Chapter 5: An Unchangeable Future
The owner of the Rune, who had arrived near the bag just in the nick of time, looked around anxiously.
Capturing that scene in my eyes, I ran about 30 meters more when gradually, my stealth started to wear off.
(Let’s go, January!)
Following Yeon Hee’s urgent hand gestures, I continued running while crouching down as much as possible, trying to get out of their sight.
Even after reaching a safe distance, we kept running for a while before finally stopping.
“Phew! Seriously, that was funny, Hehe-”
She couldn’t suppress her laughter, which burst out despite her labored breathing, and she covered her mouth, chuckling softly.
Vitality Rune (Normal)
Vitality Rune (Normal)
– Stamina +4
‘It may be a weak value, but it’s something useful.’
As she gazed once again at the Rune emitting red light, I handed it to her.
huh? Oh, the Rune!”
She rotated the Rune in her hands as if it were fascinating and then offered it back to me.
“You should hold onto this for a while.”
Even if I had insisted, she would have reluctantly agreed, but thankfully she handed over the ownership to me.
As soon as I thought about the Rune stored in my inventory, the Rune in my hand faintly dimmed and disappeared.
Stamina: 7 (+4)
– Stamina increased by more than twice at once.
‘At least it’s a little better.’
“Just in case, let’s go in the opposite direction of where those people were earlier.”
We continued moving for about 20 more minutes until we arrived at a place where the ground was littered with monster puppies gathering together.
Monsters in the form of dog-like creatures, frolicking around in the mud and munching on grass.
They looked very much like cute country-mixed breed puppies, about the size of medium-sized dogs.
Among the monsters in the dungeon, these cute monsters were the only ones with an omnivorous diet.
Moreover, they didn’t run away even when approached and only wagged their tails, making it incredibly difficult to kill them.
There was no need to say more since the question of whether or not one could kill puppies was on the hunter practical test.
However, their front claws were very long and curved like shovels.
When attacked, they hide underground like moles, so it was best to kill them with a single strike to avoid wasting time.
“Let’s just leave the ground puppies alone.”
I knew you wouldn’t kill them.
It’s been like this since you were young.’
As I stared at her quietly, she spoke again.
“It’s just… It’s kind of sudden to attack them while they are eating…”
‘Don’t make excuses to your summoned beat.’
The ground puppies existed in all dungeons, and even in my previous life, I didn’t remember her ever killing those cute creatures.
However, she showed no mercy to other monsters.
I liked this aspect of her, so I just stood there without a word.
“Let’s take a short break.
Now sit down here.”
She sat on a rock that was concave and suitable for use as a chair and patted the side.
‘She treats me like a complete baby.’
But before I knew it, I found myself sitting right next to her.
I could feel her looking up at me as if I was an intriguing discovery.
If this were before I became a skeleton, having a beautiful woman lean her face close to mine would have left me flustered.
But now, as a skeleton, I couldn’t express any physical reactions.
‘It’s convenient at times like this.’
Today, I decided to pay more attention to my surroundings and be attentive to my mission rather than responding to her.
If she were to discover that I was human, she might not summon me again.
“This is so fascinating.
No matter how much I think about it, you…”
like a human, not really like a monster.”
‘Hmm, this isn’t good…’
She was examining me closely, and surprisingly, I didn’t feel any repulsion from her.
“Phew- what am I talking about?”
She couldn’t help but giggle as she put her hand over her mouth.
But seeing her like that, my heart wasn’t very pleasant.
‘Hmm… I’ll have to adjust this well.’
As far as I knew, she fell into a terrible distrust of human beings from her childhood because of her poor family background.
Father, stepfather, uncle, and older brother.
Assault, alcohol, gambling, fraud…
It would only dirty my mouth to mention the despicable behavior of her family members.
Nevertheless, it was fortunate that her mother’s kind nature had a significant influence on her.
However, life in the guild after her mother’s death was far from happy.
With one side of her face terribly distorted and lots of people whispering behind her back that she was unlucky because she controlled monsters, she was well aware of her circumstances.
Nevertheless, she risked her life to stop the dungeon break.
It must have been the result of trying to carry out what her mother said often, thinking it was her will.
Anyway, if she found out that I was human, she might never summon me again.
‘It’s difficult, that’s worse than death.’
I once thought about the possibility of communicating through writing, but I threw away such delusions far away.
For now, I should pretend to obey her orders as much as possible.
“Actually, that’s why I like you more.
I don’t have any friends, but now I feel like I’ve gained one.
A friend who always looks after me! Isn’t that wonderful?”
‘Definitely, I can only look after you.
More than that…’
Since a while ago, I had been sensing something.
There was something above us, on the branch.
I thought of observing it for a while, but now it was wriggling and approaching with certainty, targeting Yeon Hee.
It was a slime.
A translucent irregular monster.
This creature could somehow elongate its body even on thin branches.
In about 30 seconds, it would reach Yeon Hee’s head.
Why would such a shoddy dungeon have something like this? I had always wondered.
‘Surely… In broad daylight like this, one might not have thought it would attack from the top of a tree branch.’
The Hunter theory test mentions being cautious of slimes hanging from the ceiling in caves, but this situation was something I had never heard of.
A slime on a tree? In the first place, such creatures prefer dark and damp places, it was unexpected to see one outside in the bright daylight.
my presence has already affected the future.
But what’s meant to happen will happen, right?’
After briefly considering the meaning of the things I was doing, I felt my mind grew cold.
‘Haa! You find this amusing, don’t you?’
My task was to prevent what needed to happen from happening.
Let’s focus on what needed to be done right away.
Currently, I could move without any specific commands, but the extent of my actions was limited to shrugging my shoulders, nodding my head, and raising my arms.
Although I felt a slight increase in my action range as my level rose, it was not a significant change at the moment.
I urgently made a sound, pointing upwards.
“Huh? What’s up there?”
‘That’s right! Check it quickly.
How simple is that?’
However, after briefly glancing upward, she shrugged her shoulders.
“There’s nothing there.”
‘What?! No way?’
I raised my head again, squeaking, to look up, and that cunning slime creature had stretched its body and hidden on the tree branch.
I could clearly sense it, but it was invisible to human eyes.
I used to think it was nonsense that slime intelligence was at the level of a five-year-old child, but now it seemed true.
Probably because I made a sound and pointed, it seemed to have hidden its body.
‘Damn it, I have to move quickly.’
Despite my anxiety, she firmly held onto my arm, and no matter how vigorously I shook my arm in front of her face, she was just giggling and not showing any signs of moving immediately.
’I can’t even flinch because my strength is low.
For now, I need to find a way to stop it…”
‘I can’t stop all of that guy’s acid with this bony arm, so the only thing I can do is…’
While organizing my thoughts, the slime started its movement.
The slime swung its body once, then spat out its acidic fluid.
Soon, it would spray the filthy acid onto Yeon Hee’s face.
– Thunk-! Crunch…
“Kyaaah! What, what is it?!”
I quickly extended my right arm above her head and simultaneously summoned three crude wooden clubs from my inventory.
With my left arm, I shielded her head.
Actually, I tried to push her head away, but my feeble strength could only make her slightly tilt her head forward.
Luckily, all the acidic fluid hit only my arms and the wooden clubs, causing them to sizzle.
I hurriedly pointed upwards for her to see.
“Huh? A s-slime?!”
She hastily moved back and started to nock an arrow.
The slime quickly moved toward the tree side, not missing the chance.
An arrow pierced through half of the tree branch and hit the slime’s body.
However, unless the core was removed, physical attacks barely inflict any damage on slimes.
‘First, let’s knock it off the tree.
Will this work?’
I tightly gripped the wooden club, which was fizzling with acidic fluid.
Dagger Throw Lv.1
– When throwing a dagger, Attack Power +5%, Accuracy +20%
– When throwing any object, Accuracy +15%
I wondered why the goblins didn’t use it when the skill effects were so good.
I threw the wooden club in my left hand toward the tree branch.
‘One more time.’
The wooden club barely missed the tree branch, and the slime fell along with it.
Health: 5/7 (-2)
“Hmph, did it take 2 points off just from getting hit by the acidic fluid in my arm? My body is really weak.
Maybe it’s even worse because it hit my bones?”
I found myself in a situation that people commonly refer to as “getting hit in the bones,” but it was more like a passive ability for me.
“Good job January! Now finish it off! Just hit the black ball moving inside its body!”
She aimed another arrow at the fallen slime.
In response, the slime quickly moved its core to the other side.
It was amazing how it, a creature with no eyes, could accurately detect the direction of attacks.
The core, having dodged the arrow, hovered in the same spot for a while, so I used the club held high in the air to [Strike] it.
Magic: 0/6 (-1)
Even though my magic was depleted, the effect was clear.
The liquid that made up the slime’s body scattered on the ground after the core was hit, and the usual messages appeared:
– You have defeated a Slime (Normal).
– You have gained a small amount of experience points.
– You have obtained a low-grade mana stone.
The mana stone will move to the summoner’s inventory.
– The skill [Wall Climb] has been activated.
– You have stolen a random skill from the Slime (Normal).
– You have obtained the skill [Acid Spray]!
– Your level has increased.
Please choose three attributes to raise.
Unconsciously, I clenched my fist and cheered inwardly.
Until we escape from the dungeon, we couldn’t let our guard down, but at least considering the current situation, I undoubtedly changed her future.
‘Okay, I’ll invest in my stats later.’
A small mana stone floated up from the slime’s remained and flew towards Yeon Hee.
I picked up the core of the slime that had fallen to the ground.
‘This is worth 1,000 won too.’
I handed the slime core to Yeon Hee.
She put the core in a leather pouch and suddenly hugged me tightly.
“Thank you, January! If it weren’t for you, I might have been seriously hurt! You even warned me in advance, and I…”
‘Wait, aren’t you hugging too hard?’
Just in case, I checked my status window again.
Health: 6/7 (-1)
My health decreased by 1 even though my level increased and my health was restored.
There was no doubt that it was damage caused by being hugged by her.
“Huh? Oh no! Sorry! I almost got you in trouble! Are you okay?”
I didn’t bother to react and just stayed still.
‘I’ll have to adjust the timing and act like a monster.
I am a monster.
I am a monster.’
I repeated the mantra to myself while observing her reaction.
However, it seemed like she didn’t care much about my reaction and was examining my right arm, which was splattered with acidic fluid.
— END OF THE CHAPTER —
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