Level Up - Chapter 21: Crimson Prison - 3
“Isn’t the atmosphere here heavier than usual?”
Joo Kyung chul frowned at the remark. The atmosphere wasn’t just gloomy but something kept bothering him.
“And look at the dots on the map. It looks like an ant cave.”
Joo Kyung Chul’s expression changed. He took the pad from the guild member and checked the map he had drawn so far.
The map looked really similar to an ant cave. Of course, it was more complicated than real ants caves. There were many paths and some twisted parts.
However, the overall appearance was definitely an ant cave.
“No way… We’re not going to get an Iron ant, are we?”
The guild members, who heard Joo Kyung Chul’s low murmur were stunned by his words.
Iron ants, as their name implies, were ants with strong bodies like steel. It was about twice the size of a human being, and their tongues were as sharp as a knife.
It crawled on six legs, the moment Joo Kyung Chul found out how fast it could be, they had to prepare for the rush.
Iron ants rush when they see their enemies and when they catch them they take their enemies bodies to their nest. The blade clip on the mouth exerts great power at that time.
In order to fight against an Iron ant’s rush, you should always be prepared for the risk of getting your belly skin pierced by a knife.
Anyway, it was really dangerous to meet iron ants in this terrain. So everyone was agitated for a moment.
Of course, the moment of agitation was very short.
“Hey, everyone. Could it be….? Think about the dungeon rating here. It’s level 3 on Bronze. Does an iron ant have a weak point?”
Everyone’s a little relaxed. Iron ants were first seen in the third grade of gold. There has never been said that iron ants were found in any lower grades.
In other words, there was no chance to meet the iron ant-like beast until they reach the gold level at least.
Therefore, there’s no iron ant here in the bronze level 3 dungeon.
However, Joo Kyung Chul continued to look around and stayed alert due to an unknown anxiety.
‘I have a bad feeling about this. Anything could happen at times like this.….’
As soon as Joo Kyung Chul thought of it, something flashed from far a distance inside the cave.
“Wait? What is it?”
Everyone’s eyes naturally turned toward the horse. However, the shine itself was so instantaneous that everyone looked puzzled.
“What’s wrong, hyung?”
“Something just flashed over there…….”
“I can’t see anything.”
“As far as I can tell……!”
‘I could not even finish my word as I found something fast approaching.’
“Watch out!” Joo Kyung shouted as he felt like something huge flew past him.
He jumped to the other side.
‘It was so fast that there was no sound. I could only hear a faint slitting sound.’
And it went straight to hit the Crimson Poison Guild members.
The guild members were pushed so hard that it made them fall in every possible direction. And one of the members disappeared with the giant monster.
“My god, Iron ant! That was an iron ant, right? Right?”
Joo Kyung Chul shouted in horror. Kwak Myung Jin, who jumped away almost at the same time as Joo Kyung Chul, replied with a puzzled look.
“Eh, that’s right. Hey! this is definitely Bronze level 3.… How the hell did an iron ant…….”
Joo Kyung Chul’s face was distorted with no mercy.
‘No wonder I had a bad feeling since I first came in. I should have gone outside the moment I felt a strange ominousness that filled everywhere.’
‘It’s not too late.’
They haven’t come that far from the entrance yet. So all they have to do is to go back. Before the iron ants flock together.
“Hurry up! Get out of here now. Everybody, get up quickly!”
Joo Kyung Chul gave an order as if shouting. It was not that easy to cope up this situation without showing such a coercive attitude.
Guild members who were lying on the floor stood up slowly. Everyone looked distorted by pain. Many of them were injured and had broken bones due to the hit by a rushing iron ant. But Players are not ordinary people.
No one could even move a single step with their broken bone. It’s the same thing that hurts.
Joo Kyung Chul and Kwak Myung Jin were the only ones who were fine. Both moved away to escape during the rush.
Kwak Myung Jin, who is a bit smarter and is good at finding directions, decided to go back.Joo Hyun chul also decided to prepare for possible migratory ants. He picked up the shield artifact.
‘If I knew that this place was an iron ant cave in the first place, I wouldn’t have been so miserable now.’
‘I was so careless.’ Joo Kyung Chul thought about it.
‘In this level, there is no way that an iron ant can beat me. I don’t think they know that I was acting cowardly at the attack.’
If Joo Kyung Chulhe had just packed his shield in advance, he would have prevented the migratory ants from rushing.
The reason why iron ants are scary is because of the rush. Once they use the shield to stop it then there were plenty of ways to deal with the Iron ant later on.
It has a steel-like shell, so the weapon does not work well, but if the Iron ant is not moving much, the weapon could at least penetrate the shell and hit the inside of the body.
‘I could also use a hammer-like weapon to give an impact.’
Joo Kyung Chul was in the middle of a moving group. It was better to be in the middle and cope with the situation, in case the Iron ants came from the front or from the back.
Fortunately, he did not meet any more iron ants until his party arrived at his original location. However, the problem was not Iron ants.
“What? What’s going on?”
“Hey, the entrance is gone!”Everyone was very confused. They’re sure they found the right way.
Joo Kyung Chul checked the signal and went to the place where the device was buried. No one touched it.
‘I made a mark that only I could recognize in case someone touched it, but the mark was fine. No one came here, no one touched it.’
That meant that the entrance that was really here had disappeared.
“How could you do this? Where the hell did the entrance go?”
Joo Kyung Chul shouted in confusion. I’ve never heard of the entrance moving.
” Hyung! I think we need to move.”Joo Kyung Chul was angry at Kwak Myung Jin’s words.
“Where are you going? We have to find the missing entrance!” Joo Kyung Chul asked.
“No.. It’s too wide here. If Iron ants come from all sides, it’s impossible to defend yourself!”
Kwak Myung Jin screamed in frustration.
Joo Kyung Chul came to his senses as if he had poured cold water over it.
‘And the cold feeling swirled all over my whole body.The whole thing!’
They could hear the sound of cracking everywhere. The sound was quite loud. It was not the sound that could be made with one or two iron ants.Everyone including Joo Kyung-chul turned pale in horror.
Iron ants started coming out of every hole. There were more than ten.
“Everybody try to hold on somehow!”
The Guild members clenched their teeth and wielded their weapons at Joo Kyung Chul’s order. For such situations, he already has prepared himself to wield his weapons any time to fight with the iron ants.
Chae Chae Chae Chae Chae!
However, it was not enough for them to deal with a flock of iron ants alone.
‘Of course, I knew it very well.’
So his choice was to run away alone. Leaving his members as food for the iron ants. Joo Kyung Chul left his members to fight alone.
“Hey, you bastard!”
Kwak Myung Jin’s swearing was heard through Joo Kyung Chul’s ears, who had pulled out of the rush. Joo Kyung Chul murmured with a cold expression.
“You knew I was a bad guy.”
* * *
There was no sign of the fight. The Iron ants went back to their nests with all their prey.
Inside the ant cave, there was a room for iron ants, a room where iron ants eggs were stored, and finally a room where the queen ants lived.
Iron ants are not picky about food. This means that it doesn’t just eat meat but eats up all the clothes, equipment, and even the bodies.Therefore, it would be rather strange if anything remains on the battlefield.
Hyun Seok hid and watched the whole scene. How Iron ants killed and injured all the Crimson Poison Guild members, and how in the meantime, they took all the dead bodies with them.
But not everyone was dead.
Joo Kyung Chul, who ran away as soon as the first fight began, survived, and Choi Chang Soo, who somehow saved himself during the fight, survived.
Coincidentally, the two escaped in the same direction.
“It would be fun to watch till the end.”
Hyun Seok quickly began to move in the direction where the two disappeared.By now, the iron ants must be having dinner. In other words, there are few iron ants roaming around the ant burrows.
Although Hyun Seok moved fast, he did not rush. It was because he knew what would come out if he went that way..
There lives a queen ant at this end.
* * *
Coooong! Cooong! Cooong!
Joo Kyung Chul and Choi Chang Soo’s expressions were distorted mercilessly by the heavy queen ant’s movement. Joo Kyung Chul was still holding a shield, while Choi Chang Soo was holding a sharp sword.
The two had no choice but to fight together. Because the queen was blocking the entrance.
“Do you like running away alone to live?” Choi Chang Soo said while Joo Kyung-chul smirked.
“That makes you feel like that. Don’t talk, just fight.”
“I’ll do better without your advice, so you can block that way. Don’t betray me this time.”
That’s what they said, but both were trying to figure out how to get away from one another.
‘As soon as you block it with a shield, I’ll slide down and get out.’
Choi Chang Soo’s eyes brightened thinking so. It was possible enough. No matter how much Joo Kyung Chul is trash, he will block it at least once with a shield. That way, he’ll survive.
Kug ug ug ug!
The queen ant approached quickly. There was no way to escape from the side because of the huge size of the queen ant.
Even if they slide down, they have to pass through the legs of queen ant.
Choi Chang-soo was confident. ‘I’ve been watching similar scenes for two months without a break.’
The queen ant came near the end. Joo Kyung Chul clenched his teeth and held up his shield. And Choi Chang-soo tried to slide down immediately. But he couldn’t.
Choi Chang Soo held his chest and stumbled. As soon as I tried to slide, something hit his chest.He checked and it was a small stone.
“Oh, damn it!”
Joo Kyung Chul showed the power of level 54. As if to prove that he did not raise the level by himself, mana was also properly injected into the shield artifact.
The queen ant pushed little by little. However, Joo Kyung Chul was not moving even an inch.
“What are you doing? I’m going to use a knife!”
“Darn it! I’m the one who wants to do this!”
Choi Chang Soo was annoyed and tried to wield a knife. But he couldn’t. Something else hit the chest again.
“Kurk!” This time, there was a stronger shock.
“What are you doing!”
It was not Choi Chang Soo but someone else who answered Joo Kyung Chul’s cry.
“What do you think you’re doing? I’m trying to punish you.”
Joo Kyung Chul got goosebumps from his voice. When and how did he stand behind him? There was no one in this room except the queen ant.
“Then I’ll say good luck.”
Hyun Seok punched Joo Kyung Chul on the back of his hand holding a shield.
The sound of bone breaking rang.
“Crazy!” Joo Kyung Chul screamed and backed away.
Hyun Seok was seen leisurely escaping from the gap between the legs of the queen ant, who soon disappeared from his sight, leaving him behind in pain.
“Hey, you son of bitch!” Of course, it was an empty cry. The queen ant attacked the two.
The harsh sound of crunching filled the cave. With bright shining eyes Hyun Seok went away from that place . Now it’s time to clear the dungeon.
“First of all…… . I’ll start with the guys standing outside.” referring to the three guards waiting outside the entrance.
There was no guilt of destroying the Crimson Poison Guild. They were the worst trash among all. If it doesn’t disappear, too many people will fall into the pit of hell.
Hyun Seok moved quickly toward the hidden entrance of the dungeon…