My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 64

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Chapter 64

The third barrier of Cheonma Jiro indeed turned out to be a one-on-one duel between the disciples, just as everyone had expected. The problem was that the stage for the duel was considerably bizarre. Twenty-four tree stumps were arranged radially in the practice arena. Falling off these during the duel meant disqualification, so the key was how quickly one could adapt to this stage.

“Ho Young. With the stage set up like that, don’t you think there might be unexpected outcomes, independent of one’s true skill?”

“You’re very observant, Lee Seol. Plus, someone capable of long-range attacks would be at a huuuge advantage.”

As I said this, I made a gesture towards Son Seo Yeon with my eyes. After the duel format was revealed, Son Seo Yeon had probably cheered inwardly. The difficulty for anyone facing her would certainly increase, as merely approaching her would become much harder.

“So impress me if you don’t want to be my chosen opponent.”

Holding the metaphorical hilt of the sword, Son Seo Yeon wore a very self-satisfied expression. In fact, even on flat ground everyone would prefer to avoid facing Son Seo Yeon. After the announcement of the duel format, some disciples were complaining loudly, unhappy with the circumstance since it introduced too much variability for a fair fight based on martial arts alone. Of course, Elder Tae Mu Jeong strongly dismissed these complaints.

“Quit your whining! Do you expect to only fight on flat ground in real combat?”

Though it was expected, the importance of the footwork in this phase of the examination had risen significantly. There was good reason why a manual on foot techniques was provided before the exam. Of course, mastering a foot technique in just a few days was nearly impossible. The intent must be to impress upon the disciples the importance of footwork.

“Hey, that guy Jo Mu Geon or something has been staring holes into you.”

Son Seo Yeon informed me, though I had been aware of it for a while. His gaze was so intense I could almost feel it burning into the back of my head.

“Didn’t you know? That guy’s been itching to take me down.”

“Him, take you down?”

Son Seo Yeon sounded incredulous. Jo Mu Geon might be unpleasant, but he certainly wasn’t on the level to be dismissed as a simpleton. Son Seo Yeon didn’t seem to know, but if any of us were to face Jo Mu Geon in earnest, we would likely lose nine times out of ten. Despite his pathetic performance in the poison decoction mission, Jo Mu Geon possessed formidable strength, ranking within the top among all disciples.

“Everyone, focus!”

Elder Tae Mu Jeong reappeared on the platform. The third barrier of Cheonma Jiro was about to begin. The disciples who had survived up to this point were already guaranteed a position, even if they were to fall here. But nobody was content with just that. The more stages one passed, the higher the position one could start with and the greater the opportunities to grow stronger. Starting in the lowest rank meant you could spend your entire life at the New Teachings without ever meeting the Leader even once.

“The exam will now commence.”

Everyone held their breath, watching Tae Mu Jeong. The crux was which disciple would earn the right to choose an opponent. Everything was in the hands of Tae Mu Jeong.

* * *

Son Seo Yeon was the first to gain the right to choose. Even Tae Mu Jeong knew how much of an advantage she had in this barrier. Everyone misinterpreting Son Seo Yeon’s gun as a Tanji Gong found it ridiculously overpowering for this mission. The bullets were practically invisible, making it impossible for a disciple to see where they were coming from.

“I’ll fight that one over there.”

Son Seo Yeon didn’t even bother to call out her opponent’s name in her challenge. It seemed she didn’t even take the time to learn the name of her potential opponent.

“Me?”

The selected disciple was Jin Mu Gyeom from Hwanjong origins. With a bewildered expression, Jin Mu Gyeom questioned if she had really chosen him.

“Yes, you.”

In my estimation, Jin Mu Gyeom held considerable skill. He was a jack-of-all-trades with nearly hexagonal stats.

Son Seo Yeon holding the first right to choose could easily have picked an easy opponent but didn’t seem interested in taking the easy path. Either that, or Jin Mu Gyeom just appeared an easy win in her eyes.

“Very well. Let the duel begin!”

The instructor announced, and the two climbed onto the stage. Twenty-four tree stumps were arranged like radial stepping stones about a meter high. Son Seo Yeon chose one and took her position, pulling out her gun.

“Ho Young! Why would Son Seo Yeon avoid an easy opponent?” Lee Seol asked me.

“She’s never been one to play it safe,” I replied.

Despite what I said, it seemed unlikely that Son Seo Yeon would lose to anyone. Maybe on flat ground, but in such a confined space, each shot from Son Seo Yeon’s gun was sure to be even more potent. If I were to bet gold on it, I’d bet on Son Seo Yeon without a second thought.

Whoosh! Swoooosh!

As soon as the duel started, Jin Mu Gyeom attempted to close the distance with Son Seo Yeon. His footwork was no joke; just from his lively motions, it was clear he was beyond ordinary. But still…

Bang!

The match-up was terribly unfavorable. For Son Seo Yeon, an opponent charging in heedlessly was easy prey.

Everyone believed in her Tanji Gong, and Son Seo Yeon’s bullet headed straight for Jin Mu Gyeom’s chest.

I could almost see it happening.

In a moment, Jin Mu Gyeom would be screaming in pain.

“Uuuuph!”

Grunting in agony, Jin Mu Gyeom clutched his chest. Fortunately, he managed to keep standing, avoiding disqualification, but a barrage of attacks from Son Seo Yeon followed.

Bang! Bang!

The next shot was toward the ankle.

Jin Mu Gyeom instinctively lifted his body into the air, narrowly evading the shot.

What reflexes—he wouldn’t have been able to see the bullet with his eyes.

“Not bad.”

“Don’t get cocky. I’ve completely figured out your attack pattern now.”

“Is that so?”

Bang! Bang!

Again…

En was a sniper.

Without restraint, her constant gunfire would surely deplete her magical energy, yet Son Seo-yeon’s shooting was relentless.

Whiz!

Whiz!

However, Jin Mu-gyeom managed to dodge all of Son Seo-yeon’s attacks by zigzagging around the base of the trees.

“I thought you had it all figured out.”

With a triumphant smile, Jin Mu-gyeom looked at Son Seo-yeon.

Bang!

Another shot rang out, and Jin Mu-gyeom twisted his body at the same time. Just when he thought he had dodged it,

“Urghhh!”

Jin Mu-gyeom’s second cry of pain burst out.

“I told you, you’re wrong… fool.”

Even I was taken by surprise with this attack.

The sharply curving trajectory of the bullet; it was a bending shot. Incredibly precise bending shot, accounting for the target’s movements.

I glanced over Son Seo-yeon’s status window after a long time, and sure enough, there was the Bending Shot skill newly added to her list.

Bang!

Son Seo-yeon fired another bullet toward Jin Mu-gyeom, who was now clutching at his wound. There was no mercy in her hands.

This time, it hit the abdomen.

“Urghhh!”

The match tilted more quickly than expected.

Son Seo-yeon walked towards Jin Mu-gyeom with heavy steps.

“Goodbye.”

Bang!

Bang!

Although it was foreseen that Son Seo-yeon would win, I never expected it to end so one-sidedly.

I envied her.

Guns are always an overpowered weapon.

The reason why Son Seo-yeon had chosen Jin Mu-gyeom, a formidable opponent, was now clear. She had confidence in herself.

* * *

“Why did you choose him?”

“Ah. The truth is, I haven’t really crossed paths with Jin Mu-gyeom before.”

“It wasn’t that I chose him. I pointed to the guy next to him, but then that guy stood up.”

“What?”

Jin Mu-gyeom would be kicking himself if he knew this.

But the match was already decided, and by failing at the third gate, Jin Mu-gyeom was certain to receive the lowest position.

However, with his abilities, he could surely regain his proper place.

It would take some time, though.

“Lee Ho-young!”

Following Son Seo-yeon, I was the second to be called.

I wasn’t sure what the criteria were, but considering my overwhelming performance in the last exam, it wasn’t surprising.

What surprised everyone was the name of the opponent I had chosen for the duel.

“I will fight Jo Mu-geon.”

As soon as I mentioned his name, the hall erupted into noise.

A big match had been set.

Jo Mu-geon was a strong contender to win this Heavenly Demon Tournament, and although I was an unknown, I had risen dramatically as a dark horse.

Jo Mu-geon stood in front of me with a satisfied smile.

“I was worried when your name was called first. I thought you might try to run away.”

Runaway indeed.

If the stage for this exam had been an ordinary flat ground, I might have considered fleeing at the decisive moment.

After all, I am still the underdog compared to Jo Mu-geon.

But after seeing the stage for the duel, there was no longer any reason for that thought.

“Don’t worry about useless things in the future.”

I was certain.

This was a match I had to win.

Jo Mu-geon and I took our places on opposite tree stumps.

As the starting signal resounded, I calmly began to step.

Twenty-four radial stepping-stones.

It was a very familiar scene to me, as the Mu Myeongbo Lower Manual also depicted them.

This couldn’t possibly be a coincidence.

‘The master designed this round!’

Being someone with a strong sense of pride, it was clear that the master set up the board to favor a disciple who would choose his manual.

He truly had a peculiar personality.

Considering the low probability of choosing the Mu Myeongbo from among the numerous manuals available, it was also absurd to expect someone would select the name he didn’t want to choose.

By the way, is the master still in the tower?

Or is he not returning until I’ve completed all the 10th-floor missions?

It was entirely possible.

When I met the master in the tower, he had stayed there for quite a long time.

If I returned from this journey to the martial world without meeting the master, it would be greatly regrettable.

Swoosh!

While I was lost in deep thought, Jo Mu-geon’s sword stabbed at me.

His sword strikes were both direct and ruthless, aiming to overpower me in an instant, but responding to them was not difficult.

This stage felt as familiar as my own home.

Swish!

Flowing like water, I unfolded the Mu Myeongbo and dodged Jo Mu-geon’s attacks.

While this stage might have felt like a shackle restricting his movement to Jo Mu-geon, it was a comfortable home ground for me.

Wham!

Wham!

Despite Jo Mu-geon’s continued onslaught, it wasn’t particularly threatening.

Unless he was giving his 100 percent, Jo Mu-geon couldn’t display even seven-tenths of his abilities due to the stage’s constraints.

With my relaxed defense, Jo Mu-geon’s expression stiffened.

“You slippery eel.”

This reaction was a clear sign of his growing impatience.

Of course, I didn’t plan to dodge like an eel forever.

My Shadowless Soul-Stealing Sword, combined with Mu Myeongbo, would aim for his throat without any loss of power.

Swooosh!

My unwavering blade drew a bold straight line, filling the empty air with a few drops of red blood.

Shocked gasps filled the air.

Jo Mu-geon, who had taken a big step back, was filled with dismay as his eyes met the sight.

Touching his neck, which had momentarily gone cold, he wiped off the blood.

Without any delay, I advanced towards Jo Mu-geon.

I had no intention of prolonging the match.

Swoosh!

Swoosh!

Two diagonal lines were drawn in space.

Jo Mu-geon spat out blood and collapsed.

Thud!

With that, the match was decided outside of the ring.

Just like Son Seo-yeon, I ended the match unceremoniously.

Let no one underestimate a tower offspring again.

– To be continued in Episode 65 –



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One response to “My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 64”

  1. I think Son Seo Yeon honestly realized his intentions through the murderous eyes since the protagonist wanted to kill her no matter what, that’s why she’s making the lie about the great murderer or whatever.

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