Chapter 52. Hermes (7)
We ran to the battlefield. Other than the black magicians we took care of, there didn't seem to be anyone hiding in the shadows. Although we ran into some of the knights escaping the battlefield, they became startled and ran away without talking to us.
[You obtained 80 gold.]
[You obtained 72 gold.]
"Mm, I really like the floors where zombies appear. There are more monsters than usual. Maybe I should grind a bit more on the 25th floor..."
While shouting things like 'Yua's education insurance...' or 'residential home loans...' father sliced the zombies apart. It seemed he was planning on buying a building in Gangnam1.
In any case, I also joined in. Even if there were 100,000 zombies, we were killing about 3 every second, meaning 360 zombies were disappearing every minute. I didn't exactly want to calculate how long it would take to kill all 100,000 zombies. I assumed it would take about 5 hours.
"Like I said, guo what!?"
"Son, is your head okay?"
"This is just my habit. I can't do much about it after all these years!"
I responded to each zombie as I crushed their heads. Father and son, a spearman duo drew a future of hopes and dreams as they slaughtered their way forward. They were terrifying even in my eyes. Then, I realized I was one of them and despaired.
A spherical ball of lightning that Peika casually threw out exploded dozens of zombies in an instant. Taking care of the remaining zombies, we ran through the path Peika created. It was toward the direction of one of the camps of the warring countries. I wanted to look for any remaining members of those odd winged bastards just in case, and father was following me.
Even our weakest skills could easily destroy the zombies, so it did not take long until we took care of all the zombies in the camp. I then went inside the camp's largest tent, where I was able to find what I was looking for.
It seemed the black magicians never thought their journal would be stolen, as they had recorded everything they had done to both camps in their journal.
The commanding general of this camp apparently liked to drink red tea mixed with brandy. Thus, the spy they planted had gifted him a high-class brandy cursed with some black magic. Just by drinking it, the black magicians would be able to control him whenever they wanted. What I found was this cursed brandy.
[You retrieved an item of the Odd Winged Ravens. Points will be added to your final clear score.]
"Let's go to the other camp as well!"
"You're saying we should go through that battlefield infested with zombies?"
We took about 30 minutes to slaughter our way through the battlefield. In the process, we had killed about 10,000 zombies. Just like in the other camp, we cleaned up the zombies in this camp and found the cursed item.
[You retrieved all of Odd Winged Ravens' items. Points will be added to your final clear score.]
Hm, what was this mysterious feeling of accomplishment? I was wiping sweat off my forehead like a farmer that had just finished harvesting all his crops. It was then that father let out an exclamation of surprise.
"Ohhh! Look at that, son!"
In the middle of a hill that had become a battlefield for the zombies, something was rising. Just whose corpse was so big? Would the Titan from the myths even be that big? In front of our eyes, a 7-meter-tall giant zombie was roaring.
[The boss monster of Giant Zombie's Attack, the Giant Zombie has appeared! Defeating it and clearing the dungeon will grant special rewards!]
When the Giant Zombie raised its huge arm and slammed down on the ground, the tremor even reached where father and I were. At the same time, the shockwave annihilated hundreds of zombies. I couldn't help but be touched by the sight.
"What an epic team kill..."
"Damn! Let's hurry, son. He's going to steal all the gold!"
"You're probably the only one who can say that after seeing what just happened, father."
I was sad. I didn't like hunting monsters for the sole purpose of earning gold, but it was the opposite for father. I assumed that's why he so easily registered as an ability user. Although he had not started being active, with his awakened ability and fame as a martial artist, he would become well-known in no time.
"Uh, father, he's looking this way."
"Does he want to have a staring contest?"
"He's picking up a few zombies."
"Is he going to eat them?"
Instead of eating them, he threw them at us as if they were stones. With an incredible speed no less!
"That crazy bastard is literally throwing gold away!"
Father and I were now the only living humans in this battlefield. The Giant Zombie seemed to like living people more than dead ones, as he ignored the zombies nearby and ran toward us. Thundering booms rang out as he took each step, and any zombies he grabbed on his way were thrown at us like stones. Then, in response to the Giant Zombie's attack, the tens of thousands of zombies left on the battlefield turned their attention toward us.
However, that was not what I paid attention to.
"Wow, look at all the team kills he's doing while running here."
"Kuk, 2,100 gold just disappeared in his hands!"
Crack, crack! More zombies were crushed under the Giant Zombie's feet. No matter how slow it was, with its enormous size, almost a dozen zombies died every time it took a step. I instantly thought I could use the Giant Zombie to easily kill the zombies.
"Father, do you want to hunt the Giant Zombie and clear the Event Dungeon, or do you want to avoid it and hunt more zombies?"
"Of course, we have to hunt more zombies! 100,000 or 200,000, it makes no difference to me!"
"Alright, then I'll aggro the Giant Zombie. Father can go to the opposite side and hunt the normal zombies."
Father and I split up. After confirming that he was running to the camp on the opposite side of the battlefield, I shouted as I ran toward the Giant Zombie.
"I'm here, you idiot! How can you catch me with that slow body of yours!?"
[You used the skill, Provoke! You draw nearby enemies toward you!]
Along with the zombies near me, the Giant Zombie fixed its eyes on me. After sweeping through the normal zombies with my Black Earthen Spear, I grinned.
"Hmph, you think that's enough? To satisfy me, you'll have to bring at least 3 times as many zombies!"
[You used the skill, Provoke! You draw nearby enemies toward you!]
[You mastered low-rank Provoke! Your words become more effective in drawing enemy's hostility.]
[You learned mid-rank Provoke! You can let your voice reach an even broader area, drawing even more enemies toward you. It becomes easier to provoke enemies with high intelligence!]
'Provoke became mid-rank!'
At the same time that Provoke's rank went up, the hostility of zombies piercing into me became completely different than before. The Giant Zombie was also running towards me without a shred of hesitation. Tremors rang out for each step the Giant Zombie took, which was like a human being running in slow motion. With each tremor, more zombies were killed.
"Good, good, keep coming!"
I started walking leisurely. The ordinary zombies couldn't even scratch me. When one of them stuck itself on me, I grabbed him and swung him around, sweeping away the incoming zombies. After a little while, the sky became darker, forcing me to look up. There, I saw the Giant Zombie looking down at me with its eyes full of maggots.
The dungeon's genre was definitely horror. It was like seeing a 3D movie, but in real life, not in a theatre. The Giant Zombie was also much more intimidating up close.
That said, it was still a zombie!
"Catch me if you can!"
I know, I also wanted to do this with a cute girl, not some 7 meter tall giant zombie! But what other choice did I have? Father wanted to hunt more zombies, and I wanted to clean up this battlefield crawling with zombies. It was because I had a strong feeling that I would receive another bonus if I killed all the zombies.
Killing the Giant Zombie would be easy, but the Event Dungeon would end if we did. I suspected that father and I were the only ones who would refuse to clear an Event Dungeon for such a reason.
"If you want to complain, do it after you catch me! Tempest!"
I had no intention of letting him off of his crime of using humans (though they became zombies) as weapons. I used Tempest after Tempest, as I gulped down lowest-grade Mana Potions.
After running around like that for two hours, I became exhausted. I must have killed at least 10,000 zombies by now. When I looked from above to check the current state, the battlefield had become quite clean.
In the distance, I saw father gathering up and hunting zombies. I turned around and saw that not many zombies remained in the path the Giant Zombie was taking to run. It seemed it was time to end this game of tag!
"Peika, take care of the zombies that are still alive."
[I would need a lot of mana. Is that okay, Master?]
"Yeah, you can take it all."
I gulped down a Double Mana Potion, which restored my MP by 2,000. It was worth 3 million won, so I couldn't help but shake my hands as I drank it.
From another perspective, it was only worth around 100 zombies! Since growing as a dungeon explorer, I thought I became quite generous. I finished the 3 million won potion in an instant. It tasted like orange juice.
At the same time, the Giant Zombie swept up the few dozen zombies that were left and put them in his mouth. It seemed he was also exhausted from chasing me around for so long. Once Peika began burning up the zombies, the Giant Zombie let out an angry growl and began looking for other zombies to eat. It was truly a stomach churning sight.
For some reason, however, something felt off with the scene of the Giant Zombie eating the zombies. It didn't feel like something it did on impulse, but something that had been planned. Regardless, I took care of the zombies nearby quickly. The Giant Zombie tried to stomp on me in anger, but he was hopeless to catch me.
"Father, if you're done, come help me!"
"I'm already on my way!"
Father was running toward me while blasting away the few zombies that remained with his shockwaves. I was slightly astonished by how much his skill had grown. However, I became frozen soon after from the message I received.
[Subquest complete! You exterminated all the zombies in the dungeon. Giant zombie absorbed 5.8 percent of the dungeon's zombies.]
[With low zombie absorption, Giant Zombie fails to evolve into Giant Ghoul! Giant Zombie loses control and transforms into Flesh Golem.]
I let out a short exclamation of surprise. After it finished eating up the zombies in its vicinity, the Giant Zombie faced the sky and roared.
'Ah, a rotten tooth is falling off.' I quickly dodged, and the tooth crashed down with a boom, forming a crater.
'Whew.' I sighed internally as I realized I almost got crushed by a tooth. If Loretta asked how I died, I would have been too embarrassed to tell her.
In the next moment, the Giant Zombie's other teeth fell off like raindrops. Not only that, its skin peeled off, its maggot-filled eyes, fingernails, and the few strands of hair all fell off. To me, there was no other disaster like it. Not only were they dirty, but if they were to hit me, I was sure I would take a huge amount of damage. I trembled and quickly escaped the premises.
"Ah, I wish I could blur it out..."
[I'm back, Master! What's next? That guy?]
"Yeah, I don't want to be here anymore."
I was tired and cold from the late-night game of tag with a Giant Zombie. Infusing Peika into the Black Earthen Spear, I glanced at the Giant Zombie that had turned into a Flesh Golem. The slight resemblance to a human that it had before was now gone. Its outer skin had melted, revealing its veins and black rotten flesh. I felt an unprecedented appetite for destruction from its indescribably disgusting appearance.
However, it was fast and strong. With speed that made it hard to believe it was once the Giant Zombie, it struck the ground with its fist. At the same time, the earth trembled and I received damage. Kuk, it was the same as Lizard Knight's earthquake attack! With that in mind, I flew up. However, the other dungeon explorer here, my father, had a different reaction.
"Shock Absorption, Shock Reflection!"
"The hell is that!? So cool!"
Father stood his ground and received the Flesh Golem's attack. Then, he thrust his spear forward, shooting out a shockwave that was on a completely different level from his usual shockwaves. The shockwave flew forward and struck the Flesh Golem's arm. Although it looked cool in a way, I couldn't help but frown at the sight of Flesh Golem's flesh exploding out and scattering about everywhere.
"I'm coming too!"
If I simply stood still, father would rack up contribution points. I couldn't let that happen. Resolved, I charged at the Flesh Golem with my lightning clad Black Earthen Spear. When it tried to lift the arm that had a huge crater from father's attack, I jumped above its forearm and shouted.
1. A very affluent area in Seoul.