With that, all matters we had to address during the day of the great harmony were handled.
The meeting was concluded well, and it seems the thing about Park Jung-ah sufficiently resolved.
We fixed her attitude problem. However, having witnessed her human side alone was worth the trouble.
Honestly, Park Jung-ah treated people too stiffly and with a machine-like manner. There were times when she gave the creeps.
She was calm and unaffected when she blew up a criminal’s head with a handgun out of vengeance.
As an organization’s commander, being able to always maintain and iron-blooded attitude was definitely a plus.
However, if her attitude was approaching the point of inhumane, the people around her would not want to trust her and follow her.
Park Jung-ah decided she will consciously try not to treat me as someone above her.
She promised us that she will cut down on respectful language as much as possible and treat me like a familiar friend.
However, in reality, instead of relaxing her attitude, she started to act even more uncomfortably around me.
She was acting strange. She slowly turned her head to the side when our eyes met. She stopped halfway when trying to talk to me about something, and just muttered a few things then dismissed it instead of actually saying what was on her mind.
Also, like just now, she just ran away to avoid me.
She is acting this way because she is feeling awkward.
When she gets use to it, we will be able to get along more comfortably.
On a side note, Idy was pissed, which was a problem.
It seemed that I bored her too much during the meeting.
She was not capable of understanding what anyone else was saying.
She could only communicate with me.
When she was like that, I didn’t tend to her at all throughout the entire day. I could understand why she was pissed.
To make her feel better, I went to talk to her for a bit. However, Idy turned her back on me and lied down.
She said she was going to sleep so I should stop bothering her.
It seemed she was very disappointed.
Only Idy, Kim Min-huk and myself were in the tent now.
Park Jong-sik left when Park Jung-ah left the tent.
I turned to look at Kim Min-huk, and he was doing something strange.
“What are you doing?”
“Can’t you tell?”
He had a piece of wood in one hand and a carving knife in the other hand.
He was making something by carving the wood with the knife.
“In the end, have you decided to walk the path of the Legendary Moonlight Sculptor?”
“What the hell are you talking about? I’m just doing it for fun. A hobby.”
A hobby, huh…
In the past, I had dabbled on knitting scarfs and socks and making gloves and outwears for fun.
Ah, I also made a hat too.
I opened the inventory, and the clothing that I made before were still there.
“Hey. Are you the sewing type? Sculpting is better. Sculpting Swordsmanship Skill is like a cheat.”
“That’s the main character’s special boost ability. From the common sense standpoint, a sewing skill is better. By the way, why are you sculpting all of sudden? Are you bored?”
I started sewing things when I was mentally cornered and exhausted.
I started when I was raising my resistance skills by purposefully inflicting harm on my body first thing in the morning.
Back then, I was all alone and unaware that I could meet other people through the day of the great harmony like this.
One day, the pain became the only stimulant in my life. I start to feel something like pleasures through intense pain.
When I had been snickering as I inflicted harm on my body, I hoped my Pain Resistance Skill would not improve any further.
I was concerned my life would become dull as well if my ability to feel pain became dull.
I started to mumble on my own more often. I obsessively focused on causing self-harm.
It was not just for the goal of increasing my passive skills. I was making it more painful and doing it in more dangerous ways.
One day, I came to realize that my behaviors were excessively dangerous and the condition of my mind was not normal.
I was suffering from a mental illness.
I could not escape from Tutorial, so I came up with three options.
They were not anything big.
First, I decided to look at the Community regularly at a certain time every day.
Even when I was not curious about anything, I watched people have conversations.
Second, I decided to have daily routines.
The last thing was getting a hobby.
While I enjoyed my hobby time, I forgot about everything regarding Tutorial, skills, growths or levels. I just focused on sewing.
Now that I am thinking about it, all three were pretty effective.
“… You also went through a lot. No. What you went through goes beyond that. My situation is nothing like that. I got a house at the 30th Floor’s residential district, but I got nothing to decorate the inside, so I am making them myself.”
It’s expensive to buy things using points.
Kim Min-huk added.
A house huh…
I have heard that you could purchase homes and lands with points at the 30th Floor’s residential district and use them as your private residence.
Um… Well. That’s nice.
Although I am not envious of him.
“Just call that friend of yours named Lee Jun-sik or Lee Jun-suk again. I’m going to increase my passive resistance.”
Kim Min-huk responded, briefly yawned and opened the message window.
“By the way, are you not going outside?”
“What’s the point of talking to the people outside? I’ll just end up with more work to handle. I’d rather stay here until the day of the great harmony ends. What about you? Why aren’t you going outside?”
“This is my tent, you rascal.”
Honestly, I don’t feel comfortable meeting other people outside either.
There are too many people who are afraid of me.
* * *
“Yes. Can you get information about that before the round ends?”
“Yes… I can, but…”
While we were taking a break, I asked Lee Jun-suk to gather information about the Ihaoi continent at the 12th Floor stage.
Lee Jun-suk was a member of Order who was exempt from information gathering duty.
The reason for exemption was to allow him to focus on gathering information for clearing stages.
He needs information for himself, so I cannot ask him to do an unreasonable amount of intelligence work.
“What’s your Mana Circuit Skill level now?”
“I’m at level three…”
He is exactly at the point where mana operation gets even more delicate.
“Here. Try wearing this.”
I brought out a bracelet and gave it to Lee Jun-suk.
“I got this as a reward after clearing the Tenth Floor. Its additional attribute increases your Mana Circuit level by one. This item is at a whole another dimension from items you can get from the store. Try it on first. I’ll explain afterwards.”
Just wearing this leather mana bracelet made the wearer’s Mana Circuit level higher by one level.
A person’s Mana Circuit level indicated how skillfully and smoothly the user could operate the mana.
However, the operation method is something that the user has to learn without other’s help.
Things like swordsmanship or spear techniques are something that even non-experts can get a bit of sense for it.
Perhaps it should be swung this way. Doing it like this is making the stance better? Like that.
However, mana operation didn’t have things like that.
It was like bashing one’s own head to the floor all alone to learn.
Also, because of that, this Mana Bracelet was even more precious.
Even if it was through the power of the item, being able to experience the mana operation that’s a level higher was still worth it.
“Like that, when you accumulate enough experience, your skill’s level will go up to four in no time. After that, because of the bracelet’s effect, your Mana Circuit will be at level 5. If you work a little harder after that, your skill level will rise to five. Like that, it will keep going up. Does it make sense?”
Lee Jun-suk repeatedly nodded.
“It’s sick, right?”
All right, that went well.
Actually, the Mana Circuit training won’t go as well as I described.
Separate from the experience, he will have to work hard, very hard.
The bracelet is like reducing the effort required from 100% to 80%.
“I’m giving this to you because you seemed to be the most talented one of all kids out there. Ah, do not tell others about this.”
Actually, I didn’t know much about Lee Jun-suk before I met him today. However, I tossed this comment out just for the sake of it.
Lee Jun-suk’s face looked a step brighter. He started to really focus on using the skill.
Meanwhile, Kim Min-huk stared at me as if he was accusing me of selling snake oils.
“Ah, I need to meet Hyung-jin too. Can you come with me later and talk to him?”
“The one who is in Hell Difficulty, Third Floor?”
“Yes. I don’t think he is in a good condition.”
I explained to Kim Min-huk about the conversation that I had with Lee Hyung-jin and the Third Floor in Hell Difficulty.
“I am not sure. I don’t think talking to him is going to resolve this problem. I think letting him be is sufficient.”
“Is that so?”
“You can only console him, but it won’t really feel close to home for him since you got through the Third Floor with great ease.”
I got through it in just two or three days.
“Instead, try letting him be for now.”
I sent the thought of talking to Lee Hyung-jin far far away beyond the outer bounds of my mind.
When it comes to dealing with people, it is better to listen to Kim Min-huk’s opinion.
Actually, I wouldn’t know what to say to Lee Hyun-jin when I meet him. It’s a bother too, so…
Well then… What should I do now?
Kim Min-huk turned his gaze back and worked diligently on sculpting the piece of wood as I watched him.
“What? Can’t you see that I’m focused on my work?”
“… Hey. Jun-suk. Do you have a stronger skill?”
* * *
The day of the great harmony ended. The end of Round 14 was also right in front of my nose.
I grew fond of my home here through the past month of stay. However, it was time for me to say goodbye.
It’s the cave that I had been using as the camp site in the 12th Floor stage.
I had been calling it home all this time, and now it really feels like home.
The grass outside the cave is well organized. It looks like a garden in front of a home. There is even an outhouse built at a distance from cave.
The home’s inside is tidied up, with household items and cooking utensils are also well organized in a corner.
The trace of decorations and organization that Idy had done whenever she had the time could be seen here and there.
This place really does look like a home.
“Don’t you think so?”
“Keruk. I feel the same.”
I used to live in a studio room before entering the Tutorial. However, even that place didn’t give me this kind of sensation.
Back then, my home felt like a prison where I was trapped in.
Could it be that Idy also feel the same way?
“Keruk. I am a little different, Captain. To me, this place really is my first home that I got to have.”
She said it casually, so I wondered if I could ask her for a detailed story.
Would that be rude?
No. It is not a matter of being rude or not. It might be a memory that would hurt her if I made her think about it.
Before I could start worrying about her, she started to tell me the story about her past.
“I did not get to live with my kind. I always lived at a forest nearby, alone. Because of how things were there, I didn’t get to have a place like this cave with adequate necessities. Every night, I had to move to different places and sleep.”
… There is one thing that comes to my mind whenever I hear her story.
What exactly was the reason why she was shunned by other lizardmen?
I don’t feel comfortable asking though…
“Also, the Tutorial stage, the place which I am not even certain of my memories about, cannot be called my home. It was no different than a prison. You brought me out of that place. Captain, I am thankful.”
Brought you out of that place…
Is that the right way to put it?
I once asked Kiri Kiri.
If another player meets Idy at the Fifth Floor’s boss room, does that Idy know me?
Is that Idy that I have summoned before?
Kiri Kiri’s explanation was like this.
She said Idy that I summoned and Idaltaru at the Fifth Floor’s boss room are the same but also different.
She said that the Idaltaru that another player would meet at the boss room will not have the memory of ever meeting me.
She also said that it is not that Idaltaru lost the memoires of me, but it is that she never met me.
Idy was confused when she heard that answer.
Ever since then, instead of calling her Idaltaru, I called her Idy.
I suddenly felt frustrated.
I wanted to say something to comfort her, but I could not think of anything to say.
The convoluted feeling persisted inside me. Meanwhile, many messages appeared in front of my eyes.
[You failed clearing the 12th Floor in Hell Difficulty.]
[All of your status abnormalities and wounds will be healed.]
[An additional reward is given based on your play record.]
[You acquired Poison Lv.1]
I thought it would give me more points. However, I unexpectedly got a skill instead.
Save for me failing to clear the stage, my play record was perfect.
I secured my survival for 25 days of stay inside the stage during the beginning. I had been leisurely spending the time and training since then.
“Keruk. Are we going to be at the waiting room for the three days? It’s not bad.”
“No. We will be at the waiting room for nine days.”
To be precise, we will be at the waiting room for the three days and in front of the bonfire for the other six days.
“Keruk? Six additional days in the waiting room? If you do, you won’t be able to clear the floor, isn’t that right?”
“That’s right. I plan on challenging the 12th Floor multiple times. I don’t want to let this opportunity pass and just go to the next floor. A perfect training opportunity like this may not come again.”
I have plenty of time. Suitable prey for hunting roam around the jungle alone. I don’t have to bother with finding something, nor do I have to stop a cataclysmic event either.
“I should hunt those fake dragons before leaving.