My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 38

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Episode 38

[You are both a gladiator and a beast tamer. To clear the 8th floor mission, you must renew the qualifications for both occupations.]

[Which occupation will you challenge first?]

This message was transmitted to me as soon as the 8th floor started.

I suppose very few people would have received such a question.

Perhaps, it is just me alone.

The fact that I’ve taken up two occupations is due to an incredible coincidence and stroke of luck.

“Gladiator!”

It didn’t matter much which I chose first, but I decided that starting with the gladiator might offer even a slight advantage.

I had only recently taken on the role of a beast tamer. As my proficiency was still not as good as that of a gladiator, I intended to raise my level a bit more before proceeding with the tamer mission.

Moreover, if there was another reason, it was that among our group members, there was one other gladiator, and I chose this in hopes of working together and helping each other out on missions.

[You have selected Gladiator.]

[If you pass the gladiator mission, you will regress to start the beast tamer mission.]

Today, I heard a massive word.

Regression.

It’s something that exists in novels, and now I was to personally experience it.

Of course, this is assuming I pass the gladiator mission.

“Lee Ho-yeong!”

As soon as I made my choice, the blackout phenomenon lifted, and Seo Jun-ho appeared before me.

“We meet again, Jun-ho Seo.”

We greeted each other with a light fist bump.

Though physically no more than a second had passed since we separated in the lobby, for some reason, I felt joyful.

About 50 pyeongs of space.

As the Sage’s status window had already foretold, aside from myself and Seo Jun-ho, there were dozens of other figures present.

Scanning the information, they were, of course, all gladiators.

The people looked around trying to comprehend the current situation.

“Are you all gladiators here?”

When someone shouted out loud, people began nodding and responding one by one.

Including Seo Jun-ho, everyone had a bewildered look in their eyes.

It was not the first time meeting people from other zones, but this experience felt very foreign.

After all, when we’d meet people from other zones before, it usually began on hostile terms.

Zzzzt.

A large rectangular hologram screen suddenly started sparking in front of us, revealing a figure with bandages wrapped all around the face—who I easily guessed was the guide for this 8th floor.

“Gladiators, welcome. You’ve somehow managed to survive and reach the 8th floor.”

Bandage Man began speaking in a disagreeably-sounding voice.

The previously noisy room fell silent as everyone tuned in to his voice.

“But, do none of you have the social grace to greet back? Here I am, greeting you, and no one responds.”

Yet, the silence persisted.

Everyone’s eyes were solely focused on Bandage Man’s lips.

Then, a message came to me through the Sage’s status window.

[Information: The figure with bandages wrapped around his face is a middle manager of the tower. He oversees the entire B-456 zone and commands high prestige, so try to make a good impression. And always remember to keep your tone polite.]

“Nice to meet you, Manager.”

I quickly broke the silence.

Being good with greetings goes a long way in social life—a timeless truth, no different even in the tower.

Especially since it was a middle manager of the tower, making a good impression was the right thing to do.

“One polite player does exist. And the insight to call me a manager! I’m quite pleased. Here’s 100 gold for you.”

Instantly, my gold balance increased by 100.

Though 100 gold wasn’t much, I acknowledged with a bow of thanks.

Such gestures will undoubtedly serve as positive factors.

“You’ve all worked hard to reach the 8th floor. But what to do? It appears that the player’s licenses have expired, haven’t they?”

Bandage Man looked at us with a regretful gesture, but it was unclear how we were expected to respond at this timing.

The Bandage Man continued speaking.

“As previously announced, the 8th floor is a stage for qualification renewal. Successful players will be able to move on to the next floor, whereas those who fail to renew… Any players willing to answer?”

After Bandage Man finished speaking, hands shot up eagerly everywhere.

It was a strong will to declare their answer—inspired by the 100 gold I had just earned, no doubt.

It felt like watching a classroom of young elementary school students.

“Yes. Woo Gyeong-chan, Player. Please, give us your answer.”

“If you fail to renew the qualification, you die, isn’t that right?”

Bandage Man seemed pleased with the situation, as a smile appeared at the corner of his mouth.

“Bingo! Even though being unemployed in society doesn’t lead to death, here in the tower, we have no need for jobless players. Immediate execution.”

As Bandage Man spoke, everyone nodded.

However, no reward was given to Woo Gyeong-chan.

Clear disappointment in his eyes. Still, he launched another question.

“But, don’t I get 100 gold?”

I innately understood.

That was a response worse than staying quiet.

Instead of gaining 100 gold, he most likely incurred a heavy negative.

“Woo Gyeong-chan, do you desire gold?”

“Of course.”

“Haha, I understand. Gold is a very important thing in this tower. It’s worth being greedy for. Then, I’ll offer the opportunity to everyone right now.”

As soon as Bandage Man finished speaking, something unexpected happened.

[An event has occurred.]

1. Mission: Kill at least one player here.

Rewards: Confidential

※ First come, first served to one person, and the mission must be cleared to proceed to the next stage.

Panic ensued as the sudden message appeared.

“What on earth is this supposed to be?!”

“We don’t need gold, so please cancel this!”

Several players burst out in complaint.

But that bandaged man was a middle manager of the tower.

He was not to be seen as a kindly civil servant at a local office, ready to listen to grievances.

– I’d advise everyone to shut up and get on with the mission. Keep testing my patience and it won’t end with just one person.

At that moment, Sage’s status window sent me another message.

I had a feeling messages were going to be plentiful on the 8th floor.

[Information: This event didn’t open by chance. Whoever clears this mission will be rewarded with 3000 gold, which is a good chance to win over the middle manager’s great favor.]

3000 gold.

That was thirty times the 100 gold I had just received.

Even so, I wanted to skip this event.

The condition was that only one person had to die; there was no need for me to do it.

There had to be some lunatics among us.

Surviving until the 8th floor in this tower meant that even a sane person could turn into a lunatic.

“Dammit!”

My premonition proved right.

A strong murderous intent emanated from nearby.

A player named No Jinwook raised his sword.

But could I possibly be the target?

I had forgotten one thing.

In their eyes, my level would appear to be 7.

In other words, I was the epitome of the weakest among the weak.

I was overwhelmingly the most suitable person to be sacrificed here.

No Jinwook’s sword swung quickly towards me.

His stats, visible to me, were slightly below that of Seo Junho.

Still, that put him on the strong side.

Swoosh!

My indomitable sword drew a straight line through the air even faster.

Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!

While I still disliked taking human life, I felt no mercy for this villain.

Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!

It was after four straight lines that No Jinwook finally collapsed in front of me.

[Mission Cleared.]

[You have been rewarded with 3000 gold.]

– Kiya!

The players looked at me with astonishment, while the bandaged man sent his applause towards my mission completion with an enthusiastic exclamation.

– Player Lee Ho-young! You’ve really impressed me! I had expectations from the moment I saw you carry a unique grade item.

“Unique?”

The word “unique” from the bandaged man’s mouth made the other players’ eyes shift again.

I had inadvertently garnered too much attention now.

This bandaged pest. He must have deliberately talked about the grade of my item.

After all, there’s nothing more entertaining than a low-level player walking around with an expensive weapon.

– Let’s all give a big round of applause to the murderer, Lee Ho-young! He has made it possible for you all to move on to the next stage.

Even framing me as a murderer.

I started to question whether I had really won the middle manager’s favor.

– Now, let’s start the renewal of qualifications in earnest. The first stage is party play, something you all are familiar with! Please form your own parties of four from now on. As it happens, we just reduced to the perfect number of 36. Kekeke.

Mention of party play brought back memories of the first floor.

If anything had changed, it was that all the people here were gladiators by class.

– You have 40 minutes to form parties. Please hurry.

Though urged to rush, 40 minutes was by no means short.

Some seemed to have already realized what this time meant.

“Now, forming a party isn’t the most important thing.”

“That’s right. Let’s exchange information!”

Meeting players from other areas like this wasn’t a common opportunity.

Furthermore, a meeting unaccompanied by conflict was a first.

Had someone not suggested the exchange of information, I would have.

We quickly reached a few conclusions.

1. All the players gathered here had gone through the same process from the tutorial to the 7th floor.

2. All were citizens of Seoul, originating from Gangbuk-gu, Dobong-gu, or Nowon-gu.

3. Though there were exceptions, the comrades we had been with so far were mostly of a similar age group.

4. The survival rate from the 1st to the 7th floor was less than 5%, even at best.

…“It seems we were right in our speculation.”

We had been fighting this damned tower divided by region and age group.

“But does anyone know about ‘Salseong’?”

A loud voice rang out.

At the mention of ‘Salseong’, my eyes automatically turned.

Han Ganghyuk.

Scanned by Sage’s status window, his stats were abnormally high for his level.

Most astonishing was the fact that he himself was Salseong, the one who mentioned it.

What’s this guy up to?

There were so many people around that I nearly missed seeing the Salseong.

“What is ‘Salseong’?”

Everyone seemed to react like they were hearing the word for the first time.

“Do you really not know what Salseong is?”

“No, so what is it?”

Faced with the uniform response, Han Ganghyuk smiled pleasantly and said,

“Actually, I don’t know either. Hehe.”

That guy. I need to figure out what he’s plotting.

– To be continued in Episode 39 –



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