Chapter 51

#20. The Abandoned Treasure

“Which is stronger, your army or that of the king of the dead?” Kim Jin-Woo could already guess the answer, but he had to make sure.

Uther hesitated for a moment before answering, “The army of the dead is very slightly superior to ours.”

“Slightly?” Kim Jin-Woo subtly pressured Uther to speak the truth.

The slime’s whole body began to wriggle and bristle with anger. “The Army of Greed may be inferior to your nagas, but we’re not as weak as you think!”

“You succumbed really quickly last time, though.” Kim Jin-Woo reminded Uther of how he had desperately bowed to Kim Jin-Woo when the latter had declared war.

Uther replied sulkily, “The nagas wield water and ice, which can counter the Army of Greed. We can withstand most attacks, but the chill of the nagas can freeze and shatter our bodies, even including the lump of greed.”

Kim Jin-Woo had been wondering how this pathetic labyrinth could survive on the ninth floor, but it seemed the slimes had a special defense mechanism. Uther, to vent his frustration, called one of his subordinates over and smacked him strongly.


The lump of slime let out a loud shriek, but it soon recovered its original shape. Judging from the way even the pieces split apart by the shockwave merged back into the main body, the army of slime was indeed immune to most attacks.

“We may not win, but we won’t lose either,” Uther remarked.

“I see,” Kim Jin-Woo said. Uther felt relieved when he saw the look of admiration on Kim Jin-Woo’s face. This blissful moment, however, was only momentary.

“It seems your army will be more useful than I thought,” Kim Jin-Woo continued. Uther suddenly trembled when he saw the look on Kim Jin-Woo’s face as the latter added, “Let’s talk again when I return.” 

“But what are you planning to do…?” Uther asked cautiously.

Kim Jin-Woo didn’t reply. Uther wriggled and dripped slime all over after witnessing Kim Jin-Woo’s ominous grin.


Upon leaving the Labyrinth of Greed, Kim Jin-Woo immediately opened the portal and headed to the surface. He had an idea for how to use Uther and his army, but he first had to understand the situation on the surface, which he had been neglecting recently.

Kim Jin-Woo first gave Lee Jun-Young a call. She was still eager to help him with anything, as if she would never finish repaying the debt for saving her life. Furthermore, she was easier to deal with than Mr. Baek, with whom Kim Jin-Woo shared a complicated business relationship.

However, Lee Jun-Young’s phone was off today for some reason. Wondering whether she had left for an expedition in the underground world, Kim Jin-Woo hung up and called Mr. Baek instead.

{Finally a call. What in the world have you been up to?}

Mr. Baek answered the call almost immediately. His voice was sharper and more agitated than before.

“I had some matters to settle in the underground world.”

{Urgh. Any progress… No, just visit my office when you have time. Something incredible happened while you were gone.}

“Huh? What happened?” Kim Jin-Woo asked. Mr. Baek’s voice sounded too desperate for him to ignore.

{You recall the ownerless labyrinth we were talking about?}

“Yes. I haven’t made much progress yet.”

{It’s been found!} 

Kim Jin-Woo stared vacantly into the air for a moment, then bombarded Mr. Baek with questions when he realized what was going on. However, Mr. Baek told him to meet in person to discuss the situation in detail and hung up.

As a result, Kim Jin-Woo had to leave his house again before he could even relieve the fatigue that had accumulated in the underground world.

“What have you been doing during this critical period?” Mr. Baek asked when Kim Jin-Woo arrived.

“Ah, I had some matters to settle in the underground world apart from your request… That aside, what’s going on? The labyrinth’s been found?” Kim Jin-Woo asked Mr. Baek, who had been making a huge fuss before he could even take a seat.

Mr. Baek explained zealously, “One of the explorer teams seems to have discovered it by accident. It’s been a while, actually. That was about three weeks ago.”

More time had passed than Kim Jin-Woo had anticipated. After all, he had been preoccupied with other matters in the underground world for about a month, so it made sense timing-wise.

“A dungeon baby from that explorer team happened to fall into the labyrinth. But right, something incredible happened. Are you ready for this?”

Kim Jin-Woo felt glum whenever Mr. Baek beat around the bush. He could already guess what the latter was going to say.

“The labyrinth accepted the dungeon baby as its master! Isn’t that shocking? A human becoming a labyrinth master!” Mr. Baek rambled on frantically, which made Kim Jin-Woo wonder why he had been drawing things out in the first place. Mr. Baek continued, “Portal! They mentioned a portal! They call the door linking the surface and the labyrinth a portal! Everyone was surprised when the dungeon baby opened the portal.” 

It was probably not a false rumor, since Mr. Baek was aware of the existence of the portal. Nobody other than the labyrinth masters knew about the portals, after all.

However, a piece of the puzzle was still missing. Why had the dungeon baby revealed this secret to the whole world instead of keeping it to himself? Any rational person would know how dangerous that could be.

“Surprising, isn’t it? I never imagined there could be a door linking the surface and a labyrinth. With that, you could travel back and forth between the underground world and the surface whenever you wanted without wasting time at the entrance.”

After listening to Mr. Baek’s story, Kim Jin-Woo asked, “But the dungeon baby who discovered the labyrinth told everyone about it?”

“Of course not. Anyone familiar with the underground world, be it an explorer or a dungeon baby, knows what kind of danger treasures can bring. There’s no way the dungeon baby would have done that.”

As Kim Jin-Woo had suspected, there was a catch. It seemed the dungeon baby’s comrade was the whistleblower who had exposed the existence of the labyrinth. He had probably made a trivial passing remark, but the issue had blown up beyond his imagination.

“The explorer association urged the dungeon baby to prove the existence of the labyrinth. Since he would come under fire if he were deemed to be lying, he had no choice but to reveal the labyrinth. He opened the portal and showed the labyrinth to everyone. This was a bad move, since the portal and the labyrinth are treasures that are far more valuable than down gems.”

Mr. Baek regained a little composure. “In the end, the dungeon baby who found the labyrinth was murdered.”


The story had unfolded as Kim Jin-Woo expected. The dungeon baby who had discovered the treasure was killed, whereas the explorers who now knew about the existence of the labyrinth were combing through the underground world, leaving no stone unturned. Why wouldn’t they, when discovering the abandoned labyrinth could completely transform their lives?

“Both the explorers and the government are in a frenzy. It’s safe to assume that no dungeon babies are left on the surface, since all of them have entered the underground world in search of the labyrinth.”

Kim Jin-Woo once again realized how wise it was to have kept the existence of the naga’s labyrinth a secret from others. He had a perplexed look on his face as he remarked, “I guess there will be chaos on the seventh floor again.” 

“The seventh floor? Seventh floor? Oh right, I did tell you that the labyrinth was on the seventh floor,” Mr. Baek muttered.

Having sensed a strange tone in Mr. Baek’s words, Kim Jin-Woo asked again. The old man smacked his lips and continued, “The labyrinth was found on the fourth floor. No wonder you couldn’t find anything on the seventh.”

What is he talking about? Kim Jin-Woo frowned in confusion.

“Anyways, you have no idea how much I’ve looked forward to seeing you again. The client is panicking too. He must be so agitated, since he planned to take over the labyrinth quietly, but now the whole world knows about it,” Mr. Baek said.

“He hasn’t given up yet?” Kim Jin-Woo asked.

“The opposite. He publicly employed a team and promised a reward of 20 billion won,” Mr. Baek replied. It seemed the client was actively participating in the search for the labyrinth, as the issue was no longer under the radar. Mr. Baek continued, “I was waiting for you too, on that note.”

“I thought the client already found another team…?” Kim Jin-Woo began.

“I’m not talking about the client. This is a personal request.” 

Kim Jin-Woo sighed when he saw Mr. Baek’s eyes gleam with greed, asking, “You want the labyrinth?” 

“Anyone in their right mind would,” Mr. Baek answered.

“How can you trust me?” Kim Jin-Woo shook his head.

Mr. Baek replied, “I can’t trust you. However...” He took out a case that he had prepared in advance from below the table, and opened its lid. “...I can trust money. Cash never lies.”

The case was full of sparkling gold and down gems.


Kim Jin-Woo replied that he would think about it and left Mr. Baek’s office. He had a lot of things in mind after absorbing so much information.

The labyrinth that had previously been thought to exist on the seventh floor had been found on the fourth floor. Kim Jin-Woo was starting to lose track of the situation. He recalled how the naga’s labyrinth had turned out to be on the ninth floor, even though he had discovered it while wandering around the entrance to the underground world. He had no clue as to whether the abandoned labyrinth was truly on the fourth floor.

In the first place, he hadn’t been able to verify the source of the information regarding the labyrinth’s presumed location on the seventh floor. That contributed to the dilemma he was facing.


It was true that Kim Jin-Woo was interested in the abandoned labyrinth. After all, he had enjoyed a sizable profit from placing the core of Anaxtus’ labyrinth next to his own. However, he was afraid that the other participants would keep him in check if he blindly joined the competition.

Still, Kim Jin-Woo decided to explore the underground world once again. He double confirmed the information given by Mr. Baek, then called Lee Jun-Young again, but to no avail. She and her team must have joined the competition as well.


Kim Jin-Woo returned to the underground world after staying for only two days on the surface to gain information. This time, he decided to start searching from the bottom and make his way upward, instead of the other way around.

Did the labyrinth move from the seventh floor to the fourth? Or perhaps the abandoned labyrinth summoned its new master to a bizarre place, just like what the naga’s labyrinth did to me.

Either way, Kim Jin-Woo had to check both the fourth and the seventh floor.

“Dominique,” he began.

<Yes, master.> Dominique hurriedly slithered over, delighted by her master’s unexpectedly early return from the surface.

“Is there any way we can contact Rikshasha?”

<I know the naga scouts can contact each other. It may take some time, but do you still want me to try?>

What a stroke of luck! Kim Jin-Woo hurried Dominique along, as he recalled the countless explorers who were roaming around the underground world even at this moment. He instructed, “Tell the whole crew to return as soon as possible. They have work to do.”

Dominique tilted her head sideways with a puzzled expression. Nevertheless, she replied, <Yes, master,> and left the place. 

“My lovely master, what’s troubling you so much? It’s written all over your face,” Angela said, emerging from the dark as soon as Dominique left the scene.

“Ah, I heard that a pretty valuable item was floating around without an owner,” Kim Jin-Woo replied.

“Is it a treasure hunt?” Angela asked. She wasn’t exactly wrong to refer to it as such. Kim Jin-Woo nodded, which caused Angela to clap and squeal in delight like a child, asking, “I’m tagging along, right?”

“Hmm, I’ll have to think about it,” Kim Jin-Woo replied.

Yoon-Hee, a guide, was definitely part of his expedition crew. Rikshasha was also proficient in stealth and pursuit, so Kim Jin-Woo planned to bring her along. However, he wasn’t sure about including Angela, who had yet to show any special abilities to date.

“Hmm, is that ‘treasure’ alive?” Angela asked.

“I guess. But it’s probably different from what’s on your mind,” Kim Jin-Woo said.

Angela sulked with a look of disappointment on her face. “If only it were alive, then I could find it…” she muttered in frustration.

Kim Jin-Woo suddenly raised his head. “You can find the treasure as long as it’s alive?”

“Yes. I can find it from very, very far away. After all, we vampires are also called night stalkers, the pursuers of the dark.”

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