Chapter 9: Boss Battle (2)
Edited: Yoni, Myoni
A large cavern.
Shrewmice swarmed out from a great number of holes.
There seemed to be easily over two thousand.
“Block the entrance. We can win if we fight them within a small pathway.”
Luckily, the shrine would not collapse.
So there was hope if they fought them at the entrance of the shrine.
No matter how many there were, there was a limit to how many could possibly come in through the entrance.
First, Muyoung held the magical item, ‘Shrewmouse’s Cry’.
However, it had no effect on the shrewmice’s movements.
‘Something is controlling the shrewmice.’
That meant there was something that could control this swarm of shrewmice.
And that its influence was greater than a D rank magical item, so the shrewmice could ignore the Shrewmouse’s Cry.
‘It would have been a close call without Anguish.’
Muyoung placed his magical item back in his bag.
He then raised the edge of Anguish to slice the neck of the oncoming shrewmouse.
At the same time, Anguish sucked in its blood.
It converted the blood into stamina. As he regained his energy, he was overflowing with power.
At the very least, it didn’t seem like he was going to get exhausted and collapse.
“Keep the line!”
It seemed like Taehwan earned a shield, Suzy earned a secret class, and the remaining person earned two daggers.
He just noticed the man swinging his two daggers wildly while screaming out loud.
‘Wasn’t his name Kang Baeksoo?’
It seemed like he also passed the trials.
Muyoung didn’t try to remember his name because he seemed like a scardey cat who was going to die sooner or later. But, if he passed the trial, things changed.
That meant that he had more than enough strength to be helpful for now.
“None of you will pass by me, you fuckin mice bitches!”
Taehwan blocked the pathway the shrewmice were entering with his Shield of Eradication.
He was the only person besides Muyoung who wasn’t afraid of them.
The ‘toughness’ buff from the Shield of Eradication allowed him to reduce his level of fear.
Also, his toughness buff increased the more enemies he faced.
“Sword of Dawn.”
As Suzy quietly chanted, a sword of light appeared in her hand.
It must be an inherent skill from the secret class, Valkyrie of Dawn.
The skill wasn’t very destructive, but it was enough to handle the shrewmice.
Anguish pierced through a shrewmouse and completely devastated its organs.
As soon as he pulled Anguish out, the shrewmouse’s body exploded and its pieces flew everywhere.
That wasn’t all.
While the others were stopping them at the entrance, he was the only one moving forward.
The increased stats from passing the trial made him stronger. Although the difference wasn’t drastic, he knew how to use his strength to its full potential.
By instinctively calculating the air resistance, the angle of attack and even the slightest movement of his muscles, he was able to move without any wasteful actions.
Compared to him, the shrewmice moved in very predictable patterns.
Even though there were a lot of them, none could stop Muyoung’s advance.
Those that saw Muyoung’s endless onslaught shuddered.
“In any case, he really is a mad man.”
Taehwan, who was blocking the entrance using his toughness buff, and Baeksoo, who was frantically swinging his daggers, were astonished.
The brutally sliced shrewmice even looked pitiful.
What if Muyoung pointed his sword at them?
Everyone thought the same thing.
Running away. There was no other way.
However, there was also the question of if they could even run away.
Since people knew this, no one at the temple bothered him… however, he was much stronger now.
Monster, was the word that kept reoccurring in their mind.
‘Where is it.’
As Muyoung keep swinging his sword, he continuously scanned his surroundings.
The thing that was controlling these shrewmice was probably not far away.
While he continued, his magical item kept enchanting.
<You have collected 5 ‘Shrewmouse’s Cry.’>
<‘Shrewmouses’ Cry (D)’ has now evolved to ‘Shrewmouse Slayer (C).’>
<You have evolved the item related to ‘shrewmouse’ to the limit.>
<To evolve this to its final state, you need the magical item from the ‘Great Shrewmouse King’.>
Just because you blindly collected tons of magical items, didn’t mean they would continue to rise in rank.
There was always a limit. Items that start off as an F rank, like the ‘shrewmouse’ series, tend to usually end at C rank.
Of course, there were always ‘transcendental evolution’, but the materials and the effort that were required were unbelievable.
For now, it seemed like a pie in the sky.
‘You are able to read the movements of the shrewmice.’
The magical item, Shrewmouse Slayer, allowed Muyoung to gain information about the shrewmice around him.
Muyoung instinctively realized that there was a total of 1,538 shrewmice in this cavern. At the same time, he found the location of the thing that controlled the shrewmice.
Beyond the cavern.
There laid the shrewmice’s king.
Muyoung made his way through without stopping.
As the entrance was small, as long as Taehwan was there, it would be difficult for shrewmice to invade.
That meant that it wasn’t really necessary for Muyoung to be there with them. Besides, it was a much wiser decision for him to eliminate the Great Shrewmouse King and end the battle.
Muyoung headed towards the biggest hole among the thousands of holes in the cavern.
Just as he expected, as he entered the hole, there was an exceptionally large shrewmouse waiting for him.
At least 2m in height. He seemed to be about 5 times the size of a normal shrewmouse.
When he noticed other large shrewmice around him, he was certain he had found their hideout.
He must have sent signals from here to move the shrewmice.
“If you’re a king, act like a king and come out.”
Like a lion, the Great Shrewmouse King roared and swung his huge front claws.
Anguish bounced off.
Of course, it could have been that Muyoung was weak, but the Great Shrewmouse King’s claws were also very sharp and sturdy.
‘It seems like fighting with just my strength will get me nowhere.’
Even after a single exchange, he felt a shooting pain in his shoulders.
If he was to receive a direct blow from him, his body wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Muyoung changed his strategy.
It couldn’t be helped, let’s make this into a fight of endurance!
Anguish ate up the shrewmice around him.
In an instant, Muyoung was able to recover his stamina and went all out at the Great Shrewmouse King again.
If he was to lose his stamina again, he would attack the surrounding shrewmice.
As he did this, the Great Shrewmouse King’s movements became more aggressive towards him.
‘Are they blood-related?’
As this was the nest of the Great Shrewmouse King, the shrewmice that were fighting outside didn’t try to come in.
Instead, there were a few shrewmice inside the nest, it seemed like they were the offspring of the king.
The Great Shrewmouse King desperately tried to stop Muyoung, but Muyoung continued to massacre them ruthlessly.
“You shouldn’t be trying to attack me.”
Anguish kept absorbing all the blood it could get its hands on.
A battle to the death where only one could live.
Even the smallest forms of mercy would lead to a tragedy.
As Muyoung knew this better than anyone else, he didn’t hesitate.
Anguish scraped the floor to produce a sound which confused the Great Shrewmouse King.
The Great Shrewmouse King, who was more enraged than ever, threw caution to the wind and headed straight for Muyoung.
By doing this, the stomach of the Great Shrewmouse King was in plain sight. Muyoung instantly found his chance to stab Anguish through its body.
It gave a loud cry.
However, even that didn’t last very long.
As Muyoung moved aside as he pulled out Anguish, the Great Shrewmouse King slumped down.
Muyoung then picked up the magical item which appeared above its corpse.
<You have earned the ‘Great Shrewmouse King’.>
<The two magical items, ‘Shrewmouse Slayer (C)’ and ‘Great Shrewmouse King’, combined to form ‘Emperor of Shrewmice (B)’.>
As the two magical items overlapped, a light radiated and evolved.
‘Emperor of Shrewmice.’
Normally, if you continuously killed the same type of monster and also killed their king, you were able to receive a magical item with an absolute effect over their race.
There were also rumours that the same method applied to Demon Gods and Demon Kings, but there was no way in knowing the truth. Either way, the shrewmice were quite common monsters in the Underworld due to its peculiar ability to reproduce. That was why there were also quite a few people who earned magical items regarding them.
Muyoung knew what to expect from the new item.
As Muyoung gazed at the magical item, information appeared.
Name: Emperor of Shrewmice
Classification: Continuous Use, Developing Type
Effect: You can summon the owner of all the shrewmice, the Emperor of Shrewmice.
As he called out the most simple command, a shrewmouse appeared as the face of the magical item jiggled.
It was slightly bigger than the size of his fist.
It was obvious for everyone that it was a baby.
‘This must be why it was a developing type.’
Muyoung held the Emperor by its neck.
As he came out of their hideout, all the shrewmice turned their heads around to look at them.
Right at that moment, a big commotion occurred.
It was because they lost the influence of the Great Shrewmouse King and noticed a much greater influence emitting from Muyoung.
As Muyoung yelled at the shrewmice, they all fled into the cave.
“Huff! Huff! Are you okay?”
The five, who were stopping the shrewmice in front of the temple, ran towards him and out of them, Taehwan spoke.
Muyoung, who was completely expressionless, replied.
“We leave immediately.”
They had achieved everything they could.
There was nothing good in staying here any longer.
The forest was pitch-black.
However, it wasn’t past midnight.
A day had not passed yet.
They followed the traces Muyoung had left behind.
If the topography didn’t change, it seemed like they had enough time to return.
When they arrived at the temple after roughly 2 hours of walking, everyone except Muyoung was completely exhausted. Their bodies were glued to the ground.
“Now, gasp! Even you beat me you to death, gasp! I don’t think I could move!”
“Pant, pant, pant,…!”
Most of them had facial expressions that showed breathing was the only thing they could do.
Just a day.
However, they experienced more than just that.
Muyoung noticed that just in a day, their prayers have changed.
“As promised, I will give out the bread and water.”
Muyoung distributed the bread and water to each of them.
Even though they were completely exhausted, they all stuffed the bread in their throats.
“Th, thank you.”
Suzy replied as she wiped off the sweat from her forehead.
Even if it was only 3 pieces, she handled them with great care, as if she was handling some kind of treasure.
As Muyoung watched her, he quietly opened his mouth.
“You cannot tell anyone your class.”
“Even to my father?”
The secret class was much rarer and worth more than a regular class.
If people knew the truth, when they entered the Underworld, there will be bloodshed.
Big guilds and clans would try to somehow get it or to kill if they couldn’t earn it.
Even if Suzy was mature for her age, there was no way she could handle the harsh reality she might have to eventually to face.
So until she had enough strength, even if it was her father, it was best to keep it a secret.
“I understand. Thank you for your advice.”
After she bowed 90 degrees toward Muyoung, she ran towards her father.
‘It’s a nice momentum.’
To be honest, it was unexpected for everyone to return safely.
Since people followed him much better than he expected, he was able to achieve what he wanted.
At first, he thought of them as simply a luggage carrier, but his impression of them was changing little by little.
“What? You guys came back?”
“Look here! They came back!”
Although it was late at night, people started to quickly gather around them.
Even the ones who were rubbing their sleepy eyes were awestruck as they realized that the group had returned.
When they left the temple, not many expected them to come back alive.
But, without an exception, everyone had returned back safely.
In an instant, they were overcrowded.
“You look terrible, which kind of monsters did you fight?”
“Did you get anything?”
“How did you find your way back?”
There was no one who wasn’t curious about their trip outside the temple.
“Fuck, why are you all making a big fuss about something as trivial as this?”