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Jayce opened the door and carried a tray inside.
"I brought some refreshments," Jayce said.
"Please help yourself." The branch manager pointed at the glasses on top of the tray; they were filled with fruit juice and ice.
"I'll take my leave." Jayce left.
"Let's continue our discussion. A reward that'll attract a lot of people…" The branch manager shook his cup, and then continued, "Normally, a large sum of money would do, but lately, adventurers have been preferring quests that offer something special."
"Something special?" Cyndia tilted her head.
"Mm, what's the best way to put it. Unique materials, equipment, skills, or spells. Or perhaps another quest, which offers a unique reward upon completion."
"So something that's difficult to find and has significant value," Muhawk said from beside Cyndia.
"Do we have something like that?" Cyndia glanced at Muhawk and asked.
Then, Muhawk pulled something out of his bag. It was a beautiful, glimmering gemstone that was about as large as a fist.
"This is a precious metal called mithril. I coincidentally came upon it when I was young."
"Mithril!" The branch manager looked shocked.
Mithril was the greatest metal in the world. It was the best conduit for divine power, so most legendary holy swords were made of mithril.
"So you know how valuable this is. Though it's only a small piece, it's still quite special. I would like to use this as the reward," Muhawk said, seeing the branch manager's reaction.
"It's worth more than enough." The branch manager nodded his head.
"Are you sure you're willing to part with something so valuable?" Cyndia stared at him.
She too knew how valuable mithril was. No, there was no way she wouldn't know. After all, those who served the gods, whether it be a paladin, priest, etc., sought equipment made of mithril!
"It's alright. The Supreme One's mission is far more important than some rock," Muhawk said. His face was firm and unwavering. There were no signs of regret whatsoever.
"As the goddess wills."
"As the goddess wills."
Cyndia and Muhawk chanted.
"Mm, then we'll use this as the quest reward," the branch manager said.
"Yes!" Muhawk nodded his head.
"If a meeting with you is part of the quest reward, then more people will accept the quest. After all, there are countless people looking to form a connection with the Church of Death."
"Then please add that to the quest," Cyndia said.
After that, a quest was added to every branch of the Adventurer Guild.
She is a beautiful woman with large, white wings, red hair, and jade eyes. Vines are wrapped around her arms and legs. She is a member of an unknown ancient tribe.
If you find her, report her location to the Adventurer Guild immediately!
Warning: You only need to find her; killing her is not necessary. She is an extremely powerful being, so please do not fight her!
Minimum Requirements: Apprentice Adventurers cannot accept this quest.
Reward: Mithril (small quantity), a meeting with the Church of Death.
"Look at the reward!"
"Mithril? That mithril?"
"That's not what's important here. The Church of Death has commissioned this quest!"
"A meeting with the Church of Death! Is this a link quest? One that'll allow us to get to Despia?"
"Dunno. Anyhow, all you have to do is find Krishan, so I'm taking the quest. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to get some mithril for free!"
"I'll accept it too!"
It went as Cyndia had hoped. Several players had accepted the quest.
With this, they'd widened their search network.
* * *
There was one building in the Saul Graveyard that was incomparably larger than the graves. The marble, quadrilateral structure likely housed someone's coffin inside.
There were gargoyles statues at either end of the rooftop, and there was a tightly shut metal door in the front. Pushing or pulling did absolutely nothing. It was clearly locked.
However, there were differently colored skull buttons on the wall right of the door, much like a numerical keyboard. It was clear that pushing them in the right order would open the door!
'Hmm.' Kang Oh stared at the nine buttons and thought things over. He was thinking about what order he needed to push them in.
The problem was the gold skull in the middle of the 3 by 3 'numerical keyboard', or the '5'.
'Why is this the only one that's a different color?'
His Hyper Intuition only reacted to the gold skull button. It was telling him that it was suspicious, and that there was something more to it.
'Why?' In other words, why was his Hyper Intuition only reacting to this one?
Of course, there was a chance that pressing only the gold button would open the door. However, that would be way too simple.
'Picking the only one that's clearly different from the rest would be way too easy.'
If he were the one who'd created this tomb, then he wouldn't have made it that easy. If they'd have done that, they'd have been better off not making this lock in the first place.
Moreover, his Hyper Intuition wouldn't tell him what the right answer was. It would only tell him when something was suspicious, or held some sort of secret. It was up to him to do something with that knowledge.
If his Hyper Intuition could outright tell him what the right answer was among these nine buttons, then he'd be buying a lottery ticket right now.
"Hmm." He didn't press the gold button; instead, he examined the other buttons and their differences. However, he couldn't find any discernible differences.
Rather than press the gold button, he tried pulling it. Then, Kang Oh's eyes gleamed.
'This is…?' He also tried pulling the other buttons too. 'As expected!'
When he softly pulled on them, they felt different. The gold button was the only one that felt like he was pulling something!
'This is it!' Kang Oh forcefully pulled the gold skull button. Then, the button popped right out.
The door opened. He'd chosen right. However, there was no coffin within the marble building. Instead, there was a set of stairs that went underground.
[You are the first to discover the hidden dungeon, Nest Where Death Dwells.]
[Fame has increased.]
[Hunting in the Nest Where Death Dwells yields twice the experience. Item drop rate is also doubled.]
"Yes!" Kang Oh clenched his fist. 'I found a hidden dungeon!'
Then, something unexpected happened. Even though he hadn't done anything, the gold button seemed to 'coil up' and push inwards! It was as if he'd pressed the button.
The gargoyles statues on the rooftop simultaneously opened their mouths and shrieked.
Kang Oh quickly covered his ears, but he had a bigger problem to deal with.
Guooh! Rattle! Rat-a-tat-tat!
Their shrieks had attracted all of the undead nearby.
'Damn it all!' Kang Oh looked around, saw all of the undead closing in, and quickly entered the hidden dungeon.
As he went downstairs, the metal door shut, and his vision was obscured by darkness.
[Entering the dungeon, Nest Where Death Dwells.]
Kang Oh pulled out a transparent orb from his inventory. He shook it a few times, and it began radiating dim light.
It was a one-time use magic lamp. It was sold by the Tower, and was an essential item when light was necessary in a dungeon.
With it, Kang Oh could see the inside of the dungeon. It was a simple passageway. There were no monsters that he could see.
Kang Oh walked straight forward.
A short while later, the passageway ended, and he found himself someplace else. However, the magic lamp's light was too weak, so he was unable to properly make out objects.
He forcefully shook the magic lamp. Then, the magic lamp became even brighter. But in exchange, it would lose its light that much quicker.
Kang Oh raised his hand into the air. The magic lamp's light began to illuminate his surroundings.
"Heop!" Kang Oh gasped, sporting a reluctant expression. It was unlike him.
In front of him lay a giant being, one as large as a small hill. It was definitely composed of bone, but it still cut an imposing figure…
It was a dragon!
* * *
Dragons were long lived creatures with great intellect. They were the greatest life form, boasting immense magical and physical abilities. In other words, they were last boss worthy.
Fortunately, what he'd encountered was a Bone Dragon; an undead dragon, which was made up entirely of bone!
Of course, that didn't mean it wasn't dangerous. Since it was once a live dragon, a Bone Dragon was an immensely powerful creature.
Kang Oh swallowed. A system message popped up.
[You are the first to discover the Bone Dragon that Avoided Death, Akite.]
[Fame has increased.]
Akite didn't budge. That was good news for him.
Kang Oh didn't want to fight it. Attacking a raid boss all by yourself was stupid.
In case Akite reacted to light, Kang Oh immediately shut off his magic lamp. Then, he was thankfully shrouded by darkness once more!
He held his breath and slowly backed off so that his feet didn't make a sound. But all of a sudden, two deep blue flames lit up within the darkness. Rattle. Kang Oh could hear bones clattering too.
He was sure of it. The Bone Dragon had awoken. Kang Oh immediately turned around and ran towards the exit.
"Light." A voice that wasn't his own rang out.
All of sudden, the room had become bright.
The Bone Dragon, Akite, raised its head. Its eye sockets blazed with blue fire.
Kang Oh didn't turn around to face it.
"Rise." Akite's jaw rattled, and its voice rang out, even without an amplifying machine. Then, white bones rose from the ground and blocked the exit.
Kang Oh didn't hesitate; he immediately pulled Ubist off his back and swung it at the barrier.
The Lightning Breath came straight for the bone barrier and broke it to pieces. For a split second, the exit was open.
"Stop him." Akite's jaw rattled once more. The bone barrier had been remade, blocking the exit.
Ultimately, Kang Oh had to turn back around. So long as Akite was stopping him, there was no way he'd be able to escape.
He decided to use his last resort. He pulled out a return scroll from his inventory.
Return spells wouldn't work in some dungeons. Some unique monsters prevented return spells from functioning too.
'I hope this works!'
He immediately ripped the scroll. However, it didn't work as he wished.
[Akite has prevented you from returning.]
Kang Oh looked like he was about to cry, but quickly got a hold of himself. He tightly grabbed Ubist with both hands and widened his eyes.
"Alright, let's see how this goes!"
Kang Oh decided to fight the Bone Dragon with everything he had.
Something unexpected happened. Akite moved its jaw, and a calm voice rang out.
"Why do we have to fight?"
What is he talking about?
Kang Oh stared at Akite. It looked like it was smiling.
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