My sense of anxiety surged.
The Master Monk’s voice could no longer be heard, suggesting numerous possible dangers.
It could be that my consciousness had fallen too deep as the Master Monk warned of.
Or, it could be that he simply stopped talking.
Regardless, this is extremely dangerous.
No, the latter is significantly more dangerous.
The predicament I am in implied that I could die instantly if the monk wished.
Fortunately, although time continued to pass, my body… no, my consciousness still felt fine.
I became certain that I cannot hear him because my consciousness had sunk too deep.
Since then, I focused on just the flow of my consciousness.
Just like before the Master Monk talked to me and woke up my mind, I had to endure a sleepy sensation.
Assuming that the situation right now was similar, I should greatly accelerate my consciousness and wake up from sleep.
I should focus as much as I can and keep my mind active by thinking.
Think about things endlessly and beyond.
I am not sure if this is the right method.
Honestly, I am not certain about my theory on my condition either.
I’m still trying despite this. Well, it is not like I have other options.
* * *
I thought about a science fiction movie about space I watched once.
In one scene, the tether that connected an astronaut to the spaceship was cut by an accident. The astronaut was lost to the space and became a mummy.
I wonder if my current predicament similar to that of the astronaut from the movie.
I do have one thing that’s better: knowing that this hardship will end eventually.
The world of no senses soon became the world of infinity.
In a world where nothing existed, only my consciousness remained.
I need something.
I need something that can support my mind.
I focused my mind on my body which I could not feel.
Alone, I visualized the outline of my body, which could not be seen or felt.
The world of no senses was like an infinitely wide dark canvas. On this canvas, I drew my own existence.
Actually, it was close to just an imaginary drawing.
I had no sensory input. How could I know where my hands were, where my legs were, and what was the look on my face was?
On top of this, the drawing changed continuously.
Sometimes, it looked like my body was lying down. There were times when I was sitting.
As I thought, this was a meaningless effort.
What could be more meaningless than struggling to feel something that cannot be felt?
However, I cannot afford to quit.
I wanted to know my body’s current condition. Not knowing was driving me insane.
Even if it was just a little bit, I wanted to feel the sensory inputs from the body.
The obsession was cornered by my anxiety, and it focused on the imaginary drawing of my body, which was like a mirage that didn’t exist at all.
* * *
I continued my thoughts on the condition of my body.
I wonder how long I had been at this?
The imaginary drawing of body, which had been fluidly changing continuously before, had a stabilized visual.
Honestly, this was no different from a virtual character.
Like an account’s character in an internet’s mini-homepage, it was representing a virtual version of me.
My body was currently lying flat on the floor.
It was a little undignifying that I was drooling a little, but it didn’t look like my body had any big problems.
My hands were on top of the stomach. My legs were stretched out and spread.
Although it is an imaginary construct created by the power of my imagination… It looks too real.
Is this really an illusion? Is it possible that it is not? In the state of having no sensory input, I may have managed to detect my body through a very long time using super human focus. Is it really nothing more than just an illusion that I dreamed up? No, if that’s the case, instead of this illusion, what is body? What now? What kind of insane question is that? My body is the body that I have. It’s just that I cannot feel it at the moment. No, no. That’s not what I am saying…
Numerous random questions sprouted up, answered by an equally plentiful quantity of answers.
Before long, my mind had divided into two, and then they divided further to repeat questions and answers.
Like that, time passed, passed and passed some more.
[You acquired Mental Corruption Immunity.]
* * *
[That’s why I’m saying this. The breakfast menu in our temple to be improved.]
All of sudden, I could hear the monk’s voice.
After that, that was the end of the voice.
I could not hear the rest.
What is this?
* * *
All of sudden, my body started to move.
I am not talking about the real body that I cannot feel. I am talking about the illusion that I drew to help me calm my anxiety.
I had concluded that the illusion body was just an illusion.
This is just a fake imagery that I dreamed up. At least that was what I thought that.
The virtual body that I made with my mind is moving.
It is trying to raise its hands, touch my face and massage the arms and legs.
It’s moving well.
Also, I can feel them.
This is insane.
This is imaginary visual, hearing and touch.
To think that I could cause such realistic sensations using my imagination alone…
I am not just a little crazy.
I named the illusion body, the one I made based on my imagination, the body of consciousness.
I had the body of consciousness to sit in meditative pose and started to meditate once again.
Although this was not a real body but a fake one made of my futile imaginations, my mind felt at ease.
It felt like I acquired a floating wooden plank after being thrown into to middle of the ocean.
Anyway, I could rely on it.
[You acquired Meditation.]
* * *
[Personally, I like chicken dishes. I don’t think it is right to insist on vegetarian dishes just because I’m a
Again, I could hear the Monk’s voice.
I finally realized it.
The flow of time was running amok.
It was not that the monk stopped talking. It was not that my consciousness had sunk to the bottom either.
It was just that the time was flowing slowly. It was flowing extremely slowly.
In other words, my consciousness had far beyond a normal human’s capacities.
Because of this, while I had the time to finish several hours or days’ worth of thoughts, only a moment had passed.
As I thought, before I could hear the monk’s next words, several days’ worth of time had passed in my consciousness’ accelerated time frame.
[I think the chicken drumsticks are the best. What’s your preference?]
To withstand 48 hours, the condition of the trial, just how long am I supposed to be trapped in this prison of consciousness?
* * *
In the end, I overcame it!
I am not saying it had been 48 hours and the trial was over.
I meant I succeeded in withstanding the infinite emptiness and anxiousness in this irrational space.
I just understood it all as pain.
I am currently working on raising my resistances.
I am enduring pain.
As I thought of that, my heart felt a bit more lively.
Fuck. At the moment, I am working.
In this world, where just my consciousness and the imaginary body created by the consciousness remained, I continued to examine myself.
* * *
[Look at this. This inflexible chef brought me potatoes again. Still, it looks delicious. I am sorry, but since you are not in condition to eat, I’ll eat by myself.]
This is the second meal for the Master Monk.
How many times does he eat per day?
I wish these monks only ate once a day.
If that was the case, it means two days already had gone by.
However, if they do eat three meals a day… It means that not even a day had gone by.
I desperately hoped that the Master Monk was the kind who didn’t eat much.
* * *
This is strange.
I cannot collect mana.
I knew I had spent all of my mana earlier, but I was supposed to regenerate mana over time.
Where did it go?
Could it be that only a brief moment had passed since the trial started and it has not been long enough
to recover even a small handful of mana?
That could not be.
Even with my sense of time completely broken… Fuck. It felt several months had gone by. Toughing it
out like this for several months is too much.
[Once I get used to the potatoes, I can taste its sweetness, so it is delicious.]
As for you, will you just shut the hell up?!
* * *
Now, I have the perfect grasp of the body of consciousness.
I am able to visualize my limbs, feet, hands and even fine details of the face.
Could this really be nothing but an illusion that I made with my mind?
I cannot believe this.
If this is the case, then what about my real body?
What’s the difference?
This body of consciousness has everything that it should have.
I can touch and feel with it.
I focused the mana circuit on the body of consciousness
Mana didn’t exist in the body of consciousness either.
Still, I tried.
Following the circuit’s flow path, I continued to examine the body.
I already had done plenty of examination on my organs.
I had done so much of the reflections on my past memories that I was sick of contemplating it.
I emptied my mind and moved my consciousness to circulate through the mana circuit’s path.
[You obtained Mana Circuit.]
I found mana.
It was purely by chance.
It was not hidden somewhere.
It was a part of the mana that got regenerated over time, which was what I had thought about before.
Surprisingly, before I realized, the mana was being used to maintain the body of consciousness.
Fortunately, there was some mana left, although it was just a teeny amount.
I wanted to use the remaining mana and check my body.
If possible, I wanted to check the situation inside the room and the Master Monk.
However, I could not afford to waste the mana like that.
I circulated the mana through the mana circuit.
It should not be have been possible to recognize the mana circuit’s flow path at the moment because all
senses were paralyzed.
Also, the mana could run amok if something went wrong in mana circuit’s path, so recklessly circulating
mana inside the body is a very dangerous thing to do.
The body of consciousness helped.
It was a creation of my mind based on my real body, which I could not feel at the moment.
The body of consciousness even included fine details of the mana circuit’s flow paths. Using the body of consciousness, I circulated mana.
If I didn’t make the body of consciousness, running the mana inside the body would had been impossible.
This was also the reason why I simply choose to conserve mana instead of circulating the remaining mana and growing it ever since the trial begun.
I stayed calm and ran the mana.
Little by little…
I did it carefully so that even the smallest amount of mana would not be lost.
I paid extreme attention to details.
I stepped on the desire to check my body and the surroundings. Instead, I focused on growing mana.
[They brought yams instead of potatoes. I like potatoes better than yams.]
* * *
Finally, I collected enough mana.
Before I spread the mana, I moved the body of consciousness and sat down in meditation pose.
I had to focus.
Mana was quickly depleted in this space.
It won’t take long before the mana I collected so far would disappear completely.
In that short amount of time, I need to collect as much information as I can.
I hardened my resolve and spread mana.
The first thing detected by the mana was my body.
My body was sitting in meditative pose.
My real body was sitting just like how my body of consciousness was. I was shocked.
I was actually doing that as well?
Could it be that my body of consciousness is not an illusion?
Inside the world of no sensory input, I continued to make guesses and imagined to draw the outline of my body.
I believed that the body I drew this way was an illusion, so I named it my body of consciousness.
However, it was not an illusion.
What I drew was the right answer.
Inside the world where I could not feel anything, I accurately drew and recognized my real body.
Instead of calming down and organizing my thoughts, I spread the mana further.
I must set aside such thoughts for later.
At the moment, I need to focus on the mana that I already sent outside of my body. I need to detect as many things I can.
I detected the Master Monk sitting at the center of the room.
Fortunately, he was sitting motionless there.
Mana had spread further.
It got to the 33rd Room’s entrance and exit. It also went beyond.
It even got to the 32nd Room.
It detected the monk who was lying down on the 32nd Room’s center.
It detected 31st and 30th Rooms.
It even detected 25th Room’s monk.
Like that, the mana spread and spread. In the end, it even got to the First Room, the very beginning of the room.
It should not be possible for me to have such a long detection range with the mana I have and the mana operation skill I currently possess.
It was absolutely impossible.
The Master Monk said he had been watching me since the very first room using mana.
Perhaps this phenomenon has something to do with the Master Monk’s ability.
[You acquired Energy Sensory.]
[You acquired Holy Power Resistance.]
[God of Slowness is satisfied.]
[God of Duel is complaining.]
[You are almost there, Challenger. Hold out just a little longer.]
* * *
[You acquired Mental Corruption Immunity Lv.3]
[You acquired Meditation Lv. 11]
[You acquired Mana Circuit Lv. 15]
[You acquired Energy Sensory Lv.1]
[You acquired Holy Power Resistance Lv.1]
After sensing the entire temple by spreading the mana once, my sense of time had recovered a little.
To describe how much, I could hear the monk’s voice once every one minute.
[You have worked hard, Challenger. Your first trial is now over.]
Is it really over?
[That’s right. Is it hard for you to believe?]
It is hard for me to believe. It feels unreal.
I had a reason to feel this way. I still could not see, hear or feel anything.
Still, a few things are different now.
[With the first trial over, a few of the effects of this room had disappeared.]
For example, accelerated mind, increased focus, paralysis in sense of time…
Those kind of things?
[That’s right. You know well.]
The trial is already enough to drive one to insanity without those. Were they really necessary?
As someone who just finished the first trial, I really felt that the amplification on the mind and focus were like calamities.
My thoughts were over-accelerated. The flow of time could not catch up to the speed of my thoughts.
In the end, I was trapped inside my mind.
Honestly, it was scary.
I was scared that I may never escape the prison of thoughts forever.
[Actually, in your case, the extents of those effects were particularly severe. I don’t think God of Duel arranged them that way for you in particular, but… Hm… Still, thanks to them, you have obtained things, haven’t you?]
Certainly, I had gained things.
Still, I never want to experience this again.
There probably were more people who died from going insane than gaining things from the experience.
[Uuhurhurhur. That’s actually true.]
How could you laugh about that…
[Challenger, I strongly recommend that you challenge the second trial right away. There isn’t much time.]
There isn’t much time? What do you mean?
[You probably cannot feel it, but your body is dying from the strains of excessive thought processing and focus.]
Buy us some coffee!