Everything he had done until now was part of a tutorial game?
A figure walked out from one of the hologram panels floating in the air.
“Hyuuu, it's finished…… uhrah.”
Jae Hwan looked at the emerging figure.
“Iyaaaah! I am finally able to look at you directly!”
The fussy being had a body like that of a human's, but had a head of a lion. Besides that, is that a bowler hat sitting atop his lion's mane?
Lion Head spoke.
“Wow, surprise! I was really surprised. I've never seen anyone reach the 100th floor of the tutorial by themselves.”
“…… what kind of sick joke is this?”
“Keuuh, what a rough way of speaking. Truly a Walker whom the sovereigns of the 《Great Lands》are fascinated with!”
“What are you?”
“Ah ha, introductions are a bit late.”
Lion Head took off the small bowler hat sitting in the middle of his mane and bowed in a polite manner.
“I am the demon Beastrain. I am the master of the 294th world's 《Nightmare Tower》 and tutorial game, the one that you have just cleared.”
Game. A tutorial game at that.
He hadn't misheard.
This was a tutorial game.
A game with the extinction of the human race at stake.
In an instant, Jae Hwan's eyes misted over. All kinds of emotions were causing turmoil within. The logical part of himself trying to accept this new reality and his unstemmed flow of emotions were conflicting with each other.
An unknown amount of time passed.
Jae Hwan's eyes returned to normal. No, they had become colder and more calculating than before.
Beastrain had an inquisitive expression on his face.
“Uhra, looks like your recovery is really fast?”
Jaehwan looked at Beastrain with an expressionless face.
If he wasn't able to overcome his shock, he wouldn't have been able to conquer the tower on his own.
“You said this is a tutorial game, then do you mean to say that there is a full game after this?”
“Keu, and you have a good comprehension. You're very unique. Most Walkers who get to this point aren't usually sane and talk with their swords.”
“What kind of game is this?”
“It's a game like the one you've seen.”
The beast-like, Lion head Beastrain let out a loud laugh.
Tat, the sound of fingers dancing on a set of buttons resulted in the hologram panels acting in concert to form a larger screen.
〈Tower 1st Floor〉
Standing amidst the crowd was Jae Hwan.
“What's this, isn't this just like a game?”
It was the scene when Jae Hwan had first been summoned to this game.
〈Tower 7th Floor〉
There were three people standing in one party.
Someone was talking.
“I am Yunhwan. Next to me is Seoyul.”
It was the first time he had met Yunhwan and Seoyul.
〈Tower 32nd Floor〉
After a month, Jae Hwan was able to overcome the Shadow Cave, coming out looking ragged, but none the worse for wear.
It was the first time his 'Thrust' first grew.
〈Tower 54th Floor〉
Jae Hwan, and the people around him.
“Hello everyone, I am Jae Hwan. I'm from Seoul, South Korea and my class is Swordsman.”
It was when he joined the strongest advance team,《Blade Walker》.
〈Tower 66th Floor〉
While fighting the boss, Succubus, Jae Hwan glanced at the woman by his side.
How could he have forgotten.
It was the first time he realized he loved this person.
〈Tower 76th Floor〉
In the midst of a pile of undead bones, Jae Hwan tightly grasped a woman by his chest while screaming.
He felt like his chest was being torn.
He had lost Seoyul to the Death Knight.
〈Tower 77th Floor>
There were people disappearing in a flurry of light.
It was when the [Stone of Regression] was first discovered and 《Bladewalker》 was dissolved.
〈Tower 85th Floor〉
The loud cheering of those who had broken through the Ice Demon that was the 85th floor.
When humanity's last hope, 《Carpe Diem》, was formed.
〈Tower 98th Floor〉
When he lost Yunhwan and was left alone.
〈Tower 99th Floor〉
Where not too long ago, he had singlehandedly slain the Frost Dragon.
Even the level headed Jae Hwan was at a loss for words.
Everything he had done, every word he had ever spoken, it was all here, recorded and stowed away.
“An epic drama spanning over the course of 30 years. I was really happy that you existed. Carrying out the same thing day after day, a story like yours really puts a dent in my boredom. You won't know when, but the sovereigns of the 《Great Lands》 will watch your performance.”
Beastrain was incessantly blabbing on.
‘What are the Great Lands, and who are these sovereigns.’
There were many things that Jae Hwan wanted to ask, but he remained patient.
“What are you trying to say?”
“It's simple. You can play through this whole game one more time.”
"Of course, your memories will be kept in tact if you choose to do so. It's a special privilege only for the you who cleared the tutorial game. Haha, isn't that great? It's like something straight out of a novel from your world. An absolute reset with your memories intact! How's it sound? Don't you already feel enticed by that prospect?”
Jae Hwan was at a loss.
It was a reward.
The final reward for clearing the Tower wasn't the salvation of mankind.
No, now that he thought about it, the Nightmare Tower never said anything along those lines now did it?
The Tower never said anything about a 'Final Reward'.
It was only a fabrication of human hope.
It was only something the humans had thought up. Humans had thought that clearing the contents of the Tower would lead to either salvation for humanity or a corresponding reward.
All of a sudden, humanity saw a goal in the bleak sky.
Humans were powerless, but attacking the tower was something they could do.
The reward for clearing the tower was right before Jae Hwan.
A reward given only to one person: Jae Hwan.
“Do you want to try and redo everything up til now?”
“Well, it would be similar! There would be some slight differences.”
Jae Hwan couldn't accept throwing away everything he had worked for. All this time he had been fighting for this world. To save the world that everyone else had abandoned.
To never give up this world no matter what.
It was this pride and ambition that allowed him to survive as the only remaining one in this tower. But now, the reward for clearing the tower in this world was to give up on it.
“That is to say, you'll return me to the past.”
Jae Hwan's voice turned cold.
“You should already know. I refuse to return to the past.”
Beastrain gave him a strange look.
“The past? You're talking about the past?”
Beastrain let out an insane laughter.
“What's so funny?”
“Hahaha! Seeing that I guess that's what you would assume. You're the kind of guy that'll never choose to return to the past. If you were, you would have never made it this far. Ahahahaha!”
Beastrain kept on laughing. Then, after a long period of time, he suddenly stopped,
“Let me reveal to you a very clear and cruel fact."
He started to talk in an eerie, machine-like voice.
“Whether it's an item in this tower, or an item in the outside world, even an item in the 《Great Lands》, there is no method to return to the past.