I lied down on a gigantic ice throne and rolled around.
Compared to the motel room I had been using at the 60th Floor’s residential area, this throne was at least twice as big.
It would have taken someone with a butt five meters wide to sit here as intended to. I once questioned if this thing could be called a throne.
However, the last owner of this throne clearly called it a throne.
‘So, it must be a throne.
It’s good not to question something that already has an answer.’
It was a habit I developed while I was stuck at the 60th Floor, not being able to clear the 61st Floor to be precise.
It was best not to look back on something that was already decided.
‘I cannot find the answer.
I don’t even know if there is an answer.
I already wrote my answer and submitted it as such a long ago. However, I don’t know when I’ll get the result back. I don’t know if there is an end either.’
So, I decided not to look back.
Things like a question that does not have an answer or regretting a decision I was not sure about only rotted my mind away.
‘Maybe it is the cool air from the throne. I feel refreshed.
No, this is actually a special attribute of this place.’
It seemed like just sitting around idly on my butt had cleared my head and mind.
It could be said that it felt like taking a nap at Kiri Kiri’s green plain.
That reminded me that it had been a while since I met Kiri Kiri. Also, it had been ages since I took a nap in her world.
I quickly erased the thoughts that were coming up in my mind.
I came to the 61st Floor to cleanse the leftovers in my head and chest. If I accumulated negative thoughts instead, that was no good. I could not let that be.
A message came while I was rolling around on top of the throne of ice.
[Park Jung-ah, 90th Floor: I just talked to Lee Yeun-hye.]
[Park Jung-ah, 90th Floor: By the way, are you really busy right now? If you have time to spare, won’t it be better for you to see her off?]
‘Why is this lass on the edge again?
Is it just the mood?’
[Lee Ho-jae, 60th Floor: I’m busy, I’m ultra-busy.]
[Park Jung-ah, 90th Floor: You don’t look busy at all. Next time, don’t ask me to do things like this.]
‘Why is she acting like this again?
Was there a problem?’
[Park Jung-ah, 90th Floor: No, it’s not like that. I think Lee Yeun-hye hates me a little.]
‘… That’s so out of the blue.
What are you saying? Do you think there is another person in this entire Tutorial that would welcome you and like you?’
[Park Jung-ah, 90th Floor: Enough with bullshit. Seriously, am I being too sensitive?]
‘How should I respond to this?
There is a long journey ahead to get to the right answer for this, and there are too many traps laying all over the path.
It feels like this will come back as a poison no matter how I answer it.’
[Lee Ho-jae, 60th Floor: You have that independent image. Maybe she is just nervous?]
‘People call you iron-blooded witch or a sociopath wearing the mask of justice just to send people to graves. I’m saying maybe Lee Yeun-hye shriveled because someone like that sent her a personal message.
However, Park Jung-ah doesn’t hate that independent image.
She is thinking it is helpful in maintaining the Order of Vigilance.
I made the right choice of using this as the reason for Lee Yeun-hye’s reaction.
It won’t spoil Park Jung-ah’s mood. Moreover, it is a very plausible explanation.’
[Park Jung-ah, 90th Floor: Is that so? Anyway, don’t ask me to do this kind of things from now on. I can’t speak politely to people. It feels like I’m getting rashes.]
‘Are you saying you were polite to her?
Maybe Lee Yeun-hye’s response was on the edge because you were like that.
When someone suddenly changes attitude, others can see that as a sign of aggression.
I read it at a psychology book.’
Around the Round 60, a player who used to be a doctor of psychology left the Tutorial after clearing it. Since then, the greatest authority in psychology and mental neurology had been none other than myself.
It was because I had been diagnosing the patient with the most serious mental illness daily.
Of course, I didn’t send my thoughts to her through the message.
[Park Jung-ah, 90th Floor: Also, you remember what I told you before, right? I told you it looks like something might be held again. Information about that is going to come in soon, so keep checking messages instead of ignoring it.]
I do need to continue clearing the 61st Floor, but well, I do have a reason.
Something is going to be held, huh…
Um… While at it, I think I should test that thing.
I should test if I can send my clone to other difficulties.’
My clone was considered as a summoned monster instead of an actual player in Tutorial. I wondered if that meant I could send it to another difficulty by sending it to another person.
‘In that case, send it to the Order of Vigilance…
No. Perhaps I can send the clone to the outside world.
Damn it. Why did I think of this now?
I can send my clone to the outside world and switch my soul with the clone.
[Perfect? Do dogs have horns? I’m not an ordinary summon monster, you original bastard.]
‘You were listening?’
[Isn’t that obvious you retard? Also, another difficulty is a completely different world from here. Once my link with you is gone, I can no longer maintain my life, you dumbass.]
[You already know all this, don’t you? Enough of your useless thoughts. I don’t want to die for the sake of your stupid experiment-oriented mindset.]
He truly is useless.’
[What did you say?]
When I first made that bastard, I was full of hope for clearing the 61st Floor.
However, now that I made that brat, I really had no use for him.
I just ended up with symptoms of shattered mind after trying to split my soul.
[That’s my fault? You original bastard… I feel like the youngest son who was born from failed birth control.]
My clone’s analogy was pretty good. I laughed by myself.
My mind was at a bit of ease now, so I could afford to laugh at a joke like that.
I should have come to the 61st Floor sooner.
I came to the floor to earn some points and also clear my mind before hatchling came out of the egg.
I felt so refreshed. I wondered why I didn’t come here sooner.
I knew this feeling won’t last long. Still, it felt great for the moment.
I got up from the seat.
I had been rolling around doing nothing long enough. It was time for me to move.
I came down from the gigantic ice throne and headed to the portal.
[Will you enter?]
‘No. You know I can’t.’
I mumbled the activation word. I left the space covered in ice. Instead, I was teleported to a dark and narrow space.
There was a familiar looking bonfire.
It was the entrance of the 61st Floor.
There were three portals in front of me.
One of them lead to the 60th Floor.
The other two each led to different Stages.
I needed two parties and clear both Stages simultaneously.
Once the Stages were cleared, I could enter the boss room after activating the portals on both sides.
It was simple.
However, summon monsters or clones were not acknowledged as a different challenger when entering the boss room.
‘What about Yong Yong?
Yong Yong can be considered a resident of Tutorial who was born here.
Could Yong Yong be acknowledged as a challenger?
Yong Yong is not my summon monster or clone.
If the dragon gets acknowledged as a separate entity… Um…
Actually, that is unlikely to happen.
Still, well… I got to try, as always.
I can’t just do nothing.’
A moment later, I was standing in a scorching desert.
I had seen this place before, and it was still horrible to look at.
I was not receiving damage from the heat, but I was not feeling comfortable in this horrible weather condition either.
It was extremely hot and dry.
Moreover, the wind was mixed with sand. It was annoying.
I cast mana shield to block the sand wind and walked forward.
I had no intention of standing in this unpleasant environment for long. I had no intention of fighting sticky monsters one by one here either.
‘Let’s just get to the last room.’
I walked as I folded the space. I was able to get to the end of the desert before long.
At the end of the desert, there was an oasis with a portal in the center. I walked toward the top of the portal.
‘This suddenly reminds me of the time when I got to the 61st Floor for the first time.’
At that time, I already heard information about the 61st Floor from Kiri Kiri when I cleared the 59th Floor.
Still, thinking it might be different somehow, with expectations, I stepped on to the portal.
* * *
[Welcome. It’s been a while.]
A giant’s voice could be heard from a distance. It sound like it was echoing from the far.
Next to the huge, empty throne, there was a red giant who was sitting next it. I lifted my head and looked at the giant.
There were red hot magna overflowing around him.
“It sure has, old man.”
[I see you visited another place before coming here. How’s the former queen doing? Same as always?]
“Well, same as always of course. She is still mighty concerned about skin aging.”
An explosive noise could be heard. It was painful in my ears.
Instead of the pain, the fact that I could not identify the noise hurt me more.
My body was still that of a human being.
I focused my mind to cover my ears with mana field, and I was able to identify the noise.
It was that old giant’s laughter.
[She has frozen skin, yet she is concerned about aging? Looks like her stupidity has not changed with passage of time!]
“I can’t be sure about that? The former queen said the same about you.”
Once again, a deafeningly loud laughter spread through the area.
‘Will you stop laughing?’
[About your arrangement, is it not yet?]
‘Arrangement? Can that be called an arrangement?’
“It’s far. I still have a long way to go.”
[That’s a vexing fate. You possess incredible strength, yet you still cannot be used. You had already become the most powerful sword of all, yet you are still not complete.]
“Maybe this is also a step in the direction toward the completion.”
[You are saying something similar to a certain god. Are you saying you are still an incomplete sword?]
[There is no sword that’s being created without a purpose. When you become a complete sword, what will you do with your strength?]
‘What is this question for?
It’s a difficult question to answer.’
“I’m not sure. For now… I won’t be able to decide what the sword is for until the tempering is complete. Don’t you think?”
[Because you are still an incomplete sword? That’s a funny way to put it. In that case, what about the intent of the sword makers?]
“I have my own free will, old man. I am not like a sword.”
‘… My voice is getting lower from being so annoyed.
Is he interested in hearing the answer again?’
[In that case, what does your free will tell you?]
“I don’t know.”
[Hahaha. That’s right. You don’t know. However, we do, don’t we? King.]
‘This old man really doesn’t know to think about others.’
“Let’s stop talking about dangerous things.”
[I am sorry. Because I am getting old, I want to hear a definite answer. That’s why.]
[When the time comes, decide carefully. We already entrusted our will to you.]
[Your indecisiveness should not lead to ruining the decision.]
[In that case, shall we begin?]
The red giant finished what he had to say. He picked up the giant sword that was stuck on the floor and lifted it up.
With that as the signal, the giant knights who were sleeping inside the magna walked out of it one after the other.
Two hundred units.
Considering the strength of each unit, the fact that they were all gathered in this space alone was irrational. Their combined strength was that significant.
[King. Please keep up the good work as always.]
The old giant and the two hundred giant knights raised their humungous swords and assumed poses that appeared to be signs of respects.
I knew nothing of their courtesy, but I could at least tell that they were ready for the duel.
I didn’t bother to bring out any weapon to wield.
My body was the weapon, so I just took a step forward and raised my hand.
* * *
[Lee Ho-jae, 61st Floor: It is not the day of the great harmony?]
[Park Jung-ah, 90th Floor: That’s right. We didn’t find out anything yet. We don’t know the date or the reason for it being held. However, it is definitely not the day of the great harmony that will be held.]
‘This is going to give me headache.’
Buy us some coffee!