Surviving The Game As A Barbarian Episode 58

December 4, 2023 • 13 min read • 499 views

Episode 58(It seems like conversation won’t work.Rules for Survival (1)

“Seriously, how did that woman follow us! Wasn’t the Witch’s Forest supposed to be safe?”

Misha exclaimed, looking fed up.

“Persistent bitch!”

I couldn’t agree more.

But instead of just cursing, let’s rationally speculate about the current situation…

Once we entered the Witch’s Forest, that damned woman couldn’t possibly follow us alone.

So, she must have looked for a usable explorer.

Pretending to be a pitiful priestess who lost her companions to vicious plunderers.

“Look here, there seems to be a misunderstanding. That woman is a priestess of Carui—”

“What! Now I see, you’re not just mere plunderers but followers of an evil god!”

“No, that’s not us, it’s her—”

“Quickly surrender and accept the divine punishment!”

The dwarf then tried to speak, but the man, whose brain had been pickled by the gods, only understood what he wanted to hear.

“Davis, sir! Please bring down the divine hammer on these evil ones! Only then can my wandering comrades in heaven rest their grievances and return to the bosom of the deity!”

With Elisha’s cry, the opposing group of explorers drew their weapons all at once.

And so did we.

In the world of explorers, sometimes fists speak louder than words.

“Don’t worry about injuries, just focus on eliminating the enemy! The blessing of Leatlas be with you all!”

With a promise of healing, akin to commanding a dog to roll over, the opposing leader, eyes rolling back in fury, charged at us.

Yelling his signature fucking chant.

“May the twilight star guide us!”

To be honest, it was hard to understand why they were going so far to help her.

I could understand the devout believer, but why would the others go to such lengths—

“Don’t hold back! If we kill them, our team gets a priestess!”

“Woahhh!”

Ah, so that was it.

They want to kill us for practical reasons, not religious ones.

Now I see, that bitch must have promised various rewards…

Okay, I’ve grasped the situation.

Whoosh!

As I blocked the leader’s axe with my shield, I shouted.

Aka, sowing the seeds of confusion.

“Idiots! If a priestess joins, who gets kicked out of the team?”

These guys were originally a team of five.

Meaning, if a priestess joins, one of them has to be expelled.

As I pointed this out right from the start, the leader, in panic, shouted.

“Do not be swayed by his wicked wordplay!”

Wicked wordplay, my foot.

It seemed like they hadn’t even thought of this.

“Uh, what?”

Proving my point, the four explorers, excluding the leader, hesitated for a moment.
Unfortunately, the moment was short-lived.

“Eh, but it won’t be me.”

“Hmph, that’s a problem for later.”

“One of us might die today anyway.”

“I don’t care about the priestess, selling those equipment alone could make me rich for a year.”

Damn, if they aren’t typical explorers.

Every reason sounded psychopathically logical.

Just need a cause and money, is that it?

‘Well, at least they’re consistent.’

I started to analyze the opposition seriously, along with the dwarf, forming a shield wall.

‘Three close-range fighters, two at a distance, and one cosplaying as a priestess…’

As expected of explorers who made it to the Witch’s Forest, there was hardly any difference in our levels.

Even more, they had one more person than us.

There was not much to consider this time.

Considering that Elisha couldn’t use the power of the evil god due to her cosplay, it was clearly a disadvantageous situation for us.

But if we had to devise a strategy…

‘A surprise attack to finish them off in one strike.’

So, I called out to the mage.

“Dwalki!”

No need for lengthy words.

“Just 10 seconds! Wait for 10 seconds!”

Dwalkie responded immediately to his name, showing his experience.

But it seems the other side was just as seasoned.

“There’s a mage! They have a mage on their side!”

Realizing Dwalki’s presence, they launched a concentrated attack.

The three close-range fighters were manageable by me and the dwarf, but…

Whiz!

Physically blocking the arrows and projectile skills aimed at Dwalki, who was chanting, was impossible.

But I wasn’t overly worried.

After all, we were an explorer ‘team.’

There was no need for me to do everything alone.

“Damn it!”

The incoming arrow was deflected by Misha’s dagger, and projectile spells were blocked by Rotmiller’s shield.

At the same time, the spell was completed.

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

It wasn’t an enhanced Ice Spear, but that didn’t matter.

The opponent wasn’t a large monster.

At impact, this would be enough to send them straight to the divine embrace.

Of course, this assumes a direct hit on a vital spot.

Whiz!

The resolve to shoot magic at a person, not a monster, came faster than expected.

What would Dwalki decide in this crucial moment?

Boom!

To my relief, the Ice Spear was precisely aimed at Elisha’s head.

But unfortunately, it missed.

That’s why adventurers are more troublesome than monsters.

“Phew, that was close. Are you alright?”

“Yes, yes! Thank you for saving me!”

Knowing the magic was coming, and that it would likely target her, the priest, there was no reason it couldn’t be blocked.

After all, an explorer reaching the fourth floor would have that level of physical ability.

‘…Ugh, humans are the most annoying.’

It’s not easy.

Just as Rotmiller and Misha successfully protected Dwalki, our opponents weren’t easily taken down by our attacks.

So, it was time to make a final decision.

Now that we’ve seen enough…

“Dwalki! Use voice control magic!”

“Ah, got it!”

Issuing a firm command, as if refusing any questions, Dwalki began chanting the spell.

Voice control.

Simply put, a convenient magic that allows team voice communication.

Now, even if we talk among ourselves, the other side can’t hear us.

I shouted aggressively, eyeing our opponents.

“Murad!”

“What do you want!”

“Let’s bolt!”

“Hahaha! What a splendid idea!”

Luckily, the dwarf, who had the authority to make emergency decisions, agreed with my judgment.

Well, he would have that much sense.

Even if we win this fight, it’s likely to be a pyrrhic victory, and then that woman would use the power of the dark god without hesitation.

Insisting on fighting would only lead to a grim future.

“Misha! When you’re ready, take care of Dwalki!”

“Got it!”

“Hikurod, use that item when I give the signal!”

“Will do!”

Misha and the dwarf nodded in agreement without objection.

The most crucial role was left to Rotmiller, but he didn’t need specific instructions.

As if reading each other’s minds.

“Follow me closely when I start!”

Indeed, the only one I can rely on is this guy.

With this, there doesn’t seem to be anything else to announce…

“Now’s the time!”

The moment I gave the signal, Misha was ready to carry the physically weaker Dwalki.

Simultaneously, the wrist guard worn by the dwarf shone brightly.

‘Hikurod Murad activates the [Guardian’s Braces]’

No.3112 Guardian’s Braces.

In the game, it came with a constant 5% damage reduction, and its usage effect increased in power based on the damage reduced.

The usage effect…

‘Pushes enemies away strongly, temporarily making allies immune to all harmful effects.’

Area knockback and debuff removal.

Appropriate for a 3000-series number item, it prioritized judgment over field effects.

[Status ailment [Disorientation] has been removed]
[Status ailment [Hallucinations] has been removed]
[Status ailment [Pain Amplification] has been removed]
As the close-range fighters were flung away, our distorted vision cleared up.

Of course, the duration wasn’t long.

I couldn’t be sure how much Rotmiller had been hit during the fight…

‘At most, it’ll be about 20 seconds.’

This includes the dwarf trait, which increases the efficiency of number items by 1.5 times.

But this should be enough.

Enough time to escape.

“What are you waiting for! Let’s go!”

Sigh, why does it feel like we’re being chased around everywhere during this exploration.

The Scout.

First to detect enemy movements, guiding team members along efficient paths.

What qualities are necessary to become a scout?

The answer is quite simple.

“Prior knowledge of the labyrinth and data accumulated through experience.”

With just these two, one can find their way on the first and second floors. The third floor, with its unchanging open-world-like terrain, goes without saying.

But from the fourth floor, it’s a different story.

Well, more precisely, starting from the Witch’s Forest where the portal to the fourth floor is located.

[The usage effect of the [Guardian’s Braces] item has ended.]
[The field effect – Witch’s Forest is applied]

Compasses are useless, a person’s sense of direction vanishes, and the only landmarks are trees, which seem to move as if alive.

Therefore, from here on, special abilities are required for scouts to find their way.

“This way.”

Rotmiller’s main ability was ‘smell’.

Having adjusted his stats for smell through essences, he was able to find the path to the fourth floor even in this bizarre forest.

Being able to smell magic at a certain level and use it to find the way?

I couldn’t quite understand it, but that was roughly the principle.

However…

“Their scout over there seems no ordinary person. Judging by how accurately they’re closing in on our direction.”

Yet, those assholes managed to keep up with us.

I couldn’t sense them at all, but if Rotmiller says so, it must be true.

‘So, the key is who reaches the fourth-floor portal first…’

As I sorted out the situation in my mind, Rotmiller spoke up, seemingly sharing the same thought.

“We need to increase our speed from now on.”

It’s a race against time now.

If we can get there first, we can avoid unnecessary battles.

But if they catch up to us before that?

Then we’ll have no choice but to fight until one of us is down for good.

‘The problem is… we’re all exhausted…’

Life doesn’t always go as planned.

Especially when people are tired and drained.

“Karlstein, hand that fellow over to me!”

The dwarf, showing consideration for Misha, decided to take over carrying Dwalki.

And that’s when the accident happened.

“Ah!”

In an effort to save time, passing Dwalki to the dwarf while running was a mistake.

Misha lost her balance and fell.

Fortunately, Dwalki was already in the dwarf’s arms like a piece of luggage…

“Nyah, Cramp! I think I got a cramp in my leg! I can’t move!”

It wasn’t a cramp.

It was clear she had twisted her ankle in the fall.

“Don’t move. Just stay still.”

I immediately stopped and picked up Misha by the nape of her neck.

And as I slung her over my shoulder, something unexpected happened.

‘Damn, what’s this now?’

The light vanished, and deep darkness engulfed my vision.

The dwarf, who had been right in front of me with a torch, was nowhere to be seen.

“Bjorn?”

“…Stay quiet.”

I calmly opened my backpack and took out a torch.

Fumbling in the dark, I lit it and fixed it into the helmet’s slot.

Sure enough, the teammates who had been there just seconds ago were nowhere to be seen.

“Nyah, Did we miss them?”

Misha exclaimed in panic.

Reluctantly, I replied.

Though I didn’t want to believe it…

“It seems… likely.”

In just a few seconds, we’d been left behind.

“What now? Shouldn’t we hurry after them?”

Misha urged hastily, but I chose to remain still.

After all, do we even know where they went?

“That way! They definitely went that way!”

To our eyes, maybe.

But in the Witch’s Forest, one cannot rely on sight.

If we head off in the wrong direction, we could end up further from the team, wasting time.

“The best thing to do right now is to stay put.”

Trust in the team, trust in my judgment.

Rotmiller is a scent-based scout, isn’t he?

He must have realized we’re missing by now and will surely return soon to find us.

“Bjorn…?”

Ah, uh, well…

That’s what should have happened, but…

“How long are we supposed to wait?”

A minute passed, and our teammates didn’t return.

Damn it, what now? Should we wait longer?

Just as my doubts deepened.

“Ah!”

A faint scream echoed through the darkness.

“Bjorn! I heard that! That was definitely Murad’s voice!”

It was hard to be certain, but it did seem likely.

If it wasn’t another accident, they would have returned by now.

However…

“It sounds like they’re in trouble. We need to help them—”

“Keep your voice down.”

“Why?”

“We could be in danger too.”

Making noise wasn’t a good idea.

We didn’t know what was happening on their end.

If it were just a monster encounter, they would have had time to come looking for us.

“So all the more reason for us to go help—”

Even if I wanted to help, there was no way to know where they were.

Unless we kept hearing consistent sounds, it was impossible to pinpoint the right direction based on a single scream.

That’s how the Witch’s Forest works.

“Mmph!”

So, I covered Misha’s mouth with my hand and focused on listening.

“…Miler…the girl…is there.”

“…find an opening…”

“…create an opening…”

“We can’t… leave her… behind!”

“At least… scout… must take down… so they can’t escape!”

“…………”

“…now! Run away…!”

After that, a few more dying breaths of voices faintly reached my ears, and then, at some point, they completely disappeared.

In the forest, where not even the rustling of leaves could be heard.

“……”

The eerie silence enveloped the surroundings, but I stood still for about five more minutes, waiting.

The missing members of our group didn’t return.

Whether they were dead or alive, I couldn’t jump to conclusions, but one thing was clear.

Waiting any longer wouldn’t bring them back.

Which meant—

“We’re screwed.”

Stranded with just the beast-girl, in the labyrinth swarming with monsters and plunderers.

And right in the middle of the Witch’s Forest, where without a scout, we couldn’t even find our way back.

Fuck.