[You have cleared Tutorial, Hell difficulty, 11th Floor.]
[You are healed of all injuries and status effects.]
[You have received 2000 points for clearing the Floor.]
[You have received 2000 points for being the first one to clear the Floor.]
[Many gods are pleased with your actions. You have received 6000 points.]
[Many gods are displeased with your actions. 1100 points are deducted.]
[An additional reward is given according to your performance.]
[Would you like to accept?]
[You acquired great poison resistance Lv.1.]
[Poison resistance Lv.4 was combined with great poison resistance Lv.1.]
[You acquired great poison resistance Lv.2.]
‘Oh… great poison resistance…’
I already have seen my pain resistance getting upgraded to the great pain resistance before, so I was aware that a higher rank existed beyond the regular skill rank.
Poison resistance skill was definitely difficult to grow.
Other than the poison on the Second Floor’s traps, most of the poisons available were either on enemies’ weapons or inside their bodies.
Although this was obvious, getting hit by them on purpose for the sake of increasing poison resistance was like committing suicide.
So, my poison resistance had not changed a lot since I increased it on the Second Floor, but I ended up with the great poison resistance skill. This was great.
I felt like the effort I put into before to raise the poison resistance was wasted. That was too bad. However, I obtained level 2 version of the great poison resistance, so it was not bad.
For now… I plummeted on where I stood.
I was tired.
It was a bit too much this time.
It was not about the difficulty. The amount of effort needed to clear the floor was seriously too much.
The clear condition for the 11th Floor was stealing a treasure chest in middle of an underground city that was most valued by all monsters residing in the city.
The problem was that I could not find the treasure chest no matter how many of the monsters I slayed.
There were so many chests.
Beyond several hundreds, it was in order of several thousands.
I had no idea which of them was the most valued one among all underground city monster people.
First, I tried to use the knowledge before the time of Babel and tried to interrogate a monster man for information.
It was a waste of time.
Instead of giving up information to the enemy, apparently all monster people chose suicide without hesitation.
It was as if they could do it at a flip of a switch somewhere inside. At will, they could instantly kill themselves. Their special ability was incredibly annoying.
My interrogation skills had improved in a short while recently, but they were useless against these monster people. I was not able to get any information out of them.
In the end, searching every inch of the gigantic city was my only option.
I dug the dirt on the garden of the underground city’s castle where its king resided, and I found a hidden underground passage.
I found a key at the end of that passage. When I put the key inside the gap at the engraving of the handle on the king’s throne, a treasure room appeared behind the throne.
‘… How is anyone supposed to clear this?
If I did not turn the king’s palace garden upside down out of pure frustration, I probably won’t have found this.
Perhaps I should have intuitively realized that there is a treasure room behind the throne after seeing the engraving and just break through the wall? Maybe that is the right answer?
This reminds me of the time when I was young. I played the English version of the Tomb Raider. I played it while frequently searching the English dictionary.
I remember one time where I had to find the hidden place by following the sound of the clock ticking inside the mansion.
Um… I got motion sickness from the stress and frustration. Because of dizzy spells, I couldn’t play 3D games for a month.
I’m definitely weak against these kind of clearing methods.
If I am to claim that I need a partner, I need a partner who can cover me in this kind of tasks.
In RPG games, there are classes like thieves or adventurers.
They can install or disengage traps and find hidden enemies or places.
They can never be the main character, but for the sake of making the main lead’s story to progress smoothly, such an extra character is absolutely necessary.
I do have a bastard who I could call as a comrade, but that one is similar to me, so that brat would be of no use in this situation just like me.
I guess I’ll just have to play the cards I was dealt.
Instead of aimlessly taking on these kind of challenges, I should get used to deduction, search and etcetera.
I think there will be more of this kind of missions.’
Having organized my thoughts, I placed my hand on the portal.
* * *
“It’s been a while, Kiri Kiri.”
“Yep. You came alone this time.”
“I think the time limit expired. It just disappeared. As you said before, the memory will be maintained, right?”
“Then it is all right.”
“Hehe. This time, it took a while, didn’t it?”
“It sure did.”
It was a ridiculous mission. I had to find a hidden treasure chest. I had no choice but to get here late because I had been digging around everywhere.
I replied with a few words. Out of frustration, Kiri Kiri turned her lips to look like a duck.
“Heng… Your reactions are boring now.”
‘Now what’s up with her?’
“Last time, you cried like a baby, saying it’s been a very long time since you saw me. It was fun.”
‘… This girl’s attitude is growing more and more annoying.
Well, what she said is true, so I can’t really talk back.
All right. I decided.’
“No cake for you today.”
Kiri Kiri threw a tantrum and rushed at me. I pushed her away and assumed my position to take a nap.
I was tired.
‘Let’s sleep for a bit and think after I wake up.’
“I’m sorry. I won’t! I was wrong! Buy me a cake!”
I told her I might buy her a cake if she kept quiet while I slept. Like that, I made her close her mouth and went to sleep.
* * *
How long did I sleep?”
[Round 14, Day 6, 16:30]
‘I didn’t sleep for long.
Actually, should I consider this as having slept long?’
I had been having a hard time sleeping lately.
There was no need to sleep in the waiting room, so I didn’t think too much about this fact.
Meanwhile, inside the Stage, because I was exposed to danger, having the sleep time reduced was not a bad thing.
Time passed like that for a while, and I could no longer fall asleep even when I wanted to.
In the past, I was worried that this might happen, so I had regular sleep and meals even when I was in the waiting room.
Out of anxiousness, I focused on clearing the Sixth Floor while eliminating the time for sleep, meals and even rest. It seemed my regular daily rhythm was gone after doing that.
Thanks to the waiting room’s recovery effect, I could handle the stamina issue. However, mental recovery through the sleep could not be replaced by anything.
So, I had been making up for the lost sleep by taking a nap whenever I visit Kiri Kiri’s plain.
Still, I felt fortunate that I could sleep comfortably at Kiri Kiri’s plain.
It would have been really difficult if I couldn’t even sleep here.
As for Kiri Kiri…
Well, as usual, she slept using my stomach as her pillow.
I stroke Kiri Kiri’s head between her large ears.
Kiri Kiri was sleeping soundly like a child. I looked at her face.
She had such an adorable face.
She acted like a kid often, so I thought of her as my little sister or cousin.
‘When a friend in middle school raised a rabbit at his home, did he say rabbits don’t like being touched on the nose or like being touched on the nose? I don’t remember.
Actually, this lass has the face of a human being, so maybe it won’t matter?’
I just realized that I had many things to ask Kiri Kiri this time.
Since the Sixth Floor, I had been saving the chances for asking her questions so I could ask her a lot later.
‘For now, let’s organize my thoughts so I can ask Kiri Kiri right away when she wakes up.’
From when this troubling thought started and when I saw the clear message after completing the long conquest of the Sixth Floor around when the Round 12 was coming to an end…
[You cleared the Sixth Floor of the Tutorial in Hell Difficulty.]
It was long. Very long.
I could still remember clearly how I felt back then.
The experience through the Sixth Floor was something I never want to go through again.
I liked moving forward.
Being stuck at a place due to inadequacies in my abilities was a really horrible experience.
The broken man’s life that I led after retiring from the professional gaming came to my mind while I was at the Sixth Floor. With that memory overlapping with the stress through the Sixth Floor, it was mentally traumatizing.
I wondered if I was going to spin the wheel here forever.
I was at the mental limit.
I might have lost my mind if there was another boss after that squid looking boss and delayed the conquest of the floor further.
Anyway, things worked out well at the end since I got through it at the last moment.
However, I got a new thing to worry about since I cleared the Sixth Floor.
[God of Slowness would like to bestow the destiny of apostle to you.]
[Would you like to receive the test to prove your worthiness to become an apostle?]
[God of Adventure would like to bestow the destiny of apostle to you.]
[Would you like to receive the test to prove your worthiness to become an apostle?]
‘What should I do?
If just one god proposed the test for the destiny of apostle, I would not be agonizing over it like this.’
I was worried that the god I refused would retaliate out of anger if I chose one.
From what I experienced at the Fourth Floor, I knew gods could blind my vision and teleport me.
It meant they could kill me in middle of battle if they wanted.
I had to be very careful.
‘When I finished the Sixth Floor conquest, as soon as I met Kiri Kiri…
Wait, perhaps it was not immediately...’
Thinking about what happened during the meeting with Kiri Kiri after clearing the Sixth Floor made me feel a little embarrassed.
‘Let’s forget about it. That’s the best answer.’
I asked Kiri Kiri about the proposals made by the gods.
Of course, she was not able to answer my questions.
It was because information about gods were expensive, very expensive.
Since then, in order to hear Kiri Kiri’s advice about the gods’ proposals, I had been saving my chances on questions.
I asked her back then about when I would be able to hear the answer. She said she will be able to tell me when I clear the 11th Floor.
[God of Adventure is anxious.]
Messages like that appeared occasionally. However, I didn’t let them make me rush into making the decision.
I felt fortunate that I could postpone making a decision until I confirmed the information first.
‘Things for me to check are…
If I can accept both gods’ proposals.
If there is a penalty for doing so.
If I can accept one side and refuse the other side.
If there is a penalty or benefit for doing that.
Finally, if I should choose just one side, which side Kiri Kiri recommends.
Did I cover everything?
If I end up with some allowances left for more questions, I should ask about the God of Adventure’s preference.’
Other than that the God of Adventure was a fool and acted a little like an idiot, I knew nothing about the god’s personality or preferences.
‘Just like how I heard about the God of Slowness’s personality and principles, I should hear some about the God of Adventure.
If I still end up with some allowances left after that, I guess I should ask about information on 12th Floor.
Now, that’s enough organizing.
I just need Kiri Kiri… to wake up.
This lass is sleeping way too soundly.’
She was snoring rhythmically. She was sleeping with such a happy look on her face. I couldn’t wake her up after noticing all that.
‘For now, just a little while longer. I’ll let her sleep just for a while longer.’
[Lee Ho-jae, 11th Floor: Did anything happen?]
[Kim Min-huk, 30th Floor: Yes. Something big.]
Is there going to be another day of great harmony?
[Kim Min-huk, 30th Floor: Uh… I heard it is going to be held again before this round ends. It’s happening almost every other round now.]
[Lee Ho-jae, 11th Floor: What is it this time?]
[Kim Min-huk, 30th Floor: That’s the most serious problem. I have no idea why it is happening again.]
‘That is a big problem.’
[Lee Ho-jae, 11th Floor: Well… Keep up the hard work.]
‘I am sorry to say this, but I cannot help you on anything.
Not only am I on a different difficulty, I am no good at finding hidden problems and solving them.
It would be best for you to assign that task to someone else and let me do what I do best during the day of the great harmony.’
[Lee Ho-jae, 11th Floor: What about Park Jung-ah?]
[Kim Min-huk, 30th Floor: Well, she is causing a ruckus again. She is thinking really hard about how to punish the members of the Order who failed to hunt down the people who committed crimes in their areas.]
‘That’s not good.
Causing a stir inside the Order of Vigilance is a serious problem.
If the members of the Order get divided or even decide to turn against each other, the Order could get disbanded like that.
Also, from the outside, the Order of Vigilance has to look strong.
The Order is in charge of judging and delivering punishment to all criminals.
They have the power rivaling that of a country’s justice system.’
Also, the source of this power was standing on a very shaky foundation.
The authority given to the Order was based on the power demonstrated by the rankers during the very first day of the great harmony, my own power to be exact.
Also, there was the charisma and ruthlessness of Park Jung-ah, the one who executed the members of the Representative Federation.
Objectively speaking, we were oppressing the people with strength and fear.
We could not afford to let the outsiders see that the Order was faltering inside.
‘If the Order of Vigilance loses the public’s trust, their judgement and punishment would also lose people’s support.
Without people’s support, we are nothing but just a violent organization that forces our rules to others.
If people made up their mind and stood up to oppose us, there won’t be anything we could do.’
[Kim Min-huk, 30th Floor: I know, you rascal. I bet Park Jung-ah knows that too. She is doing that because she’s just upset. She also needs to do that.]
[Lee Ho-jae, 11th Floor: Anyway, watch her closely so she doesn’t cause an accident.]
Kim Min-huk said he got it. With that, our conversation ended.
‘Judging from what he said, it does not look like the problem will be resolved before the day of the great harmony happens.
In that case… It looks like I might end up with something that I will need to do.
Anyway, Kiri Kiri… This lass…
It’s about time she woke up.’
To wake her up, I pushed in my pinky into her nose that was making snoring sound so well.
Along with her unique shouting, Kiri Kiri was revived. She threw a punch.
Of course, its power was pathetic.
* * *
“There is no problem if I accept both?”
Kiri Kiri had cream on her lips. I asked her again.
‘… Why are you telling me this now…’
“It’s because you said you will make the decision after hearing all relevant information.”
‘I did say that.
“What is it?”
“Stop eating that. Hand over the cake.