In Gideon, Marie Adler, upon seeing Ray's new animal ears, proceeds to draw a sketch of a shirtless Ray with the new appendages, prompting Nemesis to praise the drawing. When asked by Marie how he got the ears, Ray recalls his brief meeting with Dr. Flamingo and tells Marie about it. While Marie compliments Flamingo's tastes, Ray is worried about going to Alejandro Walker's shop in his current condition, though Marie tells him that his concerns are unfounded, as most tians would be unsurpried by a Master growing animal ears.
Marie's words are proven true, as when visiting the shop later, Alejandro is unsurprised by Ray's apearance and warmly welcomes him. Comforted, Ray prays not to run into Rook, a prayer that goes unheard as they are greeted by Babylon a second later. Rook however, finds the ears flattering, and asks Ray where he got them while Ray ruminating if the ears are cursed, with Nemesis suggesting that it is the Miasmaflame Bracers that are cursed. Ray attempts to avoid the conversation, but is shocked when Rook figures it out anyway. As Ray wonders if Rook has ESP, he is shocked agan when Rook casually answers the query he thought and says it is a "simple" mind reading technique. Nemesis falls to the floor, disbelieving that anyone else could read Ray's mind. Upon noticing Rook's new silver coat, Ray compliments it, with Rook saying he is fond of "Liz" as well. When the coat moves slightly after the declation, Ray wonders if it was the wind.
Later on, Ray emerges from a dressing room, wearing a Blaze Metal Scale Coat and deciding to purchase it, thinking to himself that Rook's coat was so cool, he wanted one too. Nemesis, reading his mind teases him for how easily influenced he is. As Ray tells her to not to read his mind so casually, he notices a long line of people going to pull a gachapon machine.
Sometime later, outside of Gideon, Ray says that this is a good spot to test the reward he received from the gacha. Nemesis sighs, reminding him that his first spin, costing 100,000 lir only netted him a Tomb Labyrinth Exploration Permit. While Ray screams, begging her not to remind him of it, Nemesis notes how lucky Rook was by comparison, having netted a S-rank reward, the UBM special reward Touch of the Slencer, Veltboule. Ray pulls himself together, noting that the X-ranked reward he received is something even the people at the shop had never seen. After pulling it, Ray is greeted by Zephyrus Silver, a Prism Steed. Pleased, Ray attempts to ride Silver, only to be thrown off while Silver runs off. Puzzled, Nemesis notes that a Paladin like Ray should be able to ride a horse, with Ray reminding her that he does not have the Horse Riding skill. Nemesis finds that odd, as Paladin is a high rank job from the knight grouping. Realizing something, Ray logs out and checks the wiki, reading that the Horse Riding skill is something learned from the Knight job. Ray notes that the Amulet of the Equestrian Tribe could allow him to learn the Horse Riding skill, though the steep price depresses him.
Back in Gideon, Ray tells Nemesis that they need to earn some money. Though Nemesis suggests the duel arenas, citing the myriad benefits, such as not getting the death penalty when losing and the prize money, Ray rebutts by noting that only people at Level 51 can enter a duel. He then suggest gambling on duels, though Nemesis shoots that suggestion down, noting his horrible luck. They are interrupted by an altercation, with several men harrasing a young woman for money. Though Ray jumps in to help, he is pre-empted by another young man. Though the newcomer proclaims himself to be Level 126, which shocks the men, they then quickly jump him. After Ray tells the young woman to escape, he is shocked to see that the young man has been taken down, despite his level. The ruffians then tun their sights to Ray, who easily dispatches one with a single blow. Ray is astonished by his own strength, prompting Nemesis to remind him that his bracers give a 100% bonus to STR. The other men flee the scne, and Ray heals the young man, who compliments his ears, thinking them an accessory. He then introduces himself as Hugo Lesseps, a Master and High Pilot. Ray introduces himself and Nemesis, and asks Hugo how he was defeated so easily, despite being Level 126. Hugo tells Ray that due to the stat growth of his job, his physical stregth has barely increased from his starting values. The young woman returns, bearing a leather pouch and thanking them for their aid. She then begs them to save her brother. When Ray askes if it was the earlier men who had kidnapped him, with the woman replying that they were part of the Gouz-Maise Gang, a group of vicious bandits known for eating their victims if they cannot pay the ransom. Though she offers to pay them, Ray and Hugo refuse, electing to save the woman's brother for free. After promising the woman they will rescue her brother and sending her home, they are greeted by a young girl in white who is dragging along the escaped ruffians and apologizes to Hugo for the wait. Ray is surprised that she took them down, but upon seeing the crest realizes that she's a Master. The young woman says that she interrogated them, and that the gang's base is in the Cruella Mountain Belt. She then wonders why someone as chivalrous as Hugo is hanging around a lolicon. Ray protests his innocence, and Nemesis disputes being a loli. The situation extends a childish fight of wrestling, while Hugo introduces the girl as Cyco, his party member. After Nemesis and Cyco make up with a handshake before the bewildered Ray, they receive a quest request for a Level 8 quest, which they accept. In the woods, they come to a clearing, where Hugo throws down a siler sheet. When Ray asks what is is, he hears sounds of machinery from under the sheet, leading him to a realization. Hugo asks Ray if he is there as the Kingdom's paladin or his own sake. Ray says he is there for his own sake, and Hugo concurs with him. The sheet turns into a metal gate, which opens, lifting a large robot in front of them. Hugo proclaims it to be a Magingear, a weapon of the Dryfe Imperium. He boards it and races off, carrying Ray and Cyco in its arms.
Overlooking the gang's base, the party discuss tactics, deeming a frontal assault too dangerous for the hostages. Hugo proposes to attack with his Magingear as a decoy, since as a Dryfean weapon, the gang won't use hostages on someone with no reason to care for the children while Ray sneaks inside. Ray concurs, saying that the lives of the children are depending on them. Surprised by this, Hugo notes that Ray really is a Maiden's Master. When Ray asks what he means, Hugo tells him that an acquaintance has told him that the commonology between Maiden's Masters is that they don't believe Infinite Dendrogram is a game. Ray denies it, stating that he is well aware it is a game. Hugo says that his acquaintance told that while Maiden's Masters believe that, some deep part of them still doesn't view it as a game. Hugo apologizes for saying strange things before the operation and then reminds Ray that killing tian criminals is not a crime. A carriage of newly kidnapped children pulls up to the base, and Cyco uses a skill to overhear that the bandits in the carriage are planning to kill the children as payback for their friends being caught. The party then begins the plan, with Hugo stopping the carriage from entering the base, and Ray using a smokescreen created by Hugo's Magingear to sneak inside. Once inside, Ray and Nemesis are confronted by child-sized zombies, which infuriates them both. Ray asks Nemesis what happens when undead dies, to which she replies that she doesn't know, but thinks it best to end their suffering. Ray agrees and uses Purgatorial Flames to destory the zombies. He is then given an alert by the system that he has unlocked the skill Purifying Silverlight. While Ray prays for the children's souls, he hears a brief Thank You as their embers float away. Ray notes to himself that this must be what Hugo was talking about earlier, with Nemesis agreeing, saying that if Maiden's Masters think of this world as real, the weight of lives here would be far too heavy, especially since lives are lost here far more easily than in Ray's world. ray thinks that there must have been many Masters who quit Infinite Dendrogram because of this, but that he has not broken yet, swearing to save the children and punish the mastermind.
Deeper inside the base, a hooded figuure observes the fight outside through a crystal ball, saying he will leave the Master outside to Gouz, while he'll welcome the Master inside. Back outside, Hugo has defeated the bandits, with Cyco noting it would have been far easier if he used his Embryo skills. Hugo, drinking a MP potion says that his skill is meant for their plan later and cannot be used now. He then fires a round at the base's gate, revealing a large minotaur standing there unharmed. Noting the demi-human's strength, Hugo asks him if he is the leader, with the minotaur replying in the affirmative, naming himself as the Strong Gladator Gouz, the second leader. He picks up one of his fallen comrades and devours him, commenting on the superior flavour of bad guys. A disgusted Hugo takes his stance, with Gouz mocking him stating that the damaged Magingear is no match for him. His statement proves correct, as the Magingear's knife, aimed at his jugular shatters and Gouz tosses the Magingear back several feet, damaging Hugo severely. Cyco asks him if he will use the skill and Hugo hesistates, wondering if he should run away to avoid a death penalty. His musings are cut short when Gouz takes the heads of several children out of bag and devours them, enraging Hugo further. As Gouz moves towards the carriage of children, Cyco asks Hugo again if he will use the skill, to which he replies that she already knows the answer. Standing, he screams Gouz's name, prompting the minotaur to sarcastically ask if he was done sleeping. Hugo agrees, saying that he has been sleeping until now, and that the Hugo Lesseps he wanted to be would not hesistate here and declares that he will not forgive Gouz. The maneater laughs, saying that was a pretty speech from a thrill seeking Master. Hugo states that he will send Gouz to hell and as the minotaur charges, he calls for Cyco, deactivating her Crest Conceal skill and declaring her real name to be Cocytus, his Type Maiden wth Chariot Embryo as she transform into ice armour that covers his Magingear. As Gouz dismisses the sight as just for show, Hugo activates La Porte De l'Enfer, engulfing Gouz.
Back inside, Ray races through the base, finding a cage full of children. Thankful that they're alive, Ray opens another door, finding a robe filled with bones and child lying on a magic circle written in blood. Nemesis wonders if this is an experiment, and Ray retorts that there is no time to wonder and goes to retrieve the child. A cold voices utter the word "Die" and Ray is stabbed, seemingly by the child.
- Marie Adler
- Ray Starling
- Mr. Franklin(flashback)
- Alejandro Walker
- Rook Holmes
- Hugo Lesseps