Pick Me Up Infinite Gacha! - P.M.U Chapter 76: Labyrinth (1) (Part 2)
“I hope you’re well, hyungnim.”
“No need to say it.”
I waved my hand and descended to the 1st floor.
The plaza was crowded with people, most of whom I had never seen before.
“Who are these?”
“They were summoned after the division of upper and lower floors.”
Neryssa replied curtly.
‘The 3rd generation.’
The first heroes, Jenna, Edis, were the 1st generation. Velkist and Neryssa, who were drawn after handing over the strategy document to Anytng, were the 2nd generation. Those summoned after the division of upper and lower floors were the 3rd generation. They looked at us with a mixture of wariness and fear in their eyes, especially at me.
“You might not know, but there have been strange rumors going around….”
“I’m aware of that.”
After returning from the exploration dungeon, I rarely went down to the 1st floor.
There was no reason to go down. After the division of the upper and lower floors, Anytng didn’t send the combatants from the 2nd floor to the weekly dungeons. It was a sort of distinction.
Someone in the crowd muttered.
Hostile glares were directed at Velkist.
Velkist casually looked away and chuckled.
“Where’s that dog barking from? If you want to fight, come out.”
“Don’t provoke them.”
I stopped Velkist from drawing his sword and looked toward a rift in space.
The door was open, but people were blocking the central passage. Suddenly, an old man appeared in front of me.
“Excuse me, are you Han Israt? I arrived here from Melkud just four days ago. I have a request! I suffer from a severe illness, and life has become quite difficult for me. Please, to the 2nd floor…”
I pushed the man aside.
A few men in the crowd dragged the fallen man away.
‘A severe illness.’
He was spewing nonsense.
The recovery capabilities in the waiting room were beyond imagination. As long as you didn’t die, any injury or illness could be completely healed in a matter of seconds. Whether it was cancer or back pain, it would return to normal.
‘About ten days.’
I calculated the time I hadn’t been to the 1st floor.
I was busy taming these two, and I didn’t feel the need to check either.
However, I felt that the atmosphere on the 1st floor had changed considerably in those ten days. There were some similar crowds when entered the exploration dungeon, but they didn’t attempt to block the path like this before.
[Why are these people gathering? Don’t stop Party 1! The master is waiting!]
Iselle pointed her finger and the men by the fountain scattered.
They cast strange glances at Velkist and Neryssa.
Anyway, we had a long way to go.
I entered the rift in space with the four of them.
The door closed with a creak. I told Neryssa, who was examining her dagger sheath.
“When did this start?”
“It began shortly after the division of the upper and lower floors. Little by little, signs began to appear.”
“Signs…? Is it a foreshadowing…?”
I lightly chuckled and replied, “It’s a side effect of dividing the upper and lower floors.”
“They were strange people.”
“Well, don’t worry about it. Right now, the mission is more urgent.”
I still couldn’t be sure.
What they did was nothing more than watching me.
Although it felt more like spying than watching.
[Main Dungeon, the current challenge floor is the 16th floor.]
[The door will open in 10 seconds. Get ready!]
Dim light poured from the left mirror.
I rested my right hand on my sword sheath.
“When we enter the field, follow my orders. Understood?”
The light streaming from the mirror enveloped the entire rift in space.
When I opened my closed eyes, a strange space awaited me.
Simultaneously, a message appeared, indicating the mission objective.
[Mission Type – Exploration]
[Objective – Search the designated location!]
Everyone’s gaze is focused on one place.
They, too, are looking at the mission objective just like me.
Velkist furrowed his brow.
“Exploration, huh? This is my first time with such a mission.”
“We’ve only done it once before, on the 6th floor. It wasn’t a particularly difficult mission. Isn’t that right, oppa?”
“It’s different from the 6th floor. We’ll see once we get there.”
I looked around.
We stood on a luxurious carpet with intricate patterns.
Behind us, there was what seemed to be an entrance, a door that led to the outside. The walls were adorned with various portraits and decorations, and high chandeliers hung from the ceiling. Ahead, I noticed a staircase branching out left and right. The end of the stairs connected to corridors on both sides.
At a glance, it seemed like the entrance to a grand mansion.
“Do you know this place…?”
Neryssa raised an eyebrow.
“I can’t be sure either. I’ll tell you when I’m certain.”
The second exploration mission.
It meant that a streamed quest had been triggered.
I spoke in a low voice to the party members who were looking around.
“From now on, we’ll search this place. There should be an exit to the next floor somewhere. Of course, it won’t be that door.”
I reached out to the door behind me.
A transparent barrier blocked my finger’s advance.
“Neryssa, go ahead. Scout in stealth mode, and if you find anything unusual, come back and report.”
“The rest of us will maintain formation and advance.”
I drew my sword and shield.
The sound of each member drawing their weapons echoed in the empty hall of the mansion.
‘No one’s here.’
It wasn’t an abandoned mansion.
It was well-maintained.
After nodding at me, Neryssa lowered her stance.
Neryssa’s contours became blurred. It was the effect of her basic stealth skill, Subtle Movement. Neryssa silently ascended the stairs and disappeared into the left corridor.
“We’ll go left as well. Search formation.”
With a gesture, the members spread out in front and behind.
I led at the front, Jenna and Eloka in the middle, and Velkist at the rear. With a well-organized formation, we ascended the stairs and entered the left corridor. Outside the windows, it was dark, but candles were lit here and there, so the visibility wasn’t too bad.
“It’s somewhat eerie, like a haunted mansion. Why is there no one here?”
Jenna said with a hint of unease.
“We’ll find out when we go in.”
As I passed by a visible door, I touched it.
As expected, a transparent barrier blocked the way. There was no opening door.
‘It’s an exploration mission like the 6th floor, but the circumstances are different.’
First of all, the size of the field was different.
We had been in the corridor for 15 minutes and were still there.
Eloka spoke up.
“Isn’t this place incredibly spacious? I keep walking, but there’s no end.”
“The structure is unique. The size of the hall and corridor don’t match. It would look strange from the outside.”
“Look at you. You’re surprisingly smart.”
“Wizard, what did you say?”
“Quiet. Don’t make noises.”
The three of them fell silent.
After another 5 minutes of walking, the end of the corridor appeared.
The corridor split into three branches.
A regular mansion wouldn’t have this kind of structure. There were no people, and outside the windows, nothing could be seen, not even darkness. This place wasn’t a normal space.
‘…Is it a maze?’
It seemed like we had been burdened with an annoying mission.
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