The dreams were repeating themselves without my knowledge.
* * *
“My friend. Your face is so blank. You look stupid.”
I jumped to attention at the face that suddenly popped up.
“What the heck?! Hey, don’t surprise me like that.”
“Your face is funny.”
“Hey. I could say the same.”
“No, you can’t.”
I was about to refute what he said when I stepped back in hesitation.
This guy was naively nice to me, but his body was hard to approach.
He was easily 3 meters tall with muscles that could crush Yvlke in one hit. Moreover, his scary face added to his unapproachable aura.
Valdebich. He called himself a descendant of the extinct Giants. He was a half-giant or something. He joked that his Giant genes were so faint that he was neither a human nor a giant anymore.
People would scoff if they heard the joke, saying that it wasn’t even funny, but…..
I had stayed in this world, the “Tower,” for a short while, and I knew how unbelievable this place was.
I knew he was joking, but he was actually telling the truth.
It was an extreme coincidence that I met Valdebich.
The task of Section A was to clear the path of arrows.
For me, who spent my time pent up in my room studying, it was an intense place.
Half of me still thought that this world was an illusion, but I couldn’t stop myself from feeling fearful because all my senses felt vivid.
And what if this was really “reality?” If I was hit, I was on the fast track to death.
I thought about using the benefit or whatever it was to leave the Tower, but my feet didn’t move.
What Yvlke guaranteed continued ringing in my ear.
I could be granted a wish at the top of the Tower.
The image of my sick mother flashed before my eyes.
My desire to see her smile brightly at us and hug us tightly like when my brother and I were younger made me waver.
‘Alright. Let’s just try it once.’
I hardened my resolve and pressed on.
First, the item I chose was the scutum.
I thought it would be possible if I hid behind the shield and moved forward slowly.
However, my expectations were different from reality.
I couldn’t tell where the arrows were coming from. There was just a “swish” sound and a “pewk” sound that came after. The scutum shook like it would crack at any moment. There were multiple times when I almost lost my balance and my left arm hurt from holding the shield.
The biggest problem was the direction.
I could stop arrows coming from the front, below, and above, but there was nothing I could do about the ones that were coming at me from behind.
When I made some progress, an arrow flew at me, and before I knew it, my left shin was pierced.
I fell with a yelp.
I tried to lift the shield again as soon as possible, but it was hard to raise myself because the pain was too great.
There were two thoughts that came to mind then.
One was ‘Am I dead now?’
And the other was ‘Why is this familiar?’
I felt a sense of deja vu, like I had experienced this in a dream before.
I had died from severe bleeding because I was mercilessly impaled by the arrows, but when I woke up again, my alarm was blaring.
It felt like such a realistic dream.
Of course, that was just gibberish.
There was someone who saved me right before I died. It was Valdebich.
I couldn’t forget when I first saw him. Because of his large size, he was the perfect target for the arrows, but he just lifted me with one arm and swung his sword with the other, carrying me to the entrance.
He was my savior.
Although I was surprised when I saw his face.
Seeing how he turned around bitterly like he expected it, I got myself together and thanked him.
As we spoke, I learned that Valdebich only looked scary and was actually extremely kind-hearted.
Right now, people couldn’t approach him because of his intimidating air, but if they knew his real personality, they would run to try to get something from him.
Such a naive being needed protection. The world was such a scary place. I needed to step up to protect him, yes sir. It wouldn’t be easy to find a nice person like me. Of course, I was planning to have him carry me as the price.
“Friend, you look like you’re plotting something.”
Valdebich narrowed his eyes at me.
“Nonsense. Anyway, remember what you told me last time?”
“Yeah. That. You said it was moving magic power, right? What do you do after that?”
An energy that I never felt back on Earth. But in the Tower, it was a bare necessity for players.
I was getting special lessons from Valdebich to enter the Tower. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to get past Section A if I didn’t have it.
Valdebich shook his head.
“Friend, you’re still a beginner. You can’t ‘accumulate’ or ‘move energy’ yet. But teaching you the ‘activation’ step would be like teaching a baby how to run…..”
“Huh? It works.”
I spread my palm open. Something that looked like white fog wafted up and twisted like a cruller.
“Friend, you tricked me.”
“You know magic power.”
“I didn’t. I really didn’t.”
“But how can you do it so easily?”
“Well, I’m good at everything I do.”
Valdebich looked at me suspiciously.
“Hey! You were the one who said my body was trash!”
Valdebich sealed his lips as if he remembered what he said the previous day.
He touched my hands and feet after I told him to teach me magic power and said, ‘Friend, your body is really trash. You’re gonna die at this rate.’
Do you know how hurt I was because of that?
But the thing called magic power was easy to use once I felt it. It took about a day.
Valdebich said that if you weren’t talented, it could take several years just to feel it and even longer than that to use it.
Was this so hard?
Valdebich continued to teach me other things, not satisfied with what I could do.
The next steps to using magic power after activation was granting, settling, creating, strengthening, and changing properties.
Each step was fun, like a world I had never known before was opened. I begged Valdebich to teach me more.
Then, I found myself being able to use all the basics of magic power after a day.
“……No way. This doesn’t make sense. It took me ten years to do this. But friend, you did it in a single day.”
“That’s why I said I’m a genius.”
I raised my nose and shrugged.
Valdebich spoke, blatantly staring at me.
I responded with a smile.
“But what can I do? I can’t help being so great.”
“What this time?”
“Can I beat you up with this?”
He raised his large sword.
* * *
After some time, Valdebich and I were so famous that everyone in the Tutorial knew of us.
A strange combination of a fool who didn’t even know the letter “m” in magic and a half-giant who just swung his sword around. Did we look like Dumb and Dumber to them?
I was at the front while Valdebich swung his sword energetically behind me. We slowly moved down our path.
We were slow like turtles and laughed at by the skilled players, but we were still steadily making way.
This time, we were getting ready to get to the middle, but someone suddenly spoke to us for the first time. She was a super suuuuuuuper pretty girl. Like an idol my age on TV.
“Huhu. Are you guys them? Lanky and Sturdy.”
What were those horrible names?
“I happen to be looking for a party. As you can see, I’m slender and pretty, so everyone just looks at me slyly. I only know how to use magic, but how about it? Working together just until we clear this stage?”
She was a sicko too.
I liked that.
Valdebich and I glanced at each other. He signaled for me to make the decision.
For some time, I had been making decisions for our party. Unlike the dense Valdebich, I was quick to judge.
We had been in need of basic magic like searching and tracking to get through Section A.
No matter how sensitive Valdebich’s senses were, there were limits to what traps he could detect.
Moreover, a few traps needed to be destroyed by magic. It was true that we needed a mage.
The question was whether we could trust her.
I thought it wouldn’t be bad to work together until reaching the end of Section A and judging her after.
“I’m Cha Jeong-woo, and this is Valdebich. You?”
She smiled brightly as she introduced herself.
“The first and last witch.”
* * *
Me, Valdebich, Vieira Dune.
Surprisingly, we worked well together. After we completed our goal, the middle section, we were able to clear Section A relatively smoothly.
It was a bit difficult when we entered the boss room filled with scarecrows, but when we arrived at Section B, we were confident we could do it. The temporary party had become tightly bound with comradery.
I made my decision.
[Would you like to give up the benefit ‘Dreaming a Dream?’]
The benefit that allowed me to come and go from the Tower and Earth two times a day.
During this time, I had spent my days in the Tower and my nights on Earth. It was possible because the times of the two worlds were different. However, there was still some time lost. While on Earth, the time spent in the Tutorial went by quickly.
If I missed it….. I would probably regret it forever.
I wanted to tell Hyung everything so many times.
What I was going through—the unimaginable things going on in this other world.
But I had conflicted feelings.
If I spoke of this, it was obvious he would say he would do it himself. I couldn’t leave the dangerous things to him every time.
So in the end.
[You have given up your benefit. You cannot log in nor out.]
[A new benefit has been provided.]
I blocked off the path returning to Earth.
‘Oh. Tomorrow’s the college entrance exam. Everyone will be worried.’
I didn’t leave a letter or anything because I didn’t want people to be worried. I was planning on returning home quickly.
[You have gained the benefit ‘Drawing Dreams.’]
[Benefit: Drawing Dreams]
The player can draw the world he wants in his dreams. Past, present, and future doesn’t matter, and what answers you find there can be used in reality.
**This is a benefit you gained by giving up the ‘Invitation from the Future.’ You cannot change it into another benefit.
I didn’t understand what the benefit was, but one thing was for sure.
I burned the bridge.
I couldn’t return to Earth until I gained what I wanted.
Moreover, they said there were mysterious medicines in the Tower called elixirs. Even if I couldn’t reach the top, if I could get the elixirs, it would all be over.
I checked my completely unfair trait called ‘Perfect Adaptability.’ My skills right now might’ve been worse than others, but I was confident I could climb higher.
‘Half a year.’
I clenched my fists.
‘I’ll try to get the elixir in that time, and if I can’t, I’ll go back.’
Time flowed and flowed.
What started out as 3 people increased to 9, then 12.
Sadi, Horst, Kun Khr, and Jeanne.
Our clan, which hadn’t even been around for a year, became a Large Clan, and I was ranked ninth.
They said I had grown the fastest in the history of the Tower or something like that.
But the more time went on, the more rushed I felt. I couldn’t find the elixir, which I thought would only take half a year. There were too many people who looked up to me for me to go back.
More than anything, there were too many enemies.
Could I get through them to the top?
From some point, I had been doubtful.
I needed to find a new way.
* * *
“So? You want me to open the path to Allforone?”
The Martial King looked at me with disbelief.