Chapter 5: Star of David (2)
Edited: Myoni, Yoni
If you left them alone, they were going to die anyways. It made no sense in accepting those two.
However, Muyoung interpreted the situation differently.
The young girl knew by instinct that following Muyoung was her only way to survive.
She had quick wits and was a fast decision maker.
Age was not a problem. No one here could match up to his standards anyways.
If that was the case, it would be better to choose someone fast-witted.
“What do you mean by explore the surroundings?” a man who didn’t belong to either side asked.
Muyoung calmly replied, “For three to four hours every day, you will explore the surroundings and gather anything essential. You will hunt if necessary.”
What they could earn at the temple was extremely limited.
To earn something, you must be willing to accept the risks that follow.
The more risks you take; the more profits you could gain.
There was nothing you can get for free, at least in the Underworld.
“I will volunteer as well.”
Surprisingly, Taehwan made his move. It was quite unexpected as Muyoung thought he would continue his rivalry with Jooyoung.
“Are you sure? We’re not going out to play,” he replied sarcastically.
To him, seeing the two sides fighting each other was no different than bantering children.
Taehwan nodded his head.
“I know it’s a job with my life on the line. I also thought it was about time to explore the surrounding areas. It’s not safe to continue to stay in this place we know nothing about.”
He thought of others before himself before he made his decision.
His kind normally didn’t last long.
Nosy people like Taehwan were usually the first to die.
‘But if he survives, he will grow to become a great influence.’
The Dragon Lord was like that.
Everyone acknowledged that he had the talent of a real soldier.
If he didn’t die by Muyoung’s hands, he would have made a great difference.
However, it was very rare to find someone like the Dragon Lord.
Even if they did survive, in the abyss like the Underworld, 99% of them will eventually have a changed personality.
Muyoung was skeptical that Taehwan would survive.
‘Things that can be obtained outside the temple.’
The reason why Muyoung was gathering people was simple.
The rewards he could obtain outside were greater than what he could earn here.
Moving luggage, searching and even sleeping, these were better done in a group than by himself.
Also, it was better to hunt for monsters outside than killing them during the raids.
Primarily, people raise their skills better when they strive for it.
By fighting monsters at the temple, their skills will rise quickly in the beginning, but it will slowly stagnate.
If you didn’t constantly improve your abilities, you wouldn’t be able to survive the harsh realities of the Underworld.
It was a struggle to stay alive… but for now, it was more important to find the magical items hidden outside the temple.
‘A magical item with movement abilities and a storage type talisman, Hell Hound’s Dagger, Despair Scout’s Gloves, and the Mask of Arrogance… I’ll find as many as I can.’
Although Muyoung lost many important things by going back to the past, he was able to keep his knowledge and experience. After killing each of his thousands of targets, he would always read and memorize their history.
There were many objects to find outside the temple.
It was time to get started.
In total, five people volunteered.
Muyoung gave each of them a torch.
The ends of the torches were smeared with oil.
The oil was made by boiling the carcasses of the monsters.
“Never lose the torches and the oil can, unless you want to end up as monster fodder.”
Unlike the modern world, with bright neon lights everywhere to brighten up even the darkest nights, here, they could only rely on the torches to see.
Most monsters fear fire.
At the very least, going around with a torch meant that they would be less likely to be ambushed.
A man, who received a torch, asked, “Aren’t we just looking around for 3 to 4 hours?”
It was currently early morning.
If they were to explore for 3 to 4 hours, the sun would be at its highest.
It seemed like he felt uncomfortable with the preparations for the night.
But Muyoung said with a firm voice, “We don’t know what kind of situation we will come across. Also, every midnight, the surrounding topography will change and if we don’t have the torches then, we won’t be able to find our way out.”
“What do… you mean our surroundings change?”
This time, it was Taehwan who asked.
Of course, they didn’t know.
Muyoung decided to use their misunderstanding to his advantage.
“Like you all thought, I am someone who has been living here for a while.”
“So that rumor was true.”
When everyone was confused, Muyoung acted as if he knew what was going to happen.
This was why people assumed that he arrived here before them and had lived at the temple for a while.
He told them, “Outside the temple is wilderness itself. We won’t have the time to help those who fall behind.”
And then, as if he was looking to see their resolve, he examined each of them.
He especially carefully examined the young girl, Bae Suzy, and her crippled father for a long time.
Having quick wits was more helpful than others with ambiguous skills, but there was the question of them being able to keep up in the harsh conditions.
As she obviously knew what he meant, Suzy gritted her teeth and said, “I’ll do my best. So I won’t be a burden to anyone…”
After all, there were no other options for her if she wanted to survive.
If she was to lose the chance at being by Muyoung’s side, there wouldn’t be anyone else who would take care of the father-daughter pair.
She made up her mind that even if she was to die, she wanted to at least attempt to live.
‘She has quite the backbone for her age.’
It seemed like she always had a sense of responsibility.
Along with her fast wits and decisive decisions, it was surprising to see her adapt so fast for her age.
That was why it was a little unfortunate.
If she was a bit older, with a little help, she would have been able to rise to considerable heights.
However, the Underworld was not a place that a young girl could easily survive on her own.
‘Even I don’t have the time to take care of others.’
It was a bit unfortunate, but that was it.
After examining each and every one of them, he turned his back.
“If you don’t want to die, don’t argue with my orders. Don’t get curious. Follow me unconditionally. Understand?”
Everyone solemnly nodded their heads.
There was nothing more important than words from an expert.
Especially after seeing what Muyoung was capable of, at least in the survival aspect, he was a pro.
“Then let’s head out.”
After preparing their weapons and packing some tools, the torch and the oil can, they started to move.
Muyoung stomped on a huge ant that was targeting his feet.
As the fist-sized ant exploded, its juices flew everywhere.
‘Dark red fighter ant.’
It was a big ant that produced neurotoxins. If someone was to get bitten, the bite will swell up to multiple times its size and the area would become paralyzed.
“Crush each one you see.”
He gave out a warning.
Although they weren’t life-threatening, if they couldn’t move, they would eventually die.
Six people, including Muyoung, cautiously stepped into the forest.
They were constantly on high alert and paid sharp attention to their surroundings.
“They are already like that.”
It was good that they were alert, but if they tried to keep it up for hours, they would be mentally and physically exhausted.
Even if Muyoung told them that, they wouldn’t listen.
It was because this place was a total mystery to them.
It was faster for them to learn from their experiences.
“Mister, there’s an item here.”
Suzy brought a magical item to him.
She found it after crushing a few dark red fighter ants.
‘Paralysis Inducing Magical Item.’
It contained the neurotoxin produced by the dark red fighter ants.
In a slightly more refined form.
Muyoung grabbed the magical item with one hand and told everyone, “After killing monsters outside the temple, there will occasionally be items like these. For those that wish to use the item can do so by holding the item with their hands.”
He brought out the Water Producing Magical Item and once he held it in his other hand, water began to slowly trickle out.
“This is water, but the other one contains neurotoxins. It could affect your body, so be careful when handling it.”
Afterwards, Muyoung handed the magical item back to Suzy.
Suzy tilted her head slightly.
“I can keep it?”
“Of course. You’re the one who found it, therefore it’s yours.”
He drew a clear line.
Everyone had to be responsible for their own items that they find.
After walking for a bit, Muyoung pointed towards a tree.
“If you look carefully, you will find trees with exceptionally green and round leaves. All the things growing from this tree are beneficial. However, you must look carefully as there are similar looking trees that are poisonous.”
He took a couple of the mushrooms growing on the tree and placed it in his storage bag.
It was a white moss-like mushroom that helped with blood circulation.
“Can we grab them?”
“Store as much as you can.”
It was a rare tree found in this forest known as the ‘ Sacred Tree.’
‘We were lucky.’
It was uncertain if they will see this tree again.
They had to take as many as they could while they had the chance.
“Look, dad, it’s a mushroom.”
“I think it will be delicious if we grill it.”
“I’ll cook it into something tasty for you.”
Suzy excitedly stored lots of mushrooms in her bag.
As others hurried to grab the mushrooms, Muyoung had already finished gathering and looked for any traces around the tree with his hands.
He then found a scratch made by an animal with three claws.
‘It must be the territory of the three-clawed shrewmouse.’
The topography changed every midnight.
If they had simply remembered the places they have been, they would be screwed.
So it was necessary to check whose territory they were in.
Also, because the three-clawed shrewmice moved in groups, they were quite hard to deal with.
Even though they were only about knee-high, they had sharp teeth and were very fast.
‘If I remember correctly, there should be a high-grade storage type magical item in their territory.’
Storage type magical items were very important.
Depending on their grade, a number of items one could store varied.
If people didn’t store their belongings in a storage type magical item, they could easily be targeted by others.
Of course, the Shrewmice didn’t just live in a single territory. They lived in a few different areas so he couldn’t be sure if he would find it here, but it was still worth a try.
‘This might be a bit annoying.’
Muyoung knitted his brow after seeing all the traces nearby.
By the looks of it, it seemed like there weren’t just a few tens, or a few hundreds even.
He estimated that there were at least three thousand of these shrewmice living in this territory.
It was best to quickly accomplish his goals and leave.
“If you’re all done gathering, we should start moving.”
Muyoung told them to hurry up.
“Get the fuck away! Fuck off!”
Two men who fell behind were swinging their swords and screaming out loud.
A brief moment of inattentiveness led them to be surrounded by shrewmice.
Muyoung clicked his tongue.
If it was him in the past, he would have noticed these things in an instant.
Unfortunately, it was impossible in his current state.
‘Maybe, it was for the best.’
He couldn’t avoid it.
Therefore, it was better to use it as an advantage.
Especially when some stats increase more rapidly in these type of situations.
If he looked at it simply as a way to temper his body, it was actually more beneficial.
Muyoung raised his scimitar.
“Bring it on!”
He shouted loudly to get their attention.
It was a dangerous move, but he thought that if he fought with all he had, it wasn’t impossible to win.
One of the shrewmice fell down from above.
While falling, the mice raised its claws in an attempt to cut Muyoung’s neck.
Starting by leaving an air hole in the belly of the mouse, Muyoung started to kill mercilessly.
A number a bit less than 150.
He had to take out one mouse per strike.
Muyoung started to collect all the magical items that poured out as he killed the shrewmice one-by-one.
<Magical Item Information>
Name: Shrewmouse’s Strike
Classification: Single Use
Effect: For one time only, you can have the same effect as a shrewmouse’s scratch.
It was just an F rank.
It was the lowest rank with barely any effect.
On average, one dropped for every two shrewmice he killed.
The reason why he made an effort to even collect these magical items while killing the shrewmouse was because they stacked up. If you looked at the item individually, they were useless, however, if you collected 5, then it was a different story.
<You have collected 5 ‘Shrewmouse’s Strike’.>
<The 5 ‘Shrewmouse’s Strike (F)’ has now evolved to ‘Shrewmouse’s Great Strike (E)’.>
The name changed as well as their rank.
In the Underworld, people referred it as ‘spell enchantment’.
By collecting 5 of the same magical item, it allowed the item to evolve into an item with a much stronger effect, or sometimes an item with much different effect.
However, it wasn’t an item he was pleased with.
He couldn’t afford to waste any more time in this situation.
His shirt was torn near his bellybutton by a shrewmouse and his skin showed through.
Blood dripped from the red streaks that appeared all over his body.
However, he didn’t care.
Muyoung was used to these life-threatening battles.
He pushed himself further.
Even though he was able to dodge all their attacks easily, he waited for their attacks and counterattacked only when they were very close to him.
‘If you endure these dangers, your agility will increase.’
Agility stats didn’t just increase your ability to move faster.
It was considered the 3rd eye.
The commonly known, ‘sixth sense’, was a part of agility.
To increase his agility stat, he had to put more pressure on himself in these situations.
The shrewmouse started to focus on Muyoung and gathered towards him.
They recognized that Muyoung was the most dangerous one out of them.
Muyoung kicked their carcasses in order to create a makeshift barrier.
Being vulnerable all around was the worst. He needed to at least keep a side blocked to stop them from coming at him on all sides.
He slashed his scimitar without even turning around.
The mouse that tried to bite down with his wide mouth had the scimitar pierced through his neck.
As he pulled out his scimitar, blood scattered everywhere.
Muyoung was getting exhausted.
However, Muyoung didn’t stop. He moved faster and fiercer when more and more shrewmice gathered around him.
Even though he was smothered in blood and had plenty of wounds, Muyoung’s movements were still the same.
His instincts took over the body as he lost half his sense of reason.
And so, he was able to kill more than 70 shrewmice.
<You have collected 5 ‘Shrewmouse’s Great Strike’.>
<The 5 ‘Shrewmouse’s Great Strike (E)’ has now evolved to ‘Shrewmouse’s Cry (D)’.>
A small sound emitted from the magical item.
At the same time, the shrewmouse who heard this sound became sluggish.
‘There we go.’
The corners of his mouth lifted to form a sly smile.