“Do you have any experience in fighting these types of monsters?”
“A little bit. We had a few opportunities to go deep into a labyrinth owned by someone at our company.”
“You are quite dependable.”
“No. Mr. Sungyoon is the dependable one.”
‘Huh? She’s doing pretty good?’
Tim, who was walking in the front, became surprised by the conversation going on behind him.
After they both had dissolved the party with Sungyoon, Emily had been in a depressed mood. She had cried and laughed when Sungyoon occasionally contacted her. But now, she was doing pretty well in a conversation with him, and even gave him a compliment. Tim knew her personality, so he understood how much courage his sister was squeezing out right now.
‘Is she that desperate?’
For a long time, she hadn’t been able to see the one she loved. But instead of eroding her love, time had poured fuel on the fire.
‘Well, do your best.’
The conversation was still sparse, but Tim just shut his mouth. He let his sister have her conversation.
The party finally stepped onto the 7th floor.
Sungyoon and Emily started to talk about the monsters that might show up.
“You said you've experienced fighting them. How dangerous are the other monsters?”
“Mmm. It depends on the type of monsters. Some are like the Bigfoot, whom we fought before, and have high fighting power. Monsters weaker than the highest-ranked monsters of the Beginner’s Labyrinth also exist, but they are dangerous for different reasons. These weak monsters either form a mob, or they are very cunning. In some cases, monsters possessing both of these characteristics may also appear.”
Monsters that were cunning and capable of forming a party. Just the thought of them made Sungyoon's head hurt.
“At the very least, the monsters that appear after the monsters of the Beginner’s Labyrinth aren’t that dangerous.”
“That’s good to hear.”
“I’m sorry for interrupting your conversation.”
Tim, who had been silently walking, stopped in his tracks and raised his shield.
Sungyoon and Emily looked past Tim, trying to spot their enemies.
A sound appeared as if an old engine were running. The party could also hear loud sounds resembling the sound of metal hitting metal. Then there was the sound of several feet stomping on the floor. It was an irregular and jarring noise that rang out towards Sungyoon’s party.
“These are monsters that form a group.”
Emily spoke as she stuck close to Sungyoon’s back.
Five monsters had appeared before them.
They possessed pointed ears and bumpy white skin. These bipedal monsters were around 150 cms tall. Their bodies were small, but powerful muscles belied their small stature. Since they were monsters, they had the terrifying red eyes.
Surprisingly, these monsters were armed. Two of them held long spears, and the other three held short swords. Moreover, they had worn metallic defensive gear.
Sungyoon became a bit baffled when he realized that these monsters were equipped better than most beginner Connectors.
“They are Goblins.”
The name was very familiar. These monsters usually appeared in fantasy games, novels, and movies. They were considered weak, but it was an image created in fiction.
“It is easy to think that the Goblins are not strong. But we aren’t in some fantasy world, and these aren’t the Goblins seen in fictional works.”
They were monsters of the labyrinth, but the name was given to them by humans. Humans had named these monsters Goblins because they resembled the Goblins from the books. However, these monsters weren’t like the Goblins imagined up by humans. If one fought the Goblins after gathering useless information from works of fiction, the fight would end in abject failure.
“They are weaker than the strongest monsters in the Beginner’s Labyrinth, such as the Blue Mane Lion. However, they can use weapons and group-up with each other. Their cunningness makes them very dangerous, much more dangerous than the Blue Mane Lion. Since they are considered to be too much for beginner Connectors to handle, they are all killed in the cleanup of the Beginner’s Labyrinth. Please be careful.”
Emily kept informing Sungyoon. Although he knew this information, Emily had a way of organizing it for easy digestion, and his mind was uncluttered.
“Thank you, Ms. Emily.”
As he spoke those words, Sungyoon pulled up next to Tim.
“Which formation should we use?”
“We’ll have to stick close to Emily in this fight.”
Tim, who had experience in fighting them, spoke up.
Their priority had always been to protect Emily, so in the past, they used to position her a bit away from the battle. However, it was better to not do that now.
“These cunning bastards group together in large numbers. If we put Emily alone in the distance, they’ll attack her first.”
Sungyoon thought about their previous fight against the Giant Snake as a party. At that time, they almost had received a heart attack when Emily was targeted. He immediately unsummoned his halberd and took out his ax and shield.
“I’ll take the lead this time.”
Tim looked over Sungyoon’s equipment and nodded. If they had divided roles into attack and defense, Sungyoon should have been on offense since each of his attacks were devastating. However, both of them had to defend Emily. Since it was going to be a defensive battle, they would only attack at opportune moments.
Sungyoon was the strongest amongst the party, so it would be best if he took point.
He felt strength enter his body. Emily had used her support magic. But after using the magic, she looked tensed as she raised her large shield.
“I can block a few attacks.”
‘She has matured a lot.’
Sungyoon looked her over. Even though Emily looked nervous, she wasn’t frozen in fear. She had maintained the right amount of tension needed in a battle. In the past, she had once fallen to the floor from the might displayed by the Bigfoot. But that version of her was nowhere to be seen now.
“I’ll put my trust in you.”
Entrusting his back to her, Sungyoon glared at the Goblins. Tim had positioned himself diagonally to the back. He stood next to Emily as he raised his shield.
The Goblins were making some sounds. By their looks, it seemed they were communicating with each other.
‘This is surprising.’
This was his first time seeing monsters capable of communicating with each other.
For a brief moment, the Goblins let out bizarre sounds towards each other. Then, at the same time, they turned their heads, and five pairs of eyes looked at Sungyoon’s party.
One of them screamed. It must have been an order to charge as all the Goblins charged forward at the same time. However, this charge was unlike the charges he had experienced before. They didn’t scream and charge in a straight line towards Sungyoon’s party.
It was loose, but they kept a formation. The ones with the short swords stood in the front, and the ones with the spears lined up behind them. In their cunning eyes, one could see their thoughts churn.
The one at the front let out a scream as it swung its short sword towards Sungyoon.
The sound of metal clashing could be heard as the sword hit the shield.
‘As expected, there is some heft to their attack.’
The attack was very strong. It was almost unbelievable that such a small body could generate so much power. However, Sungyoon was someone that could face the Blue Mane Lion without much problem. It was as Emily had said. The Goblins were strong, but on an individual basis, they couldn’t be compared to the Blue Mane Lion.
Sungyoon was about to bash the monster by habit. However, he quickly moved his shield to a different location.
The other Goblin had tried to stab his thigh with the short sword.
He once again deflected the Goblin’s weapon. Then he clicked his tongue.
‘These bastards are aiming for holes in my defense.’
They weren’t disciplined, but it wasn't as if there was no strategy to their way of fighting. This could truly be called a battle.
His shield moved once again, and he deflected a spear this time.
‘There are three.’
Sungyoon looked over the three monsters that were focusing their attacks on him. Then he took a glance at how the siblings were faring. He saw Tim deflect a spear and a short sword with his own spear. Emily stood behind him with her shield up, assessing the battle. She held her staff in order to use her support magic at any moment.
‘I have to get back to them quickly.’
They were dealing with fewer monsters than Sungyoon, but Tim had to protect Emily. He was probably under tremendous pressure.
The ones with the short swords ran at him at the same time from both sides. He deflected the left short sword with his shield. The right Goblin rejoiced when he saw this, but then Sungyoon’s ax was swung at the short sword.
A hair-raising sound rang out. Sungyoon had put a lot of strength behind his swing, and the short sword bounced off the ax. The Goblin lost its grip on it and was sent flying into the air. Sungyoon quickly took a step forward.
The sound of pure destruction followed. The ax obliterated the Goblin’s head, and blood erupted into the air. The Goblin crumpled to the ground and immediately died.
The other Goblins didn’t get scared seeing their comrade die. They continued to attack Sungyoon, but he kept catching them looking to the side.
‘They are aiming for Emily.’
It was as he had predicted. The one with the spear stabbed towards Sungyoon, and he was able to easily deflect it. At that moment, the one with the short sword started running. It took a wide berth of Sungyoon, and dashed towards Emily.
‘I won’t let you do that.’
The one holding the spear had not recovered yet. It was still off-balance. Sungyoon unsummoned his ax and shield and brought out his halberd.
He threw it. A frightening sound of destruction followed the airborne halberd. The weapon landed on the back of the Goblin who was running towards Emily.
The sharp spear blade pierced through the back, exiting through the monster's stomach. Moreover, the halberd hadn’t lost the force and momentum behind it.
The Goblin was carried forward for a distance.
The halberd disappeared. Blood erupted from the Goblin’s wound as it fell to the ground, and the weapon once again appeared in Sungyoon’s hand.
He immediately took a step forward. The Goblin in front had barely avoided losing its spear, but it had now recovered to face Sungyoon, who swung his halberd. The Goblin desperately tried to defend itself by putting the spear in the ax’s path.
The ax blade of the halberd impacted the shaft of the spear.
But no sound of weapons clashing came. The ax blade had cut through the wooden shaft as if it were tofu.
Sungyoon immediately severed the head of the Goblin. He didn’t even watch the head roll across the floor. His gaze went to the Goblin's body that remained unmoving on the floor. He threw his halberd once again to check if it was really dead.
The halberd flew in an arc and pierced the Goblin once again. However, the monster only shook from the impact and showed no signs of moving.
After he unsummoned his halberd, Sungyoon took up his ax and shield once again. He turned to look at the siblings and caught sight of Tim pushing hard against two Goblins.
“Do you need help?”
“No, I’m fine!”
Tim spoke as he deflected a spear. Sungyoon didn’t say anything as he gestured to Emily. Tim could fight more easily without the need to protect her.
Emily quickly moved towards Sungyoon. A Goblin tried to attack her, but Tim blocked it with his shield.
Tim roughly pushed back, and the Goblin lost its balance. In this time, Emily had safely moved behind Sungyoon.
Tim didn't need to protect his sister now. He could attack in earnest. It didn’t take him too long to create two cold Goblin corpses with his ax and shield.
He placed his ax on his shoulder and approached his companions. He then looked at all the Goblins killed by Sungyoon.
“Hoo-ooh! Mr. Sungyoon became really amazing.”
“At your level, you can easily clear this labyrinth by yourself.”
Tim and Emily alternated in complimenting him.
“You praise me too much.”
Sungyoon shook his head from side to side in embarrassment. He really liked the two siblings, but he couldn't get used to the admiration in their eyes. He actually might feel more comfortable with people who underestimated and ignored him.
As a way to stop paying attention to the siblings' words, he looked towards the dead Goblins. They moved similarly to humans, yet he didn't feel the dirty emotions that he felt when he had killed a human. He picked up one of the Goblin's spears from the floor. It was a spear with a pretty sharp point.
‘These are well-crafted weapons.’
These weapons were nothing like the ones used by Connectors. They weren't Gems. However, these weapons were clearly manufactured.
A light surrounded the corpses, and at the same time, the spear in his hand also became enveloped in light. Sungyoon flexed his empty hand as the corpses and the weapons of the Goblins were gone.