Chapter 83

  “So what exactly is that treasure?” Kim Jin-Woo asked. Whether he was angry or not, the priority was to find a solution to this mess. And to find a solution, he had to know what exactly Ortehaga stole.

  But Ortehaga kept quiet as his eyes darted from side to side, dodging the question that Kim Jin-Woo desperately needed the answer to.

  “Ortehaga!” Kim Jin-Woo’s patience finally ran thin as he raised his hand and slapped the back of Ortehaga’s head. The Drakan let out a gasp as he collapsed onto the floor.

  Kim Jin-Woo continued, “Because of you, we now have the guys who call themselves the Undefeated Mercenaries or whatever waiting outside my labyrinth and causing a ruckus. Give me a good reason to let you off the hook.”

  At the threat, Ortehaga belatedly realized the weight of his actions and stuttered as he explained himself. “The…… The thing I took was Krasto’s old Labyrinth Core. I kept it in a down gem the size of my fist, but I seem to have lost it somehow as I traveled around the 9th Floor…”

  <Oh no! The Labyrinth Core he stole is no ordinary core… it’s Krasto’s birthplace!> Dominique, finally understanding the gravity of the situation, shrieked.

  Kim Jin-Woo lost his cool and slapped Ortehaga on the back of the head once more. “There’s no way that group of mercenaries are outside causing a ruckus just because of this drakan, right?”

  <We can’t know for sure, but it is a possibility,> Dominique responded coldly, and Kim Jin-Woo found himself kicking Ortehaga in frustration as the drakan curled up on the floor shuddering.


  The Undefeated Mercenary, Krasto, was a giant many times larger than the naga gatekeeper. A muscular being with reddish-tinted skin, he had two heads on his broad shoulders, resembling an old man on the left and a young man on the right.

  “I am Krasto, leader of these mercenaries. I have heard of your fame, Undefeated Commander. It is good to see you,” the old man’s head said. The young man’s head had its eyes shut, as if it were sleeping. The first head continued, “I have no intention of encroaching on your territory. I have business to attend to, so please forgive my rudeness.”

  Despite all of Kim Jin-Woo’s concerns, Krasto was unexpectedly neither hostile nor rude. The mercenary was so polite and gentlemanly that Kim Jin-Woo felt a slight sense of shame at his own overreaction for having prepared his nagas for a possible battle.

  Krasto continued, “Before anything else, I have a question. I am looking for a drakan. A rather young drakan that is quite possibly immature and has yet to reach adulthood.”

  If it was a drakan he was looking for, then it was, without a doubt, Ortehaga. Among the infamous drakans, none could be more infamous than Ortehaga himself. Kim Jin-Woo almost considered feigning ignorance and playing dumb, but something within him told him that it wasn’t the best idea.

  “His name is Ortehaga. Perhaps he may be in here?” Karst asked.

  At Krasto’s question, Kim Jin-Woo truthfully replied, “If it’s that trickster Ortehaga you are looking for, then he is indeed within my estate.”

  “Ah, so the rumors were true. People say that awful person has contributed to the Undefeated Baron’s glorious victories. It is only a question, but do you intend to hand him over to us?”

  At that straightforward response, Kim Jin-Woo glanced behind him before looking back at Krasto and replying, “I’ll just ask one thing. If I do hand over that good-for-nothing brat, what will you do with him?”

  Krasto’s eyes shone, almost as if he were taking joy in this little conversation. Kim Jin-Woo took this time to quickly analyze the mercenary army.

  There were around forty mercenaries the size of Krasto, and every single one of them looked like they were Hero-Grade.

  He could handle an enemy force of that size, but he had information that this wasn’t the entirety of the mercenary’s army. There were, in fact, another hundred mercenaries at a distance waiting for orders, and that would be a real headache for him.

  “Well. What do you think?” Krasto’s tone quickly changed sharply and his voice grew deeper. The nagas hissed fiercely and their eyes widened in retaliation.

  “.……Well, what can I do? Going to war over one mischievous brat is out of the question, isn’t it?” Krasto finally added after a long pause, and the animosity in the air quickly dissipated. It was an unexpected response, catching Kim Jin-Woo off guard.

  The defeated-looking Krasto continued with drooping shoulders, “Did your Lordship really think I would risk a war for that one bastard, or did you think I was here to put our respective undefeated titles to the test?”

  A joyful look spread across the old man’s face as he continued, “If I really thought that way, you would be talking to the sleeping head and not me.”

  It was a peculiar sight to see Krasto talking about himself as if he were talking about another person. Upon closer look, the young man was snoring, seemingly having completely fallen into a deep sleep.

  Kim Jin-Woo just stood in silence as he continued to stare at the bizarre sight in front of him.

  “I have a rough idea of what you’re thinking. But we’re mercenaries, and we don’t fight without a price,” Krasto added.

  Kim Jin-Woo felt lucky that this mercenary commander was as thorough as they come. He was rather relieved, but he still warily asked Krasto one last question. “So, you’re here just to tell me that?”

  “There’s no way, is there? Didn’t I just tell you?” Krasto gave him a quick smirk. “Mercenaries don’t fight without a price.”


  Krasto headed back with his army, stating that he would be killing time somewhere on the 9th Floor until he heard from Kim Jin-Woo again. He had certainly left a deep impression on Kim Jin-Woo.

  “What a tough bastard.” Kim Jin-Woo, still harboring mixed feelings about the encounter, muttered to himself.

  Dominique suddenly interrupted, asking, <Who do you think it is?>

  Krasto had said he was here to cooperate with the nagas, but he had never revealed who was supporting him from behind.

  “Someone who knew I would venture deeper into the Labyrinth. Someone who’s powerful enough to support the army of the Undefeated Mercenaries. It can’t be Anatolius, though. If it were indeed that Iron-Blooded Count, he would have let it show by now.” Kim Jin-Woo ran the thought through his head many times, but he couldn’t come up with an answer. “I’m not sure if I should be pleased or worried about this.”

  Krasto had stated he wasn’t interested in going to war over such trivial matters. And as his company was known for fighting on the deep floors, even having the luxury of choosing their targets, Kim Jin-Woo knew they would be a handful to deal with.

  <But they’re definitely useful in their own right. Of course, it may take a long time before we get to the point of being able to make use of them.>

  There was something majestic about having fought with the Underworld Nobles while remaining undefeated. But on the other hand, Kim Jin-Woo knew he couldn’t simply extend an offer to welcome them into his army, simply due to the fact that he had no idea who was backing Krasto.

  “Oh, I’m still alive!” The one being that seemed happy was the source of all the problems, including the threat of war—the troublesome drakan, Ortehaga. “They say the Underworld is a small place, but for us to meet here of all places…… What the hell?”

  Kim Jin-Woo kicked the drakan in annoyance.

  “Argh! Why, why? Didn’t things all work out in the end!?” Ortehaga, who had assumed he was in the clear, looked at Kim Jin-Woo with a surprised and panicked look.

  “I have to know what you were doing before you returned. What other problems have you caused?” Kim Jin-Woo lifted Ortehaga up, only to swipe his feet and trip him, causing him to fall to the floor once more. “Of course, you have to be punished before that.”

  Ortehaga couldn’t even beat Kim Jin-Woo before the latter had truly become a labyrinth master.

  And with the accelerated upgrade cycle of Kim Jin-Woo’s labyrinth, as well as all the buffs he had received, there was no way for Ortehaga to even attempt to defeat his lord now.

  “B-before I came here, o-on the 10th Fl-floor! Argh!” Ortehaga quickly tried to explain himself, but Kim Jin-Woo’s fists were faster.

  “What did you do on the 10th Floor!?” Kim Jin-Woo continued to kick and step on Ortehaga as the drakan’s cries echoed across the Naga’s Fortress.


  Kim Jin-Woo was about to go back to the surface after taking care of matters in the Underworld when he suddenly remembered an existence he had forgotten and turned around.


  <Yes, Master.>

  Angela, who had been observing Yoon-Hee around the clock ever since the Party Hall was upgraded to Level 5, happily responded to her master’s long overdue call. She quickly hugged her master and buried herself in his arms with a wide, bright smile as he finally appeared in front of her.

  Kim Jin-Woo gently pushed Angela away from him after she began cuddling him like a kitten, and got to the purpose of his visit. “How’s Yoon-Hee?” he asked.

  “Hnn……” Angela had warmly greeted her master with her fullest sincerity, yet her master seemed unmoved. Seeing her master not even bat an eyelid despite her unbelievable beauty and figure, she couldn’t help but feel let down and neglected.

  Still, she did her job and reported back to her master. “It’s exactly as Master said. Yoon-Hee has definitely recovered.”

  “Why do you say that?”

  “She continues to stare blankly into the distance, but she seems to be able to think for herself nowadays. She’s able to act before anyone tells her to, and she’s even able to express her emotions from time to time.”

  Angela’s words weren’t even a surprise. Kim Jin-Woo knew that on the day the Party Hall’s upgrade finished, he had seen Yoon-Hee deep in thought.

  “But I can’t figure out why she isn’t talking. Do you think she may change for the worse?” Kim Jin-Woo asked.

  “I can’t say for sure. If she had been born in the Underworld, I would be able to read her mind. But as she’s a human, I have no way of doing so.”

  Kim Jin-Woo nodded, but his expression stiffened. He asked, “Does that mean you can read my thoughts?”

  “I can’t. But if your emotions start to take shape, I’m able to roughly tell how you’re feeling. For example, right now you feel uncomfortable about me knowing how you feel.”

  Kim Jin-Woo’s face fell. Even without her telling him, he knew he wasn’t feeling entirely happy about how things had turned out.

  “Please don’t misunderstand. If Master is uncomfortable, so am I. If Master is happy, so am I. And I may only know how you feel a certain way, but I’ll never know the reason why. That’s why I laugh and cry along with you. If you still feel uncomfortable despite my explanations, then I’ll definitely feel upset.”

  Kim Jin-Woo looked up to see Angela looking all upset and finally eased up. After all, he had gained so much from Angela, so he could live with that slight bit of discomfort. Comforting Angela and helping her to settle down, he asked her to continue with her explanations.

  “When the Undefeated Mercenaries visited the Fortress, Yoon-Hee definitely seemed to have something on her mind, as if she was contemplating something.”

  As Kim Jin-Woo had been preoccupied dealing with Krasto, he couldn’t afford to pay attention to Yoon-Hee as well. Thus, he couldn’t imagine what Yoon-Hee might have been thinking back then. He asked, “Contemplating?”

  “Yes. She felt a mix of various emotions. Conflicted, worried, regretful, and self-recriminating… She was an indescribable vortex of emotions.”

  “You say you can’t read other people’s minds, but you seem quite good at it.”

  Angela seemed slightly sad upon hearing those words. “Vampires have no other way of knowing the joy of others. We can't even tell the difference between a smiling face and a crying face. Without seeing through Master’s perspective, I’m only able to see half of this world.”

  Kim Jin-Woo felt pity upon realizing that could be the reason why vampires were known for being clingy to their masters. But he kept that thought to himself. He knew that Angela craved her master’s love, but not to the extent of receiving it out of pity.

  “And because of that, I’m sensitive to the negative emotions of others,” Angela continued.

  “Is that so?” Kim Jin-Woo looked at Angela as he tried to sort his thoughts out, before finally continuing, “So, where is Yoon-Hee now?”

  “She’s in her own residence as usual. Despite the changes thus far, her lifestyle has yet to significantly change.”

  As Kim Jin-Woo nodded, Angela suddenly froze. “Master?” She looked at the empty space in front of her, her eyes filled with a look of concern.

  [Yoon-Hee, master of “Party Hall—Land of Festivities”, is attempting to open a portal connecting the Party Hall.]

  [Will you allow the portal to connect?]

  Kim Jin-Woo jolted up at the appearance of the message and shouted, “Take me to where Yoon-Hee is!”

  Angela seemed to have realized that something odd was happening. Without a word, she quickly transformed into a black mass of smoke and flew toward the labyrinth, with Kim Jin-Woo closely following behind.

  [Yoon-Hee is attempting to open a portal connecting the Party Hall once more. Without the Baron’s approval, the portal will not open.]

  [Will you allow the portal to connect?]