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Chapter 698

We reached the ruins before the sun had set, and I dismounted from the tiger and looked around with interest. There was a distinct doorway leading in. I wondered if I should bring my mount with me, but then I decided to keep him out here to dissuade any other creatures from entering and catching me off guard. He casually jumped up onto a stone and lay down, apparently content to sleep anywhere.

Before I entered into an unknown ruin, I looked around and found a stick. The tiger had lost a tooth in the fight, so I tied the tooth to end of the stick using some long grass. It wasn’t elegant, but it was a weapon. I checked it numerous times before I was satisfied. You could never be too cautious. Only when I felt I was ready did I enter the ruin by myself.

Immediately, I was greeted with a familiar room. It was a safe room. I relaxed a bit knowing that this room was probably the best room to stay the night in, especially when I was on my own. I pulled out some of the leftover food in my Inventory and had a quiet snack. Then, I walked over to the mural. This one wasn’t broken or decayed, but still clear on the story.

“Do you want to-“ I stopped as I realized I was all alone in the room.

In the past, there had always been someone with me where I could tell them my interpretations of the story. They would hang on my every word as I slowly unfolded the dungeons. I wasn’t always right, but I had gotten close time and time again. My tattoos were a testament to- no, those were gone now as well. I was just Deek. I felt like I should have been terrified to be alone, and while I felt lonely, I wasn’t truly afraid at all.

The mural seemed to depict some kind of battle. One seemed to be a force of good, while the other was a force of evil. Well, the murals depicted an army filled with knights in shiny armor versus an army of skeletons and demons. The mural didn’t reveal anything else other than that a lot of people died and it seemed to last for some time.

Was that what this world was? Were we walking across an echo of the battlefields where this war was fought? That would fall in line with what I knew about dungeons. As I pondered this stuff, my eyes landed on the kiosk in the middle of the room. It stood to reason that I wouldn’t be returning to this kiosk. There was no traditional entrance or exit. The only way to get out of here was to make it to the castle and fight through whatever the boss was.

However, you never knew about the future. It was better safe than sorry. There might be a need to return to this safe room before the end. With a sigh, I stood up and touched the kiosk. As I went to register with it, there was a sudden surge of magical power. My body felt like it was flying, and I had a feeling I was familiar with. It was the feeling of transportation magic! I was being taken somewhere else.

As I cursed my luck, my body disappeared, leaving an empty and abandoned saferoom.

Chapter 699

I was standing in a dark room surrounded by stone. Other than the kiosk, there was nothing else here. I touched the kiosk again, but it didn’t teleport me back. Therefore, I was stuck here.

I took a few steps forward, and that was when I noticed that there was a large set of double doors in front of me made of stone. There were words carved into that stone. I didn’t understand the words at all. They weren’t written in the standard script that our world used. That’s when a thought came to my mind. I equipped Linguist and then stared at the text a bit longer. After a moment, the words began to form into something I could read.

{Linguist has increased to level 9.}

{Decode has been unlocked.}

I hadn’t paid much attention to that job for a long time. The last I remembered; it was five. However, I was reading whenever it was applicable, and that was always being multiplied by my experience boosts, so it must have been increasing passively all this time. Now that I tried to translate something, it went up another level with ease.

I could now read the text in front of me, reminding me once again just how easy some things were in this world, while other things were extremely difficult!

Before you, lay’s one of Greggar’s challenges. If you can complete this challenge, you will be awarded a gift that helps you on your way. If you fail, your bones will rest amongst the Twilight forever.

If you use your eyes, you will be blinded. If you use your magic, you will be blighted. Only a perceptive man can live, only a cautious man can proceed.

I read the entire thing five times. The first part only told you that there was a challenge. The second part was explaining what the challenge was. It spoke of eyes blinding me. That meant that the world beyond would probably be an illusion. It said I couldn’t cheat with magic. It probably meant using some kind of magical means to see through the illusion. In that case…

I pulled out a strip of cloth and wrapped it around my eyes. I took a step forward and the doors in front of me began to open with a long gravely sound. Then, I pulled up my Map and glanced at it. As I thought, the Map had a very specific path, where the rest looked to be a pitfall. I imagined if I looked, I would be looking at either a flat room or a giant pitfall. I didn’t want to check now. It felt easier if I didn’t look at the illusion at all.

Of course, I was still cautious. Pulling out the spear I had fastened, I began to push each step ahead of me before moving forward. Using my place on the Map, I progressed forward one step at a time. The one in front of me crumbled when I pushed it down, but I had been going slow and patient, and so I didn’t lose my balance.

After about an hour of carefully stepping, I finally made my way to the end of the room.

Chapter 700

When I finally reached the end, I took off my blindfold and glanced back over the path I had taken. “I see…”

I shivered at the sight of a massive abyss that seemed to fall forever. There was no bridge at all. Had I not had the Map, it would have been complete guesswork. I supposed I could have made my way simply by using the spear and pressing the area in front of me, but it would have taken nearly ten times as long since I couldn’t see where the next spot was supposed to go. I could see someone easily losing their patience as they tried to work their way through that maze.

I made sure to look around and I didn’t see any more text, so I walked forward. My lips twitched as I saw a treasure chest sitting in the middle of the room and behind it another kiosk. It seemed like it was far too easy. I used Detect Trap, Detect Monster, and every other passive skill that my locked skillset allowed me to pull from to confirm that this was simply a treasure chest. Since these were passive skills, I didn’t need to have to actively cast them, just focus on them. Eventually, I had done everything I could other than open it.

Even then, it took me another fifteen minutes making sure I didn’t miss anything before I finally opened the chest. Inside, I found a sword. I picked it up and inspected it.

{Starsword – Composed of the alloy from a fallen star.}

That sounded interesting. Just to try it out, I hit my steel sword against the starsword. There was a flash of blinding light, and then a clatter as the steel blade fell to the ground. In a single hit, the starsword had cut the steel sword in half. This was a strong sword! I eagerly put it in my empty sheath. I no longer needed the spear that was nearly falling apart anyway.

I did manage to sneak away some fairy dust despite the fact I couldn’t access my Inventory, but God Eye was a borrowed ability, and I didn’t have my girls to use it. Besides, there might be other needs for fairy dust in the future, and knowing every ability of this sword I didn’t feel was all that important.

I touched the kiosk. At this point, more text appeared in front of me.

{You have completed 1 of 50 challenges. Complete every challenge to face the ultimate trial.}

Well, I had no such desire to defeat every challenge, but if each challenge did have an award equal to the starsword, I was interested in finishing a few more. Once I appeared back in the ruin, I tried to use my Map to select areas that looked like fellow ruins. It looked like for the time being, I’d be hitting up every ruin I could on the way to the castle.

I didn’t think I could defeat the boss on my own. In that case, I needed to gain as much strength as I could on my way to the castle. Lord Aberis had made a mistake. What he didn’t realize was that all the strength I had gained had happened in dungeons over about five months. Now, he had just locked me in a dungeon and given me three more months free to get stronger. He had no clue what he started.

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