Chapter 43 - Eyelids (16)

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As Professor slid into the shadows, he recalled what he read on the Community about the characteristics of Tobrune in World 3.

‘The main purpose of the place is to serve as an outpost for the capital. This is why the lord’s castle is built close to the southern gate, in the direction of the capital. And in between the north and south gates, there is another wall. That wall is supposed to divide the general residential area and the slums….’

Since I came from Turan, which was directly north of Tobrune, the place I’m in right now is the northern part of Tobrune, the most underdeveloped area.

The first thing I saw when I came out of the prison was a wall that seemed to purposely divide the area and a well-paved road. I took note of it when I was being dragged in, but Tobrune had two roads that entered the city. One was beyond this wall. The other was the one he was currently standing on.

‘The road over here is probably the main northern gate that enters the city. Now then….let’s go see the true colors of Tobrune.’

Professor easily jumped over the high castle wall.

Leap!

“Urgh!”

He first sensed the terrible stench and humidity when he landed in the dark alleyway. The Tower of Mages was located in the middle of the city. From the tower, eight separate rivers passed through the city and provided a way to transport materials to the people, and at the end of the river was a mixture of discarded waste and filth.


-Soygaybar: Yuck! I thought the cool city of mages would look more like Venice or something since they have a water mage tower and all.

-Speedwagon: The southern part of the city that’s closer to the inner castle is much more beautiful than Venice. The Reedflow scholars are known to mass produce and sell cheap magic products. The entire city is decorated with magic bulbs, and all of the boats on the rivers are made of magic as well.


‘The gap between the two areas is disgustingly large. The people that live at the very end….they must live off of the scraps they find in that sewer water.’

The abhorring stench followed you around wherever you went. This wasn’t a place someone could live. It wasn’t rare to find a mass floating in the water shaped like a human.

[Ughh, vessel, let’s get out of here. I don’t want to be here.]

‘Huh?’

What? He’s been quiet all this time. Why’d he come out all of a sudden?

[Well, I can feel everything you can feel! Mutes are innately built to feel hunger toward humans since that makes it easier to collect genetics. But this place….it smells like rotten food and trash mixed together in water.]

That f***ing disgusting monster.

[Don’t be so harsh. It’s a physiological thing.]

Damn. He needed to get rid of this thing sooner or later.

Ignoring the complaints of the guy in his head, Professor headed deeper into the slums. His destination was a thief guild located in the deepest part of the slums.


Creak.

Thunk. Thunk.

When he pushed the half-destroyed door open, his eyes fell on the customers of the tavern, who all seemed to have lost hope for any distant future due to the harsh reality of the world.


-professor: Hey, you sure it’s here? This really doesn’t look like the place. Look at those people’s eyes. They all look like they’d just go, ‘Ah, that’s warm,’ and die if this place got caught on fire.

-Jokasss: Believe me. I watched the World 3 stream for Rabbit Princess every single day. Rabbit always goes for the rogue class, so she visited the thief guilds in Tobrune often too.

-Nutriagena: Woah, I dropped in for the first time in a while, and he got pretty far. Isn’t this the Tobrune thief guild?

-Soygaybar: Aye, you’re one of the newbies. I thought you died or sm.

-Nutriagena: Don’t even get me started on it. Some nights ago, my shield stopped working, so I was barely getting by with my protection field, but a week ago, a mutant got stuck in the vents. I didn’t have a shield, so there’s just sand pouring in. There’s a mutant stuck in the vents, ugh….the other people I lived with took care of the mutants that got attracted to the commotion, and I got the mutant stuck in the vents….it was a war zone.

-Mukaba: You still managed to survive.

-Nutriagena: Ye. Our shelter is a military one, so its defenses are top-tier. I came in after everything settled back down. Anyway, why is he at the Tobrune thief guild all of a sudden?


‘Hmm. I thought that person died too.’

Well, based on their conversation, this was actually the thief guild. Let’s see then…the code was….

Professor entered the tavern through the tiny door and seated himself at the bar counter. He didn’t need to turn around to feel several pairs of eyes staring at him.

Tap tap.

Only after he tapped the bar did the bartender turn his head toward him.

“Your order?”

“Moonshine. Two bottles.”

“….Sorry, but we don’t sell that anymore. Why’d you look for that here?”

“Then six bottles. I’ll even pay you double.”

He read the order on the Community word by word. It wasn’t just a coincidence that Professor chose World 3 instead of 4. Of course, if he started on World 4, he would have more viewers. But World 4 was a completely unknown zone. There was no information. In contrast, World 3, which Rank No. 3 Emperor Qianliu just bulldozed through with his controls, still had people that enjoyed the gameplay, and there was a lot more info. It meant he had more ways to get help from outside the game.

‘Although the seed for my game already went way off course…..’

But there was still useful information. For example, the code to contact a secretive guild.

The bartender glared as he looked at my face and then lazily pulled out six different glass bottles.

“Hey, master. What day is it today?”

“….Jokeman’s month, 17th.”

Ding!

[Information Update: Jokeman’s Month, 17th. Around 11 pm.]

‘Let’s see…. Jokeman is the saint of the 10th month, so if it’s the 17th of the 10th month….’


-Speedwagon: It’s the waning crescent moon. GG’s calendar isn’t affected by the playthrough, so it’s the waning crescent.


After hearing it was the waning crescent, he picked up the fourth bottle, a bottle with the left side of it caving into the middle.

‘The biggest thief guild in Rodrick, [Moon Shadow]. The method of contact is to go to the designated tavern and order moonshine, get turned down, then order six bottles again, then choose the bottle with the shape closest to the shape of that day’s moon and drink it. So damn complicated.’

He didn’t even want to think about how hard it must have been for the first person to figure this out. They probably needed to go through months of boring and tedious faction missions.

Professor shook the bottle a bit. A slightly opaque silver. There were also quite a few chunks floating around.


-professor: Hey, do I really need to drink this? This doesn’t look like something I should drink. And if it’s moonshine, didn’t they make it themselves? It’s literally poison if they used the water here.

-Soygaybar: It looks like something you would see on Kitchen Nightmares. Please do drink it.

-Speedwagon: You’ll get kicked out if you don’t. It’s most likely not just some normal drink. They probably mixed in some stuff to take the higher ground over the customer. Like poison. Or drugs. Moon Shadow considers any stranger an enemy at first.


Darn. I shouldn’t have asked. I really don’t want to drink it now.

Of course, I wasn’t actually going to not drink it. I needed a helper for this plan, and the only people I could get help from right now were underground guilds like this.

Professor squeezed his eyes shut and drained the ‘moonshine’ in the bottle down his throat.

Glug. Glug.

The silver liquid passed through his throat. It had a strong, bitter taste, and the smell of alcohol that shot up to his nose was very pungent. And after the shock, there was a subtle scent of watermelon….

‘This isn’t that bad.’

As he contemplated the moonshine’s surprisingly good taste, a sudden, sharp pain stabbed the inside of his stomach.

“Argh!”

As I started to stagger, the bartender quickly got out from behind the counter and supported me.

“You had one too many drinks for one night. Let’s go and get you some rest.”

The bartender tried to support me as I fell but nearly fell with me due to my overwhelming weight. Two customers sitting nearby quickly got up and helped the bartender move me to the inner side of the tavern.

Creak!

Clunk!

After the shabby wooden door closed, the two others who carried me started complaining.

“Ugh, darn. He’s heavier than he looks.”

“Tell me about it. I haven’t seen this guy around. He must be a foreigner, right?”

“Professor. Identity unknown. He was arrested and dragged to the prison today at about noon. The guy who’s disguising as a guard said he has some beef with the mages. Seeing as he’s here, he must have gotten away successfully.”

That was the bartender’s voice. That’s a thieves’ guild for you. They have ears everywhere. I just got here after escaping, and they already have info about me.

The guys turned countless corners as they dragged me through. Right, left, left again, right…. My consciousness was slowly slipping away. As my vision got blurry, the voices slowed dow…. slowed down…

Ding!

[Trait Acquired—Drug Immunity (minor): Your body has been exposed to large amounts of drugs in a short period of time. After the constant bombardment of chemical reactions, your body does not react as much to the effects. / Poison immunity increased (minor). Potion effects decreased.]

After the system notification rang, the back of his neck stung for a bit, then his consciousness slowly started to come back.

‘Ugh…. That’s some hella convenient timing. Was the poison a final trigger for the drugs I got drowned in when I was a test subject?

There must have been a requirement that I needed to be exposed to a certain number of drugs.

If you rank this trait, it would be about a C-. The drugs I was mostly exposed to were sedatives and magic-type potions, which was probably the reason for those sub-effects. Technically, this would be considered a bad trait as well, but it was currently a very useful one since I didn’t need to get dragged around by these guys anymore.

‘I have a perfect conditional physical defense and somewhat of a drug immunity. Now all I need to get is magic immunity, and I’m a perfect tank-type fighter.’

That’s why you needed to suffer a bit in this game. If you managed to survive it, then it made you stronger. Take the water magic, for example. It was a near-death experience at first, but now it’s one of the biggest joys in his life.

“Mrrgh! So…darn…heavy!”

“Hahh…ugh! We’re…almost…there!”

With the sound of a door opening, I could feel my body getting tied up in a chair. As I pretended to be unconscious, I could feel a presence appear in front of me.

“What a big visitor. Can you wake him up? Kanis?”

“Yes, Master.”

Splash!

“U-puah! Uurgp! Cough!

‘Ugh! This is that river water!’

It was cold water with a ‘strong’ smell. It certainly did its job all right. Even in the real world, they used smelling salts to wake people up. But still, how could they spray this stuff on the building they were using? Did they all lose their sense of smell living in this place?

After opening his eyes and pretending he had just regained consciousness, the first thing that caught his attention was the knife stuck on the desk. The knife was stained with blood, and a woman with her hands clasped together sat behind it.

While he was trying to get information on his surroundings, that darned blessed ‘Sensitive Observation’ quickly scanned her outer appearance. Long ebony hair. A long, silky blue dress, something that made her stand out from her dingy surroundings. Soft curled eyelashes and a beauty mark just under her eye. She was a woman who was elegant yet attractive, with a mysterious aura pulling him in.

“Oh, sir. Are you awake now?”

“Mm, ugh….where is this place?”

Ah, what do I do? It’s so fun tricking these people. How surprised would that woman be when I got out of these flimsy ropes after prying the information I needed from them? My heart beat happily just at the thought of it.


-Soygaybar: Deceit, mockery, teabagging…. Ah, the joys of life.

-takealook: That’s the norm for gamers. It is tradition for the strong to pretend they’re weak!

-Noru_is_druig: ‘Sensitive Observation’ for the best perk in GG! It automatically captures the best angles and zooms in! It’s amazing!


The woman must have liked my reaction, as her eyes smoothly curved into crescents.

“Hm, I wonder where this is? Do you want to take a guess? You visited the Moon Shadow’s tavern, recited the code that only guild members know, and then got knocked out. Now then, where is this place?”

The woman slowly got up from her seat and lightly traced the edge of the desk as she walked forward. As she walked forward, the thin material of her clothing outlined her body shape with her every step. Hmm, I take back the elegant part. That dress had an obvious purpose. It’s super effective!

After gracefully gliding behind me, she softly placed her arms around my neck, hugging me. Through the thin layer of cloth, I could blatantly feel the pressure of contact.

‘AHHHH, OH MY GOD!’


-Noru_is_druig: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes, please!

-Soygaybar: The world’s last and best game. Anyone who disagrees will be executed.

-takealook: Mommy? Sorry, Mommy? Sorry, Mommy?

-Speedwagon: Eeeehh.

-Highwaynachoman: Wow, they’re huge. Professor’s biceps.

-Holli: Everyone…can’t you all calm down a bit? This is a little…too much.

-Guns_N_Blood: Sorry miss. These animals over here can’t do ‘calm down.’


[H-Human female’s feeding organs are the best!!!!]

Everyone—the Community, my heart with its lack of resistance towards the female gender, and the guy that lived in the back of my brain— was going crazy.

That’s right.

Gyosu Park. 24 years old.

Due to the world getting destroyed at age 17, my dating experience—N/A.

Seduction. I didn’t know how to respond to this attack.

“M-Moon Shadow!”

“Oh wow! You’re a smart one. Since you got it right, I’ll need to give you a ‘present!’”

Haah.

“Eeeeep!”

As she blew a gust of wind into my ear, I couldn’t stop my body from shaking. I-I’m scared! I don’t think I can act weak anymore!

Poke poke.

Poke poke.

The woman’s eyes narrowed into crescents again, as if my reactions entertained her.

“I’ll properly introduce myself. This is the living room of Moon Shadow’s Tobrune branch, and I’m this branch’s master Rakshasha.”

The woman with the extremely feminine attire, Rakshasha, walked out from behind me, placed one hand on her chest, and lifted the end of her dress with the other. She looked like any other noblewoman out there.

“Now then, let us slowly get to know each other to our deepest places, shall we? Mr. Escapist ‘Professor’?

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