Chapter 202

Chul-puhk!

Grace's hardened boots stepped into a puddle, and she felt the odd sensation of her feet sinking deep into the wet and soft mud.

“Thankfully, my robe is waterproof.”

The rain slipped off the surface of Grace's robe, but she was still wet. She grumbled in irritation as she shook her robe.

Tim cackled when he heard her joke.

Enduring their current miserable situation, the party continued to stay vigilant of their surroundings.

The densely packed trees, the tall grasses, and the downpour obstructed their field of vision. Moreover, the sound of the rainfall made it difficult for them to hear anything else.

Ssk!

Sungyoon came to a stop and raised his hand. His ears had picked up something. 

Everyone instantly went quiet and became vigilant of their surroundings. However, the only things they could see were the trees and the overgrown grasses battered by the rain. 

‘This is the worst.’

All of them considered this floor as the worst out of all the ones they had visited in the Great Labyrinth so far.

Crunch!

This time everyone heard it. The party turned to the direction the sound had come from.

Too-hwhak!

Something shot forward. Its long body extended forward toward Emily.

“You dare!”

Tim raised his shield and stepped in front of his sister. The monster landed on Tim’s shield but couldn't pierce through.

Sungyoon looked past Tim’s shield to see the monster. It looked like a snake, and its skin was colorful which allowed it to blend into the surroundings.

‘Is that the Giant Snake?’

However, Sungyoon soon realized that this monster looked smaller than a Giant Snake, and its mouth had sharp poisonous fangs.

The Giant Snake didn’t hunt using poisonous fangs.

‘That's…!’

Sungyoon’s eyes widened and he moved as fast as he could.

His shield covered the defenseless Grace.

Too-hwahk!

Steel plates appeared out of the edges of his shield. It was the ability of its shield to automatically defend against attacks.

Chaeng!

The party heard the hair-raising screech of metal being scratched. The head of a snake had jumped at Grace, but Sungyoon’s shield had stopped it.

Grace finally realized what was going on. She became surprised.

Sss-roo-roohk!

The snake had not given up yet. It retracted its terrifying poisonous fangs and quickly crawled over the shield.

The monster flinched as its hard scales grated against the shield.

Sungyoon immediately swung his ax.

The snake flicked its tongue and dodged using very agile movements. It was much faster than it looked.

However, Sungyoon's Gems had long since evolved past the average level of the initial floors of the Great Labyrinth.

Suh-guhk!

His ax cut through the neck of the snake before it could retreat.

Toohk!

Blood gushed out of the snake’s neck as it slumped over dead. Its body looked like a rotten old tree. However, Sungyoon didn’t let his guard down.

‘I’m pretty sure these guys are...’

He lifted his foot. The snake's headless body was violently twitching on the ground, and its head lay nearby with its mouth wide open.

Sungyoon stepped on the head.

Kyahhhhhhhk!

Surprisingly, the severed head let out a scream.

The head flashed its fangs in a threatening manner, but Sungyoon silently put his weight behind his foot and crushed the head.

Koo-doo-doohk!

The sound of bones being crushed rang out, and the half-flattened head became buried within the mud. Sungyoon finally retracted his foot.

His party members had moved up next to him, and Tim was still engaging the other head of the snake.

“It's the Twin-Headed Cobra.”

When Sungyoon spoke its name, the monster revealed its entire body.

The snake was wrapped around a large tree, and it was flicking its tongue at the party.

The Twin-Headed Cobra, as the name suggested, had two heads. Moreover, its survival power was immense. Even if its head was separated from its body, the head could still live for a while. This troublesome monster liked to ambush careless Connectors.

Even though one of its heads had been severed, the Twin-Headed Cobra in front of Sungyoon's party didn't run away. It waited for an opportune moment to attack the party.

However, it started to act in a strange manner.

Ggahhhhhhhhhhk!

Its remaining head let out a horrifying shriek, and foam escaped the corners of its mouth. Severe rot and stench emanated from the neck that had been severed.

Everyone turned to look at the ax in Sungyoon's hands. Tim decided to ask the question that was on everyone’s mind.

“… You decided to use the ax?”

“Yes. I thought it would be the ideal weapon for the jungle since I can cut down vines with it. I think the Twin-Headed Cobra has some innate resistance against poison, and that's why it took the poison some time to take effect.”

The monsters on the previous floors had immediately rotted away the moment the ax had touched them. However, the Twin-Headed Cobra could still move for a while after being attacked as if nothing were wrong.

However, in the end, it couldn’t overcome the poison.

Tuhl-suhk!

Its body shook as it fell to the ground. After twitching for a while, the monster became limp.

“That weapon is a bit too gruesome.”

Emily’s body shook. However, Sungyoon didn’t blink an eye as he took up the ax once again.

“Another one is coming.”

Sssssssk!

Something sleek moved past the trees and pushed through the grass. However, the monsters this time didn't number just one or two.

“How many are there…”

The tensed Tim raised his shield and assessed his surroundings.

At a glance, the party could see two Twin-Headed Cobras moving above through the trees. Another one was sliding across a puddle formed on the ground.

However, judging by the sound, the party could tell that many more were hidden in their surroundings.

Sungyoon summoned his halberd and swung it.

Kwah-jeek! Puh-uhk! Kwah-doo-doohk!

The halberd boasted a long reach, and Sungyoon used the ax blade to cut down the trees around them.

Sungyoon then took up his hammer.

Boom! Boom!

He struck the trees that were falling toward his party members. The explosions that followed obliterated the trees and sent wood pieces flying into the surrounding.

Sungyoon brushed off the chips of wood on his body as he looked at his surroundings.

“Good riddance.”

Tim sounded happy and satisfied with what Sungyoon had done. The clearing that Sungyoon instantly created had improved the party's poor field of vision. Spotting a Twin-Headed Cobra was easier now.

It seemed the development had shocked the Twin-Headed Cobras as they slowed down. 

However, it only lasted a moment, and the monsters again moved in a violent manner.

“Which side has the most monsters?”

Grace queried. 

Sungyoon did a full assessment of his surroundings.

“The highest concentration of monsters are gathered in front of you, Ms. Grace.”

“Is that so?”

As soon as she heard Sungyoon, Grace raised her staff and activated her already-prepared spell. Magic was the most effective way of defeating a group of monsters or a single powerful monster.

Woooooong!

Cold air swept the humid and hot region around the party. The green leaves froze, and the puddles turned into sheets of ice.

Too-doo-doohk!

The raindrops turned into hail as they hit the frozen ground.

The Twin-Headed Cobras' movements became slower. Frost appeared on their scales, and their body temperature rapidly dropped. The ones inside the puddles were encased by ice.

Kah-doo-doohk!

The monsters did their best to resist the cold and move their frozen body, but they inevitably started to turn into frozen sculptures.

Kwahng! Puh-uhng!

Two explosive sounds rang out from either side of Grace.

Two Twin-Headed Cobras had used the elasticity of their bodies to shoot their body through the air like bullets. However, before they could reach Grace, Sungyoon and Tim had deflected them.

Grace didn’t blink an eye. She had experienced this numerous times, and she and her party members fully trusted each other.

Even if they deflected one head, these monsters still had another. Each of the Twin-Headed Cobras used its second head and attacked the Connector it was facing.

Tuh-uhng!

Tim efficiently moved his shield to block the second attack. The Twin-Headed Cobra attacking him scratched at his shield with its fangs as if it were frustrated.

As for the Twin-Headed Cobra that had attacked Sungyoon, well...

Boom!

Sungyoon's hammer struck the monster, and a large explosion rang out. The Twin-Headed Cobra’s head, fangs, and scales were scattered into the surroundings.

Sssk!

The hammer then disappeared, and the halberd appeared in Sungyoon's hands. The Twin-Headed Cobra that had attacked Sungyoon tried to retreat after losing one of its head, but the spear blade of the halberd pierced through the head it still had.

Ooh-doo-doo-doo-doohk!

Grace had fully cast her Frost magic, and four Twin-Headed Cobras were frozen solid.

She had reduced the number of monsters attacking the party in half.

Splash!

The muddy water splashed to the side as Sungyoon took a step forward. He had discerned that he now had enough breathing room to charge forward.

He took up his sword.

Suh-guhk!

The Twin-Headed Cobra nearest to Sungyoon was split into two.

Boom!

Lightning flashed in the surroundings. The rainwater flowing down the trees had formed puddles in the ground, and the lightning instantly flowed forth through the water.

The trees were cut apart, and the grass was burnt to ashes. Finally, the lightning reached the Twin-Headed Cobras.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The Twin-Headed Cobras didn’t dare to attack Sungyoon, so they helplessly suffered the wrath of the lightning, and their bodies writhed in pain.

‘Is that it?’

Sungyoon kicked the charred remains and looked at his surroundings.

He saw corpses everywhere in the razed portion of the jungle.

Ddoohk!

Suddenly, the heavy rain vanished.

“It stopped.”

Water dripped down from the ends of Emily's hair. She happily pulled back her hood as she looked up at the sky.

The sky of the Great Labyrinth above her was blue, and she couldn't see even a trace of anything related to the rain.

The party gathered the moonstones.

“It's quite cool here.”

Emily, who had been picking up moonstones, entered the region that had been affected by Grace’s magic. It was a winter wonderland. She came to a stop as the place was too cool.

For a brief moment, cold air tickled her skin. She felt like she had found an oasis in the desert.

Tim and Grace slowly moved toward the land of ice too.

“Wow. This is amazing! I feel alive once again!”

“It's too bad that you can only use this magic a few times before cooldown.”

Sungyoon also joined his party members.

Grace and Emily each hugged a frozen tree. Tim laid down on the frozen floor.

The three of them turned their puppy eyes toward Sungyoon.

“Let’s rest for a little bit.”

Sungyoon's words made the three of them raise their arms in joy. However, Sungyoon didn’t plan on resting yet.

He took out his halberd.

Kwah-jeek! Kwah-jeek!

The nearby trees fell down, and it appeared as though Sungyoon was chopping up firewood. Soon, he had secured a clear view of their surroundings.

They didn't have to worry about ambushes anymore.

Sungyoon sat down. He rested his back against a fallen tree and cooled himself.

As they saw their cleared surroundings, his party members realized their location was quite elevated.

They looked down at the green jungle.

“Maps will be useless in this place.”

Tim sounded flustered.

“We’ll have to use the same method as before. We’ll periodically climb up the trees to find our way.”

Sungyoon answered.

Emily and Grace also joined in on the conversation.

“Isn’t the next floor an island?”

“Yes. It's like the archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. The ocean is quite shallow, and numerous islands surround the body of water. I was told it could be used as a vacation spot if one was skilled enough.”

“I don’t care if it's a vacation spot or not. I just want to get out of this floor.”

Everyone agreed with Emily’s lamentation.

As the party was enjoying a picnic and Sungyoon had brought out the food, they saw a wonderful sight.

Ssssssssss.

Small sprouts appeared in the region where Sungyoon had destroyed the trees.

As if someone had accelerated the time by tens of thousands of hours, the sprouts suddenly grew, and the dense forest took shape. The ice region where the party was resting started rapidly melting.

“The restoration process has started. It's time for us to go.”

The party were sad to hear Sungyoon’s words, but they got up. Then they roamed around the jungle to find the entrance to the next floor.

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