My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 88

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Chapter 88

Returning to the starting village where the assembly hall stands brought about a singular feeling of nostalgia. When I left, it was for the simple task of delivering letters to raise my fame by one point, and now I came back with it at a staggering ninety-nine, as if I were enjoying a triumphant return. With fame reaching a hundred, I’d be transported to the next level, which technically made me as good as max level currently. And indeed, I had become quite well-known. En route from Kaeli Claude’s territory back to the starting village, I heard my name mentioned numerous times by others.

‘I wonder if Son Seo-yeon is still alive?’

I couldn’t carry that guy with me, so after providing some makeshift treatment, I just left him in a sunny spot, but he’s probably still alive. The notion of the world-known Sal-Sung dying as a guest in strange lands just seemed illogical.

Since it was late, I stopped by the tavern in the center of the village. I thought it’d be good to drink some liquor there and then catch some sleep. I’m not too fond of alcohol, but tonight I felt like getting a little drunk might be nice. Opportunities like this were rare in the tower.

Despite the late hour, the tavern’s tables were almost full, so I ended up sharing a table with others. There were already two people at the table I joined, individuals named Jonathan and Ash.

“Is it our first time seeing you?”

Ash asked as he handed me a cup of liquor.

“Yes, I’m from out of town.”

“What’s been going on lately? There are so many outsiders. Speaking of which, you bear a resemblance to those guys I saw earlier. Where are you from?”

“Korea.”

“Korea? Is there such a place in Kalya?”

“Kalya’s pretty vast.”

“That’s true.”

He didn’t press any further after my vague reply.

Appropriate for the magical continent of Kalya, these two guys were also magicians – Jonathan with fire attributes and Ash with ice. These were the most commonly awakened attributes, and just surveying the patrons of this tavern, you’d find enough to fill a truck.

“Hey Lee! Are you by chance a magician too?”

Each time I’m asked this, it triggers an identity crisis within me. I did awaken to magic as soon as I reached the 12th floor. My magical attribute is . However, I hadn’t heard of anyone else in vast Kalya awakening this attribute. Moreover, the heart attribute was entirely non-combative, which made me wonder if it could even be called magic. And there’s a bigger reason I couldn’t disclose my magic—coming out about my ability to peer into others’ hearts would be problematic. So my response was…

“I’m not a magician.”

“Then what?”

“A swordsman.”

Jonathan and Ash exchanged peculiar looks. I knew why. Practicing swordsmanship was rare in the magical continent of Kalya.

“Swords, huh? That’s pretty cool.”

I knew it was a lie, though.

– Could it be that this guy hasn’t even awakened to magic?

– Doesn’t seem like he’s from a rare lineage of sword masters.

“Thanks for saying it’s cool.”

“Ha-ha. Yeah.”

This awkward laughter. My master would have a fit if he saw this scene. It’s outrageous how little regard there is for swords in this world.

“The sword is the king of a hundred battles.”

Maybe I was getting tipsy as I found myself repeating what my master used to always say.

“A king of a hundred battles? Is there such an expression?”

“Yes, my master used to say that to me.”

“Well, there are stories about legendary sword masters, aren’t there? Even I think swords are better than bows or spears.”

Jonathan agreed with me. Of course, he meant among weaponry, not that a sword was superior to magic.

“Oh, Jonathan! Speaking of sword masters, you’ve heard the rumor too, right?”

“Yeah, the one about hunting the monster on Doria Mountain?”

Rumors indeed traveled faster than one might expect. Gossip about me had arrived even before I had.

“No matter what, a sword master? Does something like that even really exist?”

“What do I know? Rumors are always exaggerated, so I don’t think so.”

“I agree!”

As Jonathan and Ash babbled on about me, right in front of me, I was in quite a predicament.

“Lee, haven’t you heard this story? As a fellow swordsman, you must have heard it.”

If only I had been straightforward from the start.

“The truth is, I’m Lee Ho-yeong.”

“You’re Lee Ho-yeong? Lee, you must be drunk!”

“Yeah. I guess I am.”

“A boring guy.”

I could sober up by funneling my inner power, but I didn’t bother. I was rather enjoying the buzz.

“But Lee! What do you think about the realm of a sword master?”

“It exists, the sword master.”

Of course, I was nowhere near that stage. I had only ever known of one master. But looking at the martial world as a whole, there are certainly a few more out there. People like the Martial Faction Leader or the Samaryeon Leader are also masters of high caliber, albeit not as much as my master. There are also recluse experts that I don’t know of. Plus, my master once met other sword masters from a different dimension inside the tower. If I consider the worlds as my master described them, they might be similar to Kalya, though I can’t be sure they originated here.

“Sword masters exist?”

“Yes. But I’m not one. A sword master doesn’t just hunt monsters on Doria Mountain.”

This brought a gale of laughter from the two.

“What, Lee! Still doing your Lee Ho-yeong cosplay?”

“Ha-ha! You being Lee Ho-yeong. What an honor to meet you like this!”

Jonathan and Ash were clearly intoxicated as their loud voices seemed ready to carry them away from the tavern. And thanks to these guys, the embarrassment fell squarely on my shoulders.

There was no need to…

I had the thought that I had just come out of the closet. Of course, these guys didn’t believe me.

– Lee Ho-Young, you say?

Suddenly, a voice spoke in my mind. It wasn’t Jonathan or Ash. Our table had momentarily attracted other patrons’ attention because these guys spoke so loudly.

I could’ve brushed it off, but something about it didn’t sit right with me.

I looked around the pub stealthily. There were too many people to tell where the voice came from.

“Hey, Lee! What are you zoning out for?”

“Nothing, it’s nothing.”

“You’re not still trying to say you’re Lee Ho-Young, are you? It was funny at first, but it’s getting old.”

Now, all I could do was give a wry smile.

And then, in that moment.

– He looks just like him! Very similar to the description those guys gave.

I was on edge.

The voice continued.

It seemed someone was talking about me, suggesting they were looking for me, given they mentioned my appearance.

– I should report back after confirming.

Report back? To whom?

One mystery solved. A slight man walked toward our table. He was obviously the owner of the voice.

“Are you really Lee Ho-Young?”

“No.”

“Your unusual appearance suggests otherwise.”

– His skin tone and accent are too similar to those guys. I should inform them.

“Those guys” might refer to players from the tower.

“I’m not Lee Ho-Young.”

“Is that so? Seems I was mistaken.”

But contrary to his words, he didn’t seem to believe me.

A sense of ominous foreboding welled up in me.

It could even be as soon as tonight.

* * *

I had booked a room for tonight at the inn.

My pockets were deep enough to afford a spacious room just for myself.

And it wasn’t without reason.

Somehow, I had a hunch someone would come looking for me tonight.

Well, if not, then no harm done.

I pulled out the sword Elysion from my inventory.

The more I looked at it, the more it seemed like a masterpiece.

It was no less impressive than the Indomitable Sword that I used when I was my main character.

This place, Kallia, was indeed a mysterious continent.

Even though its swordsmanship paled in comparison to Murim, such legendary swords still existed here.

Maybe one of the Claude family’s ancestors had been an exceptional swordsman. This sword would fit someone of that caliber.

‘Swordmaster,’ I mused.

The term that Jonathan and Ash had spoken of surfaced in my memory.

Even in a continent ruled by magic, there were legends of masters of the sword.

I wasn’t a master of that caliber, but I resolved to leave a small mark of my swordsmanship before leaving the 12th floor.

I unsheathed Elysion and practiced the Shadowless Soulstealing Sword technique.

My current stats were not enough to bring out its past might, but gaining insight was more important.

There’s a game mission that extends through the 15th floor. The stats and items I earn here won’t be usable in the tower, but insight is the one thing that will remain.

That’s why I couldn’t neglect my training.

My Shadowless Soulstealing Sword technique was still profoundly lacking.

‘I refuse to be called trash again.’

One day, when I meet my master again, I wanted to shed the label of trash.

Whoosh!

Swoosh!

Elysion split and re-split the air in the room.

When the night outside turned pitch black, that was when I heard voices directed at me from outside the door.

– This is the room.

– Today is the perfect opportunity.

The voices were familiar.

I knew such a day would come eventually.

Oh Du-Ho.

‘Is he really trying to kill me?’

The day I first obtained the ‘Heart’ attribute, Oh Du-Ho’s declaration that he would ‘start with me’ was unforgettable.

I had deeply pondered whether it was revenge for fallen comrades on the 11th floor’s mission, or if there was another reason, but I couldn’t conclude.

Maybe I would find the answer tonight.

‘Six of them.’

I could sense that the full group led by Oh Du-Ho was right outside my door.

I gripped Elysion tighter.

If we were in the tower, facing all of them would have been somewhat problematic.

Oh Du-Ho’s ‘Leadership’ trait undoubtedly enhanced their cooperative attacks significantly.

But here, they couldn’t use their former skills.

Oh Du-Ho might think this an opportunity, but he was sorely mistaken.

The door creaked open carefully, and they entered quickly, ready to start casting their magic.

But my single utterance disrupted their plan.

“Welcome. I’ve intentionally booked the largest room, after all.”

I greeted them naturally.

They were startled by the unexpected, with some even taking a step back.

And finally, my eyes met with Oh Du-Ho who entered last.

‘As expected!’

This one had a different atmosphere.

Even in such a situation, his face remained eerily calm.

There was no sign of perturbation from Oh Du-Ho.

“Whether you expected us or not doesn’t matter. The outcome will be the same.”

“The outcome?”

“Lee Ho-Young, you will die tonight.”

It was quite the rough greeting for a reunion after so long.

“I might die someday, but certainly not tonight.”

Our reunion skipped the pleasantries and went straight to the point.

– To be continued in Episode 89 –



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