Chapter 159 - The Monkey King's Palace (3)

[The vestige of the Monkey King is wary of the intruders. It attempts to curse the party.]

[Curse ‘Fear’ has been attempted.]

[It has failed.]

[Curse ‘Confusion’ has been attempted.]

[It has failed.]

[Curse ‘Addition’ has been attempted.]

....

Messages popped up as soon as they entered the dungeon, and their faces grew drawn as they tried to endure the vestige of the powerful Monkey King. Since there wasn’t any limit on curse attempts, they would be in real trouble if this kept up.

Victoria waved her hand in the air. Light appeared and slowly pushed the dark energy crowding around them away. Since the Monkey King was imprisoned here for hundreds of years, his vestige is strong. Let’s stay focused.

His existence hadn’t only been strong, it also had a mind of its own and continued to contaminate its surroundings with his vestige. Since the Monkey King was an entity who had battled the heavens, it wasn’t a surprise that his vestige would also be powerful.

The situation only seemed to grow worse as they continued. The Monkey King’s vestige tried to pollute them, entering through the open pathways to their Consciousness. Without the ability to use a skill like Open Speaking, they would have died already.

Victoria managed to block the vestige from entering their pathways with her magic, but Yeon-woo knew that it was only a temporary solution. And they had yet another problem.

Is this the right way?

I think so. For now, at least.

Rebecca kept confirming that they were headed in the right direction with Victoria several times. However, they could only move slowly for fear of sudden attacks or ambushes. Just as they couldn’t use their Consciousness to see into the cave, they were unable to use it inside the cave, as well. No matter how much they pressed, the vestige of the Monkey King blocked them. 

Eventually, they were reduced to the same state as when they first entered the fifth mountain: with all their senses blocked off. Although they knew the environment, that didn’t really help. Even with their hearing closed off, they thought they could hear a ghostly cry around them that sounded like the vestige weeping.

Rebecca clenched her teeth, wondering the same thing over and over. Could they make it? They still had a way to go before reaching the location of Kindred’s body. If they were already struggling with the entrance, how much more difficult would the rest of the journey be?

At first, she had been suspicious about the circumstances, but now it made sense that Kindred had met his end here. She thought this place might be their grave as well. Her god, Cernunnos, had told her to always assess whether she should step forward or back in every situation. Her judgment told her to step back this time, but her feet didn’t move.

The legacy of the Monkey King—the treasures that turned a monkey into a great being—was inside somewhere. The Ruyi Bang and the Seventy-Two Bian kept floating around in her mind. ‘Fine. Let’s just give it a shot. What could happen? Kindred was alone, but things are different now. Besides, if something happens, I can leave these guys behind or use this escaping scroll.’

The skill God Wit that Cernunnos had given her was outstanding enough that she convinced herself that she could escape at any time. The same thoughts ran through the others’ heads.

They pressed forward, like moths flying in the light, irresistibly drawn to danger. 

***

Yeon-woo moved slowly and observed the others. Rebecca had resisted the relentless attack of the Monkey King’s vestige with her skill, while Victoria defended herself with magic. However, Yeon-woo believed that they were making a big mistake. ‘They can’t last long doing that.’

He didn’t know the exact details, but Rebecca was using a significant amount of magic, and Victoria’s runes were almost running out. If they kept that up, they would be exhausted by the time they reached the center of the dungeon.

On the other hand, Kahn wasn’t using a particular skill. Instead, he simply focused his Consciousness to block the vestige. Yeon-woo couldn’t help laughing to see that the person who was supposed to be the weakest of them all was defending himself best.

Victoria and Rebecca seemed to have forgotten the basics during their long training thanks to the strength of a god and comfortable rune magic, even though the basics were the most important.

‘But…what was this guy trying to tell me?’ Yeon-woo looked at Kahn’s expression. He still couldn’t tell what Kahn was thinking, and Kahn didn’t reply when he tried to talk to him, as though he were focusing hard on something.

Eventually, Yeon-woo turned away. Kahn would speak when he was ready. Instead, Yeon-woo spread out the territory of his Extrasensory Perception to examine his environment. He was having a relatively easier time than the others.

[The Monkey King’s vestige is attempting curses through contamination.]

[Curse ‘Mind Contamination’ has been attempted.]

[Curse ‘Negativity Contamination’ has been attempted.]

[Curse ‘Suicidal Urge’ has been attempted.]

[You have been afflicted with ‘Stun’.]

[Your trait, Cold-blooded, has helped you maintain composure.]  

[The status 'Stun' has been removed. You have developed resistance to ‘Mind Contamination’.]  

[You have developed resistance to ‘Negativity Contamination’.]

[You have developed resistance to ‘Suicidal Urge’.]

....

[You have developed an outstanding resistance to mental attacks with the trait Cold-blooded.]

[A sturdy mental wall has been built. You are free from the Monkey King’s vestige.]

[The vestige of the Monkey King is flustered.]

His trait Cold-blooded let him stay calm no matter what, and it helped him out several times. In critical situations, it motivated him to continue and that was how he managed to gain strong resistance and immunity.

His Time Difference had grown from this trait, along with resistance to several properties. As Yeon-woo had progressed through the Tower, he hadn’t needed this trait in a while  from this, and the resistance to several properties were from this as well. 

And as Yeon-woo progressed, he didn’t need this skill for a while, but now it was activated again. He was happy to get a chance to train this trait, and although he did struggle at first like the others, as time passed, he freed himself from the vestige.  

Now, he was trying to widen his range since he could only observe within a radius of five meters. He activated his Time Difference and carefully observed the Monkey King’s vestige. It appeared almost like hail raining down all over the dungeon.

Yeon-woo focused on this characteristic. ‘I can’t press down the vestige, so I need to pass it and widen my range.’ Yeon-woo began to pull his Consciousness together, and he formed it into a shape with a pointed tip and used it to pierce the Monkey King’s vestige. At first, he had difficulty finding a weak spot and it seemed hard as a rock, but then he found a vulnerability and began to tunnel into it.

The vestige kept on trying to enter his Consciousness, but he easily flicked it away with his trait. Finally, he managed to widen his territory.

[You have learned to use small amounts of your Consciousness. You have learned to protect your mind from external attacks and to push away curses.]

[‘Extrasensory Perception’ skill proficiency has dramatically increased.]

Yeon-woo’s head cleared up as his Consciousness ripped through the vestige and touched the ceiling of the cave. His Extrasensory Perception bloomed and information began to rush into his head. As Yeon-woo continued to widen his range, he managed to push the Monkey King’s vestige away slowly.

Huh?

Hm?

What’s going on?

The others were taken aback at the sudden end of the vestige’s relentless attacks. They all turned shocked faces to Yeon-woo, realizing that he was responsible for this reprieve. Rebecca’s face was full of distrust. A player from the lower floors had done something a high ranker couldn’t.

I happen to have a skill that’s perfect for this situation. Anything else will be difficult for me, too.

It was clear that none of them believed his lame explanation, but they decided to ignore it. They had to search the dungeon. Thanks to Yeon-woo, Victoria and Rebecca could freely use their skills and move faster. 

Meanwhile, Yeon-woo widened his territory even beyond their immediate environment and began to gather information about the dungeon’s set up. ‘It’s like a complicated maze that’s tangled like a spiderweb. Even if we turn back now…I can’t even see the entrance.’ It would take them time to find an exit.

He couldn’t seem them yet, but there were traps all over the place, and ghoul-type monsters created by the vestige lay in wait. Yeon-woo decided to send his Guai out so that they could enjoy a quick snack as they broke the traps. He didn’t know what kind of danger was waiting for them, but he trusted his Guai to handle everything since he could reach them within his territory. Besides, he didn’t want to be bothered by insignificant matters.

[The Guai Chan has gotten rid of Little Demon 98. He has used the superior skill ‘Predation’ to absorb the soul.]

[The Guai Ka has gotten rid of Race 13. He has used the superior skill ‘Absorb’ to absorb the soul.]

[Ghost 71 has been removed.]

....

[The traps are being neutralized at a rapid pace. 45% of the maze has been deciphered. The dungeon is being controlled at a rapid pace.]

Creepy sounds continued to float out, but the others believed that it was just the vestige making sounds and didn’t concern themselves too much. They didn’t realize that many obstacles were being removed deep in the dungeon.

As he was learning more about the dungeon, Yeon-woo noticed something strange. From time to time, strange marks appeared on the ceiling and the walls.

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