Chapter 158

“Amazing…” Leona expressed her admiration as she watched Hans and Snoc’s battle.

Golems, especially ones formed out of mithril, were a very strong force. They possessed magical defense abilities, and low-grade attacks couldn’t leave a mark on their hardened bodies. Yet, even if it took them a while, Hans and Snoc had managed to perfectly crush the golems into pieces.

“Got it!” Lyla, who had asked Snoc to look through the pile of mithril, took out a red metal piece the size of a person’s head. It was the golem’s core. After she cleanly extracted the other core, she asked Zich, “Could you take this? I want to analyze them later.”

Zich took out a magic box from his belongings and threw it to Lyla. “Put it there.”

“Oh, it’s different from the one you usually carry around.”

“I bought it at the auction house. You can keep that one.”

From what Zich had heard, there was a high chance that a single magic box wouldn’t be able to handle all the treasures in this ruins. Thus, since he already had a lot of money and would get more later, he had bought a couple of magic boxes without hesitation.

“Hows it going?” Zich approached Snoc and asked. Snoc was controlling the detached pieces of mithril here and there.

Snoc answered, “It’s difficult, sir. It uses up a lot of mana, and it’s hard to control.”

The mithril around Snoc’s arm made clinking noises. Snoc was moving mithril into an arm shape like he often did when making rock armor, but his movements looked clearly more awkward compared to when he used dirt or rocks to cover his body parts.

“Try mixing it with dirt or rocks to move it for the meantime. It should increase your defense much more even if you simply cover your rock armor with mithril.”

In times like now, when it was difficult for Snoc to control the surrounding earth, mithril pieces would be a great asset to him. No, even in situations when it wasn’t difficult for him to control his surroundings, it would help him.

Zich threw a magic box at Snoc and said, “You take this. Carry mithril in there and take it out when you need it.”

“Yes, sir!” Snoc began to pour mithril into his magic box. He put in the exact amount of metal that he was capable of using and shouted, “I put it all in, sir!”

But Zich was not pleased. He asked, “What are you doing?”

“Sorry?”

“Aren’t you going to put in the rest?”

A big pile of mithril, far larger than the amount that Snoc had placed in his box, was still on the floor. Snoc glanced at the pile and Zich again. Then, he took up some more. But as Zich’s frown remained on his face, Snoc continued to stuff more mithril into his box until everything on the ground disappeared.

“That’s right. You should think about increasing your capacity through practice. What are you thinking, only taking the amount you can control now?”

“But this is…” Snoc wanted to retort, “mithril, sir.”

Even Snoc, who had been stuck inside the mines his whole life, had heard of a metal named mithril. It was a metal, tens and hundreds of times more valuable than gold. Snoc didn’t have the guts to take everything for practice. No, it wasn’t just about having guts.

But Zich snorted, saying, “Don’t worry about that and take everything. And only say that once you manage to control everything you possess—”

Then, Zich stared beyond the passage. For some time, he had been hearing heavy footsteps.

“Since Ill get you more.”

Red eyes shone from the darkness. Other golems had appeared.

* * *

Crash!

A heap of mithril poured down as the golem fell. Hans withdrew Estellade and Snoc took off his armor. Snoc rummaged through the mithril, and Lyla took the core that appeared from the pile.

Leona watched as Lyla returned to her spot while humming. She looked downcast.

Lyla comforted her, “Don’t be discouraged, since it’s not because your skills are lacking.”

However, Leona’s expression didn’t brighten, and Lyla sighed. The reason why Leona was dispirited was simple: It was because she was of no help to their battle. It wasn’t that she couldn’t beat a golem. They already knew where the golem’s core was, and she could pierce and crush it with just one shot of her mana-filled arrow. If the golem tried to block her arrow, she could speedily shoot from behind and easily crush the golem’s core.

However, Lyla, who wanted the golem’s core, wasn’t pleased about a method that broke the items she wanted; and the more materials she had for experimentation, the better it was for her. Thus, in the end, they left the task of finishing the golems to Hans and Snoc, and Leona watched with gloomy eyes from behind. Unable to force her into battle or much of anything else, Zich and his companions left her alone for the most part.

Not many golems appeared, but since every single one was made entirely of mithril, they gathered an unimaginable amount of mithril.

“This is already a treasure in itself,” Lyla said as she picked up some of the dropped mithril and put it into her magic box. Then, she looked around her surroundings.

Small passages stretched out from a giant passage that went straight ahead, but many of them had succumbed to time and crumbled.

‘What is this place?’ Lyla followed her companions from some distance behind and carefully searched each part of the ruin. Part of her was simply curious, but in another part of her head, there was something that kept stirring her memories.

‘Should I ask to research this ruins after this incident is over?’ she thoughtBesides permitting her to skip training, Zich surprisingly accommodated her requests readily.

‘Ill try asking him.’ Lyla decided this.

Without hesitation, Zich walked forward in a straight line. Even though the ruins were enormous, he didn’t get lost. Lyla knew why Zich was so familiar with the structure of this ruins.

‘He said he came here once before.’

Before he regressed, Zich had come to this ruins after Evelyn had kept pestering him to see if there were any treasures left in the ruins. As expected, there were no treasures left by the time Zich went to the ruins. However, at that time, he had used one of the people who found some treasures as his guide, so he knew the ruins’ basic structure. 

After defeating more golems and moving deeper into the ruins, a large stone gate appeared in front of them. From a glance, it looked very grand and important; but there were no detailed sculptures etched onto its walls, as there had been on the door in the entrance of the ruins. Zich stepped forward again. He put his hands on the stone wall and pushed hard.

Crrrrreak!

The stone wall, which had been closed for who knew how long, began to slowly open. From the crack in the door, a room came into view.

“Wow!”

Everyone except Zich made a loud exclamation at the sight in front of them.

*    *    *

Midas elegantly drank his wine and watched the panoramic view of Tungel. The place he was on was a terrace in the center auction house. This terrace was in a bar for customers to enjoy themselves while they participated in the auctions, and it was also Midas’ favorite place to visit. On this terrace, he could see the entirety of Tungel below him. Since the center auction house was at a high altitude, there was no better place than here to see the entire scenery of Tungel. As he looked down at the whole city from the terrace, he felt as if he were a god.

‘No, I’m not really that different from a god.’

Humans were animals driven by their desires. Even if they held the purest of hearts, all people would fall to their knees in front of their desire—this was what Midas believed with all his heart. Moreover, the easiest way to fulfill people’s desires was money.

‘Since I’m able to make gold, which makes as much money as I want, I’m able to control people’s desires.’

Then, by controlling people’s desires, he was able to control people however he wanted. The more he made gold, the more the world would bow down before him. And then he would be able to possess everything he wanted in this world. Midas was assured that this would soon be his future. As he imagined himself as a god, he felt happy and pleased.

However, this was still in the future. There were still too many situations that hadn’t gone according to his will.

‘Thinking about it, I couldn’t control those guys either.’ Midas frowned as he recalled the swindler who had tricked an elf by telling her about finding treasures.

‘I should have also taken a treasure similar to that elf’s Lake Tear.’ Midas was confident that Leona had more treasures of similar quality to the Lake’s Tear. 

‘I guess sending just armors wasn’t enough. I should have hired skilled people with my money.’ He hadn’t expected a couple of random swindlers to be so strong. His good mood immediately worsened at the thought of Zich and his companions. He roughly gulped down the wine.

‘I should quickly go make more gold.’  He also had to make ‘special gold’ for himself. He turned around to leave the terrace.

It was at that moment that a voice rang out near him. “I found you.”

“What?” Midas began, thinking, ‘How dare someone block my path?’

Midas lifted his eyebrows high, but in contrast, his mood plummeted. He was unable to hide his displeasure, but then his annoyance turned into surprise as he saw who was in front of him. “You…!” he exclaimed.

“It’s been a while, right?” The man nonchalantly waved his hand. It was the swindler.

*   *   *

“Wow, as expected of a person who drives around a golden carriage, you really live differently.” Zich showed his admiration at the large amount of food prepared in front of him. However, his tone was slightly off, so rather than admiration, it sounded more like mockery.

“What do you want?” With an expensive cigar in his mouth, Midas filled his glass with rare wine and asked Zich straightforwardly.

Midas was extremely annoyed by the skilled but very impudent swindler in front of him. Zich and Midas sat between a table full of food. Before Zich arrived, Midas had had the whole table to himself. There was no one around him. Even though he couldn’t eat all the food on the table, Midas always ate his food after renting out the whole restaurant and filling up his table with food. It was so much food that he could only eat a bite of each plate, and the rest of the food had to go into the trash can.

“Ah, about that.” Without getting permission, Zich took a pie and began eating it. 

Veins popped out of Midas’ face. Since Zich had been able to skillfully escape his attack, Midas wanted to try listening to him first, but seeing Zich’s rude attitude, he wondered if he had made the wrong decision. 

However, Zich’s next words were enough to calm his anger. “I’ve become interested in your offer.”

“Offer?”

“The treasure that the elf has. You know, the treasure related to the Lake’s Tear.”

Curiosity filled Midas’ face. This curiosity further increased with Zich’s next words.

“I’m thinking about taking it from her. Are you interested?”

There was no way Midas wasn’t interested. He immediately wanted to listen to more of Zich’s plan. However, he was also not an easy opponent, and it wasn't his first time doing business with shady people. If he showed his interest immediately, he would lose his bargaining power, so he purposely put on a disinterested expression.

“What do you mean? Didn’t you say that there was nothing like that?” Midas asked. However, he knew the reason why the swindler in front of him had changed his mind about accepting the offer.

‘I bet his plan didn’t work out well,’ Midas thought. Otherwise, there was no way this swindler would have come to share a part of his catch.

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