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Chapter 722

“Are you saying that there is a second me out there?”

“No! No…” Carmine shook her head. “The Archbishop had an extremely resilient soul and a much stronger constitution than Master…”


“What I’m saying is that when you cut away a piece of soul, you cut away a piece of yourself.”

“A… piece of myself.”

“It would be the parts of you that you wanted to lose. Some would be things that you see as weaknesses, the parts of you that you dislike. The other would be parts of you that were closely connected with your party, although, I think they’d be the same.”

“The parts I want the least are my party?”

“No! I mean, why does one form a party? What are you looking for in those you work with? They are, inherently, there to pick up the slack for your weaknesses. It’s like the things that you find weakest about yourself that are the same things that you rely on your slaves the most for.”

“I guess that kind of makes sense.”

“If I’m right, then that explains why you’re… different. Do you feel different at all?”

I thought about it for a moment. “I guess, I haven’t been afraid since I’ve come here. I’m also struggling a bit more to make decisions.”

“It’s likely that you cut away your fear and your impulsiveness.” Carmine agreed. “I’d also say you’ve cut away some of your compassion, and your restraint.”

“What do you mean by that?” I grabbed her arms.

She let out a laugh. “It’s kinda funny, you’re less impulsive but less restrained. It may take you longer to make conscious decisions, but when you do something, you do it with a heavy hand.”

I let go of her arm, feeling a bit worried over what she had just said. However, even thinking of doing something about it caused a bit of fear and discomfort to emerge inside my heart.

“I lost my blessings and my slave connections.”

“Those are the easiest to explain. You would have needed to sever your slave connections to send them back. They were sent back home with the piece of your soul that still had the connection in it. That might be why they didn’t try to rescue you. They may… think you’re dead!”

I spun around. “Really?”

“All they would have is a piece of your broken soul. If they tried to call the rest of your soul and resurrect you, they would fail. That broken piece will degrade with time. It’s not being eaten away by miasma, but considering how much is left, it might be gone in a month or less.”

I took a calming breath. With time dilation of this dungeon, it will only be three days by the time we’re out. I might still be able to recover it if we’re fast.”

“I’m sure the girls wouldn’t just let it dissipate either.”

That’s right, I had no reason to worry at all. Miki was a nine-tailed fox. She could keep my soul protected indefinitely. The only thing that bothered me was just how much pain my girls might be in knowing I’m gone. See? I still had compassion! Well, it wasn’t to the point where my heart hurt or anything. It felt more like it’d just be unfortunate. Knowing what I knew now, I’d start second-guessing everything if I kept thinking about it. It was best if I just moved on.

“Master, speaking of which, how do you plan on escaping from this room?”

I put aside my concerns about the missing part of my soul. Right now, we were still trapped in the dungeon. That was what we needed to work on at the moment.

“First things, first, am I still able to switch positions with a party member?” I used my ability, and let out a breath when I saw my position in the room change.

“Ah… M-master! Don’t do that so quickly without asking!”

“Sorry… but at least I know how we can escape.”

Chapter 723

“So, the kiosk works like any other kiosk. Once we register with it, I can transfer and switch, just like we always did.”

“I see… but the last one had some kind of challenge attached to it?”

“It’s from some guy named Greggar. I’m not sure if he has a relation to the dungeon, or if he was some kind of hero who entered this dungeon before us. Perhaps, he was a Dungeon Builder. Are you familiar with the name?”

Carmine shook her head. “I’m sorry, that’s not a name I’m familiar with.”

“Then, I suppose we should get going. Prince Bernard might be able to figure out we’re here, especially if he has Sense Life. Let’s not give him time to consider that.”

She nodded. “Together?”

I grabbed her hand, and then the pair of us touched the kiosk together. There was a chance that nothing would happen, and I was kind of hoping that was the case. However, I felt the familiar transportation magic, and a moment later, I was back in that empty room with the door and the kiosk. I looked around when I felt my hand was empty. Spinning around, I had a bad feeling. Carmine wasn’t with me.

I had the Linguist job, so I could read the text. I hadn’t even considered what would happen if it took us to different challenge rooms. What would she do if she couldn’t see anything? I felt worried, but once again, it was only a superficial concern. Carmine had to make it through, and even if she failed, hopefully, the worst problem was that she was thrown back out into the real world.

I walked up to the door, and once against read the text.

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.

Geh… I forgot about that last part. I had to have faith in Carmine though. She’d manage to make it through somehow. That’s when a thought hit me. I pulled a pen and paper out of my Inventory and I wrote a note. Then, leaving it at my feet, I tried another Party Switch. The only reason I knew it worked was that the note I had just written disappeared. Thankfully, Carmine hadn’t tried to go through the door just yet.

I quickly read her door and wrote down what it said in the common tongue, then I teleported back. I picked up the sheet of paper. There was a tear on it like she tried to use her dagger to write something. In the end, I could see the mark of a kiss on it. She didn’t have a pen, so that was her way of letting me know she saw it. Breathing easier, I went to look at my challenge one more time. I frowned, realizing the text wasn’t the same as it was before.

Cheaters never prosper. Since you wished to help another on their trial, then you can handle both trials at once!


Chapter 724

The new text was the only thing that was on the door now. Apparently, these challenges were a bit more interactive than I thought if they could detect something like cheating. The worst part though was that it said I had to complete both challenges, but it didn’t tell me what those challenges were. I tried to remember what I had seen. I had written down Carmine’s challenge, so it was in my mind a bit fresher.

In the darkness, you will walk. Light will not save you. Only a vigilant man can live. Proceed cautiously.

That sounded a lot like my first challenge! I wondered if these challenges had nothing to do with where you started and everything to do with how many you were done with. The 1st one had to do with sight. Although, in my case, I had to blind myself from horrifying illusions, and in her case, she was blinded by darkness.

Okay, so I’d be facing some challenge in the dark. However, what was the second hint? I had only barely glimpsed it before I had had the great idea to help her. I managed to only recall one line.

Keep your eyes open.

What was with these and eyes? I guessed if the first one was some kind of blindness, then the second one meant you had to see something. If my guess was right, then I’d be shown something I didn’t want to see. Maybe, it’d be a friend being killed. Maybe, it’d be some terrifying monster. Either way, if I looked away, I’d die. I’d have to watch the item steadily, or I’d perish.

I took a breath and entered the room. The door shut behind me, plunging me into darkness. Then, I could see something right in front of me. It looked like… it was all just darkness. I started to walk forward, a strange feeling welling up in front of me. I could hear shouts, some of them sounded female and some unpleasant crunching noises, but the entire room was dark. I couldn’t see any of it.

One mission plunged me in darkness, while the other showed me some horrific vision I had to walk through. Did the maker of this challenge not think things out too well? He decided to punish cheaters with a double challenge but the challenges canceled each other out! I still felt a strange uncomfortableness until I reached the end. There was a flash of light, and then I was on the other side, in the treasure room.

I couldn’t believe how simple it had been, but I couldn’t deny it either. Their attempt at doubling up my challenges had made them unbelievably easy. I opened up the treasure box and looked inside. Inside the chest was a vial. I picked it up and examined it. It was called Star Potion.

{Star Potion – a potion created with stardust. Effects unknown.}

“Hey, what is with this mysterious gift? How can I even use such a thing?”

I was still complaining in my heart as I hit the kiosk and returned to the safe room. I found Carmine already there. She looked like she had been through a bit of a fight. However, she appeared to be holding a bright, shining shield. I guessed that it was called the star shield.

“I-I thought a simple glow spell would be fine…” Carmine said tearfully.

“As long as you’re safe.” I used the kiosk to transfer to the ruins, then switched with Carmine and did it again.

Like that, the princess had escaped the keep and the demon prince. Perhaps, it was a little too easy though?

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