“Are you really going to tackle this dungeon?”
“Well…, I shouldn’t be saying this as the person who is looking over this dungeon, but this is an undead dungeon that’s notorious for having bad rewards. If you exclude the entrance fee, you probably won’t be able to make a profit…”
“That is fine.”
“Then, will you show me your hunter license?”
“Ah, my underling…, I mean, the hunters back there will show you theirs. I am just a porter.”
The receptionist looked at me as if I was suspicious.
Well, to be expected.
After all, it’s usually the hunters that request to enter a dungeon.
“Well…, the people back there, they really are hunters, right…?”
“Is that not obvious? They look like hunters at just a glance.”
“Well…, they look like they have been very beaten up for that….”
Due to me hitting them until they said they would cooperate with me,
Underlings 1 and 2 looked completely beaten up.
I had no plans of taking it this far either.
They had been a bit stubborn,
So they ended up being like that as I had to deal with their stubbornness.
“They should be fine. They are hunters, so they trained so hard they ended up injured.”
As I smile as well as innocently as I can to make the employee trust me,
The employee backs out with a reluctant look.
Hmm…, I feel like I bought more distrust with my smile, but I guess it might just be my hunch.
“Hey, underling 2.”
While underling 1 was getting his license checked to enter the dungeon, I call up underling 2 to do some final checks before we head into the dungeon.
“Don’t call me hyungnim though, the people around us will think I’m a gangster.”
His initially impudent behavior is nowhere to be seen anymore.
Underling 1 had been beat up pretty hard, so he gave up very quickly,
But underling 2, considering he leeched on stronger people, fought me off for quite a while.
Since I had used the whip for too long during that process,
I had ended up beating manners into him too strongly, unintentionally.
“Did you prepare the stuff I told you to buy?”
“Yes! Is it not obvious?”
Before we head to the dungeon,
The things I had told underling 2 to buy to clear the dungeon.
Still with a polite attitude,
Underling 2 hands me over a bunch of tomato juice and stamina potions.
“Good. You bought the right stuff.”
“I understand the stamina potions, but why did you ask me to buy tomato juice…? And even picking out the brand….”
“It’s a joke, this is just the liquid with the color that’s most similar to blood that I know.”
As soon as he heard what I said, he made an expression as if he was even more confused.
It’s annoying to explain more,
And once we’re in the dungeon, whether I like it or not, they will realize, so I just ignore him.
“Anyway, are you really planning on going in here?”
“There really is nothing to gain in this dungeon…. It doesn’t even have a boss, so why?”
“Well, there’s no place like this that’s more deeply connected to me.”
Underling 2 makes an expression as if he can’t understand me even more the more he listens to me.
I didn’t say it for him to understand anyway.
Actually, he shouldn’t really understand.
‘This is the place where I got my Return from Death skill.’
It’s the place I first met death,
As well as the dungeon that completely changed my life.
It’s obvious, but I had no intention to get the [Return from Death] skill again.
No matter how much I think about it,
Preventing me from improving my level or skills is a very big deterrent.
But the reason I came here is,
Due to the fact that the [Return from Death] skill is a reward from failing to clear the dungeon.
It was a skill that naturally got added to my status window.
As I died, failing to clear the quest that the guy in here gave me.
And for some reason, after getting that skill,
I couldn’t find that boss again.
But this time it is different.
I am confident I can definitely clear it this time.
6 years ago, I didn’t know how to properly use skills or weapons,
But now my skills have improved to an incomparable amount.
The reward for failure was the OP skill [Return from Death],
So how good is the reward for success?
I don’t know what it is, but it will surely be amazing.
“You may now enter.”
And it seemed his conversation with underling 1 was over.
As the employee tells us we can go in the gate.
And with that, a door glittering with mesmerizing colors welcomes us.
I drink the rest of the remaining tomato juice.
And I have as many potions as I could get on me.
This time, I will definitely get the real rewards, not the reward for failing.
A strong chill comes as soon as the door opens.
This lets us know that we have definitely entered the dungeon.
“…So, do we defeat the monsters?”
Seemed he had an extra weapon,
Underling 1 asked me holding a rather shoddy looking axe.
‘Of course, I have to take care of them. You’ve got to be crazy to think I’m giving this experience to you.’
It’s my opportunity to get a taste of leveling up that I haven’t had the past 6 years.
You’re asking me to give up to you.
Such an emotional moment?
There’s no way I would.
After lightly pushing underling 1 to the side,
I give them a sign that I will fight myself.
Fortunately, subordinate 1 isn’t completely oblivious and grasps the meaning of my actions right away.
‘Then, let’s start.’
I warmed up lightly.
As the employee told us, this is an undead dungeon.
And oddly enough,
A dungeon without a boss.
‘But there is actually a boss.’
The quest I failed here.
That quest was most definitely given by the boss here.
A setup in which certain conditions must be satisfied to meet the boss.
I don’t know if my plan will work out or not but…,
‘He will be watching us from somewhere around here.’
He was a very talkative guy,
So he told me, in the past, that there are artifacts that allow you to look inside dungeons.
Like surveillance cameras, an artifact that is used to keep an eye on us.
‘And also, an artifact that can detect general emotions.’
The guy said he had an artifact.
That could detect the general emotions of a target within sight.
He’s literally keeping a close watch on whoever enters the dungeon.
‘Still, there’s a weak point.’
In the case of the artifact that has the ability of surveillance cameras,
Even if he bragged about the large number, there is bound to be blind spots.
In the case of detecting the emotions of other living beings,
It’s a rough estimate, so there is definitely a way to beat it.
‘I’ll find him while defeating smaller monsters.’
For the sake of my levels, and for the sake of my plans.
First of all, I need to find where exactly the artifacts that are monitoring me are, and their blind spot.
But it will be too obvious if I just search around for them,
So I will act as if I’m hunting down the undead.
I grab my dagger and head to where the undead might be,
Not long after, I find a demonic monster.
The way it looks, with bandages wrapped around all over its body,
It physically looks exactly the same as before.
I approach it and swing my dagger.
And it just stands there, not trying to avoid or block the attack.
I just get close enough to make sure I can fatally wound it,
And slice the mummy open.
And with one strike,
With a sign saying it is dead, the mummy disappears without a trace.
This is not because I’m strong.
Low level mummies are one the weakest of monsters that exist right now.
The part inside, wrapped in the bandages, is completely rotten,
And even if getting attacked by them, it just feels like getting hit with a cotton ball.
Of course, as low as the difficulty is,
“Wow. I told you. They don’t even give a small mana stone.”
Apart from a bit of experience, they don’t give any reward.
Even though I am level 1,
The reward is so small that my level doesn’t even rise.
‘If I continue killing them, it will go up.’
There are still a lot of mummies, so my level is bound to increase.
Not like this dungeon is a place to level up anyway.
‘I think I’ve found the blind spot too.’
As the guy had said, there are artifacts embedded in every corner of the dungeon.
They’re not noticeable if you are not aware of them due to them blending into the surroundings,
But since I already know where the artifacts are, I just need to make sure.
And with that knowledge,
Even in a narrow space, I have been able to identify the location of blind spots where we can’t be monitored.
From this point on,
I need to put up a play to satisfy the conditions.
I breathe heavily.
My knees are shaky, and I can barely swing my sword.
‘There were these many monsters?’
I have already defeated 4 undead.
Too many. There are way too many.
No matter how much I swing my sword, I can’t see an end to it.
I look at my status window,
Name : Park Si-woo
Level : 2 (1st Stage Awakener)
Condition : Pain
[Strength : 1] [Stamina : 1] [Agility : 1] [Magic : 1] [Luck : 1]
(Remaining attribute points are 3.)
(There are currently no skills.)
At least my level has increased by 1.
With that, I got, even if very few, some points I can invest to improve my stats.
It was a situation to be proud of.
It’s the first time I’ve ever seen my level go up,
But I’m not happy or excited at all.
I keep reminding myself of the last time I died.
The situation I couldn’t salvage at all.
I overlap that situation to my current situation,
And my legs start to shake.
“What are you doi….”
As I shake and look fatigued,
Underling approaches me confused.
I drag underling 1 to a blind spot so that he doesn’t talk nonsense, hit him in the head quickly and make him pass out,
And then I move to continue defeating monsters.
‘One of my underlings is already down.’
The monsters were so strong,
That one of my underlings had been knocked out after an attack.
This is despair. How can it be this full of despair?
A terrible reality where we could all possibly be wiped out.
“…You crazy bastard.”
I can feel underling 2 looking at me as if I was crazy.
I should k…, I mean,
It seems he’s lost his mind in this situation full of despair.
But still, a relief.
At least this guy is alive, so there is still some hope left.
But the undead keep on coming without giving us a chance to rest.
I force my body to move. I twist my face and use the last of my strength to lift my dagger and approach them.
The undead are soon in front of me.
I know I have to attack, but my body won’t move.
The mummy attacks me faster than I can swing.
It punches me straight in the gut with a hand wrapped in bandages.
Red liquid spews out of my mouth.
A red liquid that would be dangerous if it flowed out of my body too fast.
On top of that, even from the spot the mummy attacked,
Red liquid started to flow.
Since this is not real blood,
I move to the blind spot, stumbling around, making it impossible to figure out what the liquid actually is.
I breathe heavier and contort my face as much as possible.
The pain like right before death. I keep reminding myself of the pain of dying I’ve experienced 100,000 times.
My body falls down, unable to balance properly.
Unable to take care of the mummy properly,
I just lay my body on one side of the wall.
Without letting my guard down, I keep thinking about desperate situations in my head.
So the guy falls for it,
I keep recalling the feeling of being on the verge of death.
The condition is finally met.
With that, I feel my body going down through the ground, as if stuck in quicksand.
I have been invited to the boss room anyway,
So there is no reason to keep this acting.
“Hey! Underling 2! Take underling 1 and wait for me here! If you run, you’re dead!”
So I stop the acting I had been doing so far,
And tell underling 2 the last thing I had to say.
As underling 2 finishes speaking,
My body disappears under the ground.
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