[Make an offering.]
The scaled demon continued to repeat this phrase.
Since the demon stood frozen like a statue, Ji-Cheok was convinced that it wouldn’t attack even if someone were to come near it.
It even appeared as if it wasn’t breathing.
Two spears stood fixed, facing each other, in front of the demon.
They wouldn’t budge at all when Ji-Cheok tried to pull them out.
He then noticed how there were little canals where blood could conveniently flow from the spear and into the ground.
What the demon intended was clear.
“What it’s saying is creeping me out… Isn’t it wanting us to sacrifice two people by impaling them onto the spear shafts” Jin-Ah said.
The remaining Hunters who had survived this far burst into a rage at her words.
“What kind of bull** is this” someone called out.
“Wow, why the hell did the government make this dog-** dungeon Those **ing bastards!” another expressed their fury.
No matter how they looked at it, it was certainly strange.
This wasn’t some random dungeon that was a little dangerous.
‘Were there any dungeons this hard in exams before I don’t think so…’
Plus, the demon wanted two human sacrifices.
Ji-Cheok was deep in thought and tried to understand what was going on.
‘Hunters are still people of this country.
Sure, we can accept that a Hunter dies in an inevitable accident during the exam because the dungeon is particularly difficult.
But none of us are barbaric Neanderthals, so no one in their right mind would willingly throw another Hunter onto the spears just to pass a test.’
“Why can’t I reach anyone else outside”
“This **ing examiner.
What Ji-Cheok could gather from the surrounding conversations was that people saw things they had never seen before on their way to get here.
Many Hunters taking this exam had died at the hands of the lizardmen.
It was somewhat expected, though, as the lizardmen were rather high-level monsters.
‘Isn’t it crazy that these inexperienced novices managed to fight these monsters I was able to survive, all thanks to the Likes store that helped me be a decent match against the lizardmen.’
Although La-Du had impressive abilities, it seemed like he had leveled up under his parents’ support before he officially started out as a Hunter.
Also, it appeared that he would have died if not for another Hunter team stumbling upon him.
This time, La-Du didn’t abandon those teammates.
No—he had no choice but to stick with this other team.
An Awakened with recovery abilities had healed La-Du, and an Awakened with defensive abilities did the tanking to protect the group.
La-Du used his flame abilities, but to the extent that it didn’t attract the attention of the monsters.
‘None of this is surprising, humans are constantly learning and changing.’
La-Du, who seemed to be a bit wiser now, spoke, “Goddamnit, get me out of here! Oh, great **, once I get out of here, I’m going to sue all of you! Do you know whose family you’re messing with Are you listening! You’re probably watching through all the cameras! Do you think my parents won’t do anything Fuck you!”
Ji-Cheok accepted that La-Du might have learned something, but that didn’t mean that he had matured at all.
Among the furious Hunters, one of them lost his temper and started to shout at the scaled demon.
“Aaaaaaah! What the heck is going on!” he screamed.
‘Ah yes, the typical dungeon panic.’
Stress from attempting to clear a dungeon was no different than stress from war.
There weren’t many people who could stay calm and collected when they witnessed monsters tearing off another person’s head.
Moreover, it was practically impossible without the appropriate training to kill all the monsters and progress forward.
And even if there were people who had undergone such training, some would still end up running away.
Stress trumped reason, and the Hunter examinee, who wasn’t officially a Hunter yet, continued to cry out.
“I told you to get me out of here, **er!”
He threw his greatsword as he said those words.
The weapon didn’t even leave a scratch on the scaled demon’s arms, and the provoked demon slowly moved.
Intense beams shun out of its eyes, obliterating the angry Hunter’s upper body.
Blood gushed out of his pelvis all over the floor.
“CRAZY MOTHERFUCKER, FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!”
All the novice Hunters freaked out and screamed at the sight.
The examinee wielding the greatsword had appeared quite skillful, but the demon had simply erased his torso out of existence with sheer power.
The lower part of the body rolled around on the ground.
Ji-Cheok winced at the sight, as the muscles were still spasming.
This was a different kind of horror than losing in a fight and getting eaten by a lizardman.
Being afraid of fighting someone you could maybe defeat was not the same as being fearful because you didn’t even know what you were up against.
‘How the heck can you fight against something that is able to shoot light beams from its eyes and one-shot an opponent’
When it came to monsters at the highest level, Ji-Cheok didn’t know what to expect.
The Bang twins also screamed, and La-Du didn’t blast out his flames; instead, he cursed and kept close to the wall.
This was one chaotic room.
‘I’m calmer than I expected.’
Ji-Cheok wondered whether it was because of his experience working as a Hunter Assistant or because of his nature.
Or was it his [Beginner Skill: Solid Mind] In any case, he found that his mental strength was stronger than he had thought.
The demon spoke again.
[Make an offering.]
Someone else in the group yelled out, “Fuck it, let’s sacrifice two people for it.
Make the offering!”
Another responded to the remark, but instead of saying something like ‘don’t be crazy,’ they said, “Who should we sacrifice Who’s going to do it”
From that point, madness consumed the reality in their minds.
“Is there anyone here who wants to die
The sobbing echoed throughout the stone chamber, and someone spoke through the desperate frenzy.
“Two, Two people! Let’s just sacrifice two people! Can’t we decide on it fairly” These were the words of a person who still wanted someone to die, but they didn’t want to be a horrible person about it.
Then, there were those who wanted to live.
“How would we make it fair”
“What if we look at people’s contributions in this dungeon…!”
“And who gets to decide that We’re not robots, we’re humans.”
“It shouldn’t be me! I’ve been able to heal all of you with my recovery abilities!” another Hunter tried to announce.
At that moment, everyone started to list what they had contributed.
They talked about how much they had sacrificed and how valuable they were.
They shouted frantically as if they were doing their church confessions in a busy marketplace.
They seemed to think that if their voice was drowned out by others’ screams, that was some messed-up evidence that they had contributed little.
“Fuck me, can we just decide on the two weakest people” La-Du suddenly yelled.
Everyone had worked hard to get here.
This was not a place that people could just simply reach without trying.
No one, no human had the right to judge someone else’s contribution.
The group just looked at each other after La-Du spoke.
The person with the recovery ability that claimed to have healed all the people in his group walked toward a corner of the room.
“How about we fight and sacrifice the losers! Isn’t it logical that more powerful Hunters are better”
Someone else said, “You’re right, those in the auxiliary class are the weakest.”
“Weren’t there some auxiliaries here”
“Their dungeon contribution is definitely the lowest…”
Questions and rumors spread throughout the crowd, and the claims started to change like how a phrase in the game of telephone changed from the beginning to the end.
The whispers in the group grew louder as people looked around searching for Hunters in the auxiliary class.
Eventually, when the dust settled, everyone was looking at the Bang Twins.
“Jin-Ah, hide behind me.”
Jin-Woo stood in front of Jin-Ah to protect her from the crowd.
“Stop this nonsense.”
“Shit, do you think I’m protecting you because I want to If I let you die, I’ll never hear the end of it from Mom,” Jin-Woo said in a shaky voice as he held onto a weapon.
His hands were slippery with sweat, and Jin-Ah pulled on her brother’s arm hard.
“Do you really want to die while pretending to be all cool” Jin-Ah was a lot more aggressive.
As if she was figuring out how much of a last-ditch effort she could make, she took the head of her hammer and swung it back hard in a menacing pose.
Then someone else spoke in a small and cold voice.
In this noisy place, this voice managed to still be audible to everyone.
“Since they’re twins, they would be the perfect duo to sacrifice—”
Ji-Cheok drew out his sword instantly.
“One more word and you’re dead,” he warned.
People froze at those words as they recognized Ji-Cheok.
He was the one who had defeated La-Du before the exam.
They also knew he was capable enough to grab whoever was closest in front of him by the collar and thrust them into the spears as sacrifices instead.
At some point, a novice Hunter finally asked, “Then Mr.
Um, do you have any other ideas”
Ji-Cheok pointed the tip of his sword at the demon.
“We have to combine our power together to defeat that scaled demon.”
“This guy must be high…” Some swears were muttered in the crowd.
Ji-Cheok acknowledged that he probably deserved it.
The demon was so overwhelmingly powerful that it was hard to find the light at the end of this tunnel.
“If we do it that way, it won’t just be two people ending up dead, Mr.
Um,” someone informed Ji-Cheok.
“Yes, that could happen,” Ji-Cheok didn’t deny it.
“Can’t you count how many people are here”
“Yes, I can.”
La-Du couldn’t stand what was going on, so he yelled.
“God damn it, you’re trying to preach to us again! Just sacrifice yourself!!”
‘Okay, I know.
We humans are just weak and evil.’
La-Du was afraid and struggling to survive, and he just wanted to choose someone else to sacrifice, not himself.
The twins behind Ji-Cheok were just random auxiliaries, with no useful abilities other than giving him Likes.
Those twins had a long journey ahead of them to properly learn the ways to survive in battles.
Until that time arrived, it would be hard for them to take on the role of even just one combatant.
‘So what What do you want me to do’
“If you know how to count, then why are you saying this” The novices asked Ji-Cheok.
“If we sacrifice two innocent people now, the eighteen of us will become murderers.
But if we join forces and fight together, we will all be heroes.” Ji-Cheok explained.
“We can do it, with our combined strength! We can fight it.
There’s no dungeon that can’t be defeated.”
The room was silent after hearing what Ji-Cheok had said.
“Is there anyone in this room who really wants to become a murderer today”
Whether Ji-Cheok was right or wrong, that wasn’t the point.
Ji-Cheok didn’t want to betray the twins, who had been working hard to boost his Like count.
The two of them had always believed in Ji-Cheok, even when he had blamed himself for being useless.
He wanted to survive and leave the dungeon with the people who were impressed and grateful for the little things he did.
He gritted his teeth and spoke more.
“Yeah sure, of course I don’t want to kill anyone.
But… I don’t want to die either, you know Do you think we can really win if we fight together You’re saying that no one else will die” asked a Hunter that Ji-Cheok didn’t know at all.
That Hunter’s desperation caused a stir in the group, and Ji-Cheok worked hard to keep his composure because if he hesitated here, he wouldn’t be able to convince the others anymore.
“We’ll need to make sure no one else dies.
And it’s not like there’s no way out of this situation,” Ji-Cheok tried to reason.
“How do we trust you”
“Trust… hmm, how about we do it this way”
All eyes stared at Ji-Cheok, who continued.
“I’ll do the tanking and stay at the front.
If we die, I’ll be the first one.
Is that enough for you”
Everyone else still had their mouths shut.
[Hunter Kim Sam-Sik is gritting his teeth hearing your words.]
[You have received 1 Like.]
[Hunter Kim Ji-Son has gained more courage thanks to your words.]
[You have received 2 Likes.]
The notifications of Ji-Cheok receiving Likes replaced the silence.
There were those who agreed with him, others who found him encouraging…
[Hunter Park Jeong-Su clicked his tongue at your words and grabbed his weapon.]
[You have received 3 Likes.]
Ji-Cheok was now more determined, and he began to think of the next move.
[Hunter Lee Mi-Ri is impressed by your words, but also worried.]
[You have received 1 Like.]
No one wanted to be a murderer, and it had already been such a long journey.
Too many other examinees had died.
‘Can we win And if we can, will we be able to do it with everyone alive and without murdering one of us’
As everyone contemplated whether to join Ji-Cheok, he could almost hear their conflicting thoughts.
It was a grand clash between the tiny angel and devil sitting on their shoulders.
[Hunter Ji Seong-Yoon decides to fight with you.]
[You have received 3 Likes.]
That was when La-Du took a step forward.
“I told you… to knock it off… with the hypocrisy!” La-Du ignited his blazing flame.
Ji-Cheok used his Wind and Cloud Steps to approach him and kicked him in the head.
With his head spinning, La-Du fell to the floor.
He wasn’t dead, of course, but it was enough to leave him unconscious.
“Let’s not send this guy out to battle! He’ll just interfere with what we’re trying to do.”
No one else protested what Ji-Cheok was saying; in fact, none of them replied at all.
Instead, he felt their resounding determination through the Like notifications that rang in his ears.
Everyone grabbed their weapons.
“Now, let’s get together.
I’ll explain how we’ll do this raid.”
Ji-Cheok gathered everyone around and took a look at his Likes Shop.
In response to Ji-Cheok’s thoughts, the Likes Shop popped up with a skill list.
As he scrolled down, one of them seemed to stand out.
‘Ok, I had a gut feeling the store would have this.
This is it.’