“Isn’t it odd?”
“Monsters carrying around weapons, it is another unsolved mystery of the labyrinths. Someone manufactured those weapons, but the monsters wielding the weapons are probably incapable of doing it.”
The three of them started roaming the labyrinth once again.
It seemed this floor mainly consisted of groups of Goblins as the party mostly ran into them.
An annoying Goblin was shooting arrows at them from a distance. Sungyoon brought down his halberd on the last Goblin, vertically splitting its head in half. The corpse fell to the ground.
“They are really annoying.”
After killing three Goblins, Tim approached them. These monsters used numerous types of weapons, formations, and tactics. It was enough to get on a person's nerves.
“All the animal type monsters immediately charged at us with their teeth bared. They look cute when compared to the Goblins.”
When Tim realized Sungyoon had the same thoughts as him, he laughed out loud.
Even as they bantered with each other, the party diligently moved forward, killing all the monsters in their path.
Tim, who had been walking in the front, looked at the floor. It felt a bit odd, so he stomped his foot a couple of times.
He had expected to feel a solid surface, but his face slightly stiffened. The floor felt hollow, as if there were a large empty space beneath its surface.
Tim was taken aback. He had never experienced this before, nor had he heard of something like this happening before.
Sungyoon and Emily had kept a bit of distance as they followed Tim. When they saw the serious expression on Tim's face, they became guarded. Sungyoon gripped his ax and shield, while Emily also raised her shield.
“The surface of the floor here feels weird.”
“In what way?”
“It feels as if it's empty below, like a surface that is about to form a sinkhole.”
As he spoke those words, Tim’s face stiffened. And when he raised his head, he saw the faces of Sungyoon and Emily stiffen too. It didn’t matter who was first. They all tried their best to get out of there.
However, they were a step too late.
An ominous sound rang out as the floor started to crack. Their faces turned white as they desperately tried to step off the cracked surface.
A large sound rang out inside the labyrinth.
The floor started to collapse.
“What the hell is this!”
The area of the collapse was too large. It was impossible to run away. The only thing they could do was scream. Then they fell downwards alongside the debris of the destroyed floor. At this moment, they really hated that the gravity of the labyrinth was similar to Earth’s gravity.
The sound of rocks and dirt hitting the surface of the floor appeared. The Connectors were barely able to maintain their balance as they landed on top of the messily strewn dirt and rocks. Although they had fallen from significant heights, they possessed the body of a Connector. They were unhurt. However, rocks still fell on top of them, so they nimbly dodged. If they couldn’t dodge, they protected themselves with the shield. Finally, the floor stopped caving in.
“We're still alive!”
Tim and Emily sat down on the pile of dirt. Sungyoon brushed the dirt out of his hair as he looked up at the place where they had fallen from.
It had been a long distance. It felt like falling from the 3rd floor of an apartment building. The cave-in encompassed a large area, so it created a large hole, and small amounts of dirt kept falling from the edge.
‘Where is this place?’
Sungyoon looked at his surroundings. If he thought about it logically, since they had fallen from the 7th floor, they should be on the 8th floor. However, Sungyoon’s senses told him that this wasn’t the case.
‘The magical energy is too thin here.’
The Magical energy in this place was much thinner compared to a normal labyrinth. That was why the external information delivered to them by the magical energy was extremely sparse. They could see, but it was like the vision when seeing through a fog.
The siblings slowly got up, and then they approached Sungyoon, who asked them a question.
“Are you guys ok?”
“I’m also fine.”
Thankfully, they hadn't suffered any damage. They were just covered in dirt.
“I never expected the labyrinth to cave in like this. This is absurd.”
Tim let out a sigh. Then he looked at his surroundings.
“Where are we? Did we drop to the 8th floor?”
“I don’t think so. The magical energy is too thin for a labyrinth.”
After hearing Sungyoon’s words, they moved their hands through the empty air.
“You are right. It is thin.”
“That means we aren’t in a labyrinth. Is that the reason why I can’t see very well?”
Emily and Tim spoke one after another.
However, their curiosity lasted only a moment. The reality of their current situation came crashing down on them.
“What should we do?”
“Should we explore this place? Or maybe we should find a way to get back up.”
Everyone looked up at the place they had fallen from. While they were wondering about ways to get back up, something happened.
At first, it was faint, and one could feel a minor disturbance in the ambient magical energy. However, the flow of magical energy got stronger, and in a flash, it started to run amok like a storm. The dense and turbulent magical energy flowed down through the large hole. They were able to see better, but they didn’t rejoice at this change.
Sungyoon looked towards Tim in surprise.
“Is it already time for the Mana Stream?”
“N-no! There is no way! At the very least, we still have three months!”
Tim clearly looked taken aback by all of this. However, the Mana Stream didn’t care about their feelings and kept getting stronger as time passed.
“W-we should be ok. We know Mr. Sungyoon isn’t affected by the Mana Stream, and that remains true for us too. Moreover, if we take into consideration that we are in a low-rank labyrinth, we won’t face powerful monsters that we can't kill.”
“Emily is right. The strongest monsters in this labyrinth are Orcs. We should be fine.”
If their words were true, he wouldn’t suffer the same fate as when he had almost died encountering a Bigfoot at his labyrinth’s entrance.
“I’m glad to hear that.”
However, Sungyoon’s relief came too early. He quickly looked upwards. The Ross siblings also moved their gaze up.
They watched the edge of the hole. It was barely holding on from crumbling further, and lights had appeared near that region.
“What the hell is that?”
Tim mumbled to himself. It seemed the Ross siblings had never seen monsters being summoned.
“It is the sight of monsters being replenished by the Mana Stream.”
“Ah! Is that what it is?”
The siblings looked with interest. This was their first time seeing monsters being replenished, but they weren’t worried since they knew the truly powerful monsters won’t appear here.
However, their expectations were completely betrayed.
The magical energy vibrated more and more, and the size of the light got larger. As if the rampaging magical energy were celebrating this event and expressing its joy, it started to swirl around the light.
Then, a foot appeared out of the light.
The sound of a heavy crash rang out. Only a single foot had landed on the ground, yet it felt as if an earthquake had happened. It was the same when the other foot landed. Two massive legs had appeared out of the light.
Sungyoon’s party was speechless. They understood it at an instinctual level. The monster coming out of the light wasn't like the Goblins or the Orcs. There was no way this monster was insignificant like them.
The light disappeared, and the labyrinth was once again filled with darkness. But now, the monster stood at the edge of the hole where the floor had collapsed.
Their first impression was that it was big and massive. Its skin was smooth. It wasn’t a living being, and there was an inanimate look to it. The monster seemed to be made out of an unknown ore. From his vantage point, Sungyoon had no idea what kind of ore let out an orange light.
It had two arms and two legs. All its limbs were thick, the arms especially long. At the end of its arms, it possessed a hand with eight thick fingers. There was no head. To be precise, six ores were embedded in the upper region of its body, next to its shoulders. It seemed these ores acted as its eyes.
“... does anyone know what that is?”
He had been diligent about reading up on all the monsters discovered in labyrinths. However, he had never come across a description of a monster that looked like this. Tim and Emily kept their eyes on the monster as they shook their heads from side to side.
It moved. It had taken only a single step, yet one could feel its overwhelming force. Sungyoon’s party took a step backward.
“W... what should we do? Should we fight it?”
Emily spoke as she raised her shield. It was as if she wanted to disappear behind her shield. Both Sungyoon and Tim shook their heads from side to side.
“If possible, I think it would be best if we avoid fighting it.”
“I don’t think my ax blade can cut through its skin.”
The party was in agreement. Everyone took another step backward. If they could, they wished to run away to a place where the monster couldn’t see them. However, there was one problem.
‘Will that bastard let us run away in peace?’
It was the only reason they didn’t turn their backs on the monster and run away. They were worried that if they made any sudden movements, the monster would show hostility towards them.
“It looks really slow at first glance. Maybe, if we run at full speed, it can’t catch us.”
Tim was hopeful as he gave his opinion. It looked slow, so Tim might be right.
The monster placed its hands on the edge of the hole. Sungyoon’s party flinched. Fortunately, it wasn’t a hostile action towards them. One of its eight eyes was dyed brown.
The party was taken aback. The sight was like watching new skin form over a wound. Rocks started to grow out from the edge of the hole, slowly filling in the destroyed surface of the floor. The hole in the labyrinth’s floor kept getting smaller.
“... it is repairing the labyrinth?”
Sungyoon and Tim agreed with Emily. It looked as if the monster was only mending the hole formed on the labyrinth’s floor.
“... it is constructing the labyrinth?”
Tim spoke. If what he said were true, the three of them were witnessing something amazing. One of the mysteries regarding the origins of labyrinth might have been revealed to them.
His eyes shone.
“If we capture it, do you think we’ll become famous?”
“Don’t talk nonsense.”
Even though Emily gave a warning, Tim found his own suggestion to be very tempting.
“No, think about it. It is like some kind of a construction robot. What if it doesn’t have any combat ability? Moreover, if it closes up the hole, how are we going to get out of here? It isn’t a guarantee that there is another exit.”
Even if one put aside his claims of wanting to become famous, it was true that they would be in an awkward spot if the hole was fixed.
Something happened at that moment.
A sound came from behind the monster's back. Sungyoon attentively listened.
“It’s the Goblins.”
He couldn’t see them, yet he could tell it was them. The sound of small feet running across the floor was easy to distinguish.
“Are they heading towards us?”
“I’m not sure.”
Sungyoon gave an indefinite answer to Tim’s question. Since he couldn’t see them, he had no idea where that sound was coming from. Still, they took out their weapons just in case. But even with a commotion behind it, the large monster kept fixing the labyrinth.
The Goblins let out a scream. Their eyes widened. Sungyoon’s party could see the Goblins jumping on the back of the large monster through the hole, They started stabbing it with their short sword.
However, the truly frightening sight appeared next.
The large monster had both hands on the floor. But its upper body turned extremely fast. It moved like a beam of light, and its massive palm swatted a Goblin out of the air. The Goblin's bones were pulverized, and its flesh burst open. It was sent flying at a speed higher than with what it had come running towards the large monster.
The Goblin’s corpse fell through the hole, landing in front of Sungyoon’s party. The corpse was in a truly unspeakable state. The three of them were at a loss for words.
The battle continued above. The large monster's movements were extremely agile and fast, unbefitting its massive body. But befitting its massive body, it had incredible strength.
The four Goblins attacking it instantly turned into a corpse. Two more corpses landed in front of Sungyoon’s party.
It seemed a couple of Goblins were still left. Arrows kept flying towards the large monster. However, its body was made out of hard ore, so the arrows couldn’t even scratch its skin. Sungyoon’s party thought it would also crush the rest of the Goblins.
However, they guessed wrong once again.
The eye, which had turned to brown earlier, started to take on the color of red. Then...
The dark labyrinth instantly turned red. Flame erupted from the monster's eyes and swept through the labyrinth. The hot flame surged towards them, so they subconsciously raised their shields to block it.Previous Chapter Next Chapter