Acquiring Talent in a Dungeon
Chapter 13 - Day 4, 4th Floor Monster
Chapter 13 - Day 4, 4th Floor Monster
Her name was Yang Su-jin.
Technique - Healing Factor.
This was the technique she gained from defeating the ‘Regeneration Tree’ on the second floor and eating its fruit. "It was a dry tree so I wondered if it would work but...”
She took out a lighter from her pocket. A high school girl was smoking-- it was amazing. “The speed is slow but if my head is fine, I won’t die...”
The problem was that there was even more. If she was overpowered, the regeneration would proceed at a slower rate. She wouldn’t die, but she wouldn’t gain any additional strength.
After fighting and being defeated, she’d revived and the goblins became deeply interested in her. They had dragged her back to the tent where she was hung on the pulley and the goblin pharmacist poured all types of drugs into her mouth.
"I didn’t think it was too painful while I was being force-fed... I discovered a new talent. ‘Identification of ingredients’... If I eat or apply anything then I will know the exact ingredients.”
"Stop there. What’s your conclusion?” The more she spoke, the more it sounded like she was saying ‘kill me because I have this.’
“My regeneration is not a talent but a technique.”
“Eh... Therefore you can’t absorb the technique if you kill me.” How did she know that? Yang Su-jin looked at me with glowing eyes. ...Of course, the only things that popped up in the message were ‘talents and experience.’ The only person I killed was Scratchy. I didn’t know what type of techniques he had.
"How do you know?”
“... Both people I killed on the previous floors had techniques.” She spoke in a somewhat depressed voice.
"They were cheap even when dying... Well, I don’t care what you think. Anyway... I will definitely be useful. Especially when it comes to drugs.” ... Assuming that the story she told me was 100% true, her words weren’t wrong.
The poison inflicted on me by the goblin warden had caused pain. What if I was poisoned and had no antidotes? Or there was an antidote, but I needed to actually ‘eat’ it for it to work. In order to do that, resilience was needed-- the ability to recover from even the most harmful drugs.
"If you don’t believe me, I’ll give you whatever drugs or items are found. I will leave you my share of monsters as well. Just let me follow behind you.”
"You saved me. I want to do this.”
"I didn’t save you. I tried to kill you with my own hands.”
"It doesn't matter." Yang Su-jin put down the pile of drugs I didn’t take and folded her hands together. “... Anyway, you didn’t do anything to me and tried to get me ‘out’. Even if I die here, I won’t actually die...”
What? I barely refrained from reacting to the information that popped out of her mouth.
"Oppa... Ah, you’re older than me... Can I call you Oppa? Oppa, I’m not garbage.”
"It is a good idea, but I’m not a guardian you can hide behind.”
"Once again, I don’t care if you kill me.” She took a step towards me.
"I don’t want a guardian. If you have any unknown medicine then you can feed it to me. If I can’t die, then can’t you use me as a shield or something? As mentioned earlier, you can have as many items and monsters as you like. This dungeon, a lot of things can be acquired just by wandering around.”
I thought for a moment and then spoke. "I want to ask you one thing-- you’re fine right now. You might be helpful to me or you might be trash...”
But the fundamental question still remained: why didn’t she kill me? After all, it would be enough if she took my talents and went through the dungeon alone. Was she thanking me for trying to save her from endless pain? Or saying that she wasn’t garbage?
It was a pessimistic view of the world, but I believed it despite her youth. In the first place, she was a person who framed me for rape.
“...I am scared.”
"The experiences here... To be honest, I’m not afraid to fight with monsters or get hurt anymore. No matter how deep it is... It isn’t as severe as what I’ve experienced.” Her eyes became nervous. “But... Meeting other people here, and what I did to Oppa... I don’t want to keep suffering like this.”
"Your suffering won’t stop just because you follow me.”
"I-I don’t want to be alone. When I am alone, my actions when encountering others ... I want to become a better person in here... I really feel like if I go with you...” She was crying as she talked.
I didn’t question her anymore-- there was no need to. I fully understood her story. In short, it was for the sake of her psychological stability. She had killed two people on the previous floors. I didn’t know what happened but it was double the number of people I murdered. The psychological burden was large...
It was a story I could sympathize with. To summarize... If she wanted to keep exploring the dungeon, then bad actions would be required. This would continue into the future, but there was a psychological burden that came with being alone. Maybe she was being selfish. To me though, it gave her more credibility than before.
"You will keep the potions, but you will need to take care of me with the antidotes. The monsters and items are all mine.”
“...!” Her teary face brightened. "I-I will. Do you want the items and coins that I have? I have a talent...”
She stopped speaking for a moment. “... Excuse me, are you pitying me?”
“No? Why are you asking?”
“Ah... Just now, I got a new talent…”
“What was it?”
"I-Induce Pity... My charm and eloquence have slightly increased...”
[Far Vision Pendant. Equipment item. Rank D.]
[A required equipment for the Leng Plateau hunters, it has a spell that enhances vision. It is difficult to reveal its function in a dark dungeon, but the darkness seems to have lightened a little bit.]
[When worn, vision +1. Your field of vision in the dungeon will increase by 1.5 metres.]
In addition, there were five silver and 107 copper coins. There were six of the goblin’s medicines, as well as various detoxifying drugs, including the antidote to the ‘Grey Malice’ drug that the goblin pharmacist tried to kill me with.
These were the items I received from Yang Su-jin. She proved it by eating the ‘Grey Malice’ and then its antidote. It was the same for the other detoxifying drugs. I hadn’t experienced it myself so it was still an unknown potion, but once I tasted it, I recognized it as the same potion she’d fed me earlier.
"Hum, hum hum hum.” Yang Su-jin hummed as she hopped between the goblin tents. I was gathering all types of miscellaneous things from them, empty vials, tongs, pliers...
[You don’t know the language of the goblins so you can’t decipher this.]
Those words popped up whenever I looked at pieces of paper with scribbles on them. There were a few E rank items but most of the stuff was garbage.
"This is it. The goblin pharmacists looked at this scroll and made something. So maybe I can do something if I look at it. I will do it.” She brought the issue up before I even asked. Was she doing this on purpose to get rid of my tension? She originally had that type of character.
“... Let’s leave.”
We entered the passage beyond the big tent. "Is there at least one more space like this?”
“Yes. This isn’t where I came from.” There was one more type of goblin that knocked Yang Su-jin out. “They’re big. That uncle that was in the room with us before... They’re probably bigger than him. Lots of muscle.”
"D. That... In the old movies. Ah, Rambo! They have the body like that main character and have small bottles hanging from their belts. They kept drinking from the bottles.”
I wondered if it was some type of doping. Maybe I could raise my stats if I got my hands on it.
"Excuse me, Oppa.”
“If you have a cell phone... Here.” Yang Su-jin held out her cell phone. There was a map drawn on the screen. "You can obtain a new talent this way.”
“Huh?” I knew a bit more about it than she did. I kept silent and didn’t answer Yang Su-jin’s confused look. I would kill her if I saw anything the least bit suspicious. No matter how young she was, I wouldn’t accept everything at face value.
The passage was long. 30, no 40 minutes. After defeating a few goblins, we arrived at a second village. I started to understand the shape of the fourth floor. It was a swirl. If we kept going straight then we would eventually reach the centre. The goblin village was located in the middle of it.
“Eh?” Yang Su-jin exclaimed. I was also surprised. The camp in front of me was shattered. The tents were torn and there were goblin corpses everywhere. It seemed like they had been cut by something, probably the man with the knife.
“T-that is it.” Yang Su-jin pointed to the body of a goblin leaning against the wall. It was certainly bigger than me, but there were no bottles on its body. I could only see the belt that had previously held the bottle.
I touched the body to check for warmth. It was cool so the fight had been a while ago. "How long has it been like this?”
“One... A few hours?” Dammit.
I screamed at Yang Su-jin who had gone to see the tents. "Come along, quickly!” I rushed through the dungeon at almost full speed. Thanks to the faster speed, we arrived at the next camp in five minutes.
But this place was already demolished. The tents were destroyed and all the enemies were dead. The man with the knife had already gone ahead. This wasn’t good.
I had started from the very end of the swirl. Once I saw the location where Yang Su-jin had fallen, the positions where we all fell down weren’t that different. But Yang Su-jin was captured and tortured, and I feel unconscious for approximately an hour.
If Kitchen Knife moved properly without losing the path then we would keep chasing him, only following the trail of Kitchen Knife. I hurriedly moved to the next camp. This time, there was another huge goblin at the entrance. It was also wearing a belt without the bottle.
"This is a little... It is cruel.” Cruel? It was much more meaningful than that. The corpses of the goblins were much more gruesome compared to the ones in the first and second village. The cuts were exactly the same but the depth was different. Most of the bodies were half mutilated, as though Kitchen Knife had enjoyed it.
The doping potion-- it was potent enough to make the small goblins have a huge physique. I didn’t know what would have if a 190cm tall person took it. Especially the amount that the two goblins were carrying.
Goose bumps formed along my body. Maybe he had already cleared the fourth floor... And he might be waiting for us. Still, I had no choice but to head for the end.
"There is still the antidote.” I turned to see Yang Su-jin standing in front of a tent. It was the tent of the goblin pharmacist. Every camp had one.
"That person, he didn’t take the antidote. The goblin pharmacist was holding it. There are many things I don’t know, but I’m certain this is the antidote.”
Certainly, I had seen the power of the poison that Scratchy died from. If Kitchen Knife had avoided the bottles then he wouldn’t know how dangerous the goblin poison was. So maybe I could kill Kitchen Knife with that poison.
“Here.” Yang Su-jin handed me a poison bottle. I hadn’t said anything but she guessed the situation. There was a moment of silence before we proceeded to the next passage.
After walking for a while...
The walls on either side of us disappeared and we emerged into a wide space. It was a large space, like the camps, but there were no torches. However, it wasn’t like the last room on the first floor. I walked along the passage but didn’t see the end. Only a narrow area was revealed within my field of view.
I swallowed my saliva and could feel Yang Su-jin sticking closely to my back. I didn’t pull away.
[Stealth. LV 2. 5/200]
Eh? After gaining the talent and reaching level two, the experience hadn’t gone up no matter how slowly I walked. Now, through this method...
With the sound, ‘it’ came into my sight. It was approaching this way.
I immediately moved away. It responded as soon as it heard footsteps.
“Huh?” My miscalculation was that I was wearing the pendant received from Yang Su-jin. In other words, I have a wider field of view than her. Thus, her reaction was too late.
“Avoid it!" I belatedly yelled, but it was useless. Yang Su-jin stiffened and couldn’t move as ‘it’ came into her sight.
The knife moved through the air with a harsh sound. Yang Su-jin couldn’t even scream as her upper and lower body was separated.
‘It’ had a body that was almost three metres tall. Hundreds of thousands of blood vessels were showing up dark pink against its skin, and there was a dark aura around it. Its facial muscles were swollen so much that the eyes and nose weren’t visible. The knife in its hand looked like a baby toy and I wouldn’t have known it was Kitchen Knife if it wasn’t for the tattoos.
[Park Jong-gyu. Type ???. Rank ???.]
[A gang member. His inner desires made him recognized as a dungeon explorer, and he was attracted to the ‘Goblin Spice’ that promotes abnormal development of the body.]
[Repeated overdoses has removed reason from his body and the synergy with his inherent desires had created an unprecedented change.]
[Unique Talent - No.005. Atlas has awakened.]
"I think I’m going crazy.” I held the bottle in my hand.