My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 78

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Episode 78

Gasping and groaning, Kim Seyong finally stopped trembling and moved no more. Of course, this was all an act. Even now, his pulse was beating quite normally. I was deliberately choking him loosely; with just a bit more strength, I would have drawn out a real scream from him. Though tempted to play a little prank on him, an impeccable timed message from the tower came through.

[The seventh player kill (PK) has occurred.]

‘This must be the work of Son Seoyeon.’ I used the ‘Overseer of the 11th Floor’ skill to check on Son Seoyeon. Mana smoke was still billowing from the barrel of her gun, and one kid from the 4th sector lay collapsed, having lost the focus in his eyes. This indeed, was another act of Son Seoyeon. After the PK alert, I loosened my grip on Kim Seyong’s neck, and he collapsed to the ground. A faint groan escaped his mouth as his head hit the floor, but I chose to ignore it.

‘That’s what you get for not listening.’

His acting might have been poor, but his judgment was praiseworthy. He could have feigned death to seize an opportunity to counterattack, but Kim Seyong showed no such intention. He knew well that he stood no chance. For him, it was time to lie flat without question. If I had really been a player from the 1st sector, Kim Seyong would be dead by now.

‘Speaking of which, the players from the 1st sector are…’

The mini-map revealed that their positions had significantly changed. Huh? Even more so, one was currently engaging with a player from the 4th sector. Quickly, I activated my skill again to zoom in on that location. It was the husband among the couple, right before a potential PK.

“Please… save me!”

The two players faced each other. The lad from the 4th sector, clutching a fatal wound on his side, begged for his life. I sensed that the 11th floor could end quicker than expected. If a PK occurred here as well, there would only be one surviving player left in the 4th sector. It would be perfect if I took care of the last one.

“Alright, I’ll save you,” said the player from the 1st sector in a flat tone.

“Really?”

How naive to take those words at face value. The best strategy for this youngster now was a surprise attack—though the chances of success were less than 0.1 percent.

“I’ll save you. So, just go take a nap for now.”

Thwack!

No sooner had the words been spoken, the player from the 1st sector struck the nape of the kid’s neck. He collapsed like a felled log.

‘He’s really going to save him?’

Clearly, the attack wasn’t meant to kill, and indeed, it didn’t. A bad premonition crept over me. This player refused to end the 11th floor without a fight. Every kill brought in a bounty, so more PKs meant more rewards.

‘Just as I thought!’

I was right. He hoisted the collapsed youngster over his shoulder and started moving again. With this development, a change of strategy was necessary, as my plan to quickly finish off the 4th sector and clear the 11th floor was now compromised.

‘I need to meet Son Seoyeon again.’

I turned on the mini-map and set my course toward Son Seoyeon. The sight of Kim Seyong still lying flat and motionless made me feel a pang of pity.

* * *

Two players from the 2nd sector lost their lives in an instant. The married couple from the 1st sector had each taken one down. Fortunately, our allies, following my telepathy, had already almost assembled in one place. Still, it wasn’t entirely safe. The two players from the 1st sector weren’t foes who could be dealt with by mere ganging up.

But in fact, the most dangerous person in the current situation was me. Now, I was the most active bounty hunter on the 11th floor.

[The tenth PK has occurred.]

I had already killed four people with my own hands. It goes without saying I was in the sole lead for kills. With each subsequent PK, I was becoming more and more numb to the killing.

1st sector: 2 survivors

2nd sector: 7 survivors (-4)

3rd sector: 7 survivors

4th sector: 1 survivor (-6)

Only one player remained in the 4th sector, who was moving together with a player from the 1st sector, therefore, approaching them alone was a risky move. However, there’s no reason to take the hard path when an easier one exists.

“Son Seoyeon!”

I revealed myself before her, having already discarded my facial mask.

She eyed me momentarily, likely trying to see the murderer in my eyes through the visage of ruthlessness.

“Are we having a staring contest now?”

“Were you going around doing foolish things?” she retorted, as expected.

Since my PK spree wasn’t visible to her due to the facial mask’s effect, she could have only assumed so.

“And you, Son Seoyeon?”

“I’m on my second kill.”

“Not a bad pace. But there’s a problem.”

I briefed her on the situation with the players from the 1st sector, revealing how formidable they were, and that they’d only started hunting in earnest despite having the chance to finish the 11th floor sooner.

“Admirable fellows.”

Classic Son Seoyeon. She probably felt relieved that the 11th floor hadn’t ended sooner and didn’t see them as a threat.

A confidence unique to those driven by bloodlust, not unfounded but she could certainly use a taste of her own medicine.

“If we continue to hunt, it’s only a matter of time before we run into them, and there’s no guarantee we can win.”

“So your conclusion is that you’re scared.”

Is that where our conversation was heading?

“That’s not what I meant, but there’s no need to take unnecessary risks. It would be much easier if we could take out one side before the couple reunites. What are your thoughts?”

I wasn’t certain Son Seoyeon would agree. If she refused, I’d have to go alone.

I had my ultimate weapon, Kangsu, so confidently, I could handle it.

Even if I find myself being pushed back, the chance for victory still exists.

“Not a bad idea. So, who do you plan to hit first?”

Such an admirable fellow.

As I sensed on the 10th floor, it was a good thing I didn’t end up in a do-or-die battle with Son Seo-yeon.

“The husband’s side.”

It wasn’t because the husband was stronger or weaker than his wife.

It was because he was moving along with a player from Zone 4 who had lost consciousness.

There, I intended to leave the fight to Son Seo-yeon and seize the opportunity to clear the 11th floor when suitable.

Son Seo-yeon might censure me, but creating a pretext was simple enough.

“Good. I accept your plan, but there’s a condition.”

“Let’s hear it.”

“I want to handle the guy by myself. Lee Ho-young, you absolutely must not intervene unless I’m in danger.”

The picture I wanted was beautifully coming together.

“Why? Are you worried I might split the bounty with you?”

I let out a faint show of regret.

And then, as if defeated, I conceded.

“Since it was my suggestion, I should be the one to compromise.”

The negotiation was very smoothly concluded.

Now, let’s head to finish the 11th floor.

* * *

Player Choi Jeong-hyuk from Zone 1.

The veil of mystery that shrouded him piqued my curiosity, but now it was finally lifted.

The moment he came into view, I could access his personal information through the Sage’s Status Window, and the true face of Choi Jeong-hyuk was revealed before my eyes.

One shocking word struck me first.

‘A pro gamer?’

I hadn’t even considered that such a profession could exist within the tower.

I had assumed he might be a spearman because he carried a spear, but it was completely unexpected.

An average level with average stats.

Yet, the strength I saw in Choi Jeong-hyuk was well beyond what numbers could express.

‘It must be because of his skills.’

Registered in the skill window was .

Recalling his performance, it was clear that Choi Jeong-hyuk’s spear control was indeed divine.

It was not flashy or intricately technical, but his slicing and thrusting were efficient and impressive.

Within a gaming system tower, a pro gamer could be the strongest class.

‘And if his job in the tower is a pro gamer…’

It’s highly likely he did something similar in reality.

I became a gladiator just because I swung a wooden sword a few times at a kendo dojo, so this guy might have been a gaming addict, or really a pro gamer.

I had to test the waters.

“By any chance, pro gamer Choi Jeong-hyuk?”

That was the first thing I said after meeting him.

Choi Jeong-hyuk’s expression, which had brightened at the sight of me and Son Seo-yeon, changed oddly.

“That’s surprising.”

“Why?”

“Because I didn’t expect anyone to recognize me.”

He really was a pro gamer.

Of course, he wouldn’t be a top-tier gamer.

Otherwise, I would have recognized him, and Choi Jeong-hyuk’s reaction would have been different.

“I wasn’t a fan, but I still supported you.”

“Do you want an autograph?”

“I’ll pass. Given the circumstances.”

I pointed at Son Seo-yeon with my finger.

Already she had drawn her gun.

Such an impatient character.

The muzzle was already pointed at Choi Jeong-hyuk.

“Looking to fight me? But a gun, that’s quite unusual.”

Choi Jeong-hyuk grinned at Son Seo-yeon with a spear in hand, exuding confidence.

For now, I kept my promise and hung back.

What was more important to me than their confrontation was the kid from Zone 4.

‘The distance is a bit far…’

The kid lay collapsed in the distance, still unconscious.

I planned to seize the opportunity to thrust my sword into that kid’s back.

Then the 11th floor would come to an end.

Of course, the reward for the most PKs would be mine.

“But why are you not both attacking together, as it’s just the lady fighting? Anyway, it’s good. I wanted to give that friend an autograph separately.”

Bang!

As soon as Choi Jeong-hyuk finished speaking, a gunshot rang out.

A brief moan escaped from his lips.

At such close range, the mana-infused bullet Son Seo-yeon fired was lethally forceful.

But Choi Jeong-hyuk wasn’t just a sitting duck.

‘Penetrating Insight!’

This too was a unique trait of Choi Jeong-hyuk.

An ability to swiftly adapt within the gaming world. He most likely instinctively caught the power and the characteristics of Son Seo-yeon’s gun.

Despite the impact of the bullet, in an instant, he closed the distance and thrust his spear toward Son Seo-yeon.

‘Divine Control?!’

While it seemed unlikely due to the distance, his spear tip touched Son Seo-yeon’s hand ever so precisely.

A strike that would have missed if it were any less than a sheet of paper away.

Yet it succeeded, and the mana Choi Jeong-hyuk unleashed was transmitted through his spear directly to Son Seo-yeon.

“Hmph!”

This time it was Son Seo-yeon who let out a grunt.

Clatter!

In the end, Son Seo-yeon dropped her gun.

She quickly retreated, abandoning her weapon.

A good decision.

Had she clung to her gun unnecessarily, her neck would have been next.

“About the gun… it bloody hurts.”

With that, the scales tipped drastically in Choi Jeong-hyuk’s favor.

In reality, it was bad luck for Son Seo-yeon.

No matter how divine her control was, asking her to repeat that feat was impossible.

A pro gamer was just another player climbing the tower, not an omnipotent being.

“Out of curiosity, if I happen to kill this lady, would you then come after me?”

Even amidst battle, Choi Jeong-hyuk leisurely questioned me.

“Why’s that?”

“Because I really want to give you that autograph.”

“I said I’m not a fan!”

I acknowledged his strength, but he was getting a bit tiresome.

“If you were thinking of taking me on, forget it. In that case, I’ll specially spare you.”

Thanks for the offer to spare me, but his arrogance sparked a useless surge of competitive spirit.

His penetrative insight had limits, that was certain.

He had no clue that I was much more dangerous than Son Seo-yeon.

– To be continued in Episode 78 –



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