Effect: The Target cannot distinguish between friend or foe.
Reusable Time: 5 Minutes]
It was an attack skill, not only against monsters. This was why I had avoided hunters with psychic skills like her.
“Even a healer needs to attack sometimes.”
The system was not pitiless in everything. (EN: Yep, Sun at times anthropomorphizes the system, something he’s condemned the Virtues and Evils for. ^_^ )
“Congratulations. You now have something you can fight with, just in case.”
Even as we were surrounded by darkness, this place was comfortable due to the waterhole. However, it became a disgusting place not long after our arrival, as it became littered with Graf corpses. Worse, the corpses of the Grafs appeared to be staring at us. We decided it was time for us to move. We each took a backpack covered with blood. This was our second day here, and we had fought against nearly thirty Infant Grafs after they swarmed us. The result was not bad. However, the sudden sharp, stabbing pains in our head and body cut our exploration short, and prevented us from relocating further into the dungeon. I had to carry Yeonhee back to the waterhole…
My ring and Yeonhee’s Hate skill had enabled us to control two Grafs. We managed to beat the thirty infant Grafs without using the Man Who Overcame Adversity. We thought we had not been seriously poisoned, but by the next day, we were lying on the ground, moaning in pain.
It was freezing, and my body shook out of control. Yeonhee and I hugged each other, and the problem was not only the cold. I could smell a disgusting odor because I could not control my bodily functions. Fortunately, my senses were faintly alive despite being poisoned. We were surrounded by Graf corpses, and due to my pain, I was not able to keep track of the number of corpses around us, or even muster the minimal concentration needed to simply recount the bodies. Some instinct had alerted me, and I began to suspect that one of the corpses was missing, and that one had been playing dead, and disappeared back to the herd on the second day. Unfortunately, the poison left me too debilitated to take any action on my suspicions.
I heard a moan from Yeonhee, and the painkillers were wearing off. She was in a worse state than I was, which meant she was barely alive. It was by sheer luck that her limbs were whole. I groped around to find the pills. Yeonhee buried her face in my chest to scream as the opiates would not nullify all the pain. She could not sleep even if she wanted to.
The fourth day was sheer hell, as my head flashed between cold and heat. I felt like I was being bitten by Grafs and hoped they were hallucinations. We became better after the fifth day and were released from hell on the sixth. We were now detoxified, and my suspicion that the “missing” Graf had led the rest of the swarm to attack us was confirmed. I saw with pain-free, clear eyes that corpses were everywhere, far more than the original thirty, and not one of them was whole. I must have cut off their legs and heads, which should have been an impossible feat with my current stats. It seemed like ALL the monsters nearby had swarmed us. I could not move a step without stepping on a corpse, and I could not understand how we had survived here for the past few days. Moreover, I found strange wounds that were way above the level of damage I could do. Some corpses had exploded like bombs had gone off inside of them.
I tried to remember the fight. I remembered that I tried to behead one, and sparks flew out of my dagger as I stabbed it. The Fool’s Dagger had activated then as I was splashed in the Graf’s blood and shell pieces. I shouted to Yeonhee as the Man Who Overcame Adversity activated and saw to my despair that there were too many. She used Bravery on me, and I used Devi’s Knife desperately. I then used Earthquake…
I remembered flashes but could not remember the events in consecutive order. My memories were shattered, as if a video tape had been thrown into a shredder and the tape spliced back together. The Devi’s Knife would have increased in rank after the Man Who Overcame Adversity activated, but I did not know how it could inflict the decapitations and amputations, much less the internal explosions I saw in the Grafs. I could only assume that I went berserk, fighting on pure instinct, the adrenaline flooding my body clearing my head. Yeonhee’s Bravery skill might have been what kept the poison from overwhelming me, which would have left me helpless under the maws of the Grafs. I could not think of any other explanation for our survival.
We went back to a waterhole I had discovered while carrying Yeonhee when we first felt the poison hit us, and it was bigger than the one we found on the first day. We made a fire using Graf chitin as firewood. She relaxed after a while despite the smell.
“There were more than a hundred of them. I’m sorry. I must have missed a scout.”
It seemed Yeonhee was healing, despite the severe bite wounds on her chest and legs.
“Are you going alone?”
“There had been no scouts the past few days, and if one comes…”
I placed the Ruler’s Ring in Yeonhee’s hand.
“I’m not talking about that. Going alone is dangerous.”
“Don’t worry. I will only finish the One-on-One quest.”
“What if you go down the wrong path? We have not seen branches in the passageways yet, but it may happen.”
“You’re not wrong. I will come back if that happens.”
Yeonhee looked worried despite the fact she resembled a corpse.
“You need to worry more about yourself.”
The passageway was straight, and no Grafs came rushing at me. The cave was narrowing slowly, and I found a bottleneck. I saw that the space spread out beyond the narrowed hole, and I saw the bottom of a stone statue and two dungeon boxes. I felt that the One-on-One quest was near. I do not know what the space was used for, as it may be a shrine or a weapon warehouse. I only knew that the statue would wake up the moment I entered that area. Those statues with their concealed “surprise” had been common in E class Graf dungeons. I had no reason to hesitate since it was an easy quest. I went in.
I saw the statue, and a medium-sized Graf would be about that size and shape if it had been turned to stone.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are.”
I taunted the statue, as I knew I could kill this one more easily than when I had fought against the Canine Pawns. A network of fine cracks appeared all over the surface of the statue, and pieces of the covering fell off. Then, the monster came to life.
It tried to crush me, but I jumped through the dust and climbed on its back. It tried to shake me off, rocking its body, but I was already holding on to its shell. In desperation it bucked, and my stomach found itself in my throat. I nevertheless managed to hang on somehow. It was then I managed to pry off a shell piece and stab at the soft skin underneath. Fool’s Knife unfortunately did not trigger, so I clung to the shell, waiting for the right timing for my next attack. I only had to avoid its legs and poison, and it was not fast like the infant Grafs due to its size. It was only a bigger, slower target than other Grafs.
There were two joints each on every leg of this giant bug, and a poison stinger on each leg, and the six legs, what would be called double jointed in humans, bent in a way impossible for terrestrial insects. As the medium Graf’s body crashed on the ground, the legs bent upward towards its back, to slash with the poisoned claws. I had been waiting for that. I had seen the first Awakened who tried to jump on the shell of a medium sized Graf during a raid, die eviscerated in this move that defied rationality.
[You have used Devi’s Knife.]
I cut off its legs and sliced through the antennas. I got off the monster as I now had to stop its long, articulated and barbed proboscis. I landed and observed its movements.
[You have used Odin’s Wrath.]
[Object: The Fool’s Knife.]
I could slice through its proboscis with the Odin’s Wrath enhancement and threw the dagger at its tongue. The Graf stopped screeching and lay on the ground. It tried to move its legs and proboscis but I had sliced off all its natural weapons. I slowly approached it.
It was a sickening sight, and I grabbed its head and pulled it with all my strength, pulling the armor segment off that was protecting the neck. I then punched through its nerve center with my other dagger.
[You have exterminated a Middle Graf.]
[You have earned six points.]
[You have completed the ‘Hibernation’ Quest. Please decide who is in first place.]
That was easy.
Edited by Userunfriendly.
(EN: Ok guys, I know you’re confused. This chapter is rather choppy, confused and the narrative seems disjointed. However, that’s how the author wrote it. Here’s what I think is happening. During a time when Sun and Yeonhee had been poisoned during an encounter, they got ambushed by around a hundred baby Grafs. Somehow, Sun, with Yeonhee’s help, fought them off.
As soon as he’s better, Sun does what he always does. He observes and analyzes the events. My takeaway from this part is that Sun is freaking out inside, and he’s doing his routines to hold it in, so he doesn’t grab Yeonhee and run back to the entrance. It’s pretty obvious from previous chapters that Sun is a person obsessed with planning and control and the author was excellent at Showing that and not simply Telling the readers. So he’s analyzing things to keep from having hysterics, which anyone else would do in his situation. He also doesn’t like the partial memory loss, and the fact he must have gone berserk, losing his control, in order to win against impossible odds. Yep, I’m sure I’m not the only person who thinks that Sun has OCD.
This finally explains his solo battle with the medium-sized Graf. He doesn’t even go in with Yeonhee once he’s identified the room with the One-on-One quest. Yeonhee could heal him from range, and even if it fails the quest, it would save his life in case things went wrong. However, the encounter with the medium-sized Graf WENT EXACTLY AS SUN PREDICTED. Sun is in complete control of this encounter. And that’s how Sun recenters himself, and gets back the feeling he’s in control. ^_^ )