Author: Lubai

“I’m so glad Miss Hunter is here!” A woman sitting in front of the roaring fire without fuel blushed. “If you hadn’t saved me, I might have already died.” She seemed to have a very positive personality, seeing her bright smile. Did she find this situation interesting? It wasn’t funny.

 

“Don’t talk too much with that person. We’ll be the only ones in trouble if that person leaves once it becomes annoying,” Daylight Robbery passing by advised the woman. I thought it was right a hundred times, but I was still furious. I mean, did I look like such a heartless person? 

 

I had a lot to say, but refuting it was a bit difficult. I decided just to keep my mouth shut. No. Better to change the subject.

 

“How was the center?”

 

It’d been a while since I entered the dungeon gate. I came here assuming I could get out of a decent dungeon in a day or two, but I couldn’t afford it here.

 

The ■-level Dungeon, ‘The Pit Where the Stars Fell’, consisted of eight holes drilled in the wall, a deep hollow in the center, and an ice field filling the middle.

 

“Something blocked me and I couldn’t access it. The shimmering thing must have been a light orb floated by Paradise. Perhaps there is a separate approach.” Daylight Robbery asked me, but the answer came from Wreath. I roughly nodded and thought, ‘Paradise was there.’

 

“I examined the caves on the right and left. There was no one on the right, but on the left, three guilds had gathered together.”

 

Surprisingly, Constitution, Research, and Hundreds Thousands were together. I wondered why they didn’t go solo but teamed up together, but they seemed to have difficulty dealing with the monsters.

 

‘Uwaaa! It’s Finger Technique! Aunties! Uncles! Finger Technique has appeared!’

 

I didn’t really know anything about it, but Lena, whom I met while going to grab a drink, told me. I heard that some people died while fighting monsters over there.

 

‘Daybreak and Paradise? Uh… I’m not sure. Daybreak seems to be on the oposite side. I heard the sound of crows cawing from that direction.’

 

The sound of crows means Soap Bubbles of Daybreak. Daybreak seemed to be on the other side then. Since I also knew where Paradise was, I had roughly figured out everyone’s location.

 

Overall, everyone on Daybreak’s side seemed to be alive and well, so there shouldn’t be a big problem. Meanwhile, everyone on Paradise’s side would survive like cockroaches, even if I didn’t take care of them.

 

“Daybreak seems to be on the other side.” I worked my mind again as I shared the location of Daybreak. Was it still a while before the second injection? What could we do before that? Check the situation? Prepare for the raid? Geographic research?

 

“After putting it all together, we can do nothing about it.”

 

It would be nice if there were a lot of monsters, but this area didn’t have monsters. After I’d killed the monster in the cave, it dropped something like a strange piece. It looked like a piece of slate.

 

“What am I supposed to do with this? Can I defeat the King of Pride with it?” I held up a piece of a stone slab with a bizarre pattern and muttered. 

 

The new employee sitting next to me quickly responded, “Could it be a keyword that will allow one to approach the center? You get a piece if you kill a monster, does that mean more pieces will appear if you kill the monsters from other caves?”

 

“Then we should pay more attention toward the center. Don’t bother stepping out, and let’s just rob Paradise when they finished their investigation.”

 

Wouldn’t it be a win-win situation for both sides? I’d be happy because I didn’t have to exert any effort, and Paradise’d be happy to see me again.

 

Ha. The uncontrollable popularity of this body.

 

I fell into narcissism, thinking that the S1 Team sitting next to me would have booed me inwardly if they had heard it. The narcissism would have continued if it had not been for the interrupting voice.

 

“Still, as fellow Hunters…isn’t it a bit unfair to them?” the newcomer asked cautiously. 

 

I smiled kindly and answered, “Do you know how I became number one?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I broke a lot of earthen pots.”

[T/N: 뚝배기 잘 깨서” is an idiom in Korean that literally means “breaking pots well,” but it is often used figuratively to describe someone who achieves success or becomes the best in a certain field by working hard or being skilled. It can also imply that the achievement was not necessarily earned through fair means or without causing harm to others.]

 

That’s just how the world works. Almost everything can be solved with strength. Except for an angry mother’s roar and a non-rolling millstone, everything can be solved with the right and left fists.

 

“Even if it’s called a world ranking, it’s just about who breaks the monster pots better. If you need to, just hit first and see what happens. If you win, your opponent will give up what you want.”

 

The advice that is worth blood and flesh brought tears to my eyes. It was the top famous saying of the century selected by Forbes.

 

“You have to be ignorant to live like that. Don’t live like that, Doona.”

 

“Yes, I’ll keep that in mind.”

 

I heard the chatter of Daylight Robbery and the new recruit. What happened to my famous saying? Did it go to space? Huh? What I meant was…

 

Thuuud!!! While I was silently counting my latte, the entire dungeon shook violently.

 

“Everyone gather in one place! Don’t fall!”

 

The piece in my arms resonated with the vibration. I stepped outside the cave holding the vibrating piece that vibrated like a cafe bell. The ice sheet between the center and the wall cracked like a slice of pizza. A total of eight pieces centered around the hole.

 

Something shaped like wings and unknown plants poured out from the crack. Light like a spotlight descended on the endlessly dark space.

 

There were only four places where the light poured. From the piece with us, the piece with the three guilds, Daybreak, and the unknown piece.

 

A shimmering veil surrounded the center area, and four passages led to the center area, each from the spot where the light was shining down.

 

“My eyes hurt.”

 

We had a fire, but it was in a palace dark all the time. Blinking my eyes, I roughly adjusted to the light and looked around. The ground was clearly visible under the thick ice.

 

Had it been a flowery field before it froze? Various flowers were trapped in the ice and stuffed as they were. Plants in the shape of trees rose from the cracks and connected each piece.

 

Looking closely, the fruits hanging from the tree looked like ordinary fruits. But according to the cliché, I’ll become a monster if I  pick up and eat that stuff.

 

I scratched my head and stepped back. I meant to inform the S1 Team that it seemed that something had finally begun in earnest.

 

“Aaagh-!!”

 

I might have been a little faster if the screams I’d heard since I got here didn’t come from those winged things.

 

What is that? I stared at the white masses rushing toward me, frozen like ice. Monster? Are those monsters? But they look so bizarre. Each has a head, but no body. Are the wings the body? There are three pairs of bleached eagle wings instead of a body. But it has hands and feet without a body! There’s even a halo!

 

[Caution!]

 

[You ran into ■■.]

 

[■■■■ will lead to mental contamination.]

 

[Body-strengthening characteristics resist mental contamination.]

 

[Resisting mental contamination.]

 

What the hell is that thing? My terminal started heating up. I recoiled in horror and confusion, wondering what I was looking at. Is this a dream?

 

“Finger King-nim, why do you look so pale…?” One of the team members asked, looking at me quizzically. I said nothing and just showed them the view outside.

 

“Hiiyyy-!!”

 

The sight of the monstrous creature screaming and coming was like a horror movie unfolding in reality.

 

I lifted the person who was trembling with foam and grabbed his hair. His mental state was not good. 

 

“What’s the matter? What did you see?” 

 

Another person who confirmed the distraught co-worker’s appearance peeked outside and returned screaming. Hey, did you see it too? It’s no joke.

 

It would’ve been okay if the monster had no head. But it has one. What’s the point of it having a head?

 

It was so creepy with the head attached. I had goosebumps all over my body. Oh, I’d rather break the cockroaches’ pot. Even if I die, I don’t want to break this kind of pot.

 

Besides, why are they closing their eyes with such a benevolent expression? Will they open their eyes and attack with a laser beam once they’re attacked?

 

It was a crucible of shock and horror. I felt my qualifications of an earthen pot master collapse in front of the overwhelming bizarreness.

 

“Everyone, take a look at the situation outside now.”

 

I drove the others out, except for the two who’d already been knocked out of their minds. Seeing them all coming back screaming in unison, I thought it was safe to assume that the creature had a severe impact on their SAN.

 

“Wh-what the hell are those!?” the rookie, who had never lost her smile until now, spoke in horror.

 

“I don’t know. Monsters…?”

 

“Monsters!? How do we fight those things!?”

 

I…I don’t know. Don’t ask me.

 

***

 

Bang, bang, bang-!!

 

“Aaagh-!!”

 

Bizarre-looking monsters kept popping up because the characteristic of the bright newcomer was ‘explosion’.

 

“Everybody, don’t look at those things head-on!” Daylight Robbery shouted as he fired bullets using his ‘acceleration’ ability. Even if the other didn’t hear him, no one had the courage to look directly at that thing.

 

In common sense, it should be moderately bizarre. I knew that not all monsters looked normal, but I’d never seen such a traumatic monster.

 

“When will they run out?” the newcomer, who turned blue, murmured while causing a series of explosions. 

 

Looking at the center where the veil had disappeared, I let out my guess. “There must be something in the middle. It’ll pop out after the center is pierced.”

 

The central area was filled with an endless swarm of creatures, preventing any approach. It seemed they were incapable of long-range attacks, but they kept appearing in droves, making their numbers seemingly endless. Their presence alone instilled fear, and if this situation continued, we would be at a disadvantage. If those capable of long-range attacks exhausted their mana and fell, the creatures would be able to approach us.

 

“Then we’ll be fucked.”

 

Just imagining it is terrifying. I gritted my teeth and rolled my eyes in frustration. Come to think of it, what happened to the people of Paradise? Did they all perish?

 

‘Perhaps a disaster is about to occur.’

 

No, that can’t be it. The prophet could not have died already. After all, isn’t it a basic requirement for the prophet to survive until the end in fictional works?

 

“We can’t keep this up. They will keep coming and we won’t be able to hold out forever,” Daylight Robbery, who was rapidly draining mana, turned his head and said. “Finger Technique, go to the center.” He looked slightly tired, but his momentum was still strong.

 

“If I go, what about you?”

 

“We will try our best to survive. Now, going to the center is the first step. After all, you must kill the boss to break the dungeon and get out.”

 

That’s right. We had to kill the boss to get out of the dungeon.

 

“I heard you’re good at breaking pots. So go and break them quickly,” said Daylight Robbery before turning back around. It was quite a touching moment to be reminded of the top quote of the century by Forbes, but…

 

“But I’m scared to go out there.”

 

“Hey!!”

 

My weak mentality was inevitable. Oh, I’m human, too. What can I do about it? Even if I resist mental contamination, I can’t help not wanting to see it.

 

Daylight Robbery’s face was covered in steam after delivering his impressive line. I decided to stick my head out of the cave to try to do something before I got cursed at, but within a second, I returned to my previous position.

 

Honestly, I can’t do this. Even Asura can’t win against that.

 

I couldn’t believe how useless I was. It was ridiculous. I denied reality and slammed my head against the cave wall. If someone hadn’t heard me, I might have kept doing it.

 

“Team Leader, look over there. Someone’s walking toward us,” the newcomer said in a bewildered voice. At those words, I quickly raised my head and looked outside again.

 

Above the winged monsters, a normal-looking human walked through the air. I clenched my fists as I watched him waving toward where we were.

 

“It’s done.”

 

“What?”

 

“You can go outside!”

 

My relief pitched with the terminal had finally appeared.

 

Author's Thoughts

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