Chapter 22 - Inside Enemy (1)

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“Unbelievable.”

When Song Cheon-hwa and the other players reached the scream’s origin, the worst-case scenario had already happened.

“… we are late.”

The healer, who was inspecting the four people who had fallen on the floor, shook his head.

There were clear scars on the back of their heads. They must have been ambushed from behind and died soon after.

But a much bigger problem than just their deaths had appeared.

Woong!

A black sphere floated ominously at the entrance to the ruins.

Someone…

… Woke up the guardian.

['Guardian of the Ruins' notices the trespassers.]
[Time left: 09:59]

A ‘Guardian’ was a monster that guarded the ruins’ entrance.

They possessed power equal to bosses from upper-floor dungeons, but they had the characteristic of only waking up when touched or stimulated by a specific item.

Hence their nickname, ‘Sleeping Bomb.’

It was a bomb that wasn’t dangerous when left alone.

“What kind of idiot touched it!”

“What good will come from knowing that now? It has already woken!”

Right. It was already too late.

Only 10 minutes left.

If they didn’t leave the ruins right now…

The Guardian would fully wake.

“H-hyung!”

“I know. I know!”

Song Cheon-hwa bit his lip. They couldn’t fight the Guardian.

That was suicide.

‘At least half…no more than that will die.’

It was clear that they needed to give up on this raid

It would be impossible to continue to the boss if they lost half their power here.

But…

‘Do we have to end it before even having a proper start?’

For an absurd reason such as the Guardian waking up?

That wouldn’t even be the biggest problem.

The main problem would be getting expelled from the guild for someone else’s mistake.

‘How much trouble did I have to go through to get the captain’s position for this raid?!’

Clench

He gritted his teeth.

It cannot end like this.

Never.

Song Cheon-hwa gave the order as soon as he made up his mind.

“Let the Guardian wake up. We keep heading inside.”

At his decision to continue the raid and head inside, whispers rose from the other members.

“Hyung. Are you being serious now?”

“Think about it. No, I mean it. If we make a mistake, all of us here will die.”

The team of porters had come in, but three teams were still waiting outside. In addition, none of the guilds that were supposed to join the raid later hadn’t even arrived.

Continuing the raid now meant giving up more than 20% of their total power.

“Don’t waste time and follow me. I will take responsibility for it.”

Song Cheon-hwa dismissed their objections.

“And… even if the others didn’t come, with just Teresa, the odds are good for us.”

Right.

That was the last card that he placed his belief in.

Song Cheon-hwa glanced to the side.

He glanced at the blonde woman.

As far as dealing with undead monsters, Teresa could be rated as the best in the world.

With this woman…

It was possible.

Truly possible.


It was only a few dozen minutes later that the news reached the porters.

“I-Isn’t this different? The Guardian is up, and we cannot get out of the ruins?”

“What nonsense is that! So, are you saying you will head in and raid it?”

“Damn it. If I had known it would be this dangerous, I wouldn’t have come in the first place!”

The porters voiced their concerns.

However, the response which came back was cold.

“Someone assassinated the guards by the time we arrived. The Guardian was already awake.”

Assassination…

Jin-hyuk, who had been silent, pricked up his ears.

‘The culprit is among the people here…’

In today’s world, murder isn’t a huge deal. What was interesting would be the motive behind it.

What was the profit behind it?

Looking at it, the people inside the ruins were now effectively trapped. It was interesting.

He could guess what this person was aiming for.

And even the identity of the person behind it.

Perhaps, thanks to the Guardian waking up, the situation could be handled more flexibly.

At that time.

Jin-hyuk turned his head and was one step too late.

“A monster from the side! Mid-level… too many!”

A player in the scouting group shouted.

“P-Prepare for battle!”

Song Cheon-hwa shouted his order. The response was slow because it was a surprise attack that came when none of the raid groups had been ready for it.

Thud! Thud! Thud!

The grass around them swayed side to side, accompanied by the trembling of the earth.

Here it comes.

And it was fast too.

“Tanks, to the front!”

“Hurry the porters to the back! Do not disturb the others!”

Kwang!

Trees fell, and the grass parted.

“Goooooo!”

“Kaaaaaa!”

The enemy was Dulahans, which towered at around 2.5 meters in height.

And there were 12 of them.

Each of them wielded a mace and ax.

“Uhh.”

“D-Dulahan!”

A total of 13 types of monsters appeared at the entrance of the ruins.

The Dulahan was the most difficult to deal with. With their overwhelming intimidation aura, they could drive anyone mad.

They were a higher-level predator and fundamentally different from ghouls and skeletons.

Not only did they have tough skin, but they also had a combination of speed and strength that made them difficult to deal with.

“Give auxiliary buffs to the tanks. Damage dealers, get your timing ready while collecting as much mana as possible.”

Song Cheon-hwa led the raid with his orders.

[Song Cheon-hwa activates Lv3 Iron Shield!]
[Go Yeon-deok activates Lv2 Formation!]
[Lee Yunmi activates Lv2 Song of Warriors!]

Woong!

Various skills and buffs were being stacked.

And at that moment.

“Kuaaal!”

Kwang!

A Dulahan’s mace made contact with a shield.


Jin-hyuk observed the battle from a distance away in the rear.

‘Certainly, the guild unit’s resistance is strong.’

They weren’t being pushed back at all against the Dulahan.

The problem was controlling the actions of players who didn’t belong to a guild. Most worked alone, so they weren’t used to being in group battles.

Eventually, victims began to appear.

Crack!

The eerie sound of bones breaking and flesh being cut.

“Kuaaak!”

A man with an injured shoulder fell to the ground, spitting out blood.

“They are ridiculously fast!”

“H-healer! Where is the healer?”

“Send some tanks to the front. I cannot hold them any longer… if this continues, we die!’

As expected.

With just this kind of improvised power, there was no one here that could deal with the Dulahan. At least that was the reality for the solo players.

However, despite their urgent pleas for help, Song Cheon-hwa didn’t even look at them, causing victims to begin to appear.

This was expected and even preferred.

Song Cheon-hwa’s lips were turning into a smile.

‘In order to create a dramatic situation, the sacrifices of the beggars are essential.’

Actually, the raid had another purpose, from clearing the ruins. They needed to secure immediate fixed subscribers.

Due to the rule that views are only counted once per day per subscriber, the battle for subscribers between active players was fierce.

It means that getting 10,000 views a day wasn’t easy.

‘Ultimately, if we want the subscribers to go crazy for the content, such visual stimuli need to be there.’

Cruelty and sensationalism.

He would get the best video if a dramatic situation was made.

‘Since there are enough casualties, we can move slowly.’

Song Cheon-hwa nodded.

“Dong-Young!”

“Yes, hyung!”

The man, who had been casting, activated a piece of magic.

Psss!

The air began to cool rapidly.

A pure white sphere was created in his hand.

It was the ice magic spell, ‘Ice Orb.’

Magic was raging from the ice that was condensed down. At that moment…

Kwakwakwang!

A streak of icy storms blew between the Dulahans.

“Kwak!”

“Ugh…”

The movement of the Dulahans began to slow. Even the weapons that they held in their hands began to freeze.

Their legs began to stiffen in place.

“Now is the time! Everyone move!”

Thud! Thud!

The tankers, including Song Cheon-hwa, widened the gap on the left and the right.

And the center was cleared.

Tat!

Tak!

The players, who had been waiting, smashed the ground. The main damage dealers of the Balbae Guild used swords and spears.

Slash! Kwang!

Their blades aimed for the enemy’s vital points. For a damage dealer who specialized in melee battles, a slow Dulahan was easy prey.

Thud! Thud!

One after another, the Dulahans fell.

-The video came out nice, hyung. I think we will get around 300,000 views.

The video was being edited by a Balhae Guild member who gave a thumbs up.

‘300,000….!’

Song Cheon-hwa’s mouth rose to a smile. He felt that the reward for this fight was amazing.

In fact, he thought the viewers would be drooling at this.

‘I think most of those who came alone were also taken out.’

The guilds blocked two of them, and the other four had been behind the tankers.

Result?

They didn’t have the time to check what had happened.

Those who fell in battle were already corpses, and only the quickest ones survived.


Is this what it felt like to have a periwinkle pass by?

At 25, Kim Somi, a talented person in the information field, gave up on her life as she saw the ax approaching.

She no longer had the strength to run away. She didn’t even have the magic to defend herself.

‘Just… wanted to live up to my level.’

She was just one of the many who came to earn money here. And this wasn’t the end she wanted.

She closed her eyes and waited for the end.

She waited for the end to come quickly, but…

“…?”

She couldn’t feel any pain.

It was weird.

Obviously, the pain had to be there. Unable to hold her curiosity, she opened her eyes.

“Ugh?!”

An unbelievable sight was in front of her.

Dududud!

The ax was stopped.

The Dulahan’s arm muscles were swelling up, but it couldn’t get past the man in front of it.

‘…he is stopping it?’

No, he was blocking it too lightly for that.

With just a dagger?

And looking at the state of the weapon, he was a melee damage dealer…

But why did it feel bigger than a shield on a tank?

It was surprising.

Amazing and wonderful too.

However, the surprising emotions turned into fear in what followed.

Wheik!

Flames rose up from the man’s left hand.

And it wasn’t just a tiny flame, but one large enough to sting her eyes with the heat.

“M…magic too!?”

She couldn’t understand it. All-round players were quite rare.

Even so, there was a difference between each ability. It meant that they had weaknesses too.

However, she had never heard of a case where all the abilities were equally strong.

What level…

‘I cannot guess it.’

Kwakwakwakwang!

The flames engulfed the Dulahan, and the disgusting smell of burning rotten flesh stung his nose.

“Kuaaa!’

The body of the Dulahan turned into a lump of coal and collapsed.

This made it 4.

Jin-hyuk looked at the fallen monsters.

He used Lv1 of Shallow Breathing. It was probably safe to say that they now looked like corpses.

‘Final touches.’

Jin-hyuk brushed the charcoal with his hand.

Well?

He hadn’t been able to warm up, but the game was already over.

It was inevitable since the level of the Dulahan was too low.

A simple attack pattern that only followed instinct. A little bit of speed and power, but that was all.

And it took him less than 3 minutes to get rid of 4 of them.

‘How come it is a lot easier than it used to be?’

The last time he did this, it had taken him 10 minutes to catch 4 Dulahans.

The fastest he had ever done was 7 minutes once, so he couldn’t help but feel that his current condition was absurd.

This made it feel like the Dulahans were the ones who were stagnant.

As those thoughts ran through his head…

“You, how could you…

A completely unexpected voice was heard from behind him.

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