It was difficult to continue dodging with his body in so much pain, but Jinwoo could not miss the timing of his next move . If he lost consciousness now, it would be all over .
‘…178, 179, 180!’
Having waited out the 3-minute timer on Cerberus’ buff, Jinwoo activated the trump card he had prepared before the fight .
‘Accept Reward 1!’
He had purposely held on to the first reward of his daily quest, specifically for an occasion like this .
Reward 1 . Status Recovery has been accepted .
A blue light covered his body and completely restored his health .
Health: 3,602 / 3,602
His injured shoulder and arm also became healed .
‘This is my chance!’
At the shoulder-to-shoulder distance the two maintained, even Cerberus, with all of his agility, could not dodge Jinwoo’s next move . Having recovered all his strength and stamina, Jinwoo deftly maneuvered around the Cerberus’ heads, putting it in a headlock with his left arm; it was the same maneuver he used against Casaka .
With his right arm, Jinwoo began to mercilessly stab the center of the beast’s neck repeatedly .
Stab! Stab! Stab!
Having ended its enraged state, Cerberus felt the pain and thrashed around, trying to loosen Jinwoo from its back .
yelp! whimper! whimper!
Just as before, Jinwoo held on with all his strength . As the Cerberus whipped back and forth, he tightened the grip on its neck and continued to stab .
Stab! Stab! Stab!
The beast continued to whimper in pain and tried desperately to bite Jinwoo, but the fight was over at this point .
The Casaka’s Poisoned Fang moved past the beast’s throat and toward its heart .
Stab! Stab! Stab!
The light of struggle in Cerberus’ eyes began to fade .
Finally, the beast’s heads went limp .
You’ve defeated the Gatekeeper of Hell, Cerberus .
You’ve leveled up!
You’ve leveled up!
You’ve leveled up!
You’ve leveled up!
Jinwoo had leveled up four times in one go . It was that difficult of a fight . Jinwoo made sure the beast’s life was completely snuffed out before letting go of its neck . The Cerberus’ body slumped onto the ground lifelessly .
Jinwoo bent over with hands on his knees .
He let out a sigh of relief . To think that he would face a monster that could use a skill . If it wasn’t for the trump card he had prepared, he would be the one on the ground right now . Thinking about this made Jinwoo shudder .
What kind of drops would he obtain after all this work?
Jinwoo sighed once more and stretched a hand out toward the corpse .
You’ve found a “Gatekeeper’s Necklace” Would you like to acquire it?
You’ve found a “Castle Gate Key” Would you like to acquire it?
You’ve found a “Cerberus’ Molar” x3 Would you like to acquire it?
‘Obtain all . ’
Gatekeeper’s Necklace Rarity: A-rank Type: Necklace Agility +20, Sense +20
Cerberus’ Molar Rarity: None Type: Junk
Castle Gate Key Rarity: A-rank Type: Key It is the key to the Demon Castle’s gates . Obtained after killing the Gatekeeper .
“Whoa . ”
Jinwoo was jubilant .
‘Increase agility and sense stats by twenty points?’
The necklace’s stats were amazing, fitting of an A-rank item . It was the highest-ranking equipment he had seen so far .
‘Makes sense after that fight…’
If anything, he would’ve been mad if the rarity on it was low . However, taking a closer look at the necklace, Jinwoo hesitated . A round gold band with soft tipped spikes jutting around it, it was clearly a dog collar .
Having contemplated putting it on with closed eyes, Jinwoo relented and moved it towards his neck . A message appeared in response .
Would you like to equip the “Gatekeeper’s Necklace”?
He hesitated again .
“…Sure . ”
Then the necklace slowly disappeared from his hands .
The “Gatekeeper’s Necklace” has been equipped .
Jinwoo quickly opened his stat screen .
Stats Strength: 60 Constitution: 39 Agility: 80 Intelligence: 37 Sense: 67 (Available stat points: 0) Physical Damage Reduction: 20%
His agility and sense stats were raised by 20 points . The necklace’s stats had been applied to him . He felt around his neck, confirming that the necklace wasn’t there . It seemed that equipping items through the System did not necessarily put them on him physically . He was relieved that he would not have to walk around wearing a dog collar .
‘Next, the molars . ’
Jinwoo opened up the shop . Each of the molars were sold for 150 thousand gold . Having sold 3 molars, Jinwoo had collected 450 thousand pieces of gold .
Current Gold: 562,362
‘What kind of junk item is this expensive?’
His first fight had given him an idea of the difficulty of this Dungeon . The Demon Castle would not be a pushover . But this was not a bad news to Jinwoo . Just taking down one monster gave him four times the amount of gold he had earned in his first Instant Dungeon . At this rate, he would surely be able to afford some of the top tier items from the System’s shop .
‘As long as I can clear this place…’
Jinwoo looked up at the tower on fire .
The top of the tower was obscured by a strange fog . The only way to see what was on top would be to climb the tower from the inside . Jinwoo shook his head at the thought .
‘No . It’s too early for me . ’
After all, he had only barely managed to defeat the Gatekeeper, and that was with the title buff and the trick using the daily quest’s reward . There was no knowing what waited beyond the gates . For now, it was time to retreat .
Still, one thing was for sure .
The Demon Castle Key was indeed something that he wanted . The description of the Blessed Random Box was not wrong . Level-up, items and even gold, all that he wanted could be found in this place . Once he had the power, he would be able to obtain it all .
Just not today .
Regretfully, Jinwoo put away the key back into the inventory .
‘I’ll be back . ’
It was a promise that he would keep .
Jinwoo turned back with a smile on his face .
-3 . Coincidence-
The next few days went by without incidence . Yoo Jinho kept calling him on a daily basis to check with his status .
-“Hyungnim! It’s me, Yoo Jinho . ”
“Make it short . ”
-“Yes, hyungnim . ”
The young man told him that he was diligently working on getting together a team . The raiding party would be completed shortly, so he repeatedly asked Jinwoo to wait just a little longer .
‘He must be scared that I might back out . ’
But there was no way that Jinwoo would wait idly while Yoo Jinho completed his task . So today, like the past few days, Jinwoo went on the Hunter website . He had continuously checked the job boards, but as expected, there were no private Raids that were accepting an E-rank Hunter . His run in with Hwang Dongseok was luck . Even if the bastard had nefarious plans in mind, it still meant that Jinwoo was able to go on a private Raid .
‘Thankfully, I was able to earn some money, level-up and even get a new skill . ’
Wait, was he actually thanking Hwang Dongseok?
Jinwoo groaned . Still, even if it was with more lizards, he wanted to get back into a Dungeon .
Can’t get into a private Raid, no calls from the Association, and no keys from daily quests .
Jinwoo hated wasting time like this .
‘Is it already time to eat?’
Jinwoo stepped away from browsing the job boards and went over to the kitchen .
The fridge was empty .
He had been distracted by so many things lately and had forgotten to go shopping .
‘Guess I’ll go do that today . ’
He closed the fridge with a yawn .
One of the few benefits of his worn-down apartment was that it was close to a large grocery store . Jinwoo changed into something comfortable and went outside . It took him 10 minutes of walking to reach the store .
The large interior of the store greeted him as he walked in . Since there was no sale going on, there were less people around than usual . Jinwoo grabbed a basket and started walking down the aisles . Having become the man of the house after his mother fell ill, going grocery shopping was a routine experience for Jinwoo .
‘Nothing’s really catching my eyes . ’
He stared at the ingredients while thinking about dinner .
“Young man, is your body feeling better?”
Jinwoo turned around towards the friendly voice .
Due to his high sense stat, he knew that there was another Hunter nearby, but since the grocery store was a place where a lot of people, including Hunters, would be shopping at, he had not paid it much mind . He did not expect that Hunter to actually speak to him, but it was someone that he knew .
Jinwoo greeted him with welcome .
Song-ssi ahjussi, aka Song Chiyeol, looked at Jinwoo with a mix of surprise and happiness .
“I had heard that you were alright, but looking at you now, I can’t believe it . ”
Song Chiyeol was awed by just how fast Jinwoo had recovered . Embarrassed at the man’s staring, Jinwoo scratched his temples . Song Chiyeol continued,
“I should’ve gone to see you myself, but those bastards at the Association, I don’t know what they were thinking, put a moratorium on the incident, and I had no way of reaching you . I believe Ms . Juhee was also dying to hear about you . ”
“Yep . She said she would retire, but still went to last week’s Raid to catch a glimpse of you . ”
Hearing Song-ssi ahjussi’s explanation, Jinwoo learned that the day he went on a Raid with Hwang Dongseok’s team was also the day an Association Raid had taken place .
‘No wonder the Association’s been quiet . ’
It wasn’t that they weren’t contacting him, but rather, he had missed them on that one day . A small mystery cleared up for Jinwoo .
Song Chiyeol continued to observe Jinwoo’s figure with an amazed look .
‘Was Sung-ssi always this big? His leg should be still…’
Song Chiyeol’s gaze fell to Jinwoo’s lower half . His eyes widened .
“Young man… is your leg…?”
Translator’s Notes:: “Lizards”: Scumbag Hunters who would purposely recruit weak/inexperienced people to use as getaway sacrifices in Dungeons .