It felt as if I was diagnosed with final stage cancer from a rudimentary health examination in school.
That’s so out of the blue. Why?
I am dying?
[That’s right. Amplified by the effects of this space, it seemed you focused your consciousness to the extreme. Your body… Your brain to be precise, was not able to endure it.]
How is my exact condition?
[You are gushing blood from your eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.]
… What about other openings?
[Fortunately, they are still safe and sound.]
So, I’m not shitting blood out of my butt yet.
I wonder how long I can endure this?
[About 20 minutes. Instead of straining yourself, leaving the room is an option. You have more than demonstrated your qualification through the first trial. If you go outside and drink a potion to recuperate, you will recover to your previous state.]
However, if I do, this last room…
[Of course, you will fail the second trial.]
In that case, the answer was already decided.
Let’s start quickly.
[Count to six in your mind. I’ll start afterwards.]
I need to roll my brain.
I don’t have time.
I still cannot feel anything.
In this world of no sensory inputs, could I even survive 10 minutes?
I cannot even see the monk’s attacks. There is also no guarantee that I would be able to move my body at will either.
I did reserve a bit of mana.
However, it is not even close to being enough.
I don’t have time to cultivate the mana through the mana circuit either.
Even if I did, the mana I have at the moment is too little to maintain mana growth.
I have enough to take a quick look of my body. That’s all.
I can’t afford to sit here and hope for and be disappointed about mana that I don’t have.
The key thing at the moment is thinking about how to use this extremely small amount of mana efficiently.
Using it at a critical moment by reading the flow of the battle will be impossible.
If I am to survive 10 minutes with a single move, then there is only one method.
I need to subdue the Master Monk with that single move.
The difference in combat strength is clear.
I recognized this as soon as I entered the 33rd Room.
Since the moment I met him, the Master Monk had been regularly exuding his power.
Because of this, I was certain about this fact.
That monk was unbelievably powerful. It was hard for me to believe he appeared at 13th Floor , even if it was the Hell Difficulty.
Compared to other enemies I defeated easily so far, this monk was most certainly an outlier.
Neutralizing him instantly was impossible.
Therefore, I have to dodge and withstand hits.
My body is dying already, but I am confident about my cockroach-like survivability.
The key is how to endure this.
I remembered about an experience I had in middle of the first trial.
I had sensed the entire 13th Floor’s Stage by spreading a small amount of mana.
If I could use abilities similar to that time…
If I focus on just the monk instead of the entire Stage…
It is possible. That should be more than enough to survive this.
Let’s think about the conditions during that time.
Because of the trial’s effects, my mind and focus were amplified in addition to an alarming sense of desperation.
When I spread mana, I could not help but feel more desperate.
I felt like I was on the bottom of an infinite pitfall. In despair, I wanted to confirm the world.
I wanted to feel my existence again.
The second condition…
Although the effects of the trial are gone, let’s try to recreate the conditions artificially.
My mind was accelerated through the Battle Focus.
As I thought, what I experienced was a decelerated world caused by an acceleration of processing speed.
It was like the world caused by the Battle Focus.
Of course, there is a difference.
The degree of deceleration is different.
I need to increase the focus.
I need to focus more, even more.
Battle Focus was originally a passive skill.
When I was in a near-death situation, I was able to achieve extraordinary level of focus, and the skill obtained active choice option. That was all.
I need to focus even more.
The memories of from the first trial in the world of no sensory inputs was helping.
I tried to recreate the sensation from that time.
The Master Monk said my body was dying from excessive thought processing and focus.
In that case, what I’m doing right now, trying to bring my focus to even greater extreme, is no different from suicide.
My brain is already at its limit, and I’m putting it through great strain again.
Still, I chose this path without hesitation. I had a reason for this.
The Power Skill from the God of Adventure which increases my combat abilities proportionally to my condition and the power of the opponent…
I already confirmed that the ability to focus is included in one of the increased abilities by the Perseverance.
My body’s toughness also increased with the skill.
I can survive this.
I cannot be certain about this, but I have to withstand this.
I used the little bit of mana that was left in me.
I couldn’t afford to focus mana in my eyes and ears.
That would have required too much mana.
Also, because I had not used my eyes and ears for so long, I probably won’t be able to follow the Master Monk’s moves anyway.
I shouldn’t spread mana either.
Instead, I sent a part of the mana to my brain.
I accelerated my mind even further.
Afterwards, I kept the rest of the mana.
Like that, I patiently waited.
My focus was throttled to the maximum.
Instead of being anxious, I maintained my focus and waited.
Slowly, very slowly, something was approaching me.
It was will.
A will that wanted to attack me.
To be precise, it was mana that contained will.
I felt it.
My gambling paid off.
The mana inside my body roughly detected the situation outside.
If not for Energy Sensory Skill that I just obtained this time and if I could not maintain a high-level focus, then I would not have detected the attack and be hit by it directly.
Like how the sun that rose from the east disappeared to the west over the course of the day, the invisible attack approached me slowly.
Over a long time, I observed it, and soon, I was able to tell what it was.
It was the knuckles of the Master Monk.
He was using his right fist and targeting my heart.
The monks I met at the 13th Floor all used same fighting arts and had the same anatomy.
Thanks to that, I could be certain where the monk was targeting exactly.
I moved my body and blocked the attack.
I was not certain if I did.
My body, which I cannot feel, moved like I wanted?
Did it block the monk’s attack?
I cannot be certain.
Perhaps I blocked it perfectly like a painting. It was also possible I was rolling on the floor after getting hit.
It could be that my body was almost dying.
However, I didn’t use mana to check my body’s condition.
I just believed that my body blocked the attack successfully and prepared for my next movement.
* * *
I stopped the fifth attack.
Perhaps, about one or two minutes might have passed.
One thing remarkable was that I was blocking them well somehow.
Just before being hit by the Master Monk’s attack, I had been successfully recognizing the attack’s trajectory. However, I still could not feel my body, and I was not certain if I was moving either.
The Master Monk is weaker than I thought.
No, he is not overwhelmingly strong as I worried.
I could relax a little bit now.
As I waited for the next attack, I now had the moment to spare and think about things other than defense.
Before I block the attack, what I detect and feel is the will.
The mana inside the monk’s attack.
Also, the will contained in the mana.
I could feel them.
Perhaps that will could be the clue?
I thought about the conditions of the first trial again.
Extreme focus and desperation.
I am already bringing out extreme focus at the cost of my life span in real time.
In that case, what about desperation?
I’m more desperate than ever or anyone at the moment.
I’m blind, deaf and I’m relying on uncertain sensations from my body… no, using just the Energy Sensory, I was blocking the attacks and enduring the assault.
What’s the difference?
It’s the mana.
There is will contained in the Master Monk’s mana.
The will and mana must not exist separately.
Just like how I spread mana after putting in a sense of desperation, I need to do the same and put will into mana.
I brought back the sensation and memories from that moment.
In a way that feels the same as that time, spread the mana by…
It was at that moment.
I opened my eyes to new things.
[You acquired Energy Sensory Lv.6]
[You acquired Strengthening Lv.1]
[You acquired Amplification Lv.1]
Immediately, I could see the layout of the 33rd Room and Master Monk.
I was still blind, but I could see them through the Energy Sensory.
The monk was slowly positioning to perform his next attack.
Because of the effect of the extremely focused mind, the monk was moving slower than a sloth.
Also, as if he was thinking I would never attack, he had rather defenseless pose.
The best medicine for letting guards down is a beating.
It’s my certain kill body smash move!
Die, Master Monk!
* * *
[Die, Master Monk! How could you say that? Wasn’t that too much?]
I’m sorry… My apologies.
The monk said in calm voice.
[Well, I really almost died. Right. My organs were damaged quite a bit too… My shoulder bones have been cracked as well. This is the end of your trial. The time is up. It is fortunate.]
After his words, I felt like I could hear him saying I would have died if this continued.
I was excited at the moment and threw the Blink-Body Smash move. However, in the end, it was a bad move.
The monk was attacked as he was off guard, allowing me to damage him. However, the damage I sustained was also as great.
I used Iron Wall and Talaria’s Wings to protect my body as much as I could. However, I came to realize that my body was already in shambles.
It is true that the monk was seriously wounded and that made surviving for ten minutes a lot easier, but…
If I didn’t have the Perseverance Skill, I would not have been able to withstand the impact from my own attack and died instead.
I should reflect on this.
Let’s not get excited. Let’s not get excited. Let’s not get excited.
Now, reflection complete.
[Congratulations. You are the first one ever to clear the 13th Floor perfectly.]
[Receive your rewards.]
[You cleared the 13th Floor of Hell Difficulty.]
[All of your wounds will be healed.]
[You obtained 3000 points as rewards.]
[You obtained 3000 points for the best clear.]
[Many Gods are showing positive responses to you. You obtained 8500 points.]
[Many Gods are showing negative responses to you. You lost 700 points.]
[Additional rewards will be given based on your play record.]
[Instead of an additional reward, the God of Adventure would like to gift you with a part of his power. Would you like to accept it?]
Immediately after clearing the stage, when my stamina and mana were recovered, I spread the mana into the surroundings.
Ugh, I finally feel like living.
I spread mana at will and checked the surrounding and my body.
… My face is full of blood.
The blood on my face is still there even after I recovered.
I’ll wipe it off later.
Things were a little different from earlier, when I had the Energy Sensory open.
As I thought, it is not something I can use any time.
Two conditions, the focus and will, needs to be met.
Now that I know how to use it, let’s diligently practice this from now on.
There is a new kind of message that I had never seen before.
It’s saying I should get a reward for clearing the Stage perfectly.
That’s new. I had never seen this kind of message before.
It appeared to be the special message that appears when the challenger clears the extraordinary challenge that’s beyond the clear condition of the stage.
This is different from the conquest clear that falls in the category of design flaw. I think I can treat this as the real ending for the stage.
Also… the God of Adventure wants to gift me an additional reward?
Hasn’t God of Adventure gifted me a Power Skill to me already?
I’ll accept for now.
[You acquired Talaria’s Wings Lv. Max]
What is this?
[Talaria’s Wings (Lv. Max)]
Description: The original skill was put together in haste by the God of Adventure due to time constraint. The God of Adventure reassembled the parts and recreated the skill.
The weaknesses were addressed and new functions were added.
While recreating the skill, the God of Adventure, the creator of the skill, earned the title ‘fool.’
What was that just now?
He gifted me the Talaria’s Wings again?
I think I should ask Kiri Kiri for a more detailed explanations.
Well then, now…
Master Monk, isn’t there something you are supposed to give me?
[Of course. First, as the reward promised for enduring the first trial…]
About containing will in the mana and delivering it to another, right?
I guess it will be hard for me to use this right now.
[First. I’ll explain how. It seems you figured out what the technique was on your own.]
For about ten minutes, I earnestly learned the method from the Master Monk.
As I thought, this is a difficult technique.
I think it will take a while before I can actually use it.
[Next, it is the reward for having cleared all of the trials in the 33rd Room. It is a Holy Medicine. It will permanently fortify your body and increase your capacity for mana. If you promise to give me something in return, I can give you a Holy Medicine that’s a little better than this.]
Something in return?
What is it? Tell me.
[It’s about the medicines you took before you started the trials.]
Ah, the medicines that constipates?
[Can you give me a little bit of those? In exchange, I’ll give you superior Holy Medicines.]
I had total of six medicines left.
The constipation medicines were not as precious as the Holy Medicine the Master Monk was offering, which could not be purchased anywhere, even in the store, so I gave him the medicines without hesitation.
[I guess I’ll be all right for the next six years.]
What do you mean by that?
[Every year, there is an event where a selected monk challenges the first trial in this room which you had just completed.]
I guess that means the selected monk had been pooping inside the room every year.
[… That’s right.]
I wish I bought more of the medicines.
The Master Monk dry coughed and was about to hand me the Holy Medicine. However, he suddenly stopped his hand.
What is this? You didn’t just change your mind, did you?
[Um… This is a first. The God of Duel told me to give you the highest quality of Holy Medicine.]
The God of Duel did?
Honestly, we don’t get along.
The monk handed me the Holy Medicine. I put it away in the inventory for now and thought about this.
Could I see this as an olive branch gesture?
[God of Slowness is satisfied.]
[God of Adventure is laughing at someone.]
[God of Duel is infuriated at someone who is belittling the god.
Buy us some coffee!