[Attempt 1, Day 0. 26 Hours 10 Minutes]
[Time left until tutorial: 45 hours 50 minutes]
"Like, fuck. So, are you saying I should just shut up and stay here doing nothing?"
"No, I didn’t mean that. I only said it because you get agitated so easily."
A fierce tension formed between Min Sik and Kyung Min.
They’ve already been going at each other for 30 minutes.
The subjects of their arguments for the past 30 minutes had varied greatly.
It was important to note that it all began because of their ego during a match where they sparred against one another.
Furthermore, it looked like both of them wanted to become the leader of the party.
Simply said, Kyung Min was ignorant and was also rather manly.
He hated doing things that were tedious and required thought, instead he prefers actions that would bring him the limelight.
If I had to criticize Min Sik, it would be that his thoughts were too much like an old person.
He was serious and calm, nevertheless he wasn’t flexible as a person and he was just so persistent in his views.
And moreover, to put it into words, he displayed a lust for power.
I’m not sure how becoming the leader of merely four people will quench that lust, but nonetheless he just wanted to be the leader.
In all honesty, he led most of the conversations we had as a group.
He encouraged us to share our thoughts on different ways to train.
He had done a decent job at leading the party.
And as for me…
Mm, I had no interest. I basically preferred to play solo. I’ve tried and played every genre of games in the past and overall, my favourite type of games are the ones where the required teamwork was minimal and it only relied on myself being good
So, here I was watching these two guys argue away.
Su Ah sat next to me. It also seemed like she didn’t want to be involved in their argument, she was watching them on the side-lines just like me’
“HanSeo Univeristy? You must’ve been really smart.”
“My parents said if I didn’t do well in the college entrance exams I would never be able to become a pro-gamer so I studied heaps.”
Finally, it seemed like their argument was reaching the last stretch.
The subject of their high ego argument was now “Who will become the leader of the party?”
“Well then, the person with better performance in the tutorial stage will become the leader of the party.”
“Yep. Don’t go back on your words later.”
And the whole thing was concluded just like that between them.
“Will you guys agree to this too?”
Said Kyung Min as he turned to Su Ah and I.
They came to a conclusion by themselves, ppft what kind of agreement were they talking about.
"Yeah, sure. But, I will deny orders that are illogical no matter who becomes the leader."
And after that, we went back into training.
The training continued.
Min Sik and Kyung Min, who had completed military service, were great help to our training.
We did exercises under their tutelage when we had short breaks.
Although these exercises didn’t require weights, they were ridiculously tiring.
Normally, this type of training would go beyond muscle pain and would tear our muscles to failure. But as expected, the automated healing effect of the waiting room kept us from the feeling of any muscle pain or fatigue.
With this intense cycle of training and quick recovery, our muscle mass and flexibility improved very quickly.
Although Su Ah was sick of all the stories Min Sik and Kyung Min told of their experiences during military service as if they were boasting, they were definitely a great help.
[Attempt 1, Day 0. 71 Hours 57 Minutes]
[Time left until Tutorial: 3 Minutes]
Finally, the Tutorial begins.
The nervousness of the four lingered in the air of the waiting room. However, you could tell everyone including me, felt more excited in anticipation rather than nervousness and horror.
Well, why else would they have chosen the Hell difficulty?
For the last 72 hours, for 3 days we trained very hard.
It was all possible due to the fact that we couldn’t receive lasting injuries and feel hunger or tiredness in this environment.
If we didn’t have this type of advantage, not only would we be out of time, but we would’ve had multiple injuries like muscle tearing and broken bones from all the sparring we had done.
Instead, we used this waiting room to the best of our advantage and even made use of our break times to frantically train ourselves.
As a result, we all grew to a point where you wouldn’t believe that this all happened within a span of 3 days.
[Tutorial, 1st attempt will begin shortly.]
[A portal to the Tutorial stage will now appear.]
4 magical portal barriers appeared in the waiting room.
Above one portal a message appeared.
[Lee Ho Jae]
“Guys it seems like only one person can go through a portal.”
It was just as Su Ah said.
All that group training… was it all going to waste now?
“Fuck, does that mean we just our wasted time?”
“Hmm. Well, we didn’t waste all of our time. We trained and grew together. Above all, we may have to cross paths in the future. Don’t be too distressed.”
Min Sik calmed the distressed members.
[The portals will be activated soon.]
We all moved up to our respective portals.
“Be careful everyone. I hope we will all meet each other after the Tutorial.”
I felt the same as Min Sik.
I also want to see these people safe and sound again.
Maybe it was the time of us living together, as we vigorously trained together for the last 3 days, we all grew really close to one another.
Sure, we fought due to our different personalities and got a bit salty between each other, but I felt it was safe to say to call these people my friends.
I preferred playing in a one-man team.
It’s uncomfortable trying to cover for others since I was confident that I could do well on my own.
However, maybe it was due to this new environment, these three individuals seemed like people I could depend on.
They weren’t too difficult to get along with, they were reasonable during the 3 days I had lived in the enclosed space.
Instead of feeling like I was imprisoned, it felt more like the time when I went on a soccer training camp during the holidays of secondary school.
“Hey, before I go…”
Kyung Min raised his fist.
Everyone smirked and raised fists for one another.
“Don’t get hurt and let’s meet again.”
“You be careful too, Su Ah.”
“Yep, stay safe guys.”
We all comforted each other and stood on our portals.
[The portal will be activated.]
[Please enter the stage. Time left: 24 Hours]
[Will you enter the stage?]
The blue light of the portal grew brighter and it felt like I was falling. As I descended, my whole field of vision changed.
It wasn’t the place that I got used to for three days, instead I was in a dark corridor by myself.
[Tutorial stage, Welcome to the Hell difficulty 1st floor.]
It finally began.
I took slow deep breaths.
Now be calm.
Think about this as if it were like a game.
A straight dark corridor.
Lights hung from above, equal distances apart of each other on the ceiling.
The light was faint, maybe even fainter than a candle.
It was just enough to make out that the corridor was straight.
Damn, it was too dark.
The walls, ceiling and floor were all made of stone.
The ceiling was a little higher than 3 metres.
The stone floor was flat but rough.
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, I couldn’t even slip from this.
A wall and a portal.
I approached the portal.
[Travel to 1st floor waiting room?]
The next moment, I was back in the waiting room.
[Please enter the stage. Time left: 23 hours 59 minutes]
So, you can come back without any restriction.
Due to the slightly pointless return, I felt my determination slightly thinned out.
What would happen if the 24-hour restriction passed?
After some thought to myself, I tried to figure out what I could.
Using the sword, I made a small cut on the back of my hand.
Blood dripped slowly, but soon after the bleeding stopped and the wound healed completely.
The automated healing of the waiting room was still in effect.
No matter how many times I may get injured in the tutorial.
If I was able to run back to the waiting room, I could be healed and make a full recovery.
I found something really substantial.
During an emergency situation, it might even save my life.
At that moment, a portal in the corner of the room grew bright and Min Sik appeared.
I felt slightly embarrassed since we had just separated with full determination to go forth Tutorial.
“Hahaha. I thought if I were you, I would test this out too.”
Min Sik scratched the back of his head awkwardly as he spoke.
I shared what I found out with Min Sik.
“This is really important information. Su Ah and Kyung Min should learn about this too…’
But the two never came back.
In all probability, they must have continued on with the Tutorial.
Without being able to do anything, Min Sik and I went back to the tutorial stage.
[Please enter the stage. Time left: 23 Hours 42 minutes.]
[Tutorial stage, Welcome to the Hell difficulty 1st floor.]
Now, let’s start again.
[Lee Ho Jae (Human)]
Within three days of training, my strength increased by 2 and my endurance increased by 1. There wasn’t anything like a proper workout machine, but after learning that stats could be increased by exercise, I exercised a lot.
HP and MP were not shown in the status bar.
I wasn’t sure if this was like a game, where you would die if your HP fell to 0.
Here, you could probably die instantly from a lethal blow to the head or a piercing strike to the heart.
If I could avoid fatal damage like that and make a successful run to the portal of the waiting room, I would be fully healed from any damage that I would have possibly taken.
I know it’s impossible to do this without a single drop of blood but I couldn’t afford to be careless.
Even if I were attacked anywhere else on the body, I would concentrate to mostly protect my heart, neck and my head.
With the round shield held in my left hand, I lifted it up to the under of my eyes and covered my chest, neck and face. I bent my knees and back to a crouching position so the shield would cover as much of my body as possible.
With only my eyes above the shield and sword drawn in front of me, I slowly moved forward.