2 hours had passed since Damien decided to hunt once more, but his ominous feeling never lessened. Coupled with the fact that he felt like he was being watched, his vigilance was at an all-time high.
Damien walked through an unexplored area of the second floor and watched his environment carefully. Throughout his entire 2 hours of walking, he hadn’t run into a single beast.
Although the Grey Wolves were the most prominent beasts on this floor, he had run into many smaller and weaker beasts during his travels, however even they were nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, he heard a branch snap.
From behind him, he heard the growl of a beast, however, he didn’t make any sudden movements. ‘A beast that could approach me without alerting my senses! No matter how strong this beast is it’s definitely on a completely different level than the wolves I’ve been fighting.’
Damien slowly turned around. When he did, he saw a wolf incomparable to anything else he’d seen on this floor. It was around 3 meters tall and its grey fur contained patches of black here and there.
With its every movement, black lightning coursed through its figure and charred the ground around it. Its aura was so suffocating that Damien was almost completely rooted on the spot.
The wolf stared at Damien with a level of rage and intelligence that none of the other wolves possessed.
When it had returned from its hunt earlier, it had found that many of the younger wolves in its pack were being slain one after the other. Its kin was one of them. In its rage, it tracked him down and confronted him itself.
Damien didn’t know what level this beast was at, but he knew he couldn’t face it with his current strength. ‘Is this the difference between classes?’ He thought to himself as he prepared to run.
Damien knew he’d be a fool to turn his back on this beast right now, so his only options were to go left or right. Looking at the beast vigilantly as if he was preparing for battle, Damien lowered his body. Then, he turned right and ran as fast as he could.
The wolf, however, didn’t move, seemingly wanting to toy with its prey. After Damien made a good amount of distance, the wolf let out a howl and shot forward. Within only a matter of seconds, it caught up with Damien, slashing its claws forward at a speed he couldn’t follow.
Before Damien knew what had happened, he lost feeling in his left leg and tripped. The wolf had precisely severed his Achilles’ tendon.
Biting his lip to muffle a groan of pain, Damien began teleporting away, however since he wasn’t in a correct state of mind and was moving linearly, he couldn’t escape.
Every time Damien made distance, the wolf caught up immediately, inflicting more flesh wounds on Damien while he continued fleeing. But as he teleported forward one more, he realized the wolf had stopped its pursuit. When he raised his head, all he saw was a vast expanse of darkness.
Damien felt despair. Behind him was a monster he couldn’t even begin to imagine defeating, and in front of him was a vast abyss whose depth was unknown. He looked to his left and right, and realized that the area around him had narrowed, leaving him without an escape path.
The wolf stared at Damien, and noticing the despair that was forming in his eyes, it felt elated. This was the scene it was hoping for. It wanted the killer of its kin to feel the sensation of death slowly encroaching him. He wanted Damien to feel fear he’d never felt before.
Damien was desperate. He knew he would die here if he couldn’t kill this wolf, but his options were limited.
Looking at the deep abyss in front of him, Damien had a crazy idea. ‘If it comes down to it, I can always do that.’
Since Damien knew he couldn’t run anymore, he prepared himself for his body to break down during this fight, however, he wasn’t too worried.
Once he achieves his 1st class, his injuries will be healed and his stamina will be replenished, although only on the surface level. He wouldn’t be able to regrow an arm or anything that major.
Damien took out his short swords and vanished from the spot, appearing at the wolf’s back legs. He stabbed both of his swords towards the same point and hoped it would be enough to damage the wolf.
However, his hopes were crushed. Even with all his strength, he was only able to make a small cut into the wolf.
Damien vanished again, appearing on the other side of the wolf, as he resolved himself to cut until the wolf bled out. Sadly, the wolf wouldn’t let him do as he pleased.
Due to the difference in combat experience, it only took a minute or so for the wolf to figure out his patterns. Leading to claws or a gaping maw greeting Damien every time he teleported.
Although it was clear that the wolf had a lightning affinity, it didn’t take Damien seriously enough to use it.
Like this, the fight continued for several minutes. While the wolf still only had a few gashes, there were plenty of cuts on its body that were leaking blood.
But Damien was in a much worse position. His whole body had been covered in cuts, with a deep gash running along his back, he was bleeding profusely, and it looked like he had no chance to win.
When the strain of constant teleportation combined with the wounds he received from the wolf, his internal organs were only a couple hits away from turning into mush.
At this point, Damien wasn’t even thinking properly. All his fear and despair were locked away as his focus stayed solely on keeping his life. His whole being was focused on the word that had become his motto ever since he was stranded.
His gaze focused on a deeper wound he had made on the beast’s neck and he saw an opportunity to win, however, before he could move, he felt his consciousness grow thin. An intense wave of fatigue almost overwhelmed his senses.
With his body in such a terrible condition, the fatigue he’d accumulated finally crashed down on him. He felt his weakness clearly, and he sensed death approaching. ‘No. No. No. No.’
He couldn’t accept it. He hadn’t even reached the truly grueling floors of the dungeon, yet he was already going to die? After all that resolve he built up, after all those inner monologues he used to calm himself, he would end up dying here?
He refused to accept it. He stared at the beast in front of him with a maniacal glint in his eyes. ‘Good. Good good good!’
Something had snapped within his mind.
He charged once again, completely ignoring the pain that was forcing his consciousness down.
The wolf stared at him with what seemed like contempt in its eyes as it opened its mouth. As Damien stabbed into its neck, it bit down ferociously, tearing off his arm.
However, Damien continued to ignore the pain. His body was in a state of shock, but he moved again with teleportation. Before the blood could even flow from his now armless nub, he was on the wolf’s back, stabbing and slashing continuously with the arm he still had.
”Awoooo!” The wolf howled in pain, feeling the sharp blade tearing through its flesh.
Blood spurted out of the beast’s wounds. Although he sacrificed his left arm, he finally made a substantial wound on the wolf. But Damien wasn’t in the state of mind to celebrate this achievement.
As he stood with blood, both his own and his opponent’s, covering his body, he only had one thought in his head.
‘I need to survive’
He strengthened his grip on his weapon and even while coughing up more blood that was now mixed with bits and pieces of his organs, he kept stabbing and slashing.
‘Survive. Survive. Survive’
As the single word repeated in an endless loop, he tore into the wolf, which was already starting to become sluggish from blood loss. He stabbed down once again, however his weapon broke on contact.
‘Survive. Survive. Survive.’
Even as he lost all his bearings from blood loss, even as death began to embrace him, he could only hear one word. He stuck his hand into the wound on the beast’s neck and ripped it open, sinking his teeth into its raw flesh.
‘Survive. Survive. Survive.’
He clawed, bit, and ate, and with the last bit of reasoning he maintained, he used the broken weapon to stab into the gaping hole in the wolf’s neck.
The wolf began to fall. Its eyes were filled with unwillingness, thinking that if it just used all its power from the beginning, it wouldn’t have ended up in this state, but there was no medicine for regret.
However, it wouldn’t go down easy. Even if it died here, it would take the human that killed its kin with it.
Staring at the abyss that was only a slight distance away, the wolf jumped.