Episode 348: Key Man (1)
in the dark.
Piggy stood alone in the middle of an endless void.
A middle-aged man’s voice is heard.
The moment he heard that voice, Piggy felt it.
‘Is it a dream from that time again?’
The vision I saw when I was almost killed by a pile of golems in the midterm exam.
It was a nightmare that I managed to get through with the help of Vikir.
‘This kind of trash is not my bloodline.’
A terribly cold voice.
This is followed by the mother’s sad sobs.
‘I don’t even dare to know the subject of being lowly.’
‘Get me out of here right now.’
‘… … Remove it.’
The whispers around them circle around and follow the sobs.
After that, it was the same.
A mother running away, forests and mountains, pursuers, steep cliffs, rough rivers, hungry wolves, and the surprised faces of merchants and mercenaries passing by, a mother who gradually regains her smile, a stepfather who was always friendly, a difficult but rewarding examination period, Life in the school dormitory was difficult and difficult, but I was able to endure it because I had friends.
The fantasy continues to progress along the flowing time like a flowing stream.
Before long, Piggy noticed that her body was covered in something like sticky thread.
“… … omg!?”
The surroundings, which had only been filled with darkness and emptiness, were suddenly filled with unpleasant flesh walls.
The unpleasant sensation of being trapped in the esophagus of a giant monster.
Piggy struggled desperately to move forward.
Things like muscle fibers that wrapped around the limbs were snapping.
Eventually, I see a door ahead of me.
A large round door. A blazing fire burned all around him.
<The beginning of the Gate of Destruction, ‘The Serpent’s Tongue’>
The end of the blazing pillar of fire was forked like a snake’s tongue.
Numerous pillars of fire with ominous appearance constantly circle around the door.
Moment. Piggy felt a very strong desire.
It was a huge and fundamental desire that I dare not resist to enter the door.
‘My, why am I like this?’
A normal person would not even dare to walk toward that door.
But Piggy was walking towards the door, not even herself knowing why.
at that time.
A familiar voice came from behind. It was Tudor’s.
“You can’t go that way. We are human.”
At Tudor’s words, Piggy hesitated for a moment.
Then Sancho’s voice came right after.
“That door is for demons. We can’t go.”
“it’s crazy? Come back right now!”
Bianca also calls Piggy over.
Other than that, a lot of familiar voices came from behind.
“Come back Piggy.”
“It is safe this way.”
“Never go there!”
“Here! Come here!”
“Look this way! Turn your head!”
Mother, stepfather, hometown friends… … Everyone who misses them calls Piggy.
Piggy stood still, his eyes wide open.
The head slowly turns back.
Piggy was about to turn his back on the door.
… … Right then.
‘Never look back.’
I heard a voice as if speaking to my heart.
The beating made the stopped heart beat again and soon cleared the muddled mind.
Even though Piggy came to his senses, the clamor from behind was still there.
“Piggy! look here! please!”
“Back! Look behind you!”
“damage! Run right now!”
“Come on, bloom! You have to come this way!”
The voices of family and friends asking us to look back.
however. Every time Piggy tried to turn his head involuntarily, a hot, rough voice resounded in his chest, close to the panting of a beast.
‘Never look back and keep moving forward.’
It sounded like the voice of a hardened old man groaning and talking.
Piggy took a step forward with her eyes closed.
“Piggy! it’s crazy!? come back!”
“Why are you ignoring us!”
“Come back now!”
“Look here, Piggy! It’s mom!”
“You ignorant bastard! If you don’t look here right now… … !”
Then Piggy’s face also became teary-eyed.
How can I not look back when the people I so longed to see and thought so precious shouted in such a desperate tone.
“Ugh… … .”
Piggy drooled and stopped.
Then he closed his eyes and tried to turn his head.
at that time.
There was a hand holding Piggy’s face.
Piggy opened her eyes in surprise.
But before Piggy could look back, the hands holding Piggy’s cheeks turned her head back to the front.
Piggy looked down at the hands holding her face.
Rough hands, wrinkled and scarred, covered in sticky blood.
The owner of the hand was obviously close to Piggy.
It was that rough hoarse voice from before.
Piggy trembled and moved on.
I followed my hand and looked sideways to see someone tall walking beside me.
A middle-aged man.
I couldn’t see him well because it was the outermost part of my field of vision, but I could tell that his hands and face were covered with burns and knife marks.
He carried him forward, almost supporting Piggy while limping.
With your hands holding your neck, shoulders, and chin so that you never look back.
yet. Piggy came face to face with a large door in front of her eyes.
Blazing fire and heavy steel. It was a door that made the viewer feel intimidated.
But somehow Piggy didn’t feel afraid of the door at all.
The only thing that bothered me was the voice clamoring from behind.
Even that, I was able to come this far thanks to the mysterious man who walked with me.
I felt an unknown sense of accomplishment and pride. I don’t know why, but somehow I felt like I had to go through this door.
The moment Piggy is about to open his mouth to say thank you.
The man next to him removed his hand from Piggy’s body.
‘Never look back. Go alone from now on.’
At the same time, his appearance and voice disappeared from Piggy’s sight.
I could tell without looking.
The fact that he was someone who shouldn’t have been here, and that he had just gone to a very far place for the last time.
“… … He is a good person.”
Piggy pushed the door in front of him with all his might.
And he threw himself into the darkness beyond.
Aside from the dull sound of the door closing.
* * *
Piggy stood up, sweaty.
The first thing he saw as soon as he raised his head was his own face reflected in a puddle of water.
“Did you come back?”
When I touched my face, it was the same as when I was in my teens.
The age he ate at Yusu River had all been reset.
Finally, Piggy raised his head and looked up.
There were even more surprising things there than before.
Plant roots sprouting from the ceiling as deep as the night sky.
The main root of the deep layer protruding from Naraksu’s main body was passing through it.
And under the many small roots extending from the main root, there was a bunch of fruits hanging down.
Inside the outer shell of the fruit, a human figure was sleeping, and only the face protruded from the shell, so everyone could tell who was who.
Tudor, Sancho, Bianca, and all of Balak’s warriors were hanging there, wrapped in cocoons.
Everyone closed their eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
Piggy sensed that this huge root was the main body that maintained the power of Naraksu.
Sure enough, looking at the main root connected down there, you can see that the blood vessels inside it are sucking in the water and fire of hell.
From there, seeds of various aquatic plants, such as the daylily of blood, and jellyfish, such as King Mooyeong of the Black Sea, were coming along.
“… … I see It was to connect the human world and hell using the emotions we spewed as fuel.”
Piggy opened his mouth in a trembling voice.
Right now, only the power of piggy can’t help the huge roots in front of my eyes.
… … However, there was something that could be done with only Piggy’s power right now.
Piggy drew the knife hanging from his waist.
The level and stats accumulated while training in the leading river remain the same.
Age returned to normal, but the experiences of that time were also ripe in Piggy’s hands.
Piggy swung the knife with all his might.
The extended slash knocked the friends hanging under the roots to the ground one by one.
Piggy went to Tudor, who fell first, and peeled the fruit.
Then he started slapping the sleeping Tudor on the cheek.
“Tudor! Wake! Sancho too! Bianca too!”
As Piggy slaps him with enthusiasm and sincerity, Tudor, Sancho, and Bianca begin waking up one by one.
“Huh? what? I must have been called by my father and turned around, right?”
“hmm? sister? Call me and go where… … omg? Where is this?”
“Ugh! Head hurts. what? Hasn’t my face returned to its original age?”
They woke up in the order they died first.
Piggy pulled down all the other berries.
The natives of Balak who were trapped inside also began to open their eyes one by one.
Those who died before, and those who were killed, are all alive.
“uh? Hey, look at that! Isn’t that Balak’s hunting ground?”
“what? What a little kid like that… … .”
“omg! Oh no. That face is right! Above all, they are all babies!”
Tudor, Sancho, and Bianca were shocked to see the young girl in front of them.
She was just a pity.
Everyone was shocked to learn that the female warrior who boasted of overwhelming strength, level, and dignity of an old woman was actually such a young girl.
In fact, most of Balak’s warriors who awakened from the fruit after that were little children, so Tudor, Sancho, Piggy, and Bianca felt somewhat discouraged.
However, the experience points, levels, and stats accumulated in the leading river were all the same, so they could never be looked down on even if they were children.
They are Balak’s warriors who have lived for decades.
It is a fact that Tudor, Sancho, Piggy, and Bianca, who spent seven years on the eminent river, are also well aware of.
Meanwhile. Tudor, Sancho, Piggy, and Bianca, who saw the original root of the Naraksu, each muttered a word.
“… … is it. The hatred, murderous intent, anxiety, nervousness, inferiority complex, and longing for life that we exude were the nutrients that kept this tree alive.”
“It seems that this is the source of the power that goes to the devil. It is a passage of nutrients that connects hell and the human world.”
“Did you use this to draw the fire and water of hell? You want to use it as a power source for the tower?”
“All the unlucky monsters I’ve met have climbed up on this root.”
“Hey, over there!”
Ahyul shouted in an imperfect imperial language.
Tudor, Sancho, Piggy, and Bianca turned their heads in the direction Ahul pointed with his outstretched finger.
A large fruit was hanging there.
A fruit that looks much larger and heavier than other fruits.
Inside, Bikir was imprisoned.
“We will save you!”
Piggy raised the knife and brandished it cautiously.
Soon, the expert’s unique gaseous aura emitted from the tip of Piggy’s sword shot out in the shape of a crescent moon.
The fruit Bikir was trapped in falls to the floor.
Everyone flocked to Bikir.
“Bikir! wake up!”
“Open your eyes, Bikir!”
“Did you just fall asleep?”
No matter how much I slapped him and shook his body, Bikir wouldn’t wake up.
Obviously, Bikir killed everyone in the end and survived alone.
But none of those present now doubted Vikir’s true intentions.
“Bikir knew. That he wakes up from the illusion faster in the order in which he dies first.”
“Right. Rather, it was a mission where dying early was advantageous.”
“If they came all the way here, they would all be strong and seasoned, so they wouldn’t have died easily.”
“They must be the ones who have a knack for surviving to the end unconditionally. He probably wouldn’t have died that easily… … You will be locked up in hallucinations for a long time.”
Eventually everything became clear.
<Mission> – Die and kill!
※ Each ship owner has a powerful power! It’s hard to live
※ Recognized only when everyone clears the mission!
Mission ‘Die’, ‘Kill’. Killing others was not the answer.
It ends when you yourself also ‘die’.
Besides, this mission is the last survivor to be the last loser.
It meant that if you inevitably became vicious and lived a habit of betraying and hurting someone, you had to bear the consequences intact.
As long as the one who died first escapes from the fantasy, the one who was abandoned and betrayed first cannot just let the competitors who are still asleep live.
In addition, there is even a restriction that everyone must clear the mission, so the level of difficulty is truly beyond imagination.
A and Eul are reversed in an instant, so a new A and Eul are created. It couldn’t have been a demonic idea.
at that time.
“… … !”
Bikir opened her eyes.
Balak’s warriors, including Tudor, Sancho, Piggy, Bianca, and Ahull, flocked to check Bikir’s condition.
“Bikir! are you okay!?”
“Are there any injuries?”
“Hey, how many fingers does this look like?”
“No, what the hell did you do when you were left alone in the river of Yusu?”
Then Bikir blinked for a moment.
Then he looked down at his hands.
“… … Did the wrinkles and age spots disappear? When you wake up, you will return to your original age.”
Everyone who heard that was shocked.
Wrinkles and age spots on your hands… … How long has Bikir been holding out in the eminent river?
Vikir did not give a specific answer to that question.
-LV: 1 (%)
-Titles: ‘Worm Rat Hunter’, ‘Hell’s Vendor’, ‘Daylily Lumberjack’, ‘Demon Executioner’, ‘King Assassin of the Black Sea’, ‘Dragon Man’s Enemy’, ‘Legendary Boatman’
↳ Agility: 798
↳Physical Resistance: 798
↳ Magic Resistance: 798
Level 1. Sum of 6 major stats 4,788.
All three special stats were bloomed, and the figures were 798 each, just confirming the ridiculous criminal record once again.
Vikir, who was silent for a while, quickly turned his head and looked at Piggy next to him.
Then he laughed briefly.
“… … You did a good job.”
Is it because it’s locked up? Bikir’s voice was very hoarse and harsh.
It went right back to normal, but just now it really sounded like an old man’s voice.
at that time.
Piggy’s expression changed.
“This, this voice!”
Everyone put on puzzled faces, and Piggy continued.
“The voice that saved me from hallucinations! It was this voice!”
Piggy was certain that the voice that had led him to the door and helped him not to look back was Vikir’s.
That’s also true, because the location of the scars and dots on Bikir’s hand, the shape of the nails, etc., were exactly the same as those of the hand at that time.
‘Never look back. Go alone from now on.’
Piggy remembered the voice at that time and squeezed Vikir’s hand tightly.
“Bikir. I was able to live thanks to you. If I had looked back then, I wouldn’t have woken up. I wouldn’t have been able to wake up the other friends.”
Vikir tilted her head for a moment at Piggy’s sincere gratitude.
‘what? I don’t remember that.’
After thinking for a while, Bikir came up with a hypothesis.
The old comrades I met when I reached ‘Paradise Lost on the 10th Floor’.
Could it be that something similar happened this time?
Vikir thought that the image of himself before returning, which remained like a residual thought in his memory, might have materialized in some way and helped his friends.
<Mission End> – Die and kill!
※ Deathmatch is finally over!
※ How did you feel when you died once?
※ As soon as the latecomer’s mission is cleared, the former runners are reverse summoned out of the tower.
※ Shipowners subject to reverse summoning are limited to those who have cleared the mission.
With a loud notification sound, the rewards started pouring in.
Piles of golden candies fell in front of everyone.
At the same time, the gate to the depths of Naraksu also appeared.
… … And the notification sound that Bikir was most wary of.
<Reverse summoning of shipowners is done>
<Do you agree to reverse summoning?>
As Bikir warned in advance, Ahyul refused to reverse summon.
Bikir patted Ahul’s head and nodded.
It was decided that it was better to remain inside the tower because he did not know exactly what kind of ending the Chungwangs met in the Black Sea had met.
“I will clear the tower. You guys should then leave the tower and return to the jungle. We need to rebuild Balak.”
At Bikir’s words, all of Balak’s children, including Ahul, nodded their heads with determined expressions.
Those who blossomed their amazing talents in the tower will later become great warriors and revitalize the clan.
at that time.
Tudor, Sancho, Piggy, and Bianca opened their mouths almost simultaneously.
Friends asked Bikir who turned his head.
“You know? Why was only Piggy able to wake up?”
Everyone’s doubts were legitimate.
To be honest, Piggy’s strength was the lowest of the four, and so was her mental strength.
When it comes to grit, stubbornness, perseverance, and hardness of heart, Pigi is the last.
But for some reason, it was Piggy who was the first to wake up and save everyone.
“… … .”
Bikir quietly stroked his chin.
His gaze remained fixed on Piggy’s forearm, a small wound with clotted black blood.
It was the result of Bikir, who had lived in the eminent river for decades, constantly worrying and worrying.
“Perhaps you are the key to destroying Amdusias’ Maw Tree.”