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The Forty-Third Floor, also known as the Floor of Death, is a notorious point in the Tower. It was known as a dangerous, lawless place and also a haven for criminals and enemies of the Zahard Empire. On this Floor, the powerful Irregular Enryu killed the 43rd Floor Guardian. The only inhabitable part of the Floor is buried under the flesh and blood of the deceased Guardian, hence the very name of the Floor.[6][7][5]

About

The 43rd Floor is a region that no-one has taken care of since its Guardian died, so it’s almost uninhabitable for ordinary people. However, there are a huge number of fugitives living on the 43rd Floor, so the Floor is considered by many to be a lawless area. Not even Rankers dare to access such a place voluntarily.[8]

History

43rd floor ruin

The aftermath between Enryu and the Floor Guardian

The 43rd Floor was originally the floor that Arlen Grace and her husband V fled to after their failed the civil war against Zahard and 10 Great Families. During their stay, Arlen gave birth to her son and raised him in this floor. Unfortunately, Zahard, who had feelings for her and couldn't accept the fact that she had a child with another person, track them down and killed the child before her very eyes.[1]

Years later, Zahard established an Altar or Shrine that was dedicated to himself and had his followers and worshipers flock to the area as a pilgrimage site. He also tried to erase any trace of Arlen and her child from the Floor. However, as if a harbinger bringing retribution for defiling the land, an Irregular named Enryu appeared.[1] When he appeared, the first thing he said was that "Only those who believe the false king will remain here and face death". Hearing this, many people were bewildered but sensed that he was not an ordinary person. Many fled while Zahard's fanatical followers sought to attack him. Enryu made it rain spears made of shinsu and his adversaries dropped like flies. Soon the Floor's Guardian emerged enraged and attacked him. But Enryu's spears managed to pierce its flesh and eventually killed it, disproving the belief that Guardians were invincible. Their battle had destroyed all the Floor's mountains, seas, and buildings while the ground turned red. For ages, it rained red shinsu while the body of the Guardian was all that remained to compose the Floor's landmarks amidst a sea of its own blood.[5]

Meanwhile, most of the people on the Floor had died while even the strongest Rankers who survived struggled with the unusual shinsu, aging, and lack of food. To make matters, worse, rumours began spreading about a Thorn that Enryu left behind that was capable of killing Zahard along with rumours about Enryu's abilities himself. To stop the rumours, the Zahard family dispatched an army to block all entrances and exits while killing anyone trying to leave in order to prevent the rumours from spreading. To end the situation, Grand De Sah and Grand De Jah used magic or Spell to create a 'Spirit Room' to store the souls of all those residing on the Floor. In exchange for being unable to leave, the Floor's residents would have immortality.[5] However, not everyone was content and eventually, Hell Joe, who sought to escape, rebelled, took over South City, and imprisoned Grand De Sah. Thanks to the Grand De Jah's special eyes, which could predict the future, and the aid of a mysterious woman, Hell Joe invasion to the North City eventually failed. With FUG seeking the Thorn's fragments, Hell Joe formed a partnership with them to find the Thorn in exchange for a way to be able to leave the Floor of Death.

Geography

Sea of Blood

The Sea of Blood is the area full of vast "red water" or "red Shinsu" that covered the real view of Floor of Death from sight. This "red water" is apparently The Blood of the 43rd Floor Guardian. You can't use shinsu when you're diving-in or swimming inside this blood, not even High Ranker like Princess Ha Yuri Zahard.[9][10]

Locations

  • North City (노스 시티, Noseu Siti): The northern region of the 43rd Floor, currently ruled by Grand De Lee. It appears to have a colder, snowy climate with Arctic landscapes. Garam Zahard hides there.[3]
    • Spirit Room (영혼의 방, Yeonghon-ui Bang): A place where the souls of the Floor inhabitants are stored.[5]
  • South City (사우스 시티, Sauseu Siti):[2] The southern region of the 43rd Floor, currently ruled by Hell Joe.
    • Red Fortress (붉은 성, Bulg-eun Seong): The place where Hell Joe dwells.[4]
  • Gallstone Village (담석마을, Damseogma-eul): The Red Witches' secret hideout on the Floor.[1]

Life Support System

Because the 43rd Floor Guardian was killed, this floor become uninhabitable and can't support life. At some point after the Guardian's death, an artificial life support system were built by unknown person. That person is most likely Po Bidau Gustang.

As the shinsu is very thin in the inner part of the Floor, the Guardian's blood, highly concentrated in shinsu, is poured inside, through a complex and intricate system of pipes, partially built upon the blood vessels of the dead Guardian.[4]

Gatekeepers

Gatekeepers 43th floor

Hockney explains the Gatekeeper's system.

Different kinds of monsters prevent outsiders from entering the Floor of Death. Among them, those are classified as Watchmen, Eye Bugs and the Giant Leeches (Stag Beetles).

Gatekeepers are divided into a systematic legion of explorers, eye bugs, and leeches. When an explorer gets killed, the light bulb inside it comes out to buy time for the eye bugs to pinpoint the location of the intruders, which then calls the leech gatekeepers to the enemies’ location. The leech gatekeepers don’t have souls, thus they are unable to die no matter how much an individual attack them.

Eventually, should an intruder reach the hall of the Floor of Death, which grants access to the inner part of the Floor of Death, one must offer his or her soul to the High-Leech Monk.

Known Residents

Notes and Trivia

  • As the Floor is largely composed of a decomposing corpse, giant bugs are one of its specific features.[13]
  • It is also subject to many rumours.[7]

The 43rd Floor is unique for numerous reasons:

  • Enryu killed the Guardian of this Floor.
  • As there is no Guardian, anyone can manipulate shinsu without a contract. However, shinsu is said to be very weak on this Floor.[14]
    • In addition, all contracts and spells are nullified on this Floor due to there being no Guardian to uphold them.[6]
    • There is no Ruler on this Floor since Rulers cannot rule without a Guardian.
  • Zahard's Princesses are banned from travelling to this Floor.[6]
  • Regulars do not take tests here; rather they skip it and proceed to the next Floor by travelling down the "middle road".
  • D-rank Regulars can access this Floor over the Hell Express. It is a special test that enables Regulars to quickly travel to the 43rd Floor. Unlike other Floors, there is no station for the Hell Express here.
  • According to Emile, Regulars aboard the Hell Express need a human sacrifice to enter this Floor.[15] This is later proven to be false as you need to be 'dead' or lose your soul to pass through normally.
  • According to Hockney, at the end of the numerous paths that lead into the 43rd Floor are gigantic monsters known as "Gatekeepers" (문지기라, munjigila) who devour anyone that tries to enter the Floor; fighting them is akin to a death wish.[6]
  • According to Evan Edrok, a Guide's abilities are diminished on this Floor,[9] though it seems that the Red Witches retain their abilities.[4] It is later revealed that the Red Witches' abilities don't work either; they rely on routes secretly memorised and passed down from generation to generation.
  • SIU has thought about drawing out the Floor of Death Epilogue or pushing it aside for later, and he decided later would be better. So the Floor of Death story isn't quite complete yet.[16]
  • Regardless, the Floor of Death and the Hidden Floor is like a 2 for 1 set of arcs. They are leading into the thick of the plot perhaps as well. And in Hidden Floor arc, we will get to see more of the characters that didn't get spotlighted in the Floor of Death.[17]
  • Since the Hidden Floor arc has similar themes with the Floor of Death, a lot of the lore and the central themes will be similar.[18]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Vol.2 Ch.240: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (9)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Vol.2 Ch.235: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (4)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Vol.2 Ch.237: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (6)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Vol.2 Ch.238: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (7)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Vol.2 Ch.241: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (10)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Vol.2 Ch.232: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (1)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Vol.2 Ch.233: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (2); Blog Post
  8. Vol.2 Ch.197: 38F - Hell Train: Yuri Jahad (2)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Vol.2 Ch.234: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (3)
  10. Vol.2 Ch.234: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (3)#Blog Post
  11. Tower Setting Blog Post
    Translation on bato.to
  12. 12.0 12.1 GoDai: Requested Translations: Kun's Team, Anak and Andorthy
  13. Vol.2 Ch.235: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (4); Blog Post
  14. http://cafe.naver.com/inutero3334/62461
  15. Vol.2 Ch.228: 39F - Hell Train: Wangnan (3)
  16. Vol.2 Ch.259: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (28); Blog Post
  17. Vol.2 Ch.258: 43F - Hell Train: The Floor of Death (27); Blog Post
  18. Vol.2 Ch.270: ??F - Hell Train: The Hidden Floor (7); Blog Post
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