Chapter 196: Chapter 195: Let It Simmer Part III
America’s Dark Caster Dungeon…
Now that the Shire Guild had set up FOBs all the way up to the dungeon’s fourth floor, I had gone to hunt there at their request. They wanted me to see how this dungeon compared to other high-grade dungeons when it came to training.
This was an Undead-type dungeon, meaning that normal fighter classes would need the help of Holy buffs from supporters in order to hunt in this dungeon. This was, no doubt, the most efficient way for most fighter classes to hunt, but I wasn’t like most. I didn’t need Holy buffs from supporters. All I needed was my Level 3 Mana Conversion – Fire. It was two levels over its max level so it provided much more utility than a support caster’s strongest buff.
I had to say, I definitely preferred this dungeon over all of the other high-grade dungeons so far. I inflicted so much more damage against these undead monsters thanks to their weakness to fire that this dungeon actually yielded more EXP than the Pharos Dungeon. It was also nice to see the Shire Guild watch in awe as I laid waste to any powerful undead monsters that stood before me.
It had been a week since I started hunting here and I came to the FOB on the third floor to rest a while. When I stepped under the awning, I managed to overhear a conversation between two Shire guild members about Amplification.
“Gah…I shouldn’t be wasting time here. I should be out there looking for that Prince Jayid.”
“I’m going to stop you right there. Do you have any idea how many people are out there right now searching for him?”
“Of course I do. Our own Investigative Division is on the case, as well. I’m sure a lot of people want Amplification for themselves.”
“Good. You’re not a completely lost cause. But a month’s already passed, and no one’s seen hair or hide of the boy, so what makes you think you can get ahead of them by starting now?”
“Do you really think it’s that hard to find a boy?”
“Honestly, I’m not so sure myself. He’s just a ten-year old mortal boy. There’s no way he can be forced to enter a dungeon or anything, so there can’t be many places he can be hidden away.”
“I know, right? We have everyone we know, even the information guilds searching for him and to think we haven’t found him yet… something doesn’t seem right, huh?”
“Do you think whoever kidnapped him already killed the boy and got rid of the evidence?”
“Yeah, right. I’m sure the kidnappers have something they want, so I doubt they’ll kill him yet.”
“But it’s weird that they’re being quiet even now. The Abu Dhabi Guild already announced that they’re willing to fork over Amplification in return for the safe return of their crown prince.”
I gave a small nod to what the two Shire members were saying. They were completely right for the most part, except that there were some cases that mortals could enter dungeons. Given common knowledge, they weren’t wrong. Just like mortals couldn’t enter Stores, they couldn’t enter dungeons. The ten-year old boy who just couldn’t become a deva or deity for the next 8 or 9 years shouldn’t be able to enter a dungeon. So, those searching for him would obviously search in all places but dungeons. No one could have ever thought otherwise.
“But he was found in a dungeon.” It was one hell of a twist. It was a completely unorthodox dungeon. It also wasn’t a hidden dungeon or one of Kazunari’s created dungeons, either.
“It was because of the skill, Declare Dungeon.” It seemed similar to Kazunari’s Dungeon Creation at first glance, but it turned out that it was completely different. Kazunari could create an actual dungeon. But from what I heard in the past, Declare Dungeon actually granted the skill user ownership of an already existing dungeon. Of course, it only lasted for a certain amount of time.
Declare Dungeon also allowed the skill user to alter the laws of the dungeon for that amount of time, such as allowing mortals to enter it. Well, saying that mortals could actually enter wasn’t exactly correct. It was more like they could be moved into the dungeons while still keeping the laws of the dungeons intact. Keep in mind that the space around dungeons was not restricted to anywhere.
The child’s body was found back in his room, as if he hadn’t left in the first place. That meant whoever took him had managed to slip past Abu Dhabi’s defenses again just to leave the corpse behind. The guild master of Abu Dhabi raged for days.
When the boy’s body was returned back to his room, it meant that Declare Dungeon’s timer had expired and what was taken was simply returned, dead.
“Man…that guy really was a scummy piece of shit.” The kidnapper’s plan was perfect. There was just no way it could go wrong. I had to thank him, though, for giving me the key to get in and allowing me the chance to obtain Amplification.
“I’ll make sure it doesn’t go to waste.” I know I wasn’t the nicest guy on Earth. I wouldn’t be sitting here and waiting for things to unfold if I was. But I still enjoyed tripping up the bad guys and making sure they got their just desserts any time.
I got up from my seat. I’d waited long enough. It was time to bring Amplification home.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates…
The second I stepped off the Teleporter platform, I felt a strong air of uneasiness and fear. It made sense, as that was how the guild in control here felt. They were probably getting ready to hold a wake soon. Undeterred by the depressing atmosphere, I put on my hat and sunglasses and slowly walked out, as if I was a tourist. Then again, it was my first time here, so that wasn’t completely wrong.
“But…” I slowly said to myself, “It won’t continue to be like this, will it?” I could feel everyone around me shooting daggers at my back. I wouldn’t be surprised if I turned around and saw like twenty daggers sticking out of my shoulder blades. I felt the stares the moment I stepped out of the Teleporter, as if they were all checking to see who was coming in and out.
I didn’t mind, because that was the situation here, but I could feel at least ten people put me in their sights. I doubted they had any good intentions towards me.
“Alright. Let’s see if you guys can keep up.” I continued for the Royal Palace while feigning ignorance. I had expected that they would react this way. If I choose to not step in, the guild master of Abu Dhabi was going to quietly disappear, just like he did in the past. If I did step in, the culprits’ plan was going to fail spectacularly and they were going to pay dearly for their crimes. I wasn’t here on holiday. I knew what I was here to do.
A gilded room larger than the Abu Dhabi’s guild master’s room…
“…Who did you say it was?”
“It was Lee Jiwon, sir. Our scouts just saw him arrive from Abu Dhabi’s Teleporter.”
“Huh. Why is he here? Is he here because he wants Amplification? No, even if he does, why did he come here? Why not search for Prince Jayid elsewhere?” The owner of the large, gilded room didn’t like his subordinate’s report. He knew what kind of deva Lee Jiwon was and the chaos he managed to bring with him.
Not a single entity had ever survived after making Lee Jiwon their enemy. Even when it looked like Lee Jiwon would lose, he always somehow turned the tables and destroyed his enemies to the point that they could never hope to recover. It was normal to worry about having Lee Jiwon here in Abu Dhabi of all places, and now of all times.
“Well… the Intelligence Divisions of the other six emirates couldn’t figure that out, either. But they do seem sure that he is currently heading for the Palace.”
“…” Khalid al Nayan, younger brother to Baden al Nayan and uncle to Jayid al Nayan, remained silent after he heard his subordinate’s report. There was also a chance that it was all a coincidence. No one on Earth knew about Khalid’s random skill, Declare Dungeon. He hadn’t used it before and had not told a soul about it.
But this was Lee Jiwon. The name alone made Khalid feel as if he had just drank a glass of full of sand. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much Khalid could do to stop Lee Jiwon’s movements. If he really was here to find Jayid, interfering wasn’t going to look good to anyone, especially to Baden.
“Contact the six other emirates and tell them to get ready.”
“Sir? There’s still the next stage…”
“Just…tell them to prepare. In case things go south.”
Once his subordinate left the room, Khalid got up from his chair and looked out his window. After a while, he finally spoke to no one in particular.
“No one knows about it. Only I know. If the dungeon can’t be found with Search skills, then Lee Jiwon can’t find it, either. My random skill is that special. It was the perfect chance.” Soon, Khalid put on a grieving face, as if he was still stressing over the disappearance of his only nephew. Keeping that same mask, he finally left his room.
It truly was the perfect plan. In the past, the plan was so perfect that Khalid was able to take over the Abu Dhabi Guild without as so much as shedding a single drop of blood. But this time, a different Lee Jiwon existed in this world.
United Arab Emirates Palace…
A maintained vigilance surrounded the entire palace. Security around the place was so tight that not even an ant could sneak in. In the middle of the watchful palace walls stood a single building under the palace entrance. It was a temporary reception room set up to greet any outsiders that came knocking.
The entire palace was constantly under strict guard, but the prince was still kidnapped from within. This meant that the security team was the first to be investigated. There was no way the guards couldn’t be investigated.
In fact, many actually pointed fingers at the royal family, since many had turned their sights onto Amplification once it was revealed. It was the royal family’s fault for putting the prince in danger, and it was the royal family that should be investigated. Still, this was the royal family. Anyone could say they were willing to investigate the royal family, but who would actually go through with it?
Fuad of the Intelligence Division manned the reception counter today. Earlier that day, five organizations and eighty-one individuals had come, offering to investigate the prince’s disappearance, but were all turned away.
“Ha…now even the rabble are coming,” Fuad said to his comrade Jayina with a heavy sigh.
“It’s been two months already. Pretty much the entire world has already stopped by.”
“Just where is the prince? There are so many superhumans out there that can move mountains and create new rivers, but how is it that not a single one of them can find one little boy?”
“Calm down. I’m sure he’ll be found soon.”
“Shit!” Fuad couldn’t calm down, even with Jayina trying to reassure him. Just then, the door to the reception building opened and a lone man entered. Fuad looked the man up and down. He had a hat and sunglasses on, but Fuad could tell the man exuded confidence. So many people had come by today that Fuad assumed that this man was the same trash as the rest of them. If Fuad hadn’t been given the order to not turn anyone away, he would have turned them all into recycling sooner.
Fuad glared with unconcealed annoyance at the man and barked out his words. “Affiliation. Name.” Fuad did his bare minimum and was prepared to yell at the man to screw off.
“I’m not affiliated with anyone. My name is Lee Jiwon.”
Fuad wrote down what the man said on his clipboard before opening his mouth to speak once more. “Fu… huh?”
Fuad was still a member of the Abu Dhabi Guild’s Intelligence Division. He knew everyone worth mentioning and that was why he was tasked to man the reception counter, to screen through the guests as efficiently as possible. If anyone in the Intelligence Division didn’t know about Lee Jiwon by now, then they were either a rookie or terribly bad at their job.
“Fu? What’s that?” the man asked as he took off his sunglasses.
“Hic.” Fuad started to hiccup. The man was actually Lee Jiwon! Fuad jumped to his feet, his chair falling over with a clatter. “Fu…funny seeing you here, Mr. Lee! I was just surprised to see you come in through this door!”
“Oh, I guess so.”
“Yes, sir! This building is only for us to sift through the rabble that comes through, thinking they can actually help us. Someone of your stature shouldn’t have to go through the same formalities!”
“Well, thank you, I guess. I still want to conduct my investigation, though. Will that be alright?”
“Of course, sir! I’ll take you in myself. Follow me, please!”
Fuad led Lee Jiwon through the other door and into the palace grounds. It really was Lee Jiwon! Every time Fuad and his comrades heard about Lee Jiwon’s deeds, all they could do was listen in awe. Fuad felt that if anyone could find the prince, it had to be Lee Jiwon. No, he was positive Lee Jiwon would be able to find the young prince.
As Fuad led Lee Jiwon towards the palace building, Fuad quickly contacted his boss, Umaru. Even Umaru was surprised to learn that Lee Jiwon had actually come here!
And so, Lee Jiwon was practically led on a red carpet all the way to Jayid’s room. There, not only were all of the guild’s officers waiting, but so were Baden, the guild master, and Khalid, the vice-master of Abu Dhabi. It was none other than Lee Jiwon who had come knocking, after all!