The 31st Piece Turns the Tables

REAPER SCANS

 

The 31st Piece Turns the Tables

[Translator –  goguma]

[Proofreader – Karane]

 

Chapter 126

‘A Special Title!’

Even though it felt like Seol was now collecting titles whenever he breathed, it still felt amazing whenever he acquired a Special Title or an Inaugural Title.

 

[[Title: Foolhardy]

Related Achievement: We’ll Cheer for You (Adventure: Labyrinth of Penance)

Bonus Effect: Your odds of being poisoned are slightly reduced.]

 

[[Special Title: Gifted]

Related Achievement: Effort Is a Talent Too (Adventure: Labyrinth of Penance)

Bonus Effect: The rate at which your Talent's proficiency increases during study or practice is improved. Additionally, the rate you are inspired is increased.]

 

‘It’s a title related to Talents.’

Seol had two Talents. The first was Monster Cooking, which advanced from Cooking, and Insight.

‘I was thinking Insight would advance soon too… this will help it out.’

Based on how Seol received a message that Insight’s proficiency was greatly increased previously, it was likely that Insight’s advancement would happen soon as well.

And this title would reduce the time Seol needed to get there.

 

- Finally 😭

- I thought it’d take 3 days at the most, but… I guess it really is a deep study.

- It would have went a lot faster if they didn’t knock out every time LOL

- Fainting is just a part of the curriculum 🙂

 

‘Even so… has it been two months already?’

It was nearing the three-month point since Seol entered the Labyrinth of Penance. However, he had spent over two months in just the Penance of Patience.

‘I’ve searched a large area around here, but I wasn’t able to find any door.’

There wasn’t a specific, concrete method to escape the Penance of Patience. Even the Blood Saint wandered around for a while before stepping through a door that suddenly appeared.

Seol slowly started to become impatient.

 

[Your Mental Contamination has reached 70.]

 

That was the message that appeared not too long ago.

‘If it gets delayed any further… it could be dangerous.’

The next day, Seol approached Toki to receive his council.

“So… Toki.”

“Hey, it looks like we have to move our base.”

“...Huh?”

Surprisingly, the first to bring this up was Toki.

"Isn't it slowly approaching the time... when you have to find the door now?"

“......”

“Let’s go then. It didn’t seem like the door was anywhere near here. You haven’t… found anything around here, right?”

“I haven’t.”

Seol had forgotten it.

Toki, too, had come in here as a flagellant.

‘He needs to find the door as well.’

Seol had been searching for the door for two months, but Toki had been searching for it for ten years.

Seol had been forgetting that fact.

Toki smiled wide and spoke to Seol once more.

“Let’s go find the door.”

Since then, Seol wandered the desert with Toki and Chubs.

Fwiiiiiii!

“Urgh…”

Sand continued to enter Seol’s mouth despite his efforts to cover it.

He had to conserve the water he had barely managed to scrape together.

Even though Seol was somewhat able to solve his hunger, he wasn't satisfied merely because his stomach was full.

Toki’s beard had grown to the point that it was practically a bush, and Seol had grown a beard as well.

Fwooosh…

Particles of sand clung to their beards.

“Haah… Haaah…”

They had been wandering for ten days.

To begin with, they hadn’t found the door yet.

Despite that, Toki didn’t lose his smile.

Toki remained positive even when Seol, someone who was a bit emotionally detached, struggled.

“What about here? We could set our base here for now and resume our search.”

“...Alright.”

“Cheer up. At least we don’t have to starve anymore, right?”

Toki flashed his missing teeth.

Still, Toki’s smile was more than enough to wash away Seol’s pessimistic attitude.

Toki truly was a special person.

He was also someone Seol loved dearly.

This sentiment remained true even now, of course.

Seol didn’t know how to describe him. Toki was someone who had separated himself from the world and only kept happiness by his side while pushing down his pains.

Even though it seemed impossible for someone like that to actually exist, Toki was proof they really did, in fact, exist.

Each night, Toki would say the same thing to Seol.

“I pray that God grants you a pleasant dream.”

The reason Seol’s Mental Contamination did not surpass 70, despite spending over three months here, was likely because he was in there with Toki.

He wasn’t lonely.

It was manageable.

As long as he was with Toki.

Smile

Whenever he saw Toki’s smile, he was reminded he wasn’t alone in this painful desert.

Their days together continued.

Whenever it was bright out, he wandered with Toki.

“So, what I’m trying to say is that effort won’t solve anything, but you shouldn’t make conclusions without putting the effort in first. Those without tenacity are pessimistic—”

“It’s the fifth time.”

“Huh? What is?”

“Your fifth time bringing this up.”

“Hahaha! That still isn’t enough!”

 

- Stop… Please stop…

- I got it! So he’s the real boss!

- Gotcha bitch!

 

Like that, Toki and Seol enjoyed such talks during the day, and…

Dash!

Ffft!

“Your waist is open!”

“Urgh!”

Fwooosh!

“Your legs aren’t sturdy enough!”

Baaaam!

“Ah! Sorry!”

Seol was tossed into a pile of sand. He spat out sand while dusting himself off and standing up.

“I have a bit of sand in my mouth, but I’m alright.”

“Are you upset?”

“Again!”

“Haha! Youth really is the best! I love that energy!”

Seol wasn’t just surprised by Toki’s heart.

Baaam!

“Urgh…”

“Haha, it’s just because you lack experience. Your movements aren’t bad.”

Every night, before dinner, Seol and Toki sparred to improve their skills.

Seol's Shadow Summon might have been sealed, but since he could still transform into an experienced fighter when he entered the Night Crow form, a monk made for quite a nice sparring partner.

However…

Baaam.

“Krrgh…”

“W-Was that one too strong?”

“Bwrgh…”

Seol fell to the sand and began vomiting.

‘He’s… way too strong.’

Toki was powerful.

This was the true form of Toki, the Unseemly.

Toki, despite being a monk, had nearly zero divine power, and his method of praying was always different. He did whatever he pleased.

He was clearly a shoddy monk, but the strength that he had accumulated wasn’t a lie.

‘Well… he did eat food made from monsters for over a decade… his stats must be monstrous too.’

Toki was strong originally as well, but he was even stronger now.

“How could you throw sand into my eyes like that?”

“Oh, I’m so sorry… Should I wait for you to transform as well?”

“......”

 

- He’s not wrong LOL

- I mean… you gotta wait for them to transform, right? LOL

- FOR SUUUUUURE

 

“There’s nothing unfair in life.”

“I never said it was unfair.”

“Ah, really?”

 

- He knew it himself too LOL

- He admitted it haha

 

Seol clenched his teeth and shouted again.

“Again!”

“Haha, nice tenacity!”

Bam!

Baaam!

Their sparring sessions were a significant help in overcoming the boredom that faced them wandering the desert.

Toki’s small teachings helped Seol fill what he was lacking.

One day, Toki suddenly said something to Seol.

“Let me pass down to you my secret skill.”

“Secret skill?”

“Watch carefully and learn.”

Dash!

Toki sprinted across the sands and weirdly punched the air before gesturing like he clenched something.

“Now! Attack him!”

“...What? What are you…”

“Huh?! This is why kids like you need to know how to read the room…”

Toki then began explaining.

“Now, this is a secret skill called ‘Mob Beating...’”

 

- He’s just jumping a dude LMFAOOOO

- He’s ganging up on someone LOLLL

- I can’t believe he talks about it like a secret skill hahaha

- Toki pulled a Toki haha

- Isn’t this just being like, “I’ll grab him, you hit him!”? If it’s a 17 vs 1, this is what the 17 would naturally do.

- This is too embarrassing to even call a skill HAHAHA

 

* * *

Reaper Scans

Translator - goguma

Proofreader - Karane

Join our Discord for updates on releases! https://dsc.gg/reapercomics

* * *

 

Seol showed his disappointment and asked Toki a question.

“Is that… all?”

However, it was Toki who felt more disappointed, not Seol.

“Why… is it weird? Or… are the motions embarrassing?”

 

- Don’t be sad!

- You did nothing wrong, Toki!

- Fucking Snowman! Hurry up and learn it!

 

Seol shook his head.

“Not at all. I was just so interested in it that…”

“Haha! I knew you’d recognize the point of interest in this. This secret skill isn’t used to overwhelm someone when you outnumber someone. That would be too unfair, right?”

 

- What? He knew it too?

- Toki’s capable of self-reflection.

 

"This skill is used by the weak to fight the strong. Now! Follow along. This is Mob Beating.”

“...this is Mob Beating.”

“No, I was talking about the movements!”

Like a ground move from MMA, Toki put his arms through Seol’s armpits and clasped them together behind his head.

“You can only call yourself a true fight once you are capable of this.”

“Ah…”

“The weird movements in the beginning are to take away their sight and to get closer. They will 100% notice it if you approach them from behind, especially if they are someone who’s strong.”

“Do I… really need to learn this?”

“You learned the other skills really well. Do you not like this one?”

“It’s not that… It just seems like it’s not useful if only I know this skill…”

“No, you have the completely wrong idea! This skill’s point, surprisingly, is the person attacking, not the person holding the target.”

Seol was surprised by it.

“How so?”

“The attacker must strike immediately for the one restraining the target to avoid being attacked. Keep that in mind. Drill this into your head! You have to pour out everything when that small opening is created. That's why it's a secret skill. So, um…”

 

- I’m dropping this course.

- I can feel my course fees crying.

- Can ya’ll see this? This is why college is a scam!

 

There were some teachings that Seol didn’t understand, like that one, but he still learned a lot through their spars.

Dash!

Bam!

In the beginning, Seol had a lot of unnecessary movements in his fighting style. However, now, he moved like an experienced fighter in the backstreets.

The problem was that his movements were now too much like it.

As Seol absorbed Toki’s moments and worked on their teamwork, he received a message.

 

[Superb teaching has elevated you to another level.]

[Awakening! You awaken a new skill.]

[You awaken Passive: Debauchee's Movements.]

 

- Superb teaching SHEEESH

- Haha! It’s a success! You’ve become a great debauchee! Now, let’s go roll dice!

- Even the system admits that it looks bad LOL

 

 As night came over the desert, the two went to sleep.

Toki used to have minimal sleeping habits, allowing Seol to enjoy restful nights.

However, as their search for the door continued, Toki's sleeping habits worsened, eventually reaching a point where they started to disrupt Seol's sleep.

“...Wh-why should I… Why?!”

“...Toki?”

“Why… should I… here!”

“Toki!”

Seol ran toward Toki, who was breathing heavily, and shook him awake.

“Krah!”

Toki woke up, letting out a loud shout.

“Haah… Haaah… Th-thank you.”

“Were you having a nightmare?”

“...It’s a dream I have often.”

Crackle…

Crackle…

They struggled to fall back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night.

As a result, the two of them sat by the campfire to warm their bodies.

Seol broke the silence.

“What kind of dreams were you having?”

“...Are you curious?”

“I am.”

Toki thought for a moment before speaking.

“Have you… ever thought that the fate given to you was cruel?”

“The fate given to me… is cruel.”

Seol was also a victim of fate.

It isn’t every day that you fall from the heavens and get wrapped up in a strange plot.

“Like I’ve said before, I did not come from the best home.”

“Yeah.”

“Still, even someone like me had a dream. I wanted to be an excellent monk, spreading peace and guiding those evil to good through faith. Perhaps, in those days, I believed that becoming a monk was the route to redemption despite my troubled origins.”

“......”

“That was probably the first time that I felt fate was cruel. One day, a priest came to me. He told me that he didn’t even feel an ounce of divine power from me. He doubted if it would even ever sprout.”

“I see.”

“Could you imagine how much I despaired? Especially since I believed that a fist without faith was simple violence… ah, there’s a funny story about that too. The priest who told me that was caught visiting brothels with the money the people donated to the church. And because of that, he was beaten to death by the believers.”

Toki sighed.

“Yeah, even though he died like that… the priest's words were right. I had nothing. Not mana, not divine power, not even athleticism.”

“Still, now you’re—”

"I've managed to refine my body to this extent through my faith, but... this is my limit. Others are going forth into the world to make it better, but I’m… I’m still here. I wonder how unsightly my struggles were to them.”

Toki sprinted with all his might, his gaze fixed solely ahead. However, to those ahead of him… it would have appeared nothing more than child's play.

“Toki, the Unseemly. That’s what they called me. Do you think I’m unseemly too?”

“...Not at all.”

“I lost track of what I was talking about. We were talking about how cruel fate was, right? Yeah…”

Toki looked like he was in pain.

“When I first entered the Labyrinth of Penance and was put to the Penance of Patience, I had guts. I was young, and I had a strong body. I believed I would overcome this trial easily and go save the world. Even though… I was someone who couldn’t even save myself.”

Seol had momentarily forgotten about it, but Toki had spent years here. Despite his prolonged effort, he had yet to find the door.

Toki kept moving his mouth, but the words didn’t come out.

He simply swallowed it over and over.

Until…

He said something Seol didn’t expect at all.

“To tell you the truth… I’m already dead.”

“...What?”

____

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