Surviving The Game As A Barbarian Episode 53

November 20, 2023 • 11 min read • 584 views

Episode 53(Halflings Gather(2))

Novel- Surviving the game as a barbarian

Episode 53((Halflings Gather(2))
After the shocking confession of not having a mom.

“Uh, uh…”

“So, that’s how it is…”

There was an awkward silence, and bewildered gazes flew towards me.

I quickly added more details to explain.

“My mother passed away when I was born. And my father never returned from the labyrinth when I was young. So, even though I’m an adult now, I can’t meet either of them, even if I want to!”

For the record, this story I just told is 100% true, as I heard it from Aynar.

“Oh dear…”

“You must have had a tough time at such a young age.”

But was it because this was the confession of the youngest member of the team, a Barbarian who had just completed his coming of age ceremony?

The looks on their faces began to soften with sympathy.

“Bjorn, you don’t have to force yourself to be okay in front of us.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know about your situation and talked about my family…”

“Bjorn, I know I can’t be your parent, but if you wish—”

What the fuck, asshole.

I decided not to listen to the dwarf’s next words.

“Enough.”

Suddenly, it seemed like I became the most pitiable one among us… but… what the hell, it doesn’t matter because it’s not true.

After all, I’m not really motherless.

And unlike them, I’m a munchkin barbarian on an ultra-elite course, having been promoted to a rank 7 adventurer in my third month.

The most important thing is always the essence, the essence.

‘Hmm, but thinking about it, aren’t I actually the most pitiable?’

Suddenly, it dawned on me.

I’ve been dragged into a world I never asked to be in, and I’ve had to risk getting killed so many times.

Fuck, why is my life so pathetic?

“Bjorn, you look upset! Are you thinking about your mother?”

“Yeah, something like that…”

“If you miss your family, you can call me your sister—”

Cutting off the cat-eared girl who was about to continue, I steered the conversation back to the main point.

“So, what are we going to do now?”

Our primary destination, the Orc Colony, is no longer an option because of those assholes.

Of course, they said the outskirts were okay, but how much can we really get from hunting there, especially split among five of us?

“I think it might be better to go to the Witch’s Forest.”

The dwarf, posing as a leader, offered his opinion.

The Witch’s Forest is a huge forest that surrounds the portal to the fourth floor.
Monsters of levels 7 to 8 mainly appear there, and among them are some ethereal monsters immune to physical attacks.

“Of course, it’s not a good match for us melee warriors, but since we have a mage, it shouldn’t be too bad.”

“Hmm, wouldn’t it be better to just go up to the fourth floor?”

Rotmiller, who had been listening, offered a new opinion.

To me, his suggestion seemed like a better option than what the dwarf had in mind.

To most adventurers, the Witch’s Forest is merely a transitional area, offering little advantage as a primary hunting ground.

‘There aren’t even any essences there worth consuming for me.’

The only problem was, the dwarf didn’t really like this option.

“Venturing into the fourth floor seems premature at this time.”

I knew what the dwarf was worried about.

The third floor mainly harbored monsters of the 7th and 8th grades, and the fourth floor was no different in this respect. However, there’s a crucial difference between them.

“As I’ve said repeatedly in meetings, many teams have perished by rashly advancing upwards. It almost happened to my team once.”

The presence or absence of 6th-grade monsters.

Starting from the fourth floor, 6th-grade monsters appear, albeit rarely.

Their encounter rate might be as low as once every three days of continuous exploration…

But this inevitably means encountering a 6th-grade monster when active on the fourth floor.

‘The real question is whether we have the skills to overcome that encounter. That’s the tricky part.’

In actual gameplay, I’ve had my share of close calls and bloody experiences when hastily moving to the fourth floor.

So the dwarf had a point.

“I think it’s not too late to decide on heading to the fourth floor after we’ve coordinated our movements for a few more days.”

Regardless of the deep emotional bonds or increased camaraderie formed by this incident.

We are a team formed for the first time on this expedition.

It’s only been three days since we entered the labyrinth, and we’re still not familiar with each other.

“Not to mention, Dwalki is on his first expedition, and Bjorn, this is your first time past the third floor.”

In summary, the dwarf’s argument was: heading to the fourth floor is fine, but let’s not rush it.

“Well, then why don’t we just head to another area on the third floor? The Green Tail Marsh seems like a good option, Nyah”

Misha, who had been listening to the debate with a headache, had a new idea.

And was immediately countered by Rotmiller.

“If we had started on that route from the beginning, maybe, but heading to Green Tail Marsh now would take at least six days.”

The first floor closes after 7 days, the second floor after 10, and the third floor after 15 days.

But now, to invest more than seven days in travel? Since it’s only the third day, we’d only have five days to hunt once we get there.

“In that case, it might be better to head back to the Steel Rock Hills.”

“Nyah, Is that so? I’ve just been following along and didn’t really know”

Misha laughed awkwardly and scratched her cheek at Rotmiller’s expert opinion.

Well, I’ve been listening in on the conversation, hoping for something significant, but it seems like nothing much is coming out of it.

It’s time for me to step in and organize things.

“Are we going to stand around talking forever? Let’s gather up. We’ll decide what to do by majority vote.”

“Majority vote?”

“What? Rotmiller, do you prefer rock-paper-scissors instead?”

“No, it’s just that…”

Rotmiller grimaced at my question. I was joking, suggesting that as if it were a better option…

Maybe because I’m a Barbarian?

Sadly, none of the guys seemed to realize it was a joke.

“I agree with deciding by majority vote.”

“It’s simple but definitely the most reliable method.”

“I’m fine with anything!”

Anyway, we decided to decide our next move by majority vote.

And I was the first to cast my vote.

“I think we should head to the fourth floor.”

Hoping that leading the way might sway the opinion a bit more.

“…Suddenly, the fourth floor is starting to feel risky. Are we being too hasty?”

“Oh, did Karlstein also think so?”

“……”

Regardless of their reactions, as each one spoke in turn, we quickly came to a conclusion.

“Phew, since all of you have the same opinion, there’s no point in me being stubborn.”
We were now heading to the fourth floor.

Despite the dwarf’s concerns, I had my reasons for pushing this decision.

Of course, it was a majority decision…

But that didn’t really matter.

If I had decided it was premature to go to the fourth floor, I would have kept them stuck on the third floor, even if it meant destroying their egos.

“Uh? It suddenly feels a bit colder…”

“Hmm, is it already? We’re still a long way from the Witch’s Forest…”

“No, it’s a different kind of feeling, hard to explain…”

Under Rotmiller’s guidance, we ventured endlessly into the darkness towards our destination.

The dwarf still had a worried expression.

I don’t think he was like that in the Blood Tinted Castle, but he’s been overly cautious lately.

Is it because he’s leading a team he formed and handpicked for the first time? A strange sense
of responsibility always seems to be with him.

No need for such fuss being a temporary team leader…

‘Well, he doesn’t know I possess the essence of a vampire, so maybe that’s understandable?’

The dwarf didn’t know my exact specs.

That’s why moving straight to the fourth floor might have seemed more worrying to him.

He also hadn’t realized how valuable his ‘Guardian’s Wrist Guard’, a numbered item, really was.

“Hikurod, once we enter the Witch’s Forest, don’t hesitate to use ‘that’.”

My advice made the dwarf ponder for a moment before he nodded firmly.

“I’ll do as you say.”

No.3112 Guardian’s Wrist Guard was a high-end equipment worth 50 million stones.

And as they say, out of sight, out of mind.

The dwarf had asked me not to tell the other team members that he possessed such a treasure.

‘But there’s no point in having it if you don’t use it when needed.’

It’s not like I’m the owner anyway.

Just a moment ago, we were all melodramatically depending on each other, weren’t we?

“What do you mean by ‘that’? What is it? Why are you two talking about things only you know about?”

“You’ll know when the time comes.”

I casually brushed aside Misha’s curiosity and did a final check.

‘The tank line seems strong enough for a 6th-grade monster. The issue is the dealer line…’
Although slightly lacking in specs, our short time hunting together in the Orc Colony had given me some confidence.

With a solid front line, these members should be able to handle a 6th-grade monster without much danger.

‘Unless someone decides to troll and kicks the bucket first.’

In the game, there were plenty of such NPCs.

They wouldn’t do that, right…?

‘Ah, crap, now I’m getting anxious again.’

Unlike me, who was belatedly worrying, Misha looked slightly excited.

“Nyah, It’s been a while since I’ve been to the fourth floor, so I’m a bit thrilled!”

Apparently, this was her first return to the fourth floor since her team disbanded a year ago…
But being a feline, does she purr?

It almost seemed like she was purring with every breath.

“We should start looking for a place to camp soon.”

As we followed the outskirts of the Orc Colony, it was time to take a break.

“Rotmiller, everyone seems to have enough energy left. How about moving a bit further?”

“To find a better spot than this, we’d have to go for another three hours.”

“Hmm, then let’s settle here.”

By the way, it was around 9 PM, aligning almost exactly with our camping times on the first and second days.

To be honest, it was quite impressive.

‘Is this what a skilled scout looks like?’

Rotmiller must have planned the camping points according to our path, adjusting our speed accordingly.

Even in a labyrinth with no day or night, it’s better to have regular rest times.

“Rotmiller, what’s the plan for tomorrow?”

“We should reach the Witch’s Forest by noon tomorrow.”

Well, then we’ll be entering the fourth floor the day after tomorrow.

His responses were quick and precise, like a human GPS.

“Bjorn, you’re on the last watch, right? We’ll be quite busy once we enter the forest, so best to rest up tonight.”

“I will.”

The dwarf had the first watch, and I had the last. The Witch’s Forest is a challenging place for close-combat warriors, so we decided regardless of turns.

Well, I’d probably wake up once or twice during the night anyway.

“Bjorn.”

I woke up to a whispering voice.

Under the flickering torchlight, Rotmiller’s face came into view.

Since Rotmiller was the watch before me…

“…Is it my turn now?”

“Not yet.”

“But why…”

As I was rubbing my sleepy eyes, I froze.

Dwalki, the dwarf, and even Misha were all awake, fully armed.

I asked briefly.

“Is it a monster?”

“Both, actually.”

Monsters and adventurers…

Just as I was about to ask how far away they were, a frantic shout came from the darkness in the distance.

“Damn it! They followed us all the way here…”

“Run!”

It seemed like adventurers were being chased by monsters…

Rotmiller closed his eyes, sniffing the air, and then muttered under his breath.

“Now I’m sure of it.”

“What do you mean?”

Whenever he furrowed his brow like this, it usually meant trouble, and I couldn’t help feeling anxious.

And sure enough.

“The ones coming towards us now, they’re definitely the same ones we encountered at the Steel Rock Hills.”

Well, looks like the situation is getting interesting again.

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