After reading the first nine pages of the guidebook, there was a great amount of information on how to survive this place.
If I was the only one that had this information, then it was possible for me to strengthen faster than anyone else.
“If the six of us gathered all the Geny that we had, it would be 12,000 Geny. We’re willing to give you half of that to make a deal with you.”
It seems like the guy behind me wasn’t able to purchase the guidebook.
Since I confirmed that there was only one copy available, it was an obvious outcome.
“With 5,000 Geny, you’ll be at a much higher advantage when it starts. I saw a variety of weapons and shields being sold at the store. They weren’t that great, but you’ll have a good foundation to start on.”
Without knowing the kind of information this book contained, Kim Byung Chul tried to make a deal.
His reasoning was persuasive.
If it was someone else, they would’ve made the mistake by agreeing to the deal.
“How about buying it for 22,000 Geny?”
“…What? What are you talking about? Do you not know how to do simple math? There’s six of us here and the maximum amount we can offer is 12,000 Geny!”
Kim Byung Chul looked flustered.
No matter how much money they try to gather, they wouldn’t be able to provide such a large amount.
Out of the college students here, they probably thought he was unusual.
“Excluding myself, there’s a total of 11 people here. The hiking group has six people, while the college group has five people.
Adding it together will give you 22,000 Geny.”
“…Are you telling me to get their money too and offer it to you?”
“Do you think it’s a bad deal? I just started reading this, so technically, it would be the same as not having read the book. If you were to buy this book from me now, then that information will solely belong to you.”
“Do you really think that book is worth 22,000 Geny?”
“I’m not the one deciding its worth.”
There was a moment of silence.
No words were being spoken, but through their eyes, it looked like they had made their decision.
Kim Byung Chul suddenly laughed out loud while tilting his head back.
“You’re a crazy kid. Trying to increase the worth of one measly book by 11 folds. Haha!!”
“Is that odd?”
“No one would think that if they were sane. I’ll give up on the guidebook. I could probably convince the other guys that are with me, but convincing those college students will be difficult.”
Kim Byung Chul had completely given up on the guidebook.
I thought he was pretty awesome for laughing it off instead of getting mad at the ridiculous request.
“Phew, now I’ll be able to concentrate.”
The first stage was going to be opened at 9 o’clock, so I decided to continue reading until then.
There were some people that visited the store from time to time, but there weren’t any meetings between the groups.
No one was meddling into my business either.
“The first stage will open 10 minutes from now. The players that wish to explore, please prepare yourselves.’
Whenever I heard the word “player,” it felt like I was in a game.
I felt torn by the fact that realistic people were placed here to play.
Including myself, others were preparing to enter the first stage.
“It’s lighter than I imagined.”
Instead of choosing a weapon, I decided to go with my instinct and chose a shield.
It was a simple, round shield that you can see in any video game.
All I had to do was tie the leather strap that was installed on the inside and I was done.
Others purchased either a healing potion or an antidote with their Geny, but.
Since I purchased the guidebook, there was nothing else to take with me.
However, the amount of knowledge that I’ve gained couldn’t be compared to that.
“The dimensional door will now open.”
I heard the sound of the door unlocking.
It seemed like it was completely unlocked.
There were two requirements for entering the stage.
The use of the provided Weapon Selection option and the fixed time.
One can go exploring twice a day. Once at 9 A.M. and once at 9 P.M.
It was up to the individual whether or not they wanted to go exploring.
Whether it was on the same day, the next day or if they didn’t have the intention of going in, they didn’t have to and could pass the first stage.
However, if one decided to do that, they will experience some difficulties.
Water and food are the most important items for survival.
It would be hard to survive long with three 500ml water bottles and two energy bars.
One could acquire a trophy from the stage and sell it to the store for Geny.
Using that Geny and purchasing items that one needs is the rule of surviving this place.
“Watch your back when you enter the stage.”
It sounded Han Ji Suk said it to me out of spite.
What would he gain from constantly expressing his grudge against me?
Among the guys, Choi Min Ki was somewhat the nicest, but now, he was giving me a disgusted look.
All I did was leave the group.
I didn’t know this would cause everyone to hate me.
The smallest affection I had towards them was now wiped clean.
The hiking group entered first, then the college student group and I entered last through the door.
“As expected, it’s dark.”
The ceiling was a little above 2m and it was connected to a very narrow road.
Most of the members in the hiking group chose to wield a sword, putting them in the worst situation.
It was so dark that it was hard to see anything that was in front of you.
In the guidebook, there were information related to the first stage.
The first stage was the Prase Mine.
The name Prase came from the deteriorated quartz, which had an emerald-like deep, light green color.
Low-ranked monsters called Cobalts, took over this mine in order to acquire the prase.
Placing my hand on the wall, I slowly walked down the unfamiliar path.
While walking down the path, I saw a small light in front of me.
Candles were placed as a guide in paths where the Cobalts passed.
Meaning, this was one of the paths the Cobalts used.
Cobalts were really small in size and were known to be one of the weakest monster, but.
The guidebook mentioned that one should never let their guard down.
It mentioned that it was common for inexperienced beginners to be surrounded by Cobalts and end up being annihilated.
The book’s explanation was written as if the author experienced it first-hand.
That’s why, in order to get used to this place, I decided to explore cautiously on the first day.
Click, clack, click, clack!!
I heard footsteps from the right path.
“He he. I managed to steal a quartz while the supervisor wasn’t looking. Look at it.”
“What if you get caught? The supervisor’s whip is no joke.”
“We just don’t have to get caught. You dummy. With the money we get paid monthly, we won’t have anything left after we spend it on food and lodging.”
Two Cobalts passed by while having a practical conversation.
I never imagined that I would be able to understand the monsters’ conversation.
‘I’ll probably have to fight them.’
If I let them pass, they’ll group up with the others.
Two monsters seemed like reasonable number to go up against.
After letting out a deep breath, I ran towards them.
One of them sensed me and turned their head towards me.
Placing the shield in front of me I charged and pushed the Cobalt to the wall.
From the head of the weird-looking Cobalt, green blood started seeping out of it.
The remaining Cobalt tried to blow the whistle that was hanging from its neck with all its might.
If they blew that whistle, then all the Cobalts within the vicinity would know that there’s a threat and run over here.
I kicked his chin with all my might.
The way the Cobalt started rolling resembled a hedgehog.
Their main weapon was the tool they used to dig the quartz, which was a pickaxe.
I picked up the pickaxe that the dead Cobalt had in its hand.
“Wait!! I have a wife and kid. My mother became sick after my father was killed by you humans!! Look at this.”
Reaching into the pocket of its overalls, the Cobalt took out a picture.
It was the Cobalt’s family picture, but all of them looked the same so it was hard to tell who was who.
This fight would be over with one strike.
It was absurd that I was hesitating to kill this Cobalt.
“Damn it. Why can’t you resist like a normal monster?”
“You dumb bastard. How can I beat you by myself?”
Jeez, what kind of monster begs for their life because they had a family to take care of?
It started begging on its knees right before we started fighting.
Was I in some sort of sitcom?
“Ri…right. This is a really expensive item. It’s called a quartz and this is pretty big in size. I’m sure you’ll be able to sell it at a high price.”
Placing the quartz in front of me, the Cobalt begged for his life again by placing his hands together.
Grabbing the quartz, I placed it inside my inventory.
“Since you accepted, that means you’ll let me go, right?”
“First, put that whistle down.”
Grabbing the whistle that was around its neck, the Cobalt threw it on the ground.
Knowing that they’ve been spared, they were shaking.
I couldn’t waste any more time here.
The moment the other Cobalts see us, I’ll be killed.
“You seem like a nice guy. Or you became nice because you let fear take over.”
I dropped the pickaxe that was on the ground.
I think the Cobalt saw it as a sign of me letting him go.
“Thanks. I won’t forget your kindness!!”
After the Cobalt turned around, I took a step forward towards them.
“I’m sorry. I think I’ll be afraid of the consequences if I let you live.”
Using the pickaxe, I attacked the Cobalt’s head. (PR: the god of duels is disappointed in you…. whoops wrong novel)
It might hold a grudge and get revenge on me later.
I killed his friend and stole his quartz, so he probably had a huge grudge against me.
If I let it live, it’ll definitely remember it and try to retaliate later.
“…I don’t feel so great.”
Placing both of the Cobalt’s bodies on the corner, I waited for more Cobalts to pass by.
For three hours, I kept on doing the same thing.
Behind me, the Cobalt corpses were stacked high, creating a disgusting smell.
If I continued, I thought I would get so stressed that I might go crazy.
So, I ended the first day of exploration.