Chapter 55 – Room 106, Mission Room – ‘Hotel Land of Hope’ (2)
[User: Han Kain (Wisdom)
Date: Day 21
Current Location: Floor 1, Room 106 (Mission Room – Hotel Land of Hope)
Sage’s Advice: 2]
/2. Challenge. Human-devouring Merry-go-round.
The price I had to pay for looking at Jinchul-hyung for a split second was big!
I turned back to the front after noticing that my shirt was being tugged, and found a monster in the shape of a horse that had hundreds of thorn-like teeth inside its drooling mouth. The monster was biting and pulling on my shirt.
Immediately, I smacked the horse head with everything I had and managed to tear a portion of my clothes to escape from its bite. Fortunately, due to the physical shape of its body, a horse wasn’t the best at attacking the person riding on its back with its head.
Even though this one was quite obviously different from a normal horse, it was still the same as a normal one in that it couldn’t properly attack me, who was riding on its back.
After fighting back for about 30 seconds, I noticed that there was no need to fight against this disgusting horse head. All I had to do was pull myself back as far as possible from the head and sit near its butt, because horses didn’t have the physical structure that allowed them to do anything to the one sitting on their butt with their heads.
Heaving a sigh of relief, I finally had the leisure to turn around and noticed that everyone was holding onto the horse in a variety of ways.
As expected, Songee was having the best time after pretty much signing a peace treaty with the horse while everyone else was sitting near the horse’s butt like me.
And as for Jinchul-hyung…
It seemed that his horse died after having its head pulled out. There was no horse on his side – the wooden body of the horse was also gone, but fortunately there was still the pillar that used to connect the horse to the platform and he was grabbing onto that pillar to stay away from the floor.
He was probably okay. A superhuman at his level should be able to last more than an hour holding onto that pillar.
Right when I was about to think that this was a lot easier than the bumper car just then…
Round 2 started.
The rotating platform suddenly contracted and all the horses became closer as a result.
What was happening? I thought, before quickly realising what this meant!
Now that all the horses were closer than before, the head of the horse behind me also started glaring daggers at me. In front was the head of the horse I was riding and at the back was the head of the horse behind me – there was nowhere for me to escape to.
What was I supposed to do? I couldn’t go forward nor could I retreat. At this rate, I would either be crunched to death by either one of the horses or fall to my death.
“Ahhkt! Thank you hyung!”
Wondering why Seungyub would suddenly say ‘thank you’ in a situation like this, I turned around for a split second and found out that Jinchul-hyung had jumped from pillar to pillar to pick up Seungyub, who was just about to fall.
They would probably be okay by themselves. No matter how you saw it, I didn’t have the leisure to worry about other people – I had to worry about my own future.
In the midst of chaos, a sudden spark of thought hit my head and I came up with a strategy.
It was a plan that revolved around our most trusted weapon that I had been carrying the whole time ever since the Mansion of Fear – the capsaicin spray. Using the spray, I sprayed it at the horse head behind me that was itching to eat me. In the end, it was still the head of an organism and couldn’t escape from the pain of capsaicin.
The horse head that was trying to go for me immediately started flailing its head in pain. It was working!
“Everyone! Take out your sprays and spray it on them!”
Despite all the chaos, Eunsol-noona and Elena seemed to have heard me somehow and they hurriedly started taking out their sprays. Seriously though – how many times has this spray saved our lives?
I didn’t bother checking the others. Ahri should be doing fine by herself and Songee was probably chatting with her horse. She might even be giving it carrots by now.
Was this it? There’s not going to be another round or anything right?
Unfortunately, there was Round 3.
Round 3 ended.
Funnily enough, Round 3 was the easiest for us. As soon as it became Round 3, the sharp thorns on the ground turned into grass and the bodies of all the horses came to life as they immediately pounced at us, and—
It took Jinchul-hyung less than 5 minutes to kill them all.
As soon as we landed back down on the ground, Jinchul-hyung threw out his brutal punches and poured out his emotions on them as the horses started to fall every 5 seconds, and after seeing that, all the other horses started running away.
Even though her horse friend was being bashed to death, Songee yawned while simply watching from the side.
If the Hotel was going to make it more difficult for us, it would have been better for them to keep the thorns on the ground to restrain Jinchul-hyung from moving, but they instead made it easier for us by removing them.
From the look of things, it seemed that the Mission Room did not regulate the difficulty by taking our abilities into account, and were just following a pre-designed system.
Honestly, it took Jinchul-hyung 5 minutes because he had to chase after the running horses. I really wasn’t expecting to see human-devouring monsters run away from a human like that.
While vacantly sitting on the ground, I thought to myself.
There was a saying that the body had to suffer if you were stupid, but maybe it was the other way around. Maybe it was your brain that had to suffer if you had a weak body.
A man who could bash human-devouring horses to death with his fists probably did not need too much wisdom to beat them.
Everyone was sitting on the grass while watching those horses be punched to death when the next announcement popped up.
/Congratulations on completing Mission 2: Challenge: Human-devouring Merry-go-round. Would you like to proceed to your next mission?/
Naturally, none of us stepped down after coming this far.
By the time we came to ourselves, we were at an unbelievably high place.
/3. Think Quick: Gyro Drop
It will begin in 30 seconds! Please get on the correct seats./
This time, the announcement was different from the ones before. Until now, they all began after a 3-second countdown but this time, there were 30 seconds. And what did it mean by ‘correct seats’?
I quickly looked across the surroundings.
We were quite literally on a gyro-drop.
It looked like we were at least 1,000 metres aboveground and I couldn’t see the ground at all. Besides, absurdly enough, we were sitting on seats that were fixed on a foothold with no safety devices.
What would happen if the gyro-drop started just like this?
We would probably fly into the sky.
“W, w, w, what do we do??!!” Songee screamed.
What were we supposed to do? This was the first time 30 seconds felt so short.
A violent set of noises echoed from the side so I turned and saw Jinchul-hyung locking his legs onto the chair, while using his two arms to grab on Seungyub and Elena, who happened to be sitting next to him.
While falling down from an unfathomably high gyro-drop, he was going to support the weight of himself, Seungyub and Elena and stop them from soaring into the sky just by locking his legs on the chair.
It appeared like a very absurd idea but at the same time, it looked viable just because he was the one doing it. As I thought, it seemed that your brain would have an easier time if you were strong.
“Sorry guys!! I only have two arms!”
“It’s alright so hold onto them tight! I’ll see you later!” Eunsol-noona said with a strangely relieved voice after seemingly giving up on this.
Honestly, I could tell what she was thinking.
People outside might say, ‘What? How could she be relieved at the face of death?’ and find it hard to understand but there was something we all felt while trying to persist inside the Hotel.
The scariest moment in this place was not when you were the first one dying. In fact, dying first was not as scary as one might imagine, because we had the belief that our teammates would last until the end to bring us back to life.
The hardest and the most painful time was when ‘you were left alone’.
The scariest moment was when everyone except for you died with the belief that you would bring them back to life, leaving you behind by yourself to push through until the end to resurrect all of them.
Because of that internal mindset, seeing how there was still going to be at least 3 survivors apart from me made me feel relieved.
Those three would probably revive me again.
Before long, the gyro drop began its descent.
In less than 5 seconds after the fall, I floated to the sky. Pretending to be Jinchul-hyung, I tried locking my legs and arms around the chair underneath me just in case, but frankly speaking, if I had the power to sustain myself in a situation like that, I probably would have killed a horse or two by myself.
I wasn’t even that hopeful in the first place.
Throwing my arms wide open, I took in my first ever sky-diving experience. Jinchul-hyung! Seungyub! Elena! Ahri! I will leave the rest to you and go to sleep!
It was questionable how high up in the air we were. Even though it had been quite a while since we began to fall, I still couldn’t see the ground properly.
[Reach out with your right arm behind your back as much as you can!]
It was a very sudden Advice. Although I didn’t know what it meant, I still followed it.
My body suddenly started to slow down.
A tiny and warm hand was tightly holding onto my hand to decrease the speed of my fall.
“I was thinking but I decided to go with you. You happened to reach out at the right timing as well.”
I stopped myself from asking, ‘How are you flying?’. I remembered hearing Songee say that Ahri could fly through the sky.
“This is actually very hard for me as well because I have to use a bunch of blood in real time. Fortunately right now, I’m only using my power to slow down the fall instead of flying, which is the reason why I’m even able to help you in the first place. I can only hold up to 1 person though, so I was wondering who to save but I guess it was the right call to save you, since you have ‘Descent’.”
“You don’t have to thank me, since this is because I’m expecting you to save us at the end if need be.”
The seemingly endless free-fall finally came to an end.
During the slow fall, I suddenly thought of something.
Ahri… was probably able to escape the Hotel by herself if she wanted to. All she had to do was use this ability and jump out of the main entrance.
When we landed on the ground, we saw that we had five survivors.
Jinchul-hyung managed to survive alongside Seungyub and Elena by holding on with his legs until the end, but it was evident that his legs were almost unusable. His entire legs were bruised and his bone seemed to have survived thanks to his Blessing enhancing his bones but bits and pieces of his skin and flesh were about to come off.
What happened to Songee and Eunsol-noona? Everyone intentionally avoided the topic.
We only passed through 3 missions and there were still 4 missions to go, and yet we only had 5 survivors left.
In silence, we were waiting for the next announcement but–
That was when Ahri stumbled and collapsed.
I supported her body in a fright and realised that her skin was as pale as paper, with her body trembling without her even having the power to utter a word.
From our conversation, I remembered how she mentioned she was using a bunch of blood in real time.
Did she use too much blood because she had to support my weight on top of hers?
This was a big problem. I felt sorry for making her go through so much pain to save me, but there was an even bigger problem at hand.
Jinchul-hyung’s legs weren’t normal, whereas Ahri didn’t have enough blood to function properly.
We had way too little manpower now.
My brain was about to burst from all sorts of concerns when I suddenly realised what the ‘right answer’ to this disgusting gyro drop was.
Giving us 30 seconds to head to the ‘correct seats’ meant that there was a ‘way to easily solve this mission’.
The chairs were fixed slightly above the foothold. In other words, the chairs themselves were also a safety bar in their own way. All we had to do was move down from the chairs, place ourselves in between the foothold and the chair and use the chair as a safety bar.
I was lamenting at the fact that I could only come up with the solution after everything was over, and that was when the announcement showed up.
/Congratulations on completing Mission 3: Think Quick: Gyro Drop. Would you like to proceed to your next mission?/
/Mission 4. True? False? House of Mirrors.
3! 2! 1! Start!/
When the dimension stopped fluctuating, I found myself locked in a world full of mirrors. It was a large maze with all the walls and everything made of mirrors!
Did I have to find a way out of this place?
Following the traditional method of solving mazes, I decided to walk forward while placing my hand on one of the walls.
As soon as I came into contact with the wall of mirror next to me,
The ‘me inside the mirror’ suddenly split its mouth wide open and pounced at me!