Chapter 4 The First Exam (Part 2)
Definitely not a dream. Instead of the one room basement that I should be sleeping in, an expansive forest welcomes me.
As if being expansive isn’t enough, it’s quite a disgusting forest.
The trees are so absurdly large that the sky can’t be seen. And vines bigger than my arms are coiled all around them. The energy of the wild permeates throughout. And with every step I take, I can feel the crunch of the weeds vividly on the bottom of my feet.
It has been a long time since I have walked barefoot
“WHAT? WHAT FUCKERY IS THIS?!”
I finally noticed how shitty my appearance was.
My body is bare, with nothing but black underwear on.
I’ve been brought here in what I fell asleep in.
In this expansive forest in nothing but my underwear. Am I fucking Tarzan? They should’ve given me clothes and shoes!
What use is fairness here? The important thing now is to concentrate on clearing this exam.
As if the forest was wrapped around a mountain, there are slopes. In order to check out my surroundings, I headed to higher ground.
In 5 minutes I arrive at a small shallow cliff and look below me.
“WHAT IS THIS?!”
I am stupified. The forest is so massive, I can’t see the end.
Name: Hyun-Ho Kim
Mission: Eliminate the red ape
Time limit: 24 minutes 43 seconds
The first mission limit time was 30 minutes and now I only have 24 minutes left. I thought I could just search through the forest and find the red ape but now I realize that’s not going to happen.
This forest is ridiculously large. I’m supposed to search through all of this in 30 minutes? Without knowing what a red ape is?
“It’s impossible! This mission was impossible from the beginning!”
Red ape. It could be an animal or it could be a plant. It could even be a person or a monster I’ve never seen before. The name of that bird flying over there could be red ape too. I know nothing.
(TN: Is that you Jon Snow?)
The bbundegi bastard had just carelessly thrown me into this arena. And to top it all off, just 30 minutes? Are these people crazy? I am filled with rage.
Are they toying with a man whose only hope is just to live? Are they mocking me?
Then all of a sudden I recall the baby angel’s voice.
“You must figure that out on your own.”
That’s what he told me when I asked him what the red ape is without any other clues.
He was of the mind that I would figure out what the red ape is in this forest full of animals and plants.
‘Ok. Lets calm down and think about this’
I organized my thoughts.
Firstly: The time limit is just 30 minutes.
Secondly: He didn’t tell me what the red ape is.
Thirdly: They wouldn’t give me a mission that is impossible.
Knowing these three things, I reorganized my thoughts.
Is there a way for me to figure out what a red ape is?
A certain thought brushes across my mind. A way to find out what the red ape is. A way to find out in less than the 30 minutes time limit.
Have the red ape attack me!
If I get attacked, even though I don’t know what it is, I’ll what it is regardless of what it ends up being.
This explains why the exam time is only 30 minutes. If the red ape was close from the beginning, there was no need for them to give me more time.
‘This is it.’
I am filled with reassurance as if I’ve solved a math problem.
Although it seems dire, now that I think back, the hints were enough.
Alright. Let’s think this through one more time.
First: The red ape was close from the beginning.
Secondly: The plan of attack is to have the red ape attack me.
Thirdly: I’ve wandered for about 5 minutes and haven’t discovered the red ape.
The answer is 1. The red ape has found me and is tracking behind me waiting for an opportunity to attack.
‘If he’s been tracking me from behind there is no way I would have noticed it. Even now he’s hiding somewhere looking at me.’
Now that that thought has crossed my mind, my hair stands up in fear.
Right now that thing is looking at me, waiting to attack. In order to kill me.
‘In that case…’
At the end of my brainstorming, I lean my back against a nearby tree and collapsed to the ground.
“Ahh I’m so fucking tired I could die.”
I chatter on by myself so that it can hear me.
I do this in case the thing can understand human speech. Or it could even be a person. I close my eyes and pretend to sleep.
As I do this, my right hand grasps at the earth and grabs a decent sized rock
‘Ok. This is the chance I’ve been waiting for. Come on. Attack me’
Lion, tiger, leopard. It won’t be a beast that I can’t handle.
That would be too simple. If it was a beast like that, why would it hesitate? It would’ve attacked me sooner and eaten me.
There’s only one reason why it hasn’t appeared and has carefully been tracking me this far. It’s either because its strength is similar to mine, or weaker.
It has to be something that I could possibly win against.
‘Hurry and attack me. I don’t know what you are but I wanna see what you look like’
Thinking these things, I pretend to sleep for another 3 minutes. But on the inside, my ears are alert and listening for any sounds. And then, there it is.
Crunch (Sound of stepping on leaves.)
I hear a bush shaking.
The anticipation rises in my throat.
I hear more bush sounds. It seems a bit unnatural.
I laugh to myself.
It’s making sounds on purpose. It’s checking to see if I’m asleep.
I don’t move. I keep snoring and breathing as if I’m asleep.
Soft and tender footsteps are beginning to be delicately heard.
It’s careful and swift, but unable to erase the sound of its footsteps completely.
It keeps coming closer.
It seems positive now that I am asleep.
I feel like my right hand still holding onto the rock is going to start cramping soon. I so badly want to stand up right now, open my eyes, and throw the rock.
The sound of the footsteps has come very close. I feel like my chest will explode.
I quickly get up and throw the rock.
The flying rock lands on its forehead and blood beings to flow.
It lets out a weird, mysterious scream. The bastard holds onto its bleeding forehead and falters in place.
It was the golden chance to take it to the ground, but I was so surprised that my body had frozen in place. It was because of the identity of the red ape.