Chapter 321 – Underdogma (1)

Episode 321 Under Dogma (1)


[You have left the 3rd underground level ‘Familiar Land’]

[Entering the ‘Island in the Black Sea’ on the 4th underground level]

The Imperial Capital area on the third floor of the underground is getting darker and darker.

Even the huge tsunami that had drenched them up to their toes could no longer follow.

All 68 survivors scattered through the one-person gate.

……And Vikir opened his eyes to find himself on the fourth level of the underground world.

“Hmm. An ocean.”

Vikir swept the dry sand from his face.

A moist sea breeze blew in.

He was on an island in the middle of a vast, distant sea.

It looked like an earthen mound rising out of the sea.

Bare dead trees appear and disappear like bones in the gray fog.

with a splash-

Vikir went to the beach and dipped his hands in the water.

The water was a murky color throughout.

He submerges his hands up to his elbows and soon loses sight of the backs of his hands.

The water had almost no buoyancy, so even hair and the hem of his clothes didn’t float to the surface.

Splash, splash, splash

He waves his hand around, and his movements become extremely sluggish.

The water itself also felt much heavier than normal water.

“…… Is this what you call ‘black water’?”

Vikir nods.

An ocean somewhere at the end of the world, a very distant ocean.

The waters there are said to be black and heavy and float nothing.

Anything that falls into this black water, thick and heavy as molten lead, will not float and will sink.

That’s why it’s a taboo area for sailors, a place they must never enter.

“Well. A ship that’s sailing fine will suddenly sink for no reason.”

He looked up to see a fierce windstorm raging on the black horizon.

A storm that seemed to circle the island and trap it.

Vikir shook off the salt water and headed back to the beach.

He walked through the black sand and back into the forest of old growth trees, where he could now see white soil.

“This is mycelium.”

Between the grains and grains of dirt are white threads, sticky as blue cheese.

Half the island is black sand, the other half white.

It was a strange ecosystem. As if it had been plucked from a different world and stitched together.

“……The soil dries up, the trees die. The result of two different landscapes being forced together.”

It’s obvious who created this bizarre world.

[Amdusias is a worldview absorber].

Decarabia on his chest opened his mouth.

[He wanders the world, plucking out bits and pieces of the world he likes and storing them in the Abyss, which leads to a variety of different raggedy spaces, this one among them].

It certainly made sense when I thought of the Colosseo Academy or the Imperial Capital from above.

“So what happens to the creatures that lived there when a part of the world is absorbed?”

[They are dragged along with it, to the position of challengers to the tower].

This means that there may be previous guests who entered this tower before Vikir.

Whether they were human or monster.



Vikir spotted something strange near the center of the island.

It was a large tree, towering in the center of a black and white world where everything else had dried up.

“The roots of the Hell Tree.”

Rising from the ground, it was a giant twisted thing, with no branches, no trunk, no leaves.

Perhaps it had sprouted from the main body of the Hell Tree, lost its way, and sprouted here.

Vikir climbed up the roots of the tree.

After climbing up the black, hard bark for a while, he saw a hollow.

Blood-red sap oozed from it, forming a puddle.

Vikir dipped a finger into it and tasted it.

“This is edible.”

The taste was faintly sweet.

Though the sap was watery from the tip of the twig, and the quantity was small, it was enough to sustain a man.

In the memoirs of the great heroes he’d read before his regression, there were numerous references to survival by drinking the sap from the roots of the Hell Tree, so it was probably safe to consume.

Vikir stuck his head in the hole and sucked the sap down. He felt like a bug, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to survival.

The liquid was just sweet and bland enough to moisten Vikir’s parched throat.

His guts, which had been parched, were now moist and taut.


” …… is all I need.”

Vikir drank enough and pulled his mouth away from the sap.

There was still quite a bit of fluid left in his muzzle, dripping, but Vikir didn’t touch it anymore.

Decarabia said.

[Well thought out, human. There is only a certain amount of sap that can be drunk from a Hell Tree at a time, and to exceed it is to be turned into a demon].

“I know.”

Vikir was just coming down from the tree roots.

“Hey, what are you!”

A sharp cry came from below.

A few students were casting wary glances in the direction of the hill in the distance.

The faces he hadn’t seen on the third floor of the underground.

But they were all students of the same Colosseo Academy, so they were all familiar.

They continued to shout at Vikir.

“You drank that sap on your own accord!”

“This time it was our turn!”

“He came from somewhere and stole ours!”

They seemed to have landed on this floor before Vikir.

Normally, Vikir should have landed here after spending more than 68 days, but the fairy’s improvised end to the mission seemed to have blended in with the others.

‘Hmph. That means they cleared the mission on the third underground floor before me.’

I guess that’s possible, since the concept of time in the tower is different for each floor.

Vikir glanced back at the students below.

Of course, they weren’t the only ones.

“What is it? What’s going on?”

“Eh? There’s a new guy here.”

“Who’s here? Are they from the barons or the aristocracy?”

One by one, the students appeared over the hill.

All of them are skinny and have bloodshot eyes.

They must have been poisoned by the Daylily of Blood Tree on the third floor of the Tower.

Then, one of the students, who seems to be the leader, steps forward.

“I am Dogma, a third-year student in the Colosseo Academy Hot department. I’m the vice president of the student council. I’m sure you recognize my face.”

It was a line that felt oddly flattering.

Of course Vikir knew his face and name.

‘Dogma. Commoner. From the underdog city. Third year in the Hot department, top of his class. The one who lost to Dolores in the finals.’

Vikir is a male student who has a significant inferiority complex about his commoner origins, and has a tremendous competitive spirit and admiration for Dolores, who is the student council president, class president, and comes from a prestigious family.

Dogma turned to Vikir and said.

“I know who you are. You’re Vikir, a first-year in the Cold Department, and apparently you’ve joined ‘our floor’ late.”

He continued in a high-pressure tone, as if the entire floor belonged to them.

“There are rules here, and they are to be followed in a fixed time frame, as the sap in the gland is limited. You broke that rule.”

“……Who made that rule?”

Vikir asked, and Dogma spoke as if it were obvious.

“We, the Commoners.”

“……The Commoners?”

Vikir cocked his head.

There are three factions at Colosseo Academy.

The official one, the Student Council, and the unofficial ones, the Aristocrats and Barons.

But there was no organization called the Commoners. There’s no way a faction could be formed on the subject of commoners in the first place.

‘I see, it’s a new idea in the tower.’

The world outside is ruled by the rich and powerful. The aristocracy, the royalty, the elite.

It’s a system that has been in place for eons, and it’s increasingly seen as impossible to move between classes.

Although there have been extreme cases, such as the 47 Riots, all such attempts have been brutally and completely suppressed.

In other words, beings from the lower tiers could never ascend to the upper tiers.

“……But this place is different.”

Dogma smirked.

The logic of the forces that governed the rest of the world, the system that seemed eternal, had no power here.

Nothing but zero base. A world where everything was perfectly fair.

Rich, beautiful, handsome, high status, educated, strong, powerful, all the criteria that gave you an edge in the world…… revert to zero, a level starting point.

Total equality of opportunity. A world where anyone can rise to the top if they try hard enough.

The low status you’ve been carrying since birth, your ugly looks, your weak body, your lack of talent, your poor family…… – all of these things can be overturned in an instant.

You have the first and last chance to rise above the things that have always looked down on you!

“We’ve been disadvantaged since birth by the original sin of having poor, powerless commoner parents. But what about now? It’s all about levels and stats, and honest rewards for hard work, and now we commoners have a chance!”

Dogma spread his arms around him.

The twenty or so people gathered were all commoners.

Dogma held out his hand to Vikir, his voice strangely eager.

“You’re a commoner, too, I know, and it’s been a long time coming.”


“So was I. Aristocrats and Barons can’t stand it when a commoner does something well. Even though I never got to be the valedictorian because of that bitch Dolores, I have never missed out on being the runner-up, and by my third year, I was vice president of the student council, and I’ve endured countless stares and humiliations along the way.”


“Yes. Even if you don’t say it, I know everything. Are you the one who ruined the aristocracy and the barons faction at the auction? I’ve been paying attention to you since then. I always thought it was a pity that these idiots who only sat there because they had a good relationship with their parents were slandering you. I wanted to help in my own way, but at that time, it was too much for me to think about myself. But now it’s different!”


“I can help you, Vikir. Let’s hold hands. How long will you continue to bleed under the exploitative structures created by those before you?”

All the students around him nod, their eyes moisturized by Dogma’s speech.

There was an unseasonably warm atmosphere on the island.

“……What about the rest of the survivors?”

Until Vikir splashed me with cold water.

At least 50 people must have survived the fall from the second floor to the third.

Those lucky enough to escape the hellhounds would have been faced with a Daylily of Blood Tree and forced to make a choice.

And the twenty or so commoners gathered here are those who survived that choice.

Vikir asked again.

“What did you do with your non-commoner classmates?”

Dogma replied.

“That’s obvious, you too would have traveled through the third level of the underground. They all became prey.”

“Of whom?”


Dogma didn’t answer Vikir’s repeated questions, but merely smirked.

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. This is a land of reversed hierarchies, and it’s fitting for the fate of nobles who are no better than dogs and pigs.”

Soon, the students split into left and right, following Dogma’s gesture.

Clink, clink, clink!

Several students dragged chains they had apparently picked up from the ruins.

Then, several humans appeared from beyond the pile of dried black fire.

Dog collars around their necks, long chain leashes, and signs of beatings and abuse all over their faces and bodies.


Vikir squinted.

The faces were all familiar.