"But I don't have a companion token. I don't exactly plan to be anybody's companion, after all," Nogg said.

"Don't worry. I have a binding stone here for you to use," John said. He tried pushing the stone through the watery orb. It passed through. The watery orb prevented the one inside from escaping but it didn't prevent things from going in.

John saw Nogg performing the ritual to turn that binding stone into a companion token. While he did, John turned to Jet, expecting the old dwarf to have failed again. But luckily, this time Jet didn't disappoint. The successfully tamed newborn dragon turtle was wrapped in light and then sent away to their headquarters.

"Nice, old man!" John complimented.

"Hmph! See if you dare to underestimate me again," Jet responded.

John received a message from Bowler then, "Hey, did you guys succeed? The dragon turtle here suddenly turns as if mad. It no longer tries to escape. It just frenziedly attacked anyone that comes near."

"Yeah, we have succeeded," John replied.

"So, can we leave now?" Bowler asked.

"Of course not! It's not every day you have the chance to kill a mythical monster," John replied. "With the merfolk taking on the dragon turtle directly, it is not an impossible task. Continue doing as before. Now that the dragon turtle does not try to escape, you can take your time to wear it down. We will join you soon."

"Man… You are not here, so you don't know how dangerous this request you are asking. Even without using skills, this dragon turtle is crazily strong."

"Just imagine the loots we get once it died. Remember to send in sufficient damage to the turtle also. Even if it is killed by the merfolk, as long as we players land enough damage, loots will drop and we will still get a portion of the exp."

"Fine… Just come as soon as possible! Not that it matters anyway. We will do what we can."

John ended the message and saw that Nogg had finished creating his companion token. Nogg tried to push the token out but he couldn't. The watery orb blocked his attempt.

"You need to free me first if you want this companion token," Nogg said.

"Sure," John said.

"What's this?" Jet approached then.

"He requested this merman to be his companion before he frees them," Life Runner explained.

"Oh? Didn't we already agree to the sea mother's request?" Jet asked.

"Hehe, he didn't know that," John replied. John was the only one in the group here who used Underwater Communication Potion. Jet was communicating via chat, so Nogg didn't hear what he said.

"What a villain! I'm going to tell him by using sign language!" Jet performed some strange movements that neither John nor Life Runner could understand. Since the two of them didn't understand, the merfolk for sure didn't as well. Nogg just stared at Jet like the dwarf was a nutcase.

"Please take him away. He is embarrassing us," John said to Life Runner.

Life Runner looked at Jet and shrugged. "Please," he said as he motioned for Jet to follow him.

"Punkster! See if I will help you again the next time you need my help!" Jet complained and went away.

"What was that about?" Nogg asked from inside the watery orb.

"Nothing, just a senile old man," John replied. "Now, let's get you out of here, shall we?"

John started forming a spell formation. When the spell was completed, Dispel was cast. John had also joined the Order of Magi, and he had recently reached the Apprentice rank before going on this mission. The rank gave him access to the Dispel spell. Unlike Jack, he had given Jeanny the chance to copy it first before learning the spell.

The Dispel broke the watery orb that imprisoned Nogg. The merman was freed. He stretched his arms and flapped his tail to release the feeling of stiffness due to being confined in a limited space for a long time. This caused him to swim around haphazardly for a while.

After he was done, he noticed John's extended hand.

He paused for a beat before handing his companion token to John. A deal was a deal. He was a respected Sea Warden from the merfolk race. He was not going to go back on his words.

John received the token with glee and proceeded to seal the contract with the merman. Nogg, in the meanwhile, swam to one of the watery orbs that held the merfolk children captive. He unlatched the trident from his back and stabbed it into the orb. The merfolk child inside was terrified when he saw the trident's tips half-punctured inside.

"Don't be afraid," Nogg said soothingly to the child.

The child nodded. Even though he wasn't familiar with this merman, Nogg was still fellow merfolk. Additionally, he had seen this merman come barging into this cave and fight the dragon turtle. Even though in the end Nogg had lost, it was clear that Nogg fought with the intention to save them.

Nogg's green trident vibrated. The heavy liquid that formed the watery orb was slowly shrinking. It was as if the liquid was sucked by the trident. Soon, the watery orb dissolved and the child inside could swim freely.

"Wait here. I will save the others. Then we will go out together," Nogg said to the freed child. The child nodded compliantly.

Seeing that Nogg could free the merfolk children using his trident, John happily let him do so. His dispel had a three minutes cooldown. Once the cooldown time passed, John went and used it to free another child. With John and Nogg working together, all the merfolk children were soon freed.

"Okay, let's go. We will escort you back to the merfolk's town," John said to them. "My friends are currently fighting the adult dragon turtle together with the other merfolk. we will show you the way so you don't barge into the battlefield."

Nogg nodded. This outworlder had freed them. Even if John had done it at the price of his companion token, he thought he should be able to trust that John meant them no harm.

When they were on their way to the exit, John suddenly told them all to stop. Everyone looked at John questioningly. But instead of explaining, John swam to the lava pool and stayed above it while staring down. Those who were curious came to where he was as well.

When Jet approached, he noticed from his mana sense the reason for John's interest. At one edge of the lava pool was a large red crystal. It emitted dense mana. John had noticed it first due to the notification from his God-eye monocle when this red crystal came into the range of his perception.

"What is that?" Jet asked. He was having trouble identifying the crystal with his Inspect level.

"It's a mana site containing the fire element," John explained. His God-eye monocle had no trouble bypassing the Inspect restriction. "I've heard about this mana site from Jack and Peniel. Jack told me before that he encountered one during his kingdom faction initiation quest. This fire mana site must be why this lava pool existed here. No wonder the dragon turtle spent so much time inside this lair. This is a great find. If we transferred this mana site to our Sky Garden Peak, it should increase Penny's growth. Life Runner, use this and absorb the mana inside this mana site."

John gave Life Runner a large indigo orb. That was an empty mana orb, similar to the one Alonzo had used to suck the ice mana site when he first met Jack. The one that Life Runner held was the highest-grade orb John bought in the magic association shop. It should have no problem containing all the fire energy from this fire mana site.

"You sure have a lot of fancy stuff," Jet commented, referring to John's binding stone as well, which was used to make the companion token.

"I believe in preparedness," John replied. He then said to the others, "Okay. All melee class, stay here and protect Life Runner while he sucked the fire mana site. You people are useless against the dragon turtle anyway."

"Must you say it in such a condescending way?" Jet complained.

"I'm just stating the truth, old man," John responded. "Except for you. You can come with us. That martial art you used before might prove useful against the adult dragon turtle."

"Hmph! So, you need my help again?" Jet asked with folded arms.

"Jack's guild needs your help. If you don't want to help, then so be it. You are probably just afraid to approach the adult turtle for a melee anyway."

"Hmph! How can I be afraid of a turtle?" Jet said haughtily. "I will do it for Jack. Not for you!"

"Good." John then turned to Nogg, who had been waiting by the side.

The merman was eyeing the fire mana site. For natives, mana sites were also valuable finds, but he was not going to contest this finding with the outworlders who had just freed them. Bringing the merfolk children safely back to town took priority.

"Let's go," John said to Nogg. He acted like he didn't notice Nogg's interest in the mana site.

The two, with the other non-melee players except for Jet, escorted the merfolk children out of the cave, leaving Life Runner and the others to harvest the fire mana site.

The players used Underwater Propeller Scrolls to increase their swimming speed. Their normal swimming speed was too slow compared to the merfolk, even for the merfolk children. John took the lead and guide them on a route that was away from the dragon turtle's battlefield.

They met a few sea monsters on the way, but nothing they couldn't handle. Nogg himself was enough to take care of those monsters. They were amazed by how deftly he maneuvered in the water. When he went on the offensive, his green trident was empowered by wind energy. With the players supporting him using ranged attacks, those monsters were easily routed.

They safely arrived at the merfolk town. The merfolk guards were joyful when they saw Nogg and the merfolk children.

John and the others left quickly once the children were safely delivered. Nogg followed by their side. The merman wasn't going to let go of the chance to give the dragon turtle a payback for imprisoning him.