This was my way of telling them that we didn’t just help with the hunt we saved their lives.
His expression hardened. I guess he must have taken me for a chump.
It would have been best for everyone if he just backed offbut that didn’t seem to be the case.
“Butdo you know that this is Ezekiel territory?”
“I’m not sureI don’t think I’ve heard that, no.”
“All the roads leading here are supposed to be blocked…”
“So are you saying right now that you purposely blocked off roads?”
“That is. Of course because this is our territory.”
“And who made that ruling?”
The initial ruling by the government was that they would acknowledge partial ownership for partiesnot ownership of everything.
Nothing in the ruling said anything about the right to occupy land that had not been granted in the first place to do what they wanted with it. And it was because of this little point that they had taken the initiative to block the roads.
“That’s obviously by the government…”
“So are you saying that you will stick by what you just stated and accept all the repercussions as well?”
“It is true that the government approved teams to raid and occupy territories. But nowhere in the rulings did they approve blocking off roads and rights to passage.”
“I see. Well ok then.”
Kim Jaemin nodded his head and walked away.
“Heyhe’s actually backing off?”
“The monster’s still evaporating. Nothing has dropped yet so I’m pretty sure they’ll act based on what comes out. I’m sure if they see something worth a pretty penny, they’ll be more aggressive.”
“Scavengers. I hate those kinds of scum.”
“But didn’t you get along just fine with those kinds of people, Manager Kim?”
“That was only when they gave me money. Those bastards aren’t giving me a paycheck. And didn’t I say that a weasel like them stabbed me in the back and I lost my job before?”
“Haha ok ok.”
It might have been because the Splendense was so huge, but it took a really long time for it to evaporate. It was only after 20 minutes that an item finally dropped.
I had been a porter for a long time and, short as it may be, my time as a hunter was spent in lots of raids.
In that time, I had killed a great number of monsters and seen plenty of items before too.
But this was reallyI don’t know how to put it into words.
A dog barked and wagged its tail furiously as it stared at us.
Hellkeeper Cerberus (0)
Special Abilities: Eats items to grow. The higher the level, the more it grows. Cannot die.
Bae Yeonkyoung hugged the dog and asked.
Surprised at the drop, everyone came together to look at her breasts.
No, I mean, the dog she was holding to her breast.
What the hell am I saying.
“It seems that this dog here grows by eating items. It might look like a regular dog, but it might turn into a 3 headed monster later.”
Even the cheapest item is valued at over 100,000 dollars. To feed something like that to a dog. Not something for the light of heart. But one thing caught my eye.
There is no way the manual would have false information. That meant this was 100% fact.
If we could have this Cerberus as our ally, it could really be worth feeding the dog some items.
The only problem was, we didn’t know just how many items needed to feed it for it to be useful to us.
There was no point in investing expensive items in a dog that needed hundreds to grow a small amount.
“But there’s no way such a cute little dog can transform into a monster like that.”
Bae Yeonkyoung purred as she cuddled the dog a bit harder.
I couldn’t tell what kind of dog it was.
“I think this is ‘your’ item again.”
Han Joonseok spoke.
There was no point in leaking information they didn’t need to know in front of team Ezekiel. Park Hanbum, who was still new, looked at me with curious eyes.
“‘Your’ item? What does that mean…?”
“We’ll explain later. Anyway, since the monster has evaporated, we should go on our way. There’s no reason for us to waste any more time here. And that dog, can you…”
Bae Yeonkyoung passed over the small Cerberus to me.
I held the dog by the gruff of its neck with one hand and put it into my manual.
It easily disappeared into storage.
Even if it was a living thing, it was still an item, so I guess there was no problem doing this. Anyway, this made it easier to take around.
Seeing Yeonkyoung look at me with sad and worried eyes, I brought out the dog again and handed it over to her.
Park Hanbum’s expression was one for the books. It was a face that wanted to know so bad that it was almost comical to look at.
“Did something come out?”
Kim Jaemin came up to us and started poking his nose around. I shrugged and shook my head.
“Sadly nothing dropped.”
“But I thought I heard something just now…”
He might have noticed we were crowded together for a moment and gotten suspicious butthere’s no way he would have thought Cerberus was an item.
“We just saw a dog come out of nowhere so we were just all petting it a bit.”
I pointed to the small black dog that Yeonkyoung was lightly bouncing up and down in her arms.
Its whole body was covered in shiny black fur while the eyebrow-like fur above its eyes were flat grey ovals.
“Then we’ll be taking off.”
“Please stop right there.”
There was a bit of steel in Kim Jaemin’s voice.
Was he really trying to do something?
Even if he had a healer, it’s not as if his remaining men were in any shape to fight us.
They only looked like they had about 15 men who could put up any type of fight. But even if they had double that, they wouldn’t be able to beat me.
Fighting against people was easier than fighting against monsters in one aspect. If you just showed them how much more powerful you were, most would just turn tail and run.
“If you think you can stop us, go ahead.”
“I’m trying to say that I heard something. Didn’t you hear it?”
I looked where Kim Jaemin was squinting at and saw a vehicle coming our way. It was still a ways off but it looked like it would reach us in less than a minute.
And soon, a 2.5 ton truck pulled up while a bunch of people jumped out of it.
All of them had at least level 2 equipment with some who had level 3 equipment on them.
There seemed to be about 20 in number.
Kim Jaemin shook his cellphone at us.
“Now are you ready to talk?”
“Wellnow that you finally did something underhanded, I feel more at peace. I was wondering when it would come.”
35 of them circled all around us 15 unhurt men from earlier and the 20 reinforcements.
It seemed they were trying to intimidate by outnumbering.
But just then, another truck pulled up on the scene. It didn’t look to be from team Ezekiel. Because the flag attached to it was unfamiliar.
“They look like Ezekiel bastards. Should we help?”
This was the first time being lent a hand by complete strangers. It felt weird, to be honest.
This evened up the score.
But my favorite part was this how Kim Jaemin’s face crumpled up from a smile to a scowl.
“Now, what will you do?”
I just wanted all this to be over and for everyone to leave. I didn’t want to hurt anyone when it was unnecessary.
Kim Jaemin’s face suddenly brightened up again.
When I followed his gaze, another truck that seemed to be theirs was heading this way.
The vehicle stopped and a gruff voice yelled out from within.
“What are you doing here?!”
“We’re taking care of some men who have broken through the barricade.”
I guess this person was higher up in the ranks than Kim Jaemin.
“Well, if you take care of all of them, maybe things will settle down a bit.”
Hm. This one seemed strong. I could see that he had level 4 equipment.
“Why don’t you try?”
“I was going to even before you asked. Everyone! Prepare for battle!”
37 of them all took up their weapons.
Jesus. But then another truck was ambling their way.
I thought it was another Ezekiel truck, but Han Joonseok spoke.
“They’re regular hunters. How…”
“We made a call to some people we knowthey came faster than I expected.”
An unfamiliar man said as he stepped off his truck.
Things were getting out of control.
“Shit. What the hell…?”
The head honcho looking guy started to curse to himself.
He was about 170cm. A bit on the short side but I could see that he had a strong build.
I checked him out using my manual.
Name: Jang Taesoo
Skill: Agility (4), Increases response rate by 200%
Additional skills: None
Equipment: Smash Sword (4), North Sea Armor (3), Shock Absorbing Glove (1), Quick Shoe (1)
As expected of a level 4 skill, the Agility skill raised his response rate significantly.
But it was still nothing compared to the reflexes my effort skill gave me.
The only thing that I had to watch out for was his Smash Sword.
That sword had an additional option the sword’s strikes would deal critical damage to monsters at random.
But other than those random hits, it was no different from a no name level 4 sword.
Nothing to sweat over.
And we outnumbered them now 6 to 4.
Even if they had a level 4 hunter, it was game over if the rest of his team is wiped out. Additionally, his armor can’t protect every part of him. If my archers just shot him in the eye bye bye.
“You were saying you would show us something…”
“Keu keu keu….”
Jang Taesoo started to give out an evil laugh.
“I don’t think I said anything funny.”
“Take this time to bask in that happiness of your right now. As soon as the rest of our reinforcements get here, not a single one of you will leave alive.”
“Hm. Is that so? How long do you think it’ll take for them to get here? 10 minutes? 20 minutes? If I had to guess, I’d say it would take them over an hour?”
He didn’t say anything, but I could tell from his expression.
“It seems you guys had a bunch of your team sprinkled here and there to prevent other from hunting. But you guys were too greedy. Even if you brought every one of your party members here, you’ll have what300? Are you saying that you’ll take over the entire Southern wetlands with so few men? We have no intention of letting you do that.”
“Shut up! You bastard! I’ll rip apart that loud mouth of yours!”
“Like I said. If you think you can, go ahead.”
Jang Taesoo hit the ground running. I had suspected he would fight, but I didn’t expect him to make his move so soon.
He must have been pretty sure of himself.
In his mind, since he had a level 4 skill that increases his response rate by 200%, he would have expected he could bring me down before I could do anything. But, including Sooah’s buff, mine was at 360%.
To think he could overcome me with just 200% was folly.
I grabbed his wrist.
Did I surprise you?
I gave it a bit of a squeeze (ok more than a squeeze) and he screamed as he dropped his sword.
I picked up the item and put it in my manual before slamming into him with my shoulder.
The satisfying crunch of his ribs breaking.
When I let go of his wrist, Jang Taesoo collapsed in a lifeless heap.
I looked toward Kim Jaemin, whose mouth was open wide in disbelief, and said,
“Do you want more?”
I hoped this was enough to convince them they were no match.
I’m not a killer. I know that if there is no reason for violence, it is best to avoid it.
“Keukeukeuyou thought it would end like this?”
Jang Taesoo snickered while on the ground. Surprising. He should have had a hard time breathing let alone talk. Stubborn bastard.
I looked down at him and said,
“I think it would be best for both sides if we stopped right now.”
“That’s not how a fight works. You see..once you start…”
Jang Taesoo spit at me.
Of course I dodged it but, in that time, he got up and made a dash for me while yelling at the top of his lungs.
“Everyone attack! Don’t hold back! We’ll get every one of these bastards!”
Before he could grab my legs, I knocked him out, but things took a turn for the worse.
The men who were ready to turn back just a moment ago, were now fired up again.
And Kim Jaemin took up his sword as calmly said.
“Kill them all.”
All of them started running.
“Kill them! Shit!”
“That girl is mine!”
Magic and arrows flew through the air and weapons clashed.
I could see deaths unfolding all around me.
Usually when there is a battle of 100 vs 100, 10 people at most fight like crazy while the rest look around more focused on defense.
But Ezekiel’s men were different.
They were weak as individuals, but I could see that they were fighting as a group.
Not one of them backed down. Each and every one of them were fighting with all they had.
The ones who had fallen into panic instead were the men who had decided to help us. Because this was still unfamiliar territory to them.
And it seemed I wasn’t the only one who saw this.
“These bastardsthey look like they’ve done this a time or two.”
Han Joonseok spoke. And I only nodded.
Now that things had gone south, there was no reason for us to hold back either.
I could forgive their folly oncebut not a second time especially after I’d given them numerous chances to pull back.
“I will trust you all to play your roles!”
I yelled out simply and jumped into the middle of battle. Since we were being pressured, I had to do something.
Right now, Ezekiel was our enemy, and we didn’t have the kind of room to show them any leniency.
I turned to see a man charging at me with his sword and swung with my Honcheon sword.
He had been wearing a sturdy armor, but the explosive attack of my weapon easily broke through.
His body blew to pieces with a small explosion.
“What is that! A bomb?”
“Focus and attack!”
Kim Jaemin yelled out quickly, but it didn’t soothe the panic I had created with my sword. And in that same moment, I made a dash for where Kim Jaemin was standing.
As soon as I killed two more on the way, I could feel the confidence from the Ezekiel slide slowly slip away. But that was only in my general area.
All of the others from Ezekiel were still fighting full force everywhere else.
In order to end this as quickly as possible, I had to get rid of the inciter and leader first.
Realizing he was my target, he quickly gave his order.
Men of level 2 and level 3 started to make a human barricade in front of me.
I move my head this way and that as I yelled out,
“Come and get it!”
Three attacks came at me. Two swords and one spear.
The speed of the spear was fast.
I grabbed the spear between my arm and hip before I gave a good yank. The man holding onto the other end easily followed suit and came between me and the two swords.
“This piece of shit!”
After killing one of their own by accident, they were hopping mad.
Hm. I get points for killing someone indirectly too?
An arrow whistled toward me. Raising my sword up, the arrow bounced off my blade to hit the man trying to attack me from behind.
Even after killing their comrades so easily, the attacks didn’t stop.
One man yelled out with steel in his voice as he ran for me.
Maybe it was because he was so desperate to kill, but he left himself wide open. There was no point in blocking or even dodging. I just swung down with my sword.
His armor crumbled and he was catapulted away. He rolled into another of his comrades and started to violently cough up blood.
I guess he didn’t die from that but it looked like he would be hard pressed to keep fighting.
Maybe I was finally able to knock some fear into these fools because the remaining two Ezekiel members stood their ground instead of attacking.
Then I guess it’s my turn to take the initiative?
It was then that something black passed me at an incredible speed.
Yeonkyoung’s shrieking voice.
Kelby? Did she already give it a name?
But what is that dog trying to do?
Cerberus started to eat a dagger that was dropped on the ground.
It was a level 2 stealth dagger.
“What, what the?”
An Ezekiel hunter that had seen this started to back away. It was understandable since a normal looking dog started to eat a dagger out of nowhere.
After gobbling up the dagger in mere moments, Cerberus spied a fallen shield and started running towards that as well.
I hurriedly pulled up my manual to check its stats: 2.
His level had gone up one point.
Hm..kind of a waste.
“This little shit…!”
One of the hunters that had backed up just moments before kicked his foot.
Cerberus disappeared. And the man, just kicking at air, started to look around wildly.
“Where the hell did that shit go…”
Just as quickly as it had disappeared, Cerberus reappeared and chomped on the hunter’s offending leg.
It had bit down so hard that I could see the white of his bone.
Leaving the hunter to roll around on the the ground in misery, Cerberus focused again on running toward the shield.
Even with my eyes, it seemed as if Cerberus was disappearing and reappearing again and again.
While wondering how it was doing that, the item it had gobbled up came to mind.
Level 2 stealth dagger.
It was a weapon that gave the wielder the option of concealing him/herself a second at a time.
A hunter raised his sword, blade down, and plunged it where Cerberus was.
Instead of the sound of sword plunging into the dog, I heard the sound of something more like a leather drum being hit.
He kept stabbing at Cerberus, but the dog ignored the idiot and gobbled up the shield after reaching it.
As soon as it swallowed the shield up whole.
It suddenly grew as big as a small calf.
It looked exactly the same just bigger.
Even if it looked like a dog, I’m sure it couldn’t have looked cute to the men attacked by it and the Ezekiel hunter slowly started to back away.
I tried to think back on what Cerberus had just eaten. It was a round shield that covered a diameter of the forearm with a pattern as if the shield was cut into four pizza slices…
It had the option of reflecting the damage made to the shield.
Standing between me and the other Ezekiel hunters, Cerberus slowly turned around to look for other items.
But seeing there weren’t anymore lying on the ground, the big dog looked back at the hunters.
It was looking at the level 2 items they were holding.
“What are you doing! Kill it!”
Kim Jaemin screeched. Obeying order, the two hunters slowly walked towards Cerberus holding their swords.
Cerberus plowed into one while biting into the other.
The sword the hunter had been holding easily snapped in Cerberus’ jaws leaving only the hilt.
Without a care, Cerberus pawed at the other sword, held it between both paws before plopping down to gobbling it up.
It looked like the very picture of a child chewing up his lollipop.
The last hunter still with his sword raised it into the air.
At Cerberus’ yelp, the hunter jumped back in surprise.
Since it had grown in size, its yelps had amplified loudly as well.
Everyone looked toward us.
“What is that…?”
“I think it’s a dog?”
“How can a dog be so big?”
“What is it eating?”
“It looks like a sword…?”
“You’re saying it’s eating an item?”
“Crazy. You’re right. Is several hundreds of thousands of dollars a dog’s chew thing?”
So surprised by this new scene, the battle had seemingly paused.
Cerberus started to stretch out before it let out a nice big burp.
I can’t believe it was able to eat and digest that…
“But isn’t that a monster? Don’t we have to kill it?”
Someone asked to which Bae Yeonkyoung screamed out loud.
“Kelby is not a monster! It’s a pet!”
“How the hell is there a pet that eats items…?”
And an arrow shot out somewhere from Ezekiel’s group.
Its target was Cerberus.
But the arrow just bounced off Cerberus’ thick skin like a toy.
And the archer who had shot the arrow, let out a pained yell. The damage had reflected right back to him.
Cerberus was able to absorb the abilities of the items he ate.
I looked at Cerberus and shouted an order.
I raised my hand to point at Kim Jaemin. But it just looked at me curiously before plopping right down onto the ground.
“Sunbuh Oppa. I think you were just ignored.”
“I know ok?”
“Call it Kelby.”
Yeonkyoung whispered to me. Hmcant hurt right?