Chapter 1. Prologue
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5 Advanced Chapters
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The axe with a subtle golden glow exploded on the ghoul’s chest.
A light blue flame broke out from the wound and began to burn the ghoul’s body.
Purification by the divine power. The ghoul howled in pain until it collapsed.
Normally, undead monsters don’t have pain, but it is known to feel extreme pain when it is attacked by holy attribute powers. Would an ordinary person feel so silly over this fact in an instant?
Of course, it was not Do-joon’s business to know how painful it was for these monsters.
He finished by swinging his axe once more at the luminescent ghoul. The speed was different from before when he had to swing three or four times just to cut off one of its arms.
‘It’s worth it.’
Do-joon glanced down at his axe and nodded.
In fact, it just wasn’t enough to say it to be useful. The hunting speed grew three times faster than originally.
This was because, in addition to adding the holy attribute to the weapon, the buff skills were also upgraded one by one at a time.
‘Still, it would be difficult to run without taking any measures yet.’
There were several ghouls in the front yard that it became a burden to jump in without thinking. There was still a lack of the required fit rate for that.
So the basic hunting method remained the same.
Watch carefully for a ghoul who falls out from the group and lure it with a stone. From then on, those who approached him like that, had their heads cut off one by one.
However, there was no problem even if two or three were dragged together at the same time instead of just one. If he concentrated a little more, he could take on more than four opponents.
Do-joon moved according to a routine that he had set up to repeat.
Using one guard post as a base, he lures the ghouls and engages them in battle. After several battles as such, he returns to the guard post and rests. Once his stamina was fully restored, he would come out and fight again.
He continued hunting in a trance.
Unlike when he returned home after a short period of hunting time, he began to hunt them all, one after another without taking such breaks.
A few hours had passed.
【You have defeated the Monster. Experience (EXP) increases.】
【The fit rate has increased.】
A message that the fit rate had increased appeared..
Do-joon entered the post and sat down. It had been a while since he opened the status window.
– Kim Do-joon
– Destruction Lv32, Agility Lv31, Vitality Lv29, Magic Lv29, Sense Lv34
– Potion Production
– Attribute: Mana Core – Ice
– Additional Attack Power 66~104
– Destruction +3Lv
– Agility +2Lv
– Sense +5 Lv
– Earth resistance 52.4%
– Water resistance 49.8%
– Fire resistance 37.5%
– Wind resistance 41.2%
– Skill: Regeneration (Advanced) Cooldown 270s
The corners of his mouth went up with pride and joy.
The fit rate has already reached 29%. Now, if he adds a little more to it, he would break through 30%. And 30% was the lowest condition to be promoted to a C-class hunter.
‘I can’t get promoted yet because of my performance.’
Anyway, the performance is gradually accumulated. There was nothing bad about the high fit rate.
What he saw after that were the various additional options.
Not to mention the mana core, it was a great option. It has never disappointed him ever since he first copied it from the heart of the glass snake.
And surprisingly the additional attack power reached a value of 100.
This level was no different than starting with a rare weapon for free.
It was an option that can never be ignored considering how much a good weapon affected with this option could create an impact in a battle.
Even when he was weaker than he is now, the reason he was able to beat a ghoul with a fit rate of 37% was thanks to this additional attack power.
In addition, the other stat options that have been getting raised from time to time, and resistance options that he was still farming diligently these days.
The highest one, the earth resistance would now be able to achieve a full resistance of 75% within a month, and fire resistance would also get completed in around two months.
‘At least there will be no difficulties in elemental monsters or polar dungeons.’
This was enough to be able to participate as a tank in elemental dungeons. Even with a decent shield and armor, it would be much harder than most of the tanks.
Of course, he has no intention of participating as a real tanker. If he had been aiming for a tanker position, he would have been working hard to increase his additional defense rather than additional attack.
‘I’ll have to raise my defense as well.’
Still, it was more effective to focus on attack power for now. Defensive power was something that he could think about when his attack power becomes much higher later on.
‘Let’s go hunting.’
After resting, Do-joon flew out of the guard post.
* * *
After hunting for another few hours, Do-joon returned home.
He could only enter the labyrinth next week after the cooldown of the Return skill.
During that week, he moved busily. He participated in dungeons that he asked Lee Ji-ah for and accumulated results step by step. He even re-entered the elemental island and swept up the respawned snakes.
A week later.
[You have entered the “Collapsed temple”.]
Do-joon returned to the collapsed temple.
A sense of discomfort came to him as soon as he arrived.
Even the slightest discomfort cannot be underestimated. Do-joon looked carefully around with squinting one eye.
‘There’s nothing strange about it… … . The number of ghouls is a bit small, but that’s probably because I killed a lot of them last time… … . Ah.’
The identity of this sense of discomfort was revealed. It was precisely that the number of ghouls seemed to be less than usual.
If this was a regular dungeon, it wouldn’t be strange at all. But this was not a dungeon, but a labyrinth. It was a labyrinth where monsters continuously respawn over time.
Therefore, the fact that there were few ghouls was quite inconvenient and was enough to make him feel discomfort. It means that they didn’t respawn.
‘Is the respawn time too long?’
That was also a good possibility.
Another possibility was that the monster of this labyrinth does not respawn at all like ordinary dungeons.
However, it was a little unconvincing. Both the skeletons of the catacomb and the snakes of the elemental island were all respawned. But ghouls are the only exceptions here?
Does it mean that it was a special labyrinth which can be designated as an exception? This place?
‘I didn’t feel like it was anything special… … .’
The concern deepened, but it was not a problem that had an answer.
The labyrinth was a phenomenon that only he has experienced among all hunters on Earth. There were no experiences in this field or pioneers to seek advice.
There are all surreal objects in the first place, whether it is a dungeon or a labyrinth. It would be rather foolish to think that one rule must be followed.
‘I don’t know if the respawn doesn’t work here at all, or if it just takes a long time.’
In the end, it is an issue that can only be known accurately as time goes on.
‘Let’s just hunt them all and see.’
It won’t be too late to think about it later.
After that, Do-joon made the priority goal of reducing the number of ghouls in the front yard.
The number declined rapidly. As time passed, Do-joon became stronger, while the number of heads of the ghouls decreased, hunting accelerated.
A few days later.
Do-joon was able to slay all the ghouls in the temple yard without leaving any behind.
In the meantime, he went around all guard posts and obtained items with the non-repairable option. In his inventory, there were eight items starting with “Eroded~”
‘Eight isn’t bad. By the way… … It looks like respwan doesn’t work at all.’
At this point, he could be sure now. In the meantime, he has been paying close attention, but there was no sign of the ghoul respawning. The front yard, which was full of walking corpses, was now empty.
After taking some time to reorganize once, Do-joon entered the temple building.
The interior of the building was broken and cracked everywhere. There were also several places where it collapsed.
In the meantime, the same ghouls as the one in the yard wandered around. Do-joon went around the temple, killing those ghouls.
‘It’s easier compared to the yard.’
Monsters were of the same type. However, it was easier to deal with thanks to geographical advantages. The advantage of having many things to shield himself.
Since they were less intelligent, it was easier to deal with them in a complex building than in a yard where there were not many obstacles.
While constantly breaking the chests of the ghouls with his golden axe.
Suddenly, he saw a flash in front of him.
Do-joon twisted his joints all over his body with his eyes wide open. Then he saw something dark passing by the place where his head was until just now.
He instinctively jumped to a nearby wall. As he hid himself behind the collapsed stone wall, three or four magic arrows were pierced through the stone wall with a pop.
If he stuck his head out, he would have been shot instantly.
Do-joon took a mirror out of his inventory and looked over the wall. The one who shot the arrow from far away was reflected in the mirror.
[The Fallen Bishop]
– Fit rate 39%.
‘Bishops… … .’
What it looked like was not much different from other ghouls. The difference is that he was wearing something similar to a hat whose shape was hard to understand, and he was holding a black staff.
There was only a 2% difference in the fit rate, but considering the name of the bishop, it would be stronger than the believers.
Originally, the undead monsters are the ones whose strength is determined by what they were during their lifetime.
Do-joon took a crossbow and a bolt from his inventory and loaded it.
Originally, the tension was so strong that it had to be placed on the ground and loaded using the whole body, but Do-joon, whose destruction stat has already exceeded level 30, was able to load it with only his arm strength.
“Whew… … .”
And after taking a small breath, he jumped out of the wall. As soon as he jumped out, he completed his aiming and pulled the trigger.
At that moment, he also unleashed its magic.
The bolt that ripped through the air and the black magic arrow it shot crossed each other and flew away.
Do-joon put his crossbow in the inventory as if throwing it in, and ran straight towards him. The visual increase (medium) and the level 34 Sense stat created synergy, and saw through the path of the magic arrow.
As he turned his head slightly, the magic arrow flashed past his shoulder. The clothes were torn and blood was dripping from the wound, but it healed quickly due to the effect of regeneration (advanced).
In the meantime, Do-joon didn’t take his eyes off him.
‘What about my arrow?’
His eyes turned toward the arrow he shot. Unfortunately, Do-joon’s arrow did not achieve its purpose. It was destroyed by a round sphere it hit.
Still, this was enough. At least it didn’t draw any attention.
Tatat! Do-joon approached him even before he could complete the magic again. And he swung his axe as hard as he could.
An axe with golden holy energy was pierced into his shoulder. Do-joon gave it more strength. Tendon sprang up on his forearms, and the axe dug into his lower abdomen.
A blue flame of purification rose along the wound. With that alone, he was already unable to fight. The ghoul struggled at the rushing pain.
Do-joon pulled out the axe to confirm the kill and cut off the ghoul’s neck.
Touk, torr… … .
The head of the bishop wearing the hat fell to the ground like a soccer ball. Blue flames rose from the severed neck and disappeared in ashes. And so was the body.
Immediately after dealing with the ghoul, Do-joon hid himself in nearby concealment.
He waited for a while just in case, but there were no more magic arrows.
The battle ended with a small sigh.
He couldn’t let his guard down. The speed of the projectile was faster than the skeleton wizard he had seen in the Catacombs. The power also seemed higher.
But now that he was aware of their existence, it was fine. It was all about moving forward more carefully. He was patient enough and not young enough to mess things up with a rash mind.
For a while, Do-joon wandered around the temple.
All the ghouls he saw were slaughtered.
He finished the first floor and went up to the second floor. The temple building had three or four floors.
‘I’m glad it’s narrower than the yard though.’
Since it was a building, there were not many ghouls gathered at once. At most, there were only three or four of them gathered.
There were not many bishops about whom he was more concerned. If there were 100 believers, the proportion of bishops was about one.
Thanks to that, the hunting itself was much easier.
‘Let’s take care of everything this time.’
Normally, he would have returned home and rested a bit, but he became greedy. It means the desire to rest after finishing work.
Over the course of five days, Do-joon was able to deal with all the ghouls up to the 4th floor.
As a result, his fit rate became 35%.
The Believer Ghoul was 37%, he could theoretically raise up to 38%, but unfortunately, there are no more monsters left.
‘Should I challenge the boss with this much?’
As the ghouls do not respawn, this was an unavoidable part.
But where was the boss room?
Do-joon searched all rooms on the last 4th floor. When he couldn’t find it there, he came down to the 3rd then the 2nd, and eventually to the 1st floor.
And in the corner of the first floor.
He found a staircase going down to the basement.
‘Are there any more ghouls in the basement? Or is it the boss room?’
Do-joon took the stairs and went down one step.
At that very moment, a gloomy air of swindling senses came up.
Do-joon covered his mouth with his forearms and leaned his back against the wall.
The Catacomb also had undead monsters, and even here, he struggled with strong enough ghouls. So he thought he had gotten used to the swindles of these undead monsters.
It was an illusion.
The energy of a dark, damp, rejecting living being wrapped around Do-joon like a snake. Just by standing there alone made his head spinning and his heart started to pound as if he was anemic.
Do-joon bit his inner lip and covered himself with the magic core.
The icy cold energy swept through the whole body and woke him up.
Do-joon, who breathed out and controlled his emotions.
He calmed himself down first and looked down the stairs. The dark passageway roared ominously.
Do-joon clenched his teeth. No matter how much it was, he couldn’t retreat from here.
Do-joon, who confirmed that his return skill was in a proper usable condition, stepped down the stairs carefully.
And as soon as he opened the huge door below and walked in.
“… … Fu*k.”
He used the return skill without delay.
* * *
[You have entered the Chapel.]
[A hidden quest has been created.]
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