My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 40

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Chapter 40

The lips of Han Ganghyuk slightly quivered.

“Mr. Lee Hoyoung, did you mention something about Salseong just now?”

“Yeah, Salseong. That’s why I approached you.”

He slowly walked towards me.

Each of his steps exuded a strong murderous intent.

As if he would instantly kill me if my words were deceitful.

Regardless of one’s personal strength, Salseong has its own distinctive aura.

To me, with my absolute perception, such energies are immediately noticeable.

“Do you really know something about Salseong?”

“Mhmm.”

Han Ganghyuk stopped right in front of me.

“I really ought to. I thoroughly detest liars.”

The menacing feel of his words was amplified by his polite language.

Thud!

Han Ganghyuk planted his sword sheath into the ground.

“If our conversation doesn’t please me, my sword won’t stay sheathed.”

His posture memorably embodied a threat.

“But before that, it seems there’s something else we need to take care of?”

I pointed towards the Self-Aware Mammoth trapped within the boundary.

This boundary was set to dissolve soon.

Having just seen another Self-Aware Mammoth disappear from my minimap, the conditions for the barrier to open were now met.

Swish.

As I lowered my finger, the barrier began to disappear exquisitely.

“What is this? How did you just do that?”

Even I thought I resembled a magician just then. Perhaps Han Ganghyuk felt the same.

But misconceptions are free, so there’s no real need to correct them.

“Let’s deal with that first.”

“Right. It would be a nuisance during our conversation.”

We both readied our swords and braced ourselves for the mammoth’s charge.

Even a superhuman couldn’t escape unscathed from bearing the full brunt of that monumental bulk.

Roaaaar!

Indeed, the leader’s roar was uniquely daunting.

If I had heard it at a lower level, it would have stiffened my body with terror.

But I have grown considerably since then.

The beast before me is nothing more than a target to be vanquished.

Roooaar!

As the barrier vanished, it charged towards us.

* * *

[You have hunted a Self-Aware Monster.]

[Mission completed.]

[Remaining time: 21 minutes]

I could not tell if Han Ganghyuk’s recent display was his full strength, but one thing was clear.

He was stronger than me.

Maybe even more than Son Seoyeon.

The barbaric strength Han Ganghyuk demonstrated in close quarters made me wonder if there was a system error. It showed just how much this tower favored Salseong.

Of course, I have no intention of sparing his life here.

“I pushed myself on purpose. I wanted to talk to Mr. Lee Hoyoung as soon as possible.”

To him, Seo Junho was but an incidental bystander, akin to a sack of barley left out.

Han Ganghyuk strode past Seo Junho as if he were invisible and came closer to me.

What could he be so curious about regarding Salseong?

“We’re in a bit of a hurry here. We’ve just targeted a Hidden Piece, aren’t you at least a bit interested in your reward?”

[3 Random Reward Orbs have been granted. Please select one each.]

Thud.

As soon as I finished speaking, three orbs appeared out of thin air and dropped to the ground.

Today’s timing continued to be impeccably coincidental.

“Mr. Lee Hoyoung. Who are you, exactly?”

“Me? Just an ordinary player.”

I walked over to where the Self-Aware Monster had died and picked up one of the orbs.

Seo Junho and Han Ganghyuk followed suit, each picking up one.

With a playful tone, Han Ganghyuk suggested, “Shall we check at the same time?”

I nodded and infused my orb with mana.

[You have acquired 10 Stat Points.]

[You have acquired 10 Stat Points.]

[You have acquired a Random Skill Box.]

Han Ganghyuk and Seo Junho each gained 10 Stat Points.

Naturally, I was the one who obtained the Random Skill Box.

“Mr. Lee Hoyoung?”

Although, to land another random item felt like finding a box within a box of gifts.

Certainly, with Nike’s fortune on my side, there would be no bad luck.

“I’ve already mentioned it, I’m a very lucky person.”

“That’s fine, now let’s talk about Salseong.”

Salseong.

To be honest, I didn’t know much.

In fact, I had to learn from Han Ganghyuk.

Now, my plan was to interweave truth with lies.

The series of perfect coincidences I had just shown would add a layer of credibility to my deception.

“To clarify, I am not Salseong. You know that, don’t you?”

“How can you be so sure I would know?”

“Because you would have seen my tracks of murder with the eyes of Salseong.”

“Oh!”

He would have been surprised in two ways.

One, that I identified him correctly as Salseong.

The other, that I knew about the eyes of Salseong.

I threw this preemptive strike to lend credence to the lies ahead.

“Mr. Lee Hoyoung, but if you’re not Salseong, how do you know about these things?”

“I happen to have an interesting ability.”

I showed Han Ganghyuk as enigmatic a smile as possible.

He followed suit.

“How intriguing.”

At Han Ganghyuk’s question, another thought occurred to me.

The things I knew about Salseong, could they be information that someone who wasn’t Salseong couldn’t possibly know?

Maybe the person Han Ganghyuk was looking for was another Salseong?

Let’s consider a hypothesis based on this.

Each Salseong possesses different information.

For that reason, Han Ganghyuk could be searching for another Salseong.

It might be an impromptu idea, but it seems to have potential. Now, I need to cautiously broach the subject.

“Han Ganghyuk, what piece of the puzzle do you have regarding the ‘Blood Day’?”

Puzzle piece. I intentionally used a vague expression to let Han Ganghyuk fit his interpretation into it.

“Lee Hoyoung, shouldn’t you show what you have first?”

Expected. Seeing his reaction confirmed my hypothesis. Now, I need to take control of the conversation.

“No, I asked first.”

Han Ganghyuk is the more anxious one. Despite his attempts to hide it, he’s clearly agitated.

“Kekeke. Alright, Lee Hoyoung. I am dying to know what you have.”

“Don’t beat around the bush, talk about your part first.”

I purposely rushed him, not giving him time to think.

“Do you know of the ‘Blood Day’?”

“I know it’s the day when the killing aura goes berserk.”

“Exactly! That ‘Blood Day.’ I know a way to hasten its arrival.”

I don’t know exactly what this ‘Blood Day’ is. All I have are fragments of information mentioned by the Status Window of the Sage.

Han Ganghyuk seems eager for that day. I’m not sure why, but I have a feeling it’s not just a simple event.

“And what is this method?”

“The method… well, it involves the 9th floor of the tower… Uh, never mind. Let’s just leave it there.”

Han Ganghyuk suddenly stopped, a disagreeable smile on his face.

“Is there a reason I shouldn’t know? After all, we are from different sections.”

“‘Blood Day’ is not confined by sections. Ah, darn! I shouldn’t have said that. Kekeke.”

Whether he intended it or not, that was meaningful information.

“Lee Hoyoung, now it seems you ought to reveal what you have.”

Cunning bastard. He left out the most crucial part and passed the dice to me.

“I know the ‘King of Slaughter’.”

“The ‘King of Slaughter’? I can’t believe it. Such a thing can’t exist.”

“Well, it does. I’ve seen it.”

“Liar!”

Yes, a definite lie. But there’s no way for you to verify the truth.

“Slaughter benefits from level, stats, skills, and items. Your exclusive skill, ‘Aura Blade,’ is one of those privileges.”

“Oho! You know that much?”

Of course, that’s all I know.

“There is a player in Slaughter who uses a gun. That person is the King of Slaughter.”

Seo Junho’s eyes widened as he overheard our conversation. Son Seoyeon, looks like I might have to betray you a bit here.

“Who might that be?”

“I’ll leave it there, since I haven’t heard the end of your story.”

The bait is thrown; now I just wait for him to bite. After all, the winner is me, as the one most curious about the other’s information loses.

* * *

The first stage of the 8th floor’s theme, ‘Qualification Renewal,’ has ended. And now, back in the waiting room, the gladiators, including myself, await the return of the ‘Bandage Man’.

“Lee Hoyoung, is everything you told Han Ganghyuk true? What’s this Slaughter, and Son Seoyeon being the King of Slaughter?”

Seo Junho seemed deeply shocked. The false information I had kept hidden, along with the lies told to Han Ganghyuk, made Seo Junho nearly catatonic. Especially the ‘Blood Day’ story spun by Han Ganghyuk must have been a highlight.

“Sorry, Seo Junho.”

“What are you apologizing for?”

“Just everything.”

I looked at Seo Junho while managing a wry smile. So far, I’ve hidden my unique abilities, and that will remain unchanged.

“Should I share the facts I’ve learned with our colleagues?”

“Yes. Tell them everything. And there’s something more I confess to you, Seo Junho.”

I eventually admitted to the existence of the ‘Status Window of the Sage.’

I felt like the artisan who screamed ‘The king’s ears are donkey ears’ before his death, sensing a profound relief.

“No way! You can see everyone’s information?”

“Yes.”

His disbelief was to be expected. It was a shock.

“Why are you confessing this to me now? You could’ve kept it hidden.”

“I’m planning to regress anyway.”

I have no idea when this gladiator’s qualification renewal will end, but I will return to the start of the 8th floor to revalidate my ‘Tamer’s qualification.’ There, Seo Junho alone will proceed through the 8th floor, and even Imiho, who had just died, would be alive.

The ‘Status Window of the Sage’ described it as a world unfolding like a parallel universe.

“That’s even more unbelievable!”

I’d think the same if it weren’t for the information provided by the Status Window of the Sage.

“And I plan to kill Han Ganghyuk as soon as the second mission of the 8th floor starts.”

This would be an experiment of sorts—one part justice and a large dose of my own curiosity, wanting to see what happens if Slaughter, favored by the tower and a key character, dies early on.

This place is a world unrelated to me as soon as I regress. It’s the perfect condition to avoid any negative side effects of experimentation.

Of course, Seo Junho tried to dissuade me.

“Isn’t that too risky?”

“It’s doable if my calculations are correct.”

I never gamble uncertainly, especially when I’ve already seen the other player’s hand. There’s no reason for me to lose.

– To be continued in Chapter 41 –



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