Chapter 61. Grano's Dungeon

Kang Oh's party left the Hapdala Oasis travelling atop camels.

They couldn't test the rain-making device in the Hapdala Oasis since there were too many eyes there and they could be interrupted as well.

Therefore, Kang Oh's party traversed across sand dune after sand dune until the Hapdala Oasis was no longer within sight.

Along the way they were hindered by cactus monsters and Sandurions, but they were able to take care of them without any issue.

"I think this is far enough."

Grano's camel stopped.

Everywhere they looked, there was only sand, and there were no monsters to speak of either.

He got off his camel, and Kang Oh and Eder followed suit.

Grano moved busily. 

"Is there anything I can do to help?"

Eder volunteered to help, but Grano shook his head.

"I appreciate the thought, but no thank you."

Grano retrieved a bottle that contained black powder from his subspace and sprayed it across the flat sand-bed.

A magic circle was etched onto the ground containing bizarre symbols and patterns.

Kang Oh and Eder watched the entire process closely.

"Hoo."

Grano, who had finished drawing the magic circle, wiped his forehead and regained his breath.

He dusted off his hands, brushing the remaining sand and powder off.

Grano opened his subspace, carefully retrieved the rain-making device, and placed it in the center of the magic circle.

"It's called Dalla #12."

The Dalla #12 was shaped like a donut.

"It's a lot smaller than I expected."

It was called a rain-making device, so he'd expected it to be large, but the Dalla #12 wasn't large at all.

It was only about 1 meter in diameter.

"It's not only a skill, but also a trend nowadays to miniaturize things," Grano said.

He retrieved a staff from his subspace.

The staff was mostly wood, but was adorned with a bronze eagle at the tip.

"Let us begin."

Grano grabbed the staff with both hands and began reciting an incantation.

He tapped the magic circle with the tip of his staff, causing the circle to begin radiating light.

"It's lighting up," Eder said.

The donut-shaped Dalla #12 began to float into the air.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

The more he rapped the magic circle with his staff, the higher the Dalla #12 rose.

Had he decided that it'd risen far enough?

Grano stopped tapping the magic circle with his staff. Instead, he pointed the bronze eagle portion of his staff at the airborne Dalla #12.

Then, he began turning it clockwise and the donut-shaped Dalla #12 followed suit, turning in a clockwise motion itself.

"Oh!"

Kang Oh gaped. Something mysterious was happening before his very eyes.

Once the Dalla #12 began to spin, nearby clouds began to gather towards it. 

Plus!

Clouds were spewing out of its hollow center!

The nearby clouds and the clouds that the Dalla #12 spewed out combined, creating a giant black cloud.

It really looked like it would rain.

Grano continued to spin his staff diligently whilst looking extremely anxious.

At some point...

Pitter-patter.

Raindrops began to fall.

"It's raining!" Kang Oh cleaned the rain off his face and yelled.

That's when Grano stopped twirling his staff. Despite that, the Dalla #12 continued to rotate on its own.

The rain, which had begun with only one or two drops at a time, began to intensify, and ultimately became a shower.

"It's a success!"

"Congratulations."

Kang Oh and Eder approached Grano and congratulated him.

"..."

However, Grano said nothing and simply continued to gaze at the Dalla #12. 

Then, he suddenly began twirling his staff counter-clockwise.

The Dalla #12's rotational speed began to slow.

Grano twirled his staff even faster.

"Is there some sort of problem?" Kang Oh picked up on Grano's seriousness and asked.

"The Dalla #12 is creating more clouds than I expected," Grano said in a grave voice.

"What'll happen because of that?" Eder asked with a concerned expression.

"If I don't stop it soon, then it'll overload and expl..."

At that moment.

Boom!

The Dalla #12 exploded and caught on fire.

Although it was raining, it didn't seem like the flames would go out anytime soon.

Grano quickly cast a water spell and engulfed the Dalla #12 in drops of water.

Fortunately, he was able to extinguish the fire.

The Dalla #12, still wrapped in water, slowly began to descend.

Once the water encircling it disappeared, the Dalla #12 landed onto the sand-bed.

Grano ran over and examined it.

"Is it heavily damaged?" Kang Oh asked.

Grano didn't respond.

"Is it irreparable?" Kang Oh asked once more.

Yet again, Grano didn't respond.

'Tch. He must be devastated. He's lost his mind.'

Kang Oh approached Grano.

"Hoo, you almost succeeded. It's unfortunate."

Kang Oh placed his hand over Grano's shoulder and comforted him. 

"Did the absorber draw in more water than I'd expected? In the lab, its output wasn't this high... Next time, I'll need to reinforce the frame with stronger materials. Hmm. What should I try," Grano muttered.

He wasn't really devastated or disappointed. Rather, he seemed more passionate than before.

"Mr. Grano?"

Kang Oh shook his shoulder. Only then did Grano respond.

"Ah, yes?"

"Are you alright?"

"What do you mean?"

Grano tilted his head.

"Well, your device was working so well and then it malfunctioned, so I was wondering if you were disappointed or..."

Grano just smiled.

"Mr. Kang Oh. Do you know why it's called Dalla #12?"

"You created it after the first eleven failed."

Like Apollo 10 to Apollo 11.

"Exactly. It means I failed eleven times. Yet, I still created the twelfth version regardless. After all, failure is the mother of success!"

His mental fortitude was truly strong, so much so that it was actually respectable. 

'He lost all those materials that cost a fortune, yet he's still ok. What a guy.'

It must've cost a fortune to create the Dalla #12.

If Kang Oh had paid for the Dalla #12 and a similar situation had happened to him, then how would he react?

It was too much to even think about.

"Well, sometimes it just really doesn't work out for you..." 

Eder smiled bitterly.

After all, he was plagued by an incurable disease through the Goddess of Death's curse.

He'd made countless attempts to cure this incurable disease, but every single attempt had failed.

Though he'd made so many attempts, he still wasn't able to cure his disease.

That must be why he'd made that comment.

"Mr. Eder is right. However, I don't think I'm ready to give up just yet," Grano said.

'That's a relief.'

It was fortunate that Grano was fine, despite the Dalla #12's failure.

There was still much they had to do together.

"It'll gradually stop raining."

Grano looked up at the sky.

The black cloud began to lighten and disperse. The rain began to lessen as well.

"Let's return to Hapdala," Kang Oh said.

"Alright," Grano and Eder agreed.

They blew on their camel-tipped whistles, calling for the camels that they'd left behind.

The camels slowly walked over the sand dune from below.

By the time the camels had come, the rain had completely stopped.

The sun had peeked out once more.

"You won this time," Grano looked at the sun and teased.

Kang Oh's party rode the camels and returned to the Hapdala Oasis.

* * *

The next day.

Kang Oh, Eder, and Grano were gathered within the yurt.

"Are we headed for a hidden dungeon today?"

Kang Oh checked today's schedule.

"Yes."

Grano nodded his head.

"Where is it?" Kang Oh asked.

"There's a famous historic site within the Bariton region. Do you know what it is?" Grano asked.

Kang Oh answered with a question of his own, "The pyramids of the Beskamen royal family, right?"

He had several tidbits of Arth information in his head. Obviously, he had information regarding geography and ruins as well.

Thus, he responded instantly.

"Indeed, the pyramids of the Beskamen royal family."

Long ago, the Beskamen royal family ruled all of the eastern desert region.

The kings of the Beskamen royal family were buried in these pyramids.

This burial ground was none other than the pyramids of the Beskamen royal family.

But it was slightly different from the Egyptian pyramids that we often think of.

Firstly, they weren't even half the size of the Egyptian pyramids.

Secondly, the guardians had become monsters and monsters had gathered there, so the inside of the pyramids had become dungeons.

"The Beskamen royal family's pyramids are gathered all in one place. There are four in total, but... anyone who's familiar with the history of the Beskamen royal family would find it odd that there are only four pyramids," Grano said. 

"What's so strange about it?" Eder asked.

"There were six kings who ruled the Beskamen Kingdom."

"Ah."

There were six kings in total, yet only four tombs. It certainly was strange.

"It makes sense that the sixth king doesn't have a tomb, as he was not only the last ruler of the kingdom, but his kingdom was also conquered by neighboring countries," Grano said.

Kang Oh and Eder nodded their heads to that.

"Then there are five kings that should have tombs. But in actuality, there are only four of them. In other words, there's one king that doesn't have a tomb."

"That's true," Eder agreed.

"I've studied the pyramids' inscriptions, all sorts of different artifacts, as well as old books. That's how I know that there's a tomb missing."

"Whose is it?" Kang Oh asked.

"The founding king's tomb is missing."

"The founder's tomb is missing?" 

Kang Oh tilted his head.

It was definitely strange.

It was like saying that South Korea was missing Yi Seong Gye's tomb, despite having all the other tombs of the Joseon kings.

"Yes. If that's the case, then does the founder's tomb not exist or have we just not found it?" Grano asked an already answered question.

"We just haven't found it," Eder replied.

"That's correct. But I managed to find it. It's a hidden dungeon!"

Their destination was revealed.

The hidden tomb of Beskamen I!

"So where is it?" Eder asked wide-eyed.

* * *

If one continued to trek east, they would eventually see four pyramids.

These pyramids were the pyramids of the Beskamen royal family.

Kang Oh's party was currently in front of the largest of them.

"It's disgustingly huge."

Kang Oh raised his head and looked at the top of the pyramid.

"Haa."

It was much too large to be used to bury only one person.

'Pyramids are the best way to waste space.'

To him, it was so overly wasteful that he was actually in awe.

Then, Grano called for Kang Oh and Eder.

He had already gone up two levels.

"Over here."

Grano pointed at a crevice large enough that a person could go through.

Of course, it wasn't the pyramid's official entrance.

It was a doghole!

As Kang Oh and Eder approached, Grano entered the crevice.

Kang Oh and Eder didn't have a reason to hesitate. They immediately followed Grano. 


[Entering the dungeon, Tomb of Beskamen II.]

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