The treasure room was in a messy state, with all of the items scattered on the floor. In the middle of the room laid Mamon, who was holding a test tube with great care like it was a precious gem.
“Cough, cough. I mixed it too much. It is fortunate that some is left.”
Mamon’s little hands raised the test tube gently and poured the liquid inside his mouth without leaving a single drop behind.
“Now, it’s time to get rid of the evidence and wait for the result.”
Mamon used his psychic power to disintegrate the empty test tube and took a look at his chest under his clothing. Embedded there was an octagonal crystal which looked similar to an android’s energy generator.
Mamon’s eyes fixated on the crystal. Soon, the crystal shone a dim light briefly before fading. Even though it was short, witnessing the light, Mamon grinned.
“Success! It’s successful! I really am a super genius!! Kiekkiekkiek. I didn’t expect that kid, Sila, to possess enough materials or have valuable information regarding the android race. Kukuku. The time will soon come when all beings have to crawl under my feet, the devil prince from hell!!”
Mamon’s crown transformed into a maroon beanie, which he pulled over his head. Inspecting himself, Mamon found that his level had fallen to Level 1 Squire Rank, which was the aftereffect of the rebirth. He had anticipated that while preparing the mixture, so it wasn’t surprising.
“This way, I will not have to rely on that kid to regain my strength anymore.”
Mamon looked at the inner area of the treasure room. It was where Julia kept high-level items, and Mamon didn’t have permission to enter.
“Mn. It will be best if I can visit Lost Grea City. The question is how should I ask—”
The door was swung open. Mamon quickly hid his chest under his shirt and kicked some shards from broken items under a shelf. Then, he leaned against the wall and whistled.
Julia teleported and appeared next to Mamon when Sila entered through the door. He swept his eyes all over the treasure room before approaching Mamon.
“Mamon, what happened? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, I’m fine. Why are you all in such a rush?”
As they said this, the rest of the party entered the room. They were confused about seeing the kid talking to Sila, though they didn’t interrupt the conversation. They wondered what happened inside. Even Sebastian who was training in the dojo soon joined the rest.
“What happened, Mister Sila? I heard an explosion.”
“No idea. I’m still in the middle of finding out. Well, what exactly happened, Mamon?”
“Nothing important happened. I just did some experiment and it failed. Ah~ how unfortunate. I failed at everything I did.”
Sila released a sigh of relief. “It’s good that you are unharmed. Be careful next time. You can ask for Julia’s assistance too.”
Sila was aware that he wouldn’t be helpful in Mamon’s experiment. Rather than him, Julia who was knowledgeable about items should be more useful.
“If I may ask, what kind of experiment were you doing, Mamon?” Julia asked while looking at the debris, trying to find any trace that could answer her question.
“Leave me alone. It wasn’t anything suspicious. By the way, I want to go to Lost Grea City. I heard you can go there directly, right? Can I go?” Mamon directly conveyed his need to Sila. Based on Sila’s personality, Mamon believed he would be allowed to go.
“Lost Grea City? Why do you want to go there?”
“It’s a city of technology, isn’t it? It’s natural that I want to broaden my views and get new ideas.”
Sila nodded as he understood. Come to think of it, Mamon was considered a monster who was interested in item utilization. It was obvious he would take an interest in the android’s technology.
“Yeah, we can go. However, it will have to wait until after we come back from the Desert of Death.”
“Nah, I don’t want to go to a hot desert. It’s better if we go separately.”
“Is that okay? Leaving a kid alone is...”
“I’m not a kid!! I can go alone!” Mamon yelled.
“How about letting Julia accompany him?” Julia volunteered. “Julia will take good care of Mamon. Please don’t worry, Master.”
“That sounds good. However, are you able to be away from the armor, Mamon?”
Mamon swept the dust on his cloth. “I can, but the armor will be inactive while I’m gone.”
“That’s fine... Come to think of it, Mamon, you are a very skillful inventor, right?”
“Of course. I am the best inventor in the Monster Realm. Why do you ask?”
“Mn. I have a request to ask of you. The thing is...”
Sila explained to Mamon about the item that the union wanted to produce. He also provided Mamon with the example of the Cloudy Baby Dragon Ring.
Mamon listened carefully and asked to inspect the Cloudy Baby Dragon Ring. Although Hermit didn’t know who Mamon was, with Lone Wolf’s nod, he handed the ring to the kid.
Mamon inspected the ring, flipped it around twice, and returned it to Hermit with an apathetic expression.
“A subpar item, produced with moderately skilled craftsmanship. The reason that the ring’s ability is quite good is only because of the power generator. If I have the same materials, I will be able to create a much better item, at least by a hundredfold.”
“What if we only have worse materials? Can you do something about it?” Sila asked expectantly.
“That depends on the materials. Shut it. Once I arrive at Lost Grea City, I will find some free time to create something... though it won’t be free.”
“Deal. Please come up with a good item.”
“I’m impatient. Let’s go now, item girl. Lead the way,” Mamon said to Julia.
“I would like to clean the room first.” Julia summoned a broom in her hand and started sweeping. It was her pride and duty to ensure the mansion was spotless.
Mamon started tapping his foot, waiting impatiently. Soon, he exited the room and shouted back. “I’m waiting, you know? Hurry up.”
Silence finally filled the room. Burapha was the first one to ask. “Who was that kid just now?”
Sebastian smirked. “Don’t call him a kid in front of him, I suggest. He is Mammon, the devil prince from hell who used to be sealed within Mister Sila’s Greed Card. He broke out around the same time as Lucifer.”
Tiger exclaimed, “R-Really? But... he didn’t seem overbearing like Lucifer.”
“Each of the sins have their own characteristics, sir. Among them, Lucifer is the most frightening one.”
Sila added, “Mamon is skilled at item modification. Maybe he can help us solve our problem.”
Hermit was glad. “Oh, I see. I was wondering why you asked me to give the ring to the kid. It turns out that you still have some surprises left.”
Julia stored the broom and came to Sila. “My duty is done. Excuse me, Master.”
“Mind if I tag along, Julia? I have something to do in Lost Grea City as well,” said Varee.
Sila wondered, so he asked, “Varee? What are you going to do in Lost Grea City?”
Burapha gave an answer in her place. “I guess Big Sister Varee wants to repair her sword. It broke when she was up against Lucifer.”
Burapha then told Sila about how both Varee and Sangdao braved themselves to face off against Lucifer in order to buy some time for Sebastian to warn Sila. As a result, their weapons broke.
After Sila listened to the story, he said, “Ah, so, it’s my fault. Then, Julia, please request the Android King to urgently repair Varee’s sword and Sangdao’s Chinese sword.”
Sangdao interrupted. “It’s alright, Sila. Dao’s Chinese sword was just an ordinary B-grade one, and it can’t be repaired. Dao can just purchase a new one. Don’t worry. The reason why I’m here today is because I care about you, Sila. I’m concerned for the future.”
“I-Is that so?” Sila’s face turned slightly red. Sangdao often directly yet naturally expressed her feelings, and that caused him to feel embarrassed.
“Yes, I’m also worried because you lost your skills, but there is a more important matter that you are unaware of. It’s something urgent that poses a threat to you, Sila. Even Montra is abandoning everything he has on hand in order to investigate it.”
Her topic immediately brought everyone’s attention. Bluebird quickly asked, “What is it about?”
“The Sword Prodigy’s reemergence.”
“Who is the Sword Prodigy? I have never heard of this title,” asked Hermit.
“I’m afraid I can’t tell you much. All I can say is that he was a supreme expert who disappeared twenty years ago, and that he was the rival of Mister Mora, Sila’s teacher. I have heard rumors that he made an appearance in Zhongsuyuan City, looking for both his own sword and Sila.”
Bluebird suddenly blurted out, “I remember! The day before the gathering party, there was an unknown supreme expert making a scene in front of Zeref’s weapon shop. I tried to question the witnesses but no one was willing to tell me anything... By the way, with his great ability, he should be an Independent NPC, right? How can he bully Sila?”
Most Independent NPCs possessed strength far greater than players. What they were capable of achieving far surpassed ordinary people. As a result, in order to protect players from being bullied, the system strictly enforced some rules or limitations on them.
Sangdao shook her head. “No, he is actually a player and not an Independent NPC, meaning he has every right we have. Regarding his ability, twenty years ago he was one of the strongest in the world.”
“Isn’t that bad? Since he is Sila’s enemy, won’t he join forces with Montra?” asked Hermit.
“No. Dao can’t tell you the reason but Montra’s position is shaken by his emergence as well. I guess that Montra is trying his best to deny the Sword Prodigy’s existence until the war event ends.”
The event was related to the Wulin Masters Association, so Sangdao couldn’t explain to the outsiders. Nevertheless, the fact was that the person who felt the most severe headache was none other than Montra.
Pumin was different from Montra and Sila. He wasn’t just a successor undergoing a mission like the latter two but a man who had already finished his mission before disappearing from the world.
It could be said that his current status was the present Wulin Lord, though unofficially. He was the perfect candidate from the start. If he truly was alive, both Montra and Sila’s missions would be pointless, and the one who would suffer the most would be Montra.
In the eyes of profound practitioners in the Wulin Masters Association, Pumin was like the God of Swords. He was a great man with peerless strength. Some people loved and respected him while others feared him. If he actually returned, both the genius Montra and the new wave Sila would be nothing but infants before him.
As such, Montra refused to admit that Pumin had returned. He denied and covered up every rumor to the best of his ability, at least until the war event ended. If the war event ended with his victory and he officially became the Wulin Lord, all Pumin would be was the Wulin Lord of the past. Montra would become the one with the most influence over the association.
Hearing about it, Varee was worried about Sila. “That sounds pretty bad. What will you do, Sila?”
Sila was in a dilemma. He didn’t know what to say. The Sword Prodigy was the persona he set up in order to seek a sword. He had never expected it to blow out of proportion like this.
“Erm... Don’t worry... T-Teacher Mora! Yes! Teacher Mora told me not to worry because he would personally take care of this matter.”
Sila was a bad liar, especially when he couldn’t prepare beforehand. Therefore, his reply didn't sound plausible, causing both Varee and Sangdao to frown.
“This is not a matter to be treated lightly, Sila. His appearance was two days ago, meaning only a few hours have passed in the real world. When did you talk to Mister Mora?” asked Sangdao. Her eyes told him she sincerely cared for him, which caused Sila to have a hard time swallowing his saliva.
‘Oops... what should I do? Umm... let’s go with what I told Mister Orpheus.’
“About that... I met the Sword Prodigy when I went back to the dojo last time, Varee remembers it, right, that Teacher Mora sent me a message to return to the dojo? At that time, I still didn’t know who he was. I only found out about his identity later when I asked Mister Orpheus about his sword. It turned out that Teacher Mora called me to inform me that there was some problem, but he would personally take care of it. Thus, I shouldn’t be too worried.”
Varee confirmed that Sila really did go to see Mora. Although the story seemed confusing, there seemed to be some sort of truth to it. The human imagination could miraculously fill in the missing parts of information.
Bluebird strongly nodded. “I see. I can finally put the pieces together! I asked the young man who is the disciple of the weapon shop and found that this person was prioritizing seeking a sword. I guess this person and your teacher must have some sort of an agreement. That means, at least until he finds the sword, he won’t be disturbing Sila.”
Bluebird explained how he interviewed Tee Noi, Zeref’s disciple, who was a direct witness of the event. Tee Noi didn’t even know the name of the mysterious man in the black hood and Zeref had forbidden him from spreading any information about what happened that night.
Even though he didn’t get much information from Tee Noi, Bluebird relied on the tailorbirds around the city to acquire enough information for him to make up a story, as if he had personally joined the conversation between the mysterious man and Zeref.
“That should be the case.” Sila went with the flow. This was the first time he wanted to thank Bluebird for his random deductions.
“That’s surely what’s going on! Information from me has never been wrong!” Bluebird stuck his thumb up.
“If that’s really the case, I’m relieved. Anyway, you have to be careful, okay, Sila? Dao is worried,” Sangdao said, while Sila fell into silence as he sensed the god of death staring at him.
“It’s good that it turned out fine! You already have someone worrying about you, so excuse me.” As she finished her sentence, Varee left.
Sila sighed before saying, “Julia, please have the payments for their weapons sent to me. If the materials in my treasure room are required, you are free to take them out… Umm… Actually, try asking the Android King to melt this down and produce a weapon for Sangdao. I don’t think I will be needing it.”
Sila pulled out the sealed Black Dragon Sword from his system window and gave it to Julia. Burapha saw it and felt shocked.
“This is Revin’s sword, isn’t it? How did you get it, Big Brother Sila?”
Tiger was with Sila in the Town of Beginnings, so he explained, “Sila came across Montra and the Two Monarchs in the Town of Beginnings. He acquired this sword from that battle.”
“Mn, but I didn’t kill Revin and obtained it. I wasn’t that strong. They just left it with me when they retreated.”
The fact that Sila caused Montra and the Two Monarchs to retreat sounded unbelievable, even considering he didn’t fight alone.
The Black Dragon Sword’s ownership got transferred before Burapha knew it. It greatly demoralized him. Sila was an extremely strong person in his eyes, yet Sila said that he wasn’t skilled enough to take down Revin. What about him? How could he defeat the Flame Monarch?
Regarding the battle, Sila wasn’t stupid. He read Burapha’s expression and could guess what he was thinking.
“No need to worry, Burapha. We can help each other by practicing together during our journey to Belacia City. Oh, by ‘we’, I mean you too, Bluebird.”
“Oi! Why am I included?”
“Hm? We are going to Belacia City anyway. That city seems dangerous, so it’s better for each of us to become stronger.”
Bluebird couldn’t think of an excuse, so he just shrugged. “We will go there after you come back from the Desert of Death, right? When do you plan to go there?”
“I plan to go today, after asking about Miss White Swan about pets and finishing my preparations,” replied Sila.
“Hm? it’s midday already. At this rate, you’ll arrive at night. Why don’t you depart tomorrow morning instead?”
“Time is short, so the sooner the better,” said Sila.
“Well, that's true. Go, go. I, too, will go to sleep— Ahem, I mean, go to do some secret training.”
Everyone began to leave the Mansion of Secrets. Sila asked White Swan about topics related to pets for a while before exiting the treasure room.
He stumbled across Lookhin, who was perched on the handrail in the front of the room.
“Let’s go shopping, Lookhin. We will go to the desert later.”
Lookhin hopped from the handrail to his arm. Its talons sunk into his armor, but they couldn’t penetrate through his skin enhanced by Formless Soldier.
Sila took a piece of the pet food that Lookhin left on the floor and fed it. Lookhin used its beak to tap the food twice before opening its beak and swallowing it.
“Good kid. We will visit a pet shop, a scroll shop, and an item shop, then go meet Sebastian outside.”
Lookhin nodded, then Sila teleported both of them out of the mansion. He still had many tasks left to do before departing Zhongsuyuan City.
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