My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 73

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Chapter 73

The atmosphere in the hall froze over with the master’s words.

Within the Heavenly Demon Sect, the word of the Heavenly Demon is both absolute proposition and law.

Even the elders, who were of the highest rank, tidied up their act at the voice of their master.

“What a mess you’re making.”

The master looked back and forth between Taemu Jeong and Pyeon Jong-ho, his expression one of sheer disappointment.

My master was truly unruly.

He was about to disgrace the two elders right in front of the disciples.

“Hey, Elder Pyeon. What is our sect’s absolute principle? You must’ve heard it over and over since the day you first joined. Do you remember?”

“…It’s the survival of the fittest, isn’t it?”

“Exactly. You’re quite true to my teachings. A proper response from someone who wouldn’t be out of place with his face smeared in dung given his age.”

“Su… Supreme One!”

“What? Do you find my expression offensive?”

“Not at all!”

“Unless the results aren’t out yet, it’s clear who is the strong and who is the weak. Are you going to carry on in this filthy way over that?”

“However, changing the examination date for the sake of an individual student goes against the principles of the Heavenly Demon Way.”

“So, for such a trivial thing, you would disregard the Great Principle of survival of the strongest in our sect?”

“No! My thinking was too narrow, Supreme One.”

Overpowered by the master’s daunting presence, Pyeon Jong-ho could not retort.

All he could do was lower his head in absolute obedience to the master’s words.

This, too, was a brutal adherence to the principle of the survival of the fittest.

“And you, Elder Tae.”

“Yes, Supreme One.”

“Who is the principal authority in charge of the Heavenly Demon Way?”

“That would be me.”

“That’s right. It’s you. Within the Heavenly Demon Way, your word is law. Then why are you groveling before Elder Pyeon? Because Elder Pyeon is your senior?”

“When did I grovel, Supreme One?”

“It was obvious just by looking. No one can defy your principle in the Heavenly Demon Way. Excluding me, of course. Even if it’s your senior, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Why can’t you be decisive instead of being indecisive?”

“…If that’s how I appeared, it is my fault.”

“Yes, it’s your fault.”

I had not realized it when we were alone in the tower, but the master was truly adept at maintaining discipline.

Perhaps he was the only one who could do so with the elders.

By rank and by hierarchy, the master was the only one above the elders.

“And I have something to announce to all the disciples of the sect, so listen well.”

On the platform, the master’s presence was truly fitting of his title, the Supreme One, without a hint of incongruity.

He even exuded a near-divine aura.

I truly served an excellent master.

“This Lee Ho-yeong, participating in the Heavenly Demon Way.”

Once the master mentioned my name, everyone’s eyes were riveted on me.

Countless gazes intersected with mine.

Master.

Was he about to say something?

“This person is the disciple I have taken in as the descendant of the Heavenly Demon.”

* * *

In the Lord’s quarters.

Only two people were silently sharing drinks and conversation.

One was the master.

The other was me.

“Why did you reveal it? I am soon to leave this place.”

“And what, should I not call my disciple a disciple?”

“The repercussions could be too great. Many will be interested in my whereabouts once I’m gone.”

“Your involvement will make the succession disputes more interesting. Other candidates will have to compete with a rival they cannot see.”

The master smiled contentedly at his own thoughts.

At last, I had been acknowledged as the master’s disciple.

Although it may not be effective in practical terms, it was still an important matter to me.

“It’s a pity, isn’t it? That you can’t take over this Heavenly Demon Sect.”

“I do not know what lies at the top of the tower, but do you plan to return to the martial world after your journey ends?”

“I will go back to where I belong.”

“Even if I offered you the Heavenly Demon Sect?”

“A bowl of rice on Earth is more valuable to me.”

“Damn you, crazy fool! I must be truly mad to take in someone like you as a descendant of the Heavenly Demon.”

“The choice was yours, master. Although you might not remember the previous one.”

It was a unique experience.

To have formed a master-disciple relationship with the same person twice.

“Is there anything else you wish to learn before you return to the tower? This might be our last meeting.”

“I would rather share another drink with you, master.”

“Crazy fool. Surely you must realize the level of opportunity you’re forsaking.”

Of course, I knew.

And perhaps, one day, I would regret it.

The martial techniques I could learn from the master might revolutionize the direction and growth of my training.

Yet now, it was enough to share this bond with my master.

Perhaps it was a decision made under the influence of the alcohol.

“Then pour us another drink.”

“Yes, master.”

Thus, I filled the master’s cup time and time again.

[The 10th floor mission of the tower is over.]

[All survivors will return to the tower.]

It had been a long journey.

This 10th floor could very well have been a day of blood.

I gained much and could return without regrets.

And I had a feeling that this wouldn’t be the last time I’d see my master.

Perhaps we’d meet again in the tower.

If I could continue to ascend and survive in the tower.

“Let’s meet again.”

“Yes, Master.”

* * *

Back in the tower’s lobby after a long time.

As expected, all seven had survived.

“Good work, everyone.”

We lightly embraced each other in celebration of our reunion.

We shared the joy among ourselves.

Just before the full-blown war in the world of martial arts broke out, we returned safely, for we all could have been swept up in the maelstrom of a colossal conflict if the timing of our summoning to Murim had been slightly misaligned.

“Everyone seems to be doing well.”

“It was much more peaceful than the relentless tower.”

Scanning the status window, everyone had made steep progress.

It was natural, given that upon being summoned to Murim, we automatically mastered the basic martial arts and internal energy techniques.

Based on the martial skills we acquired in Murim, we could now begin serious training.

Refining our internal energy techniques would enhance our magical power, while skills such as swordsmanship, spear techniques, and archery would elevate our proficiency to a new level.

Needless to say, the stats for physical strength, muscle power, agility, and senses would also be unquestionably improved.

[Players can no longer increase their stats by spending gold.]

[Stat increases can only be achieved through leveling up and training.]

The tower’s notification sound hammered it home once more.

From now on, the only things absolutely necessary for us were hunting and training.

Not that I needed this information, having reached the limit of stats attainable through gold long ago.

[You cannot increase skill proficiency in martial arts obtained in Murim by spending gold either.]

That was also information I already knew.

I had recognized the Mu-Young’s Soul Pursuing Sword technique even before going to Murim.

“No more easy gains, huh?”

Gold could now only be spent on purchasing items.

Though, I didn’t foresee needing to use gold for a while.

The Indomitable Black Sword was still an overpowered weapon at this stage, and the Heavenly Silkworm Armor received as a reward in Murim outmatched any other defense gear.

From now on, I could slowly accrue gold until it was time to deliver a decisive blow.

“Ah! But I really liked Murim!”

Kim Seyong was the one who lamented our return to the tower the most.

He had been the most promising new martial artist of the Red Evil Sect.

“Why? Because it was a taste of your world for once?”

“Of course, it felt great. I mean, just by stepping into the marketplace everyone recognized and praised me as their best—it wouldn’t make anyone feel bad, wouldn’t it?”

“Had it been possible, you would’ve even planted yourself a stake in Murim.”

“Kekeke. Hyung, you were no joke in Murim either, huh? I didn’t expect Ma-Ho-pyoung to really die like that.”

“You thought I was going to die?”

“Well, honestly.”

“No loyalty, you bastard. If you thought that way, you should’ve stopped me right then and there.”

“Kekeke. At least we all came back alive, right?”

Then, out of the blue, Son Seoyeon exclaimed something unexpected.

“The one lacking loyalty is you, Lee Ho-young.”

It was the first time she stepped forward and spoke up like this.

After all, Son Seoyeon had always been an outsider.

“Son Seoyeon, what’s with the sudden accusation?”

“You, weren’t you the disciple of the Heavenly Devil? What in the world is going on?”

That was it, the crux of the matter.

For her, who had heard the declaration of my master up close, it was inconceivable.

At first entry into Murim, I was suddenly declared the disciple of the Heavenly Devil.

The crowd was stunned by Son Seoyeon’s sudden denouncement.

“The Heavenly Devil?”

“Are you referring to the Heavenly Devil of the Heavenly Devil Sect?”

“The same Heavenly Devil known as Number One in Murim?”

Everyone had visited Murim and knew the name of the Heavenly Devil, as well as the absolute significance those two characters held in Murim.

“I won’t deny it. Yes, my master was the Heavenly Devil, the absolute authority of the Heavenly Devil Sect.”

“Crazy! Wow! What did Lee Ho-young bribe the tower with to become the disciple of the Heavenly Devil? Real pleasure in Murim wasn’t mine to enjoy; it was reserved for someone else!”

Kim Seyong looked at me with a sense of betrayal.

All players might have learned a worthwhile skill or two from the Murim mission, but even at best, they were third-rate martial techniques.

Even Kim Seyong, who had been considered among the best, was no different; his envy towards me seemed to burst forth.

“I just got lucky.”

“Every time, Mr. Lee Ho-young seems to be lucky.”

“Well, yes.”

I responded with a bashful laugh.

Honestly, I expected my luck to continue in the future, so this kind of attention was something I was destined to deal with.

The 10th floor concluded, and the gap between me and the other players had widened considerably.

As time passed, that gap would only grow.

Even if we spent the same amount of time training, the quality of the martial arts I was already mastering was of a completely different caliber.

[You have 48 hours before the 11th floor begins.]

[Please commit yourselves to training.]

The tower increasingly urged us to train.

It was clear that some voyeur sitting at the top of the tower was watching us.

A degenerate who gleefully made us rise through the ranks.

“When the tower demands, you comply. What choice do we have?”

Despite their grumblings, everyone begrudgingly began their training.

Looking around, it seemed we were all made of tough stuff.

If not, it was this damned tower that was making us tougher.

“Hyung! Let’s spar with Kangsu; it’s been a while.”

“You sure about that? Kangsu’s grown quite a bit.”

“Hyung? You kidding? I’m the Red Evil Sect’s top prospect!”

Top prospect or not, Kangsu had indeed grown significantly.

The rate at which Kangsu absorbed the elixirs was honestly frightening.

“Then bring it on, let’s see.”

Apparently, Kangsu was eager for the spar.

Clang! Clang! Clang!

With a face full of excitement, Kangsu responded to my call.

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

[Strategy Guide: To prepare for the 11th floor mission, familiarize yourself with the usage of the Infinite Face Mask. The functions of the Infinite Face Mask have been modified to fit the tower system.]

– To be continued in Episode 74 –



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