Episode 154

Secret Area, The Forgotten Relics Of The Gods (2)
3 weeks ago
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Taesan picked up the broken arrow.

[Self-Aware Arrow]
[An arrow that moves on its own to protect its owner. Currently broken and unusable.]

Taesan stared at the arrow intently.

The ghost, noticing his gaze, sensed something.

[What are you thinking about?]

“Doesn’t it seem manageable?”

[Uh... Maybe. It's possible, but it seems risky.]

“It looks worth trying.”

Taesan lifted his head.

[You have activated Reconnaissance.]

A skill that provides information within the user’s sight. Reconnaissance.

However, nothing appeared.

Considering the secret passage of the forgotten goddess didn’t trigger Reconnaissance, it seemed related items were immune to it.

[You have activated Trap Disarm.]

He activated Trap Disarm, but no window popped up. It was one of two possibilities: either there were no traps, or they were of such a high level that they didn’t trigger Taesan’s skill.

Taesan was sure it was the latter.

He took a step forward. Simultaneously, an arrow sprung from the wall.

Swoosh!

The arrow, moving on its own and causing confusion in its path.

Taesan focused his mind.

[You have activated Mental Acceleration.]

Reading the trajectory of the self-moving arrow was pointless. What mattered was the vision and reaction.

Dodging arrows aiming for his limbs with barely any space to avoid, Taesan used his high agility to narrowly evade them all.

Then, the movement of the arrows changed.

They started flying towards Taesan’s blind spots.

But Taesan was ready for that.

His skill, Synchronization of the Eye, allowed him to see even beyond his field of vision.

With the help of his enhanced sensory skills, he could block attacks from behind as if he could see them.

An arrow flew towards Taesan’s shoulder blade. He waited until the last moment and then swiftly turned.

The arrow tried to change its course at the last moment, but Taesan’s delay prevented it.

He caught the arrow in his hand.

Then, the arrow started thrashing wildly. It struggled fiercely to escape Taesan’s grip. As the arrow slowly slipped away, Taesan said,

“Come.”

Chalak!

Whips coiled around his arm rose and engulfed the arrow.

The arrow was fixed in Taesan’s hand. He exerted force and slammed it to the ground.

Kwaang!

The small passage vibrated.

The ghost asked in a worried tone.

[Isn't the arrow going to be shattered?]

“It won’t shatter.”

The arrow wasn’t so fragile as to break from just that much force.

Taesan exerted more force on the hand that had slammed the arrow to the ground.

After struggling a few more times, the arrow calmed down.

[You have obtained a Self-Aware Arrow.]

Taesan loosened his grip.

As he opened his hand, the arrow lay quietly in his palm.

The ghost was amazed.

[You actually caught it.]

Even to the ghost, the arrow’s movements were quick and unpredictable. Its speed was comparable to Taesan’s, and the wrong timing could mean not catching it until one’s stamina ran out.

But Taesan managed to catch it in less than 20 minutes.

Taesan smiled.

“See, it worked.”

When he first discovered the secret room in Solo Mode, he encountered arrow traps.

There, Taesan caught the flying arrows and used them effectively to catch a Giant Rat.

The traps of the labyrinth became the property of the adventurer who captured them.

Recalling this, Taesan had taken a gamble, and it paid off.

Taesan examined the arrow.

[Self-Aware Arrow]
[Self-Aware Arrow]
[Current owner: Kang Taesan]
[User's level is insufficient. Attack power: 1]

Taesan threw the arrow. It hovered in the air on its own and began to circle around him.

Taesan’s smile deepened.

“Not bad, right?”

An arrow that attacked autonomously without requiring his attention. Fast and powerful enough for Taesan to struggle to suppress.

Although its attack power was very low, it was sufficient as a support. Even a slight annoyance to the opponent during combat could change the outcome.

“I should collect more.”

Taesan took another step forward.

This time, two arrows appeared.

As the arrows aimed at Taesan, the one under his control also moved, countering one of them.

Thanks to this, Taesan could focus on the remaining arrow. He quickly shattered one and grabbed the other, slamming it into the ground.

He exerted force on the struggling arrow. After a few attempts, it finally stopped moving.

[You have obtained a Self-Aware Arrow.]

“Good.”

That made two.

Taesan smiled satisfactorily. But the fun wasn’t over yet.

The passage still had much more to offer.

As Taesan proceeded, more arrows appeared.

Two and three were the basics, and at the end, four arrows flew at him simultaneously.

Ultimately, Taesan managed to capture a total of four arrows.

“Still not enough.”

Taesan looked at the arrows circling him with a nonchalant expression.

Compared to the number of arrows that appeared, he hadn’t caught many.

The more arrows there were, the more chaotic the combat, leaving little room to grab and pin them down.

[You should be satisfied with this. Look at your greed.]

The ghost chuckled at Taesan’s demeanor. Self-Aware Arrows. They were akin to ego arrows.

Self-aware tools or equipment were valuable in themselves.

Taesan was currently wielding a whip-like wrist guard, which the store owner selling it had mentioned was equipment not usually found in these lower levels.

The fact that he had managed to obtain four of them and still complained of it being insufficient was something the ghost couldn’t fathom.

[It seems like we've finished with the arrow traps?]

“It appears so.”

Whirr!

In front of Taesan, large disc-shaped blades were moving in a semi-circular pattern.

“Quite orthodox.”

Following the arrow traps, there were blade traps moving on fixed axes. They were the typical traps that anyone would think of.

About ten blades were moving at fixed intervals.

Upon closer inspection, they were all moving slowly, and the gaps were wide enough that it seemed manageable to pass through them one by one.

“That can’t be right.”

The arrows were sentient arrows. It was unlikely that the blades would be ordinary.

Taesan decided to experiment first.

He threw himself into the path of the blades. As he did, the speed of the blades suddenly changed. Anticipating this, Taesan calmly raised his sword.

Clang!

A heavy sensation was transmitted through the sword. He stepped back, but it wasn’t an unstoppable force.

Crack!

The circular blades began to rotate wildly. Sparks flew off the sword blade as it was pushed back.

It couldn’t be blocked. Taesan quickly let the force on his sword flow away and leaped backward.

Then, the axis of the blade moved bizarrely, altering its trajectory. Taesan quickly blocked again but couldn’t withstand the rotation and allowed a hit to his chest.

[Your First Attack Immunity has been activated.]

“Hmm.”

Having escaped the trap, Taesan calmly organized the information.

‘I can’t block it.’

He could block the blades’ force, but the subsequent rotation was the problem. The additional rotation was too quick to respond to, so he had to avoid it completely.

But with both the speed and trajectory changing unpredictably, evasion was not easy. Watching Taesan ponder, the ghost spoke.

[Is it a bit risky to rely on attack nullification and charge in?]

“There are too many variables. It’s unpredictable how the blades will move. And the value of nullification is reduced in such mechanisms.”

The biggest advantage of attack nullification was not that the opponent returned to its pre-attack state but that it could be used to cause confusion.

During that confusion, Taesan’s main strategy was to deal significant damage.

However, mechanisms didn’t have emotions. If they returned to a pre-attack state, they would simply operate again and attack.

“And it’s unpredictable anyway.”

Taesan still hadn’t figured out the pattern of the blades’ movements.

Relying on attack nullification and charging in could lead to being trapped among the blades without proper information, especially if all nullifications were used up.

“I have a mark, so I can escape using blink, but since attack nullification is limited in number, there’s no reason to use it now.”

The ghost agreed and remained silent.

After pondering a bit more, Taesan decided to try one more experiment.

He thrust his sword towards the incoming blades.

[You have activated Flow.]

Just as the sword was about to touch the blades, they twisted.

The trajectory shifted in the twist, forcing Taesan to retreat, but he obtained the information he wanted.

The blades were susceptible to the Ability Sword.

“The judgment is looser than I thought.”

Sometimes, skills didn’t activate on traps and mechanisms, so he checked, and the result was satisfactory.

With this, the solution became clear.

Taesan caught his breath. He changed his selfish choice from power to strength and stamped his foot.

He had realized it when he used Flow just now.

The rotation of the blade was triggered when it touched the sword.

So, if he completely deflected the blade, it would be resolved.

[You have activated Strong Blow.]

He swung his arm roughly towards the incoming blade.

Clang!

Unlike before, where he merely blocked, the blade was knocked away.

‘As expected.’

With Strong Blow activated, he could push it to a manageable level.

Taesan charged forward. The blades moved chaotically, targeting him, but he avoided what he could and deflected the rest with his sword. What he couldn’t avoid, he ignored with attack nullification.

Thud.

Taesan reached the end of the trap without allowing even a slight damage.

It was a satisfying strategy. Taesan had a pleased expression.

“It’s been a while since I’ve done something like this.”

There were traps in the secret rooms on each floor, but with his current stats, they were meaningless. He could easily break the traps themselves.

It had been a long time since he had to properly strategize through a trap.

Taesan enjoyed such challenges.

“How far will they go?”

Taesan moved forward with anticipation.

More traps continued to appear after that.

Pressure plates that exploded upon touch, walls that crushed anything in their path, etc.

Taesan perfectly overcame all of them using skills and items.

The next trap was a net that would rise and drag whoever triggered it into the labyrinth.

Taesan first used an arrow to check the trap.

Since being caught wasn’t an attack, attack nullification didn’t activate.

There was no chance that a skill to disable immobility would work on such a net.

Checking if it could be cut seemed too risky, so Taesan started his strategy slowly.

After checking various things, Taesan gathered multiple pieces of information.

The ceiling opened, and the net fell to the ground. The fallen net pressed down hard.

After a certain time, the ground would open, disappearing into the labyrinth.

The trigger for the trap was impact.

Even the slightest impact transmitted to the corridor would cause the net to engulf the entire passage.

Then, the solution was simple.

Just avoid causing any impact.

[You have activated The Deer Walking on the Wind Path.]

He wrapped his body tightly with wind to prevent any impact from reaching the corridor.

After increasing his agility with a skill, he stamped the ground.

But the corridor was far. A single leap wouldn’t be enough to reach it.

[You have activated Mid-Air Leap.]

So, one more time.

He kicked through the air and flew.

But even then, the corridor wasn’t over.

Almost half of it was still remaining.

As soon as Taesan’s feet touched the ground, the ceiling opened, and the net fell. Taesan quickly stamped the ground.

He stuck as close to the falling ceiling net as possible.

[You have activated Mark.]

And the moment the net engulfed Taesan and touched the ground, he activated magic again.

[You have activated Random Blink.]

The mark fixed the position of Random Blink.

Thanks to the mark on the ceiling, Taesan’s body, under the net, moved above the net.

Since the net was on the ground, stepping on it didn’t cause the net to fall again.

He stamped the ground and used Mid-Air Leap again to reach the end of the corridor.

However, Taesan did not pass through the corridor.

He continuously triggered the corridor to call forth the net.

After experimenting with various things, he found that Mephisto’s black lightning slightly singed the net.

“Does it get damaged by dark magic?”

After calling the net again, Taesan used all his magic to send another bolt of black lightning.

As a result, he was able to obtain about 1 meter of the net.

The ghost, seeing Taesan’s satisfied expression, exclaimed in admiration.

[Isn't this guy crazy?]

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