‘Now, what do I do?’
I needed to make a decision.
A very fast one.
Not a second to waste.
Even now the extreme heat was making my body into leather.
‘Can I survive if I turn back?’
The traps I had already passed should not activate again on the way back.
But, this heat would remain.
Could I survive the way back to the Waiting Room while this heat remained?
It was doubtful.
My body was deteriorating quickly.
‘Perhaps I'm having a heatstroke.’
‘I never thought that heat would be so harmful to the body.’
‘I thought it would be just more of a nuisance. Damn it!’
I marched forward.
The probability that I would escape this heat before my body collapsed wasn’t high.
In fact, it was very low.
I’d come too far to turn back now.
And the body was in critical state.
‘Now that the decision has been made, let's move.’
Sweat was pouring all over the body, and severe dehydration came with it.
Not to mention the muscles began to alternate between convulsion and rigidity as well.
I may not had much medical knowledge, but even from my perspective, this was a very, very serious situation.
Losing count on how many water bottles I had opened, I drank furiously, and poured the remainder on my body.
Next, I took out a potion.
Description: Potion which chills an area for an extended period of time. Is harmful when touched onto skin. Oral administration is not recommended.
This potion was Kirikiri's recommendation.
‘I have to say thanks when I return.’
The liquid within the bottle had a sticky, jelly like texture.
It didn't even pour out well from the bottle, being so tightly packed.
I took out a large cloth from the inventory.
It was originally intended to be used as a blanket when I bought it.
Cutting an edge of the cloth, I quickly made a suitable shape with it, and poured the potion on one side of the cloth.
It quickly soaked into the cloth.
Some of the heat dissipated after wrapping the cloth around me like a hairdresser gown.
Next I took out a towel, wet it with water and poured the remaining freezing potion on top.
Putting the towel on my head, I could finally breathe again.
‘Now, let's continue onward.’
In order to replace all the salt I've lost with sweat, I put some of the salty jerkies into my dry mouth, and walked while chewing on it.
I maintained the minimum speed at which the Wind Spirit's blessing triggers.
To go as far as I could, while I still had some stamina.
But I quickly reached my limit.
The cloth and the towel were doing their job, but the body was too exhausted in the first place.
Muscles trembled repeatedly, and the mind couldn't keep its focus anymore.
‘On the bright side, the extreme heat and humidity which tortured me has disappeared.’
Instead, the air was dry like that of a desert's.
‘Wait, that's not a good thing.’
The high temperature and high humidity before had placed both physical and mental exhaustion on me.
But with the sudden change into an arid environment, I could feel my body turning extremely dry.
I took out a stamina potion and drank it like water.
This was really expensive too...
It cost 400 points to buy just 1 bottle.
It was a ridiculous price, considering most status effect potions cost below 100 points.
In fact, this leather armour I was wearing was worth 350 points.
I wasn't keen on buying it due to its price, but Kirikiri made her recommendations.
‘Better say thanks for this too.’
‘If I can meet her.’
The lungs didn't seem right.
I could feel a ripping pain on my chest, continuous coughs, and the breathing became heavy and rough at times.
I tried to regain normal breathing, but it wasn't happening.
It was turning difficult to even keep moving, let alone maintaining the speed.
The hands were shaky and cold, with skin color turning white.
‘How can the body turn cold in this heat?’
‘Is that even possible?’
‘Damn, this is not just another visit to my ancestors beyond the Styx.’
‘I'm moving over there for a place of my own.’
My sight began to spin about.
I couldn't even tell whether I was walking straight anymore.
Just the fact that I could still stand in this situation was amazing.
A normal person would have collapsed a long time ago.
The sweat which was pouring like a waterfall had stopped.
I thought it was the effect of the freezing potion, but I was mistaken.
It was abnormal for me to not sweat at all.
Unlike before, my skin felt like it was burning.
[You have received Burn Resistance Lv.2]
‘I'm getting burns now?’
It was certainly as hot as hell here, but not to the point of burning.
The environment had the climate of a desert, but unlike a desert, this tutorial didn't have a sun.
Yet I still got burned.
Maybe just like how meat was cooked slowly in low heat, my body was getting slowly cooked underneath.
I quickly took out another freezing potion.
I applied it on my hands, feet and any part of the body not covered by armor.
Just as the description said, as soon as the potion touched my skin, I could feel the chill and pain.
Perhaps because of the pain, I could see a little more clearly.
‘Seems like I'll be getting Frostbite resistance too.’
‘But now's not the time to worry about the pain or side effects on my skin.’
The outside of my skin was turning cold extremely fast, but the core temperature remained.
I could feel the heat coming out from within as if I had eaten fire.
My consciousness began to fade.
I forced myself to swallow the freezing potion.
I could feel the stomach freeze.
I could feel the extreme cold burning and causing ripping pain in my organs.
With pain added on top of my fading consciousness, my vision began to spin uncontrollably.
I had to move forward.
There wasn’t much time.
I ran, shaky and exhausted.
With all that remained of my strength.
The legs were heavy like steel, while my lungs screamed in pain.
But, I couldn’t stop now.
There must be an end to this heat.
‘You bastards! Fucking scum of the world!’
I threw myself onto the floor after hearing the arrow, without even checking on it.
I no longer had the strength to stand in this situation, and could only get hit by the following arrows.
There was only one thing I could do against these arrows and poison darts on my way.
To curl my body and raise the shield on top of my back.
Many arrows were blocked by the shield, but some landed on my back and the sides as well.
‘Just, how many are coming this way?’
‘Let's think quickly.’
‘Shit, I feel like I'm about to die anytime soon.’
‘Let's open the inventory as soon as these arrows stop.’
‘Then take out the antidote, stamina and healing potions.’
‘Then run again.’
‘Can I do it?’
‘Scratch running, can I even take out and drink a potion, in this situation.’
The situation was too grim
Maybe I was too excited.
Did I lose my awareness because of the newfound strength from the 1st floor.
These were very, very doable traps.
All I had to do was raise my Heat Resistance slowly, with a few trips back to the Waiting room.
But, I was too careless.
To not even realise the rising temperature until it was too late.
The arrows stopped at some point.
But, unlike my plan, the body could not move.
‘Am I dying here?’
From bad decisions, coupled with carelessness.
I guessed it was the price you paid in Hell difficulty.
‘But... But, am I really…’
[Strength increased by 2. Dexterity increased by 1. Heightened Senses skill increased by 1. Pain Resistance improved by 1. Heat Resistance improved by 1. Paralysis Resistance improved by 1]
‘It's a level up!’
The body moved again.
I stood as fast as I could.
The level up didn’t simply heal my wounds but restored my body back to its peak performance, just like the Waiting room and Healing fountain.
The arrows on my back fell on the ground, while the pain from the poison, heat and the freezing potion dissipated.
The extreme heat was still there, but at this moment, my body was renewed.
‘Now, let's move before my body falls to the heat again.’
There was no time to even think.
It wasn't just a fast walk, but a run instead.
I could feel the Charge skill and Wind spirit's blessing's effects fuse with my body.
I quickly became short of breath from moving so fast in a hot environment, but my body, which was on it's way to becoming superhuman, could withstand for now.
I even turned on the Battle Concentration while running.
It may not have much of an effect, but I wanted to put all my focus onto this run.
Just a little faster, more efficient.
‘Damn, it would've been nice if I was on the track team for school now.’
The arrows again!
I tilted my head slightly to dodge the arrow coming at my face.
The arrows continued afterwards, but I didn't slow down and kept running.