<Kaiwan’s Journal #2>
Edited By: Sebas Tian
Yong-Ho didn’t rush.
The importance of playing hard to get didn’t just apply to people in romantic relationships.
“My name is Chun Yong-Ho and I’m the owner of the House of Mammon. You’ll be working here from now on.”
Bugrim didn’t reply immediately to his introduction. Yong-Ho wasn’t skilled at reading another person’s feelings, but even he was able to tell that Bugrim was feeling anxious, so Bugrim sat up.
They hesitated for a moment, but showed respect towards Yong-Ho.
It was a better reaction than when they were staying still like a rock, but Yong-Ho wasn’t satisfied.
Eligor approached Yong-Ho and whispered to him.
“After they stepped out of the spirit preservation box, they haven’t said a word. It could be that they don’t know how to talk.”
The “World-Class Magic” made it possible for them to communicate with each other and Bugrim didn’t have any issues understanding Yong-Ho.
Yong-Ho was going to ask whether he could talk or not, but decided not to.
Bugrim’s bearded face looked pretty calm, but his eyes told a different story.
Different emotions were mixed together. Even in his current condition, Bugrim didn’t ask whether his mana can be recovered. There was a possibility that he couldn’t talk.
Yong-Ho spoke calmly.
“We’re currently building your very own workshop. If you provide good results, you’ll be rewarded for it.”
He purposely let them imagine it.
Instead of telling them exactly what he was going to do, he let Bugrim think about it.
Bugrim gulped. Since they were inside a quiet prison, the sound of them gulping was really loud.
Yong-Ho spoke again.
“We’ll probably move you to a dorm in the workshop tomorrow. Until then, I would like it if you stayed here, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable. I’ll take my leave.”
When Yong-Ho finished talking, Bugrim stood up from his seat and looked at Yong-Ho desperately. Instead of saying something, Yong-Ho nodded his head once and exited the prison.
Bugrim was probably busy thinking about different things.
Yong-Ho couldn’t guarantee that this was the best for them. But it was a lot better than lying down with dead eyes.
Yong-Ho didn’t stop walking after he exited the prison. After closing the hallway door that led to the prison, he stopped and looked back at Eligor and Catalina.
Eligor read Yong-Ho’s mind and asked first.
“Is it a Dwarf that has issues with their mana?”
“Probably. Do you happen to know anything about Dwarves? That Dwarf…about the Dwarves from a different world that Bugrim was a part of.”
“Hm…so their name was Bugrim.”
That was Eligor’s reaction after hearing their name for the first time. It seemed like he didn’t know much about the Dwarves.
But then. Catalina, who had been looking at Yong-Ho and Eligor, slightly raised her hand.
“I…there’s something that I heard from the previous guard. Since there’s an issue with their mana…it probably is about the Dwarf race that I heard about.”
Yong-Ho signaled her to continue on and Catalina cleared her throat. She spoke after gulping.
“In the other world, I heard that’s there’s a race that has an engine that produces and manages the mana. Like the Land Worm that you took down, instead of gathering mana into one area, they have an engine that creates and releases mana. It’s like a heart that produces blood.”
“So, if that engine fails, does that mean they’re unable to use mana?”
“Yes, that’s what I heard. For ordinary demons like us, even if the core of it is damaged, we can still use it even if it’s been weakened. And if we’re given plenty of time, we can recover our mana. But, for the race that I mentioned, if that engine no longer works, then they’re unable to use mana. If I were to make a comparison…it’s like losing hands and feet that used tools.”
“I wonder. Is it like diaphragmatic breathing that appears in martial arts novels?”
When Yong-Ho mumbled to himself, Catalina blinked her eyes in confusion.
Yong-Ho vaguely answered her.
“It’s similar to what you just said. Anyways…if what she said is true, then it makes sense.”
Because the lower abdomen was damaged, they couldn’t use the mana.
‘Did they want to give up even more because they lost their comrade, were sold as a slave and lost their mana?’
He couldn’t forget about the description about how they specialized in creating items that had mana in them.
For Bugrim, losing his mana was probably the same thing as losing their life.
‘All their life, they were forced to walk this road…it’s possible for them to feel that way. Is this the same thing as losing the will to live…?’
It could be a dramatic imagination. Instead of denying it, he recalled Bugrim’s emotional eyes.
‘A life with no meaning.’
In that case, what was Yong-Ho living for?
Is it to grow the dungeon as much as possible?
If not that, then is it to revive the House of Mammon?
Struggling to live.
He didn’t feel that way. He believed that he was pursuing something more than that.
When Yong-Ho remained silent for a while, Eligor signaled Catalina with her eyes and when Catalina saw how Skull was rolling on the ground, she pursed her lips. She carefully called Yong-Ho.
“Oh, right. Um. Uh. Okay. I think there’s a possibility that it may be similar to what Catalina said.”
Yong-Ho erased the thoughts that filled his head. Eligor asked with in a low voice again.
“With your power…”
“Yeah, probably. It might be possible cure them.”
If that wasn’t the case, then there would be a sign that said evolving them was impossible.
On top of that, the advancement had somewhat of a curing effect on the body. It might be possible to cure them through the advancement.
“Dwarves are known to be suspicious and have trouble trusting others. But once they trust someone, they carry that trust with them even after they’ve died.”
Yong-Ho nodded at Catalina’s comment. If Yong-Ho could really treat their mana, then Bugrim will most likely be as loyal as Catalina or Eligor.
‘Now that I think about it.’
Yong-Ho smiled when he looked back at Catalina and Eligor. The two spirits were confused by Yong-Ho’s sudden smile, but he rushed them out of the prison.
After leaving the prison, there wasn’t much to explain.
Eligor was standing in the hallway and spoke while pointing to the throne room that was connected to the Heart of the Dungeon.
“Your bedroom and Catalina’s bedroom are connected to the throne room just like before.”
Eligor looked like he didn’t really want to guide him there, so Yong-Ho decided to pass on it. It’s because they were planning on looking at the newly reorganized gold mine, armory and workshop. They were the dungeon’s core areas.
But when Yong-Ho turned his back towards the throne room.
“Cough, cough, cough!”
Lucia, who had been quiet before now, started making noises.
Despite the fact that she didn’t have vocal chords, she was coughing, so it was probably important.
Why was she coughing all of a sudden?
After tilting his head, he realized it. Yong-Ho chuckled and shook his head.
‘Still a kid.’
The present that Yong-Ho promised.
‘Are they a baby that’s just a month old?’
In his mind, the little girl naturally turned into a baby. She probably didn’t know how Yong-Ho was feeling because Lucia rushed him again.
Yong-Ho thought about playing with her a bit longer, but he turned around. Catalina, Eligor and Skull couldn’t hear Lucia, so he took them along with him to the throne room.
The throne room looked exactly the same as before. That’s why, Yong-Ho confidently walked to the secret door that led to the Heart of the Dungeon and opened it.
“Oh my, you’re here.”
She shyly spoke despite the fact that she was begging him to come before.
Yong-Ho was already tired from his encounter with Bugrim earlier, so instead of playing jokes on her, he went straight to the point. After standing in front of the Heart of the Dungeon, he raised a pouch that was on his belt.
Lucia quietly imitated the sound of a heartbeat. It seemed like she had high expectations.
Even though he was feeling burdened, Yong-Ho took out the item that was inside of the pouch.
“A lump of…mana?”
It was the Worm Stone.
“I heard that the Heart of the Dungeon grows by absorbing a spirit or mana. I haven’t given you a proper spirit to absorb yet…think of it as a delicacy and accept it.”
His instincts told him what to do. Or, it could be that Lucia sent him a sign since they were mentally connected.
Yong-Ho placed the Worm Stone in front of the Heart of the Dungeon. And the hard Worm Stone became soft like jelly and the Worm Stone was absorbed. Absorbed was the perfect word.
Since this was his first time, Yong-Ho nervously looked at it. Catalina and Eligor also stopped breathing as they watched the Heart of the Dungeon.
The moment that Skull yelled out, a bright light was released from the Heart of the Dungeon.
Lucia yelled. Her voice was filled with joy.
“It’s good! It feels like a large portion of the mana for my next growth has been filled!”
“Thank you, sir.”
It didn’t seem like she was lying just to make Yong-Ho feel good.
Yong-Ho was relieved and a smile appeared on his face. It felt like he was finally finishing the task that started from the free city.
But Yong-Ho realized that he was mistaken.
It’s because Catalina, who was smiling along with Yong-Ho, and Eligor, who was surprised by the Worm Stone, were the only ones left.
“Now that I think about it, I did procrastinate a bit.”
After asking Skull and Catalina to bring chairs, he sat in front of Eligor. He was suddenly envious of the sofas that were in Ophelia’s office.
‘I should buy one the next time I visit the dungeon shop.’
But that would be later.
Yong-Ho focused on Eligor. He explained the things that happened at the free city.
“Wow, it’s surprising that Ophelia was the owner of the pub.”
That was Eligor’s first comment after listening to Yong-Ho. This time, Yong-Ho asked because he was confused.
“Do you know Ophelia?”
Eligor was a spirit that joined the House of Mammon when the owner from two generations ago was alive. The moment they became the owner, Ophelia’s father left the House of Mammon, so they probably never had the chance to meet face-to-face. Or did they meet for a short time when her father was making preparations to leave?
Eligor looked like he didn’t know what to say because he hesitated for a moment.
“I do know her, but only through documents. She was on the list of spirits when the owner from two generations ago was alive.”
“I’ve also heard a lot about Ophelia’s father, Endelyon, from the previous guard. They said that he was the strongest spirit under Kaiwan.”
Catalina spoke after Eligor.
If she was able to become the owner of a pub that was part of one section of the free city, then it meant that she was definitely strong. She might be stronger than the Yong-Ho now.
‘Ophelia definitely didn’t look weak.’
Even though the free city was a lawless city, it didn’t seem like she was able to keep that position just because she was the daughter of Kaiwan’s guard.
It could be that the “Red Demon” was a race that was highly specialized in combat, like he had originally assumed.
Eligor spoke again.
“I remember her because we’re the same race, but…ha ha…you’re really amazing for being able to obtain the free city’s pub owner as a spirit. It’s a big blessing for the House of Mammon.”
The most valuable thing that the pub had was information. The reason why he even went out of the dungeon was to obtain information.
After telling Eligor that Ophelia was going to visit the dungeon soon, he headed towards the Heart of the Dungeon’s room and went straight to his bedroom. There were a few rooms that he wanted to check, but he was filled with exhaustion while he was sitting down, so he desperately wanted to rest.
Since all the urgent tasks had been taken care of, Eligor left after saying he would find Yong-Ho when it was time to eat. Catalina also left to her room after respectfully bowing to Yong-Ho.
Now that Yong-Ho was alone, he lied down on top of the familiar and comfortable straw bed.
It really felt like he came back “home.”
He recalled the thoughts he had when he saw Bugrim.
The head of the House of Mammon.
The owner of the dungeon.
Even though Yong-Ho closed his eyes, he opened them a minute later. He must’ve been filled with motivation, because he couldn’t stay down.
Yong-Ho took out the demon world’s alphabet chart that Eligor made from the jacket he took off. After opening an old alphabet book on the desk, he grabbed the most important item that was in the Heart of the Dungeon.
The owner from three generations ago.
Kaiwan’s journal. The Demon King of Distortion.
Yong-Ho opened to the first page. He began interpreting it.
<Kaiwan’s Journal #2> End.