Chapter 69. Canyon of Wisdom

Kang Oh's party entered Turu Canyon.

The ground was dry and cracked inside the canyon. A statue was sculpted into the face of the canyon wall, roughly 20 meters in height. 

The statue was sculpted simply, such that only the eyes, nose, and mouth were discernable. It also carried a question mark shaped staff in both hands.

There were no other discernable traits. While it was large, it didn't appear like a work of art.

"This is the Statue of Turu. Turu is known as the God of Wisdom within the Bariton Desert," Grano explained.

"Is he one of the Bariton Desert's folk gods like the Rain God, Dalla?" Kang Oh asked.

"He's much older than Dalla. The people of the Bariton Desert believe that Turu and the Bariton Desert came to be at the same time."

"I see."

Kang Oh's party disembarked from their camels. They slapped their butts, causing them to leave the canyon and disappear.

"Please follow me."

Grano took the lead, walking towards the Statue of Turu.

There was an entrance that led inside the cliff between the statue's feet.

"It's inside here."

Kang Oh's party went into the entrance.

Grano retrieved a fluorescent stone from his subspace.

"Luminescent Stone," he chanted, and the stone began to radiate light.

Its shape and the brightness of light it emitted were exactly the same as a light bulb.

Grano let the luminescent stone float into the air via magic. With it, they were able to see the inside of the cliff.

It was a naturally occurring red clay colored tunnel. The walls were obviously composed of tough rock.

However, there were unreadable letters engraved on the walls.

"These are?"

Kang Oh stroked the walls. He could feel the shape of the unfamiliar letters with the tip of his fingers.

"These are the Bariton Desert's ancient letters," Grano said.

"Can you read them?" Kang Oh asked.

"Yes, I can."

Grano was definitely the foremost expert on the Bariton Desert. After all, he was capable of deciphering the Bariton Desert's ancient letters.

"What do they say?" Eder asked what was on Kang Oh's mind.

"It's quiz created by the God of Wisdom, Turu, in order to test the wisdom of mankind."

"A quiz?" Eder asked.

"The place you're touching Mr. Kang Oh asks this: 'What does a human have that a god doesn't?'," Grano said.

"What a human has that a god doesn't?"

Kang Oh thought over the question.

He thought of several possible answers, but he didn't feel like any of them were the right answer.

"Someone answered death," Grano said.

Kang Oh and Eder nodded their heads. Indeed, humans died while gods did not.

"Someone else answered a mother."

"A mother?"

Kang Oh tilted his head.

Even the gods had mothers. In Greek mythology, gods were born from other gods. Like how Zeus was born from his mother, Rhea.

Then why did they claim that gods didn't have mothers?

Kang Oh couldn't understand it.

"The gods of the desert weren't born. The people of the desert believe that they existed since the genesis of this world," Grano explained.

"Hmm. I see."

Kang Oh went 'Oh, I see' and moved on.

"So what is the correct answer between the two: death or a mother?" Eder asked.

"The God of Wisdom, Turu, is the only one who'd know the answer since the correct answer wasn't written here," Grano smiled and said.

"Ugh. We've seen the quiz, as well as the answers, so not knowing which is correct is quite awkward."

Eder's face crinkled.

If you're going to give a quiz, then you should have the decency to tell us which answer is correct!

"There is one quiz here that has a checkable answer," Grano said.

"Oh, really?"

Eder and Grano looked pleased. Time to move on from an unanswered quiz!

"Yes. And that answered quiz is also our final destination as well."

* * *

Kang Oh's party followed Grano, continuing to trek deeper and deeper into the tunnel.

Ultimately, they reached the end.

"This is..."

There were two giant stone bowls in front of them.

Kang Oh approached the stone bowls.

One of the bowls was filled with identical rocks the size of a thumb.

Kang Oh picked up one of the rocks. There was a single ancient letter engraved onto it.

He examined the other rocks as well.

"Each rock has something different inscribed on it."

All of the rocks were identical in terms of size or shape, but the engraved letter was different for each one of them.

"Hmm."

Kang Oh put down the rock and examined the other stone bowl.

The other bowl was completely empty. However, there were ancient letters engraved on the bottom of the bowl.

"What's written over here?" Kang Oh asked.

"'What is my name?'" Grano said.

"I'm sorry?" Kang Oh asked back, wondering if he'd misheard him.

"The question 'What is my name?' is inscribed on the bottom of the bowl."

"Really?"

Kang Oh smirked.

"Yes, really."

"Then do we answer the quiz with these rocks?"

Kang Oh examined the rock he was holding.

"Yes. You just need to place the rocks with the proper letters into the empty bowl," Grano explained.

"Then do we just need to spell our own name with the rocks? Let's see..."

Eder pretended to go through the rocks.

"Do you really think you'll be able to spell out your name with the rocks?" 

Grano smiled.

"As I thought. That's not the right answer, is it?"

Eder ceased his search and smiled.

"It's a quiz you can't solve unless you know the Bariton region's ancient letters," Eder said.

In order to solve the quiz, one needed to not only be able to read the question, but also pick out the correct letters.

"That's not necessarily true," Granos said.

"Why is that?"

"Because it was created by the God of Wisdom, Turu. Even if you don't know how to read the letters, you should be able to solve the quiz."

"Really?"

Eder looked shocked.

"Yes. Would you like to give it a shot?" Grano asked.

At that moment, Kang Oh raised his hand.

"I'll give it a shot."

Kang Oh wanted to see if he could pick the right rocks via his Hyper Intuition.

"Alright. Go ahead."

Grano and Eder took two steps back from the stone bowl.

Kang Oh began to examine each and every rock.

"As expected..." Grano watched Kang Oh, slightly nodded his head, and muttered.

"Hmm."

Whenever Kang Oh examined a rock and felt nothing, he would immediately move on to the next rock.

'Oh, as expected!'

The moment he grabbed a rock, his Hyper Intuition flared.

It was the feeling that there was something more to this rock! No, it was more accurate to call it a hunch.

Kang Oh placed that rock into the empty bowl.

"Ooh."

Grano saw which letter Kang Oh had picked and could only look on in awe.

The rock he'd picked pertained to the correct answer.

Kang Oh placed the wrong rocks to the side and continued his search.

'The second one.'

Kang Oh soon found the second rock via Hyper Intuition. He placed that rock into the empty bowl as well.

'The third.'

He found the third rock with ease too and placed it into the empty bowl.

But once he'd placed the third rock into the empty bowl, it began to tilt slightly.

"Huh?"

Kang Oh stopped examining the rocks and watched on.

Rattle.

He heard something getting sucked in, and saw a hole form on one of the walls.

A person could get through it if they bowed their head.


[You have discovered the hidden dungeon, Wisdom's Testing Ground.]

[You are the first to discover it.]

[Fame has increased.]

[When you hunt in Wisdom's Testing Ground, then you receive 2 times the experience. Item drop rate is also doubled.]


The hole in the wall was the entrance to a hidden dungeon. He was also the first to discover it!

"Wow. How did you...?" Eder asked Kang Oh.

"Well, that's..."

With his intuition, Hyper Intuition!

Kang Oh was going to explain that he'd used his intuition to solve the quiz. It was the truth after all.

However, Grano interjected then and there.

"It's because the weight of rocks differed," Grano said.

"Excuse me? The weight?"

Eder opened his eyes wide.

"There are three rocks amongst these that are heavier than the rest. That's the correct answer. Isn't that right, Mr. Kang Oh?"

Kang Oh just scratched his nose.

'Now that you mention it, the rocks I picked did seem heavier than the rest... Well, I guess it doesn't really matter.'

Solving the quiz using weight rather than intuition seemed like the better answer here.

"Exactly."

Kang Oh smiled awkwardly and nodded his head.

"Ah, that's why you said the quiz could be solved even without knowing what was written on them."

Eder slapped the palm of his hand.

"Hoo, you're amazing, Mr. Grano. How did you figure that out?"

Eder looked at Grano with eyes full of admiration and respect.

Grano began, "When I first came here, I wasn't able to find the correct rocks. I tried and tried to make some words with the rocks, but nothing would happen."

He momentarily caught his breath.

"I sat down, thinking about what the correct answer could be, and suddenly found the answer."

"Which was?" Eder asked.

It was as though he was saying 'Hurry up and tell me. I'm getting dizzy over here.'.

"That it didn't matter what order you placed the rocks in. In other words, all you need to do is place the correct rocks into the bowl."

"Ah."

Eder nodded his head.

Kang Oh remained silent and listened with great interest.

"That's how I figured out that there must be a difference between the right rocks and the wrong rocks. And ultimately found that although they were identical in size and shape, some of the rocks were heavier than the rest," Grano finished his explanation.

"As expected! I admire you, Mr. Grano."

Eder grabbed Grano's hands with sparkling eyes.

Grano's personality and intellect were all top-notch. Contrary to someone else he knew.

"Mr. Kang Oh was able to figure it out after he heard my hint, that you didn't need to be able to read the letters. Isn't that right?" Grano asked.

"Yes, exactly."

The end justifies the means. It didn't matter whether he solved the quiz with his intuition or the weight.

"Ahem. You're quite impressive too, Mr. Kang Oh."

Eder couldn't deny Kang Oh's achievement and gave him a thumbs up.

"This is nothing," Kang Oh said proudly.

"But what do all of these letters spell out?" Eder pointed at the three rocks inside the empty bowl and asked.

He knew the way to solve the quiz now, so now he wanted to know what the answer itself was.

"There is no meaning," Grano said.

"There is no meaning?" Eder asked back.

"Yes. It doesn't matter how you combine those letters; it doesn't spell out anything," Grano said.

"Man, they're really trying to get us with that one," Kang Oh smiled and said.

The God of Wisdom had led the test takers to overly focus on the question 'What is my name?', even though the three correct letters weren't able to create a coherent word.

In other words, it didn't matter what word one chose; they wouldn't get the answer right.

"The quiz signifies that whoever is smart enough to see past the letters and see what isn't visible is one who possesses true wisdom," Grano said.

"I suppose that could be true."

Kang Oh roughly nodded his head.

Then, he looked at the entrance to the hidden dungeon.

"In any case, we're done with the quiz, so shall we focus on the hidden dungeon now? Hey, Eder. Put down the rocks already," Kang Oh said.

Eder was holding a correct rock in one hand and an incorrect in the other, comparing their respective weights.

"Ok."

Eder put down the rocks and came to Kang Oh's side.

"Mr. Grano, have you ever gone inside that dungeon before?" Kang Oh asked.

"Yes, I have."

"Then please tell us about the monsters and the boss."

"If I'm remembering correctly, there are no monsters inside."

"There are no monsters in the dungeon?"

Then it's not a dungeon?

"Yes. Once you go in, you'll find yourself in the boss room and will have to face the boss right away."

"Ah. So it's a dungeon with a boss but no monsters."

There were a variety of different dungeons. A dungeon with only a boss could exist.

Well, it wasn't bad.

Since he could kill the boss immediately and take all of their treasure.

"What is the boss monster?" Kang Oh asked.

"A golem. A Stone Golem." 

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