Chapter 63 – Room 101, Cursed Room – ‘A Strange Family’ Re (1)
– Kim Ahri
I had to say something for starters, because otherwise, she would knock the door down and come in. Going towards the door and my mum, I felt my blood slowly being used up in order to protect my mind.
I see, so the curse of Room 101 takes effect just by approaching and listening to the voices of the ‘family’, huh?
It was a shame that I didn’t have a mind-protection filter like Kain.
“Mum! I’ll be out very soon. You should start first.”
– Kung! Kung!
“I’m hungry! I don’t wanna eat alone!”
What did I have to say to get her away from the door? What kind of personality did she have again?
I soon remembered that I had to treat her more like a child.
“Mum. I have a present for you. Can you please go further away and wait?”
“Present? Present! Okay! I will be waiting~”
Tap tap tap! I could sense her going further away from the door along with several taps on the floor. It was a surprise that a simple lie like this was still working on her.
Mum was a childish person. She didn’t have any patience so she would be coming back very soon. In the meantime, I had to think – what did I have to do to escape this place?
Everyone else could escape by running out of their houses but my house was set as the hotel.
There was no way for me to leave this place.
If this was the 2nd hotel, the current one, there was a chance of me surviving by jumping out the front entrance and slowing down the speed of the fall. I might die from lack of blood before hitting the ground but there was still a chance.
However, outside the front entrance of the 1st hotel was the very depths of the ocean and I would be pressed to death by the water pressure immediately upon contact. That was why the escape tool back then was an ‘Air Bubble’ and not Wing Boots.
Leaving through the main entrance was not an option, and I couldn’t reenact the escape method I used before either.
Since I couldn’t leave this place…
I had to at least make sure that imitation of my mother wouldn’t be able to approach me by neutralising her.
But the greatest concern was this:
How much of my mum had the hotel ‘replicated’?
If not for her blessing, I was more than confident in beating that fake mum. But if she had her blessing on top of that… Well, there was only one way to find out.
I opened the door and was met with a familiar dining room. In the distance was mum sitting down with her hands over her eyes.
This might sound like me bragging about myself, but she really was very cute. She would have been a much better mum if only she was sane.
I took a deep breath in.
With all things considered, including the blood that would be used up during the fight as well as the blood that would be used to protect my mind, I couldn’t prolong this fight.
Closing my eyes, I inspected myself and felt the blood pumping out of the heart, thumping through the arteries. I then accessed the ancient power, or curse, that was rooted to every drop of my blood.
I manifested Ancient Blood.
An aura of coldness immediately rose up from my fingertips like lightning bolts and slashed through the air. It was a very sudden attack and ‘Miro’ couldn’t even react to it in time.
“Ahhk! Ahri? Why–”
Actually, I’m not sorry. You’re not even my real mum are you? I’ll just call you by your name from now on.
With another gust of cold air, I struck her body twice as she screamed and rolled across the floor. Two red lines appeared on Miro’s body and the blood immediately froze after flowing out of her wounds.
But this wasn’t enough.
I wanted to finish it from a distance due to the mental contamination but I couldn’t drive any detrimental blows. Attacking from a distance might have worked against normal citizens but it was hard to do any meaningful damage from a distance against another blood witch.
While pouring strength into my fingertips, I jumped up but it was then–
Light flashed from the other side of the dining table.
A sudden hole appeared on my shoulder.
I immediately rolled sideways, shot a cold gust and observed Miro’s state.
Things were going quite well so far.
Her recovery speed was very slow, and it seemed that shooting a bunch of cold gusts at the start was proving to be effective. The constant pervasion of coldness was slowing down the flow of her blood, and was interfering with her ability.
Approaching her once again, I strengthened my fingertips and slashed at her.
Our hands, that were now as tough as steel after using Ancient Blood, crashed into one another.
“Ahri! What is wrong with you? Mummy will scold you for doing bad things!”
“Sorry, but I’m probably stronger than you right now. A lot of time passed after your death, Miro, and I wasn’t playing around doing nothing.”
“What do you mean I died? Did you have a bad dream, Ahri?”
In the following span of 10 seconds, our metal hands clashed more than 30 times as we both attacked and interfered with each other using our own blood.
Both of us realised after I shoved the gust of coldness into Miro’s body 5 times, that I was overwhelmingly stronger than her.
Our mastery with the blood and fighting techniques were just not on the same level. Despite using more than half of my blood to fight against the mental contamination of Miro, I was still easily on the winning side.
“What? This is weird! Why did you suddenly become so strong, Ahri?”
“I told you. I’ve been building up my strength for longer than your entire lifespan. Sorry Miro, but it’s time for you to go to sleep.”
She wasn’t my real mum, but her screaming in pain was still an agonising sight. However, it was almost over.
Using ‘Allusion’ on her would immediately put her into deep sleep. Our eyes met and my power slowly seeped into her heart, but it was then.
A ‘balance’ appeared behind her.
Ah. It was over. This stupid Hotel had even replicated Miro’s blessing.
I took a step back the moment I saw it, because I knew it would be impossible to beat her.
– Kwang! Boom!
Everything exploded. In an instant, the tables and chairs of the dining room blew up, and an oppressive aura that was too mighty for mere humans to fight against pounced at me. While barely hiding myself behind the nearby walls and chairs, I escaped Room 103.
When was it again?
I remembered the thing Seungyub said when we first heard about Elena’s blessing, ‘Justice’, at the Sanctum of Blessings.
He speculated that the reason there were so many conditions for Elena’s blessing was that it was to ‘balance’ things out.
Sorry Seungyub, but you were completely off the mark.
This hopeless Hotel did not care a single bit about balancing anything. By nature, there were no conditions or restrictions on the blessings of the Hotel, and they only consisted of infinite possibilities.
Conditions were only made by humans themselves.
The 3 conditions of Elena’s blessing were as follows:
1. The target must be an evil person.
2. Elena must be aware of the evil action.
3. The execution cannot be stopped once started.
There were even concepts like ‘self-defence’ that were surprisingly close to the ‘legal systems’ of Earth.
The conditions translated to this: an ideal punishment had to be applied to evil people; there needed to be proof and the continuance of the punishment should not be up to the executor’s arbitrary decision.
Would the Hotel bother considering the laws of the human world to select the conditions of the blessing? No – these conditions were just restrictions that were formed by ‘Elena’s Perception of Justice’.
But the conditions wouldn’t have been that different even if the Blessing of Justice had gone to other people, because everyone’s perception of justice was pretty similar in the grand scheme of things.
It was therefore normal for the Blessing of Justice to contain restrictions that were similar to the legal systems of the real world. After all, laws were things formed according to everyone’s general perception of justice.
However, what if that blessing were to go to someone that didn’t have that universal view of justice? For example, what if someone crazy were to gain the ‘Blessing of Justice’?
Someone who believes they have the right to punish everything let alone humans, including animals, monsters and even objects;
Someone who believes everything they do not like as injustice;
Someone who believes that punishment is only up to their own decision.
A long time ago, ‘Miro’ created me and lost her intellect in return. And due to losing her intellect, her ego turned into that of a child, which in fact removed all the restrictions of Justice and made her overwhelmingly powerful!
The very result of that system was chasing after me, while breaking everything nearby with a swing of her hands.
The static noise that would come from a noisy radio was filling my head. It seemed that my ears were malfunctioning because of the loud explosions everywhere.
The ceiling exploded with a loud roar as if there had been a bomb there.
— Crack! Crackk!
Miro’s vigour shredded the marble floor of the Hotel like paper, and started cracking everything as if there was an earthquake.
Pebbles crumbled from the broken walls and fell on my back. Today was proving to be quite the challenging day.
There was only one reason I was still able to run away. Thanks to that small bit of Allusion that I cast on her before, Miro couldn’t find ‘me’ right now.
But that was why it was even more shocking, because that meant that she was destroying everything nearby without even being able to perceive me. In turn, that meant she was using the power of Justice against objects nearby.
What in the world was her perception of Justice that she could use it like that? There was a door and a corridor daring to stand in her path when she was angry, so were they wicked and evil?
There was no point in lingering on that so I stopped.
The chase went on for about 10 minutes.
At this point, I could tell that there was no way out for me.
I tried sprinting and flying as fast as I could, but Miro looked like she would destroy the Hotel at this rate. She was as destructive as what Kain was like back when he acquired ‘Descent’.
I decided to give up.
Standing next to the main entrance, I gazed outside the door. There were all sorts of strange-looking fish outside the glass doors of the entrance. That was natural because in my 1st time at the Hotel, we were in the depths of the ocean.
– Clomp. Clomp.
While I was watching the fish nearby, the effect of Allusion ran out and Miro appeared in front of me.
“Ah, my head’s starting to hurt. I think this is as far as I can go.”
“You are really strange today, Ahri. I don’t know why you are doing this to your mum.”
“Are you angry at me?”
“I’m sorry if you were upset. I was so angry I was destroying everything just then but… I’m sorry. Don’t hate me for that, okay?”
Ahh, even this fake mum loved me, just like how I loved mum.
But you see, ‘fake mum’?
Your love itself is about to ‘contaminate’ me right now.
“But you know you shouldn’t do this to your mum either, right? I will go around for a week carrying just your head, Ahri! So you need to reflect on your actions, okay?”
It would have been better if I just didn’t hear that last sentence.
What was worse, was that my mum wasn’t like this because of Room 101’s curse. In fact, she had always been like this ever since my birth.
My consciousness faded away.
/You have failed!/
[User: Han Kain (Wisdom)
Date: Day 22
Current Location: Floor 1, Corridor
Sage’s Advice: 3]
I thought after leaving Room 101.
That was way too easy, wasn’t it? We almost all died before only because we didn’t know something so simple.
It was so easy that I doubted anyone would have had trouble escaping. All you had to do was close your eyes, block your ears and run so that should have been terribly easy!
I turned my head, thinking that everyone would be wearing a smile but…
That was when I noticed that something was strange.