Surviving The Game As A Barbarian Episode 4

November 7, 2023 • 13 min read • 403 views

When it comes to [Dungeons and Stones], I’m an expert.

I can recite effortlessly which monsters appear where, what habits they have, and their weaknesses without even trying to recall them.

Based on this, I made my final judgment.

If the Barbarian’s physique and my knowledge were combined, we could definitely survive in the labyrinth.

At least, that’s what I truly believed at the time.

“Ha…”

As soon as I entered the labyrinth, it became pitch black before my eyes.

Not a metaphor for the future, but literally, I couldn’t see anything. I probably wouldn’t notice if someone put a blindfold on me right now.

Because it wouldn’t make any difference.

“Fuck.”

It felt like a hard slap to the back of the head.

Barbarians, too, only carry one weapon, so I never doubted this part.

Normally, you don’t need a torch on the first floor.

That’s because the crystals attached to the walls serve as a light source.

Of course, there are dark zones on the first floor, but apart from the outermost parts leading to the second floor, they are very rare—

‘Ah, could it be that I’ve fallen into one of those places?’

I quickly formed a hypothesis.

When you enter the labyrinth, the starting position is random.

Though they say it’s random, you’re not supposed to be thrown into a place like this. Even if you start at the periphery, there are always glowing crystals nearby.

But this isn’t just a world within a monitor that I’ve been watching.

What if all those things were just conveniences provided by the creators to the players?

What if it’s really possible to be placed in a cursed starting point like this Dark Zone?

Then that would explain my current situation.

No, it has to.

Because if the entire first floor is like this, I don’t think I’ll survive another day.

“Phew…”

I calmed down a bit when I had everything sorted out.

Fortunately, my eyes had adjusted to the darkness, and though it was a little better than before, I could barely make out any outlines.

Still, it’s not a hopeless situation.

Let’s check it out and move on.

Now that I’m finally alone.

“Status window, equipment window, character information, stats, inventory. Check the log… forget it.”

As expected, it doesn’t work.

Well, I didn’t have any expectations, to begin with.

“Let’s go.”

With a shield in one hand and the other hand touching the wall, I moved forward.

The pace was slightly faster than crawling.

Hmm, or is it?

Maybe crawling would be faster, but I can’t increase my speed.

It’s too dangerous…

“Aaaargh!”

Suddenly, a sharp pain exploded in my ankle.

It was a pain I had never felt before, and my nerves went haywire. Yet even amidst this, I managed to grasp the situation.

What the hell went wrong?

Even without a combat log, the answer was obvious.

「Your character has stepped on a Goblin trap.」

Damn it, I’ve stepped on a trap.

***

What’s the mistake?

The list comes out one by one without even thinking about it.

The shield gave me a sense of psychological comfort.

But in exchange, it obstructed much of my view.

If I had strapped the shield to my belt and focused solely on scouting, perhaps I would have spotted the trap.

What use is a shield if you can’t even see in the first place? I should have prioritized practicality over a false sense of security.

Damn it all.

“Ugh… Huh…”

My mind goes blank.

I want to scream right now.

But I desperately hold it back.

If screaming would improve the situation, maybe I would consider it.

But I’m acutely aware that it would only make things worse.

Thump-thump-thump-thump-thump.

My heart races as if it’s about to break out of my chest.

“Huff, huff, huff…”

I suppress my breath, forcing it to steady under the pressure of my lips.

What I need to remember now is not how much pain and difficulty I’m going through.

There’s only one monster on the first floor that uses traps.

Goblins.

And one is undoubtedly nearby.

“…”

I reflexively lift the shield to cover my head.

Then I stop breathing entirely, concentrating all my attention on my hearing.

There’s no sound. It’s as if time itself has stopped in its tracks.

…Is there really nothing there?

I can’t tell.

Maybe it’s possible. Maybe the goblin happened to step out. Even goblins have to do their business.

‘Dammit, as if I’m not seriously considering that.’

I neatly fold up the sliver of hope that had begun to emerge in my mind and throw it away.

There are two reasons for this.

One, there’s a difference between being positive and being optimistic.

Two, what I need right now is to think negatively.

“…”

If I can’t be certain, I might as well assume the worst.

The goblin heard my scream.

It’s hiding in the darkness, quietly waiting for my strength to wane.

The silence is because of that.

It was the same in the game.

If there was a trap, there was always a goblin nearby.

“Hoo…”

I slowly exhale the breath I had been holding.

Regardless of how things turn out, it’s quiet enough that if I stay alert, I’ll be able to sense their approach.

First, let’s do what I have to do.

“…Eurgh!”

I crouch down and spread the trap with both hands to free my foot. Then I tear off a piece of my hem to wrap tightly around the wound, after taking off my sandal-like shoe.

I decided to discard the ragged shoe.

It was a stretch to even call it a shoe.

What I was wearing was more akin to flip-flops.

Damn those barbarians.

If they had sent me off with just leather boots, I wouldn’t have ended up half-crippled by a single trap…

“What the fuck am I thinking?

I ask myself, finding myself irrational.

Let’s not degrade any further.

No matter how much I curse at them, it doesn’t change the situation at hand.

It’s my fault for not checking the ground properly.

So, let’s stop whining and check the condition of my body.

‘Huh, this is really bad.’

I can’t feel my right foot already.

I can sense the heat, but even that sensation is fading.

“I know you’re there, so just come out already.”

I muttered quietly.

Yet there was no sign of movement beyond the darkness.

With this, I slowly moved forward.

Thump. Thump.

One leg was broken, but the pain was less than expected. It seems to be thanks to the numbing poison…

I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

“Come out, you bastard.”

I continued to move forward, not hesitating to provoke them with my words.

After all, time is not on my side.

If I must fight, the sooner, the better.

Apart from the injury, I can’t ignore the possibility that the creature is waiting for reinforcements.

“You’re not coming out?”

Of course, all of this could just be my paranoia, and there might not be such a thing as a goblin.

Then what, I’m just a fool who walked into a trap and made a whole dramatic scene for nothing?
But what does it matter.

Even so, I want to be the asshole who survives.

“Then just stay there. I’m coming.”

I increase my pace.

At best, it’s only slightly faster than crawling, but it feels like sprinting a marathon at full speed.
One step, another step.

As I force myself to walk, my right foot begins to throb.

“Ouch, huff, huff…”

It’s one of two things.

Either the effects of the numbing poison have worn off, or the pain has intensified beyond its effects.

Upon thinking, either situation isn’t bad.

If the effect has worn off, that’s good.

And the feeling of pain, if you think about it, is only possible because the nerve cells are alive.

“No, but why am I so positive about this?

I don’t really want to think about it.

I don’t have the mental capacity for that.

“…Your mom’s a goblin.”

The words come out of my mouth unfiltered.

Is it because I’ve lost so much blood?

It feels like my brain has been pickled in alcohol.

“Your dad’s a goblin, too.”

Of course, even as the words spill out, my feet don’t stop.

“So you’re a goblin, too.”

That’s when I first heard a sound.

It was undoubtedly a small noise, but to my focused ears, it sounded incredibly loud.

Click-

Finally, the creature revealed its presence for the first time.

“Why, can’t you stand your parents being insulted either?”

Of course, I know that’s not the reason.

It wasn’t even an insult to begin with…

The sound came from behind.

It seems correct to assume that it moved only because I was getting farther away.

I increased my speed even more.

In response, the steps of the creature also quickened.

As its footsteps neared, the sound became sharper and more distinct.

Click, click, click, click.

Each step made the sound of something sticky sticking to a smooth surface and falling off.

Even though I knew it was less than a meter tall, the pressure I felt was as if a gigantic monster was pursuing me.

To shake off the fear, I kept talking to it.

I am a barbarian.

If I can just lure it into a close-quarters fight, there’s no way I’ll lose to a goblin.

“Don’t just follow, come at me, you weakling.”

I continued to taunt, but the creature maintained a constant distance, just following.

He didn’t even bother to hide himself anymore.

“Grruk, grruk…!”

It was a sound close to a howl, yet I could sense an emotion in it.

“Grrrruk! Grruk!”

He’s chuckling now. He’s really happy to see his prey bleeding to death. He wants me to hear that sound and be afraid.

…Clever bastard.

Alright, change of plans.

I stopped walking and collapsed to the ground with a stagger.

Thud!

The impact on the rock felt like my forehead would split open, but I made no sound.

Now, it was a test of endurance.

If it thinks I’ve fallen and approaches first, victory is mine.

If I truly collapse first, it’s my defeat.

“Grruk?”

I decided to trust the toughness of this body that had walked about 300 meters with a broken leg.

Click- Click.

The sound of its footsteps gradually approached.

It was so slow I could yawn.

Despite its prey appearing to have fallen, the creature was cautious.

‘Insane, why is this goblin so cautious?’

I cursed involuntarily.

In the game, goblins were the weakest of the mobs. They used poison, they set traps, but without that their combat power was laughable.

But the goblin in reality?

Click – Click.

It was no laughing matter. I now understood why the village NPCs had talked so much about the goblin’s cunning.

They seemed to possess several times the intelligence of the so-called barbarians.

Click – Click.

At around 5 to 10 meters, the goblin stopped.

Why?

As I wondered about the reason.

A dull thud hit my shoulder.

Thud. De-gurrrr.

What? Did this little bastard just throw a stone at me?

‘…He won’t keep throwing until I turn into a bloody mess, will he?’

“Grrrruk! Grruk!”

Contrary to my concerns, the creature let out a howl of joy.

Judging by the lack of response to its stone-throwing, it must have decided I was dead.

Click – Click – Click – Click.

It rushed toward me quickly.

I could feel its excitement from the quickened pace of its hopping.

I suppressed my excitement and calmly measured the distance by sound. When I judged it to be close enough.

“You little shit!”

I sprung up and reached out towards it.

Grabbing the shield would take too long; extending my hand was faster and had a longer range.

But I soon realized my plan had gone awry.

There were two reasons for this.

First, I had misjudged the distance to the creature by about a step.

And its movements were much nimbler than expected.

“Gruek!”

The creature dodged swiftly, moving backward.

Though invisible, that was the distinct feeling.

Instinctively, I realized I had missed.

Shit, now what? I racked my brain, preparing my next move.

But in that moment, my body acted on its own accord.

“…?”

It was a truly peculiar sensation.

Still, darkness veiled my sight.

Yet, I intuitively knew where the goblin had leaped.

By the time I became aware of this fact, my hand had already changed its trajectory toward the creature.

“Gruek?!”

I felt something caught in my fingertips.

Whether it was a wrist, an ankle, or perhaps a neck, it didn’t matter.

“Aaaaaaaaah!”

I screamed wildly, slamming the creature down to the ground. There was a sickening crack! Something had broken. Yet, without reassurance, I quickly mounted the creature’s torso.

“Gr, gruek!”

Now, the tables had turned.

“I’m on top, you’re on the bottom, you asshole!”

Like a madman, I pummeled its face.

While I sometimes hit the ground in my frenzy, the barbarian’s body was much stronger than I thought.

My fists felt no pain; instead, it was the stone ground that gave way.

“……”

Before long, the creature’s movements ceased.

And then…

Ssssssssshhh!

Dust swirled around.

Curiously, the dust shone with light.

I halted my punches.

Before I knew it, the goblin’s body I had been sitting on had fragmented into tiny pieces, dispersing in the air.

Really, it was so ridiculous.

“What the fuck, is this the same thing again?”

I wish it would decide on one thing.

Either it’s a game, or it’s real life, which is just more of the same.

I’m getting confused about which beat to follow.

[You have defeated a goblin. EXP +1]

Soon after, the goblin’s body vanished without a trace.

Picking up a small stone that had fallen to the ground, I felt an inexplicable sense of emptiness.

[You have acquired a Grade 9 Magic Stone.]

Though not strong, it emitted a faint glow.

In [Dungeon & Stone], it served as currency.

How much was it again? The memory soon came back to me.

“A slice of bread.”

The average value of a magic stone spit out by a goblin in the game.

Somehow, laughter leaked out.

“Kuhuhuhuhu…”

All this ruckus, and this is what I get?

My head, once cluttered, felt surprisingly clear.

It was like that oddly liberating feeling after a good cry.

“Kuh, kuhuhuhu.”

There are labyrinths, and there are monsters.

Dead monsters leave behind drops and disappear.

And out in the city, different races actually coexist and live together.

Clearly, this is a world like that.

But…

There will be no more confusion.