Translated by: Shawn Suh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Tae Gyum, the three-star Director of Investigations, looked around with a dark expression on his face. Not only had the situation been over by the time the Central Institute arrived at the scene, but the Shadow Guild had already paid a visit as well. The speed with which they acquired information matched their reputation.
Despite having predicted the dungeon anomaly ahead of time, the Central Institute had been the last to arrive at the scene. Staring at the dead carcass of the basilisk, Tae Gyum, who had been appointed Director of Investigations on the second quarter of that year, hardened his expression even more. Unlike monsters who were killed within a dungeon, which disintegrated after a while, carcasses of monsters killed outside the dungeon remained intact, providing investigators with various clues. Yet
"How on earth"
What laid before the Director of Investigations was mind-boggling, and it filled his mind with questions without answers. First, was the appearance of the carcass. Split precisely in half, the only possible explanation for what had left the monster in that shape was a single, yet deadly blow.
'Who could possibly kill a level 1,200 basilisk with a single blow?'
The Central Institute hadn't detected any movement from their four sub-branches. Which meant
'Could it be?' Tae Gyum thought, his eyes gleaming sharply as a new speculation arose in his mind: the mysterious third-party individual who cleared the labyrinth.
Second, was the magic circle visible in between the split carcass of the basilisk. Although not the biggest, the investigation team concluded that it was a spell unique to a Lich, which meant a Lich had used dark magic to try to control the basilisk after turning it into an undead.
'A Lich trying to turn a basilisk into its undead puppet? Something's not adding up here.'
Although there were witnesses who saw the dungeon forming in thin air and the basilisk coming out of it, there was still no way to explain the magic circle and its purpose on the ground. On top of that, it appeared that the Lich had failed in its attempt to turn the giant salamander into its undead minion. Should it have succeeded, there wouldn't have been a carcass.
'Which means the Lich couldn't have been that high of a level.'
However, what made the Lich a truly threatening entity was its hidden potential. The longer it lived and the more monsters it absorbed, the more powerful it became, often beyond imagination. Should a Lich mature without any hindrance, its potential grew exponentially, raising its level by well over three-thousand. All that to say, the Lich was a monster not to be taken lightly.
'Who are you' Tae Gyum said to himself, biting down on his lower lip. Then, turning away from the carcass, he said, "Mr. Ahn."
"Yes, sir!" the hunter responded promptly.
"Did the surveillance cameras capture anything?"
"No, sir. They're all down, even the black boxes of all of the cars in the area. The dungeon must've taken out all the electronic devices around it as it was forming."
Considering how much energy a dungeon tended to produce during its formation, it was more than possible. If anything, the fact that the surrounding buildings were still intact was a miracle. At that moment...
One of the supervisors approached the director and saluted him, saying, "We found a witness who saw the potential suspect."
"Who is she?"
"She works at an ice cream parlor called Push Push."
"Well? Did you find out anything?"
"Apparently, it was only one person. She's saying that the suspect killed the basilisk with a single blow."
Nodding as if he had been expecting that, the director said, "Ask her what he looked like, and make sure nothing gets out to the public"
"The thing is She can't really remember what he looked like."
"...What?" Tae Gyum let out. Dumbfounded, he walked toward the clerk, who seemed completely out of it. Then, noticing a smaller version of the magic circle on the ground on her arm, the director furrowed his brow.
'It's the Lich... It erased her memory. Since it wasn't strong enough, it could only manipulate a very small portion of its victims' memory. Of course, it would go for the single most important piece of memory. Son of a bitch!' he thought, clenching his teeth tightly. If the Lich wasn't strong enough to inflict harm to the basilisk, there was only one other suspect who could have.
'But what was a Lich doing here?'
Liches typically preferred to stay within their dungeons.
'This is off to a rocky start,' Tae Gyum thought, looking at the dead carcass of the basilisk and the magic circle underneath it, hardening his expression even more.
In the car ride home, Min Sung looked down at the Lich Doll on his knee. It looked weak and exhausted.
Before they left the parking lot, the Lich Doll had jumped out of the champion's pocket and chanted a spell, which had made the clerk fall to the ground, dead asleep. Then, walking toward the dead basilisk, it had chanted one more time, creating a magic circle underneath the carcass. At which point, black smoke had risen from the magic circle, engulfing the dead monster. However, the smoke had faded before long, and looking at it with disappointment, the Lich Doll returned to its master and crawled back into his pocket, looking weak and defeated.
As far as the champion could tell, the doll seemed to have used up all of its powers, which made sense considering that it was still at level 1. Attempting to control a basilisk was far too much of a task at that level. Looking at the doll wallowing in defeat, Min Sung couldn't help but wonder, 'Maybe I need to train the little guy.' However, after that brief thought, he shook his head as he reached a conclusion: 'I don't feel like it.'
After arriving home, Min Sung lay on his bed and enjoyed the sunlight shining through the window.
'I think I'm starting to get used to this. Having a home, rest, the comfort Do I even know what it's like to nap anymore?'
Humans tended to adapt to their environment. More accurately, being on Earth had enabled the champion's body to return to its natural rhythm. As soon as his back touched the bed, Min Sung felt as though he was getting sucked into the mattress. His body felt heavy as if he had been anesthetized, and his consciousness started to fade. Soon, his eyes closed, and the champion fell sound asleep, listening to the birds chirping peacefully outside.
While Min Sung was out, the Lich doll crawled out of his pocket. Still half asleep, it rubbed its eyes and looked around. Upon checking that its master was sound asleep, the doll jumped off the bed, made its way to the kitchen, and started cleaning the house with a freshly washed rag. Going to and fro, the Lich Doll wiped the floor, couch, and the dining table until they were sparkling clean, washing the rag with its magical powers.
After cleaning the living room and all the other rooms, including the room in which its master slept, the Lich Doll climbed up the champion's bed. Then, giggling as if deeply satisfied to have done its master a service, the doll snickered quietly and fell back on the mattress. Just like that, it went back to sleep.
There was a chandelier made of diamonds hanging from the ceiling, decorating the room, which was made entirely of marble. The interior was far more luxurious than a seven-star hotel. In that room that words couldn't begin to describe the amount of lavishness, there was a beautiful blonde woman with deep eyes and a short hairdo reading a book on a table made of black mithril. Dressed in a shirt as white as her skin, a black, perfectly fitted pair of cotton pants, and black, handmade leather shoes, her fashion further accentuated her dazzling beauty.
At the sound of the knock on the door, she looked away from the book, took off her silver-framed glasses and slowly looked toward the door. At which point, her voluptuous secretary walked into the room.
"Ma'am, Tae Gyum wants to see you," she said.
"For?" the blonde woman asked gently, yet firmly.
"An unidentified miscellaneous-type individual."
At that, her eyes sparkled for a split second.
"Send him up," she said as she closed the book. After which, the secretary bowed and left the room. Putting the book and her glasses on the table, the blonde woman crossed her arms, and soon, after a series of knocks on the door, a man came into the room and bowed to her politely. It was Tae Gyum.
"So, a miscellaneous type, huh?"
At that, the blonde woman's eyes became even deeper.
Opening his eyes slowly, Min Sung sat up on his bed and looked at the clock.
'I've slept for two hours?' he thought, surprised, chuckling bitterly. After getting used to sleeping for minutes at a time during his stay at the Demonic Realm, the champion couldn't believe that he was taking long naps in broad daylight. Enjoying the pleasant languidness, Min Sung looked at the Lich Doll, who was dozing off while standing.
'Why is it sleeping like that? Does it sleepwalk?'
The champion tapped the doll on its head with his thumb. At which point, the doll jumped from its place and opened its eyes. For an undead skeleton warlock, it was rather adorable, and being about the size of the champion's hand, it almost looked like a toy. Still looking half asleep, the doll crawled toward its master's pocket.
'It's still level 1. Maybe that's why it sleeps so much,' Min Sung thought. Then, putting the thought aside, the champion got out of bed and walked out to the living room. Upon checking his phone, he realized that he had been bombarded with a slew of spam messages. At that moment, as he was deleting the messages, he saw a certain message that caught his eye.
'Remaining Balance: 1,900 won.'
"... Wait, what?!" Min Sung let out, frozen in place, taken aback by the message. Although he had been under the assumption that he had made a fortune after clearing the labyrinth not too long ago, there was hardly any money left in his account. In fact, there wasn't even enough for him to afford a meal. Then, realizing how expensive his clothes, the house, and the furniture within had been, the champion soon came to terms with the alarming situation he found himself in.
'I guess it's time to go to a dungeon again,' he thought. Thankfully, making money was hardly a challenge. Although inconvenient and troublesome, the profit he would make off of the loot made dungeon raids worth the trouble. After messaging Ho Sung that they were going out, the champion stretched and made his way toward the bathroom for a shower.