Dungeon Defense Chapter 2 / Chapters List

Chapter 002 - Handicapped New Game (1)

The end credits continued to move up slowly.

Scenario developer, design director, character illustrator...... hundreds of names flickered as they moved across the monitor. I simply stared at the screen vacantly. The names entered my line of sight, but none of them reached my head.

How long have I been here?

My thoughts weren't flowing properly. It felt as if my brain were still wandering about.

I turned my stiff head. The clock on the wall was pointing towards the number 9. Was it 9 in the evening or in the morning......? Now that I think about it, the world outside the window was bright. It was 9 in the morning.

I had confirmed that it was 9 o'clock at least 3 times ever since I sat at my desk. In other words, it has been, at the very least, 36 hours since I started playing this game.

"Haah."

I couldn't help but smirk.

"That's a serious gamer for you."

I was about to say something more, but I stopped myself. The cola I had drunk straight from the plastic bottle last night had dried up and was stuck to the side of my mouth. Once I opened my mouth, which had not uttered a single world for at least 36 hours, an unpleasant sensation washed over me. This was bad. If people could smell my breath right now, then there would definitely be a petition to revise a special law for bad breath. I would most likely be made to stand in court and make a counter-argument about it being an unfair trial, but the judges would pass out because of my bad breath and I would be imprisoned without a trial.......

I probably held out by having cup ramen and boiled eggs for three to four meals.

The oiliness of the cup ramen was stagnant on the bridge of my nose, my cheeks, and my skull. I felt like my entire body had become a large plastic bag for food waste. The comparison isn't completely wrong. If you exclude the fact that food waste is collected by someone and I'm not.

"Hah."

I scoffed again. I turned my head back.

Finally, the status screen of the player character appeared on the monitor.

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Name: Lolita Mundus

Class: Adventurer (SSS+), Swordsman (SSS)

Level: 98 Fame: 63050

Leadership:94/100Might: 132/140Intelligence:125/125

Politics:93/95Charm: 100/100Technique:80/81

*Titles: 1. Legendary Adventurer 2. Legendary Mercenary 3. Dungeon Breaker

*Abilities: Strategy SSS, Swordsmanship SSS, Operation Art S, Persuasion S+, Horse Riding S, Element Magic A

*Skills: Militia, Law of Nature Knowledge and Conduct, Lethal Move Nullify

[Achievements: 1088]

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

"Hoo."

I leaned my head back. I buried myself into my chair and quietly gazed up at the ceiling. My brain had left my head and went inside the monitor, so I only had a skull right now. That's how I felt.

The highest stats which a player could possibly reach.

"How many......? The last one was the 16th run?"

I was so out of it that my words came out as individual words and not as complete sentences. My thought process wasn't going in a straight line. It was hopping around here and there as if it were going across some stepping stones. I started to murmur to myself in order to force my line of thought together.

A dungeon RPG, <Dungeon Attack>.

This game was infamous for its extreme difficulty curve. You couldn't even defeat the mid-boss on your 1st playthrough, nor could you possibly dream about reaching the last boss. 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and eventually, after painstakingly going through 17 playthroughs, I barely managed to beat the last boss, the Great Demon Lord Baal.

The Great Demon Lord Baal's army was powerful. However, there was a gap between them and myself. The gap known as multiple playthroughs.

Since ancient times, nothing could beat grinding. I beat his forces after having accumulated experience and knowledge as a player. From Baal's perspective, it probably seemed like I was cheating, but what can you do? That's the difference between a player and the NPC system.

Nevertheless, the emotion I felt after the moment of victory wasn't happiness. No.

It was a sense of futility that was more sticky than the oily residue that had settled on my face.

"So this year's summer break is over as well, huh?"

A single room.

I'm not sure when this room was last cleaned as there were clumps of hair rolling around. My major textbooks were piled up here and there, creating several Leaning Tower of Pisas. At the end of my leave of absence, I made the resolution to get first place in my major. The self-improvement book I poured my allowance into in order to purchase......was currently making up a low hill of dust.

This wasn't it.

I was filled with ambition when I started to live apart from my family.

"......."

I looked around my room.

This was my world.

Even this small, shabby, and worthless room was a world of its own. Like a dried-up ball of used tissue, only the residue of a person's once overflowing desire remained without having accomplished anything.

Ha! Was this not completely different from the world inside my monitor?

That world doesn't lie. If you do something, then it will always be accumulated. It won't disappear for no reason. Leveling up once will always be a level up. You wouldn't drop from level 90 to level 80 or lose your stats just because you did nothing for a while. If it exists, then it will continue to exist! For some reason, everything in this world dissipates without leaving anything behind. Which one exactly is the real world?

"......Damn it."

I grabbed my mouse.

『Would you like to save your data for your next playthrough?』

I naturally clicked the『Yes』 button that had appeared on the screen. I then shut my laptop temperamentally.

I felt like I couldn't help myself for some reason. I left my house.

* * *

Late summer.

I was welcomed by the humid air. In other words, the warm air was the only thing that would possibly welcome me. My lungs felt as if they were filled with steam. I entered the convenience store just outside my house and bought a pack of cigarettes. I paid using the card my mother had given me.

"Thank you for your patronage. Please come again."

I half-heartedly received the convenience store employee's words as I left. I occupied an empty alley before I pulled out a cigarette from the pack and smoked it.

My phone suddenly started to ring. My mother was calling me. It seems the fact that I had bought some cigarettes with her card was sent to her phone as soon as I made my purchase. I quickly threwoutmy cigarette.

"Hello? Is something wrong, Mother?"

My mother talked brightly through the phone. Of course, my mother's voice was always bright, but I could tell there was a tinge of sad affection in it as well right now.

「No. I just wanted to know what my son was doing.」

It was time for me to start lying from this point on.

"I was studying for a while, but I came outside to get some air. I'm not sure if it's because of the heat, but my head feels a bit fuzzy......."

This sounded funny even to me. It was only natural that my head would feel fuzzy. I spent many hours staring at my monitor and partying all night with the electromagnetic waves that came out of it. If my head were fine after all that, then that in itself would be amazing.

"Yeah, that's right. Yes."

Referentially, my voice currently had no strength whatsoever in it. This wasn't because I felt sorry for lying to my mother, it was in order to make my lie seem even more convincing. If there's one thing that I'm confident in, then it's my ability to lie. I'm not joking. If the Olympics had a mental category for lying, then I would have been exempted from military service a long time ago.
(TL note: In Korea, if you are an Olympic athlete, you are exempt from military service.)

As I predicted, my mother took her son's voice as a red signal that his stamina was down. Her voice became gentler as she asked about how I was getting along. I continued my weak act. Yes, I'm doing fine. Of course. I've been studying fairly well. I truly had quite the fluent tongue.

「Eat whatever you want. If there's something you need to buy, then buy it. If you're going to drink some coffee as well, then drink those expensive and good ones. If you have to, why not go into a refreshing cafe and study there? You know that our family isn't as unfortunate as to be unable to support our son's spending habits, right?」

I smiled sincerely and answered.

"Yes, Mother. Then I'm going to head back inside to continue studying."

The call ended there.

There was a splendid liar here.

I put another cigarette in my mouth. Continue studying? Since when did I even study?

I wasn't like this at first. There was a time when I genuinely put my all into studying. It wasn't the best, but I was admitted into a reasonably respected university. My damn paranoia was what ruined me. The thought that I had unreasonably held back my desire to have fun in order to prepare for the university admission exam.

......No. It would have still been fine if I had only fallen slightly into that delusion. However, I messed around so brilliantly and profligately that people would have said 'Damn!' if they saw me. There were probably only 5 people in the entire university to get an F in every single one of their courses excluding one during the first semester. I was certain of this as I was 6th from the bottom.

People keep saying to have fun after you're in university, didn't they?

So who can blame me for messing around?

'Big brother, you should get your act together.'

My little sister gave me a pitying look when she saw me. My parents didn't stop me. They were people who were satisfied as long as I got into a decent university. My parents didn't care as long as I succeeded the family business and didn't starve myself.

"Haa."

In the end, that's the kind of human I am.

I dropped by my place to pick up my laptop. I then went to a nearby cafe in search of a refreshing air conditioner.

The only thing I did after sitting at a corner of the cafe was surf through the internet. I went through these and those sites and laughed at texts that had no nutritional value and, as expected, wrote texts that also had no nutritional value.

Naturally, the internet community in which I resided the longest was the <Dungeon Attack Fan Site>.

Due to Dungeon Attack's excessively steep difficulty curve, it has gained a lot of hardcore fans. I like it because it's difficult! I hate it if it isn't hard! There were more perverts who thought like this in the world than I thought. This was the sacred place that was created after these perverts had gathered.

I put up a thread about the achievement my player character, 'Lolita', had accomplished.

Members of the site left replies the instant I put up my thread. That was fast! Do these people only eat and surf the web? Although I shouldn't be the one to say this, they were impressive.......

-MarrowGore: No way. Look at his stats.

-BlackRose: That's TekilLatte for you. The fact that his stats are all S is disgusting.

TekilLatte was the username I used.

-SelfProclaimedBoy: Hey, how many playthroughs did you go through?

As if I was waiting for this very question, I responded by telling them it was my 17th. Once more, the site members started to leave more replies.

-BangApple: Seventeen he says. That's crazy.

-MaYooRim: Even if you approximate his playtime, he probably reached around 5,000 hours. Fuck, I was seriously questioning whether Baal's Great Demon Lord Castle was created to be beaten or the developers had some mental problems, but now I'm questioning TekilLatte's mental state.

-Richya: The mental ward is always accepting patients.

GodRumBlade: Is this the mental ward that I only heard about in the rumors?

-Yulberia: I'm here for the mental ward. (2)

-JungYookJjum: Hey, how did you capture the mage Roumei? I did what the pinned thread said and beat Gaap's dungeon, but the affection points cap didn't go up.

-MrTrashKim: You're still just a shut-in gamer.

Click.

I stopped scrolling down my mouse wheel. My gaze stopped at that reply.

'You're still just a shut-in gamer.'

Below that reply, there were a bunch of other sarcastic responses saying that everyone here was a shut-in gamer. The other members had taken my side.

I was grateful. However, I knew. I knew that what that person had said was true. I truly was nothing more than a shut-in gamer.

More importantly.

'I don't care much about it anymore.'

Even though I realized that I had turned into a shut-in gamer, I didn't have the resolve to stop. This fact made me less than a shut-in gamer and into a person who was like food waste. Food waste that had a good enough head and tongue to use his mother's card to buy a cup of cafe mocha that was₩6,500.

At that moment, another thread appeared on the bulletin board.

『Title: Read this, TekilLatte. ·····Nickname: VenusPanties』

VenusPanties, this person was a site member that I would frequently get into arguments with.

He had more knowledge about the game than anyone else and because his view on Dungeon Attack was different from mine, we collided often. We were the two shut-in gamers that had been acknowledged by the entire community.

If someone were to ask how to beat a dungeon, then the two of us were capable of immediately writing down 17 different ways to beat it. In other words, VenusPanties and I were individuals who had devoted their lives to Dungeon Attack.

Referentially, in the case of VenusPanties, they were also knowledgeable with inside information which only the game developers should know, so some people have started to suspect that they were also a developer.

'What does this person want now?'

TL note: As you can tell, the start is very different compared to the LN. I guess it was changed a lot because the author had a firmer grasp on how he wanted the MC to be by the time he started writing the LN.

Anyway, I'm not sure how I intend to announce these releases on my Discord server. The DD WN has a lot of chapters so pinging everyone for all of them would probably be excessive. I might just put a post in #announcement without a ping whenever I finish a chapter. Maybe I'll ping for the first chapter of certain segments. We'll see.

I'll see you all in the next release