Kiri Kiri had always been energetic, but she was especially energetic today.
She hopped and skipped around as I watched for a while. She actually started to dash into the distance like an actual rabbit.
I watched her for a moment. She had gone far enough that I could not hear her voice anymore.
Why is she acting like this again? She hasn’t been like this for a long time.
Instead of raising my voice to call her, I opened the store and purchased a cream cake.
As I thought, Kiri Kiri immediately turned back and hopped towards me.
You knew the moment I purchased the cake from that distance.
You must have the incredible nose of a dog.
Before long, she managed to recover her distance traveled. Eyes, twinkling, she asked,
“Can I eat it? Can I eat it too?!”
“Yes, eat it. I bought it for you.”
Excited, she rushed at the cake. I handed her a fork.
I knew this rascal was going to scoop out pieces bare-handed if she didn’t have one.
“Why are you so excited today? Did something good happen?”
“Iiiiihiiing. Yes, there was.”
She mumbled, stuffing herself with mouthfuls of cream.
It looks like something did happen.
This lass probably had been sitting around whole day at this field. What could have possibly happened that made her feel great?
Did someone else in Hell difficulty clear a stage and meet her?
I think I should send a message to Lee Hyung-jin later.
Did Lee Hyung-jin succeed in clearing the Fourth floor?
From what I’ve heard, he had been having a difficult time with the floor.
The Fourth Floor’s mission was killing the Goblin King, who was at the center of the city surrounded by four fortresses. It was not going to be easy.
Lee Hyung-jin was an assassin, so it was not a bad mission for him, but there were so many enemies for him to deal with.
Kiri Kiri suddenly stopped eating cake, so I looked at her. It seemed she was rushing the cake, and now her neck was feeling choked.
I purchased a cup of coffee from the store and handed it to Kiri Kiri.
“Drink this and eat it slowly.”
She chugged the coffee like it was plain water.
“Uuuuuuk. It’s bitter…”
It probably was. It was americano.
Kiri Kiri made a disgusted cringe and put down the cup of coffee.
She looked adorable and fun to watch, so I smiled inside.
I brought out a sugar cube and gave it to Kiri Kiri to put in the coffee.
Instead of putting the cube in the coffee, she just put the cube in her mouth.
She was enjoying it. She smiled.
Could anyone like sweets so much…
* * *
“Hiiing. You will have to wait a while before you can read this.”
I showed her the book that I made the doppelganger copy, only to be greeted by those words.
Kiri Kiri looked at the book that was tightly filled with words and said,
“There is a lot of great information here. They are summarized pretty well too. Still, there are so many things written in Rune. You won’t be able to understand it by patterns alone. Even if it was possible, it will take too long. It will be inefficient. You should learn Rune first, but you cannot purchase the textbook for Rune yet.”
“I cannot purchase it?”
“That’s right. You need to get to at least the 30th Floor before you can purchase it from the store.”
“There is a restriction like that? I never heard of such a thing from the challengers of other difficulties.”
“There are differences in not just the floor numbers, but also the difficulties. By the way, this is an expensive piece of information.”
That was an expensive piece of information?
Couldn’t you tell me that first before telling me the actual information?
Well, it is still good that she told me that after giving me the information.
Also, she probably told me because she thought the information would be useful to me.
I think I’ll have to put off studying magic for a while.
I’ll have to wait until I get to the 30th Floor or beyond at least.
“Ah, I learned a magic called Wind Arrow. I was not able to cast it completely. Can you tell me about that?”
“Yep… Wait. It is complicated.”
Kiri Kiri thought deeply and asked right away,
“If I explain this to you, I won’t be able to tell you about the Tournament.”
Is that so?
There was going to be the second Tournament soon.
It was going to happen in the next Round, so there were only a few days left.
Obviously, the Order of Vigilance was gathering information about the next Tournament.
“It’s all right.”
However, the Order had already gathered quite a bit of information about the Tournament.
So, they were able to get information about the doppelganger for me as well.
“In that case, I’ll tell you. I’ll briefly tell you about it once, so listen carefully.”
“I got it.”
Kiri Kiri calmed her throat and started to explain.
“What you need is understanding of elemental types and their applications. It is impossible to master them at your skill level. However, you can master the wind element. Wind Spirit’s Blessing. That’s the all the information I can give you.”
So, in the end, she is advising me to improve my understanding of the wind element through the Wind Spirit’s Blessing.
The information was probably brief and short because it was about a new technique; it was a magic skill, on top of that. She was probably restricted from telling me too much.
If I didn’t have the Wind Spirit’s Blessing, she probably couldn’t even do that.
“Hihiing. It’s my job.”
I opened the status window and checked the information about the Wind Spirit’s Blessing.
[Wind Spirit’s Blessing (Lv.5)]
Description: The Wind Spirit who just entered its childhood is with you.
Agility + 10
Stage One: You receive the blessing of the forest when you reach a certain speed.
Stage Two: You are further accelerated after you reach a certain speed.
Stage Three: The Wind Spirit is always with you. The Wind Spirit will cheer you on wholeheartedly when you are in danger.
The third stage of the skill, which used to be filled with question marks before, revealed its description now that I got to level five.
However, I didn’t really care for these.
What would be the point of having the Wind Spirit, which was invisible to begin with, cheering me on?
“Kiri Kiri, it is not like there is a hidden effect in the Wind Spirit’s cheering, right?”
“That’s right. There is nothing. I told you this before. If I must point out something, it is feeling better while watching an adorable spirit cheering for you.”
I had high hopes for the third stage of the skill, but I realized that it was meaningless. Since then, I had forgotten about the Wind Spirit’s Blessing skill.
The increase in agility and other boost effects were definitely effective. However, because it was a passive skill, I didn’t really need to actively think about the skill.
I had thought about the skill recently, when I obtained the Summon Spirit Assimilation skill.
[Summon Spirit Assimilation (Lv.2)]
Description: You will become a little closer with summon spirits.
Other that what it said in the description, there was no other effects from it.
Kiri Kiri told me the same thing about the skill.
However, what was point of becoming close friends with Summon Spirits that I couldn’t even see?
I am not even sure how the skill increased to level two.
I had been forgetting about these skills like that. Now, they could be clues for using magic.
Whenever I use the Wind Spirit’s Blessing, the Wind Spirit will be around me, although I won’t be able to see it. Should I try to detect its energy and understand the elemental type through observing this energy?
Since the magic I’m trying to use is Wind Arrow, I think it definitely will help if I tried to “feel” the energy of the Wind Spirit.
I guess I could think of it as something like the holy power emanating from.
When the Holy Knight used holy spells, I didn’t detect anything extraordinary from them.
However, at the 13th Floor, when the entire space had the God of Duel’s power cast on it, I felt something similar to my power skills.
The Master Monk said it was the sensation of a holy power.
In other words, I could feel the holy power, but it had to be incredibly powerful, something from a god.
One day, once I get used to holy powers, I should be able to feel the traces of holy power from simple spells as well as from powerful ones.
So, like that, I should try to get used to the Wind Spirit’s power and try to feel it.
If I magnify my focus and try to detect the energy around me, I should be able to feel something.
I concluded my thoughts and checked the time.
[Round 17, Day 24, 21:30]
I am not sure about the timing.
There are only a few days until the 30th day. That may or may not be enough time to challenge the 17th Floor. Meanwhile, I have too many days left to just stay at the waiting room and train.
Should I just set my mind to it and focus on training for the remainder of the time?
I thought profoundly about this, but Kiri Kiri poked at my arm.
“What is it?”
“Yes… I think it would be a good idea to challenge the 17th Floor right away.”
Kiri Kiri rarely gave me an advice when I didn’t ask.
Could there be a reason why I should try challenging it right away?
If the stage’s challenge time is exactly five days or even shorter, then her advice would make sense.
However, if that was the case, then that is not something Kiri Kiri would voluntarily advise me on. It is not that important.
I thought about this for a while, but I couldn’t think of anything.
“Why? Can you tell me the reason too?”
Kiri Kiri looked troubled. She shook her head.
“You don’t have enough allowances for information now, so I cannot tell you.”
I figured as much.
Usually, the information about the next stage is expensive, although it is not as expensive as information about the Gods or the Tutorial System.
“Using the remaining allowances, can you give me a simple clue?”
I probably don’t have much allowances anyway. Let’s use it to satisfy my curiosity.
Kiri Kiri still looked troubled, so I changed my phrasing and asked again.
“Is the reason something good for me or bad for me?”
I’m sure she can answer that.
However, unlike my expectation, Kiri Kiri’s concerned look didn’t relax.
She hesitated several times. She closed her eyes tightly and said,
“It’s on the good side. However, you won’t like it very much.”
I won’t like it very much…
I usually don’t like the contents of stages.
There were plenty of stages where I was told that I would clear them without problems.
However, even such stages contained grinding, unsanitary conditions and discomfort. I didn’t like such stages.
So, there was nothing special about the fact that Kiri Kiri said I won’t like the stage.
However, what I find odd is her attitude.
In the past, she had said in ways that hinted at the stage possibility being uncomfortable, tiring or bothersome. She never said outright that I would despise the stage. This was the first time.
“In that case… As you said, I’ll try challenging it right away.”
I will be able to know about it once I challenge it.
I organized my thought and said goodbye to Kiri Kiri.
“Well then, I’ll be back, Kiri Kiri.”
With her brief words, Kiri Kiri saw me off.
Listening to her farewell, I was moved to the waiting room.
* * *
I panicked after entering the waiting room.
I had never seen Kiri Kiri see me off in such a serious mood.
She always waved at me brightly, like a kid and its grandparents.
She was also usually hopping and asking about more cakes in the future.
This feels super weird.
I feel anxious.
Heavy-hearted, I got on the portal at the corner of the waiting room and activated the portal.
Through the portal, I passed the bonfire room and went to the 17th Floor stage.
[Welcome to the 17th Floor stage in Hell difficulty.]
The stage was inside a huge building.
Other than that, I didn’t notice anything special about the place. I didn’t notice any problems either.
There was nothing here. It was just me standing here.
What is this stage.
[The 17th Floor’s trial will start.]
[The 17th Floor’s trial is ending.]
[You cleared the 17th Floor stage in Hell difficulty.]
[All status abnormalities and wounds will be recovered.]
[You acquired 3000 points as clear reward.]
[You acquired 3000 points for being the first one to clear the stage.]
[Many Gods are showing positive responses to you. You acquired 800 points.]
[Many Gods are showing negative responses to you. You lost 200 points.]
[Additional rewards will be given based on your play record.]
[You acquired 3000 points as the additional reward.]
What is this?
I don’t get it at all.
Why did the trial end as soon as it begun?
Why was the clear condition met? What did I do?
There were so many things I didn’t understand.
I was dumbfounded.
I pondered about it, but I could not think of anything to explain this.
I scratched my head for a moment and got on the portal.
I should ask Kiri Kiri.
I cleared the 17th Floor, so I can use its information allowance to ask her.
It hasn’t been a single minute since I left the Kiri Kiri’s field. I was back already.
Unlike when I came to see her after clearing 16th Floor, Kiri Kiri greeted me with a slightly gloomier look on her face.
“… As I thought, you came back soon.”