My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 75

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Episode 75

The corners of Son Seo-yeon’s mouth lifted slightly.

It seemed that my telepathic proposition appealed to her quite a bit.

The offer I’d made to her was a joint murder, a most fitting endeavor for someone with her murderous inclination—there was no reason for her to refuse.

‘Murder, huh.’

Even on the 11th floor, I’d resolved myself to take lives.

Starting with Kim Jun-seong, who was once a comrade, I had killed more than a few.

Each time, I always had my reasons.

For a greater cause, to save another person, or because the victim deserved death for being evil.

‘But no matter the reason, murder is still murder.’

Assassinating Mae Ho-pyeong in the Murim was a turning point that deeply shook my moral compass.

He was undeniably evil, but I hadn’t really considered whether he deserved to die or whether I had any right to judge him.

I simply received an assassination order and carried it out.

The circumstances this time were similar.

The mission was named [Bounty Hunter].

One sector had to be cleared of multiple lives for me to survive.

Even if I didn’t actively commit murder myself, in the end, I had to wait for someone’s death.

This was while repeating a cycle of relief and self-deception at not having blood on my hands.

The act of taking a life with my own hands and wishing for someone else to dirty theirs in my place.

I started doubting whether the latter was indeed less painful.

Therefore, I decided.

If it was inevitable, then I would carve out my own fate.

Of course, the act of killing was still repugnant to me, and I needed at least a minimal defense mechanism against it.

So, I would make use of Son Seo-yeon.

With her murderous gaze, she could witness the murderous actions of others, and with that, I planned on determining the target sector.

Of course, the targets would be villains.

This was the minimum of conscience I allowed myself in deciding to kill.

‘Hmm.’

Even with such self-rationalization, a piece of unease refused to leave my heart.

But I had to start adjusting little by little.

This wasn’t reality. It was the tower of the apocalypse.

Suddenly, an anecdote from Professor Michael Sandel’s book came to mind.

A story about a trolley driver with failed brakes.

Faced with a damned choice, the driver must decide whether to continue on the track and kill five workers, or turn the trolley onto a different track and kill just one.

At the time, I had supported the choice to turn the steering wheel.

Not because I believed it was right.

But because in situations where killing was necessary, I couldn’t dare to talk about [justice].

My current reality was similar.

The best I could do was to eliminate a few evil individuals, finishing the 11th floor as efficiently as possible.

Of course, it was not justice.

* * *

[Transitioning to the 11th floor.]

As always, a strange new world unfolded before us.

An alien-looking tribe.

This place was probably where humanoid monsters once dwelt.

The smell detected through my heightened sense of smell was unmistakably that of rotting monster corpses.

“Right, Kang-soo?”

Kang!

Kang-soo nodded his head, confirming my thoughts were correct.

As the Sage’s status window had previously indicated, the start of the 11th floor mission had all of us scattered.

[Activating the mini-map.]

As the skill was initiated, a semi-transparent hologram appeared at the top of my field of vision, with various colored dots beginning to move.

Each dot represented a player. As I always felt, the mini-map was a cheat-like skill.

I couldn’t see every little detail, but to read the game board while overseeing the entire floor, this was sufficient.

[The 11th floor specific scoreboard is now active.]

Another hologram created for all players to see flickered on.

Sector 1: 2 survivors

Sector 2: 11 survivors

Sector 3: 7 survivors

Sector 4: 7 survivors

※ You are a player belonging to Sector 3.

The number of people varied from sector to sector, with even a sector where only two players existed.

Given the nature of the tower so far, the balance among the sectors was likely well maintained.

Which means there wouldn’t be an overwhelmingly powerful sector.

‘Then the players in Sector 1 must be no joke.’

If the balance were to be 100 percent perfect, the two players in Sector 1 would have to be stronger than the combined capacity of Son Seo-yeon and me. Since in Sector 3, there were five additional comrades aside from the two of us.

But of course, this was purely speculative.

[Food and water will be distributed. There will be no further rations until the 11th floor ends.]

With the message, three pieces of bread and a canteen fell in front of me.

Basic needs I never had to think about in the tower now began to surface, already starting to feel the pangs of hunger.

This was clearly a mechanism designed to prevent all players from abandoning their duties.

If no one hunts other players and everyone tries to hold out, it would get boring for the tower.

“Kang-soo, what about you?”

The damn tower didn’t bother providing rations for Kang-soo.

Suddenly, he gave me a pitiful look.

Kang!

“Alright, buddy. I’ll give you one piece to start with.”

I held out a piece of bread to Kang-soo’s mouth.

Without hesitation, he chomped down the valuable piece of food.

Of course, he’ll be expected to earn his keep beyond the value of a meal.

It was time to hurry and make contact with Son Seo-yeon.

Judging by the mini-map, our starting positions were quite fortuitous.

The closest player to me was none other than Son Seo-yeon.

“Kang-soo, let’s go.”

Kang!

I sprang onto Kang-soo’s back with agility.

Mobility is life in missions like this.

With the mini-map and Kang-soo at my disposal, I could move more efficiently than the other players.

Let’s head to the rendezvous with Son Seo-yeon.

“Do you know there’s no one around?”

Clang!

Nevertheless, this pet was not ungrateful for favors.

Kangsoo raced through the ruins of the destroyed monster village, splitting the wind as he went.

His mind was endlessly cluttered along the way.

Which area should he target for the hunt?

The ideal scenario would be that the two in Area 1 are both evildoers, with Son Seo-yeon and I each taking down one.

Then, with the sacrifice of just the two of us, we could finish the 11th floor.

But, of course, that was nothing more than a fantasy.

Since I still don’t know what kind of characters those two are.

Clang!

Thanks to Kangsoo’s haste, I was able to meet with Son Seo-yeon promptly.

Son Seo-yeon was seated in meditation, refining his internal energy.

He truly was a cutthroat character.

Even in such circumstances, he still found time to train.

“You came sooner than I thought.”

“Did I interrupt your training by any chance?”

“No, bounty hunting is more enjoyable than training, so it doesn’t matter.”

Son Seo-yeon’s words sent a shiver down my spine.

I thought he had changed a bit, but his murderous nature seemed unchanged.

After all, it’s nonsensical to think a unique trait given by the tower’s system would change.

Son Seo-yeon was indeed like a ticking time bomb.

Under the right conditions and circumstances, he could go berserk at any moment.

“Iho-young, I’d like to hear your specific plan now.”

“I’m thinking of using your ‘Eyes of Murderous Intent’.”

“Do you really need mine?”

“Yes. Your skill has been enhanced even further.”

“…Did you already know?”

“Of course.”

I had been keeping a close watch on Son Seo-yeon’s status.

How much his stats had improved.

To what extent his skills had been honed.

Recently, Son Seo-yeon acquired the ability ‘Expanded Eyes of Murderous Intent’.

An upgraded skill that allowed him to broadly scope the murderous paths of other players within the same space.

“Is this also due to the power of the Great Slaughterer?”

Son Seo-yeon’s comments caused me to doubt myself.

Could it be that I am actually the Great Slaughterer?

“Anyway, start using the skill.”

“You’re planning to gauge the abilities of players in other areas using their path of murder?”

“Oh? Ah.”

Originally, I wanted to assess the extent of their villainy, but if Son Seo-yeon interpreted it that way, there was no need to correct him.

It was not a bad idea to get a preview of the other players’ strength either.

“Look into the players of Area 1 first.”

“Wait. It’ll take some time to find them.”

This made it clear.

Ever since the tower was alerted to my disappearance, I had guessed that Son Seo-yeon’s senses had developed an ability to substitute for the minimap.

There was a time when I teased him for being directionally challenged, but now he had overcome that.

Since it didn’t show up on his status window, it might not be a skill, but something was definitely there.

“I’ve seen it.”

“Already?”

The concept of Son Seo-yeon having seen the path of murder was more akin to the transfer of information.

“Yeah. The two in Area 1 are a couple. They killed all their comrades.”

“Why would they do something like that?”

“It’s just a fragment of information, but it seems they were adherents of safety first. As a couple, they trusted no one but each other and considered all other comrades as enemies.”

Though I wanted to ask if this couple were murderously ruthless, I refrained from asking.

I wanted to maintain the mystique of the Great Slaughterer.

And since Son Seo-yeon made no mention of it, it seemed less likely that this couple was of murderous nature.

“They must be strong. They’ve had exclusive access to the spoils from the tower.”

“Judging by their murderous acts on the 10th floor, they are indeed formidable. It would be tough facing them directly.”

If what Son Seo-yeon said was true, targeting them was a bit delicate.

Though they had killed players in their own area, it was hard to label them as villains.

And if Son Seo-yeon recognized their strength, it would be burdensome to face them in head-on combat.

“Next, Area 2.”

“Wait. And don’t talk to me with orders. I’m not your subordinate.”

“Yes, surely you must know.”

There were eleven players in Area 2.

It was uncertain what their formation looked like, but statistically, their individual combat abilities were likely to be the weakest.

Of course, I still had to hear what Son Seo-yeon had to say.

“It seems that the balance among the players in this area is seriously skewed.”

“What do you mean?”

“Looking at their path of murder, one of the eleven is incredibly strong. Perhaps even stronger than the couple from Area 1. The rest are small fry.”

“Is the one you deem strongest a murderer?”

“No, their count of murders is too few.”

I didn’t know who this person was, but the fact that such a strong individual stayed quiet suggested a lower chance of them being a villain.

Thus, Area 2 was also put on hold.

If Area 4 followed a similar pattern, choosing a target would not be easy.

“Could you please look into Area 4 now?”

“What’s with this approach?”

“You told me not to speak with commands.”

“…You’re mocking me.”

Even so, Son Seo-yeon had become somewhat milder in these aspects.

He acknowledged being mocked but didn’t fuss beyond a hard glance.

Thinking back to when he beat Kim Se-yong like a dog, he had certainly become a tamer lamb now.

I waited silently for Son Seo-yeon.

After hearing about Area 4, I would need to make a decision.

Which area to target.

“The entire group in Area 4 is wearing school uniforms.”

This meant they were minors.

Given this, choosing Area 4 as a target had become difficult.

“They’re all wearing the same uniforms, and seven are attacking one. They appear to be students from the same school.”

“What?”

“They are trampling brutally, even though he’s crying and begging for mercy. His whole face is bloodied.”

“Why on earth!?”

“I’m not sure, but judging from the conversation, it seems the victim might be a ‘gold shuttle’.”

In that case, my decision was made.

Even if this was not the path of justice.

– To be continued in Episode 75 –



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