Soulmancer – Chapter 16: B-Rank Raid Began…

Do you accept the B-rank dungeon raid?


“Yes,” Izel responded, dressed impeccably with his half-burnt, pocket-sized bag adorning his wrist. His breaths were steady. Rather than the expected emergence of the Crimson Portal, unfamiliar messages reverberated in the air.

Queuing the Walker…

Please wait until the matching is complete.

Current number of selected Walkers: 13/42.

Izel, momentarily puzzled, contemplated the enigma of the [matching system]. Swiftly, epiphany dawned upon him, revealing its purpose within the Fortress of Dungeons – a mechanism to determine the allocation of walkers from varying difficulties into appropriate ‘parties’ and ‘realities’ based on their strength, raid records, and decision-making.

Contrary to initial uncertainty, Izel considered the possibility of error but, guided by a sudden premonition, embraced the truth. Without undue self-praise, he acknowledged his prowess, surpassing most low-level hunters. Factoring in his items and instinctive combat skills, the once-significant rank difference with experienced ex-hunters now dwindled to a draw. Mindful of the growth-limiting demerits common to all walkers, he weighed these considerations.

Yet, he hoped he wasn’t up against superior races, fearing it would decrease his survival rate. The unequal strength, driven by their ruthless nature and innate job-related traits, weighed on his mind. Izel doubted the possibility but stroked his curled bangs back nonetheless.

“But what if it does happen?” His dulled eyes narrowed beneath the blindfold. The possibility couldn’t be dismissed; after all, the Fortress of Dungeons was known for unexpected twists. “There must be a reason for such coincidences,” he mused, offering a straightforward yet vague conclusion.

In this cruel world, everything bears a cost, and each Walker’s life holds a price. For such an event to transpire, it implies that every life within the fortress possesses an equal standing. The only way to defy this rule is through one’s strength and a creative mind, a decision that can shatter the established order.

“It might be the reason why it selected a specific category of people scattered throughout Elilaum…” Lost in contemplation, Izel was abruptly pulled from his thoughts by resonated messages.


The current number of selected Walkers: 42/42.

Matching complete.

Concurrently, a trusty portal began forming from a beam-sized black hole, expanding gradually from the size of a coin to that of a volleyball. Ultimately, it transformed into a flat oval black outline, shrouded with a crimson hue, large enough for a person to walk through.

Prepared for teleportation, Izel walked into the portal, maintaining focus on the task at hand.

Entering the B-rank dungeon raid.

The following raid is a special dungeon where 42 selected Walkers enter to form a party of three.

The raid objective is ‘Battlefield Survival’.

The surroundings shifted into a dense landscape filled with towering trees and lush vegetation, brimming with life and luster. Above, a vibrant, bluish, serene sky occupied with a faint misty atmosphere set the scene. With the rustling of each gargantuan tree’s leaves, the surroundings turned cool and dark under the ginormous canopy.

The air, damp with moisture, brushed across the blind man’s nostrils, and the outlines of every stump were full of moss. If he weren’t blind, he would have marveled at the green expanse of the spacious forest, a landscape entirely different from any he had encountered. Even the cool breeze that fluttered and billowed anything in its path calmly tickled his skin.

Nonetheless, in a daze, Izel’s eyes, underneath his blindfold, widened at the amazingly dream-like scenery. Since all he could sense through [Flawlation] were black outlines on a white background, his admiration soon turned rueful as he imagined the disaster that could unfold within this paradise-like view. As if telling him there was no time to admire the picturesque setting, messages resonated.

Choosing the parties.

Achieve a close relationship with each Walker around.

Collaborate with them and complete the Dungeon raid before any other party does.

As the trusty portal he had ventured through slowly shrank into nothingness, two additional portals of different colors emerged behind him, expanding to their full size.

The B-rank dungeon raid is starting soon.

Remaining time: 24 hours.

Raid condition: Slay the ‘Titan Orc Lord’ before the timer runs out.

Raid reward: Mana stat +20.

Raid penalty: Death for all party members.

It’s time. Izel tightly clenched his right fist as his [Flawlation] showed a black outline of what seemed like a massive, seamless, carved-like gate, once obstructed by the faint yet dense haze, slowly beginning to emerge in the distance.

The party has been formed.

The Nanzahemir gate will open in 20 minutes between each created reality. Harmonizing will be finished by then to begin the raid.

From the newly expanded portals emerged two mysterious and unfamiliar Walkers, validating the Forum’s information.

“Battlefield Survival in such a dreamy landscape. Is this truly a B-rank dungeon raid?” questioned a fully-robed female mage. Holding a meticulously crafted staff, this beautiful young woman, aged at least eighteen, possessed vibrant emerald hair matching her brows and eyelashes, flowing down her back. Her snow-white skin radiated nobility and elegance, while her sharp-green eyes darted around in amazement, keenly observing every detail before deepening in thought.

Conversely, the calmly composed man, with grey skin, sharp ears, and a vibrant personality matching the mage’s apparent age, doesn’t appear surprised. In reality, his cobalt-like eyes glance around, unfazed by the fantasy-like scene; perhaps he’s witnessed it too often or simply doesn’t care. He suggests the trio exchange pleasantries, being party mates.

“First things first. Shall we introduce ourselves?” His words, like his shoulder-length black hair, cut through the need for small talk.

“I’m Izel Ethalt. Nice to meet you,” the white-silver-haired teen carefreely introduces himself.


Subconsciously noting the black blindfold on the latter, the gray and crystal-clear-skinned teenager, seemingly from the demon’s race, hastily obstructs his vision. He waves his hand, indirectly inquiring whether Izel is genuinely blind or if the blindfold is merely a stylistic choice or skill.

Whatever the case, it piqued his curiosity.

The latter, however, didn’t interpret it that way; he shook his head, attempting to evade the demon kin’s awkward behavior. Despite his efforts, no results were achieved. His carefree demeanor shifted to solemn, and with a sigh, he uttered, “Don’t you know how to take the hint?”

“Well, I’ve never lived while worrying about taking hints, so…”

Izel wordlessly scratched the side of his head, wondering if this guy was simply good-natured or just strangely awkward. He observed the young man and his curious yet bright smile. Eventually, the man introduced himself, “Excuse me. Pardon my disrespect; I was just a bit curious. By the way, I’m Daniel Lan. Northwestern. The first son of the King of all demons.”

A demon Walker.

The blind man sensed something was amiss. His identity seemed aristocratic, yet not in the usual way; the colorful hue of magic never surrounded him when viewed through [Flawlation]. Instead, a blank outline persisted. Izel lightly nodded to the apology for the latter’s inappropriate behavior before shifting his attention away. ‘Northwestern?’ Those words echoed in his mind as if he misheard.

Northwestern. It was a grandiose and popular name he had heard so often while listening to Hunters on his bunky television or researching his Hunter’s kit. No, it was a name he couldn’t have known.

‘Ascender Gabrilius Northwestern: King of all Demons, Ancient Demon Lord, Monarch of War and Battle, Guildmaster of the major Hell guild—[Reaper]. A hero of the great war, ‘Armaedggeon.’

A surprisingly formidable demon lord, larger than expected, loomed behind Daniel. The strength of the guild, [Reaper], rivaled that of [Cascade]. If this demon was indeed from Gubrilius’ bloodline, his significance equaled Velkist Cambormir’s. Unlike [Cascade] guild, [Reaper] boasted numerous ancient demon lords.

The young demon in full armor, initially curious, awkwardly scratched the back of his head before returning to his spot. The female mage, visibly shocked by the presence of such a powerful being, composed herself and spoke, “Jenna Rivel. Callen, nice to meet y’all.”

She stole a quick look at the face of the dark, androgynous teenager, draped in a long cloak and wearing the fortress’ special blindfold. A momentary breeze tousled his shoulder-length, curled bangs before she averted her gaze.

The name of this exquisite individual triggered a faint recognition in Izel’s mind, but he couldn’t recall the guild associated with such a beautiful last name or the lineage and district she hailed from. Nevertheless, his primary curiosity lay in understanding why this mage had briefly turned her eyes in his direction.

‘Why did she do that?’ Curiosity naturally overwhelmed anyone at the first sight of a real blind man as a Walker, but her expression differed from Daniel’s. Although every entity, living or non-living, stationary or movable, appeared as black contours to Izel due to the effects of [Sound Reading], he could still sense bodily responses with an accurate rate of 30%. Thus, he could discern when someone gazed at him.

Overall, Izel pondered whether she was too shy to ask, like the young demon, or if she was just sizing him up. Regardless, these were his new party members for the raid. Despite their peculiar behavior, the introduction proved quite interesting for Izel. After a short while, Daniel swiftly changed the topic.

“Did anyone bother looking up information about the raid?” he inquired.

“Yeah, as Diana Ross, used my lucky stash of query points to dig up some extra intel,” Jenna proudly responded with indifference.

‘So, she was ‘Diana Ross’ in the Extreme Difficulty forum, adorned with two or perhaps more query points,’ Izel’s eyes widened beneath his blindfold as if he had just spotted a superstar, but he quickly regained composure. “Hmph!”

The conversation persisted, as Daniel remained unfazed by whether she had more query points or not.

“Good. What did you find out?” he retorted.

“Well, I did manage to gather all the information Beelzebub wanted us folks to know.”

“Hm…” The young demon sighed. “I guess I didn’t completely lose the party lottery,” he exclaimed brightly, seemingly relieved.

Izel shared a similar sentiment. Jenna, while appearing a bit shy, didn’t strike him as a troublesome teenager. Interestingly, these seemingly reserved types often prove to be the most resilient walkers. Although having her as a permanent teammate might introduce a touch of monotony, the blind man considered her a suitable companion for a raid like this. Ultimately, their paths would part once the raid was successfully cleared.

“Let’s disclose our skills before we begin,” Daniel suggested, keen on bypassing small talk and delving into a discussion of their abilities. Such upfront conversations were crucial, especially for first-time collaborators embarking on a raid. It served as a strategic approach to assess how each participant’s skills could contribute to a faster and more efficient progression.

The female mage appeared a bit hesitant, given that both walkers were essentially strangers. However, recognizing the strategic necessity for such discussions in the context of the raid, she soon opened up after a deep breath. “I specialize as a mage-type Walker, making the use of magic a breeze. While close-range combat isn’t my forte, it’s not a big issue. Generally, I prefer the latter since I boast the highest mana stat here.” She explained, her tone more confident now.

Daniel’s eyes gleamed with curiosity as he heard of magic different from the demonic energy he was used to. He approached her dazzlingly, wielding his hefty shield with a fairly middle physique. Seemingly, anyone would inquire how he could carry such an out-of-his-legend shield, resembling a tanker.

According to Izel’s [Flawlation], it becomes evident that the overcolored mana surrounding her possesses remarkable density and potency, implying an innate mastery over mana. Her mana level is expected to exceed 80. Faint ripples emanate both outward and inward from her center, indicative of a constant ebb and flow of mana, akin to breathing. Genuinely amazed, Izel shook his head, redirecting his focus to Daniel, who, possibly due to his demonic nature, lacked a core but emitted peculiar waves.

As he took a deep breath, the blind man speculated that these two, like him, were uniquely peculiar. He pondered whether it was mere coincidence or fate that he found himself paired with these valuable walkers.

“Oh, obviously. What kind of magic can you use?” The curious young walker inquired with sparkling eyes. The brightness was so intense that Jenna turned her head, almost flustered, as her mage-like pride soared through the heavens. Nevertheless, she managed to compose herself and replied, “Nothing too grand. I specialize in long-span and support magic.”

Subconsciously, she boasted of her prowess. It was expected for a young mage with not only a large mana reserve stat from the [Extreme] difficulty but also a specialization in both long-range and support spells to be relatively rare among mages on Elilaum.

Finally, Izel opened his mouth and asked, “Can you use Buff-type magic?”



Not all mages can master buff-type spells or delve into debuffs, as these demand arduous effort in learning and applying them. Amplifying or demolishing external entities’ stats through mana transmission is a creatively challenging feat. While her close combat prowess seemed genuine, the blind man’s speculation hinted at the possibility of her massive mana holding untapped potential.

His guess aside, he remained clueless about her journey post-tutorial, yet her preference for long-range, potent attacks was evident. Considering the potential hidden card of close combat proficiency, Jenna appeared well-equipped for buff-type magic.

The interceptor’s eyes widened briefly, seemingly caught off guard by the unexpected questions. “I guess you could say that, but I can only use some buff-type magic,” she admitted, her tone cautious.

Despite her response, Jane contemplated keeping a few of her skills hidden until she fully understood the blind walker before her. Questions swirled in her mind – how had a blind young man survived until now? How could he move with such sharpness and contradictory smoothness, as if he could perfectly see?

Jane’s curiosity appeared to be piqued by these observations, yet her answer remained honest. She couldn’t cast debuffs, not because she lacked the skill, but due to her overly potent mana pool preventing her from neutralizing others’ mana. Perhaps she believed it prudent to observe the party further, including the enigmatic demon, before deciding whether to extend her aid.

In the context of this B-rank raid, the failure condition is the ‘death of the entire party,’ emphasizing the crucial importance of prioritizing party members. Similar to evaluating a ship captain’s competence, assessing the qualifications of those leading the battle is essential for the crew’s safety. Faced with a party including a Blind Walker with unknown skills and a radiant demon tanker she couldn’t trust with her back, the rational decision was to relegate the Blind Walker to a supporting role, place the demon tanker at the front, and position herself in the middle to observe both sides.

With a rational mindset, she demonstrated her capability to lead the group through challenging waters. However, her focus wasn’t solely on leadership qualifications. Instead, she contemplated the possibility of abandoning the ship if the crew proved weak or if someone might betray the group for personal gain. Most importantly, the crew’s failure to fulfill the objective would have dire consequences…

The blind Walker’s concise words interrupted her train of thought. “As you said, you’re a pretty strong mage; I give you that. But I think you’re more fit in a captain role.”

Daniel Lan of Northwestern didn’t seem interested in any of that. He kept searching each tree, hoping one could at least bear fruit.

— Mr. Fruits, where are you? Show your face; I’m hungry!



Plus, his demeanor was too bright and carefree for such a position. Regardless, Izel pondered what to reveal before speaking up. “I specialize in close combat, boasting swordsmanship skills and a detection ability to navigate my surroundings.”

The response was concise, providing enough information for them to assess him, partially dispelling suspicions and curiosity. While not entirely truthful, neither of them seemed to doubt it, likely because he wore a sword at his waist, aligning with the appearance of a swordsman.


“What a fateful coincidence…” The demon walker gracefully descended from a peculiarly tall tree and approached both of them. “I seem to possess an oddly demonic anti-magic skill,” he declared.

“Seemed to be a tanker?” Izel inquired with confusion.

“Well, you see, I haven’t awakened my demon job-related trait yet,” Daniel explained, capturing Jenna’s wide-eyed attention with the skill’s name.

“Demonic Anti-magic…? That’s an amazing, high-quality skill!” Jenna exclaimed loudly.

A rare skill that any mage would covet was now in her new party mate’s possession. If he were a normal human, it would have just been ‘Anti-magic.’ Instead of feeling jealousy, envy, or sudden hatred, Jenna’s curiosity about Daniel being ‘one of the ancient Demon lords’ descendants skyrocketed. It was akin to a scientist, brimming with questions and ideas, eager to recruit him for experimentation.

And that crazy demon, who was always reluctant to speak, responded brilliantly without any arrogance, engaging in a conversation filled with curiosity.

“As the first son of the Monarch of War and Battle, my status transcends that of a mere mid-level human Walker,” he declared, a boastful smile lighting up his face as he joyfully delved into the topic of his origin.

Izel, observing his exuberance, could only speculate about the source of his bright and positive demeanor. A genuine demon with a unique demonic anti-magic skill, Daniel stood apart from the typically arrogant and prideful demons. This particular skill could repel and neutralize magical properties in both attacks and mana skills, making it a perfect complement to demonic power, especially for those skilled in close combat and tanking.

Daniel smoothly transitioned the conversation, suggesting they share their hunter ranks from the outside world. “I was a D-rank demon hunter before awakening here,” he announced, proudly indicating the bronze ‘D’ letter on his hovering Hunter’s kit.

Jenna chimed in, revealing her own past rank. “I was a C-rank,” she disclosed, displaying the sliver ‘C’ letter on her translucent-craved Hunter’s kit that floated from her pouch bag around her waist.

Daniel carefreely peered through Jenna’s floating black crystal-craved orb’s screen and commented, “Not bad for a captain. You must have been quite skilled.”

“I must have been… hehe,” the female mage chuckled. Dismissing the tanker’s interest, she leaned in, eager to hear more about the demonic anti-magic. However, the tanker’s attention shifted towards the white-silver-haired teen.

Izel, lacking a rank to reveal, was merely an F-class hunter, restricted from dungeon raids and low-paying jobs due to the inability to prove his worth. Still, he clung to his Hunter’s Kit. “Ah, never mind me,” he waved off, “I wasn’t a hunter but a porter. I was preparing to become a hunter until this happened.” His hunter’s kit, surrounded by a faint swirl of mana, floated beside him. “That’s why I got a Hunter’s Kit a week before.”

Unmentioned was his previous guild status and the fact that he had checked his rank, slightly above that of a normal civilian. He had even been part of a popular guild in the ‘First District’ before being ousted.

“Legit?” The once-bright young demon’s face contorted into disapproval, casting a shadow over the conversation.

“Regardless,” Izel continued with a reverent smile, “I’m still confident in my ability to fight.”

However, Daniel seemed to clutch his head, perhaps not even attempting to hear him out. The blind man, sensing a familiar, non-existent gaze, took a deep breath. Daniel’s face stiffened as he confidently walked, bravely stopping in front.

“Confidence, my ass. But don’t worry, I’ll protect both of y’all. Just stick close to me.” His cobalt-like eyes darted forward, assuming the role of a protective big brother, while his pointed nose gleamed against the sky. “I’m from a superior race, so I’ll do what I can.”

Izel scratched the back of his head, and Jenna stroked her fluttering trail of hair over her left ear with a faint smile.

‘Just who would protect who?!’ The same thoughts flowed through both their minds, leaving them utterly speechless.

“…Okay. Thanks for the sentiment,” Izel remarked nonchalantly. A new, strange feeling started to stir in his heart. He couldn’t quite discern its nature, but it carried a very familiar expression he had always associated with Jane Austen. This expression embodied a distinct demeanor that had been absent in the [Cascuade] guild. The sincere gaze of protection against the weak seemed to pierce deeper into his heart, resurfacing memories of the mistreatment he endured for being blind—a slow learner and achiever who couldn’t prove his worth like others.

However, that was in the past; although he was a slow learner and achiever, he is by no means weak in the present. He is now strong enough to protect himself. Staying quiet with a faint smile, he lets the other person take the lead with Jenna.

“Just stay close to Jenna, the mage, so I can protect you both with my ultimate skill. Okay? What a strong demon I am. Hahaha!” Daniel proudly adds.

Approaching Izel, Jenna opens her mouth after a stroll, “What a strange yet seemingly nice demon, don’t you think?”

It’s almost as if she wants to start a conversation, staring at the humongous back of the young demon.

Blankly, he replies, “Perhaps he hasn’t faced death or been killed before, resulting in his overly positive trait, even though anything could happen inside that gate.”

“Do you mean a hero-type demon?” Sidely, the mage gazes at Izel, agreeing that this young demon could certainly be a virgin to bloodshed and war.

Note: ELILUAM IS A WEIRD YET INTERESTING WORLD. Armageddon has a meaning, while Armaedggeon doesn’t have a meaning… So I decided to use that. So, it wasn’t a mistake.

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