The World after the Fall - Chapter 2[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:15:34]
Chapter 2: Millions of Stabs (1)
Ten years passed by. It had been a long time. Jaehwan had spent all that time alone on the 99th floor.
He had gone through thousands of dangers that almost killed him. He faced many dangerous situations as he climbed from the 1st floor to the 99th floor, but the number of dangers he faced just on the 99th floor easily took the cake.
The boss of 99th floor, Velkisus.
The dragon that came from <Forgotten Land> had a breath attack that Jaehwan could not resist even with his [Frost Resistance] that hit its maximum.
Not only that, the durable dragon scales had crushed swords and armor many times. If it wasn’t for the pieces of equipment left behind by the other Walkers, he would have had to give up a long time ago.
The Dragon Sword from 85th floor, the Frost Armor that Yoonhwan left behind, the [Bracelet of the Fire King] that Seoyul gave him before she died had been a huge help.
Jaehwan thought of her. She had died even before she got up to the 77th floor.
Jay, the blacksmith of Atopos asked, “Jaehwan, are you going to try again?”
The village that formed after killing Monster Dragon Alteminas of the 50th floor, Atopos.
People of the world still had hope when the village was formed. Many Walkers were killed and wounded on the frontlines, but it still gave them hope. Priests formed an emergency team to heal the wounds while blacksmiths worked to provide free repairs to those who fought.
<Jay’s Blacksmith> was run by old man Jay and it was one of the best.
But he was now the last blacksmith left in Atopos.
“Oh, right. Sorry.”
Jaehwan came back to his senses.
“Yeah. I think I can do it this time.”
“Are you sure?”
Jaehwan smiled. “Yeah.”
It was a lie. He had no chance. He had no idea when, or if he could kill it. But he had to say it this way. Jay laughed.
Jay was a foreigner.
As people got up on the tower, their languages were combined into the common language of the tower, but the cultural differences still remained. But Jaehwan considered Jay like a family. Jay hammered the Dragon Sword as he talked to Jaehwan.
“There are no more supplies coming from below. It wasn’t a lot but there was some coming up until a few months ago.”
Jaehwan nodded. Last week, he had checked out every floor starting from the 1st to 99th floor. But there were no survivors. He even had waited a week at the summoning area of the 1st floor but there wasn’t even one who was summoned from below.
It probably meant that mankind had been wiped out. But it seemed possible.
Jaehwan did not know what the year was. There had been at least ten Tower Impacts and there probably was no one who could survive. Jaehwan managed to find one clue that was considered as a hidden piece.
The passage that used to be blocked by [Returning Stone] in the past, had some scribbling.
-Tower within the tower. A nightmare within the nightmare.
He couldn’t understand it, however.
“Oh and ol’ granny from <Hiren Potion> disappeared the other day.”
Hiren, the ol’granny from <Hiren Potion> was one of the last supporter Walker remaining at Atopos. The ones who came into the tower did not age. If she disappeared, it was only one of two reasons.
Either the one went to the past, or jumped off.
Jaehwan wanted to ask which option Hiren took. But it probably was the same even if he knew. Then Jaehwan saw something deep within Jay’s old eyes. It seemed he will not see Jay for much longer also.
“Jay, can you teach me the blacksmith skill?”
The hammering stopped and both men looked at each for a moment.
Jay nodded silently.
Back to the 99th floor.
The Frost Dragon Velkisus was astonished at the human who had come again.
-You are one of a kind. No humans have come to the 99th floor alone until now.
Jaehwan laughed. It was ironic that his hard work was being recognized by such monsters instead of mankind.
“I’ll be sorry to kill you.”
-I’m sorry to say that is impossible, human.
“No way. That scale of yours is cracking, didn’t you notice?”
The dragon roared and Jaehwan charged with his sword in front.
It was a simple attack.
Jaehwan had started climbing the tower much later than others. It made him miss out on the chance to get hidden skills or classes so Jaehwan gave up on everything else and concentrated on the ‘Stab’ skill.
He stabbed, stabbed and stabbed.
After about 50 million stabs, people began calling him ‘Jaehwan the Persistent Stabber.’ And that’s when he felt his [Stab] changing. It became faster and more accurate. It had become stronger.
60 million, 70 million… and 100 million times.
His basic [Stab] skill now had become powerful enough on par with even rarest of hidden skills. Also, it was only a basic move so it did not require him to use his mana, which made him attack endlessly.
But it was not enough to handle the Frost Dragon of the 99th floor. He barely made a scratch when he stabbed one point of the scale hundreds of times. But there were times when he managed to damage the scale with one strike.
‘There, I see it again.’
His sight became blurry and his stabbing changed its power. It was not fast, but not slow. But the stab wasn’t avoidable.
The Frost Dragon roared in pain.
He couldn’t remember but this occurred rarely. Maybe out of one in hundred thousand times, he saw a faint line on his sight. He followed it without thinking. If he were successful in following the line, his stab managed to inflict an attack that equaled thousands of attacks.
‘Dammit, it’s still not enough.’
The dragon took a deep breath and released it, filling the tower. It was a critical strike to Jaehwan who was already in bad shape. His health was dropping rapidly toward 0. Jaehwan barely managed to avoid the breath.
-It is unfortunate, human. If there were 10 more like you, you might have defeated me.
-If your foolish race wasn’t tempted by the [Stone of Nightmare]… it would’ve changed the fate of your race.
“Huh? Stone of Nightmare? What do you mean?”
The dragon did not answer, instead, its huge claw swung at him.
“…I will come back.”
Jaehwan jumped backward to run and Frost Dragon did not go after him.
Five more years had passed by.
[Legend Incarnate: You have succeeded in hunting ‘Frost King Velokisus’]
[You have achieved an impossible feat alone.]
[Acquired a new title: ‘Nightmare of the 99th floor’]
[Acquired weapon: ‘Frost Dragon Sword’]
[User’s level has reached the limit.]
[User’s HP has reached the limit.]
[User’s Strength has reached the limit.]
[User’s Dexterity has reached the limit.]
The gigantic dragon’s body was disappearing.
-You… really are amazing, human.
“Speak. What is the [Stone of Nightmare]?”
-You know the answer to it.
Jaehwan did not want to believe it. He needed to learn more.
-You will know everything once you reach the final floor.
The Frost Dragon did not speak anymore. As Jaehwan finished while it disappeared completely, he stood up and looked at the gate to the last floor. It had been so hard to even kill the Frost Dragon so he couldn’t imagine what might be waiting for him on the final floor.
But he did not stop.
Jaehwan checked on the number at the gate. It was covered with dust, but he reached out to clean it off. Many memories flashed by him as he looked at the number.
‘Jay would be proud.’
Jaehwan opened up the gate.
The 100th floor of the tower looked like an emergency operating room from various horror movies, but on a much larger scale. Thousands of hologram panels showed various places of the tower and some of them were showing Jaehwan.
The Jaehwan in the hologram screen seemed dumbfounded.
“Oh, you’re here already. I thought you were going to stop by the village first.”
Jaehwan grew tense and looked around. But there were no signs of any humans.
“Relax, relax. I forgot to send you an important message, stay where you are. These look fancy but they’re really archaic so I have to do some manual work.”
After a few moments, a screen popped up in front of Jaehwan.
[Congratulations. You are the first to clear the tutorial game of World 294.]
[Your achievement will be recorded in the Immortal Library of the <Akashic Records>. Only the lords of the <Great Lands> will be granted access to the records.]
Jaehwan grew confused.
‘What the hell is going on?’