Chapter 45 – Two Hero’s Party (2)
Priests were always stiff-necked. They were all stuck-up. However, there were good reasons why they were able to act that way. The first reason being priests were as rare as magicians. The second reason being they were considered to be talents indispensible in all situations.
“It isn’t as if there aren’t any magic spells that could heal wounds. However, the effectiveness of a magician’s Heal is crap. It sucks. Even if the magician had enough Mana to use Heal, one would be better off using scouting, defensive or offensive magic. On top of that, the probability of getting wounded increases as the Dungeons become more dangerous. It is impossible to last just using potions. This is why all parties want and seek the help of a priest.”
Of course, it was a bit of a different story in regards to heroes. They could learn skills from all Classes. It wasn’t just the magician’s Healing spell. They could even learn the priest’s Cure spell.
However, Artpe already consumed an extreme amount of Mana using the Mana Strings. He didn’t have the luxury to learn and use the Cure spell. Maetel was an idiot, so she couldn’t learn the spell.
However, a priestess with no attachment to any temple had shown up in front of him. He had Sienna, who was naturally gifted with high magical energy.
Even if she was a Warrior Priestess, she wasn’t completely dependent on her holy power. Her magical energy was structured in a way where she could stand on her own. Still, she was a priestess, so she would be able to learn the Cure spell!
“Oppa, my level is low. Will I be helpful to you?”
Sienna felt considerably relieved at Artpe’s words. She looked up at him as she asked him the question. Maetel was explicit in expressing her disappointment. However, Artpe lightly ignored Maetel as he stroked Sienna’s head.
“Of course, you will be of great help.”
“What a relief.”
Of course, this was under the assumption that she learned the Cure Spell that a Warrior Priestess could learn. He had no choice but to put his trust in Mycenae to make that part come true.
“It hasn’t arrived yet.”
“?? I took a chance in signing an exclusive contract with you, yet ajumma is being very unhelpful.”
“You really are a rude customer! Moreover, you called me ajumma again!”
Mycenae grinded her teeth, but it was true that she hadn’t been able to acquire Artpe’s order. She didn’t know why she was giving excuses. She let out a sigh as she gave Artpe the other item he had ordered. She pushed the Soul Contract towards him.
“Will this be all, customer? I’m going to go rest. This side venture has made me very tired.”
“You suffered a lot helping us. Take it easy. We’ll see you again next time. ”
“Thank you, Elven merchant-nim.”
Silpennon and Leseti gave a courteous farewell. It seemed Mycenae wasn’t totally devoid of feelings. She put on a soft expression as she raised her hand towards them.
“For this business trip, I’ll consolidate the education fee, and the items expenditure cost. I’m givubg you a 30% discount, so it will be 1,287 gold.”
“Kyahh. I guess we can’t move past that.”
“How can I move past that? Just be a good boy and give me my money.”
Silpennon helplessly paid out her business expenses. After Mycenae was sure she received her dues, she started to move away with her cart behind her. She gazed at Artpe.
“I’ll contact you as soon as I acquire the Skill Books. When that happens, please come to the closest branch of the Anywhere company.”
“If possible, please hurry it up.”
Sienna was undoubtedly a Warrior ‘Priestess’, yet there was no one here that could give her the education she needed as a priestess. This was why she was simply learning Mana Control and fighting techniques.
It wasn’t just Mana. She was pretty talented at controlling her body, so she was making progress on both fronts. However, as her combat skill level and Mana Control level kept climbing, he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was amiss.
“Ah. I want you to gather Skill Books and Spell Books for all the other Classes. I want you to acquire everything you can get your hands on. Do you get what I’m trying to say?”
“Of course. You can leave it to me. Also, you should prepare the money you will have to give me.”
Artpe smirked when she mentioned money. She suddenly had the desire to ask him more about it, but she came to the conclusion that he wouldn’t give her an answer. She clicked her tongue as she disappeared.
“Let’s go after we finish our business here.”
“So why did you come back here again? Huh. By the way….”
When Mycenae exited, there were only six people left inside the Slime Dungeon. Sienna stuck close to Artpe’s back as she warily looked at the other people. Silpennon’s eyes turned round when he caught sight of Sienna.
“You gained another woman, Artpe. You are young, yet you are already like this. It is terrifying to imagine what you will be like in the future.”
“When you start paying attention to the gender of one’s party member, that is when you have a problem on your hand.”
“Party member? You put her in when you didn’t put us in?”
Silpennon looked aggrieved. As if Artpe understood Silpennon’s feeling, he nodded his head.
“I know you are disappointed that my party gained a member. I know all about it. That is why I am here to supplement your party. I brought a talent here. You should say hi to Deyus.”
“No, what we want is to join your party….. What did you just say?”
Instead of Sienna, Artpe pushed Deyus towards Silpennon’s side. For some unknown reason, Deyus had his head covered with a hood. However, he couldn’t resist against Artpe’s strength, so his face was revealed.
At that moment, Leseti instinctively unsheathed her sword.
“You dare show yourself, insect.”
His face turned ashen as he faced Silpennon. Silpennon’s face was cold as his expression hardened.
It seemed they were acquaintances. Moreover, it seemed they weren’t on good terms.
“Artpe. I’m sure you brought him here as a party member for us, because you don’t know this man’s identity. I cannot accept this man. His family once swore an oath of loyalty to the king, yet they betrayed us by taking the side of the Archduke. They killed numerous knights that tried to protect me…..”
“Silpennon, I already know who he is.”
Silpennon became incensed, but the smile on Artpe’s lips remained. He put a hand on Deyus’ shoulder as he spoke.
“You should explain it. Tell them what you did, and how you came to be with me.”
“W…will you stop them from killing me?”
“Of course. I have a use for you.”
Deyus closed his eyes tight when he saw the Soul Contract in Artpe’s hand. While he was being bombarded by murderous intent from Silpennon and Leseti, he let out a sigh before he opened his mouth.
“Your highness. In truth, I······.”
The explanation was brief. He hadn’t been on the scene of the revolt, and he hadn’t become a black magician by choice. However, he had been part of the troops dispatched to destroy the evidence of their crime. It was most definitely a sin that was worthy of death. It was good that he was able to admit that fact, but…..
“How effective is a Soul Contract? How great must it be for you to spare him?”
“If he breaks it, his soul is up for forfeit.”
Deyus wasn’t going to be a regular party member. This truth was quite clear to him. Silpennon stared at Artpe as he asked a question.
“If it is alright with you, could you include a clause of my choosing in the contract for me?”
“Of course. However, you can’t kill him.”
“Of course, If I kill him, I can no longer torment him..”
Deyus’ face turned paler, but there was no one here that would help him. In the end, he had to sign the Soul Contract, which was filled with unreasonable provisions. At that moment, the crown prince’s party gained a low rank slave.
“There is a limited amount of spells that can be used by a black magician. Still, unless you can find the help of a priest, he might become your best party member. His talent isn’t too bad, and he will be good at following directions.”
“I…I’ll do anything……”
The content of the contract was bleak. Deyus had a look that could only be seen on those that had lost their country. The only comfort he could derive from this was the fact that he hadn’t been killed like his fellow black magicians.
“I know it is hard for you to emotionally accept him, but you and Leseti will be safer if you use him. This is why you shouldn’t kill him. You should take him along with you guys.”
“I understand. I’m surprised that you thought so much about us.”
Artpe had retraced his steps to bring Deyus here. It seemed he had been worried about them. Silpennon was moved by the gesture, but in a flash, a twinkle shone in Artpe’s eyes.
“In truth, that wasn’t the only reason I am here.”
“I should have known.”
Silpennon immediately became disappointed. However, he would soon be singing a different tune when he heard Artpe’s next words. He spoke about the main reason for coming here. He spoke about why he added Deyus to their party.
“I came here to give you an offer that you cannot refuse.”
“I’ve heard that from somewhere before·····.”
Silpennon narrowed his eyes. Artpe had spoken similar words when he rejected Silpennon’s offer! He waited to see how great this offer was.
Artpe took out a map.
“Mmm······ A map?”
“It looks to be of high quality…. It’s the map that was commissioned by the throne!?”
It was a map of the Diaz Kingdom. Artpe had acquired it when he killed the knights that were trying to assassinate Silpennon. The odd part about this map was the fact that there were circle drawn in various locations. Moreover, there were numbers written starting from 1 in random order.
“What is this······? What are these circles? No, what does these numbers mean?”
Silpennon cross examined him. Artpe let out a light laugh as he gave an explanation.
“These are all Dungeons.”
“What did you say!?”
Silpennon, Leseti and even Deyus was surprised. There were 20 or more circles drawn on the map. They couldn’t believe these were all Dungeons!
However, Artpe’s expression didn’t falter at all as he spoke those words.
“I’m sure the Dungeons are here, so you can trust me on that. Of course, several of them have already been discovered. However, if you guys want to smoothly raise your levels, you should visit all of them.”
When he heard those words, a thought suddenly lit up inside Silpennon’s head. It was as if he was having a hard time believing his own thoughts. He carefully asked Artpe the question.
“Wait a moment, Artpe. The numbers start from one, because….”
“Yes. If you go in order, you won’t have too much difficulty clearing the Dungeons. You will be able to grow as you clear them. This is especially true for you, Silepennon. You have to visit all of them to grow your Seeking skill and your Trap Dismantling skill.”
Astonishment was followed behind by shock. Silpennon’s party decided not to think further on the subject. Artpe knew about Dungeons that were not discovered yet, and he also knew what level of monsters would appear within them!
“Within Deyus joining your party, you are only missing a priest. Aside from that fact, you have the perfect party. Since there are undiscovered Dungeons pointed out here, the reward will be quite lucrative. You can use the leftover money to purchase Mana potions and Stamina potions. Also, if you suffer defeat in a Dungeon, you can use the communication device to contact me.”
He knew Artpe’s ability was boundless, but his knowledge was beyond bountiful! Was it really possible for a human to know all this?
“How can this be·····.”
“Hmm. It is possible because it’s Artpe.”
“Yes, it is because he is oppa.”
Leseti’s mouth hung open in amazement, and she just accepted the situation as is. However, Silpennon wasn’t dumb enough to believe that. Deyus, who was listenting from the side, wasn’t dumb either. Maetel and Sienna wasn’t just talking about the veracity of knowledge. They believed nothing was impossible for Artpe to achieve in this world, so they naturally accepted his words.
“Hoo…. All right. Whatever.”
For a brief moment, Silpennon had puzzled over it. However, in the end, he decided not to challenge the veracity of Artpe’s claim. Artpe would gain nothing from lying to them. If he started doubting Artpe’s ability, he felt as if he would be going down a rabbit hole. It would be better for his sanity to just believe everything Artpe had said.
“Since you’ve told us the reward, I’m guessing you will now offer your terms? Right, Artpe?”
“I like the fact that you are smart.”
Artpe grinned as he made his declaration.
“I want you guys to give me half of the Dungeon rewards.”