Chapter 2: Dungeon Cleaner.
“What? 4 million won? This is a joke. No, isn’t this a Class 1 dungeon? Moreover, the field type? Even though it is a Class 1 field type dungeon, you know how wide it is. It will take 12 hours to neutralize the dimensional force in the dungeon. Do you know the price for ‘Dimensional Power Neutralizers’ these days? It is 300,000 won for 3 hours. If it takes 12 hours then that is 1.2 million won. Are you saying that this isn’t a normal cleaning? Then how many evil creatures remain? Neutralizing while taking care of the remaining creatures….then I have to defend the neutralizing devices for 12 hours. Am I really being paid only 4 million won?”
Su-hyuk spoke rapidly due to his anger.
It was unfair no matter how he thought about it. The basic cost of 4 million won for cleaning the Class 1 dungeon was correct but when considering the situation in the dungeon, 4 million won was a ridiculous amount.
“Hyung, I will honestly admit it. These days the prices of cleaning has come down as a whole so what am I supposed to do? These days, the default fee for cleaning a Class 1 dungeon is 3 million won.”
“Admit it? 3 million? That is too cheap for the skills required. You must remember the Chinese incident that occurred when they didn’t know how to use the neutralizer. I won’t do it even for 4 million won.”
To be honest, Su-hyuk was quite stubborn.
It might be called a 1st Class field dungeon but cleaning it wasn’t that easy for Su-hyuk. In particular, all the major existences in a normal dungeon were cleared but it was difficult in a field dungeon. If so, he would have to take care of the creatures that survived with dungeon weapons.
Dungeon weapons were created from rocks and materials from the creatures.
These weapons were called ‘Dungeon Weapons’ and were much more expensive than normal weapons. The most mediocre rifle made from the bones of a monster was sold for a minimum of 10 million won.
Then the magic bullets that entered the rifle would cost 50,000 won for a bullet. In other words, 10 rounds of magic bullets would cost 500,000 won.
When looking at all these things, 4 million won absolutely won’t be enough for the job.
“Hey Mister….then how much will you do it for?”
Kim Yeon-gyu, the person offering the job to Su-hyuk asked. In fact, he also knew that Su-hyuk wasn’t wrong. He didn’t want the job to be refused.
“550. Give me that much.”
“No. The order is 500. I can’t give anything beyond that.”
“Ah fuck. You got 500 and you only offered me 300? Ah, a guy like you is trash.”
“Heheh, I also need to live.”
“That’s it. Get lost. There are many other brokers.”
“You are really a child! I’m the one frequently giving you work.”
It was true. Kim Yeon-gyu might be human trash but he definitely asked for Su-hyuk a lot.
“No matter what we do, we are still wallowing at the bottom of society. And this is a real deal.”
“I understand. I’m sorry.”
Su-hyuk could only reply like that after hearing his words. Su-hyuk was also aware of the fact that he was trash. But it was because of Yeon-gyu that Su-hyuk could live like this.
In fact, dungeon cleaners weren’t welcome anywhere they went. Due to the nature of the dimensional force, exposure to it meant they could die at any time.
People could buy the expensive ‘Mana Cure’ but that didn’t fully heal the exposure to the dimensional force. The only existence free from exposure to the dimensional force was a ‘Knight.’
Anyway, this was the reason why dungeon cleaners couldn’t mingle with the general public. That dimensional force would spread so there was a law that dungeon cleaners weren’t allowed to come close to people.
That’s why the amount of dungeon cleaners was extremely limited.
“Then how about 500?”
“Hey, this guy. I understand. 500 it is.”
Su-hyuk reluctantly nodded. In fact, So-hyuk might have courage but he had been considerably anxious these days.
He had good skills as a dungeon cleaner but the prices were ridiculous these days and work was decreasing. Moreover, the trend these days was for Knight Divisions to hire their own dungeon cleaners so the freelancers were losing their place.
“Good thinking. Then I will tell you the dungeon coordinates. The lock was just released so you can enter.”
“How many hours before the dungeon opens?”
“Earlier it was 22 hours but now there should be 20 hours left. Preparations will finish in approximately 5 hours and then you can enter.”
When humans first attacked the dungeons, they had killed all the creatures inside the dungeon. But as soon as they opened the dungeon door, all the dimensional force spread out like an explosion.
Dimensional force exposure was dozens of times more dangerous than radiation exposure. More humans died from dimensional exposure than from the creatures so they realized how dangerous it was.
So a Dimensional Power Neutralizer was developed. A Dimensional Power Neutralizer could completely get rid of all the dimensional force.
Su-hyuk received the coordinates from and immediately began preparing the equipment. The coordinates of the dungeon wasn’t far but he didn’t know what would happen once he started cleaning.
‘Hyu….this isn’t easy. Should I place a resume with a Knight Division?’
Su-hyuk wondered if he should stop being a freelancer. But then he shook his head.
‘The dimensional force exposure will be too severe that it would just be a vain act.’
The problem was the dimensional force exposure.
Su-hyuk was he older among the current dungeon cleaners. The concept of dungeon cleaners started 15 years ago and Su-hyuk had been doing this for 10 years. He started at the age of 15 and now he was 25 years old.
He didn’t know whether it was good or bad but at least Su-hyuk had survived until now. The dungeon cleaners usually had a limit of 5 years.
After 5 years of hard work, they would use the money they saved to buy a Mana Cure or the dungeon cleaner would die after 5 years….it was one of those options.
In that sense, it was incredible that Su-hyuk could last 10 years. In particular, he didn’t have the money to take even a single Mana Cure. The money he earned was always used to buy various types of equipment.
Thanks to that, his skills grew by leaps and bounds but the exposure symptoms became more severe.
It was strange how he lived every day so far. The reason why he lived like this as simple. His life was hell anyway. 17 years ago, his family died due to the creatures and his life had been hell after that.
So he didn’t have much to regret in his life. His life was hell but the thing he wanted to do the most was hunt the monsters.
But he couldn’t become a Knight. Su-hyuk couldn’t hunt monsters in dungeons so he was left with cleaning them up. That’s why Su-hyuk worked harder than anyone else to clean dungeons for the past 10 years.
Now he was increasingly feeling the limits but he wanted to continue cleaning up the dungeons.
‘Anyway, all the people important to me have died.’
Su-hyuk thought about his bitter reality before closing a large trunk containing his equipment.
So-hyuk had no meaning in his life.
Every day was hell for him.
* * *
Su-hyuk navigated to the coordinates of the dungeon that Yeon-gyu gave him and quietly opened the trunk.
There was a playground where children used to play. Of course, the entire apartment complex was abandoned so the playground was empty.
Suwon Colony was a fairly large colony but there were many areas with a barrier around them. A long time ago before the Zero Impact occurred, many apartment complexes were built in Yeong-tong.
The Yeong-tong colony was small compared to the Suwon Colony and there was a gloomy atmosphere around the apartment complexes.
Sometimes refugees would enter these colonies but no one knew when a dungeon would appear. Therefore it was difficult to obtain electricity and water.
There were rumours that the government planned to connect all colonies in South Korea. But the problem was that no matter how much the government said it was safe, people refused to leave the barriers of the colonies.
It wasn’t easy to protect the barrier stretching over the colonies from the dimensional force exposure and beasts.
“First…check the dimensional door….”
The door wasn’t open yet so he needed a ‘Dimensional Key.’ The Dimensional Key was a consumable good and different keys were required for dungeons with different ratings. Therefore, the keys were incredibly expensive.
But once a key had been used to open the door of a locked dimension, he only needed to use a Dimensional Power Scanner to open it again.
The scanner was aimed at the coordinates and a translucent, red door appeared in front of him.
It was the typical size for a Class 1 dungeon. The larger the size of the door, the higher the rating. He heard that the door for a Class 4 or 5 dungeon was extremely huge.
“Now, let’s go.”
Su-hyuk verified the dimensional door and entered with his big trunk without any hesitation.
“Sheesh, a jungle style is really annoying.”
This was a field type dungeon.
A 1st Class field dungeon was approximately 3 times the width of a football field. Usually field type dungeons had a jungle, mountain or desert style. Sometimes there would be unusual snow or sea environments but a jungle, mountain or desert was the most common.
Out of the jungle, mountain and desert styles, Su-hyuk disliked the jungle style the most. There was a lot of terrain for concealment in the jungle style so it wasn’t easy to spot any creatures.
‘It might be precious but I need to use the claymore.’
The claymore that Su-hyuk had was naturally made with the bones of a beast and the ‘Magic Circuit’ contained in it gave an explosive power.
The price for one was 1 million won. He didn’t want to use it here but it would be dangerous if a creature jumped at him.
Su-hyuk roughly finished his preparations and operated the Dimensional Power Neutralizer.
A Dimensional Power Neutralizer would only last for 3 hours so he placed 4 devices in order to last for 12 hours.
‘This is a 1st Class dungeon so won’t there only be shadow cats or dogs?’
The shadow cats and dogs were the representative 1st class beasts. Only 1st class creatures would appear in 1st class dungeons. Sometimes there were grade 2 creatures but they were normally already killed by Knights.
Su-hyuk inserted a magazine with 20 magic bullets into a’ Dimension Rifle’ that resembled a K-2 rifle.
And he aligned the control stick to single firing.
His heart wanted to shoot a barrage of magic bullets but each one cost 50,000 won. He didn’t know how many beasts there were so he needed to conserve as much magic bullets as possible.
The neutralizer continued to suck all the power from the surroundings. 12 hours was needed in order to neutralize all the dimensional power in this dungeon.
The dimensional power was like air to the creatures existing in this dungeon. He was getting rid of this so it was natural for the remaining creatures to go crazy.
In some cases, people were stupid and used the neutralizing device without preparing to counteract the beasts in the dungeon and would die. Su-hyuk thought that people who only wanted to look cool deserved to die.
Once the device was activated, all the monsters remaining in the dungeon would go mad and jump at him. Those that went crazy were in a berserk state.
One thing to note was that the creatures would become much stronger than usual. It wasn’t easy to deal with them one by one but once they were in the berserk state, the creatures would all attack at the same time.
Anyway, it was a basic strategy to not activate the neutralizing device until all the creatures were dealt with.
In fact, strictly speaking the neutralizing devices were originally made for Knights.
Hunt the monsters and clean the dungeon. That was the job of the Knights. But dungeon cleaning was too bothersome for them. Even the smallest Class 1 dungeon ‘cave terrain’ took approximately 8 hours to neutralize. This was a Class 1 rating so it would take a few days and even weeks once the rating rose.
The Knights were an expensive workforce so this task was annoying for them. In the end, demand rose so of course there would be some supply. Those at the bottom of society jumped to risk their lives cleaning the dungeon…this strange dungeon cleaning job was created 15 years ago.
‘They will come out soon….’
So-hyuk had been cleaning dungeons for a long time so he could guess the timing of the creatures.
Su-hyuk started seeing suspicious movements around the jungle.
‘They are coming.’
Su-hyuk tracked the suspicious movements with his Dimension Rifle.
Then he pulled the trigger without hesitation after capturing a suspicious movement.
The magic bullet shot from the Dimension Rifle penetrated through the head of the creature. Su-hyuk had been doing this every day for 10 years so it was easy for him to hunt the creatures.
‘Approximately 10 of them…sheesh, there are more than I thought.’
If he used 30 magic bullets then he could neatly process them. He would receive 5 million won with 1.2 million flying away because of the neutralizers and 1.5 from the magic bullets. Therefore he would only receive a profit of 2.2. million won.
When considering all the trivial consumables used, he would only receive 2 million won at most. He was risking his life with the dimensional force exposure only to barely receive 2 million won.
But Su-hyuk’s marksmanship was quite remarkable so he cleaned the creatures up quickly.
Of course, the creatures had a low rating but a cleaner was exerting considerable power against them. Su-hyuk fired his rifle and the bodies of 8 grade 1 creatures stacked on top of each other.
It wasn’t much but he could still obtain money from the bodies of the creatures. However, the corpses of the creatures were soaked in dimensional power so it was quite dangerous.
Only the bones, teeth and claws were worth some money. That’s why few people touched the body of a creature except for the cleaners.
‘I will organize this later….’
Su-hyuk had that thought while cleaning up a few more creatures. But then something happened that Su-hyuk never expected.
Chiiiiing! Kwa kwa kwang!
The space distorted and Su-hyuk’s neutralization device exploded.
Naturally Su-hyuk was pushed back by the explosion. The good news was that the creatures near the explosion were destroyed.
How much time passed?
Su-hyuk painfully opened his eyes.
Su-hyuk’s state didn’t seem that good.
Both legs were broken and there were many large and small wounds on his upper body. He was just lucky that he wasn’t involved in the aftereffects of the explosion.
‘What the hell happened?’
Su-hyuk calmly looked around. In the aftermath of the explosion, there was a huge crater in the dungeon.
‘Damn….my devices to counteract the dimensional force….’
The first thing that came to Su-hyuk’s mind was the 20 million won required to replace all the equipment. Without it he couldn’t be a cleaner.
It was a really desperate situation. But first he needed to think about leaving the dungeon alive before worrying about the equipment that exploded.
‘I need to send a rescue request…where is my trunk?’
Su-hyuk’s trunk seemed to have been blown somewhere in the aftermath of the explosion. He needed the dimensional scanner in order to enter and exit the dimension.
“Ugh, my legs….”
Su-hyuk bit his lips as he gazed at the mess that was his two legs. The situation really wasn’t good.
‘Huh? What is that?’
Su-hyuk noticed something strange when looking for his trunk. He didn’t know the details….a space distortion.
If Su-hyuk stretched out his hand then he would touch the strange distortion. He had been cleaning dungeons for 10 years but he had never seen a distortion before.
‘If there is a creature remaining….’
Knights who didn’t remove all monsters from the dungeon would be subject to neglecting the law. He didn’t know what it was but he carefully watched the space distortion in the dungeon.
‘Perhaps an exit was exposed because of the explosion?’
The possibility wasn’t unlikely. The dimensional forces inside the dungeon might have scattered from the explosion of the equipment and created an exit.
‘I will die under these circumstances anyway. Let’s just check it.’
Su-hyuk had concerns but he carefully reached out towards the distorted space. But the moment Su-hyuk’s fingertips touched the distortion. Su-hyuk felt a shock like 1 million volts of electricity had passed through him.
Su-hyuk’s body stiffened like a stone.
Su-hyuk couldn’t withstand the huge impact on his body and fainted. But some strange words echoed in his ears.
|-You have made contact with the transcendence system ‘X-4’.|
|-Ddiiii, language system has been initialized and repair of the broken system has started.
The user’s language system has become one with the system.
The entire system will be reconfigured and rebooted.
10, 9, 8, 7….2, 1, 0. Ddiii! System reconfiguration is over.
The user’s body has been perfectly reconstructed by the transcendence system.
The transcendence energy is low and ‘Jump’ can’t be used.
The emergency maintenance system will search for alternative energy sources.
|-Ddirik, available dimensional energy (SS) found.
From now on, the transcendence system’s basic power source will be dimensional force.
All the dimensional power in the vicinity will be absorbed to reconfigure the user’s body.
The basic interface of the transcendence system
|-Ddiring, the dimensional power has transcended time and space and connected to the Universal Store.
However, the security level is low so you can’t access the store.
The accumulated dimensional force has been reduced a level.
Congratulations. The dimensional power level is 19.
|-In the process of reconfiguring the system, ‘2244’ dimensional power has been consumed.|
|-Ddiring, an additional skill slot has been created.|
The strange words didn’t make any sense to Su-hyuk.
‘What the hell….this….’
Su-hyuk could only remember up to here.
In the end, Su-hyuk lost consciousness….he had encountered an unknown presence and collapsed to the ground.
* * *
Su-hyuk painfully opened his eyes.
It was raining inside the dungeon. Scientists had investigated why the weather changed in the dungeon. Some said it was a separate world while others said it was the world that the creatures lived in.
He moved his hand and felt the rain before raising his upper body. He was still inside the dungeon where the explosion had occurred.
“How long did I faint?”
He naturally looked around as he stood up.
“There was an explosion….ugh!”
Su-hyuk who was looking for signs of the explosion stared down at his legs with astonishment.
It was fine. There was no signs of broken bones and all the power had been restored.
That wasn’t all.
The large and small wounds on his upper body were also recovered.
It felt like a dream had finished.
However, Su-hyuk noticed something strange when he searched his body.
“W-what is this?”
A small button that looked transparent appeared on the outskirts of his vision….Su-hyuk stretched out his hand and carefully pressed the button.
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