The Devil's Cage Chapter 33


Chapter 33: Chance

Five minutes passed in the blink of an eye.

Kieran did not say, See you.

He knew he would never be able to set foot inside this newbie dungeon again.

He just carried the [Viper-M1], the two [Tekken-II] rocket launchers and the rest of his stuff, and made his effort to raised his right hand, bidding farewell to Colleen and Maggie.

Both girls raised their hands too to send Kieran off.

Colleen looked like she wanted to say something.

Her mouth opened, but before Kieran could hear what she had to say, the blinding light he had seen when hed first entered the dungeon appeared in front of him again. He could not help but cover his eyes with his hands.

The loss of gravity that followed made him feel dizzy for a while.

When everything was back to normal again, he found himself in a storage-like tin-plated room covered in dust and webs.

The word old could not fully describe the room.

The only thing worth mentioning was its huge size. It was big enough for five buses to drive through and ten buses to park there.

Is this the game lobby?

Kieran looked around, uncertain of his location.

It was certainly not what he had expected.

It did not look anything like the other games, whose lobbies were decorated with all kinds of fancy decorations. Couldnt this lobby at least be a little cleaner?

Kieran looked down at the footprints formed in the dust, frowning.

He quickly focused back on the loot he had brought with him, checking his backpack and his belongings.

The [Viper-M1] and two [Tekken-II]s were still intact, but other supplies such as the [U-II] grenade, the magazines for the [M1905], and food and water had mostly been lost on the way there.

Still couldnt get through, huh?

With Colleens help, hed maximized the weight he could carry, to the point that he was barely able to stand under it.

Kieran had hoped hed be lucky, but obviously most of it had been considered extra weight and had automatically been discarded.

Lucky indeed!

Kieran looked at the [Viper-M1] and the two [Tekken-II]. He was relieved.

If he had lost those weapons, he would have been as good as dead.

Kieran had thought of this scenario. He had imagined that he might have to discard other items and keep just those two.

He had not known what his maximum carrying weight would be, and he had pushed his luck, figuring that he might be able to carry it all.

If Kieran had been given a hundred kilos of stones, he would definitely have passed.

But if he was given a hundred kilos of union coins, not only would he carry it, he would run faster than anyone with them.

To Kieran, his fortune was his life.

I need to find a place to store my equipment! he thought to himself.

Boom!

An explosion came from outside the room and interrupted his thoughts. Instinctively, he picked up the [Viper-M1] and aimed towards the entrance.

The door appeared to be sealed tight.

According to his speculations, the other side of the door, where the explosion had taken place, was also sealed tight.

Before the explosion had even subsided, a second one was heard. Just like falling dominoes, explosions kept happening.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!

He suspected that the continuous explosions were taking place around the room.

Although the room looked old and battered, it had not moved an inch.

What the?

Kieran started to speculate about what was going on.

Thats when a line of words appeared in front of him.

[War has broken out between the Steam City and the Iron Chariots. Players, please do not leave your room unless you want to get caught in the crossfire!]

A guild war?

Kieran was stunned.

He had had encountered such events before during his blacksmithing days, so he was not a stranger to this.

He just hadnt thought that he would stumble upon something like that.

The words had not stopped though just because Kieran had gotten distracted.

They kept coming, one after the other.

[Newbie Dungeon: War-Ridden City]

[Dungeon Type: Open World]

[Main Mission: Survive for 3 days]

[Mission Completed: 100% (Awarded Rating: F)]

[Secondary Mission (Optional): Aid civilians until the war ends. Each civilian helped can provide you with a higher rating.]

[Mission Completed: 200% (Saved Colleen and Maggie, Ratings: F -> E)]

[Battle Performance: Vigorously Active, (Rating: E-> D)]

[Exploration Performance: Average (No rating available)]

[Special Rating 1: Assassinated Rebellion Major Zarukhar (Rating: D -> C)]

[Special Rating 2: Assassinated Rebellion General Zennings (Rating: C-> A)]

[Newbie Dungeon Advantage: Ratings were boosted by 1 level]

[Final Player Rating: S]

[Calculating Player Newbie Dungeon Loot...]

[Final Newbie Dungeon Loot is as follows...]

[Points: 3000, Skill Points: 3: Gold Skill Points: 1]

[Player is not hurt, no medical treatment needed]

..

3000 points? 3 Skill Points? 1 Gold Skill Point?

Kieran kept looking at his final rewards. Although he could not determine what the value of those skill points was without any point of reference, by the looks of it, an [S] rating was supposedly the best reward he could have achieved.

[Completing Newbie Dungeon, opening channel]

While Kieran was looking at his skill points reward, a mechanical sound was heard from somewhere in the room.

Following it, Kieran looked at the wall the door was at. An LED screen had been revealed, changing the original tin-plated wall.

The screen remained black for a short while before it suddenly displayed three options written in bold writing.

Shop, Forum and Dungeon.

As Kieran focused on the options, descriptions of them followed.

[Shop: Sells all kinds of raw materials, bullets, basic weapons, protective gear, medicine, etc. Provides player with skill leveling services.]

[Forum: A place where players meet up to communicate and trade.]

[Dungeon: Single Player, Team Dungeon World.]

[Tip 1: In the Single Player Dungeon, cooldown time is 1 week per entry. No matter how long that takes, it equals to 1 hour in real life]

[Tip 2: Team Dungeon (At least 2 Players), cooldown time is 1 month per entry]

[Tip 3: You have to enter the Single Player Dungeon or Team Dungeon at least once every 3 months. Those who do not enter, will be disqualified and considered dead in the game.]

Kieran went through the details and stopped at the [Dungeon] part. He looked at it for quite some time, shock evident in his eyes.

It was not the dungeon time or the cooldown time that concerned him. He had already experienced those in other VRMMORPGs.

What was unexpected was the requirement to enter the dungeon at least once every three months unless he wanted to be considered dead in the game.

If I remove the VR helmet completely, will I just be considered dead in the game, or will I die in real life as well?

He frowned as he tried to figure out the situation.

He could not reach a conclusion.

Ive still got a long way to go until I earn enough for my medical fees. Its useless to think about this now!

He mocked himself with a laugh.

Then he quickly started to surf the [Shop] and [Forum] options.

He took careful note of the points value and the price of different kinds of equipment.

He still had not forgotten his main objective for entering the game, which was to earn money.

The surfing turned out to be time consuming.

He spent around two hours and by the end of that time, he had only roughly gone through the contents.

First, he checked out the points.

Within the forum, there were players who offered about twenty to thirty union coins for each point.

Sellers were hard to find though.

Obviously the price was exceptionally low.

That was good news for Kieran.

It meant that, after clearing the Newbie Dungeon, he had earned at least 60K to 90K union coins. That was almost twice the amount he had earned for three years of work.

Then there was the [Shop].

As the description stated, it only sold raw materials and other kinds of basic equipment. The most powerful equipment, including skill books and storage equipment, was nowhere to be found.

At the thought of skill books, Kieran felt embarrassed. He had already earned a good sum of rewards from the newbie dungeon, but everything was very costly.

It cost 1000 points and 1 skill point to go from the entry level [Firearm (Light Firearm)] skill up to the next level, which was called Master.

It also cost 1500 points plus 1 skill point to go from the entry level [Undercover] skill up to the respective Master level.

Although it did not require skill points for other basic skills to reach the entry level, it was still expensive. It cost around 200 to 800, depending on the skill.

The most expensive one was [Tracking].

The rest cost about 200 points.

Basically, If Kieran wanted to level up his [Firearm (Light Firearm)] and [Undercover] skills, the remaining points would be enough for him to level up two more skills, excluding [Tracking]. His other option would be to visit the [Shop] and buy a full set of equipment, including weapons, defensive gear, medicine, etc. Each set cost about 500 points. The offer was placed among the top selections on the first page of the [Shop] menu.

The full set equipment included a handgun, a dagger, two gun magazines, head to toe protective gear, and medicine, including three rolls of High Quality Bandages. The ETC included a water bottle, cigarettes and lighter. Kieran would not buy it though.

He had better equipment and gear.

Plus, based on his experience during his blacksmithing days, the cheapest way to obtain gear was through the game itself.

Low-level equipment was always sold among the players, and it was always cheaper than in the game shop.

Kieran looked around at the [Forum] section, and confirmed that he was right.

Compared to the [Shop], a full set of gear there was sold only for 400 points.

Without the weapons, it only cost 300 points.

It could go as cheap as 200 points by taking away the medicine. That was the cheapest one he could find.

While he silently looked at the ever-inflating prices of weapons and medicine, his eyes shined.

Afterall, he had brought over two [Tekken-II] rocket launchers.