Records of Dungeon Travel Chapter 12
The dungeon babies were lightly equipped. They only carried weapons and armor necessary for combat. Meanwhile, the ordinary explorers carried huge bags, containing both their belongings and the dungeon babies’ belongings. Basically, they were porters in this expedition.
The ordinary explorers weren’t treated particularly well. The expedition was uneventful, presumably thanks to the advance team, so they were forced to curry favor with the dungeon babies for the whole day. It was tough for them.
The bags on their backs weighed almost forty kilograms each. Moreover, they had to scout the path ahead and shift their formation frequently, so they were fatigued to the core.
That explained the havoc that occurred when they were ambushed by whip-tail lizards.
“H-Help me!” an explorer screamed. Pinned by his own bag, he couldn’t dodge the gigantic lizards that were leaping down from the ceiling.
The remaining explorers threw their bags aside as Lee Jun-Young called out, “Get ready for battle!”
Meanwhile, a lizard stretched its long tongue towards the pinned explorer. The tongue was at least two meters in length, and razor-sharp protrusions emerged from its surface when it enveloped the explorer’s body.
“Arghhh!” The poor explorer had his skin ripped off.
“These are whip-tail lizards! Watch out for their tongues and tails!” Lee Jun-Young commanded. The dungeon babies and explorers immediately rearranged their formation and surrounded the lizards. “Attack! Aim for their armpits!” she yelled.
Several explorers whipped out and extended their batons, using them as spears to pierce the lizards’ flanks.
“Attack the front legs, not the hind ones!” Lee Jun-Young continued to relay her orders, but no one took the screaming explorer enveloped in the lizards’ tongues into consideration. In fact, she intended to use the explorers as sacrificial pawns to immobilize the lizards’ tongues.
The whip-tail lizards had six legs each. Upon hearing Lee Jun-Young’s command, a few explorers began to stab their forelegs. Their custom-made spears couldn’t inflict serious damage on the whip-tail lizards, but they consistently left minor wounds.
Amid all this chaos, none of the dungeon babies stepped forth. They were going to let the explorers take care of these low-level underbeasts.
The first explorer fell limp and stopped moving, presumably dead. The lizard had finally managed to swallow him all while twisting its body to dodge the spears.
“Damn it. I guess we’re starting this expedition with these unprofitable bastards.” This sentence revealed the mindset of the dungeon babies.
“Huh?” someone said all of a sudden.
While the dungeon babies stepped back and watched the battle, a silhouette dashed forward in a flash. It was Kim Jin-Woo. Nobody could stop him from lunging at the whip-tail lizards.
Kim Jin-Woo unsheathed his knife made of alloy steel and split the lizards’ necks with a single swing. Warm blood gushed out from their wounds.
“Aim for the wounds!” he shouted at the explorers, who instantly gathered and began to plunge their spears into the gaps in the lizards’ hides. The underbeasts screamed and struggled, but eventually fell to the ground with their tongues out.
The battle was over.
Kim Jin-Woo’s timely appearance had minimized the casualties, but even he couldn’t save the unfortunate explorer. He shook the blood off the tip of his knife, while the other dungeon babies looked at him curiously. He returned to his seat nonchalantly.
Soon after, Lee Jun-Young approached him. “You’re good. Whip-tail lizards have pretty tough leather.”
Kim Jin-Woo said nothing. Lee Jun-Young continued, “But please follow orders next time. Showing off your strength is fine, but I don’t want to be short of hands when it’s really necessary.”
“Did I do anything wrong?” Kim Jin-Woo frowned. Lee Jun-Young’s tone was too mellow for her words to be a reprimand.
She shook her head and spoke directly. “No, it’s just as I said. I’m worried, that’s all. Besides, the explorers are capable of fighting under-beasts of that level even though some damage may occur. How could they call themselves explorers otherwise?”
The explorers flinched when they heard Lee Jun-Young. Soon after, they began to clean up the place diligently for her to see. They were desperate to prove their worth. Nobody mourned for the dead explorer. In fact, some of the explorers were excited about their increased profit shares.
Kim Jin-Woo quietly observed them for a while then looked away. He looked as if he were staring off into space.
[You have won the battle. You distinguished yourself by killing many enemies, but they were too weak for you to gain experience.]
Kim Jin-Woo was shocked to see a message appear even outside the Naga’s Labyrinth. He looked around cautiously, but nobody else seemed to have noticed the message floating in the air. He couldn’t help but sigh as he tried to look nonchalant.
“Forget about the corpse! Let’s move!” Lee Jun-Young commanded.
The team members spread a special liquid that eliminated any scent of blood and resumed their journey soon afterward.
There were two more attacks on their way to the campground, but the attackers were too weak to even bring out the best in the team. They were dealt with by the explorers alone.
While the explorers shuffled around busily setting up the camps, a few men sat in a corner of the labyrinth’s concave space.
“The quality of explorers has dropped after all. Despite the tedious rounds of selection, there’s already been a casualty.”
“It’s been ten years since the end of the war. Those who fought in the war have already left the labyrinths with hefty rewards. Only novices and madmen remain now.”
“I guess we won’t be scouting anyone useful again.”
The dungeon babies had been planning to recruit proficient explorers through this underground expedition. Kim Jin-Woo could hear their gossip from a distance.
“At this rate, we may have to deal with all the cumbersome work ourselves.”
“Don’t jinx it. We can still look for talents in the first team. There are more explorers there.”
“That aside, what do you think of that person? He’s Level 7, yet he seems to be as strong as our leader.”
“How can you tell? Anyone can defeat whip-tail lizards.”
Kim Jin-Woo, who had been quietly listening to the dungeon babies’ conversation, just closed his eyes and went to sleep.
That concluded his first day in the underground world.
A week had passed since the team entered the underground world. Unlike the well-illuminated first floor, the deeper floors were almost pitch dark. They had to wear night-vision goggles to navigate through the darkness that filled the broad passageways with high ceilings.
They were supposed to meet the advance team at the entrance of the second floor, but the latter was nowhere to be seen even beyond the entrance.
The journey was smooth sailing otherwise. There were no casualties, and the team had chanced upon a few down gems on the way.
“Right. I hope I can find some down gems again.”
Kim Jin-Woo sighed while listening to the explorers’ conversation. They were the ones screaming in every battle, and yet they had the audacity to say such things. They reminded him of moths being drawn to a flame.
“Something’s off.” Kim Jung-Tae, who had been searching for traces of the advance team at the front line, returned to the group. “I thought we had almost caught up with the previous team, but apparently not. They’re even further from us now.”
Feeling uneasy, he gazed into the passageway. “They’re suddenly moving faster.” His voice trembled with anxiety.
Despite that, Lee Jun-Young rejoiced. “Let’s speed up. I think the advance team has found the spiders.” She ordered Kim Jung-Tae to regroup, and led the team forward.
The explorers could hardly keep up with the quick pace. Despite their huffing and puffing, the team refused to slow down.
“There are signs of battle here!’” Kim Jung-Tae stopped the team and swept the ground with his hand.
“When was it?” Lee Jun-Young asked.
“It hasn’t even been thirty minutes.” Kim Jung-Tae held his thumb and index finger up. A string of slime could be seen between them. In response, Lee Jun-Young asked him about the situation of the advance team.
“It’s hard to tell. There aren’t many signs of damage, but I can’t say for sure.” Kim Jung-Tae didn’t sound too confident.
Still, Lee Jun-Young didn’t falter. “We’ll keep our guard up and proceed! Those spider bastards are masters of camouflage! Watch the ceiling and walls!”
She then drew her flat sword, which was a staggering fifteen centimeters long. The dungeon babies unsheathed their weapons as well. She remarked, “We’re in luck. The advance team must be chasing down the spiders.”
“Or they could be the ones being chased,” Kim Jin-Woo stepped forward and said, immediately bringing down the mood.
“That’s not impossible, but there are a few high-level dungeon babies in that team too.” Lee Jun-Young frowned, not too fond of Kim Jin-Woo’s derogatory remark. The rest of the team narrowed their eyes at him as well.
However, Kim Jin-Woo didn’t falter. He followed the traces that Kim Jung-Tae had been observing and lowered his posture.
“Is that so? That’s a pity, since those dungeon babies were probably eaten by the spiders.” He spoke coldly as he whipped out and fired his crossbow. The arrow pierced through the air with a screech and disappeared into the dark.
Suddenly, the sound faded. He said, “It’s a spiderweb. Seems we’ve stepped into their hunting ground.”
The arrow was specially treated to emit light in the dark in order to reveal its target. It hung precariously in the air.
“Get ready for battle!” Lee Jun-Young barked. As expected from a Level 8 dungeon baby, she was a quick thinker. The explorers instantly tossed their bags aside and removed their night-vision goggles upon her command.
Flares were shot into the air in all directions. The burning red sticks illuminated the darkness, allowing the explorers to install lights on the floor. The passageway was finally illuminated.
But at that moment, the explorers couldn’t help but gasp. “Damn it,” someone said.
There were spiderwebs everywhere. They were so thin and transparent that they almost appeared to be invisible. Hanging on them were the explorers from the advance team, whom Kim Jin-Woo’s team had been so eagerly looking for.
“Help…” one of the captive explorers moaned, as red light shone on the ten people hanging from the spiderwebs. It made them look like pieces of meat in a butcher’s shop.
[You have fallen into the hell spider’s trap. Vicious predators are after you. Be ready for an imminent battle.]
A red message blinked in front of Kim Jin-Woo. He clenched his teeth.
At that moment, the air swirled beside an explorer who was standing out of formation.