The Devil’s Cage

Chapter 13: Shifting

Chapter 13: Shifting

Translator: Dess Editor: Efydatia


Kieran stabbed the screaming thug in the heart. The man’s lips moved a little, but he did not say anything as he passed away.

Kieran was cold and merciless.

He had not planned on letting him go in the first place.

Especially now that he knew about the trade that was taking place between the Vulture and the head of the rebellion.

Just as he had been told, everyone who associated with the Vulture was a bad guy.

Now he truly understood the meaning behind those words.

Kieran did not consider himself a good person either. He had struggled to survive from a very young age, and he had came across a lot of darkness in his life, to the point that he could not distinguish the good from the bad anymore. However, he did not consider himself a bad person either. He was something in between, and he did not want to change.

He was actually a kind person.

“Showing mercy is optional, but having a kind heart and not harming others is not!”

That was what he lived by.

He did not know whether that would change one day, but until then he planned to hold on to his beliefs.

Kieran exhaled a long breath and collected his thoughts.

Now was not the time to think about that. He had to focus on the matter at hand.

[Slashing: Inflicts 10 Damage to target HP, crippling target...]

[Slashing: Inflicts 10 Damage to target HP, crippling target...]

[Slashing: Inflicts 10 Damage to target HP, crippling target...]

Kieran went over the system log.

The three notifications on it stated that Kieran had effectively landed his knife in the target. However, the skill acquisition window had not popped up.

Kieran had also been threatening the thug, which could be considered an effective move too, but no skill acquisition window had popped up about that either.

“So there is a limit to the skills that I can acquire? Coercive skills such as [Threatening] or [Trading] have not appeared. Could I have done it wrong? Plus, the knife hits should have counted as sword skills. It should have appeared as a new skill! Unless I’ve hit the limit already?”

He frowned as he reached a conclusion.

He was currently still in the newbie dungeon. In order for new players to make a good start, the game gave them a small advantage. That advantage, however, was not endless. It was within reason.

Skills required only three effective hits to be registered in the skill window.

However, it seemed like they could only be used for that specific weapon category.

For example, Kieran had already acquired the [Sharp Weapon (Dagger)] skill, so other weapons and skills within the [Sharp Weapon] category would be automatically unattainable.

To acquire those skills, he would have to follow the rules of the real game. The advantages of the newbie dungeon no longer applied.

“If this is the case, then…,” he frowned again.

Things were not going as he had expected.

His initial plan had been to interrogate the thug and get more information about the base. His second motive, though, had been to acquire more skills and make himself stronger in a shorter period of time.

It looked like the creator of the game had taken certain measures to prevent this kind of abuse.

The game would allow the players to acquire skills for defending purposes, but it would not allow them to become very strong right from the start.

After all, power imbalance within the game could ultimately lead to its downfall.

Although Kieran wanted to gain more power, he realized that he would have to follow the rules of the game for the time being.

“What if I tried to level up the skills that I have already acquired? Would I have to follow the newbie dungeon rules or the regular rules then?” Kieran wondered.

It would be easier with the newbie rules rather than with the regular ones. Following the regular rules would be a lot harder.

However, Kieran lacked the information to speculate about this any further.

He shook his head hard, wanting to clear his brain of all thoughts.

He stood up and waved at Colleen, signaling her to come back.

Kieran’s wish to acquire new skills had not worked out, but he had gotten a lot of information about their enemies. It had definitely been more than he had anticipated.

The dead thug had told Kieran everything he needed to know and had even mentioned the secret dealings between the Vulture and the head of rebellion.

“Son of a bitch! How could he?” Colleen exclaimed when Kieran told her everything he knew.

As a woman, she could understand what the women who were being traded were going through.

“That son of a bitch! He will rot in f*cking hell when he f*cking dies!” Colleen cursed angrily.

“Then we will send him there!” Kieran said.

Colleen nodded in agreement, “Yes, we will!”

“But before we do that, we need to properly organize our loot so that we can have a proper fight against the Vulture!” said Kieran, pointing at the protective vests and the guns.

Kieran would never abandon them. Just like every player, he wanted to fill his inventory with items and equipment. Even if the item value was not high, Kieran would still keep every item.

Besides, loot was worth more than any regular items.

“Leave it to me!” Colleen said confidently.

“Are you planning on bringing it all back to your hiding place? It was secluded enough there last night, but it won’t be anymore,” Kieran questioned Colleen’s plan.

Their hiding place had been quite secluded and safe before the Vulture’s men had found them around that area. But considering that they had been exposed, it would not be safe to go there anymore. The Vulture could have sent more men to patrol the area, plus it was also exposed to other civilians. Kieran did not want his loot to be stolen while he was out fighting the Vulture.

It was invaluable. If they failed to kill the Vulture, it would be their only source of supplies while they gained back their strength.

Kieran considered failure as an outcome because he knew that they were greatly outnumbered. He might have certain skills, but he didn’t have one hundred percent confidence in himself.

“Do I look like I’m stupid? I have more than one hideout… Pick it up and follow me!”

Colleen signaled for Kieran to gather their loot and took off.

She went back to the old hideout and gathered everything she could before bringing Kieran to the outskirts of the Garden Villa Area.

Nine handguns, excluding the ones Kieran and Colleen were carrying, and several cans of food had been stuffed inside Kieran’s backpack.

The same went for the protective gear. Each of them was wearing a vest while the rest had been strapped together for Colleen to carry.

Colleen moved haphazardly under their weight.

Although Kieran had his own backpack to carry as well, he offered to carry Colleen’s too. He thought he could handle the extra weight, but Colleen declined.

“If you want your plan to succeed, you need to have enough energy. We don’t have enough food, water or time. If we don’t get to my other hideout at Sixth, we won’t be able to execute your plan before dawn.”

That gave Kieran a pause.

Three hours had passed since the battle against the Vulture’s men and the interrogation that had followed. It was now around 1 a.m. in game time.

Around 6 a.m. the rebels would start their routine patrol of the streets.

That left Kieran barely five hours to prepare.

They would need one hour to get to the hideout at Sixth, so that left them less than four hours.

Despite the information taken from the captive, reconnaissance of the base would be crucial to his plan and that would take time as well.

“We need to hurry!” Kieran said.

“Let's go!” Colleen replied as they speeded up towards their destination.


After forty-five minutes of walking, an exhausted Colleen brought Kieran to a half torn down building.

By the looks of it, Kieran could tell that it had originally been a two-story boutique. The broken mannequins gave it away.

Following Colleen, Kieran jumped over a fallen beam that used to support the building. At the back of the house, there was a door to a storage room.

“I used to work here before the war. There is an underground storage area safe enough for us to hide in. This is my last hideout location,” Colleen said while she opened the door.

Kieran nodded and followed her inside.

The storage room was larger than their last hiding place. Both of them plus their loot fit inside, and yet it still looked very spacious.

As they sat down, Kieran passed Colleen the remaining water.

“You need this more than me!” she said, even though her throat was already dry.

“Just one sip!” Kieran insisted.

“Fine…,” she nodded and accepted the water.

She drank enough to get hydrated, and then passed the water back to Kieran despite his protests that she drink more of it. She did not want to.

Kieran drank the remaining water with a big gulp. He was just as thirsty.

During the battle, Kieran had not moved much but he had consumed a lot of energy.

Even though his virtual body could regain energy faster than his real one, the [Dehydrated] and [Hungry] status still caused problems for him.

Watching Kieran gulp down the rest of the water, Colleen realized that he had been extremely thirsty too.

She was touched that he would put her first. Despite his thirst, he had offered her the first drink.

It was the first time since the war had broken out that something had moved her this much.

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