The Lava Prison wasn’t built by human hands; the dormant volcano had instead been slightly modified into a natural prison. The black and towering mountains gave Grid a feeling of overwhelming awe.
"I’m scared because the mountain is sharp and pointed.”
"Based on the lava flowing all around, it’s a dormant volcano, right...? Will it suddenly explode?”
Idan and Yang Fei hesitated, lacking the courage to enter the Lava Prison. Of course, Grid had no intention of having them join him in the first place.
"It’s enough to know where the Lava Prison is; both of you return to our accommodations and wait.”
“I’ll make delicious food.”
"And I’ll prepare a warm bath and tea. Please come back safe and sound.”
Grid remained alone and confirmed the time: there were less than two hours left until Han Seokbong’s execution.
‘The information-gathering took too long.’
He only managed it with Yang Fei’s help. If it hadn’t been for Yang Fei, Grid still wouldn’t have known the whereabouts of Han Seokbong and his daughter.
‘Then I would’ve had to meet the Cho King... A bloody wind is blowing.’
The hidden quest that Grid was performing had two options: Either rescue the Han Seokbong father and daughter from prison or meet the Cho King. Based on common sense, it was likely that a fight would break out if he faced the Cho King, who had imprisoned and lined up both the father and daughter for execution. Grid was very reluctant for this to happen, as his ultimate goal in returning to the East Continent was to secure allies for his kingdom.
‘I have to leave room for diplomatic relations with the Cho Kingdom. I can’t become hostile to the Cho King.’
He needed to rescue the Han Seokbong father and daughter as discreetly as possible! Grid made his decision and equipped both the Slaughterer’s Eye Patch and mask. The moment he entered the Lava Prison.
[You are the first player to find the Lava Prison dungeon!]
[The amount of experience gained from Lava Prison will increase for the next week!]
[When hunting boss monsters, the probability of gaining unique or higher rated items will increase significantly!]
The Lava Prison was actually classified as a dungeon?
‘Did I come to the wrong place?’
Grid acted calmly despite his confusion. He looked at the structure of the prison in front of him and prepared for the unknown danger.
He could hear the sound of chains on the floor. Grid looked around and was startled at the sight before him. The name ‘Lava Prison Guard’ was on top of the jiangshi. The jiangshi, with pale skin, dragged chains that bound both of its hands across the ground.
‘The guards are monsters?’
He didn’t know why, but it was a good thing.
‘I would’ve felt guilty if I were hurting innocent soldiers, but there’s no reason for mercy if I’m facing monsters. Let’s break through this quickly and find Han Seokbong and Sua.’
The determined Grid summoned four golden hands. God Hands. They are all armed with Mjolnir.
“Sweep through them.”
The moment that Grid finished speaking.
The God Hands flew off and started beating the jiangshi with Mjolnir.
Grid flinched as he was about to take action. The jiangshi beaten by Mjolnir were ‘immune’ to the stiffness state? They didn’t even receive physical damage. The jiangshi were monsters with both high resistance and defense.
‘Is this why they are used to safeguard national facilities?’
Grid pulled out a blue greatsword that resembled a shark. A glittering glow filled the darkness that dominated the prison. It was the +9 Failure that became more powerful in darkness.
The reason why the Lava Prison was notorious was the hot heat. An ordinary person couldn’t stand the heat of the Lava Prison. A person would sweat even when sitting down, have symptoms of dehydration and even burn to death. Just being trapped in the Lava Prison was a terrible torture for prisoners.
It was why the Lava Prison guards weren’t soldiers, but monsters. It was virtually impossible for common soldiers to work in the Lava Prison. Therefore, the jiangshis created were deployed as prison guards.
“The time has come. Let’s go.”
The sweating Han Seokbong painfully raised his body. He was able to not be dehydrated by drinking the water the Cho King provided him. However, he continued to sweat and his stamina consumption was too great.
Han Seokbong was about to collapse and supported his body with the bars. A cold chill filled Han Seokbong the moment he touched the bar.
Blood jiangshi were produced using the blood of a virgin mixed with strong poison. They were much physically stronger than ordinary jiangshi and also talked like people. Of course, their ego was only at the level of the person who made them.
Han Seokbong moved with the help of the blood jiangshi. He couldn’t remain calm in the face of his incoming death. He was afraid. He wasn’t afraid of the pain that he would suffer. He was worried about Sua being left alone.
‘No, I don’t need to worry. My daughter is strong. Even if she’s left alone, she’ll be able to live without losing courage. His Majesty also assured me that he would watch over her.’
It was a parent’s duty to believe in their child. Han Seokbong started to control his heart. He humbly accepted his upcoming death. In front of him, the nobleman Sam Dasoo appeared.
"Isn’t this funny?’
Han Seokbong’s eyes became hard and furious. Sam Dasoo was a representative of the corrupt nobles and had always opposed Han Seokbong’s integrity. Han Seokbong couldn’t acknowledge Sam Dasoo as a noble.
“If I die, His Majesty will only have you... I am worried about the future of the Cho Kingdom.”
Han Seokbong mourned while Sam Dasoo laughed.
"It’s worthless. Why is someone who will soon be dead worried about the future?”
"...Did you come here to mock me?”
"Kukukuk, how relieving. I’m sorry but this ill-fated relationship will end. Our relationship might be ill-fated, but I will try to speak some comforting words before you face your fate.”
"I don’t need any comforting from you.”
"Just listen, as it is about your daughter Sua.”
"...Don’t say my daughter’s name with your dirty mouth.”
Han Seokbong released killing intent the moment Sua’s name was heard. Sam Dasoo seemed to find this reaction funny as he let out a loud laugh. Then he whispered in Han Seokbong’s ears.
"I will take good care of Sua for the rest of her life. I’ll keep her beautiful until I get tired of her. So don’t worry about your daughter and relax.”
Han Seokbong’s eyes shook. The news that Sam Dasoo was aiming for Sua was like a bolt out of the blue. He tried to remain calm.
“You can’t do this. I begged His Majesty to protect Sua and he promised.”
"Kukuk, what if she wants me?”
"I have ordered some Hwanryongcho to be mixed in with her breakfast this morning.”
Hwanryongcho was a drug that caused hallucinations. The biggest problem was that the person lost resistance to any suggestion.
"Someone will pretend to be you and whisper to Sua. ‘Believe in Sam Dasoo for the rest of your life. Sam Dasoo will protect you.’ This is the last will and testament of her father. Kuk! Kukukuk!”
“You! Wicked person!!”
Han Seokbong screamed. He hated this devil in front of him and cursed with all his heart. But it was useless. Han Seokbong would be executed shortly afterwards. He was bound by the blood jiangshi and couldn’t do any harm to Sam Dasoo. Sam Dasoo just laughed evilly at Han Seokbong.
Lava Prison’s second floor.
Could it be due to the hot heat? Sua’s mind had been feeling fuzzy since morning. Therefore, she couldn’t help welcoming her father when she saw him. She couldn’t tell whether the current situation was real or a dream. Han Seokbong touched her cheek. Sua felt that her father’s hand wasn’t as warm as usual. It was cold for some reason but it was a minor problem.
"Do you have to leave?”
Sua begged in a trembling voice. Han Seokbong made a request.
"Sua, I am leaving first and Sam Dasoo will protect you in my stead. Always be thankful to him and serve him with all your heart and soul.”
“Yes... Yes, I understand."
It was her father’s last will. Sua nodded a few times. At that moment.
"Since when is that monster your father?”
It was an unforgettable voice. The deep voice dug into her ears. Sua knew the owner of this voice.
Was she still wandering in her dreams? Was this why she heard Grid’s voice? Sua was confused. The face of Han Seokbong caressing her cheek changed into that of a devil.
Han Seokbong shouted. His face started to melt like liquid in Sua’s eyes. After a moment, he no longer looked like Han Seokbong. It was a man with a bizarre appearance that Sua saw for the first time.
“Who are you? Father? Where is my father?”
As the medicinal effect of the Hwanryongcho fell, Sua’s confusion was maximized. She felt a terrible headache. What was happening? The fear of being alone in the world. She was feeling fear in this dark prison when she heard-
It was Grid’s voice.
The man who tried to trick Sua screamed.
The iron bars of the prison holding Sua were cut and destroyed.
Big hands approached in the darkness. Sua knew these hands anywhere.
“Grid... Is it you?”
Grid grabbed Sua’s hands and answered. He took off his bloody mask and smiled.
"Let’s go home.”
It seemed difficult. He seemed to have trouble speaking. In the first place, the blood used to wet the strange mask wasn’t the ‘enemy’s blood’ but the ‘wearer’s blood.’ As it happened, Grid was already covered with wounds.