Dungeon Diver: Stealing A Monster's Power - C.229





I hear a nearby guard count these numbers down as I run toward the metal box in the middle of the square.

All of the villagers and merchants run in the opposite direction, following the orders of the screaming guards that are lying to them all about a collapse in their containment tech.

In reality, whatever is about to happen is all their doing. It was triggered by that small silver contraption in the hands of one of the escaping guards.


The countdown hits zero. I'm close to taking out my sword and slicing through the metal box myself, but I feel energy building up inside it.

The district dense mana for Arie's bow, Maria's new royal blue ice, and I feel the ground begin to shake and ripple sending waves of earth magic all throughout the courtyard.

I grin and tuck my sword back into storage, realizing they have this all under control.

There's an incredibly loud bang that's quickly overpowered by the humming and buzzing sounds of excess mana shielding flying out into the air.

A bright white flash of white light engulfs the entire square. To anyone without extreme perception awareness like mine, it'd be impossible to tell what is going on.

So, in other words, I'm the only one that has a clue of what's going on for the next 1-2 seconds.

Metal fragments from the contraptions begin to burst out in all directions and my 3 team members jump out of the mana-spewing box with angry expressions on their faces.

They've busted out at the last minute without my help. Arie's arrow blew a hole right through the shielding and Maria's Ice took advantage by freezing the whole box solid in fractions of a second. Abby finished the job by forcing the desert floor beneath the box to shoot spears of rock into the brittle outside layer shattering it into thousands of pieces.

This chain of events releases massive amounts of built-up energy into the atmosphere.

I summon walls of rock to shield the innocent townspeople that may be caught in the blast radius. Massive 5-meter tall walls of stone make a 20-meter-wide circle around the inner part of the town square. While doing so, I activate my telepathy skill and aim it directly at my teammates.

It's been used on intelligent monsters before, but never on other humans. In theory, it should work just fine.

"Can you hear me?"

About a second passes...

Shards of metal and broken mana shielding collide with my walls of stone blocking them from hitting the villagers, but I conveniently let a few pass in the direction of the 12 guards now all running away in fear of the blast.

Maria's voice echoes in my mind.

"J-Jay? How-"

Then Abby cuts her off with a confused echoing voice.


Arie is the last to talk through my telepathic link as Abby's voice fades off, he's more calm and collected.

"What happened...?"

I reply while shooting a dark ball of fire in the air heading off in the direction of the camels I parked in the shadows of the narrow alley. The black-crimson ball of flames shines through all of the dust and mana-imbued white and silver-colored debris.

"It was all a setup. Issac betrayed us. Follow the flames, we're getting out of here."

Abby butts in with a sarcastic tone.

"Who woulda thought? Issac betrayed us?"

I cut her off with a serious reply.

"Tease me later, for now, our only goal is to leave this square."

I activate stealth to zip through and hop over the crowd with ease as the dust begins to settle all around. The display of earth magic and metal fragments is revealed. The bow wielder, blond, and green-haired mages follow close behind me.

I deactivate my concealment and stealth skill and hop on one of the camels while unhooking them from where I previously tied them up. My other three teammates hop on and we ride away through the empty ally way before the screaming crowd can escape the square.

We leave the village center in shambles.

With bloodied guards cursing the elites they let slip through their fingers and yelling out words about the association, we're leaving this town just like the other two hunters from a few days earlier.

Although, the turned-up earth, and a completely destroyed mana-shielding contraption, this is a surefire way to get our bounties raised. We probably left a bigger impression on this city than we should have...

I can't help but to laugh at the chaos all around.

A few small fires start in the confusion, but hunters and guards put them out before they spread too far. Clouds of smoke fill the air behind us.

We twist and turn through the backroads until finally making it to the outer edge of town, then we go straight through the shimmering invisible wall without hesitating for a moment.

Camels are surprisingly fast when pushed to run, I thought they were just lazy slow-moving creatures all this time. Learned something new, these animals are quick.

The 4 of us, on 2 rides, make our way straight for the mountains in the direction I just came from.

Abby is the first to yell out.

"Hoohoo! Now that's how ya leave in style."

She turns to me and changes her tone.

"So, you finally got rid of that fire user I take it?"

I nod, staring forward.

"Yeah. He's gone. A few guards were taken out in the cross fire too. Deserved... Just wish I got a skill or something out of it. I'll sift through the gear another time. Oh- what about you all? How'd the actual break go?"

Arie replies.

"It was a good boss fight, the 3 of us nearly had to go all out. Maria, want to show what we got?"

She nods and reaches into her item box behind me, pulling out a few random items. The only one that stands out is a long curved white talon with a 70% mental strength buff.

I look at it curiously for a moment, then feel a buzzing sensation come from Maria's lap followed by a white glowing light.

Her eyes open wide and she reaches down to pick up the transmission tablet that came out of her item box and is now vibrating like crazy. With a tap of one of the crystals, we all hear a loud voice come out.

It's The Director.

"I've been trying to reach the lot of you for almost a full day now! What are you doing out there?? Give me a full mission status report right now!"

Just hearing his voice makes me sick... I'm not sure why. Maria chuckles and responds while my stomach drops to the floor.

"Oh, we just cleared the 4th break, only 2 more to go!"

There's a pause on the other end of the transmission tablet as Maria's cheerful voice echoes in my mind and the clomping sounds of camel's footsteps fill my ears while we begin to enter an alcove between two mountains.

Instead of climbing up the path from earlier, we head off to the right side of the middle mountain. Red walls of rock line a narrow valley-like path cutting straight through the two mountains.

A cool breeze even drifts through whistling past the tall rock cliffs on both sides as we continue forward. Finally, the director's voice returns as we all wait in anticipation.

"Good.. good. So you didn't run into any trouble, this has gone much more smoothly than I expected. So you'll be staying the night in DryRock before heading off to Solara I'd assume."

Maria giggles again.

"Well, actually we-"

Arie reaches over to grab the tablet.

"We'll be heading off to Solara soon, yes. Why? There was no mention of giving mission updates until we finished the job. What's come up? Cut to the chase here. Why are you calling?"

There's another long pause.

Maria is a bit annoyed that she didn't get to finish her sentence but stares at the glowing tablet waiting for a response just like the rest of us, not saying a word.

The Director replies.

"You have less than 2 days to clear the final break in Solara. If by any chance you fail, there will be a major catastrophe."