ATD: Chapter 50 – Day 12, 9th Floor Dog

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Chapter 50 –  Day 12, 9th Floor Dog


“Really… A creepy bug.”  

The human who came in a while ago. The sacred created had a taste. It was a type of flavour? It felt perky from devouring Yoon Chan-hee just a moment ago. No, it was more than that.

This person tasted ‘rough.’  An unrefined, raw material. A tree that had a stem but hadn’t yet found the direction to grow in. Well, the sacred creature didn’t dwell on the details of the delicious meal. It had just eaten the most delicious thing and now the second tastiest had come to it.

Hee-chul took a fighting stance. The sacred creature that devoured Yoon Chan-hee was the size of three adult men. He judged it to be a physical opponent and was ready to fight.

The sacred creature rushed straight forward. Hee-chul raised his fist and shouted.  “…!” However, the sacred creature didn’t have a solid form and Hee-chul’s fist hit the air. Soon the sacred creature penetrated him.  

There was an image of another world as hell began.

 

&

 

“…Heok! Heok!”  Chang Ga-ram sighed with relief as the ice fell down.  “Heok…”

His arms were a mess from just two kicks. He endured the pain and looked around. The life span of the flares scattered around was almost over. It wasn’t hard to see the devastation.  Other than him, everyone else was dead.  

“Nonsense… No…” Chang Ga-ram was in a panicked state as he headed towards the hatchery. Hee-chul had clearly headed to the place where Yoon Chan-hee was.  ‘Leader-nim… If he is caught…’

It wasn’t just the loss of lives. It was all the possibilities that Yoon Chan-hee had.

He greatly improved the amount of experienced gained by guiding a person’s propensities and talents. Research had already been done on the differences in experience gain according to the ‘quality’ of the individuals.  Yoon Chan-hee was the conductor who moved his subordinates.  

Now this bastard had driven Chang Ga-ram to the edge of death. Yoon Chan-hee clearly believed that Chang Ga-ram’s power alone could solve the problem. Chang Ga-ram didn’t fulfill his responsibilities.

It was over. Close to 20 potentials had disappeared.  

He didn’t seem to realize that both arms were broken as he moved his feet.  Somehow, he needed to help Yoon Chan-hee. He wanted to apologize.  “…Leader-nim?”

At that moment, he saw Yoon Chan-hee on the opposite side of him. For a moment, Chang Ga-ram didn’t think it was Yoon Chan-hee. The person in front of Chang Ga-ram was strange. There was no focus in his eyes and saliva was dripping from his mouth.

“I-I’m really sorry. Leader-nim! I…”

“Go.”

“…Huh?”

Yoon Chan-hee staggered but Chang Ga-ram barely kept him upright with his injured arms. The generator could be seen over Yoon Chan-hee’s shoulder.

“…!” Kim Hee-chul had collapsed in front of the generator and was experiencing spasms. He was still alive.  “L-Leader-nim. This…”

He didn’t understand what was happening on the other side, but his body shook like he had wandered into a nightmare. However, the certain thing was that Yoon Chan-hee was in front of him while Kim Hee-chul was acting like that. They would be able to kill him. If Yoon Chan-hee could kill him then he would recover from the damage he suffered…

“L-Let’s go!”

“…!?”

Yoon Chan-hee shivered. Once again, Chang Ga-ram was forced to doubt that the person in front of him was truly Yoon Chan-hee. He was always a calm and cool guy. A strong person who wasn’t confused no matter what he encountered and always found the best solution.  

“What… I know what you are thinking…”

There was only fear. Just like a dog in a fight, Yoon Chan-hee’s only choice was to succumb to it.

“B-But he… Kill…” Yoon Chan-hee looked back.  The fear in his eyes was enhanced as he saw Hee-chul.  

“Something will come out.”

“If we…”

“No, you can’t… I refuse. It is impossible. So… We have to go. Go. Go. Huh? Let’s go. Please.”

Chang Ga-ram got goose bumps. He would dismiss it as nonsense, but Yoon Chan-hee was like an idol to him.  That idol was now looking like this. It seemed like he had completely lost the thing that made him shine. Chang Ga-ram didn’t know what the enemy was, but he couldn’t afford to handle it.

“…I understand.” Chang Ga-ram lifted Yoon Chan-hee.  He turned around in order to leave the incubation room.

“…” However, he looked back at Kim Hee-chul one last time. Yoon Chan-hee must have experienced something like this. The spasms on the ground looked really painful.  

It wasn’t a situation for Chang Ga-ram to worry about Hee-chul, let alone feel sympathy.  

 

&

 

I held my neck.  “Keo…”  A moan emerged from my mouth but the pain wasn’t physical. My real body was lying on the ground.  

Was this a dream? Or was it my imagination? I was back in my original body. It wasn’t the strong body from the dungeon, but a weak desk-bound body. The reason why I couldn’t move my body was the worm clinging to my neck.

It is easier if you give up.

It will happen regardless of what you do.

I want more.

It wasn’t my words that were constantly echoing, but the worm’s.  The worm kept talking to me. The voice imitated me, causing an irritating sensation. It was just like what I felt just before freezing to death due to Chang Ga-ram. That helplessness that bothered me all my life until I entered here.

I closed my eyes tightly.

It was a dream mouth, but I bit my lip so hard that it bled. Somehow, I needed to do something to get this worm off me. Although the pain was effective, the pressure only weakened for a short while.

Bam!

Strong hands grabbed my head and slammed it into the ground. Images of several people protruded from the head of the worm. They were people who I knew. The shape that suppressed my head was my father’s.

I told you to stop.

People should know when to give up.

My father’s voice sounded normal, but all the power drained from my body. I was a child again. In my childhood, I was a child who had to follow the voice of my parents, who had absolute power over me.

You can’t get everything you want in life.  

Isn’t this selfish?

This time, it was my mother’s voice.  Another hand touched my neck.  

Hey. Is anyone out there? Everyone is preparing for private tutoring. Do you have money to prepare for the contest?

I know you worked hard, but these are the results.

There were my teachers from middle school, high school and university. In addition, some school sunbaes and employers.  In my life, there were always voices and hands pushing me down from above. Finally, I heard the last voice.  

Give up and submit to me.

It was the first time I’ve heard this voice. A mysterious voice.  It contained more authority than my father in my childhood. Softer than my mother. The voice made it feel like the owner had everything.

You are weak.  

Stay still and just listen to me.

I started struggling. But my body didn’t move. Numerous hands were holding me down and their voices were speaking in unison. Follow their commands. Say yes. Relax. No, I couldn’t relax. I knew how easy it was to entrust my will to the people above me. But, it wasn’t an important issue.

…….

My elementary school years.

The lessons I had after school. I didn’t remember much save the musical instruments. At that time, it was the most interesting and fun thing that I had done. After going a few times, I had to quit the lessons after school. My parents thought it was an ‘expensive hobby’ and useless.  

That wasn’t the only thing I remembered.  It was just the oldest memory in my head.

‘This isn’t something that just anyone could do. If you don’t have talent then you’ll regret it later. It’s better not to look at it.’

That was what my parents said. There was no regret in their words. It wasn’t something that could be done as a career, and they doubted that I had the talent. But it wasn’t because of my parent’s cold evaluation that I spent the next few nights sniffling. It was because I couldn’t touch the instrument that had given me so much fun. They just dismissed it, despite the fact that it wasn’t what I wanted to do.

Why are you fighting so hard?

You won’t be able to resist anyway.

Why?

I had been asking myself that same question on the road I had been walking so far. In fact, I answered it several times.  Why fight, when it wouldn’t make a difference? In my position, what more could I gain?

It didn’t matter.  Even if I had nothing to gain… I might flop to the ground because I had failed miserably.  

But this was all through my will.  Only my will. My choice. I didn’t want my will to be crushed by someone else. No matter how strong they were, their relationship with me or the rights they had, I would ignore the disgusted gazes from above me. That was it.

I just wanted to climb up.  

 

[The conditions are met.]

[Talent has fully awakened.]

 

My body twisted.

-…?

The voice sounded confused.   This unlucky bastard.

In the end, it was just a worm. I didn’t know what its identity was, but I wouldn’t be adversely influenced by it.  

My body started to change. Anyway, this place wasn’t real. It was just an illusion. I peeled off the weak flesh. My body grew longer. Rough hairs grew all over my body and claw like nails emerged on both hands and feet.  

What? Why, just…

I turned my head. My snout became longer and sharp teeth bit at the thing around me. The worm shrieked. More hands appeared on my body and tightened the pressure, but I didn’t care. My teeth had already reached it.

I just bit. I tore at it with my claws and bit in.

It hurts! Hurts!

The voice sounded like a little child. This unlucky bastard. The worm was already caught. I bit it as it cried painfully and struggled.  I didn’t remove my teeth, I just continued biting.

Continue. Continue. Continue…

 

&

 

“…Ah.”

My eyes opened. I was looking at the ceiling of the incubation room. It was the feeling of returning to my body. I had regained consciousness. Of course, my body wasn’t in the form of a beast either.

It was reset.

 

[Unique Talent – No.099 Underdog:  The conscious overcoming of challenges that are higher than yourself.  Even though you know you can never get it, you are a dog constantly barking at the sun.]

[A correction value is applied when fighting against an enemy whose total sum of abilities is more than twice your own.]

[Complete immunity to all types of mental interference including morale, brainwashing, oppression etc.]

 

As I raised my body, I found something wriggling near my feet. It was the worm. It had shrunk quite a lot compared to its previous size. I could hold it in one hand. At first glance, I could see that its life was about to end. It wriggled like a bug that had been sprayed with insecticide.

“…”

Without hesitation, I reached out for it. Unlike before, this time I could touch it.  

“Son of a bitch.”  Even though I overcame the situation, I still felt angry about it. I prepared to use strength to crush the worm.  

“Don’t hate it too much.”

“…”

“It was just ignorant. In fact, it’s a pitiful existence. Even though it’s a sacred creature, it wasn’t born in the arms of a god.”

A Tellan woman suddenly appeared in front of me. She wore clothing that made her look almost naked. She was shining with a gentle halo that illuminated the surroundings.

“… You.”

I smiled slightly and relaxed.  The woman was an existence that I knew. I just couldn’t believe it.

“You’ve had some plastic surgery done.”

“Thanks.”

The sun god… No, the goddess smiled at me.


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14 thoughts on “ATD: Chapter 50 – Day 12, 9th Floor Dog” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. Thanks for the chapter. Kinda wondering about the other guy is he trash now. Also the whole ability to only get a benefit whenever the opponent has abilities 2 times your own, seems like it would be mostly useless, but op against super strong characters.

    1. i think thats the point…… as long as they arent twice as strong as him there is always the ability to come out on top…..if it is more than that the chances are slim, in which a correction value is added into the mix giving him the same chance…….its called “underdog” not “overly massive OP dog.” anyways you ignore probably one of the more important and likely more used aspects “immune to all forms of mental coersion”

  2. Put up your trenchcoats fellas, because this is going to be a huge wave of vomit I am going to unleash.
    Abilities like Underdog are a pet-peeve of mine. They are the sort of things that are nearly impossible to excuse or explain, and even if there is a smidgen of reason why it makes sense, they’re at large just there because of dramatic effect and making it easier for the author to pull-out one’s MC from a situation the MC would otherwise end up dead.

    These sort of abilities are basically saying that, the body has the capacity to enrich the body with unbelievable might, and I don’t mean it is just fooling the mind with adrenaline, or by removing pain-sensors — no, it can objectively alter the quality of the MC’s body to 2 times of its original state, on the genetical level, because someone stronger than him is opposing him.
    That makes absolutely no sense, for the reason that if the body has the capability to manipulate its cells and create excessive might — why not just slowly reshape one’s physique over time, so that “200%” becomes one’s 100%? Why work with these random restrictions which basically make it sound like a poorly designed video game skill, or a very specific and complicated magical spell that can only be used in 1 way.
    And when it comes to this story, it becomes even worse because of how the talent was defined — it only triggers when an “ENEMY” is opposing the MC. what if the MC is crushed under a collapsed structure that he cannot overcome with his normal strength, and he requires the perks of Underdog? Technically, it doesn’t fit the talent’s description of “someone who is 2x the stats”, it’s an inanimate object! It has no abilities or stats. That means Underdog will not trigger, and the MC will die because of stupid random restrictions.

    These sort of “Underdog” abilities are just a cop-out of any scenario in which the author cannot think of a way for the MC to escape death, so there’s this random deus-ex-machina which springs out of nowhere the power to give the MC the chance to attain victory with brute-strength. Even in the scenario in which someone is capable to rationalize it, it’s still unbelievably underwhelming as a tool of narrative. It’s just not good writing. It’s a piece of crap and it needs to go away just like the cliche trope “and someone rescued the MC just at the last possible moment”.

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