YCKTML Chapter 32
Damon nervously eyed Enoch.
Weak magic would attract monsters, but strong and dark magic would make weak monsters run away.
Therefore, only a few strong and dangerous monsters lived there. That’s why Damon had always been reluctant to go down there.
In the meantime, Enoch quietly gave orders. “You go and tell the Imperial Knights about this.”
“Yes? Ah, yes, Your Highness!”
With only those words, Enoch flew down. Damon pondered whether he should follow him or not but decided to carry out his orders. He’d only be a hindrance if he weren’t ready for the monsters.
As soon as Damon made his decision, he started running fast.
Something was off here. I didn’t have any special abilities, but I could feel it.
All of the grass was dead, and even the occasional tree with leaves looked like it was about to die soon. It looked like an epidemic had spread.
No matter how much I walked, this place, where even the wind seemed to have stopped, looked the same, making me feel as if I’ve been wandering in the same place the whole time. It was definitely the same mountain, but it felt so different.
With the dagger in my hand, I scratched a tree. The scratched wood began to rot quickly.
The effect confused me for a moment until I remembered what Rupert had explained earlier. He said that this dagger was poisonous and could kill any living thing instantly.
Even so, I had no idea that it would rot so quickly when I only scratched it so slightly. I felt like I had to be careful not to let the blade touch my body.
At that moment, raindrops began to fall one by one from the sky.
“Ha, this is crazy.”
And soon, the rain started pouring.
I hurriedly looked for shelter from the rain but couldn’t find a place to go.
So, I didn’t run. My body’s already exhausted. It was clear I was going to get wet whether I ran or walked. Finally, after a long trek, I reached a rocky mountain.
“Hmm? A cave?”
At the bottom of the rocky mountain, there was a small cave hidden by the bushes. Maybe I should go in there and start again when the rain stops?
In fact, on my way, the heavy raindrops had gotten lighter. It seemed like it would stop soon.
As I was contemplating what to do, I heard loud footsteps behind me. I looked back in surprise.
A giant? Or a monster? I couldn’t immediately tell what it was, but a monster that walked on two legs like a human was staring at me and drooling. It was twice the size of an average human. Alarm bells started ringing in my mind.
Before I could think further, the monster opened its arms and attacked me. Fortunately, it wasn’t that fast, perhaps because of its large size. So I managed to swerve to the side.
What now? What should I do?
Erin’s body was weaker than my body in my old world. It was never suitable for battle.
I glanced at the dagger in my hand. Could I stab the monster with this? I wracked my brain to recall the information I had read in the Monster Encyclopedia. At first glance, the monster’s skin looked tough.
I thought about running away, but if I made a sound when I escaped, Erin’s legs couldn’t outrun that monster.
Fortunately, the monster seemed to have terrible eyesight, so after I dodged it, it sniffed for a long time to find me. I held the dagger with both hands and sneaked up behind the monster.
This monster was probably an ogre. And if the information I found in the encyclopedia was accurate, its weakness was in the back of the knee and the crotch.
While the monster looked around, I dashed to it and stabbed behind its knee with the dagger. Fortunately, I hit the right target.
The ogre screamed and struggled to catch me. I stepped back again as fast as I could.
After stabbing it, my hands and feet trembled. Wow. I’m honestly amazed that I succeeded. Where did that courage come from? When I first encountered the monster, I thought I was going to die.
Calming down my trembling body, I stepped back little by little.
The ogre, howling in pain and looking around, eventually found me and limped to catch me.
My body, struck with fear and exhaustion, refused to move. I stood with my back to the mountain as I stared at the monster. And the moment it got closer, I closed my eyes tightly.
I heard a thump, but even after waiting a long time, nothing happened to me.
When I peaked, I saw that the ogre’s body had turned black and was lying on its side. My eyes widened in surprise.
As I approached to retrieve the dagger, I heard footsteps again. This time, however, there were quite a few. I looked around and saw monsters coming at me from all directions.
Without much thought, I ran to the cave I just discovered. But after jumping into the cave in panic, I stopped.
The entrance was small, and it was unlikely that such a large monster could enter.
“Thank…god,” I panted.
My legs gave out, and I slumped to the floor. I wasn’t exactly in a position to feel relaxed, but I was.
I realized that I had so many regrets in life, even now that I was Erin Spilet.
I could still hear the loud thumps outside the cave, but as expected, they didn’t make it this far.
But how long should I stay like this? I couldn’t help but feel hopeless.
I leaned against the wall of the cave and hugged my knees together. As I tried to relax, I realized something was strange.
Since there was no light in the cave, I expected to see nothing but darkness. However, although it was a little dark, I had no problem seeing at all.
Looking closely at my surroundings, I noticed that the transparent stones embedded in the walls were shining softly.
I ran my hand on the nearest stone, and the light flickered. I immediately looked at the magic stone on my pendant and bracelet.
They were shining, too.
My eyes widened, and my heart pounded loudly in my chest. I already knew this place before I even came to the hunting competition. I wanted to find it.
It was the ‘Magic Stone Cave’.
The Empire had been desperate to find this place but could never find it. So many monsters roamed the northern provinces because of the magic that this cave had been releasing.
“Ha…ha,” I breathed out a laugh, stunned. At this point, I couldn’t say I was lucky.
If I manage to survive this, I’d have to inform them I found the cave once I get back.
According to Imperial law, the first person to find these caves and mines would gain ownership of it. Of course, it was implied that more than half of the ore produced should be sold to the Empire.
In the novel, Chloe accidentally stumbled upon the magic stone cave during the hunting competition, and thanks to that, she was awarded ownership of the cave and an honorary title.
With that clue, I planned to find the cave first.
I knew I couldn’t do it alone, so I was going to take the opportunity and ask Enoch for help. And once I get enough money from selling the magic stones, I’d try to pay off my debt and get a divorce as soon as possible.
But I never thought I would be in such a dangerous place.
I turned around to stare at the entrance. The shadows told me the monsters were still there.
What should I do? I didn’t even have a dagger anymore.
Should I use the magical effect of the pendant to escape? However, it would only last for five minutes. Even if I ran with all my might for five minutes, they’d easily catch up.
While biting my lips and agonizing, I heard a sound like a beast laughing deep inside the cave. I held my breath and barely turned my head to look.
It was dark inside, and I couldn’t see anything. Still, the fear that I experienced for the first time in my life came over me.
Please, I hope I heard wrong.
Feeling grateful for his past self, Enoch ran to see the bracelet.
He didn’t tell Erin, but Erin’s bracelet had tracking magic. Of course, it was impossible to see its exact location, but the bracelet sparkled and vibrated as the distance got closer.
He felt like a joke for casting that spell at that time, but now he was just grateful.
At least the fact that the bracelet responded was proof that Erin was still alive.
“It’s definitely near here…”
Enoch hurried towards the direction where he heard loud footsteps.
When he looked closely, there was a dead ogre. He couldn’t recognize it immediately because its skin turned black.
A group of ogres gathered in one corner and pushed their heads towards the rocky mountain.
Suddenly, he had a hunch.
Enoch raised an arm. He didn’t have much time. In an instant, clouds gathered in the dry sky, and a thunderbolt fell toward the group of ogres.
The lightning struck the ogres, and they fell backward.
Enoch strode toward them. The smell of burning flesh permeated the air.
“What were you looking at?”
He couldn’t see it from afar since the ogres blocked the view, but he found a small cave when he went closer. Enoch hurriedly looked at his bracelet.
The magic stone embedded in the bracelet trembled like crazy and blinked rapidly.
“Ha, found you.”
Enoch didn’t hesitate to jump into the cave.
It was strange that the cave was bright, but he decided not to care now. He needed to rush to Erin.
There was so much magic in the cave that it was almost suffocating. Enoch, a wizard, was more sensitive to magic than anyone else.
In addition, since he’d used advanced magic without preparation, his mana was out of control. His head continued to throb.
Enoch, who was about to go further inside, faltered at the sight in front of him. He couldn’t even scream.
Erin sobbed as a monster tried to possess her. Enoch immediately knew what that meant.
The monster wriggled its black tentacles and was about to swallow Erin with its large open mouth.
Enoch ran without delay and cut off the tentacles that wrapped around Erin’s limbs with his sword.
After catching Erin, Enoch placed her a little further away.
“Count, Count Spilet.” He shook her to wake her up, but Erin was still wandering in her dream.
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