Snoc’s footsteps were heavy and contained no energy. His whole body drooped down as if a heavy burden was pushing him down.
‘Ah, I forgot my tools.’
Since he ran out without thinking, he had no time to pack his pickaxe or other equipment. While holding his head with both hands, Snoc sat on the ground.
‘I don’t think I will lose my tools, but...’
Sam had been next to him. They grew up like siblings, so Sam would probably take care of his tools for him. However, it was uncomfortable to meet Sam right after their argument.
‘It’s going to be hard to talk to him for a while.’
But Snoc had no choice. He could not continue his life as a miner without his tools. Moreover, Sam would probably nag at him a few times, but he would not hurl any serious insults at him. Sam only nagged him because he cared about Snoc’s well-being, and Snoc also knew that Sam’s words were more realistic and reasonable than his dream.
‘But I still want to be an adventurer.’
Snoc couldn’t let go of his dream. As if to revitalize himself, Snoc got up with a lot of energy. He put strength in his legs and began walking with great force. He straightened his hunched shoulders and erased all sadness from his spirits by singing, “An ancient being filled with wrath comes down upon us like a tidal wave. It's a disaster that has never been seen before.”
As he sang, Snoc began to feel strange. The lyrics seemed to make him more sentimental rather than comfort his heart, but he ignored this feeling and continued to sing. This was his favorite song.
“People shiver in fear at his presence. His name is synonymous with fear.”
Snoc saw stars in front of him. He hit the ground and hurt his butt. While rubbing his sore bottom, Snoc looked up at the man who bumped into him.
He saw a man standing in the darkness. For a moment, Snoc was filled with admiration at the man’s appearance. The man looked exactly like the adventurers Snoc had imagined: he wore thick leather armor and carried a longsword.
“You are Snoc, right?”
Snoc had never seen the man before and was shocked that the man knew his name. But the man smiled as if he didn’t care about what Snoc was thinking. There was something chilling about the man’s smile.
“I heard you want to be an adventurer.”
* * *
Like many days before, Hans and Zich went out to fight monsters. To be more specific, Hans was the only one working hard to fight monsters. It seemed as if Sam and Paul Chenu were right about the increasing number of monsters because they began to meet monsters more frequently. Even though this was good for Hans’ training, this was not good news for Suol and all of its inhabitants.
“Haaaaap!” Hans roared and swung his sword. His sword, which carried a lot of his strength, brushed the troll’s neck.
Blood burst out of the troll’s neck and spilled over its throat; the troll couldn’t even scream properly. However, trolls had amazing regenerative power, and their injuries quickly healed.
Hans made another shout. His sword flew across the air. He evaded the troll’s arms and moved towards the troll’s neck again.
Hans cut off the troll’s neck along with the hand that was keeping the neck attached. No matter how great a troll’s regenerative ability was, they could not survive with a sliced neck.
The troll fell to the floor. Hans huffed and wiped the sweat on his forehead.
“I can capture smaller trolls with ease now.”
Zich had been quietly watching Hans while walking towards him. Zich was honestly surprised. When they were at Steelwall, Hans had never wielded a sword and spent all his time doing household chores. At the beginning of their journey, Hans was out of breath after beating one goblin.
But now, Hans had evolved into defeating a troll (even if it was not fully developed yet). Even Hans could not believe that he had become strong enough to beat a troll. As if he was checking his strength, he clenched his fists.
The bush shook. Hans quickly moved back and held up his sword. He stood in a ready position, but Zich raised his hand to stop him.
“Lower your sword. It’s not a monster.”
Zich knew who the figures were. Hans lowered his sword.
Two people came out of the bush. It was strange to see such different people together.
“Hey, aren’t you Snoc?” Zich called out to the person he was more familiar with. As if he was surprised to be called by his name, Snoc jumped and stared at Zich. He looked like a child caught red-handed by an adult.
“What are you doing? Why aren’t you moving quickly?”
A low voice urged Snoc from the back. The man’s tone sounded as if he was looking down on Snoc.
Snoc flinched and Zich stared at the man behind him.
‘Was he the adventurer called Drew?’
He was one of the adventurers hired by the city to curb the number of monsters before the next large-scale monster sweep.
‘It looks like he has a nasty temperament, which is fitting for an adventurer.’
It was surprising to see them together since there were no similarities between a miner and an adventurer. Drew pressed Snoc to go forward, but he paused when he saw Zich and Hans. Drew’s eyes frantically moved around to gauge the situation, but when he saw Hans soaked in sweat and a small troll next to him, Drew let out a smile.
“There’s a weak ass here who struggles to put down a barely developed troll.”
Hans was taken aback from being insulted out of the blue. Snoc was also surprised. It was only Zich whose facial expression did not change.
‘Hmmm, it’s true that Hans is a weak ass.’
Zich didn’t refute Drew’s statement and agreed with him instead. But he was not going to let Drew’s insult slide.
‘Even though it’s true that he is a weak ass, as his master, I’m the only one who can call him that.’
“There’s a person with shit for brains here that calls a beginner who just started training a weak ass.”
Drew’s up-turned lips immediately went down. He turned his head, and his sharp eyes glared at Zich.
“…What did you say to me?”
“Do you not only have problems with your brain but also with your ear? You can’t even judge a person properly, so your eyes are also shit. Oops, I didn’t realize you were a sick person and insulted you unfairly. I sincerely apologize.”
Zich lowered his head. It was to ask for forgiveness, but nobody thought it was sincere.
“This bastard is asking for death!”
Drew took out a giant sword from his back.
“Hey, don’t be like that. I want to live a kind life. I don’t want to fight a pitiful bastard who has problems with his ears, eyes, and brain.”
Contrary to his words, Zich also took out his swords with swift movements. An explosive murderous atmosphere and tension began to fill the space around them.
“W-wait a moment!” Snoc intervened between them. “P-Please calm down for a bit!”
Drew glared at Snoc with sharp eyes. Snoc’s back became immediately soaked with sweat, but he endured Drew’s glare.
“Won’t you look over his behavior for m-me? This person is an acquaintance of my friend.”
Then Snoc turned back and looked at Zich.
“You are Mr. Zich, right? Won’t you also calm down? This person is my teacher!”
Zich stared at Drew.
‘He is going to make that bastard his teacher? This punk’s skill seems so-so, and his personality sucks ass.’
The only things one could probably learn from him were provoking fights and making dirty expressions. Then another sound interrupted them.
The bush shook roughly once more. Hans and Snoc jumped in surprise. Compared to them, Zich and Drew merely turned their heads.
A dirty green foot popped out. Soon, a ginormous body with a hideous face appeared in clear view; it was a troll.
The troll was carrying a rudimentary wooden bludgeon, and it looked around its surroundings. Then it let out a big laugh. The troll seemed happy to see many available prey.
‘It’s a big one.’
This troll finished growling; the monster was too much for the current Hans to handle. Zich was about to kill the troll when Drew stepped forward.
Drew walked towards the troll with a sword in his hand. A sharp glint shone on his weapon.
The troll made a loud sound and went straight towards Drew. The troll looked ferocious as it moved its enormous muscles. And Zich put back his sword. Then, he folded his arms and watched Drew fight.
The troll’s bludgeon came down and hit the ground. Dirt and grass flew everywhere, and a giant hole was left on the ground. But Drew had long moved his body to the side.
Drew swung his sword. The silver sword shone sharply in the sunlight.
A deep cut appeared on the troll’s shoulder.
The troll let out an angry yell from the pain. It began to move its bludgeon even harder.
Moreover, the troll’s injuries began to heal at a fast rate. But Drew stayed calm and continued to wield his sword. When one cut was healed, he made two cuts; when two cuts were healed, he made three cuts. The troll’s movements became more and more limited from Drew’s constant attacks.
Drew evaded the troll’s attack again and cut through the troll’s arm as if he was dropping down an ax.
The sword pierced halfway into the troll’s arm. It was the deepest cut that Drew had made so far. While the troll was shaking, Drew pushed the sword in further.
Then Drew made a loud shout and moved towards the troll’s neck.
The giant sword pierced through the troll’s neck. His swing was wide, and he was almost able to completely slice off the troll’s neck.
The troll let out its tongue and began coughing, but Drew only put more strength into his sword.
A roughly beaten head of a troll floated into the air and plopped to the ground.
As if to show off, Drew put his giant sword on his back with a loud swing. He looked somewhat cool as he posed in front of a blood-soaked troll. Both Hans and Snoc, who called himself Drew’s disciple, looked at Drew with admiration in their eyes.
‘Man, he’s showing off so much for a troll.’
Obviously, Zich was unimpressed. Drew worked so hard to kill just one troll and was now pretending to be cool. If Zich took as long as Drew in beating one troll, he would have died from embarrassment.
The troll’s corpse disappeared into Drew’s magic box. Then Drew put the box back into his pocket. He looked between Hans and the small troll and his gaze finally landed on Zich.
Drew turned around as if Zich wasn’t even worth his time.
Drew fixed the position of his sword and began walking, and Snoc followed closely from behind. Snoc made an apologetic expression towards Zich, and after bowing his head once, he disappeared into the forest.Previous Chapter Next Chapter