In every direction, there was only sand except in one.
A giant tree stood tall, far, far away.
[To clear the First Floor, you must enter the Tree Of Lifes shadow.]
Whispers and low voices conspired.
The next instant, a huge amount of people started sprinting towards the tree.
”Oii! This isn a race! ” Rin shouted, but not one person cared.
To them, being the first to enter the trees shadow meant obtaining great rewards, but Rin knew that the First Floor was not that simple.
Seconds later, he was left alone at the starting point.
A drop of sweat fell from his nose onto the ground.
Its already so hot… How can they think that running is a good idea?
What the other participants failed to notice, or rather ignored, was that the tree was about 100 kilometers away.
Not one person could run such a distance right after the Tutorial.
Anyway, lets gather all the info I have about this Floor. The goal is to get to the tree. Its pretty far, probably about 90 or 100 kilometers away. The closer you get to it, the hotter it gets. Once you
e close enough, your skin will actually start burning. Not one person dies during the Tutorial, but about half will on the First Floor. The main cause being dehydration. Youll go for about 60 or 70 kilometers. Youll convince yourself that you just have to power through it. Youll keep going for another 10 or 15 kilometers. Your lungs, throat and skin will start burning. Only then will you realize that have to go back. But by then, youve already crossed 70 to 80 kilometers. Walking back means death. Continuing also leads to death. The only way to succeed is to go at it slowly. Also… Oh, Ill need to use the Store. If I remember correctly, the Administrator is waiting for us at the 20 kilometers mark. Well be able to buy Items and stuff. Two Skills in particular that I will need.
Rin started walking in the trees direction.
First, get to the Administrator. Second, go to the Second Floor. Third, clear the First Floor. Yep. He thought while chuckling.
Rin kept walking forward.
The more he walked, the more sweat accumulated all over his body.
This is seriously burdensome… But somehow, it feels nice.
Compared to the hundreds of fights against creatures one stronger and fiercer than the next, walking in a desert felt like a walk in the park.
Thanks to his high Agility Stat, even his walking speed was high.
[You have trained your Endurance.]
[You have gained 1 Endurance Point.]
Sweet. Im counting on gaining tons before getting to the 3rd Floor.
Unlike during the Tutorial, it was now possible to gain Stat Points by training.
About an hour and a half of walking later, Rin could see the Administrator not so far away.
A fifth in and my throat is already burning…
”Helloooo! ” Said a beautiful woman waiting for him at the 20 kilometers mark.
She had radiant dark skin and long white hair.
Her eyes shined yellow.
The woman wore golden clothes.
In her left hand, a golden umbrella that protected her from the unforgiving sun.
With her other hand, she was waving at Rin.
”Aren you late? How can you make a lady wait in such heat? Anyway, aren you scared of finishing last? ”
Rin was surprised that the Administrator was so talkative and, almost friendly.
”As long as I make it to the finish line, Ill be happy. ”
”Really? Clearing the Tenth Test and finding the Hidden Piece. Those aren the achievements of someone who is okay with just a passing grade. ”
”What can I say? The heat is getting the best of me… ” Rin said while chuckling and turning his gaze towards the bright sky.
”Well, anyway. Its weird that seeing me doesn surprise you much. Im here to offer you some Items and other things. You can think of me as a merchant. Care to check what I have for you? With the amount of Gold Coins you have, Im sure youll find plenty of useful things. ” The woman said with a pleasant smile.
”Sure. Lets see… ”
Three categories appeared in front of Rin.
The first was Items, the second was Skills and the third was Scrolls.
Rin spent some time browsing aimlessly before selecting a couple of Items and two Skills.
[You have purchased 30 Pieces of Bread.]
[You have purchased 30 Bottles of Water.]
[You have used 60 Gold Coins.]
”Isn that a bit too much? The tree isn that far away. I expected you to buy more expensive Items too… ”
”Better safe than sorry. Anyway, Ill also grab these Skills. ”
The only description under those Skills was that they had no effect.
But of course, only the Administrator knew that it wasn the case.
Well, the Administrator and Rin.
[You have acquired the Passive Skill ”Warm Blood[F] ”.]
[You have acquired the Passive Skill ”Cool Blood[F] ”.]
[You have used 800 Gold Coins.]
”Their name might make them sound like useful things but… Didn you read the description? ”
”I did. ”
e a merchant. How can I trust you 100% ”
The Administrator stared at Rin with wide eyes before laughing wholeheartedly.
”I guess you have a point. Well then, Ill be watching you. ”
And just like that, the Administrators body turned into particles of light and disappeared.
She won even tell the participants that buying from her is a one-time offer on this Floor, huh?
Rin turned towards the tree that was still 80 kilometers away.
The forty-kilometer mark should be good enough… Lets try not to drink or eat before then.
The more Rin walked, the heavier his body felt.
Lifting his sinking feet out of the burning sand to take a step was becoming harder and harder.
I must be at the 30km mark now… Still, can see anyone. Gotta keep going… Itll get easier.
His throat was burning.
The air was dry and the sun was unforgiving.
Maybe I shouldn have bought those Skills… I could have achieved my goal without them.
Rin walked for another hour and a half.
”How… hot is it…?
[Current temperature: 55°C or 131°F.]
Well hey, its colder than in Purgatory or the Ancient Dragons Domain or even…
Rins mind started to wander, trying to forget about the intense heat.
Should be good enough. Rin stopped walking.
As he stopped, it felt as if his body was about to collapse.
Massive amounts of sweat were exiting his body.
Rin lowered his body and sat on the ground.
The people at the front… They
e seriously crazy…
Despite the heat, Rin closed his eyes and tried to empty his mind.
Some thoughts wandered from time to time, but for the most part, he was meditating.
He tried taking a deep breath but his entire respiratory system stung.
Shallow breaths… Shallow breaths…
As time passed, the heat started to feel a tiny bit more tolerable.
Rin was starting to get used to it.
He was starting to resist it.
[Your Passive Skill ”Cool Blood[F] ” has evolved!]
[You have acquired the Passive Skill ”Self-cooling Blood[E] ”.]
A smile appeared on Rins face.
He instantly felt refreshed.
Thanks to the Skill, his body could cool itself much more easily.
Alright. Time to go a bit deeper in. Rin thought as he stood up and started walking.
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