He was dreaming. It was a long and epic dream. It was the past he had lived, but it didn’t feel real.
The man suffered from the stream of memories. It was too brutal. It had the terrifying tower that appeared in front of his world, and the memories within it.
Death, death, and death.
There was the stone that made everyone to return to their lives. People ran away from the harsh reality. Friends lost their lives in an effort to protect reality.
-Let’s go, Yoonhwan.
-You… you’re trying to go back?
And then, there was the friend’s voice.
I’m sorry, Jaehwan.
-Go, before I change my mind.
His last friend walked alone toward the 99th floor. He was all alone now. Blood seeped through his cloak.
-It was good to have you in this world, Jaehwan.
And then came the fall. As his body came crashing down on the ground, he opened his eyes and screamed.
“Are you okay?”
Yoonhwan realized someone was grabbing his shoulder. He looked up and saw a familiar face. The memories were getting mixing up. A large man with a giant axe on his back… who was this guy? Where was he?
“I guess you didn’t go mad. Good.”
Kashim the Tyrant, the 4th Captain of Rupture, smiled as he scrubbed his beard.
“The memory recall is successful. Congratulations on overcoming your first step.”
He then realized and glanced around. There were few recruits of Rupture within the room that resembled some kind of a lab. He knew where this place was.
Memory Recall Laboratory.
It was within the Rupture Training Facility which housed all of Rupture’s high technology.
“Some go mad during the process, but you’re lucky. As is she.”
He turned and saw the woman. The woman named Han Seoyul had also been chosen to become a member of Rupture. He only considered her to be pretty, but he now knew who she was. She was a friend who climbed the tower with him for tens of years.
Yoonhwan tried to speak, but decided not to. He still couldn’t believe it was real.
Those terrifying events… they were all true. If they were true, then what was happening to him now? Yoonhwan was confused and he felt weak with the various emotions surging within him.
And Han Seoyul also seemed to be going through the same thing. She was looking at Yoonhwan with tears running down her face. It was a painful memory, but that was a memory that they should have never forgotten. However, it was also why it felt more terrifying due to the fact that it had come back.
Tower. Cultivation. Tutorial. Level. Status…
Yoonhwan remembered the words he heard from Kashim before he came into the Recall lab.
-You two are lucky. Master found a method for ‘forced awakening’ recently.
-Your hatred toward the world and the system. All of it is the basis to the Awakening.
-Memory Recall is mandatory for the course. It’s especially important for recruits who failed while climbing the tower.
-It’s to let you not forget the hatred toward ‘Cultivation’.
People who had failed while clearing the tower were bound to forget the memory of ‘losing’ on the tower. Yoonhwan and Seoyul were examples of them, and that was why they were here.
‘I feel the power.’
He felt the power of something on an entirely different level, or status, within him. Yoonhwan was confused, but he was also astonished at his newfound power. It was a power that would allow him to clear the tower in the memory with a breeze. But Kashim didn’t seem all satisfied as he looked at Yoonhwan.
“But still at the 1st step… Well, there’s a way for you to get quickly get to the 3rd step.”
“…Can I become stronger than this?”
“The 1st step is nothing. True power comes when you achieve on reaching the 3rd step.”
“Don’t worry. You’ll do fine. We have a new method that we got from
“Hmph, a new method? What did you bring in this time?”
The words came from a man who was standing by the entrance. Yoonhwan knew him also. It was Imai Kazuki.
“Imai, what are you doing here?” Kashim asked Imai the Fast Kill, the 3rd Captain of the Rupture.
“I came to take a look at our new recruits.”
“…YOU? Of all people?”
“Well, I still got to see them, right? Oh, and I do want to know about that ‘new method’ of yours.”
Imai waved off Yoonhwan and Seoyul’s salutes and spoke to Kashim.
“What skill is it? What did you bring in?”
“So, you haven’t heard of it yet. The team who went with Surha to
“Is that the one that was created by that ‘Naked’ one?” Kashim frowned.
“So, you do know. Why did you ask if you knew?”
“I’m against it. We, the Rupture, only require one method. Repeating stabs and slashes? That kind of training only weakens you.”
“True [Rupture] is made from the method that we have been using. We kill each other again and again. Only the strong that survive become true Awakeners. That is the only way.”
“That method sacrifices too many lives…”
“Kashim, you too became an Awakener through that method. Are you saying you deny the effectiveness of the method?”
Kashim couldn’t answer. He understood why Imai was so furious about this and how he felt. It was a woman who came out of the control room of the lab who stopped Imai.
“Personal complaints should remain at home, 3rd Captain.”
“…If it isn’t our 5th Captain. Didn’t know you were here.”
“This lab was MY lab from the start.”
She was a blonde doctor with a white lab coat, 5th Captain, Mirel.
“And I will assure you that your concern is unnecessary.”
“What do you mean? I thought you were going to use that ‘naked’ one’s method?”
“No, the result from each method is too different. The ‘Awakening’ method that the Generalslayer used is very stable, but does not fit our needs. It allows an Awakener to gain different unique worlds. Some even fail to get it.”
“…Which means they do not get the [Sea of Blood, Mountain of Corpses]?”
“That is right.”
Yoonhwan then asked, “…If I may, can I ask what is it that you all are talking about?”
The air grew cold suddenly and Yoonhwan realized he made a mistake.
“You fool. How dare you interrupt while Captains are talking?”
“Don’t be so stuck up, 3rd Captain.”
Mirel then turned to Yoonhwan and smiled.
“Yes, what is the question?”
“Go ahead. It’s okay.”
Yoonhwan was hesitant, but started speaking as he looked at Mirel’s smile.
“About the part where Awakeners get a different unique worlds…”
Mirel answered, “Yes, that is right. Usually, ordinary Awakeners have different unique worlds. Was that the question?”
“Does that mean that all Awakeners of Rupture all share the same unique world? For the ones who aren’t ‘ordinary’?”
Mirel seemed to be surprised to be asked such a question.
“You are right.”