Meeting Some People I Know. (1/3)
Warning: Some disturbing content in this chapter, reader discretion is advised.
Amongst the monsters appearing in the Rite of Passage, a monster called Mankey had a similar appearance to simians. Unlike Deadmen, these Mankeys were proper monsters. They were covered in soft furs so they had a non-existent defence, however, they were cunning and moved around in packs of 4 or 5. This monster was difficult for a beginner to handle.
And currently, we were fighting 5 Mankeys that were as big as us. They were bulky with extremely long tail, though powerful they weren’t as nimble. They had a surprise jump attacks, but most of the damages could be mitigated by avoiding the monster’s landing points.
An-Hyun and Kim Han-Byeol was engaged in a difficult battle with three of these Mankeys. Lee Yu-Jung and I were each taking care of one of these Mankeys, so we were at a numerical disadvantage. But it was only numerical.
It was then. In their back and forth struggle, I saw one of the Mankey An-Hyun was battle slip away and was readying for a jump. Judging its readiness, it seems it was targeting me. Usually, preying on the precarious Lee Yu-Jung was the normal course of action, though it looks like these Mankeys didn’t like to attack women.
These Mankeys had a strong desire to breed that they became crazy when they saw females, especially Fairies (I personally thought that they went out of their ways to catch Fairies.) They went stir crazy when they saw human females that these monsters planned to kill all the guys first and then capture the girls.
“Hyung! Yu-Jung! One of them disappeared!”
An-Hyun shouted in a loud voice. His situation was slightly alleviated as his frantic fight against 3 monsters was reduced by one. He was still a novice yet he took his eye away from this life and death battle.
Hearing An-Hyun’s shout, Lee Yu-Jung took a more defensive posture. Handling one of these monsters was difficult, but hearing that she might have to engage two of them, her body instinctively cowered. Soon the crouched Mankey jumped high into the air with a shriek. This was the moment I was waiting for.
Without delay, I pulled on the string. With a sharp sound resonating in the air, the bolt pierced the Mankey’s head. There was the advantage of extra force while falling from the sky, however, the monster hadn’t thought about the disadvantage of being unable to move freely. Or maybe it thought it was impossible to be hit so easily. I was currently let the kid’s practice right now if I became serious....
‘Ugh. There’s no point speaking my mind.’
“Oppa! On your side!”
I know, I know. While I was aiming for the monster in the air, another Mankey tried to blind side me. Without looking, I avoided the attack by a sheer millimetre and with the bolt in my right hand stab the other Mankey’s head. A clean counter. I could feel the bolt smoothly penetrate the flesh of the monster.
With a mournful cry, the Mankey in front of me collapsed. At the same time, the corpse of the Mankey in the air landed. In 3 seconds I eliminated 2 of the monsters. I quickly recovered the bolts and observed the situation. Everyone was still fighting.
Like before An-Hyun was fighting with a sword and shield combo, while Kim Han-Byeol was wielding a slightly thin long sword though her attacks were rough. Lee Yu-Jung was dashing around with two sharply trimmed daggers.
An-Hyun was in front, engaging with his sword and shield and when an opening appeared, Kim Han-Byeol pierced through. When they broke through, An-Hyun and Kim Han-Byeol attack simultaneously. While the tactic was rough on the edges, the results spoke for themselves. On the other hand, Lee Yu-Jung was struggling with reach and was having trouble attacking. She frequently managed to land a blow on the Mankey’s arm, but more often than not she only slashed air as the Mankey retreated back.
It has been only 3, 4 days since they grabbed a weapon, expecting anymore was impossible. Rather, it proved that they were high stat Players as we made fast progress through the Rite of Passage. Exhaling lightly, I aimed my crossbow toward the Mankey Lee Yu-Jung was fighting. I wasn’t going to finish it off, rather make an opening for her to take advantage of.
The bolt flew and pierced into the right chest of the Mankey. Unlike the Deadmen, the Mankey’s could feel pain. It gave off a pained shriek and staggered back. Lee Yu-Jung’s eyes lit up as she saw the bolt in the Mankey’s chest and she took the opening. Leaning low, she pushed into attack range, show off her 50 agility points.
“Die! You fucking pervert monkeys!”
Spewing profanity, Lee Yu-Jung attacked like she met her lifelong enemy, her daggers crossed. At the same time hearing a below from An-Hyun, it seems he was going for the final blow.
One, two, three, four, five seconds. After five seconds, the Mankey’s the party was fighting all collapsed. The Mankey Lee Yu-Jung was fighting had a large X slash on its chest. The Mankey An-Hyun and Kim Han-Byeol was fighting was littered with cuts and wounds. The shallow wounds afflicted from the beginning of the battle had affected them to the point a single blow was enough to end it. Ah, this must be what it’s like training people.
The three looked at the Mankey I killed, shook their heads and slumped to the ground. They breathed heavily while trying to relieve their tension. It was understandable seeing how their usual tempo of one enemy had increased to five.
“Ah… Shit. I am covered in Monkey blood. I feel like crap.”
Shaking the blood out of her bob cut hair, Lee Yu-Jung spat on the ground. Lying on the ground plastered in blood, she looked strong and beautiful like the Goddess of War. An-Hyun and Kim Han-Byeol was no different. Their clothes were torn and dried blood spattered their whole body here and there. The only people who were better off was An-Sol and me.
Closing my eyes, I began to get lost in my thoughts.
It has been 3 days since we left the City. We had survived for four days and today was the fifth day. If we kept going at this pace, we might be able to reach the Warp Gate by the sixth, or by the latest seventh day.
During the five days together, our life was monotonous and also a spectacle. We walked, and fought, and rested, and walked, and fought. Repeat and rinse. The first monster we encountered after leaving the City was Mandragoras, in that battle we almost lost An-Sol. The monster appeared out of nowhere from the ground, with its mouth wide open. Everyone screamed in shock except for me.
An-Hyun ran in without a plan and was hurt from the thorns, thankful I was able to respond in time. Through that incident, Kim Han-Byeol and Lee Yu-Jung seems to have realised something as they grabbed the weapons available at the Safe Point and declared they would fight. An-Hyun expressed his displeasure at the girls fighting, but they were determined.
I didn’t know if they felt troubled relying on me and An-Hyun to fight all the battles or if they genuinely wanted to help. But one thing I could see clearly in their eyes was a strong desire to survive. Seeing as both of them needed the practice, I readily nodded my head.
From then on, we left the Safe Point and passed by the forest and came upon a person. The exact place we found her was the stomping ground of these Mankeys. She was quite pretty but unfortunately, we were too late as she was already dead. Her body was almost stripped naked, with her clothes torn in pieces. Bruises could be seen all over her body. Steam could be seen rising from her pubic area, with white semen flowing out. It looks like she was raped by the Mankeys just short while ago before we arrived. Seeing blood trickling out from her mouth, she seems to have killed herself unable to endure what was happening.
Looking at the scene, Lee Yu-Jung became mad with anger desperately asking to destroy all the monkeys. By chance, we happened upon five Mankeys with their genitalia exposed and immediately fought them off. Mostly likely these Mankeys must have heard Lee Yu-Jung’s rant and came at us. With the girl dead and having smelt fresh female prey, in their excited state they wouldn’t have left us alone.
In conclusion, victory was ours. Thinking we should be more carefully from now on, I snapped out of my thoughts.
“Sol, can you give Unni a towel and a water star?”
“What did you say?”
Lee Yu-Jung immediately jumped onto Kim Han-Byeol’s mistake.
“Ah, sorry. I was tired so it didn’t come out right. Not a water star, a bottle of water.”
“Yes… Unni it must be difficult.”
“Bullshit. Look at Oppa, how can he kill those Monkeys so easily? Gimme the crossbow! I wanna use it!”
I chuckled awkwardly at Lee Yu-Jung’s tantrum. If it’s unfair, why don’t you become stronger?
‘Me, I had no one to help me in the beginning. I crawled through with only my sword.’
Of course, I couldn’t actually say that, so I just chuckled awkwardly.
With their little experience in handling the weapon, they seem to have realised there was something different about how I fought. Kim Han-Byeol was sitting cautiously regulating her breathing, while An-Hyun was breathing heavily looking at me seriously.
“Hyung, were you part of the special forces? How can you fire the crossbow so well?”
“... You learn everything in the army these days.”
“Oppa, don’t joke. Shooting probably, but learning the crossbow?”
“You haven’t even gone to Seoul. Tell it to me after you go to the army. You think it’s a place where they teach you only how to shoot guns? Guns, swords, Taekwondo and all kind of martial arts including techniques with daggers, darts, bow and crossbow.”
An-Hyun, Lee Yu-Jung and An-Sol had a strange expression on their face after hearing my explanation. Seeing Kim Han-Byeol smile, it seems she was the only person to realise I was speaking nonsense. Though there was nothing to worry about. With the team set in stone, this much was permissible.
“Ah… I don’t know. I want to rest right now, I don’t need this headache right now.”
“If you are going to rest, sit or stand up. What if you get attack right now?”
“Don’t know, don’t know, don’t know, don’t know. Sol. Can you get me a chocolate, please? I am hungry.”
“Sol, give me one as well.”
“Yes~. I will bring it right now~.”
At Lee Yu-Jung, An-Hyun and Kim Han-Byeol’s request, An-Sol moved quickly to get it. At An-Hyun’s strong insistence, An-Sol was left out of the battle. Instead, she was our helper. She seems content as her she liked to help people and these small request didn’t bother her.
I slowly sat down as I observed An-Sol smiling brightly as she handed out a water bottle.
Human’s adaptation to their surrounding was astounding and with a deep desire to live, the synergy between this two aspect created an amazing effect. I felt these words were true. Even if they were high stat Players, these girls were living ordinary lives just a few days ago and now were wielding weapons proficiently against monsters. I laughed as I remember the first time I defeated these monsters and shuddered at the thought of taking a life for the first time.
Though a slight cause for concern but after having fought through so many life and death battle with these monsters, they didn’t feel any mercy for them. But if their opponent was a person? Will they be able to fight decisively without hesitating? If there was an opportunity, I wanted to the party have such an experience. Though I don’t think we will have that chance.
“Hey, I think it’s time to go. Let’s keep a steady pace till we find a yellow roof. Hyung you alright?”
These Rest Rooms will become more difficult to find as we get closer to the Central Gate. There was no need to demoralise them, so I just replied simply. Lee Yu-Jung looked slightly at ease as she nodded. Dusting off her cloth as she was about to stand up, I followed suit. But I stopped what I was doing. Currently my magical detection was off for practice reason, however, I could hear several footsteps.
I turned my head toward the bushes where I heard a noise.
“Huh, who the hell are you.”
At that moment, we saw four people appearing from the thickets.
망키 vs 원숭이
Phonetically 망키 sounds like monkey. Bit of a problem here but 망키 is also Korean translation for Pokemon Mankey.
Also, there was a bit of word play:
“솔아. 언니 수건 하나랑 물 한별만.”
“아아, 쏘리. 힘들어서 말이 잘못 나왔어. 한별이 아니라 한 병만.”
물 한별만 (water star) vs 한 병만 (water bottle)
Or 별 vs 병, they sound really similar but different enough. Though it’s difficult to fully capture this in English. So I just did it literally.