Level Up - Chapter 4: Mutated Thunder Dragonfly - 1
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Choi Chang Soo’s ominous premonition was very accurate. What they had consumed was not an antidote but a temporary solution, and compared to the medicine that took their mana away, this was far more poisonous.
“You call this a rookie? He’s not human! This bastard is a devil!” Chang Soo screamed inwardly while forcing a smile on the surface.
On the other hand, Hyun Seok returned their gaze with a child-like smile.
“Well, you can think of this as a lesson. You reap what you sow.”
Chang Soo grinded his teeth.
It’s a fact that if it wasn’t for Hyun Seok, they wouldn’t have made it out of the dungeon alive.
And if he wanted to, he could have just left them there to die. After all, it’s almost impossible to reveal the cause of one’s death if they died in the dungeon, and there’s no way to backtrack the murderer too.
There’s no need to hide the corpse either because it would eventually be eaten by a magical beast. And there will always be plenty of these “cleaners” roaming in the dungeon.
Furthermore, when a dungeon is cleared, it will disappear along with the bodies left inside of it.
However, Choi Chang Soo wasn’t grateful at all.
He wasn’t even happy.
“So, we’re going to be enslaved, huh?”
“As I’ve said, you only reap what you sow. I’m just doing the exact same thing that you did to me.”
Chang Soo wanted to ask what that was, but he couldn’t bring himself to speak as he was greatly intimidated by Hyun Seok’s gaze.
“I’m certain that this guy is a rookie… He doesn’t have that much mana either… So why am I in this state?”
Players could instinctively gauge the amount of mana of another person.
However, it’s not easy to do if there was a vast gap in the amount of mana, or if the opponent was intentionally trying to conceal it.
But even if that was the case, there should still be a noticeable feeling of disharmony, so one could still be able to assess the power of others.
Choi Chang Soo shook his head. The more he thought about it, the more confused he gets.
Hyun Seok’s mana pool was obviously low. He was a rookie among the rookies and it seems that he had only been a player for less than a month.
But whenever Chang Soo met his eyes, he gets intimidated. He felt like he was facing a veteran player that played at the edges of life and death like it was nothing.
“Anyway, since you took the anti-magic pill, you’ll have to retake it every month, or else, your mana will be gone for good. Understood?”
Choi Chang Soo’s face withered. He had never heard of the anti-magic pill.
Although it’s his first time seeing one, he didn’t know that it was a pill that shouldn’t exist yet.
Anyway, after the dungeons had begun to appear, common sense was no longer “common”, so he didn’t think too much about it.
“What is it that you want?”
“Nothing much, really. I was only planning to hunt some Thunder Dragonflies with your help.”
Chang Soo’s face wrinkled up once again. He no longer wanted to hunt a Thunder Dragonfly and just the thought of hunting it again annoyed him so.
“Wait, hold on. How are you planning to hunt it? Don’t we need bait?” Chang Soo said with anxious eyes.
As he recalled what Hyun Seok had previously said, and seeing him smile, Chang Soo’s heart sank once again.
He could already imagine how the hunt would go.
“Ughh… For shit’s sake.”
Chang Soo and his group could only drop their heads in despair.
* * *
At his call, the group scattered and thunderbolts landed at their previous positions.
Chang Soo’s face turned pale. If he was a second slower, he would have been hit by that lightning.
He probably wouldn’t die from it, but he would have been eaten alive instead.
“What the hell are you waiting for?!”
As a response to Chang Soo’s loud cry, Hyun Seok ran beneath the Thunder Dragonfly.
He ran in as soon as the lightning stopped, so the dragonfly couldn’t respond.
The sound of the dragonfly’s splitting neck and spurting body fluids, along with its loud screeches, echoed throughout the dungeon.
Chang Soo was relieved as he saw Hyun Seok running up the back of the dragonfly.
They’ve been doing this for a while now, but every time Chang Soo saw Hyun Seok’s movement, it astounded him.
“He probably had some special abilities or he received professional training.”
Otherwise, Hyun Seok’s nimble and elaborate movements and his perfect timing are just unexplainable.
Then, Hyun Seok’s sword pierced the forehead of the Thunder Dragonfly, marking the end of their seventh hunt.
Oddly, all seven were mutated dragonflies.
“That’s weird. Were mutated species this common?”
This dungeon was surely strange… but it was clearly a Bronze 1 dungeon.
Typically, at this level, a mutated Thunder Dragonfly was a boss, but now, they were scattered everywhere like mobs.
Thanks to this, Choi Chang Soo and his party were on the verge of dying as they’ve been struck by lightning multiple times.
Fortunately, the greasy pill that Hyun Seok had fed the group has dramatically increased their lightning resistance. If it wasn’t for that, they’d be dead by now.
While the group was sitting on the floor trying to catch their breath, Chang Soo struggled to stand up and headed towards Hyun Seok.
The others then slowly stood up and followed.
They gathered around Hyun Seok and were astonished at how skillful he was in extracting a core from the carcass.
“Another one came out? How fortunate is this guy?”
At this point, they should have realized this wasn’t luck. It was apparent that Hyun Seok knew a unique method.
A core from each monster. No one would believe such results if it was told elsewhere. But it was happening in front of their eyes.
It’s only been five hours since they entered the dungeon but Hyun Seok has already earned more than 700 million won… and the hunt was yet to finish.
“I wonder how many dragonflies are left?”
There are usually ten to twenty magical beasts in a dungeon. So it’s safe to say that at most, there were still thirteen dragonflies left.
While Hyun Seok was dismantling the Thunder Dragonfly, Chang Soo approached him and said, “You’re not going to clear up this dungeon, aren’t you?”
“Of course, I’ll clear it. Isn’t that obvious?”
“Well, sure…, but…” Chang Soo was giving Hyun Seok an odd eye.
What Hyun Seok had said was true.
There’s an advantage when a player clears a dungeon.
A player’s mana pool grows when they fight with magical beasts. A more accurate description is that the vessel that stores the mana grows in size. This vessel doesn’t expand gradually but suddenly enlarges as if it was shattered and gets replaced with another one.
When a magical beast dies, it emits a wave of mana that stimulates the vessel that may cause the vessel to grow.
Clearing a dungeon does the same but on a much larger scale. As soon as a dungeon is cleared, a massive wave of mana will erupt and engulf the player, and that’s when the mana vessel has a high chance to grow.
Therefore, clearing a dungeon was a common thing for players to do.
But the current dungeon was a different case.
“Are you going to give up your chance to make large sums of money?”
If the dungeon isn’t cleared, the magical beasts would respawn after a certain time.
Players are called players because this pattern was similar to games.
Anyway, a dungeon that has mutated species as mobs were very rare.
Therefore, it would benefit them to maintain the dungeon, especially because Hyun Seok was skilled at hunting mutated dragonflies.
Hyun Seok didn’t respond to Chang Soo’s question while dismantling the carcass.
The core is the most valuable material that could be extracted from a Thunder Dragonfly. After that was the lightning pouch at the chest, then following was its wings, and lastly, the hexagonal pieces that construct its eyes. Everything else was disposable.
Thunder Dragonflies have less useful materials than other magical beasts. But each and every piece from the dragonfly had immense value. That’s why it was much more profitable to catch a dragonfly than any other low-level monsters. Especially if it’s a mutated dragonfly.
The lighting pouch’s value would increase by a large fold if it came from a mutated dragonfly.
It’s the same for the other materials too.
Hyun Seok carefully dismantled the different parts and stored them in his bag. He also saved the body fluids that enveloped the dragonfly’s eyes.
This green body fluid was as crucial as the core for Hyun Seok.
“You’re really closing the dungeon?”
“After we hunt the rest, we’re going to defeat the boss and close it.”
Chang Soo shook his head at those words.
He had no reason to speak to someone who couldn’t properly evaluate the pros and cons.
“Thinking about it, we still don’t know how we’re going to distribute the money…”
The moment Chang Soo had thought about it, his expression darkened. Right. They probably won’t receive anything now that they’ve been enslaved.
“Should I just report this to the Dungeon Headquarters?”
This was absolutely out of the question. Choi Chang Soo gave up this thought as soon as he had it because he’d probably get into more trouble if that were to happen.
“What a dilemma…”
Chang Soo let out a deep sigh as he turned his gaze to the Thunder Dragonfly that was rushing towards them.
“Ahhh..back to work…”
* * *
The scene of a closing dungeon was always amazing.
The dungeon shattered like glass, and the pieces poured down like rain.
Before hitting the ground, the pieces turned into powder, forming a gust of wind, creating a tornado.
The powder got even finer as it turned into mana. The waves of mana were now spreading to where the group was located.
Chang Soo closed his eyes and felt the freshness of the new mana permeating his body.
It was at times like this when Chang Soo thought that choosing to be a player is the right choice.
It gave him a sense of power and satisfaction as if he could achieve anything he wanted.
Then, a refreshing feeling had washed over his body. He felt like he’s being reborn.
When the mana shower had ended, Chang Soo opened his eyes and searched for Hyun Seok.
But the moment he saw him, Chang Soo made a grotesque expression on his face.
“What the hell?”
Hyun Seok was making a strange face. No, to be more precise, it was a funny face.
“What kind of weird expression is that?”
It was like looking at a person who’s never seen a closing dungeon before.
But there was something more in Hyun Seok’s expression.
Sentiments, surprise… anyway, it was complicated.
“What are you going to do now? Are you going to sell the cores and the by-products?” Choi Chang Soo asked with enthusiasm.
Closing the dungeon seemed to have increased his mana pool. This feeling was sometimes very clear, but mostly dim as it is now. Therefore, it was best to check it properly at the Dungeon Headquarters.
“Let’s go to the next dungeon.”
But those merciless words distorted the hopeful faces of Choi Chang Soo and his party.
Seems like today’s hunt won’t end that easily.
Translator and Editor Notes:
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