Hunting the Wendigo by myself was extremely easy, but I could still get Frozen Crystals even if I added a few more people to my party. As such, I decided to party up to hunt the Wendigo. When the explorers stuck on the 50th floor saw me, they immediately recognized me as Crown Prince.
“Crown Prince is already on the 50th floor.”
“A miracle. 50th floor already…”
“But even Crown Prince should have a hard time breaking through the 50th floor. He’ll be stuck here too.”
“If you’re done talking nonsense, we’re going in.”
Everyone else in the party with me had only one job to do: stay as far away from Wendigo as possible. I originally wasn’t aware of this because Ruyue’s power protected me, but the freezing energy that the Wendigo emitted was no joke. All of the explorers stuck here were veteran warriors who had climbed up to the 50th floor, but they all had trouble. It didn’t even matter if the priests casted protection magic with all their strength.
[Shin, that’s a cold attack!]
Of course, the 50th Floor Master also had a special attack skill. With its hand dyed white, it drew a large curved diagram in the air. Anyone who even lightly grazed it would be frozen for a moment regardless of their magical resistance. I did not experience it during my first raid, so I ended up being caught by surprise in my second raid. Thankfully, Ruyue protected me with a barrier while I was frozen.
Moreover, it only took me five seconds to unfreeze because of my high resistance. Furthermore, the Wendigo could not use the skill consecutively. It tried to kick me with a bewildered look on its face, but all it got in return was a beating from me. In truth, this was the first time I wasn’t looking forward to the Floor Master skill I would get.
However, I had three slots left in the pocket watch to store skills in. Since I had a hunch that the subclass would transform once all the slots were filled, I planned to take whatever I could get. If it took me longer to get to the 60th floor than I expected, I considered putting Crimson Scale Armor’s Crimson Roar into the pocket watch too.
When the Wendigo tried to swipe at me with its eerily white arm, I created a plate of ice in the air with Ruyue’s power and leapt up. As the boss looked up in vain, I grinned and shouted, “Thunder Spear!”
[Choose your reward.]
[1. Wendigo’s Fur Coat
2. High-grade Health Potion
3. Frozen Crystal
4. Frozen Dart]
Eh? Didn’t I come in with 6 people? I turned around while swallowing the Frozen Crystal, but I only saw three explorers hugging each other while shaking.
“C-C-Crown Prince, h-h-h-how are you completely fine?”
“H-H-H-H-He said h-he had an ele-elemental.”
“I-It’s s-so cold! I-I’m going t-to die!”
“…The other two?”
“F-Froze to d-death.”
My Wendigo party raids generally ended like this. In truth, I wanted to quit and just get it over with.
Ludia was completely fine when she was next to me. But when I tried to separate from her, she showed signs of mental instability. It had been wishful thinking on my part when I believed that she had gone back to her normal self.
Whether we were eating, reading books, listening to music, knitting, drinking tea, or whatnot, the moment I tried to go out of her sight, she tried to scream in protest. Of course, I considered it my punishment for killing her sister and accepted it. I was just glad that I could serve as her emotional pillar.
However, it couldn’t go on like this forever. Right now, it was fine as I had a lot of free time since I was only hunting the Wendigo three times a day. But once I finished grinding, I was planning to go to America. I couldn’t bring Ludia along.
When I told her, her reaction was extremely concerning.
“Y-You’re abandoning me?” she asked, panicking.
“No, I’m coming back.”
I replied, exasperated, “Are you the only one here? My parents and Yua are here too.”
“Liar, liar. When I wake up one day, everything will be gone. I’ll be the only one left in this world.”
“Ah, I know what it is. You’re going to leave me and go fight someone again. The D-Demon Lord is chasing after us.”
“No, that’s not it.”
She pleaded, “T-Take me with you. Take me with you, please. I don’t want to be left by myself like a fool again.”
She didn’t look like she’d listen no matter what I said, so I became silent and held Ludia’s hands. Ludia took the opportunity to throw herself into my embrace and refused to let go. When I raised my head, not knowing what to do, my mother opened the door at the perfect time with a plate full of fruits. Then, she smiled kindly and closed the door. Damn it, I didn’t like that she was being this considerate to me!
“Don’t go. If you’re going, take me with you. Please?” Ludia pleaded again.
I shook my head. “It’s dangerous if you come.”
“Shin, take me with you. Let me go too.”
She really didn’t listen! Apparently, she wouldn’t let this go until I agreed to take her. In the end, I sighed and replied, “There are two conditions.”
“First, you have to hide your identity. This is easy since you can buy an item called Otus’ Secret from the Floor Shop.”
“Second, you have to get stronger. I can’t take you if you don’t break through the 40th floor at least.”
Ludia’s eyes trembled slightly.
“I’m only at the entrance of the 36th floor.”
“There are still three weeks left until I finish grinding the 50th floor. I’m sure you can do it.”
She sputtered, “T-Then I’d have to be away from you.”
“Right, since I can’t go back to the 36th floor.”
“I, I can’t. No. I don’t want to.”
“Then I’m going to leave you behind.”
Ludia looked at me like the world had just crumbled down. The next moment, she suddenly looked brighter as she spoke.
“I don’t have anyone to party with me now. Shuna still can’t take a foot out of the Residential Area.”
I had forgotten about Shuna. Ludia had remembered, but she didn’t go back to the dungeon even once since we got back and was clearly only using her as an excuse now. I wondered for a moment who was worse out of the two of us for neglecting Shuna, but I didn’t say anything as I came to the conclusion that we were both bad.
“But Ellos’ party is waiting for you.”
“E-Ellos’ is…?” Ludia retorted as if she’d never imagined it.
So she’s not that close to Ellos… Thinking to myself, I nodded. Ellos had actually messaged me recently.
“Yeah. He’s waiting for your return on the 36th floor.”
She sputtered, “N-No. I can’t anymore. I’ve lost my confidence.”
“But if you can’t clear the 40th floor, I won’t take you with me. I’m not lying,” I said firmly.
“N-No…R-Right, I can’t go back to them alone.”
“Miss Shuna will be there too.”
“Shuna can’t climb the dungeon anymore.”
Shuna didn’t have a house or guild and it was unlikely that other guilds would take her in. At least, that was what Ludia claimed.
Since it came to this, I decided to tell Ludia the truth.
“Ludia, you see…”
Ludia had a blank expression on her face as she looked around my Special Mansion. She saw more than one hundred rooms, a swimming pool and grand bath, a basement training room and personal training room, a grand dining hall and the basement storage room, and finally the Giant Iron Boar ruining the garden’s atmosphere. Speaking of the Giant Iron Boar, it had compacted itself even more, going from around two hundred feet long to sixty feet.
Ludia shouted, “I’m going to live here with you!”
“I’m going to create a guild.”
Ludia made an expression like she just stepped on dung, and asked, “Can’t we just make it our home?”
“No, we can’t. Weren’t you Miss Shuna’s best friend? What about Miss Shuna?”
“I’ll give my house to Shuna. It’s easy to transfer ownership. That way, Shuna can become an independent explorer too!”
“What about you?” I asked pointedly.
“W-Well, I’m…of course…”
Ludia’s face turned red as she looked down and pulled on my sleeve. I lightly pulled my sleeve back and spoke.
“See, no more excuses, right? I’m going to make a guild.”
She muttered, “…I hate you. I hate you so much.”
I shrugged. “Yeah, you can hate me as much as you want. Though, I won’t hate you.”
“You big insensitive idiot! I really want to kill you…!”
Making a guild was easier than I thought. I just had to visit the Residential Area’s administrator and submit the necessary documents. But when I went to see Meladel, his mouth dropped when he saw Ludia linking her arms with me.
“Y-You. Who is that lady?”
“Oh, dear lord. Is this the fate of a Hero…? My poor Master…!” he said forlornly.
I rolled my eyes. “Cut the crap and take my guild creation application.”
Meladel accepted my application, but continued to say incomprehensible things like, ‘Do you like boats?’ or ‘I suggest you wear an abdominal belt.’ Then, a series of notifications popped up in front of my eyes.
[You have created a guild! You have become the guild master of the F rank guild, ‘Revival’!]
[Guild members: Kang Shin (Guild Master, Gold), Palludia Gren Ehuir (Guild Member, Silver). Total: 2]
[You can raise the guild rank by increasing the number of guild members or by making achievements by clearing Event Dungeons or Event Raids. With a higher guild rank, your guild will become more well-known in the dungeon, giving you better rewards in Event Raids and giving you more freedom in the dungeon.]
It wasn’t much as it didn’t increase my strength. As I wasn’t expecting anything, I didn’t feel disappointed either.
“You can request a guild emblem when your guild reaches D rank. People from famous guilds usually wear brooches or capes engraved with their guild emblem to show their status.”
“Like a uniform?” I asked.
“More like an empty show.”
Even while I was talking with Meladel, Ludia stayed still. She must have heard the notification messages too. Then, she murmured silently, “Revival…”
“Um…It’s a word from Earth’s language called English. It means resurrection, recovery, or resurgence. I wanted to use the Korean word for it, but it told me that there’s already a guild by that name.”
“BhuWhal, right? It means ‘toy’ in the Syrnor continent’s language.”
“Why would someone make a guild with that meaning!? Are the guild members the guild master’s toy? Ew.”
Suddenly, I felt a weight on my back. I turned around and saw Ludia, who had her face buried in my back. I couldn’t see her face. Flustered, I asked.
“…I’ll try,” Ludia said in a quiet voice.
“I’ll try…climbing the dungeon. I’ll contact Shuna…and Ellos too. I’ll try.”
I didn’t know why she was suddenly so willing to try. Perhaps, she had felt a sense of security at the fact that she now belonged to a guild with me. Perhaps, she had been strengthening her determination this entire time. Perhaps…
I could think of many possibilities, but I didn’t ask. It was fine the way it was now.
“Yeah. Thanks for taking a step forward, Ludia.”
I had a dream.
The sky was burning and dark smoke was shooting up.
Morning didn’t rise and night didn’t fall.
Fairies that remained in fantasies were chased out to reality. They cursed humans as they held onto their torn wings.
“XXX, I always wonder why I always go through such hardships when I involve myself with you.”
“X, that’s wrong. Those that can say they went through hardships after involving themselves with X are those who survive. It’s usually hard to survive after involving oneself with X.”
Under a bloodstained sunset, a giant and a handsome young man were exchanging jokes. One held an enormous claymore and the other held a longsword. Both of the weapons were of a suitable size for their master’s height.
“You’re all noisy. Go out and kill the monsters. Be careful so blood doesn’t splatter onto me. Also, if you curse X, I’ll kill you.”
“Witch, shut up and prepare your flames. Because of your laid-back attitude, I thought I’d see the afterlife today.”
“Guys[ref]‘Guys’ was in English[/ref.], I just thought up an extremely funny joke. Don’t fight and calm down! The Lizard King is the king of the lizardmen, right? But if you look, there are five Lizard Kings running at us! What do you think this is? The small kingdoms must have joined together!”
There was a red witch, black assassin, cheerful gunner, and several others. Although there weren’t many of them, each individual was an incredibly strong ally.
“Xa, are you ready?”
“XX, your armor is really cool!”
“Haha, it really is. At least it’ll garner full attention. I praise thy courage.”
A person wearing armor that radiating five-colored brilliance stepped forward, pushing them all to the side. My heart dropped a beat even though it was my first time seeing him. I had the same reaction every time.
“I have the strongest body here anyways. Really, there are probably no other guilds where the guild master is treated like a punching bag. Alright…Revival, we’re going.”
“Ah, right. XXX…Can I leave it to you?”
He turned and smiled at me as he stood tall in a world of sunset alone. I held myself back from mixing up business and private affairs, and shouted confidently, ‘Of course!’ There was a prayer in my heart, hoping to be of help to the one I love.
“O Power, O Blessing vested in the Earth! We will fight to protect thee, let us borrow thy power! O Mitarus, bless and sublimate this power!”
1. 부활 (Bhu Whal) = Revival in Korean ☜