We used to have these kinds of discussions a lot. If I could go back, what would I do differently? Rin thought while walking towards the Tree Of Life.

He was about halfway there.

Thank god we did. Who knew exchanging dumb theories and our experiences would come in handy…

As Rin walked he remembered different conversations he had with Jack, other Players and strangers in general.

The Lower Floors were usually overlooked during those discussions, but the First Floor was different.

First of all, it was a Floor you could not go back to after clearing it.

Second, the Towers Second Floor was a complete mystery.

No one knew where it was or how to access it.

After clearing the First Floor, all the lucky survivors are met with the following messages.

[Congratulations!]

[You have cleared the Towers First Floor.]

[You have failed to clear the Towers Second Floor.]

[Rewards will now be handed.]

It was a huge mystery, but most just let go of that.

The rest tried accessing it from the Third Floor, but it was impossible.

The only way to get there was from the First Floor, or at least thats what was theorized.

But how to do so was still a mystery.

[You have gained 1 Endurance Point.]

Yeah… This is definitely the best place on the Lower Floors to train ones Endurance.

One of the theories about the Second Floor was that it was inside the huge trees trunk.

Rin wasn very fond of that one.

But another theory seemed much more rational to him.

Rin, whose body was adapting to the heat much more easily thanks to the ”Self-cooling Blood ” Passive Skill, wasn sweating much.

His body didn feel as heavy.

Still, after passing the halfway mark, he turned back.

With the Tree of Life behind him, Rin started walking away.

While everyone is focused on the goal that is the tree, the real answer is to ignore it. The real answer is to walk away into the infinite desert. To not do what you are told. To, instead, go in a different direction. THAT, is the answer to accessing the Second Floor. The Tower doesn reward followers. It only rewards those who pave their own way through the flames, the trials and the tribulations. Thats basically what that crazy guy used to say, right? He thought while remembering the words of an old Alchemist who lived on the Fifteenth Floor.

The old Alchemist was obsessed with the Tower and its mysteries, but he lacked the power to climb higher than the 15th Floor.

Therefore, he had decided to settle there and open a workshop where he sold potions and other various Items.

Lets see if you were right, Van Derman. Maybe Ill have an interesting story for you once I reach your Floor.

As Rin walked away from the tree, the heat decreased.

All the effort he had put in by walking for hours was being wasted.

All the kilometers he had traveled.

Still, I wonder how much the heat will decrease. Will it be warm at some point…? Even if I don find the Second Floor this way, I might get an achievement…

[Current temperature: 50°C or 122°F.]

Rin kept walking away from the tree.

[Current temperature: 35°C or 95°F.]

The same as on a very hot day.

[Current temperature: 25°C or 77°F.]

Warm weather.

Not hot, not cold.

Rin had long passed the starting line.

He kept walking, and the temperature kept decreasing.

After some time, Rins body shook.

He lowered his body to touch the sand.

It was cold.

[Current temperature: 10°C or 50°F.]

A smile appeared on his face.

Just when the heat had become comfortable…

Not only was it getting colder, but there also seemed to be less sunlight.

In the distance, Rin noticed something.

It was a dead tree.

The deeper he went into the cold desert, the more dead trees he found.

[Current temperature: 0°C or 32°F.]

”Al…ri…ght. ” Rin struggled to whisper as he sat on the cold sand.

His entire body was shaking.

Snot was going down his nose and his fingers were feeling numb.

He closed his hands and brought them closer to his core.

With his eyes closed, Rin took deep breaths.

Even though he had the ”Self-cooling Blood ”Passive Skill, he couldn help but think that the cold felt much better than the heat.

After stabilizing his breathing, Rin focused on his muscles.

Slowly relaxing them.

After some time, his body shook much less.

Resisting the cold… is much easier than resisting the heat…

Once the trembling stopped, he focused on his senses apart from his sight.

[You have gained 1 Sense Stat.]

A smirk appeared on his face.

I won waste any opportunity I get…

After about thirty minutes, he decided to go a bit further.

The dead trees were now common to see.

Sunlight was rare and the cold unforgiving.

Not only that, but it started snowing.

Still, Rin was thankful that it wasn windy at least.

He walked a dozen kilometers further before sitting down and meditating once again.

Trying hard to resist the cold weather.

After some time,

[Your Passive Skill ”Warm Blood[F] ” has evolved!]

[You have successfully resisted the cold temperatures of the First Floor!]

[You have achieved a feat that is not easily achieved!]

[You have acquired the Passive Skill ”Cold Resistance[B] ”.]

The next second, Rin raised his arms up to the sky, stretching his whole body.

He couldn help but laugh out loud.

With this, I should be able to resist most cold climates on the Lower Floors… All thats left is to get Heat Resistance.

Just as he was about to turn back, a message appeared in front of him.

[You are approaching the Second Floor.]

[You have achieved a near-impossible achievement.]

[Additional rewards will be added.]

So it is this way…

He could barely contain his excitement.

Rin was tired of not being able to express himself freely, but there was a reason for that.

After all, the Administrators job was to monitor every Player.

He couldn talk out loud and reveal that he knew more than he was supposed to.

In the distance, Rin could see what resembled a forest.

A forest of dead trees.

The ground inside the forest was covered by snow.

As he took a step inside the forest,

[You have entered the Towers Second Floor.]

Rin chuckled lightly before heading in.

A lone rabbit was running between the dead trees.

Rin slowly took out his bow and one arrow.

Yep. The quality is way better.

The rabbit fell to the ground right away as the arrow pierced through it.

Rin walked towards it and grabbed it by its ears.

”THAT WAS MINE! ”

Rin quickly jumped away after hearing that and aimed an arrow in the direction the shout came from.

What he found was a young child.

”That was mine, I said! ” The child shouted once again.

His hair was short and white.

His skin was dark, almost grey-looking.

His ears, pointy.

Rins eyes widened.

He was extremely surprised.

How wouldn he be?

”Here… ” Rin said while handing the rabbit.

The young child approached cautiously, took the rabbit and stepped back rapidly.

”Umm… Are you perhaps… A dark elf? ” Rin asked.

The child did not answer.

He grabbed the rabbit tightly and took a step back.

Rin sighed and scratched his head.

”Ill wait here. ”

The child stared at him with his yellow eyes for a bit before turning around and running away.

I guess I was right. Rin thought while staring at the message in front of him.

[You have entered the Dark Elves Territory.]

What the hell are the Dark Elves doing here?

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