Chapter 11 - Labyrinth Libarintos (5)

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Ten days had passed since they had entered the labyrinth and faced the traps inside it.

The Minotaur was constantly pursuing them, and hunger and lack of sleep were both beginning to take their toll.

All of them were stuck in conditions that made survival difficult.

As proof of that, their 7-person raid group had now been reduced to only 3.

Jin-hyuk, Park Hana and Jang Cheol-sik.

Three.

“If this continues, we will all die.”

Jang Cheol-sik mumbled with a tired expression on his face.

“Right. That devilish bastard will take advantage of us and eventually throw us away.”

Park Hana nodded in agreement.

They had been used to avoid traps the whole time. Their fate was unknown, whether as fodder that was thrown into a trap or a lure for the Minotaur.

Only one of the two was a surety.

Lee Haemin and Jang Mina had died that way.

They had tried to kill Jin-hyuk but failed and ended up being used in this way.

Anonymous1: Why don't you just be quiet and give up? Just looking at it, you don't have the skills.
Anonymous6: I think he is someone who can reach the 10th floor. Don't make a fuss and stay silent.
Anonymous3: Yes. If there are two newbies, it is like a bowl of rice to the skilled.
Anonymous4: Besides, even his personality is terrible. Even though he'll eventually kill you, he's using respectful words and making you walk around with him. I'm getting goosebumps!
Anonymous9: The killer next to me is kind. Weep.

Park Hana’s chat window appeared.

They were people who belonged to the Black Crow Guild but hadn’t joined the initial climb of the tower. In other words, they were the outside support crew.

“What information did you find about this person?”

Anonymous5: All his past videos related to Tower of Trials are private.
Anonymous3: They've blocked everything. Viewtube and personal blogs, even things on his phone, can't be hacked.
Anonymous2: We can't find anything if we don't know his face.
Anonymous1: We have no answer as we don't know what he looks like.
Anonymous6: He's like the Phantom of the Opera.
Anonymous4: I am curious, but does he have the mask on when pooping too?
Anonymous7: I tried searching, and he didn't make a broadcast channel either.
Anonymous3: He doesn't seem to have any intentions of gaining subscribers. Seems like he's a solo enjoyer.

He had a strangely-shaped mask on his face in the videos.

On the first day, he hadn’t worn a mask.

However, it was only for a short time.

When Pak Hana had turned on her broadcast in panic, Jin-hyuk had already purchased a black mask.

He had hidden his face since then.

Anonymous3: Damn it. If I knew this would happen, I would have acted crazy. I feel so envious.
Anonymous4: If you already know the strategy and location of relics, it is a bummer to not be able to get anything.
Anonymous7: His frontal lobe must have been shocked.
Anonymous1: Wow, all the guys with him are down. Get some tips from him.
Anonymous2: Would he even tell anyone?
Anonymous3: Lol. Actually, even if I had something, I would use it alone.

‘Why did we think about asking for help from the idiots outside the tower…’

Park Hana’s face contorted.

They were all just laughing and weren’t giving her any valuable information. Of course, this was frustrating to her.

“Shut up. Did my brother get informed about this?”

Anonymous1: Weep. We did tell him.
Anonymous5: I did.
Anonymous9: But he said it's hard to find you since you're too deep.
Anonymous3: You're all bunched together but can't be found.
Anonymous4: Bear Grylls in distress.
Anonymous2: Everyone will take a U-turn
Anonymous6: Very little is known about the labyrinth, so it will take three more weeks to get to where you are.

3 weeks.

In just ten days, all but two of them were dead. Now they had to wait 3 more weeks?

‘Impossible.’

Park Hana’s eyes shone with madness.

Even at this moment, she was watching Jin-hyuk sleeping without fear.

This monster-like guy wouldn’t die no matter how much she tried.

Right.

She didn’t kill him. She only tried to do it.

Why? Because she hadn’t been sure.

It was also because the offence for just an attempt can be considered lower. But now, the man was actively killing them off.

He really was.

‘Aren’t the lives of six people more valuable than one?’

Even now, there are two people still alive.

So he had to die for them to live.

“How about now? Let’s use the fact that he’s sleeping as a chance?”

Jang Cheol-sik picked up a rock from the ground. Although it was a crude method, it would still be effective.

Crush his head while he’s sleeping!

If his head gets crushed, he’s bound to die!

“No.”

Park Hana shook her head.

“This man has insane reaction speed and is an absolute monster. Whether we try a head-on or surprise attack, we won’t win.”

They were also first-time wannabe killers. Even before taking into account the skill of their target, they couldn’t do it.

And attempts driven by emotion usually ended badly.

“Then what do we do? Do we wait around until we suffer and die?”

“Suffer? Why?”

Park Hana exhaled and pulled a sharp sting out from her pocket.

There was a clear liquid on it.

The Sting of the Giant Bumblebee.

“That…”

“Even a monster would have to eat food, right?”

It was their job to prepare his meal.

Collect moss and mushrooms that grew inside the labyrinth.

Cook them over a fire and place them in a bowl. They had to do everything.

“Let’s get it ready. The Last Supper he will eat!”

Park Hana imagined Jin-hyuk chewing down on the neurotoxin and suffering in pain!

Hehe.

It felt like the suffering she was suffering through vanished right away.

---

Tap tap.

Something poked Jin-hyuk in the shoulder.

“You… should wake up.”

It was Park Hana.

“…what is it?”

Jin-hyuk opened his eyes.

“The meal is prepared. Come and eat.”

“Ah. Is it that time already? Is it moss and mushroom stir fry?’

“Is there anything else to get here? We have bats and moths too.”

Park Hana snapped back at him.

‘So annoying.’

Jin-hyuk slowly got up from the ground. His body felt light.

The total amount of ‘Rift’ stat points he had gained over the week added up to 21.

Additionally, his battle sense improved through battles with the boss monster.

Although he was still Level 1.

It wasn’t just a typical Level 1.

`Absolutely not.’

The best Level 1.

So it was expected.

When the labyrinth gets cleared, he moves out that day!

Jin-hyuk moved towards where Park Hana and Jang Cheol-sin were waiting.

A stinky smell stung his nose. It was a mixture that looked terrible from the outside.

A dish made of moss and mushrooms was quite something to eat for survival.

‘It feels like I am walking on the path of a true survivor.’

He had to give up on his taste buds to shove the food in his mouth. Fortunately, it was full of nutrients.

And he was glad of that.

“Miss Park Hana, could you get me some more water?”

“… water?”

“Mr Jang Cheol-sik, serve me more of the mushrooms.”

“You want to eat more of this tasteless thing, then sure.”

With some light conversation, all the preparations were completed.

Jin-hyuk picked up the chopsticks that had been made from bat bones. The rest of the group also sat there.

The three of them put the food into their mouths at the same time.

But…

“Huhu.”

“Huhu. He ate it.”

The two of them laughed at the same time.

Unusually cold air and unpleasant atmosphere.

Thud…

“… I used poison.”

Jin-hyuk put down his chopsticks.

“Right. Because it spreads through the blood vessels. It is useless to resist.”

Anonymous1: Haha. He gulped it down!
Anonymous3: This is what a food thief gets!
Anonymous7: Is your throat on fire?
Anonymous2: He must be afraid. Can you even use your hands?

The public chat window activated. Their obvious gloating made it clear that everyone expected him to die.

Of course, they were.

The lethal poison antidote was known to be an expensive item. Even the coins he had now wouldn’t be able to purchase it.

It would be fatal now.

And when the poison spread to the heart, it would stop.

“If only I had eaten the poison.”

At Jin-hyuk’s words, Jang Cheol-sik looked shocked.

“Poison… you knew about it?”

“It’s not the first time you people have tried something like this. Did you think I would simply gulp down whatever food you give me?”

How could someone trust another blindly in this kind of place?

And their transparent plan of using the food…

It was too obvious.

But…

Not yet.

Park Hana didn’t lose her composure. It was as if she had expected this.

“Who said the food is poisoned?”

She knew that the target was sharp. Its why she put the poison on the chopsticks, not the food.

No matter how wary he was, it would be his loss.

“Huh! kuak! Kuk!”

A painful groan.

Blood spurted from his mouth. His body’s blood vessels swelled up, making his face look grotesque.

But…

“H-How?”

It wasn’t Jin-hyuk who was vomiting blood.

“K-Kuak… Kuak!”

Jang Cheok-sik groaned in pain as he scratched at his neck with his nails in desperation. His struggle, however, didn’t last long.

The poison had spread in an instant and quickly stopped his heart.

“This… you noticed that? How? How! Just how?”

“Because it was different from usual.”

After entering the labyrinth, she had never been the person who had asked him to come and eat. It had always been the role of Jang Cheol-sik or someone else.

But today, she had set up everything for him. How was this any different from driving someone to the sea on the day their life insurance was expiring?

“Because of that one small thing….?”

“Such small things are the most important ones.”

Was the reason that he reached the end of the tower was because of his reflexes or persistence?

Sure those things had played a part.

It can’t be denied that those things were important, but the most critical factor was something else.

The only thing that he could know, what someone skilled would know… was because their eyes were different from other players.

No matter how trivial the information seemed, they collected and analyzed it before making a conclusion.

That was why he could reach the end.

Anonymous1: Fuck.
Anonymous4: Did he think of all that because of one little thing?
Anonymous2: Fuck. Did his view of Park Hana change with just this?
Anonymous5: Just changing the food would have been terrible, but even changing the chopsticks.
Anonymous7: He is Conan (Detective Conan).
Anonymous3: Don't overstate it. Anyone would have noticed it, right?
Anonymous2: Actually, I noticed too.
Anonymous6: 222222
Anonymous8: 333333

“And you people…”

Jin-hyuk looked at the people in chat, though he was just pointing into the empty air.

Anonymous3: Is it us this time?
Anonymous2: Do you think it's scary if you stare at us?
Anonymous3: Close your eyes if you don't want to get hit when you come to my neighbourhood.

“Your mouths are all so alive. What is scary about staying on the other side of the monitor?”

Jin-hyuk smiled.

“But if you have brains in your heads, then think about why I’m mentioning you.”

If the broadcast was blocked, there was no need to talk to them.

He wouldn’t have worn the mask as well. But there was a reason to take all this trouble.

It was to check who was on the side of Park Hana.

And…

To get evidence that they were using shortcuts.

“I don’t know since you are from the outside, but there is only one case where a live broadcast is allowed.”

The Tower of Trials had its own rules.

[The live broadcast can be turned on only when fighting with the boss or going up to the next floor.]

And if the rule was broken…

[Appropriate measures shall be taken if manipulation of the number of views or other misconduct has been detected.]

There are penalties.

Of course, punishment too.

And they were far from mild.

[Anonymous has left the chat.]
['The Crow Caws' has left the chat.]
Madam Dolse: W-what is this?
Jack Pauer: Why are you leaving suddenly?
['Madam Dolse' has left the chat.]
Tyg123: W-wait.
Jo Yeon: Wait!
['Jack Pauer' has left the chat.]
Note20: Fuck.
DaramiS2: What is this?

The viewers on the public channel vanished one after another.

And just moments after…

[Currently logged in Viewers: 0]

“T-this makes no sense.”

Park Hana sat down on the ground, alone.

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