Chapter 6: System (3)
The consciousness is somewhere in the mind.
Shin Jiho was calm as he was swept away by the familiar feeling.
For the past two years, while he was in a coma, Shin Jiho’s consciousness often drifted around aimlessly like this.
Although he doesn’t remember what he saw at the time, the feeling was clear.
And unknown disappointment.
According to his family and the nurses, Shin Jiho often shed tears for some unknown reason while he was unconscious.
Although he doesn’t know what he had dreamed of then, his past shows up in a dream like this every once in a while even after he regained his consciousness.
This is not real, but a dream.
And these are things that happened in the past.
Knowing that this was a dream of the past, Shin Jiho opened his eyes.
The dream world materialized inside his consciousness.
It is bright.
A curtain was fluttering gently in front of his eyes, receiving the light and casting shadows like a cloud.
Looking further out, desks and chairs made of wood and steel were spread out.
Someone’s voice and footsteps could be heard from afar.
A familiar, but somewhat distant scene.
He was inside a classroom after class had ended.
Even though it was just a dream, it was clear to the point where he could feel everything.
He felt someone else’s body heat land on his hot arm.
Jiho looked down at his arm.
Under the white uniform, his pale wrist was caught under someone else’s larger and tougher hand.
‘Wake up, Shin Jiho.’1
It was Joo Yiwon’s voice mixed with teasing.
Shin Jiho lifts his head.
However, because Yiwon’s back was to the window, Jiho couldn’t see what face he was making.
All he could see was that there was a slight smile tinged with longing.
‘What kind of dream are you telling me to wake up from?’
Shin Jiho’s questioning voice was unfamiliar to himself.
It sounded like he was pouting, but it was covered in affection.
Joo Yiwon’s raised lips slowly opened.
Suddenly, the other’s eyes could be seen.
Affectionate and warm eyes, as though he was looking at the most precious thing in the world…
‘You coming 1st.
Next time, you’re still going to be 2nd, you’ll never beat me.’
Shin Jiho woke up fully annoyed.
Joo Yiwon, this cursed f*cker.
Did he say something like that in the past? Even though this isn’t the first time he teased Jiho, Jiho still gets angry every time he thinks about it.
In his anger, he tried to sit up quickly, but his head started to spin.
“You should’ve just died, why’d you wake up?”
While Jiho was holding his head, he heard Seon Tae Woong’s hoarse voice.
Jiho squinted as he turned to the direction of the voice.
Perhaps because of the impact before he fell unconscious, his vision hadn’t returned completely yet.
“Oh? You’re really a work of art.”
“Wait a minute.
It will get better soon.”
“It doesn’t matter.
The two of us are f*cked anyways.”
Unlike his usually mocking tone, the voice was strangely down.
Shin Jiho finally remembered the situation before he fell unconscious.
The darkness that had enveloped the two of them without warning.
It was a situation that he had only seen from videos.
Not wanting to believe it, Shin Jiho looked around at his surroundings.
Even though they were just in the middle of Seoul, they were now in a space where there was not one bit of sunlight.
He couldn’t feel the familiar sensation of sunlight shining on him.
As soon as he realized how dangerous the space was, a fishy smell suddenly rose up.
The thing that had held up Jiho’s unconscious body was a rough boulder, very different from the common asphalt.
Through his slowly returning vision, he could see a huge clump of gems that is never seen in the middle of Seoul.
A sudden unknown space.
There was only one explanation.
The two people had entered a dungeon through a gate.
“That’s right, we’re in a dungeon.”
For a dungeon to appear in what was supposed to be an F-rank fissure…
Fissures and gates are fundamentally the same thing.
Fissures appear in all sorts of forms, and monsters crawl out of the space that is opened up.
After a while, it closes on its own like a scar.
A gate, on the other hand, is a fissure that expands and evolves into the form of a door.
Past the gates are dungeons, which are generally thought of as other dimensions.
Like with fissures, monsters come out gates through the dungeons as well, but a dungeon must be cleared within a certain amount of time.
The condition is usually killing the boss monster.
And clearing a dungeon–or raiding–is the task of A-rank guilds or higher.
In countries that lack hunters, there are many occasions where B or even C-rank guilds are assigned to dungeons.
However, Korea has the most hunters in proportion to the population.
Because there are enough A-rank guilds to raid dungeons, dungeons are a far-away concept for mid-tier guilds.
In other words, dungeons are a far-away concept for No Name and Shin Jiho.
At least, it was up until a few moments ago.
An F-rank fissure expands into a gate?
Although there are times where the predictions are slightly off, it was very rare for it to be this far off.
Seon Tae Woong saw Jiho’s face morphing into despair and sighed.
“The guys lurking around in the passage are all at least B-ranks.
That means the boss is at least S-rank.
If we’re really unlucky, it could be SS-rank.”
“If you didn’t wake up, you could’ve died peacefully, what a shame.
Should I have killed you mercifully before you woke up?”
Although Seon Tae Woong was being sarcastic, in this situation, dying really was a blessing.
If the boss is really higher than S-rank, the possibility of the two defeating him is close to zero.
“It’ll probably be best to choose between starving to death or committing suicide.”
“Are you being serious?”
“They say dying of starvation is agonizingly painful, so it might be easier to just commit suicide.”
Instead of his usual look of confidence, Seon Tae Woong had sunken eyes and was mumbling depressingly to himself.
However, because the situation was what it was, Jiho couldn’t even think about laughing at Tae Woong’s state.
In general, dungeons are one of four types: Open Dungeon, Closed Dungeon, Sunken Dungeon2, or Special Dungeon.
Of those, dungeons that close over people like this are sunken dungeons.
Sunken dungeons are different from open dungeons, which have the gate open for people to come in and out as they please; from closed dungeons which only let in a set number of people before it closes on them; and from special dungeons which only let in people who meet its conditions.
Sunken dungeons suck people in as though they’re hunting.
Like closed dungeons, the gate to sunken dungeons seals up completely.
Once the gate is sealed, it’s impossible to enter, so people cannot request help.
The only way a closed or sunken dungeon will open is if all the people inside have died or someone met the conditions and escaped.
That condition is usually killing the boss monster that’s typically located in the deepest part of the dungeon.
It is for that reason that the person who first encounters a sunken dungeon usually dies.
There is no way a normal person can defeat a boss monster.
If a hunter was the first to discover it, it’s usually better, but… it’s unfortunately still not the best situation right now.
According to Seon Tae Woong, this dungeon’s rank is very high.
It’s impossible for an A-rank and B-rank hunter to clear it by themselves.
Shin Jiho bit his lips as he looked at Seon Tae Woong, who was cursing and pulling at his hair.
Jiho was also worried.
The first people he thought of were his parents.
Unlike his older brother and sister, who were raised strictly in order to take over the company later, Jiho was heavily loved and cared for, and his parents felt happy as long as he was healthy.
He remembered his parents’ plea for him to be like other second-generations who act like degenerates and drink or do drugs rather than becoming a hunter.
The unfilial son who was unconscious and in a coma for two years argued with them and ran out of the house….
In the end, his parents could only support their son.
They were still constantly worried.
The result of that was this situation.
What should he do?
As Seon Tae Woong said, committing suicide is one option.
If the both of them commit suicide, his parents may be able to receive his body in one piece, at the very least.
‘You’ll never beat me.’
Joo Yiwon’s infuriating face from the dream popped up.
The number one hunter in the world, and his cursed childhood friend.
When they went to school together, they were still at about the same level.
Yiwon was always first, Jiho always second.
There was no one in between the two of them.
However, now, there were at least several tens of people between them.
If you consider reputation, there may even be billions of people in between.
What would Yiwon think when he saw how pathetically Jiho died?
‘He wouldn’t have made it anyways.
If he had just lived comfortably, he wouldn’t have died.’
He wouldn’t mock him like that right…
…No, that’s going too far.
Even if Yiwon doesn’t laugh at Jiho, his memories with his pathetic childhood friend will probably be cleanly forgotten within a few years.
Moving forward, he will continue to gain success before passing on his name to his future descendants.3
On the other hand, even though Shin Jiho is the first hunter, his name will be scorned as the person who died pathetically.
After being mocked even worse than now, he will eventually be forgotten.
‘I don’t want that.’
Jiho clenched his fist and tightened his jaw.
When his fingernails drew blood from clenching too hard, he woke up.
That’s right, no matter how he dies, he’ll become a laughingstock, so why should he just die here? He should at least try to fight.
Jiho looked at the Tae Woong, who was still holding his head
“Seon Tae Woong-ssi4, if you want to die, I will kill you.
(Click on the numbers to return)
1. This is what they’re saying in the dream.
2. So this has been driving me crazy.
This is a 채집형 Dungeon, which literally translates to Collect Type Dungeon.
I thought it was a mining dungeon or something, but from what I’ve read, it doesn’t seem to be the case.
I’m just going with Sunken Dungeon because it seems to swallow people up into the dungeon.
If anyone has a better suggestion, please help.
3. Thinking a little far (and jealously) there, ey.
4. Another way of address.
Still relatively formal, but not as much as –nim.
–nim is usually used for people much older or higher up than you. -ssi is a little less formal and can be used between people of similar ages.
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