Remember those stories you read when you were young? Where a hero in a cape swoops in and defeats the monster? That is what I was hoping would happen—for someone to appear and save us. For some miracle or a deus ex machina in this situation, but this is not a story but reality. A twisted one.
If you ask me 8 years ago before all of this started, I would have laugh and thought it was just simply a ‘what-if’ questions that people ask—
‘What if zombies were real?”
‘Imagine if we are in western-fantasy’
‘If you are a wizard, what is your favorite subject?’
Alas, here we are, the last remaining group from Earth01, the last surviving group. Perhaps, that alone should have reminded us of our fate that right from the start we are doomed. There is no savior, no knight in shining armor— no one to save us except ourselves, so persevere through the thick and thin, through the challenges, hardships, betrayal, war but it was as if the god has forsaken us mortals
I was one step away, on the 99th floor. We were almost there, to the last floor—the 100th floor. It wasn’t a monster like a mighty dragon you heard from the fairytales, no. Perhaps, that would’ve been better. It was human, it can be the person beside you. There was chaos, confusion, screams, stabbing, and blood splatter. Something was controlling some of us, and we looked around to find the culprit. There was no place to hide and there was no high ground for them to hide from our view. Suddenly—
『 Welcome to the 99th floor of the Tower! 』
『 This is the land of All-Seeing-Eyes and its followers, beware of the followers and the impostor for those who are in doubt shall be damned under its sight. Eliminate the threat of All-Seeing-Eyes.
Time Limit: 8 hours
May the System be with you
-Administrator X 』
It was an unprecedented occurrence, the challenge started before the system even notified us. All strategy and confidence are gone with the wind. It was a disgusting and pathetic sight. How can you differentiate between the impostor, the traitor, those who are under mind-control and your companions among all of this chaos? It’s like every nightmare is stirred into one pot and served in one bowl for your dinner. Now, it was every man for himself.
Dead bodies lay everywhere; he stands alone on the soil, which has turned brown and crimson from his companions' blood. He was one step away from the last floor of the tower, but he himself knew his body better. His body is falling apart from the stabs and spells thrown on him, he is dying, he had no potion or life-saving talisman left on him and zero amount of mana. Now, he is moments away from drawing his last breath.
With his knees on the ground, he looked at the person lying in his arms. His friend's large brown eyes is no longer shining as it used to be, it has grown more dull as time passes by. They’re both dying but Sung-Hyun is in a more critical state than he is, he is always reckless, always trying to put Izz safety above his own. Izz doesn’t understand why he did that, how can you just throw yourself away like that, for him nonetheless?
He is no one special
He was born with golden spoon
And without that spoon, he was no one. No money, no family and no friends. He is aware that he was lucky and he was grateful for it. So, when the tower came to be, the golden spoon is useless as the currency that they used to be is now useless. The people he called friends all left him and betrays him in the tower except him.
Who now laid in his arms with heavy breath, blood spilling from his mouth and a hole in his stomach, his blonde hair matted with sweat and blood, and Izz couldn’t help but blame himself.
“I’m sorry” Izz cried repeating the words again and again, while clutching the man in his arms closer to him
『 Alert! 』
Countdown until end of challenge has begun
『 10 』
“I-Izz”, Sung Hyun croaked out.
“Why? Save me?! I couldn’t do this alone! Please!” Izz begged, if only he was stronger maybe he could have defended them against the attack.
『 8 』
“ You c-can…y-ou will…B-beli..eve in you” Sung Hyun take a deep breath before continue to say “I-I-It’s o…kay climb up…e..nd this…”
『 7 』
“Hyun-ah please..just please hold on! The challenge is ending soon! Please!”
『 6 』
“I–I’m tired…le..let me rest,o-okay?” Sung Hyun replied back while smiling, his eyes grew duller, his senses were lost and he could no longer feel his hands and feet.
『 5 』
“Please just hold on for a few more seconds! Then we can go back, back to normal and you can have your coffee and I promise I will share you all my gummies—
『 3 』
—e..even the secret one in the s-stash?” Sung Hyun cuts Izz off, laughing lightly as best as he possibly could.
“Yes! So please, please I beg you…you’re all that I had left,” Izz begged, his voice wavering as tears continued to rain down his face onto Sung Hyun's cheeks, and he held Sung Hyun's hands as if that would hold him down to earth.
『 2 』
Sung Hyun just simply smiled as he stared off into the sky. His time had come, and perhaps if things had turned out differently, the two of them would be the first ones to climb up the top of the tower and turn everything back to how it used to be. Perhaps in another universe, at another time, that is how it ended.
『 1 』
“I have done my best. It’s about damn time I should get my sleep,” Sung Hyun thought to himself before finally closing his eyes for one last time, the screams and sobbing from his friend had just sounded like background noise to him.
『 Congratulations! 』
You are the first and last player on Earth 01 to complete the 99th floor. You have unlocked a new achievement; ‘apicem hominis’ (Passive) (EX+) 』
『 Apicem Hominis 』
『 Effect : the gift of memory (hyperthymesia) ,Players can recall every aspect of their life experiences. 』
He had won, he had survived, but at what cost? He is the lone man standing. This is not winning, nor is this the freedom he dreamed of. He had lost everything,everyone and his only friend. Hasn’t he done enough? With this dying body, he couldn’t even go to last floor. He lets out a maniacal laugh at his situation, this outcome-
“In the end, we are just players. A puppet of the system and the being behind the tower, huh?" he murmured to himself. He looked at Sung Hyun's face and said “ It should have been me! He was so kind, compassionate, selfless, and brave, but the unluckiest. One time! Just this one time, he should have been lucky”
『 Would you like to rewind the time? In exchange for all your stats?
『 YES/NO 』
Without a second of hesitation, he made his decision: yes. This time, he was not going to allow himself to be manipulated or fooled. He will alter the course of events, his friend's fate, and my own.
『 Please choose the day you want to rewind to 』
“15th September 1998, The day I was born,” He finally said after giving it some thought, he need as much time as he can to prepare for the day of the tutorial.
『 Choose one title you wanted to save from the reset
-Administrator X 』
Nothing in the tower is free, so the administrator's sudden generosity made him suspicious. "Why the sudden generosity, X?" he said with surprise and skepticism clear on his face as he asked, "You wouldn't offer this out of nothing, a rewind in exchange for what I have in my stats and system is understandable, after all, I still have plenty of points remaining in it, but what about the title? Surely you want something from this, right?”
Suddenly the screen turns into a huge cloud of dark smoke that whirls into a portal, not long after, a tall and slim figure donning a black suit can be seen coming out of it, without a doubt, that figure is Administrator X. He resembles one of those runaway models, except he wears elephant headgear.
"We're running out of time or blood here, got it?" An awkward silence follows before he continues, "Because you're dying and all," to which X snickers, causing the elephant trunk to swing left and right. Izz sighed, his head twitching with irritation at the man in front of him. While glancing down at the dying player in front of him, he continued to add, "Back to the topic, I'm delighted you're a man who knows how to negotiate a trade."
“W-What do you want?” Izz demanded while trying to stabilize his breath and hold his wince from the wound scattering all over his body.
"There's no need to be so cautious now, you're centuries too early to face me anyway,” X commented sarcastically while pacing back and forth in front of Izz, making him dizzy from trying to focus on X figure who keeps pacing around like a bastard he is.
“The moment you go back and activate your system, I wanted you to contact ‘me’ of that timeline and let him access your memories, easy right?” He said cheerfully, finally stopping his pacing, and with a snap of his finger, my screen appeared before me.
『 Titles of Achievement 』
『 Prometheus’s Protection (SS)
Thoth’s Scribe Favour (S)
Apicem Hominis (EX+) 』
“ Now choose one and we may have to conclude our deal, we can both skedaddle out of here,” X said before continuing, “Ah, but you know you should pick that one, right?" for the sake of a successful exchange between us.”
There was never really an option in the first place. It was a subtle threat that if I don't pick my third title, deal or not, he might even retract our first deal to rewind, he needs me to have that title so that no memories or knowledge will be missing from the deal. He wants me and my brains in our best state. Yes, I’m not ignorant or naive enough to think that he is doing this out of some fucking kindness, we don’t owe each other anything and yet there is still that feeling again, the feeling helplessness and anger at myself.
‘I will remember this feeling forever as a reminder of the reality of the tower, there will always be a being stronger than you and the strong may live a life, the weak can barely survive’ Izz thought to himself as he clutched his dead friend body firmly again.
“Yes, the third one” he finally mutters out
“Good choice! Now, May the system be with you.” X replied back before everything went black and Izz lost his consciousness.
I was in excruciating pain all over my body, and it felt as if a hydraulic press were pressing down on me in a very confined space while exerting a tremendous amount of force. I could feel the bones in my body quaking, and the organs that were still intact were on the verge of rupturing as a result of the pressure.
In addition to the fact that I am unable to breathe, the fluid that I am submerged in is suffocating me.In the midst of all the agony, he wondered to himself, "Is this what it felt like to die?" Gradually but surely, his mind became cloudy as a result of all the anguish, and he could hardly form any thoughts.
After what seemed like an eternity, there was finally light; I was no longer submerged in water; there was warmth, and I sobbed.
To his shame, it was not death. It was childbirth. It was torturous, no wonder he is an only child. He could barely imagine how much pain his mother went through. When he picked his birth date, he had imagine it would be like on of those manhwa where the protagonist wake up in a baby crib or something but surely not this
‘ God this is on top 3 on my list Things i don't want to go through again’ he thought to himself.
Life as a baby is boring but better than being in a tower, of course.
You eat, you poop, then you sleep. It was basically being a lazyass. I could barely see anything until 8 months ago. Yes, now I have started to babble some words and today i will do my first attempt to speak my first word—
Mana; an attribute provided to characters in a role-playing or video game that reflects their ability to perform specific magical skills or "spells."
Golden spoon; Someone from a wealthy family was "born with a golden spoon"