Chapter 1. Prologue
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Lee Jin-ho was a D-Class hunter.
D-class hunters have the authority to become a team leader when inside a D-class dungeon. So, as always, a 10-member party was formed by mixing D and E classes appropriately.
What was different from usual was that there was only one grade F.
He didn’t have any expectations from the F-class anyway. It’s just that he didn’t have enough heads. Even without that one person, they had enough power to clear a D-class dungeon.
In fact, the attack on the dungeon was carried out without any problems.
A Troll dungeon had formed in Guro-gu.
Trolls, big and strong, are tough monsters that can heal themselves quickly. In particular, resilience is often the problem, and considering that, one room has been filled with hunters with strong skills to take care of that.
Thanks to them, the rest were able to handle the common monsters without difficulty and move forward.
‘Why is the boss so strong?!’
When they arrived at the boss room, he was merely eating.
The troll sorcerer started mumbling spells in the middle. A repulsion force was generated around him, forming a translucent membrane.
It was a signal that magic was being flung at us.
“Damn it! It’s coming at us! Tankers ahead!”
“Watch it! No, we’re blocking so well, but what’s the alternative for the floor?”
“F**k, no matter how many times we attack them, they’ll all recover. What should we do?!”
At first, the friendly atmosphere of the party and the swearing began when things didn’t go well.
At that moment, the troll sorcerer who finished the spell swung his staff and fired a ball of fire. The main tanker Park Garam, who was reading its path, struck the ball of fire with his large shield.
Aiming at that time, the damage dealers approached in an instant. Two people tore up his shield, and the rest of the hunters used the gap to pour their skills.
Thwack, Thwack, Thwack!
Every attack was a proper hit. He had quite tough skin, so he clenched his teeth and had to stick a knife in, and it did enter a vital point anyway.
But he didn’t know that he was going to fall.
“F**k… … .”
Lee Jin-ho spat out abuse.
The torn shield was regenerated, and the hunters that struck bounced right off. In the meantime, his wounds healed in an instant.
The pattern of the troll sorcerer was consistent. Barrier, and believing in resilience and chanting spells all at the same time.
It was simple ignorance, but that made it all the more effective. The party members frantically sliced with knives, stabbed with spears, and attacked, but only to end in failure.
On the other hand, others were steadily getting consumed at blocking the fireballs that the troll threw at them.
Lee Jin-ho bit his nails.
Boss monsters usually have a few specialties compared to regular monsters. They were either overwhelmingly strong in terms of strength, or the skin is unbelievably hard. It was not uncommon for their special abilities to be much more severe.
Among them, this troll sorcerer seemed to have exceptional resilience.
Otherwise, even for a troll, that level of resilience doesn’t make sense.
‘I was out of luck.’
His fireballs, wand-wielding attacks, and the hardness of his skin were no different from ordinary D-class dungeon bosses.
But resilience. Because of that one recovery ability, it became as majestic as something almost equal to that of a C-class dungeon boss.
Lee Jin-ho, who was measuring things around in his head, kicked his tongue and shouted.
“Everyone retreat! While confronting that monster, slowly step back…… Huh?”
At that time, he could see a party member approaching behind him. It was a man wielding an axe in one hand and a knife in the other.
Lee Jin-ho frowned at once.
“That F-class guy!”
He was the guy who had been just brought in to fill the number of heads. So he told him to stay quietly in the back.
But, why was he acting like that all of a sudden?
Lee Jin-ho frowned and opened his mouth wide. However, at that moment he was about to utter a swear word.
He stiffened as in the way he opened his mouth.
When the F-class lifted his axe high and slammed it down, the troll sorcerer’s shield shattered like an eggshell.
“Uh, uh… … .”
It was harder than he thought, because it was a shield that broke only when at least two party members rushed in together. But that F-class split it all up by himself, and that too all at once?
While he was speechless.
Do-joon had a completely opposite thought to Lee Jin-ho.
It was a troll dungeon that he came on purpose to try the non-regenerative option in a real battle. But he couldn’t believe that there would be a monster with an additional resilience specialization.
‘If the non-regenerative option works properly for this guy.’
Then it would mean that it would work on any monster.
As the shield broke, the troll sorcerer turned towards him. However, his face was simply peaceful. This may be because he believes in his own resilience.
Do-joon approached with a knife. Seeing this, he burst out laughing.
Putting a toothpick-like dagger on the spot where it’s not enough to attack with that hideous axe in his right hand…….
He swung his staff while neglecting his defense.
Although he was a sorcerer, he was basically a troll with a strong physique and extraordinary strength. His staff rushed to break Do-joon’s head.
The attack was parried with the side of the axe, and then Do-joon stabbed the knife into that troll’s shoulder.
[You can copy one of the options from “Knife” to “Troll Sorcerer”]
At that very moment
The troll sorcerer’s eyes, which had been full of ridicule, widened as if it had been ripped apart.
For them, resilience is something they took for granted from birth, similar to seeing with their eyes and hearing with their ears.
And that very thing had just disappeared.
He was bewildered by the overwhelming sense of loss he experienced for the first time in his life.
“Hey you, stop that bast*rd’s recovering!”
At that time, a party member threw out a spear next to Do-joon. Since the shield was broken, of course they launched an offensive attack.
Having inadvertently been the first to attack, he was the first to notice that something was different about the troll. The area stabbed by the spear did not recover at all.
“Brother! This bast*rd is not recovering!”
“No way, aren’t you lying?”
“Ah, are you kidding me in this situation?!”
Others rushed in with rejoice to the spearman shouting with their eyes wide open. He doesn’t know what happened, but this was an opportunity.
The troll sorcerer swung his staff and resisted, but could not stop those running like bees.
Trolls, which lost their resilience, were no different from a monster with just a little tough skin.
‘It also applies to troll bosses who specialize in resilience.’
Do-joon carefully observed the death of the troll sorcerer one step away from them. He checked the wound area while using a visual enhancement buff, but no signs of regeneration were found.
It was a satisfactory result. If this was enough for a troll sorcerer, it would be good to say that it applies to just about any monster.
【You have defeated the Monster. Experience (EXP) increases.】
Soon, the troll sorcerer collapsed, and a message from the Yggdrasil system appeared in the eyes of all party members.
And the dungeon, which lost the core of the dungeon called Boss Monster, began to close, trembling.
* * *
They were able to come out safely along the way they came. The roots of the dungeon, that is, the World Tree, were still the same, but when they looked closely, they could see that it was gradually crumbling.
Maybe by this time tomorrow, all of it will be gone.
“Thank you for your hard work!”
“You did a great job.”
The faces of those who came out were bright.
Trolls were far more valuable than any other monsters in their class. Mainly, because their blood is used as an ingredient for potions.
It was almost like they were going to die in the boss room, but somehow they managed to clear it without any major incident. So he couldn’t feel bad about it.
However, Lee Jin-ho had been frowning for the entire period.
“Jinho hyung? What’s with the long face?”
“Huh? No, that’s…….”
When one of the party members asked strangely, Lee Jin-ho tried to answer, but his words blurred. Then he turned his head and asked straightforwardly.
At the sound of his calling, Do-joon looked at Lee Jin-ho. Seeing Do-joon’s face, Lee Jin-ho swallowed his saliva and asked.
“Perhaps… … Is it because you did something that made the troll sorcerer not recover?”
That didn’t make sense for him.
He has never seen or heard of that kind of skill. Moreover, it couldn’t have been possible for an F-class, who was just brought in to fill the number of heads.
If there was really an irreversible skill……. Perhaps the whole world would have been buzzing about it earlier. Among the S-class or higher dungeons that have not yet been cleared yet, there were many dungeons where the recovery of monsters was a problem.
Do-joon smiled faintly.
Lee Jin-ho’s heart was pounding without realizing it. What does that smile mean? The wings of imagination lost control and unfolded at will.
“No way. I don’t have that kind of skill.”
It was too natural to be called a lie. When Lee Jin-ho was unsure, the party members grumbled at him.
“What are you talking about, brother? To prevent a troll from recovering, is there really such a skill?”
“It must have been that there was a limit to the regeneration ability or something. or lack of calories.”
“Do-joon, you’re probably a reinforcement type. Otherwise, how would you break through the boss’s shield?”
“That’s right, man! Do-joon, you were so cool back then! I was so surprised.”
“Thank you so much.”
When everyone was talking like this, Lee Jin-ho also felt like there was nothing wrong with it. Isn’t it natural for people to be easily swept away by their surroundings?
‘Is that so? Wow, I lost touch, too. Why did it feel like Do-joon did something at the time?’
On second thought, he didn’t even understand himself at that time.
Do-joon’s expression as he shoved the knife in with a sharp look. He thought it did something because of that, but thinking back now, it seems that he was just concentrating on the battle.
Lee Jin-ho nodded his head convincingly. Meanwhile, a party member asked Do-joon.
“Mr. Do-joon! After stopping by our public bath, we decided to have a dinner party. Do you have time for it?”
“A dinner party?”
“Yes, they’re talking about going to a nearby gopchang restaurant.”
He appreciated the invitation, but Do-joon shook his head.
“I have other work to do, so I think I need to go quickly.”
“Ah, this is fate, let’s go together some other time.”
“Well… … . Then it can’t be helped I guess.”
The party members returned to the party as they were before as Do-joon broke up with them and returned to his store.
* * *
A quiet general store without a single sign that welcomed you.
Still, it was his own house. When he came back, he felt more comfortable.
“Whew… … .”
Do-joon sat down and sent a message using his cell phone.
– I came back safely. Please catch the next dungeon as soon as possible. It doesn’t have to be a troll one this time.
The recipient was Lee Ji-ah, his employee.
Do-joon started working as a hunter at the late age of thirty-five. Therefore, in order to be able to catch up with the performance results, he had to push himself harder than others.
The promotion takes place only when there is a performance, and the other hunters were 35 years old when they were already running into B-class dungeons. Of course, that was only when their abilities backed them well.
‘There is no choice but to constantly run into the dungeons… … . The problem is to maintain a steady growth of my skills.’
The source of his growth was the labyrinth. Every time he cleared a labyrinth and entered a new one, Do-joon grew explosively.
However, this labyrinth was a little tough.
‘I need to be organized to defeat normal mobs of monsters to increase speed.’
Compared to the elemental island, this labyrinth has significantly improved monster basic specifications. So all he could do was to grab things bit by bit.
If it continues like this, it will take several months for growth to accelerate.
Special measures were necessary.
Fortunately, when it comes to undead monsters, there was a way more efficient spec-up method than anything else. It was to buy weapons of holy attributes.
‘Let’s go to the Market.’
A logistics center where hunters from all over the world register items to buy and sell.
The next day, Do-joon headed to a capsule room to access the market’s site.