Surviving The Game As A Barbarian Episode 68

January 1, 2024 • 12 min read • 574 views

[Abyss of Malice]

This is a type of instant death attack that appears when Riakis absorbs 10 or more orbs.

If you can’t escape within the time limit, no matter how hard you’ve worked on your character, it dies.

In game time, it was about 45 minutes.

And one feature here is…

No matter where you are, you are inevitably pulled towards the center.

Whoosh-!

Before I could adjust to the sudden darkness, I felt a sensation of being intensely pulled all over my body.

“Bi, Jo, Rn…! Ho, W, Ca, N—!”

For some reason, Misha’s voice sounded half as fast.

So, I spoke twice as fast.

“Don’t worry, we’re not going to die just yet.”

“Wh, at, do, yo, u—!”

Misha’s slow shout was cut off before it could finish.

A complete silence ensued, as if hearing itself had disappeared.

Of course, this period of time wasn’t very long.

“All characters within the radius are moved to the center of evil.”

When I opened my eyes, there was light.

“Bjorn!”

The sound was normal again, and I could see Misha and many other characters around.

“What the heck is this place…?”

“Wh, at, th, e! I was definitely running away…”

About 200 adventurers seemed to be gathered.

Misha clung to me with a worried face, and I checked a certain group.

Members of the Dzarwi Clan quickly gathered, forming a formation.

‘From 50, only this many left…’

A little over 20 people.

11 had died during the 3-hour battle with Riakis, but in less than 5 minutes, more than that number had vanished.

What exactly happened in that brief moment?

Well, it wasn’t hard to guess.

“Listen! If anyone knows what’s going on here—”

“Shut up, trash.”

An explorer’s question was met with an angry voice.

“How many do you think died because of you scum!”

“If you come any closer, we’ll attack right away.”

The Dzarwi Clan was indeed in a defensive formation, preventing anyone from approaching.

The explorers were confused.

“Why is this our fault!”

“If you hadn’t just stolen our equipment, this wouldn’t have happened!”

“I heard that large clans swear to fulfill their duties in emergencies to the guild and the royal family. Let’s set aside the blame and unite our strengths for now…”

“Pl, please let me in! I wasn’t even involved. I’ll pay more protection money…”

The explorers, not fully understanding the situation they were in, were each crying out in their own way.

After all, they knew.

If they are abandoned by them, there’s no chance of survival.

But what to do now.

“Be grateful that we’re not killing you right away. Trash.”

The Dzarwi Clan’s stance was resolute.

“How can you say something so selfish! Are you telling us to just go out and die?”

“You understood correctly.”

“…What? Just look at these guys! Do you think we’ll just stand by and do nothing?”

The man who had been inciting the front lines, Jack Fletcher, echoed the sentiments of many adventurers, but the Clan just sneered in disdain.

“And what will you do if we don’t just stand by?”

“Well, we’ll unite our strength and—”

“Let me make this clear: don’t expect us to be easily swayed like before. If we wanted, we could burn all you trash right here and now.”

This was not an empty threat.

The situation was different from before.

Unlike the time when they were spread out fighting Riakis, they were now in a tight formation, apparently ready to unleash magic at any moment.

“Damn it!”

“Do you think we’ll die without you?”

That’s when the explorers realized their grim reality.

“I, I know about this phenomenon.”

A human male, about 160 cm tall, spoke up in front of the crowd.

“You know about this?”

“I, I don’t know the details. But if we don’t leave this place within the time limit, we’ll all die. I read that in an ancient text.”

“…Is that true?”

As Jack Fletcher looked skeptical, a woman stepped forward to speak in place of the seemingly foolish man.

“I can vouch for him!”

“A fairy?”

“I’ve been teamed up with this man for over a year. We’ve been through many unbelievable things. He’s a man of mystery. He really knows everything. I have no doubt his words will save us.”

Jack Fletcher’s expression changed.

“If it’s the fairy’s word… then it might be worth listening to. Tell us, how do we escape this place?”

“Well, there’s no particular way! But I heard that if we just go in any direction for about 5 km, we can escape this place…”

Surprisingly, the human man’s words were true.

The problem was, the moment they left this place of light, Riakis’s avatars would swarm them in the dark.

“I, I’ve heard there are monsters, but if we all join forces, we can surely overcome it!”

“Hmm, there is some logic to that.”

Ridiculous.

If it were that easy, those Clan guys would have already bolted. Instead of talking seriously amongst themselves with sour faces.

“Bjorn, what are you going to do?”

“What?”

“But seeing an elf vouching for a human like that, there must be something to him, right?”

“Hmm, is that so?”

To me, he just looks like an idiot…

“Don’t get swayed by such things and wait calmly.”

“Got it!”

Anyway, the situation quickly unfolded.

“Though the fairy vouched for him, there’s a definite possibility that the man’s words are wrong. But! Instead of just waiting for death, I want to try walking this path!”

Soon after Jack Fletcher made his decision and began inciting again.

“Yeah, better to die trying than just die here!”

“Those bastards aren’t likely to help us anyway, what other choice do we have?”

“With so many of us, we’ll figure something out!”

“But, I can’t help but feel it won’t be that easy…”

Although there were many who were skeptical, the crowd began to gather momentum as the thought of being left behind crossed their minds.

And now…

“One last time I ask! If there’s anyone who will join us, come forward now!”

Over a hundred adventurers united in their decision.

The remaining ones, including Misha and myself, were about forty.

Jack Fletcher, after scanning us, approached and spoke.

“Hey, you, Bjorn Jandel’s son, was it?”

“…It’s Bjorn, son of Jandel.”

“Hmm, was it? Anyway, aren’t you joining us?”

Why bother asking again? Isn’t it obvious from my presence here?

I shrugged my shoulders as a response.

But then…

“Typical of a barbarian to be so foolish. You’ll regret this.”

What the hell? What’s this all about?

Just go your own way, why make a fuss in the end?

I don’t understand this mentality, but I believe in returning what I receive, so I replied in kind.

“What did you say? Soon to be dead. Stop the nonsense and just go die. It’d be more helpful to the world.”

“What, what?”

“Do you want to fight me? Then come here. I’ll crush that empty head of yours.”

As I walked forward with my mace in hand, the man and the hundred adventurers behind him turned away.

And he left, muttering to himself.

“Jeez, I even spoke to you thinking you’d understand…”

“Well, it seems there are no more volunteers, so we’ll depart! We don’t have the luxury of wasting time here!”

Regardless of the happenings.

The majority disappeared into the darkness.

Or should I say, they willingly walked into danger?

As soon as they left, Misha eagerly approached me.

“Bjorn, what are we going to do?”

“Why do you always ask me that?”

“Because… your words have always been right. I trust you.”

“I see.”

Her words were kind, but Misha was wrong.

My choices aren’t always right.

How could a mere human know such a thing?

I just chose what seemed the most probable at the moment.

And in that sense…

I started walking towards the Dzarwi Clan, who were deeply engrossed in discussion.

‘By now, they must have realized how screwed they are…’

Time for a gamble.

The gamble I judged to have the highest chance of success based on various factors.

“Stop, barbarian. If you come any closer—”

As I approached, the Clan tried to stop me.

Coincidentally, the one who shouted was someone we knew.

“Nyah, big brother…”

“Halfling…? Why are you here…”

An unexpected reunion.

Knowing there wouldn’t be a heartwarming sibling reunion, I interjected with a sly question.

“Hey, long time no see.”

“…What? Long time?”

Misha’s brother frowned.

Well, we aren’t exactly on greeting terms.

So, while he was confused, I went straight to the point.

“So, did the Orc Hero’s essence come out?”

“Fortunately, we got it—”

Ah, so it was luck.

“Wait, how do you know about that?”

I smirked at his brother, who glared at me suspiciously.

My gamble had paid off.

At least halfway.

The deputy leader of the Dzarwi Clan.

Iraz McGrain was deep in thought.

‘We’re in trouble.’

A total of 27 members had perished.

This number accounted for about 20% of the Dzarwi Clan’s entire force. The time it would take to recover from such a loss was incalculable.

‘Well, it’s not guaranteed that we’ll make it out alive either.’

He opened his eyes and surveyed his members.

Only 23 clan members had survived.

While it might seem like about half of their force was intact, the reality was far from it.

He asked his deputy.

“What’s our current strength?”

“Three Priests, six mages, twelve ranged support… and only two melee fighters.”

The report was delivered in a somber tone.

Understandably so.

“Only two melee fighters…”

The distribution of personnel was alarmingly skewed.

During the riot, the melee fighters, who hadn’t received proper support, had suffered near-total losses.

“Still, we’re lucky. Without the deputy leader’s quick thinking, we wouldn’t have had time to regroup—”

“That’s something we can only confirm after we’ve made it out alive.”

McGrain steadied his breathing.

As soon as he had realized that quelling the riot was impossible, he had issued a command: to leave the Riakis to absorb the dark orbs.

This allowed them to minimize casualties and buy some time.

‘Yes, we’ve only bought ourselves a bit of time.’

“Listen, McGrain! What’s our plan now? You haven’t given up on everything, have you?”

“I’m thinking.”

“Then think fast. If you’ve studied Chaos Lord Riakis even a bit, you’d know we don’t have much time.”

McGrain sighed as he observed the sharp-tongued mage.

“The star at dusk shall guide us…”

While the priests prayed and made the sign of the cross, he knew that if they fell out of favor with them, even surviving and returning home could lead to unfavorable outcomes.

‘Think. How can we maximize our survival chances?’

McGrain pondered and pondered.

What was the best course of action in their current situation?

“Deputy leader, the adventurers are forming a group. Seems like they’re planning to escape on their own.”

“A rare piece of good news. Let them be.”

“Sir?”

“They can serve as bait.”

While deciding to make the most of this positive variable.

He thought and thought about the escape route, optimal formation during movement, and personnel arrangement.

There was no clear answer.

“I’ve briefed everyone on the formation for movement. We’re ready to move at any time.”

They had done their best with what little they could…

‘Assuming luck is on our side, still, more than half will probably die.’

The absence of frontline warriors was critically damaging.

The mere two they had couldn’t even properly clear a path, and those two were a swordsman and a spearman, not specialized in defense.

There were no adventurers in the guardian position.

‘To think that at such a critical moment, we have to rely on them to clear the path, it’s maddening.’

Just one person.

If only they had even one proper guardian position adventurer…

“The adventurers have left, deputy leader.”

“Make a decision now!”

Facing his clan members’ expectant gazes, McGrain closed his eyes tightly.

“Over a hundred of them. If they can draw even a bit of attention, shouldn’t we move—”

“I know.”

Time was running out.

He needed to make a swift decision.

Just as McGrain was about to speak.

“That’s what I said!! I will clear the path—!!”

A barbarian shouted.

As if he knew the troubles that no one else in this place did.

Mesmerized, McGrain asked his deputy.

“Who is that man making such a fuss?”

“I overheard a bit. He seems to be a companion of Lady Karlstein’s brother. You don’t need to worry about him—”

“I’ll make that decision. Just answer me.”

The deputy quickly responded.

“I’m not sure how he knows, but… he’s demanding the essence of the Orc Hero.”

“The essence of the Orc Hero?”

“Yes, he claims that with it, he can clear a path for us.”

McGrain activated one of his abilities [Survival Instinct] and looked at the barbarian again.

“And to think, I’ve never seen such a strong light emanating from a person.”

The ability that had saved him in countless crises was telling him.

It was worth listening to this man’s story.

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