[1st attempt, Day 28. 4:05]
I was lucky for not sleeping in today.
I looked at my surroundings after quickly washing my face using the water bottle I took out from my inventory.
I’m inside the waiting room.
Finally, the 28th day.
Day 28, I had decided it as the D-day, my Maginot Line. I will clear this floor.
For the last 28 days, there was nothing but focus for growing and getting stronger.
I had lost count on how many times I was on the verge of death.
There was only determination to clear the 1st floor of the Tutorial today.
Excitement and uneasiness loomed on the horizon, maybe it was because it was the day of the test.
Before departing I opened my inventory to fill my stomach a bit.
I took out the jerky I saved up for today.
Usually I had a salty beef jerky, but today I had a special sweet pork jerky.
Of the jerky bundle I had in my inventory, it was the last portion of pork.
The spicy kick that helped to alleviate the feeling of the greasiness, on top of not being hard and chewy, made it easy to have.
After having a mouthful of the jerky, I cleaned my greasy fingers on my clothes.
I had one last swig of water and put my water bottle back in my inventory.
It was the Community noticeboard where I could converse with other survivors in the Tutorial.
Although I was the only one alive in the hell difficulty, there weren’t that many survivors in the other difficulties.
Like how the difficulties differ, the Tutorials were also different. However, there were still shared similarities across all difficulties.
It was already made known that a few people had cleared the 1st floor of the Tutorial.
These individuals had shared the information they had gathered on how they cleared the 1st floor.
After checking for new information in the Community noticeboard, I turned it off.
It was time to leave.
[Enter the stage?]
[Tutorial stage, Welcome to the 1st floor of Hell difficulty.]
After a bright light was shone, I was in the 1st floor of the tutorial in a blink of an eye.
It was the same as every other time, a dark straight corridor.
After today, I will never have to see this corridor.
I jogged at ease through the dark corridor.
If it were like some time ago I would proceed with utmost caution, but this time it was different.
My eyes shone in the dark.
[Night Vision Lv.2]
[Eye Lights Lv.1]
The skill Night Vision was just like it said, it allowed me to see a little clearer in the dark.
The light and shades weren’t all so clear, but thanks to this skill I was able to move easily in the dark without much hindrance.
On top of that, after learning Eye Lights, I had a clearer field of vision.
Eye Lights was the only active skill I had learned.
When I use it, the light that hit my retina was reflected outwards. Just like the shiny eyes of cats in the middle of the night.
It seemed like the Eye Lights skill barely used any of my magical energy.
Since there was nothing about MP, I couldn’t really tell.
One thing was for sure, I could use it all day without any trouble.
It might even just be a toggled skill that doesn’t require any MP.
Without pause, I carried on running.
The distance I still had to cover was long, but there was no need to conserve my energy.
Thank you, boosted endurance stat.
I learned a skill that aided me when I was running.
My body got lighter and used less energy when running.
Thanks to this skill, running was a breeze. It made me faster too.
You could feel how refreshing it was, just by running.
I didn’t know before but, running was something that made me feel good.
Before I even realized, I was at the first arrow trap.
There weren’t signs around but with all that I’ve been through, it was familiar enough for me to grasp the location of the trap by sheer instinct alone.
It was like a slight signal or even just a sudden eerie atmosphere that indicated a trap nearby.
I could hear two arrows being fired from far away.
[Heightened Senses Lv.3]
Not only did this skill boost my hearing, but it also amplified all five of my senses like sight, touch and weirdly enough my sense of taste and smell.
Before, I couldn’t even tell that an arrow was flying toward me. I only knew when the arrow had already struck my shield.
The first and second arrows were caught in my shield.
The third arrow was inflight towards me.
I tilted my head slightly to dodge the arrow.
The arrow glided beneath my feet.
With my increased dexterity stat, dodging these arrows were a piece of cake.
It was needless to say my experience, fitness and focus had improved greatly too.
Clearing the first arrow trap was a walk in the park.
Without stopping, I carried on.
There was much to go.
Tat. Tat. Tat.
I ran a little faster.
Towards the left side of my face, an arrow was fired from the ceiling.
While looking at the arrow, I calmly blocked it with my shield.
This arrow pierced through the shield and got stuck. It was fired with a stronger force than the previous arrows.
When I previously blocked this arrow, it had pierced the shield and my left arm.
The right side next.
With my sword held up flat, I parried the arrow.
It fell to the floor with a ‘tick’ sound.
You wouldn't wanna know what I had to go through for trying to block that arrow with my sword.
I failed a few times and was actually hit a few times too.
[Beginner Swordsmanship Lv.1]
However as a result, I learned some skills.
The next was an arrow directly from the front.
Although my senses had been enhanced, I couldn’t tell the trajectory of the arrow and I also couldn’t hear it.
I could only predict where the arrow would come from by memory and try to dodge it.
After ducking to dodge the arrow coming head on, I took a big jump forward.
A few arrows flew beneath me as I jumped.
I landed with a forwards roll.
After checking that it was the last arrow that was shot, I stood up and started running again.
Occasionally, hard to detect arrows like these were fired.
If I think about it though, it reminded me about my first attempt of the trap.
Let’s not talk about the first two arrows, I couldn’t even see them.
The third arrow, I barely dodged.
As for the last arrow, I heard it.
Of course, I didn’t dodge it though.
Each and every arrow was fired at different speeds and correspondingly, they all sounded different as well.
As I memorized each and every unique arrow, a sudden thought came to me.
This was real training. A tutorial.
I could tell it was all designed to train the challenger.
If it was an arrow that was hard to dodge, it was easy to detect, and if it was an arrow that was easy to dodge, it flew quieter.
Now, dodge this.
For this one, you got to use your eyes. But I’ll make it easy and fire it straight ahead of you.
The last one was hard to dodge right? I’ll make it louder, easier for you to hear.’
I thought that’s how the Tutorial worked, how its thought process was like.
If these traps were placed to try and kill me, I’m pretty sure it would have done so already.
For ordinary people, the difficulty that they were in may seemed like it was designed that way.
Where death was inevitable.
Ahead of me was the most dangerous trap of the 1st floor.
The bottomless pit.
The width was roughly 20 metres. The only way to get across was by dragging yourself along the rope tied across the pit.
When I first attempted this trap, I hadn’t learned Night Vision and nearly fell into the abyss.
I almost slipped to death, but luckily I held on to the rope firmly, clinging to life.
Continuing on, I slowly dragged myself across the pit via the rope.
Thanks to growth of my muscles and stats, it wasn’t that hard to cross.
The problem however, was the arrow that was fired at that moment.
Since I was literally holding on to life, I couldn’t dodge the arrow and had no choice but to be hit by it.
The danger of the arrow plus the danger of falling. The number of times I nearly died while attempting this trap was too much to count.
But this time…
Tat. Tat. Tat.
There was no reason to stop. I charged forward.
When I reached the rope, instead of hanging onto it, I ran forward.
I could hear the whizzing sounds of the arrows flying towards me but none of them actually hit.
I was able to run across without falling like a trapeze artist thanks to my balancing skills.
It was only possible due to the combination of my heightened senses.
At this moment, I learned that similar skills could be combined.
Alright, there goes the cliff trap.
Now it was time for the most tedious trap.
Now, from here it was a running section. You have to run without stopping for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes of running, there was a trap.
And after that, you had to run again for another 30 minutes and yet another trap would await your presence.
It goes on and on like this, multiple times.
If you were able to go on a long distance without hindrance, an arrow would fly towards you out of the blue.
That was a critical trap.
It was mentally exhausting to go through such a thing. Just picture, travelling with nervousness and tension, but just as you start to get comfortable, an arrow silently flies towards you.
I couldn’t really tell the specific distance that triggers it either, even after running for thirty minutes.
It felt like the distances in which the traps were spread out weren’t equal.
So, without dropping your guard you had to keep running and dodge the arrow when you noticed it.
It wasn’t a battle against the Tutorial, it was a battle to keep a focused mind for long periods of time.
A battle against myself.
[Battle Concentration Lv.5]
If this wasn’t one of the few skills that I had learned initially, my entire experience here might have been more perilous.
With that, I was able to keep myself focused enough for such dangers to not become a matter when running long distances.
Honing this skill made it gradually easier for me to detect and dodge arrows that came from nowhere.
I was quite proud of myself for improving and growing like this for the last 28 days.
I kept running forward with the refreshing air hitting my face.