Chapter 1. Prologue
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He couldn’t believe it. When he came to his senses, he arrived at Seorim-dong Park.
‘It’s been about ten days?’
That’s all he’s stayed there for, but he already felt a deep longing.
Do-joon, who stood and enjoyed the joy of his return, lowered his eyes toward his hands. There was an item he was grasping tightly.
– Return to the real world. It can only be used in ‘Labyrinth’.
‘I was thinking that this would send me back.’
As soon as he saw the name “Hearthstone” on the reward list, Do-joon thought, ‘That reward was for going back.’ But it wasn’t.
He was already in Seorim-dong Park before he could use it even though he took the Hearthstone in his hand.
‘I guess it’s for the next labyrinth.’
That’s the only conclusion he could think of.
Perhaps, it is to be used when he uses the key that was given as a reward to enter the labyrinth.
Since he has no intention of going back to the labyrinth right now, Do-joon puts the hearthstone in his inventory for now.
‘The dungeon… … Seems to be closed.’
There were no traces left in Seorim-dong Park, where huge roots grew. The dungeon seems to have closed safely.
He has probably been classified as a dungeon refugee since he had been missing for 10 days.
In his head, he wanted to call the association as soon as he could, but it was quite late. Seeing the moon floating high in the sky, he thought it might be dawn.
‘I left my phone with her.’
In addition, he left his cell phone with Lee Ji-ah.
In the original dungeon, that is, inside the roots of the World Tree, you cannot bring any earthly objects in. If you do, it disappears as soon as you pass through the gate.
It is an anecdote that is still being talked about, a large expedition team that entered the first roots in the past, rushed out naked.
So hunters wear clothes and equipment made from resources within the dungeon.
That was why now he doesn’t have a cell phone. In other words, he couldn’t contact them even if he wanted to.
‘I can pick it up tomorrow.’
That part was nothing to worry about. There was only one thing Do-joon was worried about right now.
He took a taxi out of the main street. It was still early in the evening, so the visiting hours will be fine.
“Please go to Wonsan Hospital.”
He put his seat belt on and laid himself on the cushion. The fatigue that he had not felt since he had been nervous all this time came rushing in at once.
Still, his mind was clear. Sitting in the back seat, he took the ring off his finger.
【Destructive Arreina’s Ring】
A reward for clearing the labyrinth received with a Hearthstone and a key.
It was written as a random box, but the real box did not appear in his hand. When he just clicked on the word box, only one item appeared.
That’s how he got it.
Originally, it would be right to use it for himself. He will have to get stronger as soon as possible so that he can go around higher dungeons and labyrinths to get better items.
This was right in his pursuit of rationality.
【Destructive Arreina’s Ring】
– The ruler of the jungle, the Arreina child, gets a gift when he turns 3 years old. It contains the prayers of a shaman wishing for good health and longevity.
– Vitality +5Lv
– Fire Resistance 5%
– Poison Resistance 5%
Do-joon could never be reasonable only about his daughter.
Rather, the fact that such an option item came out of a random box seemed to push him to use it on his daughter.
Dojun was fiddling with the ring.
Soon after about 20 minutes, the taxi arrived at the hospital.
* * *
When he arrived at the hospital, he met the nurse who had been taking care of his daughter for years.
Do-joon smiled bitterly. Because her expression was as if she were seeing a ghost.
“I heard you became a Dungeon refugee…….”
“I was lucky to return.”
“Oh, thank God! What a relief!”
Jeong Da-jeong, who clapped her hands and made a fuss. She was rich in both emotional expression and voice.
Do-joon spoke to her.
“How is So-eun?”
“Oh, So-eun? Fortunately, she didn’t get worse. But she seems very depressed these days “
Jeong Da-jeong said with a smile. Because she imagined that So-eun would be so happy to see her father.
“Maybe that’s how a child would feel…….”
“I just said you couldn’t come because you were busy. I didn’t know what to say…….”
“Whew…… Well done.”
How sad would a weak child be to hear that her father is missing?
Fortunately, that didn’t seem to have happened. It looks like Jeong Da-jeong has covered it up in moderation.
He arrived in front of the hospital room while murmuring with her, who was wondering how he got back. As he tried to open the door, Jeong Da-jeong grabbed his hand.
“Shhh. Hold on a second.”
Then she smiled playfully and placed her index finger on his lips. She left Do-joon outside the hospital room, and went inside the room alone.
As Do-joon tried to stand idly with a puzzled face, he heard a voice from inside.
“So-eun, you have a visitor.”
“Yes. Guess who’s here~?”
When he heard So-eun’s voice, Do-joon immediately felt like his whole body was relieved of tension.
“Hint hint, he’s the person So-eun wants to see the most.”
“……Dad? Is Daddy here?”
He heard footsteps pulling on slippers.
The door of the hospital room opened. Beyond the door was a little girl with both her hands raised over the door and holding the handle.
The child ran and hugged Do-joon’s knee tightly. Do-joon kneeled down and hugged So-eun.
There was a smile around Do-joon’s mouth.
He was not here as a general store owner nor one of the common gatherers, and not even as the person who slaughtered skeletons in the labyrinth.
All there only was a father of one child.
“Yes, yes. Has So-eun been doing well?”
When Do-joon patted So-eun on her small back, So-eun smiled and clung to him.
So-eun was a beautiful girl, not because she was his daughter, but because she was really beautiful. Even though she was a child, she had very delicate and distinct facial features, with large eyes and her face was slender.
She looked so cute that even if you were to bring out most of the child actors there was, you would still end up looking right at her.
This was not just Do-joon’s personal opinion, but the common opinion of everyone who saw So-eun. Of course, Do-joon thought so too.
“Dad, why are you coming so late?”
“Sorry, I was busy with work. Did you wait a long time?”
He came back to the hospital room with So-eun in his arms. Jeong Da-jeong looked at the two happily. Do-joon bowed slightly to her.
“Then I’ll go. I’ll have a test in a little while, so I’ll see you then.”
“Yes. Thank you for always taking care of So-eun.”
“Thank you. It’s my job.”
After she left, there were only two of them left in the hospital room.
Do-joon tried to put So-eun on the bed in the hospital room. But it wasn’t quite green. This was because So-eun stuck together with him and didn’t want to fall apart.
After a long time, Do-joon succeeded in making So-eun let go of him. He asked, tucking the child’s side hair behind her ears.
“How are you feeling these days? Does it hurt a lot?”
“It doesn’t hurt much! Yesterday was fine~. The day before yesterday, it didn’t hurt either!”
He was glad to hear that, but Do-joon’s face was complicated.
A congenital mana disease.
One of the new diseases that emerged with the emergence of the World Tree and the spread of mysterious energy. The disease, which is far more complex by scientific name but is commonly called that, was the name of the disease that So-eun suffered from.
Originally, mana is the power that resides in the awakened people to whom the spores are attached, and it is the energy that grows step by step with physical training.
But very occasionally, there are children who have not Awoken and born with enormous mana quantity. These children do not develop properly due to their vast amount of mana, which is not suitable for their immature bodies, and furthermore, they suffer from pain and die.
Legend has it that the oldest child died at the age of 17.
‘So-eun is now six years old.’
In the future, at most, there was only a little over 10 years left.
Do-joon’s eyes sank. Controlling symptoms in modern medical technology is said to be the limit. Far from treating the disease, the cause has not been determined.
‘But, can a cure be developed in 10 years?’
Do-joon was lost in thought with a dark expression. So-eun tilted her head and looked at Do-joon.
“Huh? Uh, what?”
“Dad, are you sick?”
“No. Daddy is not sick.”
Seeing So-eun worried, Do-joon blamed himself inside. As a parent, he can’t believe he was making such an expression in front of his child.
Do-joon, who came to his senses, took out the ring with courtesy from his inner pocket. Seeing the sparkling ring, So-eun exclaimed.
“I’m sorry, but it’s not So-eun’s present.”
“Isn’t it mine?”
So-eun pouted her lips as if she were upset. He felt sorry, but he couldn’t help it. He can’t give her a gift that could get revealed as an item.
Do-joon put the ring on So-eun’s neck with a bitter smile.
[You can copy one of the options of ‘Destructive Arreina’s Ring’ to ‘Kim So-eun’.]
- Vitality +5Lv
- Fire Resistance +5%
- Poison Resistance +5%
The choice was, of course, decided.
[Material ‘Destructive Arreina’s Ring’ that was used has been destroyed.]
At the next moment, the ring turned into powder and scattered, and So-eun’s body shone faintly.
‘…… Can I see if it’s working?’
He focused his eyes on So-eun.
Originally, there was no way to see other people’s status windows. All he could see was his status window and the information window of the item.
But Do-joon had a way. To be exact, it happened earlier.
[Additional reward has been received.]
[Ability – Insight]
A skill to see through the opponent’s fit rate.
He used his insight to see So-eun’s condition.
– Vitality +5Lv
‘I can see it.’
The fit rate was showing as well as an additional option. So far, there hasn’t been much change. It was natural that the fit rate was 0% because she was not an awakener, and the additional option was copied now.
First of all, the copy seems to have succeeded.
– Ninth Yin Pulse
He saw something strange underneath it.