As soon as we passed the entrance to the seemingly modern building, we were greeted by a dark and damp space.
It was a model dungeon, one of the facilities that Orhe Academy boasts.
Here, dungeons of various terrains, shapes, and difficulties set in advance appear at random, and they are evaluated as the most suitable for dungeon simulation training… It was known that.
'But looking at it, it's really spectacular.'
I thought about it several times while playing the game, but it's a really amazing place.
As I was looking around, someone muttered as if sighing.
"Why is it a cave in so many places"
Judging from the sound of breathing right behind me, I thought it was Kim Yoo-Hyun.
Probably because a long-reach weapon like a halberd is cumbersome to handle inside a cave.
In this case, it was better to assume that Kim Yoo-Hyun was experienced, or that his strength had been reduced by half since he had no countermeasures.
‘Well, it doesn’t really matter anyway.’
“A cave… Whoo.”
Han Soo-Young also muttered as if sighing.
Her specialty was magic based on the four elements series.
In particular, she mainly dealt with fire-based magic.
I didn't have to worry about that because she wouldn't make the same mistake as a beginner of recklessly emitting flames in an enclosed space.
It was just a pity that she also lost her power.
‘First, the terrain has not changed and it is a cave.’
It was as expected, so I didn't have much to react to.
If it was early in the game, there would be no hidden devices or booby traps.
As long as you're careful, nothing big will happen.
“First of all, let me remind you again that the objective is not to defeat specific targets or acquire things, it's simply to get through the dungeon.
Please keep all this in mind."
As Ivan said this, he raised his clenched fist hand forward.
Then the light gathered around his wrist and took the shape of a bow.
It was his unique ability, the magic bow.
Unlike me who knew it, cheers erupted from everywhere.
Ivan continued the briefing with a familiar unwavering expression on his face.
“We will be given a score based on how long it takes to break through, and whether or not there are any fallen or injured members of the team after the breakthrough.
So let's break through as quickly as possible, but not overdo it.”
Saying so, Ivan looked at us all if he wanted us to reorganize.
I pretended to reorganize on the outside and recalled in my mind the information about the first main quest at the academy, which would happen a little later.
'An ancient spirit will suddenly appear inside the dungeon, and at the same time, the internal structure of the dungeon will change, and the students will be scattered there.
This was the beginning.'
Classes were abruptly canceled, and instructors and personnel were immediately sent in to rescue the students, but they were blocked from the entrance.
In the end, the students inside were instructed to escape as much as possible, and at that, everyone, including the main character, tried to escape, but an ancient spirit waiting at the exit eventually leads to a battle...
… This was the beginning of the common main quest.
Originally, the condition to clear the quest was to wait for the faculty to come as reinforcements against him.
Surely now I could buy as much time as I wanted and hold out.
In fact, until I entered this place, I was just thinking of taking a reasonable amount of time and holding on.
‘I didn't expect this quest to arrive just before coming in.’
― You can feel the strange energy in the dungeon, that it is flowing out covertly and quietly.
And now you are the only one who felt that strange and secret energy.
And you are the only one who knows that this energy will be a harbinger of great events to come.
Please don't forget this fact.
― Defeat the ancient tree spirit.
― Awakening Potion.
[Additional Success Conditions]
― Achieve 50% or more kill contribution.
[Additional Success Reward]
― Sap of the first substance.
As I recalled that, a smile crept onto my lips without realizing it.
Sap of the first substance.
Those two were worth it.
‘It’s stupid to stay still even after looking at these things.’
The awakening Potion is literally a potion that can arbitrarily trigger the awakening of growth-type skills.
In my current situation, it meant that taking this could unconditionally unlock one of the abilities marked with ‘’ on the branch of the World Tree or Henir’s Shadow.
Also the sap of the first substance.
It was simple yet powerful.
It had a fraudulent effect of [Permanently raises one of the stats].
It was one of the things I desperately needed, who had a poor overall ability value, and it was also an item that could only be obtained under extremely limited circumstances in the original story.
‘Because this was the biggest reason to rob Isabelle Gaudi’s dungeon.’
If only one of the two was a reward, I would have thrown away everything and rushed in.
And as long as the possibility of getting both were open, I had only one choice.
‘Catch it using all available means.’
Although I had the branch of the World Tree and Henir's Shadow, at the moment, these were not enough to deal any decisive damage.
But I had the Hunter's Mark, and above all, Nidhogg's fang.
‘Ancient tree spirit, this guy must have belonged to the World Tree category.’
There are typically two types of attack methods that are counter-measures to people or monsters belonging to the category of the World Tree.
One is Surt's flame that can burn the World Tree itself.
And the other are weapons made from the by-product of Nidhogg, which ate the roots of the World Tree.
In other words, the current me was the perfect counter for him.
So, fighting him was not a problem in itself.
In fact, I was looking forward to the rewards that I could get and the thought of being able to experiment with the Hunter's Mark for the first time.
‘If possible, I'd like to avoid people's eyes focusing on me.’
All I had to worry about was how to cover up the aftermath when I defeated him.
* * *
A man with a troubled expression as if he was caught up in something.
Han Soo-Young was looking at such a man carefully.
Taking the role of a scout and a guide, he was walking at the forefront of the group, thinking hard about something.
She didn't know what he was thinking about, but what she did know for sure was that at least it wasn't this model dungeon class that was bothering him right now.
A boy of the same age, whom she had first met at the research institute where she had arrived at the request of her master.
Choi Hyun-Woo seemed to really like him, but she got an indescribable feeling from him.
But at least she could say with certainty that she had never seen anyone as suspicious as Yoo Ji-Hyuk.
Esmeralda Lysnerger was a criminal who was wanted worldwide.
The direct risk was low because she mainly committed crimes such as espionage, all kinds of manipulation, and theft, but only in comparison to other criminals.
How could she be weak if she hadn't been caught for years even with all the heroes and government agencies in the world against her
However, Yoo Ji-Hyuk fought against her and created a fatal gap.
For a man with such strength, when it came to the measurement records in the academy, he received an E rank, a level slightly better than the average person.
At first, she thought that he might have approached her with some bad intentions, but after purposefully spending some time in close proximity and observing him closely, it seemed that this was not the case.
If anything, it was even more so when she saw that Choi Hyun-Woo, who was almost as perceptive as an animal in such a sense, was spending his time at ease.
But just because he doesn't have bad intentions doesn't mean he isn't suspicious.
He's not a bad guy, but there's something fishy about him.
That was Han Soo-Young's impression of Yoo Ji-Hyuk.
The way he smiled and then immediately managed his expression as if he didn't know she was watching him, was even more so.
And that kind of behavior made the scar on Yoo Ji Hyuk's face stand out even more.
When Han Soo-Young saw it, she felt uncomfortable, as if something was being placed inside.
After all, It was her fault that he had that scar.
As soon as she remembered that fact, Han Soo-Young felt herself gripped with guilt once more.
Later, when she looked it up, she found out that there was a curse that the wounds caused by the dagger would never disappear, but did he really know that No, even if he didn't know about it, how could she be suspicious of a guy who would immediately throw himself in front of the weapon by putting himself at risk and forgetting defense for the people he met for the first time that day
To be honest, she didn't have a real suspicious disease...….
"White radish, what"
Han Soo-Yeong, who was so lost in thought, answered Yoo Ji-Hyuk's sudden murmur without realizing it.
For a moment, she felt an inexplicable sense of embarrassment, but when she realized that the mood of everyone except her was strange, her eyes also became strained.
Yoo Ji-Hyuk, who was the first to warn of danger, suddenly lowered his posture and began to watch the area, ready to draw his dagger at any moment.
Seeing him, the other five naturally took out their weapons as well and assumed a wary posture.
A little time passed in this way.
“I was going to quit because I thought the timing was a little strange and unlucky to say now.”
Ivan, who had his hand up so that he could pull the magic bow at any time, opened his mouth in a quiet voice.
“One of my specialties is sensing.
But, I can't sense anything...
What about others”
At that, Lee Hyun-Seung, who was looking around nervously, answered.
“I don’t feel anything.”
Kim Yoo-Hyun answered while fixing his halberd.
Next to him, Jin Ye-Seul, who was crouching with a shield in front of her, mumbling something in a low voice.
It was the same for Han Soo-Young, who couldn't feel anything.
She was just thinking that no matter how much Yoo Ji-Hyuk was, he might have just made a mistake this time.
Along with Yoo Ji-Hyuk's murmur, Han Soo-Young was able to feel the magic of an explosion.
Rather, it was such an explosive amount that it was questionable why she hadn't felt it so far.
"What! It's absurd, the spirits are like this...
Right next to her, Ivan was making the first startled voice.
And before they knew it, they all realized that the ceiling, floor, and walls of the dungeon were shrinking as if they were exploding at some point, putting pressure on them.
“Crazy, what the hell is this!”
Even in the midst of the instantly panicked screams and chaos, Han Soo-Young could clearly hear an urgent yet resolute cry.
“Don't use your powers! It's okay, don't do anything weird and just let yourself go!”
Han Soo-Young, who was collecting mana to use magic immediately, was troubled for a while.
However, she let the mana flow away that was shaking as if it was about to explode at any moment, according to his words...….
Immediately, her vision darkened.
And in her fading consciousness, she thought.
‘I guess it was just a lie.’