[Round Three, Day 28, 10:30]
It had been two days since the day of the great harmony ended.
Back then, my plan was to resume my conquest of the Fifth Floor as soon as the day of the great harmony ended.
However, I had been busy minding the cleanup of the Representative Federation and the establishment of the Order of Vigilance. As of result, I ended up wasting another day.
During the day of the great harmony, in middle of the green plain, Park Jung-ah executed Lee Chang-suk with her own hands. After that, she established the Order of Vigilance.
A significant number of the victims became the member of the Order.
It seemed that some of them already had made up their minds to join her even before the day of the great harmony.
Her actions made many panic and also found it to be repulsive.
However, there were some who were inspired by her boldness.
There were many from Normal and Hard difficulty who joined the Order of Vigilance.
During that day, with her torn school uniform’s skirt waving in the air and her body painted in blood, Park Jung-ah gave a heartfelt speech toward everyone and the people gathered around her.
They followed her like a messiah.
Park Jung-ah had people gathered in one place and told her plans and actions for the future. She looked like the Joan of Arc from the history book.
‘No. Actually, I wonder if it would be all right to say she looked like the Joan of Arc when she was painted in blood like a devil?’
On second thought…
Perhaps even Joan of Arc would have looked that fearsome to her enemies.
Kim Min-huk and the rankers joined the Order. I, the one who was responsible for defeating Lee Chang-suk and the Representative Federation, also joined the Order of Vigilance.
The motto of the Order was simple.
The goal was to establish and maintain the order and rule that provided essential minimum safety and rights to the challengers inside the Tutorial.
While the rankers and top challengers, also known as conquerors, tried their best and headed to the higher floors, the Order of Vigilance stepped up to look after the challengers at the lower floors who have not yet obtained the power to continue.
During that day, at that spot on the green plain, Park Jung-ah proposed the internal rules for the Order of Vigilance and universal laws for all challengers inside Tutorials should be made.
At that place, people brought their heads together and made essential rules.
You shall not commit act of violence toward another.
You shall not rape.
You shall not steal.
You shall not violate the freedom of another.
As the basis for the laws that were to be established, these four rules were made.
They also let it be known to all that anyone who violated the four rules will be punished by the Order of Vigilance, and the trial and punishment procedures will be strictly decided by the Order through the internal rules of the Order.
Of course, the Order’s internal rules were virtually blank at the moment, but regardless…
Many people found the idea repulsive. Many were concerned that the Order of Vigilance might head in the bad direction in the future and get corrupted, turning into the second Representative Federation. However, we marched on with the idea despite the negative reactions from the people.
Like that, the talks of the rules and laws were concluded.
The executions resumed again.
Park Jung-ah selected the worst of all members of the Representative Federation and executed them. The rest of the Federation members were put on surveillance list.
The members of the Representative Federation were mentally collapsed completely from the terror of handgun executions and from being subjected to violence for almost 15 hours.
They were in shambles. Let alone thinking about more wicked things, it seemed they may not even be able to walk properly.
However, Park Jung-ah, as if she was thinking they should not let their guard down, declared that a part of the Order’s members, including herself, will remain in the First Floor’s waiting room while giving up clearing the floor so they can prepare for unexpected turmoil in the next round.
As the last thing, she said there was a need for accurate and courteous instruction for the new challengers who will enter the Tutorial during the next round.
It was so the people who were suddenly kidnapped by the Tutorial could understand the situation and better prepare them for what was to come. It was also to inform new challengers of rules that must be followed.
Kim Min-huk chose to handle this and made notifications about information and cautions on the Community. The form was similar to an introductory or instruction manual.
Like that, everything was concluded early in the morning yesterday.
It took another day after the day of the great harmony ended.
The whole ordeal gave me a serious headache.
‘As I thought, I am not fit for the kind of business that involve people giving out their opinions, finding answers that satisfy everyone when they are in disagreement, and planning for the future.
I am better off struggling by myself.’
Perhaps that was the reason why, but I was a little glad to see a gigantic stone gate in front of me. It felt like I was back to where I belonged, the path I should walk on.
This was the Fifth Floor’s boss room.
I was already used to the use of the backsword, and it was time for me to clear the Fifth Floor.
Boss rooms were always extremely difficult no matter how easy the floor itself was, so that was making me feel a little uneasy.
However, I was confident in my abilities now.
I even believed that I’ll be able to get through this safely.
The stone gate was large and heavy. I listened to the sound it made as it dragged along the floor. Like that, I entered the boss room.
When I entered the room, the opponent that entered by view was…
It was just a lizardman.
* * *
[Your trial will start after 30 seconds.]
It meant the glass wall separating me from the lizardman was going to disappear in next 30 seconds.
‘Hm… Is this really all of them?’
The boss rooms at the Third and Fourth Floors were not inside a marble stone room like this. Instead, they were on large open spaces. Considering that, this close quarter inside the stone room felt strange.
‘Are they asking me to have a one-on-one battle against that lizard?’
The goblins inside the boss room on the Fourth Floor had a city-size organization.
Of course, it was not like I needed to fight them all at once. It was hard to think this lizard had the combined power of the city-sized goblin group.
‘What is this? Is there a hidden trick somewhere?’
Before I was able to find an answer to my question, 30 seconds had passed.
[Defeat Idaltaru, a lizardman, the stealthy shadow warrior.]
It seemed that defeating that lizardman really was the trial for clearing the Fifth Floor.
‘A stealthy shadow warrior, huh…’
The name did not fit at all with the characteristic of lizardman, which were aggressive and violent.
Still, befitting the title, this lizardman did not charge at me.
It put forth its trident and maintained cautious distance as it observed me.
I suddenly thought about the lancer that I met during the day of the great harmony.
This lizardman was also a lancer, but the mood it exuded from just holding the trident was enough to tell me that this one was completely different.
‘I think this one is definitely strong.’
I was anxious and nervous. My lips went completely dry.
‘I think this is my first time engaging an opponent so carefully.’
It had been quite a while since we both aimed weapons at each other, maintained distance and circled around.
‘Is it going to stand guard like this indefinitely? Regardless, I don’t want to charge in first.’
It was certain that the lizardman was waiting for me to charge in first, so the duel could end at an instant after me getting struck by its counterattack if I charged in first.
I was at a great disadvantage.
The difference in reach was too great.
The difference in height, arm length, and weapon’s length… I was at a disadvantage in all of them.
When the fighters’ skills were on par with each other, the differences in reach made a critical difference, giving the one with the longer reach an absolute advantage.
‘Still, it is not like the trident is always more deadly than a sword.
So, this one is called the stealthy shadow warrior…
Is this one the type that blocks or dodges the opponent’s attack and aims for the counter? If that’s the case, then it is similar to me.
God damn it. Let’s not be so anxious.
If that side is going to lead this into a battle of mental focus and attrition, it has nothing on me.
That lizardman’s face is also stiff like stone because it is nervous.
Compared to me, it is not overwhelmingly strong.
The fact that the state of being on guard is continuing like this means that we are both thinking our skills are about evenly matched.
That stiff face…
Its facial expression… I can see its facial expression.’
Actually, that was a ridiculous idea.
I was a human. There was no way for me to tell if a lizard was nervous based on its facial expression.
It had the title that contained the word, ‘stealthy.’ It was displaying nervous attitude. It was not aggressive, and it was being defensive.
Its stance showed it was focusing on defense.
This lizardman was seriously not like a lizardman.
‘However, it must be a lizardman.
I should test it.’
Lizardmen were the kind of race with extreme obsession toward their pride and strength.
Lizardmen hated being stepped on their prized tails, which they considered as beautiful and magnificent. They hated being stepped on their tails more than death itself. They could let their guard down because of this when the situation lead to it.
If the opponent’s strength was overwhelming, lizardmen did not show any signs of feeling wronged in its eyes. Still, they regretted dying before demonstrating all of their true capabilities.
These were what I have learned about the lizardmen from having fought them through the process of clearing the Fifth Floor and listening to words they spat out.
‘I have to calm my voice. I need to make it sound as cool and powerful as I can. It needs to sound heavy and dignified like a powerful warrior from a Murim fantasy novel.’
“You are a superb warrior. I have never seen a lancer as magnificent as you in my life.”
Having heard what I said, the lizardman opened its eyes big and panicked with a shocked look on its face.
It was extremely surprised. If there was [!!!] emoticon on top of its head, it would not have looked odd at this point.
It was the effect of the knowledge of the time before Babel.
The effect of this skill was not limited to just allowing me to understand other beings’ languages.
After all, it was a skill gifted to me by a god.
Moreover, many gods recommended that I should be gifted with this skill.
It was possible that those gods just wanted to see me being destroyed mentally. However, I decided to use this skill to my advantage.
“The grace and fighting spirit that you exude are enough for me to sense your strength. It is an honor that I got to have this duel with you. Even if I get defeated, I will have no regrets if I died by the hands of a powerful warrior like you.”
Although I was the one who said it, I thought it could not sound more insane.
I made it up as I thought about what a battle maniac character from a fiction would say just before a duel.
It was not like I thought the line was cool or thought that was how I was feeling.
The look on the lizardman’s face showed it was stunned. Having heard what I just said, I could see it was happy to hear that. It was tickling the lizardman’s face.
Its mouth was wiggling. It kept on using its tongue to lick. Its eyes narrowed because its cheekbones raised up. Its rear teeth were firmly biting on the cheek. Its eyes were made sharp and narrow.
It looked like it was trying to pretend to act casual and hide that it was actually happy.
‘As I thought, this lizardman is proud of its strength.’
Surprisingly, my ability to read the lizardman’s facial expression was also coming from the knowledge before the time of Babel.
Without this skill, I would not have noticed anything other than bizarre wiggling on its face.
With the skill, not only could I have a conversation with it, I could I also read its facial expressions.
I was able to communicate it with as if I belonged to the same race as the lizardman.
The knowledge before the time of Barbel was not just a simple translation skill.
[Keeruk. I am surprised to see a human speaking our tongue.]
[You are also definitely strong. It is a shame that you were born a human.]
[As my way of paying respect to having met a strong warrior in a long while, I will allow three attacks.]
It was going to allow three attacks!
‘You… are you a lizard that jumped right out of some Murim fantasy novel?
Thank you. I’ll take them.’
It looked like this lizard usually fought by defending first and then countering, so this did not seem like a great advantage.
However, it was a great progress since I managed to make a gap and some allowances.
‘I’ll show you the end of your leisurely attitude!’
I spread my wings. As soon as I took a stance,
As soon as the battle begun, I started with my certain kill move, body charge!
I thought the combo move would have swept away the lizardman just like that.
However, the Talaria’s Wing didn’t hit the lizardman. Instead, it went through empty air made of black smoke.
Just before colliding with the Talaria’s Wing, the lizardman turned a part of its body to gaseous form.
Talaria’s Wing went straight through the part of lizardman’s body that was turned to gaseous form.
‘What the… How is this possible?’
I was so surprised that I doubted what I just saw.
‘It turned just a part of its body into smoke. Are you made of smoke?
On top of that, you dodged my attack by responding to it when the attack was done using the sudden leap through the space with the Blink. Does this runt also have battle focus skill that accelerates its focus?’
I had so many things I was curious about. However, I could not afford to keep on thinking about them.
There was a trident that was coming at me from the back. I barely managed to parry it with my shield. I increased the distance from the lizardman.
Fortunately, the lizardman did not charge in to close the distance.
It seemed the lizardman was serious about allowing three attacks.
I was stunned.
I never thought I would meet an opponent who the Talaria’s Wing and Blink combo would not work.
If it was not going to work, I thought that it would be against an opponent with gigantic body and mass that overwhelmed the impact from the attack.
To think that it was possible to dodge it by looking at it…
It seemed I was not the only one who was stunned. In a little excited voice, the lizardman said,
[You are truly incredible. Keruuuk. If you were the same race as me, I would have had you as my husband.]
Is the word you just said what I think it is?
On top of that, you were female?
In that case, you are not a lizardman! Shouldn’t you be called a lizardwoman?’
The lizardwoman was looking down toward me. It looked satisfied. Because of the lizardwoman’s… no… the lizard’s gaze…
Along with the chill sensation, my entire body felt creeped out.
I did not know why, but I threw the Gladius that I was wielding. I brought out the backsword and charged forward.
Again, the lizard turned a part of its body into gaseous form and dodged the Gladius that was coming at it.
I was expecting as much up to this point.
I swung the backsword and struck the tip of the trident.
Usually, when I did this against past enemies, the spear was move out of the way to give me an opening. However, the lizard bounced its wrist and easily absorbed the impact by spinning the tip of the spear as if it was drawing a circle.
I already had charged in. I already had thrown my body forward.
I kicked the ground, threw my body forward and charged inside the distance between me and the lizard.
Throwing oneself into the air carelessly was equal to committing suicide. However, I had the Talaria’s Wing and Blink.
The lizard swung its tail to block me. I used the Talaria’s Wing to block its tail. I used the shield on my left hand to strike the lizard’s face.
Having managed to deal shock to the lizard, I wanted to maintain the upper hand and pressure in. However, while I was at it, the lizard’s trident came at me to pierce me, so I had to increase the distance again.
The lizard was struck by the iron shield earlier on the head. Despite that, the lizard still thrusted the spear precisely toward me when I was well inside the reach distance.
It grabbed on to the spear’s upper portion to make its reach shorter and thrusted it.
As I thought, as far as the skill was concerned, this lizard was superior to every opponent I had faced so far.
I was looking at the lizard with nervous eyes. On the other hand…
This god damn lizard was patting the top of its nose, the part that was smacked by my shield. It looked very satisfied. It was looking at me with merciful eyes.
This was driving me nuts. It was creeping me out.
I never thought that being able to read the expression on that scale-covered face was going to be this disgusting.
‘Is there a way to temporarily disable the knowledge before the time of Babel?’
Idaltaru, the lizard, disengaged its combat stance. It extended its hand and said in a polite manner,
[For a long time, I have longed to meet a strong male.]
[Keruk. Keruk. If it is with you, I think I might be able to overcome the wall of difference in species.]
[I do not know if it would be possible to conceive from mating with a human, but would you like to at least try?]
What did you just say?
Could it be that the knowledge before the time of Babel is broken?
I don’t understand what that lunatic lizard was trying to say?
So… Right now, what you are saying is...’
Slowly, and calmly… I went over what the wacko lizard said earlier.
‘Fuck, that reptile is trying to take my virginity!’