Chapter 383 Side Story: Chapter 3 – Iddy (3)
[Round 11, Day 29. 4:20.]
[Waiting room on the 7th floor]
Something was awkward.
This ticklish feeling in my chest.
Is it because the waiting room on the 6th floor had become too familiar?
The scenery of the waiting room on the 7th floor felt strange.
I felt uneasy.
I’m not an elementary school student on a picnic.
I took a jerky out of my inventory.
It wasn’t a high-efficiency emergency food jerky, usually eaten on stages.
It was a jerky made specifically for meals.
The liver wasn’t too salty and its aroma was rich.
It was well cooked, so even if you only ate a meal of jerky without other foods, you wouldn’t feel sick.
I opened the community window while munching on beef jerky.
It was a habit.
Like sitting on the toilet seat and reading a comic book, I checked out the community window whenever I had a leisurely meal.
This is comforting in its own way.
Watching people talk in the comment window.
When you roll around to death with skeletons that say ‘kyaak, I often feel a strange impression of humanity, even one that is as small as a rat’s shit.
It was comforting to see people just chatting.
From my point of view, the current community atmosphere is very uncomfortable.
The atmosphere in the community is very chaotic.
As Kim Min-hyuk predicted.
The jerky in my mouth suddenly felt salty.
It was unavoidable.
Information spread that the third day of the dialogue meeting will be held soon.
Until now, there was only one condition for the meeting to be held.
When there is a conflict between challengers within the Tutorial and how to solve it.
The system punishes neither party of the dispute.
It just puts all the challengers in one place.
It seems like you have to solve it yourself.
The fact that the dialogue meeting day is announced means that there is a serious level of conflict between the challengers somewhere in the Tutorial.
Each other’s nerves were bound to sharpen.
Moreover, the dialogue agreement was not a place for friendly dialogue.
It was close to the Colosseum, where two opposing forces clashed to win and survive.
The first day of dialogue was held because of a private organization called the Representative Association.
It was an organization that tried to create a structure to intimidate and exploit newbies in the waiting room, aiming to expand to the entire Tutorial.
When the first day of dialogue agreement was held, the Representative Association and opposing forces clashed, and the Representative Association was defeated.
The second day of dialogue agreement was caused by the internal strife of the Vigilante Group, which was created by destroying the Representative Association.
The aim of the Vigilante Group was to prevent criminal activity as well as protect and support the remaining challengers on the lower floors.
However, at some point, the top rankers, who were the main forces of the Vigilante Group, began to have different ideas.
They were displeased with the selfless use of their abilities and knowledge for others.
They wanted to be privileged, not volunteers.
The Vigilante Group thus became the new ruling class.
It was a natural flow.
They were the ones who had more abilities and information, and they were the ones leading the other challengers at the highest level.
However, there was one variable that no one thought of.
That variable was Park Jung-ah, who was the Vigilante Group’s face madam*, exceeding everyone’s expectations.
Suddenly, a clash between the challengers began.
Bloodshed occurred in several waiting rooms, and the community was flooded with agitation.
The war went beyond a small conflict, and thus another day of dialogue agreement was held.
The war ended poorly.
With countless bodies left behind.
And the third day of dialogue agreement was announced.
Everyone was thinking the same thing.
Another war is coming.
With a sigh, I turned off the community window.
I was chewing the jerky in my mouth blankly, and I suddenly felt stuffy.
It was impatience.
I felt sorry for having a comfortable meal and resting.
I whisked the remaining jerky into my mouth at once and swallowed it whole.
Fortunately, it didn’t get caught in my throat.
However, when I forcibly swallowed the piece of jerky that was not chewed properly, I felt uncomfortable in my stomach.
The stuffiness got worse.
I felt a pressure, as if something were going to happen right away.
I drank water in a hurry, rinsed my mouth, and opened my inventory.
It was difficult to breathe.
There was no problem with my respiratory rate.
My lungs were also functioning properly.
But, like when you are diving in water and just get out, my brain felt like it wanted more oxygen.
I’m losing my mind.
In this case, just sitting still and breathing hard does not help.
I am already breathing abundantly.
I opened up my inventory and checked to see if there were any items that could help.
There was a scarf I knitted on the 6th floor.
It was a scarf that had already been completed.
I urgently looked to see if there were any missing parts on the scarf.
No, looking closely, the scarf seemed a little short.
I quickly pulled out the end of the shawl and started knitting.
It was only then that my breathing began to subside little by little.
* * *
[Round 11, Day 29. 4:30.]
Instead of going straight to the 7th floor, I decided to take some time to train.
There were two reasons.
The first was the Soul Exploitation skill obtained as a reward for clearing the 6th floor.
[Soul Exploitation (Lv. Max)]
Description: A power gifted to you by an unnamed god.
It is the ability to directly interfere with the soul of an enemy.
Subjects within the range of soul exploitation are bound by the path of the soul, feeling fatigued and pressured for unknown reasons.
The caster can gain a small amount of life by killing a target within the range of soul exploitation.
It was an interesting skill.
But I couldn’t try it right away.
In order to use soul exploitation, a target enemy has to exist.
The second reason for delaying the attack on the 7th floor was to continue my recent training.
In the past, training was easy.
It wasn’t a matter of difficulty, it was just that simple.
You just swung your sword to train your strength and sword skills and hurt yourself to increase your tolerance.
But at some point, I hit a wall.
The relevant skills were not rising.
I had to find another way of training.
The method I found on the 6th floor was meditation.
I learned how to operate on magic alone, meditated to become more proficient, and gradually moved the magic of my body little by little.
I don’t know if it’s the right way.
There was no one to teach me.
However, I managed to produce results.
For up to 10 minutes, the magic could be used on my arms, hands, feets and limbs.
At some point, even this stalled as if it had hit a wall too.
Recently, I have been focusing on imagery training.
It is to battle alone while imagining that you have an enemy.
But isn’t it fun if you just do it?
I applied magic to my sword.
Magic adds strength to the blade and increases the durability of the weapon.
The effect was quite simple for dealing with the mysterious power of magic, but there was nothing as effective as this from the standpoint of dealing with weapons.
I swung the magic sword toward my left leg.
The underside of my thigh was cut very neatly.
Blood spewed out like a waterfall.
I quickly attached a bandage to the cut surface of my leg.
And I wrapped it tightly and tied it up.
The bandage was meticulously tied, but the blood from the wound was dripping on the floor.
It didn’t matter because the bandage wasn’t tied to stop bleeding in the first place.
I leaned against my sword like a cane and stood up from my seat.
My leg wasn’t broken or fractured, but it was cut.
This greatly destroyed my sense of balance.
Standing still by itself made me uncomfortable.
For ordinary humans, the loss of their legs will lead to a loss of mobility.
That was a loss of combat power.
But not for me.
If you had muscle strength and a sense of balance beyond human limits, and Talaria’s wings and Blink, you could somehow continue to battle.
The training I’m doing now is training to get more used to the situation of losing my limbs.
The waiting room is dark.
A small light on the high ceiling.
Far from the window, it is a weak light to illuminate a closed, gapless room.
In the corner of the waiting room immersed in darkness, skeletons began to rise slowly.
There were also skeleton knights and priests from the end of the 6th floor.
It was a familiar sight.
So it was easy to imagine.
It was too lively to be the illusion I had imagined.
Even the vibrations transmitted through the sound seemed to be felt.
I’ve seen it too many times.
How many times did I see it? I was able to reproduce in detail even a piece of the skulls.
It was familiar because of the countless experiences.
With only one leg left, I kicked strongly against the floor.
So I screamed and rushed face to face toward the skeletons that ran.
* * *
My heart pounding in my chest fluttered.
New stages, new enemies, new hardships!
I was like a pervert, I was even feeling a strange sense of pleasure.
What kind of hardships and adversity will the new stage present to me?
I moved to the 7th floor full of anticipation.
[You have entered the 7th floor stage.]
The 7th floor stage was a small room.
It was amazing.
Like the 6th floor, the 7th floor was a stage requiring party play.
Of course I thought it would be spread out in a large area like the sixth floor.
However, when I came in, it was a small, sealed cavity of about 30 pyeong.
(T/N: pyeong = 3.30508 square meter. Used to measure real estate in Korea.)
It was even empty.
You want me to do yoga in an empty space?
You want me to do a million push-ups?
I asked Kirikiri for advice on attacking the 7th floor.
She said that the training I’m doing recently would be of great help on the 7th floor.
The training is, of course, the imagery training with one leg cut.
This is the stage where such training will be helpful.
I had no idea.
Is there a landmine on the floor?
I looked closely at the cavity.
I noticed geometric paintings engraved on the wall.
Its shape looked similar to the Tutorial portal.
[The 7th floor gateway begins.]
Description: The Trial on the 7th floor consists of three stages.
Each level contains 2, 3, and 9 rooms.
Each room can be traversed through a magic circle engraved on the wall.
Each room contains a number of Izaaku’s Disaster Dombas and one of their mother bodies.
Clear the first trial to learn more about the 7th floor.
Clear all rooms and defeat all enemies.
Clear stage 2.7-1.
Unlike the 6th floor, there was no explanation of the setting such as the worldview behind it.
Can I just kill the enemies and clear the stage?
Well, there were no Knights to wait for so I touched the wall with the pattern of the portal.
Then, a faint light leaked out of the wall.
[Would you like to move?]
It really is a portal.
As soon as you cross this portal, a dangerous situation will unfold.
I took out a weapon from my inventory, tied it to my waist, and checked the joints of my armor.
Okay, I’m ready to go.
The place I moved to was exactly the same shape as the dark cavity I had just stood in.
There was one difference.
Unlike the previous room, which was empty without anything, in this room now.
There were monsters wandering around.
They looked like short, naked humans.
There was no hair at all, of course, on their bodies.
They looked like newborn rats.
They were strangely human-like, but unpleasant to look at.
These are probably the monsters in the message called Dombas.
The monsters didn’t rush right away, even though I was moved into the room.
They didn’t seem to notice my existence in the first place.
I held my breath and did not move.
There were no eyes on the faces of the monsters.
They may be a species that has deteriorated vision as they are in a dark cavity.
If so, they’ll use their hearing or smell.
If they had developed a sense of smell, they would have already noticed my existence, which means that they depend on hearing.
I carefully observed the monsters.
The monsters were moving slowly.
With a constant flow line.
They went back and forth in the same place as if they were units that issued patrol orders for reconnaissance in the game.
Their number is thirty-one.
Thirty of the same-looking monsters were mixed with a slightly unusual one.
The peculiar one stood still in the center of the cavity.
Unlike the other guys who are moving smoothly, this one didn’t move at all.
That’s probably the ‘mother body’ mentioned in the message.
What I had to do was simple and clear.
It was enough to catch all of them and kill them.
I slowly moved my hand to my waist to pull out my sword.
That was the sound.
It wasn’t the sound of a sword being pulled out, and it wasn’t the sound of my feet moving.
There was a slight sound of my leather armor rubbing as I moved my hand to my waist.
The monsters were walking around, so the sound didn’t even feel that loud.
The monsters did not miss that small, foreign sound.
All the monsters in the room stopped moving and turned to me.
Eyeless faces turned to me.
They flashed with life.
The monsters’ bare arms swung from the side.
I put magic in the shield on my left arm and swung it.
In the center of the shield was an iron hemisphere.
I thought I would hit the monster’s arm and break the arm in reverse.
My body was pushed back.
It was an unexpected shock, so I almost rolled back because I didn’t give enough strength to my waist.
That was unexpected.
As I cleared the 6th floor, I gained some confidence.
Although I struggled on the 6th floor, it was overwhelming in number.
My confidence rose even more after defeating Priest Quezas, the most difficult enemy.
So it was embarrassing to see the situation in which the stupid eyeless monster that looked like that had absurdly pushed me back with a swinging arm.
The skinny arm of the monster that pushed me looked fine even though it collided with the magical shield.
The monster started running straight at me.
Huh, oh dear.
It’s really ridiculous.
How much more difficult does this crazy tutorial have to be in order to get the job done?
I pulled out my sword.
The running monster’s movement was simple.
This was good news.
They seem to have superior strength compared to skeleton soldiers and knights, but their movements are no different from those of wild animals.
I swung the sword at the speed of the monster running.
No, I was trying to swing it.
My right arm holding the sword was rigid.
It did not move.
Stiffness began from my shoulder, and the stiffness spread to the tips of my fingers.
I lifted it halfway, but my hand loosened, and the sword fell to the floor.
My arm was also completely weak and drooped.
Our eyes met in embarrassment.
The mother body that stood still in the center of the cavity.
The mother body was looking straight at me with shining, bright green eyes.
Intuitively, I guessed that those strange eyeballs caused the stiffness in my arms.
Eventually, I couldn’t cope with the monster that was running.
I had to hit it with my body as it was.
I rolled to the floor.
Using Blink in place, I erased the rolling kinetic energy and stopped in place.
The monster that hit me hadn’t stopped yet.
That wasn’t the problem.
The common monster wasn’t the only one.
The monsters didn’t scream at all, they didn’t even have eyes, but the hostility they were sending me was so clearly felt.
They could see that I was crouching and tense like a cat and they were beasts on the verge of running forward.
Unsurprisingly, the monsters started running towards me almost at the same time.
The monsters attacked me from all sides, the mother body’s green eyes were still shining, and my right arm was still motionless.
*) Face Madam: it is slang and literally it is sort of a bad word. but it can be used in a not bad way though. It represents someone who has an outstandingly beautiful face (every other person in his/her group is not beautiful or handsome like him or her) for instance.