[Really? Are you serious?]
[That’s right. I really don’t know what to do about the Sixth Floor. Just relax and think.]
* * *
[Round Three, Day 28, 03:10]
I arrived at the waiting room at the Sixth Floor. As a test, I tried putting my hand inside the portal for the Sixth Floor’s Stage.
After that, I realized why Kiri Kiri said I won’t be able to come back soon.
I also realized why she told me to buy more potions.
[Before you enter the Stage, select your party members.]
[Current party members (1/5)]
- Lee Ho-jae
This stage involved team play.
Usually, in a game, it took at least two people. Sometimes, it took as many as several dozens of people.
It seemed I needed up to five people.
But it wasn’t like there was anyone that could team up with me at this moment.
[People that could join (1/1)]
- Lee Ho-jae
Of course, it was not possible to form the party with people from other difficulties or floors.
It had to be challengers from the Sixth Floor.
Currently, at this Sixth Floor in the Hell Difficulty, and in the Hell Difficulty itself, I was the only one in it.
‘This is thoughtless. Why would anyone think five or more people can make it to the Six Floor in Hell Difficulty alive?’
As I cleared the Tutorial floors, I have heard many times that the whole thing was flawed from the design.
One thing that got brought up the most by the people was the clear condition.
Also, the theme for this floor was clearly a design flaw.
Seriously, if they were going to design something, they should have put some thoughts into it.
I did not know who designed this Tutorial. However, I figured the gods probably did.
‘In hiding, they watch what other people are doing whole day. Their heads must be full of expectation of watching someone mating. These gods must be very ill mentally.
How could they… Damn it.’
[God of Adventure feels wronged.]
‘You have nothing to feel wronged.
As soon as I thought that I would never bring Idaltaru back to live, the God of Adventure sent me that message.
That one is the worst.
I think that one is watching me whole day.
Does this god have anything better to do?
If the Gods of the Tutorial have human forms like the gods from Rome, I bet this one looks like one of jobless, perverted, old middle-aged man.
I bet he has gigantic thighs the size of a wine barrel and his legs are hairy.'
[God of Adventure is shocked about your comments. God of Adventure is panicking.]
I sighed big.
‘Well, what can I do.
All I can say is that the situation cannot be helped.
I am the one who committed the greatest sin of selecting the Hell Difficulty when I saw the invitation message into the Tutorial.’
I have heard before that the Sixth Floor on the Normal difficulty has cooperative play.
The news caused quite a stir in the Community.
There was merit in the fact that people could challenge the floor with others.
There were challengers who were determined to get there at least.
There were others who promised with each other to meet again in the Sixth Floor instead of the day of the great harmony. This was back in the days when there were not much information about the day of the great harmony.
With the party play introduced to the Tutorial, the discussion about the weapons and each individual’s direction of development became big topics of discussion again.
The introduction of party play was a huge issue. As big of an issue it was, I was well aware of it.
However, I didn’t think that party play would get introduced in the Hell Difficulty.
In the Hell Difficulty, let alone anyone in the Sixth Floor, there wasn’t any challengers even in the First Floor. The idea of party play in Hell Difficulty was ridiculous.
[Would you like to enter?]
Fortunately, it was possible to continue by myself.
If it was made to be impossible to continue at all without five party members, I would have had to wait here until four more challengers made it to the Sixth Floor without knowing when that would happen.
‘Damn it. I guess this means I need to clear the stage by myself. I need to do five people’s worth of work.’
I thought about an AOS game where doing five people’s worth of work was the condition of the victory.
Doing five people’s worth… It was easy to say it out loud. However…
This time, it was not about picking up the slacks for some nobodies.
I had to do five people’s worth for the Sixth Floor in the Hell Difficulty.
‘Is this going to be possible to do at all?’
I was the only challenger here.
‘If there were many challengers here at the Sixth Floor in the Hell Difficulty, I wonder how I would rank among them?
I am probably above average. I am certain.
I am confident about that at least.’
According to Kiri Kiri, I was able to obtain the power skill because of a special characteristic that the God of Slowness possessed. She said I would not have been able to obtain it if it was not for that.
I personally thought that the God of Adventure panicked and also gave me a power skill just because the God of Slowness gave me one.
Also, as for my combat skills, I had gotten used to battles from clearing previous floors. Regardless of my stats, I never felt I was lacking in combat skills.
My decisiveness, ability to make good judgments, creativity, focus, will to fight, adaptability, reflex, and determination…
I was definitely superior when it came to the characteristics necessary for combat.
I was confident that I would be on the top group even if they lined up six billion people, the entire population of Earth.
I had confidence in myself. This remained unchanged since my professional gamer days.
‘Still, am I strong enough to handle five challengers at the Sixth Floor in Hell Difficulty?
Let’s find out.’
[Welcome to the Sixth Floor’s Stage.]
It was a stone room. It was narrow and confined.
Inside the room, there were just a small bonfire and two portals.
One led to the waiting room.
The other one led to…
[Would you like to challenge the trial?]
In the Community, I have heard of a floor that had this kind of setting.
The entire floor was probably made of just this one trial.
This stone room, which I’ll refer as the bonfire room from now on for convenience, gave the time and space for the people to check each other and make plans for the trial before entering the stage.
The place was sealed off and safe. Also, because there was a magical bonfire here, this place garnered special interest in the Community on its own, aside from the fact that this place was related to the party play.
The magic bonfire never withered. There was no danger of the fire spreading either. It didn’t generate smokes.
It was possible to make simple meals using this bonfire. People just needed to purchase uncooked meat or vegetables.
When the information about this spread, many challengers said they just want to get to the Sixth Floor and settle there.
Even I thought for a moment about trying making a meal here.
‘Um… Let’s try later. Later…
Besides, I’m good at making fire with the heat stone. I don’t need that bonfire.’
[Would you like to challenge the trial?]
I used the portal again and teleported.
It was a dark, narrow corridor.
It reminded me of the corridor from the First Floor.
As I went further up to the higher floors, the corridors became wider and taller.
However, the corridor at the Sixth Floor was as narrow as the First Floor.
One notable thing about the place was that there was a gigantic stone door on the opposite end.
Usually, at the opposite end of the corridor’s entrance, there were just a dead end and a portal for the waiting room. Instead, at the Sixth Floor, there was a stone door.
‘What is this?
Does it lead to the back?’
A message appeared when I touched the stone door.
[You cannot exit.]
Is it supposed to be a door that leads to outside?’
While I diligently rolled my brain about it, a message appeared to resolve my curiosity.
Just like when entering a boss room, the message appeared to explain the trial.
It seemed the entire floor was made of just this one trial.
‘Let’s just read it first.’
[Sixth Floor Trial is starting now.]
Explanation: It already has been over 50 years since the cursed priests of the Bahare Sect had been pursued by the Pantheon. As you already know, The Bahare Sect is an evil organization that seeks to reap more death by reviving the dead people and turning their souls into evil spirits.
Including Khezas, their leader, there are 16 priests. They managed to lose the Pantheon’s pursuit and successfully arrive at the heart of the white mountain range.
The place is also called the land of the god, a place where a god resided in the past.
The Bahare Sect priests are trying to cover the world in nightmare using the remains of holy artifacts.
Brave warriors, stop them until the holy knights of the Pantheon arrives. You are our only hope.
[Condition of success.]
1. Stop the death army from entering the white mountain range until the holy knights arrive.
2. Destroy the death army and 16 priests.
‘Brave warriors my ass…
I guess the difficulty for this floor will depend on the number and strength of the death army.
It won’t be easy.’
This was Hell Difficulty, so it was obvious.
‘Now, let’s get this straight.
That stone door behind me… I need to stop the death army from reaching there. I can either stop the death army or just destroy the army and the priests all together. These are the conditions of success for this trial.
It looks like they are going to fight to the death and until I get sick of them.
Still, fortunately, the corridor is narrow.
The ceiling is low, so I have to give up aerial combat using the Talaria’s Wings. Still, a narrow corridor is advantageous for fighting many enemies.
It looks like it will be hard to clear this within the time left in Round Three.
One of the conditions of success is holding out until the holy knights arrived.
The description did not specify when the holy knights are going to arrive. Still, they probably won’t arrive in just a day.
I don’t know. It could be two days or even a week.
Let’s just go meet this death army then?’
* * *
From the stone door, I walked for about four hours. I was finally able to see what the enemies looked like.
Step, step, step…
They were just marching, but it was generating incredibly loud noise.
It was unbelievable.
‘There are several thousand, several tens of thousand skulls marching in order.
What do I do…’
The description said the Bahare Sect revived the dead. As expected, the army was made of skeletons.
They were rotting skeletons wearing rotting armors.
Honestly, they didn’t look all that strong.
Their weapons were mostly some kind of sharp objects. However, I couldn’t see any that could really work well.
Their weapons were dull and were missing edges here and there.
The skeletons were made of just thin bones. I didn’t feel any robustness or power in their movement.
The corridor was narrow.
‘Regardless of the death army’s number, I just need to fight about six of them in front of me at once.
I don’t feel so threatened about fighting six of them at a time.
Still… there are…
I cannot see the end of them.’
I jumped to the top of the corridor to see the end of the marching army. However, even from above, I couldn’t see the tail end.
‘It looks like they could be over several tens of thousands.
The priests might be like necromancers. It is possible that those skeletons are being made continuously right now.
What if the land of the god’s power is giving something like an unlimited magic power to them?
… I can’t even fathom. That would be horrible.
If that is the case, that means I have to destroy the skeletons a lot faster than the rate which they are being generated.
I get why Kiri Kiri said I wouldn’t be able to come back soon.
This difficulty was definitely beyond my abilities.
It’s a matter of my endurance and speed.
It would be definitely impossible to clear it within the Round Three, which has less than two days left. I may not be able to clear it within Round Four or Five.’
I organized my thoughts and brought out the savage warrior’s backsword.
‘I don’t think using a sword with sharp edge would mean anything. These bastards don’t have flesh or muscles. They are nothing but bones.
Instead of Gladius, it would be better to use a blunt weapon like the backsword.’
When the gigantic wings opened, the narrow corridor was completely blocked.
‘Fortunately, the corridor is narrow, so the skulls won’t be able to sneak past me and get to the stone door.
I’m fighting many enemies.
Judging from their numbers, it does not look like individual skeletons are very strong.
Let’s just try fighting them.’
* * *
Using the backsword, I cross-cut a skeleton soldier in front of me.
No, I shattered the skeleton.
Along with a crushing sound, the skeleton soldier’s head was shattered.
These bastards’ weakpoint was the head.
‘Actually, maybe I shouldn’t call it their weak point?'
These bastards kept on moving when I broke other parts of their body.
When one was left with just the head, it came to bit me while clicking its teeth.
'I need to shatter their head, one by one.’
I shattered one of the skeleton soldier’s head. I grabbed the body by the ribs and threw it to the front.
Other skeleton soldiers charged in immediately.
I swung my shield and haphazardly pushed them off. I charged toward a skeleton solider that had a helmet with a feather attached.
Occasionally, there were ones with armors in relatively better condition.
These bastards ware not foot soldiers. They were commanding officers.
I was too late.’
When the commander skeleton screamed, several thousands of skeleton soldiers also screamed in beastly roar.
Their eyes showed steady glow. The weapons on their hands showed dark energy surrounding them.
‘Damn it. I don’t have any more room to fall back.’
When I first encountered the skeleton army, it happened far away from the stone door, about four hours of walk from there.
After that, with two days of continuous battle, I ended up being pushed back all the way here.
Instead of destroying 16 priests, I couldn’t even handle the skeleton soldiers. Their numbers never seemed to end even though I smashed and smashed countless number of them all this time.
‘I’m already pushed all the way to the stone door. The skeleton soldiers now even have some kind of boosts. I can't stop them anymore.’
In the end, few skeleton soldiers got past me and reached the stone door.
[You failed clearing the trial.]
[Round Three is ending.]