"Your powers will allow you to obtain the skills of whatever creature you kill— whether they are monsters or humans, and the more you kill, the more powerful you will become, so I only have one piece of advice for you, Lucas." The goddess presumably named Irene said to him.
"Kill... Kill everything that dares to block your path and obtain true happiness."
"I understand." Lucas nodded with a resolute expression on his face.
For the first time in his life, he was given the opportunity and power to take things from others and not the other way around.
"Once you've obtained enough power, come back here and free me, and I will grant you even more power— the power to control the entire world," Irene said.
"Where is this place? How do I come back here?" Lucas asked her.
However, right as Irene opened her mouth, the temple suddenly began to shake violently.
A deep and deafening voice resounded, sending chills down Lucas' spine.
Irene sucked her teeth after seeing this phenomenon and quickly said to Lucas, "Looks like they have finally noticed you. I will create a portal for you to leave this place."
"What about you?" Lucas asked her.
"Don't worry about me. I will be fine, but you will undoubtedly die if they catch you."
Irene's right golden eye suddenly emitted a beautiful glow, and the space beside Lucas began twisting.
A portal that looked like the one he entered to arrive at this place appeared beside Lucas a moment later.
"Leave," she repeated.
As he took a step towards the portal, Lucas turned to look at the chained goddess one last time, and she had a gentle smile on her beautiful face.
"Thank you," he said to her.
Right before Lucas disappeared into the portal, he caught a glimpse of something that caused his whole body to tremble in fear— a massive glowing red eye in the background with its figure and appearance hidden behind the clouds.
Meanwhile, outside the dungeon that Lucas had entered, there were many figures wearing elite-looking suits surrounding the pitch-black portal with deep frowns on their faces.
"How come this Calamity-rank didn't show up on our radar? The system should've picked up on this dungeon even before it appeared." One of the figures there asked out loud.
"No clue, but this is bad— like super bad. The last time a dungeon of this rank appeared was almost 60 years ago, and when the Players failed to subjugate the dungeon, it destroyed an entire city." A young woman there said with a worried expression on her face.
"I don't think we have to worry about it that much, Scarlet. While it's true that we were unable to clear the last Calamity-rank dungeon, it is also true that we didn't have many experienced Players back then," said a buff man with short blonde hair.
"I think we have enough capable Players and prowess to clear this dungeon now."
"I agree with Captain Dean. We have come very far since then, and there were only a handful of Heroes 60 years ago compared to the dozens we have nowadays."
"Anyways, the people that reported this dungeon have also reported that a teenager had gone inside by himself," said the young woman.
"A teenager? Forget about it. He's definitely a goner. Even a Hero won't survive a Calamity-rank dungeon alone, much less some random teenager."
And he continued, "Let's hurry up and analyze this portal real quick before reporting it to the guild and the government. The longer we take, the less time we have to clear it."
One of the suited people there went to the car and returned with a bunch of tools that were meant for analyzing the dungeon, allowing them to gather information about the dungeon before they even enter it.
However, before they could even finish the preparations, the portal suddenly spat out a skinny figure wearing tattered clothes.
"Watch out! Something just came out of the dungeon!" One of them shouted.
The people there thought it was a monster and subconsciously reacted by withdrawing their weapons and abilities.
"Wait! It's a human!" The young woman shouted when she noticed this.
"Hmm? A young man wearing tattered clothes? Isn't he the one who entered the dungeon alone? He's still alive?" Someone else recognized his appearance.
The people there slowly approached Lucas with caution since they didn't know if anything had happened to him.
However, Lucas appeared to be unconscious, as he laid on the ground without moving even a single muscle.
"I think he's out."
"Let me check his condition," said the young woman.
"Be careful. He might be a monster in disguise or possessed by one," said the blonde guy.
The young woman nodded and went to check Lucas' pulses to make sure he was alive.
"He's still alive, and I don't sense the presence of a monster in him."
A few moments after Lucas exited the dungeon, the pitch-black portal suddenly began twisting and growing smaller, almost like it was being swallowed by something.
This shocked the people there.
"W-What happened to the Calamity-rank dungeon?! It disappeared!"
"Thanks, captain obvious! We can see that it's gone!"
"What should we do now, Captain Dean?" The young woman asked the blonde guy.
"There's nothing we can do besides reporting it to the higher-ups. As for that teenager, bring him with us. He was the only one who saw what was inside the Calamity-rank dungeon. Maybe he knows something."
Thus, the people there began packing up their things before driving away with Lucas' unconscious body.
A few days later, Lucas slowly opened his eyes, feeling incredibly tired for some reason.
'Where am I…?'
Lucas wondered to himself after looking around and realizing that he was lying in a bed in this unfamiliar building.
The door suddenly opened, and a beautiful young woman with long red hair and a black suit entered the room.
"Looks like you're finally awake after sleeping for 3 days. How are you feeling, little friend?" The young woman asked him in a friendly approach.
Lucas remained silent and stared at her with a cautious gaze.
The young woman took a seat right beside the bed and said, "My name is Scarlet, and I am with the Players' Association. We found you lying unconscious outside the dungeon that you'd entered alone, so we brought you to this hospital. Do you remember anything?"
'Players' Association?' Lucas wondered inwardly.
The Players' Association is one of the major powers in this world that deal mostly with people who have special abilities and dungeons to a certain extent, such as examining, recruiting, and training Players. However, they also do things such as analyzing new dungeons and organizing parties to clear dungeons.
"It's a bit awkward since it feels like I am talking to myself. Can you say something for me? Let's start with your identity. What is your name?" The young woman named Scarlet spoke again after a moment of silence.
"Lucas," he said in a low voice.
"What a nice name. How old are you, Lucas?"
"18 years old."
"Wow, you're quite young."
"Can you tell me why you entered that dungeon alone? You could've died, you know." Scarlet asked him.
"I just felt like it," he said in a calm voice.
"I see… Well, do you remember what you saw inside the dungeon?"
Lucas did not immediately respond.
After a moment of silence, he said, "No, I don't."
"Are you sure? I'll give you a moment to think about it."
Lucas then said, "You don't believe me?"
"I didn't say—"
"Forget it. I am leaving."
Lucas then removed the blanket covering his body and prepared to get off the bed.
However, when he tried to leave the bed, he realized that he was unable to move his feet, almost like it was chained to something.
"What is the meaning of this?" Lucas looked at the red-haired beauty with a frown on his face.
Scarlet showed an apologetic smile on her face and said, "Please don't misunderstand our intentions. You entered a Calamity-rank dungeon and somehow managed to come out alive, so chaining you is just for precautions."
"Calamity-rank dungeon?" Lucas mumbled in a dazed voice.