The Return Of Apocalypses Tyrant Chapter 16

Chapter 16: “What on earth is that?”

“…A dungeon?”

After the Yakshas had disappeared, the arrival of the newly formed dungeon left people still in disarray.

“No. Why do I know about this…?”

“Could it be…?”

The people spoke while looking at the giant hemisphere-shaped black dome that had formed on Seonyudo, which was connected by a bridge.

Even without explanations as the Yakshas mentioned, the necessary information was already etched in their minds.

Dungeons, artifacts, Yaksha bundles…

Essential information for survival was imprinted in their memory as if they had always known it.

“Status window.”

Someone said.

People looked at him with puzzled expressions.

Inspired by him, there were others who whispered it quietly.

“Ahem…”

Embarrassed by the lack of any visible reaction, the person who first mentioned it cleared his throat and moved away.

‘To those watching from above, this might seem like a game, but for us, it’s certainly not a game.’

While it was true that items existed, and there were runes that could enhance skills and attributes, one could not visualize one’s abilities in numerical values.

‘Come to think about it, even the artifacts and tools available for purchase from the bundle come with explanations, but there are no numbers like attribute points or skill levels.’

Sometimes the descriptions were even ambiguous.

They could provide a hint or two, but it was ultimately up to the individual to comprehend their meaning.

Nangong believed that this was a factor that reminded them of the reality of their current situation.

‘This isn’t a game where you can just respawn after death.’

It was a battlefield where lives were at stake.

“The bridge still seems intact. Good. I was considering establishing a base if we had the time, but…”

Nangong took a quick glance at Kyung-in.

Although he was delayed because of meeting him, Nangong wasn’t there to reprimand him.

‘To save player Jeon Tae-ho, an elixir is needed. If my memory serves me right, the price of an elixir is 400,000 Heads.’

It was one of the highest-priced consumable items.

‘You can’t resurrect the dead, but it can save those on the brink of death. It can even regenerate destroyed organs or limbs.’

The price was enormous by current standards, but in truth, it was only around the cost of a rare artifact.

‘Right now, killing a goblin barely earns you 1 Head, so it might seem impossible, but in about 5 years, the Head values of monsters will increase dramatically.’

Of course, the number of monsters overrunning cities would also escalate exponentially.

Then one might wonder:

Even with such an incredible healing item like the elixir, why did humanity still face ruin?

The majority never lived long enough to gather the Heads necessary to purchase an elixir.

And the survivors couldn’t freely make use of it either.

‘There’s a limit to the number of tools that can be purchased from the bundle.’

That’s why Nangong had asked Guryu about buying a rusted dagger in the first place.

‘Though its price prevents immediate monopolization, what we need most right now is indeed an elixir.’

The value of recruiting a Rune Master could be far greater, possibly dozens of times the current worth of 400,000 Heads.

Of course, there was no guarantee that he could recruit him as in his past life…

That was why Nangong was looking at Kyung-in.

‘A difference that existed now that wasn’t there in my previous life.’

Nangong thought that Kyung-in’s presence might be the turning point that could sway Jeon Tae-ho’s mind.

It was not just speculation; perhaps it was the intuition of a parent.

‘I was only focused on surviving…’

He looked at those beside him in this world.

“Thank you.”

“…?”

His daughter, the most precious among them, looked at him with a confused expression as he gently stroked her hair.

“Somin, stay right by Dad’s side.”

“Okay, Dad.”

Nangong took his daughter’s hand and they ran out into the street at a brisk pace.

“Let’s go.”

Crossing the park, they dashed across the bridge leading to Seonyudo and entered the dungeon without hesitation.

▶ You have entered the Tomb of the Ghoul King.

* * *

Zzzzzzzt…!!

Kwaahhhhh!!!

A red lightning bolt fell from above their heads, instantly turning the zombies that filled the hallway into charred remains.

[…Uugh!!]

[Aaaagh!!!]

The blackened corpses were a gruesome sight, but what genuinely shocked the people was something else.

“You don’t really need to stay by my side, big brother.”

Myunghoon looked at the pile of undead corpses on the floor and smiled awkwardly.

“…Right.”

Nangong nodded in agreement with a wry smile.

“Hmm. Good!”

With the monsters falling, Somin clenched her fists in victory. The hero who had taken down the zombies was none other than her.

“Magic… Somin, you’re really amazing.”

Kyung-in, holding a bow, seemed genuinely amazed as he spoke to her.

“It’s nothing. I just groan and when I feel power in my hand, pop! When I get the feeling, I just let it drop with a bang!”

“Groan? Pop? Aha…”

Hearing Somin’s explanation, Kyung-in glanced at Nangong.

‘Magic began after one of the Eight Martial Kings, a great sorcerer known as Den Howl, established the theory behind it.’

Magic fundamentally required innate talent, but even then, manifesting it was difficult.

‘According to Den Howl, the most important thing for casting magic is materialization.’

Materialization lied within one’s imagination.

‘It’s not surprising that children find it easier to materialize magic.’

After hearing Somin’s explanation of magic, Nangong recalled Den Howl’s words.

‘Of course, Somin’s exceptional talent plays a role as well.’

Indeed, her potential was of legendary caliber.

It was simply good fortune.

Many died without ever knowing their own talents.

There were items capable of discerning one’s talent, but because they were expensive, few purchased them.

‘It was a world too busy trying to survive.’

Even if one discovered a magical talent later, someone accustomed to using a sword would find it difficult to switch to magic.

To survive, one needed to gather Heads, and for that, hunting was essential.

When facing monsters, having a sword became second nature.

“Are you not disgusted by it?”

“Yes… It’s a bit unpleasant, but I’m okay. If I think of it like ‘Underworld’…”

“Underworld?”

Myunghoon asked in response to Somin’s words.

“Oh, it’s the most popular online game nowadays. It’s about hunting zombies… Depending on the mode, you can adjust the age rating, so it’s quite popular.”

Kyung-in, aware of the game, answered Myunghoon on Somin’s behalf.

Then he took out his phone to show a video from NUTube that featured the game.

[Bang…! Kwang!!]

[To-do-do-do…!]

The game protagonist, armed with everything from swords and magic to firearms, hunted zombies and continued to challenge the lower floors.

Man… What’s so fun about such a game.”

Myunghoon, who had spent much time on the battlefield, seemed disinterested.

“…Somin, did you play this game?”

Watching the video featuring blood and guts, Nangong grimaced slightly.

“It’s so popular. There’s a top-ranked player in Korea named Flame. He’s insanely good.”

“Flame?”

“Yes. Just a few days ago, there was an international e-sports competition in ‘Underworld.’ He was a representative for our country.”

Nangong nodded at her words.

He wasn’t particularly interested in games, but the nickname “Flame” stuck in his head.

“He’s a Gunner player and super skilled!”

Somin exclaimed, seemingly a fan of Flame.

‘Flame… Surely it couldn’t be him?’

Nangong, startled by his daughter’s unexpected hobby, was more intrigued by the person she mentioned, Flame.

“Do you have a picture of him?”

“Yes, I do!”

She took out her phone and searched.

“Hmm…”

The face on the screen was a young boy, probably around Somin’s age.

“His name is Jeong Chan-ho. He’s from Myeongjin Middle School and we’re the same age. Isn’t that amazing? A middle schooler is such a star.”

Somin’s voice rose with excitement as she spoke.

‘He’s quite small… But when I met Flame, 10 years had passed. It’s not certain.’

Was it just a coincidence?

Nangong recalled his past life’s memories and frowned slightly.

He, too, had memories associated with the name Flame.

However, in contrast to now, the Flame he knew 10 years later wore a mask, concealing his real identity.

‘Spit Fire.’

People called Flame by that name, and sometimes as ‘Explosive Demon.’

While each had their own name for him, one thing was certain: he was extremely skilled in handling fire.

‘Well… It’s not important right now.’

Even if the Flame he knew was indeed the pro gamer Jeong Chan-ho, there was no immediate need to meet him.

His focus had to be on the present.

‘I just hope Somin doesn’t take this too lightly like it’s a game…’

Goblins and zombies were causing the deaths of many. They weren’t weak just because they were lower-tier monsters.

It was solely because of Somin’s exceptional talent.

‘The moment you lose your vigilance is when you’re in the greatest danger. You must always be aware that the enemy could be stronger than you.’

While Nangong was happy about his daughter’s talent, he was also worried.

“Let’s go.”

It was then.

Just for a second, Nangong caught sight of Somin’s trembling first, held in a fist. She was trying not to show it.

‘Maybe I was worrying over nothing.’

With a bitter smile, Nangong reassured himself.

“Big brother, you look pale…”

“Oh, it’s nothing. Just lost in thought for a moment.”

He reassured Myunghoon with a nod and held his daughter’s hand.

“Don’t worry.”

Somin smiled back, trying to pretend nothing was wrong.

“We’ll take care of the rest.”

Myunghoon and Kyung-in stepped in front of the two, as if they understood his concerns, and led the way.

As they turned the corner, they were met with a hallway full of zombies.

Kwaahhhhh!!!

Shwoosh!

Boommm-!!

The two dealt with the approaching zombies with ease.

Nangong was already aware of Myunghoon’s skills, but Kyung-in’s prowess surprised him once again.

“Every shot’s a headshot. Didn’t you say you learned archery as a kid?”

“Yes. It’s strange… Before, I couldn’t see it, but now when I draw the bow, the target seems to enlarge. It’s easier to hit.”

“Is that so?”

Nangong pulled out an arrow sunk into a zombie’s head and commented.

‘Before, his arrows would hit a goblin’s head, but now they are outright devastating. It seems he has awakened a talent related to archery, fitting for Jeon Tae-ho’s son.’

“Have you noticed anything else?”

“Well… There’s something I suspect, but I’ll tell you once I’m certain.”

Kyung-in gave a vague answer to Nangong’s question.

‘What could it be? He says he needs to confirm it… Maybe it’s related to the talent of a Rune Master.’

While curious, Nangong decided to wait.

Asking too soon might make things awkward later on when Jeon Tae-ho wakes up.

“Okay. Let me know when you can.”

“Understood.”

“Oh, big brother, look over there!”

It was at that moment that Myunghoon broke the silence with a shout.

“That’s…”

At the end of the hallway, there was a metal box like the one they had seen at the National Cemetery.

“Wow… Is that a reward box? Did we finish so soon already…? This is an easy victory!”

Myunghoon’s hopeful voice hinted at the familiar shape of the box.

“Hold on.”

“What…?”

“Kyung-in, shoot an arrow at that box.”

Myunghoon quickly dodged to the side as Nangong instructed.

Whish-!!

Boommm–!!

“…!!”

When the arrow struck the box, a sudden explosion occurred. Despite being some distance away, the blast of heat enveloped them.

“Kyaa!”

Nangong shielded Somin from the heat.

“What the…”

Myunghoon stood dumbfounded at the sudden detonation.

“It’s a trap in the dungeon. Some explode like that, and there are also so-called mimics that take the form of boxes.”

“Big brother. If that power…?”

“If it had been at point-blank range, it would have been instant death.”

Gulp-

At Nangong’s response, everyone swallowed with nervous tension.

“But still, it’s not like there was no payoff.”

Nangong bent down and retrieved something from the exploded debris.

“…What’s that?”

He tossed an aged key to Myunghoon.

“It’s the key to the boss room.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *