Dungeon Diver: Stealing A Monster's Power - C.225


"...but something feels off..."

As the two of us make our way up the narrow sandy path up the mountain's side, a light red glowing portal comes into full view.

It gives off minuscule amounts of mana radiation compared to what I was expecting to see.

The closer we get, the more I prepare for a wave of intense energy to come pulsing out, but it never comes. The two of us approach the portal in silence, then I finally speak up.

"This is giving off the mana signature of an E-class dungeon at best..."

Issac responds as we come to a halt about 10 meters away from the light red spinning portal.

"W-Well, once you enter, I'll be waiting out here. You heard what that guard said. Not a single person has walked into that dungeon and made it out alive. There's no way it's an E-Class!"

I tighten my gaze and burn through a few hundred MP to examine every millimeter of this calmly swirling break. I don't find anything different than the last time I scanned it.

"Nothing... it's just a normal E-Class break..."

With a sigh, I begin walking straight toward the break while continuing to speak in a low tone.

"I'll be back in a few hours at most. See you soon."

As I turn away, I catch a glimpse of his nervous expression turns into a slick grin. I don't think much of it as I'm mesmerized by the odd portal in front of me... but shake myself from its trance before going into full battle mode.

I turn to the grunt, looking him straight in the eyes to watch sweat roll off his forehead in streams.

"Don't try anything stupid while I'm gone... "

I light the tip of my finger with a dark flame, then grab it with my other hand putting it out in an instant.

"We have a deal, but I won't hesitate to make you disappear if you do anything to harm my teammates or put my mission at risk. Don't mess up this life-changing payout for yourself..."

He gulps, then shows me a slight bow, stuttering a reply.

"O-Of course. I'll be right here when you return."

He steps back.

I reply to his bow with a firm nod, then face the portal again.

"Great. Now onto more important things."

The light red mass of mana spins slowly and silently just above the rocky desert floor. It's almost eerie how little energy it's giving off.

There's not much use in thinking about it anymore, I'll just need to jump through and figure out what the problem is from the inside.

With a grin forming across my face, I jump through without a hint of hesitation. Instantly, white transfer magic brings me into the dungeon.

My eyes open wide for a moment, then tighten and shift back and forth as I question what exactly is going on here...

There's tall green grass, occasional patches of rocks and small trees, a bright blue sky with white clouds, and a cool breeze that pushes my hair up as I step into this new world.

"A... goblin dungeon?"

Blinking a few times, I activate my enemy detection and inspect skills as I see 3 small green creatures come running towards me with their small black daggers held tight in their grips.


[Lv. 16]

[Lv. 13]

[Lv. 12]

I squint more, unable to truly believe what I'm seeing in front of my eyes.

"Goblins... really....?"

They're higher levels than normal goblins, but still, these are double-digit-level mobs...

I must have entered the wrong break. Maybe there is another one nearby that I missed on the way up? Or it's further up the mountain?

I wrack my brain for ideas as the 3 goblins continue to come charging my way.

The group attacks, but I kick them to the side and incinerate the group with a small fireball from my right hand as I continue to ponder my predicament.

The guard's description of the dungeon break matches the location of this one exactly...

"So what am I missing....?"

I'm pretty frustrated, but decide to begin my trek forward into the dungeon anyways. It's still a break after all. Someone has to clear it.

I open up my item storage and let Ember fly out, it's been a while since we've had some peace and quiet alone in a dungeon.

The elegant glimmering black wings of my battle partner come out of my white twisting item storage portal, then the crimson eyes of the large monster show themselves next.

Instantly, I feel our telepathic link open up.

"We're a long way from home, and I've gained a few levels. It seems you've been busy."

I smile and watch the magnificent beast flap its wings and fly up into the open sky of the dungeon.

I air-step upwards to climb on his back and respond.

"I have. You haven't missed any exciting fights yet, I'm hoping we'll come across one soon."

Ember begins to fly his wings harder, bringing us higher up into the sky, then responds.

"Maybe we'll get one here. What a peculiar break."

I raise an eyebrow, activating my All-Seeing-Eye and looking down from above.

"I'm not sure what you- oh-"

I sense something odd on the far side of the dungeon that was definitely not there when I scanned for enemies upon entry...

"This is new...'

Just as I catch onto the odd disturbance in mana that's lurking back by what can only be the boss room portal, it disappears from my mind's eye.

"It- It's gone?"

Ember pauses for a moment before responding.

"Seems like it is... My guess is a dungeon intruder. Something with a teleport skill."

I nod slowly, continuing to extend my perception skill's range, but coming back with nothing at all over and over again. I did feel it, there was something there... It was strong too, very strong.

Ember and I continue to soar through the sky for another 30 minutes. I catch him up on the whole Dark Continent situation, but the Dragon doesn't seem to care much for our human issues.

He's more focused on the break's themselves, hoping to snag more levels where ever he can. We're only 75 away from his next rank up, so it seems like this is still the only thing on the forefront of his mind.

It gives me more motivation to focus too. Leveling up and improving my skills is the only thing that matters.

"Let's find this intruder..."

The moment I speak these words, its presence comes backing my mind's eye. Ember seems to notice a disturbance in the mana around us too and immediately changes directions, beginning our descent.

Whatever is down there is giving off mana levels similar to the Salamander Boss in full battle mode that I fought just yesterday. There's also an odd shielding around it blocking me from reading into its full potential.

As we plummet down toward the floor at blinding speed, I begin to activate my other detection skills... then the presence vanishes again.

"It's... completely gone... again."

I grit my teeth as we break through the cloud line and the light grey spinning boss room portal comes into view below us in the middle of a wide open meadow of tall green grass.

Both of us land to the ground with a thud and I hop off Ember's back with my hands at my sides, looking around with both curiosity and frustration.

The portal slowly spins and gives off a light grey tint.

Even for a dungeon break, it's hardly dark at all. The portal doesn't buzz one bit, and there aren't any goblin or hobgoblin mobs in sight. There is usually some kind of portal guardian or something...

Nothing seems to be popping up.

I reach into my item storage to cautiously take out my sword.

"It's way too silent."

My eyes continue to dart back and forth, waiting for an ambush, but it never comes.

Minutes pass, and nothing happens... that dense mana source that has appeared twice isn't showing its face. I don't understand why....

Letting out a sigh, I walk back over to Ember who has now made himself comfortable laying down in the soft green grass. Leaning against his cool black glossy scales I open our link.

"Looks like it ran away.. whatever was here is definitely not here anymore."

Ember replies.

"What a shame. I thought we'd get to meet a real Arch Demon-"

Ember's voice stops mid-sentence and the air pressure shifts. The dense mana readings begin to pop up on my radar again out of nowhere.

I grip my sword and turn around to see the source of the energy...

An unexpected guest has arrived.