The 31st Piece Turns the Tables

REAPER SCANS

 

The 31st Piece Turns the Tables

[Translator –  goguma]

[Proofreader – Karane]

 

Chapter 135

Janet had appeared in a… unique way.

Seol immediately pressed her with questions.

“What was that toad, and what are those jewels on your body?”

“They’re all things I bought recently. What do you think? You like them?”

“Even that big toad?”

“Yes, and only refined merchants such as myself ride those elegant creatures.”

“...I don’t get it at all.”

"It's difficult to grasp with human understanding. Nevertheless, I'll try to understand even that part of you."

Seol didn’t understand what was praiseworthy about coming out of a toad’s mouth and taking its tongue down to the ground.

“Is it like a trend in your world?”

“Kind of? It might look ridiculous to you, but do you know how much this costs? Well, that’s exactly why I’m using it, though.”

“Did you suddenly become rich or something? Your outfit last time was a lot more… humble…”

"Rich? Well, kind of, haha. Do I come across as someone who just became wealthy and is squandering all their money?"

“A bit.”

“Woah, how honest. Well… I guess I can’t deny that I’ve lined my pockets fairly well after receiving the commendation.”

“Commendation?”

Janet smiled and began boasting.

“It turns out that… my trade volume was at the highest amongst the merchants or something like that. To be honest… it was kind of inevitable. The other civilizations barely have anything, even if you try to squeeze it out of… Uh… I’ll stop there.”

“Other civilizations? Squeeze what out?”

“That’s why I said I was going to stop there. My higher-ups will scold me if I share information without permission.”

“I thought you weren’t the type of person who cared about that.”

“Normally, you’d be right. But I still need to pretend like I’m listening to those fossils, you know? They’ve lived hundreds, if not thousands of years more than me, after all.”

“Hm…”

Even though Janet didn’t say much, Seol could still infer a few things from it.

‘So, Madness likely doesn't just exist on Earth and this connected world...’

Despite the swarm of questions in his mind, Seol knew it was impossible to pursue them further. As such, he opted to ask other questions.

“But having the highest trade volume means… Did you really trade that much Madness, Janet?”

“Of course! Ah, it was thanks to you too.”

“Thanks to… me?”

“Yeah, I sort of… mentioned your existence.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“There were some humans who were on guard against me. So I mentioned that you were one of my trade partners.”

“...Did it work?”

“I don’t know… Would anyone be able to resist trading if I revealed that the individual with over 3 million points exchanged over 10,000 Madness with me? Thanks to you, I made multiple trade partners and created better conditions for myself.”

Seol thought she was ridiculous for doing that, but he chose not to do anything as he had also acquired a lot from working with her.

Ultimately, the two of them were bound to each other through trades. As long as they could continue this exchange, everything else was meaningless.

“So… why did you appear? I didn’t use the invitation.”

"It's not as if I'll only appear when you use the invitation. Certainly, we'll trade when you want, but wouldn't there be times when I'd want to as well?"

“You leave me at a loss for words.”

“Oh, also, I enjoyed watching your experiences in the labyrinth.”

“...You watched all of that?”

With a shocked face, Janet laughed loudly.

"Of course! It's not as if we merchants work every day, you know? When we don't have tasks at hand, we also observe you all, like the residents of other worlds. Observing you serves both as work and personal interest."

She observed them to discern their needs and also because she was fascinated by them.

Merchants seemed like an unusual bunch.

“But the reason I observed you in the labyrinth… was mostly for the latter reason.”

“......”

“If I could tell you something a bit funny… a lot of merchants are talking about you these days.”

“So I’m just gossip for them, huh.”

“Well, you’re not wrong? But it isn’t necessarily bad for you.”

“What do you mean?”

"It means a lot more merchants want to do business with you now. There are plenty of eccentric merchants, but there are also those who only sell their wares to people they like, you know? And those merchants usually have a lot of special wares. What do you think? Doesn't this get you excited?"

“Not particularly. But doesn’t this just put your position at stake?”

Janet’s eyes were shocked wide with confusion.

“Me? No, not at all.”

“Why not?”

“The merchants who came last time to compete spread a bunch of rumors. Rumors that you and I have a really close relationship.”

“Really?”

“I didn’t believe it at first either, but I nodded along once, right? And they all just swarmed me, believing it! Hahaha! Those idiots… Well, it’s better for me this way. Because of that, merchants believe that the items they want to sell to you have to go through me. All with a small fee, of course.”

“Do they really want to trade with me that badly?”

“They’re also curious about your stories, but they also gain some status from trading with you. The more you trade with big spenders, the more reputed you become, so… Well, you could essentially just think of it as the merchant’s status being directly correlated with the famous clients they handle and how well they maintain that relationship.”

“Is it really that important?”

“Of course. And thanks to that, you’ll also get better trades, Snowman. You’ll be shocked to see what I’ve brought for you today.”

“Show me then.”

“Say less!”

Flutter!

In an instant, a colossal market, reminiscent of the scale of night markets, materialized.

There were many items on stand and on display. However, only an amateur would check each and every one of these items individually.

Instead of looking at the individual items, Seol walked through the market while reading the interface in front of him.

Scroll… Scroll…

He didn’t even glance at the items he didn’t need.

Madness was a scarce resource. For that reason, he had to focus on acquiring items that were currently difficult or impossible to obtain.

Step…

“Ah, that reminds me. The ingredients pouch I bought last time didn’t work properly in the labyrinth.”

“......”

“Do you have anything to say about that?”

"...Well, what I had with me then was the low-end product. It turns out there's a flaw that causes it to not work in special situations like that."

“So, what you’re going to say is…”

“I will replace it free of charge. Happy now?”

“Definitely.”

Seol gave a devilish smile and picked out the most expensive ingredients pouch he could find.

 

[[Meticulous Ingredients Pouch]

Quality: Madness

Recommended Level: N/A

Weight: 0.1kg

Bonus Effect: Ingredients will neither rot nor spoil in this pouch. Each container can be set to a different temperature, and there is a lot of room for ingredients to be stored. However, only food ingredients are allowed storage, and certain food ingredients cannot be stored. This is an improved model that has fixed its internal defect.]

 

“Ah! That’s the high-end model, though…”

“‘...High-end model, though’?”

“So it suits you perfectly, Snowman. I guess the low-end model really was bad, huh?”

Seol then requested Janet to upgrade his This&That Seasoning Jar from Special-quality to Rare-quality.

After that… he began scrolling again.

“Let me get this, this… and this as well.”

 “You’re picking a lot of poisonous plants… Ah, I think I know how you’re going to use them.”

“Yeah, and… huh?”

Seol looked at an item.

‘I can’t believe this is here.’

“Let me get the ‘Love-Hate Deer’s Sachet’.”

“Hah! I knew you’d recognize its value right away. I was only able to get one of those.”

“How much is it?”

“20,000 Madness.”

“...That’s really expensive.”

“Because it will be that useful. Are you already aware of how to use…”

As Janet began trying to read Seol’s expression, he responded.

“I do.”

“Great.”

After making multiple purchases, the list of items that Seol had acquired had grown significantly.

Seol, believing nothing left was worth purchasing, quickly scrolled to the bottom only to find something interesting.

“Wh-what?”

“What is it?”

“I’m talking about this, the ‘Biometal Ingot’.”

“Ah, I see! You’ve picked something quite appropriate, haven’t you?”

The 'Biometal Ingot' was a material obtainable only through a special monster known as the Armor Rat.

Armor Rats, as their name suggests, possessed skin with exceptionally strong defenses resembling armor.

Numerous individuals have sought to use Armor Rat's leather as a material for their equipment. However, due to the scarcity of drops and the rarity of Armor Rats, it was a tremendous feat.

These Biometal Ingots were the results of overcoming such adversity and collecting the scarce drops. The effects were as below.

 

[[Biometal Ingot]

Quality: Madness

Recommended Level: N/A

Weight: 100kg

Bonus Effect: An ingot crafted from the leather of countless Armor Rats. It has the effect of enhancing the raw damage of weapons. Though it cannot be applied to Peerless-quality items, it can still be applied to Divine Relic, Abomination, and Madness quality items.]

 

Janet spoke up in a triumphant tone.

“20,000 for this one as well! What do you think?”

“How much Madness do I have right now?”

“Hold on… Your current Madness… Um… Subtract that and that, and… Ah, got it.”

Janet scratched her head, thinking the Madness Seol had was a bit ridiculous.

“117,000 Madness.”

“Then give me as much as I can get with that.”

“...What?”

“Biometal Ingots. As much as I can get with 117,000 Madness.”

“H-Hold on. What should I… I don’t even know if I have that many ingots…”

Janet shouted back when Seol shot her a disappointed look.

“It’s a really rare material! I have 300kg's worth because it’s me, you know…”

“......”

“Just wait a second, then! Hold on!”

Fade…

A red haze surrounded Janet, and she began talking into the fog as if she was calling someone.

“Yeah… it’s me, it’s a bit urgent…”

“No, like right now. Are you deaf or something…”

“I’ll send you the coordinates right now, so…”

And after about five to ten minutes…

Fwoosh… Fwooosh…

The space opened up, and two merchants appeared.

“Senior merchant! I was in the middle of a trade, you know? I hurried here because of you!”

“I only have one of these! How could you just suddenly ask for this from me?”

The first voice sounded like a young man, while the second sounded like a young woman. The two were, like Janet, Madness Merchants.

They began inspecting Seol the moment they entered the space.

“Woah… Is he that…?”

“I-I’ve been enjoying your stream.”

“You little brats. Just give me your items and scram!”

“Tch… you’re only taking the good things for yourself.”

“Right?! This is tyranny, tyranny! Janet’s a tyrant just because she’s a big shot!”

Janet did her best to hold back her anger, calming down.

“I’ll… I’ll create an opportunity for you guys later too.”

“I’ve always respected you, senior merchant. Farewell.”

“She really is kind to those who are nice to her. See you then, Snowman! Let’s enjoy our time a bit more next time, okay?!”

Five ingots were now placed into Seol’s inventory.

“I can’t lower the prices for these. These aren’t sold because there’s a lack of supply, so…”

“It’s fine.”

“Then I’ll look forward to next time, hoping you’ll call me first! Thank you for the good trade this time as well. This was Janet, signing off!”

 

[You have acquired Biometal Ingot x5.]

[You have acquired Meticulous Ingredients Pouch.]

[You have acquired Love-Hate Deer’s Sachet.]

[You have acquired Starving Clown Mushroom Powder.]

[You have acquired Regret Moss.]

 

* * *

Reaper Scans

Translator - goguma

Proofreader - Karane

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

* * *

 

It had now been twenty days since Seol arrived in Audenin.

Everyone was discussing the public information released about the events in the Labyrinth of Penance.

Seol was now in the Adventurer Association, looking through the posts.

 

[(NEW) [<SenilePigeon>’s Post]

[Post Date: Just now]

[Title: Coo… Coo… Guys, do you know this?]

(Recent News) The Labyrinth of Penance disappeared somewhere. No one knows where it is now.

- We knew about that three days ago…

- Recent? LMFAO

- It’s because of Coo… Coo… the time zones… asshole.]

 

[(NEW) [<YOLOPigeon>’s Post]

[Post Date: Just now]

[Title: Coo… Coo… What did the alliance say about the events?]

(News) The alliance is now sharing information about the Labyrinth of Penance. Surprisingly, they made an official letter of cooperation and paid some adventurers to go to other locations to share this.

- We know about that too…

- Stop ruining my mood, Coo!

- Where can we see the letter, though?

- It’s hard to understand anything about it, though…

- Ah, I summarized it before. Hold on… I’ll create a new post.]

 

[(NEW) [<NoobsRCute>’s Post]

[Post Date: Just now]

[Title: There was a noob who said they didn’t see the cooperation request letter, so I’m summarizing it.]

1. The Audenin guild alliance and an outsider they invited challenged the labyrinth. They attempted it three times, with 2 failures and 1 success. However, the successful attempt resulted in the most deaths.

With that, a total of 5 people have died in their three attempts.

2. They don’t plan to share details about the labyrinth’s trials. This isn’t because they’re trying to hold information but out of consideration.

This is in case someone uses the limited information they could gather as confidence to attempt it.

The labyrinth gave awful rewards compared to its unimaginable difficulty. Basically, don’t waste your time and don’t go in.

However, in case someone gets their hands on a token and wants to attempt it, we’ll leave this behind.

3. The leader of the final party that cleared it had points in the early millions, and the person who took on the final penance had points in the mid-three millions.

Park Changsik, the party leader, couldn’t help at all, and the person who had three million points received severe injuries. The rest of the party members died.

The monster that appeared at the end of the labyrinth was much stronger than the transferee who had 3 million points, and they were only able to defeat it through sheer luck. However, Changsik was unable to do anything at all.

Changsik couldn’t do anything as the monster carved out bits and pieces of the other transferee.

As such, because we have reached a verdict that the Labyrinth of Penance is impossible to clear at this moment, we hope that this news spreads far.

I emphasize this one more time.

Don’t enter the labyrinth.

Don’t go into the labyrinth, even if you have a death wish.

- Huh? They really wrote it like this?

- Nah, it was like 3~4 times longer than this? I summarized it.

- Ah, thank you.

- You guys have no reading comprehension, after all :)

- Woah, I guess it’s worse to be the later person to enter the labyrinth then?

- It might be better to enter it first, then.

- It might be better to not enter it at all if you value your life.

- Still, it took four months to clear? That’s so fucking long LOL.

- Your points go up like crazy, though. The person who entered it has 5 million points now.

- WTF… How strong are they, then? Will they really be that much stronger than me? Are points really everything?

- They are.

- I guess I can’t deny it. I won’t fuck with them.]

 

Seol was satisfied with what the alliance did after clearing the labyrinth.

‘Right now… entering the labyrinth is essentially a death sentence.’

It would be impossible to clear unless the individual had near 10 million Adventure Points.

Obviously, even that wasn’t a guarantee either.

Seol looked through the various posts, and as he did… he saw a familiar name.

‘...Huh?’

There was a blinking letter emoji near the name. It seemed like there were more messages as well. As Seol tapped on the letter, he saw a collection of them.

 

✉️[Friend <CollegeStudentsMustDie>’s Letter]

[Send Date: 4 months ago]

[Title: It’s me, Somi! How’s the south? Is it manageable?]

 

That was probably her first letter.

 

✉️[Friend <CollegeStudentsMustDie>’s Letter]

[Send Date: 3 months ago]

[Title: Oppa? You haven’t responded to me at all. Has something happened?]

 

‘This was around the time I couldn't contact her because I was in the labyrinth.’

And this message… arrived not too long ago.

 

✉️[Friend <CollegeStudentsMustDie>’s Letter]

[Send Date: 10 days ago]

[Title: Seol oppa, are you the one who cleared the Labyrinth of Penance?]

____

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