Chapter 57 – Room 106, Mission Room – ‘Hotel Land of Hope’ (6) – FIN
[User: Han Kain (Wisdom)
Date: Day 21
Current Location: Floor 1, Room 106 (Mission Room – Hotel Land of Hope)
Sage’s Advice: 0]
6. Real Deal! Haunted House.
The mansion was quite literally an old building with a sinister atmosphere, as one would expect from a Haunted House.
Heaving a sigh, I looked at both my and Jinchul-hyung’s legs. Ahri’s blood, which had been the ‘enhanced version of the one that gave us stamina’ was indeed very effective. It wasn’t at the level of a ridiculous elixir, but the bruises and the stinging pain had been reduced by a decent amount and it was enough for us to walk again.
There was no turning back. We had to clear the remaining missions and see this through to the end.
Jinchul-hyung spoke to me before entering the mansion.
“There’s something you must keep in mind. It’s okay for me to die for you, but you should never even think about sacrificing yourself for me. You must make it to the end even if that means walking over my dead body.”
“If need be, you have your ‘Descent’ to use at the end. We’ll be able to pass any trial with that ability. It’s like us having 3 extra chances as long as we have you pass to the very end.”
“I’ll make a mental note of that.”
“And also, let me just mentally prepare myself before we go in. It’s been way too long since I last went to an amusement park. What are some monsters that might show up in a Haunted House?”
“That’s the same for me actually,” I replied. “From what I can think of, maybe ghosts, zombies, werewolves and vampires? Things like that?”
“I think I can bash most of them up with my hands but the ghost is going to be the biggest problem. Well, let’s go in.”
As soon as we walked in after opening the door of the old mansion, a dense odour began to harass our noses. It was like the mixed scent of rotten meat, moulds and excrement.
I was tightly holding onto the dagger but I wasn’t sure what I could even do with it. Would I even be able to do anything against one of the Hotel’s monsters?
Before entering the house, I changed my system window to filter-mode and covered my sight, thinking that it would be an effective method against ghosts.
– Clomp – Clomp
The footsteps of us two men echoed across the house.
Walking through the house, I suddenly had a feeling that turning on the filter-mode might have been a mistake. I had been using it frequently after knowing about it but there was an inevitable downside to it.
Because the translucent screen was blocking my vision all the time, I couldn’t see properly like a man without glasses, who had been wearing glasses all his life. I had to frown and squint my eyes to barely even notice a human figure.
For a long time, we just walked across the corridor.
I walked past the blurry paintings, the large full-length mirror, the candlestick hanging on the wall and a strange taxidermied animal, but nothing showed up.
Suddenly, someone grabbed my clothes from behind.
“Just go on.”
“You have your filter-mode turned on, right?”
“I’ll tell you outside so just walk for now. I think this will be easy.”
I wonder what he meant.
Why was Jinchul-hyung suddenly doing something so unbefitting of him like clenching onto my clothes? I had yet to figure anything out but… did he notice something?
For almost 30 minutes, we walked and walked and walked. The mansion was already dark and the only sources of light were the occasional candlesticks hanging on the wall. I had my filter-mode activated on top of that, so I was essentially no different from a blind man walking through a house with no aid.
Because of that, I even ended up walking into a wall.
After about 30 to 40 minutes, we finally made our way out of the mansion.
??? What in the world was this about?
“What is this? There was nothing. I was just walking forward and we made it out somehow?”
“Kukukuk. Ahh hahaha! I barely kept myself from laughing towards the end there!”
“It’s not that there was nothing; in fact, there were all sorts of things in there. The portraits on the walls were glaring at us the whole time, and the mirrors had distorted versions of us threatening us with knives like the House of Mirrors we went through just then.
There was even a taxidermied human head on the wall that suddenly turned to us with blinking eyes. I almost screamed out loud a minute after we went in.
But because you didn’t react in any way, they even sent out a gargoyle to block your path. What the heck did you even think that was?”
“…I couldn’t see anything so I thought I walked into the wall.”
“It’s the Haunted House, so I suppose it’s a pass if the contestants don’t shout after seeing the monsters, and I guess they would have run in at us if we shouted or something. I’m sure that’s what would have happened if I screamed, so I closed my eyes and walked while holding onto your clothes.”
“Like, even though we passed, that one’s just straight-up ridiculous. It would be free for a blind person right?”
“A blind person wouldn’t be able to find their way though, so I suppose squinting your eyes and barely keeping them open could have helped. It is quite ridiculous though, you are right.”
“It’s over now, right? Is there going to be an announcement soon?”
“This looks like the backyard of the house to me,” replied Jinchul-hyung. “There’s an exit there. I think it’ll be over if we go past that.”
It was a bit dumbfounding but I was still very happy. The filter-mode had always been useful until now, but it was the first time it had been absolutely crucial like this.
That was when a large and handsome Siberian Husky walked up to us from a distance while wagging its tail.
In a bright mood, Jinchul-hyung reached his hand out at the dog’s head with a smile—
Wait. What was he doing? Wasn’t he way too relaxed? There’s no way there would be a normal dog here, is there?!
When the dog opened its mouth after walking up to us, a human skull popped out from inside.
“WHAT THE FUCKKK! WHAT IS THIS SHIT!”
It was over. We were so close to being finished and yet he messed it up.
Suddenly the dog swelled up like an exploding bomb before turning to a large figure that resembled a werewolf. A fight was already inevitable. Getting rid of the meaningless filter-mode, I dashed towards the monster.
But that was when Jinchul-hyung shouted with a loud voice.
“GO! JUST GO! Kain! You idiot! Don’t you see the fucking door!? Just run to the door!”
He was right. The werewolf had already caught us off guard.
Even though Jinchul-hyung was strong, I could see his body was already drenched in blood after allowing a preemptive attack from the werewolf. From the look of things, it didn’t seem like he could proceed even if he were to somehow come out on top of the fight.
I had to do this alone.
Closing my eyes, I dashed towards the exit like crazy.
An alarm showed up the moment I passed the door.
/Congratulations on completing Mission 6: Real Deal: Haunted House! Would you like to proceed to your next mission?/
For the first time after coming to this Hotel, I became a bit mad at Jinchul-hyung.
He wasn’t pushed back by a ridiculous monster or anything; we already knew what the risk was and were almost close to being finished after passing through the majority of it and yet he became careless and got disqualified just like that!
It wasn’t the time to blame others for it. It was normal for people to make mistakes.
The fact that he was able to rationally think of a countermeasure without the help of the filter-mode despite seeing those monsters from the very start of the mansion already proved his insane mentality.
It’s just that this crazy place, that stole people’s lives from one single moment of carelessness and one mistake, was the cause of all problems.
But everything would be fine as long as I passed the last mission. I steeled my heart and readied myself.
Now, I was the only one left.
/Final Mission. Ferris Wheel of Memories!
We will begin in 30 seconds. Please read through the Guidelines.
1. You cannot fall asleep inside the Ferris Wheel.
2. Please focus on the scenery outside the Ferris Wheel.
3. Going outside the Ferris Wheel is extremely dangerous./
Through those 30 seconds, I racked my brain as hard as I could and interpreted those sentences into what the Hotel would probably do.
You cannot sleep: We will make you sleepy and you will die upon sleeping.
Focus on the scenery outside: You will die if you look inside.
Going outside is dangerous: We will try to make you go outside.
I etched the guidelines into my head.
Soon, the dimensions turned and I was inside the Ferris Wheel by the time I came to myself.
“Jisoo told me yesterday. Apparently this is the trend–”
“The weather is getting colder and colder. Kain, make sure you wear thick clothes–”
“Are you upset or something? Why are you looking out the window the whole time? We are having a family discussion here–”
Chattering voices reached my ears from the side. Judging from their voices, it seemed that they were mimicking my family.
Pretending like I couldn’t hear them, I brought my face ever so closer to the window. We might come across more monsters like this in the future that try to grab our attention, so maybe I should talk to Eunsol-noona about buying earplugs or something.
My sister’s voice echoed from the side as something touched my clothes. It was a trick trying to make me look inside.
I flicked it away with my hand. Unlike the hand of my sister, it had the tough and slimy texture of a scale, which made me feel all the more certain that I should never turn my head to them.
Did they light it up on fire or something? The Ferris Wheel suddenly turned warm and the previously tough chairs of the Ferris Wheel suddenly turned soft like a bed.
Ahah. Were they trying to make me fall asleep now?
I immediately bit my tongue. Making the chairs warmer and softer was probably not the only trick up their sleeves; they were obviously going to use more supernatural measures to force me into falling asleep.
Let’s hang in there. All I had to do was withstand this. It didn’t look like a physically taxing mission either.
“Kain? What’s wrong with your tongue? Can I have a—”
They started swinging me back and forth after grabbing my shoulders.
I pushed them away as hard as I could with my arms.
All I had to do was not look at them right?
Should I close my eyes? No; sleeping was also a risk factor so closing my eyes was probably not a safe option.
An immense desire to fall asleep came rushing in like a flood. Even though I wasn’t lacking any sleep, an evidently abnormal desire to go to sleep was intoxicating my brain.
Thus, I bit my tongue as hard as I could with my fangs, to the point that it started to bleed heavily. Feeling the sharp stinging pain and the taste of blood, my mind immediately came back to me.
It didn’t last long though. As if I was under anaesthesia, the pain vanished as something threatened to pull my consciousness into the deep ocean of oblivion.
What else could I do? Pain alone wasn’t going to be enough.
Putting my hand into my pocket, I took out my dagger. Should I cut myself? No; there was something better I could do.
Without any hesitation, I reached my hand back and swung the dagger around everywhere while still facing the window.
“Kyaaaahk! Oppaaa! What are you–”
“Uahkk! Kain! What are–”
Those despicable voices. Even though it was as clear as day that they were monsters just by touching their scales, they were still using the voices of my family.
As expected, they couldn’t cause any physical harm to me without me looking at them. In the first place, if that was possible, they would have forcibly grabbed my head to turn it towards them.
All they could do was grab onto my clothes and shake it a little.
Screams filled the Ferris Wheel. I could feel my dagger stabbing through something as it was then pushed away by that same thing. I repeated that horrendous process by stabbing again and again with the dagger.
While going through that horrible experience, my nervousness sharpened my senses like a spearhead and my mind woke back up again.
Everything turned quiet.
By the time I realised it, the scenery outside turned into that of a warm spring.
The Ferris Wheel travelled slowly as memories of my youth vaguely flowed back up to the surface.
Everyone has a first love.
When was mine? I think it was during my middle school years.
It was probably at the English cram school. At the start, I grumbled on and on to my mum that I didn’t want to go to cram school.
I was forced into going there,
But after seeing the girl whose long, brown hair fluttered at her waist on the first day, I no longer hated cram school.
What happened after that? There’s probably no need to expand too much on something so boring.
Long story short, we met quite frequently, and I think we were quite close.
Whenever I had to go to cram school, I went there 30 minutes before the lesson and stayed on the seat.
I even remember pondering about the miraculous position that would allow Kayoung to sit near me as naturally as possible.
And when Kayoung sat far away with her close female friends, I would ponder for an hour by myself, wondering if I made her angry in any way.
Obviously, my English skills never got any better. But aside from English, my ability to read the mood became better by at least 3 times so it probably wasn’t a bad investment for my parents either, right?
I also remember consulting my friends on how to make the best confession.
At the start, they laughed like crazy and bashed me around but suddenly became the most serious people on the planet as we then discussed the best confession method.
Of course, there was a limit to how smart middle school kids could be in terms of confession methods.
In the end, I ended up confessing using one of the top three worst confession methods, which was by a message along with an April Fools joke as an escape route, which might be saved on other people’s phones as the ‘Number 1 Worst Confession.jpg’.
And after that…
Wait ffuuuuckkk! How dare you mess around with the memories of my first love?
By the time I came to myself, I was almost about to jump out of the window while looking at the faint glimmer of Kayoung’s face on the clouds outside!
Wasn’t this way too much? Just send a monster instead!
How I woke up from that was a mystery.
It had made me extremely upset for a moment and it was thanks to that anger that I could stay awake for a long period of time.
After a long and patient wait, by the time my anger was about to subside…
I finally reached the long-awaited end of that arduous wait.
/Congratulations on completing the Final Mission: Ferris Wheel of Memories!/