Chapter 77: Chapter 77

Translated by: ShawnSuh

Edited by: SootyOwl

“… I’m sorry, what was that?”

“You’re gonna have to be the bait,” Min Sung said, crossing his arms. At that point, Ho Sung’s eyes sank.

“Wait… So… What you’re saying is that I should be the living bait to lure the boss out of hiding? Did I hear that right?”

“That’s right. I looked everywhere, but there’s no room or any sort of device that will trigger the boss’ appearance. Which means, it’s hiding from me.”

Holding his breath briefly, Ho Sung pointed to Bowl and said, “In that case, I think Bowl would be a better fit for the role. Besides, Bowl looks more like a monster.”

At that, Bowl picked up a rock and chucked it at Ho Sung, who paid no attention to it and stared intently at the champion with eager anticipation.

“Don’t make me repeat myself. Besides, I’m the one doing the killing here. What have you got to worry about?” Min Sung said impatiently.

“So… You know how people who are afraid of heights REFUSE to get on rides at amusement parks, right? That’s because even the thought of getting on a ride scares them. So, on that note…”

“On that note, maybe you can live here for the rest of eternity.”

“That’s not exactly what I was… You have Bowl too, you know…”

“Just do it,” Min Sung said, glaring piercingly at Ho Sung as if giving him a final warning. In the end, Ho Sung closed his eyes, giving up.

“So, what’s the plan?” Ho Sung asked.

After looking around briefly, the champion replied, “I’ll be following you while hiding my presence. If you walk around long enough, the monster will sense that it’s being followed, so it’ll come and try to get rid of you.”

“Couldn’t you just hide your presence and track the monster down yourself?”

“The labyrinth is too big. It’ll be much faster to lure it out. Once you run into the monster, I want you to provoke it, and I’ll draw closer to it in the meantime.”

“Uh… Sir? If you’re off in the distance, isn’t there a greater chance that I’ll get torn to shreds before you even…”

Before Ho Sung finished his sentence, Min Sung let out a sigh and took his Orichalcon Dagger out. At that point, Ho Sung, startled, nodded in a hurry and said, “That’s an ingenious plan!”

Noticing that the Black Slaughterer was no longer following it, Heckel breathed a sigh of relief. Although it had never directly encountered the champion, the monster’s heart ached with fear and apprehension. However, despite being safe, the monster stayed on its toes. After all, the opponent was the notorious human who had earned his reputation as the slaughterer of demons. At that moment, while Heckel was feeding on soulstones, the monster sensed a presence approaching its direction. Tossing the soulstones aside, Heckel looked around warily. To its confusion, the presence was far too weak for it to be that of the champion. In fact, it was to the point of being pathetic. Looking in the direction from which the presence was approaching, the monster magnified its field of view. A feeble human looking around nervously came into view.

Upon confirming that the presence didn’t belong to the Black Slaughterer, Heckel’s eyes started to glare dangerously. Unlike the slaughterer, the man’s presence was far from threatening, making him a perfect snack.

‘You were naive to come out here on your own,’ Heckel thought. Taking the remaining soulstones, Heckel poured them into its big, terrifying mouth and crunched away at them, trapping the souls of once-living beings within him. Then, flapping its devil-like wings, the monster soared up to the sky and charged in the direction of the human, all the while sensing for any presences nearby, planning to retreat without delay once it sensed the Slaughterer approaching. However, the monster felt that it couldn’t hurt to fly away with something to munch on.

Groaning its unfortunate fate of treading the same ground as the Slaughterer, Heckel picked up speed.

While flapping its wings in the air, Heckel looked down at the clueless human. Just as expected, the man was nothing like the Slaughterer. He was much more insignificant. In order to make sure that the Slaughterer wasn’t around, the monster heightened its senses. Thankfully, the Slaughterer didn’t seem to be nearby. At which point, Heckel extended its claws, its eyes glaring dangerously at Ho Sung. Then, just as the monster raised its spear-like claws to strike the oblivious human…

“Pff! Puahaha! Ahahahahahaha!”

… Ho Sung burst into laughter with his hands on his sides. Confused, the monster stared at him, wondering if the man had lost his mind in the face of death. At that same moment, the man, still laughing maniacally, pointed toward the monster and said, “You? YOU are the final boss?! You were actually hiding from us?! Puahaha! What kind of labyrinth is this?!”

Provoked by the man’s taunting remark, Heckel puffed up the scales covering its body. However, the man remained unfazed, staring straight up at the monster.

“Final boss? More like chicken. Your underlings were braver than you are. You might as well hide from me too! Oh? You wanna take a shot at me? Well, c’ mon! Show me what you got!”

Although the monster couldn’t make out what the human was saying, it was clear that the man was mocking it.

‘He must be desperate. Don’t think that you’ll get out of this alive,’ the monster thought, flapping its wings and drawing closer to Ho Sung to kill him. The closer the monster got, the more Ho Sung became paralyzed with fear.

‘Unless the Black Slaughterer shows up, you will die by my hands.’

“S-s-sir? A-any time now,” Ho Sung said in a stammer. At that moment, the monster realized that something was terribly wrong.

‘Was it a trap!?’

Unfortunately, by the time Heckel realized the truth, it was too late. Sensing something flying toward it at a frightening speed, the monster turned around to flee. However, to the monster’s dismay, the Black Slaughterer appeared right before its eyes.

“Damn it! You!” Heckel let out. At that moment, Min Sung, having appeared at the speed of light, swung his dagger. A bright, white aura shot out of it, followed by a thunderstrike, ripping one of the monster’s arms off and tearing its wings to shreds.

“Eughhhh!”

Once the Slaughterer drew near, there was no way to create distance, at which point, the only choice left was to face him head-on. Unfortunately, the opponent was called the Black Slaughterer for a reason, and having witnessed the champion’s power firsthand, the monster had been avoiding running into him.

Intimidated, the monster started to back away and focused on defending itself. Paralyzed by fear, the monster simply couldn’t muster up enough courage to fight back. It was simply too late for regret, and a tragic reality awaited the monster. Seeing the intent to kill in the Slaughterer’s eyes, the monster felt death drawing near.

“No! No! Plea…”

Before the monster had time to finish, the champion swung his dagger. With flashing lights, Heckel, the final boss of the labyrinth, split into four pieces, exploding into what appeared to be shards of glass and dropping the highest-quality item. Picking up the loot himself, Min Sung looked toward Ho Sung in order to exit the labyrinth as soon as possible.

Pale, Ho Sung was on the ground, gagging as if demonstrating his previous example of what a person with acrophobia looks like after getting off the most terrifying ride in the entire amusement park.

After receiving a report that the American Hunters’ Institute was trying to get in contact with the Institute, Ji Yoo Kim, the Great Lord of the Central Institute, rushed to her top-of-the-line security control room. As she stepped in, her subordinates sprung up from their seats and saluted her.

“Patch me through, now,” Ji Yoo said as she put on a bluetooth headset. Immediately, one of her subordinates did just that. Shortly after, a certain man appeared on a large screen. It was Ethan, the Great Lord of the American Hunters’ Institute an American Master.

“Good day.”

Trying to remain composed, Ji Yoo greeted the man on the screen.

“We received a report about a labyrinth in Korea, and I was told that it’s nothing like you have ever seen. What’s the situation there?”

“Not good. We’re doing our best to hold the monsters off, but the monsters pouring out of the dungeon’s gate are getting stronger and stronger.”

“Well, I’m happy to inform you that we have some hunters on their way to Korea as we speak.”

At that, Ji Yoo’s face lit up.

“Thank you very much,” she said. To which, Ethan replied, “However, our hunters will seize all control of this project upon arrival. We also think it would be helpful if we had the right to explore labyrinths,” and waited patiently for Ji Yoo’s answer, who was mustering up every bit of will power to hide her emotions while clenching her teeth. It pained her deeply that Korea had to depend on the help of the US for their inability to overcome the crisis. However, for the good of the country and the safety of the citizenry, there was no other choice. Nothing came free, including the help the US was offering.

‘This is a fair enough trade,’ Ji Yoo reminded herself. It grieved her that Korea, a country with its own powerful hunters, had to submit to another country, but for now, the US was their only hope.

“We will cooperate in every way,” Ji Yoo said, and Ethan smiled with satisfaction.

When the champion and Ho Sung came out of the labyrinth, the streets were completely empty. Street lights and telephone poles were snapped in half, and there were bloodstains all over the ground. Soon, five ambulances zoomed past them while blaring their sirens, followed by cars carrying hunters. As if they didn’t notice the champion and Ho Sung, who had just come out of the labyrinth, the cars rushed right past them and disappeared into the distance. Jan seemed to have told the truth after all. The fact that monsters were pouring out of a labyrinth that ignored all preexisting rules meant only one thing.

“I think the city’s under martial law,” Ho Sung said, looking at a news article on his phone. Min Sung nodded affirmatively. Staring out at the city, which resembled the apocalypse, it made sense that martial law was in effect. The roads and streets were utterly destroyed, and there were bloodstains everywhere. Shortly after, the corpses of the citizens came into view. Looking at the lifeless bodies of the innocent, Min Sung felt something heavy on his heart. He had felt nothing like it since returning to Earth.

Min Sung looked around. There was not a single restaurant or store open for business. Doors were locked tightly, and the lights were off. Although that was a sight he had expected, seeing it in person brought about tremendous stress.