for the clerk.
"Where the hell is this kid? She couldn't have gone far."
Determined to bring another bowl of ice cream to the champion in time, Ho Sung ran frantically in search of the clerk.
"If I don't, I'm done for!"
Glaring fiercely at the basilisk, which was flicking its repulsive, oversized tongue as if it was hunting a prey, Min Sung furrowed his brow and clenched his teeth tightly. The giant salamander seemed to have no clue of what it had done. Then, with its mouth agape, the basilisk spat out a stream of gray liquid at Min Sung. While he dodged it swiftly and subtly, the liquid splattered on the car behind him, turning it into stone. It seemed to have the power to petrify whatever it touched.
"Is that all you got?" Min Sung said, raising the Orihalcon Dagger over his head with cruel, mercilessness eyes. The dagger came down on the basilisk with a loud crackle of thunder, leaving a blue tail of light in its wake, cutting the giant salamander in two. It was truly a sight to behold. Unfortunately, the only witnesses were Ho Sung and the ice cream shop clerk whom he had forced to come along. Covered in tears, the clerk stared at the spectacle in a daze.
A crow cawed in the distance amid the silence. Taken aback and appalled by the sight, the clerk seemed to be completely incapable of verbalizing her thoughts. On the other hand, relieved that he had brought the clerk back in time, Ho Sung gasped for breath.
"Huff! Huff! My lungs "
Covered in asphalt dust, the clerk glanced at the champion as she scooped the ice cream out of the freezer. Having met hunters both on and offline countless times, she, too, was well acquainted with them. However, she had never seen them in action. Killing a monster several times their size in a single blow of was a jaw-dropping experience.
"H-here you go, sir," she said, shaking as she handed the bowl to the champion. While Min Sung took the bowl from the clerk's, Ho Sung approached him and said, "Sir, we better get a move on. The Central Institute will be here to investigate any minute."
Then, just as they were heading back to the car, the Lich Doll's eyes glowed ominously.
The windshield wiper removed the thick layer of asphalt dust from the windshield. In a car moving away from the newly-formed dungeon, Min Sung was preoccupied with tasting the variety of ice cream flavors. First, was the Almond Monmon: the third most popular flavor in the store. Taking a spoonful, he brought it up to his mouth. When the coldness touched the surface of his tongue and the roof of his mouth, he shuddered.
The sweetness was insurmountable, and it tugged away at his brain. Yet, the fact that his body was able to make sense of such flavor couldn't be more intriguing. Although he only had a couple of small spoonfuls, the sweetness lingered like a ghost haunting his mouth. It was almost overwhelming.
'I almost can't feel my tongue.'
Shaking his head, he cleared his mind and focused on savoring the flavor.
'OK. Focus,' he thought and put another spoonful of the ice cream in his mouth. First, came the strong vanilla flavor, followed by the sweet crunch of the chocolate-covered almond chunks. The almond chunks added an exciting twist to the flavor.
Then, he moved on to the Mint Chocolate Man.
'So, a mint-chocolate ice cream that tastes like toothpaste'
When the thought occurred to him, the champion's face twisted into a scowl almost instantly.
'... What is this?!' Min Sung thought. Glaring piercingly at Ho Sung, who was behind the wheel, the champion called to him, "Ho Sung Lee."
"Sir?" Ho Sung answered.
"Remind me why you recommended this flavor?"
"Ahaha! Seems like it's not really your cup of tea."
"It tastes like I'm eating chocolate after brushing my teeth with an extra layer of toothpaste," Min Sung said, expressing his disappointment bluntly. The champion simply couldn't make sense of why anybody would sell such terrible-tasting ice cream. The chocolate was so overwhelming that it completely masked the flavor of mint.
"Haha I can't say I'm surprised. That is one of the most polarizing flavors," Ho Sung said.
"But, why? Why would they sell something like this?"
"Tell you what, why don't you try the Island Music?"
Looking down at the particularly colorful ice cream, Min Sung took a spoonful of it and brought it up to his mouth. Advertised as 'The Refreshing Tropical Fruit Cake,' the Island Music tasted just as colorful as its appearance. From aa sherbet to the guanabana, the kiwi sherbet, the mango, and the passion fruit, there were six distinct flavors mixed into one.
"Mint Chocolate Man is another flavor that people either love or hate, BUT! That's only true when you eat it on its own!" Ho Sung said, putting his thumb up and adding, "Mint Chocolate Man shines as a palate cleanser. Not only does it wash away the sweetness lingering in your mouth, but the mint also keeps your mouth cool. It's an important segue between flavors."
'I had no idea,' the champion thought while looking at the driver, impressed. Just as Ho Sung had said, had Min Sung focused on the intense sweetness, he wouldn't have bothered to try another bite. Thanks to the refreshing palate-cleansing effect of the mint chocolate, the champion was able to continue to savor the different flavors of ice cream without the overwhelming sweetness.
'I'm almost embarrassed that I even asked him why he recommended the flavor to me,' Min Sung thought. Realizing that Ho Sung had even taken the balance of flavors into consideration, the champion couldn't deny that Ho Sung had a palate comparable to a professional.
With that, Min Sung ate every bite of the ice cream in the bowl. The complex harmony of the sweetness and the mint followed by the colorful flavors of the Island Music was, in simple terms, a top-class experience.
"Whew!" Min Sung let out with satisfaction and put the bowl down next to him. There couldn't have been a better dessert.
"How do you know so much about flavors? You seem like you'd have nothing to do with food," the champion asked, and the driver, turning the steering wheel, smiled bitterly and replied, "My last relationship lasted for quite a while. About five years, give or take. She LOVED to eat. Hell, more than half of our dates involved eating. It was almost an addiction, really."
Then, with a short sigh, he chuckled and added, "She was kind of cute at first, but she eventually turned into this hideous pig, so I broke up with her."
'I see,' the champion thought, understanding how Ho Sung had been able to take him to restaurants just right for the occasions.
Closing his eyes, he smiled subtly and said, "I'm looking forward to lunch."
"You can count on me!" Ho Sung replied enthusiastically.