Chapter 79. Mythical Beast (2)
Laplace looked with wonder at Yeon-woo who was recently said to occupy Yvlke's love and attention.
Yeon-woo’s performance didn’t just stir up the players in The Tower. The Guardians also became excited at the news.
The best novice since Arthia.
As for the Guardians whose job was to watch over every player in The Tower, it was natural for their eyes to be drawn to those who made great achievements.
In particular, the news of Yvlke profiting thanks to Yeon-woo’s achievements and the bets he made with the other Guardians also helped considerably in spreading his story.
So, the Guardians hoped for Yeon-woo to come up to their respective floors as soon as possible in order to witness with their own eyes his amazing.
And that was also the reason why Laplace came out.
In fact, Laplace wasn’t the Guardian who was in charge of the 11th floor.
But Laplace, with the ridiculous argument of providing special care to a rookie like him, used his authority to take over the 11th floor Guardian’s place and showed up instead of him.
Because Laplace was ‘Myo(卯)’, one of the Twelve Zodiacs, one of the Guardians' leaders.
Keeping in mind to later buy some delicious carrots to cheer up the original Guardian of the 11th floor, Laplace opened his mouth.
"Do you know how the rules change from the 11th floor onwards?”
Yeon-woo recalled what he heard from the diary.
"I know that there will be no more waiting rooms and that trials will be done over a longer-term."
"Actually, that’s pretty much it. Since you know the gist of it, I’ll make it quick."
Laplace said with a bright smile.
"The tutorial was an ‘exam’ to check if players had the qualifications to enter The Tower, and the Beginner Zone was to ‘prepare’ the players for what’s coming in the future. And now that you have passed both of them, you will be given the ‘real’ trials from now on."
‘The real trials.’
Yeon-woo chewed over that word.
"As you know, those who go through multiple trials to become a god, they are known as ‘players’ in the world of Obelisk. They are put through several trials with life-threatening dangers, and are required to surpass the series of challenges and overcome their own limitations."
But as his speech went on, Yeon-woo started to zone out.
Yeon-woo’s was pondering in his mind how strange it was to see a rabbit-head talking so well with those huge front teeth.
"So starting from the 11th floor, where the real trials begin, the players have to deal with completely different things."
Laplace’s explanation went on for a long time.
The trials in the Beginner Zone are quite merciful compared to those of the higher floors.
Even if the players fail, they can fall back to the waiting room, recover from their injuries and fatigue, and give it another try in their best condition.
And they are allowed to repeat this until they finally pass the trial.
But it’s a different story starting from the 11th floor, where the waiting rooms cease to exist.
If they fail, they have to remain on the stage.
Even if they are injured, they have to find a cure within the stage.
Basically, they are trapped on that floor until they make it past the trial.
In addition, most of the trials given are long-term missions that cannot be finished in just a day or two.
Only by holding on with perseverance and enthusiasm can players make their way out.
Just as he said earlier, this is where the real trials begin.
"So please beware, there is no such concept as ‘rounds’ from here on. Now, do you have any questions?”
Yeon-woo quickly shook his head.
He was already aware of it through his brother’s diary, and for now, he didn’t want to waste more time listening to his explanations.
‘The trial on this floor isn’t particularly difficult anyway. Just a little annoying.'
Yeon-woo mumbled to himself.
"If you don't, then let’s get the trial started!"
Laplace cheerfully exclaimed.
[The eleventh floor’s trial will now begin.]
[Description: You are currently in the Dream World, a mythical world where the dreams from all over the world and other dimensions converge. The beasts living in this world are known as Mythical Beasts, and they feed on the dreams that flow into this world. The beasts that are fed with nightmares will become demonic beasts that cause chaos and disaster, but those that are nourished with pleasant dreams will grow into legendary beasts that bring hope and peace.
Your job is to hatch your own Mythical Beast. Protect the egg until it hatches. The beast that’s fed with your dreams and devotion will become a great partner for the long journey waiting ahead of you.]
At that moment, a round egg fell on Yeon-woo’s palm.
A snow-white egg, as small as a chicken egg.
"The egg in your hand is the egg of a Mythical Beast. No one knows what will be born from it. The appearance of a Mythical Beast can differ depending on what the owner feeds them."
Laplace's red eyes gave off a strange glow.
"But one thing to note is that though the egg grows on its own, the egg is still an egg. It will never hatch if the owner doesn’t give him enough love and care. So please, do nourish properly and with care. Because the more you put your heart into it, the stronger your partner will be."
Yeon-woo once again nodded silently.
"Okay then. I'll see you when your trial is over."
Laplace disappeared as he bowed his head.
Left alone at the starting point, Yeon-woo scratched the back of his head.
‘Hatching a Mythical Beast’s egg… This could be a problem for me. I’m not good at taking care of things.’
Yeon-woo remembered that his brother had described this trial as ‘fun’.
Unlike the other stark and bleak trials he had gone through up until now, this was the first trial he could actually enjoy.
The sun was shining warmly with a soft breeze. Such a good environment could rarely be found in any of the other floors.
And to top it off, Jeong-woo’s trait was Psychometry.
During his stay on this floor, he always tried to communicate with his egg and made his best effort to keep it well-nourished.
‘And what hatched from the egg was... a Mythical Dragon, wasn’t it?
Mythical Dragons were one of the best species that could hatch from the eggs, the others being Balrogs, Kirins, Phoenixes and so on.
Not only did the Mythical Dragon become his brother’s powerful ally, but it also brought him the opportunity to meet the Ancient Dragon Kalatus, and establishing a contract to borrow his powers.
On the other hand,
‘This kind of mission is definitely not my thing.'
Unlike his brother, Yeon-woo found it difficult to look after things like pets or kids.
But Yeon-woo wasn’t too concerned about hatching the egg.
His brother had left him detailed instructions on how to hatch different Mythical Beasts.
Among them, there was even a hidden piece that allowed players’ eggs to hatch into higher tier beasts of certain elements.
‘The Phoenix of the southern forest. If I could use its power....’
Contrary to the peaceful atmosphere the 11th floor radiated, it was home to bosses that even high rankers feared to mess with.
Legendary beasts, the best beasts that could hatch from the eggs. On this floor, there were four of those beasts, one in each cardinal direction.
The Abyss Turtle of the north, the Void Dragon of the east, the Sabertooth Tiger of the west, and the Phoenix of the south.
Yeon-woo had been looking for ways to improve the power of his Flame Infusion, a skill that had many uses—ranging from simply causing a fire, to launching ranged attacks—and its proficiency was already over 50%.
For him, this seemed like a good chance to achieve that goal, by hatching a beast with the fire and wind properties.
In order to do so, he needed help from the Phoenix.
‘Flame of Life. If only I could get that....’
His eyes shone with determination.
Yeon-woo waited a little longer for Phante and Edora at the starting point.
But even after waiting for an hour or two in that spot, there was no sign of them showing up.
Unable to wait indefinitely, Yeon-woo drew his dagger and left a small mark on a rock sitting beside him.
It was a mark that the three of them decided on before entering the 10th floor, signifying someone had arrived earlier and left first.
And below the mark, he also left a few words.
South. Big Forest.
‘They’ll come to find me even if I make it short.'
Yeon-woo turned towards the south as he secured the egg.
‘Let's get moving first.'
He cast Shunpo.
* * *
Just like the message he left for Phante and Edore said, Yeon-woo moved straight towards the south.
Along with the instructions for each floor’s mission and the location of the hidden pieces, his brother had left him a rough map of the 11th floor.
Yeon-woo tried to compare the map recorded in the diary and the actual landscape as he traversed through the stage.
Because it had been a long time since his brother had recorded this, he had to check if there were any changes.
‘Since the main goal of this floor is to hatch an egg, it is impossible to clear this trial as fast as I did in the Beginner Zone. It would take at least half a month, or even a year or two. I can spend time finding other hidden pieces meanwhile. But for that to happen, the first thing I have to do is to lay hold of the entirety of this stage’s landscape.’
There was no set time to when the egg would hatch, for its growth speed varied depending on what kind of beast was growing inside the egg and how much effort the owner put towards hatching it.
His brother said that there had been a player who’s egg took over three years to hatch.
The trial on the 11th floor, though it was not difficult, was riddled with uncertainties.
‘And if the egg happens to break either by mistake or because of other beasts... the mission will be over.’
If the player lost their egg, their trial was over. Although the system wouldn’t count it as a failure, they wouldn’t be able to climb any higher.
There were rumors that there was a way to pass the trial by hatching another egg as a substitute, but not much was known about that method.
To protect the egg no matter what, and to hatch a great Mythical Beast. These two were the most important points of this trial.
‘It won’t be as easy as it seems. This is the kind of mission where players with crab mentality can easily mess it up for others.‘
And that was why he had to get to Phoenix’s territory. Unless they were a fool, no one in their right mind would set foot into the territory of a legendary beast.
‘It should show up anytime now.'
By the time Yeon-woo finished organizing his plan in his head, he was entering a thick forest.
[You have entered the Phoenix’s territory.]
[Your defense against fire and wind elements will be greatly reduced under the influence of the Phoenix.]
[Your overall stats will be reduced under the influence of the Phoenix.]
[The Phoenix is watching you from somewhere.]
Yeon-woo felt his body drooping like water-soaked cotton. The Phoenix's energy that was spread throughout its territory was suppressing his body like gravity.
Though it felt uncomfortable, Yeon-woo smiled contentedly.
Because the message notified him that Phoenix was keeping its eyes on him.
Now he didn’t have to worry about drawing its attention.
But if there was one thing that bothered him,
‘Why is it so vigilant? There was nothing about it being this watchful in the diary.’
There was a faint tinge of emotion mixed into the air.
A murderous intent. He could feel that the Phoenix wanted to kill someone really badly.
‘Did something happen?’
With that question in mind, Yeon-woo approached the giant wall that appeared before him.
A giant wall of rocks that seemingly marked the end of the stage.
But in the middle of the wall, there was an entrance to a cavern, so large that it would make a human standing inside look like a small dot.
‘That must be the Phoenix's Nest.’
The more Yeon-woo approached the wall, the clearer he could feel the murderous intent.
But the moment he was about to set foot inside,
Yeon-woo was stopped by a voice that suddenly rang in his head.
To be exact, what he heard wasn’t a voice. It was Telepathic Communication, high-tier magic that could transfer one’s thoughts directly to someone’s mind.
By the time Yeon-woo's expression had sunk, its thoughts were transferred to his head once again, but this time, more spitefully.
『If you come any closer, I will take your life, human.』