World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 38: Difficulty Spike
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April 12, 9:00 pm, Beijing, China
The city looked pretty tonight. Sometimes it didn't, with the smog covering the lights in a thick blanket, dulling the bright colors and noises. But every now and then, there would be a nice, clear night, where the city light shone bright.
Irade watched the city pulse with life from her room on the 13th floor. She liked watching the city from up here; behind a thick sheet of glass with the comfort of air conditioning. It was different from flying. When she flew, she had too much freedom, too much choice. It was better here, inside, watching the city from behind a glass, only seeing one, fixed view. It was just easier that way.
Besides it was comfortable here. Irade had realized that the higher the floor, the fancier the room. Which meant that although this room maybe wasn't the best, it was still pretty damn fancy. It had a large, Queen-sized bed with more pillows than she needed, right next to this incredible view.
On the other side was the bathroom; there was no wall or anything. Instead, there was a sliding glass door that was hidden in the wall that Irade could close with the push of a button. There was a shower and a bath; separate. Both had TVs installed in them, and the bath could double as a jacuzzi. Irade had more than she could ever want in this room alone.
Or so she told herself.
She had spent a couple days clearing out the monsters from the building. The lower floors had all been quite easy, but things got harder the higher she went up. But not by much; [Monester Hunter] made sure of that. And now that she had a full stomach and a good night's rest, there really wasn't much they could do to stop her.
Once she reached the 13th level, however, she stopped. Her reasoning was twofold; one, she didn't know if the hotel would stay empty if all the monsters disappeared. Therefore it was better not to find out.
Two, she didn't want to give the HUD the satisfaction she knew it wanted. She had a feeling that the HUD wanted her to defeat this Monster Nest for some reason. Why else would it be here? So she did the opposite; she just lounged around in her room all day.
She guessed that she was still pretty mad at the HUD.
However...that meant that she had nothing to do but spend time with herself. At first, it wasn't too bad. She could mindlessly flip through channels and eat, brain off. But the less she did, the more active her mind became, until it started thinking thoughts she didn't want to have.
Thoughts about her parents.
What was is exactly that they were planning? And how did the monsters get those letters?
No. No thoughts.
Irade gritted her teeth and turned away from the window. She took the elevator downstairs, to the third floor.
The third floor was the gym. Irade had no interest in any of the equipment, but she did use it sometimes to practise her dancing in front of a mirror. She liked actually watching herself execute the moves she had been practising on the DDR machine all that time ago.
But maybe not today. Today, she wanted to lose herself in something else.
She walked past the gym and the mirrors, and towards the swimming pool.
The pool was a long one, 400 metres in length with eight lanes. Lights at the bottom of the pool lit it up, casuing weird squiggles to shine on the ceiling. The smell of chlorine was permanent in here; Irade assumed that there was some sort of automatic filtration system. Not to mention, the water was as clear as it had been the first time she saw it.
Irade shucked off her clothes, and immediately dived in. She didn't usually swim naked, but it wasn't like there was anyone else around, and she didn't want to think.
She spent an hour in the pool, staying mostly underwater, only coming up every few minutes for air. She swam around a little, enjoying the pressure of the water around her. Every movement was an effort, and the effort was what was freeing.
She just wanted to move. She didn't want to think.
"That's how they want you to be," Irade remembered a man telling her.
"Don't give them your thoughts."
Irade stopped swimming. Who had told her that? She didn't remember his face, or who he was. Just his wide, crooked smile and single silver tooth at the front.
She got out of the pool, and headed for the showers next to the gym, all the while trying to remember.
She stared at the black and white tiles as the hot water pounded on her back, frowning. Those words...she remembered...a very warm feeling...a feeling of safety...
She was still thinking as she walked back to the pool to pick up her clothes. It was a receptionist uniform she had found in one of the back rooms; black with gold lined cuffs and buttons, with a matching pencil skirt. Surprisingly, it fit Irade quite well, except for the chest area, which she needed to unbutton in order to be able to breathe.
As she put her clothes back on, Irade started thinking again. She had sort of taken it for granted that there was a change of clothes here, but the more she thought about it, the less sense it made...she was a 15 year old girl. Were there really adults with the same proportions as her?
Were these clothes something set up for her? By who?
Who was controlling the HUD?
The more she thought about it, the less it made sense. The less things made sense, the more Irade just wanted to throw herself off the top of this building.
Maybe it was time to beat the boss monster. Things were getting too quiet around here.
But that would mean the people would probably come back.
Still undecided Irade walked out of the gym, and towards the elevator. The landing outside the gym was quite bare; the cool marble floor was solid under her feet, and there was only a single green plant for eye candy.
She pressed the button to go up, then waited for the elevator to come down. She watched as the elevator climbed the levels, slowly coming up to the third floor.
Wait a second. Coming up?
Irade had been here a week. The elevators, for some reason, were always resting on the top floor. They never came down unless...
Irade quickly moved to the side of the elevator, pressing her back flat against the wall.
"Eh? Why did we stop?"
A man's voice, coming from inside the elevator. Irade's hunch had been right.
The elevators never came down, unless someone called them down.
Irade stood as still as she could. Her heart felt like it was going to beat out of her chest, but she didn't dare to even take a breath to calm down.
Quiet, quiet, she needed to be quiet.
She could her the sound of someone pressing a button in the elevator incessantly.
"13th floor, right?" said a different, male voice.
The doors to the elevator began to close. Too slow. To Irade, it felt like they were closing too slow, but at least they were closing.
A hand stopped the doors from closing forcefully. At the same time, a woman stepped out of the elevator.
Black, SWAT uniform. Fully decked out; helmet and everything. Irade noted she had a nightstick, taser, and a gun at her hip, coupled with a machine gun strapped to her back.
"I just wanna make sure..."
Her voice trailed off as she looked around, and saw Irade standing there, doing her best impression of a sidewalk chalk drawing.
Their eyes locked.
Immediately, the woman went for her gun.
Irade was faster.
She kicked her leg out, hitting the side of the woman's face with the force of a whip. If it weren't for the helmet, she may have broken her skull.
Even so, the force immediately knocked the woman to the floor. Irade immediately went into a low stance, and kicked her again.
For a moment, Irade blacked out. The next thing she knew, a bunch of men in SWAT uniforms were all grabbing her, and dragging her back into the elevator. She blinked, and felt something wet tricking down her forehead.
With a start, she realized that someone must've hit her on the head, knocking her out for a bit.
"She's up again! What the hell?!"
"Shut up and hit her again!"
With a yell, she raised a leg, blocking the incoming nightstick. She couldn't move properly; the that men had grabbed her arms were still dragging her into the elevator.
Quickly, she surveyed her enemies; woman outside, up now. One man in front of her, with the nightstick. Four hands grabbing her arms, two grabbing shoulders; three people behind. Five total.
As she counted, she grasped the nightstick between her toes and twisted her hips, swinging a kick at the man in front of her. Unfortunately, she missed completely, the men behind her pulling her back into the elevator.
"The cuffs, get the cuffs!"
The woman was up now, and coming for her with a taser. She knew that if she was hit with that, it would do a lot of damage. How much, Irade didn't want to find out. They had all pulled her into the elevator now, and Irade was still struggling. She felt one set of hands leave her, but the other two kept her arms locked.
Except they couldn't. Irade was too strong.
With a beast-like roar, Irade stamped her feet, rooted herself, and twisted her hips.
And threw the man holding her right arm at the man in front of her.
"Wh-whoooaa!" he yelled as he crashed into his friend.
Before she could throw the other on off, the third man behind her cuffed her left hand. Instantly, she felt like someone had filled her head with stuffing, down her throat and her insides. Instinctively, Irade wanted that thing off, but she could feel it biting into her skin. She grit her teeth, and threw the man holding her left arm at the woman.
Then, she turned around, and slammed the man behind her into the wall.
"The key," she growled. "Now!"
She applied pressure to his windpipe, lifting him off the floor. He was choking. She could see his terrified eyes widen.
She saw herself in the reflection of his visor. She looked like...like…
Like a monster.
For a moment, Irade hesitated.
Pain exploded as Irade's body convulsed involuntarily. She let go of the man, her own body crumpling to the floor. The pain didn't let up, instantly spreading to her extremities, liquid fire exploding in her blood.
"Die, Uyghur scum," muttered the woman through her cracked helmet, kneeling next to Irade's spasming body.
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