Chapter 29

Kim Jin-Woo leaped away once again before he could even check the flashing red message. He tried to leap off a wall and even rolled across the ground, but the crossbow bolts trailed him incessantly, barely missing him every time. 

Ptang, ptang, ptang!

Three arrows struck the wall in the precise spot he had leapt off from just a second ago.  Kim Jin-Woo felt as if he were trapped in a fine-meshed net. He dodged from side to side in frustration while trying to identify the hunters. 

Judging from the way the hunters could precisely trace his extraordinary movements, he could tell that they were no ordinary explorers. This was to be expected, as they were monsters of the underground world who preyed on humans, not mere under-creatures. 

Furthermore, these individuals couldn’t mingle with other dungeon babies. They wouldn’t want to go back to challenging the vicious creatures after having realized that humans were easier targets with greater loot.

Unfortunately, these hunters had chosen Kim Jin-Woo as their next target.

“This bastard seems to be at least Level 8.” A hunter gritted his teeth as all his bolts failed to hit the target.

“Screw levels, just get him! He’s running away!” Afraid that Kim Jin-Woo might get away, one of the hunters tossed his crossbow aside, whipped out a knife, and charged at Kim Jin-Woo. “Die!” He closed the distance with Kim Jin-Woo instantly and brandished the lethal knife at his opponent.

Swoosh! 

The hail of bolts stopped as the other hunters also concluded they couldn’t catch Kim Jin-Woo with their crossbows. They whipped out their knives and darted towards their target.

Kim Jin-Woo’s movements changed instantly, however. “Huh? Who’s running away?” he hissed aggressively, his eyes glowing a bright blue.

Kim Jin-Woo knew how foolish it was to let his guard down in the underground world. He was anxious, but he had never intended to run away like a coward. Although he could resort to anything to survive, now was hardly a life-or-death situation. He glared at the hunter, who charged at him fearlessly while he was evaluating his opponents’ strength and thinking of a solution to his predicament.

“Huh?” Astonished by the sudden change in Kim Jin-Woo’s attitude, the hunter let out a grunt without being able to withdraw his knife in time. Kim Jin-Woo’s hand curled and wrapped around the hunter’s neck like an eagle’s talons. 

“Kek!” the hunter gurgled as Kim Jin-Woo ripped his throat apart without mercy, causing blood to spurt out with a sound of escaping air. He gasped in agony, his hands wrapped around his bloody neck.

Kim Jin-Woo reached out and grabbed the hunter’s lips. He flipped them up to reveal sharp, jagged, and yellowish teeth like those one would expect to find in a beast’s mouth. “You scum,” he said. He was enraged by the hunter’s sharp teeth, as they were characteristic of the worst breed of hunters, who consumed human meat. Blue light burst from his eyes.

“You little–!”

“This bastard is strong! Let’s attack together!”

The other hunters gasped when they witnessed their comrade’s ripped throat. They surrounded Kim Jin-Woo and pounced at him simultaneously. 

“Die!”

The savages attacked his vital points–his philtrum, neck, chest, and testicles. In addition, their knives perfectly cut off Kim Jin-Woo’s path of retreat. An average dungeon baby would be ripped apart by the attack.

These manhunters were indeed specialists in hunting dungeon babies. While the latter had trained to fight creatures, they had learned to slaughter their own kind.

However, Kim Jin-Woo stayed calm, as this was a familiar situation to him. In his hellish journey from the deepest floor to the surface, he had faced more than just creatures. He grabbed the twitching hunter by his neck with one hand and held him out as a meat shield.

“Arghhh!” The hunter, who was groaning painfully in Kim Jin-Woo’s hand, screamed when dozens of knives penetrated his flesh. He fell limp instantly, but the other dungeon babies couldn’t care any less. They continued to brandish their weapons, shredding their dead comrade’s corpse.

“Stop, you fuckers!” one of the hunters cursed in dismay. A red mist had formed from the spray of blood, reducing visibility on the battlefield. Kim Jin-Woo leaped out from the red mist and swung his knife, slashing at the eyes and throats of the blinded hunters. 

“Fuck! This bastard is a high-level dungeon baby!”

The hunters knew that something was wrong when four of them collapsed onto the ground in a blink of an eye. However, it was too late to escape. Kim Jin-Woo refused to let these monsters of the underground world live.

“Arghhh!”

“Eek! My eyes!”

Five more hunters fell in an instant. The remaining six began to slowly step backward in fear.

“Urgh!” 

They split ways and ran for their lives the moment they heard another scream. Three of them ran toward the path Kim Jin-Woo had come from, while the other half ran past him.

Kim Jin-Woo contemplated for a moment and licked his lips.

***

“Huff, puff!”

The two hunters gasped for air, but they couldn’t afford to stop. They knew they would be killed by the blue-eyed dungeon baby in an instant if they slowed down.

“Hey, I think that monster went for the other guys! I don’t see him!”

“What? Why didn’t you say that earlier! We ran for no reason!”

A hunter came to a halt and looked back. When he didn’t detect any presence, he let out a sigh of relief and caught his breath. “Goddamnit!” he swore.

They were extremely unlucky to have encountered a top-class dungeon baby.

“Fuck, do you think they’re all dead?”

“Of course, didn’t you see his face just now? He’s an absolute monster.”

“Eek, what great luck we have. That bastard seems to be Level 10, or even higher.”

The two hunters snickered, relieved that Kim Jin-Woo wasn’t tracking them.

“Damn. I guess we’ll have to stay low for the time being.”

“We don’t have a choice. Let’s stay low for a while before finding a new team. We may be able to taste the meat of a few clueless explorers.”

This pair of giggling hunters were indeed lowly beasts in human clothing.

“That aside, where are we?”

“I have no idea. We ran for our lives without turning back...”

The hunters soon realized the dire situation they were in.

“Shit, we’re in trouble.”

“No shit. Did you think it was time to celebrate now?”

“That’s not it…” The hunter frowned at his friend’s sarcastic reply. “I think we’re in a labyrinth.” His face turned pale when the passage began to warp. 

“Then we should get out of here as soon as possible. What are you waiting for–” The other hunter gasped in horror and froze when he heard a gust of wind. “What are you waiting for? Let’s get out!” He cursed and tapped his teammate’s shoulders.

He was about to head back when he heard something fall onto the ground, warm liquid spurting onto his back.“Huh?” He broke out in a cold sweat. His eyes opened wide when he slowly turned around to find a bluish-blade nearing his throat.

“Kek…” The hunter grabbed his bloody throat and collapsed onto the ground.

***

“They’ve all been dealt with, master.” It didn’t take long for Rikshasha to return from her duty and bow down in front of him. She was covered in the scent of blood. Dominique hadn’t been exaggerating when she described Rikshasha as a skillful assassin and scout.

Kim Jin-Woo was pleasantly surprised to hear that she could assassinate two Level 5 dungeon babies in such a short period. “Well done,” he said, maintaining an expressionless face as he checked the hunters’ corpses one by one.

He stared coldly at their razor-sharp teeth. There was no reason to feel guilty about killing humans when he had already done so in the past while trying to survive in the underground world. Furthermore, these were atrocious monsters who sliced the throats of their sleeping victims with a smile. How could one still call them human?

<Master, I’ve collected them all.> Dominique approached Kim Jin-Woo and held out both hands; she carried about twenty glowing down gems.

“Not bad,” Kim Jin-Woo replied.

The fact that the hunters were carrying so many down gems indicated that many had fallen prey to them. This unpleasant thought made the red glow of the down gems appear terrifying. Kim Jin-Woo couldn’t help but frown. 

He briefly said, “Let’s go back.” There was no reason to stay any longer in the labyrinth since the portal was open.

Dominique asked him on the way to the portal, <What should we do with the corpses?>

Kim Jin-Woo turned around for a moment before he replied nonchalantly, “Leave them alone. The beasts and creatures will come and gobble them up without a trace.”

The darkness of the underground world would dismantle the corpses, just as the hunters had done to their victims. Not a single trace would be left - that was the law in this harsh environment. 

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