5 Stranded [2]

Feeling an aching pain all over his body, Damien slowly opened his eyes, only to be greeted by cold hard stone in every direction.

'Huh? Where am I?' Damien thought before he remembered the events that led to this point. 'Fuck! That arrogant bastard actually pushed me into the gate! I didn't do anything to-'

Before his thoughts could go too far, Damien heard a series of roars and screeches coming towards him. When he looked down, he realized that he was covered in blood, which must have attracted beasts.

Coming to this realization, his face paled. He quickly got up, confirming that enough time had passed for him to regenerate from any major wounds, and ran.

Damien was weak. He had spent the majority of his life after the World Awakening fretting over his weakness, and now in this situation, his weakness became all the more apparent. He ran and ran, but the beasts naturally weren't only in one direction.

Damien could only consider himself lucky that the beasts in the immediate surroundings of the gate had been wiped, or else he would've died before he even woke up.

'Fuck fuck fuck! What do I do? I can't fight, but I can't live without food. If I don't fight, I'll die, but if I fight, I'll also die!' Damien panicked. Although he had plenty of experience inside gates, his level of combat experience was almost nil. He had probably stabbed a sword a couple of times when he stole kills to level up.

Damien didn't know how long he ran, but it was long enough for the cries of beasts to fade into the distance. He approached a cave wall and sat down to rest his aching body. This amount of running could be considered the most physical exercise he's had in a very long time.

As he sat with his back to the wall, he tried to calm his breathing and mind, but no matter what he tried, his thoughts wouldn't stop.

'I'll die. I'll really die. I can't do shit against beasts. I don't have a weapon, I don't have muscles, I don't have offensive skills, I have nothing. I don't know where this dungeon is— I don't know how far away Earth is or if it's even in the same galaxy. What will happen to Mom when I'm not around.'


Damien slapped himself in the face. 'No! I can't give up yet! Even if she thinks I'm dead, it's fine. What I need to do now is survive. Survive and make it back to Earth. Make it back to mom, make it back to Elena, and make it back to drop a planet on that sick bastard's head or something.'

Thinking of that last point, Damien's blood boiled in a fury. Damien let all of Jin's antics slide because of his background. He had to endure because he had nothing. He ended up in this situation because he was weak.

'I have to get stronger. It doesn't matter what I have to do to reach that point, but I have to get strong enough to return.'

Though he was still in a panic over the situation, he knew that if he sat still and did nothing, his only outcome was death. He had always worked without fear beforehand, and now, even though the situation is much direr, all he needs to do is the same thing he always did. Survive.

"Damien, you must always remember. Although you are weak, you must forge a will to live, a will to achieve, and a will to survive. No matter the circumstance and no matter the adversity, you must survive because if you survive and you fight, and you persevere through it all, one day you'll become someone that even the heavens must look up to."

Damien thought back to his dad's last words before he disappeared to who knows where. 'Fuck, why am I thinking about that bastard right now.'

But no matter how much he cursed his father, he could never bring himself to hate him.

As he grew and thought back to his last memories of his father, he could feel the pain his father always hid from him and his mother. And thinking about his father's words in the situation he's in now, he could feel his father's resolve.

Though he didn't know what that resolve was towards, it didn't matter anymore. 'Dammit. If that guy could talk all that martial master bullshit and forge such a resolve even before the World Awakening happened, why should I pussy out here?'

'I need to go back and cure mom, I need to go back and check on Elena, I need to go back and pummel that arrogant asshole, and I need to find my father one day and punch him in the face.'

Damien began to forge his resolve. He had forgotten in his panic, but he hadn't died yet, and he still had plenty of things to do. As long as he hadn't died, he could still achieve what he wanted to achieve. As long as he hadn't died, just like his dad used to say, he's become someone even the heavens must look up to.

It seemed like space itself had bore witness to his resolve and his declaration, as the space within a 25-meter radius of Damien started to twist and distort; unfortunately, Damien was too deep in his thoughts to notice.

Suddenly, he snapped his eyes open, and the space reverted to normal.

Several hours had passed since Damien sat down to rest, but it seemed he was in a relatively secluded area since no beast attacked him during his panic.

'Geez, I must be some kind of idiot to have a panic attack in this kind of life or death situation. How do those novel mc's even adapt shit like this happening so fast?' Damien chuckled

"Well, if I was a novel mc, my plot armor would've saved my mom by now, and I'd get a random power boost to deal with this situation, but obviously, that isn't happening."

Damien stood up, his eyes having regained their clarity; he began to quietly run around the dungeon floor.

'No matter which world this dungeon is connected to, it has to have weapons, and someone had to have died in here before. There's no way our party was the first to ever explore it.'

And after what seemed like hours of running, he found what he was looking for, a pile of bones and a slightly rusted pair of short swords.

'I was kind of hoping for a spear, but short swords work too,' Damien thought as he picked them up. They were entirely made of some type of black metal, and although the one of them was showing signs of cracking already, they were more than sharp enough to work as a temporary solution.

'Well then, let's get to hunting.'

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