In dire need of translators for Korean, Chinese and Japanese
We felt the cold. Even though it was summer, we had been standing in a rainstorm. Yeonhee pointed with her chin at the front as her lips turned blue. The blue light had gone out. I signaled to her that she should wait. We did not see anyone for a while, and I walked up to the dungeon entrance.
[You have discovered a dungeon.]
[Will you open it?]
The dungeon was now sealed again, and the mud covered where the blue barrier and the stairs had been. The dungeon reseals itself when the Awakened who had gone in has died inside. If another Awakened did not open the dungeon again, this place would just be another spot on this hill.
I did not know how that individual had discovered this dungeon in this weather, but he or she had died in the dungeon, just like that.
Yeonhee’s words were short, but her face was filled with complicated emotions. We came back to the car to change our clothes. It was still raining, and I saw Yeonhee’s rigid face as the downpour increased in intensity. She was deep in thought, and from her face, I knew that she would not be thinking pleasant thoughts.
“You seem to be thinking that it’s easy to die in dungeons, right?”
Yeonhee nodded, but she seemed to be agreeing with my words instead of really thinking about what I said. What was it then?
“What is it?”
Yeonhee’s right hand shook a bit. She had already re-sheathed her dagger, but her hand was fisted like she was holding it. I then thought that I knew what she was thinking about now.
“You did well.”
“Your battle instincts are good. Be wary next time, too. Don’t question yourself.”
I had to consider the slim possibility that someone now knew about the Suwon dungeon. Therefore, I changed the next dungeon to Gangneung and searched for the gate with Yeonhee. Two days have passed after Typhoon Olga swept through Korea, leaving fifty dead in its wake.
<I am sending you the address by text. I am including the street names and the turns so you can easily find the building.> Of course the building owner couldn’t know we already knew the location, as we had located the Gangneung dungeon inside his property. To save myself some bothersome things, I simply bought the building.
<Thank you again. We will start for it right away.>
Gyeongpodae was full of people despite the recent floods. It was the vacation period and also a weekend, so it seemed that everyone had come here. It was now a typical Korean summer night, and young people filled the beaches as the sun set.
Yeonhee ate sashimi and spoke while looking at the beach where people were drinking.
“Is there a chance that one of ‘them’ is out there?”
She was talking about prior Awakened.
“If we were common, the world would know about us by now.”
I spoke calmly, because though pre-Awakened activities may cause one or two conspiracy theories and urban legends if witnessed, the Awakened went public only after the Day of Reckoning. Come to think of it, I had only been focused on finance until now, and only monitored the chatter on the BBS boards for the conspiracy theories that were based on actual fact, and of interest to me. Like the conspiracy theory that the global elites in finance met secretly in an anonymous hotel each year, to discuss…
(EN: A bulletin board system or BBS (also called Computer Bulletin Board Service, CBBS) is a computer server running software that allows users to connect to the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, the user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users through public message boards and sometimes via direct chatting. In the early 1980s, message networks such as FidoNet were developed to provide services such as NetMail, which is similar to internet-based email. This type of service predates chat rooms by decades.)
I don’t have time to indulge in fantasy, I’ve confirmed that dungeons exist in this world. The race to get stronger has already begun… The internet communities I checked aren’t talking about it, meaning that the information is still controlled. Otherwise, the socially inept and straight nutters who inhabit the BBS would be blaming the Awakened for everything from trying to control the global economy, to Global Warming to Nuclear Weapons Proliferation.
“I’ll take a walk.”
Yeonhee stood up after eating, and I also came out of the restaurant. I did not know when I would be able to walk among people again, peacefully. While we both had Escape Insignias, our goal was to conquer the dungeon. We had our backpacks ready in the new car and would enter the Gimje dungeon tomorrow.
We found a clean hotel in Gangneung downtown before heading to the dungeon. The Gangneung dungeon looked similar to the hospital I had built before. I saw CCTV cameras as I unlocked the door to enter.
[Yeonhee Woo has joined your party.]
We went down to the basement, where the entrance was and opened the dungeon. The room shook and the blue barrier appeared. Everything was as before, but there was a sloping ramp instead of stairs.
Yeonhee looked surprised. I only knew that this dungeon was a cave and did not know anything else. However, there was a reason I chose this one out of others. I spoke while looking down.
“A dungeon like this is not complicated in structure. The areas are not divided by doors and corridors. There are no traps and almost no branching paths.”
“I know that we won’t need to make maps. But if the areas are not divided…”
Yeonhee seemed to realize by instinct that there would be another danger here.
“Yes, there are no fixed sentries we can take out quietly. If one spots us, and manages to run away from us, that one will alert the rest of the monsters. So, we have to kill every creature we see on sight.”
“Will they be attracted by sound?”
“Remember, we do not have skills or insignias that would prevent that.”
Yeonhee gulped. While she had waited for this day, seeing the dark opening in front of them brought that response in everyone. I was the same. I was more powerful than before but did not want to walk onward.
Dungeons did that, and some hunters only participated in gate battles because of this. My heart began to beat faster in fear, but not going in will make me weaker. I began to walk forward.
“Follow me at your pace.”
My vision turned blue as I passed the barrier.
[You entered the dungeon.]
[Warning: You can only leave after meeting certain conditions.]
[The quest ‘Final Area’ has been activated.]
[The quest ‘Graf Extermination’ has been activated.]
[The quest ‘Hibernation’ has been activated.]
The quests were standard F class ones, and I knew what one would be by name. There were Grafs here, which was not good news. I asked Yeonhee a question as she followed me in.
“What do you think of arthropods?”
Yeonhee’s pale face told me how she thought of them.
“The monsters here are shaped like them.”
Their Queens would not be here since this was an F class dungeon. If a Queen was the boss monster, we would not be able to conquer it no matter what we did.
“We will walk side by side from now on.”
I told her about Graf’s weaknesses, what to look for, and what to avoid.
“You said this was your first time here.”
“I faced Grafs before in another place.”
We were nearing the dungeon as the downward ramp came to an end. The cave became wider and darker. Yeonhee’s breathing turned tense as we were now surrounded by darkness.
It was sudden. We threw ourselves forward, and dirt flew like rain over where we had been standing. Something black fell down and its body thumped on the ground. The upper body was nearly as big as mine, and two disgusting antennas twitched spastically, to smell the air, searching for yummy human flesh. Its teeth were like hooks, but there was only one of them. I grabbed the antennas and ripped them off. They still moved on the ground, and Yeonhee stepped on them as they crawled towards her. She was acting like I had told her. We had called the joint between the thorax and the head as the neck for convenience in my past life.
I beheaded it and remembered their blood was red as it flowed from its body.
[You have exterminated an infant Graf.]
[You have received two points.]
[ Graf Extermination 1/30]
Edited by a disgusted Userunfriendly, who does NOT like bugs.