Chapter 10: The Regressor is Quite Strong (1)
Just now, I was dead.
My ribs shattered, my spine snapped, and my skull seemed to have been crushed on one side.
It was only a brief moment, but the sensation was still vivid.
I was dead.
Do the regressors have to go through such gruesome experiences repeatedly?
Why don’t they go crazy sooner?
Does one become accustomed to death? Is that possible?
Can someone who has become accustomed to such a sensation still be called a human?
The pain was excruciating, but the instinctual aversion was much stronger.
The despair of that moment when life fades away…
It's not something that can be easily brushed off.
Well, I did think there would be some kind of mechanism on the vacant lot.
It was not logical to assume that the vacant lot would be an eternal safe zone.
I thought there would be some kind of time limit, and it turned out to be true.
But I never thought it would be in the form of a gigantic cow-headed monster… Let's call it a Minotaur temporarily.
The monsters that appear in the Tower usually take their names from mythology, after all.
The ‘do-do-do’ sound must have been the sound of the Minotaur charging, and the booming noise was probably the sound of it jumping.
If the voice that accompanied the booming sound was really Choi Ji-won's, she must have been trying to warn me in some way.
The important thing was that the Minotaur would still be successful in attacking the vacant lot.
Judging from Choi Ji-won's virtuous intention of protecting the weak gathered on the vacant lot, she must have tried to stop the Minotaur in some way.
But ultimately, she couldn't stop it.
Regardless of whether she let her guard down or simply could not stop it, it meant that Choi Ji-won could not easily overpower the Minotaur.
Even if I repeat the same actions and warn Choi Ji-won in advance, the outcome probably won't change much.
Speculatively, the Minotaur was probably not a monster designed to be defeated.
It's some kind of time limit, a device that pushes people to their limits.
It must be because you can stay in the tutorial while defeating weak monsters for thousands of years.
So, it must…
I organized the information I obtained this time while catching my breath.
The brain was still unable to forget the sensation of death…
“Excuse me, excuse me~.”
A lively and cute voice called out to me.
I barely stopped the rising vomit and raised my head.
Were you not listening?”
The fairy of the tutorial had a disturbingly sharp set of teeth exposed as it gave a bright laugh.
It was… drooling.
My hesitation was short, and my judgment was quick.
Regressing back to the time when you first entered the 0th floor.
“I almost fucking died…”
My head was about to explode.
I almost became a sacrificial lamb for the Season 1 fairy.
To die because my head exploded due to not being able to escape from the aftermath of previous death…? It was undeniably something absurd and utterly ridiculous.
I almost had a shameful incident added to my life’s story.
“Hello! Greetings to all you inferior humans who are wasting your lives! Nice to meet you!”
This time, I came to my senses and calmly listened to the fairy's explanation.
I didn't pay any attention to Choi Ji-won and didn't give a speech either.
The goal was to go outside the thicket.
Since I confirmed that sitting here for a week will only result in death, I should focus on getting out.
Of course, there were still things to learn from Choi Ji-won, but I was mentally exhausted now.
I'll visit her again later when I feel better.
Alright, so how am I going to escape this dense thicket?
I picked up a large piece of wood and a wooden stick that I had seen earlier.
What makes humans better than animals?
It’s their ability to use tools.
I decided to use humanity's long-time friend, ‘fire.’
The method was simple.
Roughly scrape the stick against the piece of wood to create sparks and then set fire to the thick and dense thicket.
“Shall we go?”
Now it was time to explore the world outside the thicket.
And so, 30 minutes passed.
Regressing back to the time when you first entered the 0th floor.
There were two major mistakes I made.
First, this place had terrain similar to a jungle.
The weather was warm, slightly humid, and teeming with life.
Even if it's a dried-up piece of wood, it was not an easy environment to ignite.
And the second mistake.
I was vigorously scraping the wooden stick when Baek Da-hye came and spoke to me.
What are you doing?”
“…Trying to start a fire.”
“I want to burn down this entire thicket.”
“That won't work, you know?”
The grass surrounding the open field is vibrant and alive, not dry reeds.
Baek Da-hye explained that it wouldn't be easy to ignite them.
Come to think of it, I vaguely remembered hearing about that.
It was simply my mistake in considering that Pokémon type matchups would work.
Aren't Grass types weak against Fire types?
I now understood why they warned about gaming addiction on the news.
It's because you confuse the game with reality.
Or maybe I'm just an idiot? That thought momentarily frustrated me, and I struck my head hard enough to regress immediately.
In the end, there were two remaining choices.
First, throw myself into the thicket again while covering myself with clothes.
Second, use the sword to cut down the thicket.
This time, I chose the second option.
Although Choi Ji-won called me below average – even a below-average idiot should be able to cut some grass, right?
I grabbed a sword – now with some familiarity – and stood in front of the dense thicket.
I focused on the tip of the sword.
Contracting the muscles throughout my body-
-I swung the sword.
With a satisfying sound, the grass was cleanly split at the height of my waist.
“…I did it.”
I did it.
I finally did it.
How was it when I first swung the sword?
I couldn't even cut the grass; it just lay there.
But now, I have reached a level where I can cut the grass.
The time I spent training under Choi Ji-won wasn't a waste.
I couldn't fully grasp it earlier because the comparison target was Choi Ji-won, but…
I was slowly becoming stronger.
Feeling a surge of emotion, I clenched my fist.
This might seem insignificant at first glance, but for me – a regressor – it was a significant step forward.
Let's keep going like this, Jun-ho.
You can do it.
Alright, the time for motivation was over.
Now it was time to face reality.
Being able to cut the grass was a significant achievement, but there were two problems.
First, cutting the grass was damn difficult.
If you read the grand explanation earlier, you'd understand that I had to concentrate and put all my strength into cutting the grass.
It consumed a tremendous amount of physical and mental energy.
I didn't even know where the end of the thicket was… but it would probably take a while.
Moreover, the cut grass ended up being slightly below my waist.
Even though I tried to cut it as low as possible, it seemed that I couldn't put any more force into it.
Of course, this level of achievement was still remarkable.
Because if I wrapped my lower body tightly with clothes, it meant that I would be able to pass through the thicket.
Being able to carry a sword with ease was also a bonus.
However, on the flip side, it meant that I still had to wrap the area around my lower body with clothes, which would seriously hinder my mobility… and I would have to forcefully push through dense grass in that state.
But what else can I do?”
I didn’t have any other choices, so I decided to continue cutting the grass.
What else could I do, after all? Get stepped on by a Minotaur again?
To wrap around my lower body, I used stolen clothes from the guy who was digging the ground.
What followed was a tedious and long series of repetitive work.
I hate repetitive work, but I guess I'll have to get used to it in the future.
As a regressor, repetition seemed to be my destiny.
Sometimes, Baek Da-hye would come and talk to me.
“…Excuse me, what are you doing?”
“I want to get out of the thicket, but I'm allergic to grass.”
We didn't engage in any meaningful conversation.
Cutting grass all day, getting tired and falling asleep, then waking up and cutting grass again.
During that time, I also ran into Choi Ji-won, who was returning with food.
Choi Ji-won, looking at me with a somewhat pitiful gaze, threw me a water bottle and an energy bar.
She probably thinks I'm crazy…
Well, I can't blame her.
It's an unexplainable situation.
I gratefully ate the food and continued cutting the grass.
By the time my throat was dry again, even after emptying a whole bottle of water-
-Familiar cries were heard nearby.
I gently placed the dull sword I had been cutting with behind me and lightly grabbed the new sword I had prepared beforehand.
I've done enough experiments while cutting the grass, but…
You truly understand whether you progressed or not only when you face a real battle.
I quietly muttered.
Two goblins popped out from both sides, aiming for my neck.
Their dirty claws, sharp teeth, and glowing eyes were all vividly clear.
Did Choi Ji-won feel this way when she saw me swing the sword?
The posture was the same as earlier – of cutting the grass, and the swift swinging of a sword that followed next didn’t diverge either-
-And, as expected, the outcome remained unchanged as well.
Green streaks shot out like a fountain, commemorating my debut performance.
Without even realizing what happened, the goblins fell to the ground, clutching their throats.
Such low-level minions were no longer my opponents.
– – – End of Chapter – – –
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