Level Up - Chapter 5: Mutated Thunder Dragonfly - 2
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Dungeons don’t just appear anywhere. There’s a specific district where they commonly emerge, and the Dungeon Headquarters is in charge of those areas. Occasionally, some dungeons develop in an isolated place, but there are also areas that have yet to generate any dungeons.
Hyun Seok was hunting in dungeons managed by the headquarters.
While he was currently choosing their next dungeon, Chang Soo was looking at him with a puzzled expression.
This place used to be a farming area in the north of Gyeonggi province. However, a humongous wall was built when dungeons began to spawn and it is now managed by the HQ.
Hyun Seok walked around while observing the vortexes in the air. There were 78 dungeons around this area in total.
However, the daily dungeon clear rate was pretty high. Thus, most of the time, only around 40 of them are open.
Even if they were left alone, the number of dungeons would not surpass 78 as if this area had a fixed capacity.
The vortexes in the air seemed to be sucking in everything around it, but there was actually nothing being drawn in. There wasn’t even any wind around it.
There are two types of dungeons, and their difference was obvious.
Their vortexes are either black or white, in which the black vortexes are tenfold more abundant than the white ones.
And the previous dungeon they had cleared was also a black.
“That one seems good.” Hyun Seok said as he looked at a black vortex.
According to its size and rotation speed, this dungeon’s level was Bronze 1.
The rotation speed was divided into five stages. It was easy to estimate since the difference in speed was distinguishable, no matter how dull a person may be.
Stage 5 was agonizingly slow as if it wasn’t moving at all, while stage 1 looked still as it was extremely fast. It was so fast the swirl pattern looked like a panel.
A Bronze-tier dungeon’s vortex was about half of a grown adult’s height. On the other hand, a Silver-tier had a vortex that was the same height as an adult, while a Gold-tier had double the size of a Silver-tier.
The highest level dungeon in this area was Gold, but in a famous area, there were even Platinum and Diamond-tier dungeons.
In addition to that, there are two more dungeons above the Diamond-tier and has been named as the King-tier, and a tier above that has yet to appear. But everyone was certain that somewhere, there was definitely a higher-tiered dungeon.
Hyun Seok was now standing in front of a Bronze 1 dungeon. Glancing at Chang Soo and his group, he prompted them to go in first.
“How about giving us a break? We’re hammered.”
Hyun Seok didn’t reply but he gave Chang Soo a cold stare instead.
With that, Chang Soo could only grumble as he walked towards the vortex with a resigned look.
After he disappeared into the vortex, the rest of his teammates followed and they entered the dungeon as well.
“It took longer than I thought. It seems like this is the limit for today.” Hyun Seok mumbled as he approached the vortex.
Even so, he had a bright face. He knew that in a few days, Chang Soo and his group would get used to hunting, and their pace would increase.
His goal was to clear more than five dungeons a day.
He could obtain 15 cores in one dungeon, and earn 7.5 billion won. (around 6M USD)
However, he couldn’t sell them all at once, because he had to be aware of others’ eyes at the Dungeon HQ. He also wanted to keep the market price high to make more money by selling the cores.
Looking at the translucent words above the vortex, Hyun Seok smiled.
[The Nest Of Mutant Thunder Dragonflies.]
* * *
“DAMN IT! RUN!” Chang Soo screamed as his group leaped in different directions.
A long, lethal vine swung like a whip all over the place. Chang Soo sighed in relief and thought, “I’d probably split into two if I get hit by that!“
“What the hell is he doing?”
Chang Soo rolled forward and then saw Hyun Seok from afar, pointing his hand in his direction.
There was a deep crack in the ground where the vine swept by. This vine is actually a magical creature called a Devil Vine. It was also the boss of this dungeon.
Previously, the fights were pretty easy for Chang Soo’s group because Hyun Seok was fighting with them.
Hyun Seok was proficient with his sword. He was holding a short sword about 50 centimeters long, but it cut the vine like a thin thread. Because of that, they could hunt the boss relatively easier.
However, Hyun Seok completely backed out of the fight.
Chang Soo was getting furious because Hyun Seok usually helped when they were up against the Thunder Dragonflies, but in front of the boss, he was pretending that he didn’t know them.
“Oh God, I want to punch his face!”
Chang Soo clenched his teeth as he swung his sword at the vines whipping towards him.
This is how it was supposed to be. The Devil Vine, though slender, boasts its steel-like hardness.
“The fuck are you doing?!”
Chang Soo couldn’t stand it any longer and shouted at Hyun Seok.
At that moment, something sharp flew at the Devil Vine.
Then its neck got cleanly cut off the next second, stopping all its movements.
Chang Soo gulped as he saw the vine stop right in front of his face. He slowly looked at the root of the extended vine and saw the Devil Vine’s neck.
Frankly speaking, Chang Soo didn’t even realize that this creature had a neck. He thought Hyun Seok just cut off a cord or something that’s tying the vines together.
“That’s the Devil Vine’s weakness?”
Chang Soo got goosebumps as he turned his head to look towards Hyun Seok who was sitting on top of a hill with a slightly exhausted look. It seems that he poured a lot of mana into that last attack.
Chang Soo was heading towards Hyun Seok, but stopped as he saw him coming his way.
Hyun Seok ignored Chang Soo and walked past him, heading straight to the vine monster.
The Devil Vine was also a creature with a few useful parts, but in the previous dungeon, it didn’t even have a magical core.
“This was the boss of a dungeon so it should have a big core…”
This place seemed like a standard Bronze 1 dungeon on the outside, but it was a nest for mutated Thunder Dragonflies.
After clearing the dungeon, they will receive a much stronger wave of mana, greater than what a typical Bronze 1 dungeon could emit.
Choi Chang Soo approached Hyun Seok to see him dismantle the vine, but Hyun Seok finished even before he could take a glance.
“Wow, you’re one lucky dude.” Chang Soo commented.
Hyun Seok was holding a huge core, larger than any other core they obtained today.
This wasn’t luck.
“I know a method to extract cores.” Hyun Seok replied.
Chang Soo realized that he needed to observe Hyun Seok next time. He wouldn’t mind not receiving money from Hyun Seok as long as he could learn how to extract cores. Learning that method would make him rich anyway.
“I’ve been overworked this much, it should be fine to learn something like that. Right?”
Hyun Seok smirked as he saw Chang Soo’s eager eyes.
There is a method, but it’s not something you can learn by just watching from the side.
Every magical creature had its own way of handling it. It is not an exaggeration to say that the harvest begins the moment the hunt starts as the hunting method was also critical.
The most crucial part when extracting a core from a Devil Vine was to kill it without cutting off any of its other vines.
That’s why Hyun Seok stood back and waited for a sure kill.
Similar to this, every creature had a different hunting method. Hyun Seok wasn’t planning to hunt anything else other than dragonflies and vines.
So the most Chang Soo could learn was the hunting methods for these two creatures.
Of course, it wasn’t an easy skill to learn.
“Let’s head back. That will be enough for today.”
Chang Soo and his group followed Hyun Seok while staggering. They looked as if they were coming back from war, but their eyes were much brighter than before as they were probably thinking the same thing as Chang Soo.
The dungeon’s core will appear right after the boss is defeated. To clear the dungeon, you only had to get rid of the core.
“Well… the core doesn’t have to appear…”
Hyun Seok was very sensitive to mana and could vaguely sense where the core was located. All he had to do was find and destroy it.
Although it was possible, it wasn’t a wise choice. Hyun Seok knew very well what would happen if a dungeon is cleared while magical beasts still remain.
Besides, it’s not difficult to find the core because it has a massive amount of mana within. Even someone not as sensitive as Hyun Seok could sense it when he gets near. The size of the core is usually proportional to the amount of mana the boss has.
There was a large core stuck in the ground. If Hyun Seok destroys it, the dungeon will close. And when a dungeon closes, there was more to obtain than just mana.
Hyun Seok placed his hand on the core.
As it can’t be broken by force, Hyun Seok pushed his mana into the core, turning to crimson red.
While watching Hyun Seok, Chang Soo thought, “Really… Who would dare call him a rookie after seeing all this?”
Chang Soo had seen Hyun Seok destroying a dungeon core before but such a sight amazes him every time.
An ordinary rookie wouldn’t be able to control their mana that naturally. He himself couldn’t control mana that well even though he’s been active for 8 months already.
While Chang Soo was thinking, the core started to shine gold and shattered into pieces, erupting waves of mana.
Hyun Seok and Chang Soo’s group suddenly appeared outside of the dungeon and saw a long sword floating in the air above them.
“An artifact!” Chang Soo shrieked.
When a dungeon is cleared, there is a chance to obtain an artifact.
Seeing this, everyone’s eyes gleamed in greed.
Translator and Editor Notes:
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