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It was only after 30 minutes that I barely managed to walk with the kids once again. Though it was over 30 minutes, it seemed as if the battle with the Rengas took place just now. The dreary atmosphere that we had after seeing the dead body of the user pervaded once again. But in my mind, I was smiling softly while walking at a slower pace.
Beyond the open space where the Rengas were, there was another passage. This tunnel was on the other side from the tunnel that we entered. And we didn’t face any disturbance while going deeper. I can’t assure that the same atmosphere will continue to persist as we head deeper into the tunnel, but till now, depending on what we are currently experiencing, it seemed pretty simple.
Honestly speaking, if the dungeon of the ancient alchemist Vivian is only of this level of difficulty, then it is rather on the easier side. Suddenly, my mind started to reminisce about my experience as a new user and about the first time I came here; I remembered the days of exploring this maze. Even the most experienced players might end up entering into places that they had never entered. As a result, it was great that I chose a dungeon that I’ve had previous experience with.
Remembering those memories of the past, I am laughing a little now. I couldn’t even imagine that it was me then. At that time, it felt like walking on a stone bridge; even when I used to just take a single step, I used to analyze it thoroughly for any traps and check the path for any monsters. However now, that cautious attitude felt good and rather interesting.
The kind of way I work, well, I basically prefer to relax and work cautiously. To eat rice hurriedly is a flaw; even if it is a little slow, being sure and going forward is the best thing to do. However, I don’t have the frustration to be able to do it in the same way as in the past, because I have the ability and style as well as the experience. No matter how I see, I have enough time, no, more than enough time, so I need to progress a little quickly but prudently.
This seemed like a small city dungeon, that much was sure, because this is much less difficult than a city or large city expedition level. Even then, I was little nervous about the unexplored zones and the traps that are set here and the possibility that a monster could jump out from behind. Consequently, cautiousness started to creep into my body.
Thinking that I was in the cave of scream, I did not want to do anything else unless it was ‘that guy’ as the last one. ‘That guy’ is probably the last one that left the Carabans half-dead. Thinking about this, goosebumps started to rise throughout my whole body. Whatever it was, without being careless, I made sure that the basic boundary kept moving.
It seemed like the Crabans made it this far. If that is right, they would have entered the vacant area and would have met a new group of Rengas present there. This dungeon monster has a certain level of intelligence, after all.
While I was thinking about this and that, a new passage, attached to another opening, came into our view. If I were to compare this opening with that of the one where we encountered the Rengas, it was very small, not even half of the previous one’s area.
It was a small place into which even fifty people couldn’t fit into, and the front seemed to be forming some kind of cliff as the space was gradually narrowing. Under the ground, four holes could be seen. It was impossible to move forward anymore unless it was through the hole. Which meant, one had to pick a hole and travel wherever it lead to.
As I went near the holes, I stopped walking at a certain point, and the kids following me also stopped. There was no need to be worried about where we were heading to. I immediately activated the third eye and detected all potential routes through the hole at the same moment. Once I clearly saw through the first of the four holes, I shook my head and started to move towards the second hole.
I looked over at Sol who was staring at my eyes with a blank face. Feeling my gaze, she turned her head and slightly tilted it. These kind of actions from Sol were very cute, making me go a little crazy to the extent of desiring to bite her. However, An Hyun, who’s in front, wouldn’t tolerate that.
Yoo-Jung, the representative runner of the group, came to his side while I was looking from one place to other. I turned around immediately to avoid talking about any kind of nuisance, but Yoo-Jung followed the direction that I turned. That girl seemed to be feeling so bored that she started to turn round and round and finally opened her lips.
“Oppa. Are you worrying about going in?”
After thinking something positive, Yoo-Jung looked at me with a smile and spoke.
“I have a nice idea.”
“What shit did you think again….”
“Aw!! You’re always like this towards me. Just trust me this time. Hmm? Oppa, you just stay silent this time. I have a very good idea.”
Though we all collectively had serious expressions on our faces, her tongue slightly went up her lip with a hint of mischief. Even though I slumped my shoulders, Yoo-Jung ignored it and looked away. I tried to check via detection, but there was nothing caught in it.
I first left Yoo-Jung to do what she wanted. Often, Yoo-Jung had many sharp thoughts and characteristics that I could not predict. She was also willing to accumulate experience. I bit on my lip, and Yoo-Jung had a lucid face. That girl spoke to An Hyun while turning the lance.
“This…. Ho ho ho. It isn’t like that. I just want to check one thing.”
At this action of Yoo-Jung, An Hyun started to swear under his breath. At that moment, I could see a blood vessel pop out on Yoo-Jung’s flat forehead. Although I could confirm the reputation of this old lady in the past, Yoo-Jung was still able to speak in a harmonious tone. But I couldn’t feel the softness in her voice.
“The last time when we were on the Rite Of Passage. Remember what I talked about?”
“I spoke about a couple of things.”
“In that city. Didn’t you say that Sol’s sense is pretty good?”
At that moment, Sol, who was busy watching us, looked with great fervor. Whatever it was, it seemed like this story had grabbed her interest. Does she really believe herself to be that cute? This wasn’t the first time I had to pinch myself for her cuteness… No. What am I thinking about that girl….
While I was imagining such things inside my mind, Hyun’s face suddenly exhibited tremendous passion. In a second, the younger sister put her arms around him.
“Ah, I said that. Ha. Yes I did. The kid’s senses are that good….”
“Ah ah. I understand. I’ll listen to the story later. Is it really reliable?”
“Yes, it is! A hundred percent!”
Nice timing. Seeing Yoo-Jung raise voice about a nice thing at the right moment, I gave her a thumbs up in my mind. I heaved a sigh of relief, but I couldn’t get rid of this strange sensation. An Hyun also nodded his head in response. Sensing something dangerous, he immediately shook his head. But it was late. Seeing Yoo-Jung portraying nasty smirk on her face, An Hyun’s eyes grew bigger and he continued.
“Yes, but why suddenly….. ah. Just a minute. Lee Yoo-Jung. Yah!”
Though Hyun urgently called her, but by then, Yoo-Jung, without intending to listen to him, started to walk towards Sol. Hearing the conversation between these two, Sol looked at her inquisitively. However, Sol was not a person to stay still. That moment was very eye catching, if not 100 points of luck, she probably had a premonition, and she rushed to hide behind me. An Hyun’s action of taking a deep breath could be heard and Yoo-Jung frowned. However, Yoo-Jung started to speak with a gentle expression.
“Su-Hyun Oppa. If you can listen to me about Sol just this once, could you take her to the entrance at the far left?”
I was hearing the conversation between An Hyun and An Sol. I was feeling nauseous on the inside. However, I decided to leave this matter to Yoo-Jung for now, and Sol got herself up. Sol held onto my collar very firmly, and I shook my head while looking at her action. I had a question mark over my head, and Sol had a selfless face which said believe me. Seeing this, I felt very sorry for her.
If it was like the other day, she would have freaked out or wept by this time but didn’t do it anymore. She was thinking ‘Will my Oppa do something that’s harmful for me,” and gazed at me with a pale and pitiful face. I was thinking that, I am a man who has been recognized by the woman who will be a priest of brilliance in the future and took Sol to the far left side. Just for guidance, the entrance was the kind that was not supposed to be entered, and Yoo-Jung was waiting for the next move.
Though I heard An Hyun flustered from behind, without caring about it, I stroked Sol’s head and took a step front. Sol was still feeling intimidated, and she looked at me with a blank face that had no clue what was happening. Seeing what was happening, Yoo-Jung had a smile on her face. Seeing Sol like this, even I felt as if I was harassing her. I felt very bad on the inside.
An Hyun couldn’t say anything more to her and just blankly looked at her. Yoo-Jung’s lips opened slightly, approached her ear, and whispered quietly into it. I heard the conversation between the two.
“Okay, Sol ah. Go inside and see. Go.”
“Me? All alone? I should go alone? What about Unnie and Oppas?”
“Yes. Oppas and Unnie will wait outside for you, so you should go into the passage first and see if it is dangerous or not. Even Su Hyun Oppa has allowed this. Don’t you think this is a good thing?”
Yoo-Jung chided her with great subtlety. Upon hearing that, Sol mumbled back to her in a small voice. An Hyun couldn’t help but notice the exchange of voices between them and remained standing still.
Sol is such a pure person that I retreated into my mind and fell into a deep thought. Without making eye contact, Yoo-Jung was playing with her fingers while talking to her. Sol was still thinking over it. After a while, she opened her lips.
“But…. There might be dangerous things inside… If I go there all alone… Su Hyun oppa wouldn’t allow it….”
“No. You have a very important role. You’re a bait. Bait. Get it? Things like this come in the movies. Based on your sacrifice, we get to avoid the dangerous places, and we get take back the Lulurlara treasure back to the city. How’s that?”
Hearing that she is going to be the bait from Yoo-Jung, Sol turned her eyes towards me with a faint face. No way, it seemed like she thought that I wouldn’t agree to this kind of thing. Her gaze was so persistent that I just shrugged it off as an answer. And then, Sol looked at me with the same gaze and opened her mouth.
“Should I really do it?”
In reality, no permission left out of my mouth. The sound of stuttering changed and Sol’s eyes began to well up immediately. She pouted her lips and held on tightly to my hand. With that sad face, An Sol opened her lips once again.
I avoided her gaze at that time. Sol avoided my gaze, and I wasn’t feeling like seeing Sol when she was crying. I turned my head slightly and saw that Sol was feeling upset. But now, knowing that I was avoiding her gaze, she opened her mouth big. And I immediately looked at her.
Sol plopped down where she was and began to cry out loud. Yoo-Jung, not knowing if she was really crying, stood there with a blank face. An Hyun stared at Yoo-Jung with a fierce expression. Yoo-Jung pointed with her finger towards the fuss. What was I supposed to do?
“Euah! Euah! Euah! Euahhhhg!”
Seeing this, An Hyun came running towards me.
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