Chapter 341 – Private Life (1)

Episode 341 Private Life (1)

‘Oh, I see. I see I haven’t finished my transformation yet.’

Just before Vikir was crushed by the Ryumajin’s fist, he had transformed into a dog, making him smaller in size and thus avoiding being crushed.

Of course, this was only possible because Sinclair’s last-minute magic had bought him some time.

Unaware of this, Dolores was examining every inch of Vikir’s body.

“Wow, your wounds are almost healed already. You’re a good constitution to divine power, my choco.”

She rubbed the ointment she’d bought with the candy all over Vikir’s wounds.

With that, Vikir’s external wounds were almost completely healed.

“Mmm~ But you still have internal injuries, so you’ll need to heal a bit more. I’ll get some medicine for you, just wait a bit.”

Dolores patted Vikir’s head and turned on the shop window.

<Medicines for internal injuries!> [3 blue candies]>

Vikir thought to himself as he watched her pay three candies for a medicine for internal wounds.

‘…… You’re still being a brat.’

The internal injuries are severe, but a few days of rest is all it takes to recover.

Besides, who gives three pieces of candy to a stray dog on the street in the first place?

(And if you count the trauma medicine, that’s a whopping six candies!)

Vikir didn’t swallow the pills Dolores gave him, instead sneaking them into the corners of his mouth.

He planned to secretly return it later and exchange it for another candy.

Dolores, meanwhile, had no idea what Vikir was thinking when she opened her mouth.

“Choco, you were there and you got caught up in it, poor thing……. But how did you end up here? It’s quite a coincidence, no matter how random the circumstances you encounter on each floor.”


“With a 0.0001% chance of ending up here, we’re pretty lucky, aren’t we? Right?”


Vikir lowered his head for a moment in embarrassment.

‘In order to escape this room, both prisoners must agree to leave. If one of them wishes to remain in the floor, neither of them will be able to leave.’

Vikir would have to somehow convince Dolores to leave the room.

But Dolores had already made up her mind to live in the room for quite some time.

She’d set up a fluffy bed, a couch, plenty of food and water, and even a bath.

“Choco~ While you’re healing from your trauma, why don’t you take a bath with me? The holy water I make is great for internal wounds!”

Vikir sighed softly.

Why does this girl love bathing so much?

* * *

Vikir eventually entered the bathhouse.

He didn’t have the strength to resist, and he didn’t really have a good reason.

In fact, the holy water was so effective at healing internal wounds that Vikir had to bow down and ask.

A large wooden bathtub filled with warm water.

The peak.

Dolores hugged Vikir tightly and soaked in the water.

“Wow- we’ve bathed together before, haven’t we? I remember.”

Vikir nodded slightly.

Back when he was a Graduator, after his first encounter with Camus, he had been dragged to the baths by a passing Dolores on her way back to the Academy after fighting tooth and nail and being turned into a pulp.

Even then, Dolores seemed to have said something similar while bathing.

“Taking a bath was my only pleasure in life. I didn’t have time for any hobbies because I had so many things to do, like study, work, volunteer work, and ……. The board game club, which was my other hobby, was closed down because the number of members was too small. Nowadays, everyone is busy doing extracurricular activities to keep their grades up, and the job market is so bad.”

Words like romantic, geeky, and surplus are now rarely heard.

While Dolores acknowledges that this is a change, she is also nostalgic for the past.

“Haha – I can’t believe I’m talking about something that’s after been captured by the demon and locked in a tower. It’s not very realistic either. Right?”

Vikir nodded silently.

Then Dolores tapped the tip of Vikir’s nose and snorted.

“Wuu. You act like you understand me, don’t you?”

Vikir turned away silently as Dolores lifted herself out of the water.

Silence descended on the bath for a moment.

Vikir sniffed the thick steam rising from the water and concentrated on healing his wounds.

His internal organs were healing rapidly, thanks to the holy power emanating from Saint Dolores’ body.

‘At this rate, a day or two should be enough.’

Vikir was mentally estimating the time it would take to recover.

“I know, I know. This is not the time to be killing time in a place like this.”

Behind him, he heard Dolores muttering to herself.

Her voice quivered slightly as she continued.

“My classmates, my juniors, they’re dying in front of me, people I’ve lived with and studied with for the last few years, and they’re killing each other, murdering each other, …… using each other, betraying each other, ……..”

What could she, who was both a student and a religious person, do in the midst of that chaos?

The rules were set by the demon in the first place, a game played out of malice.

There was no place for righteousness or love in it.

Dangerous creatures such as Hellhounds and Daylily of Dlood lurked on every floor.

There was always a fixed number of survivors, and those who didn’t make it were simply culled and left to die a miserable death.

Dolores has tried many times to sacrifice herself in their place, but those around her desperately urged her to protect the Healer.

with a splash-

Dipping her face in and out of the water, Dolores wiped the water from her face.

But she couldn’t wipe the water from her voice.

“I took the hearts of those who tried to protect me by pretending to be invincible. I ignored the sacrifices of the few in favor of saving the many. I betrayed the desires of the weak.”

The weak being offered up as food for the Daylily of the Blood, the strong pushing the weak out on a limb.

It’s an absurd situation for anyone to see, not just religious people.

…… but without human sacrifice, everyone dies.

She wanted to sacrifice herself, but it wouldn’t change anything, and she was already the leader of the group, the spiritual center of the survivors, so she couldn’t move.

Throughout the process, Dolores was torn.

What was the right course of action: to sacrifice unconditionally, or to preserve her life for those left behind, or neither……?

In the end, Dolores did not find an answer to this question in time.

The result of the many weak against the few strong was an overflow of Blood Daylily that wiped out all of the surviving students.

In the midst of the carnage, Dolores was forced to tear up the return scroll

For no other reason than to keep herself alive.

“……I was helpless, I could do nothing, I was tested by the demon from beginning to end.”

Dolores bowed her head deeply.

The hot steam from the baths was making her eyes red.

Vikir closed his eyes and thought.

‘The mind trick worked.’

This was Amdusias’ intention.

A strategy to break the faith and will of young sprouts who will grow into heroes in the future from the very beginning, and to instill in their place a sense of inferiority, self-destruction, and helplessness.

Indeed, many aspiring great heroes died here before the regression.

‘……But there were also those who came out of it stronger and more hardened.’

Such was the case with Dolores, who would later become known as the Ironblooded Saint.

She was said to have awakened on the front lines of the battlefield after the Age of Destruction, but it was actually a second awakening, the first a stepping stone before that, here in the Tower of Abyss.

‘It will be a matter of how you shake off this spirit.’

Vikir knows, having been through the grueling process of becoming a Master himself.

A word or two of advice from someone who has traveled this path before you can make all the difference.

Ultimately, Vikir’s path to Master was paved by a few words from CaneCorso, whom he met at the Grave of Swords.

‘…… I wonder if any of those words would apply to Dolores at this point.’

Vikir pondered.

‘Something to say to a future hero.’

For now, he had to put aside all thoughts and distractions and focus on the first word.

Even though his body and mind were exhausted after the battle with the Demonic Dragon, he still had to keep his spirits up and focus as much as possible.

‘After all, Dolores, Saint of Steel, it would be best if I told you what you said, right?’

One can only speak as one has been through.

She, too, would understand best.

Vikir recalled what the middle-aged Dolores had said before the regression, as she tended to the wounded.

“The more painful the reality, the more deeply you should think about the meaning of life and religion. Only then will it lead you to a better realm of greater goodness.”

It was not a simple well-wishes.

They were words spoken by Dolores, Saint of Steel, in a makeshift shelter for wounded soldiers, to a young saint who was weeping and berating herself for not saving more lives.

Years later, Dolores, who had overcome more hardships and trials than anyone else, had distilled her life’s experience into a teaching.

It was passed down across the time axis of several decades to the young, fledgling saintess Dolores.

Sure enough, Dolores lifted her head up as if she had come to great realization.

Then, in a voice of disbelief, she said.

“…… Choco. Did you just say that?”