Chapter 3: First Battle


 

''Rest'…
Does that mean…
going back to that place again? No way, I can't!

 

She closed her eyes and extended both palms towards me, starting to recite an incantation.

 

'Ugh…
I really don't want to.'

 

Thin threads of mana emanated from her palms and gently wrapped around my body, and my body slowly began to relax.
Some time passed like that.

 

.

.

.

 

'Hmm?'

 

She opened her eyes slowly, glanced at me, and tilted her head.
Then, she started reciting the incantation again.

 

'Ugh…
I'm losing strength.
Is this really going in this time?'

 

“…?”

 

'…?'

 

“Huh? Why is this happening?”

 

Clearly surprised, she approached me and recited the incantation once more, but once again, it ended in failure.

 

“It's not working, January.
What should we do?”

 

Feeling that something was off from the beginning, I shrugged my shoulders at her.

 

“It's strange.
Apparently, this is how it should be done.”

 

She made more than ten attempts after that, but all of them failed.

 

'Should I say I'm glad? At least I don't have to worry about going back to that terrible place.'

 

Did she experience such trial and error in her past life too? Probably not.

 

There was a reason for that assumption.
Most of the monsters she summoned were monsters that appear in dungeons, except for a few.

 

If this had happened before, there would have been a record of chaos on the road while heading to the dungeon with the monsters in tow.

 

'Is it because of me…
because I don't want to go?'

 

She had a deeply disheartened expression.
The slight wetness around her eyes clearly indicated her diminishing confidence in her own abilities.

 

“This is the last time,” she said, adjusting her posture once again.


 

'I should just go in…
I'm going in, so I hope you don't make that face.”

 

I went inside, and I thought over and over again that I wanted to go back to that place.

 

 

Then…

 

– Creak-!

 

The massive door behind me swung open and swallowed me in an instant.

 

“Ah, January!”

 

..

..

..

 

– Bang, thud!-

 

– Creak-!

 

'Damn it, please put me down a little gently.'

 

“Ttt-Tok!!”

 

As if I was being thrown, I bounced out of the door.
After expressing small dissatisfaction with a crackle of anger, I blankly stared at the gigantic door that glowed faintly.

 

Although I instinctively felt that I had to go back to the place I was at the beginning.

 

'I don't like this place.
I don't want to crouch here.'

 

So, I just plopped down in front of the door.
Even so, there was no other force acting on me.

 

'When will Yeon-hee…
call me?'

 

Probably after entering the dungeon.

 

'I wish she would call me sooner…'

 

* * *

 

“Hmmm-Mmm~ Umhm~”

 

Summoner Lee Yeon-hee was in a very good mood today.
It was because her first summoning was successful, and she felt a sense of satisfaction that couldn't be described as just 'successful.'

 

“January…
Hehe, he is so cute.”

 


Thinking back to the foolish way he looked at the club, she chuckled again.
However, she also started to worry about her role in the dungeon.

 

In battles where she only had to worry about herself, now that she had a summoned being, she had to develop the ability to handle multi-tasking.

 

“I'm not sure if his agility is high enough to avoid getting hit.
Hm…”

 

She hadn't reported the fact that she had achieved a 2nd Awakening as a summoner to the Hunter Management Office yet.

 

When she first awakened, for a while, faint blue feathers rose from her body and she couldn't hide them.
But with the 2nd Awakening, there was no such external change, so she planned to report it when she became proficient enough to use it.

 

After showering and lying down on the bed, she looked at a bright photo of her mother and spoke.

 

“Mom, I'm not alone anymore…
I have a friend who's big and smart, so you don't have to worry.”

 

The worn-out one-room apartment, which had been just a space for sleeping, felt empty because now January was now not here.

 

“I just should not have canceled the summon…
Well…
Let's see…
There are benefits to having the first summoned being.”

 

You have successfully performed summoning for the first time in this world!

 

You have acquired the achievement [First Summoner].

 

– Magic Power +20, Maximum Summonable Beings +10
– The first summoned being does not consume magic power during summoning.
– The first summoned being does not consume magic power to maintain the summoning.

 

While reading the messages that came up after the first summoning, she imagined having January next to her.

 

'What if a skeleton with the height of an adult man, holding a club, and with dark, intimidating eyes that seemed to swallow anything, was looking down at me…'

 

.

.

.

 

“I guess it's better to release it when I go to sleep.”

 

Soothing her still thumping and pounding heart, Yeon-hee gradually fell asleep.

 

* * *

 

'This waiting is the most agonizing.
That's for sure.'

 

Now, even the light that poured out from the door had disappeared, and only darkness, where even the fingertips in front of me couldn't be seen, accompanied me.

   

Even a sane person would go insane if they spent just one day in a place like this.

 

Sobriety

– Maintains composure in any situation.
– Resistance to mental abnormalities +50%

 


No matter how great a hunter might be, they didn't have the ability to check the status windows of monsters like in novels.
So, I was also surprised to learn that the skeletal soldiers had this ability.

 

And at the same time, there was a part of me that now understood.

 

'The reason skeletal beings are strong against mental magic isn't simply because they lack intelligence.
It's because of their traits.'

 

Unlike other monsters in the dungeon who lived their lives, undead creatures, especially skeletons, were mostly creatures that mechanically react while wandering around.
It turned out that such monsters were not easily affected by mental magic.

 

But it wasn't for any complex reason.
They simply had that trait.

 

'It's an incredibly good trait.
To the point of absurdity.'

 

The remaining trait, [Protection], is also a very rare trait.
Looking at just the skills and traits, one might think it was the weakest.

 

– Creak-

 

“Ttt-tok!”

 

Lost in thought, I suddenly noticed the door starting to open, and I ran forward with joyful muttering.

 

'Finally out!'

 

I felt my shoulder blades flutter with joy.
With a sensation that had become somewhat familiar now, I was sucked into the door, only to be promptly ejected into a forest full of bushes.

 

– Thud-

 

I landed lightly, supporting myself with my hands and feet against the ground.

 

This time, I didn't fall embarrassingly, and I greeted her with a cheerful greeting as she looked at me with a curious expression.

 

“Ttt-tok-!”

 

I could make the sound with my palm, but it sounds clearer when I clack my teeth.

 

“Huuuuu- January, let's move from this spot for now.”

 

Yeon-hee ran over to my side and pulled me towards the bushy area.
After briefly surveying the surroundings, she whispered.

 

“Do you remember the conversation we had yesterday?”

 

– Nod-

 

“Oh, you're really smart, January.
Good job.”

 

'Is this how a dog feels when looking at its owner?' It was a strange and unfamiliar situation of a master and servant relationship.

 

But it was not a bad feeling, probably because I was her summoned being.

 


Anyway, I looked around the surroundings and thought to myself.

 

'I was worried that this world might be different from the one I experienced, but fortunately, it seems to be the same.'

 

As I lay in front of the massive door, I had various thoughts.
I even considered the possibility that this place might not be the past of the world I lived in but rather a parallel universe.

 

However, it was undoubtedly the Goblin Dungeon that I remembered.
Despite the word 'dungeon,' this place started in a forest with a wide expanse of sky, and the creatures that needed the most caution were undoubtedly goblins.

 

We hadn't walked a few steps when we encountered them.

 

– Rustle-

 

“Shh-“

 

Yeon-hee placed her index finger on her lips, showing a slight sign of tension, as if she was worried that I might move.
Without her command, I couldn't take a single step.
Perhaps she still lacked confidence in her abilities.

 

The goblins were picking fruits from small trees beyond the bushes.
They were a race with a height of around 140cm, but that was just a story limited to regular goblins.

 

However, there was no need to think about the variants we might encounter later.
What mattered now was how we would deal with the three goblins in front of us.

 

The distance between us and the goblins was about 15m.
While she didn't possess any exceptional archery skills, I didn't think she would miss from this distance.

 

She signaled me with her eyes.

 

(You can start, January.)

 

It felt like she was saying that.
Could this be the effect of the [Whisper] skill that allows telepathy?

 

Even my legs moved freely.
I familiarly spread magic power throughout my body and cast my favorite skill.

 

'Stealth…'

 

Magic Power: 4/6 (-2)

 

Stealth was a low-level skill that consumed 2 magic power.
However, its usefulness was unparalleled, even compared to high-level skills.
It was even unique.

 

– Swoosh-

 

My body blended with the surroundings, completely concealing my presence from the enemy's sight.
I felt the familiar sensation I had forgotten and even a tingling excitement.

 

As I circled around and arrived behind the goblins, she drew her bow without hesitation.

 

– Thung-

 

– Pwooosh-!

 

– Kehurk!

 

One goblin slumped to the ground, an arrow accurately piercing its neck.
The remaining two goblins frantically grabbed the clubs they had loosely placed at their waists.

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