Chapter 25

None of the creatures living on the bottom few floors had been weaker than Kim Jin-Woo. How could he have penetrated their rock-hard skin with only fists and the bone of an unknown creature?

Nonetheless, he had survived through all those ordeals and passed through countless labyrinths to exit the underground world. It was thanks to a special ability called ‘Weakness Detection’ that he had mastered while being raised on the deepest floor.

Upon activating the skill, Kim Jin-Woo’s eyes turned blue and swiftly scanned the drakan’s body. A red line formed along the path of his gaze. It twisted and tangled in midair until it enveloped the drakan’s scaly body.

This was the effect of ‘Weakness Detection’.

“Kyaaak!” The drakan let out a shriek and threw punches at Kim Jin-Woo.

Kim Jin-Woo bent down to evade the attacks while his gaze continued to trail after the drakan. Meanwhile, the red line continued to spread across the drakan’s body frantically.

He stepped forward and chased after the drakan, who was dashing with a tail thicker than his own torso. Meanwhile, his gaze remained fixed on the drakan’s large body. 

Where is it?! he thought. The red line began to run across the drakan’s back. It scattered and gathered repeatedly until it began to clump up between the drakan’s shoulder bladesFound it.

He grinned. His pupils, which had been blazing blue, returned to their original colors, and his forearms began to swell as if they were about to explode.

“Kyaaak!” At the same time, the drakan turned around and brandished his arms like a predator about to kill an annoying prey. When his devastating attack hurtled through the air, his target was nowhere to be seen,. 

While the drakan was baffled by his disappearance, Kim Jin-Woo seized this opportunity and pounced on the drakan from behind. With both hands, he gripped his knife and sliced it through the air, plunging it right where the ball of flashing red lines was located.

Psssh!

The sound was totally different from before. Kim Jin-Woo’s knife easily pierced through the drakan’s golden scales.

“Arghhh!” Blood spurted out like a fountain, followed by a ghastly shriek. Kim Jin-Woo, covered in the drakan’s blood, twisted his knife in an attempt to pull it out.

Clang!

“Shit!” Kim Jin-Woo cursed. The blade of the knife that had been holding well so far, had snapped at such an awful time. At that instant, the drakan curled his thick tail up and slammed it onto his own back. 

“Woah!” Kim Jin-Woo evaded the tail by a hair’s breadth. He lowered his posture and prepared to launch an attack.

Meanwhile, the drakan was swinging his both arms frantically, trying to pull out the knife stuck in his back. “Urgh!”

It was an amusing scene to watch, but there was still quite the aftermath. The rampaging drakan trampled a nearby creature in the midst of its rampage, causing its body to burst.

“Get back!” Kim Jin-Woo hurriedly asked his men to move away from the drakan, who couldn’t tell friends from foes.

“Kyak!”

“Keeek!”

Many ferocious creatures died a dog’s death for having an incapable leader. On the other hand, the nagas were completely unscathed thanks to the hail of shotgun bullets and the naga magician’s spell. They had won without any casualties.

<Master!> With their victory plain in sight, Dominique shouted in delight. 

“Not yet! It’s not over yet!” Kim Jin-Woo exclaimed. While the nagas built a wall, he rummaged through his bundle and fished out a small bomb.

“Raise your shields!” he ordered. The naga warriors obeyed his command and formed a barrier. The naga gatekeeper supported the shields from behind, while Kim Jin-Woo threw the custom-made bomb. It landed right on the drakan’s bloodstained back and exploded.

Boom!

***

[You have won against a strong opponent. Amazingly, you suffered no casualties despite the enemy's power.]

[The nagas that participated in the battle have become more proficient in combat. They will continue to display excellent fighting spirit and combat abilities in the future.]

[The naga workers are extremely surprised by the fact that they have fought in the battle. If they join another battle and win again, they will gain new potential.]

[The naga warrior you have been eyeing has gained experience and became an elite warrior.] 

[The nagas admire you for emerging victorious from a difficult battle. Your charisma has increased significantly.]

Looking at the series of messages, a smile of satisfaction appeared on Kim Jin-Woo's face. Above all, he was proud of the naga workers for stepping out of their comfort zones and playing their part in this battle.

[You have achieved a unanimous victory against the thief who was eyeing your labyrinth. Both the naga’s labyrinth and its master Kim Jin-Woo have earned great fame.]

Kim Jin-Woo looked rather dejected despite the rowdy congratulatory messages, as he did not wish for his labyrinth’s existence to be known to others. 

<Master! Congratulations on the victory!> Dominique exclaimed.

All the nagas bowed to Kim Jin-Woo at the same time. From their whoops of victory, one could tell that they were immensely impressed by this achievement. That was only natural considering how outnumbered they had been. Who, other than Kim Jin-Woo, could have turned the situation around?

Kim Jin-Woo stared at the pile of shotguns that had been tossed aside by the naga workers after the battle. He clenched his fist and the nagas cheered again.

[The ferocious challenger, drakan, is still alive. You have to finish him off to prevent future trouble.]

Kim Jin-Woo thought it had all ended when he saw the message suggesting that there were still matters to be settled.

Kim Jin-Woo inspected the drakan’s body, which was drenched in blood. There were minute chest movements, indicating that the drakan was still alive and breathing. “What a tough fellow,” he mused.

Dominique realized her master’s intentions and brought him a knife without a word. Kim Jin-Woo gave her a look of gratitude. The knife that he had purchased from the black merchant had broken, and he was lacking a suitable weapon.

Dominique was now gazing up to her master, enraptured. Her respect for Kim Jin-Woo, who had achieved an overwhelming victory against the odds, had reached a new high.

“Argh…” The drakan rolled his teary eyes up to look at Kim Jin-Woo. With a stiff expression, the latter grabbed his knife and pointed it along the grain of the drakan’s droopy and crumbly scales.

“W-Wait!” Kim Jin-Woo was about to ram his knife into the drakan’s flesh when the latter screamed, “M-Mercy!” He sounded so desperate that even the coldhearted Kim Jin-Woo halted his movements.

However, it lasted only for a moment before Kim Jin-Woo resumed looking down at the drakan condescendingly and raised his knife. He had no reason to show mercy to a thief. He inhaled and flexed his arms.

“Let’s make a deal!” The drakan screamed just before the razor-sharp blade landed on him. “Down gems! I’ll give you down gems!”

“Down gems?” Kim Jin-Woo hesitated for a moment.

The drakan grasped onto that sliver of hope. He rummaged through his possessions to whip out a package. “You can have them all! Show some mercy, please!”

Kim Jin-Woo stealthily stretched his hand out and snatched the package from the drakan. “You planned to use these down gems for your war chest after taking over my labyrinth, didn’t you?” He had a wicked grin on his face. Although he had obtained the down gems, he had no intention of letting the drakan off.

The drakan yelled with frustration, “I even gave you the down gems!”

“They were going to be mine anyway when you are dead,” Kim Jin-Woo said. The drakan was flabbergasted by his somewhat logical argument. His mouth gaped open in disbelief. “Are we done?” Kim Jin-Woo asked.

“W-Wait!” the drakan exclaimed. He was an awfully talkative fellow.

Kim Jin-Woo smirked and raised his knife above his head. He inhaled before plunging the knife down.

“Your subordinate! I’ll be your subordinate!” the drakan cried. Kim Jin-Woo stopped just before his knife could penetrate the drakan’s golden scales. His eyes widened in surprise. The drakan continued, “I’ll be your subordinate! I’ll pledge loyalty!”

“Hmm, how can I trust you?” Kim Jin-Woo asked.

The drakan sensed Kim Jin-Woo’s interest in his proposal and rattled on. “We, the drakans, never tell lies! I’m serious!”

Kim Jin-Woo looked at Dominique.

<It’s true. Drakans are the descendants of dragons. They aren’t allowed to lie.>

“Could this guy be an exception? For example, a rare mutant that can lie.” Kim Jin-Woo gave the drakan a skeptical look.

The drakan struggled to defend himself. “Nonsense! We, the proud descendants of the dragons, would never lie! If I do, all the blood will leave my body and I will shrivel up and die!”

<Nobody knows why, but drakans die the moment they lie. That’s why they often fall into traps despite their powerful physical abilities.>

“She’s right! Please trust me!” The drakan nodded vigorously, unaware that Dominique was ridiculing his kind. It caused blood to gush out from his wound again, but he was desperate to live.

“Is that so? Alright then.” Kim Jin-Woo held his knife with one hand, looking perplexed.

“I’ll swear loyalty to you if you let me live!” the drakan said.

[Drakanus Ortehaga–a member of the drakan race, and a descendant of the dragons–swears loyalty to you. Do you wish to accept him?]

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