Chapter 4: Stealing


 

Goblins, orcs, and ogres, known as the three major humanoid monsters, possessed a highly aggressive nature and did not shy away from battles.

 

As I observed those creatures scanning the area with restless eyes in search of the archer who appeared out of nowhere, I felt the tension in the air rising.

 

Approaching the nearest goblin cautiously, I activated an attacking skill for the first time in my life.

 

Strike Lv.1

– Deliver a powerful blow with 250% of attack power.
– Magic Power: 3/6 (-1)

 

As I used Strike, a somewhat usable skill with the club, a faint blue aura enveloped its surface.
I swung the club with all my strength, aiming at the exposed back of the goblin.

 

-Thunk-!

 

“Kehuk-!”

 

Despite the low stats, inferior weapon, and the lowest rank of the attack skill, it seemed to be enough to bring down a single goblin without any problems.

 

Was it because it was a surprise attack from behind?

 

As the fallen goblin lay sprawled on the ground like a loose string, I struck it again with the club, and the victory message appeared.

 

However, I shook my head and turned my attention to the remaining goblin, blocking its escape route.

 

The panicked goblin, who had been in a state of confusion after seeing both of its comrades quickly defeated, desperately tried to change direction to flee.
But, I stood in front of it and seized the opportunity.

 

– Thud-!

 

– Puk-!

 

“Kyaaak!”

 

This time, the arrow pierced through the goblin's knee bone, protruding out with its tip visible.
It was indeed a skill with penetration power.

 

The goblin struggled and revealed its dirty teeth as it swung the club, but its pathetic attack only made me burst into laughter.

 

However, contrary to such thoughts, my body did not follow my intentions at all.

 

– Clang-!

 

‘What kind of club is this…!’

 

I hurriedly defended against the swift incoming attack with my club, but it seemed like the durability of the club was already depleted.


 

'To think that I couldn't even avoid the goblin's club while I was crouched down.'

 

This was a fresh shock in itself.

 

The goblin raised one corner of its mouth as it observed my dejected appearance.

 

'Isn't it an inappropriate situation to laugh? Intelligence level is truly…'

 

-Phwook-!

 

“Kreak…!”

 

While the goblin was focused on me, it failed to notice an arrow coming from a diagonal angle, and it let out its final scream.

 

Was my presence enough to make the goblin forget about the archer? That couldn't be the case.
Perhaps it was also the goblin's first battle?

 

– Rustling-

 

Even though the battle was not particularly difficult, Yoon Hee emerged from the bushes with her bow drawn, cautiously scanning her surroundings as she moved towards the open field.

 

‘Now she's definitely following the basics…’

 

Seeing this side of her, who had been known for terms like “walking manual,” “young oldie,” and “inflexible,” actually made me feel somewhat relieved.
However, it also raised a question.

 

'Is it because of this dungeon that she seems to be on high alert, even though she doesn't appear to be overly relaxed?'

 

Since I had my sensory values expanded to stay vigilant of our surroundings, I didn't worry too much, but I decided to keep a closer eye on her.

 

“Ah…”

 

With a trembling heart, I checked the incoming message.

 

'Why am I getting nervous about this…'

 

I was curious about what I obtained through the [Steal] trait.
It couldn't be that that goblin had no skills at all, right?

 

– You have defeated a goblin!
– You have gained a small number of experience points.
– You have obtained a low-grade Mana Stone.
The Mana Stone will be transferred to the summoner's inventory.

'Hmm, the Mana Stone goes to Yoon Hee, of course.
That's only natural.'

 

– The [Steal] trait is activated.
– You have randomly stolen the Goblin's skill.
– You have obtained the skill [Dagger Throw]!

 


‘…Hmm? Dagger Throw? Goblins use daggers?’

 

Even when recalling information about the hobgoblins and goblin champions, who were the higher ranks of the goblins, I couldn't recall them using daggers…

 

– You have contributed to the defeat of the Goblin.
— You have gained a small amount of experience points.

 

The last one I killed seemed to have earned some experience points for blocking the path and holding out, even though I didn't directly attack it.

 

“You seem pretty relaxed! Hehe.”

 

Yoon Hee tossed three Mana Stones with her small hands, deftly looting the Goblin's pouches.

 

“January, get yourself a weapon too.
Yours broke, remember?”

 

I nodded and put the three clubs the goblins had been using into my inventory.

 

Roughly Trimmed Wooden Club

-Attack Power +2
-Durability 15/20

 

‘Wow! Still better than old and worn-out ones!’

 

Obtaining equipment with double the attack power (?) compared to my previous one gave me a slight boost in excitement.

 

– Clang-

 

“It’s only 2 silver… Disappointing, goblin friends.”

 

'Where did she learn such an old-fashioned phrase…'

 

Standing next to Yoon Hee, who was grumbling and pouting, I extended my hand toward her when she reached out.

 

“Shall we see what skill January got? Here we go-“

 

As she held my wrist and nodded, she suddenly raised her head, looking puzzled.

 

“Dagger Throw? Did they even have a skill like that? But why aren't they using it?”

 

Probably 100 out of 100 hunters would react like this.

 

“Well, they may not be aware of what they have because their intelligence is low.
By the way, wow, you really stole their skills! Amazing!”

 

After fidgeting for a while, she began to cut off the goblins' ears with a knife.

 


“Look, January.
If you cut off the tips of the goblin's ears like this and bring them out, you'll get money as a subjugation reward.”

 

Familiarly, she cut off the goblins' ears, placing them into a brown leather pouch, and tied it shut with a string before putting it into her inventory.

 

“Can you do it?”

 

“Ttt-Tik-!”

 

In my previous life, what had I done the most as a guide? It was gathering these subjugation marks and dismantling the loot.

 

When a certain number of monsters accumulated in the dungeon, the gate would burst open, causing the monsters to spill outside.
To motivate hunters to subjugate these monsters, this system was put in place.

 

By bringing these marks to the office at the entrance of the dungeon and getting them verified, we would receive the settlement a few days later.

 

‘Maybe it was 3,000 won per goblin…’

 

It might not be much money, but every little bit counts.

 

“Let's go, January.”

 

We moved from place to place again and searched for the lake.
There were many monsters near the lake, so Yoon Hee was trying her best to restrain herself from talking as much as she did in the room.

 

Being cautious of the monsters gathering due to the noise was one thing, but the most frightening thing in the dungeon was, without a doubt, people.

 

Although the Goblin dungeon was the lowest-rank dungeon, the hunters who entered were not that remarkable.
Nevertheless, it was precisely because of this that unexpected incidents sometimes occurred.

 

Like the six men fighting right in front of us.

 

In the dungeon, one of the main reasons for fighting was the [Rune], which had a minuscule chance of dropping.

 

Although all of them seemed to have decent skills, they were covered in wounds and blood.
However, no one had suffered a fatal injury.

 

In the midst of those men was a leather bag, and beside it, a stone the size of a baby's fist, with a reddish hue.

 

‘Rune of vitality…’

 

A familiar design with three circles overlapping.
It was a rune that would increase one's health by a certain amount just by putting it in the inventory.

 

The gazes of the six men were fixed on that stone, and they remained vigilant of each other.

 

'Were they trying to kill the person who consumed the Rune, hoping it would drop?'

 

The loot inside the dungeon was always determined based on combat contributions, so until it was bound to someone, anyone could take it.

 


However, once it was bound to someone and that person was killed, there was a probability of the equipment or rune dropping.

 

Unlike equipment, which had a high probability of evaporating upon the owner's death, runes had a high probability of dropping, which was why such incidents occasionally happened.

 

What was lying on the ground might have been dropped after they were attacked while admiring the Rune.

 

'Yet these fools risked their lives over a low-grade Rune from the Goblin dungeon…
Their minds are really shattered.'

 

Still, like those fools, I was also tempted.
I already had a gold-plated skull, so this shouldn't be that bad.

 

Naturally, my eyes met with Yoon Hee's.

 

(January, can you do it?)

 

Her whisper, with many omitted details, made it clear what she meant.

 

– Nod-

 

Mana: 1/6 (-2)

 

Spending two mana, I activated stealth and dashed forward without hesitation.

 

Stealth consumed one additional mana every 30 seconds, so speed was crucial.

 

Yoon Hee had already secured an escape route and was slowly moving backward.

 

– “Why the hell are you bastards making such a fuss over a simple rune?”

 

-“Haha, if you just left it alone, none of this would have happened.
It's better to drop it before getting into real trouble.”

 

– “Damn it!! You have to die for a rune to drop, but you seem eager to send me to an early grave! Who the hell do they think you are?”

 

– Splash-!

 

– “Kek-heh…”

 

– “Cough-cough…
You bastards!”

 

One of the teammates, who seemed to be the owner of the rune, threw a small vial towards the enemies, and a light green smoke rose from the shattered vial on the ground.

 

'Poison? Perfect timing.'

 

Having already reached the rune lying on the ground in front of my bag, I quickly picked it up and sprinted straight toward Yoon Hee.

 

– “Huh? Where did you go? My rune?!”

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