Chapter 84. Scout (2)


The path to the boss room was wrought with monsters. I didn’t plan on letting Kim Suho take care of them. Since they were at the level that I could kill with my gun, I wanted to kill them and pretend that I helped.

Currently, there were six ghouls in front of me. They were low-intermediate rank grade 9 undead monsters.

I tightly gripped the Desert Eagle. Even in the pitch black darkness, its platinum exterior shone brightly. I aimed at the ghouls’ swollen right eyes, where their tiny brains were located.
I pulled the trigger without hesitation. Six bullets shot out simultaneously, piercing the ghouls’ vital point. A blue light seemed to flash, then the ghouls collapsed.

“Oh, as expected….”

Kim Suho exclaimed in awe. However, I didn’t have time to feel happy. I operated in the principle of Strong Against Weak, Weak Against Strong. Although I could slaughter an army of weaklings, I wouldn’t stand a chance against a single expert. No, I would have to run away from someone even slightly above me.

“Let’s hurry, we don’t have time.”

We ran through the cave. Monsters were around every corner, but because they were weak, it was easy to take care of them.
After running for about ten minutes taking care of ghouls, zombies, and ghosts, we arrived in front of a giant stone wall.
At first glance, it seemed like a dead end, but strange symbols were written on the wall.
These symbols were an ancient language that only existed in Dungeons. Thanks to modern technology, an ancient language of this level could be translated using a smartwatch. That’s what Kim Suho did in the original story as well.
I took out my smartwatch and scanned the symbols on the wall.

—‘This’ and ‘That’ always accompanies each other.
—Observed from a close distance, ‘This’ and ‘That’ feels simultaneous.
—But from afar, ‘This’ comes before ‘That’.
—What is ‘This’?

Kim Suho glanced at my smartwatch and saw the riddle.

“…Ah, it must be a riddle. I heard there are Dungeons like this.”

In the original story, Kim Suho was unable to solve this riddle and had to text Yoo Yeonha for help. Yoo Yeonha contacted an information guild and got the answer in five minutes.
However, I didn’t have time to wait.
This riddle was something I half-heartedly made. The answer was lightning. ‘This’ was lightning, and ‘That’ was thunder.
Although lightning accompanies thunder, light traveled faster than sound, making lightning visible before hearing thunder.

“Lightning.”

I muttered the answer, and the stone wall reacted. The symbols on the wall glowed with a blue light, then disappeared into particles of light. Immediately afterwards, the stone wall rumbled and sunk underground.

“What, the answer is lightning?”

“Yeah.”

“How did you figure that out so fast? …Wow, you really are a genius.”

Kim Suho was looking at me like I was some kind of a sage.

“I’ll tell you how I found out later. For now, let’s clear the Dungeon before anyone else arrives.”

I pushed Kim Suho into the boss room.

**


“….”

Boss stared blankly at Kim Hajin walking into the boss room.
To be completely honest, she was in awe. Decisiveness, drive, boldness, and even intelligence. Although it was a mere hidden stage, he had come this far in just 10 minutes. That was something ordinary people couldn’t do.

“Truly extraordinary….”

She blurted out subconsciously. She had heard the same words from her master, the previous boss of the Chameleon Troupe, who no longer existed in this world. She suddenly wondered, ‘what did Master see in me to say that…?’

She let out a deep sigh.
With what happened today, she became certain. Kim Hajin was someone who she wanted by her side.
But before that could become reality, he had to meet a few conditions. The most important condition was whether he could kill a human being without hesitation.

—Argh, it’s a maze. Why is a hidden stage so complicated?
—Quiet.

Boss looked far behind her. Two Djinns from Packhorse Master were wandering around.
Kim Hajin didn’t know they were Djinns.
Since that was the case… she decided to make use of them.

**


In the middle of an empty cave lied a throne made of stone. Sitting on this throne was the Swordsman of Destruction, staring down at us. He was completely covered in black armor. His eyes oozed with boredom, as though he only just woke up from his sleep.

However, in the next instant, the swordsman’s eyes burned blue. He met Kim Suho’s eyes and made a small smile.
It seemed it was true that the strong could recognize each other.

—…What an interesting kid.

A chilling sound resounded. Kim Suho’s face was frozen in nervousness. A monster capable of speaking human language signified that it wasn’t ordinary. Even in reality, monsters high-intermediate rank and above had intelligence on par with humans. Though of course, talking was still limited to humanoid monsters.

“….”

Kim Suho quietly took out his sword. I felt like I understood what he was thinking. After all, I had written it myself.

「He emitted extraordinary hostility and spirit. I became certain that he was at least high-intermediate rank. At the same time, I began to worry. Would I be able to defeat him? Soon, I even began to feel afraid.
However, when the Swordsman of Destruction pulled out his sword, an unknown sense of confidence surged within me.
My Gift was Sword Saint. I was someone who would stand on the peak of swordsmanship.
Against a swordsman opponent, there should be no reason for me to lose…」

“There should be no reason for you to lose.”

I emphasized his last thought.
Startled, Kim Suho stared at me.

“His real body is his sword.”

“…Sword?”

Kim Suho stared at the swordsman’s sword. Crimson sword qi waved around his black blade.

“The voice just now came from that sword. That body should just be a corpse.”

In the original story, Kim Suho figured this out while exchanging blows with the Swordsman of Destruction. However, I couldn’t wait for him to realize this on his own in a situation where intruders could arrive at any time.
The Swordsman of Destruction slowly raised his sword.
His blade vibrated, letting out a stiff voice.

—Come. It’s been a while since I last obtained a body.

Kim Suho stepped up. I also took out my gun.

“You don’t need to attack his body. Just hit the sword. I’ll support you from the back.”

“…I trust you.”

Now, it was Kim Suho’s turn. The sword he had in his hand should be a high rank sword which he even took out loans to buy. The magic power of a Sword Saint rose up clearly from this high-class sword.
The Swordsman of Destruction made the first move, rashly rushing in and striking down with his sword. Kim Suho raised his sword and blocked him.
KWANG!
The two swords clashed. The Swordsman of Destruction pulled his sword back and repeatedly struck down. It was as if he wanted to break Kim Suho’s sword.
However, not even a single scratch appeared on Kim Suho’s sword. Normally, it would have already been destroyed multiple times by the Swordsman of Destruction’s strength and the density of his magic power. However, a Sword Saint’s magic power couldn’t fall to a mere metal.

Watching them fight, I slowly raised my gun.
I couldn’t use a shotgun as it might injure Kim Suho.
Using a sniper rifle in this close range would lower the accuracy.
Without a choice, I selected the handgun.

Clang. Kwang. Koong. Kwaaaang!
Under the thunderous noise, I aimed my gun at the swordsman’s shoulder. Then, at the instant that his sword clashed with Kim Suho’s, I fired.
Shuuuuu—
The light bullet shot forward, leaving a white trail behind it, then digging into the swordsman’s rotten body.
For a fraction of a second, he stopped moving.
Immediately, Kim Suho began to counterattack.
He unleashed the magic power of a Sword Saint. His clear magic power rose up like a tornado, and his sword shone with a golden light.
Next, he unleashed his own sword technique.
A powerful strike that shot up like lightning, consecutive strikes that could seemingly sever rivers… the Swordsman of Destruction held up his sword to block them. However, each time the swords clashed, a crack appeared on the swordsman’s sword. Because of the bullet in his shoulder, his movement had also slowed down.

Kim Suho followed my advice and only attacked his sword.
It was the right method of defeating it.
The swordsman didn’t last long. Although Kim Suho was striking the sword, the swordsman’s body began to crumble.

“Huaaap!”

Kim Suho dealt a final blow with a powerful shout.
Just like that, the sword shattered, and the swordsman’s body turned into dust and scattered into the air.
In the place of the swordsman…
All that was left was a single branch.

“…Eh?”

Dumbstruck, Kim Suho stared at the branch.

“W-What’s this?”

He looked around the room just in case he was missing something. However, there was no weapon or armor like the one he expected to see. The sword used by the Swordsman of Destruction had turned into dust, and the armor he was wearing had also disappeared.
In other words, the only thing that could possibly be the reward was the single branch in front of him.

“This is it…?”

Disappointed, Kim Suho fell to the ground. I smirked and walked up to him.

“Hey, this branch is….”

When I was about to tell him about Misteltein…

“Who are you?”

A deep voice rang out.
I quickly turned around.

“…Shoot.”

I bit my lips.
They were the two Djinns I saw before. One was holding a greatsword, and the other was holding a double-edged axe the size of his body.
Didn’t they say they were going to go back? How did they come back so quickly?

“Oy, we just asked who you were. How did you get in here?”

The axe-wielding baldy scowled intimidatingly, but the sword-wielding Caucasian man stopped him. He then spoke more politely.

“Our Packhorse Master guild put in an official declaration to take on this Dungeon. Who are you guys?”

Pretending to answer him, I stepped up and kicked the branch to the corner of the cave.

“…Ah, is that so? We didn’t know. There was another pathway in here. That’s where we came from.”

“Another pathway?”

“Yes.”

“….”

The Caucasian man’s expression stiffened.

“What did you do here?”

“We hunted a monster.”

“And the reward?”

“As you can see… nothing.”

I raised my hands, smiling.
Then, the baldy next to him whispered. He pointed at Kim Suho who was still on the ground.

“Wait, isn’t that… Kim Suho? You know, the rank 1 cadet in Cube?”

“…Hm.”

The Caucasian man stopped and messaged his comrades.

“Yes, this is James. Yes, something came up. There are two Cube cadets here. One of them is….”

Before he could finish his sentence, a clear command rang out.

—Kill them.

**


At the same time, in Cube’s Fitness Center far away from Suwon’s Kamak Mountain.

“Huaa….”

Rachel just finished her 4-hour-long training session. Her day had finally come to an end.
Letting out a sluggish sigh, she murmured quietly.

“I’m sleepy….”

‘Now let’s go back to my room, take a shower, and sleep. Since tomorrow is Saturday, I should be able to sleep in. Right, I should sleep until 3 P.M. That’s a good plan.’

When she grabbed the changing room’s doorknob with such happy thoughts, she happened to hear two cadets gossiping.

—…Did you know Kim Hajin likes Rachel?

Immediately, Rachel’s shoulders strongly shook.

—What, really? No way.

—Yes way. Can’t you see how he’s been following her around recently? People are saying he’s going to confess to her soon.

—What? Confess? I don’t believe it. Someone like him?

Rachel let go of the doorknob and slowed backed off. She was unable to understand what was happening and suddenly felt a bit dizzy. Confess? So suddenly? How did they know this?
…At that moment, she bumped into someone.

“Ah!”

Rachel quickly turned around. Chae Nayun was glaring at her with furrowed brows.

“What are you doing?”

“…Nothing.”

“No, not nothing. You’re stepping on my foot.”

Only then did Rachel begin to understand the situation.
Indeed, she was stepping on Chae Nayun’s foot.

“…Ah, sorry.”

“Tsk.”

Chae Nayun clicked her tongue and grabbed the doorknob.

“Ah!”

Rachel flinched. She didn’t want more people to overhear their gossip… but before Rachel could stop her, Chae Nayun walked in.

“…Hello? Rachel-ssi?”

Then, someone else approached her. It was Yoo Yeonha.

“…Yes?”

“Aren’t you going in?”

Rachel scratched her cheek and backed off.

“No, please go ahead.”

“…Hmm.”

Yoo Yeonha gave Rachel a meaningful look before walking into the changing room.
The door then closed, and Rachel strained her ears once again.

—Oh hey! Nayun, Yeonha, have you guys heard?

—What.

—I hear Kim Hajin is going to…

“T-Those girls…!”

She couldn’t allow these rumors to spread. Rachel opened the door strongly and barged in. Seeing her, the two gossiping cadets fell silent.

“W-What? What about Kim Hajin?”

Chae Nayun didn’t even glance at Rachel as she urged the two cadets to speak.

“I-It’s nothing!”

They quickly ran away. Seeing them leave, Rachel let out a sigh of relief.

“…Whew.”

Yoo Yeonha, who was watching Rachel, suddenly made a meaningful smile as though she suddenly remembered something.

“Oh right, Rachel-ssi.”

“Yes?”

“You’re in that person’s team, right?”

Rachel tilted her head.

“That person…?”

“She’s talking about Kim Hajin. For some reason, she can’t call Kim Hajin by his name.”

“...Yes I can.”

Yoo Yeonha let out a dry cough.

“Anyways, how is he?”

“Yes? What do you mean by….”

Then for some reason, Yoo Yeonha made a somewhat angry face.

“Rachel-ssi? Aren’t you looking down on me too much? I know that the English Royal Court guild made him an offer. Everyone knows it.”

Immediately, Rachel’s expression stiffened.

“That… I don’t know anything about….”

“That can’t be. The English Royal Court guild is only given two chances per year to contact cadets. What fool would spend one on a rank 334 cadet?”

Yoo Yeonha cut Rachel off and continued to speak quietly.

“Not unless you personally witnessed what that rank 334 cadet is hiding.”

Yoo Yeonha gave Rachel a cold glare. However, she soon put on a bright smile.

“…Well, I’m kidding. But I don’t think you should use the Royal Court guild so easily. I know it’s a special privilege acquired through an agreement between two countries, but doing so might create unnecessary enemies.”

Yoo Yeonha made a warning masked as advice.
Right.
This was a warning.
At the same time, Rachel felt a cold emotion wavering deep inside her heart.

“….”

Rachel glared at Yoo Yeonha with a look that could cut. Yoo Yeonha didn’t avoid Rachel’s eyes, receiving it leisurely.

“What, what are you guys talking about?”

And Chae Nayun couldn’t understand their conversation, even though she heard everything.

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