13 Play with Fire

Chapter 13

POV Lero-Ro

If there was anything like 'supremacy', he was sure it belonged to him. Lero-Ro. He was the sole son of a man who had given up his climb on the tower and made his life in the middle area.

It was…a rather boring place and perhaps that was why he had let his supremacy get to his head. In his neighborhood, he was the strongest among the children, smarter than the adults, and…well, he wasn't exactly bad looking, was he?

Growing up with his father, he heard the stories and horrors of climbing the tower. His initial hopes and dreams only to be replaced by loss and blood. His father's desire for whatever was at the top left him the moment his last companion died…after his failure on the 34th floor, he officially gave up and left the inner tower.

Perhaps it was because he was still a child, or maybe because he was living in a pond too small for him…he wished to see the greater world. The Tower.

He trained his body for the tower as he picked up a needle. He remembers taking his first life, an annoying mindless monster, before being praised as the savior of the village. It was a small village…a rather safe one that had no need or supply of rankers. Having never seen such power, he let it get to his head.

Stealing his father's pocket, he formed the contract with the Administrator and met a being he could call a god for the first time. Interacting with shinsu, learning about the legends of the tower, an omnipotent King and his princesses, an infinite tower, the tale of a wish being granted…it was all enough to call for the tower.

As he was finishing up his book on Lighthouses, the tower came for him. The Fairy introduced himself as Headon as he welcomed him into the greater world. He thought himself a whale entering the ocean at last…how wrong he was. Perhaps he should have listened to his father who called out behind him as he tried to stop him from entering. It was too late.

It was only after arriving at the Floor of Tests did he realize the true nature of the tower. Blood and Loss…blood and loss on repeat. Screams sounded as the smell of blood permeated through the air, causing him to cough.

He gripped his needle tight as he instinctively sent a contract form to the administrator of the floor. If he was going to survive this test…he would need all the tools he brought (stole) from his father.

*ding* Contract formed

As his Lighthouses whirred to life as he could finally use shinsu, it was just in time as he saw the others began to choke, turn sick, and die from unknown means. Whatever it was, he wasn't risking anything.

"Quarantine Barrier!"

A layer of shinsu formed separating him from all others as he watched the contestants outside die one by one. The number that showed on his pocket was decreasing way too quickly to be the work of a person…it was whatever was let loose outside. Was this a survival game?

*shiver* *shiver* He was already regretting not listening to his father…if he had not made the contract any sooner…if he didn't bring the lighthouses with him or didn't know how to use it…he would be like the other 300+ contestants who died moments after setting foot into the tower.

'How was I to know such a difference in power existed??!' He complained…but in truth he did know…he simply refused to listen. He did know that the tower was a feast for the strong to kill the weak…all he didn't know was his misconception of his belief that he belonged to the strong.

Under the safety of the shinsu barrier, he watched carefully as the wheat fields parted and from it emerged 2 contestants…girls? 2 of the most beautiful woman walked out carrying the air of haughtiness and nobility. Despite what they looked like, he immediately knew he was outclassed by far as his honed survival instincts kicked in.

"Huh, didn't think of that method. Where'd you get the Lighthouses?" The taller and black haired one asked.

"Ummm…" Really Lero? You're in front of 2 beautiful predators that can rip you to shreds or give you a deadly disease and that's all you can say? "Nice to meet you, I'm Lero…Lero-Ro."

"You really gotta learn how to rein in that power of yours shorty" The black haired one snorted. She was a beautiful girl, quite tall for her age (it seemed). Her pale face, combed black hair, and her clothes told him enough about her noble upbringing but her bright eyes and open mouth screamed 'recklessness'.

"At least I've got something other than throwing fists, Sandbag" The shorter, white haired one replied. If the dark haired girl was a shark, then this one was a divine sea fish. Her most noticeable feature would be her red eyepatch, covering her left eye, that had the same shade of red as blood. There was a symbol on it…but he couldn't see it at the moment.

Other than that, the girl was dressed in rather loose traditional robes. White robes which reminded him of the ones that the priests wore on celebratory days for King Jahad. She had a long silver sword (with cross guards) held lazily across her shoulder, her one visible eye showing nothing but boredom. Her entire face, while unimaginably cute, seemed quite lifeless. The small smile at the edge of her lips…even that seemed stationary rather than expressing what she was truly feeling.



"Sword swinging slut"

"Product of incest"

"Someone from the 'oh so high and mighty' Arie family calling me that?"

"Is your slow functioning brain a result of inbreeding Ha family barbarian princess?"

"Better than having a sword up your ass oh noble princess"

…Wow…they were so childish. While the front of his mind was on the unexpected childishness of the greatest monsters he had ever seen, his actual mind was processing their words.

Arie. Ha. Two of the 10 Great Families…not only that but among the most powerful even among them.

Princess. Princess? Princesses of Jahad…right? That certainly explained the power they held…how they survived (or killed) while all others failed.

Looking carefully, he saw the insignia of Jahad on both of them. The Ha family princess had a red tie with the symbol of Jahad and the Arie Princess on her eyepatch.

Nobody except the chosen are allowed to wear his symbol. I guess this all but confirms it.

"Please don't kill me" He muttered which turned the two princesses' attention to him once more. "I can help." The logical part of the brain caught up in a freeze, that was all he could get out through his mouth. Honestly, as beautiful and an honor as it was, meeting princesses of Jahad were terrifying.

"Muhahaha! See Pandora? You've scared him shitless!"

"You sure it wasn't your obnoxious mouth Yuri? The sound alone would scare off a divine ground hog." Mumbled the Arie Princess as she examined him.

"Operates the lighthouse…smart enough to guess what was killing the others…doesn't look too shabby." It was as if he was being scanned like an object. "Not too bad…I'm voting for putting him on the team. Yuri?"

"Whatever. We need someone other than a fisherman anyway."

"I can double as a Wave controller"

"Yeah yeah whatever"

"And a scout"

"I said I get it"

"Unlike a princess who only knows punch and kick like a basic bot"

"Why you…! Come here shorty!"

Wow…they're so childish

The game of insults started again as words better untold flew from the elegant mouths of the chosen princesses greatest houses of the tower.

What am I supposed to do?? As the words grew louder and the shinsu began vibrating, a horn blew throughout the wheat field signaling the end of the test…saving him from whatever fate should the argument have escalated.

*beep* Alright, hours' up! Let's see who's lef—-HOLY FUCK! *beep*

… …

"I think you screwed up something shorty"

"No. I didn't break any of the rules. The only helpful information he told us was that the less competitors there are, the more likely we are to move onto the next floor. Judging as how that number is usually 15…"

*beep* WHO THE FUCK KILLED 391 out of 435 Regulars??! *beep*

"So technically I didn't break any rules. In fact, he encouraged us to kill as many as possible if I remember correctly"

*beep* Why are there only 3 survivors! I'm so fired!! *beep*

"Shorty, I think you fucked up"

"I'm telling you that it's the test admin's fault. He should have set guidelines and boundaries instead of giving us free rein"

"Us??! I don't remember letting loose whatever the fuck that black thing was and killing three hundred and ninety one of us!"

"Don't mind the small details" The Arie princess muttered without an ounce of sympathy "They were going to die anyway."

*beep* …*sigh* Alright remaining regulars…please form your group of three and come up to Evankell's Mothership. We will send a floater to collect you in a moment. *sigh* I'm so fired… *beep*

"Pretty sure you cost a ranker his job Pandora" Yuri said, shooting a glare at the Arie princess.

"Pretty sure I guaranteed the three of us pass right onto the next floor."

"What, by literally killing everyone else?" Yuri argued.

"It's the infallible strategy called the process of elimination. Your welcome" Pandora argued back.

10 minutes later… On Evankell's Floating Mothership

POV 3rd Person

Ha Yuri Jahad wasn't having it. This entire thing smelled of a trap disguised as a test. Sure she was only a little over 200 years old but she learned enough from her fights and instincts to tell her when she was facing a trap…and this was most certainly a trap.

Inside a spacious dark room, the three of them (and also the only survivors) stood in front of a rather well known woman. Red shinsu light glowed dimly from above making the scene ever more eerie, just emphasizing her belief that this was a trap.

"I would introduce myself but I believe you would have been able to piece it together." A towering figure looked down at them. 7m tall…she had to be at least 7 meters tall.

The woman had a dark olive tanned skin visible on her face and hands, everywhere else was covered with dark colored military uniform. Her most noticeable feature was the burn mark which diagonally scarred the right top half of her face. Red eyes and silver hair added to her unique appearance, but most of all…she was extremely muscular.

Signs of great muscle and build from a woman (and ranker) meant two general things…first was the obvious strength underneath and second was her rather pathetic genes…and the novelty and admiration of making it so far with little to no genetic help.

Along with the 10 Great families, there existed many bloodlines throughout the tower that holds some influence and thus power in their blood. Through this blood over thousands and thousands of years, power became focused in muscles and especially in woman. Thin limbs capable to snapping shinsu reinforced steel, crushing suspenium, tanking shinsu blasts, and in rare cases lifting entire mountains.

But this figure broke all of that. The towering figure was a woman who broke through all expectations, defied her blood limits, shattered challenges, and reached the form exerting power that very few in the tower managed to reach.

"Welcome newbies" The unchallenged fire among those born within the tower. The few to harness the power of the ancients. "This is my floor" This behemoth of a figure was the infernal Evankell, ruler of Evankell's Hell.

… …

"Honestly, I don't want to let you pass or anything so you're going to have to die here…or give up" Evankell stated bluntly as if she didn't just confess her motive to break possibly the most sacred of the tower's rules.

"That would be most unwise Ruler." Pandora spoke up. Her voice non-shaking, her eyes (her left eye no longer had the eyepatch on) locked with a living legend of the tower. "Yuri and I are daughters of the King you swore to serve. Failing or killing us without a test would mean a breach to the contract between you and the administrator of this floor and the King. Should he take notice…even you would cease to exist."

"That's exactly why I'm tempted to do this. Never liked Jahad anyway, nor any of his little bootlickers for the matter. You two are included on the list for that matter" The ruler of hell replied. She shrunk and shrunk until she was compressed to the size of a moderately large human. "Just because he rules the tower doesn't mean he can keep an eye on me at all times brat. If I kill you under the name of a test, then there's really nothing to it."

A pitch black orb appeared next to Evankell as it shook slightly as massive amounts of shinsu passed through it back and forth before…

*ding* Accepted

"Do you see that? That means the administrator just agreed to my test. Here it is…" She made a shit eating grin as she told us the requirements to pass. "Land a hit on me before I kill you."

A ring of hell fire appeared around the room, sealing off any chance of escape. "Come on brats. Let's see what you got…or surrender. I'll let you give up your climb."

From her hands, a small orb of fire formed before it grew larger and larger. Twisting into itself before roaring out as the flames greedily consumed the very space it existed on. Growing to a size which eclipsed everything else in the room, it looked like the sun itself.

"Go on little princesses…and friend. Surrender. Surrender now and go cry to your father!" The heat from just being in the same room as the orb scorched their skins as they felt it begin to cook. The stone floor directly underneath the orb was already melting into some sludgy magma.

Yuri, often the hot headed and the crazy one, compared to the Arie princess was truly scared shitless. She knew exactly what level of powers existed in this tower…and the figure standing in front of them was holding back immensely. Not even a single fraction of her capabilities if she estimated correctly.

But why…?

Looking over, Pandora seemed to be wondering the same thing as well…her small white eyebrows scrunched together in concentration. The heat continued to burn them for a few moments before a look of realization came over her new friend's face.

"I surr—" "We refuse. Fight us" Lero-Ro's timid voice was cut off by Pandora.

"You WHAT??!" Yuri's voice shred through the sizzling air as she turned her head to Pandora in shock. Shock and disbelief of not only what she said but rather her confidence at her declaration to fight against an ancient monster.

"I…I…not we, it's you…right?" A broken voice sounded behind them as Lero-ro stood, forgotten, and shivering at the prospect of death.

"We choose to fight" Pandora repeated. Her voice, once again, devoid of any fright or emotion. Instead, she hefted the longsword which was slung over her shoulder as she turned the sharp end to the fire which burned the tower.

"So fight us Ms. Evankell. Show me that you're willing to kill two of his holiness' bloodline by thine own hands."

You…you… YOU IDIOT!!!! Was an accurate representation of the thought going through Yuri's head at that very moment.

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