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Our top priority was to secure an Escape Insignia, and I told her to keep back as I stood in front of the dungeon box. Yeonhee Woo moved to the farthest point in the room away from me, as she knew that I could get cursed and attack her. She looked nervous, and could she do what I instructed her to do, if the worst-case scenario happened?
“I’ll open the box.”
Yeonhee Woo nodded, and I reached out my hand towards the box. I saw a message.
[Will you open the box?]
I saw a flash of light.
[Your stamina increased by 9.]
I was satisfied with the result, as the number was random between one and ten. I was actually extremely lucky and sent the all clear sign to Yeonhee Woo. However, she did not come to me but stopped at a distance. I had warned her about curses, but she seemed relieved, like she had felt my inner peace. I had never formed a party with her type and I had avoided the Second Evil, who had used mental skills, at all costs. They were rare and formidable, and I had been right avoiding them as I saw Yeonhee Woo sense my emotions. What if they had joined my party with malicious intentions?
Yeonhee Woo’s body shook at that moment.
[Yeonhee Woo used Heal Fear.]
She looked surprised, and the arrow in her bow was pointed at me. I spoke calmly.
“That’s the way to do it. You unnecessarily used a skill, but you did well.”
Yeonhee Woo was asking with her eyes an explanation.
“I was thinking of the past and did not expect you would react to that.”
“Sorry. I should have waited a bit more.”
Yeonhee Woo’s bow was turned to point to the ground.
“No, you’re doing well as I taught you.”
“We have time, as my skills are on cooldown. We can slow down a bit.”
While mental healers were a double-edged sword, I did not need to fear dungeon boxes anymore. Yeonhee Woo knew she could not survive alone without me, so she could be trusted. I gave her a dungeon quiz question. (EN: Yes, as mentioned, this was why Sun no longer feared dungeon boxes.)
“What doors do you see?”
“There is one in each direction, and the one we entered this room from.”
She had not opened a door alone and stood nervously now. While we would need to be wary of traps from now on, F class traps were primitive and gave us points. I discovered the same trap as the one from my first visit, though of course the dungeon had been reset. Yeonhee Woo was leaning against the wall behind me.
“You see that string on the doorknob? We should take care of this first.”
She nodded quickly.
“It’s your turn.”
I changed positions, and she stared at her dagger while I gripped her backpack straps with both hands.
“I’m cutting it now.”
Yeonhee Woo moved her arm as she spoke.
[You have been given 1 point.]
The moment the message popped up, I pulled Yeonhee Woo as hard as I could towards me, and we fell together in a heap. The door exploded with a boom, and fragments showered over us. After a few minutes, I stood up first and extended my hand towards her. She was still looking at the huge stone ball that had just swung on the chain above us, which by now had stopped swinging. She took my hand, and hers was cold as I raised her up.
“Congratulations. You have been the second to complete the hidden quest.”
I recited the message she would be reading.
“You have gained a bronze box as your reward.”
Her eyes were moving as she read the text I couldn’t see, and I saw a bright light flash in her eyes as the box opened. I knew without her speaking that it was not an insignia or an item, as her gaze was still looking ahead. Her lips opened.
“My skill stats were raised. Marie’s Hand is now F(6).”
While Odin’s Wrath was a formidable skill, its weakness was that I could use it only thirty minutes a day. However, I dared not open the next door without being able to use it.
[Remaining Cool Time: 21 Hours 30 Minutes 21 Seconds]
[Remaining Cool Time: 21 Hours 30 Minutes 20 Seconds]
We were waiting for the countdown to end, and Yeonhee Woo was lying down with her eyes closed. Her breathing was stable, and when I was about to place a blanket over her, she opened her eyes.
“I’m not sleeping.”
“I know. Rest up while you can.”
“How long have we been here?”
Yeonhee Woo closed her eyes again after hearing my answer, and she must have thought that time was passing slowly. I would have trained her if she were a combatant, but in a way, rest was training for her. I had been practicing my dagger when I noticed her looking at me. I had removed my shirt and was sweating all over, as I had been training as if my agility had been raised to E class after using the insignia or triggering the Man Who Overcame Adversity.
This was not for the boss fight, but to take down the one with the two heads. I spoke to her.
“Say what you want to.”
“Is this really all right?”
“Me. I’m not doing anything while you fight in front of me.”
“That’s what a healer does. You only need to support me, and I need to do the rest. Don’t try anything more, as it is dangerous.”
“What did your former comrades do?”
The question was sudden, and she quietly waited for my answer. I had not mentioned such people to her but understood why she asked the question. If I had known there would be rewards for being the second person to discover a dungeon, and the second person to remove a trap, the implication was that someone else had been with me before. If I had hogged the first rewards, as she assumed, the only way I would know about the rewards of being second is if someone else had been with me. I could not fault her logic, certainly she had been a capable teacher.
Yeonhee Woo took out a towel from her bag and handed it to me. I was about to receive it, but she only shook her head.
“Stay like that.”
Yeonhee Woo stood behind my back and wiped me down, and I felt her soft fingers along with the towel. Her breath was warm, and this had never happened before. In my previous life, I only felt the glares from the freelancers I gathered to enlarge my party, because safety comes with numbers. I asked her a question. (EN: Yep, he still thinks of her as not a full member of his party. He still has trust issues. )
“Is that all?”
“You’re not asking me further questions when you clearly want to.”
“I’m sorry for making you remember painful memories. That person…must have gone against your orders.”
Her answer was unexpected.
“Don’t worry, I will follow your orders when they mean survival for both of us.”
Yeonhee Woo spoke seriously, like a person about to die. I patted her shoulder silently and sat down. It was not bad to have a person talk with, though that was not the reason I had her join me. While the dungeon was silent again, I could hear her breathing and rustling. That made me not think of the past in the darkness.
The door with the trap opened to an empty corridor, and I stood in front of the door that went to the next room. She knew what to do, and I did not need to order her. She stood with her bow raised, and I slowly approached the door. There were no traps, and I just needed to open it.
My heart started to beat faster again, and in my previous life, this had continued until I entered A class. All hunters preferred Gate Overflow battles, rather than dungeon conquests because of this. I pointed at the door, and Yeonhee Woo nodded.
“We will enter the second room.”
My voice was tense, and I opened the door while I was speaking. I got goosebumps when I saw what was beyond the door.
[You have activated Iron Skin.]
[You have activated Odin’s Wrath.]
I shouted to Yeonhee Woo while not taking my eyes off the room beyond the door.
“Don’t heal me until I say so!”
Edited by Userunfriendly