The Strange Booklet of Gildras
This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, Haikai, Lei, Masadeer, and ThunderHamster.
Korea University’s Student Council was tied up with festival preparations.
Each department secured a venue, and minor help was given for preparations. The cultural festival and events for the local residents were being prepared at the same time. They even busied themselves with stage preparations, and organising singers for the events.
“But who should we cast to MC the event?”
“How about Yu Jae Dol?”[T/N: Spoof of Yoo Jae Suk]
The highly praised one, who was born for hosting, MC Yu Jae Dol. He doesn’t know when to stop when he starts chattering. He was praised as the national MC because of his kind and considerate nature.
“I tried contacting him, but they said his schedule doesn’t work out ‘cus of the We Must Challenge filming.”
“Then did you try contacting Kang Ho Eun? He hosted our school festival last year, too.”[T/N: Referring to Kang Ho Dong, an MC who was just as wildly popular as Yoo Jae Suk when this LN was published. Before his years as a comedian and host, he was a champion ssireum wrestler, the traditional Korean national sport, which is often compared to sumo.]
The former wrestling athlete Kang Ho Eun! Although he had a body as big as a house, he pulled programs along with his naivety at times, and his charisma at others. With ample strength and passion, he was an MC who was like a big brother.
“That person went on a 3 night 4 day vacation. He said he was really sorry he can’t attend this time.”
“Dang it… Then who should we cast?”
Plays, musicals, performances, and concerts would all progress together at the Korea University’s festival.
It was a given that it would let the students worn out from studying enjoy the energy and university culture, and since it was a party for the local residents, they couldn’t be negligent. In the end, they couldn’t find just the right person, and it was decided that they’d go back to the idol Park Min Su, the eternal number 2, as the host of the main show.
* * *
Jung Hyo Rin moved her fingers fluidly on the piano keyboard.
A pure, lyrical melody.
She was in the midst of personally writing a song to put in a new album.
“The song has a really good feeling… but how will you choose the lyrics? Do you want to try hiring a famous lyricist? Teacher Kim Tae Hwan who you worked with last time was saying he wanted to work together again.”
When the manager asked her in the practice room, Jung Hyo Rin shook her head.
“No. I want to write it myself.”
“Is that so? Since Hyo Rin-ssi has a talent for writing lyrics too… you’ll make an excellent song.”
Jung Hyo Rin was actually in a state where she couldn’t make up her mind on what kind of feeling to use for the lyrics.
‘I’m going to write the lyrics for the song I want to sing.’
It didn’t seem like it would be easy to make the song.
Since the release date of the new album and the song’s live debut was still a ways off, she tried to write the song so she wouldn’t have any regrets.
Jung Hyo Rin, who had been playing the piano, raised her head.
“Manager, could you freed up my schedule in 3 days, right?”
“I cleared it up as Hyo Rin-ssi asked, but is there something going on?”
“It’s a matter of personal privacy.”
The manager was relieved because Jung Hyo Rin had never stirred up problems in her private life. However, he couldn’t help but ask of her destination.
“Where are you going to go?”
“Korea University. A person I know is a student there. I’m going to go together with my friends.”
* * *
You have become the first discoverers of the Kramado Dungeon!
The first monster hunted will drop some its the best items it has.
“We’re really the first. Just look at the fame that went up.”
The party members who entered the dungeon shouted out cheers of joy.
“With this, we’ve accomplished this assignment as a success.”
“Yeah. We’re probably the only ones who found an undiscovered dungeon.”
Swordsman Bella spoke with confidence.
As they had come through relatively safe hunting grounds, an adventure like this was enjoyable.
Even the other groups would have difficulty discovering a new dungeon for their assignment.
“Nide, well done.”
“I’ll treat you if we get a good grade.”
Like an expression from real life, Nide blushed as if he were embarrassed to receive praise.
“It’s nothing. It’s just that somehow my luck was good.”
Hegel patted Nide’s shoulder as if in encouragement.
“It’s nothing, We all did it together.”
The discovery of a new dungeon was an impressive opportunity to gain experience and items.
Hegel drew his sword.
“Then everyone get ready to battle!”
Their opponents were monsters that looked like white lizards crawling around inside the dungeon.
“Shield Bash! I’ll push them away altogether!”
While Hegel was holding the Kudram’s Shield in his left hand, he charged/rushed toward the monsters.
The greatest strength of a swordsman is their damage.
Attack power was maximized with the Twin Sword Skill and Great Sword Skill, so they could deal more damage than any other similar combat Profession.
“Shake. Ignite. Crumble!”
“Strengthen metal, Blessing of Flame!”
Elemental Magician Selsia, Swordsman Bella, and Enchanter Rumi had their share in the battle as well.
Enchanters can permanently grant an item a unique strength. The effectiveness of fortification spells that were applied to people was less than that of a Priest or a Shaman, but they could temporarily pull out the strength of a weapon many times over.
The Kramanoims that were attacked by the Shield Charge were wounded, pushed here or there, or flipped over. In that situation, as they suffered attacks from the Elemental Magician or the Swordsman, they weakly turned into grey light.
The thief Nide approached the Karmanoim with his stealth skill activated.
It was a profession skill only available to thieves, scouts, assassins, and adventurers. It was a skill to enable you to see detailed information of your opponents.
The information thief Nide found on Kramanoim was shared with the party.
Monster Name: Young Kramanoim
A monster that dwells in old dungeons.
It has lived only inside a dungeon for a very long time.
Eyesight has degenerated to the point of being almost blind.
They detect enemies through sound or ground vibrations and they enjoy eating meat.
They can crawl very quickly through use of their 4 legs and from the mouth they can vomit out a weak paralysing venom.
Not only did it provide information on the Kramanoim, it highlighted its weak point, its neck emitted a bluish glow. The areas where you can get fatal strikes!
From Hegel’s fierce attack and Bella and Selsia’s united efforts, the Kramanoims lethargically changed to grey light.
In about 3 hours of fighting, they were able to clean out the monsters on the basement 1st floor.
Enchanter Rumi and Bella had their level increased by 1, and the dropped items were considerable as well. Thanks to the doubled experience, even Selsia looked pleased.
“It’s the best.”
“It’s a really good dungeon. For our assignment this time, an A will be no problem.”
* * *
By the time Weed arrived in Dale Kingdom, it had already gotten dark.
“The old tree….was it near here?”
He found a booklet in the place where there were traces of digged up brown soil on the ground.
Gildras’ Strange Story Booklet.
Weed read the book.
I, the cheerful wanderer Gildras, had a date with my new wife in the Dolne Village yesterday. The daughter of a farmer, she was overflowing with health… At night, the windmill was extremely cozy and the atmosphere was good.
The next day, I left Dolne Village and walked somewhere, but I wasn’t able to find the direction. For a traveler like me, who has wandered so much the soles of my shoes have worn off. to get lost, something impossible had happened.
Here, the trees were sucked dry of moisture, and when I look back on it, I think I also passed by red dirt.
What kind of scary event had happened here in the past?
However, these old trees didn’t seem harmful to humans. That’s because even a traveler like me was able to pass them safely. Ha. Ha. Ha.
While I was lost and struggling, I saw an entrance leading to somewhere. Although it seemed fairly well hidden between the trees, it couldn’t escape my sharp eyes.
Still, I didn’t try going inside. That was because I was searching for the village first.
Oh my God. Why in the world am I so good at finding dangerous places like these, when I can’t even find a village I’ve been to?
I want to find even a hunter’s lodging quickly. It would be nice if there was a lady overflowing with health in that place too…
It was the travel log of the traveler named Gildras, who wandered the Versailles Continent.
There were truly a lot of stories like these that bards would circulate around the Versailles Continent. In fact, even if you stayed in a tavern for just 1 hour, you could hear stories like these three or four times!
Nide had gathered information like that and had found the dungeon.
Gildras’ Strange Story Booklet was divided into 8 chapters.
Each chapter was named with titles that seemed like they were mostly profanity.
Moreover, there was something written clearly in red letters on the bottom of the cover.
Not suitable for minors!
* * *
Hegal and Nide took out and started eating the bread and fruit from their backpacks.
“It tastes really bad.”
“Even so, everyone eat up. It’s so you can keep up your stamina.”
“How far do you think this dungeon goes to?”
The party members turned their attention to Hegal and Nide, but they too just shook their heads.
“After entering a dungeon, no one can know if there’s something at the end of it.”
“Me too… as a Thief, though I’m on the side of having explored a lot of dungeons, predicting beforehand is impossible. Sorry.”
Rumi asked, “Then how many basement levels do dungeons usually have?”
“There’s no way to tell. Normally, there’s 2 or 3 basement floors. We can define it like this, but it’s not a certain thing. In severe cases, I’ve even seen dungeons with up to 12 basement floors.”
“There’s dungeons that deep?”
“Defining a floor in a basement dungeon is ambiguous. Though there’s times when you definitely go down a floor through stairs, in the case of dungeons that are gradually connected the basement, you’ve just gotta define a floor when the level of the monsters goes up or the atmosphere changes.”
“Then I guess you could even die when you’re exploring a dungeon?”
After listening to Rumi and Nide’s conversation, Hegel grinned toothily.
“However, if it’s monsters of this level, there’s prolly no reason for me to die.”
Hegel personally held great belief regarding the armor. With materials that couldn’t be made without superior Handicraft skills, it was armor that couldn’t even be imagined by Blacksmiths of low caliber.
A work of art that could supplement a swordsman’s slightly lacking defenses because of the focus on attack!
A properly made Bantis Armor Set was over 5 thousand gold for one set. Although it was heavy, it had more than 5 or 6 times the defense of normal armor. Meaning he wouldn’t die, even from considerable damage.
Armor at a level where tolerable arrows or swords would just bounce off!
What swordsmen could call their dream was full plate armor. The armor Hegel had equipped was an item of first class, that had even been rigged with magic resistance. The handicraft or ornaments, even the form could be called a work of art without shame– it was that beautiful.
The best product that neared perfection!
Not only did the durability barely drop, for swordsmen, there was no better item than this.
On the 2nd basement floor, adult Kramanoims appeared.
However, it was just that their bodies were a little bigger. Their actual attack power was similar. A monster that had no development despite growing up!
Except, the dose of poison the monsters spat out had built up by quite a lot; for a party that didn’t have a Priest, it couldn’t be anything but hard work.
Hegel was covered in revolting paralysis saliva. He couldn’t help but have a bad mood from fighting while getting hit by yellow spit.
Since Swordsman Bella was weak, if she got paralyzed by the adult Kramanoims, she could only die shortly.
Since his other party members didn’t consider themselves combat-related, there was no helping it — Hegel had to take on the role of the meat shield.
“Damn it. Why are these dirty monsters appearing.”
Hegel’s mail and shield were covered in saliva. Of course his equipment was getting dirty, but even a disgusting smell was coming off. Since he was equipping accessories that had outstanding magic and poison resistance, he was still able to move his body vigorously, but if it were someone else, they would have lost their ability to fight.
Twitter shot forth arrows like a shower, and the others were pouring attacks as far as the bounds of their mana would allow. The Thief Nide lured the Kramanoims as he walked with an elaborate step and landed. If not for the extremely Thief-like quick movements that drew their attention, the Kramanoims would have charged the other party members.
Even so, Hegel was surrounded by Kramanoims with no place to run.
“Damn it. I didn’t want to use my top skills in a place like this…”
Hegel snuck a quick glance at the other party members, then put the Longsword he’d been using in its sheath and pulled out a ponderous Mace.
Generally, the Mace was a weapon with an incredibly powerful striking power. Although Swordsmen mastered the Sword as their Profession, they acquired weapon skills of the Spear and Blunt Weapons separately at the same time. That was because the defense of the armor that Swordsmen used in fights was so impressive, it became efficient to use a Spear with a pointy tip or a Blunt Weapon.
It was a weapon worth 680 thousand Won (~$680) in the cash trading market.
As an Option, it could spread a violent shock, even if it was blocked by a shield the destructive force penetrated through armor unhindered, so it could blow people away with strength alone.
Granted, it was hard to handle because it was short and heavy, but it was the best method when fighting monsters that had high Health and didn’t die easily.
As he changed his weapon and raised it, an powerful, imposing aura surged out of Hegel’s body. Perhaps it was a characteristic of the Mace itself, but his Fighting Spirit was enhanced and the monsters were intimidated.
Hegel didn’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of the Kramanoims’ dulled movements.
With great strength Hegel smashed the ground using the Mace, the earth rumbled and trembled.
The bodies of the Kramanoims within the 7 meter radius turned to grey light due of the shockwaves.
The area of effect skill demonstrated by a Swordsman of over level 300 by overdoing it, that destructive power!
“Flash of Fighting Spirit!”
The Hegel who broke through the blockade hunted the Kramanoims as if he was slaughtering a flock of sheep.
Although he also had the help of the other group members,he was the leading player who hunted the most monsters.
Even so, Hegel didn’t seem like he was satisfied.
“Damn it. If the Earth Wave’s skill proficiency was even a little higher, it would have made at least half of them unable to fight in one hit…”
Even with the lacking skill proficiency, it was good enough to transfix Bella or Rumi.
“A level 300 Swordsman sure is strong.”
“I only saw ‘em on broadcast all the time, but I’ve never seen one myself. But just as they say, it’s like they were born to fight– they’re incredible.”
A Swordsman’s attack power was to the point of inducing awe.
After they finished taking a short break, they headed to the 3rd floor basement.
“Haha. If old Kramanoims show up, this’ll be a really good dungeon.”
Hegel lead them with confidence.
However, starting from the 3rd floor basement was not as they had expected. A damnable labyrinth blocked the way in front, and there was no end to the traps.
Something charming like arrows flying from walls! They stepped on the ground and had their feet sink right in, and were ambushed by venomous snakes. Thief Nide dismantled the traps and hunted the snakes, but they were delayed by a lot of time.
And then, in a moment while they were advancing like that!
A big boulder was rolling towards them from an alley they had passed.
It filled up the entire passage. The boulder that rolled forward without even a corner to escape out of.
The party that had seen the big boulder that was rolling forth behind them ran for their lives into the dungeon.
“We don’t know what might be in front!”
“Better than being crushed and killed by the rock.”
“The passage was getting narrower!”
The passage became narrower and narrower, so the big boulder was wedged in between the walls. The walls were considerably ravaged, and although it was a boulder that had rolled all the way here, it finally stopped..
“What a relief.”
“Are we saved by this?”
There wasn’t any time to nonchalantly express happiness. Thief Nide knew from experience that in cases like this, even greater crises would come find them.
Nide hurriedly opened his mouth.
“There’s three things of bad news… there’s really bad news and less bad news. And there’s also one piece of unlucky news.”
Selsia beamed a smile. After repeatedly doing only boring hunting every day, experiencing this kind of dungeon exploration was very exciting for her.
“Tell us the less bad news first.”
“Ok. That’s that our way back is blocked. And the really bad news is, that we don’t know what kind of traps there are in the place where we’re standing.”
“Traps, you say?”
“Just now, I tried using my Trap Seeking Skill… this entire place is lit up by traps, blue light, so by the way, I think it’ll be better to stay put.”
“Dismantling the traps is impossible?”
“Yeah. This whole passage is marked with traps… this place is probably not originally a normal path, so it’s a passage connected separately. By the look of it, it seems like we chose the wrong direction ever since the boulder came rolling.”
Rumi’s skin turned pale. Still, before she gave up she asked hopefully, “Then what’s the unlucky news? Isn’t there nothing worse than this?”
“Yeah. Right now that the one who is coming to where we are, that the sole person who can help us… is Weed hyung.”
The party members who sank into despair, hopelessness, frustration, and dejection!
They could easily feel Nide’s drooping meaning from his tone.
‘It ends here.’
It seemed like they’d somehow be going back with the dungeon exploration assignment as a failure. The points for finding an undiscovered dungeon would probably be high, but if they all died in the middle of it, it would become a total failure in the end.
The assignment in itself was regretful, but the level or skill proficiency they would lose from dying could be nothing but extremely upsetting.
Then Hegel strode in with a detached step. After resting quietly, his exhausted stamina had been restored.
“What’re you all doing. Are you just going to sit here quietly and die?”
“Hegel! It might be dangerous.”
“We don’t have the freedom of choice anyways. Then we’ll press on. And it’s a dungeon where weak monsters like Kramanoims come out… even if you say it’s dangerous, it’s probably not that bad.”
Hegel’s remark was strangely persuasive.
Even if were still standing here, they would move forward. If they were going to die all the same, be it this way or that, they would not die standing still.
Although it was a Swordsman-like action, it was before he had even taken just a few steps.
Hegel didn’t turn around to look and was only walking forward.
The party members could see the spiders clinging to Hegel’s back and shoulders. They were spiders the size of fists that furtively crawled over the walls, floor, and ceiling. Because of the armor he had equipped, only the person involved couldn’t feel them.
“Umm, you’re in danger right now.”
“What is it.”
“On your armour…..”
“Is something there?”
By the time Hegel turned around to look, the spiders had already spewed silk and had tightly encased his whole body in it.
His body was completely wrapped up so he couldn’t even swing his weapon.
The so-called airtight seal!
Every time he squirmed, trying to escape, the spider silk didn’t break and became more and more tight instead.
A scream burst out of Hegel’s mouth. His Health didn’t fall by a lot because he was wearing good armor, but no matter how much strength he used, he couldn’t move an inch in the spider silk.
All the other party members were also tightly tied up by the spider silk that fell from the ceiling, wall, floor, and behind them.
The entire passage was filled with spiders, so there wasn’t even a place to escape to.
Even though Ranger Twitter’s arrows got in the way of the spiders’ approach, it wasn’t that much of a help, and even Thief Nide’s dagger only managed to cut a few spider silk strands.
A Demonic Spirit that resembled a huge spider appeared from the wall of the passage.
Elfin Queen Spider.
The boss level Demonic Spirit leisurely watched over the dying party members.
“Oh no. Looks like we’re dying just like this.”
“It was still a fun exploration.”
It was a point of comfort that at least they could still have a conversation since only their mouths weren’t covered by spider silk.
* * *
Weed was wandering the forest of dried up trees and was searching for the dungeon’s entrance.
The darkness had fallen deeply, and the forest gave off a gloomy spirit.
“Where the heck is the entrance supposed to be.”
If he were a Thief or an Adventurer, he could follow them just by looking at the preceding party’s footsteps. However, it wasn’t just that Weed didn’t have those kinds of tracking skills, but because he had flown in with the outstretched Wings of Light to the middle of the forest of dried trees, he was struggling even more.
He heard the rough sound of breathing from a living thing somewhere, and the chirping of grasshoppers died away.
The desolate and lifeless forest!
Something was thudding, charging towards him from between the trees.
Monsters holding axes came rushing at him.
A group of a hundred. It was the advent of a Growler charge.
Instead of running away, Weed drew and raised his sword.
“These experience points and items! Come quickly!”
It was just that he welcomed the appearance of an enemy because he hadn’t hunted in awhile.
“Call Death Knight!”
With smoke, even Death Knight Van Hawk appeared.
Van Hawk quickly recognized the sight of Weed. Even though he was in the form of a Dwarf, he had seen Weed as an Orc in the past, so he wasn’t surprised. They weren’t simply in a relationship of training together for one or two days, either.
“They’re enemies. Fight.”
“I understand. Master!”
Van Hawk turned round and swung his sword. The earth was turned over, and Growlers were pushed and fell over.
When Van Hawk was fighting with group of savage Growlers, the rest of them made a detour and made Weed their target.
“Moonlight Sculpting Blade.”
From within the forest of dried up trees, Weed scattered beams of light as he ran forward. He grazed past the trees at a rapid speed.
The dried up trees became obstacles, so the number of opportunities the Growlers chasing after him had to attack were limited.
“I’ll chew and eat you alive.”
Two Growlers leapt forward as if to intercept him.
The axe strike overflowing with energy! It was a reckless act to take the attack charged with all the Growler’s weight head on.
“Seven Celestial Footsteps!”
Weed’s body left an afterimage as it moved brilliantly.
A skill that could perfectly ignore the law of inertia! A skill that could move you in a completely different direction even at full pelt!
When he took the first step, his whole body faced backwards. In the next step, he moved to the right. After completely evading the Growler’s attack, he swung the sword as if to cut the enemy entirely.
It had been a really long time since he’d fought, but that much wasn’t a problem.
Pow pow pow!
The rampaging cut that pursued the intercepting Growlers!
When he had hunted two of the Growlers, Van Hawk had already cleared away at least five enemies. Van Hawk stood in place and was mowing down Growlers that rushed at him like moths to a flame.
“Seven Celestial Footsteps!”
Weed activated the skill without reserve. Quick skill use to attack the Growler’s openings, a useful skill even in the moments when he was picking up japtem. Since his Mana and Stamina were unparalleled, there was no hesitation in skill use.
At that moment, a whisper from Rumi was relayed to him.
- Yeah, what is it?
The calm voice even while crazily hunting and collecting japtem!
It was illegal to speak on the phone while driving. That was because it diverted attention and increased the probability of an accident.
Since whispering while fighting was incomparably dangerous in Royal Road as well, most people knew to restrain themselves.
However, Weed’s concentration was terrifying.
‘Experience point, skill proficiency, item!’
He was so blindly bent on these three that even if something totally unexpected occurred, he would not be shaken.
- Have you entered the dungeon yet?
- No, not yet.
Don’t enter. We fell into a trap. We are all only awaiting for our deaths to come.
You shouldn’t come inside and die needlessly, so stay in town and rest.
Weed halted on the spot.
Then, he surveyed the forest of dried up trees with dimmed and lowered eyes.
At some point, Van Hawk followed suit and stopped.
‘What kind of trouble is that master with a dirty personality going to raise…’
Since he had accompanied Weed from the time since Weed had only barely come out of the beginner stage, Van Hawk knew Weed well. That while hunting, there was absolutely no hesitation or wavering.
The truth that that kind of Weed had stopped was couldn’t be anything but horrifying for Van Hawk.
The Growlers that had lost their fighting spirit peered at Weed with fearful eyes.
If Van Hawk was based on an explosive attack power, Weed was on a totally different level. Movement that couldn’t possibly be chased.
Nimble, phantasm-like movements that rendered them helpless.
Users had to personally go through the process of fighting in Royal Road. Because of that, despite having the same level and skill, the gap between fighting level was enormous.
A character that had learned even Advanced Sword Skill that was controlled by a young child, and a character controlled by a real swordsman was the difference between heaven and earth.
Since Weed used the skills in the right places at the right times,it wasn’t possible for him to miss the place of even a single downy hair.
The concentration he showed in the fight, the skill he displayed while engrossed was giving of an awe-inspiring feeling.
Not only would normal users be shocked by those remarkable body movements, but monsters were also feeling it and were afraid.
His Leadership, Charisma stats made the effect even greater, for monsters lacking intellect, it easily made them fall into horror.
That Weed stopped during combat.
“You guys have really good luck. Something urgent happened, so it seems I’ve gotta go now.”
The Growlers expelled breaths of relief.
Could there be anything more joyful than this!
But Weed hadn’t finished speaking.
“Your command, Master.”
“Don’t let any of them get away and hunt down every one of them. Don’t forget to pick up all the japtems as well.”
Weed was not one to neglect and leave monsters.
After handing the duty off to Van Hawk, he searched for the dungeon entrance once again.
Fortunately, he was able to find the entrance in a place not too far from the place where he had fought with the Growlers.
Weed went into the entrance without even a moment of hesitation.