The Boundless Necromancer - Chapter 39
The Boundless Necromancer
Chapter 39: 7th Floor (4)
I started running as soon as I noticed what was going on.
If I wasn’t mistaken, this race was a variation of the 6th trial.
This environment surrounded by stat-reducing water is threatening as it is.
If these tiles sank into the water, I wouldn’t be able to avoid falling in.
And all my stats, including agility, would decrease.
Then I would inevitably fall further behind and die.
‘Damn it, there are already three subtrials.’
As if that weren’t enough, the difficulty was also amped up.
The continuous barrage of trials was mentally and physically exhausting.
There was always a way to pass.
「 Using the Assassin’s Cloak’s (D) active ability. 」
「 Movement speed +15% 」
「 Activation time left – 00:00:59 」
In an instant, strength enveloped my legs as I strode forward.
“With this much distance between me and the end of the line, I shouldn’t be in dan-”
It was then.
The waves split into numerous streams that shot toward me like daggers.
‘What the f-!’
Normally, I would’ve bent my knees slightly to dodge, but I couldn’t afford to do that now.
At my current speed, doing something like that could impede my steps.
Ultimately, there was only one way to dodge these streams.
I threw myself toward the tile in front without losing my momentum.
A devastating crash echoed behind me.
I could tell how destructive the streams were just by hearing that sound.
‘If I had gotten hit, my head would have burst like a watermelon…’
Chills crawled down my neck, and I became hyperaware of my surroundings.
After completing six trials, I could already tell what was going to happen.
I would die instantly if I lost focus for even a single second.
Tap tap tap.
I rushed to pick myself back up with my hands.
I was still ahead of the falling tiles.
There was still room to recover from my mistake.
‘I can’t hesitate any longer. I gotta get-’
I felt a cool and refreshing sensation on my hands, and I looked down.
The tile I was on was slowly sinking into the ocean.
「 Activating the skill ‘Eye of Truth.’ 」
I activated the Eye of Truth, hoping that what I thought was happening wasn’t real.
「 Trial Water 」
「 Grade: A 」
「 Water that has been imbued with a stat-reducing penalty by the tower. 」
「 Stats will only be reduced upon direct contact. 」
「 This water cannot be taken outside of the 6th trial. 」
It was exactly what I was afraid of.
「 You have made contact with the Trial Water. 」
「 Strength temporarily reduced by 10. 」
「 Agility temporarily reduced by 10. 」
「 Stamina temporarily reduced by 10. 」
「 Penalty time left – 2min 59sec 」
The three stats related to physical ability were reduced instantly.
I was about to flip out in a fit of blind rage.
I literally dodged the streams and landed safely.
But I fell for this dumbass trap that reduced my stats.
‘How the fuck am I supposed to pass this?’
I wanted to cry out in frustration, but I couldn’t afford to waste any time.
「 Activation time left – 00:00:29 」
The assassin’s cloak effect was also about to end.
I took my hand out of the water and started to run again, but I was slower than before.
That was to be expected.
I obviously wouldn’t be able to accelerate to the same speed after losing 30 stat points.
I was going to depend on the cloak’s effect to clear the trial, but the falling tiles were quickly catching up to me.
‘…Do I have to use this?’
I was saving my instant acceleration skill for emergencies.
The wrought iron pendant I had just gotten also proved to be pretty useless.
There was only one way to pick up my pace.
The only problem was that I didn’t even have 10% of my mana left, and I didn’t know how much longer the path was.
If I didn’t reach the end even after exhausting all of my resources, there would be nothing left to do but die.
I didn’t have much of a choice.
If I didn’t use the skill, I would get caught by the water traps.
I had to at least struggle before I died.
Squeezing out every ounce of mana from my body, I muttered quietly.
I was activating the skill for the first time after it ranked up to D+.
「 Activating the skill ‘Instant Acceleration.’ 」
My legs felt lighter, and I could tell that I sped up immediately.
Just because my stats had decreased doesn’t mean that my skills would be less effective.
Of course, maintaining this speed while dodging traps would be difficult…
TAP TAP TAP TAP!
But there was no need to jump through hoops to dodge the traps anymore.
Because by the time the traps activated, I was already gone.
‘I think they activate after I reach a certain checkpoint…’
But it didn’t matter if I cleared the section before the traps even activated.
Tap, tap, tap!
‘It’s alright, I can do this…!’
I only had about 7% of my mana left, but clearing the trial was still possible.
If I kept this up, I should be able to outlast the stat penalties.
And as soon as the penalty time ran out, I could activate necromancy.
「 Basic effect – Able to absorb the souls of the dead to increase or reinforce stats, mana, or something of that nature. 」
The newly-upgraded necromancy effect could increase my mana.
I absorbed a bunch of souls from the second trial, so I should be able to recover a considerable amount of mana.
This trial was as good as cleared once that happened.
「 Deactivating the Assassin’s Cloak’s (D) effect. 」
The effect ended, and I felt heavier again.
But this meant that the penalty was much closer to ending as well.
「 Penalty time left – 1min 57sec 」
However, the penalty didn’t seem to be reduced even after I squeezed all my mana into acceleration.
If this continued, I would end up failing the trial.
「 Replenishing mana using the soul of the orc hunter. 」
I needed to give myself more time by replenishing my mana.
‘At this rate, the penalty should…’
It was then.
Unlike the other traps that were activated after I ran past them, the tile I was currently on shook and sprang up.
I was briefly in the air, and I was shocked by the spectacle before my eyes.
Tiles were being raised above sea level by streams of water spouting from the ocean.
Not only that, but the heights of all those tiles were constantly shifting.
Each tile was somehow staying perfectly balanced on a thin stream of water.
Like this was all designed by someone…
I could only laugh after landing back on the original tile.
I was tired of reacting to every little thing.
All the tiles behind me were sinking into the ocean, and all of those in front started floating.
I was stuck between a rock and a hard place, and the penalty still wasn’t over.
I’ve been through a bunch of trials since I entered the tower, but this was definitely the most hardcore one.
All I could do was move forward.
If I analyzed the tile height patterns, getting through shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
‘But I don’t have the time for that…!’
The tiles behind me were sinking faster and faster.
And I only had 40 minutes left to clear the trial.
Act first, think later.
I winced at the impact from dropping down to the next tile.
It wasn’t enough for the necromancy protection to activate, but it still hurt.
I couldn’t wallow in my pain.
The tile started to rise as soon as I landed on it.
I had been on a shaking tile before, but it wasn’t as severe as this.
The tile was unstable enough to shake me off.
I was in a situation where I would fall into the ocean as soon as I lost control.
‘I won’t last too long on this tile…!’
I propelled myself into the air again and landed on the next tile.
I reduced the impact as much as possible by breaking the fall.
It may not look like it, but I trained for years to be a hunter.
My knees still absorbed most of the impact, but that didn’t matter.
I had accelerated regeneration, and my body wasn’t so weak that it would break from this kind of damage.
Tung, tung, tung!
I predicted the heights instinctively and continued to jump.
Of course, the barrage of traps and streams of water didn’t stop…
But I guess I was finally getting used to this crazy ass trial.
After one final jump, I finally got a glimpse of what I was looking for.
There was a whirring portal above a red tile just beyond the rest of the tiles.
I instinctively knew that this was the exit, but I couldn’t get there immediately.
Unlike all the other tiles, there weren’t any tiles leading up to this one.
This meant that I had to jump to the portal from my current location.
I sighed as I saw the sinking tiles behind me.
Those bastards didn’t even want to give me time to think.
‘Yeah, this isn’t something I could consider doing or not.’
I took a couple of steps back to get a running start.
I used all the mana left in my body for this jump, so the issue wasn’t my speed but whether I could land exactly into the portal on the tile.
And even if I did land in the portal, I wasn’t sure if my body would stay intact.
‘I just have to trust my innate ability…!’
If my body couldn’t handle the damage, the necromancy protection would.
Of course, I still wanted to have a backup plan.
「 Activating Wrought Iron Pendant’s (B) effect ‘Steel’s Blessing.’ 」
「 Your skin develops a property that absorbs all physical damage by 10% 」
「 You have proved that you’ve overcome your hesitation. 」
「 Ending the third trial. 」
The message popped up and black fog spurted out from my body.
「 A soul has absorbed an attack on the user. 」
「 Soul of orc hunter has been consumed. 」
「 Soul of orc hunter has been consumed. 」
「 Soul of orc hunter has been consumed. 」
「 Number of souls in possession – 12/30 」
I knew something like this would happen.
I was back to the dimly-lit hallway, but the impact from the fall came with me.
Even if they passed the trial, a normal person would have died from the fall.
“Fuck this trial…”
More importantly, I had beaten the trial.
「 Deactivating Wrought Iron Pendant’s (B) effect ‘Steel’s Blessing.’ 」
The reality that I survived the trial hit me as I sat on the floor gasping for air.
‘…I would have died if my necromancy didn’t rank up.’
And if I didn’t use my growth-type ability to become an all-rounder, I definitely would have died here.
This was not the time to reminisce.
I forced myself to get up and continued down the hallway.
This trial still had a 40-minute limit, and I hadn’t cleared it just yet.
「 Congratulations. You have overcome the Tower of Trials floor 7. 」
「 As a reward, you have received the skill ‘Wind’s Grace (A-).’ 」
「 As a reward, you have received ‘15,000 points.’ 」
「 As a bonus reward, you have received the item ‘Boots of Swiftness (C+).’ 」
「 Please move to the waiting area. 」
A portal appeared in front of my eyes after the succession of messages.
“I’m finally done with this damn trial…”
Unexpectedly, I almost died from the trial, and there were no surprises like an intruder.
But I was still alive, and it was time to end this trial.
「 Moving to the waiting room. 」
A message that I have never seen before appeared in front of my eyes.
「 More than 1000 people have cleared the 7th trial. 」
「 The system expansion is starting. 」
「 You are one of the challengers designated as a ‘pioneer.’ 」
「 You are now able to choose a radiance. 」
The expansion has finally begun.
Bin: What are the chances he just goes home and the story ends with him as a successful hunter?
Phylicia: 0 because it’s only chapter 39. And why does he call everything a trap? It’s as if he’s into them.