Chapter 26 - <Tutorial Floor 2 (7)>
"Huaah, I can finally breath again."
[Round 2, Day 20. 13:20]
I took off the blanket I used to protect myself from heat and placed it in the Inventory as soon as the heat disappeared.
I had had many return journeys in this heat area and increased my resistance to it, but running for a long period of time while dodging arrows in extreme heat was still tiring.
Both physically and mentally.
Now I took out thick clothes and a cape to prepare for the cold.
I placed some heat stones in the pockets of the outer clothes to function as a hotpack.
Next, I equipped a scarf, a hat and some gloves.
Then I began to run slowly.
Soon after, the cold could be felt but the clothes did well to act as a barrier.
Since items which help in combat or aid in completing the floor were not sold when the round began, I had to buy the cloth, leather and sewing set and make them myself personally.
Truthfully, these weren't made because of necessity.
I began to feel that I was losing my mind in this dull and bloodthirsty environment.
These clothes were made as a hobby to hopefully aid my mental health.
I could feel a sense of achievement wearing these soft handmade clothes.
My satisfaction came more from the sense of achievement rather than their ability to keep me warm.
It was worth it to reduce my sleeping time to make these, since I couldn't lose any of my working time.
‘I wonder if I'll get any crafting skills.’
‘Perhaps I'll try sculpting as well.’
Recently, none of my resistance skills had increased in level.
Poison, heat, cold resistances had stopped at level 4, and frostbite was still level 3.
I had spent at least 18 hours trying to improve these resistances, but despite my efforts none of them showed signs of improvement.
It was a shame that I couldn’t see the progress for the skills’ experience.
I was starting to think the reason the resistances weren't increasing wasn't because of a ridiculously high experience requirement, but the highest limit I could reach from the traps in the 2nd floor.
Otherwise, there was no way they would be at a standstill for so long.
An evidence which supported this was my heat resistance, which had gone beyond level 4 and had reached level 6, by making a fire to burn myself without using traps.
‘So, today's goal is not to farm for my skills, but to progress through the Tutorial.’
‘It is time to leave the 2nd floor.’
I raised my running speed to bring out my Wind Spirit's Blessing's acceleration buff.
With the now familiar speed came the bone chilling winds cutting at my face.
Many arrows flew behind me menacingly.
One of the greatest advantages in running at this speed was not in movement, but the fact that I could ignore most of the arrow traps.
Some arrows still had to be dodged or blocked due to their path, but I had already memorised all of them.
With a thud, one arrow lodged into my shield.
There weren’t any arrows I needed to worry about after this for a long time.
I just kept on running.
It felt like my hat was about to fly off running at this speed, so I put it back in the inventory.
I couldn’t lose it here.
I had put all my effort in it.
The temperature had gone significantly lower at this point.
The cold winds lacing at my face were getting quite painful.
Having no other choice, I dropped my speed.
‘Damn, how can my resistance level not increase, even with this much pain from the cold.’
‘It feels very bitter.’
With the drop in speed, I had to start focusing on the arrows again.
There was no dangers though, since I knew all their patterns and their trajectories.
My hands and feet began to lose their feeling.
I checked on my wrist after pulling the glove down, and I could start seeing erythema, a sign of 1st degree frostbite.
‘Damn it, and the resistance level still won't go up!’
I took some heat stones out from the inventory.
Then shoved them into each of my gloves and shoes.
When the heat stones touched my skin, I could hear the searing noise and a burning smell, but I ignored it.
I had already raised the Burn Resistance to level 6, and pain wasn’t much of an issue to me anymore.
It was all worth it in the end by getting a few burns to buy myself some time before the frostbite began to affect my nerves.
I could raise my resistance skill while at it as well.
‘It's the last trap now.’
It was a trap without a pattern, just like the last trap of the 1st floor.
‘Is the last trap of each floor being a no pattern trap a pattern in itself?’
‘Is a pattern of no pattern a pattern? Or, is no pattern pattern a no pattern?’
This last trap posed no threat to me as well.
My improved sense could feel the arrow's location and its trajectory the moment it was fired, and if I could sense it, I could almost certainly dodge it unless something extreme happened.
With the combination of improved reflexes and speed from my dexterity stats and the experience I had gained, dodging arrows had become an art for me.
I easily passed through the trap, and turned off the Battle Concentration.
After a few steps, the cold dissipated, and a healing fountain appeared.
Since I had gotten this far without getting too injured so many times now, I felt quite apathetic at the sight of it.
I took a few sips to recover my limbs from the slight frostbite and burns and stepped forward.
Beyond the heavy fog blocking the path, there stood a giant stone door.
This was the second boss room I would be challenging.
Well, there was nothing like a boss in it, but the Community seemed to call the last room as boss room.
In different difficulties, they actually got a boss monster in it at times.
With a heavy sound, the giant door opened.
I quietly entered.
The boss room was a circular stone room, which seemed quite familiar.
‘Ah, it's similar to the Seokguram's inner area I've been to when I went to Gyeongju for a field trip from school.’
‘The differences would be that there's no statue of buddha in the centre, and that it's much wider.’
The stone door shut loudly just like it did in the 1st floor.
I pushed the door as hard as I could.
It didn't move, as expected.
This was the most dangerous aspect of the boss room.
That you couldn’t stop the challenge half-way.
And since its challenges were literally life threatening, it truly was a gateway to hell.
A blue portal appeared with a sound I had heard so much that I had gotten quite fond of it.
[Would you like to return to 2nd Floor Waiting Room?]
‘Why would a portal show itself in a boss room?’
‘To the Waiting Room no less.’
Another text showed itself before I could come back from the confusion.
[Stay in the room for at least 3 hours]
The confusion quickly became disbelief.
‘Let's quickly analyse the situation.’
At least 3 hours.
Therefore, if I didn’t have at least 3 hours to spare when I challenged the boss room, I would fail without even getting a chance.
And in the next round, I would have to try again.
It may had not been an issue now, but it was good to remember this.
‘And, the message to stay in the room and the portal.’
‘Staying in the room is the objective itself.’
‘The portal must be part of it.’
‘To make the challenger give up on their own volition.’
To sum it all up, the theme of the boss room was related to patience.
What could possibly come out for them to so nicely create an escape portal to the waiting room?
The poison filled darts and arrows, and the heat and cold traps which followed afterwards.
They could also be included on the theme of patience.
At first, you had to mentally endure through the cold and heat, and once you got past that stage, the body which began to break down was tested instead.
Then, this boss room would likely demand physical or mental endurance from its challengers.
And in order to break their endurance, they put a portal which led to the Waiting Room, to seduce them into taking the easy path.
‘It was a right idea to raise my resistances to their highest.’
And I was not worried about my mental fortitude as well.
‘I’ll take you on.’
‘Come! How will you test my patience?’
[The trial will begin in 30 seconds]
‘You're still quite considerate aren't you.’