<Dungeon Offense #2>
It was safe to say that Ophelia’s second visit was unexpected.
Between the House of Mammon and the free city, it took more than a day on horse, but it only took Ophelia a day to come back.
Unless she really pushed her horse, she probably changed directions before arriving at the free city and returned to the House of Mammon.
Ophelia was a mess and that was more than enough to explain how violent the ride back was.
Her light, blonde hair was covered in dust and her neat and tidy clothes were messy.
Ophelia’s horse was covered in sweat and as soon as they arrived at the dungeon entrance, they collapsed to the ground. Ophelia entered the House of Mammon without taking care of her horse.
Yong-Ho was exploring the dungeon with the spirits and it didn’t take him long to reach the dungeon entrance. However, 10 minutes felt like an eternity for Ophelia.
Yong-Ho asked directly when he arrived.
He was curious as to why she returned so quickly and why she came here instead of using the communication device.
All of those thoughts were condensed into that one question and after hearing it, Ophelia collected her breath. She assumed that he would have a lot of questions, but answering each and every one wasn’t important right now. Ophelia didn’t even greet him properly.
“The House of Foras surrendered to the House of Abigail.”
He stopped breathing for a moment. Silence filled the room when the spirits heard what Ophelia said.
They abandoned the dungeon and surrendered.
Through that, they’re able to avoid death.
It was a reasonable choice.
The House of Foras lost a reliable owner. The Orcs were the main combat group and they lost them and the anxious spirits started leaving one by one.
It might’ve turned out differently if the situation was calm, but things were chaotic. It wouldn’t be weird if another dungeon combat happened.
Yong-Ho gritted his teeth.
There was one possibility he didn’t think about. The House of Foras was the enemy’s stepping stone, not a shield.
“It’s safe to say that it’s rare for an owner to give up a dungeon and surrender without a fight. Please don’t blame yourself.”
“Even the spirits didn’t think that the House of Foras would surrender so easily.”
“And the conditions weren’t good enough to attack the dungeon. It can’t be helped.”
Lucia spoke gently as if to comfort him.
Yong-Ho closed his eyes and breathed in deeply. He wasn’t trying to rely on Lucia and make himself feel better.
He was trying to determine what was important right now.
“What’s the current situation of the surrender? Is the House of Foras under the House of Abigail’s control? And how did they surrender?”
It was safe to say that the moment the House of Foras surrendered, it belonged to the House of Abigail.
What Yong-Ho wanted to know was when the House of Foras surrendered to them.
And how they surrendered was important as well.
Owners fight over dungeons in order to steal the owner’s spirit.
The owner’s spirit.
The mana that was built up within the Heart of the Dungeon.
Yong-Ho could’ve preserved the dungeon and used it as a second dungeon. It could be used as a branch office or to expand the dungeon.
Ophelia kept on gulping. She had a hard time talking because she was sweating so much. Her voice cracked as she spoke.
“Out of the spirits that left the House of Foras, some of them didn’t actually leave. It was a way to hide the fact that they surrendered.”
Yong-Ho recalled the report that he heard from Ophelia. About the spirits that either went to the free city or joined a different dungeon after leaving the House of Foras.
And out of those that left, the spirits that joined the House of Abigail didn’t join because they wanted to. It’s because they surrendered to them.
“It’s been a few days since the House of Foras told them that they wanted to surrender. And worst of all, during the few days that I visited the House of Mammon, Jungceros, the owner of the House of Abigail, left the dungeon.”
“Is it to accept the House of Foras?”
Eligor couldn’t contain his curiosity and asked. Ophelia nodded her head.
“While returning to the free city, my subordinate quickly notified me. Jungceroes should’ve arrived at the House of Foras’s dungeon by now.”
The House of Foras already fell into the House of Abigail’s hand. Yong-Ho didn’t even get the chance to stop them.
Yong-Ho was thinking. He asked for more information before becoming discouraged.
“Did the House of Abigail’s owner visit the House of Foras in order to register the Heart of the Dungeon?”
“I can’t say for sure. They could be visiting in order to register the successor of the House of the Foras as their own spirit. However…”
Ophelia suddenly stopped talking and bit her lips. She hesitated and then spoke again.
“Personally, I think they’re visiting in order to absorb the dungeon’s spirit. The owner of the House of Mammon, the Demon of Fire, isn’t an easy opponent. Instead of using the dungeon to advance, there’s a high chance that they’re choosing to completely get rid of all fights.”
The owners near the free city get their sources from the pub. Yong-Ho was known as the Demon of Fire thanks to Ophelia’s database and he was known to be a tough opponent.
Foras was known to be strong despite their old age, but Yong-Ho managed to defeat them and he even took down a Land Worm.
Different thoughts popped into Yong-Ho’s head. He gulped. He calmed himself down by thinking deeply.
‘If what Ophelia said was true.’
There was a low chance that another dungeon combat was going to occur soon. If Abigail leaves after breaking the House of Foras, then there wouldn’t be any other dungeons around the House of Mammon.
But he couldn’t relax. There was still the possibility of Abigail using the House of Foras as an advancement base to invade the House of Mammon.
‘I won’t be able to find an answer soon.’
The answer won’t reveal itself just because he was being impatient about it.
After feeling calm, Yong-Ho tried to calm down the spirits. He also didn’t forget to credit Ophelia’s effort for rushing back here.
But before he could talk about them, a new issue came up.
“A group of Orcs are quickly running towards here from the House of Foras!”
“According to the Dungeon Meerkats, they’re all riding horses!”
“Is the enemy planning on attacking us?!”
Eligor spoke in a surprised tone. Rikum quickly shook his head.
“A dungeon can’t be invaded with a few Orcs. Master, are you able to provide detailed information regarding the Orcs that are approaching?”
Yong-Ho was just as surprised as Eligor and he managed to calm down when he heard Rikum’s voice. When he lightly waved his finger, Lucia replied.
“There’s a total of four Orcs.”
“The Orc that’s leading them is wearing a piece of white fabric on their back.”
Letters of light were drawn in the air so that the spirits could see it as well.
Rikum’s face started glowing.
“I’m sure they’re the Orcs that remained in the House of Foras and they’re coming here to surrender.”
Ophelia nodded her head.
“I made sure that the news of Rikum surrendering to the House of Mammon was being spread discreetly. They could be coming here after hearing that their captain was here.”
Catalina looked back at Yong-Ho with a hopeful expression.
It was good news.
The value of the Orcs that left the House of Foras was displayed. Yong-Ho had enough evidence to assume what was going on at the House of Foras and what Abigail was going to do.
“Lucia, open the dungeon door. We’ll greet them at the dungeon entrance.”
After ordering Lucia, Yong-Ho looked back at the spirits. Catalina and Skull nodded their heads and Rikum and Ophelia followed Yong-Ho.
A Dungeon Meerkat raised their voice while pointing at the Orcs that were approaching. After patting the Dungeon Meerkat’s head, Yong-Ho waited for the Orcs to arrive. Rikum spoke energetically.
“I’m sure they were my subordinates.”
It looked like the Orcs recognized Rikum. Despite the fact that they were still far from the dungeon, Catalina noticed that their faces were mixed with anxiety, relief and happiness.
As soon as they arrived, one of the Orc immediately jumped off their horse and yelled. The Orcs that arrived after them did the same. Rikum spoke with a stern voice.
“You’re in front of the master. Show your respect first.”
The Orcs already knew that Rikum became the House of Mammon’s spirit, so they acted pretty quickly. Yong-Ho wasn’t sure if they did it because of the current situation or because they confirmed that Rikum actually surrendered, but they kneeled in front of Yong-Ho without any hesitation.
“It is an honor to meet you, owner of the House of Mammon.”
Yong-Ho couldn’t feel the special mana that spirits had from the Orcs. It’s probably because their contract with the House of Foras ended.
Yong-Ho spoke as calmly as possible.
“I’m glad you’re here. Did you work under Rikum?”
“Yes, we worked under Captain Rikum.”
The Orc that had a white flag on their back answered for the rest of the group.
Rikum stepped in to get rid of Yong-Ho’s curiosity.
“What happened? Is it true that the House of Foras surrendered to the House of Abigail?”
Everyone focused on the Orc. Even Skull looked at the Orc while holding their battle hammer instead of rolling around on the ground.
The Orc was nervous due to the attention they were getting, but they spoke. The words that came out of the Orc’s mouth was something that Yong-Ho and even Ophelia wasn’t expecting.
“The owner of the House of Foras…the young owner was killed by Jungceros. And Jungceros is currently trapped in the House of Foras’s dungeon.”
There was a need for an explanation. There were too many unanswered questions to accept it as is.
The successor of the House of Foras died?
It was possible. The enemy could’ve pretended to accept the surrender and ended up killing the successor. This happened in both the demon world and the human world.
But it was difficult to understand the part about Jungceros being trapped inside the House of Foras’s dungeon.
Rikum urged the Orc to explain and they started providing information about the things they knew.
“The young owner…no, I believed that the owner of the House of Foras wasn’t able to protect the dungeon. The butler agreed as well. There were barely any fighting spirits and one by one, they started running away.”
It was something Yong-Ho expected. Instead of pressing them for more information, he waited patiently. The Orc glanced at Yong-Ho and then continued talking.
“There weren’t that many to choose from. As the owner, the enemy…um, since the owner of the House of Mammon was considered an enemy, they couldn’t surrender to you. So that’s why they decided to surrender to Jungceros, the owner of the House of Abigail. They asked to get revenge on the House of Mammon in exchange for the surrender.
“But Jungceros wasn’t planning on doing it. After pretending to accept the surrender, they were planning on visiting the House of Foras’s dungeon, kill the owner and destroy the Heart of the Dungeon. Because all they need to do is absorb the spirit.”
Ophelia explained and the Orc nodded their head with a surprised look on their face.
“Jungceros brought guards and elite soldiers with them. As soon as they finished registering Foras’s spirit, they showed their true face. But the butler didn’t stand by and just watch.”
Eligor flinched when he heard the word, butler. The Orc spoke while tightening their fist.
“The butler was suspicious of Jungceros from the start, so they built a trap just in case. Jungceros targeted the Heart of the Dungeon after killing the owner, but it was useless. The room that the butler made Jungceros enter contained a fake Heart of the Dungeon. The butler closed the dungeon.”
“Closed the dungeon?”
When Yong-Ho asked, Lucia quickly replied.
“When the owner dies, the Spirit of the Dungeon dies as well. But for the House of Mammon, even if the Spirit of the Dungeon dies, it doesn’t mean that the facilities within the dungeon will stop working. They’ll start using the mana that was stored and will experience a slow death.”
“The butler of the House of Foras probably chose to have a quick death rather than a slow death.”
“They probably closed the dungeon door by pouring the remaining mana into the dungeon trap. Since they used up a lot of the mana, the dungeon will die faster, but…it can trap the enemy that entered the dungeon.”
Instead of letting the dungeon die, the butler used it on the final attack.
“The other Orcs and I escaped the dungeon through a secret passageway. But Jungceros is probably still stuck in the deepest part of the dungeon. The room that the butler led them to was a fake throne room and they had traps installed all around the room.”
Yong-Ho organized the situation once more.
The successor of the House of Foras died.
Jungceros, the owner of the House of Abigail, is trapped inside Foras’s dungeon.
Jungceros doesn’t know the layout of Foras’s dungeon. And the traps that were installed were dangerous to them.
Of course the traps were dangerous to Yong-Ho as well. But Yong-Ho knew the layout of the House of Foras. The spirits that knew the layout were working under him.
“How many soldiers did Jungceroes bring with them?”
Ophelia caught a glimpse of something when Yong-Ho asked. The Orc blinked, then counted with their fingers and then answered.
“They brought around 20 guards with them. Some of the guards probably died from the traps through.”
Yong-Ho calculated in his head. Greed raised their voice.
If everything they said were true.
It was time to attack.
<Dungeon Offense #2> End.