Chapter 33: Capture the Flag (2)

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It was the only word to describe the situation.

Each new message coming in was increasingly disastrous…

Seeing these people talk so lightly about murder and pillaging was almost chilling.


I couldn’t even begin to imagine what happened to cause something like this.

I blankly stared at the screen as the messages continued.

DarkKnight: In search of skills or achievements related to murder. TangerineNoodles: Fuck, stop looking for all these murder achievements.
You guys aren’t even human, fucking animals. DarkKnight: Fuck off, are you going to take responsibilty when someone kills me? IWannaEatChocoPie: You’ve definitely killed someone if you passed the 4th trial.
Stop pretending to be innocent.  OrangeMushroom: Lmao ikr, you think we actually enjoy killing people? We’re just trying to survive. TheresASpaceBehindTheColumn: Are you a dumbass? The achievements are the most cost-efficient method right now. IDunnoYet: Who knows, maybe he got carried through that trial.  TangerineNoodles: I’m an idiot for even trying to talk to you fucking animals.  HuntingAddict: Lol, you might as well get it now because you’ll need it for the 6th trial too.

This wasn’t normal.

They were trying to justify whatever they were doing by saying it was efficient or some other bullshit, but that wasn’t the problem.

“This is straight-up psychopathic.”

I scowled at the continued onslaught of messages.

Of course, I knew exactly why these transactions consisted of this.

The 6th trial must force you to kill someone.

And you could probably make a big profit if you had any information related to that.

Selling the other achievements might be crazy, but those related to fighting other challengers were eventually bound to be discovered.

‘…This is bad, even if all the high rankers already passed this trial.’

This was beyond killing just to survive.

They were trying to squeeze every last thing they could from this.

And they were encouraging others to do the same by offering information.

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“…Doesn’t look like anyone’s met challengers from another world.”

And even if they had, I’d be releasing too much information by asking about it publicly.

‘Nothing worse than getting these freaks’ attention.’

I’ll just observe the current situation.

Frog: I just got here from the 5th trial.
What’s so good about psychological resistance skills? HuntingAddict: It’s like pain or normal resistance skills.
You just take in less damage mentally. OrangeMushroom: If you have psychological resistance skills, you don’t feel a lot of pain even when committing murder, so it’s easier to make a logical decision. Frog: Can anyone tell me the details on the damage reduction percentages? DarkKnight: Starting from 10% at F-grade, it goes up to 12% at E, and 15% at D.
At least from my experience. Frog: I see… Thank you for the information. HuntingAddict: Hit me up if you need one.
I’ll tell you how you can learn it for a cheap price. KnowItAll: You’ll be seeing a lot of things like this as time goes on.
Might as well learn one now.

I guess it made sense that that’s what everyone wanted these skills for.

Those resistances might sound enticing at first, but it was a double-edged sword.

There would definitely be a problem if you constantly pushed your psychological pain off onto a skill.

‘It’s known to make you more level-headed but…’

That could be fatal in a place like the tower, where you have to go through life-threatening trials day after day.

The fact that you essentially feel no emotional pain without any choice… 

It could be enticing to those with a weak mentality, but things could turn out badly if you used it to justify everything that you do.

This chat was living proof of that.


I think I finally saw the dark side of the tower.

Some people might see this tower as a brand new chance but… 

To others, the tower has taken everything.

The lower-ranked challengers left on the 5th floor were showing me the reality.

‘I must have never known since I’d always entered the trials as soon as they were ready.’

Maybe the same conversations were repeating on the lower floors.

But I had no right to be angry at the tower.

If I had never entered the tower and stayed in the outside world instead…

‘I’d be in a much worse situation than these people.’

The world has always worked like this.

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The winners take everything, and the losers get nothing.

‘Who, then, would hesitate?’

If I had to step over someone to get stronger, I’d gladly do so.

I wouldn’t sympathize or scrutinize these challengers anymore.

Frog: Can I buy that information from you? HuntingAddict: Of course.
As long as you have some points for me. OrangeMushroom: There’s also a bunch of relevant achievements so let me know if you’re interested. DarkKnight: Murder or whatever.
I’m looking for something that’s gonna help me with the next trial. SnowmanChief: I just came from the 5th trial.
What’s going on?

Everyone was my competition and I wasn’t here to determine who’s wrong and who’s right.

I’d just observe.

What these challengers were preparing and how they’d use it.

It’d be easier to deal with them if I knew what they were up to.

Information is power.


「 Floor 6 trial starting in – 1hrs 12min 」

Unlike the other trials, there wasn’t much I could do to prepare for this one.

I was past the point of getting used to my stats and equipment.

I might’ve kept training in the past but… 

That was beneath me now.

‘Once you reach my level of sensitivity, you could instantly get accustomed to higher stats.’

Of course, I wouldn’t waste time doing nothing.

I was collecting information.

Tkfdlsrhkd: I killed a teammate during the 4th trial and got the achievement ‘Betrayer.’ I gained +1 strength from it. LetMeLive: Anyone with psychological resistance skills, look into murder-related achievements.
You can get a lot from killing people in different ways. IiIiIIiIIi: If your teammate even shows a little possibility of being a troll, just kill them.
They won’t get in your way later and you’ll even get an achievement out of it. Parasite: Yall, did you know the person who spread the info about the 4th trial changed their name to ‘Headygongdu’? ImMonster: That’s that fucker’s nickname? He wasted my question to the admins.
I’m gonna fucking kill him if I meet him. BarksAtCrazyPpl: Trying to kill yourself? He was ranked B in the 5th trial and you barely even managed a D.
How are you gonna kill him?

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There were people who shared achievements for free, and there were people who revealed information about others.

There wasn’t anything too informative there, but this was enough to come to a conclusion.

“You can’t trust anyone on the 6th trial.”

There’s a lot of crazy people here, huh?

This put that guy I met in the 4th trial, Lee Sunghoon, in a much better light.

One thing I found out was more information about this ‘Headygongdu’ guy.

‘He’s the guy who ruined the vibe on the 4th floor.’

It must have been someone who stayed behind during the 4th trial to find out about the name change.

Of course, I could find out more if I spent some points but…

‘No point of wasting points talking to these people.’

Especially since all the information being revealed was pretty trivial.

Plus, I didn’t want to become a public target like ‘Headygongdu.’

“I’ll stay away from saying anything in the chat.”

Time passed by while I was reading the chat and—

「 Do you accept the 6th floor trial? 」 

Of course, I accepted, and the blue portal materialized in front of my eyes.


「 Entering Tower of Trials floor 6.

「 Difficulty – Hard 」 

「 The objective of the following trial is ‘conquering.’ 」 

「 We wish the challenger a satisfactory ending to their choice.

Shaaa, shaaa.

The sound of waves informed me of where I was before my eyes could recognize it.

“…The ocean?”

「 The 6th floor trial is starting soon.

「 Remaining time – 50 minutes 」 

「 Trial success condition – Capture at one of the surrounding tiles before the time runs out.

「 Trial fail condition – Challenger’s death or time out 」 

「 Trial success reward – Random Box (B) 」 

「 Trial fail penalty – Death 」 

In the middle of an ocean that extended as far as the eyes could see, touching the sky at the horizon… 

I was standing on a platform formed from tens and thousands of connected tiles.

The scene was finally settling into my head.

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Contrary to the 5th trial, which was in a cave, the 6th trial was being conducted on the sea.

On floating tiles too.

‘A little out of the blue, but what else could I expect from the tower.’

It was then—

Voom, voom.

A bunch of portals appeared on top of various tiles as the challengers began walking in.

 As a message popped up, portals on tiles adjacent to me opened up as well.

「 Teams have been dispatched.

「 Collaborate with your team and clear the trial.

Like the 4th trial, I must have teammates on the 6th trial too.

‘Anyone’s fine as long as they’re not like Lee Sunghoon.’

Just then.


A golden blade popped out of the portal and almost skimmed my nose.

‘What the…!’

I honestly didn’t know how to react when a blade came out instead of the expected challenger.

Contrary to my surprise, my body reacted automatically and stepped back to dodge the attack.


I then grabbed the golden blade with my bare hands— Something I learned that I could do after reaching 43 on my tenacity.

I found out that if I focused on not grabbing the blade too hard, I wouldn’t get cut by even C-rank items.

As such, I was pretty confident that none of the weapons that these lower-rankers had could cut me.


I heard a flustered voice through the portal as I calmly yanked the sword and… 

Also pulled the man attached to it.


「 ‘Betrayer’ achievement unlocked.

「 Strength increased by 1.

Blood splattered through the holographic message.

“Fucking shit.”

The 6th trial was off to a rough start.



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