My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 50

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Episode 50

I had cleared a total of five souls. Three were friends from the same orphanage, one a university classmate, and one a senior at the company. Parting with any one of them was never easy, but lingering here only nibbled away at the living’s time, so I expedited the process as much as I could. I was sure that my peers fulfilling the same mission would feel the same. With telepathy, I conveyed my intentions to my comrades, despite not being able to guarantee its effectiveness in our current situation.

“Let’s go, Kangsoo!” There was no time to waste. Surely, Son Seo-yeon had finished her mission as quickly as I had, and now I had to prepare for our final confrontation. I opened the minimap and checked my route. On the way to Son Seo-yeon, I could pass through Chae I-seol and Go Yong-woo. Conveniently, those two were the ones I worried about the most for this mission.

Kang! Kang!

Mounting Kangsoo, I began to sprint across the 9th floor’s plains. The utility of Kangsoo on such a vast stage was beyond words. Not many pets could serve both as combat support and as a mode of transportation. With its size, speed, and endurance, Kangsoo was the top choice for a mount. I had chosen well to make Kangsoo my pet. Right, Kangsoo?

Kang!

“But could you hurry up a bit more?”

Kang!

I might have one of the highest stats among all the players in this tower, but I couldn’t run as fast or as long as Kangsoo. Its ability transcended spatial constraints. Chae I-seol was rapidly closing in on the minimap. Without Kangsoo, I would have had to run until I stunk of sweat.

* * *

The slumped shoulders of Chae I-seol. Without needing to see her face, I could imagine how dire her situation was. She seemed precarious.

Swooosh! Swooosh!

She was under attack by an ordinary Orc warrior. An Orc could never match Chae I-seol – she, too, had leveled up after training on the 8th floor just like the other players. But she was still being pushed into a defensive position.

Shivering.

Chae I-seol’s hand, holding the sword, was trembling. Even when she had a chance for a counterattack, she hesitated, ultimately allowing the orc warrior to strike.

“Aaaah!” The orc’s hefty club viciously struck her lower back. She swiftly employed a healing skill on herself, but it did little to change her predicament.

Most likely, she’d been repeating this pattern. The orc would not be a difficult challenge under normal circumstances, but in this state, Chae I-seol was in danger. Standing beside the orc was a man appearing to be in his mid-twenties. Their aura signaled they weren’t siblings. Likely an old or current lover.

“Stop this now, I-seol.”

Only then did Chae I-seol acknowledge my presence. She had been so mentally shattered she hadn’t noticed my approach.

“I can’t…” Her voice strained, holding back tears.

“No. You must.”

I spoke deliberately with a cold yet firm tone. If I got emotional now, it might have shattered her completely.

Swooosh! Swooosh! Even now, the orc relentlessly pressed its attack. The brute was exploiting Chae I-seol’s hesitation to press on even more boldly. Persistent exposure, no matter how slight, eventually takes its toll. Though I had assumed as much…it was now unavoidable.

Swoosh!

My indomitable sword arced, severing one of the orc’s legs.

Keeeaaack!!

The orc screamed in agony.

“Ho-young!” Chae I-seol cried out in surprise, her tears on the brink of spilling.

“I’m giving I-seol a chance. Strike it down. This creature is the monster who killed your precious person.”

It was Chae I-seol who had to finish it. A third party, like me, couldn’t resolve all her ghosts. It wasn’t right and there was no time for it.

“But…”

“If you kill this orc, will your ghost leave? They’re already dead. Help them go to rest in peace.”

“…”

“If one of us delays and even a single ghost remains, all eight remaining players will die.”

“I’m aware…”

“Then, do it now. The living must go on living.”

The 9th floor’s time limit was 6 hours. It may seem long, but delays like these were inevitable. This mission was a fight not against monsters but against lingering attachments. Accepting the death of a loved one and letting go made this mission more cruel than any before.

Chae I-seol took a deep breath. The orc, now maimed and unable to resist, quivered while attempting to defend itself with its club.

Swooosh!

“It must be done by you, I-seol.”

Chae I-seol looked at me and gave a faint nod.

Swoosh!

Her sword punctured the skull of the orc. The blow was clean and precise. When it came down to it, she was a woman who knew how to act. The orc collapsed with a final cry. The translucent form of the wandering ghost nearby started to fade. Chae I-seol did not cry. She simply watched silently until the end.

“Well done, I-seol.”

I couldn’t fully comprehend her emotions as someone who had always been single, but I called her by name and just said well done. At least now it seemed I could head towards my destination with peace of mind.

“Let’s go, Kangsoo.”

Kang!

But Kangsoo, what’s wrong with you? Why are your eyes moist?

[Translated using Main Characters That Only I Know Translator]

Could you have done something even I haven’t tried?

Keang!

* * *

On the way towards Son Seo-yeon.

There, Go Yong-woo was also present.

While he was smart and ambitious, he was the only minor among us, and thus his situation continued to weigh on my mind.

Goodbyes are always sad for anyone, but for a young child, the burden might be even harder to bear.

I urged Keangsoo to hasten, arriving at the location as quickly as possible.

Seeing Keangsoo panting made me feel a bit guilty.

“Yong-woo.”

A boy of similar age was loitering around Yong-woo.

It was probably a friend.

If he appeared here, they must have been very close.

“Ho-young hyung!”

Contrary to my expectations, Go Yong-woo seemed calm.

The monster he was dealing with was a kobold.

Yong-woo skillfully dodged the kobold’s attacks and responded to my call.

“Are you the first ghost by any chance?”

“No, the third.”

Already?

It seems I might have been worrying unnecessarily.

Despite his young age, he was handling things much better than I thought.

“You’re close with this friend?”

“Yes. He’s been my best since middle school.”

Kwaaak!

Simultaneously, Go Yong-woo struck the back of the kobold’s neck with his hammer.

The kobold shuddered and collapsed.

“You’re colder than I thought, aren’t you?”

“If I were in his place, I would have done the same. Even if it were me as the ghost, I would have hoped my friend did the same.”

“But you didn’t completely kill the kobold, did you?”

“We’re given 6 hours after all. I plan to fill that time to the brim and gradually say my goodbyes.”

“I see.”

“And I can’t just simply finish off this creature that killed my friend. I intend to make it feel as much pain as possible. My friend watching over would probably be pleased, you know?”

He really is an exceptional kid.

He might just be the true rising star of this tower.

He’s made considerable progress clearing the 8th floor.

“Well, I guess I should go. I don’t want to disturb your farewell.”

“Have you finished already, hyung? How many ghosts did you send off?”

“Five.”

“That’s impressive, hyung.”

I’m not sure if this should be considered impressive or not.

Regardless, seeing Go Yong-woo reassured me somewhat.

I could stop by Kim Se-yong since he’s nearby, but it seems like it might be fine just to pass him by.

He’s somewhat fragile but will definitely clear it in time.

Se-yong is someone who can shed tears yet throw a nuclear punch.

* * *

Before heading to Son Seo-yeon, I checked the minimap one more time.

Fortunately, none of my allies had been downed by monsters.

For players who are challenging the 9th floor, it’s unlikely anyone would fall to lower floor monsters.

The only risk would be if their own mental state collapsed.

For now, I can only trust that they will all pull through.

Keang!

Cutting through the wind with Keangsoo, I began to move.

As expected, Son Seo-yeon was at the hidden altar on the 9th floor stage.

I didn’t know what decision she would make there, but I intended to make it her final stage.

There was a high chance that she’d be waiting for me.

[Remaining time: 1 hour 26 minutes 13 seconds]

[There are currently six ghosts left.]

The tower sent us all this message.

It was a kind of warning.

Not much time was left, urging us to hurry up.

My comrades had mostly taken care of the ghosts by now, but some elements of uncertainty remained.

There might be players who choose death along with their ghosts.

If that happened, it would mean the death of us all.

The most reassuring player, unexpectedly, was Go Yong-woo.

I hadn’t seen Kim Se-yong on the 9th floor, but he should do well.

Chae I-seol also showed firm resolve after overcoming a huge obstacle, so I felt somewhat at ease.

Seo Jun-ho has a strong sense of responsibility, so he would manage one way or another for the sake of others.

The ones I worried about most were Ahn Se-chang and Song Ji-eun.

It happens that these two were not registered as telepathic contacts, limited to only five people.

At this point, I have no choice but to trust them.

Keang! Keang!

Thanks to Keangsoo’s sacrifice, I safely arrived at the altar.

There was still some time left.

Enough time to face a decisive battle with Son Seo-yeon.

“You’ve arrived. You were definitely meant to be a ‘murderer.’”

“What, you doubted me?”

“Not so much doubted, just in case. After all, you’ve been such a humanist until now.”

A humanist, huh?

I had thought so too, but after this 9th floor, I’ve had to rethink whether I truly am a humanist after sending off five ghosts without flinching.

“Son Seo-yeon, seems like you took care of the ghosts much faster than me.”

“The main event of the 9th floor for us is right here.”

Son Seo-yeon gestured at the altar.

I was impressed.

No matter how much she became a ‘murderer’ and numbed her emotions, she must have people she holds dear.

“Have you made a decision about the 10th floor?”

“What about you?”

Son Seo-yeon asked back.

So she still considers me the chief ‘murderer.’

Before the 9th-floor mission began, she mentioned she would consider my decision.

Whether the 10th floor becomes a “Blood Day” will be decided by a vote at this altar.

While I don’t know how many ‘murderers’ there are, if the 10th floor is designated a “Blood Day,” several areas will merge into a single Blood Day mission.

“I asked first.”

Of course, Son Seo-yeon’s answer isn’t crucial.

Whatever she says, my plan is already set.

– To be continued in Episode 51 –



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