Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 262

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Solo Max-Level Newbie

Chapter 262: The Seven Deadly Sins (3)

“…A plan that benefits us all, what does that mean?”

Nirasha’s hand paused momentarily.

Tristan’s smile deepened even further.

“Kang Jin-Hyuk.”

A name.

That was all it needed.

As expected, Nirasha’s expression noticeably changed upon hearing it.

“…Are you suggesting we eliminate that man? By joining forces with you?”

“Haven’t you suffered enough at the hands of Kang Jin-Hyuk as well? We’ve been eager for retribution too.”

“Sure, killing that bastard would be the best Christmas present, but if it gets out that we’re involved with you, it won’t just tarnish the guild’s name. Our guild could completely disappear.”

If players climb the tower to prevent the destruction of humanity, miners’ primary concern is to manifest demons in this world.

Even without that, collaborating with a bunch of criminals on the most-wanted list would result in more losses than gains.

“Well, that’s true, but all that only happens if our alliance is exposed.”

“You think you can prevent information leaks during a live broadcast in a dungeon? That’s quite an oversight.”

“It’s no mistake. And it’s certainly not unfounded confidence.”

Because…

“We have the current owner of the dungeon on our side.”

The great witch proficient in curses and barriers.

If she could control seven gate guardians, creatures said to be incredibly difficult to manage…

She could also cast a barrier that interferes with the broadcasting system.

Nirasha’s face lost its smirk.

An alliance between the association of miners, the boss monster, and a top guild.

“Certainly… if that’s the case, there’s a possibility.”

A mere player couldn’t prevent it, not to mention that even the force of a nation would struggle.

“Are you saying we can interpret that as you joining us?”

“Let’s hear the plan first.”

Though she said so, her heart was already leaning towards agreement.

Just a little more assurance was needed here.

“The role of Nirasha and the Gandara Guild would be simple. Just cut off their supply and support; we’ll take care of the rest.”

“The supply route… are you talking about the Olympus Guild?”

“Yes. That’s right.”

Currently, the second assault team consisted of four people, including Jin-Hyuk, and players from Olympus.

Four were managing the offense, while the rest were in charge of support…

If their rear could be annihilated, those at the front would be entirely isolated.

In other words, rats trapped in a jar.

“Did you keep silent all this time intending to draw them in deeply? How interesting. I didn’t think miners would have this much patience.”

“It’s not difficult, isn’t it? When you take care of the small fries, there’s hardly any risk.”

“Alright… but we’re not going to hit Olympus alone.”

“You want support? With your capabilities, you could easily sweep the rear alone; why?”

“In case the plan fails, I want to secure an exit strategy. At least, I will not show my face there.”

Nirasha drew a firm line that she would not budge on.

Eventually, Tristan stepped back.

“Then, we’ll support you with an Apostle from our side. The one governing ‘Wrath.’ Gawain will also assist you.”

Support from an Apostle and a miner executive.

That should suffice.

More than enough.

***

Kuku-kukuku!

The stone walls of the entire dungeon moved simultaneously.

Obstacles vanished in an instant, and various monsters leaping to defend their realm dissipated like smoke.

A clear path.

“Brother… something feels off.”

“Hyung, I think all the bugs have retreated.”

Both Yu-Hyeonhwa and Lee Tae-Min commented.

“There is no sign of magical power around. It seems like the barrier and traps throughout the dungeon have been deactivated…”

Maria, who was using detection magic, looked puzzled.

On the other side.

Jin-Hyuk grinned mischievously.

‘As expected. Are they coming at us like this?’

This was an invitation.

If you are confident, come this way.

The bait was all too obvious, but it suggested they had done considerable preparations.

If the road that one must take anyway is open, there’s no reason to refuse.

On the contrary, it saves time for us.

“Let’s go.”

“But, brother, isn’t this clearly a trap? Are we going to proceed just like that?”

A trap…

“If it weren’t elaborate enough to choke us, it wouldn’t be a trap.”

This was just child’s play, a mere wishful thinking.

“You’ll be left behind if you’re too late.”

Leading the way, Jin-Hyuk broke into a stride.

“Hyung’s confidence is really something… Ha, let’s go. I’m coming.”

His three companions followed, their heads shaking in disbelief.

How long had they walked?

After traversing a long corridor, they reached a room filled with countless monster statues.

The so-called Room of Repentance.

This was the last barrier to the Witch of Lamentation.

And it was guarded by one of the most troublesome of the Seven Deadly Sins.

“Grrrrr…”

Just then, came a gargled growl.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

A 3-meter-tall Apostle emerged from between the statues.

A figure with green skin and protruding tooth tusks.

The swollen belly and muscular arms were quite impressive.

But what caught the eye most was the giant cart being dragged along.

The cart, filled with unidentifiable chunks of meat and plants, explained why the Apostle was called ‘Gluttony.’

Ding!

A purple status window appeared before everyone.

[To inflict effective damage on the Apostle of Gluttony, you must consume the ingredients from the cart it is dragging.]

[Otherwise, all unique abilities and skills will be nullified.]

The meat and plants in the cart contained a special substance called ‘Pectechrosin’, and it needed to be infused with mana to deal damage to the Apostle.

The problem was…

Aside from the horrific appearance of the ingredients, they had such awful scents and tastes that no normal human would dare to bring them to their mouth.

It was impossible even for someone with a strong stomach.

“Do we… have to eat that?”

Maria backpedaled with a pale face.

“Seriously, they can be so petty.”

“If that’s the only way, we’ll have to try… This is frustrating.”

Yu-Hyeonhwa and Lee Tae-Min swallowed hard, even with all their experiences.

That was when.

“Gruaaaaaa!”

Identifying the intruders, the Apostle of Gluttony pulled out a cudgel from inside the cart.

Closing the distance in an instant.

Bang!

The cudgel skimmed Jin-Hyuk’s head and shattered a statuesque monster behind him.

‘Still fast.’

Unfitting its size, its movements were like a swallow in water.

If Jin-Hyuk hadn’t noticed the cue of its little toe angling slightly inwards before its maximum acceleration, his head might have cracked open.

However, the attack didn’t end there.

It had just begun.

“Groaaar!”

The Apostle of Gluttony swung the cudgel once again.

This time, Jin-Hyuk slightly diverted the angle to let the attack slide past.

No, he thought he let it slide past.

Sssst!

A sharp pain in his shoulder.

Not from the cudgel.

Upon contact with the green smoke wafting around the cudgel, his flesh began to burn.

“Picked up bad habits eating spoiled things now, haven’t you?”

Jin-Hyuk widened the gap further.

According to the system, their normal attacks wouldn’t work, leaving them with no option but to dodge—

At least until they tasted that food.

Of course, knowing the method was one thing; actually executing it was entirely another matter.

“Ugh… Hyung, this is… urk!”

“Tastes like it’s straight from hell. How am I supposed to eat this?”

Lee Tae-Min and Yu-Hyeonhwa, who had been trying to shove food into their mouths, spat it out immediately.

The squishy grey chunks of meat slumped to the floor.

No matter how urgent the situation, it was simply impossible to eat.

Then, suddenly, the Apostle of Gluttony reached toward the cart.

As if to show this is how one eats.

“Gru gruaaaa!”

Gulp, gulp!

Chunks of meat were swallowed.

[Your attack power has risen by +10!]

[Your agility has increased by +12!]

[Your movement speed has surged by +8!]

Status windows appeared in quick succession.

Eat more, and the stats keep rising.

The already thick arms seemed to bulge a little more, no illusion there.

“…Tastes… good. Just chew properly before swallowing. You’ll choke.”

Jin-Hyuk smirked bitterly.

“Goooooo!”

The Apostle of Gluttony roared wildly and began its rampage anew.

***

Boom, boom, boom!

Bang!

The Apostle of Gluttony was getting more ferocious, but the party was struggling to cope.

Knowing the only method to fight back yet unable to use it, their situation was dire.

They weaved through the statues, evading as best they could, but being caught was inevitable.

As the situation tipped overwhelmingly in one direction…

“Now it seems you’ve settled down.”

“Walking into someone’s home and wreaking havoc was twisting my stomach. Now, I need to think how to make your death as painful as possible.”

A new voice interrupted.

Chill!

The air turned to ice.

An ominous and dark presence began to overtake the room filled with statues.

The beautiful woman with black hair was not to be ignored, but the real threat came from the haggard old crone in a tattered robe.

She was beyond comparison to any Apostle they’d faced before.

This power.

This feeling.

…There was no doubt.

Jin-Hyuk’s eyes narrowed.

‘That old woman is the Witch of Lamentation.’

He’d been curious which of her thousand faces she would wear this time.

‘That old crone must be the Witch of Lamentation.’

Finally, he had met her.

The primary actor in this raid.

“It’s rather cowardly of those from the mine and bosses to hide behind and only show up after we’re sapped of strength, isn’t it?”

“Ho-ho. Perhaps ‘wise’ is a better description?”

“…Who are you?”

“My name is Tristan. A comrade… of Lancelot, who faced you.”

Simply calling him a comrade seemed to carry a bit more emotion.

It was clear he had no intention of sending Jin-Hyuk off gently.

Jin-Hyuk casually glanced towards the entrance of the dungeon.

“If you’re hoping for backup, I would advise giving up hope.”

“And why’s that?”

“Because the Apostle governing Wrath went to join Gandara Guild and Gawain at the Olympus side. Though seeing you squirm like this, it seems additional coordinated attacks wouldn’t be necessary.”

Tristan shrugged nonchalantly.

“That… can’t be possible.”

Shocked by the revelation, Maria’s pupils shook with disbelief.

It was outrageous enough that the miners and the dungeon boss had joined forces, but to think even the Gandara Guild would betray them was beyond imagination.

If true, there was no hope.

The difference in strength was not just severe but overwhelmingly insurmountable.

They would be methodically picked apart and ultimately surrounded from both sides.

However,

Even as everyone fell into despair, Jin-Hyuk still wore a smile.

“There are two things you’re mistaken about. First, I’ve been biding time against that hulking thing, too.”

“Do you mean to say you purposefully extended the fight?”

“I had to wait for you lot to crawl out. If you tucked your tails and ran, it would have been a headache to track you down.”

To perfectly hunt, it was best to let your prey believe they are the hunter, basked in overconfidence.

“A second mistake, I already knew you’d collude with Gandara.”

The miners would have considered every possible scenario.

Joining forces with the Witch of Lamentation was expected, but that alone wouldn’t guarantee victory.

Thus, approaching Nirasha who was plagued with inferiority was also a predictable move.

“Splitting forces to attack us and Olympus isn’t a bad plan. It’s a basic strategy to cut off support and weaken your enemy.”

It was the epitome of conventional tactics.

But…

Convention was also the easiest to predict.

“Curb your arrogance. Do you expect us to believe you anticipated all this? If you’re trying to destabilize us by retroactively fitting the situation, you’re vastly mistaken.”

“It might be bluster, or it might not. Either way, you’ll find out soon enough which one it is.”

“What does that mean?”

Tristan’s voice quivered slightly, confidence shaken by Jin-Hyuk’s continuous certainty.

“I’ve also made preparations for the rear, to be clear.”

He had called for reliable reinforcements.

Perhaps… much more powerful than what they had prepared.

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