[The first trial is surviving this place for 24 hours.]
[The second trial is lasting 10 minutes in a duel with me.]
Look at this insane difficulty.
It is no joke starting, even with just the first one.
Although all my senses were paralyzed, I can at least maintain perception through the mana.
From that perspective, it’s not that hard, but…
The mana is being spent too fast.
[That is also a special attribute of this space.]
I wonder how long I’ll be able to hold out with my mana capacity?
Four hours? I think I might be able to hold out for a little over four hours.
After that, I will be trapped inside a world without any senses, a world where only my consciousness exists.
A world where I cannot see, hear or touch.
I’m certain even my sense of time will be anesthetized too.
Instead of it being a trial, it is closer to an ultra-high-tech single cell with the purpose of driving a man insane.
[However, there will be something you will gain from going through this process.]
First, let’s try to conserve the mana as much as possible.
While I was at it, I suppressed the output of the mana so that I was using the bare minimum to just recognize a part of my body.
I have no reason to maintain detection of that monk.
Not only is it for certain that the monk won’t attack me, the monk is overwhelmingly stronger than me.
The second trial will be another problem.
The Master Monk is too strong.
Way too strong.
It is not right to be so discouraged and falter even before challenging the monk. However, I can already see the end result clearly.
Beating the Master Monk and achieving victory is most certainly impossible.
I should just focus on surviving his onslaught for 10 minutes.
[Well then, would it be all right to start the first trial?]
About the first trial…
Can I get a reward for surviving longer than 24 hours?
[A reward? Tell me what it is that you want first. I’ll think about it after hearing it.]
I’ll endure it for 48 hours. In return, teach me the technique.
[What technique are you referring to?]
The technique you are using right now to talk to me.
The monk pondered deeply about it for a moment and said,
[Very well. If you endure this space for 48 hours, you have the qualification to learn it. You can always change the trial duration. Tell me at any time if you will be satisfied with enduring for 24 hours and giving up the reward instead. Well then, I’ll start the trial.]
Will it be all right if I started the trial after eating a medicine?
[Um. First, I’ll have to ask what kind of medicine it is. You won’t be able to consume the kind of potions that will directly affect the mana’s recovery rate.]
No, this one is not like that.
It is the kind that prevents me from pooping.
[What kind of medicine did you say it was?]
It is a medicine that prevents me from pooping.
This was not some shabby medicine that induced constipation. That kind of medicine was considered as a poison, so it didn’t even have any effect because of my Great Poison Resistance Skill.
This is a fantastic medicine that destroys the things inside my intestines.
I suppose it can be seen as a form of enema, although this is different since the medicine destroys the things inside instead of getting things out of the inside.
[PR Note: An enema, for those that don’t know, is the injection of a liquid into the rectum and colon by way of the anus. Basically shooting stuff up your butthole.]
[This is so unexpected.]
Hey, do you have any idea how important this is?
I need to hold out here for 48 hours, in this space where all senses are paralyzed.
In this place, I won’t be able to feel if I need to poop or not for whooping 48 hours.
I swear that I am definitely not going to poop.
[It’s all right if you eat this one. No, actually, I would like to recommend you to eat the medicine. Please take it.]
With the Master Monk’s permission, I took out the medicine from the inventory.
After the painful experiences at the 12th Floor, I purchased the medicine after asking Kiri Kiri for advice.
These were expensive as well.
[Wait, there are two different medicines, is that all right?]
One of them was for preventing any involuntary leaking.
[… All right. Take them.]
[Now, then. Take a seat and begin.]
* * *
It was not so bad for the first few hours.
I could run the mana around and check my body. I calmly meditated and passed the time like that.
Throughout the first few hours, the one thing that I focused the most was the distribution of the mana.
To hold out as long as possible, I conserved as much mana as possible. I tried my best to use the mana efficiently.
However, soon, I ran out of mana.
To prepare myself for the duel that was to happen after the first trial, I decided not to use the little mana that was left.
From that moment, the trial really started.
With no sensory input left, only my consciousness existed in the world.
Although I actually lost my senses, it felt like I lost my body itself and was floating around in the universe alone.
The overwhelming emptiness gave me the chills.
From that terror, surprisingly, I felt exhilarating pleasure.
Am I insane?
As the Master Monk said, I think this experience will be valuable.
This experience will probably be once in a lifetime.
When the sense of touch was paralyzed at the 30th Room, I compared that to being deep underwater.
It was similar this time as well.
One thing that was a little different was that this was going beyond just feeling deeply submerged. I wondered if this was how I would have felt before I was born, when I was still a fetus.
If the state after dying is death, could I also call the state before being alive as death too?
One thing was for certain. What I was feeling right now was really making me think about death.
The only thing that was proof of existence was my consciousness, which was endlessly thinking.
Around that time, all of sudden, I felt that my consciousness was gradually slowing down.
It felt like I was sinking further down into the deep ocean.
My consciousness became calmer and heavier.
It felt soft.
It was like how it felt lying down on the bed after staying up whole night, the feeling at the moment before falling asleep.
[How is it?]
It feels like someone poured a bucket load of cold water when I was sleeping soundly.
I feel really awake.
To tell you honestly, I am displeased.
[It’s usually like that, but this is also my role. I need to prevent the challenger from sinking to the bottom and to ensure their return during the trial. My role is to talk to the challenger like this.]
Are there cases where the challengers never come back?
[There were many. In proportion to the number of challengers who got this far, there are a lot of them. Those that got through the past rooms using cheats, seven times out of ten, are unable to come back.]
Can’t you just drag the challenger out to the space outside of this room?
[That is not as easy as you think. It is hard for the consciousness to rise back up from being sunk. Also, if the challenger cannot rise back up without help, then someone else needs to drag the challenger up. However, usually, someone who is capable of such is…]
So, do you need to talk to me for 48 hours?
[That’s right. It won’t be for exactly 48 more hours some time has passed since you have started. Ah, I cannot tell you about the passage of time.]
More importantly, do you have enough stuff to talk about for 48 hours?
[Of course. Do you have any idea how long I have done this for? If you want, I can tell you all sorts of stories for a whole week.]
So you were a chatterbox.
I am sorry, but let’s stop the conversation here.
I feel like I can sense something, so I want to focus on meditation.
[Oh. Interesting. It’s all right. Continue focusing on meditation. You can just treat my voice as the sound of a distant wind.]
[What should I talk about first… Right, I’ll tell you about the true nature of fighting art. I see that you have a very different opinion about this from us. Listen. I think that fighting art is…]
[You obtained Meditation.]
* * *
I am absolutely certain.
If someone dared me to bet my finger, I would. If someone dared me to bet money, I would.
I will have to think hard about it if someone dared me to bet the things between my legs though.
Anyway, I am certain that 48 hours have passed by already!
[It has not been 48 hours.]
I anticipated that my sense of time was going to be numbed too.
However, I did not think it would be to this degree.
How fast could a human consciousness be?
It was a question that I never thought about.
Also, what kind of change could that undergo in a special environment like this?
Actually, this place might have a special attribute that directly affects the speed of consciousness.
[Oh, you are very sharp. Ah, right. In our temple, do you know who has the sharpest deductive ability? It is …]
In this place, there are two clues for me to gauge the passage of time.
There is my consciousness and the Master Monk’s voice.
The problem was that his voice was not coming through his mouth.
He was merely placing meanings in mana and sending them to me through the Power Skill.
It is hard to determine the passage of time using the speed of his conversation.
Also, if my mental processes are accelerated, then how fast is it? If I am able to think about the story of the Lord of the Ring from the very beginning to the end in less than five seconds…
Or if it can do that even faster…
Uuuuuaaaaaa. This is the worst.
How long has it been since the trial started?
It might only have been 47 hours and 59 minutes.
However, it is also possible that only about six hours passed.
[That’s right. Of many answers, you are heading toward one. Think about that topic some more.]
This trial, which paralyzed all senses, also blinded me from my sense of time. Perhaps, for the 48 hours, I might get to indirectly experience an endless passage of time.
Passage of infinite time…
It was not surprising that I thought about this.
That was the principle of the God of Slowness.
The traveler and leader who follows the infinite passage of time.
As I thought about the God of Slowness, I also thought about the God of Adventure.
At a glance, they appeared to be similar.
The two Gods were contradicting in two characteristics.
The process and the result.
The God of Slowness wanted the process of someone who does not falter or run into walls.
In contrast, the God of Adventure wanted the process of someone who overcomes things while agonizing and failing and marching forward.
As for the result, the God of Slowness wants a process that repeats endlessly.
The God of Adventure wants a definite triumph through the process.
Now that I organized my thoughts, the God of Slowness’ philosophy is…
In many ways, it is similar to the values that these monks who warship God of Duel.
To point out one thing that’s different, the opponent must exist due to the arrangement of a duel, and the monks have huge respect toward opponent.
However, the monks focus more on performing their arts to perfection rather than interacting with the opponent through the art. Considering this, as I thought, these monks have principles similar to the God of Slowness.
[Hur. That’s surprising. The God of Duel said you have found the right answer. This is something I didn’t know about. God of Slowness… Actually, I’ve never heard of that God.]
Unfortunately, my thoughts about the God of Adventure and God of Slowness ended there.
I didn’t have any more clues to sustain my train of thought.
I stopped the deduction and started examining myself.
I went back to dig around my own past.
From the oldest memories I had from childhood and the recent memories…
I thought about them, and thought about them some more.
Funny thing was, that I was able to recall memories that I didn’t reflect about about on the past tries.
The memories that I recalled already before were also be recalled from a new perspective.
By the time I ran through my memories several dozens of times, and by the time I have done it over a hundred times, I could watch my memories, even my happiness and sadness, from a third person perspective in addition to my own.
[You obtained Meditation]
[You obtained Mana Circuit]
[TL: I know the MC already has these skills. I don’t know why the author wrote those.]
* * *
I completely depleted all of my mana.
It was totally exhausted.
I even spent the extremely small about that I had been saving like pocket change.
Damn it all. How am I supposed to fight the Master Monk in this state?
He won’t even let me drink a mana potion.
With the final line of defense gone now, the terror and anxiety sipped into my mind again.
I started to wonder the well-being of my body, which had all of the senses cut off.
Am I still sitting well?
Am I standing?
Am I lying down?
Where is the Master Monk?
I cannot be certain if he is still at the center of the room.
Maybe he is right in front of my nose and looking into me…
As I felt the terror, I realized something that had slipped my mind.
I could no longer hear the Master Monk’s voice.