I kept on sprinting, progressing forward.
I had continued to run ever since I miraculously survived the heat stroke thanks to the Level up's effects.
I could feel my lungs burning with every breath I took.
This horrible temperature was akin to hell's furnace.
‘I thought it was the correct decision when I started running.
‘But is going forward really the right decision?’
‘Maybe it would’ve been better to run back to the Waiting Room?’
‘No. It's too late to go back.’
Even at that very moment of my run, the Waiting Room was moving that much further away.
‘Let's just focus on running forward now.’
I thought that to myself, and picked up my speed.
Then I was dumbfounded.
‘What is this?’
My speed was getting faster.
This was not the effect of my strength or my dexterity.
I had already checked the effects of my stats before.
‘Wind Spirit’s Blessing.’
‘It must be one of its effects.’
An effect I had never been able to find, since I could never find an opportunity to run at full speed in the confined space of the Waiting Room.
‘What an outrageous effect.’
‘This is not just added dexterity in effect here.’
With such an increase in speed, the air began to lash at my face.
‘Thankfully, I can finally feel some cool…’
‘The wind is so damn hot.’
‘It's as if someone is blowing a torch in front of my face.’
I could hear the violent turbulence of the wind.
The kind of sound you hear when you lower the windows while driving on a highway.
‘Is this something you should hear when a human runs?’
This was clearly not in the realm of human feat.
If my previous comparison was with Usain Bolt, the comparison now would be that of a cheetah or a scooter.
To top it off, even though I was sprinting at my full strength, I didn’t feel tired at all.
My muscles and my lungs were at peak condition.
I felt like I could run the entire marathon at this speed.
‘This is dangerous.’
‘The skill is so effective that it's dangerous.’
‘It's too fast.’
‘And it's still getting faster.’
‘Should I slow down a little?’
‘Do I have the time to waste?’
‘Then, let's focus on running even faster.’
‘Let's figure out just how fast I can run with this.’
‘I must focus.’
Although I had turned Battle Concentration off due to reaching my mental limit, I decided to use it now.
Everything in my vision passed quickly by me.
Just looking at how fast I was going was giving me the chills.
It was similar to the finals for my last year of highschool.
I woke up too late and had to call a quick bike service to take me to school.
The chill I felt now was the chill I felt as the motorbike weaved through the cars on the streets at ridiculous speed.
It's terrifying enough to just run with my eyes open and keep my centre of balance.
I could feel my hands, feet and my stomach go cold even in this scorching heat reminiscent of a desert during a heat wave.
‘Damn, am I scared?’
I clenched my teeth, and focused on my muscles’ movements.
I was running fine when I didn't think about the individual movements of my muscles.
But the moment I was conscious of each and every movement of my body, I had to think how each arm and leg had to move in my head.
Just like how your breathing or blinking suddenly becomes unnatural the moment you become aware of it.
‘It feels as if my face is cooking from the hot wind.’
‘Actually, it is getting cooked!’
For the first time, I was grateful for the Pain Resistance.
This Pain Resistance skill did not remove the pain.
It just made you tolerate pain better.
‘I have always been unsatisfied with it, but at this moment, I have realised just how great of a skill it is.’
Even though I could feel my skin burning all over, I could ignore the pain while still being aware of it.
As a result, I could keep all of my senses intact while ignoring the pain, and run on.
Pain is not important.
What's important is the senses becoming dull or the body paralysed from either the cause of the pain or the pain itself.
And Pain Resistance helps to prevent it.
‘Anyway, it's about time for some arrows to come out.’
‘There is no way this sinister tutorial will leave me alone.’
It was as if someone was reading my mind.
Multiple arrows tipped with poison were fired at once.
Getting hit by an arrow while running at this speed would have been extremely dangerous.
The arrows could not keep up with the speed I was traveling at.
I managed to escape the traps before the arrows could even reach me.
I dodged one arrow coming straight at my face by just barely tilting my head to the side.
The remaining arrows from the front were from the ceiling being shot at a steep angle, so I could simply move through it without needing to dodge them.
The arrows from my sides and back couldn't even get anywhere near me.
To pass through a trap like this.
My head was filled with joy.
Even the burning pain from the hot wind could not stop this joy.
No matter how much it burned my skin...
‘The heat disappear...uh?’
My legs got tangled.
The trip had much more severe consequences, since I was running at a speed closer to that of a scooter rather than a human being.
First, for a few seconds, I was in the air.
I believe I can fly-
I could see a light flash before my eyes as I felt the freedom of flying, just for a moment.
After the brief flight, I smashed, hit my head and rolled on the ground.
And lost my consciousness afterwards.
[Round 2, Day 3. 2:20]
‘Damn. How long was I out for?’
The floor was wet.
Of course, it was my blood that made it wet.
I was not even surprised at this point.
I took out a healing potion from the inventory.
It was my last remaining healing potion.
And I swore to save it as much as possible when I was buying it.
I drank all of this expensive liquid.
‘I feel empty.’
I just lied on my back and looked at the ceiling, with no enthusiasm in sight.
‘How many times did I almost get killed now?’
‘If I were to pick them individually, it would be at least 20 times.’
‘I have managed to survive through those 20 near fatal events, but yesterday was especially dangerous.’
‘It's abnormal that I'm still alive right now.’
‘Thank god, the level up came when it did.’
I slowly began to remember what happened before I went out.
Embarrassment rushed into my head.
To almost die from tripping over my own two feet.
All the confidence I had before plummeted to the ground.
‘I must really be a retard.’
The scorching heat had dissipated completely.
The metal plate on the armour which was hot as a coal had cooled down completely.
I sat up and began to check on my body.
The skin was burnt, with blisters, the size of my palm, sprinkled all over.
...It looked rather hideous.
Some of the hair was sticky and tangled with blood clot, while the remainder seemed to have burned away.
‘Did I catch fire as well?’
There were quite significant burns on my scalp.
To be so injured even after a Level up.
I thought I didn't get so damaged during the run, but I must had been mistaken.
Perhaps, I was too focused on the running part.
It seemed the healing potion had little effect on the burn marks and blisters.
I took out a burn healing potion from the inventory.
I looked at my status window as I slapped on some of the potion.
[Lee Ho Jae (Human)]
Strength : 12
Dexterity : 32
Vitality : 18
Mana : 22
Skills : Battle Concentration Lv.7 Willpower Lv.3 Awakening Lv.1 Night Vision Lv.2 Brighter Sight Lv.1 Sprint Lv.1 Natural Regeneration Lv.1 Heightened Senses Lv.3 Basic Swordsmanship Lv.1 Cut Lv.1 Basic Shield Skill Lv.2 Wind Spirit’s Blessing Lv.1 Pain Resistance Lv.10 Bleed Resistance Lv.4 Stun Resistance Lv.1 Piercing Resistance Lv.1 Poison Resistance Lv.2 Paralysis Resistance Lv.4 Heat Resistance Lv.2 Burn Resistance Lv.2
Misc : The God of Adventure pities you.
‘The God of Adventure is taking pity on me?’
‘...Is she thinking “I pity that foolish mortal, making things so difficult for himself” to herself, as she watches me make those stupid decisions?’
‘Ah, shit... It irks me, and embarasses me as well.’
Only other noteworthy changes were Heat and Burn Resistance and Natural Regeneration.
‘Did I get that Natural Regeneration while I was fainted?’
I never saw the message for it.
[Natural Regeneration (Lv.1)]
Description : Increases the speed at which your body recovers from injuries.
‘Mother, Father. Today, I have gotten 1 step closer to becoming a troll.’
‘If this skill becomes stronger, will I be able to regenerate a hand or a foot even after it gets cut off?’
‘If it's that good then I wouldn't need to rely on the Waiting Room, Healing fountain or Level ups as sole opportunities for regeneration.’
Waiting Room was ok, but relying on Level up for healing was too dangerous.
This Tutorial world was different from the nice and user friendly game with proper interface.
Since it didn’t show my experience bar, I had no idea when I would level up.
Plus, the amount of experience required to level up was increasing.
I mean, it was obvious that I would need more, but the amount of experience required was increasing too much.
From the way I felt it, each time I leveled up, it seemed like the experience required increased not by 2x, but by ^2.
If I excluded the Level ups, then the sources of regeneration I could rely on were the Waiting Room, Healing fountain and my used up healing potions.
Although weak, having a regenerative ability was welcome at this point.
‘Now, with the potion fully applied, what to do?’
I stood up, stretched myself as I thought.
The heat had disappeared completely.
I walked back a few steps, but could not feel the heat again.
It seemed, from near the start when the heat began to pick up, to where I was a few moment ago, a distance which needed half a day to travel, was one big heat trap.
I walked forward a little, and could feel some chill ahead.
It seemed, it was a cold trap from here onwards.
‘Let's go back to the Waiting Room.’
It was a clear decision.
My current condition wasn’t too bad, but I needed to prepare for the cold which would come next.
But before all that, I needed to improve my heat and burn resistance as well.
‘Let's take some time increasing that burn and heat resistance, so that it rises quite high.’
‘Same goes for the poison.’
‘I would assume that, until the 2nd floor ends, all the arrows are tipped with poison.’
I was too excited from the newfound strength I gained from the 1st round.
I thought with such positive outcome, I would be able to navigate through this Hell difficulty.
My thinking was too lazy.
‘Let's be calm, thorough, think and think again before moving.’
‘Let's not make the same mistake.’
As I confirmed that to myself, I ran toward the Waiting Room.