Chapter 13

  Lee Jun-Young was the first to act. Somehow, she noticed the hidden enemy and swung her knife. A disturbing screech resounded in the air, followed by the appearance of a giant spider from nowhere. “They’re camouflaged!” she cried.

  The hideous spider had a wound in between its chest and abdomen. It swung its ten legs as green fluid gushed out of its body.


  At the same time, spiders suddenly emerged from all directions, as if they had been there from the beginning. They snapped their mandibles and attacked the explorers. 

  “Bunker!” Lee Jun-Young yelled as she completely severed the spider’s midsection.

  The explorers immediately threw their weapons aside and pulled out two meter long, squarish shields from their bags. Instantly, a barrier of shields was formed in the middle of the passageway, creating a formation known as a body bunker.

  “Hee-Joon! Kang-Tae! Young-Ho!” Lee Jun-Young shouted the dungeon babies’ names as she saw the explorers hide behind their shields in perfect order. Immediately, the dungeon babies leaped toward the herd of spiders with weapons in their hands.

  Kim Jin-Woo was part of the crew. He began by slashing the spider nearest to him. Its hideous exoskeleton cracked as the underlying flesh was sliced through. The spider roared fiercely after losing two of its ten legs, but Kim Jin-Woo was merciless. He utterly ripped the spider apart.

  They’re weak. These are just spiderlings. Kim Jin-Woo frowned. These spiders were just too easy to handle. The other dungeon babies were also defeating the spiders without issue.

  He stood in the middle of the battlefield and looked around. He spotted a spider charging at the body bunker and flung himself in its direction. The spider was just about to drag an explorer out of his formation using its sharp front legs when it was sliced in half by Kim Jin-Woo’s knife. 

  “T-Thank you.” The explorer thanked Kim Jin-Woo for giving him a second chance at life. Kim Jin-Woo didn’t reply, but instead went on to smash four more spider heads open. Meanwhile, the other dungeon babies successfully wiped out the remaining spiders.

  “Tend the injured!” Lee Jun-Young, covered in the spiders’ green bodily fluid, clenched her teeth and shouted. Her formerly neat appearance was nowhere to be seen.

  Kim Jin-Woo approached her and said, “It’s not over yet.”

  Lee Jun-Young narrowed her eyes and looked around, only seeing the destroyed spider corpses scattered on the floor. She gave Kim Jin-Woo a confused look.

  He repeated himself sternly. “A few spiders are hidden nearby. These are just babies.” The hell spiders he knew were no easy opponents. They wouldn’t succumb so easily like this. Moreover, he had yet to receive a message indicating the end of the battle.

  Lee Jun-Young didn’t question Kim Jin-Woo, as he had been the first one to notice the spiders. Instead, she shifted the explorers to the center of the formation and ordered the dungeon babies to move to the front line.

  “What do you see?” Lee Jun-Young asked as she strained her eyes and looked around. She seemed to have assumed that Kim Jin-Woo was a dungeon baby specialized in sensing the presence of enemies.

  Kim Jin-Woo said nothing. Instead, he threw some of the flares that were on his waist. A crimson flame came to life and illuminated the passageway. Where is it… His eyes glinted as he looked around his surroundings.

  Suddenly, he froze. He stepped backward very slowly and whispered to Lee Jun-Young, “11 o’clock, thirty meters away. On the ceiling.”

  Lee Jun-Young gave a signal to Kim Jung-Tae, who hadn’t been actively involved in the battle. He whipped out an emergency bomb from his waist pocket.

  It was meant to be used to destroy obstacles or to demolish passages during an escape, but he was planning to use it now. They were in the hell spiders’ territory, anyway. The team didn’t have to worry about the noise attracting other undercreatures.

  Kim Jung-Tae tied the bomb to an arrow and pulled the trigger of his crossbow. A sharp piercing sound rang out, followed by the sound of an explosion. Red flames crackled and shrapnel scattered in mid-air.

  A disturbing scream resounded in the passageway.


  The spider that fell from the ceiling was substantially larger than the other spiders the team had been fighting. Almost five meters long, its tattered body obstructed the whole passageway.

  However, the bomb wasn’t enough to subdue the spider. Despite having lost three of its ten legs, the spider screamed furiously and charged toward the explorers.

  “Bunker! Get in position and throw a flash bomb!” Lee Jun-Young swiftly commanded as she leaped forward, tapping Kim Jin-Woo on the shoulder. Kim Jin-Woo understood the message instantly and began to dash forward as well.

  A blinding flash of light immediately illuminated the area behind them. While the gigantic spider screamed and swayed in pain, Kim Jin-Woo and Lee Jun-Young closed the distance between them and the spider.


  [The battle has ended. All of the wicked spiders have been defeated, and their traps have also been destroyed. The courage you have displayed despite the strong adversary is praiseworthy. Kim Jin-Woo’s charisma level has increased.] 

  A message appeared in front of Kim Jin-Woo. He could finally let out a sigh of relief.

  He shook off the green fluid on his knife and turned around to find Lee Jun-Young staring at him in disbelief. “It’s over,” he said.

  “What was… your level again?” Lee Jun-Young asked.

  Kim Jin-Woo must have failed to control his strength. Levels weren’t an absolute measure of strength but they were indicative to some extent. As this had been his first legitimate battle in a long time, the adrenaline rush must have led to an unnecessary display of strength.

  “I’m Level 7.” Kim Jin-Woo responded with a bald-faced lie. Lee Jun-Young of all people could have seen through his facade, but he tried his best to ignore her. Fortunately, she didn’t question his identity further.

  A large down gem was found in the hell spider’s corpse. It was a stretch to classify it as a high-grade down gem, but it was too large and high quality to be medium-grade. On the other hand, no down gems were found in the corpses of the small spiders.

  However, that was the last priority on the team’s agenda. Evaluating their current situation mattered much more.

  “Seems as though the advance team has split into two. They wouldn’t have been defeated by such weak monsters.”

  “But almost one-third of the advance team has been left here. Something must have happened to them.”

  People’s opinions were divided. Everyone had joined the team hoping to become rich, but nobody was foolish enough to risk their life for it. Even the dungeon babies who had previously been obeying Lee Jun-Young’s commands protested.

  “I think the advance team found the hell spiders, then left the slower explorers behind.” All eyes were upon Kim Jin-Woo as he spoke. Since he was the main contributor to the victory against the hell spider, everyone saw him in a different light. “It’s possible. Anything can happen in the underground world. I would have also left the slowest people behind if I spotted prey like the hell spider.”

  His words were brutally inconsiderate to the ordinary explorers, but nobody faulted him for them. After all, there were plenty of ordinary explorers to recruit, while prey like a hell spider was hard to come by.

  “That means the surviving dungeon babies are after the hell spiders. If they’re alive, that is,” Kim Jin-Woo continued as he stared at the completely disintegrated hell spider corpse.

  In the end, the team decided to follow the traces of the surviving dungeon babies instead of turning back. Most of the explorers caught in the spiderweb were already beyond saving and had to be left behind, which severely depleted the explorers’ morale.

  It was to be expected. Nobody would feel good leaving their comrades behind to die, especially when they had already been abandoned by the advance team before.

  The dungeon babies, who were the key members of the team, didn’t comfort anyone. In response, the explorers began to lighten their loads for fear of being abandoned, allowing the team to naturally increase its marching speed.

  They traveled quite some distance until Kim Jung-Tae, the guide, spoke with a stiff expression. “It seems the advance team has been wiped out.” There was fresh blood on his hand. The team stopped in their tracks upon hearing him.

  “This hunt is a failure. At least we obtained some medium-high grade down gems.” Lee Jun-Young arrived at the conclusion that they couldn’t explore any further, and thus commanded everyone to turn back. 

  However, things failed to go according to plan. The team was ambushed by more hell spiders. They would have fought the spiders under normal circumstances, but the timing wasn’t right.

  “Damn it! Run back to where we came from!”

  Screams could be heard from behind, but the dungeon babies refused to stop. This was the underground world, and a labyrinth at that. Turning back to save one’s comrades was simply a luxury.


  A rather timid explorer turned around upon hearing his comrade’s scream. When he saw ten fully-grown hell spiders chasing after him, his legs gave way and he tumbled to the floor. He screamed as well, and ran until he reached the site where they had previously fought the hell spiderlings.

  A dungeon baby who had been running alongside him leaped toward the advance team explorers who were tangled in the spiderweb. With a slash of his knife, the captured explorers fell to the ground.

  “T-Thank you…” They had no clue what was going on. When the dungeon babies and other explorers ran past them, their eyes opened wide. They eventually fell prey to the hell spiders.

  Thanks to that, the team could barely give their pursuers the slip.

  “Damn it,” Lee Jun-Young cursed. The other dungeon babies also had grim expressions. There were fewer than ten survivors, among which only two were ordinary explorers.

  “Those spider bastards. Let’s head back,” she said. However, this expedition was plagued by a series of unfortunate events. Dozens of spiderlings dropped down from the ceiling as soon as she spoke. Besides that, the adult hell spiders were closing the gap.

  The ensuing battle was chaotic. Both the dungeon babies and the surviving explorers fought well, but they were simply outnumbered. Eventually, a dungeon baby lost his life.

  “Curses.” Kim Jin-Woo scowled. Of all things, it had to be hell spiders again. Nightmares from the past began to slither into his mind. “See you again at the top. If we survive, that is,” he muttered.

  “What are you planning…” Kim Jung-Tae said as he recklessly detonated his explosives, causing the spiders to flinch momentarily.

  Kim Jin-Woo turned around to face the rest of the team. “Pass me the explosives. All of them.” Kim Jung-Tae obeyed. He seemed to trust Kim Jin-Woo for his remarkable display of skill.

  “Get back!” Kim Jin-Woo leaped towards the hell spiders with the explosives in hand. He threw them at the ceiling, but only caused stone dust to fall. “Goddamnit!” He’d planned to demolish the ceiling to obstruct the path, but cursed when things didn’t go his way.

  He leapt off the wall multiple times. When he finally reached the ceiling, he smashed his knife down with all his might.

  “Mr. Jin-Woo!” Lee Jun-Young and the dungeon babies finally understood Kim Jin-Woo’s intention. They screamed, but the ceiling had already begun to collapse.

  Kim Jin-Woo stared at his team and said, “Let’s all survive.”

  Chunks of rock fell between the two parties and they could no longer see each other.


  The dust settled.

  Kim Jin-Woo could see the hell spiders approaching from afar. There could also be hell spiders beyond the wall of rocks, but what would happen there was out of his control. It was everyone for themselves.

  All he could do was pray for the rest of the team to survive. Kim Jin-Woo could empathize with the dungeon babies, as they belonged to neither the underground world nor human society.

  But that didn’t mean he had sacrificed himself for the other dungeon babies. He was confident he could escape alive. In fact, he could finally use his full strength now that the others were gone. 


  A hell spider charged towards Kim Jin-Woo. He smacked his lips and whispered, “Portal.”