Player with Maxed-out Talent chapter 60

# Player with Maxed-Out Talent, Episode 60

30. The Final Puzzle

The great explorer Jackson marked the beginning, with numerous people thereafter sharing the information they had on a site called ‘Playpedia’. It could be said to resemble ‘Wikipedia’ — an open-type encyclopedia site by nature.

Knowledge about various monsters’ characteristics and dangers was essential, much like a civil service exam candidate crammed for their tests, and this was a field I had particularly taken an interest in.

[‘The Lean Goblin’ can be considered a specter-type creature that grows through stages. This monster, rarely encountered across the servers, evolves through three stages.]

The three evolutionary stages were:

– The Lean Goblin.

– The Chubby Goblin.

– The Fat Goblin.

This creature was considered a critically important monster.

‘It only happened four times in Italy.’

It was in Italy that the ‘Fat Goblin’ first emerged, resulting in the tragic demise of 400 people at its hands. Another name for the Fat Goblin was ‘Cannibal Goblin.’

[In its first and second stages, the creature enjoys a certain degree of dangerous mischief. It has a proficiency in illusion (幻影) or fantasy (幻想) magic. Additionally, it possesses an exceptional ability to warp space, often resulting in troublesome encounters for players.]

And now, the monster appearing before me was precisely the ‘Lean Goblin’.

[Once you identify the true form of the Lean Goblin, it isn’t terribly difficult to counter.]

Because,

‘When it panics, its intelligence plummets to the level of a child.’

These creatures excel in ‘illusion’ or ‘fantasy’ magic. They are also adept at distorting space. The very first monster I thought of when I realised this place was a ‘fake’ was the ‘Lean Goblin’.

‘Even if this is a Special Hidden Field, a Fat Goblin shouldn’t appear.’

No matter its designation as a Special Hidden Field, this place stemmed from the beginner-tier dungeon, ‘Seoul Station Dungeon’. If a Fat Goblin were to appear here, I’d have to run, abandoning any strategy. Survival is essential.

‘No, I would die before I could even run.’

With my current capabilities, it was impossible to even face such a monstrosity. In front of me revealed itself the ‘Lean Goblin’, a humanoid monster with blue skin and a gaunt figure – its belly jutting out like E.T.’s.

‘A very small horn on its head. That’s the weak spot.’

Its brittle brown hair, cut short. Beneath it, a single large eye took prominence, lacking a nose and ears but compensated by a mouth larger than its eyes.

‘The average level is around 31.’

──────────

Lean Goblin. LV ?

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Considering this is a Hidden Field, it’s likely not over level 35. My current level is 29. Compared to other players, my stats and abilities are far more superior. Fighting a single Lean Goblin shouldn’t be a problem. I just need to be wary of one type of attack.

The Lean Goblin which revealed itself spoke up,

“Don’t lie!”

I smirked.

“What do you see that’s a lie?”

“Humans like you couldn’t possibly identify where my treasure is hidden.”

The treasure the goblin spoke of was the ‘Magic Stone’. The magic stone used by the Lean Goblin had to be an ‘Amplifying Magic Stone’.

“Well, really?”

I took a step closer to the Lean Goblin. As a monster capable of dialogue, it was right there within my senses.

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Status: Panic/Distrust/Ignoring

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When the Lean Goblin panics, its intelligence drops to that of a child. Before becoming a Fat Goblin, this immature creature shouldn’t be too hard to handle – otherwise, I’d disgrace the name of a returner.

“It’s obvious to my eyes.”

There. I pointed my finger toward the Lean Goblin.

“No, it can’t be!”

The goblin stepped back thrice, but even as I approached, it stood frozen in place.

The goblin shrieked angrily,

“You lying fraudster! Come any closer and I’ll slice off your tongue!”

Thanks to that, I could establish one thing clearly.

‘The location of the magic stone. Over there.’

Considering the scale of this field – an ‘Unknown Forest’ – only a high-quality ‘Magic Stone’ would suffice to manifest it. Such a hidden stone location, my senses, no matter how upgraded, would not pinpoint accurately.

[The Lean Goblin tends to obsess over what it considers treasure. Sometimes it may be as worthless as a dog’s waste, but other times it may indeed be a valuable jewel. Players must judge the situation for themselves.]

I made my determination. Below, at my feet, was definitely an ‘Amplifying Magic Stone’.

“I, of course, would not know.”

“Ye-Yes, as expected!”

In an instant, employing a technique of spatial displacement, I maneuvered swiftly. A mere Lean Goblin had no chance of following my movements.

‘I see it.’

The creature’s horn came into view. The weak spot. Strike fast. If pressed, the creature would retreat its horn into its skin, making an assault more difficult.

“Wha-what?”

The Lean Goblin froze momentarily, the movement of its muscles stiffening. The brief window was ample for me. Clutching a sharp dagger, I lunged downwards with force.

[Special Skill. ‘Exceptional Blow’ activated.]

Considering an extra 20% damage, on top of that,

[A Critical Hit!]

Fortuitously, the critical strike landed. The level difference between the Lean Goblin and I wasn’t significant. Considering my stats, I might even be considered stronger than the Lean Goblin.

‘Aim for the weak spot.’

And a critical strike on top.

“Agh!”

With a stifled shriek, the Lean Goblin toppled backward but quickly sprang up.

“You broomstick-like cretin!!!”

The creature cried out. Just get through this critical phase, I thought. Right now, it must be amplified by the ‘Magic Stone’. For a field of this magnitude, even at my current level, it would be challenging to cope without protection.

‘I trust in it. The Orc Warrior set.’

At present, I had three items from the Orc Warrior set:

[Orc Warrior’s Iron Armor.]

[Orc Warrior’s Leather Boots.]

[Orc Warrior’s Leather Pants.]

Naturally, I was fully equipped, benefiting from the ‘Partial Set Effect’.

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Partial Set Effect: Withstands one insurmountable physical attack per day, provided the aggressor’s level doesn’t exceed 30. If the level exceeds 30, the strength of the attack will determine differential damage reduction effects.

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Above my head, an enormous club materialized.

‘Huge…!’

It seemed about 5 meters long, the Lean Goblin’s one-hit-kill move.

“Bang bang! Goblin club!”

The shadow of the goblin club loomed over my head.

‘I can’t dodge it.’

Given my current physical abilities, I couldn’t evade such a specialized attack. Dodging would be futile. I had to defend.

‘While enduring… I will strike.’

Trusting in the power of the Orc Warrior set, I committed to action, exchanging tender flesh to secure the bone.

‘It’s falling…!’

I clenched my teeth, bracing for potential agony.

Thud!

From head to toe, a massive shockwave was felt.

[Unbearable damage confirmed.]

[Nullifying the damage for the one-time daily allowed.]

There was an impact, but I took no harm, aware of the shock within my mind.

‘Such a grand move leaves him open.’

I wouldn’t miss this. The dagger shifted to a sword within my grasp. The humanoid monster, vulnerable at its horn, but also at its neck and heart.

‘The heart.’

Hunting down the unconscious goblin wasn’t hard.

[You have hunted the Lean Goblin.]

[Experience points acquired.]

[42 coins collected.]

Since I’d taken down the goblin,

‘Wouldn’t a magical club be a nice drop?’

An item like that could be worth a lot.

‘No drop, huh.’

No items fell. Then, an alert arrived.

[You have perceived the distortion in the ‘Unknown Forest’.]

[You have eliminated the goblin responsible for the distortion in the ‘Unknown Forest’.]

[You have satisfied the clear conditions of the ‘Unknown Forest’.]

The Hidden Piece within Seoul Station Dungeon, the continuation in this Special Hidden Piece was fulfilled.

‘I mustn’t exit.’

Having cleared the ‘Unknown Forest’, I’d be automatically ‘outed’ from this location along with the rewards.

‘I need to find the magic stone.’

I moved the goblin’s corpse aside and began fervently digging the earth. The item shop, which had almost everything, oddly didn’t sell shovels. I had to dig with my bare hands.

[You are awarded the ‘Unknown Forest’ clearance reward.]

Once all rewards are given, I will be transported from here.

‘Before that, quickly.’

An Amplifying Magic Stone of this magnitude, responsible for distorting the field, if kept for around 3 years, will be worth at least 10 billion. It was imperative I found it.

My hands worked feverishly. A digging skill would have been quite handy.

[500 coins awarded.]

[A level-up point is awarded.]

[A new attribute is added to ‘Sensation Eye’.]

[‘Goblin Perfume’ is rewarded.]

Right now, the notification of rewards wasn’t what occupied my mind. It was the thought of a magic stone, its value sky-rocketing to 10 billion in three years.

‘Where is it?’

My hands seemed to have dug over 20cm, yet it didn’t show itself.

‘It can’t be buried any deeper than this.’

Burying it too deep would weaken its powers. Even an exceptional Amplifying Magic Stone wouldn’t be hidden so deep.

‘Something is wrong.’

Further digging seemed pointless. I felt blood seeping from my fingertips, but I ignored it, straightening my back. I looked around.

‘What am I missing?’

And I realized something.

‘Surely I’ve met all the clear conditions, yet I remain in the dungeon.’

There was no indication of remaining time. It meant something else was here.

‘A no-exit dungeon?’

A dungeon with no exit. Clearing the conditions but still unable to leave – no such absurdly difficult dungeon would already exist. That’s what I chose to believe.

‘Not until 7 years later would the magical ranks forcibly open an exit.’

If this is indeed a no-exit dungeon, then I’d either starve, die of loneliness, or wait 7 years. Certainly not a desirable situation.

‘What is it?’

Something I had overlooked. Surely something was here.

“Huh?”

Ahead in the distance, something small with four legs, akin to a human, stood gazing at me.

‘What is that?’

It looked like a squirrel. Except, it had an expression that seemed almost human. Smug, as if laughing at me with a human grin.

‘Have I ever seen such a squirrel?’

It didn’t seem to be a monster, certainly not an NPC. Even with my future knowledge, it was a foreign entity.

‘Considering Senia hasn’t appeared, it’s not a glitch.’

The squirrel stood on two legs, extending one arm(?) towards me, gesturing that it knew everything, demanding I hand something over.

‘Is it asking for something?’

Then, with its other palm opened, an Amplifying Magic Stone large as an adult man’s face emerged as if conjured.

‘Did the squirrel cast a spell?’

Inventory or summoning magic, or perhaps it was a unique ability of this squirrel. It was no ordinary rodent.

I realized,

‘That’s… the final puzzle of this place.’

The puzzle seemed solvable.



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