[Round 2, Day 30. 11:30]
I let out a sigh as I watched the goblin instructor's body fade away.
The birthstone had not dropped this time either.
Initially, I had been pushed back hard and had only barely managed to win with my special Blink Tackle. Now, I could beat him easily.
What I lacked in that first fight was combat knowledge and experience.
In terms of physical attributes, I had been leagues ahead of the goblin instructor.
With all the resistances and god's powers that I had, losing would be quite an achievement in itself.
Since the first battle, I had managed to defeat the goblin instructor multiple times, but there was still so many things I could learn from his stance, his movement and his counter attacks.
Therefore, I had been continuously challenging him without moving forward to get experience.
Taking into mind the many factors such as the goblin's height and weapon, simply copying the goblin wouldn't be a good idea.
But, for someone who lacked even the basics, just observing his movements was very informative.
My old memories from practicing Judo and Kendo were slowly coming back as well.
I was starting to realize the importance of education.
The Goblin had not have any insane over the top attacks like in a fantasy book; he simply efficiently moved and attacked based on what he had learned from experience.
Although we couldn’t speak to each other and the goblin would just charge at me, even so he had taught me so much.
I could certainly hit exponential growth, if there was someone who could teach me proper fighting techniques.
I should ask Kirikiri if such chances were available.
From challenging the Goblin, there had also been progress on skills.
[You have received Basic Shield Skill Lv.3]
[Cut Lv.1 has been incorporated into Basic Swordsmanship Lv.2]
[You have received Basic Swordsmanship Lv.3]
It was really encouraging to see the swordsmanship and shield skill, which I had been stuck at for so long, finally level up.
Plus, the Cut skill had also been absorbed into the Basic Swordsmanship skill.
I had pondered for quite some time what that meant.
In the end, I came to conclusion that my 'Cut' skill wasn't considered swordsmanship.
Rather than actually cutting something, it had been focused on hitting away arrows.
I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure that had been the case.
Like so, I had been learning basic combat skills, expanding beyond the swordsmanship and skill with shields.
And in my process of learning, the goblin instructor had been killed a countless number of times.
Well, seeing how he reseted every time I came back from the Waiting Room, I don't think he actually existed.
I wish the goblin instructor was a little stronger. It feels too inefficient to learn from someone weaker than me.
This time, I had managed to beat him with just a sword and no shield.
How should I fight him next time?
Hand to hand and without a weapon?
Or maintaining a distance advantageous to the instructor, yet bring the tempo back?
I walked back to the Waiting Room as I planned out a schedule.
The 2nd Round would finally finish.
Considering that I had been crawling through just the 1st Floor for the entire 1st Round, the 2nd Round had been really eventful.
Just looking at the floor numbers, I had gone from Floor 2 to 4.
Soon, the 2nd Round would finish and the 3rd would begin.
And just like during the 1st and 2nd Round, new people would enter the 1st Floor.
I don't know how many people would enter Hell Difficulty this time, but I hope a lack in communication won't happen again.
[You have entered the Floor 4 Waiting Room]
As soon as I entered the Waiting Room, I opened the shop and bought some potato chips and coke.
I had been taking care of my meals with mostly jerkies and rice balls, excluding the cake I had with Kirikiri.
I may splurge my points to buy a set of equipment, but I would never go beyond reason to buy food.
One reason might be because I don't really care about the taste of my food, but the other reason was to stop myself from losing focus and becoming lazy.
If one day, I felt like I wanted to just rest for today,
if I wanted to skip out on my daily schedule,
if I wanted to delay the Tutorial to next day.
Those feelings may add up and cause me to become slothful, so I'm forcing myself into the corner to prevent it.
Today I will have a small break.
I've already finished my daily routine.
I've been through so much in the 2nd Round.
I've achieved so much in this time.
Maybe, I've already become a little relaxed.
[Round 3 will begin]
Now, the newbies will be coming to the tutorial.
[Hell Difficulty, Forums (1/1)]
It seems nobody chose the Hell difficulty in this round.
Well, I guess this was normal.
How many people would actually choose the highest difficulty from a strange, floating hologram they've never seen before.
Actually, saying it like that made me feel like I'm the strange one.
It wasn’t too bad anyways.
I didn't have to worry about the meaningless deaths newcomers would have faced in Hell.
One problem in my mind was removed.
I looked through the Community relaxedly.
I rip open the bag of potato chips.
Soon, the comments containing fear and confusion from the newbies came.
I was not watching because I found their misfortune entertaining.
I was curious of the news from the outside world that they would tell after the confusion died down.
The 2nd Round finished, and the 3rd began.
What happened in the outside world during the last month?
Had that secretary in the Blue House been arrested,
Had the president stepped down?
How had the idols who returned last month done with their new album?
There were mountains of questions I wanted to ask.
It seemed that many had the same idea as me, as there are a lot of people logged onto the Community at this time.
[Kim Joo Hyuk, Floor 1: What is this? What is this Community and Tutorial. Actually, where is this place?]
[Lee Chul Min, Floor 1: I guess I've lived too long]
[Lee Gi Chan, Floor 1: I was just drinking until now, what is this...]
It seemed someone came here while being drunk like me.
The people who were here before made detailed explanations to alleviate the newcomers’ confusion.
It may have seemed grim, as they could not return home and they may actually die.
But at least they could understand and adjust to this place much faster.
The fear of the unknown was much more dangerous than any observable threat.
I was waiting for them to slowly calm down, until I saw a few strange comments.
[Lee Mi Yeon, Floor 1: Am I dead? Is this like hell?]
[Kim Jin, Floor 1: I'm sure I was about to be eaten by a monster, but even my leg is healed]
[Park Byung Jin, Floor 1: Is this related to those portals the monsters come from?]
What was this crazy talk?
Were they drunk in unison?
Even the pre-existing population who was answering to the questions from before wasn’t able answer back.
[Kim Min Hyuk, Floor 3: The newcomers from the 3rd Round, what is this about a monster and portals? What happened before entering the Tutorial?]
The answer to that question was even more shocking.
Apparently a few days after the 2nd Round had started, an abnormality that had never been seen before occurred throughout the world.
Mysterious portals had appeared across the world, and 3 days later, monsters began appearing from those portals.
These monsters easily ignored impacts from small arms such as pistols, forcing military units to use heavy weapons to respond against them.
Nations who were able to mobilise their armies the moment portals appeared didn't suffer too much, but the smaller nations who had not had a proper military were destroyed on the spot.
The nations who initially were able to barely manage with their own portals were now facing monsters from outside their borders, thus damage was beginning to spread.
Plus, undetected portals from caves, underground, jungles or below the lake began to spit out monsters, causing the frontlines to crumble.
In the 2 weeks since the portals had appeared, the number of casualties went beyond the total casualties from the 2nd World War.
The problem was that new portals were still appearing.
There were areas which were so heavily occupied with monsters that the nation had given up;
other nations had had their government abolished.
The people who had faced this apocalyptic event went mad.
Public order was non-existent and people killed each other for food and weapons.
Shady cults began to appear. The rich hid in their private safe houses, while the poor hid within the ruins of the cities.
Korea was no exception.
At least Korea's portal crisis had been late compared to other countries.
The first portal had appeared after monsters began to wage war against other nations.
Therefore, they were able to react quickly when the first portal appeared.
Martial law had been in place even before the first portal had appeared and the armies from the front lines had been deployed south on standby.
As the portals appeared throughout the worlds, the battalions were deployed before the 3rd day had even passed.
But, whether it was because the preparation wasn't sufficient or the monster's attack had been too beyond their expectations, they had failed to defend the Chungcheong Province and the Northern Frontier had been made within the Gyunggi metropolis, while the Southern Frontier had been made south of Chungcheong Province to stop the spread of monsters.
The total casualties had been so many that they weren’t able to quote a number, a province had been destroyed to rubble and new portals were still appearing as of now, but it was at least better than the crisis that most of the other countries were facing.
But, no man could find relief in those facts.
Because of the news from the newcomers, those who had figured out what happened were asking for the safety of their loved ones.
So many comments appeared at once that I couldn't even read most of them.
I wasn't an exception.
[Lee Ho Jae, Floor 4: Suwon. How's Suwon? Is there a portal there too?]
Thankfully, there hadn’t been any yet.
I had stayed on the Community to see if any of my friends and families had entered amongst the newcomers or if anyone might have at least known of their safety.
However, none of them were able to give me an answer.
[Round 3, Day 0. 18:20]
... It had been 18 hours since the 3rd Round had started.
A very long time.
The fact that I had been simply watching the Community for 18 hours without training or following my daily routine felt disturbing.
As if it should have never happened.
Thankfully, I had very few contacts.
Most of my friends had been living in Suwon or in the army.
Since they said the army was safest during these times, it lessened my worries.
My family was also in Suwon.
If you had asked how good my relations were with my family, I'd answer it's not good.
But I still wished that they were safe.
And that they didn't run into any accidents.
I realised my mind had begun to sidetrack.
What was I thinking before.
The Community showed me the answer.
[Jung Jin Chul, Floor 2: Maybe we can help?]
I had managed to spot this amongst the flood of comments.
I had finally come back to my senses after reading this and averted my eyes from the Community.
There was information that you could return back to real world after clearing 100 floors.
If I were to clear all 100, how strong would I be.
Perhaps beyond the modern firepower.
This Tutorial world which I had been imprisoned in without an explanation had not told me neither aim of the place nor the method on how to escape.
Maybe, the Tutorial had appeared to give us the strength to fight back against those monsters.
Just as the name Tutorial said.
I wasn't the only one to think this way.
The high rankers of the Community all agreed to release information and walkthroughs and to join hands to beat the Tutorial.
Soon everyone agreed that, everyone's number one aim was to swiftly clear the Tutorial.
1 month after the Portal crisis and 3 rounds since the Tutorial started…
The Tutorial Speed Run had started.