[Round 17, Day 25, 15:40]
[Welcome to the 18th Floor’s waiting room.]
As soon as I entered the waiting room, I put away the armor inside the inventory and lie down on the bed.
The timing was not good for entering the 19th Floor anyway. Also, I didn’t feel like training.
I just wanted to lay down and rest.
I didn’t think I would feel this relaxed and at ease.
Anyway, I feel great.
Let’s rest today like this and be lazy for a day, just for today.
I pulled up the blanket and thought about Lee Hyung-jin.
There was plenty of time left until he would reach the 17th Floor.
There was no reason for him to not able to beat the 17th Floor if he made preparations as planned.
No matter how big of difference in our abilities is, doesn’t that mean he just need to work twice or three times harder?
Also, if I send him items I will get in higher floors too, he should be able to get past the floor.
I already thought about all these when I was at Kiri Kiri’s field, but I organized them in my head once again.
It’s all right.
Lee Hyung-jin will end up having tougher days ahead of him, but well, what else could we do?
He entered the Hell Difficulty, so he should just accept it as his fate.
I brought out a chocolate bar from the inventory and tried to console myself.
I wonder why, but for some reason, I suddenly really want to eat sweet stuff.
I usually don’t really care for sweets.
I only ate some when I ate cake with Kiri Kiri…
It could be that I just want to eat some sweets.
Let’s just eat some chocolate and empty my head.
* * *
When I woke up, it was the next day morning.
I thought I went to sleep around the dinner time last night…
I think this is the first time for me to sleep so soundly in the waiting room.
Yesterday, I ended up eating five chocolate bars before going to sleep.
It was the perfect behavior to turn into a pig.
However, it was no big problem.
It was not like my body was going to get fat from doing that.
The problem was…
Everything is such a bother. I mean everything.
Also, I keep on wanting to eat sweets.
I purchased a candy stick and put it in my mouth.
It tastes good.
Only if there was a gentle breeze…
How come this god damn waiting room is always inside a building?
I wish I could sleep while feeling the breeze while lying on green grass.
If there was a warm sunlight for me to bathe on, that would be placing flowers on a table made of gold.
I should have napped at Kiri Kiri’s field.
That’s too bad. So, I decided to take nap at the waiting room’s bed.
* * *
I got up, and it was the next day.
Lately, why is it always the next morning when I close my eyes?
I thought it was strange, but I didn’t think too much of it.
Instead, I ate soft ice-cream as I watched the community.
I spent the time like that for a long while, and eventually, even reading the articles on the community became a bother.
Like that, I went to sleep again.
* * *
I got up, and it was the next day again.
Now, I could not help but to think it was weird.
Even though I had become relaxed a little, it was odd for me to waste my time away so much like this.
I wondered if I ever spent days away doing nothing like this inside the Tutorial.
Is it a mental illness?
If it is an illness due to stress, I think that is possible.
I checked the symptoms.
Everything was such a bother. I want to sleep, and I want to be outside.
Also, I want to eat sweets.
In middle of all these, fortunately, my mind was still sharp.
Even if it is a mental illness, I literally feel like I’ll go insane from the symptoms.
When did these start?
I was able to figure out the answer as soon as I thought about it.
It started from Kiri Kiri’s field.
When I was not able to organize my thoughts and was in chaos, suddenly, all of my thoughts were organized perfectly.
After that, I sent a message to Lee Hyung-jin and explained the situation.
Next, I said goodbye to Kiri Kiri and came straight to the waiting room.
I didn’t even think about getting more information from Kiri Kiri.
After entering the waiting room, I decided to organize my thoughts some more and rest.
Right after that, I felt that everything was such a bother.
Before this, I don’t think I was feeling like that in particular.
I suddenly started to feel the desire to eat sweets.
It started right after I saw Kiri Kiri making scribbles on the ground.
My mind, which was in a disarray, became clean in an instant so that it would be easier for me to organize my thoughts.
After that, when my thoughts ended, these symptoms started to show up together.
Is it a form of magic?
If this is done by Kiri Kiri, then she was probably not intending any ill effects on me.
This is Kiri Kiri after all.
She probably did it, thinking it would help me.
I thought about main symptoms.
First, my head was calm. I could organize my thoughts with ease.
After that, it became such a bother for me to think.
Also, I developed a desire to sleep.
It does not make sense.
However, when I thought this was Kiri Kiri’s doing, one thing crossed my mind.
Kiri Kiri had warned me about my stress several times in the past.
She said I need to rest by emptying my mind.
Of course, I did not listen to her.
Could it be that she forced me to rest with this method?
Also, she watched me getting stressed out, so I thought it was very likely that Kiri Kiri did so on purpose.
First, clear my mind and have me organize my thoughts once, and make me kick the idea of thinking about anything anymore and just rest.
In middle of all these, there are also the desire for sweets and sun bathing. Thinking about them…
It is very Kiri Kiri like magic.
Of course, this is just my conjecture.
I should check again when I clear 18th Floor and meet Kiri Kiri.
What I should organize is that Kiri Kiri used a direct method on me, it is not to restrict me but to provide me with a form of help, and the fact that I cannot think of anything that was given as the payment for this help.
As for the last two things, in addition to asking Kiri Kiri, I think I should inform the Order of Vigilance.
Like that, I organized my thoughts and opened the message window.
[Lee Ho-jae, 18th Floor: Do you have time?]
The reply didn’t come right away.
Looks like I’ll have to wait for a bit.
Maybe because I had been sleeping while not caring about anything for a few days straight, inside of my head was surprisingly peaceful.
I felt very refreshed as well.
I purchased a bag of marshmallow from the store and opened it, and the reply arrived.
[Kim Min-hyuk, 30th Floor: …]
What is this?
[Lee Ho-jae, 18th Floor: What’s up?]
Kim Min-hyuk kept silent without any reply for a moment.
I was able to get a response by the time I ate the third marshmallow.
[Kim Min-hyuk, 30th Floor: Hey, why didn’t you respond for so long? Why, why! Why in this critical timing… Why did you go silent all of the sudden!]
It looks like he must have contacted me while I was asleep.
[Lee Ho-jae, 18th Floor: I’m sorry. I was sleeping.]
For a long while, Kim Min-hyuk’s hysteric messages continued.
He complained that he had way too much work that he was sick of them.
He complained how could I be taking naps in middle of all these and make him worry.
As I listened, I wondered if he was not trying to express his frustration but just wanted to complain to someone.
It’s probably difficult for this rascal to complain about anything to anyone because of his position.
Thinking like that, I read his message and ate marshmallow.
Would it taste even better if I roasted it on fire?
[Kim Min-hyuk, 30th Floor: Are you ready for the tournament?]
[Lee Ho-jae, 18th Floor: It’s not like I need to prepare anything. I just need to wait for it.]
[Kim Min-hyuk, 30th Floor: … Damn it. I envy you.]
I told him the new information I obtained from the manager.
Kim Min-hyuk only said that he will record what I told him.
It seemed it was difficult for him to think about this side because he was so busy.
[Kim Min-hyuk, 30th Floor: Anyway, from now on, don’t go radio silent on me. Be on standby. Synch your sleep schedule as well. If anything happens, we will let you know.]
I sent a message to Kim Min-hyuk saying I understood. I closed the message window after that.
It seemed he was busy with preparing for the tournament.
I was embarrassed about myself for having spent the days doing absolutely nothing.
I should do something too.
The sense of bothersome-ness that surrounded my entire body had subsided to some extent now.
I still craved sweets, but it was not a problem for starting training.
First, I should start with magic.
To pick two most important information from what I obtained in the 16th Floor, they are the Aura Blade and magic.
Fortunately, I was able to understand and execute the Aura Blade. However, it was different with magic.
Let alone understand it, I couldn’t even get a feel for it.
The clues for taking a step forward was understanding the elemental type for using the wind arrow magic.
Also, as for the elemental type, I need to feel the sense of existence of the wind summon spirit to tell apart the feeling.
These two were the clues.
The first task was sensing the existence of the wind spirit who must be around me.
According to the wind spirit’s blessing skill’s description, the wind spirit was always around me. However, I was not able to feel the spirit.
First, I should figure out at least if cannot feel the spirit because I obtained the blessing when my senses were still lacking or if I’m just not able to feel the spirit.
Thinking that, I sat on the bed in meditation pose and focused my mind.
I increased my focus.
I brought back the feeling that I had when I was at the 13th Floor’s Master Monk’s room.
I isolated my mind inside the slowing time.
My senses were slowing down, and soon, it felt like I could not feel anything. My thought had accelerated that much.
Slowly, I tried hard to find my senses that could not be felt anymore.
Inside the time that was flowing slowly, I found a sense, and I found the other sense.
As I identified each sense that I found, I started to observe myself.
* * *
[Round 17, Day 29, 23:55]
I had wasted a few days being lazy. However, I was able to spend the remaining days productively.
First, I was now able to somewhat sense the wind spirit.
It was difficult to notice the spirit at all because the spirit was with me through whole day everyday, but I could feel the presence becoming stronger when I received the blessing and acceleration effect from the wind spirit’s blessing skill.
I focused on that presence and tried hard to be able to feel it at all times.
However, I was not confident about if I could call this presence as the elemental type.
Moreover, even if it is the elemental type…
What could I do with it if I did feel the elemental type?
It is not like I could do anything with it.
It was not like I could utilize it for something either.
I think I should be satisfied with this for the magic training and stop for now.
First, I should acquire the rune related magic textbook that’s said to be obtainable after reaching the 30th Floor. After that, when I can understand the magic knowledge obtained from the doppelganger, I think I’ll be able to resume magic training only after that.
Since then, until the round 17 ended, I spent the days practicing the utilization of the Aura Blade.
[Kim Min-hyuk, 30th Floor: Are you all ready?]
Like I said before, I don’t have anything to prepare.
It seems that he was asking out of habit.
I bet he is spreading the same questions to everyone beside me.
[The 18th Round is starting.]
[Round 18, Day 0, 00:00]
[The Tournament is commencing.]
[time let until the mandatory summon: 4 minutes 59 seconds.]
During the last tournament, I spent the time away and entered late in leisurely manner. However, it was different this time.
As soon as the message came, I activated the portal below me.
From the waiting room, I was transported to the place of the tournament. The place had bright sunshine. As soon as I got there, there were new messages.
[Please decide about your participation until the tournament starts. You can decide at the entrance of the arena.]
[Tournament Day 1, 00:00]
[You acquired the Tournament Rule Book (2). Please check the inventory.]
[You acquired the Knowledge Before the Time of Babel Lv. 1. Please check your status window.]
I already heard from the Order of Vigilance that the Knowledge Before the Time of Babel was issued for free to everyone for the second tournament which was going to be held with servers from other countries.
Instead of reading the message, I moved first.
The strike division members of the Order entered the place as soon as the tournament started. They gathered up in their divisions and surrounded the main plaza, the place of summoning, in a large formation.
The scene setting for the second tournament was the 60th Floor’s residential area.
The ground was made entirely of marble blocks. The main plaza had a highly decorative fountain.
The water fountain was made of an ivory color marble stone.
The buildings around here appeared to be made of stones instead of wood.
There were high rise buildings here and there. There were street lights on the streets as well. It seemed the place was made based on quite a developed world.
The buildings and the street were clean and sparkly. They looked pretty.
Also, there was bright sunlight which was raining down on us. It was the best.
The place could not be compared to the waiting room which made me feel confined.
I felt the urge to go on a stroll on the street.
Why does the sunlight feel so good?
The gentle breeze also feels so great.
Could it be that the magic that Kiri Kiri placed on me still has some effects left?
I closed my eyes and enjoyed the happy feeling. When I opened my eyes, my eyes met with one of members of the Order.
He looked like he was panicking.
I cleared my throat by doing a fake cough and hardened the look on my face.
After a moment, the people really started to arrive at the tournament.
They are not from Korean server.
Other than the Order’s strike division members, everyone else planned to arrive when there was only 30 seconds left until the mandatory summon.
The people who were arriving now were from the servers in foreign countries.
There were two foreign servers who were going to participate in the tournament with us.
It was fortunate that there were not many foreign servers.
If there were over ten foreign servers participating in the tournament, the Order of Vigilance would have had to give up on their plan or make serious adjustments.
The people from foreign servers were generally divided in Asian and Western worlds.
They were talking, but they all sounded Korean to me, so it was hard for me to tell which countries they came from.
They looked at the message windows, checked the status window or inventory. They looked around to find others they knew.
While doing those, some found us, who were surrounding the main plaza.
Some started to voice their questions about us, and…
The members of Order of Vigilance all drew their weapons.