Chapter 1) Beginner’s Protection Period
The message window that filled the air disappeared as I looked around.
‘Really…back at the beginning.’
I was in a huge cave.
The blue light flaring that represented a ‘Dungeon Core’ was the only presence.
The right arm that I had lost ages ago now remained in front of me. It couldn’t be. Yet there was only one meaning in this situation.
I really came back to the past! It was unbelievable. Going back in time.
I repeated it in my brain and a window rose in front of me.
|Occupation||Demon Earl (Dungeon Master)||Title||None|
‘Ha! My abilities have gone back to the past.’
If my abilities were rolled back then it is natural to think that I also returned to the past. I gripped my fists tightly and my eyes lit up.
‘I have hope again. I was given a second chance.’
I had only one infinite desire when I was dying. My abilities were all at the initial stages but I didn’t regret it. Just being given the chance was sufficient.
Besides, I remembered all the methods to become stronger.
‘I won’t lose again.’
I turned and looked at the Dungeon Core. A stone the size of an adult body and emitting blue light onto the rocks was the core of the dungeon.
It was a treasure that had to be defended. I had lost it too quickly before. Now, I won’t lose it no matter what happened. I had no intention of losing anything that was given to me.
Soon an even more intense blue light emerged from the core and formed a small image.
Little by little, it took shape until it was finally completed. As I expected, the completed shape was like a translucent fairy.
The palm sized fairy spun around. It had a cute and adorable appearance but the emerald hair and lantern eyes made it a beauty that couldn’t be created with machines.
After a while, the fairy nodded and landed in front of me! She bowed to my belly button.
“Hello, Dungeon Master. I am the Dungeon Master’s companion fairy, Yihi! Yihi!”
Yihi laughed brightly, revealing her teeth.
‘Yihi’ was her laugh. The name of a fairy that would be kept for their entire life was normally in this style. The owner of a clear mindset.
I spoke sincerely.
“It has been a while. It is good to see you.”
Meeting Yihi again…it had been exactly 25 years.
The fairy desperately did everything in order to help me. In the end, her effort was accepted without receiving anything in return.
At the time, I had been obstinate and wanted to solve everything alone. Now I was different.
I swear on the Dungeon Core; I will never lose Yihi again.
“Thank you for welcoming Yihi, Dungeon Master.”
Yihi waved a small wing. Although she was called a fairy, she was actually more like an insubstantial power relay. This was why Yihi named herself.
“But what do you mean by it has been a long time? Has Dungeon Master seen Yihi somewhere before?”
Yihi placed a finger to her lips while confused. Then her pink lips opened and she blinked her eyes.
“You just appeared. Is there any reason other than that?”
No matter how nice, I couldn’t tell her anything. Fortunately I hadn’t become that soft.
Yihi clapped her hands! Clap.
“Ah, that’s right. Giving explanations to Dungeon Master is Yihi’s mission. What are you wondering about? Yihi will tell you everything I know. Or do you want me to recite everything from the beginning?”
I didn’t mind listening to Yihi’s long explanation. But I firmly shook my head. I already knew the contents and I needed to handle something quickly.
“The description is okay.”
Yihi said as she blinked her wide eyes.
“Isn’t this a completely different world? Doesn’t it have a different operating system? I can give a short and easy to understand explanation. Yihi will explain it.”
She pouted as her wings flapped weakly. I understood her anxious attitude.
A fairy was basically a chatterbox. Yihi was no different 25 years ago. If I accepted then she would be talking for several hours until her saliva dried up.
“I’m sorry but there is no need.”
Her wings drooped. Then she sneaked a peek at me. She was trying to convince me to listen to her explanation with her attitude but it didn’t work.
“I will use the store.”
“Pant! You know about the store? Have you prepared before coming here? No, no way!”
She was starting to make a big fuss. This was the response that I had roughly expected from Yihi.
“Yes, I can read minds.”
“Wah, how amazing. Master! Mind reading!”
‘So that’s why an answer isn’t necessary~.’ Yihi answered herself.
Yihi. She was the representative of simple ignorance.
“I will now open the store.”
Yihi coughed a few times after settling down and then spat into her hand. Soon letters rose in the air.
|[Welcome to the Store of All Things.]|
A countless number of things were arranged under the message window.
Points (pt) were necessary when purchasing.
I currently had 200,000 pt. I heard that the Dukes and Grand Dukes started with a lot more points.
There were things from common potions to very strong magic armour. Some were so expensive they needed millions of pt.
But I wasn’t looking for an expensive item. My eyes scrolled through the store’s list quickly. Then a list called ‘Skill Books’ caught my eyes.
If skill books were purchased and used then skills could be learnt. It depended on the grade but there were very interesting skills. More pt were needed to learn high level skills.
How I regretted it during the time I lost the dungeon! Now I had gone back 25 years and could use the store again.
There were thousands of skill books. The quantity was also limited. Very good skills often only had one skill book and an expensive price. Perhaps if I bought it then it would disappear from the list of other demons.
Among them were skill books that I wanted.
‘All of these.’
I moved my finger faster. Skill Combination (Rare), Far View (Normal), Magnification (Normal), Eyes Closed Tightly (Normal), Outstaring (Normal), and Calm (Exceptional Normal).
Yihi bit her fingers and made a ‘obeobeo’ sound as I chose six skills.
“M-Master? Shouldn’t you carefully use your points? It is hard to earn points. Yihi doesn’t recommend this. All of them really aren’t very great skills….”
Yihi tried to dissuade me but I had already clicked the buy button.
“Oh my god….!”
150,000 points combusted.
Flop! Yihi collapsed. She seemed to have received a big shock.
She should be.
A Dungeon Core would become stronger with their Dungeon Master and could help them receive the devil’s seat. If the dungeon was kept until the finale then they would be elevated a rank.
Yet 150,000 flew away as soon as she started….it was natural to panic.
There was something rolling around in an empty space. Like a whirlpool. It was the six skill books that I purchased.
The learning method was very simple. Hold the desired skill book and say ‘Learn.’
|[Skill Combination (R) has been learnt. You can combine skills below the Rare rating.]
[Far View (N) has been learnt. Increasing the proficiency means you can see further.]
This was the skill learning process. I learnt the remaining skill books. But this was not the end.
|[Please select the skills to combine.]|
“Far View, Magnification, Eyes Closed Tightly, Outstaring and Calm!”
|[Far View, Magnification, Eyes Closed Tightly, Outstaring and Calm has been selected.
Are you sure you want to continue?]
I nodded my head. This much preparation should be enough.
The highest grade of skill that could be combined was Exceptional Normal. Skills of the Rare grade or higher couldn’t be combined.
Yihi was drooling as she stared at me with tearful eyes. Her eyes were asking what I was doing.
Skill Combination looked good at first glance. I could obtain skills not sold in the store but the odds were very low. A majority of the points would just fly away. In some cases, strange skills were created that made the person weaker.
|[Congratulations! Unique skill, ‘Mind’s Eye has been made by combining 3 skills that pierced the heart! Unique rated skills can only be learnt once.]
[Congratulations on being the first person to combine a unique skill. 30,000pt will be paid.]
My lips smiled.
Mind’s Eye. It was a skill I wanted.
I used 150,000 points to aim for this. The compensation was also okay. 30,000 pt wasn’t a small reward for something that didn’t give a title.
“T-that is ridiculous!”
Yihi’s voice was filled with astonishment. It seemed so unbelievable that her mouth dropped open.
It was understandable. In some cases, the price of a unique skill book was more than 1 million points. Yihi was also surprised that this unique skill cost 150,000 pt.
Once he opened the status window, the unique skill was added.
Skill Combination (R)- Can combine skills of the rare rating and below.
Mind’s Eye- Can see the status window of the opponent. Hidden Status, Potential has been opened.
There were only two. But I was reassured.
I used the status window to confirm the Hidden Status. There were some changes to the area below his stats.
|Occupation||Demon Earl (Dungeon Master)||Title||None|
Skill: Skill Combination (R), Mind’s Eye (U)
Potential had been added. Skills had also been opened.
I nodded with satisfaction. Potential represented the possibilities involved in my growth.
I currently had 287 and the limit was 500. Once I raised all 5 stats to 100, the potential would be raised to the threshold of 500.
Titles or good armour with stats was required to break through the limit. The Grand Dukes were the only ones who knew the method to break through the limit. Of course, the process wasn’t necessary for me right now.
‘This is good to start off with.’
Mind’s Eye was a deceptive skill.
Being able to see the opponent’s status window was great but it means nothing if that person doesn’t have talent.
A person who had the skill in his previous life was ‘Duke Dipella with 30 mouths.’
She liked to experiment with Skill Combination. Many of the points earned were used for Skill Combination. In the process, Dipella coincidentally obtained Mind’s Eye.
It wasn’t a secret because Duke Dipella had a large mouth. Unfortunately, only one person could learn the unique skill. If someone else used the same combination then Mind’s Eye wouldn’t appear.
Duke Dipella used Mind’s Eye to make a very powerful army. She was a strong leader. The level of Duke Dipella rose above the crowd. She received many benefits as a result.
Duke Dipella exchanged things with other demons and garnered quite a number of points. Those points were used to buy skill combinations. As a result, her dungeon became famous for being impregnable among humans.
Even Grand Dukes who entered Duke Dipella’s dungeon would be injured. The level was enough to reach rank 2.
‘It is worth pouring points into learning Mind’s Eye.’
Duke Dipella had recklessly used points and stats into abusing Skill Combination so she couldn’t compare to the Grand Dukes. Still, Mind’s Eye was a useful skill.
“M-Master. What magic is this?”
“It is just magic.”
One of the most important skills had been secured. However, it hadn’t ended yet.
I searched through the list of stores. I now had 80,000 points remaining. They needed to be used for maximum efficiency.
‘I need to raise my stats during the duration of the Beginner’s Protection Period.’
The Beginner’s Protection Period was 8 months.
It wasn’t pleasant but he needed to be in the dungeon during that time.
During the Beginner’s Protection Period, the Dungeon Master could only attack random creatures that appeared on the first floor. The number was small but they were tough opponents.
It was also true for other demons.
In other words, the Beginner’s Protection Period applied to both humans and demons. For 8 months, the demons couldn’t directly attack humans.
A human warrior that appeared would need time to adapt to a dungeon. The demons could use this time in the dungeon to relax or plan. That was the Beginner’s Protection Period.
I used 20,000 pt to buy an alarm spell.
This skill was different as it used the magic of the Dungeon Core. If someone sneaked into the top floor of the dungeon then the Dungeon Core would sound an alarm. It was an insurance if case someone accidentally invaded his dungeon while training.
Of course, the possibility was close to zero but it was in case something bad happened.
|[Training Room Ticket – 20,000 pt on first use.
The points will be consumed when used a second time.]
I bought access to a training room without hesitation. I only had the opportunity to stay in this room for 8 months.
After the Beginner’s Protection Period ended, I would be too busy with new dungeons. Of course, that was on purpose.
‘I need to obtain all the benefits possible within a dungeon.’
Unlike my previous life.
The answer shall be at the end of the road.
* * *
The training room.
I felt it the moment I entered. An abundance of mana! Just that fact alone made my body feel good.
I looked around slowly. It was called a ‘room’ but this place was more like a maze. The narrow paths bent and divided into multiple paths like the roots of a tree.
My goal was to see the end of this maze.
‘In fact, this is the purpose. The training bonus.’
It could raise my stats very quickly. A weakened body would adapt and accept the original power properly. This was the concept of ‘recovery.’ In that sense, a mana rich room was the perfect place for me to regain my abilities.
But rather than raising my stats, clearing the training room would give more desirable benefits. The room could raise my stats but clearing it would give one reward.
It was a title. In fact, this wasn’t clear. I only heard about it from a story. Still, the odds of getting something was huge. I hoped to acquire a title but points would also be good.
‘A title is really tricky to obtain.’
A title was one of the ways to penetrate through blocked stats. It was possible to obtain multiple and duplicate titles but in my past life, I only obtained 2. I survived until the end and still only got 2. So it was difficult to obtain.
However, my Potential had a wall blocking it. Then a title was a good existence for moments like that.
Especially for me. In the past, I couldn’t raise my 5 stats to the threshold. I only achieved 93 points in Stamina. The value was relatively low compared to the others so I went through many troubles.
‘I only used the training room a few times.’
I lost dungeons faster than anyone. Naturally I couldn’t take advantage of a long training.
A roaring fire burned inside me. I swore to commit to this life.
Anyway, a title could help me with the wall. Its importance was enough to mention it a few times.
There were restrictions to wearing titles but they could be duplicated. If someone didn’t realize the significance of a title then they wouldn’t become stronger.
“It has been a while since I’ve seen this.”
The concentration of mana blocked me from all sides.
A maze was a maze. It was packed so tightly that it was impossible to fly. And I confirmed the items held in the leather pouch hanging from my waist.
If I wanted, I could return to this room at any time but I vowed not to leave until it was cleared. Therefore, I used 10,000 pt to purchase a magic bag. I could put items in it up to 150 times the size of the bag.
It could be everything including food and water. Even a demon would starve after 8 months. I prepared more practical oriented food instead of taste. It was enough if it could stop my hunger.
I shut the leather pouch after checking the items.
‘Let’s run lightly first.’
The training room gave a challenge at each junction. I needed to complete the task at one of several branches in the path.
I ran until the first branching point. After 3 hours, an enormous room emerged. Dozens of primary weapons were placed in the middle of the room. There seemed to be one of each type.
|[Please choose your weapon.]|
The message window popped up in the air. I chose an iron sword with no regrets. And the other weapons disappeared like a mirage. The mana in the area became agitated. There was a suspicious mana surge.
Soon a number of cracks appeared in the space. The number seemed to reach 300.
|[Get rid of the wolf type Crazyhound! 300/300]|
A demon could deal with these creatures with one finger. Crazyhound. But my stats were now restricted so the number of creatures was dangerous.
I used Mind’s Eye to check their status window.
Uniqueness: Temporarily summoned to a room. Has an intense hostility towards Randalph Brigsiel.
Skill: Berserk (Normal)
Mind’s Eye can’t read the description of the skill. But looking at the name of the skill and the name Crazyhound, I could roughly imagine the effect.
‘A mad dog running about.’
They were lacking abilities. The Crazyhounds rushed towards me from all sides.
I didn’t become impatient and blocked from all directions. Then I strongly kicked the first Crazyhound into another one. There was a hole in one direction and my sword headed in another direction.
The time between attacking and defending was 0.1 seconds and I didn’t make any errors.
In a very short time.
There was a large number of opponents but it was simple to knock them out.
The dead Crazyhounds dissolved and scattered everywhere.
They reverted back to mana. It was natural as they were summoned here in the first place with mana.
The number of Crazyhounds decreased rapidly. After getting rid of 100, the gap widened further and my sword indiscriminately moved between them.
I appeared to be swinging at random but the result was different. A Crazyhound died with every stretch of my wrist.
It took me approximately 10 minutes to eliminate all 300.
|[Victory. You have exterminated all the creatures!]|
The status window that was floating closed and the stone walls moved. The total number was five. I could take one of five paths.
‘I guess I should decide the rules when moving.’
I chose the one on the very right. I would continue moving to the right when arriving at a blocked crossroad.
Once my rule was established, I immediately moved forward holding the iron sword.
* * *
“So. You know. Yihi has been thinking….”
As I walked forward.
Yihi sat on my left shoulder while babbling. An insubstantial fairy. The Dungeon Core hadn’t been with me for a long time.
I didn’t ask any questions and created a unique combination skill. I caused a small amazement.
There was a small thought!
“Ah, my ears. You are insulting Yihi.”
Yihi grabbed her ears. Later, Yihi came up to my ears and started jabbering.
“Anyway. A unique skill is really hard to get. Totally expensive. I couldn’t get it in my entire lifetime. Yet Master just suk! Sak! Bbeong! And it was created. So Yihi!”
Yihi clenched her fists tightly like she was pledging something.
“I give up on that idea. Yihi~”
And she just laughed foolishly. Yihi shrugged her shoulders.
“It is a waste of time to worry about it. Is it wise to report something like this?”
Yihi knew the meaning of words but there was a giant, invisible wall standing between her being wise.
I blankly came up with an answer. Yihi took it as a compliment and flapped her wings.
She seemed to be in a good mood. Yihi looked at my face for a moment and gave a silly laugh! And she rubbed her lips against my cheek.
She had the body of a young fairy but she was still a Dungeon Core. Therefore I didn’t feel anything.
I gently raised my hand to my shoulder as I walked. It was like driving a pesky mosquito away. Yihi who was bumped by the back of my hand flew away screaming. I was inwardly glad to see Yihi’s behaviour but I had to train her from the beginning.
“Hing. So unfair.”
After a while, Yihi grabbed my collar and complained.
I raised my running speed. I had broken through 5 junctions. There was still a long way to go but I needed to give my body a little rest.
‘Just one more round until I take a break.’
Time was limited. I don’t know if 8 months is good enough.
However, it wasn’t good to abuse my body. Doing that could possibly destroy it. There was no need to be unreasonable.
I walked a little more and arrived at a junction. A message window instantly surfaced when I entered a huge room.
|[Sit in meditation at the specified place. <Time remaining: 72:00]
[If you don’t focus then the time will be reset.]
I looked at the rectangular shape in the centre of the room.
The message indicated that I couldn’t move my feet for 3 days. Anyway, I was glad that I could rest for 3 days. I don’t know why I was asked to meditate but it required mental concentration.
I lightly sat on the ground. And I regretted it.
* * *
That was the time I spent in the meditation room. I spent 23 days on just meditation.
I grinded my teeth together.
The slightest movement would release my spirit and reset time. The system that could recognize my mental state was like a scary ghost.
I didn’t know I had so many idle thoughts. Concentration was completely different. Not even concentration could empty my mind. The phrase in the message window was a trap.
Therefore, I took 23 days. If my luck was bad then I might have spent 8 months meditating.
‘I heard about the training room 10 years later so I didn’t hear about everything.’
That…any Dungeon Master could enter the training room. But the news only reached my ears after 10 years. By then, it was much more complicated.
‘I can’t lower my guard. I need to be a little more nervous.’
I thought it would be easy. It was necessary to be more tense. Beat my neck a few times. Prepare my mind so I could cope with anything that would emerge.
* * *
|[Wield the sword 100,000 times.]|
|[Do a headstand and move 50 laps around the room.]|
|[Catch 10 of the ‘Madness Rabbit.’]|
|[Endure the ‘cursed’ state.]|
Perhaps I don’t have any luck?
I had that thought after receiving the mission at the 80th junction. Once I reached over 90 and was approaching 100, I thought that this was karma.
I laughed bitterly as I continued to explore the maze. There was still time left.
If I hadn’t set a goal then I would’ve abandoned it. I didn’t give up after passing through room 149 but was forced to swallow my saliva the moment I entered room 150. The room only had one path.
|[Boss, fight against the guardian Arkal!]|
My eyes flashed.
Arkal was an armoured creature 2 metres large. I rushed with all my strength towards Arkal. My stats had become incomparably stronger after travelling through 149 rooms.
Finally, my sword managed to make Arkal collapse.
Suddenly I was standing in front of the Dungeon Core. At the same time, a few message windows emerged.
|[The training room’s last boss Arkal has been defeated!]
[The first training room has been cleared. The title ‘Indomitable Warrior’ has been given.]
[All branching points in the first training room has been surpassed. 300,000pt will be paid.]
I finally cleared it after it almost reached 8 months. I closed my mouth firmly as message windows surfaced in the air.
It was natural to check my status window afterwards.
|Occupation||Demon Earl (Dungeon Master)||Title||Indomitable Warrior (Exceptional Unique, all stats +2)|
|Strength||76 (+2)||Intelligence||48 (+2)|
|Agility||72 (+2)||Stamina||80 (+2)|
|Potential: (238 +10/500)
Skill: Skill Combination (R), Mind’s Eye (U)
|[Before and After Comparison]
Strength 64 Intelligence 42 Agility 59 Stamina 72 Magic 50 Potential (287+0/500)
Strength 78 Intelligence 50 Agility 74 Stamina 82 Magic 64 Potential (338+10/500)
Remarkable growth. The important thing was the title.
Indomitable Warrior. An exceptionally unique title!
Title, skills and items also had ratings like normal, rare, unique, epic and legend. Among them, those with ‘Exceptional’ after the rating was slightly superior.
It didn’t reach the Epic rating but it was superior to Unique. An Exceptional Unique rating.
I had almost never heard of someone obtaining the Epic rating. Until the very end. However, Indomitable Warrior could be comparable to Epic.
A title that increased all my stats. That it particular made it better. It was rare to find things that could enhance stats.
I have a total of 348 stats. This was enough to make me confident about being at the forefront of the 72 demons.
‘Is this the pleasure after all the suffering?’
A proverb I often heard from humans. It was like they said. The 300,000 pt was worth the 8 months of work.
My objective was achieved.
The Beginner’s Protection Period was almost over. The points were also sufficient.
I lightly nodded.
‘It is time to strengthen the dungeon.’