<Chapter 3. Level Up – 2>
‘An Undead Hero… Damn it, that’s what it was talking about.’
Only after reading the message did Lee Shin Woo barely understand the meaning behind the message when the quest occurred.
The message, ‘The dungeon itself is safe from the curse, but those who were cursed and entered the dungeon are not.’ wasn’t talking about Lee Shin Woo, but of those who may have gone into the dungeon before him and had become undead!
‘It’s level two and it’s a hero too. So, if the other heroes die, they really are mercilessly turned into the undead.’
Right now, he wasn’t even concerned about the reward for taking down the undead hero. That’s because he was instead thinking of how much Perium it had gathered before dying, and what he could buy with that money in the secret shop.
But if there was something that concerned him, it was that the effect of Invisible Heart had increased all his stats by three, and his total stats broke through the 200 mark; he wondered whether he should accept the level up or not.
‘… I’m strangely torn.’
Common sense dictated that he should immediately nod his head and level up. Though the enemy who lopped off his head was a zombie, it was still a level 2 hero, and if he wanted to kill it easily, he should also be at level 2.
However, there was something that bothered him; it was the message stating that he could briefly postpone his decision.
Why? Why would they need to ask that now? If he was only allowed one choice, telling him that he shouldn’t proceed with that choice had absolutely no meaning!
‘If that’s not the case, then… do you perhaps get something for postponing your level up?’
Lee Shin Woo violently rolled his head as he saw the zombie hero confirm his death, return his sword, and turn around. What could be the reason for postponing a level up? And what would change as a result?
While he pondered this, the zombie hero hobbled away, slowly returning back to where it came from.
When he looked at the zombie hero’s body, he noticed that it was badly damaged. Its entire body had slash marks, as well as traces of bite marks; its neck was especially damaged, as more than half had been cut off and the neck bone was struggling to keep the shoulder and neck together.
When he saw the wound, Lee Shin Woo was sure. He would postpone his level up to 2 and knew what he had to do, what he could do.
No, he didn’t need any more excuses. That’s just what he wanted to do right now. It was a desperate revenge.
[Your advancement to level 2 is briefly on hold.]
[Your body is reviving.]
For now, he steeled himself and quickly proceeded with his resurrection. Even his once lost arm was completely restored, and Lee Shin Woo lightly retrieved the Bone Spear that was rolling on the floor; and he silently, extremely silently stood up.
The zombie didn’t think that the skeleton it had just taken down had a resurrection skill, so it kept walking slowly.
Lee Shin Woo only properly aimed for the zombie’s neck, and forcefully took a step forward, simultaneously gripping his spear and strongly pierced forward. His stats were buffed by the dungeon, so his spear contained a force that he hadn’t had just yesterday!
[You have learned the passive skill, Beginner Critical Hit Lv1! It will become easier to ascertain your opponent’s weak points, and you can land a fatal blow.]
Its sharp scream screeched like a drill, and echoed throughout the clearing. His attack had definitely hit the mark, and he had succeeded in shattering more than half of the zombie’s neck bone. As expected, he had a chance, even at level 1!
Plus, his attack just now had caused him to learn the Critical Hit skill, so it was like killing two birds with one stone.
“How dare you! Kyaaaaahk!”
The zombie hero was extremely agitated, turned around, and attempted to slash him with its sword, but Lee Shin Woo pulled the spear lodged in its neck with all his might and cried out a shriek that wouldn’t lose to the zombie’s. He had used his sole skill that utilized mana, the Shriek of the Dead!
[By using the Shriek of the Dead, the enemies in the entire area have momentarily fallen into a frenzied state.]
[Shriek of the Dead has become Lv2.]
The instant it heard his shriek, the trajectory of the zombie’s sword stab greatly shook. Lee Shin Woo used that opportunity to safely pull out his spear and retreat. However, his (nonexistent) eyes were filled with unpleasant messages, compared to when he had swung his spear and slashed the zombie’s neck.
[The enemy resists the status ailment. It was unable to completely resist the effects, but it has recovered its reduced accuracy rate.]
“You piece of…!”
The zombie had immediately regained its form and its sword was approaching quickly! Before it was too late, Lee Shin Woo grasped its sword’s trajectory, and raised his spear, using his Beginner Weapon Defense. However…
– Kwajik (breaking sound)
Its quickly approaching sword had broken his spear into pieces, the bone spear that was level 2 and had been reinforced three times (+3)! Its force truly felt akin to lightning.
However, despite the crazy situation, Lee Shin Woo frantically suppressed his unrest, and stabbed with a part of the split bone spear, shoving it into the zombie’s neck. The zombie screamed and retreated.
“You piece of shit…!”
He hurriedly picked up the remaining half of the splintered bone spear. However, because of the bone spear lodged in its neck, the zombie was worked up and attacked!
Fortunately, the force behind its sword swing was definitely weaker than before. The damage it had sustained was critical.
The moment they clashed, Lee Shin Woo solely trusted in his instincts and used his Sprint skill, throwing his body at the zombie; and the zombie’s sword dangerously grazed the small of his back. A savage breaking sound passed by him, and Lee Shin Woo nimbly uprighted his body, and before the zombie could take a stance, he thrust the remaining bone spear piece in his hand into its neck!
[Ugh…. Kuhaaak, Keueeek…!]
It had definitely hit the mark. Moreover, the unstable neck had two thick spears lodged into it, so the zombie couldn’t even move, and merely floundered its hands around. The problem was that the sword within those floundering hands had a destructive power that couldn’t be ignored and that it was cutting through the air.
No matter how he thought about it, the zombie’s strength mostly came from its weapon, not its physical abilities. If not, there was no way that it would be able to easily cut through a level 2 weapon as if it were a straw!
Since he knew how frightening the zombie’s sword was, Lee Shin Woo didn’t hastily approach, and instead, stayed back safely, and took out his bow and some arrows from his inventory.
Although his Beginner Archery was only level 2, there was no way he’d miss at this distance. He notched an arrow on the bowstring, carefully aimed for its head, and fired.
It hit the mark. Of course, even with a headshot, a level 1 weapon wasn’t capable of inflicting a fatal wound. Though the kinetic energy from the arrow unleashed a force that violently shook the zombie’s head, and as a result, it only received an intense shock, rather than damaging its unstable neck.
“Here, have some more!”
He shot another, and then one more. Its neck extended and sagged and was accompanied by the sound of flesh tearing.
Its sword, which continuously cut through the air, had momentarily stopped. Despite that, Lee Shin Woo didn’t let down his guard, and once again notched an arrow, pulling the bowstring with all his strength, and… let go.
[The Beginner Critical Hit skill has become Lv2.]
The zombie muttered something, and the moment it took a step forward, its neck bone let out a horrifying breaking sound and broke. It couldn’t bear its weight, so the head completely tore off, and rolled onto the floor.
Lee Shin Woo forcefully stepped on its head, which had rolled up to his foot, without hesitation. That was the moment his vengeance was complete, and simultaneously, the moment his level up began.
[You have defeated a Lv2 Zombie Hero. You have achieved a feat of defeating an enemy with a higher level than you. Agility and Magic permanently increase by 2.]
[You have acquired a permit to access god’s secret shop. You have acquired 2,280 Perium.]
[You did not submit to defeat and succeeded in your revenge. Now, it is time for you to receive your karma.]
[Lv2 Feather Bone Boots (+1), Broken Lv2 Bone Spear (+3), and the Lv2 Zombie Hero’s arm bones are absorbed through Bone Reinforcement. The Beginner Sprint skill has become Lv7. Strength has increases by 5, Agility by 10, Health by 5, and Magic by 15. Absorbing a portion of the Zombie Hero’s memories and experiences.]
[You have learned the passive skill, Beginner Swordsmanship Lv1.]
[You have learned the passive skill, Low Rank Bursting Thunder. Beginner Spearmanship(Lv4), Beginner Swordsmanship(Lv1), Beginner Weapon Defense(Lv1), and Beginner Critical Hit(Lv2) have been absorbed into Bursting Thunder. You have acquired 17% proficiency in Low Rank Bursting Thunder.]
[You have achieved a feat of acquiring a low rank skill. Magic increases by 5.]
[The Bone Reinforcement skill has become Lv3. The skill effectiveness increases.]
The instant his level increased, despite him not activating his Bone Reinforcement, the bones rolling around everywhere gleamed, and disappeared. The energy within the bones was absorbed into him. Even the Feather Bone Boots he was wearing! Fortunately, he was able to receive all the abilities within still intact.
‘Ugh… my head hurts…!’
At the same time, memories were engraved in his head, overloading it. The Zombie Hero’s memories had obviously increased his level, and its knowledge of this world instantly flowed into him!
Lee Shin Woo suppressed his desire to lose consciousness by gritting his teeth and organized and accepted the flowing knowledge as calmly as possible. His body made a dreary sound as well, and was changing in real time. However, because he had such a large headache, he didn’t really feel the pain from the evolution of his physical body.
His feeble bones became thicker, and the shape of his bones looked more suited for combat, as well as more durable. Compared to his body, his excessively large skull had reduced in size and became sturdier, while the skeleton which didn’t have any dirt on it became slightly murky.
Meanwhile, a brand was engraved on his forehead, emitting a faint red light. Right now, Lee Shin Woo thought the word meant avenger, though he had no way of knowing. It was proof that his decision to defer his level up and prioritize taking down the zombie was the correct choice.
[You have become level 2. The effectiveness of your stats increases. Your inventory increases by 10 boxes.]
[Due to your achievement, you have gained the ability of an avenger. You have learned the passive skill, Beginner Avenger Lv1.]
How much time had passed since that message had appeared? He had frantically organized his brain and while he accumulated the knowledge, as well as the information, his front was filled with messages. For the first time, Lee Shin Woo realized that the pain that afflicted his body and mind had gone away.
He had gotten a hold of himself, surveyed his surroundings, and then took a sigh of relief. Despite the commotion, no monsters had appeared. Perhaps the Zombie Hero he had fought had killed all the living beings in the dungeon.
Too many things had changed all at once. He needed to more precisely understand the dungeon, if for no other reason than to explore the dungeon. Lee Shin Woo briefly took a deep breath and muttered status.
[Lee Shin Woo]
[Skeleton Avenger Blessed by God]
[Lv – 2(Status effectiveness 110%)]
[Strength – 73 + 10 Agility – 77 + 10 Health – 61 + 10 Magic – 43 + 10] (While the dungeon bonuses still apply)
[Passive skills – Invisible Heart Lv3, Acting Lv2, Beginner Avenger Lv1, Low Rank Bursting Thunder Lv1, Beginner Archery Lv2, Beginner Magic Affinity Lv2]
[Active skills – Bone Reinforcement Lv3, Beginner Sprint Lv7, Beginner Shriek of the Dead Lv2]
And then he suddenly realized that defeating the Treasure Eater or the Zombie Hero had been a miracle.