Chapter 146. What We Can Do (4)
Ludia and I were in charge of Gangwon-do province, where the B, A, and A+ ranked dungeons were. As it was far from Seoul, it was the most efficient for me to go, as I could ride on Lotte, who was faster than fighter jets.
After getting on Lotte's back with me, Ludia muttered coldly. She pointed towards the girl wrapping her arms around my back with eyes shaped like stars. She wore a water-colored dress that was perfect for going on strolls.
"She's Plene, a siren. She's a companion of mine, like Lotte."
[Hi! I'm Plene! Isn't it a pretty name? Shin gave it to me!]
Plene smiled innocently and unwrapped her arms from me. She held her hand out to Ludia, but Ludia simply glared at her.
"I... I thought you were asking me on a date."
"No, we're going to a dungeon. What date?"
"You're really a fool."
"You're the fool."
[She's a meanie! She won't accept my greeting! Shin, scold her!]
"Ludia is normally a bit rude. Forgive her, Plene."
"She even stole my spot. I hate her...!"
Plene was perfect to hold Ludia in check. Although it might be a bit cruel to Ludia, who I met in two months, I thought Ludia was using all sorts of excuses lately to be intimate with me!
I'm a man and Ludia a woman. It would be fine if were dating, but as we weren't, sticking so close was troublesome. Both Hwaya and Ye-Eun were giving Ludia strange glares as well. I said I would take responsibility for Ludia's dependence on me, but that didn't mean I would marry her! If she became even more intimate than she currently was... my... Kuhum.
But what about now? Plene, who liked being intimate just as much as Ludia, held Ludia in check! As Ludia spends more time separated from me, she would realize she doesn't need to always cling to me!
... But, strange. Why did I feel like nothing had changed other than that Plene replaced Ludia!?
In any case, we first decided to clear the B rank dungeon. This Event Dungeon had appeared in the middle of Gangwon-do's camping ground. I was shocked by how many Guardians were lined up and protecting it. With that number, they could just go in and clear it themselves!
The Guardians didn't see us in the sky. It was because Lotte was a cheaty wyvern that was even specialized in stealth. Her skills, 'Presence Concealment' and 'Invisibility', were hiding us perfectly! It was also the reason that I couldn't recognize her when we first met, even though she appeared right in front of my eyes.
"Shin, what are you going to do? Are you going to talk to them?"
Ludia asked as she raised her staff. Strange. Why do you look like you're in your combat mode rather than normal mode? Did you hit the spacebar twice by mistake?1
Although I was dumbfounded, I would be troubled if she shouted, 'O Earth!', so I quickly answered her.
"No, we're going to sing."
Ludia tilted her head. Soon, she looked at Plene, clearly thinking, 'Is it her?'
When I eyed Plene, she nodded with a shy smile. Then, she began to sing.
"Mm? Where is this sound coming from?"
"What a beautiful voice."
"Idiots, it might be a monster's attack. Stay on your..."
With Plene's voice ringing from the sky, the Guardians began to collapse one by one, starting from the one admonishing the others to stay alert. After becoming my subordinate, Plene's singing ability was increasing the more she practiced. In essence, it was being treated like a skill by the dungeon's system. As she continued singing ever since we met, her ability, which even affected S rankers, had grown much stronger. Even magic type Awakened with innate resistance against mental attacks would find it difficult to resist Plene's singing.
"This song, how beautiful..."
"To us, it's just a beautiful song, but to them..."
To them, a special effect would be added. One that helps them fall asleep in just 10 seconds.
Just by singing for 30 seconds, Plene made all nearby ability users drop their weapons and fall asleep. When they woke up, they would find themselves relieved of fatigue. If you're suffering from insomnia, I recommend you get a siren! They would be super popular. Thinking rather useless things, I lightly tapped Plene's shoulder.
"Lalala~ Mm? Why?"
"You can stop singing now, Plene."
"But I want to finish this song..."
"You can sing later. I'll listen to the full song then."
Just in case an Event Raid breaks out after we cleared the dungeon, we moved the ability users elsewhere. Shortly afterward, we were the only ones around the gate.
"What an unbelievable ability."
"Plene, Ludia is complimenting you."
"Really? Thank you! I like you!"
"N-No! That wasn't a compliment!"
As always, it was too easy to earn points with Plene. Listening to them bickering behind me, I grinned and ordered Lotte.
"Charge into the gate."
Lotte flapped her wings once and swiftly flew into the gate.
Our surroundings warped and the Event Dungeon appeared. It was an open grassland with deer running around playfully. They had turquoise skin and were three times as large as normal deer. On each of their foreheads was a spiral-shaped horn, and their feet hooves were shaped like scissors. If not for these characteristics, the entire view would have looked extremely peaceful.
"Deer meat doesn't even taste good... damn it."
"You were thinking about eating them!?"
Plene performed outstandingly even inside the dungeon. By changing her tune, she could apply various status effects. Currently, she was using the status effect sirens were known for. Right, her singing was luring its listeners toward her like mindless zombies. Whether the deer were grazing on the grass or having mixed martial arts fights, they turned their attention to Plene's singing. They stopped what they were doing and walked across the grassland toward us. As Plene continued singing, we flew around the grassland on Lotte's back.
"Shin? What are you doing?"
"Can't you see? I'm collecting the deer together."
Around the time I could confidently say that we looked around the entire Event Dungeon, there was a gigantic herd of deer following us.
In the past, I wanted to hunt monsters the moment I saw them. Now, weak monsters couldn't draw out my fighting spirit in the slightest. I was glad that I brought Plene along.
"Do we need to hunt all the monsters before the boss appears? How was it in the other dungeons, Ludia?"
"I think it's based on how many monsters you encountered, not how many you defeated. Since all you need to do is find monsters, it should be appearing any time soon... Ah, it's here!"
[Kiladeer Grassland's boss monster, 'Iron Kiladeer,' has appeared! Defeating the Iron Kiladeer and clearing the Event Dungeon will grant special rewards!]
At the same time the boss appeared, I finally found out what these monsters were called. Kiladeer! As for the boss, just its body was over 3 meters tall, while its legs were made out of steel! Its large, thick horn looked like it would be a good decoration. That said, why did all animal type boss monsters appear as metallicized versions!? I carefully raised my spear.
[You defeated the Event Dungeon boss monster, Kiladeer!]
[30,000 gold is distributed evenly amongst party members. You received 15,000 gold.]
[Kang Shin-nim's contribution is the highest. Choose your reward.]
[1. Iron Kiladeer's Horn Sword
2. Iron Kiladeer's Antler]
Of course, kiladeers didn't disappear just by killing the boss. First, I selected Iron Kiladeer's Horn Sword and fed it to Gluttony Spear (it didn't even grow by 0.3%). Then, I swiftly took care of the kiladeer with a single Elemental Tempest. Meanwhile, Ludia...
"Ludia, what's that?"
"... What are you doing?"
"To make Shin eat it."
Ludia's devotion toward me was truly admirable. Antlers were indeed good for the body, so I was thankful[2. Western scientists disagree.]. That aside, it seemed I needed to question mother. Just what was she teaching Ludia!?
[You completely cleared an B rank Event Dungeon! All party members received 1 bonus stat!]
[You will now return.]
We cleared the other two Event Dungeons, but no Event Raid broke out. Altogether, we receive 4 bonus stats. Clearing the A+ rank dungeon only gave 2 bonus stat. It was most likely because I had long surpassed its standard.
[We're done. How about you guys?]
[We're still on our second one.]
[We're also on our second, son. How are you done so quickly?]
[Do you want to know, father?]
[No, it's fine. You should go ahead and clear the other dungeons.]
After checking the news through my phone, I leisurely cleared the other two dungeons. The Korean government had found out that we were destroying the Event Dungeons and sent additional forces to uncleared Event Dungeons. They even criticized us through the media. In any case, their actions didn't stop me in the slightest. Plene simply put everyone to sleep, and we cleared the dungeons. afterward, news began to spread that unidentified assailants with malicious intent were going around invading Korea's gates.
"Although Guardians are guarding the gates, in truth, they have no right to prevent us from clearing the Event Dungeons."
Although there were laws regarding Event Dungeons, as long as the dungeons and the potential Event Raids could be dealt with, neither the government nor the Guardian could say anything about it. After all, the gates appeared on their own. They did not belong to anyone.
In any case, the news claimed that we were terrorists trying to release monsters into Korea by clearing Event Dungeons and making Event Raids break out. If that were true, the Guardian undoubtedly had the right to step in.
Hey, who knew being a terrorist was so hard?
[They were confirmed to be the same group of people, who were actively destroying various countries' gates within the past month. This group, known to be led by the SS ranker Hwaya Mastiford, has...]
[Breaking news. A picture has been taken of a group of people riding on a wyvern. The man on top is suspected to be the Dragon Knight, who recently made headlines with his accomplishment in America. His current goal seems to match that of Hwaya Mastiford.]
[Why could they be doing this? Some say that they are destroying Korea's gates for the same reason that they destroyed the other gates within the past month.]
[The government has heavily deployed Guardians to the uncleared ga... Ah! We just received the report that all gates other than the four S or S+ ranked gates have been destroyed!]
I couldn't say it was pleasant, as they made it sound like I was a criminal. Of course, I could understand where they were coming from. They must be thinking, 'Why us!?' If I could, I would tell them.
Don't worry, the same will happen to all the other countries!
I headed to Seoul on Lotte, where we promised to meet. The other two teams were heading over as well. We were purposefully being conspicuous. That was more convenient. I didn't want to have to explain twice.
"Yep, looking good. I'm sure Shin will shine even in front of the camera."
"Shin is cool!"
"I don't need the flattery. Thank you though."
For the past month, although I wasn't there, Guild Revival had gotten rid of Event Dungeons. Their accomplishment would help make my announcement incredibly powerful. Thanks to them, I was ready to step in front of everyone.
It was the time for Revival to step up to the world stage. Not as everyone's ally, but as a strange group that mastered the Provoke skill.
'Ciara, you wanted to me to lead the world's ability users, but the method I chose is different. It's going to annoy you, ha!'
I'm not saying this just because I put a Mabinogi reference this chapter, but I heard they made a Mabinogi Café near Sadang Station's 11th exit.
I. Want. To. Go!
Damn it, from 6th grade to the second year of high school, I poured in my youth to Mabinogi! Mabinogi Café, a Mabinogi Café! I want to go!!
That's enough of my tantrum.
1. Mabinogi reference.