Necromancer Survival - Chapter 25
“That’s not it…But even if the party is small, they’re a group and you’re alone. It’s better for us to avoid confrontation.”
Well… He has a point. The Tower of Command is so dangerous, and the only one I could fully trust here was Seo Dawon.
I asked, “Should we turn around and leave?” But, he shook his head, as if asking me to wait one moment. There seemed to be more to check out, still.
We waited for about 10 minutes…Finally, I began to see the small silhouettes of people off in the distance.
That large man in the lead….
“Do you know them?” Seo Dawon asked, after seeing my expression.
“I think the man at the front was the person that I paid to carry me through this dungeon: Kim Sangyoon…But he’s too far away to know for sure.”
With great effort I looked again. That impressive size and that signature red hair–I was 90% sure the approaching person was Kim Sangyoon….But, as I had my doubts, I began to retreat for safety.
However, I had overlooked a crucial point: parties consisted of various different classes. And, in these high-level Dungeons, parties most likely contained the highly sought-after Treasure Hunters, essential to a successful raid. Before I could fully identify the other party, something shone over what I presumed to be the Treasure Hunter’s head, and the people began to rapidly approach. It was then that I realized that the Treasure Hunter’s skill [Hawk Eye] had been activated. Before we could hide ourselves and observe the situation, we had already been exposed.
Fortunately, at a closer look, the other party was revealed to be Kim Sangyoon’s group. I did not run away, for I believed that the others would help me escape. After all, I had paid for their guarding services.
However, how should I explain Seo Dawon, next to me…I couldn’t think of a good excuse for his presence while also keeping the nature of our contract a secret.
Berserker Kim Sangyoon and his party must have had a long dungeoneering career… 1 Wouldn’t some of them recognize Seo Dawon’s face?
Even if his identity wasn’t revealed, it would be hard for me to say that I had met him coincidentally within the Dungeon–only parties were allowed to participate. Any lie would be filled with widening plot holes, ones too big to ignore…
“What should I say?” I asked.
“About you. I should have put you in my system space before the others used ‘Hawk eye’….”
“Yeah…We can’t let rumors of your resurrection spread.”
However, I could no longer safely say another word: Kim Sangyoon’s party had come close enough that I could clearly see his expressions.
As soon as I stopped talking, Kim Sangyoon jumped into the air and landed right in front of me in an instant. Perhaps the more one levels up, the more the body transcends–becoming more like a warrior as the essence of the class lines itself into cells, mutating during mitosis.
“Hey! You’re alive?!” Kim Sangyoon held onto my shoulders and shook lightly. His husky voice expressed both disbelief and relief. His reddening face belied his great worry for me after I had separated from the party.
I laughed half-heartedly and mumbled, “I was lucky…” I guess I was slightly touched that Kim Sangyoon, who was a notorious miser and cared only for money, was worried about me.
“These are people that are supposed to carry you through this dungeon? They don’t look too strong.” The heartwarming atmosphere was soon broken. My expression froze at Seo Dawon’s thoughtless and candid evaluation.
‘There’d be confrontation even if you just quietly existed, why would you go and make yourself a target like this!’ I was afraid that Kim Sangyoon would retaliate with harsh words.
I tried to salvage the situation, “Oh, right! This is…..”
However, Kim Sangyoon spoke first. “You’re not hurt anywhere?”
“Huh? Yeah….I mean, I was hurt just once…But I healed myself with potions.”
“What happened beneath the lake? Ji-hwan said he lost contact with you, so we spent about an hour searching for you, dude.”
“Ah, really…? I don’t really know either…I passed onto a different location…”
Huh? That’s strange. Didn’t he hear what Seo Dawon said…?
Even if Kim Sangyoon didn’t hear those callous words, he ignored the man standing by my side and talked only to me. The whole situation felt disconnected from reality.
How could anyone not give an obvious stranger a single suspicious glance? The odd behavior was all the more confusing when I considered how sensitive Users usually were, paying close attention to the most trivial details in the Dungeons.
Would paranoid Users truly ignore someone they had never seen before? Stranger still, Seo Dawon was calm, as if he expected the others to ignore him. I looked between the party and my servant, trying to puzzle out this contradiction.
As Kim Sangyoon’s party members caught up to our location and, one by one, surrounded me, the invisible boundary between Seo Dawon and the rest of the Users became quite distinct. Just like Sangyoon, the other party members never acknowledged Seo Dawon nor asked me about his presence. No one acted awkwardly, as if they were purposefully ignoring the revived man.
When I looked at Seo Dawon, who stood a ways away from the group, with a puzzled expression, he gave me an inexplicable smile and pointed beneath his feet. His body did not cast a shadow.
* * *
“You really have killer luck.” The Animist told me. If it weren’t for his water spirit’s oxygen helmet, I would have died after I fell into the lake.
Alongside Kim Sangyoon, all the others were extremely surprised as well. “Hey! How did you survive!?” they asked, harmlessly. I briefly explained all that had happened, only omitting the details of my contract with Seo Dawon.
The tales of my escapade required a dubious suspension of belief and faith in luck or the gods, but no one seemed to confront me with serious doubts. However, after listening to my story, Kim Sangyoon said, “From now on, stick close to me. Alright?” I wasn’t sure if his blunt instructions came from a place of compassion or scolding.
Still touched by Kim Sangyoon’s uncharacteristic show of kindness, I walked quietly behind him without bothering to quibble with his commands.
…..Except, Seo Dawon, who only I could see, suddenly began to make sarcastic remarks towards Kim Sangyoon. “What pretense, does he think he’s strong?”
I tried to signal through my gaze the inability to comfortably answer him now. However, when Seo Dawon’s eyes met mine, he simply drew closer and began to talk earnestly.
“Is he your friend? Ah, but you have none…Did you pay him to carry you?”
Though Seo Dawon seemed to be talking to himself, I felt that it was too unfair to leave his questions unanswered, especially when I felt his penetrating gaze in my periphery. Eventually, after checking to see if anyone was paying attention, I nodded.
Even though by this point Seo Dawon should have understood that I couldn’t easily answer his questions without appearing like a madman, he continued his interrogation. “How much did you pay? A lot?”
I lightly shook my head, to indicate that I couldn’t give him an answer.
‘Let’s talk after we get out!’ My eyes blinked at him, hoping to convey my desperation.
But my second servant wasn’t even half as intuitive to my inner thoughts as my first. Lackey wouldn’t have given me this much trouble. “Are you ignoring me?” he said, voice drawling.
‘You! Just wait till we get out! Have you no tact?!’
Instead of speaking, I discreetly slapped Seo Dawon’s arm. Only then did he seem to realize that I wasn’t willing to respond in order to maintain a composed facade.
Suddenly, the system’s messaging function activated.
A message from your servant, ‘Seo Dawon,’ has arrived. Will you accept the conversation?’
Seo Dawon: Hi 2
……What on earth?
I clicked my acceptance and stared, puzzled, at the translucent window that transformed into a chatting application.
Seo Dawon laughed, “As expected, you had no idea this existed?” He seemed retroactively amused at my struggles. I was miffed–but what could I say? It was true that I knew little about the system and its functions. Conscious of my surroundings, I held my fingers aloft and slowly began to type.
Choi Leekyung: I had no idea. You’re the first person I’ve ever revived.
“When new functions get added to the system, don’t you thoroughly check the updated features?” His disdain was clear in his voice.
I secretly glared at him with a sidelong glance, but he wasn’t intimidated. Seo Dawon shrugged his shoulders and nodded at the message window. His imperious expression was the same as when he dared me to speak informally.
Choi Lee-kyung: Wow~ You’re so smart^6
I was sarcastic, as I had nothing else to say. However, Seo Dawon didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he giggled quietly as he replied [lololololololol]; my gentle insult didn’t seem to have any lasting impact.
Seo Dawon did not end the conversation and instead asked me again, through the messaging app, [How much did you pay to get carried? lolol]
TL: That feel when a skeleton is more intuitive than your new servant~ MC can be mega sarcastic if he wants to be lmao.
- The original slang term is 짬밥 (jjambap). It’s often used in the military, school, or the workplace to indicate a long history of working.
- Often, in korean, slang involves truncated words or phonetically sounding out letters in english. Here, the original text said ㅎㅇ, ㅎ = similar to the ‘h’ sound in english. ㅇ = a vowel sound–here it means i. Together ㅎㅇ = Hi, or any informal greeting.