CHAPTER 45 – End of the messy Combat Training
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*OLIVIA’S POV*

BOOM!!

“W-what…?”-My eyes flutter, trying to open to the sounds going on.

BOM! BOOOM!! BOM!!!!

The floor trembles some of the times that I hear the sounds.

“Arg! My head!”-I grabbed my head out of reflex.

I had a strong headache… I don’t know why or when… But there was some kind of explosion right when Cristopher was going to finish the Lizardman… We all went flying, some of the cadets almost fell to the lava… But I couldn’t see much more, as I lost my conscience…

Thankfully, it’s almost impossible for me to sleep deeply anywhere else other than my room… So even if I lose my conscience, I wake up soon.

BOOM! BOM! BOM! BOM!

There are those sounds again…

“Wh-where they come from?”-I murmur, trying to open my eyes. Until I finally did open them.

“What…?”-The first thing that welcomes me isn’t the cave’s ceiling, but a red marble ceiling, totally straight, even, without any kind of rock or protrusion… This place isn’t the same cave we were in before.

“Huh?”-Right then, I also noticed the columns, they weren’t made of rock anymore. It seemed like someone made them from red marble, with a somewhat monstrous, or even demonic charm, to them…

Touching the floor a little bit, I noticed how it is somewhat delicate and cold, even when the air here is hot as some kind of sauna. “More marble…”

BOOOOOM!!!

This time the sound was even bigger, and the floor trembled a lot, so I sat up trying to look where the sound came from.

“What…?”-I barely was able to ask to the air, because what I saw left me without words.

In the center of what used to be a circular platform, like some arena, now two persons, or well, a monster and a person were fighting.

I didn’t recognize the monster at first… But seeing its form, I’m sure now that it is the boss we were fighting just before and that was almost dead, but right now, it is covered in some kind of red plate armor...

Also, the guy fighting… He’s Cristopher… He is easy to recognize with his tattoo out in the open and that ridiculous white messy hair of his…

But what’s more surprising is how he is fighting with his bare hands against that monster.

“What’s… What’s that in his arms…?”-I ask while looking at his forearms… They’re shining with a cyan glow as if they were somehow covered in some kind of shiny blue gauntlets, and from time to time you could see electric currents traveling over them...

“Just… What is him…?”-I ask to no one in particular.

Right then, the boss monster tries to sweep his glaive towards him, but Cristopher lows his body, almost touching the ground with his chest, only to spring back up somehow and punching straight towards the stomach of the monster.

Some kind of barriers of red demonic energy appears, but Cristopher’s punch breaks through it and connects to the monster’s stomach.

BOOM!

“So… That’s where those sounds come from… Ha… Haha…”-I murmur to myself.

It was all ridiculous, really… Who is him? That’s a thought that I’ve had since the first time I saw him running at that abnormal speed… And then… In the Gravity Chamber… That was almost impossible to do… But now he’s here… Fighting that abominable monster filled with demonic energy as if it was some kind of Djinn. Barehanded at that…

/YOU BASTARD!!! STAY PUT AND DIE!!!/-Shouted the monster, and I could take a glimpse of Cristopher’s face. His face… His face is… hollow?

“Those eyes… What are those eyes…?”-I murmur to myself.

When I took a glimpse of Cristopher’s eyes, I found two reptilian eyes, with a red iris and pupils that resembled some kind of abyss, totally black. But what’s worse is… That they were totally devoid of emotions…

“Ha! Are you an idiot!? Who would stay put and die whenever an enemy say so? As if I was the same kind of an idiot as you!”-He answered while evading an armored claw, before hitting the arm of the armored Lizardman.

BOM!

/FUCK!!! WHY!!! WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!!!!/

“You’re not even close to killing me… You know. The Ice Wing Queen made me suffer more than you could ever do.”-He says to the monster… Maybe to taunt him...

{Ice Wing Queen? What’s that? Maybe it has something to do with that last time in Inwangsan Mountain…?}-I thought while looking at the ridiculous fight of a man dominating one armored monster with his bare fists…

Right then I remembered that I wasn’t the only cadet that was thrown by the explosion, so I started looking around.

Everyone was knocked out… Or well… Almost everyone. Rachel was also looking straight towards the fight, and on the other side of the fight, I could vaguely glance at Choi Minseo trying to stand up.

BOOOOOOM!

Only to fall once again when Cristopher threw the lizard over his shoulder and towards the floor with a lot of force.

Even I had problems keeping my stability, and I was sitting on the floor…

Right when I looked back to see if any other cadet was awake, I noticed that the entrance that we came from… Disappeared. There was nothing there… Only a marble wall… As if the cave’s corridor was never there.

“Wh-what…? Now how do we get out!?”-I shouted with what I’m sure is a totally paled face.

“Calm down…”-I heard a voice, and looking beside me, I saw the guy Cristopher called Mark awake, he was slowly trying to sit up… But it seemed that the explosion affected him more than me.

“Are you okay?”-I ask him.

“Ye-yeah… Just with a freaking headache that doesn’t go away…”-He said, finally sitting up while grabbing his head with a frown. “Either way… Just… How…?”-He says while looking at Cristopher fight against the same boss monster that gave us all trouble, and one versus one, without even using a weapon…

BOM! BOM! BOM! BOM! BOM!

I see how he starts to make a series of fist while the Lizardman can only try to defend himself with his arms, but even then, he’s slowly being pushed back with each hit.

“I don’t know… I mean… I knew that he was strong and that he was hiding something… But this… *sigh…* I don’t know what to think anymore…”

BOM! BOM!

Right then, Cristopher broke through the Lizardman’s defense and took the chance to send a hit to its stomach’s pit and when it hunched to the front, he merely sent a punch towards his chin, making the monster fly up a little.

But just before he could go any higher, Cristopher grabbed its tail and pulled it all the way to the floor with a lot of force.

BOOOOOOOOM!!!

After that… Well… He just jumped over it and started hitting it in the face over and over again.

It’s not like the lizardman was a mannequin… But every try it did to stop Cristopher failed… Even when he started to make some kind of flame explosions from his body, Cristopher just kept hitting it. As if the fire didn’t even tickle him…

“So that’s what he meant with his gift don’t let him sweat… Fuck… It’s more like fire does nothing to him… *sigh…*-Mark says beside me...

{Well… I’m pretty sure he can sweat… But now I don’t think he does it because of environmental heat or, well, even fire…}-I thought to myself while looking how Cristopher just punches again, and again, and again the lizardman everywhere from the chest to the face, breaking little by little the red armor covering it.

All the while his eyes are still dead, without any feeling or anything close to remorse or guilt…

“I’ll give it to you… You’re resistant. That’s good. I guess that’s why Zepar chose you. I mean. After the Ice Wing Queen fiasco, he looked for someone more resistant. Sadly. You’re not enough.”-He said, right before his arms started emitting more and more electricity, soon, it looked as if lightning was traveling all around his arms. The sound was simply deafening.

“Well… Tell him something for me, will you? If he’s going to pull this shitty trick again. He better comes himself.” He said while picking the almost unconscious monster from the throat and lifting it from the floor. “Or at least send someone strong enough to give me a proper fight.”-He said before thrusting with his right hand into the lizardman’s heart. With blood spurting out of the monster before it merely turned to ashes as if it was some kind of Djinn.

*sigh…*-I could hear a low sighing from Cristopher… Right before he turned to look at me directly at my eyes. With those dead cold eyes of him. I felt a chill going up my back at that moment as if death itself was looking at me.

***

*CRISTOPHER’S POV*

*sigh…*-I let a sigh escape my mouth, right before turning to look at Olivia.

I at least didn’t use everything I was able to… I hid a lot of things… But still… For her, for them to look at this… *sigh…*

{Now what I’m going to do with them? Kill them?}-I thought while looking around. {Olivia… Mark… Rachel… Even Choi Minseo… No... It won't be necessary... I wouldn't gain anything from killing them... I'm sure they could keep a secret, and in the worst case, I just threaten them a little}

All of them were witnesses to what just happened.

Just as I was thinking about all of that, the entire place just shined and sounds of glass breaking resonated everywhere. After the light disappeared, we were back inside a normal cave covered in a little bit of fire here and there.

{So this was the original Boss Room… *sigh…* It somehow evolved with more mana density and my presence… And I don’t doubt that Zepar also had something to do with that... Though, I don’t know how…}-I thought while checking that every unconscious cadet made it back here.

And right in the center of the cave, another light shined. Making a chest appear. Everyone that was awake suddenly went into shock, and some of them even trembled a little. Not knowing what to do. After all, a reward couldn't be given in a Fake Dungeon…

*sigh…* Calm down… It’s just a chest.”-I said, trying to calm them all down. So, with those words, I slowly walked towards the chest while putting once again my cadet uniform’s upper part.

“Let’s see what do you give me…”-I murmur to myself while opening the chest.

Inside of the chest, what could be seen were two red metal gauntlets with claws instead of normal fingers and with a design that makes you remember the scales of a lizard or a wyvern. There was also a necklace beside the gauntlets.

{Even if this was easier than last time… It still gave me two items… Though, until I see their options, I wouldn’t be able to know how good or bad they are… I’ll leave that for later.}-I thought while grabbing both of them, I kept the necklace in my pocket, while the chest disappeared as it came, turning into brilliant white light and then simply breaking like glass. I was also trying to see what to do with the gauntlets…

“Hey… Can we use equipment other than our training weapons in the Combat Training?”-I asked Olivia who was closer to the chest alongside Mark.

“I-I d-don’t kn-know…”-She said stuttering and trembling, trying to evade my eyes.

{What’s wrong with her?}-For the record, I deactivated my Eyes of the Dragon God, so I don’t know why would she be afraid. “Mmm… And you dude? Do you know?”-I ask Mark that’s beside her.

“W-well… It depends… Some people bring some kind of protective equipment… Like shields or defensive clothes… But… I don’t know if those gauntlets would be counted as defensive equipment or weapons for fist-fighters…”-He said.

“…*sigh…*-I didn’t want to leave the gauntlets, but also didn’t want to risk it with the instructors trying to take them off me to see if it is some kind of “illegal” equipment…

“Mmm… You know… I have a pouch… It has some expansion magic in it… And I could help you keep them in it and giving them to you after the combat class is over…”-Said the self-proclaimed leader of my team.

“Really? Why didn’t you say so before!? That sure would be really helpful.”-I said before walking towards Choi Minseo. “Here, please keep them. And also, thanks! You really take me out of a hassle with this favor.”-I told her.

“Sure… No problem…”-Answered Choi Minseo while taking the gauntlets and putting them inside one really small pouch. {I need one of those…}-I think while looking the gauntlets totally disappear inside the small pouch.

“…That bastard… being good to her and thanking her even when he treated me so bad when we first met…”-I heard Olivia murmured back there with her usual temperament. Really good to have a nice hearing.

“Well… I guess we have to rest and wait a little bit until everyone wakes up… Also… Just to be sure. What happened here. Stays here. No one says anything.”-I warn them before sitting on the floor resting against the wall of the cave. “And… Just in case, we all defeated that thing together, as a team…”

““““…””””-Everyone nodded in silence. While I just close my eyes, ignoring the weird glance I was receiving from Rachel and Mark.

After a little while, everyone woke up one by one, first was Gary, then Adrian, Lee Ha-Yun, the rest of Olivia’s team, and the guys from World Class, the last one to wake up was Park Min-Ho.

We all told the same history. The monster went berserk, exploding and knocking everyone out except Rachel, Choi Minseo, Mark, Olivia, and I. We then said that it was almost done, so we didn’t have to do too much. And after killing it, the place we were suddenly turned back to this cave.

Of course, that was the story I told them we would prepare, just in case. Fortunately, Olivia and Mark didn’t say anything against it, Rachel just nodded in agreement, and weirdly enough, Choi Minseo also agreed. She was the one I supposed would put more resistance to it.

Everyone had a headache, probably from the direct contact with the demonic energy that For’Nag emitted while accepting Zepar’s pact.

{Now… That guy… This is the second time that one of his servants appears before me. And somehow… I don’t think that it was some kind of coincidence this time… I hope not. But maybe someone in the higher-ups of Cube is contracted to Zepar… And, if it is a coincidence… Well… Shitty luck of mine…}-I think for a bit, at least until Olivia sits beside me.

“Hey…”-She says.

“‘Supp?”

“Well… Thanks… I guess…”-She says without looking at me.

“Mm? Why?”-I ask, truly intrigued about the sudden thanks.

“Well… You know… For defeating that monster… It could have killed us all…”-She murmured so no one else could hear her.

“Oh… That? Don’t worry… It wasn’t really for you that I did it.”-I answer looking somewhere else, precisely where the rest of the teams were reunited talking about how absurd it was for a monster like that to appear in a training dungeon.

“Still… Thanks. Also… I know that it was thanks to you that its fire attack didn’t reach us… You not only warned us, but also stopped some of it for reaching us supporters and sharpshooters…”-She continues.

“Well… It would be bad news for you all, you were really close, and didn’t have enough resistance to stop an attack like that… It was only the normal choice to make.”

“Not when you have to put your life on the line…”-She murmurs really low. “Also… What was that at the end? The monster… He was different… There was this aura around him that gave me the chills… Like, like if-”

“Like if he was a Djinn?”-I asked, interrupting her while looking at her.

“Yeah… Exactly!”-She says while also looking at me.

“Well, that was because he did make a pact with a Devil…”-I answer her while resting my head on the wall behind me.

“But… It was a monster… How could it make a pact with a Devil… Weren’t humans the only ones able to do that?”-She asks with a worried face, probably thinking about what would happen if all the monsters on Earth start making pacts with Devils.

“Haha… Yeah… He probably could be called a monster… But still, he was closer to some kind of demi-human, he was intelligent, capable of communicating with other species, and even have recognition of society... That’s why he could make a pact with a Devil.”

“He? Why would you refer to the monster as ‘he’?”-She asks with curiosity in her eyes.

“Well… First, because he had a name. For’Nag. And second, because as I told you, he had a recognition of society, intelligence to a certain degree, and was closer to being a demi-human than a monster, so, it wouldn’t be that far from what an elf or a dwarf would be. Just another intelligent species. Only that this particular guy had muscles for brains and was really into warrior’s stuff and whatnot.”-I answer her.

“So… It was another intelligent being, like us?”

“Sure, you could see it like that, though, I would recommend you not to compare it too much to humans.”-I advise her.

“Why…?”

“Just know that even if it was intelligent and all that I told you, he wasn’t human. And more importantly. He was an enemy.”

“…”-She just looks down at the floor.

[Emergency alert. All cadets are to leave the Dungeon immediately. Once again, all cadets are to leave the Dungeon immediately.]-Suddenly sounded an alarm from the ceiling.

“I guess we weren’t the only ones to have problems during our Mock Dungeon Trial huh…”-I said while looking up.

“It seems so… Well… What are we waiting for?”-Olivia says while standing up.

“You’re right… We had a lot of rest already.”-I followed her.

The rest of the teams also stood up and all of us regrouped in order to get out of the Fake Dungeon, just in case something else happened on the way out.

I also remembered Choi Minseo to not leave and to wait for me. I needed to talk with Hajin too, see how things went for him…

{Speaking of which… If I remember correctly, this trial was designated so at least 3 teams would enter each path, as once 3 teams made it to one path, it would disappear, leaving only the rest paths as possible choices… So… What happened to the team that should have come here?}-I thought while going out. But my question was answered quickly.

“Huh?”

While walking out of the dungeon, we passed through the last path leading to the boss room, and right where the peanut flames appeared before, we found another team.

“Where did all of you come from?”-The guy that was surprised when he saw us asked. He seemed to be some kind of pathfinder.

“What do you mean? From the boss’ room… Where else?”-Answered Gary. “And you? Why didn’t you go in there? You could have helped us…”

“What do you mean man? There was no other path! We’ve been walking these corridors from end to end looking for some kind of secret passage! But we still couldn’t find the entrance to the boss room… We were about to give out and then we heard that alarm, so we were preparing to leave the place.”-The guy answered.

“Impossible… You just had to continue walking and turn at the corner of the last corridor and you would have found the corridor leading to the boss room…”-Said Choi Minseo.

“I’m telling you. We just found a wall blocking the corridor. No other way.”-The guy retorted while scratching his head.

“But we just came back from there!”-Lee Ha-Yun intervened.

“Hey, calm down… Maybe this has something to do with that emergency that the instructor announced on the speakers.”-Mark said towards them.

“I agree. It would be better to keep going and exit this dungeon to meet with the instructor, he may be able to answer our doubts.”-Rachel supported the guy in calming everyone.

“Okay…”-Gary and Choi Minseo calmed down. While Pinky was still kind of restless for this. Even then, we all started making our way towards the exit, all three teams.

{Well, this also happened to Chae Nayun in the story… If it wasn’t for Hajin learning parkour and going up the wall towards a little hole on top of it, he wouldn’t be able to reach the boss room.}-I thought while walking out.

I guess there’s a lot I need to talk with Hajin. Once is a coincidence. But if it happens twice, it will happen thrice and more. So, I better let Hajin know what’s happening. I don’t know if it will be Duke Zepar’s next. But I better warn him. Right now, it only happens when I enter the dungeon, but who can assure me that it won’t happen even if I’m not in there.

I'll also need to talk with Olivia, and probably Mark, Rachel, and Choi Minseo for them to don't say anything... I already warned them... But a little bit of extra talking would be reassuring.

With this, the little Mock Dungeon Trial is finished. Also... I changed the way I wrote For'Nag's dialogue. That is because I also publish in Webnovel, and there I can't use bold or italic, so I had to use other ways to specify the monsters' dialogue and the transformed monsters' dialogue (When they make a pact with a Devil.), I chose to use this: /a/

Thanks for reading, and any feedback is welcomed!

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