Chapter 39 – Party Time! – In Search of the Secret
[User: Han Kain (Wisdom)
Date: Day 14
Current Location: Floor 1, Corridor
Sage’s Advice: 3]
Tap, tap, tap, tap.
My footsteps echoed in the corridor. It was strange how silence made even your footsteps sound a lot louder.
It was my first time roaming around by myself for such a long time ever since we came to the Hotel. After leaving Room 103 yesterday, we had lunch, a little rest and experimented with ‘Diverse Perspectives’ the whole day before giving ourselves a break.
The next day, we started exploring the Hotel early in the morning.
This wasn’t our first time exploring the Hotel but it was the first time we had scattered like this. There were many dangers in the Hotel and we had relied heavily on ‘Sage’s Advice’ until now so we had rarely moved around by ourselves.
But the next two days were officially announced by the Hotel to be ‘days with nothing dangerous happening.’ If there were no dangers, why would we bother grouping together for the exploration?
Naturally, we decided to scatter.
The secret of the Hotel that only gets revealed during the ‘Party Time!’.
Where was it? I wondered.
Everyone except for me headed to the basement. Unlike the 1st floor which only had the front reception, the main entrance and the corridor with 7 guest rooms, there were over 100 different rooms in the basement. And each of those rooms had massive entertainment facilities that weren’t supposed to fit in a room.
Zoos, botanical gardens, a bar, a computer room, billiards, a pool, a photo room and a bathhouse: even apart from these, there were also absurd ones that had the names amusement park and hiking.
What was hiking even about? Was there like a mountain on the other side of the door?
There was obviously a higher chance of the secret being hidden somewhere within that vast space so everyone headed down to the basement. But I thought there at least had to be one person looking through the 1st floor so I remained behind.
[User: Han Kain (Wisdom)
Date: Day 14
Current Location: Floor 1, Room 105 (Room of Rest)
Floor Information (*)
Room 101 (Cursed Room – A Strange Family)
Room 102 (Cursed Room – Mansion of Fear)
Room 103 (Cursed Room – Athanasia’s Human Farm – Resolved!)
Room 104 (???)
Room 105 (Room of Rest)
Room 106 (???)
Room 107 (???)
Sage’s Advice: 3]
I opened the Floor Information tab. It seemed that Room 103 was seriously just completely over judging from the word, ‘Resolved!’.
I walked to Room 103. What would happen if I went back into a resolved room? Would I suddenly be dropped into outer space or something? Although I was a bit concerned, Sage’s Advice didn’t say anything so I slowly opened the door of Room 103.
Inside there was nothing. It was nothing but an empty room with a door, with no sign of any secrets being hidden in this place. The moment our party cleared Room 103, it seemed that this room had become meaningless. Walking a little further, I walked past Room 104 and Room 105, which we always went into, as well as Room 106, and came across Room 107 which only had the ‘number plate’.
I remembered the words I heard from Ahri a few days ago.
We call it the ‘Gate Room’. It is a room that can only be entered when you achieve some level of accomplishment in every other room, and clearing it lets you go over to the next floor.
Room 107 was probably that Gate Room. There was no door for Room 107, and there was only a number plate. My guess was that the door would appear after we achieved something in the rooms 101 to 106.
After that, I walked to the end of the corridor but in the end, I couldn’t find anything. There were only walls except for the guest rooms. It’s not like I could enter the Cursed Rooms by myself and I figured there was nothing in the corridor.
I should probably group up with everyone in the basement after checking the front desk and the main entrance.
As soon as I turned around, I found Ahri who had come without even letting out a single footstep.
“Uwat! You surprised me there. Why are you walking around so quietly?”
“Did you find anything?”
I was now used to her straight-forward manner of speech which she only used when we were alone.
“I opened Room 103 but there was nothing inside, and Room 107 is probably the Gate Room. That’s pretty much it.”
“So you mean you haven’t found anything,” she commented.
“Yeah. Looking back, it seemed you knew quite a lot about the Hotel. Do you know what the secret is that only gets revealed during the Party Time? It would be a lot easier if we knew what we were supposed to look for in the first place – whether it be a thing, a person or a room.”
“I never hide necessary pieces of information. The reason I’m not explaining things to you is either because I don’t know, or because they are unnecessary and meaningless. Besides, the Administration only knows the tip of the iceberg about the Hotel. And as for the answer to your question, it could be anything. It could be a treasure, a new teammate, enhancement of your blessings, or going to the next floor without breaking through the Gate Room. There are tons of secrets and you know some yourself.”
I immediately thought of the words, ‘Room of Resurrection’, and ‘Buddha’.
“Are you talking about the Room of Resurrection and the Buddha?” I asked.
“The Room of Resurrection, yes, but Buddha is something we also didn’t know about. This is my first time hearing it. You can guess what the Room of Resurrection is just from hearing the name, right? It’s a room that gives another chance to participants who lost their opportunity after failing at the hotel once we complete various procedures. Those procedures themselves apparently change every time but…”
“Do you know more secrets?”
“There are too many. And it’s meaningless for me to tell you because they change every time. In the end, we have to look for them ourselves.”
There were a lot of things I heard from her, but that only increased the number of questions in my mind. In the end, it seemed that there was no other choice apart from looking for the secrets ourselves.
Ahri continued following from behind while I was walking towards the front desk, so I threw her a question.
“Are you not going to go to the basement? There’s nothing apart from the front desk and the main entrance on the 1st Floor. Wouldn’t it be better for you to go to a wider area instead?”
“There’s no guarantee that the secret will be hidden in a wide area. I… just have a feeling that there is something on the first floor.”
We soon arrived at the front desk.
Appearance-wise, it wasn’t that different from what people would often think of when thinking of the front desk of a hotel. The only difference was that there was no-one. There was a reception desk that became meaningless due to having no-one inside and on top of that was a large display screen.
The surroundings turned pitch dark along with the sound of a button, and turned bright again after another click. I turned in confusion and found Ahri playing around with the light switch.
– Click – Click – Click
“You’re not a kid anymore, so how about you stop playing with things like that?”
After saying that, I began touching and opening a few things. When I went to the other side of the front desk and opened a drawer, I found a memo that read ‘87439124’. It was a strange array of 8 numbers.
I instinctively shoved the memo into my pocket and glanced at Ahri, and was relieved after realising that Ahri was still looking at the switch next to the main entrance.
My heart raced. This set of numbers was clearly a password. It couldn’t have been a coincidence that it was hidden in the drawers of the front desk.
The Escape Button on the elevator – they said to enter the ‘Password’ while wearing the ‘Protective Suit’.
I quickly erased it from my mind. In the end, it was meaningless without the Protective Suit.
…Actually, was it correct for me to hide this from everyone?
I couldn’t find anything else from the reception desk. All the other drawers were empty and I couldn’t see anything hidden even when I glared at them.
Was there something near the main entrance? It was just a large door and looked like there were less things to hide than the front desk and yet Ahri was constantly roaming around the gates.
“Is there something there?” I asked.
“Come here and have a look at this.”
Did she really find something?
I walked up and she immediately turned the light off.
“Ah! Can you please stop with these—”
“I’m not messing around so just look.”
The moment she turned the light off, the entire first floor turned dark.
Only after some thought did I notice the strange thing that was going on!
It was a massive mistake to consider it natural for things to turn dark when the lights were off. The main entrance was made of glass – outside the glass was the sky and on the sky was the sun!
That meant sunlight should be seeping in from outside the glass door even when the lights were off inside the Hotel.
However, the outside of the Hotel also turned pitch black when the lights were off.
It was as if the other side of the glass door changed to a ‘different location’ with the flick of the switch.
“Do we… have to open the main entrance?” I asked and Ahri replied.
“I wasn’t sure, and that’s why I was waiting for you.”
“What do you mean? They said there was nothing dangerous happening today, right?”
“I think that depends on how you see it,” said Ahri. “It probably means that the Hotel won’t create any dangerous things for us, but what if we go to a ‘place that is already dangerous’? Would there be no danger? I don’t think so. If that was the case, we should be able to go into a Cursed Room during every ‘Party Time’ and resolve them with ease but there is no way they would let us do that.”
“So you’re saying there’s a chance that the other side of the door could be a ‘place that is already dangerous’?”
“It’s possible. You try grabbing on the door knob.”
I slowly brought my hand closer to the door while paying attention to the advice of my system window. Nothing popped up but based on the experiences at the pool, I couldn’t fully trust in Sage’s Advice. The advice was only activated right before the danger – for example, if a monster was to attack a minute after we entered a room, the advice won’t give out any warnings when opening the door.
“Firstly, let’s bring everyone else.”
Ahri had a look of slight disapproval on her face but she didn’t stop me from going down to the basement.
– Click – Click
“You’re right. How did you find something like this? I guess we were just wasting time in the basement.” Eunsol-noona said after hitting the light button a few times.
“Did you not find anything, noona?”
“Nn. In the basement, we sometimes gathered and talked about all the places we searched but… it’s just too big. In fact, I went into ‘hiking’ and got lost, so the other people had to come looking for me.”
“Anyway, let’s try going in. We’ll have to see with our own eyes after all. Let me take the lead.”
“Jinchul-oppa. Wait a second.”
Saying that, Songee stopped Jinchul-hyung from going in and did ‘something’.
“Did you do something? I don’t feel anything.”
“I solidified the perspective of your senses and stopped the stimulus from being thrown into confusion.”
“Sorry, can you say that again with easier words? I’m not that smart you see.” Jinchul-hyung said, but to be honest, I didn’t understand anything either.
“It’s like a preparation against something playing around (?) with your senses. Because there’s no guarantee that it’ll be limited to physical risks.”
“You can do that too? That’s very helpful.”
“I can do one person at a time for a maximum of 10 minutes.”
I’ve been thinking countless times after entering the Hotel that we were way too vulnerable to mental attacks and it seemed that we finally had ourselves a counter-measure. Seriously, there was no end to the usefulness of ‘Diverse Perspectives’.
With Jinchul-hyung in the lead who was now strong in both body and mind – although momentarily – we headed to the strange location that was formed outside the main entrance after the lights were turned off.
And we fell as soon as we took a step forward.
[Congratulations on reaching the Sanctum of Blessings!]