Chapter 190: The Monarch of Darkness (1)
Editor: Hungry Panda
As expected of a location where Immortal, the Monarch of Darkness, was sleeping, a bleak energy hung inside of the steeple.
The average level of the monsters that appeared inside the steeple were between 150-170, and considering it was a hidden dungeon in the central continent, it was on the low side.
However, as there were over two times more the number of monsters compared to other dungeons, the difficulty level was instead harder.
This was a characteristic of dungeons mainly infested with undeads.
'This is totally a jackpot dungeon.'
However, this did not hold true for everybody.
As Ian's characteristic was optimized to group hunting and many-to-many battles, dungeons like these, where the average level was lower, and the total population was high, were the most optimal hunting grounds for him.
On the other hand, for Assassin-classes that specialized in 1:1 battles, this would most likely feel like a hellish hunting ground.
"Hoonie, don't try to be greedy about dealing damage, and just try to pull in as many together as possible. Because you keep trying to deal damage, the line breaks up. And the effectiveness of hunting drops as well."
At Ian's scolding, Hoonie's expression twisted.
After checking the damage gauge of the party members that was open in the corner of his vision, Hoonie jutted out his lip.
This was because DPS was a definite, but even when looking at the accumulated damage, he didn't even reach half of the damage that Ian had.
DPS was the abbreviation of Damage Per Second, and in other words, it was the 'average damage dealt to an enemy per second'.
Hoonie glanced at Ian as he mumbled to himself.
'Exactly how much stronger did that monster get during this time? From what I know, the damage caused from the attacks of retainers shouldn't be included in DPS…"
Summoners were known as the strongest class when it came to PVE, however, Black Magicians were also formidable competitors.
As that was the case, Hoonie also tried to be greedy and attempted to compete against Ian for the amount of damage dealt, but because there was such an overwhelming difference, he cleanly gave up.
As he just thought that he was a being from a completely different territory, his pride wasn't even hurt.
'As expected, I need to put the Power of Immortal into my hands.'
Hoonie, who decided to push his competition with Ian until he became the Monarch of Darkness, quickly controlled his skulls and gathered together the monsters that were spread across the map.
And Canoel watched the two people hunting with a gaping mouth.
'Wow look at my EXP go up. This is a proper bus, seriously.'
The thing that Canoel was doing was to match the timing of when Ian invoked his AoE skills and place Yongyong's Breath once on top of his attacks.
Although even that, when compared to the Breath that Ian's Lake let out, wasn't even equivalent to half that power.
As Celia's controlling abilities also increased quite a bit while hunting with Ian, she invoked Ddukdae's Abyss Hole well at the right time and right location.
And whenever Abyss Hole was invoked, the AoE dealing skill covered on top of that without doubt.
Baaang-!You have killed the Sorcerer of Darkness. You have killed the Magic Swordsman of Darkness. You have obtained 1,547,989 EXP. You have obtained 1,772,534 EXP.
While looking at the EXP that filled up by the millions despite multiple dividing it, Ian also wore a satisfied smile.
'Before we meet Immortal or whatever, it looks like I could hit lv 170 if all goes well.'
The EXP required to level up was astronomical, and because that was the case, whenever he leveled up, he was pleased each time.
Especially when the tenth digit changed, he was even happier than when he just leveled up.
Could you say that it felt like he upgraded to the next stage?
"What floor are we on right now?"
At Ian's question, Hoonie replied immediately.
"The 36th floor."
Canoel, who was beside him, shook his head as he mumbled.
"Ha, exactly how many floors do you think there are? Will we have to reach the 50th floor in order for it to end?"
Ian smirked as he spoke.
"I feel like that there will probably be that much, but if it were up to me, I wish there were up to 100 floors."
"Huh? Why exactly?"
"It's hard even finding a hunting ground as good as this. We even have the first discoverer's buff right now. While we're finishing the quest, we're piling up on EXP as well, so it's good."
At Ian's words, Canoel wore a terrified expression, and Hoonie shook his head back and forth.
While diligently controlling the undead, Hoonie mumbled to himself.
'No way there's 100 floors… That can't be the case. It's horrible just thinking about it.'
However, that actually became the case.
"Euah, I can't go anymore! No more, I tell you!"
Hoonie, who killed the last of the monsters that were on the map, plopped down right where he stood.
"Ha… Ian, what do you think about resting a little before going on?"
Canoel also plopped down next to Hoonie and he looked up at Ian with tearful eyes.
Ian smirked as he replied.
"Why are you so weak? I feel like it's only been about ten hours since we've started hunting now."
As they had suffered for over ten hours while hunting, Ian had even grown quite close with Canoel and spoke comfortably to him.
Because Canoel had a five-year difference with Ian as well, there was not much hesitation.
Canoel and Hoonie, who were at a loss for words, both fell into silence, and Ian's words continued.
"Well, then let's rest for a bit. Since we don't know how many floors there are up to, it should be good to rest for a moment. We don't know if the 100th floor will even be the end, right?"
The floor that the three people were on was the 87th floor.
At the words that the 100th floor might not even be the end, the two people freaked out.
"No way…! That can't be the case! When I looked from the outside, it didn't look that high!"
"That's right, that doesn't even humanly make sense…"
The only hope for the two people was that after they were passed the 50th floor, the map continuously grew smaller.
Since the fact that the map was growing smaller meant that they were reaching the pointed part of the steeple.
"Alright, if you're all rested, let's move quickly. We need to catch Immortal or whatever before we go to sleep today, no?"
Still, Hoonie, who received strength at the word Immortal, suddenly stood up.
"That's right. We need to catch Immortal. You have no idea how many months I've already suffered because of that dude."
However, it seemed that Canoel still didn't recover any strength, because he grabbed his shaking legs as he slowly stood up.
Had about two hours passed like that?
At the end, when the party climbed up the top without rest, they were finally able to reach the 100th floor.
Fortunately, there was no path to go upwards, and a large magic square was drawn in front of them.
Hoonie, who approached the magic square, pulled out a strangely-shaped item made of wood from his inventory and lifted it up.
Hoonie, who lifted the unknown object that was a little short to call a staff and too long to call a wand, walked over to the centre of the magic square and stuck that item into the ground.
"Alright, are you going to summon Immortal now?"
At Ian's question, Hoonie replied.
"Rather than summon… Should I say that I'm going to awaken him?"
And Hoonie, who stepped away from the magic square, slowly began to let out the incantation with a serious expression.Immortal, the Monarch of Darkness, your descendant, who has finished all preparations, has reached the Shrine of Darkness.
Based on the fact that his voice rang out in all directions while he droned on, it looked like the system was dominating Hoonie's body, but as he had also shown many forms where he was absorbed in his role with such a serious attitude, there was no sense of disharmony.
"Anyhow, I'm telling you, he's an interesting dude."
Ian and Canoel watched that sight from a short distance away, and shortly after, following the magic square that was complexly engraved into the ground, a hazy light began to leak out.
And at each vertex of the lines that drew the magic square, a light began to bundle into a round-shape before that light shot up into the sky.
Hoonie, who had recovered his senses before they realized and was watching that scene, let out an exclamation with a low voice, and Ian and Canoel also watched that with interested expressions.
The light that shot up into the air began to make one large portal.
"By the looks of it, it looks like we just need to go in there, right?"
The moment when Hoonie was about to respond to Ian's question, a ringing voice could be heard in the air.Have you ever seen true death and the world of darkness?
The cold and husky voice continued to ring throughout the whole map.If you pass my test, I will give my all to you.
And along with that voice ringing out, the portal of darkness swallowed up the whole party.
The wind sounded gloomier and more grotesque than they had ever heard before.
The party, who fell into this space which was covered in darkness, looked around at their surroundings as they were taken aback.
"What the hell, do we have to fight in a place like this where we can't see anything?"
At Hoonie's words, which weren't clear as to whom it was being directed to, Ian responded shortly.
"Pull it together, dude. This is a quest with a difficulty level no less than a triple S-rank. This is a difficulty level where it wouldn't be weird if you suddenly died within a short moment."
At Ian's warning, Hoonie and Canoel heightened their concentration and kept alert of their surroundings.
As they began to grow familiar with the darkness, they started to see little by little.
And that voice was heard again in a courteous manner.Did you say it was 'Kanjihoonie'?
At the unexpected attack(?), laughter almost leaked out of Ian's mouth, but after narrowly holding it in, he mumbled to himself.
'Oh right, that guy's ID was Kanjihoonie. Why haven't I still gotten used to that even though I've heard it multiple times?'
The two people's conversation continued.To challenge my test with just this much fighting power. I will think highly of that gutsiness alone.
At that voice, which seemed to be mocking him, Hoonie didn't back down and replied.
"I thought that I needed to pass your test with the least amount of fighting power in order to become the true Monarch of Darkness. This is my pride as the Enchanter of Darkness."
While looking at Hoonie, who spat out a speech that was expected of a main character in a B-list animation without a change in his expression, Ian and Canoel were astonished.
'Ah, shit, why is being embarrassed our share?'
This time, it was even definite that he wasn't being steered by the system either.
Ian clenched and released both hands back and forth as he barely calmed down his curling fingers.
Separate from him, Hoonie was already immersed in his role by 100%.Keuhahahat! What an amusing human. I like you. No wonder I felt like this would be an enjoyable match.
As the words of Immortal ended, a misty grey light from within the black darkness began to approach the party.
That ray of light, which was so dim that it was hard to tell what kind of shape it took, turned into the shape of a giant skull mage shortly after.
On top those thin bones, a purple robe was wrapped around it, slightly lifted from them.
That thing that had such a grotesque form that it evoked fear into anybody that saw it reminded one of the Lich King.
He slowly moved his thin jaw as he roared with a low voice.Alright, from now on, I will test you to see if you indeed have the abilities to become the Monarch of Darkness!
Meanwhile, Ian, who had stared at the domineering form of Immortal thoroughly, withdrew all of the Familiars he had summoned excluding Ly.
And he summoned Karceus, whom he hadn't summoned up until now.Keuoooh!
As he had raised his Leadership quite a bit now, he was able to summon Karceus and Ly at the same time.
And Immortal, who had discovered the giant dragon, gave a sharp look.
 bus = carry
 Ian is making fun of Hoonie's name because 'kanji' is slang for 'swag' in Korean, so his ID means something like 'Swaggy Hoonie'.