My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 41

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Episode 41

“What the! Did I count wrong?”

“No, it’s thirty-five people! Even when I count it’s the same!”

In the waiting room, a number of players were engrossed in counting heads.

The numbers didn’t add up.

If things went as Bandage Man had predicted, at least four people should not have been able to return here.

“Maybe that damn Bandage Man just scared us for nothing?”

“Could be! Our party rushed because we believed Bandage Man’s words!”

There was uproar among the people.

Everyone had competed fiercely, believing Bandage Man’s claim that there were nine parties and eight Mammoth Guardians, but the actual number of players who returned was thirty-five.

It was only natural that they felt deceived.

No one even bothered to express concern for Imiho, who did not make it back.

“Damn it, we rushed for nothing!”

“If I knew it would be like this, I should have leisurely hunted minor monsters and leveled up!”

Humans can be quite deceitful.

Just before the mission started, there was turmoil about risking their lives in competition.

– No need to be resentful! Everyone!

Suddenly, Bandage Man appeared out of thin air.

Of course, it was through a holographic image.

– And I’ll give you one warning. If anyone calls me Bandage Man again, you won’t be amused!

Bandage Man had been listening all along, even though he hadn’t shown himself.

Now that I think about it, it was quite peculiar.

It seemed like there weren’t even CCTV cameras here.

“What’s going on? Didn’t you say that at least one party wouldn’t be able to survive?”

– Player Kim Taekyung! Is that your complaint? That more people survived than expected?

“That… No, but!”

– A party found a hidden piece.

“A hidden piece?”

– Hidden away in a corner, and you found it within the time limit! I’m impressed.

[An additional reward of 1000 gold has been granted by the administrator’s discretion.]

And with that, Bandage Man looked at me.

Administrator’s discretion…

It seemed I did well to get on Bandage Man’s good side.

I grinned and gave a slight bow towards Bandage Man.

It was necessary to ingratiate myself a bit more.

Especially since I planned to kill one beloved by the tower in a moment.

– But there’s something else!

All of a sudden, Bandage Man turned serious.

– Too many players have survived. This wasn’t part of my plan.

If I hadn’t found the hidden piece, there would’ve been several instances of PK among the players.

That would have been the only way to survive for those who failed to hunt a Mammoth Guardian.

– Quite the predicament. We don’t need so many gladiators in this tower. So now, I’ll make you an offer.

“What terrible thing are you planning to do now?”

– What terrible thing, you ask? It’s a good thing you mentioned it. I needed an excuse. Hehehe.

Whoosh!

Bandage Man’s words were cut short, and suddenly from the hologram, a beam of light was fired.

“Aargh!”

A horrifying event unfolded before our eyes.

The player who was hit by the beam in the arm lost that arm then and there.

The crime was daring to question him.

Amid the terror that suddenly set in, no one dared even to make a peep.

– Actually, it’s been bothering me that someone called me Bandage Man. I have a bit of a grudge-holding personality. Hehehe.

At this moment, several people would be sweating bullets.

I remember at least three or four mentions of Bandage Man so far.

– I was interrupted, but let’s make another offer.

Fortunately, there were no additional retaliations.

Those who had mentioned Bandage Man were still trembling, though.

– I’m taking reservations for who wishes to participate in PK for the second mission. If you succeed in your PK after reservation, a special reward awaits. However, if you PK without making a reservation, no matter how many you kill, there’s no benefit.

That’s insane.

Truly insane.

“Could you disclose the content of the second mission beforehand?”

Someone raised their hand and asked.

It was clearly a brave move.

Regardless of not mentioning Bandage Man.

– I won’t disclose it. But does your question imply that you may reserve a PK depending on the mission’s content? That opportunistic mindset! I’m not too fond of it.

The atmosphere turned even colder at Bandage Man’s response.

Everyone was looking around, still, no one dared to raise their hand.

“Me.”

I was the one to break the ice.

Whether or not Bandage Man suggested it, I had been planning to kill Han Ganghyuk, so there was no reason to refuse the special reward.

– Oh ho. Player Lee Hoyoung! I like that attitude. You keep picking actions that please me! Hehehe.

That sentiment should remain unchanged even after I’ve killed the savant.

Everyone looked at me, surprised.

Some might consider me a scumbag.

Well, I don’t care.

As soon as I regress, this world will reset, and I’ll be as if I was never here.

– Is there no one else but Player Lee Hoyoung?

“Me!”

Of course.

Han Ganghyuk, I knew you would do it.

* * *

The second mission finally started.

The moment I left the waiting room, darkness fell over the world.

But something felt off.

[A special mission has begun.]

[Who will you eliminate? The player you choose will be immediately summoned to this location.]

What?

This was totally unexpected.

Bandage Man had tricked us.

He took PK reservations without any relation to the mission content.

With me and Han Ganghyuk having applied, and two more raising their hands afterward, up to four people would start the second mission already dead.

“Han Ganghyuk.”

I called out Han Ganghyuk’s name.

If I killed Han Ganghyuk first, there would be one less victim due to PK.

[Each of you has chosen the other simultaneously.]

This was also unforeseen.

Han Ganghyuk was already standing before me.

“Oh ho! Lee Hoyoung, you chose me as well? This should be interesting, shouldn’t it?”

“I agree.”

“But you know it too, don’t you? That I’m stronger.”

“Yes, I know.”

I certainly know.

With the Sage’s status window, I can compare our strengths.

However, that’s when it comes to a one-on-one fight.

[I summon my pet.]

If my calculations are correct, I definitely stand a chance.

Because I have a reliable ally.

Right, Kangsoo?

Kang!

Kangsoo appeared behind me.

Shadow boxing as always.

“What’s this? Summoning a pet?”

“If I’m to fight Salsung, I need to be prepped like this.”

Swish! Swish!

Kangsoo continued shadow boxing, burning with fighting spirit.

The red gloves fitted on Kangsoo’s front paws looked formidable.

An advanced item that boosts attack power by a whopping ten percent, exclusive to Kangsoo.

“Do you really think you can beat me if we fight together?”

Han Kanghyuk looked at Kangsoo and me alternately with disbelief in his eyes.

It seems he is underestimating Kangsoo and me.

Kangsoo, it looks like we need to show our real strength.

* * *

Aura Blade.

Han Kanghyuk’s skill was indeed deadly.

Despite my Unyielding Sword being of unique rank, it was continuously pushed back by Han Kanghyuk’s blade.

His sword strikes were beyond sharp – they were downright violent.

Boom!

With each clash, my whole arm tingled.

Several times I almost dropped my Unyielding Sword.

But I couldn’t just keep dodging.

To counter Han Kanghyuk’s Aura Blade, I had to face it head-on with my sword.

Kang!

Still, Kangsoo’s presence was a great help.

Distracted by Kangsoo’s punches, Han Kanghyuk couldn’t land a combo on me.

Just a moment ago, if Han Kanghyuk had continued to press me, I would have been helpless.

“This kangaroo pest is more troublesome than I thought.”

Han Kanghyuk said while catching his breath, still exuding confidence.

“He’s more than just ‘troublesome.’”

Kangsoo’s movements were a reflection of my will.

Although my beast taming skill was still immature, Kangsoo displayed a level of agility far beyond ordinary monsters.

And I could slowly start to see Han Kanghyuk’s limits.

Aura Blade was destructive but cost a lot of mana.

He couldn’t keep spamming his skills this way.

“No, you’re exactly that—troublesome.”

His bluff was evident—proof indeed.

He knew it too.

His limits were steadily approaching.

Whoosh!

My sword and Kangsoo’s punches combined in a joint assault.

Our spirit bond meant our combined technique wasn’t simply one plus one.

Facing our fierce attacks, Han Kanghyuk once more empowered his sword with mana and unfurled Aura Blade.

He wore a triumphant smile.

He must’ve thought we ventured too deeply into the fray.

The next scene he imagined may well have been Kangsoo and I split in half.

But I, too, had an ace up my sleeve.

<A wide-area shield is deployed.>

<It can be reused after a 2-hour cooldown period.>

It was the moment to unveil the reward from clearing a hidden piece.

Bearing in mind the cooldown, it was practically a once-off skill, but once was enough.

Kangsoo and I pushed through Han Kanghyuk’s attack.

PFFFT!

Kangsoo’s fist delivered a knockout blow,

SLICE!

and my Unyielding Sword sliced through Han Kanghyuk’s side.

“Gah!”

Han Kanghyuk let out a groan for the first time.

The most difficult part is the beginning.

Everything proceeded smoothly thereafter.

“Gaaaah!”

Indeed, my calculations were precise.

Unless there were unforeseen variables, the numbers displayed in the Sage’s status window never lied.

* * *

When I decided to kill Salsung, I had a concern.

Would the tower impose a penalty on me?

After all, Salsung was favored by the tower.

And that concern was somewhat justified.

[You have killed Salsung.]

[The tower’s system will undergo some changes.]

Huh?

The message ended there, but an entity appeared before me to resolve my queries.

In a holographic form.

– I doubted it, but you actually won!

“Is there a problem?”

– Well, it could be a problem, hehehe.

The bandaged man let out an intrigued laugh.

Luckily, it appeared he still looked favorably upon me.

“I received a message about the tower’s system changing.”

– Yes. Because you killed one of the Salsungs, the difficulty level of the entire tower has been patched. And it’s become more difficult, of course.

“Why would that happen…”

– I’ll tell you because it’s you.

As expected.

It was good that I had made myself look good in front of the bandaged man.

– Salsung was responsible for a certain portion of the tower’s system. To put it simply, he was in charge of a part of the overall difficulty level of the tower. And this aggregate difficulty is absolutely immutable.

I sort of get what he’s saying.

“The difficulty level Han Kanghyuk was responsible for has shifted to tower missions?”

– Bingo! You got it right away.

But I still had unanswered questions.

The fact that Han Kanghyuk, who died at my hands, could affect the entire tower felt off…

– And I think I know what you’re pondering. Salsung, you see. They’re quite an essential character in this tower. Their rank is completely different from ordinary players.

“What if I happen to kill another Salsung…”

– Ah, let’s stop there with the questions! Just know that even telling you this much was an exceptional gesture of goodwill. Hehehe.

There was more I wanted to know, but no help for it.

I could only hope that the Sage’s status window would someday reveal more.

“Ah, but didn’t you say there’s a special reward for a successful PK?”

– Hehehe. Well, the thing is…

There’s something.

Something not quite right.

– To be continued in Episode 42 –



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