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“I was trapped. I ran away.”
After a moment that he said it, the male priest had a devastated expression on his face. So I, already knowing it from his expression, was just following his words. Seeing this, an expression of relief was visible on his face. Perhaps, the user seemed he was fairly skilled and quite good at it, too.
The user nodded his head once, and then spoke the following words while stammering a little.
“A… colleague… taken away…”
His eyes were constantly shaking and showed nervousness. Death was right around the corner, but it seemed like he was desperately enduring it. It seemed like the priest’s energy was exhausted, but he gathered up the last of his strength to say ‘help’ and then spit and turned away his eyes. Barely being able to live further, he gazed at us. After speaking, he was completely worn out. Looking at the priest who fell on my knees, the kids behind me gasped.
I closed his eyelids with my palms after his skin touched the floor of the dungeon. There was a sad, burdensome atmosphere that surrounded us. Sol’s face went pale at that very moment. It was a problem that every time I saw a death, I couldn’t respond for a short period of time. And we didn’t have the luxury of time to stay in such a gloomy atmosphere to mourn. Firstly, we should understand the keywords left by the user and deduce the information of them. I slowly repeated the words that were spoken.
“Trap. Ran. Colleague. Betrayal. Kidnapped.”
“Hyung. Isn’t it something that is associated with the rogue?”
As An Hyun also heard what the user said, he tried to deduce it, but hearing it, I shook my head from left to right in denial. Though what he said could be possible, I, who knew the future, could also understand it precisely. After thinking about it for a moment, there were a few possibilities that could be brought together.
The kids had uneasy expressions on their faces. Their lips were soaked with saliva out of panic, and I felt that there was a need for explanation. When I opened my mouth, the kids seemed to have been waiting for some kind of explanation and went quiet. Finally, I spoke.
“In the beginning of the Dark Forest. Do you guys remember that I said that there were users who were here before us?”
“Yes. I remem… ber… then?”
The nervous eyes of Hyun who nodded immediately after my question gazed at me. This wasn’t the look that I see from him everyday, this kind of gaze was markedly different. Even then, it looked like his head was spinning hundred times more than the basic count of head turns in any emergency situation. After sending him a signal of affirmation, I continued speaking.
“Then. Maybe the Caraban did come to this dungeon before us to explore… As a matter of fact, it is the Craban. And it looks like they were involved in some kind of accident.”
“That….. That could be right, Oppa. What about the information the user gave a while back, what meaning could it hold?”
Trap. Away. Colleague. Betrayal. Kidnap. That was a good question, though asked in a small voice, for which I didn’t have a detailed explanation. The one thing that I was sure of was that they were the members of the Caraban; however, looking at this now, my forecast is totally out of sync.
The dead body’s posture that I came across in the beginning came into my mind. Thinking clearly, there was no way he would have died right after entering. What kind of dangerous situation he came across, I couldn’t foresee. That archer was alive when he came into the dungeon. Also, it is obvious that they caught up with the Carabans in the dungeon.
To say what I’ve deduced so far, I opened my mouth and spoke in a low voice.
“The Caraban went in the same direction that we are currently following. But, if you look at the direction of the user’s body that we previously encountered and the direction of the face, it is the same way we that we are heading now. The lower body was torn and had a hole in it, as if something attacked him from the behind while he was running towards the direction that we came in from. In other words, the words ‘Trap’ and ‘Escape’ happened after he came into the dungeon, and some kind of huge accident happened once again in the place.”
“Then… colleague, betray, kidnap?”
“The first person who came into the dungeon was the archer. Originally, he was the colleague of the Caraban. However, for some unknown reason, he betrayed them. And the word betray can be used in multiple manners. So, relating it with the dungeon… for getting out of here alive, he chose to betray his colleagues.”
As the explanation for the keyword betray was done, the face of the kids showed a sign of rage. It was quite spectacular to see. And there was no more of the wary look that they were having at the beginning. Now, it was the time for explaining the last one.
“And for the last one… No matter how I see, it seems like a few Dungeon Master Caraban users were kidnapped.”
“Is that also possible?”
I looked at Hyun whose head stopped rolling and answered with a definite expression that said ‘of course’.
“Now, this isn’t like the Hall Plain game. This is the real world. It is said that the alchemists are often out to experiment on the human bodies. Do you remember where the dungeon that we have come into is at?”
Once I was done talking, all the kids’ faces changed sharply.
Without even saying a single word, the kids continued to walk. If they were told that they were heading towards their doom, they would have returned to the city without even looking back. So, Sol and Yoo-Jung, who had the tendency to help, wanted to move in the direction that the users were kidnapped and taken. The male priest did say “Help” before passing away. When I came into the Morogado first, I was satisfied as there weren’t any complaints.
While going further into the passage, it was getting wider and wider. As it was endless, I stopped walking for a moment and raised my hand. Stronger than the usual, detected widely, and much more clearer – one by one. A battle cannot be guaranteed to become a victory inside the dungeon, but I thought that it would be better to go into battle since I have already acquired so many details.
“If we advance another 100 meters, an opening will come. In that opening, a monster crowd is present. The number is roughly around twenty…. Monsters are there with Renga as their king.”
“Renga?… oh….I have heard of it somewhere.”
“In 80 meters, there are monsters whose body will appear the same as a dog. Their movements are fairly quick with sharp claws on the tips of their paws.”
“To add to it, the Renga’s tail is a very strong weapon. Not as flexible as a scorpion, but its destructive ability is not inferior to its claws.”
I was laughing inside after seeing them considering this monster to be a strong one. The Rengas did have intelligence, and they had emotions, too – if I were to say these words, these kids would riot immediately. Without saying anything and being careful on how I responded, I just nodded my head. Even then, there was one thing to know beforehand.
“The problem now is that the Rengas seem to be a little different from the Rengarang. Different in the sense, their shapes do match… but some of them might walk?”
“Eheh? Is that so! Basically the Renga walks on foot. Are you sure that you aren’t misinterpreting them for some other monster? Ah, no way! Su-Hyun Oppa can’t be wrong. It must be me who’s in the wrong.”
I looked at Sol once again after she finished to speak, but didn’t know what to day. Seeing this kind of Sol, I took a deep breath.
“The hooks, tails, and body shape are all similar. However… well, you can judge it after going there. If we go a little further, we will have to pass through them.”
An Hyun and Yoo-Jung blankly watched the conversation between me and Sol. As they two met each other’s eyes, both of them just shrugged their shoulders. They need to know the what and how in order to interject into this conversation. That is why we are usually asked to study.
The relaxed atmosphere turned into a tense one. As we approached the opening, the more closer we got, the more the tension was building up. I was slowly picking up the pace of my walk, in the past we approached the opening with the quickest pace.
Our opponent, the monster Renga turned its back. Its eyes were fast and were on fire; there was tactical movement. If possible, it would be better to turn these into defensive ones after attracting the angry gangs by handling them as much as possible.
The kids also ran right behind me. We were trying to figure out a way on how to avoid their potential attacks. If there was an archer and a mage, they could hurt it tremendously. They could first avoid them and do huge combined attacks towards them. Though my body seemed a little miserable, I need to look for a cover first.
“Hyung!! Is your body alright?!”
Hyun who noticed that I was running while breathing heavily, queried about my condition using a strong voice. As I entered the gap, there seemed to be a distinctive militancy when I was entering the battle. I lifted my hand up in order to raise a signal and gave out more detailed tactics.
“It won’t work if you won’t use strength above the limit. Don’t worry about me. Everybody, keep an eye out for each other. After entering the opening, first enter in to a visible position and rush rapidly, afterwards gradually retreat towards the wall. The Renga has a terrible sense of eyeing out humans, so once I kill anyone, their eyes light up, and you must run immediately. Their armors a bit weak, but they possess rapid movements and sharp claws and tails. And….”
“These are the general things about the Renga, so keep them in mind. We are going to start now. Do not look at it when you find its existence.”
Normally, I would enter into the tactics only after thoroughly scouting the place, but this time we had to do things hastily. We would definitely be attacked if we procrastinate as long as the olfactory sense develops.
As I ran halfway through the path, I noticed that there was a square passage. Amongst the various passages, the square passage was dark. I crossed the aisle and entered the passage without uttering a single word from my mouth. Shortly afterwards, I saw numerous Rengas, over twenty in number, moving from one place to other, attacking the users…
Surely, my eyes caught a huge treat. At the moment I was going step back, a Renga caught a whip of my scent and turned its head. After seeing those things who were shrieking on top of their lungs after getting a whip of my scent, after I set up the place for the assault in a second, I ran up to the ground out of the square passage.
Immediately, those guys in the front smelled the scent. When I was about to retreat, one of them sprang towards me at a thunderous pace. And not after a long time, the other Rengas broke out. Looking at the non-sticky, burnt, and dented face, I felt like it was some kind of illusion. It seemed like there wasn’t a huge difference in my death when I saw the body that was falling down.
“One animal first.”
The main character was An Hyun. Seeing me head out, he immediately followed me here and reduced the distance between us. He seemed to have a lot of power, almost disappearing like a haze near the end.
An Hyun could take the chance of changing his ability, but I can’t afford to lose the lead now. Suddenly, the Rengas made a change which made me get angry. Though it was a surprise, my experience of many years wasn’t enough to melt away these guys.
The moment I try to fight one, two come onto me to eat. At that moment, I felt the same thing that I felt a few minutes back. Firstly, they have no blood. Moreover, it’s not because of the taste that they cut into the necks, but to feel the cracking of the bones. This is… a Chimera.
The Rengas raised a big shriek out of confusion. Though we were recognized, even until now, I felt a sense of greed every time I saw someone or something that was terrified. In just a few seconds of time, the worried few people rushed to my side.
Yoo-Jung was about to lean forward as much as possible towards one of the three that was slightly distant than the other two. On top of that, she boldly pulled out her dagger.
Yoo-Jung’s braveness is commendable, and I couldn’t sense any sign of slowness. Looking at the Rengas who ran forward while being more cautious, I felt nauseous. A Renga was looking at Yoo-Jung’s butt, and its tail suddenly went to her butt.
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