Chapter 39: Mysterious Dungeon (2)
Editor: Hungry Panda
The first basement floor of the dungeon had a different configuration than the first floor.
The interesting configuration with many small empty lots that were connected by an iron gate felt like a basement prison.
The map worked in a system where when all the monsters in the small empty lot were caught, the door to the next area would open. Because of that, there was less need to move with consideration in battles compared to the first floor.
The monsters’ levels were 1-2 lvs higher than the ones on the first floor, but Ian could hunt more safely.
“Good, good. As expected, the first discoverer buff is like honey!”
At the endlessly surging EXP, it was to the point where it was difficult for Ian to maintain his composure.
He wasn’t able to gain even one useful item yet despite the doubled item loot rate, but he wasn’t very sad about it.
Ian repeated battle after battle and slowly went to the deeper end of the dungeon.
And he discovered an enormous iron gate different from the ones from before.
“Bbookbbook, it looks like there’s something special in here, right?”
Ian, who was about to open the door just like he did with the ones before, momentarily stopped.
It was because he somehow felt that there would be a Boss-rank monster inside.
‘I’ll have to momentarily re-gear before moving.’
Ian was someone who trusted his intuition.
‘It’s also almost time for Ly’s Berserk skill’s cooldown time to be over…’
While Ian was checking the monsters’ conditions, he discovered Bbookbbook’s Potential had hit 20.
‘Huh? Why is his Potential already at 20?’
And after thinking about it for a bit, he was able to figure out the reason.
‘Oh, right, he ate a Mandragora yesterday…’
For a split second, he felt regret towards the Mandragora, but he quickly forgot about it.
And since the situation was already like this, Ian decided to use Skill Grant on Bbookbbook before they opened the doors and went in.
“Bbookbbook, come here.”
Bbookbbook crawled over to Ian.
Through Ian’s constant praise and meatball gifts, Bbookbbook was quite obedient now.
‘It would be the best if an aggro skill came up.’
By an aggro skill, he meant a skill that made all enemies surrounding the skill’s caster turn their attention to them by force.
It was a skill that you could call a necessity for a Tanker.
‘Although, Bbookbbook’s unique cry is a decent aggro skill as well…’
As Bbookbbook’s cry didn’t pull attention forcibly, there were times monsters wouldn’t even glance at him no matter how much Bbookbbook yelled and ran around.
Because of that, Ian desperately wanted an aggro skill and cast Skill Grant.
“Familiar Skill Grant!”
And as Ian cast that skill, a white bundle of light was sucked into Bbookbbook.
And a system message popped up.
You have used ‘Familiar Skill Grant’ on ‘Bbookbbook’.
20 of Bbookbbook’s Potential has been consumed.
Familiar ‘Bbookbbook’ has obtained skill ‘Shell Expansion’.
He did use Skill Grant without much expectations, but Ian felt an unknown nervousness at the name of the skill, which looked like it wouldn’t have much use.
And then the skill information popped up.
Classification – Active Skill
Skill Rank – Common
Requirement – Can only be invoked when inside shell
Cooldown Time – None
When in Shell Expansion state, Vitality and Defensive Power increases 100%, and becomes immobile.
*For the duration of Shell Expansion state, perceived as an inanimate object.
*When skill is used again, Shell Expansion state is released, and body returns to original size.
Ian, who read the skill information, had a dejected expression.
He did desperately want an aggro skill, but he thought any other normal skill wouldn’t be that bad, either.
Realistically, the chance of getting a skill related to aggro-ing amongst the many other skill types was not high.
And if a decent skill came up, he could use it by pulling it with the knuckle’s inherent ability, so he thought it would be helpful in his fighting power.
However, this Expansion skill couldn’t be invoked due to Ian’s body condition, but even if it could be invoked, that would be a bigger problem.
To Ian, who didn’t fight by taking hits from his opponent, but rather opted for an agility-based combat style, dodging and moving fast to attack weak points, this skill was basically equivalent to a debuff instead.
A deep sigh left Ian’s mouth.
“What the hell is perceived as an inanimate object as well. Is it the same as playing dead?”
He felt that if Bbookbbook were to use Shell Expansion from now on, he wouldn’t die no matter where Ian threw him.
‘Is there nothing like Skill Deletion?’
There was no way for him to have something like that.
In order to delete Shell Expansion, the only way was to collect Bbookbbook’s Potential again and use Skill Grant on him again.
Ian thought deeply.
‘Is there any way to make this Shell Expansion skill useful?’
Ian gazed at Bbookbbook with a distant look.
At Bbookbbook’s expression that seemed to say he didn’t understand the circumstances, Ian felt his strength drain automatically from him, but he still didn’t give up.
He wanted to find a way to use Bbookbbook in battle no matter what.
“Bbookbbook, let’s try using the new skill you learned.”
At Ian’s words, Bbookbbook nodded his head and cast the skill.
The fact that Bbookbbook listened to commands well could at least be considered consolation.
As Bbookbbook used the skill, Bbookbbook’s head slipped into his shell first.
And his body slowly got bigger, where the small body had become about as big as a large shield.
Ian let out a deep sigh.
‘It’s exactly the size of a round shield.’
However, just then, an idea flashed through Ian’s mind.
Ian’s mind began to run violently.
‘If Bbookbbook’s inherent ability is also invoked, any decent damage won’t even affect him. It would be perfect if I could use him as a shield.’
Ian, who finally thought of a way to use Bbookbbook, snickered.
‘Now the problem is that Bbookbbook is too heavy to carry with one hand in his bigger state and that my weapon is dual-wielding knuckles…’
The problem was quickly solved.
Ian had on a wicked smile as he approached Bbookbbook.
“Shall we piggyback you?”
“Whew, we finally caught it.”
Herz plopped down in front of the corpse of the enormous Ice Ogre and wiped the sweat that rolled down his forehead.
“Good work, Herz. Now we’ve achieved the minimum requirement to upgrade to a village, right?”
At Kroban’s question, Herz nodded his head.
“Yes, hyung. Now the territory’s value is 1000.”
Herz opened the Lotus Base’s stat window and checked.
Rank: Base (Upgrade Requirements Met)
Dimensions: 3582 m2
Population: 175 people
The Lotus guild’s base.
It’s in a dangerous state because of the threat of the monsters, so it is isolated economically and culturally.
Territory Value: 1007
Security Score: 12
Economical Score: 7
Technical Score: 4
Cultural Score: (Not opened yet.)
Diplomatic Score: (Not opened yet.)
When a base was gained for the first time in Kailran, the territory’s rank is marked as the related guild’s ‘base’.
The most basic requirement for a village to be maintained was security, and when the territory’s dimensions reached a certain standard, it was possible to upgrade to a ‘Village’. It was a system where whenever the higher-ranked requirements were satisfied, it was possible to upgrade to a higher level.
Because a territory belonging to users that had upgraded above a Village didn’t exist yet, the highest known rank so far after Village was the next rank ‘Dominion’.
This was because it was currently possible to check up to the next rank right after the Village rank.
“Shall we upgrade it now?”
The Lotus guild mobilizing their guild members for the past couple days and suppressing the monsters surrounding the territory resulted in just satisfying the requirements to upgrade to a Village.
Herz, who checked the information, immediately upgraded the territory, and as he did so, a system message popped up in the sight of all the guild members in the base.
The ‘Lotus Base’ has upgraded to rank ‘Lotus Village’.
While satisfaction appeared on all of their faces, another message popped up.
Guild Master Herz has automatically been appointed to be the ‘Lotus Village’s village chief.
Kroban, who saw the message, burst out in laughter.
“Haha, what the hell is this, Herz. You’re apparently the village chief! Haha.”
Carwin, who was beside him, also looked at Herz with a face that said he was dying of laughter.
“The leader of the village would be the village chief, hyung, what’s wrong with that. Speaking of which, the village chief position kind of suits Herz hyung.”
Fiolan also chimed in.
“Our guild master does look a little aged. Haha.”
Herz shook his head.
He did occasionally hear that he looked a little old, but to say he fit the image of a village chief…
“Ah, Fiolan, chief head is a little too much. Even though I do look a little old, it’s not like I look like a grandpa with wrinkles and a white beard…”
It was a situation that seemed as though he would soon become sullen if they picked on him even a little longer, so Carwin and Fiolan quickly comforted Herz.
“Speaking of which, village chief, what’s the next requirement to upgrade to a Dominion?”
At Kroban’s words that hinted playfulness, Carwin exaggeratedly waved his hand and spoke.
“Ah, hyung, if you keep making fun of him, Herz is going to become sullen!”
However, as the old saying said, rather than the chastising mother-in-law, the sister-in-law that chipped in beside her was more hateful, so Herz glared at Carwin before letting out a deep sigh and opened his mouth as if he was resigning.
“To upgrade to a Dominion is going to be difficult for a while.”
“Firstly, you need to have at least one user fundamentally that has the requirements to become a Lord, and to be one, you need at least have the Baronet’ title.”
At Herz’s words, Carwin mumbled with a taken aback expression.
“Damn… To get the Baronet title, you need to do the Empire Quest, but you probably need at least 400,000 Fame in order to even get the quest.”
Herz nodded his head as he replied.
“That’s right. 400,000 Fame. And you need to be over lv 90 in order to get the Empire Quest. There probably aren’t a lot of people that can do the Empire Quest right now. At most, maybe about 20-30 people? And at this point, you could probably count the number of people that received the Baronet title within your five fingers.”
At those words, Fiolan tilted her head as she asked.
“400,00 Fame isn’t easy, but are the numbers really that low? I don’t think there’s that little number of people.”
“Of course, that’s probably true if you just looked at the standard of 400,000 Fame. However, you’ll need to be over lv 90 in order to even stand up to the level of difficulty of the Empire Quest… There’s probably very little users that have over 20,000 Fame and are over lv 90.”
Just because they were a high-level top-ranker didn’t mean they all had high Fame. Rather, highest-level users didn’t have high Fame in comparison.
There were multiple ways to raise Fame in Kailran, but the most common way was to do a lot of quests.
However, because it was usually more efficient to level up by hunting rather than clearing quests, it wasn’t like the highest-level users had the highest Fame as well.
However, Kroban, who was listening to their conversation without a word, opened his mouth with a quizzical expression.
“Yo, but weren’t people like Blazing Knight Ceilron or Red Flame Magician Remir doing the Empire Quest since way back? And they’re some of the highest-level users.”
At those words, Herz wore a bitter smile as he replied.
“I’d prefer if you made an exception for those monsters, hyung.”
The users that Kroban had mentioned were famous users that ranked within the top five of their respective classes.
There were a couple users like them that were the highest rankers in their respective classes and also had monster-like high Fame, people that were out of the ordinary.
Fiolan nodded her head and agreed.
“Well… Exceptions always exist.”
 hyung = what a younger male calls a closer, older man