I decided to stop and think as I took a sip from the Healing Fountain.
The second Instructor that I had faced was the last trial of the 4th Floor before the Boss Room.
The 2 instructors at the start and end of the 4th Floor were much stronger than the rest of the goblins.
Their physique, skill and experience were at a different level.
Of course, an average goblin in Hell difficulty was from a different species compared to one in Normal difficulty.
Hm... What to do now?
My original plan had been to proceed through the Tutorial until I had hit a wall.
It was an obvious plan, since I was aiming to clear the Tutorial quickly.
But, would rushing through really lead to a faster clear?
Just now, the victory against the second Instructor was a hard one.
Although, I would have a much easier time if I fought him a second time.
I thought it would be too reckless to challenge the Boss Room now.
Let's go back to the start.
Grow as much as possible in this floor, just like I always had in the others.
And when I felt that my growth was stagnating, that was when I'd leave.
My clear speed was not slow.
In fact, it was very fast.
There were those who left the 4th Floor and were challenging the 5th and 6th, but they were all in Normal or below difficulties.
In Hard difficulty, someone had finally gotten to the 3rd Floor with the First Clear bonus.
My method wasn't wrong.
Let's not be too impatient and do what I've always done.
I admit, I have gotten quite anxious ever since the shocking news.
To the point that I've been focusing purely on clearing the 4th Floor and ignoring everything else.
There were so many skills I had yet to improve.
Skills such as resistances, swordsmanship, shield skills, hand-to-hand and the newly acquired sneak skill.
No matter how much I hurried, there was nothing I could do when I was only at the Floor 4.
If I was worried about the others outside the Tutorial, I should use that as a motivation to improve even more.
Alright, let's go.
Back to the Waiting Room.
Let's try to clear this floor without using the God Skills this time.
My mind was more at ease compared to when I had first started the 4th Floor.
Whether it was because I had finally cleared my thoughts or because I had managed to escape from my anxiousness, I didn't know.
[Round 3, Day 14. 20:30]
"Good. Very good."
I smiled as I looked at myself in the mirror.
The blue magic circle on my forehead was getting more and more faint.
In one or two more days, and it would be so faint you wouldn't even be able to notice it unless you were actually trying to look for it.
But, the magic circle began to shine again as soon once I had used the Blink skill once, until I've used all 5 charges.
Well, nothing I can do about that.
I just shouldn't use it in a place with others around.
As long as it didn't shine every time, it was fine.
I was just happy I didn't have to live like a power ranger with that magic circle on my face.
I put the mirror away and took out a cup instead.
I checked on my Status as I took a scoop from the Healing Fountain.
[Lee Ho Jae (Human)]
Skill: Battle Focus Lv.10 Willpower Lv.5 Awakening Lv.1 Night Vision Lv.2 Bright Vision Lv.1 Charge Lv.2 Sneak Lv.4 Natural Regeneration Lv.2 Improved Senses Lv.4 Increased Field of Vision Lv.1 Toughened Skin Lv.3 Basic Swordsmanship Lv.4 Basic Shield Skill Lv.4 Basic Hand to Hand Skill Lv.2 Basic Throwing Skill Lv.1 Wind Spirit's Blessing Lv.2 Mind Corruption Immunity Lv.1 Pain Resistance Lv.11 Bleed Resistance Lv.4 Stun Resistance Lv.3 Pierce Resistance Lv.2 Poison resistance Lv.4 Paralysis Resistance Lv.6 Heat Resistance Lv.4 Burn Resistance Lv.6 Cold Resistance Lv.4 Frostbite Resistance Lv.3 Blink Emblem Lv.Max Talaria's Wings Lv.Max
Extra: The God of Slowness was appeased by your actions.
My growth had been extraordinary.
Not only had my combat skills such as Battle focus improved, but skills such as Pierce Resistance and Toughened Skin had improved as well.
The increase in Wind Spirit's Blessing from my previous Level Up was also motivating.
The God Skills too.
I had gotten more accustomed to using Talaria's Wings, as I was able to use them in offense and defence more efficiently.
Flying had also become much easier.
Now, it was really time to challenge the Boss Room.
In honesty, I didn't think that I had already hit the wall for my growth in this floor already.
But clearing the floor twice a day, everyday had made it too easy and was become inefficient as there was no tension or danger.
I could defeat the final Instructor without a problem now.
Even his skill's path and speed had seemed very obvious.
I was scared I would lose all tension if I continued like this, even if I could grow potentially more here.
It was time to increase the difficulty again.
Past the thick fogs, I reached the familiar stone doors.
The 4th Floor may have been easy, but the Boss Room would be different.
I had never completed them easily.
The stone doors opened, as I was moved to a mountain.
Where the hell was this.
In the sky, the stars and the moon shined brightly.
I stopped thinking and just stared at the sight of the pitch black sky and the concert of the stars.
This was the first time I had seen a nighttime sky since I had come into the Tutorial.
Actually, I had never seen such a beautiful night sky in my entire life.
I had been living in the cities my entire life, so the only thing I could see at night was the moon and Polaris.
A message brought me back from admiring the sky in a daze.
[The Final Trial of Floor 4 will begin]
[Defeat the Goblin King]
Goblin King? Where was it?
The message of course didn't give me an answer.
I was currently in the middle of the mountain.
To put it simply, I must either go up or down the mountain, in order to find this Goblin King.
Let's go up.
The reason was simple.
Because it seemed harder.
In Hell difficulty, the answer was always the harder option.
Soon enough, I found out that my decision was correct.
After climbing the mountain for 15 minutes, I could see a fort at the peak.
My name is Lee Ho Jae and I am the Hell Specialist.
In order to scout the fort, I hid in the trees and took out binoculars from my inventory.
Since I used my Sneak Skill, which acted as a passive skill, noticing me from atop those walls would be difficult.
The fort's walls were 5m tall.
Quite the height.
The gates were shut tightly.
I didn't see another path from here.
The fort was quite big.
I can see 20 goblins manning the walls thanks to the torches that lined the walls.
I wouldn't have a clue as to how many were in the fort.
How was someone without Blink and Talaria's Wings supposed to beat this?
Um... I didn't know.
It seems rather difficult if you didn't have a way to scale the walls in an instant.
As for me, this wasn't much of a trial thanks to Blink and Talaria's Wings.
I could kill those 20 goblins quickly, and take care of the others while I had the high ground on the wall.
If I dropped their numbers that way, then it was an easy clear.
If things went wrong I can just jump down the walls.
Even if they tried to chase after me by opening the gates, they wouldn’t be able to chase me once I ran into the forest.
I was starting to get worried because it seems too easy.
Maybe the Goblin King wasn't in that fort.
Was the theme like how Guan Yu passed through the 5 gates?
Let's just focus on this fort for now.
I used the Blink to stick right underneath the wall.
At this position, they didn't have the angle to see me from the wall.
I snuck my way to the wall with the fewest guards and then used blink again.
Up this time.
With my Sneak Lv.4, along with the silent Blink skill, I could scale up the wall without getting detected.
Oh, it felt like I was in a stealth game. It made me excited.
I slowly crept to the back of the closest goblin guard.
The guards had no clue about my presence, either because they weren't paying attention to their job or because my sneak skill was working too well.
With the sword in reverse grip, I wrapped around the goblin to stop him from moving, putting my hand over his mouth as I stabbed into its throat.
Nobody seemed to notice when they do this in the movies.
But the goblin continued to shake around and moan even as he got stabbed, which made every other guard notice and look at my direction.
One of them shouted with a loud voice.
Their shrieks began to echo throughout the mountains.
Haha, I guess that's it for stealth action.
Let's just think I started with 1 kill in the bag.
Time for battle now.
The goblins began to charge at me with a variety of weapons.
I change my sword's grip into a normal one and spread my Talaria's Wings wide open.
It was a sight which you had to be impressed with.
The sight of the sun rising over the horizon from atop a mountain.
How the dark world had begun to colors to orange as the sun began to expose itself slowly.
Was this really an illusionary world?
I was thinking that this had to be some sort of an illusion or another space created by the Tutorial.
But was it possible to replicate such an awe inspiring scene with just an illusion?
Or had they just dropped me into an existing world within the universe?
That was how I was starting to think.
Maybe it won't be so bad living here and building a small log house as a shelter.
It would be a destitute life, but being able to watch this scene everyday would make me happy enough.
After a few more minutes of watching the sunrise and the sun was finally in the air above the horizon.
I think I can go through today feeling more happy and ambitious.
[You have watched a beautiful scenery. Luck +5]
I didn't find it strange to see a message like that appear.
Let's finish my plan.
Last night, I had managed to take over this fort completely.
There were 32 goblins stationed in this fort.
They were your average Hell goblins.
Not at the level of the Instructors.
Their numbers were lower than I had expected, which made clearing it not a problem.
And, as I had feared, the Goblin King had not been in this Fort.
But, I think I've found where he would be - in the inner castle whose tower was at the centre of the giant city with the 4 mountains at its north, south, east and west.
That was where it would be.
It was a city.
Not a tribe, but a city.
With polished roads, and stone buildings - a developed city.
I could see how developed their city was, even by looking at it from the mountain.
... Weren't the goblins’ civilization too developed?
I was sure the description of the Goblin's birthstone described tribes and shamans, but that was really just a tribe?
The city seemed big enough for tens of thousands of goblins to live in and there was even an outer wall surrounding the city.
Beyond the wall was a plain wide enough to take at least half a day to traverse across.
Lastly, with the city at its centre, there were 4 forts situated at the peak of the north, south, east and western mountains as its primary line of defense.
The fort I took last night had been just one of the 4 forts.
I guess you could call it the eastern fort.
I feel like I was stuck again.
First, fighting them in that wide plain was wrong.
There were more than tens of thousands of residents living in that city.
If all of the residents were goblins, then that city had soldiers numbering tens of thousands.
If I was surrounded by tens of thousands of soldiers, I wouldn't be able to guarantee my survival.
Even if I escaped into the air using Blink and Talaria's Wings, magic and arrows could still chase me down.
I might be able to make an escape, but there was no need to fight them while facing such dangers.
If I excluded the plains then there were still 3 remaining battlefields.
The inner castle, the city itself, and those forts.
I turn my head to look at the signal fire burning brightly.
And on the plains, I could see 20 to 30 horsemen riding at an incredible speed.
Let's delay fighting in the city for now.
My best place for battle were these forts.
The gates were shut, and without siege equipments these goblins would have a hard time scaling the walls.
Lets burn the signal fires myself and whittle down their numbers as they tried to retake the fort.
Even if everyone in the city were goblins, not all of them would be soldiers.
If anything happens, I could just run into the mountains and ambush another fort and repeat my process.
Let's lower the number of their soldiers and when the goblins either gave up on the 4 forts or when their number of soldiers dwindled, only then would I infiltrate into the city.
While hidden in the city, I would perform arson and wreak confusion within the walls and lower their numbers again.
And in the confusion I could go for the king within the inner castle.
Step by step.
Alright, it was the perfect plan.
The horsemen had already crossed the plains and began to climb halfway up the mountain.
Time to welcome them.
I chucked a few more wood to make sure the fire burned and stood up.