Dungeon Diver: Stealing A Monster's Power - C.222


It's [The Newest Vice Region Association Elite Squad] in bold letters with all four of our mug shots posted and bounties labeled underneath them.

Our time in DryRock is not going to be as easy as I thought it'd be.

I turn to Issac, now peeking my disguised face out from my hood.

"Hey, I need to check these out."

He stares for a second but recognized my voice. The fire wielder looks me up and down, then mutters under his breath.

"You really are full of surprises."

I turn left to walk over to the wall with our posted bounties to take a closer look. Next to our pictures, there are notes and prices for our heads.


Abigail Sotoro: [10 Gold][Dead or Alive]

[Known Association Associate]

[New Vice Region Elite Squad Member]

[Healer & Earth Magic User]

Maria Cortez: [7 Gold][Dead or Alive]

[New Vice Region Elite Squad Member]

[Ice Magic User]

Jay Soju: [7 Gold][Dead or Alive]

[New Vice Region Elite Squad Member]

[Swordsman/Dagger Wielder & Fire Magic User]

Arie: [8 Gold][ONLY Alive]

[New Vice Region Elite Squad Member] 𝐟r𝗲𝚎𝚠e𝐛no𝘃𝗲𝐥.c𝗼m

[Bow/Dagger Wielder]


I get a chuckle out of Abby's full name, sometimes I forget she is usually referred to as Abigail in more professional settings, but it must have slipped my mind.

She's the most wanted because she's been with the Association the longest.

Maria and I have lower rates and only have basic details that are noted in the Association's system. Most likely these are what have been publicly shared, considering we're the new Elites.

I should get around to reading the paper again, It's a habit I broke once I started hunting more.

Arie's poster stands out as well.

He's marked down for 1 more gold than Maria and I, plus he's only wanted alive. The rest of us have no preference marked down

I scan the posters back and forth taking in as much information as possible, then I hear the fire user gulp behind me.

He whispers in a low tone.

"Can all your friends do that same trick with their faces... because... it looks like the bunch of you are going to need it."

I pause, then finally look away from the posters and back to Issac.

"They can't, it's a- special item. I only have one. We'll just have to lay low and hope no one's examining us too carefully."

I let out a sigh, knowing this is far from optimal in a time like this, but I'll just have to think of a better plan before we have to meet any people face to face.

I get a nervous look from the grunt, but he just nods, then turns to the back of the room.

"Well, figure it out soon. This is getting way too complicated for me. Come on, let's accept the quests and get out of here."

He starts to walk over and I follow. We approach a long wooden counter at the back of the room, polished beautifully, with 3 quest office workers standing behind it about 2 meters apart from each other.

They're all smiling and keeping a professional aura about them, then the one on the far right raises his hand.

"I can help the two of you over here."

I let Issac take the lead, keeping myself right behind him to let the man more used to this place do the talking. It'd be pretty obvious I'm new to town if I tried to ask for the quests myself.

So, I decide not to say a word.

Immediately, they begin to talk.

The two of them babble on about some changes in the capital, then switch to that same language I'm unfamiliar with before the man behind the counter pulls out two sheets of paper.

I peer over the counter as Issac signs the bottoms and takes them, folding each in half before throwing them in his item box.

[Mid-Town Break] [7 Gold]

[Red-Mountain Break] [15 Gold]

Each of the papers has crossed out numbers for their rewards. Each of them started out at 1 and 2 Gold respectively, but it seems they've been raising the number over and over.

My wandering eyes move back to the floor as the two of them continue talking.

Issac switches back to the language I can understand.

"Thanks. We'll head out tomorrow and clear 'em both."

The quest office employee gives him a thin smile but replies professionally.

"Best of luck Issac. We hope to see you soon."

Both of us leave the office building immediately, I can see a look of concern on the fire user's face, but don't say anything until we walk out the door and make our way around the corner out of sight.

The sun is starting to set, and the orange light from the sky is shining down on us.

"So... we got the quests. What's with the look? What else did that guy say?"

His eyes shift back and forth, still not saying a word as we walk.

I gulp and go along with his odd behavior...

Both of us have quick steady footsteps and controlled breathing. The taps of our boots on the stone road are all I hear as I ponder what exactly they talked about.

He speaks up as my 3 teammates finally come into sight.

"He said, many hunters from surrounding towns have been trying to clear these breaks all week. That's why the reward for the quests has gone up so much. No one can clear them.

I nod slowly.

"Alright... that's good, right? More money for you."

He pauses, and the silent footsteps continue for a few seconds.

"He also mentioned a group of two elite hunters that came by a few days ago. A white-haired Ice mage and a blue-haired Water Wielder. Apparently, they're fairly new Elites."

I raise an eyebrow as Issac continues.

"They showed their faces here before heading off in the direction of Solara without clearing a single break. They caused a ruckus in town though. Those two your friends?"

I think for a moment, but he cuts me off before I can even begin to respond.

"Either way, it doesn't matter. All the hunters in town are on high alert for more Association lackeys. The bounty rewards are sky high."

I give Issac a stern look as sweat rolls off his forehead.

"We have a deal..."

He replies.

"Hey, I know- I know. I won't run. I'm sure I couldn't even if I tried on your watch... It's just- be extra cautious. Alright?"

I nod as we come within 10 meters of my teammates.

"Got it. Appreciate the warning."

Maria is the first to spot us, throwing her hands up in the air. I deactivate my conceal skill as we approach but keep my head down.

Nothing has changed, we planned on not being seen at all in the first place. I'm just feeling a bit more paranoid now than before.

There are dozens of posters up on the walls, and the Vice Region is one of the furthest from the Dark Continent. So, it's doubtful anyone has our faces completely memorized. At the same time, it's not impossible...

Both of us quickly walk over and hop back on our rides. Issac starts to leave immediately and I motion for us to follow. We swiftly follow in silence. Arie whispers under his breath as we head toward the outskirts of town in the opposite direction we just came.

"What's with the change of tone, did everything go okay?"

I give him a thumbs up, tightening my lips, then responding in a hushed voice.

"It's fine. Business as usual, just, they have our faces from the newspaper plastered all over. Each of us has a bounty."

The archer's eyes widen and Abby clicks her tongue, cursing under her breath.

Maria holds me tighter from behind, and I explain all the details in a low whisper as we ride through a new part of town. I relay everything that happened inside and enlighten them on their bounty prices and details.

The larger buildings, merchant stands, and storefronts are getting less and less common as we continue forward off to the far side of town.

The sun sets more and the natural light fades away too.

Smaller homes and poorly built residential areas made of less modern materials become more abundant.

Most passers-by seem friendly enough, but it's certainly a different vibe than the city center we just left. People are minding their own business even more out here, looking to the ground and staying out of trouble.

I speak up to Issac guiding the way.

"Hey- Where are you taking us?"

He points straight ahead, then turns to respond.

"We're almost there, don't worry. I know a quiet place for us to crash for the night. Coincidentally, it's right near the break. Well, that's what the Quest Office worker told me at least. We're headed to mid-town."

I immediately respond.

"The- The breaks nearby? How? There would be monsters everywhere... no?"

Issac shrugs and turns forward again.

"Your guess is as good as mine. All we can do is head over and find out."