My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 19

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Episode 19

At first glance, the mission for the 4th floor seemed simple, but it came with rather complex rules. Only twenty escape portals would open randomly with each monster killed. With a mere thirteen players, the crux of the matter was that the portals were non-transferable. This meant that one person opening multiple escape portals was essentially nibbling away at the survival chances of others. If someone, blinded by greed for leveling up, went on a reckless hunting spree, it could mean losing their comrades.

The keyword for this mission was human selfishness.

[Strategy guide has been received.]

Sure enough, there was a strategy guide this time as well.

[Strategy Guide: The monster that appears on the 4th floor is a level 10 orc. Orks can be easily located by their “squealing” noise and the terrible stench they emit, so use your absolute hearing and smell to your advantage. An orc that leaves behind an escape portal emits a distinct smell, so make good use of this information.]

A level 10 monster is good news for me, who desperately needs a level up because of Son Seo-yeon. My current level is 2. Taking the level gap with the orcs into consideration, this 4th floor could be a stage for rapid leveling.

The first place I scouted out in the ruined city was the train station. The open rail tracks seemed like an easy spot to find orcs. Even if they swarmed, it didn’t matter. Just showing up would be enough.

Swoosh!

I heard the sound of an orc being generated up ahead. What a lucky start.

“Lethal this stench.”

The moment the monster spawned, a foul odor wafted through the air. Having my absolute senses unlocked means the smell would be even more unbearable for me.

[Basic Swordsmanship Lv.3 has been activated.]

All I could do was dispatch it as fast as possible to escape the stench. A level 10 monster may sound daunting, but it’s nothing special.

Swoosh!

Swoosh!

Slash, thrust, slice, and it’s over in 5 seconds.

[Experience has been gained.]

[You have reached level 3.]

Given that there was no level adjustment, it looks like I’ve leveled up for real this time. Now, I should invest some stat points into strength; I’ll need it for when I confront Son Seo-yeon.

* * *

Choosing the railroad as my hunting ground turned out to be an excellent choice. The long line of sight made it easy to spot the regenerating monsters. Fortunately, the monsters didn’t run away at the sight of me. With my lower level, I probably looked like prey to the orcs.

[A player has opened a portal.]

[Remaining escape portals: 17]

“Already three gone?”

The portals were opening faster than expected. Whoever was doing it must be in a complicated headspace. While their survival in the 4th floor was virtually secured, if they went through the portal as per the agreement, they wouldn’t be able to hunt monsters anymore.

“Hope it’s not Son Seo-yeon.”

Luckily, there were no gunshots just now. And at that moment, an orc charged at me. It was not just the smell; their appearance was truly the worst. Like an ugly pig that’s been smashed one more time.

I suspect after the 4th floor, calling someone an “orc” as an insult might become a trend.

Schwoop!

My indomitable sword pierced through the orc’s neck. One-hit kill.

[Experience has been gained.]

Faster than I anticipated, I was leveling up at a rapid pace. No significant changes due to level adjustments, but I had already achieved three level-ups just on the 4th floor. Of course, I invested the points into strength again.

“Achieving the goal will be easy at this rate.”

For this 4th floor, I aimed to maximize my strength. Now, what I needed was to secure a portal for myself. There was still plenty of time left, so I wasn’t in a rush, but having a safety net was necessary.

Of course, even after securing a portal, I planned to continue hunting. I could distinguish which monsters left behind portals, so there was no reason to go through one unnecessarily. More importantly,

“I can’t let Son Seo-yeon run rampant here.”

She was likely to be wrecking the agreed-upon rules. If anyone needed to keep her in check here, it was me. Once I secured my own way out, I planned to go after her. I’ve got a rough strategy worked out in my head.

Squiiik!

Far off, another orc regenerated. The scent wasn’t particularly different, so it must’ve been just a normal orc. Maybe the ones that leave behind portals don’t appear in this area? I might need to change my hunting spot.

But I’ll take down this one first.

* * *

“Why are you popping out from there?”

The first person I ran into upon reaching the urban area was Kim Se-yong. Our eyes met, and I could see his pupils quiver, something seemed fishy.

“Guilty conscience? Why the shock?”

“I just thought for sure you’d have opened a portal by now,” he said.

I thought I would have, too. I’d killed plenty of orcs, but none that left a portal. That’s why I changed my hunting ground.

“What about you?”

“Ah… well…”

He started to stammer, which pretty much confirmed my suspicion.

“Little punk. You opened a portal.”

“Damn! The last one I killed dropped a portal. I wish it had appeared later!”

Kim Se-yong looked like he was itching with the need to level up, still humiliated by Son Seo-yeon. Revenge must be all that occupied his mind.

“Se-yong?”

I called his name softly; he knew what it implied.

“I stayed just in case… maybe to help the other players!”

“That’s a bit of a coward’s excuse.”

Kim Se-yong was likely to break the agreed rules. Though subdued under me, his nature was a wild horse.

The current count of remaining portals was 13. If everyone kept the rules, seven people could have secured survival, but…

The possibility that it wasn’t the case was high enough, given that the gunshots made by Son Seo-yeon were ringing out at quite a high frequency.

“Got it! I got it! I’ll return to the lobby right away.”

“I’m the type to only believe what I see with my own eyes.”

I demanded that Kim Se-yong guide me to the portal.

Eventually, he took the lead while grumbling.

We stopped in front of a dilapidated building on the first floor, where a blue rift was shimmering.

“So this is the escape portal!”

“Yeah.”

Kim Se-yong clicked his tongue in regret in front of the portal.

There was still ample time left, so the desire to hunt more was likely overwhelming.

“Get in, man.”

I urged Kim Se-yong.

Still, he couldn’t easily lift his feet.

And then at that moment.

Shhhh.

The monster regeneration phenomenon occurred.

An orc appeared just 5 meters ahead.

But something about its smell was different.

The one I was looking for.

The monster that leaves behind a portal.

“Se-yong, go inside, will you?”

“Can’t I just watch how you deal with this and go?”

“No, you can’t.”

He wouldn’t listen to just words.

With a thud, I ended up pushing Kim Se-yong into the portal with my foot.

Sorry, but it can’t be helped.

Zieeek!

The regenerated orc charged towards me.

Nice to meet you, bastard.

* * *

The portal was now secure.

Next, finding Son Seo-yeon wasn’t too difficult, thanks to the periodic gunshots, my absolute sense, and the fact that the distance wasn’t too great.

I saw Son Seo-yeon turning the corner of an alleyway from afar.

In one hand, she held a gun and in the other, a diary.

A diary I understood, but a gun I questioned its use for.

“Haven’t you opened the portal yet?”

I approached her and asked first.

“I have no duty to report that to you.”

I expected as much.

After all, she had boldly declared that she wouldn’t cooperate with us.

“Do you plan to just give up and return to the lobby?”

Her level was currently 14.

Naturally, as a higher level, leveling up must be slow.

“Nope.”

“You’re going through all this for a bit of experience points?”

“I said, move aside.”

It seemed there was no room for negotiation after all.

Then there was nothing I could do.

“Looks like I’ll have to catch some orcs here too. Have you taken a lease on this area or something?”

Son Seo-yeon lifted her gun at my comment.

“You won’t get a share here.”

Her tone was resolute.

It meant she would use her gun to hunt any monster that showed up.

She could certainly do it.

The gun was more specialized for hunting.

“Really?”

I smirked at Son Seo-yeon.

She would have no choice but to give up her share to me.

Willingly and even eagerly—in her heart, despite the circumstances.

And our pairing might offer an opportunity to the other players.

An opportunity to open the portal and escape to the lobby.

Since Son Seo-yeon would no longer be hunting.

* * *

“This damn luck-based crap game!”

I cursed out in frustration.

Seven hunts had unfolded before her eyes.

None left behind by the orcs that could open a portal.

To be exact, I had avoided the ones that could leave a portal.

“Such a nuisance.”

Son Seo-yeon fired off at me with a dry tone.

Though her words were cutting, I knew she must be getting anxious.

The worry that I might not secure a portal within the time limit.

I continued my rant mixed with irritation.

“Didn’t I tell you? I always get screwed over in these lottery-type games!”

Son Seo-yeon’s firm resolve not to hand over her prey to me had crumbled from the start.

I had struck a chord with her weak point.

Son Seo-yeon had to kill me during the <Blood Day>, so my death at this moment would be inconvenient for her.

She found herself reluctantly ceding the prey to me so I could secure a portal.

“What a nuisance.”

She repeated the same words, surely betraying her nervousness.

Lucky for me, but I wondered about one thing.

Son Seo-yeon had marked me as her target, but was it impossible to cancel that?

If she was willing to put up with such irritation, it could only mean one of two things.

Either it was impossible to cancel the target, or my value as a target was exceedingly high.

Either way, Son Seo-yeon wouldn’t be able to continue hunting on the fourth floor.

I was planning to attack only orcs that didn’t leave portals.

“Speaking of which, Son Seo-yeon, I didn’t realize you were an icon of generosity.”

“I just want to prove that luck doesn’t exist in this world.”

Her voice rose slightly.

It sounded desperate and feeble.

“Maybe you’re yielding because you like me?”

“Crazy bastard!”

Son Seo-yeon aimed her gun at my head.

I knew she could not shoot me right now, but the murderous intent was palpable.

I had to stop before it could escalate into something more dangerous.

“There’s an orc!”

At that moment, I sensed an orc from the opposite side of the building.

With my absolute sense, I was always the first to spot the orcs.

Ignore the ones that could leave a portal and pass by. Hunt every regular orc.

This time, it was the latter.

“Though it will probably be another strike of bad luck, I have to hunt it down, don’t I?”

Grumbling, I dashed towards the orc.

Swoosh! Swish!

The orc was sliced to pieces by my indomitable sword.

The explosive growth of my strength stats was clearly felt.

With stats nearly touching 40, it was to be expected.

[You have gained experience points.]

The eighth orc was slashed in front of Son Seo-yeon.

Of course, no portal was left where the orc had died.

“None again!”

Her face looked increasingly sour.

She probably didn’t anticipate that her collaboration with me would last this long.

And just then, there was a notification for the first time in a while.

[A player has opened a portal.]

[Remaining escape portals: 5]

It was good to see that the others’ escapes were going smoothly.

I glared at Son Seo-yeon and grew irritated once more.

“This damn luck-based crap game!”

– To be continued in Episode 20 –



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