Surviving The Game As A Barbarian Episode 146

March 15, 2024 • 12 min read • 816 views

The Great Legacy (3)

Crack.

I picked the sword I had momentarily set down and returned to where my comrades were. Then, I placed the sword back into the bag I had set down earlier.

Judging by the blade alone, it didn’t look like an ordinary Arc Steel Sword, but I’ll figure that out later.

“Sorry. I, too, this time…”

The dwarf lowered his head in disdain, and I simply patted him on the shoulder.

What could I possibly say to him?

It’s not like we all survived because of me.

“Bjorn.”

Misha walks towards me with a somber step and puts her hand on my chest.

“I’m glad… you’re alive. Really…”

I feel something surge through me.

Of course, I know why.

We owed our thanks for being alive to someone who wasn’t here with us. I’m sure he would have wanted to share this joyful moment too.

“Rotmiller.”

Gently pushing Misha’s hand away, I moved towards Rotmiller, who had just regained his consciousness.

To convey Dwalki’s last words to him

“So, he…”

After hearing everything, Rotmiller knelt down in front of Dwalki’s body and made the sign of the cross. Then, he scattered words of farewell that he hadn’t been able to convey before.

“I remember when you first entered the labyrinth. You said you were beginning to understand how vast the world is.”

It happened on the third floor, the pilgrim’s path.

Rotmiller led us to a high hill and said that not all our exploration was filled with hardship and horror.

There, we all saw the vast nature bathed in silver light together, and Dwalki was so thrilled that he couldn’t sleep at night.

“If only I could have shown you a wider world…”

Rotmiller ended his words plainly.

Maybe there were still many things he wanted to say to the one left behind. Misha and the dwarf also knelt down and poured out the words they had held inside.

I stood a step away, watching the scene.

It wasn’t that I had nothing to say.

But…

“Nyah! It’s my, my fault! If only I hadn’t chosen that door…!”

“It’s not your fault. It’s mine. I told you to trust me, that no matter what, I would definitely protect you, but I failed to keep that promise.”

I’m probably not much different from the two of them.

Whatever I say, in the end, it would lead to self-blame. Dwalki would not have wanted to see us like this.

The world we have to live in.

It’s not a world kind enough to let us stay down forever.

[Baaaah!]

Seeing the Baikundus appear from the other end of the corridor, I spoke up.

“Everyone, stop.”

“……”

“It’s an enemy.”

We must remember, but also stand up from our grief.

Because that’s all that’s left for those of us who are left.

“Bethel—raaaaaaaaa!!”

We have no choice but to keep moving forward.

****

The battle with the Baikundus turned out to be tougher than expected.

The reason was simple.

Now that only four of us remained in this vast maze, our abilities had diminished considerably, and our injuries had not fully healed.

The reason we could so easily defeat a level 6 monster in the first place was also thanks to Dwalki.

“Just grab what you can carry and let’s go back.”

After the battle, we started cleaning up.

Equipment scattered all over the floor from the desperate fight.

Well, after collecting the remnants of the equipment, we also searched the priest’s belongings.

What we found was a necklace whose purpose we couldn’t identify.

Whether it was an artifact or merely decorative, we couldn’t tell.

After all, Dwalki was the only one among us who could sense the magical power imbued in objects.

“It seems there’s not much here either.”

We also looted a middle-aged explorer who had died early in the battle, but there wasn’t much of value.

After all, most decent things were probably in that bastard’s subspace.

“I will deliver everything to the place you wish.”

A staff and an expandable backpack he had been carrying. Boots and robes could be sold for money, but we left those untouched.

“Dwalki, I will carry him.”

We made our way through the trap room to the portal, then back to the Sky Tower..

And each of us collapsed to take a rest.

Someone sat in front of Dwalki, wiping the blood off his body, while someone else leaned against the wall and sobbed.

The peacefulness that had come like a lie was a wake-up call.

This is the undeniable reality, not a dream.

“Bjorn, is there no way to take Dwalki back to the city?”

“……No.”

“I see, that’s how it is……”

Reality is this cruel.

Even though he gave his precious life for us, we can’t even take him back to the city for a funeral.

Because he was a mage.

Corpses from the labyrinth are classified as objects, and without ‘Distortion’ magic, it’s impossible to take them outside.

That’s why the Barbarian’s heart was special.

To be able to take it back to the city without magic? Surely the mages would have found it interesting and started researching it as a magical material.

“Misha, you rest too.”

“I will stay here a bit longer. After we leave…… he will be lonely, Nyah.”

“……Okay.”

Leaving the suffocating air behind, I settled down in a corner.

And checked the time.

[10:31]

A day and a half more until the labyrinth closes.

I felt a bitter taste in my mouth.

‘……It hasn’t even been an hour.’

I felt like a truly insignificant being.

I had survived countless brushes with death.

It felt like days and nights had passed fighting that creature.

Yet, not even an hour had passed since we finished cleaning up and returned.

‘Let’s do what needs to be done……’

I took out the letter left by the priest.

A single, old, wrinkled, and stained letter that he must have carried for many years. And in its dense handwriting, it explained how the old man came to be in this situation.

As I read through, one part caught my attention.

‘The underground city of Noarark.’

The name of the place where the old man and his grandson were kidnapped by the dragon slayer.

[It’s a potion made by the alchemist of Noarark. It erases a whole hour of memory when taken.]

The name of the city mentioned by that psychopathic bitch earlier, and the one I couldn’t find in the library no matter how much information I searched.

Yes,there’s something like that in the sewers.

‘Could it be, that bitch is also a member of Orcules?’

 

Thinking this, I continued reading the letter.

The old man’s letter revealed that the underground city of Noarark and Orcules were working together, but there was one other surprising piece of information.

‘I had no idea there was a …… portal there.

The foundation that allowed the city of Raphdonia to exist.

A portal connected to the labyrinth also existed underground.

So the underground explorers managed the incredible feat of secretly mining magic stones and using them to build the underground city.

‘Noarark.’

I engraved that name in my mind.

I had a strong conviction that I would become entangled with this place in the future.

‘I’ll investigate this further once I’m out.’

With that thought, I put the letter back into my pocket.

As I examined the contents, I saw no harm in passing it on.

After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Anyway, this is the end of the matter.

“……”

I exhaled deeply and closed my eyes.

I desperately needed rest, but a multitude of thoughts kept emerging and vanishing, tormenting me.

What should I do from here?

With such formidable enemies appearing, the city could no longer guarantee safety. My comrades and I might even be targeted within the labyrinth.

‘Shit.’

I regretted that he had managed to return alive. If only the priest had healed me, I could have finished him off myself.

‘…What am I even thinking?’

I shook my head, dismissing these foolish thoughts.

The world doesn’t move as one wishes.

He must have had no choice either.

That was the character of the evil god in games as well.

He granted wishes in exchange for a price but never gave the best outcome. Like the monkey’s paw, granting wishes while also bringing misfortune.

Always providing hope and despair simultaneously.

‘…This bastard strangely keeps getting involved with me.’

I shake off my thoughts, adding Carui the Evil God to my investigation list.

It was time for me to rest as well.

This place was safer than the city, and I had plenty of things to do once I went outside.

“……”

After drying myself off with a towel, I unrolled my sleeping bag and lay down inside.

It was a strange turn of events.

After nearly two days of fighting through the night in such a desperate battle.

I found it hard to fall asleep for a long time.

[The labyrinth has closed]

[Your character is moving to Raphdonia]

Sunlight stung my eyelids.

Without a moment to savor it, I passed through the checkpoint and exchanged the magic stones for money.

Then I headed to the agreed meeting place.

The Explorers’ Guild branch,  located nearest to the Dimensional Square. Upon arrival, I found a crowd of people looking just as worn out as me.

“……”

An unusual silence for the dozens of people gathered.

Naturally, there’s only one reason to come here directly from the city without even washing up.

The death of a companion.

“If everyone’s here, let’s go in.”

Once all the companions had arrived, we entered the guild. There, we filed a death report and handed over Dwalki’s equipment and backpack in its entirety.

“……You’ve been good comrades to the deceased.”

The staff member gave us a strange look.

It must be uncommon.

The city’s wealth aside, in such matters, swallowing everything without any issue is expected.

Most would just file a death report and end it there.

But……

“Royal certified Rank 8 mage, Leor Wuerv Dwalki. The death report has been successfully filed.”

There was no feeling of loss.

That’s because we knew the contents of the will he had written before he first entered the labyrinth.

[Ha, a will. Really makes me feel like an explorer.]

[Write whatever you want, but make sure to specify the inheritance of your property. Otherwise, it all goes to the Explorers’ Guild.]

[Don’t worry, I’ve already decided.]

He wished to donate his property to an orphanage under a certain temple.

We only learned the details yesterday.

The dwarf mentioned that he had been left at that place for a while during his childhood. His estate should be used as he wished.

We have already received far more than enough.

“It’s really over…… Well, let’s go then.”

Thus, the first thing we had to do upon returning to the city, reporting Dwalki’s death, was completed.

It was surprisingly simple.

One minute to fill out the form, two minutes for the staff to review. It took just three minutes to put an end to a man’s life that he had carried for 25 years.

‘It just shows how common death is in this world.’

With a bitter feeling, we left the guild.

And headed to the grand temple of the Leatlas.

After all, it’s the only way to repay the kindness of the deceased.

“You guys can go back and rest.”

“How could we do that? He was a savior to us.”

“I’ll go too… I’d rested enough inside…”

Misha, who had been crying all day and hadn’t really rested, didn’t say anything. It was clear that even if she went back to the lodging, she wouldn’t be able to rest properly anyway.

“……”

We all headed to our destination together.

Soon, a pristine white building that seemed untouched by the world’s filth appeared, and we entered it.

When the apprentice priest asked if we were seeking healing, I was unsure how to answer, so I told him that we were here at the request of High Priest Ludwig.

“Lu, High Priest Ludwig……?”

Perhaps he hadn’t considered the possibility of someone lying in a place where a god resides. His eyes widened in shock, and he quickly ran inside to deliver the message.

An…

“It’s been a long time.”

As we waited there, a familiar face appeared to greet us.

The commander of the Third Paladin Order, Paal Krobitz.

“I heard you’ve come at the request of Archbishop Ludwig, who disappeared years ago. Do you have any item that could serve as proof?”

He asked politely.

“It is a matter of great sensitivity to the Order,” he said, “and I hope you will bear with me.

There been several incidents caused by the city-wide bounty?

“Bounty?”

“Yes. Since the amount is quite large, it has attracted people with ill intentions.”

We hadn’t come for the bounty.

However, having previously defeated that Elisha bitch and received a substantial bounty, I inadvertently asked.

“How much are we talking about?”

Misha elbowed me, giving me a warning look. The dwarf did the same.

“Even for you, this might be a bit much.”

Rotmiller, both an explorer and a follower of the Leatlas, didn’t seem too pleased either.

But Krobitz continued without any particular expression.

And then…

“Depending on the information provided, and the presence of a holy relic…”

“But?”

“I believe the treasury has set aside up to 70 million stones as the maximum.”

Everyone froze at his response.

See you on Monday