Chapter 74 – Room 101, Cursed Room – ‘Common Sense Renovating Media’ (8)
[User: Han Kain (Wisdom)
Date: Day 23
Current Location: Floor 1, Room 105 (Room of Rest)
Sage’s Advice: 2]
Are we going to continue trying Room 101?
Everyone stayed silent.
Honestly, it was hard for us to say anything. This was something we went through several times when discussing things about the Hotel – some background information was crucial when discussing a certain topic, and thus it was difficult to even raise an opinion considering how we didn’t know what the change would be about.
“Looks like everyone has a lot going on in their minds. I understand, but I don’t think there’s a point in delaying a topic like this. Let’s vote.”
Ripping out a page of the notebook, Eunsol-noona ripped it to smaller pieces and gave it to everyone.
With the small piece of paper in my hands, I thought to myself.
It was indeed scary to enter Room 101, which would have changed in one way or another. However, would entering another room with the same overall strength of the team change anything? We might end up barely escaping the other rooms until they were all up to the 5th attempt.
Wasting the attempts of those rooms even though we could have easily beat them with another Inheritance under our belt could be a stupid move.
And even aside from that logical perspective, I didn’t feel like running away to another room, despite already figuring out so many things together after all that hard work.
Let’s see this to the end.
I had no idea how it was going to change, but we already had more than enough information to solve the room!
The vote ended in a flash. It was 6:2 with 6 being Room 101.
“Alright, let’s move on then. Let’s remind ourselves about all the things we figured out about Room 101, and create a plan of what to do in our final attempt. Kain?”
“This is the recap of what we found out during the 4th attempt. Opening the door to the rooftop of the TV Station leads to the entrance of the hospital. From what I observed while going around the building, those strange locations that showed up when going against the ‘warnings’ of the TV Station appeared to be parts of the hospital.
In other words, you could say the hospital is connected to the TV Station.
When you enter through the entrance that’s on the rooftop of the TV Station, instead of attacking, the nurses treat you like guests.
As for the reason why they treat us differently, I would assume that from the perspective of the hospital, we would have seemed like ‘wandering patients’ when we showed up at places other than the entrance.
And when you go all the way down the corridor of the 4th floor, you see a big chunk of flesh that we assume was ‘Kim Sangmin’. I think it will be over when we destroy it.
Also, the effect of the curse is very strong in the room. I couldn’t withstand it with my filter either. From what we have on our hands, the bracelet and the red capsule are the only tools that will let us stay sane.”
Grandpa Mooksung said after waiting for me to finish.
“So the biggest problem is that the bracelet and the red capsule are the only tools that will allow us to approach that thing on the 4th floor, huh.”
That was when Ahri intervened.
“No, there is one more person that can.”
…Who was that?
“Elena-unni. Did you forget what happened at Hotel High School?
When you activated ‘Justice’, you weren’t affected by the angel’s brainwash. That principle of the execution of justice being unstoppable is probably the reason why you become immune to mind attacks.
What do you think, Elena-unni?”
“Aht! You’re right. I think that was how it was at the Hotel High School. But do you think I’ll be able to activate Justice? Most of the people in Room 101 are victims that ended up being affected by the curse, right?
And the thing on the 4th floor of the hospital was apparently a piece of flesh and not a human.”
“Elena-unni. We can’t just say that.
Think about it. Normally, we call it an exploited indirect perpetrator when they get manipulated by other people into being used as a device of a crime, and of course these people aren’t subjected to criminal law.
But when the police are trying to handle the case, they need to bash them up if need be to end the crime, right? Their punishment in the court is a different matter altogether.
Do you understand? Even though they are all victims of the curse, you can still neutralise them even if they are not guilty.”
…She suddenly gave a lecture on law. Everyone, including me, was confused by the sudden lecture that came out of nowhere.
However, Ahri continued staring at Elena with unwavering eyes and in the end, Elena had to awkwardly return a nod.
“Also, you said ‘Kim Sangmin’ was now a piece of flesh and hard to see as a human, right? Don’t you think that’s being way too black and white?
What about the angel at Hotel High School? She had wings and used all sorts of superpowers, but you still perceived her as a ‘person’, didn’t you?
What’s the difference between the angel and a chunk of flesh? Is the former ‘human’ because it looks more human?
They both started off as a human; both went through a supernatural change but one became an angel and one turned into a piece of flesh. That’s the only difference. Don’t you think treating only the angel as a human is being discriminatory?”
What was she on about now? Why was she talking about discrimination? I had no idea what the point of this long conversation was.
However, Ahri was still looking straight into Elena’s eyes, and again, Elena had no choice but to nod from the sheer pressure she was giving off.
“Ye, yes. I think you are right, Ahri.”
“Keep that in mind. Even the victims of the curse can be neutralised, and Kim Sangmin is a human even though he looks like a cluster of flesh. Understood?”
“I don’t know why you are doing this all of a sudden but… I understand.”
The rather philosophical(?) discussion between Ahri and Elena came to an end.
…It felt like Ahri was trying to instil a ‘concept’ into Elena’s mind.
This was probably what she was trying to say.
‘The workers of the TV Station and the nurses can be disarmed and neutralised. Kim Sangmin can also be punished because he was formerly human.’
I understood what she was trying to convey, but would Elena being convinced by her persuasion lead to any changes?
Unless the blessing were to change according to Elena’s perception—
Eunsol-noona gathered everyone’s eyes by knocking on the desk.
“Now! We went a bit off topic there. Let’s return to the topic at hand.
Let’s say we somehow reach the rooftop, but we still have to destroy that flesh, right? And the biggest problem is that even Kain can’t withstand it with his filter.
But the solution is quite simple then, isn’t it?
Jinchul can take the pill straight after entering the room, and go to the TV Station.”
“Just a reminder so that you don’t make another mistake,” said Grandpa Mooksung. “You do know what it means to gain resistance to mental contamination after taking the red capsule, right? You won’t be affected by the curse so you can’t teleport. In other words, you have to take your family and go to the TV Station like Kain and Songee.”
For essentially the very first time today, Jinchul-hyung lifted his head.
“I’ll take the capsule, and go there with my mum.”
“Yeah. You can just force your mother to come with you.”
We were about to settle with that when Ahri suddenly raised an objection.
“Wait! Are we going to have Jinchul-oppa take the capsule immediately after we start?”
“Do you have any other ideas?”
“Yes. I think we should save the red capsule as much as possible, and solve it with Songee’s bracelet. Songee can cast mental protection on oppa, and he can take the capsule if that’s not enough, right?”
Ahri said while looking at Songee, who replied in agreement.
“Just like she said, based on what I felt when I personally saw that flesh, I think the bracelet would be enough to handle it.”
“Consumables are there to use when necessary though.” Eunsol-noona said in objection. “Is there a need to bother saving it this far in? Besides, this is already our 5th attempt and it’s way too risky to refrain from using everything in our arsenal. And what if Jinchul accidentally brings his mother again just because we are afraid to use the capsule?”
“I’m sure he won’t make the same mistake again. And we have Elena as well, don’t we? The capsule is a precious consumable that we can only use once, and we don’t have to use that from the very beginning.”
Elena herself didn’t look too keen, but Ahri was already considering her like one of our combatants.
Songee voiced her support for Ahri’s argument.
“This time, I’ll try to go there as quickly as I can. I won’t be as fast as the ‘teleportation’, so how about Jinchul-oppa wait for 10 minutes before leaving? That way, I can react with the bracelet even if something happens.”
If Songee arrived at the TV Station before Jinchul-hyung, she would be able to take care of any potential problem even if he were to make a mistake. All she had to do was separate them through hallucination.
What I realised from listening to their conversation was that Songee, as well as Ahri, appeared to be hoping that we could solve this room without using the red capsule.
I could understand both sides of the argument.
We were in a precarious position already, so it made sense to take the capsule as soon as we could, and it also made sense to save the precious consumable as much as possible until we had to use it.
“That boar is the one that’s going to take it, so let him decide.”
“I will hold onto it for now, and leave a bit later like what Songee said.”
“This should be good enough. Anyone that has something they want to say?”
We were too tired to continue, and the plan was already set. Without saying much else, we finished the meeting and took a rest.
Tomorrow, we will finally lay our hands on our second Inheritance.
[User: Han Kain (Wisdom)
Date: Day 24
Current Location: Floor 1, Corridor
Sage’s Advice: 3]
Looking at each other, we went through the plan for the final time.
1. Gather at the TV Station.
2. Remove the staff, head to the rooftop and enter the hospital.
3. Go to Kim Sangmin’s room while pretending to be a visitor.
4. Rely on the power of either the red capsule or the bracelet and destroy the flesh.
The most important person in the end was Jinchul-hyung. It was already confirmed that the ‘nurses’ would run up if we started attacking the flesh, and one pistol was definitely not enough to fight against the nurses.
After sensing that everyone was looking at him, Jinchul-hyung slowly gave a firm nod.
He probably wouldn’t make the same mistake again.
“Hah…” Eunsol-noona said after a sigh. “I’m getting all jittery now that we are about to enter the room. How do you think it’s going to change? Kain, do you have any ideas?”
“I did think of a few scenarios, but the more I think about them, the less I want to go in.”
Cutting our conversation off short, we entered the room.
It hurts. It hurts. Since when was it, I wonder? My entire body was in pain.
Was it my arm? Or my leg?
Where even were my arms and legs?
I had no idea. What I did know was that my body had turned into a piece of flesh with pain being the only thing I could perceive.
I was resentful.
I don’t know. There… were some people that I hated from the bottom of my heart but…
Now, I couldn’t even remember any of their faces.
This entire world was detestable. I hated this world for leaving me alone in this agonising pain.
Distort! Distort yourself!
I screamed at the world, so that the world would be as twisted and distorted as me!
No matter how distorted the world became, my pain did not end.
Sir. Doctor. Where are you?
Back when I was in the pit of greatest despair; back when I lost all hope as everyone blamed and forced me into a corner.
That was when sir came to me, and gave me the ‘star’.
Please come back.
Please don’t leave me behind.
[The fifth attempt of the contestants has begun!]
A sentence that I couldn’t comprehend floated before my sight.
My ‘eyes’ had long disappeared, so how in the world was I even looking at this sentence?
Suddenly, a flood of information gushed into my brain, which was probably floating somewhere inside my body.
Ahh! I see.
So you are here to hurt me again.
None of you will escape alive.
Kill all of them. Until this star is filled with corpses!