-Koo-roong! Koohng koohng!
He heard the roar of monsters, and it grated against his ears. There were two of them. He had been burned really badly when monsters had teamed-up against him in the Beginner’s Labyrinth. That was why he reflexively raised his shield and looked towards the source of the sounds.
He saw a Fang Boar and a Slash Cat a distance away. The Fang Boar was tough and durable, and also capable of executing a ferocious charge. The Slash Cat was agile, and it could execute a powerful blow with its paw. It was a combination of monsters that made Sungyoon wary.
However, he had been worried for nothing.
The Slash Cat swung its claws, which were sharp like knives. The attack struck the target as it let out a terrifying sound. However, the Slash Cat’s target wasn’t Sungyoon.
Its target was the Fang Boar.
The Fang Boar had thick leather, but the Slash Cat’s claws were very sharp. It made a long gash in the Fang Boar’s leather. Blood flew into the air. However, the Fang Boar didn’t take the attack lying down, and it blindly charged towards the Slash Cat with its tusks raised.
The Slash Cat jumped high into the air to dodge its enemy’s charge. As it dodged, it once again slashed the Fang Boar’s back.
Afterward, it used its agility to dodge the Fang Boar’s attacks and continued to attack various locations on the Fang Boar’s body.
In a flash, the Fang Boar had become covered in blood.
It was obvious that the Slash Cat was sitting pretty, but the result of the fight was still up in the air. Although the Slash Cat was able to inflict deep cuts, the Fang Boar hadn’t suffered any critical wounds. Above all else, the Slash Cat was less durable than the Fang Boar. If the Slash Cat was hit even once, there was a high chance it would die.
Sungyoon's prediction came true.
The Fang Boar had become enraged from being continuously attacked. It let out an angry roar as it charged again. Once again, the Slash Cat tried to jump into the air to dodge the attack. However, the Fang Boar had slightly modified its attack from before.
Its massive body flew into the air. The Fang Boar dived head-first into the air to reach the Slash Cat. The Slash Cat made quick adjustments to dodge the attack. The Fang Boar could throw its body all around, but it wouldn’t be able to catch the agile Slash Cat. However, this Fang Boar was persistent.
The Fang Boar swung its head towards the direction where the Slash Cat had dodged. Its head couldn’t touch the Slash Cat, but it was a different story for its tusks. It was a close call, but the Fang Boar’s tusks had managed to graze the back legs of the Slash Cat.
The Slash Cat let out a scream. Blood poured out from its back legs like a waterfall.
The sound of two bodies crashing to the ground could be heard. The heavy body of the Fang Boar and the light body of the Slash Cat rolled across the floor. The Fang Boar’s body was full of bloody wounds, but it was still lively. In fact, its anger was fueling its movement. Contrastly, the Slash Cat had lost most of its mobility when its legs became injured.
The situation had been reversed.
The Fang Boar immediately got up and charged towards the Slash Cat. The Slash Cat limped as it tried to dodge the attack, but the loss of mobility was devastating for the Slash Cat.
The Slash Cat let out a despairing yowl. It was being ruthlessly attacked by the Fang Boar as if the latter wanted to pay back for all it had suffered until that moment. It stabbed with its tusks, and then, stomped the Slash Cat with its feet. It also took a big bite out of the Slash Cat with its teeth. The Slash Cat was tortured for a long time by the Fang Boar. Finally, the Slash Cat’s scream came to an end.
Was it a roar of victory? The Fang Boar let out a long roar in front of the dead Slash Cat.
‘Is it a territorial fight?’
This was the first time he had witnessed monsters fighting each other to death.
Most of the Beginner’s Labyrinth had been cleared of monsters, so their population density was very low. This was why the monsters only attacked the Connectors. The monsters were indifferent to each other. In some cases, monsters even teamed-up with each other to attack Connectors. He had experienced it before. However, this was a Personal Labyrinth. Moreover, it was one that had never been touched before. An incredible number of monsters were residing within this labyrinth. Of course, the infighting would be fierce.
The Slash Cat’s body was swept up in light, and the only thing left behind was a moonstone. The Fang Boar sniffed at the moonstone. In the next moment, it put its mouth close to the moonstone.
Just then, Sungyoon hit the wall of the labyrinth with his shield. He had put all his strength behind it, yet he couldn’t even scratch the wall. But his intent wasn’t to damage the wall.
The Fang Boar, who had been about to swallow the moonstone, turned its head. Sungyoon intentionally stomped his feet to get its attention.
‘That’s a waste.’
A monster would not become stronger by eating moonstones from other monsters. It could heal wounds to a certain extent, and it might provide a small boost in its energy. However, that was it. But still, the moonstone disappeared once the monster ate it. It meant Sungyoon would make less money.
Fortunately, the monster in front of him gave up on eating the moonstone. It charged towards Sungyoon, and red blood flew into the air alongside the charge. It was a scary sight.
However, Sungyoon’s expression didn’t change. When the Fang Boar arrived in front of him, he took a quick step to the side.
The Slash Cat had used this tactic. When the Fang Boar would charge, its lateral movement to either side became challenged. The only thing Sungyoon had to be careful about was its long tusks. They were one-meter long, and it could attack with the tusks even if the connector had dodged the charge. He just had to be mindful of that.
The mace impacted its back and left a deep crater. The Fang Boar was frothing at the mouth with blood, and it struggled in a violent manner. Sungyoon calmly swung his mace once again. This time, he was aiming for the head.
The Fang Boar’s head completely exploded. Its eyes and tongue shot out, and brain matter scattered into the surrounding.
Its enormous body fell to the ground. Sungyoon coldly stared at the dead body, and he collected the moonstone when it appeared. Then, he moved a distance away and picked up the Slash Cat’s moonstone. He looked at his watch.
‘I should start heading back now.’
If he didn’t start his return-journey now, he probably would spend the whole night here. However, he hadn’t brought any camping gear. Above all else, he didn’t have any party members. He didn’t want to spend the night here.
‘I have to think about the eventuality of me sleeping within the labyrinth.’
Sungyoon didn’t hesitate as he turned around. He didn’t mind staying up for a couple of days, but he didn’t want to do that when he had to fight life and death battles with the monsters.
He always took a left when he arrived at a fork, so he just needed to do the exact opposite. He only had to take a right when heading back. Sungyoon had already cleared all the monsters, so he didn’t encounter any monsters on his way back.
‘Did this labyrinth experience a rise in its population already?’
An abnormal occurrence had occurred with the monsters. He remembered the conversation he had with Emily in the past. Almost all the labyrinths were showing signs of anomalous activity, and the H-023 labyrinth probably wasn’t an exception either.
‘I guess it doesn’t matter if there is an increase in the monster’s population here.’
Basically, this situation would only be a problem for the labyrinths that were frequented by Connectors. The monster population within these labyrinths were kept down by Connectors. Unlike those labyrinths, this labyrinth had been assigned for the first time to Sungyoon. The number of monsters within this labyrinth probably kept increasing every Mana Stream until a limit would be reached. If more monsters were added beyond this limit, the monsters would fight each other to stake out their territory, and the population would go back down to normal.
‘It’s fine. Even if more monsters do come out, I have no baseline to make any comparison.’
Even if he wanted to make a comparison, he didn’t know what Personal Labyrinths were like before the anomalous monster activities. He had no idea how much more dangerous his labyrinth was. This was why he just made a resolve to be a bit more careful.
He slowly walked towards the entrance of the labyrinth. This was how his first raid within his Personal Labyrinth ended.
* * *
Time passed like that. Sungyoon’s daily routine didn’t differ much from his routine for the Beginner’s Labyrinth. The only things changed were where he slept, and that he was in a different labyrinth. When he woke up, he ate the vitamin pack as a meal. After his hunt within the labyrinth, he returned to the Moon Surface Vehicle to sleep. Every day, he worked like a machine.
On the first floor of this labyrinth, he had only encountered the stronger version of monsters he had seen in the Beginner’s Labyrinth. It was an encouraging sign that this labyrinth was higher in rank than the Beginner’s Labyrinth. Still, it was still impossible for him to clear this labyrinth in earnest. He was barely able to explore the region near the entrance.
He was worried about getting lost, so he never went deep within the labyrinth.
Despite this fact, the storage compartment had become filled with moonstones. The labyrinth was stuffed with monsters, so he just needed to fight the ones near the entrance. When the region near the entrance would become empty, it would create a vacuum. Monsters, who were deeper within, would start to slowly crawl out into the empty region.
Anyway, he was able to acquire a good amount of moonstones within the past three weeks.
Finally, the Mana Stream was about to hit this labyrinth.
However, Sungyoon didn’t immediately leave. He had to check something.
He slowly approached the entrance of the labyrinth. He felt a different sensation, unlike the previous day.
The magical energy within the labyrinth was going crazy.
Until now, the magical energy had been like the calm water within a lake. But currently, the magical energy was like fierce waves underneath a typhoon.
‘If I have enough magical energy to activate a Jewel rank Gem, I can withstand the Mana Stream.’
He wanted to use this opportunity to experience the Mana Stream. Sungyoon’s goal was to reach the Great Labyrinth, and it was said that there was a constant Mana Stream going on within the Great Labyrinth.
Sungyoon gulped as he took a step into the entrance of the labyrinth.
He felt an electric sensation rise from the end of his foot. The fierce magical energy within the labyrinth ruthlessly battered against his foot. The man immediately felt it. If he were a low-level Connector, his foot would have been instantly pulverized. He would have died as blood poured out of his wound. What would happen if the head or the body of a low-rank Connector went into a Mana Stream? He could easily imagine the consequences.
Fortunately, nothing unusual happened to Sungyoon.
He moved his other foot, and then, put his entire body into the Mana Stream.
‘It doesn’t have much influence on my movement.’
However, he continued to feel the magical energy batter against his body.
He activated his Gems. The magical energy of the Gems activated within the fierce current of Mana Stream. His equipment appeared around his body, and his physical abilities were enhanced.
He swung his mace, struck out with his shield, and then punched and kicked the air.
He felt a minimal difference.
‘I feel fine. I think I can hunt within the Mana Stream.’
His magical energy could withstand the violent current of the Mana Stream. It wasn’t as if his movement had slowed down.
However, Sungyoon gave up on that idea.
‘There is a chance I might meet a monster that I can’t handle at my current level.’
Sungyoon turned back without regret. He planned on going back to Armstrong, and he would return to Earth on a spaceship.
It happened at that moment.
A light appeared within the labyrinth. It was bright enough to chase away the faint sunlight that came in from the outside. He turned his body back in surprise.
A small but very bright ball of light was floating in the air. It rippled like a living organism, and in a flash, the ball of light grew bigger. The magical energy in its surrounding went crazy, swirling around the ball of light. Sungyoon’s mouth had fallen open as he blankly stared at the majestic and mysterious light.
Unlike its impact on Sungyoon, the light didn’t last for long.
The light went out. It was as if the labyrinth had never been illuminated. The labyrinth was once again filled with absolute darkness. However, Sungyoon was capable of receiving external information through magical energy, so he clearly saw what had happened.
Something had appeared where the light had emerged.Previous Chapter Next Chapter