<Mammon’s Arena #2>
Editor: Zeroth Deuce (Twitter: @)
Among the facilities that were located deep within the dungeon, the Library and the Magic Laboratory were probably the most important.
Kaiwan’s Library was actually pretty empty. It was because there simply wasn’t a large enough variety of books. Nevertheless, the books were still taken care of pretty well. He knew that Kaiwan had used them with the utmost care.
Since most of the spirits in the House of Mammon didn’t really read books, no one was using the Library. The spirits however were told to register if they ever wanted to use it, but Eligor was the only one that did and the sole book that he was interested in was the cooking one.
After passing the Library, that still lingered with Kaiwan and her little brother’s scent, Yong-Ho headed towards the Magic Laboratory.
The laboratory was just as big as the training ground. Half of the room was empty space which was probably used to test out magic spells.
According to Lucia, this place was used to study various types of magic, but…
‘We don’t have anyone to do that.’
Out of the spirits within the House of Mammon, Ophelia was the only one that was skilled in magic, but she was a Red Demon. The fact that she was able to use magic was already amazing, so it would be hard to ask her to do any more.
Yong-Ho again realized how important a magician was. He decided to look into it the next time he visited the dungeon shop’s Virtual Space.
After stepping out of the lab, Yong-Ho stopped. Even though Kaiwan had developed 80% of the first floor, it didn’t mean she had filled every part of it. When Yong-Ho was thinking about installing new facilities in the first half of the dungeon, he had made a few empty rooms and Kaiwan’s first floor had empty rooms as well.
‘The place connected to the remaining 20%.’
He looked at the dungeon map that was floating in the air and after thinking for a bit, Yong-Ho looked back. Since it was still morning, Catalina was trying her best to stay awake.
“Uh, ah, yes, sir. I wasn’t falling asleep. I wasn’t. Really…”
Her voice became quiet towards the end of her sentence. Yong-Ho knew that she wasn’t falling asleep, so he just patted her head.
‘Now that I think about it.’
How did Catalina become a spirit in the House of Mammon and as a guard?
It was a question that suddenly popped into his mind.
Yong-Ho and Catalina had a close relationship because he was the demon king and she was a spirit that belonged to the House of Mammon. However, they didn’t know a lot about each other.
‘I should ask. It’ll wake her up and change the mood.’
After contemplating a bit, Yong-Ho made his decision. He asked in a friendly tone.
“How did you become a spirit for the House of Mammon?”
It was more direct than he originally thought. Catalina flapped her ears once and answered with a warm smile.
“I was thrown away in the Free City and the former guard took me in.”
She could’ve felt bitter about it, but her face didn’t show any signs of such thoughts. She continued speaking in an affectionate and longing tone.
“It happened when I was really young, but I still remember the very day I became a spirit under the House of Mammon. I was an orphan and it became my very first home. I’m not very good at expressing my feelings, but…I really like the House of Mammon. I really like it. I also really like you as well, sir.”
Catalina finished talking with a bright smile, but instantly became embarrassed. LIke she had mentioned, she wasn’t good at expressing herself, but she especially became embarrassed because of what she said last.
And Yong-Ho became embarrassed as well. It was because of a very simple reason.
‘I-it’s my first time.’
Yong-Ho had attended an all-boys school and majored in Engineering. This was the first time someone close to his age, or at least looked close to his age, told him that they liked him.
Yong-Ho was the first one that calmed down. He thought logically.
‘There’s a lot of meaning behind the word, like.’
Catalina also liked the House of Mammon and Eligor. Yong-Ho patted her head again.
“Shall we keep moving?”
Catalina’s ears looked slightly weak for some reason, but she answered confidently.
The remaining 20% wasn’t just made out of inactive rooms. Most of them were actual walls, and in order to create a path, the dungeon required a lot more mana and time investment than before.
Yong-Ho focused on the fact that Kaiwan kept the Arena a secret from the other spirits.
A secret path will never remain a secret forever. As someone could coincidentally find it when they pass by.
A place where there wasn’t a lot of people. A place that only Kaiwan visited. A place close to the remaining 20%.
He excluded the Library. The Library was like a castle to Kaiwan’s younger brother, so she probably didn’t create a passageway between the Library and the Arena.
Yong-Ho walked forwards. Kaiwan’s Break Room was located deep within the dungeon and in that room which was a bit larger than Yong-Ho’s bedroom, he activated Greed’s power.
Desire. Expectation. Craving.
He set his mind on it. Greed rose out of Yong-Ho’s body like fire and after splitting into many sections, it searched all the rooms.
Yong-Ho gathered all of the sections into one. The section that was wrapped around Catalina became the base and when Greed became whole, it pointed to one direction.
Yong-Ho suddenly recalled the time he first encountered Aamon.
Yong-Ho followed Greed and when he saw the crest of a wolf swallowing a moon on the wall, he placed his hand on it. The mana awakened the power that was flowing through the House of Mammon’s blood.
‘A secret passageway.’
The wall next to the crest made a sound and opened like in the movies. The passage that it revealed was so narrow, that only one person would be able to walk through it.
Greed continued guiding Yong-Ho. Yong-Ho gulped and after looking back at Catalina, she quickly grabbed the lighting device and gave it to him.
“I’ll take the lead.”
That’s what he told Catalina after she gave him the device. Catalina had the ability to see in the dark, but since Yong-Ho was being guided by Greed, it was more efficient for him to lead.
Catalina hesitated for a moment because she was the guard, but in the end decided to let Yong-Ho lead.
The passageway was longer than he had imagined.
The cold darkness consumed both the light and sound and the deep silence prevented them from hearing their own footsteps. This overwhelmed both Yong-Ho and Catalina.
Yong-Ho continued walking. And then stopped moments later. It wasn’t because they were at the end of the passageway.
‘We got disconnected.’
He couldn’t feel Lucia, who was always connected with him. Even though he was inside the dungeon, it felt like he was outside instead.
Yong-Ho felt disconnected. When did he lose connection with Lucia? Or did they instead get disconnected right after entering the passageway?
‘When I obtained Aamon.’
He got disconnected with Lucia back then too. Yong-Ho had a hunch. This passageway must be outside of Lucia’s control range.
But that didn’t stop him. Yong-Ho followed Greed’s guidance. Moments later, time was also consumed by the darkness. Yong-Ho couldn’t tell how long he had been walking through this passageway.
Greed’s guidance suddenly disappeared. Even though he was still in darkness, Yong-Ho was now able to see a large door.
A crest of a dragon that was reigning over the world.
Even though he didn’t extend his hand out, the door opened. The light consumed the darkness.
“Welcome to the House of Mammon’s Arena.”
The voice woke him up. The voice belonged to a female and was slightly deep and rough.
Before them was a dark hallway made out of stone. It was wider than the secret passageway. Four people could probably walk through it together.
Yong-Ho breathed in and looked around. Naturally, there should’ve been another door behind the door he had walked through, however instead, it revealed a long hallway.
Catalina kept her guard up while looking straight ahead. Yong-Ho also saw a woman in front of them.
It was a woman that was wearing a large, black robe. She was also wearing an empty, gray mask so he couldn’t see her face. If it wasn’t for the robe that was wrapped tightly around her body, he wouldn’t even have known that she was a woman.
After showing her respect to Yong-Ho, she fixed her posture. Yong-Ho became nervous when he heard “the House of Mammon’s Arena,” and the woman closed the distance between them. She spoke more quietly and discreetly than before.
“The one that found the Arena, what is your name? And what is your father’s name?”
When the woman approached, Catalina reacted. Yong-Ho restrained Catalina with his hand and spoke while looking at the woman’s mask.
“Chun Yong-Ho. I’m the House of Mammon’s new owner. My father’s name is Chun Do-Il.”
The woman didn’t reply to Yong-Ho’s answer right away. It could’ve been his imagination, but he felt her feeling embarrassed and disappointed.
Before he could ask why, she came closer. She asked in a slightly more impatient tone.
“Then, your grandfather’s name…”
A new voice interrupted her. A very large hand divided the space between Yong-Ho and the woman.
The new voice had suddenly appeared and since they weren’t able to feel its presence, Catalina became surprised, causing her to take out her weapon. Yong-Ho also backed up.
The new voice belonged to a Giant that was wearing a black suit. The Giant had red skin, two horns on his forehead and a long, red tail. Ophelia and Eligor both came to Yong-Ho’s mind.
The Giant looked at Yong-Ho while stroking his beard and then smiled.
“Please excuse my assistant’s rudeness. My name is Gusion and I’m the manager of the Arena.”
Greeting him back was the right thing to do. But Yong-Ho couldn’t do so because of the thought that suddenly popped into his mind. The woman who was standing behind Gusion, Yong-Ho noticed that she was acting impatient.
It was a ridiculous thought. There wasn’t enough proof. But he had a hunch.
The woman reacted. The impatient woman looked up and Gusion’s smile became twisted. Catalina watched Gusion while cold sweat was rolling down her face.
They then heard a voice.
“Are you Cayenne’s descendent? How’s Cayenne doing?!”
“I said that’s enough!”
The Giant’s power exploded. The power that suddenly exploded overwhelmed everything. The woman who was frantically asking questions sat down while releasing a painful moan and Catalina’s hand started shaking. Catalina knew she had to protect Yong-Ho, so she managed to stand in place, but that was her limit.
Gusion glared at Yong-Ho. The overpowering energy Gusion released made it seem like he was going to put down Yong-Ho at any moment.
But at that moment, there was something that tore his energy into pieces. There was something that consumed that power and protected Yong-Ho.
It wasn’t the green fire that represented Yong-Ho’s soul. It was the Red Lotus’s fire that rose up and pushed away Gusion’s pressure.
This time, Gusion displayed various expressions. Anger, shock and joy he simply couldn’t contain!
“Aamon?! Is it really Aamon?!”
Aamon answered. The Red Lotus’s fire became bigger and was even more beautiful. His monstrous voice filled the entire hallway.
“Kneel in front of the King of Greed! Gusion, the one who possesses superhuman strength! Mammon’s spirit!”
Confronting a Giant was more than enough to destroy everything around them. Catalina just couldn’t endure it anymore, causing her to collapse, but Yong-Ho managed to hold her by her waist. Green flames rose up within the Red Lotus.
Gusion looked at Yong-Ho.
Yong-Ho also looked at Gusion.
Despite the really tense atmosphere, Gusion spoke.
“Mammon’s spirit, Gusion, acknowledges the King of Greed’s return.”
He didn’t kneel. It actually seemed like Gusion was trying to test Yong-Ho.
Yong-Ho didn’t really mind it and instead of looking back at Gusion, he looked to the side. It wasn’t because he was scared of Gusion. He instead looked at the woman that was on the ground and panting.
Her mask was off. Her eyes were filled with despair, disappointment and embarrassment instead of fierceness. Through her tightly sealed lips, she expressed the feelings that she simply couldn’t hide.
Yong-Ho was sure. He knew that face and voice.
The owner covered in ash. Kaiwan, the Demon King of Distortion.
It was her.
<Mammon’s Arena #2> End.