My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 27

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Chapter 27

The Final Day of the Fifth Floor Mission.

Just one more day and I’ll be leaving the world of this novel.

Though it’s a fictional realm, it felt much more real than the tower world we were trapped in.

These four days allowed us to experience a semblance of our original lives—perhaps the last act of generosity offered by the tower.

Like the brief respite of an Indian summer before the onset of harsh winter.

Of course, that didn’t mean I expected today’s quest to be a breeze.

“Everyone aboard the bus!”

“Yes!”

If I guessed right, today would headline our four-day schedule.

Trainees boarded the buses assigned to their groups.

Dungeon practicum.

It was the essential, annual rite of passage for trainees at the academy.

The seat next to me on the bus was occupied by Oh Yunnam.

Whether it was his status as the protagonist or something else, his mere presence exuded a peculiar aura.

I had fought tooth and nail to be in his group, the most perilous but also the one with the greatest rewards.

The problem lay with group nine and group twelve.

Like group four, they would be entering dungeons where disasters were bound to happen.

I had no idea what kind of dangers lurked within.

The novel hadn’t provided any details.

“Do you think it’s just a coincidence?” I asked Oh Yunnam.

Today, three out of the E-rank dungeons purchased by the academy for practice were expected to go berserk at the same time.

Dungeon outbursts weren’t unheard of, but for three to synchronously erupt was certainly unusual.

It couldn’t be mere coincidence.

“Well, it’s a question I’ve pondered every time, but I could never shed light on the reason,” he replied.

“So, you just let it slide?”

“It was beyond my control.”

Whoever the author of this novel was, the setting was a mess.

Whether it was poorly conceived or an unresolved thread meant to be picked up before the conclusion, it was incomprehensible.

Writing off such a troubling event as coincidence within a novel simply didn’t make sense.

If the intent was to highlight the protagonist, there was no need for outbursts in three different locations.

“Beyond your capabilities, huh.”

I suddenly became curious about how this gap in the novel would be filled in reality, ensuring plausibility.

“Does it even matter?” Oh Yunnam challenged.

There it was again, the limitations of a character.

The protagonist was designed to rush single-mindedly towards a goal.

“I don’t know if it’s important, but it sure is intriguing.”

If possible, I’d like to delve into this area.

It might end up being a waste of effort, but there could be an unexpected gain.

Regrettably, on the fifth floor, there was no strategy guide available.

I gazed out the bus window at the passing scenery.

I would soon start to miss the world where people lived.

* * *

[A quest has been generated.]

[Clear the dungeon you have been assigned for your practicum.]

The quest was that simple?

This was an unexpected turn of events.

I had thought there would be more to the dungeon practicum.

If we exclude the three groups affected by the dungeon outburst, it looks like the rest will have an all-too-easy time of it.

Could the tower’s quest really be following the plot of the novel without any adjustments?

If so, that seemed far too lax for a task the tower had set.

“Hmm.”

For now, I walked alone through the dungeon.

The action cam, worn for evaluation purposes, was turned off.

The results didn’t matter to me.

What’s crucial was the aftermath of the dungeon clear—the impending dungeon outburst.

Until then, I planned to hunt like any other trainee.

Right now, we only encountered ordinary orcs.

But there was one thing.

One thing that bothered me.

“Are you going to keep following me?”

When I turned around, Koo Yong-woo hesitated for a moment.

“You knew I was there?”

“It’s hard not to notice when you’re being trailed.”

The only one from our group who was from the tower, and the only juvenile among our colleagues.

He blended in perfectly with the garb of a trainee.

“You really are something else, hyung.”

“There’s plenty to be ‘something else’ about,” I said.

Koo Yong-woo gave an awkward smile. I hadn’t had a long conversation with the guy yet.

He still seemed a bit intimidated by me.

Probably because he voted for me during that death mission long ago.

Others treated me normally now, but a child was still a child.

“Before the end came, you must have been something special, right?”

“What?”

His question caught me off guard.

Before the end…

I was just an ordinary man in my late twenties.

I was single, not making much money, had no family, and not many friends.

Now that I thought about it, that wasn’t quite ordinary.

It was just a stroke of luck that made me special in the tower.

The chance encounter with the Silver Goblin.

Had it not been for that day, I could hardly guarantee I’d be alive now.

I found myself wondering about the identity of that Silver Goblin.

What was he exactly? And would there be an opportunity to see him again in the tower?

As various thoughts came flooding in, Koo Yong-woo spoke up.

“I’m sorry about that time.”

He’d been looking for a chance to apologize ever since.

Such a tender-hearted kid.

That kind of sentiment wouldn’t get you far in the tower.

Considering his job assignment wasn’t geared toward combat, it didn’t help either.

“There’s nothing to apologize for. And if a similar situation arises again, you’d have to make the same choice,” I said.

“Why?”

“Our situation is no joke. The first thing you need to consider is your own survival.”

Koo Yong-woo had no reply to that.

His unspoiled innocence was somehow enviable.

“And to answer your question, I was just an ordinary guy back in society. You, on the other hand, have probably lived the more interesting life.”

“Me?”

“Yeah. You’re an explorer, after all.”

Koo Yong-woo’s assigned role in the tower was that of an explorer.

I remembered finding his status window quite intriguing when I first saw it.

“Hyungwoo Go had a deep interest in archaeology. He even participated in its club activities.”

“No wonder that was the case.”

“I dreamt of becoming an archaeologist, but here I am, having become an adventurer instead.”

Hyungwoo Go broke out in an innocent smile.

The damned tower is really something.

In here, this young guy’s pure passion turns into poison.

Hyungwoo Go’s skill is [Exploration].

It would be useful if he were part of a party, but to survive independently, combat-related abilities are a must.

Those who have survived in our group are proof enough – having combat advantages is typical.

Only Hyungwoo Go was left regrettable.

“Following me might be safe for now, but you need to develop the ability to survive on your own.”

It’s wrong to protect someone entirely just because they’re young and frail in the long run.

After all, I can’t take care of him as I climb the tower forever.

“I’m aware. I didn’t follow Hyung because I’m depending on him. There are two reasons I chased after Hyung today.”

Oh?

He’s more confident than I thought.

“One must be an apology for the past.”

“Yes. And there’s another rea— I feel a strange energy in this dungeon, and I wanted to inform you.”

Strange energy.

If that’s true, then normally, I should be the first to sense it.

Even if an adventurer’s profession has the [Exploration] skill, detecting energy should be incomparable to [Absolute Sensing].

“Is this energy something monsters emit?”

“No, it’s different. I think if we get closer, we’ll know for sure.”

“Then, let’s go check it out together.”

I’m not sure what it is, but it seems worth investigating.

I wonder how Oh Yoonnam is doing now.

I asked him not to massacre monsters too swiftly.

I want to thoroughly explore the interior of this dungeon before clearing it.

I’m looking for clues as to why a dungeon rampage could be triggered simultaneously in three dungeons.

That’s also why I couldn’t ignore what Hyungwoo Go told me.

* * *

Ssshh!

“Haap!”

Hyungwoo Go’s fighting was visibly insecure.

Low stats and lack of skills suitable for combat were significant drawbacks.

[Beginner Swordsmanship Lv. 3 is activated.]

Roaarrr!

My unyielding sword cleaved through an orc’s neck.

If I hadn’t covered for Hyungwoo Go from behind, there would have been danger again.

“Thanks, Hyung!”

“Stay focused, always!”

“Yes!”

Honestly, it’s not a matter of focus.

He might be doing his best.

Low stats, no combat skills – these are fatal.

“Hyungwoo, focus on increasing agility before other stats.”

Kim Seyong might be a muscle-lover, but Hyungwoo invested too much in stamina.

He must have thought a large health pool would favor survival, but that guess was way off.

Without combat ability, low dodge capabilities render a large health pool useless.

“Okay, I’ll trust whatever Hyung says!”

Not that I wish to be treated like some kind of guru.

“So don’t save up gold now. Spend it.”

Looking at his status window, he’s hoarding 1200 gold, but at this level, it is just gathering dust.

“How did you know I was hoarding gold?”

“Hyung can just tell.”

I urged him once more.

Building up gold like this is too inefficient.

Eventually, Hyungwoo invested all 1000 gold in agility.

Now, what to do with the remaining 200 gold?

“Did you spend it all?”

“…Yes!”

“Hyungwoo, just use it all. You seem to have saved up about 200.”

“Creepy!”

Hyungwoo eventually did as I said and put all his gold into agility.

The stats were still lacking, but this would inevitably improve his chances of survival.

“Honestly, I was thinking of buying a weapon with the gold I saved.”

“For now, stick with the old longsword from the tutorial. Stats are your priority.”

“Okay.”

I liked his response without a single complaint.

Following the lead of Hyungwoo’s [Exploration] skill, we made our way deeper into the dungeon.

Honestly, I still didn’t understand.

I couldn’t feel the strange energy that Hyungwoo mentioned.

“Hyung! I think we’ve finally made it.”

“We got here?”

“Yes!”

Then Hyungwoo began to feel along the dungeon walls.

His demeanor suddenly changed.

His focus was nothing like when he was in combat – he seemed like a different person.

“Something seems to be seeping out from here?”

Hyungwoo pointed to a spot on the wall, drawing a circle with his finger.

The unusual energy he’d mentioned from a distance must be this.

If true, it’s an incredible ability.

Despite appearances, my [Absolute Sensing] had detected nothing.

Frankly, the wall appeared indistinguishable from any other part of the dungeon’s walls.

“Move aside, Hyungwoo.”

However, Hyungwoo’s skill couldn’t be without a reason.

This wretched game system wouldn’t create a useless skill.

[Beginner Swordsmanship Lv. 3 is activated.]

I swung my indomitable sword at the section of the wall indicated by Hyungwoo.

Thwack!

Only the sensation of a hard wall traveled up my arm through the sword.

Of course, I hadn’t planned to just try once and give up.

[Beginner Swordsmanship Lv. 3 is activated.]

Thwack!

Still, nothing changed. My arm felt even more tingling than before.

Now I had a slight doubt.

Even in this fictional world, there can be plot holes.

Take, for instance, the three dungeons causing a rampage today.

If there’s going to be a rampage, why create it in two others that the narrative wouldn’t even cover?

[Beginner Swordsmanship Lv. 3 is activated.]

Thwack!

The wall remained solid.

But then, from that solid wall…

Sizzle!

Crackle!

An indiscernible wave started to arise.

[You have discovered a labyrinth.]

[Would you like to enter?]

– Continued in Episode 28 –



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