I Alone Level-Up Chapter 102
Edited from MTL Hell by SlimIcee, Turtle-kun Yamate, Aster0x, and Metal | Paul
"I am Elisa, the eldest daughter of the Radir Clan."
"No, that's not what I meant..."
Jinwoo interrupted Elisa before she could finish her introduction. It wasn't Elisa's family or lineage Jinwoo was interested in - rather, he was more curious why dungeons like this Demon Tower and monsters like her existed in this world.
'But how do I get her to tell me what I want? No, even if she couldn't give me an answer, at least maybe she could give me a clue...'
Jinwoo remembered how Baruka had mentioned a constant voice in his head (and those of the other ice elves), telling him to "kill all humans." But when Jinwoo had tried to get more information from Baruka, the ice elf leader had froze, as if he had glitched out, and revealed nothing.
'Does that mean that these demons are getting orders too?'
Jinwoo decided to simplify his question for Elisa, in the hopes that he'd get the information he wanted.
"Do you have a voice in your head telling you to kill humans?"
Elisa stared back at Jinwoo with a dumbfounded expression on her face.
'Damn. Not that easy huh?'
Clicking his tongue in annoyance, Jinwoo grasped Elisa by her shoulders, forcing her eyes to meet his. As he narrowed his eyes and radiated his killing intent, he could hear her heartbeat increase - frightened by the sudden contact, no doubt. Good. It would make her more honest. Jinwoo tried again.
"Is there a voice in your head telling you to kill humans?"
Elisa agonized over Jinwoo's question, hesitant to respond. After a brief eternity, she finally opened her mouth to speak.
"Well...there's no voice that is telling me to kill humans, but I do hear something else..."
"The voice says, 'Protect this place that is your home.'"
She chose her next words carefully, almost reluctant to say them, but her eyes never wavered from Jinwoo's.
"We demons exist for a different purpose than those mindless beasts."
Monsters whose purpose was to kill humans, and Monsters, a different sort, whose purpose was to protect the dungeons. Two different types of monsters, two different functions.
'Wait…am I a monster from their point of view?'
Jinwoo felt a little sorry for Elisa. In front of his [Bloodlust] skill and the massive killing intent it caused him to radiate, Elisa's face had gone totally pale. He lowered his bloodlust somewhat, and asked again, more calmly.
"For how long have you heard this voice? When was the first time you've heard this voice?"
"It's been there ever since I first opened my eyes here."
'Wait, ever since you first opened your eyes here? Does that mean you lived somewhere else before you lived here? Is that even possible?'
But whether or not those memories were fake, Elisa's belief in them wasn't. Jinwoo smiled inside. It hadn't been easy, but Elisa might have just provided him with the clue he was searching for. He carefully thought over his next question before asking it.
"Then where were you before you first opened your eyes here?"
"The Demon World."
'The Demon World? What the heck is that?'
"What were you doing in the Demon World?"
There was another pause, as if Elisa didn't want to speak again.
"I was preparing for war."
'So she remembers her time there.'
Elisa's face looked completely different than it had just moments earlier, when she was begging for her life.
"We were on the brink of a great war against an enemy so terrible, it had forced all the demons from around the world to gather. In fact, -"
Elisa's words were cut off before she could continue.
Jinwoo blinked in surprise. It wasn't that Elisa had been cut off. No, to be exact, Elisa was almost certainly still talking, but Jinwoo wasn't hearing her. Her lips continued to move, yet it was not her voice that Jinwoo heard. Instead, in its place, a mechanical voice from the System had begun speaking.
[You have exceeded the allowed information threshold, this conversation has been blocked.]
[You have exceeded the allowed information threshold, this conversation has been blocked.]
[You have exceeded the allowed…]
The same monotonous message, drowning out Elisa's story, repeated itself ad nauseum until her mouth stopped moving.
But even though Jinwoo had missed her entire explanation, his eyes gleamed with excitement.
'I didn't get everything from her, but still! I wouldn't have gotten this far if I hadn't pressed her so much.'
From what he had just witnessed, Jinwoo thought that Elisa's explanation was much more revealing that the System had intended. Level-ups, quests, mission rewards - all of it, everything, was set up like a game, so it was no wonder that these monsters would also have such game-like restrictions placed on them. Because the system had gone to such lengths to suppress Elisa's conversation, Jinwoo was now certain about it.
'This conversation with Elisa could have been the clue I was looking for.'
It was an obvious oversight in the system.
"Wha-....What mistake did I make?"
Jinwoo immediately snapped his attention back to Elisa. He noticed, as his face turned serious again, that Elisa's expression had darkened, taking on an almost fearful look. Though he could not hear it, Jinwoo was sure she was responding to the voice in her head. Then he would have to keep asking questions while he still could.
"What were those terrible enemies you told me about?"
At the instant Jinwoo finished his question, Elisa froze, like a little toy whose battery had just ran out. Jinwoo looked at her frozen form, hopeful (but not optimistic) that she would respond. A low moan escaped from her lips.
With that, her body went limp, unconscious, she collapsed in Jinwoo's arms. He made sure to grab her falling body, and gently lay her on the ground. From what he could tell, she wasn't showing any abnormal symptoms, and her breathing was fine. However, there was a slight expression of distress on her face, which Jinwoo thought was caused by her unwieldy armor. Barehanded, Jinwoo grasped her armor and pulled it from her body.
Klink (can't think of a better sound)
The armor fell off easily. Jinwoo then cut off her cape and curled it up, placing it behind Elisa's head as a makeshift pillow. Though it was a great amount of hassle for Jinwoo to go through for a monster (an enemy!), Jinwoo had learned a great deal about the system (clearly more than the system had intended) from the girl, and so he felt more gratitude than animosity toward her.
'A war in the Demon World, against some "terrible enemy" huh? Plus, the system overreacted really aggressively when she began talking about that terrible enemy... Does that mean they have something to do with the System itself?'
For a brief moment, Jinwoo considered the possibilities.
'What if this terrible enemy had reality altering power? Could they even be responsible for what's happened on Earth and what's happened to me?'
He shook his head quickly. Speculations would get him nowhere. Unable to come up with an answer, Jinwoo opened up the shop. He purchased potions that he thought might awaken Elisa, but, to his dismay, none of them showed any effect. It appeared, unfortunately, that he would have to wait for her to wake up.
JInwoo sat down next to Elisa, replaying their conversation over and over in his head, analyzing everything she had told him, while she remained unconscious.
Elisa sat up slowly and cautiously. She looked to her side and saw Jinwoo sitting nearby, and her shoulders jumped in surprise.
'It wasn't a dream' she thought.
As she slowly woke up from the haze and the shock that this, indeed, was reality, Elisa began taking in her surroundings. Her eyes flew open in shock as she looked around. The bodies of high-level demons, dozens if not hundreds, in dead heaps, lay scattered around. She knew that those demons possessed no intelligence, and therefore didn't regard the more intelligents of their kind as allies of any sort. Unconscious, Elisa would have presented an easy target, which could only mean...
"Did you protect me while I was asleep?"
Jinwoo chose not to reply, but stood up, before extending his hand towards her. Cautiously taking hold of his hand, Elisa slowly rose to her feet, looking at Jinwoo with an expression of gratitude.
If he had felt anything at Elisa's abrupt change of attitude, he didn't show it. He quickly redirected the conversation to the task at hand.
"How long will it take us to get to where the permit is?"
"It's just this way, follow me. I'll guide you there."
Jinwoo waited for her to set off, but, unexpectedly, instead of walking away immediately, Elisa stuck out her wrists towards Jinwoo.
A tense silence filled the air, as both Jinwoo and Elisa stared at each other suspiciously, unsure of what to make of the situation. Finally, Elisa spoke up out of frustration.
"Why don't you tie up my hands? Am I not your prisoner?"
Did she see him smile? She could have sworn that for the briefest moment, a smile had crossed his face.
"No thanks, it's not necessary."
Jinwoo was confident that he didn't need to take such measures to stop Elisa from escaping. By now, it should certainly be clear to her that any such attempt would be in vain. Jinwoo turned away from Elisa. Although he could tell the girl was still frightened by him, he chose not to say anything to her. Instead, he turned his attention to the horses of Elisa's company had been riding earlier. Elisa cocked her head in puzzlement.
"You'll be taking them. They're faster, aren't they?"
her face turned red as she grabbed the reins of three of the horses. Without another word, Jinwoo followed after her.
It wasn't long before they reached the place Elisa claimed had the Floor Entry Permit, which could only be described as an enormous castle.
'It's demons and more demons in there...'
If this tower was named after the dungeon, then this castle could only be named the Demon Castle, seeing as it was filled with them. The guards at the gate of the castle immediately became nervous at Jinwoo's appearance, but -
"He's with me"
As soon as Elisa spoke and gestured towards Jinwoo, the guards immediately opened the gate. As they passed through the enormous front gate, an entire squadron of knights quickly rode up to greet them.
"Lady Elisa! He's been waiting for your return."
"He is waiting for you in the audience chamber."
The knight glanced at Jinwoo, who was standing behind Elisa, and asked
"Lady Elisa....who is that man behind you?"
"He's an important guest of mine, so treat him politely."
Hearing Elisa's words, the knights quickly lowered their heads and made way for the two. Elisa and Jinwoo passed between the knights, and ventured forth towards the deepest part of the castle. After passing through a long hall, Jinwoo finally reached a large chamber that resembled a dungeon's boss room.
'This room is amazing! If I had come into this dungeon looking for a fight, this is exactly where it would have happened.'
The chamber opened into a vast empty space flanked by sets of massive columns reaching up to a cavernous ceiling. At the end of this grand hall stood a large throne, upon which sat, Jinwoo was certain, what could only be the demon king of this demon castle. Elisa led Jinwoo right up to the foot of the throne, before coming to a stop. While the two of them stood in silence, the figure upon the throne spoke.
His voice was strained, as if he was struggling to hold his emotions in check.
"Father, this is…"
It was as if Elisa sensed his agitation, and she moved quickly to defuse the situation. However, despite her best efforts, she was unable to calm the demon king down.
"A GUEST? What kind of guest enters someone else's home with an army!"
Elisa looked back at Jinwoo in surprise. Her eyes did not deceive her; nobody but him had followed her into the chamber.
'Army? What army is father talking about?'
The king glared at Jinwoo, his voice shaking in anger.
"Can't you see it Elisa? Countless soldiers stalk within that man's shadow!"
Jinwoo narrowed his eyes sharply.
'Oh? Is he that strong?'
Clearly, it seemed, this particular demon was able to see the shadow army that Jinwoo possessed.
'I can't decide whether that's good or bad.'
Just in case a fight did break out, Jinwoo had gathered his scattered soldiers into his shadow preemptively.
"How dare you bring your soldiers into my home!"
As the king's voice grew louder and angrier, Elisa hurriedly spoke up again.
Ignoring her, the king shot up from his throne, glaring at Jinwoo. Elisa continued pleading her case.
"I promised him!"
The king whipped his head around to Elisa, a look of shock etched on his face, before turning back towards Jinwoo, eyebrows furrowed. His words came out heavy like steel.
"What did you promise him?"
Before Elisa could respond, Jinwoo stepped forward towards the king.
"I'll leave quietly if you just hand me the permit."
The Demon King gulped, finally feeling more nervous than angry.
'Is this the man that has been massacring Demons at a horrific rate while climbing the tower?'
Ever since he had heard that Volkan and Metus had been defeated, he had been stricken with fear. Although the Radir clan were nobles amongst the demons, they were also, unfortunately, perhaps the weakest of the noble clans, ranked 20th amongst the demonic nobility. If this was, indeed, the man who had struck down Volkan and Metus, the Radir clan, even with all the might they could muster, would have little hope of defeating him. So it was hardly surprising that the king could barely believe what he was hearing at the moment. All he would have to do would be to turn over a floor entry permit, and this monster would leave him and his clan alone, in peace.
'Is this too good to be true?'
The king was certain that there was more, and tentatively spoke.
"Is this floor entry permit your only requirement?"
There was hardly a moment's hesitation before Jinwoo answered, as if he had been waiting for this question the whole time.
"There is one more thing."
Although he did not reveal it, internally, the Demon King was distraught. He knew that the demands of the strong could be endless, and so he was certain that this man's demands would be some similar absurdity. To his shock, the man simply reached out with one hand and placed it on his daughter's shoulder.
"I'd like to borrow this girl for the moment."
The room erupted in astonishment.
Jinwoo's eyes wandered around the room. He felt...slightly confused.
He had recalled that Elisa said she knew where the upstairs floor entry permit was; to him, it seemed obvious that the king would know he would borrow her for a bit, so she could guide him to the permit's location.
'Did I say something strange?'
Confused, Jinwoo tilted his head at the quivering Demon King, the horrified knights, and the red-faced Elisa.
Link to the Solo Leveling "FanFic" Discord: https://discord.gg/vVNBjbV
Also Fuck Qidian, C&D this FanFic you Fucks
Also 2x, here's a little Poll, so we can get feedback on this Chapter: https://www.strawpoll.me/17310541
It's come to our attention that the MTL led to some mistakes on our part in this chapter. While most of them are not major, I thought it best to link this doc here, which goes over these mistakes, which we will fix later.
One final thing, don't let this end up on Novel Updates. I don't need Qidian trying to buttfuck us. That means no copy pasting to another site.