There was no light and only an abyss of rancid blood.
The so-called “companions” could not even speak.
It was a hell of nothing.
Apart from the fragile spider silk, there was nothing to leverage on.
The situation was absolute, inescapable desperation.
Only one second would elapse every time you “fall and fail after giving your best”.
Other than that, there was nothing to interact with and nothing to investigate; there was no power to leverage on, and not even a main mission was given.
The process only pushed Annan to fail repeatedly.
Just like what Sisyphus  had suffered.
Annan was convinced that this was indeed a superb trap.
That was because the process would wear down a person’s spirit even when he was blessed with unlimited physical strength and if he would be resurrected after falling from such height.
It was not sleepiness.
Instead, it was numbness and despair — mental damage capable of destroying the soul’s consciousness.
The difficulty of this fear fragment laid not in the fragile spider silk itself but the unknown.
The unknown would bring endless fear.
It was the fear of “how many more times will I fail here”.
The current fear fragment had a different set of rules than the previous fear fragments. Other fear fragments only required Annan to “escape decisively” or “brave into” that fear then he would have resolved it.
No matter if it was “sudden invalidation of own power”, “unstoppable sacrifice”, and et cetera, they were just momentary and short-lived fears.
Only the “fear of constant failure” could last a lifetime. It could not be resolved with the idea of ”hold on and it would be over”.
After the failure, would you not continue to fail?
“It’s impossible after thinking about it rationally.”
This was merely a fairy tale for adults: To add value to one’s failure, to make it appear less of a “failure”, or to comfort oneself as a placebo.
Annan did not need that kind of thing.
Failure was a failure.
It was the fact of being unable to succeed and thus fail. It was limited to that and would not expand more than that.
There were no excuses, reasons, or false values attached to failure.
After all, Annan believed that people shouldn’t be afraid of failure.
“We shouldn’t stand still in the face of failure.” Annan gripped the spider thread again.
Once again, he struggled to climb up the thread alone in the abyss that was absent of light and sound.
Those people had long since given up following Annan.
They were just silent, looking up at Annan — looking at Annan, who kept failing.
Would they wish him to succeed?
Most of them were looking forward and waiting for Annan to give up.
However, there was no pain or despair they wanted to see on Annan’s face.
Instead, only happiness was shown.
Annan stayed focused on his objective.
He would do his best — to fail again.
“I’ll do the deed that no one does.”
It was already the 200th attempt.
“If no one tries, it’s up for me to make the sacrifice.”
The 400th attempt.
“No one persists, so let me persist to the end.”
Then, the 600th attempt.
That was no longer the perseverance that a normal human being could muster.
Annan was cultivating like an ascetic. Although the path would lead to victory, failure was also one of the precious gains.
Those who rejoiced in misfortune.
Those who waited for Annan to give up.
They had even given up on this sentiment, gradually looking forward to and worshipping Annan as a deity and symbol.
Annan remained the same.
It was not suffering when Annan enjoyed the pain.
In this hell that seems to last forever, Annan gradually captured his essence eventually.
To be precise, he enjoyed “being alive”.
Just like when Annan was bored, he could read the script and the advertisements in the newspaper carefully several times.
He did not know how long he had been in this place.
Even his original purpose, his intention to kill Danton, faded over time.
It was as if he had lived through a hard life in a dream.
Even in the most desperate of times when Annan had turned entirely into a blood-dyed man, the brilliance in his icy blue pupils remained shining.
“Have you had enough rest?” Annan shouted again, “As long as you can lift your spirits and climb with me, just follow!”
There were no lofty promises.
There was no warm atmosphere.
There was only silence and silent followers.
It was not everyone, but it included dozens of people.
But after Annan fell again, new people joined him, and some stepped down from the thread.
That was not meaningless following and imitation.
It was just that they could not turn a blind eye to it even though it had long been known that the end of the path was a failure.
But looking at people with such bright eyes who were trying to climb up, how could they stop in place and remain motionless?
Annan attempted failure too.
Trying to get used to failure.
Adapting to failure.
“—to overcome the defeat.”
This was the fate of humanity.
Annan slowly grasped the silk on his 666th attempt.
“Is someone coming with me!” His eyes shone brightly.
More than ten minutes had passed in the outside world.
But in Annan’s mind, there was no thought of “buying more time for Salvatore” at all.
He was like a captain who started an expedition with a laugh at the sea of defeat.
From the first few times, Annan had not looked down at those who followed him.
Or, Annan was convinced from the beginning that someone would follow him.
Striving for greater heights was enough to fill a person’s heart.
Annan never needed someone to follow to provide the determination and confidence to move forward.
But Annan noticed no one followed him to climb up this time.
It was not like they had given up again.
Instead, they raised their head and watched Annan leave silently.
It was as if they had a premonition of something.
It only happened at this attempt.
Annan climbed out of the narrow mouth of the pit alone.
He woke up again between the rubble and the wall.
Everything he had experienced previously seemed to be just a dream.
But that bright smile remained on Annan’s face like a scorch mark left by a flame.
Then, Annan opened his eyes slowly.
The bright brilliance also shone from Annan’s eyes.
“666, is that the number of beasts ?”
Annan finally climbed out of hell and completed the impossible mission. Of course, he was delighted.
However, what pleased him even more was that Danton had admitted defeat.
Indeed, there was no end to this nightmare.
Instead, it just repeated meaningless failures.
Annan, who had experienced many failures constantly, did not flinch. However, Danton, who designed this dungeon and tried to murder Annan here, was afraid in front of Annan, who had remained unchanged and even more excited.
He was afraid of Annan’s fearlessness.
For him, Annan was simply a lunatic.
However, it seemed to have some divinity.
Annan was like a butterfly that had just broken free from its cocoon. It struggled to lift its wings.
“You have conceded again, Danton!” Annan laughed loudly and happily, “You have all my memories, and you still can’t defeat me!
“Do you think you can kill me?
“I am a loser! I am a madman! I am Sisyphus!”
What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger!
Annan had a firm belief in that.
He was different from before being tortured by the infinite fall.
Although the change might not seem significant, there was indeed a growth.
“You have one last chance, Danton.” Annan opened his eyes and looked at the portrait in front of him.
His eyes were as bright as stars.
Brilliant, thin flames ignited at the bottom of the frozen lake.
The series of death traps were like trials to cleanse Annan’s heart.
“What kind of gift will you give me?”
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