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Chapter 527

“Here it is!”

“There really is a dungeon, huh?”

Of course, I had already confirmed its existence before following the man. We were now about half a day’s travel outside of town. I had decided to leave Faeyna back in town, which caused her to grow a bit depressed. To give her something to do, I had her go out to buy cheap goods with the 2000 gold that would sell for a lot in the capital. I’d send her to the capital tonight and then bring her back tomorrow. Hopefully, she could make the difference in money for us.  Double her profits shouldn’t be too difficult. This was, for all intents and purposes, the backup plan.

“Of course, there is a dungeon!’ The shady man snapped. “What do you take me for?”

I didn’t want to comment on that. Half the reason I went was that I figured he was leading me to some bandits. It was a bit crass, but no one minded if you robbed bandits. Plus, I could sell them off and earn even more profit. With luck, I could bring in a good thousand gold or so. It was the quickest way I could earn money that I could think of. The dungeon actually didn’t hold any interest for me.

Unfortunately, he had been honest at least this far. He had taken me to the dungeon on the outside of town, sitting over a cliff overlooking the ocean. It was actually a place you could see from a distance. That was because it was a tower, jutting into the sky. It was about forty levels high if I had to guess. On top of that, there was a light glowing on top. It was still probably a half an hour walk away from us.

“The Calypso Tower Dungeon.” He gestured widely. “It sprang up thirty years ago, and to date, no one has conquered it.”

“Is there a reason why?”

“The dungeon has very meager rewards.” He explained, putting his hand next to his mouth as if he was delivering secret information. “The treasures are notoriously hard to find, so few professional Dungeon Divers are willing to dive in it.”

“Then, why am I willing to?” I responded with a snort.

“Ah! I said the treasures are hard to find, not nonexistent! Think about it, a dungeon that has existed for 30 years, having very few visitors killing and culling monsters. Its wealth must be vast! Once a strong adventurer conquers it, all that wealth will appear in the treasure room. You’d become instantly rich beyond your wildest dreams. 1000, no… 10,000 gold! Plus magic items, and even more!”

“It’s still a problem. I can’t make it to the boss room in any reasonable amount of time.”

“Usually, yes!” The man nodded, “But you have an advantage no one else has! Me! You see, I have been to the 39th floor. I’ve registered with the safe room there. For a small cut of the profits, I will take you to the end of the dungeon in an instant!”

Suddenly, his words started to sound just a bit tempting.

I scratched my chin and glanced over at him. “Go on…”

Chapter 528

With Hero, I could Position Shift with anyone in my party. Thus, this guy’s suggestion was possible. However, he probably didn’t know about Position Shift, let alone that I was a Hero. I also very much doubted he was a Hero. So, I was curious about how he planned to rectify the situation. Fortunately, I didn’t need to ask before he gave his answer immediately.

“I have an item. Technically it is two items. If you activate it, it’ll allow two people to swap places. Here, look at it.” He immediately showed me the item.

I changed my job to Dungeon Diver and did an Item Identify on it just to be sure. It did as he described. It looked like a pendant that had been broken in two, each side being able to connect to the other to create the whole.

“So, we simply need to get to the 1st safe room. I will go to the 39th and will use this to flip. I will bring each of you to the 39th floor. Once we’re all gathered, you can march into the boss room and defeat the final boss.  Then, we’ll share the profits. I only ask for 20%.”

“10…” I immediately said.

“Geh!” His smile didn’t flicker at all. “10% it is.”

So, I just about figured out everything that I needed to know here. I mean, it was clearly a trap. I think he had every intention of taking us into the dungeon. He even planned to use this artifact he had. However, whether he was on the 39th floor or the 5th floor, who knew. What I did know is that whatever floor he took me to would have a group of his buddies waiting for me.

He’d be separating our group one at a time. Once one person was secured, he’d work on the next until our entire group was incapacitated. He’d likely kill me, sell the girls, and take all of our stuff. It didn’t take a lot to figure this all out. I told the girls his plan over Slave Communication.

“Obviously.” Miki scoffed.

“As expected of Master,” Lydia responded.

“R-really? I really thought he was good!” Celeste gave a shocked reply.

“Why are you so certain I can defeat this boss?” I continued to humor him.

“Of course, it’s because you look so powerful! You have so many slaves, and your armor has the look of wealth… ahem… I mean, the look of one who knows how to be in a fight.”

So, in the end, we looked like easy marks who had money. I didn’t even like the armor I was wearing right now. It was something I had kept in Inventory exactly because I thought it might be worth something. It was sadly the best armor I had at the moment. Although it looked flashy and was stiff to move in, it technically had the best advantages.

“What about the lore? Erm… the story behind it?”

He blinked. “Eh? I don’t know. Uh… something about a Lighthouse Keeper, I think. Who cares about those anyway?”

“Ah…” Well, it seemed like I wouldn’t be getting behind the lore of this dungeon.

“So, are you in?”

I was just about to agree and move forward. My plan was pretty simple. I had party switch. So, once he took me to that room, I’d switch with one of the girls. I’d probably go with Terra, who could take the most hits. She could create a dust screen to buy some time. At that point, every girl would have her hand on the tier one kiosk. I’d simply switch, transport, switch, transport. I reckoned it’d take less than thirty seconds until all of the girls were in the room. At that point, their ambush would be destroyed. We’d see if they had any wealth on them. If they took us to the 39th floor, I’d consider going after the boss, but it was questionable. In my weakened state, it seemed like a risk we couldn’t afford to take.

Then, a sudden thought hit me. It was a scary thought.

“Um… there is no one in that dungeon right now?”

His eyes flickered before he gave his best reassuring grin. “None at all! Completely empty. No one goes to this dungeon anymore. I can swear to that!”

I let out a breath. I knew he was lying, but it seemed like other than the trap he set, there was no one else. This was stupid. I couldn’t believe I was even considering it. However, I really wanted to see what would happen. Would it even work? I made sure True Hero and White Mage were equipped. Of all the dumb things I had ever done, this was definitely up there. I used Slave Communication to instruct my girls to get closer. If things went bad, I’d have to use Return.

“What is it?” The shady guy noticed something was up and started reaching behind his back, possibly for a dagger.

I ignored him and pointed at the tower. I immediately began chanting.

“Meteor!”

Chapter 529

“What did you do?” He demanded.

“Ah… wait for it.”

We didn’t need to wait for very long. It was a clear day today, so the descending fireball appeared quickly. The last time I cast it, I had cast it right on my head. This time, I tried to aim it right on top of the tower in the distance. I actually didn’t know if it got that kind of range, but I assumed it would have to. After all, any closer, and it would definitely kill the caster every time.

That’s why I had to make sure I could flee. If I was wrong and it came barreling down on my head, then I wanted to be able to escape with the girls. Since it appeared over the tower, I breathed easier. I wasn’t out of hot water yet though. I had never seen the effect of the meteor, so it could still harm us. I didn’t think so though, as the girls all managed to escape it, and there was no way they had made it this distance in the time they had been running. Plus, if they were concerned it’d harm them or me, then they would have said something.

From a distance, I could see the massive meteor falling from the sky. It actually didn’t move like a real meteor. It wasn’t like a rock falling at terminal velocity. Actually, if it moved that fast, it probably would create extinction-level events. Instead, it descended down slowly, a supermassive rock of burning fire which obliterated everything that it touched.

Most dungeons were subterranean, so a meteor might damage the surface or take down a few levels, but I reckoned that this technique only would work on such a tower. Well, I had no knowledge on if it would work or not. The meteor was only just about to touch the top of the tower now.

The ground suddenly started to shake. As the fire descended onto the tower, the meteor actually stopped for a second. My eyes widened as I realized just how powerful these curses truly were. I could see the faintest warping as if there was a field of protection around the dungeon, pushing away the meteor. For a second, I thought I had just wasted all that mana.

Then… I heard a cracking sound. Sparks started erupting from the top of the tower, but then they moved down the tower like a shockwave. The entire tower looked distorted for a second like it was being bent in the middle. Then, there was the briefest moment of silence. Every eye was on the horrific scene of the meteor against the tower.

A resounding boom and the ground shaking increased to the point we nearly fell to the floor. The top floor of the tower exploded, then the next, then the next. The entire tower was being obliterated one floor at a time. The meteor returned to its normal speed, engulfing the tower as it exploded in slow motion. Once the fireball reached the ground, it quickly dissipated, leaving behind a crater about the same size as the massive ball, which was about half a kilometer in size. The cliff suddenly collapsed into the sea. As for the tower… there wasn’t even a trace left.

“Ah… “ I snapped my finger. “It destroyed the treasure room too, huh?”

Just as I said that a hole suddenly opened in midair and an assortment of wealth suddenly exploded out and landed about a hundred feet in front of us. Through that hole flew something else. I couldn’t see it at first, but it came at us at a rapid pace. It suddenly stopped right in front of us.

“Dear Dungeon Diver, it was you who was responsible for this?” A ghost apparition demanded.

He looked like a normal man, with commoner’s apparel and the physique of a laborer. He was older, but it was difficult to tell how old given his appearance was fading quickly.

Did the boss seriously come out after his dungeon was destroyed? That’s what I thought.

“I did…” I responded defiantly, ordering the girls through communication to prepare for battle.

His expression suddenly turned to one of pure bliss. “Thank you! Thank you so much!”

“Eh?”

“I have craved to see this wretched lighthouse that had trapped me for so many years destroyed! I was once a Hero like you, but a wretched greedy lighthouse keeper was paid coin and poisoned me. He buried me under his lighthouse, trapping me for eternity! I only yearned to see the lighthouse destroyed so that my spirit could finally return to the reincarnation cycle. Thank you, great hero. You have figured out the clues I have left for you, and freed this curse. As an appreciation, I saved what treasure I could from the destruction. What that meager lighthouse keeper has hoarded over the years, I offer you so that you may continue on and save more cursed.”

“You’re screwing with me.”

“Farewell! I shall forever be in your debt.” The ghost disappeared just like that.

“Wait… wait… wait…” I held up my hands, did he mean…

A sudden glowing light appeared in the center of the treasure the ghost had taken with him. It shot out of the pile and into the sky and then started heading our direction. At first, it moved up, but then I realized it was moving in an arc… and that arc ended right where I was standing.

“No… No… No! I’m happy with just destroying the lore! I blew it up! You all saw it! There was nothing left to complete! One, two DP, that’s all I need!”

“He must have rescued the core too…” Miki said flatly.

“Curse him!” I turned and started running, but I only made it three steps when something struck me right in the back.

A familiar pain came flaring back as I screamed about the injustice of this world.

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