My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 80

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Chapter 80

“If you can’t spit it out?”

To Oh Duho’s proposal, Choi Junghyuk answered while scratching his ear.

“Then it’s war.”

At his words, the people from District 2 behind Oh Duho all simultaneously raised their swords.

The atmosphere was such that if given the order, they appeared ready to truly plunge into war.

A fight between two from District 1 and seven from District 2.

If I were to place a bet, I would still lean towards District 1.

Not just because of Choi Junghyuk, but also because of his wife, Oh Mina’s strength, which is far from ordinary.

She too is a pro gamer. In terms of stats, she’s on par with Choi Junghyuk.

“But do you know? Right now, you guys look pretty ridiculous.”

Choi Junghyuk, even amidst such a tense atmosphere, still coolly took one step closer.

He’s definitely fearless.

It wasn’t just his prowess in combat, but it was apparent that his mental fortitude was remarkably solid.

Choi Junghyuk continued speaking.

“All you guys care about is the bounty I’ve acquired! Revenge for dead comrades? Even a passing dog would laugh at that, don’t you think?”

At this, Kangsu covered his mouth with his hand, smothering his giggles.

“If that’s how it seems, I can’t help it, but from my perspective, it’s the best choice. This is the Tower of Apocalypse, where the old order has collapsed, and it seems right for our team to manage what our dead comrades have left behind.”

“Wow. Chills! What sort of dog’s logic is that! As you said, this is the Tower of Apocalypse, and I’ve merely acted according to the new rules provided by the tower. And yet you try to rob me of the bounty I’ve earned? Those behind you seem to have more honor. At least they’re not as calculating as you.”

Honestly, I found myself agreeing with Choi Junghyuk on this.

If one wants revenge, they should target Choi Junghyuk and Oh Mina’s lives, not the bounty. Coming at it like this naturally casts doubt on Oh Duho’s sincerity.

But what’s astonishing was the infinite trust Oh Duho’s comrades showed in him.

Without any objections, they followed his words.

“So you’re saying you’ll go to war with us. Then let’s see it through to the end.”

Eventually, with a gesture from Oh Duho, his comrades all promptly formed a formation.

Their movement was impressively organized.

It was no surprise.

The profession I saw for Oh Duho was ‘General.’

The combined attack that these players would unleash wasn’t simply a sum of their numbers.

‘They would definitely create considerable synergy.’

It seemed clear why so many had survived with such mediocre power.

That reason had to be the power of ‘leadership’ that Oh Duho possessed.

“Wait!!”

Just as Oh Duho’s forces were about to attack, Choi Junghyuk urgently shouted.

Though he still wore a relaxed expression, there was a meaningful smile on his face.

“What is it?”

“I’ll spit it out. The bounty I took.”

It was an unexpected response.

To relent so easily given all that was taken on the 11th floor.

Honestly, even with the formidable momentum of Oh Duho’s forces, my bet was still on Choi Junghyuk.

The performance he had shown when fighting Son Seoyeon was that impressive.

Choi Junghyuk himself couldn’t have been scared.

It made me curious about the reason for his retreat.

“Is that for real?”

“Yeah. But there’s a condition.”

“Let me hear it and decide. If it’s some trick, be ready for war immediately.”

“Well, it’s nothing difficult. What I want is…”

Choi Junghyuk’s proposal was absurd.

He wanted them not to frame this negotiation in terms of revenge.

“Because it’s just disgusting.”

Yet more astonishing was how smoothly the negotiation concluded.

Oh Duho accepted the proposition without any hesitation and precisely divided and distributed the bounties that Choi Junghyuk spit out among his comrades.

It wasn’t just Choi Junghyuk, this Oh Duho character also had aspects that were hard to understand.

“But aren’t you curious why I so easily spat out the bounty?”

“Actually, I’ve been curious about that for a while.”

This time I stepped forward and answered.

If it were up to me, I would’ve already asked.

Given it didn’t seem like Choi Junghyuk would lose even if Oh Duho’s forces waged war.

“The truth is, the bounty itself wasn’t that important to me on the 11th floor. What really mattered was something else.”

“So, what is it?”

“The title for the highest number of kills. Unfortunately, I missed out on that.”

Of course, I was the one who secured that title.

I had taken care of most of the players in District 4.

The strategy guide said there would definitely be a reward, but it hadn’t been revealed at this point.

Choi Junghyuk continued.

“Now that we’re in the same district, I’ll share the information with everyone. The mission for the 12th floor is a ‘Game.’ And having the title for the most kills puts you in a very advantageous position to start the game.”

He had already said the same thing to me.

Whatever this game was, given Choi Junghyuk was making such a fuss about it, it must be important.

“But who got the most kills title? Don’t tell me, one of you in that couple?”

Choi Junghyuk pointed at me and Son Seoyeon.

Madman.

While it’s true I claimed the most kills, the idea of Son Seoyeon and me being a couple.

That’s just horrendous talk that would make one shudder in their sleep.

***

Revealing himself as a pro gamer, Choi Junghyuk started spilling all the information about the 12th floor to us.

Along with the notion that all pro gamers within the tower were already aware of it.

“The game mission doesn’t just end on the 12th floor. It’s intended to continue for four floors until the 15th.”

“So what exactly is this game?”

“You’ve all played games before, so what are you asking for? What kind of genre do you think exists within this tower? Creating characters, receiving quests, hunting monsters… stuff like that.”

“Creating characters?”

“Yeah. That’s exactly why I was so eager to get the most kills on the 11th floor! The performance on the 11th floor greatly impacts your character creation.”

At this moment, Choi Junghyuk revealed…

Listening to the conversation, it became clear that from the 12th floor onwards, the game mission would ignore all the stat points we had accumulated so far. It meant we would have to create new characters and break through four consecutive floors, and we wouldn’t be able to use our original abilities until the 15th floor was complete.

“My wife and I are pro gamers, so we’ll rely less on character buffs, but I’m not sure how you guys will fare,” said Choi Jeonghyuk, his confidence unshaken. It was certainly good to know this information in advance. Having earned the title of ‘Most Kills,’ I would have an advantage even in creating a character.

“But you and your wife, you’re both so young, you’re already married?” This was my personal curiosity, as Choi Jeonghyuk and Oh Mina seemed to be, at most, in their early to mid-twenties.

“We actually got married here in the tower. With the world already in ruins, why not try everything before we die?” he replied, revealing an even more peculiar side to him that I hadn’t expected. He had proposed inside the tower, and they had a full ceremony with guests, an officiant, and even a singer.

“What about the two of you? Have you ever thought about getting married?” This time, Choi Jeonghyuk pointed to me and Son Seoyeon. At his words, Son Seoyeon froze like a paused video, and I shuddered with goosebumps all over my body. Shortly after, she pulled a gun from her inventory.

“One more stupid comment and I’ll kill you for real.”

“Weren’t you two in that kind of relationship?”

Choi Jeonghyuk jokingly raised both hands in surrender. Son Seoyeon had put it too crudely to warrant explanation. I wouldn’t bother to interrupt even if she actually did shoot him. Then, in that moment, Kim Seyong approached Choi Jeonghyuk.

“Hey, you!”

“Me?”

“Yeah. You’ve been annoying since earlier. Are you going to keep acting like that toward Brother Hoyoung?”

I was feeling goosebumps climb multiple times today.

“Don’t tell me you want to be called ‘brother’?”

“If you don’t want to die, you’d better figure it out yourself,” Kim Seyong warned, doing something that wasn’t asked of him. This was also a selective outburst. He wouldn’t dare to peep against Son Seoyeon who had been speaking informally to me for so long.

“This isn’t society, it’s the tower. I have no intention of addressing someone who hasn’t proven their strength that way,” said Choi Jeonghyuk, flashing a teasing smile at me.

“I can give you an autograph, though.”

* * *

Choi Jeonghyuk’s words echoed among our newly formed group. My fellow colleagues defended my strength because he had expressed doubt about it.

“You can’t judge Mr. Lee Hoyoung by his level!”

“And you’re all very lucky. Why? Because you’re about to find out what the Lee Hoyoung bus is all about.”

“Just trust Mr. Lee Hoyoung and follow him. Climbing the tower will become easier.”

The embarrassment was mine alone. I wondered why everyone was behaving this way. Choi Jeonghyuk continuously snickered at the reactions of my teammates.

“It’s like he’s not a cult leader. What do you think?”

It was a really tricky question. I couldn’t defend my teammates’ actions, nor could I deny them completely. At that moment, a message from the tower was sent to everyone.

[We will now disclose the mission for the 12th floor in advance.]

[The mission for the 12th floor is a game.]

Indeed, Choi Jeonghyuk’s words were true. It seemed wise to assume the game would last up to the 15th floor as he had mentioned.

[To adapt to the upcoming mission, we will conduct a mock game during the waiting time.]

“A mock game?”

“What exactly are we supposed to do in this lobby?”

The crowd murmured at the sudden message, and after it ended, a holographic screen appeared in the center of the lobby. The image on the screen was a game interface.

“It’s really fascinating, isn’t it? We can pass the time during the waiting period with a game!”

Someone spoke with easygoing confidence, but I had a bad feeling. It couldn’t be just a simple game. This cursed tower always struck from behind when everyone let their guard down, so caution was necessary.

[We will start the game one by one now.]

[A character will not be created for this mock game.]

“I’ll try it first,” volunteered Kim Youngjun from Area 2, seemingly experienced from playing games before society fell. But whether that expertise would apply in this tower was another question.

As Kim Youngjun stood before the hologram, the screen background changed and the game began.

[Player Kim Youngjun. The game starts now.]

In an instant, Kim Youngjun disappeared—transported into the virtual game world. The backdrop of the holographic screen showed a forest path, a sight we were all too familiar with inside the tower. Kim Youngjun started to walk along that path.

[Quest: Hunt two orc warriors.]

Fitting for a mock game, the quest was quite simple. All our gazes were pinned on Kim Youngjun within the screen, and in silence, we watched him undertake the quest. Before long, Choi Jeonghyuk had sidled up next to me.

“Everyone speaks highly of you, are you confident with games too?”

“Well, I don’t have a feel for what kind of game it is yet,” I replied cautiously.

Choi Jeonghyuk chuckled at my lackluster response and said, “If you can complete the quests faster than me, I’ll let you call me ‘brother’.”

Clearly, this meant I wouldn’t call him ‘brother,’ as it wouldn’t be easy to outperform Choi Jeonghyuk, the pro gamer, in a game mission. However, once the official game started and I created my character, the situation might be different. If the most kills reward from the 11th floor and the effects of Nike’s ring were combined, I could potentially create a character of legendary rank.

“How about we bet on the official game instead? If I perform worse than you there, then I’ll call you ‘brother,’” I suggested.

“Are you out of your mind? Obviously, it’s a deal.”

The agreement was made swiftly. Just then, a loud blast echoed from within the hologram.

Boom!

Kim Youngjun’s head had exploded.

– To be continued in Chapter 81 –



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