Competition between the top guilds on the thirty-ninth floor was fierce, mainly because the towers were connected past the thirtieth floor. As it stood, America and Europe had a friendly relationship due to their history. Since Russia didn’t have a tower, they had to ally with someone. It was either allying with the western world, or choosing China. The choice was obvious. India had a friendly relationship with everyone and watched from the sidelines as the western and eastern world clashed again and again. Africa was a war zone due to the dictators and warlords that popped up. Of all the countries, Africa was the one who didn’t have any top-tier guilds, but that didn’t mean they were weak.
On the thirty-ninth floor, Shenlong stood on a mountain overlooking the floor. He was an elderly man with a trimmed white beard and a long ponytail. Shenlong was a master of the spear and guildmaster of Zui Gao, Mandarin for supreme. He was renowned and feared around the world as one of the strongest humans to currently exist.
His eyes were narrowed as he stared into the distance, which just so happened to be the direction of the portal to the fortieth floor. Behind him, a middle-aged chinese man approached from behind. “Master Shenlong, I bring news regarding the Skyfall guild.”
“Mm.” Shenlong nodded slightly.
The chinese man bowed, both as a form of respect and formality. “Their farming squads haven’t made a move, but their main team has disappeared. Our scouts report that they entered the fortieth floor and beyond.”
“So soon? Are they not afraid of rushing to their deaths?” Shenlong muttered to himself. Generally, all top-tier guilds held an attitude of utmost caution with regard to ascending to unknown floors. Only when they grew to their limits on the current floor would they advance.
The chinese man kept his bow as he replied. “Master, I believe they aren’t so foolish. Over the past few weeks, they have shown incredible knowledge of the thirty-ninth floor. They always seem to arrive on time when field bosses spawn and treasure chests appear.”
“I agree. Walter is a cautious man, like me. That’s why I respect him. The only reason he would advance is if he grew to his limits on the floor.” Shenlong closed his eyes as he fell into thought.
“But master… how could they have progressed so much faster than us?” The man was in disbelief. He didn’t believe that Skyfall was stronger than Zui Gao, so how was this possible?
The man hesitated for a moment. “Master, should we advance as well? You have already reached the limit on this floor.”
“No.” Shenlong’s voice was firm. “Rushing leads to death. Many guilds in the past twenty years have taught us this lesson.”
He gazed down to where his subordinates were fighting monsters to collect tokens. “When the team is ready to advance, we advance. No sooner.”
“I understand, Master.” The man bowed lower. “One more thing, the government requests for our assistance in South America.”
Shenlong’s eyes snapped open as he turned around. “You really can’t let go, huh?”
The man trembled briefly. “I am loyal to my country.”
Shenlong sighed lightly. “Tell them that I decline. I won’t slaughter weaklings, but make no mistake, should the country be attacked, I won’t hesitate to lend a hand. But to massacre weak ascenders on the lower floors? I’m no devil.”
The man clenched his hands. “I understand, Master.”
“Go now.” Shenlong turned around and once more gazed in the direction of the portal.
Meanwhile, in the Pentagon of the United States, a meeting was currently underway. Military intelligence reported their intel, mainly regarding the war going on in South America between China and America. “We have uncovered that China has redoubled their efforts in their attempt to take control of the tower in Brazil. In just the last month, their government has forcibly conscripted citizens into the military and plan on sending them to Brazil.”
The meeting fell into whispers and murmurs. General Toffrey, a pudgy elderly man with a goatee spoke up. “Do we have an estimate on the number of conscripted citizens?”
An intelligence officer read from a folder. “Sir, exact numbers are unknown, but our agents estimate that the number is over five million.”
“Five million?” A broad man named General Rodgers exclaimed. “Do they plan on filling the tower to the brim?”
The room fell silent. Only so many ascenders could fit in the tower, which was why the war over Brazil’s tower was so important. Whoever gained control of it would gain access to an incredible amount of resources. More importantly, they would have double the room to train new ascenders, allowing their country to explode in power.
General Rodgers broke the silence. “What does everyone think about recruiting veterans?”
“Veterans?” The generals and high ranking military officers mulled it over.
General Rodgers continued. “Especially the elderly. We can supply them with ability books, allowing them to regain their strength and vigor. I’m sure they’d love to accept.”
“I agree.” Another general said.
General Rodgers glanced around. “Are we all in favor?”
This recent move by China threatened the delicate balance America had fought so desperately for. If China wanted to up the ante, America wouldn’t fall behind.
“So be it.”
“I’m in favor.”
And so it was decided. Across the country, Veterans over sixty who expressed a willingness to become an ascender once again joined the military. The battle for Brazil’s tower would soon become a bloodbath.
Jason knew this was happening, yet he could do nothing to stop it. He just didn’t have enough influence. Power. He had to gain power. With power, he had influence. With influence, he could prevent humanity from dying. That was why he was rushing through the tower so fast.
On the sixteenth floor, Jason glanced behind him, smiling at the army of golems following him. Over the past two weeks, he had captured twenty mines. Of the ore that spawned, he took 60% for himself and gave the other 40% to his minions.
He had one hundred golems following him towards the two slabs of rock in the distance. Fifty of the golems focused on strength and were called power golems. Twenty five focused on speed and were called scout golems. The last twenty five were a mix between the two and were called warrior golems. Their names were made up by Jason.
Their levels were around forty. Jason’s level was forty-nine. WIth every level, he increased in size, and he now stood over twenty feet tall. It was to the extent that he couldn’t enter the mines anymore. Hopefully the portal isn’t underground. Jason chuckled to himself.
The two slabs of rock grew larger the closer he got. His initial guess was that they were around a hundred feet tall, but when he stood beneath them, he realized he was way off. They had to be over three hundred feet tall. Directly underneath the slabs was a glowing blue portal.
Aha! There it is. Jason grew excited at the thought of finally getting his human body back. He pointed at the portal. “Scout golem twenty-five, go next to the portal.”
“Understood, Chief.” A golem standing over ten feet tall rushed forward, its figure becoming a blur. Even Jason could barely make it out. The golem was fast, but it was weak as hell.
Just as the golem reached within fifty feet of the portal, the ground underneath it shifted. A massive creature rose from the ground, dirt and rock falling off its body. With a snap of its jaws, the scout golem was crushed to bits.
Jason’s eyes narrowed. So this is the guardian of the floor, huh?
(Field Boss) Stone Basilisk - Level 50
“Split into two teams, team one will attack the basilisk from the left and team two will attack from the right!” Jason gave commands as he rushed forward. The stone basilisk was about the same height as Jason. Including its tail, it clocked in at over a hundred feet long. The spikes on Jason’s body shot out, instantly piercing into the basilisk’s stone body. Roaring in pain, the basilisk swiped out with its front hand.
The hand moved faster than Jason could react to, making it impossible to dodge. Grinning, Jason planted his feet into the ground and grabbed onto the hand just before it smacked into him. He used the incredible strength granted by his body to stop the hand in its tracks.
The basilisk roared as it pressed harder. Jason was slowly pushed back, his feet leaving tracks in the ground. Thankfully, he wasn’t alone. He had distracted the basilisk long enough that his subordinates fell into position, releasing waves of attacks. Bits of rock fell off the basilisk's body, slightly reducing its size.
The basilisk widened its eyes as it realized the situation wasn’t looking good. It changed focus, turning to target the weaker golems first.
“Fat chance!” Jason roared as he used all of his strength to wrap his arms around the basilisk’s hand. Bending his legs, he shouted fiercely, raising the entire basilisk into the air. The basilisk flailing wildly, but it was futile. It was lifted high into the air before being tossed towards the slab of rock on Jason’s left.
With a booming bang, it smacked into the slab and bounced oft. Unfortunately, it landed on a few golems, instantly killing them underneath its weight.
“Opps.” Jason rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment.
The basilisk slowly stood to its feet, its eyes beginning to glow with a bright light. Jason quickly shouted. “Everyone, turn away or you’ll be frozen!”
Just as the spell was about to go off, a resounding crack rang through the air. Jason glanced up, only to see a long fissure snake up the slab. He stepped backwards in shock. “Uh oh!”
He promptly turned and fled. A wave of energy washed over him, but because he wasn’t facing the basilisk, it had no effect. When the energy faded, Jason glanced over his shoulder. He saw a massive piece of rock break off from the slab. The basilisk glanced up and roared in defiance. It was silenced a moment later.
“It’s over? Just like that?” Jason muttered in astonishment. He had been expecting a long fight where he had to sacrifice his golems and expected to be the last one standing. Oh. As he looked around, he realized he forgot to tell his subordinates to flee. Apparently, he really was the last one standing.
Well, not like I need them anymore. Jason felt sorry for his subordinates, although he knew he would have had to say goodbye eventually. He was the only one who could pass through the portal. As soon as he did, this entire world would disappear, never to be entered again.
Jason made his way over to the portal. He was much larger than it, making him wonder if he could even go through it. Thankfully, as soon as he touched it with his hand, a notification appeared.
You can choose one ability to carry over to your main body.
*Ability grade and level will be kept.
Finally! His reflection was sitting at beginner Level 8. It was just a tad bit away from reaching the novice grade. Without hesitation, he selected the reflection skill and was teleported away.