Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 247

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Solo Max-Level Newbie

Chapter 247. Dragon-Slaying Sword ‘Valmung’ (1)

Among the existing items, there is a hierarchy even in the sacred relics that are classified at the very top.

It’s only natural.

After all, a sword used by a nameless general with barely any record in history could not be considered in the same class as the hammer of Thor, the great hero from the Norse myths.

Thus, the Tower of Ordeals measured the grades of the sacred relics using seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

And then there was Valmung, the Dragon-Slaying Sword, stored in the empire’s underground vaults.

This greatsword had been assessed as an ‘indigo’—a top-tier relic.

‘It must be secured, whether it be for dealing with the Dragon Tribes. Or to stand against them.’

Naturally, there were several preliminary tasks that had to be taken care of for this.

“We will depart in 30 minutes.”

Jinhyuk activated the timer.

“30 minutes… That should be enough for me to prepare for the expedition.”

“In that case, I’ll see you in front of the tomb then.”

It was obvious they would encounter guards and royal guards on the way to the tomb.

However, slipping past ordinary soldiers was all too easy for the two of them.

Leaving the room in Pesis’ mansion, Jinhyuk headed to the terrace with a clear view of the lake and the night scenery of the capital.

The place was deserted and, not to mention, perfect for enjoying the view.

The deep silence of dawn.

The lake, basking in stars and the moon, seemed to make one forget all worries and concerns.

“……”

He always thought so, but the Tower of Ordeals was full of scenic spots.

It was a good place to immerse oneself in contemplation.

And also optimized for having conversations without fear of being overheard.

“Come out, I know you’re watching.”

Jinhyuk muttered into the thin air.

Then.

[Hmm. Players are not supposed to peer beyond barriers. How did you detect my presence?]

Beriel had initiated the conversation.

“You wouldn’t just help and disappear, given your nature. So I figured you’d be stalking me from above, hiding with malignant intent. As expected, I was right.”

[I am encountering such a calm human for the first time. This is rather… intriguing. How about it? How would you like to become my sword apostle? With your abilities, I could pour all I have into making you a perfect apostle. I can grant whatever else you might desire as well.]

“I thought I had already rejected that offer, don’t you remember? I told you a tiger cannot stoop to be under a chihuahua.”

While he was grateful for the help, that did not mean he was willing to sell his soul.

That said, he wasn’t planning to completely turn her away either.

It was quite beneficial to know a higher deity in several aspects.

[Hmm. Still a prickly answer. You should consider carefully. The other demon lords don’t have fond thoughts of you. They see you as a threat that needs to be eliminated quickly.]

That made sense.

Jinhyuk had anticipated that the demon lords and their kin were already grinding their teeth against him.

Therefore…

“As long as I maintain a good relationship with you, I should be able to stand a chance against the other demon lords, right?”

[If you become my apostle, maybe. But why should I continue to help you who only takes advantages and then ignores me?]

“Because I know where the ‘Crown’ of the Demon Realm is and how to obtain it. That’s why.”

Jinhyuk laid out his words with composure.

Upon his statement,

Beriel’s snide voice vanished as if it was a lie.

Silence followed.

It was only for a few seconds in real time, but it felt like eternity.

[You… what are you? How does a player know about the existence of the Crown, one of the tower’s deepest secrets? Not to mention its location?]

The emotion oozing from the voice was undeniably confusion.

It had to be.

The Crown was a sacred relic essential for challenging the peak of the tower, symbolizing dominion over the highest echelons.

Not only the gods but also the demon lords and true ancestors were desperate to obtain it.

But now a single player knew about it?

The claim was too preposterous to be a joke.

If not for Jinhyuk, it would have been considered worthless drivel not even worthy of gossip at a drinking table.

“Don’t consider me as an ordinary player. Haven’t you forgotten already? I’m the one who reproduced your unique holy spear. Besides, knowing the existence of the Crown alone should make my offer worth serious consideration.”

The truth of the information wasn’t important at the moment.

Verifying it could come later.

What mattered was that this enticing bait was unknown to the other demon lords.

If it turned out to be false, then the severe consequences would follow.

But if it were true, then it would give a tremendous advantage in obtaining the Crown.

Low risk, high return.

There was no need for lengthy contemplation.

[Ha-haha! How interesting! Very interesting! That’s how I like it. Well then, I shall play along with your rhythm.]

Beriel burst into genuine, hearty laughter.

***

After the conversation with Beriel,

Jinhyuk and Pesis once again visited the tomb where a fierce battle had taken place.

“What are your intentions now?”

“Please wait here for a moment.”

Jinhyuk slowly examined the crack on the floor.

The shadows of the statues on both sides cunningly obscured the view, but…

Upon closer look, a hole the size of half a grain of rice was carved out.

‘Is this the starting point?’

First one,

Maybe the next one was on the left?

Jinhyuk began to quickly scan the surroundings.

In a few minutes, he found holes in the pillars, walls, and between the statues.

There were six holes in total.

[Lv10 ‘Primeval Flame’ is activated.]

When the flame connected the holes in a straight line, a giant hexagram emerged.

At the same time.

Woo-woo-woong!

Red characters began to appear on the surface.

It was the imperial family’s exclusive language, which only revealed itself at a precise temperature of heat.

“……”

Pesis looked at Jinhyuk as if he was incredible.

It was no wonder since he found the entrance to a passage unknown even to the imperial family.

Pesis himself had read about the entrance in ancient documents, but even then, he didn’t think he could open the door this quickly.

“However, finding the entrance alone isn’t enough to descend below. You need the key…”

“You’re referring to a token to prove one’s Reinhardt lineage.”

Blood or saliva etc.

Only by proving Reinhardt’s bloodline could the entrance be opened.

“Correct…”

“Of course, I brought that with me.”

Jinhyuk took a golden chalice out of the spatial inventory.

A few hours earlier, during the grand banquet, he had sneakily switched the chalice that the emperor had drunk from.

When his intoxication was at the right level, he swapped it stealthily with the one Lord Cheonyoo Seong had, so even if the culprit were caught, the one guilty of the irreverence would be Cheonyoo Seong.

Additionally, since he had instructed Wolyeong to make the switch, his alibi was also perfect.

‘Perfect crimes aren’t impossible.’

It was just a matter of insufficient effort.

It was a moment that shone from the time he had been obsessed with episodes of “CSI” in his youth.

Whisk!

Jinhyuk aligned the surface of the cup with the hole.

At that very moment.

Koo-koo-koo-kung!

A low and heavy voice echoed throughout the tomb.

The floor began to split apart like a game of Tetris, creating a space large enough for one person.

[Hidden Place ‘Where the Dragon Sleeps’ is now open.]

“Shall we go then?”

Jinhyuk smiled at Pesis, who wore a dumbfounded expression.

***

A musty and damp smell tickled their noses.

Due to a long period without human traffic, the interior was covered in cobwebs and dust.

“From now on, I need help from you, Pesis.”

The information in the documents only went as far as how to open the entrance.

To get past the numerous traps inside, they needed the capabilities of the explorer Pesis.

“I will give it a try, but it’s the first time even for me to handle an expedition of such high-tier difficulty. Truly. Thanks to you, Jinhyuk-nim, I’m experiencing all sorts of things.”

“Is that a compliment?”

“Of course. My blood as an explorer is boiling with excitement. Hehe.”

[Pesis takes out the Lv16 ‘Multi-Dimensional Map’.]

The excited Pesis pulled out a translucent map.

The 3D shaped map, showing the entirety of the interior, indicated various traps in different colors.

A flame-shaped red model and… a black orb looked quite dangerous.

A blue ice crystal shape was presumably related to an ice attribute trap?

From the side view, it was hard to glean how the traps were activated and how to avoid them.

“……It’s definitely difficult. No matter where we go, it doesn’t look easy.”

Pesis scrutinized the map with a grave expression.

Even Pesis, who had ventured through many forbidden places, saying this meant the difficulty level of this place was indeed off the charts.

Well, that’s probably why they kept the Valmung here.

“But isn’t there a place with the highest possibility?”

“There is one place, but…”

Pesis’ voice trailed off.

“Is there a problem?”

“Some traps require one person to traverse while another sacrifices themselves to the trap. It’s designed so that dodging or blocking is practically impossible.”

“We need a sacrificial lamb, then.”

“Yes…”

“Let’s try heading there first. It seems like there might be a way to solve that issue.”

Encouraged by Jinhyuk’s words, Pesis flinched.

Given Jinhyuk’s character shown in the past few days, it was quite possible that he might use her as a sacrifice.

But she couldn’t utter such words out loud.

How long had they been following the twisted passageway when the air circulating in the tunnel seemed to change?

A cool sensation touched their skin, matching the location on the map where the ice crystal shape was indicated.

“Up to here is the limit of avoiding traps. Look here.”

Pesis picked up a small stone and tossed it forward.

The arcing stone crossed a certain point in mid-air.

Crackling!

Fine streams of ice expelled from both sides completely froze the stone.

The speed of freezing was shocking, but even more so was the fact that the ice streams followed the trajectory of the stone.

“Wow, tracking magic… and it’s layered with both acceleration and enhancement magic of at least 8th circle.”

“You’ve noticed, haven’t you? On top of that, if you try to block or avoid it using unique abilities and skills, there’s an added effect that accelerates the freezing process.”

In simple terms, it’s virtually impossible to pass through in a conventional manner.

However, there was no need for concern.

He was prepared for such a moment.

“Everyone, come out for a moment.”

Jinhyuk opened the spatial inventory and summoned several creatures.

Tibone and the ancient soldiers appeared first.

Clatter. Clatter.

Their bones rattled back and forth.

“Master. What brings us here?”

Tibone raised the question mark.

“Oh nothing much. We need to break through a trap, and we need some bodies to take the hit.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re undead after all.”

“That is true, but…”

“Then you won’t die.”

There couldn’t be a more perfect sacrificial lamb.

Even if they were to freeze, they could slowly thaw out later and be revived as lively as ever.

“Ma, Master… Even if that’s the case, to pass through that with our bare bodies…”

“Eh?”

Tibone’s whining caused Jinhyuk’s eyebrows to invert.

Had he been going easy on the discipline lately? Orders should be followed promptly.

Too much grumbling about this and that.

This was turning into a lack of a proper military command—utter chaos.

“Pumpkin, haven’t you been teaching the kids properly?”

Jinhyuk’s gaze turned to Pumpkin who had come out later.

“Bugs?”

The large pumpkin-colored pupils shimmered ever so slightly.

Pumpkin, feeling unjustly scolded out of the blue, wore an expression of grievance.

His heart hurt, but there was no helping it.

Such affairs always go smoothly when you squeeze out the one at the top.

A so-called downward hassle.

Within the hierarchy trapped in the spatial inventory, Pumpkin was at the top.

“Bugs. Bugs!”

Pumpkin bit into Tibone fervently.

Munch munch.

Clear saliva flowed over the white bones.

“Yeek!”

Tibone flailed, but there was no escape from Pumpkin.

“Would you prefer to become a bone treat, or shall we quickly rush forward?”

“I’ll go, Master. I’m exceptionally resistant to the cold, really.”

“Clatter. Clatter!”

Tibone and the ancient soldiers dashed forward to be the first to proceed.

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