When I translated a teaser a few years ago my website was quite small and I was in a poor financial situation. I have been getting a few comments about...
[Escape (Insignia) Effect: The exit conditions of the dungeon are met. Single Use-Class: F]
The Escape Insignia was carved to where the Revival Insignia had been, and I went to the entrance room door and wedged an empty food can to keep it open. I was still not well enough to break the door, to absolutely secure my retreat. Now I had another chance to escape, even in case of an ambush.
I had another life as long as I could make it to the entrance, and my smile became bitter. The System had always toyed with us, and it always had been like this. The contents of the boxes were truly random, and would either be a blessing or a curse. I had stayed away from the Eight Virtues after realizing that, and even after coming back, getting Overcoming Adversity, and giving Father a Revival Insignia, I still did not believe in the system’s goodwill which the Eight Virtues had advocated.
Since I now had an Escape Insignia, I would try to stay near the entrance room as much as possible while doing quests rather than going forward so I could escape if necessary.
I understood from the last few days that I could not do the “One on One Combat” quest until I finished the “Declan Extermination” quest if I was lucky.
I had brought material I could get in this era and was usable in a dungeon. I placed traps in the exit and the entrance room doors and then dropped myself on the floor.
If I had just been wasting time before, now I had an exit behind my back. I could check my physical condition and wait until I could fight again. I spent a day in the darkness, and now bandages caked with dried blood littered the floor. Codeine was working now on my shoulder, and I could not feel the pain. While the wound may reopen with large movements, I could fight at this level. I opened the closed door in the entrance room, and while I had thought there were no monsters, a Guard Dog came out of the dark corridor.
If there had been a choice, I would have chosen solitary encounters like this to slowly get used to battle. While these monsters had intellect, their rationality never won against instincts, as the mutts came rushing in even as I smelled of their sibling’s blood.
The monster had a blade stuck between its eyes as a price, as I threw my dagger. I had not prepared throwing weapons as I knew I would not be able to see far. I stepped on its shoulder to take out the blade, and the blood came gushing out. The message popped as I kicked its head.
[Declan Extermination: Exterminated Declan Soldier 30/60]
Half of the Extermination quest remained, and I just needed to do what I have been doing so far.
I stopped walking when I saw a door at the end of the corridor. The second room on the opposite side had twenty plus monsters in my previous life, and while that room may have more, I could not use the Man Who Overcame Adversity now. I could not bring out one at a time, as I would have to fight with all of them if I opened the door.
In my past life, unless one wanted to commit suicide, going solo was taboo. We would go into dungeons with at least five and more than ten if possible. We had to train for changes in positions and roles since a single loss meant less chance of survival for all, without compensating our formation for the inevitable casualties.
When the military had placed us here, there were only four of us, and we were three attackers and one tanker. The result was obvious, and I had been an E-class at that time. I was one of the many survivors of the Trial Tests thrown into this world and who would do anything to survive.
The situation had gotten worse as time passed, and the dungeon box had been our only hope. Despite the low probabilities, we started fighting among each other to death just for that chance. The winner, obviously as I am here, was…
It was the darkness nibbling again at my brain. I swept my hair back with some force and moved up to the door. There were no traps, and I only needed to push the door open. That was the only thing left for me to do, but my body was resisting with all its might. A frontal attack was definitely not my style, but I had no choice since I was alone.
I opened the door, and the small creak was as eerie as tens of monsters started screaming at me. The room was filled with savage killing instincts, and I could see many heads behind the ones who started running at me.
There would be more, not less, than in the rooms I had seen. I hurled my longsword like a spear at the frontrunner and took out my dagger.
[You have activated Odin’s Wrath.]
[Target: Weapon, your dagger]
It was that moment.
[You have beaten the Declan Patrol Soldier.]
One came rushing through the message window with clawed fingers to grab and rip. I deflected its hands with my empty hand, and aimed between its eyes with my dagger. I stabbed it three times, and blue sparks from the dagger scorched its blood, filling the air with the scent of burnt iron.
[You have beaten the Declan Patrol Soldier.]
I killed again and was somehow enduring with my back to the door. The difference this time was that my final card was the Escape Insignia, and I looked over the mutts that had increased in number. The spellcaster with red eyes was not present, perhaps because I was still at the beginning of the dungeon, and that was why I was still standing.
“GET OVER HERE!!!” (EN: ^_^ )
I gave the finger to the one in front of me, and when it didn’t react, I bit the back of my hand. Every monster I faced would go into a frenzy at the smell of blood like sharks. However, the reason no one was attacking me was evident as another monster came out of the darkness.
It was bigger than the rest of them and had two heads with four glaring eyes. The One on One Combat quest, the Double-Headed Declan had come out from the deeper parts of the dungeon, and this was cheating!
After finishing the Declan Extermination quest, I planned to meet it after ALL my cooldowns reset. Of course, this was not the first time plans changed due to the dungeon’s fickleness. All I needed was to see the danger I faced, and I turned my back and ran as fast as I could. The sound of baying and howling mutts chased me down the entire corridor, and the Double-Headed Declan howled the loudest in hunger and excitement.
When I saw the Entrance, it snarled in rage, and it rushed ahead of the pack with the speed of an E-ranked. I rolled with the monster, and it must have bitten and scratched me quite deeply. I thought of only one thing, and that was the trap at the door should have been activated, to hold back the rest of the mutts.
I averted my eyes from behind me and looking only straight ahead, frantically crawling on the floor, holding back my fear and desperation to crawl as fast as I could. Like the day I crawled over the corpses of my fellow guild members to escape from the boss monster, I could not think about my nails being broken.
I felt the stairs on my fingers, and time had run out. The speed the howls came seemed quicker, and I thought I had been caught right at the end. Therefore, I had been preparing for my last battle when I realized that there were no more stairs. A new message popped up.
[The Insignia ‘Escape’ has been removed.]
I survived! I got out! The screams had disappeared, and it was then I saw the blade stuck in my arm. I grabbed the flashlight I had left at the entrance rather than taking it out. I then turned it on towards the boundary between reality and fantasy.
I first saw its face, and the Double-Headed was glaring at me with both heads. They were promising that they would kill me the next time.
Edited by Userunfriendly