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 Chapter 17. Dungeon Explores Can Awaken Too? (3)

Four and a half months after Two Moon, the invading monsters had been mostly killed or chased out of cities. At the same time, repair on the areas ravaged by monsters was fully under way.

With Guardian and Freedom Wing's increased activities, the world that seemed to be on the way to ruin turned back. It was now a time of transition.

Although school had not yet resumed, there were rumors that colleges would reopen around fall term and have their opening ceremonies. It was likely that high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools would open around the same time.

"Oppa, you're really strong."

"I am."

Yua and I were sitting side by side on the couch, watching TV. If there was something that I deemed the strangest while I was watching TV at a young age, it was seeing my family sitting side by side on our couch.

We couldn't fit even on a 4-person couch!

Although mother and Yua were incredibly slim, father was tall and muscular and I looked like an orc. It was physically impossible to sit on the couch with other people.

But it was different now. We could lean on each other's shoulders and watch TV like a loving brother and sister. It was God's blessings.

"Oppa, aren't I heavy?"

"You're light like a feather. Don't ever go on a diet, Yua. You'll shrivel up and die."

"Come on, I'm not that skinny."

Yua laughed bashfully. In truth, Yua was a pitiful child. At the age where she should have been spoiled by her older brother, he was too busy sweating and swinging his spear, talking about going to the dungeon. She could only act spoiled in front of mother.

Even so, mother had a tendency to not spoil us, so Yua grew up to be calmer and more adult-like than her age.

I couldn't help but feel guilty. I wanted to make it right. Yua was hesitant at first, but she seemed to have gotten used to it as she now often acted spoiled around me.

[Here is a footage from Korea's only SS-rank ability user, the Goddess of Magma Ye Hwaya, hunting the S-rank monster Wyvern.]

[She is the pride and joy of the Republic of Korea.]

On the TV screen was a woman who looked to be in her early 20's burning up a Wyvern, which resembled a 10 meter long dragon. Perhaps because of her awakening, not only her hair that reached her waist, but also her eyes, were dyed in flame-red. The burning Wyvern looked to be in excruciating pain. 'If that flame touched me, I'd be burnt up in an instant,' I thought.

The world really was unfair. I started off as level 1 and had to work for years to become strong, but others got lucky and awoke to SS-rank, easily defeating such terrifying monsters.

Then again, there were people who awoke to weak abilities and could only stay in E or D-rank their entire lives. Similarly, as long as I continued to climb the dungeon, I surely could get stronger than her. I was given a possibility greater than instantaneous strength.

And below the ability users were ordinary people. Too many died in situations where they could have survived had they awoken to even the weakest ability. There were even more people refused to step outside their houses because they had not awakened.

I learned spearmanship from a young age, but there were plenty of other people who learned martial arts but could not become dungeon explorers. Luck was the sole factor in determining who became ability users and who was eaten by monsters.

In that case, did I have the right to look down on those weaker than me? Did these ability users on TV have the right to be looked up by so many people?

Even with my 20 intelligence stat, I could not come up with answers to questions like these. Suddenly, my thigh itched.

"Ow! Uuu..."

For some reason, Yua looked teary and in pain. Blowing on her thumb and index finger that had turned red, she looked extremely adorable.

"It looked soft, so I pinched it, but it's way too hard."

"Ah, sorry, Yua. Are you hurt? Um, let's see... a potion..."

"It's fine, oppa. You kept staring at the woman on TV, so I..."

"Mm? No, Yua, oppa was just thinking about something."

"You weren't looking at her because she was pretty?"

At her words, I looked at Korea's only SS-rank ability user, Ye Hwaya smiling after she defeated the Wyvern.

She was indeed beautiful. I didn't know how much the awakening had affected her, but she was tall and slim, had snow-white skin and a well-defined facial structure. Even as her hair fluttered in the wind, she did not flinch and instead looked forward with her flame-red eyes.

Above all, she had an amazing chest. That was a D! It was at least a D! How shameful. That was an insult to D-rank ability users. No, perhaps they were E. No, F! Unacceptable, an SS-rank with Fs!

"... Oppa?"

"Cough, no, Yua. You're the prettiest in the whole world."

"Really? Ehehe."

Of course, I really thought Yua was the prettiest in the world. Although that Ye Hwaya definitely had a superior figure...

I patted Yua's head and buried the thought deep inside my mind. Otherwise, my hard-acquired position as her oppa could get shattered.

Then, the day of Wraith Queen solo arrived. After spending some time debating whether to contact Ellos or not, I decided against it. I would do so after I succeeded. And Palludia too... Palludia.

"No!"

I forgot again! I felt a chill running down my back. I was screwed, definitely screwed! What could I do? That was no chance she wouldn't get angry. I was certain. If I talked to her, things would get annoying, extremely so.

Hm.

Should I just ignore her? I could pretend she never existed.

It felt like an outstanding solution. However, I knew I shouldn't. Although Palludia was sharp-tongued and rude, she had messaged me in concern. Plus, after we separated three and a half years ago, I was the one who did not contact her and ignored her messages!

"Alright, I'll contact her when the raid ends. This time, I won't forget."

I vowed to myself and clenched my fists. Then, I opened the door to where the Wraith Queen was waiting.

"Kiyaaaaa!"

"Tempest!"

The moment I entered the room, I used Tempest. Having raised my magic with Soul Tempering Elixirs and Peruta Circuit, I now had over 2,200 MP. If my MP was low, I could simply drink a Mana Potion. Although Mana Potions were extremely expensive at the Floor Shop, I had over 100 lowest-grade Mana Potions, which restored 100 MP each. Not considering the one minute cooldown time for potions, I had over 10,000 spare mana.

"Gulp, gulp. Again! Tempest!"

"Kiyaaaaa!"

Every time I thrust forward with my spear, dozens of wraiths screamed and died. The flustered Wraith Queen quickly began to summon more wraiths. It was exactly what I hoped would happen.

"Let's go! ... Ha!"

I immediately rushed toward the Wraith Queen. Wraiths that had survived my attack flew toward me, but I sent them flying back with a simple swing of my spear. Although the Wraith Queen summoned 20 wraiths at a time, it required her to chant for a long time. It was more than enough time for me to arrive in front of her and deal a blow. One that concentrated my body's entire mana and strength!

Having practiced this move against the Wraith Queen for two months, I could now perform it pretty easily. Because other people kept saying hero this hero that, I came to call it 'Heroic Strike.' In truth, it was quite embarrassing.

"Haaaaat! Eat this!"

"Kiyaaaaaaa!"

A dazzling white light gathered on my spear tip. The moment it pierced the Wraith Queen's stomach, it exploded beautifully. The Wraith Queen's throne shattered as she was sent flying back, hitting the wall. I knew all too well what she would do next. So I made my move first.

"DIEEEE!"

I collected all nearby energy and exploded it outward. The resonating sound seemed to shake the entire room. The Wraith Queen was no exception as she trembled with her half-transparent body.

[You used Orc Lord's Warcry! All party members are cleansed of negative status effects. All party members' attack power increases by 50 percent for the duration. All party members become super-armored, unfazed by enemy attacks.]

"KIYAAAAA!'

[Wraith Queen used Vengeful Spirit's Wail. Your super-armor state ignores its effect.]

Just like I predicted! Looking at the Wraith Queen staring at me blankly, I smirked. Taking out and drinking a lowest-grade Mana Potion, I announced to her, "I don't even need to use my trump card. I'll end this within 5 minutes!"

What followed was an easy battle. Like I thought, the Wraith Queen was much easier than the Orc Lord. Her strength lied in Vengeful Spirit's Wail, a status effect magic, and her ability to shoot out hundreds of ectoplasm arrows at once. My Orc Lord's Warcry directly countered her Vengeful Spirit's Wail and her ectoplasm arrow attack had a fatal weakness of stopping when she took a critical hit.

Before my Spiritual Shield wore off, I could deal a critical hit. Then I just had to use my restored mana to use Heroic Strike again.

Although it took over 3 years to completely conquer the Orc Lord, it only took a little over 4 months to conquer the Wraith Queen. How long would it take to conquer the next Floor Master, Dark Ratman? I snickered and checked the message windows popping up in front of me.

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