Chapter 57

Puh-uhk!

The spear blade flew towards the fallen Bloody Rhino. Instead of the terrifying sound of the sharp blade piercing through flesh, one could hear a dull sound. It was a depressing sound. Of course, Sungyoon’s Purple Rank spear could not pierce through the thick hide of the Bloody Rhino. However, he did not care. His intention was not to wound the Bloody Rhino in the first place.

“It really is dead.”

Sungyoon poked the Bloody Rhino a couple more times, yet it did not move. Finally, he could let go of his vigilance.

‘As expected, it is getting pretty difficult now that we are on the 7th floor.’

Sungyoon could not help but think as he watched the light surround the corpse of the Bloody Rhino.

The fact that Sungyoon had made a party with Tim and Emily meant that they could explore the labyrinth at a must faster rate. Previously, Sungyoon had met his limitation on the 4th floor, so he went back to being stuck on the 3rd floor. This was a great development for him. Moreover, the number of moonstones he could gather directly influenced Shinhae’s future. And the speed at which he was gathering the moonstones had gone up significantly.

As expected, Gems were dropping at a horrible rate.

‘I guess I should be thankful that I was able to get this.’

Sungyoon’s legs were now covered by an item that he had not possessed before. It was a shin guard. It was made out of hardened wood with tough leather layered on it. It was a Purple Rank defensive gear, and it barely covered his shins. Still, he was fortunate to have found it.

When the Gem had appeared, Tim did not even think too hard on it. He let Sungyoon have it. Tim's gear was already better than him, and Sungyoon needed defensive gear more than Emily, who worked as support from the backline. 

In many ways, once could say that Sungyoon’s equipment was very unbalanced. His weapon and shield were Blue Rank, quite highly ranked Gems for the Beginner’s Labyrinth. However, all his other Gems were the bottom Purple Rank Gems. After defeating the Bigfoot, he had acquired a Device capable of slotting a Green Rank Gem. However, the bracelet was merely a pretty decoration at this point.

“Shall we rest for a little bit?”

After picking up the moonstone, Tim scanned his surroundings before he expressed his thoughts. Sungyoon checked the time. It had been quite a while since they had started the hunt.

The three of them moved a bit away and sat down with their backs against the wall.

“Here.”

A cup of clean water was pushed towards Sungyoon, who had his back against the cold and rough wall. He had been blankly staring at the opposite wall of the labyrinth, and turned his head at the words. Emily was holding up the water cup towards him. She was wearing her hood, so he could not really see her face.

“Thank you.”

Sungyoon took the water cup. He’d been with the two siblings for many days now, so he had gone long past the point where he turned down such gestures.

“I... it’s nothing.”

Emily kept flinching, as there was a possibility that their fingers might touch. She squeezed out her words; her voice was as small as the buzz of a mosquito. However, she still handed Sungyoon the water cup. It seemed she was happy about this fact, so her shoulders shook a little bit in joy.

Tim looked dumbfounded as he watched this situation unfold.

‘What the hell is she doing?’

Did she really think that was enough to attract the attention of a man? Even young kids who had just learned to speak could express their affection better than her.

“Here.”

This time Emily gave the water cup to Tim, but her attitude was half-hearted. It was completely different from how she treated Sungyoon. Of course, Tim was not disappointed. If his sister were to hand the water cup to him in such a shy and embarrassed manner, his entire body would erupt in goosebumps. He would probably die on the spot. He was sure of it.

Sungyoon drank the water without much thought. It was lukewarm. But water was precious on the Moon, so he tried to feel each drop of water slide down his throat. It felt like each droplet circulated through his entire body.

‘It has already been three days since we’ve entered the labyrinth.’

After he moved the cup away from his lips, Sungyoon tried to gather his thoughts.

As he had expected, they needed one day to go on a round trip to the 4th floor. They needed to stay overnight if they wanted to go deeper, and this was what actually happened. Sungyoon had already spent two nights in the labyrinth. He had to sleep on the hard floor with only a single blanket to cover himself. If he was on guard duty, he was unable to get a decent rest. It was a very hard life.

‘Should I consider myself fortunate for having a blanket?’

When he told the Support Center that he was going to spend the night inside the Beginner’s Labyrinth, they gave him a cheap blanket with an odd odor to it. The blanket was close to the end of its life cycle. It was more of a rag than a blanket, but it was better than nothing.

This was the only thing provided by the Support Center. If one wanted to eat food or drink water in the labyrinth, one had to purchase it through one’s expense account. The Support Center provided water and vitamins once a day. If Sungyoon spent the night inside the labyrinth, he would not be able to pick up his ration on time. This was why he had to spend most of his emergency money given to him by Jimin.

However, it could not be helped. He kept telling himself that he was investing in himself. Now he was bearing the fruit of his investment, and he was able to collect much larger moonstones.

After a decent break, the three of them, once again, started exploring the labyrinth.

Ssssk!

Tim, who had been walking in the front of the group, raised his hand, and the party came to a stop.

“There are two.”

It was as Tim had said. There were two monsters that were common to the 7th floor. One was the Bloody Rhino, and the other monster was a monster that resembled a gorilla. It was easily over 2m tall, and it possessed its characteristic bulky muscles. It was called the Heavy Muscle Gorilla. 

“What should we do?”

It seemed the two monsters had not caught sight of the party. Tim asked Sungyoon and Emily for their opinions.

Sungyoon narrowed his eyes as he glared at the two monsters.

As expected of monsters appearing on the 7th floor of the Beginner’s Labyrinth, they were powerful. However, he was confident they could handle these monsters. Although Sungyoon’s other equipment was pitiful, he possessed a Blue Rank weapon and shield. They worked against all the monsters within the Beginner’s Labyrinth. Also, there was Emily’s support magic. They could gain a decisive advantage with her help. Above all else, Sungyoon’s party had experience fighting these two monsters separately.

“What do you guys think? I think we can do it.”

“I agree.”

At Sungyoon’s question, Tim shrugged as he gave his answer. In the first place, before they met Sungyoon, Tim and Emily had been hunting monsters on the 6th and 7th floor. Now that they had a trustworthy reinforcement in Sungyoon, they would not run away just because two monsters had appeared together.

“I also agree.”

Emily easily agreed with both of them.

“Alright! Let’s do this!”

After they came to a consensus, Tim started to take large steps forward. He looked careless, but this was all part of the plan. He was the wall that would block all the attacks from their enemies. He had to be noticed. It was a role suited to Tim, who had a lively and heroic personality.

-Koo-roohk!

-Ooh ooh!

The two monster’s gazes were attracted to Tim. It was a sight that was supposed to make one’s heart pound, and it should have made his knees shake. However, Tim was bold at heart. A small smile appeared on his face.

“Hey, trash. Come at me.”

He was like an old oak tree that had lived for a couple of thousand years. His feet were like roots as he planted his shield in front of him. Then, he made a come hither gesture with his finger.

Did his provocation work? Or were they just following their instincts? The reason did not matter. The monsters moved towards Tim as intended as he became their target.

-Ggoo-uhhhhhhh!

The one to charge first was the Bloody Rhino. Its long and sturdy horn headed towards Tim in a straight line. It was an amazing sight. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it felt like the ground was shaking from its charge.

-Koo-ree-ahhhhhk!

The Heavy Muscle Gorilla followed right behind it. It used its arms and legs to run across the floor. Its charge was not as intimidating as the Bloody Rhino’s charge, but it was capable of using a variety of attacks with its long arms. The Bloody Rhino could only charge. The Heavy Muscle Gorilla might be the bigger threat amongst the two.

Hoo-oong!

Strength erupted from Sungyoon and Tim’s body. Emily had used her support magic from the back.

Tim erected his shield. The Bloody Rhino was much faster than the Heavy Muscle Gorilla, so Tim readied himself to block the large horn.

Boooom!

The Bloody Rhino’s horn rammed into Tim’s shield. Unlike before, he had to take a couple of steps backward, but he was still able to defend the monster’s attack. Sungyoon and Tim’s gaze moved to the Heavy Muscle Gorilla. They still had time.

“Haa-ahh-ahht!”

Sungyoon’s mace swung at the Bloody Rhino’s right knee.

Kwah-jeek!

Its leg broke like a stick.

-Ggoo-uhhhhhhh!

It let out a scream in pain. However, Tim did not hesitate and swung his ax towards the left leg.

Poohk!

Unlike Sungyoon’s mace, Tim was not able to make the left leg completely useless, but it was enough to hobble the left leg.

Tuhl-suhk!

The Blood Rhino fell on its face. It let out a cry that sounded angry and sad at the same time. It struggled to get to its feet. However, its two front legs had been mangled, and they could not hold up its enormous weight. The Bloody Rhino’s greatest weapon was its charge, and it had been completely neutralized.

“Please kill it quickly.”

Tim left behind those words as he ran past the fallen Bloody Rhino.

“Hoo-ryahhhh!”

Soon, Tim and the Heavy Muscle Gorilla rammed into each other. The monster swung its fists wildly, and the sound of Tim’s shield blocking the attack rang out in the labyrinth.

“Hoohp!”

Sungyoon immediately went to work. He had to kill the Bloody Rhino as soon as possible, while Tim blocked the Heavy Muscle Gorilla.

-Koo-ra-ahk!

Even if it was injured, this was a 7th-floor monster. It could not use its front legs, but it would not die that easily. However, it could not generate any momentum, so it could only flail its neck to attack with its horn. Sungyoon’s shield easily blocked the horn.

Puh-uhk!

The mace embedded itself in its cheek, and blood sprayed out of the monster's mouth. Sungyoon did not rest, and he, once again, swung his mace.

‘I have to avoid hitting its hard horn!’

Puh-uh-uhk!

The mace once again landed on the same location. The already sunken cheek completely cratered..

Boom!

It fell over.

‘How convenient.’

Sungyoon had been looking down at the fallen Bloody Rhino. Then he turned his gaze towards Emily.

She was holding tight to her staff, alternating between Tim and Sungyoon. She was making sure she could use her healing spell at any moment. They had an insurance called healing magic from Emily. This was why they could easily carry out violent and a more risky plan like this.

He bludgeoned the Bloody Rhino to make sure it was dead, then he immediately ran towards Tim.

“Ooh-rah-cha!”

Tim was fighting well. The monster was named Heavy Muscle, because its entire body was muscular. However, Tim was giving it a good fight. He used his shield to defend against its attacks. In fact, he was even able to counterattack, so some ax wounds had appeared on the monster’s body. However, the monster was paying special attention to the counterattacks, so it did not suffer any critical injury.

“I’ll help.”

Sungyoon ran past Tim. The Heavy Muscle Gorilla had just attacked Tim, so its body had come to a halt. Of course, Sungyoon would not let this opportunity pass.

Puh-uh-uhk!

He attacked its arm first. He aimed for the pointy elbow of its bent arm. It let out pained screams when steel hit bone. The ape looking monster clutched at its injured arm. It was an instinctual gesture. It was trying to protect an injured body part as it tried to ride out the pain. However, this was the absolute wrong move for it to do. Both of its arms were tied up now. It usually used both arms to attack and defend, and now it was unable to use both arms. It meant it could no longer attack or defend.

It did not matter who went first. Sungyoon charged forward. Tim also stopped turtling and swung his ax.

Puh-uhk!

Kwah-jeek!

The mace destroyed its right knee. The ax made a big wound on its left side.

-Ooh-wuhhhhhhh!

It let out a loud scream. One could see sharp teeth within its wide-open mouth, and the sight of it made one’s hair stand on end. However, the two men were not put off by the sight. They once again swung their weapon.

They had experienced too much hardship to be frightened by the sight of its sharp teeth.

Boom!

In the end, the Heavy Muscle Gorilla fell to one knee.

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