Surviving The Game As A Barbarian Episode 57

November 28, 2023 • 13 min read • 577 views

Episode 57(The Witch’s Forest (4))

The curses that were hanging over us had disappeared.

But instead, their echoes kept ringing in my ears.

[Die! Die! Die! Die! Die!]

Nope, not dying.

[You motherless brute!]

Well, I do have a mother in real life.

[Kehehehe! Keheh!]

I shrugged off the auditory hallucinations that came every few seconds with a smile.

It’s a little annoying, but so what.

It’s just an illusion.

No matter how much they curse, there’s no real harm, and actually, the real curses disappeared thanks to them, didn’t they?

‘Those supposed mental attacks were all so tacky anyway.’

If you’re going to do something, do it properly.

There’s no novelty or sincerity in them.

Well, they seem to think differently.

“Bjorn! How can you listen to all these insults and still laugh it off? Have you gone mad? I’ve been getting a headache since they started!”

Misha, the dwarf, and Rotmiller, who had been to the Witch’s Forest before, were in better shape, but Dwalki was the problem.

“…Ugh, uuuugh.”

His eyes were glassy and his cheeks puffy, as if he were going to throw up at any moment.

Well, it’s understandable to feel nauseous in such an environment.

‘I didn’t expect it to be this intriguing.’

The effects of [Hallucination] and [Disorientation] made everything look distorted.

When I looked to my right, I could see what was in front of me, and the sense of distance was blurrier than usual.

It’s like looking at the world through a convex mirror.

“Blargh, blegh!”

Soon, Dwalki couldn’t hold it in anymore and vomited thick bile.

Feeling a little worried, I asked.

“Can you still use magic in that condition?”

“Nyah, Bjorn’s an asshole. Dwalki is struggling, and that’s what concerns you!”

What’s she on about now?

Last time when she was sick, she was all about ‘being an adult’ and stuff.

Sigh, that’s why you shouldn’t get attached to people.

It clouds your rational judgment.

“Misha, I wasn’t asking you. So, Dwalki, your answer?”

“I-it’s okay, everyone. I can still use magic… Blargh!”

Hmm, looks like no magic until he gets used to this environment.

Why are mages so weak-stomached?

Shaking my head at this incomprehensible behavior, Rotmiller looked at me as if I were a wonder.

“It’s impressive indeed. Even the most mentally strong barbarians have a tough time here at first…”

Well, that’s what I’ve heard.

But I was already too exhausted from before.

As expected, the dwarf, ever protective of his friend Dwalki, jumped in with a tsundere comment.

“Tsk, tsk, always sitting at a desk, no wonder your body is so frail.”

“Look here, I do exercise more than most mages—”

“Enough, just rest until you adapt. You didn’t sleep well last night either, did you? You’re probably more affected because you’re tired.”

“Your concern… I won’t forget it.”

Eventually, we decided to stay at the entrance until Dwalki could adapt to the environment.
I didn’t oppose much.

After all, a mage’s presence is crucial here, and I needed to replenish my depleted energy.

“I’ll take the first watch. The rest of you get some rest.”

As soon as the dwarf finished speaking, I sprawled out on the ground.

I was too lazy to even get out my sleeping bag.

But then, what’s this?

“Bjorn, there’s something I need to tell you…”

Just as I was about to catch some shut-eye, the dwarf approached me and whispered.

“About that Miss Elisha-”

I jerked awake.

What the hell is he talking about?

“It’s not Miss. Elisha, it’s that bitch.”

“Ah, yes, that bitch. I’ve been thinking, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her before…”

What?

I thought he was just rambling as usual, but this seems important.

Sitting up to listen more attentively, the dwarf hesitated before speaking.

“You remember when we went to the guild to upgrade our explorer ranks, right? While filling out the forms, someone was asking questions nearby.”

“Get to the point, I’m tired.”

“Now that I think about it, that might have been her.”

Good, much better when it’s concise.

There are still frustrating parts, but I calmly asked.

“So why didn’t you recognize her right away?”

“Well… she looked dirty compared to in the city. Oh, oh, and her clothes were all torn and stuff!”

Ah, so he was too busy looking at her chest to notice her face.

At least now one of my questions was answered.

Why Elisha’s group targeted us.

‘It was all because of that item.’

No.3112 Guardian’s Wrist Guard.

A high-value Numbers item that sells for a whopping 50 million stones at the exchange. Since it was for the promotion application, it must have been mentioned.

Motivation enough for a plunderer.

The more money, the better, after all.

‘So we’ve been targets since then…’

As I acquired this new information, a chain of reasoning began to form in my mind.

Most of our team meetings were held in bars.

If they had wanted to, it wouldn’t have been too hard to figure out that we were using the Beast’s Den route.

It would have been possible to get there first and set the trap.

“Ah, they say treasures always bring trouble, and it couldn’t be more true, could it?”

The dwarf sighed deeply, as if expecting some sympathy, but unfortunately he chose the wrong person.

Treasures bringing trouble? Nonsense.

“Don’t shift the blame. It’s all because you had to show off that application form.”

“Are you blaming me? Weren’t you there too!”

Well, yes, but I didn’t know I had to watch you fill out a form.

When I looked at him pathetically, the dwarf fell silent, as if at a loss for words.

‘Sigh…’

I didn’t say more.

It’s already in the past.

Better to rest a bit more than waste time on that.

The break didn’t last long.

I mean, I just closed my eyes for a moment?

We had to wake up from our deep sleep when a monster appeared in less than 30 minutes.

Well, ‘we’ might be an overstatement.

“You really slept soundly.”

“How could you sleep through all that noise?”

Seems like I was the only one who managed to dream amid the chaos.

That’s their problem for being too well-fed.

“Enough about that. Where’s the monster?”

“Over there.”

The dwarf pointed, and I saw a winged human figure.

Size of a palm.

“Fairy.”

A 9th-grade monster, Fairy.

Its only skill is spewing a powder mixed with narcotic substances, and it was considered a
non-aggressive mob in the game.

But…

“This is a tricky one right from the start.”

A group of fairies huddled together like this meant their predator was nearby too.

“Are we going to fight?”

“Seems like it’s not an easy one to ignore. Dwalki looks better too.”

We were going to fight then.

Not bad.

From my perspective, it’s a monster I haven’t gained experience from yet.

If it drops essence, even better.

I don’t need it now, but it’s valuable, so whoever gets it can sell it for a high price.

“Then let’s get ready to draw it out.”

After a brief preparation, the dwarf took up his battle hammer and got ready.

He then used his trademark combo.
「Hikurod Murad has used [Lightning].」
「Hikurod Murad cast [Discharge].」

Lightning Discharge.

As he swung his hammer, the crackling current formed into a cannonball and shot out, ruthlessly blowing up the physically immune fairies.
「You have defeated a fairy. EXP +1」
That’s enviable.

I wish I had an elemental damage skill too.

“Kieeeeeek-!!”

Right after about a dozen fairies exploded, a chilling howl came from afar.

A roar that sounded like hundreds of beasts roaring with fury.

Soon enough, it emerged from the darkness.

Koong-!

A 7th-grade monster, Half-Troll.

As the name suggests, not a real troll, but more like a mix between a human and a troll.

It only appears in the Witch’s Forest, known for stalking fairy flocks.

Why, I don’t know.

That detail wasn’t in the game.

But enough of the chatter.

“Grrrrr…”

The nearly 2.5-meter-tall creature crouched, warily eyeing us.

True to its nature, its patience was short-lived.

“Kaaaaak-!!”

The half-troll swung his massive club at us as we decimated the group of fairies that had been diligently following us.

The dwarf was also next to me.

Koong!

Heavy.

Feels heavier than Iron Rock Hill’s ‘Lanthro’.

Well, even though they are both 7th rank, Lantros live in herds, so is it any wonder?

It’s been a while since my arms felt this strained.

Swoosh.

So, I tilted my shield slightly, deflecting the Half-Troll’s club to the side.

This naturally shifted the attack from me to the dwarf.

It’s a neat trick only possible when there are two tanks in the team.

After all, why should I be the only one to suffer?

Sharing the burden is what comrades do, as I’ve learned.

“Kaaaak-!!”

With a monstrous howl, the second swing of the club followed.

The dwarf who caught it with his tiny shield groaned softly, as if his bones had been hit.

That’s when I realized something else.

“Ugh…”

Ah, he doesn’t have pain resistance.

That’s one of the main reasons why the Witch’s Forest is so dreaded by warriors.

A warrior’s life is about getting beaten up on the front lines. But here, the pain is intensified several times over due to the [Pain Amplification].

‘Half the monsters here are immune to physical attacks, and they use mental skills too…’

No wonder Rothmiller was so keen on assigning the first and second watch to the dwarf and me last night.

In the Witch’s Forest, warriors are bound to bear the brunt of suffering.

With my pain resistance, it’s just another day at the office.

‘Pain resistance is so overpowered, I realize now.’

Life is unpredictable, isn’t it?

The essence of the corpse golem I absorbed by chance continues to be of great help.
Whoosh-!

The half-troll swung its club again.

Unlike me, the dwarf entered a head-on contest of strength, shouting.

“Isn’t it time for magic yet?”

Not yet.

As you know, his chanting is slow.

“Bethel—haaaaaa!!”

To give the dwarf a bit of a break, I struck the half-troll with my mace.

Of course, it didn’t make much of a difference.

Thud!

The solid bone and muscle didn’t flinch at a single blow from the mace. Half-troll it may be, but it’s still a troll.

Its regenerative abilities are impressive.

But still not comparable to a vampire’s.

[Leor Wuerv Dwalki has cast the 8th-grade auxiliary magic [Ice Enhancement].」

「The power of the next ice spell is significantly increased.」

[Leor Wuerv Dwalki has cast the 8th-grade attack magic [Ice Spear].」

After trading attacks with the dwarf, the spell was finally complete.

Dwalki’s finishing move.

The enhanced Ice Spear.

Fisshwoosh-!

The Ice Spear, twice as large as usual, flew and impaled the half-troll’s abdomen.

It was so powerful that none of us could match its output.

However, as a spectator, it was frustrating.

‘When will he learn to aim properly?’

Last time, I advised him, but he stuck the spear in an awkward spot again. Had he aimed for the heart or head, it could have been over with one strike.

Why this wastefulness?

Is aiming that difficult?

“Kieeeeeeek-!!”

The half-troll writhed in pain and screamed.

Of course, it didn’t last long.
「The half-troll has cast [Berserk].」
「Temporary immunity to pain and a significant increase in physical stats.」

Despite a spear in its belly, the half-troll started moving more dynamically, like a fish out of water.

Ah, this is why we should have taken it down in one go.

‘…He’ll improve eventually, right?’

I sincerely hope so.

Otherwise, what’s the point of all these trials and errors?

“Ugh! It’s a bit shallow!”

While grappling with the fiercely thrashing half-troll.

Misha tried to stab its heart with her poison-coated dagger, but it was too short to penetrate the thick muscles.

Scout Rothmiller’s crossbow bolts barely penetrated its skin.

‘Looks like we’ll have to wait until the spell is ready again.’

After all, Dwarki is our team’s most powerful dealer.

It highlighted our team’s weakness.

Our tanks can withstand the half-troll’s [Frenzy], but our dealers can’t back them up.

But that’s a problem we can’t solve right now.

“Ready now! Retreat!”

After about 10 more minutes of exertion, Dwarki used his finisher again.

Fortunately, this time it hit the head.
「You have defeated the half-troll. EXP +3」

As the troll’s head flew off, turning into light and disappearing, there was no essence, as expected.

Only a fist-sized magic stone lay there.

“Too bad. It wasn’t an easy monster to find”

Misha and Rotmiller licked their lips in disappointment, their expectations dashed.

I couldn’t blame them.

If I hadn’t had vampire essence before, I’d be salivating over it, too.

It’s not every day you find a 7th grade regenerative essence.

Such things are rare, after all.

But now, I’ve evolved beyond satisfaction from such trivialities.

[07:13]

The fourth day was just dawning.

By tomorrow, we would reach the fourth floor, and that’s when the real journey would begin.

From there, even 6th-grade monsters would appear.

I just hope to consume one, just one, 6th-grade essence.

“Let’s move on then.”

After defeating the half-troll, we decided to resume our journey.

Despite the evident fatigue from staying up all night, the Witch’s Forest wasn’t exactly a place for rest.

We decided to cut down on the time it would take us to reach the fourth floor if we could.

However…

“Explorers ahead.”

Just as we were about to continue, unfamiliar adventurers emerged from the darkness.

It wasn’t that surprising.

Even in the Witch’s Forest, if you camp at the entrance for this long, it’s about time for a new group to enter.

But there was one problem.

‘One, two, three, four…’

What? Why six of them?

Teams are typically composed of up to five members due to the limitations of binding magic.

But a team of six adventurers?

That fact seemed suspicious as I scrutinized the unfamiliar group. Then, I spotted a familiar face.

Regrettably, it seemed they recognized us too.

“Explorers! Those are the ones! They killed my companions!”

Fuck…….

This was totally unexpected.

“May the twilight star guide us…….”

The man who seemed to be the leader of the opposing group made a long sign of the cross.

Judging by his attire, completely decked out in Relatlas Church merchandise, he was likely one of those rare hardcore religious fanatics in this world.

That bitch is lucky.

How on earth did they find someone like her in the labyrinth?

“Oh Lord, grant me the strength to vanquish these evil beings…”

Editor’s  Note: Leave a comment so that I know you guys are enjoying the chapter, thanks.