Chapter 38: Chapter 38

Translated by: ShawnSuh

Edited by: SootyOwl

[Welcome to Dungeon 66.]

[Special event!]

[Checking players’ stats.]

[Special hidden event!]

[Special reward awaits those who clear all 120 floors of the dungeon within twenty-four hours.]

As the darkness faded, a waiting room appeared. Made almost entirely of white marble, there was an automatic door within it that appeared to be the dungeon’s entrance. While Ho Sung was looking around the room, Min Sung took his Orichalcon Dagger, which sparked and crackled with white lightning, out of his inventory.

“Are you doing the hunting yourself?” Ho Sung asked, looking at the champion nervously. Instead of giving him an answer, the champion took Bowl out of his pocket and tossed it into the air. After spinning in the air, the doll landed on its feet and said while dancing for joy, “Master! It’s such an honor to see you in action!”

Then, Min Sung said to Ho Sung, “Like I said earlier, if you fall behind, there won’t be a second chance. So, concentrate.”

While Ho Sung nodded nervously, Bowl threw its arms in the air with excitement. Stretching his neck and shoulders, Min Sung started off, adding, “Make sure to pick up all the loot.”

[1st Floor]

An echo reverberated as they passed through the rotating door. However, paying no attention to it whatsoever, Min Sung bolted forward. Startled by Min Sung’s unannounced and nonverbal signal, Ho Sung and Bowl rushed to catch up to the champion. Min Sung, who had gone ahead, came across the first monster: a minotaur.

About 1.99 meters tall, the monster had a cow’s head and a human’s body. Unfazed, Min Sung charged toward it unhesitantly and swung his dagger. Then, a streak of light from the dagger cut into the minotaur’s waist, almost cutting it in half.

Roaring thunderously from pain, the minotaur dropped the axe in its hand and fell to its knees, spilling blood and guts. Then, seeing the monster in that vulnerable state, Ho Sung and Bowl charged toward it like hyenas. Meanwhile, Min Sung, who remained ahead of the two, came across three more minotaurs who charged toward him. After he killed them in the blink of an eye and rushed past them, the three minotaurs fell to the ground like dominos, spilling blood everywhere. Shortly after, Ho Sung and Bowl arrived. While Ho Sung swung his sword, Bowl cast black magic spells and brought the minotaurs back to life.

Meanwhile, Min Sung picked up his pace. That time, coming across five minotaurs charging toward him, the champion raised his dagger and swung it diagonally. With a crackling thunder, the minotaurs were cut off at their legs and fell to the ground. Leaving them behind, Min Sung kept on.

Fifteen minutes had past when Min Sung reached the 12th floor. Feeling that he wasn’t being fast enough, Min Sung decided to take a different approach to his hunting method. Instead of rushing ahead of them and incapacitating the monsters, he had Ho Sung and Bowl split up and bring the monsters to him, which couldn’t take longer than two minutes. However, while Bowl got a move on almost immediately, Ho Sung fell into a state of panic.

“What are you doing? Get a move on,” Min Sung said to him impatiently.

“I-I think it’s too dangerous for me to do this alone. What if I go with Bowl…”

“No, you’re doing it alone.”

“But, sir! That’s way too dangerous…”

“Then, you’ll die,” Min Sung said with cold, cruel eyes. Seeing that, Ho Sung started off reluctantly in order to lure the monsters. As Ho Sung and Bowl split up, Min Sung continued on his way forward. Soon, Bowl returned with thirty dark hounds chasing after it, and Ho Sung, who was screaming and covered in tears, came running toward the champion with fifteen monsters, a mixture of dark hounds and stone golems. Including the fifty monsters that were chasing after Min Sung, there were a whopping ninety-five monsters. Soon, the monsters were cut up into pieces as the white streaks of light flashed out of the champion’s dagger like a spider’s web.

[Level up!]

[Level up!]

[Level up!]

[Level up!]

[Level up!]

[Level up!]

Looking at the messages repeatedly popping up in front of his eyes, Ho Sung couldn’t contain his excitement. On his own, raising his experience points by even 1 percent had been a laborious challenge. However, in the presence of the champion, his level, not just his experience points, shot up through the roof.

Boost, or commonly referred to as ‘bus,’ had been part of the jargon used by the online game community of the past, and it involved a high-level player helping a significantly lower level player become stronger. In those terms, the champion’s boost, or bus, was an ecstatic experience. Witnessing the champion reaching the forty-eighth floor in less than an hour, Ho Sung couldn’t believe his eyes.

‘I was forgetting just how monstrous this guy was.’

It was as if he felt the champion’s power down to his very cells. In Ho Sung’s eyes, Min Sung Kang was a god of war, the pinnacle of warriors.

Looking down at the blood dripping down his dagger, Min Sung nodded. There was no need to bore himself to death or reminisce to his time in the Demonic Realm while killing the monsters in the dungeon. What was more important was the present and the fact that he was back on Earth, his home, where killing monsters was just a means to make money.

Although most people saw capable hunters as those who had the most ideal career, Min Sung thought otherwise. To him, there was no dignity in killing monsters that were weaker than him. In fact, he believed that the very act reduced him to a mere butcher or a predator armed with a sword. And most importantly, monsters were creatures capable of killing his appetite just with how they looked.

At the swing of the champion’s dagger, another monster met its demise. It was Cerberus, the mythical three-headed dog. Despite losing two of its heads, the monster writhed in pain without dying. Looking back, Min Sung murmured in a low voice, “Too slow.”

Then…

“Huff! Huff!”

Short-winded, Ho Sung reached Cerberus and cut off its last remaining head with his sword. After which, the monster exploded and dropped an item. Staring at Ho Sung, who was preoccupied with choosing which items to pick up, Min Sung said, “If you start complaining or falling behind, I’m feeding you to one of these dogs. You got that?”

“Yes, sir!”

With that, the champion kicked the ground and continued on his way.

“Huff! … Agh! Ptooey!”

Holding his side, Ho Sung spat on the ground. Keeping up with the champion was proving to be extremely strenuous. Ho Sung realized that it had been foolish to expect an easy ride when the champion had first offered to take him to a dungeon.

Min Sung was blazing through the dungeon at a truly frightening speed, and keeping up with him and delivering the final strike for experience points was not an easy task by any means. On the other hand, Ho Sung was also leveling up at an unbelievable rate. At that point, the real question became whether or not he’d be able to even stand on his feet by the time the champion reached the top floor.

‘No. You gotta change your way of thinking, Ho Sung. I don’t have a choice. If I don’t keep up, I’ll be dead,’ Ho Sung thought. By that point, he was well aware of the champion’s personality. Min Sung was a man of his word, and the fact that he had killed Ho Sung’s clansmen was proof of that.

‘I have to keep going. It’s the only way to survive,’ Ho Sung thought, biting down on his lower lip to the point of making it bleed. Using one of his skills, he boosted his speed. Then, looking down at Bowl, he let out a moan as a wave of envy washed over him. Unlike Ho Sung, who was drooling and gasping for breath, Bowl showed no signs of weariness, as if it had no lungs. Perhaps it had something to do with its level. Killing monsters like fish in a barrel, the doll kept leveling up alongside Ho Sung. Since the only way for him to earn experience points was to wait until he could deliver the final blow to the monsters, Bowl was leveling up at a significantly faster rate.

‘The doll and I are NOT the same. That wasn’t the case from the get-go. Come on, Ho Sung, just accept it. You gotta get stronger. You gotta focus on keeping up with Min Sung Kang. Otherwise, death will be the only possible outcome,’ Ho Sung thought, clenching his teeth tightly, nearly crushing them. Dodging the monster’s blows, he lured the monsters toward the champion. Despite his lungs having long reached their limits and despite being covered in wounds, Ho Sung kept on with fierce determination.

“Huff… Huff… Huff.”

With a pale face, Ho Sung, covered in wounds all over, breathed laboriously. Meanwhile, wiping the blood off his dagger, the champion scanned him up and down and said, “Looks like you’re reaching your limit.”

“No, I can do this,” Ho Sung replied, staggering, struggling to balance himself. Then, with a smile, he said, “I’m gonna get stronger and show you just how thankful I am.”

“Maybe you should stick to recommending restaurants,” Min Sung said, turning around and bolting away. At that moment, with a loud whistle followed by what looked like black streams of air surrounded Ho Sung.

“… What the…!?”

Ho Sung felt his stamina getting restored almost immediately, and his body became light as a feather. Looking toward Bowl, he murmured, “Did you just?” Instead of giving him an answer, Bowl cackled and disappeared in a puff of smoke before Ho Sung’s eyes, reappearing next to the champion. After that, Ho Sung chuckled and said, “You know what? At this rate, I might actually start liking the little guy.”

Clenching his teeth tightly, Ho Sung bolted forward as fast as he could in order to catch up to Min Sung and Bowl.

[You’ve slain the final boss.]

[Dungeon cleared!]

[You’ve reached level 200!]

[Congratulations! You’ve learned a new passive skill: ‘Aura’]

[You’ve earned the special reward.]

As a series of messages appeared before his eyes, Ho Sung stopped in his tracks. More accurately, one particular message lingered in his gaze.

“Hey! What are you doing standing around? Pick up the items,” Min Sung said impatiently, furrowing his brow at Ho Sung. However, despite the champion’s command, Ho Sung stared at that certain message dazedly.

“I said, what are you doing?” Min Sung said, kicking Ho Sung in the butt. After getting pushed forward by the impact, Ho Sung looked toward the champion with tears running down his face, which baffled the champion even more.

“Thank you, sir… Thank you so much!” Ho Sung said, kneeling on the ground and bowing to the champion.

“What’s the meaning of this? Have you finally lost your mind?”

“Sniff! I just thought the day would never come. I wouldn’t have known in my dreams that I’d learn a new skill, let alone Aura. Thank you, sir, from the bottom of my heart!”

“Just shut up and pick up the loot before I tear you apart.”

“Yes, sir. Sniff!”

Wiping the tears off his face, Ho Sung picked up the loot.