Karime, Andrew, and the little girl, Chelsea, returned after several minutes.
Karime and Andrew had awkward expressions, and they were looking at me with complicated gazes. As for the little girl, she was just looking at the ground with reddened eyes.
After several seconds of awkward silence, Andrew finally spoke up.
“Jane, what is your plan? Are we going to clear the dungeon?”
I shook my head. “Impossible. Clearing a dungeon without killing all the monsters inside is illegal. And do you think we can kill all the monsters in this dungeon?”
Andrew smiled bitterly and shook his head.
“Then, what are we going to do?”
I hesitated for a moment without replying. I came to this dungeon to train, so right now, I should be fighting monsters to increase my combat experience.
But I can’t tell them about it. Otherwise, they will have doubts about how I knew a dungeon was going to appear here.
[Just leave them behind, boy. These burdens will only make your training in this dungeon more dangerous.]
‘I’m sorry, demon, but I’m not that kind of selfish person.’ I replied sarcastically.
The demon sneered.
[Selfish? Hehe, you can’t reach the top by being kind and helpful, boy. When you become really powerful, you will realize that there is no point in worrying about weaklings.]
‘That won’t happen.’ I shot back to the demon in my mind.
The demon shrugged and smiled in amusement.
[You are still young and weak, so you still think like that. But if one day, you reach even a hundredth of my strength, you will realize that trillions of lives perish every day in a small portion of the universe. There is no need to care about the life and death of mere mortals.]
‘I’m not like you.’ I said that to the demon and stopped paying attention to him.
While I was talking to the demon, I came with a way to train while keeping it hiding from Andrew and the others.
“A dungeon suddenly appeared in the middle of the city, so there is no way that the government will do nothing. If I’m not mistaken, they should start sending Awakened inside soon to clear the dungeon.” I said to Andrew and the others. “I think we should try to make contact with other survivors, other Awakened. There must be more Awakened that were trapped inside the dungeon besides us. We can’t save the normal people, but at the very least, we can try to help the other survivors.”
Andrew, Karime, and Jessica were startled, but one second later, Andrew’s face brightened.
“That is a great idea!”
[… I can’t understand why weaklings like you are thinking about saving others when your priority should be to survive.]
I ignored the demon’s words. According to the mana density of this dungeon, the strongest monster inside should be a Tier 5 at most. Of course, we can’t face a monster at that level, but a monster like that should be at the core of the dungeon.
As long as we don’t get too close to the core of the dungeon, nothing dangerous should happen.
“Where do we begin?” Andrew asked with a face full of determination, making me chuckle softly.
“Calm down. Firstly, we should rest and relax our minds. Then, let’s wait one hour. After that, most of the normal humans should have turned into mindless beasts by the berserk mana, and the survivors that we met will have a high chance of being awakened.”
Andrew, Karime, and Jessica’s faces darkened when I mentioned humans being turned into mindless beasts, but after a bit of hesitation, they nodded.
Thus, for the next hour, we rested in the small forest. Fortunately, it seemed that no monster was near us, so we were not attacked while we rested.
I took advantage of this time to check my weapon and my condition. After I was sure that everything was alright, I took a deep breath and started to remember what I learned in my dreams to make sure that I could show 100% of my abilities when the time to battle comes.
Just then, Jessica looked at my spear with a curious look.
“Brother-in-law, why were you carrying that spear when the dungeon happened?”
Andrew and Karime perked up their ears when they heard Jessica’s question.
I was slightly startled by her question, but fortunately, I had already prepared an answer beforehand.
“I was planning to train in a gym nearby, so I brought my spear with me. I was not expecting this, though.”
“Is it so? How lucky of you.” Jessica nodded, not doubting my words.
“By the way, Jane, when did you become so strong? My mana level should be higher than yours, but I don’t think I can defeat you.” Andrew suddenly said.
I shrugged indifferently and smirked.
“I’m just that talented.”
Jessica rolled her eyes and Andrew put on a speechless look.
We then continued chatting idly for a while. To my surprise, I noticed that it helped my friends to calm down and relax a bit.
After a while, their tensed muscles were much more relaxed and their expressions had brightened considerably.
Only Karime and the little girl, Chelsea, did not participate in the conversation. The little girl due to what happened to her mother, and Karime because she felt awkward around me, her ex-boyfriend.
I was also a bit awkward, but I tried not to be bothered by that.
I really liked Karime, and perhaps I still like her, but I don’t want to be hung up on a relationship. Now that we broke up, I should just let it go.
Right at that moment, Jessica looked towards the city and her expression stiffened.
I followed her gaze curiously, only to see a group of humans leaving the houses and buildings and charging towards the spiders savagely.
The humans bit, hit, and attacked the spiders without regard for their lives. They did not seem intimidated by the spiders' size, and even when the spiders killed many of them, they did not retreat.
They even managed to kill several spiders, although tens of humans died in the exchange.
My expression immediately became complicated.
They were berserk humans. Humans corrupted by berserk mana.
Right now, the only thing in their minds was violence and thirst for blood. They have already stopped being humans.
Even they survive the dungeon and return to the real world, they can’t be saved.
We fell silent with complicated emotions. Only the little girl was different, looking in the direction of the mall with a face full of despair while calling out her mother once and again.
I felt a sharp pain in my chest when I heard her sobs, but I tried to ignore it.
… It was not my fault. There was nothing I could do to save her. I could only repeat these words in my mind once and again.
In that heavy atmosphere, one hour finally passed.
“Let’s go,” I said heavily and stood up.
Andrew, Karime, and Jessica looked at each other and stood up as well. Then, we returned to the city.
As soon as we arrived, we saw countless corpses of humans and spiders on the streets. There was so much blood that the street seemed to have turned red.
I circulated my mana to suppress my nausea as I heard my friends retching in disgust. Somehow, I managed to stop myself from vomiting, but my friends, especially Karime, Jessica, and the little girl, seemed about to throw up.
At that moment, though, a figure appeared in our sights.
It belonged to a young man. He was walking in the street dazedly with his back towards us, and he was holding something in his hand.
“A human!” Andrew cried out excitedly, but I stiffened.
Because I saw what the young man was holding in his hand.
When the young man heard Andrew’s voice, he turned around in surprise.
Immediately, my friends froze, and their expressions turned pale.
Jessica and Karime even brought their hands to their mouths to stop themselves from screaming and vomiting, and the little girl’s eyes widened in fear.
The young man’s eyes were bloodshot, his face was pale, and he had lost the flesh in his right cheek.
Moreover, what he was holding in his hand was a human arm.
“… How can it be?” I heard Andrew’s incredulous voice as his body instinctively took one step back.
But while my group was stiffened in disbelief and fear, the creature glared at us with a violent and starving gaze.
Then, it roared.
And in the next second, it charged towards us.