Surviving The Game As A Barbarian Episode 174

April 9, 2024 • 14 min read • 766 views

Choice 2

The Order of the Young and the Old.

One of the three pillars of Confucianism, meaning there is an order between elders and youngsters.

However, there is a saying ‘When in Rome do as the Romans do’.

‘This is a world where age means nothing’

Raphdonia is a city of survival of the fittest, where the order is determined by the strength each individual possesses.

Simply put, ‘Strength and weakness dictate the order, 強弱有’

And according to that law, there is zero reason for me to hold back now.

“……A chick doesn’t know its place and is acting up.”

“Do you want to be beaten by a chick?”

As I slowly stood up, the atmosphere instantly turned tense.

“What?”

The blonde-tanned guy is confused, as if this is the first time he’s ever been outed like this.

Mr. Bear gently placed his hand on my arm.

“Jandel.”

A gesture that it was time to stop.

At this, the blonde-tanned guy regained his smug smile.

“How about you listen to your colleague? If it’s now, I’ll let it slide by just kneeling and apologizing.”

What, this guy again.

I just challenged him to a fight.

“Enough, let’s just duel.”

The only personal dispute method allowed in the city.

If it’s agreed upon and done in the presence of a notary, it’s not classified as violence.

Though killing would make things complicated.

But that’s a matter of controlling one’s strength properly.

“……A duel, do you even know what that means?”

“What do you mean? I just want to smash your head.”

“A madman……”

Looks like this is his first time encountering a barbarian explorer, the blonde-tanned guy couldn’t seem to grasp the situation.

Well, at a meeting designed to show off, he probably didn’t expect to be challenged to a duel.

“What are you thinking? Scared you’ll get beaten by a chick?”

“……There’s no need to deal with a madman.”

The blonde-tanned guy sneered and stood up from his place.

Yeah, that was his tactic.

A mental victory of refusing to associate with a madman.

The method to counter this was simple.

“You chickened out.”

With just one sentence, veins bulged on the forehead of the blonde-tanned guy.

But he didn’t want to engage with me, did he?

He unfairly took out his frustration on Derbes who was nearby.

“Pepe, you should be more selective with your company. Associating with such barbarians will only lower your own standards.”

Derbes didn’t respond.

Or more accurately, he didn’t have the time to respond.

Having said his piece, the blonde-tanned guy swiftly turned and walked towards the exit.

Step, step.

His back was straight, and his stride was confident.

However, I noticed that the blonde-tanned guy felt shame and humiliation in this situation.

“Abman, see? His face is turning red.”

“Seems like he knows what shame is.”

Even Mr. Bear, who initially tried to stop me, didn’t hesitate to join in mocking him.

If you can’t avoid it, might as well enjoy it—a very commendable mindset for my team mate.

However, it must have been hard to endure this insult.

Step.

The blonde-tanned guy stopped in front of the exit.

“Oh, he stopped. Is he going to accept the duel?”

“As if. Just by looking, it’s clear he’s nothing without his clan’s name to back him up.”

The blonde-tanned guy turned his head sharply to look at me, he then clenched his teeth and muttered.

“Barbarian, getting lucky and earning some cheap fame, you don’t know how high the sky is.”

“Yeah, and?”

“That attitude will not get you above the 5th floor.”

I genuinely laughed without realizing it.

Does he think he’s something?

“Talking nonsense.”

I slowly walked out, saying,

“I don’t know how many years you’ve been at this, but you’re a moron scared of someone who hasn’t even been here a year. Without a clan, you can’t hunt above the 5th floor, and you’ll spend your life picking up scraps on the 5th floor like it’s your salary.”

And then,

“I reached the fifth floor in just 8 months. Unlike others, I have a reputation, and I’m forming my own team to go even higher. Within the Barbarian tribe, I’m already being considered as a successor due to my potential.”

Standing in front of him, I casually tapped him on the shoulder.

“So, who do you think will be on a higher floor a few years from now?”

The blonde-tanned guy couldn’t say a word.

Just like a typical human male with an average height of 170cm, he could only look up at me.

I leaned down to his face.

“Then hurry up and get lost. Whether you go back to your clan is up to you.”

As I opened the door for him, the blonde-tanned guy walked out dumbfounded.

Slam.

I immediately closed the door.

Turning around, I found everyone looking at me.

I went back to my seat and casually remarked,

“Well, I’ve dealt with the problem, so let’s continue drinking.”

Strangely, no one answered.

“……”

Awkward silence.

Was this the first time they saw a Barbarian resolve a situation through conversation?

***

The silence was short-lived.

As the shock from the sudden incident subsided, we clinked our glasses together and shared stories.

Naturally, the main topic was about Jack Johnsonville.

About the guy who chickened out and ran away.

“Ha ha ha, did you see the expression on his face when I challenged him to a duel? He’ll probably never forget that for the rest of his life.”

Surprisingly, no one criticized me.

After all, even to me who saw him for the first time, he was annoying, so how much more to them?

“But why did you keep including him?”

“Despite his arrogance, he blabbered about information that could only be known to clan members.”

Hmm, so he was somewhat useful because he was talkative.

Then I feel somewhat sorry.

“Don’t worry too much about it. Recently, we haven’t been welcoming him as much, so he’s been coming less often. He’ll probably move on to somewhere else before long.”

“Then that’s that.”

“Ah, and one more thing. You don’t need to worry about him at all. He’s just a low-ranking member in his clan, so he couldn’t dream of retaliating against you.”

“Ha, Pepe. Since when has being low-ranking been the issue? With his personality, he’s probably too embarrassed to say anything and just suffers in silence.”

“Well, that could be the case. After all, talking about it would just get him treated as a fool by the clan.”

It was a clean resolution.

Not holding back was indeed the right answer.

‘Even if the clan tried to retaliate, what could they possibly do?’

Ambush us in the labyrinth?

If a large clan did something like that and got caught, they’d be severely punished. They wouldn’t cross that line just for a low-ranking member.

‘At most, they could control the experience points.’

A form of harassment by preventing us from gaining experience points in certain areas.

If it were just one area, it might not matter, but the 5th floor clans have close relationships with each other.

Thus, being blacklisted could impose significant restrictions on leveling.

Ah, of course, that doesn’t apply to me.

I never intended to pay for experience points in the first place.

Why pay money when you can hunt in the mirror?

“Come on, then, let’s drink!”

As the drinking session continued, the talk about the blonde-tanned guy gradually faded.

Replacing him as the main topic was the subject of the Noarark subjugation.

“Bjorn, your team isn’t participating?”

“That’s right, I have a bad feeling about it. Derbes, what about you?”

“We’ve already decided to take part. The Labyrinth is just as dangerous anyway.”

“I see.”

“Most of us here will probably participate. The rewards are quite attractive. It’s almost like the money one would earn from over a year of exploring.”

“Here’s to a safe return.”

“Ha, thanks.”

I didn’t add anything to that decision.

There wasn’t anyone here with less experience as an explorer than me.

It would be impolite and out of place for a newcomer like me to give advice, as it wouldn’t change their decision.

Even Barbarians have their codes to follow.

“Well, it’s getting late. Let’s call it a night. Abman, you should go too, or your wife might scold you.”

“……I’m going with Jandel, so it’s fine.”

“Oh? Your wife thinks highly of Jandel, doesn’t she?”

The gathering ended after two in the morning.

Though some had started to leave one by one for various reasons before that, I stayed till the end.

“Will you come again?”

“If I’m invited.”

“Then I’ll pass the word through Abman.”

I didn’t gain any immediately useful information.

I could glimpse the mindsets and common knowledge of ordinary explorers, but that was it.

However, I plan to participate again next time.

Assuming they return alive from the subjugation.

Because I’m curious about how it will turn out.

“Ah, I had a good drink for the first time in a while!”

I step out into the street and feel the chill of the night air on my skin.

When I first came here, it was early spring.

And now, autumn is nearly over.

“Let’s go.”

“Ha ha ha! Yes, we should!”

Mr Bear was in a much more upbeat mood than usual, probably because he had been drinking, almost as if he was guzzling the liquor.

Despite the amount he drank, he seemed perfectly sober.

But, that doesn’t mean he could find his way home.

‘I feel like I’ve gotten a bit closer to this Ahjussi.’

Since the carriages had stopped running, I walked him all the way to his home in District 7.

“Thanks for walking him home. Want to rest a bit? I’ve got something perfect for hangovers.”

Thanks to Mr. Bear’s recent exploration earnings, his wife was endlessly kind, offering warm honey water before I headed home.

‘Home…’

It’s become natural for me to call it that.

Creak.

As I unlocked the door and entered, the door to the room at the back opened.

Room 207.

Misha’s room.

“Nyang, you’re back?”

“Ah, you were awake?”

“Why are you so late? What’s with the smell of alcohol, Nyang?”

I stood in the hallway for a moment, telling Misha about joining the gathering with Mr. Bear.

“That’s great… You really seem like a team leader now, Nyang.”

Such exchanges are part of an explorer’s job in this world.

Misha patted my shoulder, acknowledging my hard work.

“But what’s in that paper bag, Nyang?”

“I saw a night market on the way back and bought some apple skewers.”

“Huh? You don’t usually like that kind of stuff, do you, Nyang?”

“You two like them, don’t you?”

Misha chuckled at my words.

“Ha, that’s so like you, almost like a dad, Nyang.”

Then Misha took a skewer from the bag, bit into it, and went into her room.

I’ll give the remaining ones to Aynar tomorrow.

Thud.

I put the bag on the table and quickly washed up.

The buzz from the alcohol somewhat flew away with the cool night air coming through the window.

‘Not bad.’

It was one of those days where such thoughts increasingly crossed my mind.

***

After the day of the explorer’s gathering, a somewhat busy routine followed.

With money in hand, upgrades were necessary.

“Aynar, go to the sanctuary and get the engraving.”

“I don’t have the money?”

“I’ll lend you some.”

“…Really?!”

Initially, Aynar acted as if she had received free money when I offered to lend her some, but as the amount increased, she began to feel the weight of her debt.

“When will I be able to earn my own money!!”

Well, probably not for a year?

In fact, I planned to dictate how to spend the big money thereafter.

Anyway, it took her three days to get the third-level engraving.

“You seem alright. Wasn’t it painful?”

“It hurt!”

“But?”

“It’s natural to endure pain to become stronger!”

Ah, yes… that’s the mentality.

Barbarians indeed have a mindset different from ordinary people.

For the record, Aynar received the ‘Massacre’ engraving.

A typical warrior’s engraving that provides adjustments to various combat stats.

For her third-level engraving skill, she chose [Devour].

A passive skill with a good performance that recovers a certain amount of soul energy upon defeating monsters.

‘Let’s stick to the third level for now and upgrade directly to the sixth level once we have the money.’

Oh, and there was progress with Misha too.

Seeing Aynar growing at a terrifying rate, maybe Misha felt a bit rushed? This time, she spent most of her money earned on ‘Beast’s Blood’.

And the result.

“Bjorn!! I finally did it, Nyang!”

She achieved the first awakening of her spirit beast.

The newly acquired power was [Blessing of the Glacier].

A cheat-like ability that reduces the resource consumption of cold-related skills or items by half.

‘I never thought this power would come before that sword…’

Was it the reward for our past struggles?

Things started to go smoothly after reaching the 5th floor.

“But are you going to keep using that equipment, Nyang?”

“It’s enough for the 5th floor.”

I also spent money, not just on others.

I sold the expandable backpack I had been using and spent almost all my money on a subspace ring.

Human desires are peculiar; even the expandable backpack began to feel inconvenient.

‘Better to buy it early if I’m going to change it anyway.’

A personal backpack is essential in the labyrinth.

You never know when you’ll be separated from your team.

Moreover, fresh products can also be kept in the subspace.

‘Really, there’s nothing money can’t do in this world.’

With a resolve to earn a lot more in the future, I prepared to go out.

It was because of a meeting with Rotmiller.

“Fortunately, you arrived on time today.”

“Now that I’m a scout too.”

“Ho-ho, I like that attitude.”

I’ve been meeting with Rotmiller daily for a few days now, receiving scout training.

Of course, it wasn’t for free.

As with medieval craftsmen, asking to be taught these skills for free was tantamount to daylight robbery.

I was paying a significant fee for lessons every day.

“I haven’t been to the 5th floor myself, so I can’t tell you about it. But I’ve studied a lot about it, so I can at least give advice. Ah, you should also learn map-making; it will be a great help.”

Basic knowledge that a scout must have.

And a few skills and practical know-how that only practitioners can teach.

Including special training to improve the sense of direction and so on.

I gradually learned everything Rotmiller had established through years of effort.

“…Teaching you like this makes me think that opening a training center wouldn’t be a bad idea.”

“That’s a good thought. If it’s you, surely many will come to learn.”

“Ha, flattery…”

After the lesson with Rotmiller, I returned to the dormitory and had dinner together.

Ah, Erwin joined us today.

“How do you always know where to find us here? We could have been out.”

“Umm… Somehow, I can tell. Should I call it a fairy’s intuition?”

“Nyang, intuition my foot. You just keep looking until you find us.”

“Misha is right! You bluffer!!”

“…Both of you, stop it.”

Whenever Erwin came, both of them became sullen.

It wasn’t incomprehensible.

Barbarians naturally dislike fairies, and Misha just dislikes fairies in general.

‘I wish they could get along, considering they might become comrades…’

Am I expecting too much?

‘Maybe reconsidering Erwin as a comrade is necessary.’

While dining, we also caught up with Erwin’s recent activities.

This time, her sister knew a clan that decided to hire her as a mercenary for a few months?

She said she would be hunting on the 5th floor next time.

Ah, the life of a silver spoon.

“I’ll be going then! See you next week!”

After dinner, I went up to my room to wash up and rest.

Although it was late, I didn’t really sleep.

「The character’s soul resonates and is drawn to a specific world.」

Today was the day for that.