ETH – Ch 61

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Of course if you have the right combination of equipment, then the buffs from those items could probably be enough to boost your physical abilities enough to fight the alligator easily.

In the case of the alligator, the best buffs would probably be ones that boosted reaction time.

Anyway, my point was this.

That I would be the only bastard crazy enough to do this using just physical ability.

I charged at one of the three alligators that was next to Jong Sawon.

Since Cho Youngoo had his shield, he would be able to hold up for longer than Jong Sawon.

The monster raised its ugly head and opened its jaws wide.

Close your damn mouth.

Slam!

I slammed its jaws back together again.

Alligators typically have very strong clamping strength.

As opposed to that, they are very weak in opening their mouths so a human could easily keep them closed if they wanted.

This was the same for the Level 2 Striped Alligators. Unable to use its main weapon,, the monster started to whip its body back and forth to try and get free.

There wasn’t any point in dragging it out.

I stepped on its jaws to keep it closed while I draw my sword and plunged it straight into its forehead.

The Honcheon sword made a small explosion upon impact.

Alligator brains.

[+200]

“Nice! Shot! Sunbeh Oppa!”

Slam!

[+200]

Slam!

[+200]

Instead of stopping, I kept the momentum up and cut off the heads of the remaining two monsters. All organisms are the same.

If you just cut off the head, even a dragon would end up dying.

Ahthe undead don’t count. Because they aren’t living to start with.

Just then, I barely evaded a Fanged Earwig that had aimed to pounce on me.

It seemed in every other way like a regular Earwig except it had huge fangs that looked like ivory elephants’ tusks.

Jong Sawon swung wide with his Rubicon Sword.

It cut through the air in a half arc.

Shwing!

The 2 meter tall Earwig was instantly split cleanly in half.

I had to admit. The Jong Sawon armed with the Rubicon Sword was far and away stronger than the man I had first met.

As soon as I went to stand next to Jong Sawon, all three archers naturally switched focus to cover Cho Youngoo.

Cho Youngoo gave up on attacking and switched to defense mode.

Because he knew that the monsters would not be able to get through.

[+200]

Jong Sawon and I teamed up to get rid of the rest of the Earwigs.

All we had left were the 3 Striped Alligators futilely trying to pierce through Cho Youngoo’s shield.

As I ran towards him, I counted the monsters we killed.

3 Predatory Toads, 3 Striped Alligators, and 6 Fanged Earwigs. If we counted the 4 Sleeping Predatory Toads and 3 Alligators still alive and well, it brought our total monsters to 22.

We were almost done.

Slam! Slam! Slam!

[+200]

Just when we killed the three alligators.

Pow!

All at once, 4 Fanged Earwigs burst through the ground from my rear.

I could see Sooah standing in frozen horror with wide eyes in front of the monsters.

Shit.

There were four more of them???

I thought there were only 22 to start with?

“Keuk!”

Stomp!

I stomped on the ground hard enough to kick up a small cloud of dust. I don’t even know if Sooah would be able to handle one of them.

Let alone four.

Flash!

I saw Jong Sawon’s sword shining from here.

Just when did he get there?

“Haaht!”

Shwing!

And I saw Sooah slash horizontally with her own sword. The Earwig that had been aiming to rip her to shreds with its sharp teeth was immediately cut in half spewing out white guts everywhere.

Jong Sawon swung out with his sword while the three archers shot out with their bows to keep the monsters at bay.

“Hap!”

Stab!

Her sword swung once more in the air and the Earwig’s fang flew majestically as it separated from the monster’s head.

“Wow….”

Cho Youngoo said with amazement.

The five minute battle had garnered us 26 dead monsters. And Sooah had personally killed 2 of them herself.

I was the one who had trained her and shown her how to fight.

But I never imagined she would be able to follow through so well in real battle.

I had assumed she would need more time before fighting for real.

“Isn’t this your first time fighting a monster?”

“I don’t think it is.”

“Not counting the roach you killed that one time.”

“Eumthen it’s my first time.”

“And you were still able to stay calm and fight like that?”

“I practiced hard.”

“Ah…still….”

If that was all it took to be able to do what she did, I wouldn’t have been as surprised as I was.

There are people who are earnest. On the outside, they complain and don’t look like they’re trying all too hard, but they are the type of people who actually work a lot harder than anyone else. This was because they don’t like to show their hard work to others. They find it embarrassing. I felt like this girl was that type.

What was hard for me to believe though was that she thought to fight in such a surprising situation. It was a situation where she would not have been mentally prepared since the attack came out of nowhere.

I can’t say that I would have 100% responded in the same way were I in her position.

If I had to guess, I would say that she was able to respond in that way because she had faced life and death situations a numbers of times in her life.

“Did I do well?”

She made a small smirk while oogling at me.

Hmph. I wouldn’t go that far. I’d say that she just finally earned her keep today.

But still.

“You did well. Good job.”

“”

She put her head down. And her shoulders started to shake.

What theis she so happy it’s making her cry?

I tap tapped her shoulder.

“Heuuu…..”

“Eum?”

A weird sound started to seep out her mouth. It sounded sort of like cryingbut also like something else.

“What are you doing right now?”

“It’s my first time getting a compliment.”

She looked up at me with sparkling eyes.

“Was I so mean….? I complimented you sometimes didn’t I?”

“That was only to Yeonkyoung!”

“Ah, is that so?”

I glanced at Yeonkyoung. She started to touch her hair awkwardly while giving an uncomfortable giggle.

I didn’t realize this.

Well, complimenting didn’t cost money or anything so…

“You did well. You just have to keep doing what you’re doing now, and you’ll be great.”

“More, more more!”

She held my hands and looked at me with shining eyes.

This girl is too much sometimes.

She kept pushing her head too close to me so I lightly pushed her forehead away and spoke to Jong Sawon.

I had a question for him.

“How was it that you were there next to Sooah in that instant?”

“Ah, since I saw that you were running to Cho Youngoo to help him, I went to help the rest of the party. It was sheer luck.”

“I see.”

Is he saying it was coincidence?

Either way, it was a learning experience.

“I think it is important for us to keep in mind that if we ever fight against Fanged Earwigs, that there might be more of them than we can see. It is nice to earn money, but safety should always be priority above all else.”

Lastly, I looked at Park Hanbum.

“How many monsters have you killed on your way here?”

“I think about four.”

“I see there was a good reason for you to keep that bike.”

“It was all thanks to the new bow.”

The bike had become a great hunting tool thanks to the aid of the Grassland Horn Bow.

And it was helpful to the party as well. Now we didn’t have to go out in search for monsters we could use him to bring them to us.

That meant we could hunt that many more monsters in a shorter time.

I briefly wondered if he had a skilland if his skill had something to do with driving.

But all I saw using the manual was ‘Level 2 Increase Destructive Power’.

That meant his driving skill was unrelated to skillbut from his own hard work.

I had to give him credit. It was amazing what he could do on that bike.

Out of the 26 dead monsters, we had earned 10 ores.

Since 2 of them were blisonites, I decided not to invest them into my upgrade just yet.

If I just gathered some level 1 items and performed fusions, it would end up being quite a bit of profit so there was no need to invest every single ore into my upgrade.

I also earned 3,400 in reward points. That meant I had killed 17 monsters on my own.

If I think about the early days when I had pretty much killed all the monsters myself, it was a bit disappointing but I had to think positively.

This just meant that all my party members had raised their own abilities. This was better in the long run.

We also came up with a level 2 spear and armor.

None of us needed any more equipment so we decided to sell it and I stored it in my manual.

“Coming up with two items this time around is all thanks to me, ok?”

Manager Kim said as he shook his glove.

This man was very talented in tooting his own horn. I mean, that glove only raises drop probability by 10%. But I’ll humor him.

“Is there any place I can go wash up nearby?”

I asked Han Joonseok. I felt uncomfortable covered in all of the damn predatory toad’s slime.

“Wait a moment.”

While he started doing a search, I took the armor off and put it into the manual. Then I took off my top.

I wanted to keep it on, but I just couldn’t bear the awful smell any longer.

Gulp.

I heard someone swallowing somewhere. I looked up, thinking it was Sooah, but I saw Bae Yeonkyoung quickly turning her head away.

After confirming there was a small brook nearby, everyone loaded into the car and headed there.

Of course, I decided it would be best to just run alongside the vehicle. Since I could probably keep up or even outrun a speeding car if I wanted to, there was no point in me stinking it all up for everyone.

It was 30 minutes into the run when I slowly started to run out of breath. But it was fine. I would probably still be able to run for a few more hours.

Park Hanbum, who was keeping pace next to me on his bike said,

“Ha….I’ve got to say that you aren’t the average Joe. I mean, I’ve seen plenty of people who were strong or fastbut I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone with stamina that even comes close to yours.”

“This is all thanks to my skill. Nothing to be amazed at.”

“I briefly heard about your skill from everyone else. Having said that, if you didn’t have the stamina and will to push yourself, this wouldn’t be possible.”

“Haha. If you think of it that way, then thank you.”

Honestly, these kinds of situations always embarrassed me a bit. Because I felt that this skill was more luck than effort. Of course I pushed myself in the beginning..and that itself was effortbut I was lucky to have chanced on this skillbook.

Tap tap.

Han Joonseok, who had been sitting in the car, opened the window and lightly tapped the car to get my attention.

As soon as I looked at him, he pointed up ahead. There was a small hill.

“If we just pass that, there will be a brook! Just a little more!”

And there it was after we passed the hill. It was probably only about 2 meters wide at best, and the water just barely came to my ankles. But this was enough to wash up.

Sqeaak.

A van suddenly stopped on top of the hill.

I sighed and looked at Han Joonseok. I could see him frowning while straining to look into the distance.

I tried to look where he was looking, but I couldn’t make anything out except for a vague outline.

“Shit…”

“What is it?”

“A huge monster.. It looks about 4-5 meters tall. Probably…”

A word I had forgotten in the depths of my memories reared its head in my mind.

I had not expected to run into him in a place like this, but I guess that was too much to ask for.

“But it looks like it’s not alone. I can’t tell for sure but it seems like there’s another party in the middle of a hunt.”

“Then that’s none of our business.”

Cho Youngoo responded. Han Joonseok shook his head and said,

“They’re too far for me to be sure, but it looks like the group isn’t faring too well.”

“Why don’t we get a bit closer to see if we can measure the situation better.”

We took our car and drove up about 1 kilometers closer.

I was able to make something out now. The first thing I could see was how humongous the monster was.

Han Joonseok had said 4-5 meters but, on closer inspection, it was 3 meters tall and over 5 meters long.

I checked my memories and came up with the monster’s name.

“Splendense.”

It was a level 4 monster.

“Interesting name.”

“Well, the person who first comes across the monster gets to name it so..I heard that they derived it from the scientific name of the beetle.

Just like the name, it looked like a beetle. It used its horns and front feet  to plow into the ground.

Like most bug type monsters, their weak spot was their stomach. But since the Splendense usually moved with their stomachs close to the ground, it was hard to attack.

And even if we were able to flip it over to strike at its “weak” spot, it will be hard to make any real damage since it was so huge.

“The situationdoesn’t look too great.”

Han Joonseok said.

“Is it critical?”

“They have about 30 hunters in all. But there seems to be about 10 of them on the ground. I can’t tell if they’re alive or dead from here.”

“Let’s try and get there as soon as possible.”

My team drove the car as fast as it could go. The ground kicked up clouds of dust as the wheels spun in a roar.

Park Hanbum and I followed behind as quickly as possible as well.

The closer we got, we saw that the situation was even worse than we expected.

There were only 15 of them standing.

In that short time, 5 of them had fallen.

As soon as we arrived on the scene, the other hunters started to cheer at the top of their lungs.

“Help is here!”

“But they’re not our team!”

“It doesn’t matter who they are! Please help us!”

Yep. Bad, all around. They were so desperate they didn’t even care who we were.

“SunbehOppa, that’s…”

“Ah, I saw. But let’s first help them out and figure it all out later.”

One of the collapsed men was holding a flag.

A wheel pattern on a white background. Team Ezekiel.

But there was no reason for us to deny them help.

It’s not as if I hated these people before us. I hated what their team representedbut not the individual people.

Shwing.

As soon as my weapon and armor appeared from storage, I ran headfirst into battle. I felt Park Hanbum look after me in surprise.

Kyaa!

The Splendense, which had been taken aback by the roar of the car and bike engines at first, finally seemed to gained a bit of control and moved surprisingly fast on its short legs to try and stomp on me.

Slam!

As the monster slammed and plowed into the ground with its front legs, it felt as if there was a small explosion clods of dirt flew up in all directions.

I had already jumped away from the attack while my archers started shooting their arrows.

And the arrows bounced off with no effect but the resounding noise of hitting a boulder.

Keeek?!

Its feelers began to twitch and I saw its eyes look from me to them.

Slam!

My Honcheon sword made a small explosion as it broke the monster’s second leg.

“Yes!”

I heard someone yelling out loudly.

“To think he can cut off its leg in just one try!”

“Shit! Effing Yes!”

“We’re saved!”

The Ezekiel Hunters were beside themselves.

But it was still too early to cheer just yet.

Swiing!

“Uh…?”

Pow!

The monster had stamped on one of the hunters who had been cheering loudly.

His body, pierced by the monster’s foot, was a bloody, gut spilling mess. Dead for sure.

So why the hell did you scream like that! Of course you’ll draw the monster’s attention like that!

“Cheonsang!”

Another hunter yelled out with a cry. He raised his head up and dumbly looked at the dead body hanging off the monster’s foot.

Shit! Were they close?

But even still! Get the hell out of the way!

Stomp!

The monster raised its leg higher to stomp down once more. And the target remained still.

I sprinted to push the idiot out of the way.

Stomp!

“Keuk!”

I left the miserable hunter to continue crying out in pain as he just rolled around on the ground. I immediately got up to swing out with my Honcheon sword.

The monster’s front feet that had been stomping up and down unrelentlessly immediately stopped and backed up.

I guess it didn’t want to go up against the Honcheon sword a second time. Smart for a bug.

“Please keep shooting your bows! And Manager Kim! Stop playing around and cast your sleep spell!”

“Will it work on a huge monster like that?”

“It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work! I just need you to distract it!”

Of course a distraction wasn’t too helpful. The monster’s eyes were placed wide apart so that it could spot a wide range. What I was aiming for was a small enough distraction that I could get close to it.

Slam!

It stomped where I was standing just a moment earlier.

Clods of dirt flew all around and behind me but I kept running.

As soon as I started to swing with the Honcheon sword, the monster began to back up.

That meant it had identified me as the most dangerous opponent.

I began to run in a zig zag and reached the monster.

“Sleep!”

Haaht!

It was then that Manager Kim’s magic fell down over the beetle’s body.

I would normally back away from the target in this case, but Manager Kim was using the Floodplain Cane and adjusted the range of attack to only hit the monster.

Bugs sleep too. And luckily for us, all organisms that sleep are affected by the sleep spell.

“Sleep! I said sleep!”

I spied Manager Kim on the side raising both arms, with a cane  in each hand, and yelling out with a face full of concentration.

It was a funny sight to see him with a cane in both hands, but I couldn’t deny the efficacy of it.

I know of some magicians who tie up a number of canes with different effects and walk around with the bundle.

If course it’s better to have one high level cane than a bunch of level 1 canes, so there aren’t too many who do that.

Anyway, if he keeps yelling out like that, even if the monster wanted to go to sleep..I doubt it would be able to.

But I felt the Splendense halt for a moment before moving again.

It was feeling the effects of the sleep magic. Since it was a high level monster, it didn’t fall asleepbut it did slow down.

“Wow, it’s working.”

“Of course it is! I’m sure no one else thought of using two canes at once like I did!”

They did. There are actually a lot of people who thought of it before you, you old man.

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