Sweat was pouring like rain from my face.
I kept moving without stopping for four hours. Especially in a place as uncomfortable and eerie as Tunnel 99.
I had to remain completely focused the whole time, since if I made a mistake and got a critical hit from Deathworm, it was instant death.
Even so, I still got a lot of injuries during that time. I had to use five of the strongest potions to heal myself.
But I gained a lot in the process too.
[Continuous Slash: Intermediate level 4, 86%]
[Combo (Under 40%): Intermediate level 3, 41%]
‘It would be great if I could just raise combo to intermediate level 6.’
If I do well, I think it might be possible.
But this was it for today. Otherwise, Deathworm might end up dead.
But Deathworm’s HP is unbelievable. 3 XL potions weren’t close to enough so I had to feed him 6 of them.
Which means, his HP was at least 300,000.
Well, that was the specialty of the Deathworm I knew anyways. His movement was slow and his attack wasn’t strong, but he survived on his toughness and ginormous HP.
That is why he is also the best opponent to practice combo.
‘Should I have bought more potions?’
Either way, he’ll be lively again by tomorrow. Then I will be able to reap the worth of those six potions properly.
I left Deathworm and headed back to Tunnel 7.
I could hear the sound of the pickaxe.
Clang. Clang. Clang.
It was definitely different than yesterday. I could sense the strength behind each hit.
Jonnan was no longer yelling either. Instead, he just squatted in the back and took apart the smaller rocks that Jul Goo broke off to find the sellable minerals.
It was clearly effective!
I should really thank Deathworm for all of its services. He acts as my sandbag and he works as a motivation for Jul Goo.
But the effect on Jul Goo is only temporary. It is because of his fear of Deathworm that he is doing something he doesn’t want to do. That much is clear.
Something like this will not last a long time.
Then what do I have to do to keep it going?
Instead of fear, I need to instill passion inside of him. A reason to work? A goal?
Of course I know the answer. I know what Jul Goo is weak against.
“Jul Goo, are you working hard?”
I made my presence known as I stepped into Tunnel 7.
Jul Goo stopped mining and quickly bowed.
“Master, you have arrived.”
It was an extremely exaggerated welcome.
The way he looked at me showed that he was full of fear.
Jonnan also stopped working and came over to check for any injuries on my body.
“Oh, you are back! Are you hurt anywhere?”
“I am completely fine.”
“Just give up. Tunnel 99 is not somewhere we can handle with our strength. You might really end up dying!”
“It’s not easy. It would be easier if Jul Goo would help me……Jul Goo. Don’t you think mining is not a good task for you? Let’s go hunt monsters together.”
The extremely surprised Jul Goo quickly lifted up the pickaxe.
“Whaat? It’s so fun! Why would you say it is not fit for me?”
He then struck down much stronger than before against the boulder. He was even adding some commentary as he went.
“Wow, this is so refreshing! I can feel my stress just floating away. Oh yeah!”
I couldn’t help but laugh while watching him.
I’ll stop making fun of him now. Otherwise, he might end up hurting himself.
So I started to take Jul Goo’s side a bit.
“I guess Jul Goo is a better fit for mining than I thought. Elder, what do you think?”
“I’m not sure. He’s completely different than yesterday. Today, he is actually working pretty hard.”
“Jul Goo, do you really want to keep mining?”
“Of course. This is really fun. Perfect job for me.”
“Whatever you say. You can succeed in anything if you do it with fun. If you keep working hard like that, I will find you a bride.”
Jul Goo suddenly stopped moving. He then looked at me with eyes that were now the size of giant marbles.
As I expected. The slave trader wasn’t lying when he said he was a lecher.
No! If a healthy young man didn’t lust after a woman, that would be really weird.
“Why? Is there something that says slaves cannot be married? Isn’t that right, elder?”
“Of course! If the owner is willing, they could even be married ten times.”
As I asked Jonnan, he played along right away.
He even laughed a bit. He seems to have caught onto my plan.
He’s a sharp one, that’s for sure.
“Hold on a minute. Jul Goo, how old are you this year?”
As I asked, Jul Goo quickly responded with sparkling eyes.
“Eighteen years old.”
That’s it? I thought he was easily over 20 years old.
I guess he suffered through all sorts of things as a slave since he was young. No wonder he aged so much visually.
“Even if you do it late, you need to get married before you are thirty. If you are too old, women won’t like you. The best would be to get married before you turn 25.”
Jul Goo’s lips were open really wide. I couldn’t tell because it was dark, but it looked like he was almost drooling.
This lecherous punk.
“Are you that happy that I said I’ll get you married?”
“Yes master. Jul Goo wants to be married. Hehe.”
“Let’s make a deal. From here on, Senior Jonnan will grade your sincerity once a month. If you score higher than 90 every month, I will find you a wife the day you turn 25.”
“Are, are you serious?”
“I promise. In addition, I will pay for the marriage ceremony as well as provide you with money to start your family. In order to be the head of a household and lead a family, you will need at least 200,000,000 won to start.”
“Gasp! Master! Thank you!”
Jul Goo bowed much further than before. If he had bowed out of fear earlier, this time, he was being sincere.
He really didn’t have a reason to thank me though. I plan on getting my money’s worth by working him extremely hard.
“In return, you have to work hard. Every time your score goes under 90, I will push your marriage back by two months. Do you understand?”
“Yes. I will work hard, master!”
Jul Goo’s voice was full of vigor.
Of course, the effect of this won’t last that long. Humans are fickle so they can change their mind day by day.
If I say the right things at those times, I should still be able to use him for quite a while.
Of course, I will get him married as I promised.
* * *
I stood in front of the metal gates of Tunnel 99.
Today was the 15th day.
As each day went by, the time I spent with Deathworm shortened. I was with him for about 8 hours on the first day but it was less than 20 minutes yesterday.
Deathworm couldn’t handle it. Even though I fed him six potions and helped him recover a lot of HP, it was still the same.
Of course it was because of combo. Within six tries, I managed a 52 hit combo. If I really wanted to, I probably could have landed a 60 hit combo, but I thought Deathworm would die so I stopped attacking.
[Continuous Slash: Intermediate Level 7, 12%]
[Combo (Under 40%): Intermediate Level 5, 87%]
It looks like today will be the last day.
Will I be able to get past level 6 today? I prayed that I will as I walked into Tunnel 99.
I whistled to call Deathworm over.
Deathworm was vigorous today as well. He was extremely large and his skin looked tough.
However, it was weird. He seemed to be really weak. He seemed like he would fall over with a couple combos.
Do I need to feed him some potion before we start?
‘Hmm? Feed first?’
That sounds like a magnificent idea.
Potions range from weakest to strongest in terms of performance. The difference between them isn’t the amount it heals, but actually the healing speed.
For example, an XL potion, regardless of weakest or strongest, will each recover 20,000 HP. The difference is that the strongest will take 1 minute while the weakest will take 3 hours.
I just need to use this to my benefit. If I feed him a potion first before I attack, the damage I cause will be healed by the potion.
Of course, if the speed at which I damage him is faster than the speed of healing, there won’t be much effect, but it was worth a try.
There was no reason to feed him many at once. The healing amount would be the same, it’ll just increase the time it takes to heal.
‘Open your mouth!’
As I made my presence known, Deathworm thrashed around and opened its mouth wide.
‘It worked! Then shall I start?’
In the beginning, the damage was still low. Only enough for Deathworm to feel ticklish. But I did not care. In fact, I would be thankful if it did little damage so Deathworm could last a long time.
That doesn’t mean I can attack lightly. The basis of combo is critical hit. If I don’t put in 100% of my effort, critical hit would not happen, and if I fail at landing a critical hit in the middle, even if it is just once, the combo would end.
Because of that, I need to focus on each and every hit.
I instantly created a 20 hit combo. Even after that, the combo continued.
I’m feeling really good today. I can see Deathworm’s movement strangely well too.
Thanks to that, I could avoid Deathworm’s attacks while continuing my combo.
21 hit combo, 22 hit combo……
As combo passed the 20 hit mark, the damage exponentially started to rise.
I did not stop the combo. Deathworm, who was starting to feel the damage thrashed around to get rid of me, but he could not stop my combo. I was completely reading Deathworm’s movement. I could even tell the direction he was going to move in.
Plus, every time I received bonus stat points for establishing a new record, I put them all to agility.
As a result, my currently agility is up to 79. If you add in the effects of the Skywolf Leather Armor, it is 106.
So my movement was extremely fast.
No matter how much Deathworm tried, he couldn’t touch a single hair on my head.
My combo had already passed 40 and reached 50, and then 60.
61 hit combo, 62 hit combo, 63 hit combo.
The damage inflicted to Deathworm passed 1,000 and was shooting up close to 8,000.
Deathworm became a mess and his movement slowed down. It became much easier to continue my combo. If Deathworm could handle it, I could pass 100 hit combo and probably even reach 200 hit combo.
The problem was Deathworm’s stamina.
‘Please hold on a little longer. Just a little longer!’
I encouraged Deathworm on as I continued my combo.
The damage continued to rise and passed 10,000.
66 hit combo, 67 hit combo, 68 hit combo.
But that was it.
I felt like Deathworm’s body was breaking down quickly, but suddenly, with a loud yell his large body fell.
At the same time, there was a voice in my head.
<Your level has increased.>
The fact that my level increased meant that Deathworm was dead.
An intense feeling of disappointment filled my heart.
‘Ah! I was so close to passing a 70 hit combo!’
Monsters that are easy to practice combo on are lacking in HP while the monsters with enough HP are too fast and strong to use combo.
If it was easy to find a scarecrow like monster with unlimited health, anybody could raise combo to the advanced level. I should be thankful that Deathworm was able to last until the 68 hit combo.
While I was consoling myself, the message continued on. For hunting a single insect, there was quite a lot of rewards.
Well, Deathworm is an average monster under level 40, but if you consider the fact that only level 10 and under can enter the mines, it can be considered an extremely special monster.
I guess it would be normal to get a lot of rewards.
<You managed to establish a new record for number of hits in combo. As a reward, you have been given 1 bonus stat point and your fame has increased 5 points.
You successfully hunted a monster 10 levels higher than you on your own. Ares-nim has evaluated your potential to be high and given you his blessing.
Toughness has increased 1 point.
The level difference between you and the monster was 29. This has established a new record. As a reward, you have been given 1 bonus stat point and your fame has increased 5 points.
Hades-nim has marveled at your accomplishment and given you his blessing. You have been gifted the ‘Owl’s Eye,’ which will let you see through the darkness.
You have cleared Tunnel 99, which used to be a danger zone. Your fame has increased 50 points, and your reputation in Titan Valley has increased 100 points.
Your dexterity has increased from intermediate to advanced, and now you can use weapons as naturally as your hands.
The chances of critical hit and damage has each increased 70%.
You are the first human to raise your dexterity to the advanced level. As a reward, you have been given 3 bonus stat points and your fame has increased 10 points.
You have acquired a mysterious pickaxe.
You have acquired 1 jewel of creation.
You have acquired Drake’s TBSA textbook.>
Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader : Miraclerifle