Chapter 42 - Day 11, Integration
I didn’t gain as many levels as I thought. Every time my level went up, the required experience value doubled. The required experience from level one to level five was 1,500. The required experience to reach level eight from level seven was 3,200.
Even if I gained the experience of two people, it was hard to see a big effect unless I had already accumulated experience. I absorbed the talents from Glasses and Macho. Even so, I didn’t see a remarkable climb in my talents, except for a few.
First, this was what I obtained from Glasses.
[Talent has been acquired.]
[Talent - Negotiation: The success rate of negotiation with other parties and the ability to gain more favourable conditions will increase according to the level. Eloquence has slightly increased.]
[Negotiation. Lv 4.]
Apart from that, the only other noteworthy thing was that ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Compulsion’ increased by one level. Unexpectedly, the experience of Punching went up quite a bit, but there wasn’t a rise in level.
In the case of Macho,
[The level of a talent has risen.]
[Throwing Lv2 -> Lv5. Related abilities have increased.]
[Talent: Throwing. Power and accuracy will increase when throwing something. Muscle strength and health have slightly increased.]
[The level of a talent has risen.]
[Leadership Lv4 -> Lv5. Related abilities have increased.]
[Leadership Lv5. Benefits have opened.]
[Technique has been acquired.]
[Technique - Proper Conduct: Increases the abilities of subordinates when they follow your commands that place them or utilize them in the right places. Regardless of loyalty, the ability will rise depending on whether they submit to your instructions. Can’t be applied to two user commands at the same time.]
[The rise in abilities will depend on the level of Leadership.]
[+1 to the two highest stats.]
I liked that I obtained a technique, but the effect seemed to be useless to me personally. It would be much more helpful to Yang Su-jin and Yoon Ji-hee. I looked down at the body of Glasses. I attempted to peel off the armor from the crushed body, but it was useless. No matter how much strength I used, it wouldn’t come off.
Finally, one section came off. It wasn’t peeled off, but the part that gave it strength was broken. The inside of the removed piece was red. It was like flesh had fallen away.
I threw the piece on the floor.
"You were lucky to be able to take off the shoes.” A familiar voice was heard from behind me. "The equipment made in Falen are designed according to the user’s body from the beginning. There is no way to wear it other than reassembling it in the factory again.”
I looked behind me, and the stone statue was there. Isaiah. According to him, the old god of the city of Talia. ... He was also a type of operator who managed this dungeon.
"Congratulations." Of course, he didn’t come here just to tell me this. Or he could no longer bear to not see my face and came to see me directly.
“That isn’t it. Please rest assured. Well, half of it is true.” His neutral voice gave me goosebumps.
"Is this because I conquered something? You must feel obliged to come and pat me on the shoulder.”
"Indeed. You have completed the exploration."
“I didn’t know the last floor was here.” At first, I thought there would be at least 20 floors.
I moved through the forest while talking. When I came back to the village, there were cold bodies all over the place. It seemed to have been a fairly intense battle, as Yang Su-jin’s sweatshirt was also turned into a bikini. She was kneeling on the floor, hands folded together and eyes closed.
“What are you doing?”
"I'm waiting to change into a beauty. I have killed quite a lot of people. I thought I would suddenly transform like Oppa.”
“... I don’t think that will happen.”
Yang Su-jin opened her eyes and was surprised to see Isaiah. "Why did he come again?”
“I don’t know.” Isaiah was still quietly following me. If my guess was correct, the answer lay with the fertile field. I started walking with Yang Su-jin.
"Wait a minute, don't move your arm." As we moved, Yang Su-jin poured medicine on my wound and took out gauze from the bag. The bleeding at my wrist stopped. However, my HP was still decreasing slowly. Yang Su-jin looked above my head a few times before asking.
"Are you poisoned?”
My fist had punched the poisoned soaked armor… "But blood isn’t pouring from your eyes...”
"It’s due to the change in my body.” It wasn’t enough to kill me, but I felt slight nausea.
"Take a rest! There is no antidote so you just have to wait. Moving around the forest in this state and persuading all the natives...”
"There’s no need to worry.” We were almost there. Once we almost arrived at the fertile field, I turned to Yang Su-jin. “Did you or Hip-hop arrive at the village first?”
“Uh... He arrived a few hours before me.” Not much time had passed.
"I visited six.” I declared as I stepped onto the fertile ground. The space was almost 10 times larger than a village.
Yang Su-jin couldn’t close her mouth. It was because of the grand sight before her. Hundreds of Tellans were digging at the ground with hoes and shovels. Including the place where I encountered Yang Su-jin, I had directly stopped in six villages.
“Ah, Hee-chul! Su-jin...!” I entrusted the indirect actions to Yoon Ji-hee. The Tellans turned their head this way. As they saw me and then Isaiah, the Tellans all fell to their knees.
"Your Majesty!” The oldest man cried out.
"Your Majesty!” Loud voices rang through the area. They stopped working and waited.
“We have discovered something!” The thing that was revealed wasn’t a staircase or an item. There was a square-shaped slab that five people could fit on. Two overlapping circles were drawn over it.
[Neutral Zone - Evella Forest.]
[A person with a ruling authority can occupy it as their territory.]
This... Occupying the land? “That’s right.” Isaiah answered my thoughts. “The start of... Sixth floor? No, it was from the fifth floor.”
That reminded me of the difference before and after the fifth floor. I asked, “...Maybe the seventh floors are all ‘cities.’ Isn't that right? It is a structure that allows a person who completely clears the floor to obtain it.”
“It isn’t just the seventh floor. There will be many such neutral areas and cities in the future. However, there is a difference. Not everyone will become a conqueror like you. If you descend several stairs and visit various cities, you will eventually realize the essence.”
The stone statue has said that the fifth floor was the ‘last floor.’ That was an obvious trick. It didn’t matter how many floors I descended. In the end, it was enough if I didn’t die. Furthermore, I could conquer new floors that I encountered. The expression ‘occupying land’ was perfect.
Whether it was ‘monarch’ or ‘mayor.’ Take over the cities and gain control of the people. An explorer who satisfied the three conditions would gain the power of a conqueror. I gained the right to occupy the neutral zones, not just cities. “Basically, there is nothing different from the exploration you have already been doing.”
“... What about after the occupation?”
“Your people can freely move through your territories using the stairs. Other explorers can’t enter your territory through the stairs.” That wasn’t what I was asking. He should be well aware of that.
"Will something change if I occupy the land here?”
“... No.” Isaiah replied after a moment of silence. “Didn’t I tell you? When you got the title of monarch on the seventh floor, I said there won’t be any help. Of course, you can still get talents through the conquest process.”
There was something strange. It was like dangling a carrot in front of a child. This was the first time it appeared. No matter if he was an explorer or conqueror, there was no practical help.
Let’s think about it. My mind was better than this.
“... This. It is your purpose, isn't it?”
The Tellans said they couldn’t go beyond the stairs into other areas. But was it possible if I took over a territory?
"You can't do it with your own strength. Repair the broken cities and gather the people scattered in these areas. So take them instead.”
The Tellans here had nothing, but it was because there was nothing in this forest. Their intellectual level and old belongings showed that they were civilized people trapped in a forest, rather than primitive people. What if they went to Talia? The culture and environment was more hospitable, making them bloom.
"This whole place is as if you made it for us... Maybe the course was really decided on the fifth floor.” In that sense, the fifth floor would be the last floor. “The places after the fifth floor... So... This dungeon is a world in itself. Gather the scattered places and people.”
The purpose was obvious. The worlds of these people were completely broken. I was a tool that would sew the pieces together again. Their civilization would flourish in the world again.
Create more desires and dreams. “... Almost accurate... It is amazing.” Isaiah marvelled.
"Don’t praise me if you aren’t going to give me anything.” I stepped on the slab.
[The monarch of Talia has occupied the neutral zone - Evella Forest.]
[Currently holding three territories.]
[Spatial integration. Talia, Evella Forest, Falen.]
“... Ack?” My vision suddenly changed. Had I cleared this dungeon floor?
But the words weren’t visible. The thing shown in front of my eyes... It was a sun that I had already seen once before. Talia’s sun. I was floating in the air. Below my feet, there was a wide scene that couldn’t be easily processed.
Talia. There were some people moving around and the golems seemed a big bigger. But that wasn’t all. To the north, there were dark buildings that were different from Talia’s stone buildings. Like Talia, the area was also occupied by civilians.
"That is the factory city, Falen.” Isaiah suddenly appeared next to me and said.
"Is that Evella Forest?” In the west, there was a place that looked like a wad of cotton.
Isaiah nodded. It seemed like he just intended to show me the landscape, as we gradually descended and set foot on the ground. "If you conquer an area or kill another conqueror, it will automatically be added to your territory. The same thing will happen when you step on the stairs.”
"Wait a minute, then I am now...”
"A conqueror can remain in his territory for as long as they want. But time will flow just like in your world. You will have to wait until midnight to go to a new floor.”
If time passed as it did in reality then it would be morning right now.
“Does that mean I don’t have to rule?”
"You can do that. Basically, the cities have their own rules and cultures. There will be some trial and error, but it won’t be a problem if you neglect it. Of course, it doesn’t change the fact that you are their master and saviour.”
It was lucky. I didn’t need to take over management of the territories. '
“You can just enjoy their submission.”
“I’m not interested in that.” Being a king was a act that would pledge time in reality as collateral. This wasn’t a holiday, but a place to train my talents.
“Let’s see. The more people there are, the more ‘enjoyable’ it will be. That’s what I think.” Isaiah said with a very sly smile. “In this way, the territories you have gathered will assemble into one piece.”
“If I die?” I recalled the words that appeared when Macho died.
“The capital, Talia, is taken over by the one who killed you. The other areas will return to their original place. It will stay like that until someone makes it their territory.”
“How great.” I responded lightly, but an image was being drawn in my head. The dungeon wasn’t just a ‘set’ to be cleared, but part of a real world. Of course, things for ‘production’ would remain intact.
“The things here. Do I have ownership over them?”
“There are no rules, but if you want it then you can take the item without paying the citizens. It is also up to you to deprive the people of their citizenship.’ There were various precious metals and food. Looking at it broadly... I could get various high-ranking items from the factory city.
The wider the area was, the more materials that could be produced. This was also true of the Kasava grown in Evella Forest. Even without light, it was a crop that could be endlessly grown from fertile land. I was just a university student in reality so I couldn’t realize the full benefits, but it was obviously a crop with great potential.
The scale was too big. It was a reward that was different from receiving talents.
Well, it wasn’t bad. It made no difference in my need to break through the dungeon. Every day, I would discover a new area and fight with others. It was just that the unknown conditions had increased.
“I hope you will be the winner. It would be a great source of pride for me if this becomes the capital of the new empire.”
Empire. “Is that the goal? Assembling everything into one piece?”
“I hope that the same destruction won’t be repeated twice.” The cause was people losing their dreams.
“‘Desires’ and ‘wants’ arise from relationships with other beings. That’s why I think it is a privilege only for living creatures.” Isaiah declared.
“It roughly sounds right.”
“That's why a leader is needed. A figure that people will look up to, respect and obey, as well as stimulate their dreams.” He looked at me while speaking. I felt quite a lot of pressure from his eyes.
“Not just as a symbol, but a being that is the ultimate existence. An existence that isn’t satisfied with the status quo and is constantly advancing. Someone different from beasts. A being that can move freely without being dominated by their own desires.”
If there was such a person then I would like to be introduced to them.
“Of course there isn’t one. That’s why I am trying to make it.” The stone statue continued with a significant remark. “The ‘Emperor’ will be the ideal being.”
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