The 22nd story arc of the Tower of God series consisting of chapters 29 - 33 from the second season. The arc centers around Sweet and Sour taking part in the final exam of the 21st Floor test by having to find a rare flower within the body of a giant sea fish, the Zigena. However, the team ends up encountering a powerful Irregular during the test who appears to have some sort of connection to Wolhaiksong.
21F - The Flower of Zigena
Sweet and Sour make it all the way to the third round of the 21st Floor exam only to see that having Viole, the FUG Slayer, in their group has already scared the remaining Regulars away. In return, the Test Administrator, Noma, provides Sweet and Sour with a replacement final exam for just them.
Traveling by boat, Noma brings Sweet and Sour to a sea location on the 21st Floor where the team comes across the Zigena rising out of the water, a giant sea fish that Noma explains to be the arena for their final 21st Floor exam. The Ranker states that in order for Sweet and Sour to pass the test, they must find a rare jeweled flower that grows inside the Zigena's body.
By a small raft, Sweet and Sour arrive at the base of the Zigena. They split into two teams where Wangnan, Goseng, Miseng and Akraptor climb up the creature to enter through the Zigena's blowhole while the Viole, Ehwa, Horyang, Prince half remains on the raft to find another way in. Knowing that the Zigena flips over after some time, the raft team tries to move away to avoid the flip, but end up having the Zigena land on top of them due to their raft's motor breaking.
Wangnan's side manages to enter the giant fish before the flip as his group begins their search for the Flower of Zigena. However, they walk in another direction not noticing that there's someone else inside the Zigena with them that appears to be connected to Wolhaiksong, and has the word Mazino on his back.
Ehwa swims to safety after Zigena flipped onto the raft, and manages to climb up onto the belly of the giant fish. She is then greeted by Viole, who informs Ehwa that Prince and Horyang survived the flip as well and have already gone ahead to enter the Zigena's belly blowhole. Moments after, the two of them enter as well.
Wangnan's group search through the Zigena for the flower, and stumble upon a large room of floating hoops. Here, they're greeted by a tiny pink pig creature that just so happens to have the Flower of Zigena on its back. Wangnan and company attempt to catch the the tiny pig jumping along the floating hoops, but fail to do so, and begin to chase after it.
At another location in the Zigena is the Prince and Horyang duo, who come across a giant parasite creature. The two of them manage to defeat the parasite, but soon realize that it wasn't actually trying to fight them, but was attempting to run away from something. The mysterious Wolhaiksong person then drops in on them as Horyang realizes that they've come across someone incredibly dangerous, and orders for Prince to run.
Meanwhile, the Viole and Ehwa duo begin their travel through the Zigena, and feel the aftershock that was caused by the Wolhaiksong person. Alarmed by the danger, Viole charges ahead to catch up to Horyang and Prince.
Making it through the hoop room, Wangnan's group continue their chase after the tiny pig with the flower on it, but are forced to stop when it escapes through a small entrance. Wangnan deduces that only someone as small as Miseng can continue after it, which she agrees to do so wanting to be useful to the team.
Prince and Horyang are kept in place by the Wolhaiksong person, who believes that the two of them are Rankers that were sent in to kill him. However, Horyang explains that they're just Regulars taking part in a 21st Floor exam, which causes the Wolhaiksong person to realize that the Rankers after him are desperate enough to start sending in Regulars since he's already killed so many of their Rankers beforehand.
The Wolhaiksong person informs Prince and Horyang that they've been tricked by Test Administrator Noma to fight against him, and asks that the Regulars give up the test since he's also after the Flower of Zigena. In return, he will allow the Regulars to live if they tell no one that he was here.
At this point, Viole catches up to Horyang and Prince. Deducing that Noma set this up to pit Viole against the Wolhaiksong person, Horyang tells Viole that they're better off quitting to take the exam at another time. However, Viole walks forward to fight the man from Wolhaiksong.
Goseng is left by the small entrance to keep in contact with Miseng over her lighthouse while Wangnan and Akraptor attempt to look for another way around. During their search, Akraptor asks why Wangnan is suddenly being all serious for once, which the latter answers that it's because he found out about the situation Viole's in. That the lives of his Floor of Test friends are at risk if the FUG Slayer ends up losing a test.
Despite Horyang begging him not to enter a fight he has no chance of winning, Viole stands ready to battle the Wolhaiksong person; stating that he fears something worse than death. Overhearing that Viole is FUG's new Slayer-Candidate, the Wolhaiksong person steps forward to accept the FUG Slayer's challenge.
Horyang and Prince get out of the way as Viole prepares to face off against the Wolhaiksong man. He informs Viole that the Zigena is about to flip in a couple minutes, and that they should play a game the moment it does to see who can get the Zigena flower. If Viole does, he can have the flower to win the exam. However, if he doesn't, it will result in the FUG Slayer's death. Viole agrees to play the game.
Walking away from the fight, Prince asks Horyang if they're truly going to abandon Viole, but Horyang informs him that the Zigena is on the verge of flipping over. He orders Prince to tell the rest of their team over his lighthouse to prepare to help Viole once the flip occurs, which Prince acknowledges to do so. Getting the transmission from Prince, Wangnan and Akraptor begin to start moving toward Viole's location.
With a few minutes to spare before the Zigena flips, the Wolhaiksong man takes this time to ask Viole about FUG's true intentions. He figures that FUG is after the throne of King Jahad, but tells Viole that unlike FUG, the Wolhaiksong person is attempting to escape the Tower completely. He tells Viole of the possible vast lands and skies outside the Tower, but Viole answers that he cares about none of it, and only desires to see his friends safe against the people threatening them. Viole uses this opportunity to blast away to get a head start looking for the Zigena flower, which the Wolhaiksong person admits that Viole has some guts for pulling such a stunt.
The Wolhaiksong man provides Viole with a ten second countdown before the time comes to chase after Viole. During this countdown, Wangnan and company begin to gather at Viole's location apart from Goseng and Miseng, who are still at the small tunnel trying to catch the tiny pig. The countdown soon ends as the Wolhaiksong person states to Sweet and Sour that the game will now begin.
The Wolhaiksong man shrugs off the attacks from each of Viole's teammates as he aims for Viole. The FUG Slayer prepares a shinsu punch as the Wolhaiksong person is left admiring Viole's courage to not run away, and decides to prepare to use his ultimate punch, the Emperor's Scorching Fist of Death, against him. However, Miseng pops out of the wall nearby still chasing after the tiny pig as an explosion occurs between Viole and the man from Wolhaiksong.
A bloodied Viole falls to the ground of the Zigena, and ends up unconscious; having protected Miseng from the explosion. The man from Wolhaiksong is left holding the tiny pig, and is surprised to learn that there was another flower inside the Zigena from the one he had been protecting this entire time. He informs Viole's friends that now that he has the tiny pig, he will let Sweet and Sour have the other flower he was protecting, and states that it's their reward for seeing Viole's courage to protect Miseng from the strongest man in the Tower. The Wolhaiksong man then turns around to leave as Viole's team spot the Mazino tattoo on his back, and are all left stunned upon realizing that they had just attempted to fight the powerful Irregular, Urek Mazino.
Urek exits the Zigena with the tiny pig at hand, and are greeted by a trio of Rankers led by Test Administrator Noma. The three attempt to fight Urek, but the Irregular shows off his overwhelming power by killing the two Rankers that were alongside Noma. He then subdues the Test Administrator under his foot.
Urek explains to Noma how he had caught on to their little scheme about keeping the Zigena as an endangered species by making sure that its babies wouldn't be able to survive so that they can keep the price of the flower jewels high. The Irregular warns them that he plans to raise the baby Zigena he retrieved to become an adult Zigena, which will make the jewels a common product one day. Noma warns Urek that he won't get away with this, which the Irregular answers that he will gladly fight him one day if he's still seeking revenge as he's not afraid of anyone.
Urek returns to the main 21st Floor test area where he's greeted by his Wolhaiksong attendant, Yuje, who infiltrated the 21st Floor as a Test Administrator. He hands the baby Zigena over to Yuje, who notes that the Irregular somehow got a face scratch battling the Rankers. Knowing the Rankers didn't do it, Urek thinks back to his encounter with Viole, and realizes that the FUG Slayer somehow got a hit in on him. Deducing that something fun is about to happen, Urek orders Yuje to keep an eye on FUG's new Slayer-Candidate.
Back in the Zigena, Viole finally wakes up, and is greeted by the rest of Sweet and Sour.
Sweet and Sour makes it to the third, and final, exam for the 21st Floor test only to end up completely confused as to why they're the only team remaining. Standing before Ranker Noma, the Test Administrator of the 21st Floor, Goseng asks what happened with the team they're supposed to be going up against in the final match, which Noma answers that he believes that they ran away. The answer stuns Sweet and Sour, which Noma explains that they were too scared to face off against Viole after realizing that the FUG Slayer was taking part in the test. Sweet and Sour asks how they are supposed to complete the test then, which Noma also answers that he's already prepared a replacement test just for their group.
Some time later, Sweet and Sour are transported by boat to a watery location somewhere along the border of the 21st Floor. The team looks in awe at the fish jumping out of the water, but Akraptor and Ehwa remain in their seats watching the rest of the team looking out at the sea. Ehwa questions how her team could be having a fun time despite currently taking the Floor test, but Akraptor notes how contradictory she's being seeing Ehwa put tanning oil on herself. The rest of the team decide to play beach vollyball next as Akraptor sees Noma appear before them in beach clothing.
Wondering if the Test Administrator is using this as an excuse to play around as well, Akraptor asks what their test is supposed to be out here, which Noma answers that they still have quite a ways before they arrive at the test arena location. Confuses by the answer, a sudden rumbling in the sea occurs as Sweet and Sour question what's causing the quake. One announces that something is appearing out of the sea, which Noma explains that they've arrived at the location. The team looks up in awe at the giant creature, known as a Zigena, that has arisen out of the water. Noma explains that this creature is the stage for Sweet and Sour's final exam.
Seeing water shoot off the hole on the Zigena's back, the creature gives off a mighty roar. Realizing that it's a mighty sea fish, Wangnan questions Noma if the team will be taking their exam there, which the Test Administrator answers to be the case. The Ranker explains that Zigena is basically considered to be a god on the 21st Floor, and states that all Sweet and Sour will have to go inside the creature to find the Flower of Zigena. Sweet and Sour look at him in shock, which Noma repeats that they are indeed going inside the body of the Zigena.
Getting on a tiny raft, Sweet and Sour are brought to the base of the Zigena as they hear the creature give off another loud roar. Wangnan looks down in irritation claiming to the group that they've been put in a terrible situation.
Wangnan thinks back to when they were just on the ship where he asks Noma why they have to go inside the Zigena to something that doesn't belong to them. Noma explains that the Flower of Zigena is a jewel that only grows inside the giant sea creature.
Wangnan remains confused hearing that the item they're searching for is a jewel, which Noma explains that while what they're looking for is definitely a flower, it also happens to have the ability to grow a jewel within it. The Test Administrator explains that the blue jewel that the flower creates is considered to be one of the most beautiful to find in the Tower, but is incredibly valuable, because it can only grow within the body of a Zigena.
Jumping off the ship, Noma informs Sweet and Sour that their goal is to find a jewel within the Zigena's body, and to return it back to the Ranker. He also tells the group that there's a small motorboat inside the ship that they can use to help them get close to the giant creature. He leaves off stating that the team will pass the exam the moment they find the Flower of Zigena.
Back to the present, Team Tansooyook's raft reach a ladder going up the edge of the Zigena. Wangnan goes up first with Miseng attached to him by rope followed by Akraptor and Goseng. On the way up, Wangnan complains about the test; asking why the Rankers are making Regulars do this instead of just getting the valuable jewels themselves. Goseng points out that going inside the body of a giant fish could make for a fun adventure. However, Wangnan reject it, and reminds the group that they don't know of the monsters they could come across inside the Zigena, which causes Goseng to call him a coward.
The four of them reach the top of the Zigena as they take the next moment to catch their breath after the climb to the top. Looking around, Wangnan spots the Zigena's giant blowhole. Goseng calls down to the rest of Team Tansooyook to move the raft to the location that Zigena is going to flip its body at. The Viole, Ehwa, Horyang and Prince team wave back from the raft to inform Goseng that they got the message. Wangnan's group then make their way towards the the Zigena's back blowhole.
Prior to the start of the test, Noma explains to Team Tansooyook how the Zigena works. That there are two blowholes: one on its back, and one on its belly. The Test Administrator explains that the blowholes are the safe passages to enter the Zigena, and that splitting the team up to enter through both holes would be far more efficient for the team to complete the test.
Noma also points out how Zigena rises out of the sea every two-and-a-half hours to sunbathe, and will flip over every 30 minutes. The Ranker leaves off with a warning that timing will be important as being too late, or too early, getting into the blowhole before the next flip could cost them their life.
Back to the present, Prince moves over to the raft's motor to start moving away from the Zigena to avoid the creature's flip. However, trouble occurs when Prince informs the group that the motor has stopped working. Ehwa asks what they're supposed to do since Zigena is about to flip over. She decides to work the motor herself, but becomes irritated when the motor also refuses to respond for her. She hits the motor with one of her fire-enhanced punches to get it to start moving, but ends up causing the motor to explode.
The rest of the team look at Ehwa in shock at what she just did as the Yeon member tries to play it off that it will go twice as fast now that it's become a black motor. Prince begins to complain about how it's not just food that Ehwa ends up burning as Ehwa yells back asking why he brought food into this. Horyang tries to calm the two down, but are soon interrupted by the roar of the Zigena. Fearing for their lives that the Zigena is about to flip over on them, Ehwa tries to get the broken motor to work. However, Prince orders her to stop since it's already completely destroyed at this point. Unable to do anything, they watch in fear as the Zigena flips over to turn onto its belly so that it's now facing the sun; landing on top of the raft that has Viole, Ehwa, Prince and Horyang on it.
Having already descended into the creature through the blowhole of the Zigena's back, Wangnan is seen holding on for dear life to a spear that's been stabbed into one of the inside walls; giving off a sigh of relief now that the flip is over. He reestablishes himself with Akraptor, Miseng and Goseng as the latter asks if the team members they left on the raft are doing ok. Wangnan reassures her that they should be fine since they the stronger members of the team were left on the raft, which Goseng admits to be pretty reassuring. A Flower of Zigena is seen on a nearby wall as Wangnan can be heard in the distance getting the team hyped up to search for it. However, his team reminds Wangnan that it's not going to be easy.
Near the Zigena Flower is a mysterious man wearing a snapback cap having fallen asleep on the ground. Hearing someone in the distance, the man asks himself if someone else is here as he turns over onto his back. His back is shown to have a giant tattoo of the Wolhaiksong wing symbol, and the name Mazino across the top of it.
Outside Zigena, Ehwa manages to pull herself up onto the belly of the creature. Completely exhausted, she falls down to catch her breath, and admits to herself that she would have died had she not learned how to swim at an early age.
Ehwa looks around hoping that the others from the raft made it out alright, but begins to worry that they may have died. she calls out to Viole, Horyang, and Prince in the hopes that someone will answer. Ehwa begins to wonder how much of a disaster it would be if word gets out that a Slayer-Candidate died not knowing how to swim, but Viole suddenly appears right behind her to inform Ehwa that he's not dead. Turning around, Ehwa gives off a half-hearted response seeing Viole still alive, which causes Viole to wonder what exactly Ehwa expected him to do.
Ehwa then asks how he managed to survive the flip, which Viole answers that he and Prince got a lift on Horyang, who turned out to be a good swimmer that was stronge enough to carry others. Ehwa is left shocked to realize that the three of them left her in the water, which Viole also answers that he didn't want to bother her since she seemed so focused on swimming.
Realizing that Viole was being considerate towards her, Ehwa gives off a blush and is unable to complain any further. She asks why Prince and Horyang aren't with him, which Viole answers that they went on ahead without him while he stayed back to wait for Ehwa. Moving towards the blowhole on the Zigena's belly, Viole states that the two of them should get moving to find the flower. Ehwa follows after asking him wait as her clothes aren't dry yet, and notes how she finds it odd how Viole already changed into something else.
Back to Wangnan's side, Goseng uses her light-bearer skills to look up information on the Flower of Zigena. She repeats the information that was already provided to them about how it only grows within the Zigena creature of the 21st Floor, and that the blue jewels the flowers make are extremely valuable and beautiful. She also notes that the reason they're hard to get is because the Zigena are classified as an endangered species on the 21st Floor. However, in the end, there's no specific data on how one is to locate the flower.
Fearing for the worst, Akraptor asks if what Goseng is implying is that they got to search the entire fish without any clues as to what would help them locate a Zigena flower. However, Goseng informs him that she found something else in the information her lighthouse provided. Before she could tell Akraptor what she discovered, they hear Wangnan scream in the distance. Arriving at Wangnan and Miseng's location, the four of them reach an opening to a giant open area within the Zigena that has hoops of multiple colors floating throughout it.
Looking at the floating hoops above and below them, Wangnan's group questions how they are going to get through this. Wangnan asks if they could use Goseng's lighthouse to carry them across, but Goseng informs him that if its either one at a time, or all of them at once, carrying them over will take way too much time. Wangnan scratches his head trying to think up something else, and deduces that they may have to just jump from hoop to hoop. However, he's told that Zigena flipping them over could easily screw them over during their journey across since they can't control the hoops.
At this moment, a tiny pink pig creature with a Flower of Zigena on its back jumps at them from behind, which scares Wangnan and Goseng into getting out of the way. They spot the tiny pig beginning to jump from hoop to hoop, and are left shocked to see that they had already found the Zigena flower.
Wangnan jumps ahead figuring that their only option at the moment is to chase after it, and lands on the hoop with the tiny pig. He orders for the tiny pig to stop, and lunges forward to try to grab it. However, the tiny pig dodges easily by jumping to another hoop as Wangnan ends up almost falling off.
Akraptor takes control of the situation, and orders Miseng to use her scout skills by locking her Observer onto the tiny pig so that they don't lose track of it. He then orders Goseng to send out her two lighthouses as Goseng moves them to the location of the tiny pig. Informing the group that the tiny pig has entered the field of her lighthouses, Goseng activates them to control the shinsu flow within the field, and manages to stop the movement of the tiny pig.
With the tiny pig trapped within Goseng's lighthouse field, Akraptor lands on the hoop with it ready to grab the creature. Moving in to grab it, the tiny pig manages to break out of the lighthouse field, and jumps over to another hoope, which surprises Akraptor. Wangnan catches up to them calling Akraptor an idiot for letting it escape, but despite Akraptor claiming that he didn't mess up here, Wangnan orders the group to continue chasing after the tiny pig. Chasing after the creature, Wangnan's group continue to jump along the hoops, which in turn, gets them to the exit on the other side of the hoop room.
At another location inside the Zigena, Prince and Horyang make their way through the giant fish ahead of Viole and Ehwa. With the light from his lighthouses showing off the giant pillars inside the Zigena, Prince is left standing in awe at the sight, and wonders what the inside of the Zigena is actually made of. He then turns to Horyang asking if they should take a break since the search for the Flower of Zigena could take a while which Horyang agrees with.
Stopping their movements, Prince takes this moment to look around to see if he could locate the flower somewhere in the vicinity. However, a warning siren goes off on his lighthouse, which catches Prince's attention. Prince realizes that his lighthouse is warning him of something coming from above him as a giant red worm-looking creature drops on him and Horyang. Looking at the red creature, Prince wonders if it's a parasite living inside the Zigena.
The parasite then charges toward them as Horyang calls out to Prince that they can finish this in one shot. Prince goes along with it, and uses the field between his lighthouses to stall the movements of the parasite (he tries it with three lighthouses to make it look cooler even though it's only done with two). Horyang then charges forward, and changes his wing into a fist to perform a punch against the right side of the parasite's face. The parasite falls to the ground in defeat as Horyang and Prince stand over it. Prince is left disappointed that the parasite didn't put up much of an effort, and asks Horyang if the giant noticed that his lighthouse control skills have been improving.
However, Horyang ignores Prince's question, and thinks over what happened just now. He deduces that something about this felt off, like the parasite wasn't attempting to attack them, but looked more like it was attempting to run away. Horyang looks in the direction that the parasite dropped from, and is able to make out someone at a high location above them.
The person comes crashing down to land at a spot near Horyang and Prince as the former orders the latter to get out of the way. Prince and Horyang find a spot in the area to shield themselves from the aftershock as Prince is left confused as to what's going on. Horyang takes a closer look at the man with the snapback cap who dropped in on them, and realizes that they're in the presence of someone extremely dangerous. Turning to Prince, Horyang orders him to run.
At another location in the Zigena, Viole and Ehwa feel the giant fish begin to shake violently for some reason. Ehwa questions what's going on as Viole becomes alert towards his surroundings. Viole then charges ahead to catch up to Horyang and Prince while Ehwa remains behind him wondering where the FUG Slayer is off to.
Back to Wangnan's side, his exhausted group continues to chase after the tiny pig that has the Flower of Zigena. Unable to catch up to it, Wangnan and company are forced to watch the tiny pig escape through a tiny entrance that they're unable to follow. Wangnan attempts to fit through it, but is confirmed to be too big. He then looks over at Miseng, and deduces that she might be able to do it given her small size. Goseng rejects it claiming that it would be dangerous for her to go alone, but Wangnan answers that it's the only way to continue chasing after the tiny pig. Wangnan asks Miseng if she has the courage to do this, which she answers that she does.
Switching to Prince and Horyang, the two of them continue to look at the Wolhaiksong person that dropped to their location. Prince asks about what Horyang said earlier about their need to run, which Horyang states once more that Prince needs to run away while the former attempts to stall the guy from Wolhaiksong.
Horyang states that the flow of shinsu coming from the guy doesn't feel like someone who should belong here. Despite Prince's continued confusion, Horyang orders him once more to run. However, shinsu Bangs start appearing all around the two of them. The area surrounding Prince and Horyang explodes as the man of Wolhaiksong orders the two of them to not run away if they desire to live longer.
Prince attemps to complain back, but Horyang orders him to be quiet, which the former does so. Horyang asks the man from Wolhaiksong why someone as powerful as him is on a level as low as the 21st Floor, which the man in the snapback cap replies that he doesn't want to answer as it would become problematic if people found out he was here in a Zigena. Looking towards Horyang with his red eyes from the darkness, the Wolhaiksong person reminds the two that he is one of the strongest beings in the Tower.
The Wolhaiksong person continues to speak to point out how stubborn they're being, and informs Horyang and Prince that they've already lost many Rankers that tried to challenge him inside the Zigena. He asks Horyang if they perhaps have a surplus of Rankers on the 21st Floor, but Horyang remains confused by what the Wolhaiksong person is talking about. He answers to the Wolhaiksong person that he doesn't know what they're talking about, and that the two of them aren't Rankers, which leaves the Wolhaiksong person confused. Horyang informs the Wolhaiksong person that they're here in the Zigena to find a flower in order to complete their 21st Floor test. In return, the Wolhaiksong person begins to laugh; finding it hilarious that the people trying to kill him have been reduced to sending in Regulars so that they wouldn't lose any more Rankers.
Prince asks what nonsense the Wolhaiksong person is talking about, which the latter answers that he's also here to search for a Flower of Zigena. However, the Wolhaiksong person informs Horyang and Prince that the Rankers kept interrupting him, and that he ended up having to kill all the Rankers that got in his way.
The Wolhaiksong person informs Horyang and Prince that he realized that the flower isn't ready yet, so he's had to sit by, and kill some time by killing off the Rankers that were sent after him in the Zigena. He also reveals to Horyang and Prince that the people after him sent Regulars into the Zigena, because they can't waste the lives of any more of their Rankers, and that their 21st Floor exam was just an excuse for that. The Wolhaiksong person admits that he pities the situation that the Regulars have been put in, and asks if they did anything to get on the bad side of their Test Administrator. Horyang takes a moment to think about it, and figures that it must have something to do with having Viole on their team.
The Wolhaiksong person reassures them that whatever the issue is, he will let them go anyway since what happened to the Regulars here is exactly the way that the Great Families try to deal with things they consider to be a problem. He asks for Horyang and Prince to forget what they saw here, and that they'll get to live if they choose to do so. However, he also informs the two that he can't give them the Flower of Zigena. He asks that they give up the exam, which leaves Prince and Horyang silent.
Horyang thinks the situation over wondering if there truly isn't anything else they can do. However, he suddenly hears Viole calling out to him. Turning around, Horyang and Prince see that Viole has caught up to them; exhausted from having to rush to their location. Viole looks over at the Wolhaiksong person nearby as the two catch each other's attention. Horyang informs Viole that they've entered a situation where they'd be better off just giving up the exam.
Seeing the FUG Slayer confused, Horyang explains that Test Administrator Noma had apparently set this final exam up to make FUG's Slayer-Candidate battle it out against an extremely dangerous foe. Horyang also points out that Viole must be able to feel how powerful this person of Wolhaiksong is, and that as long as the Wolhaiksong person has the Flower of Zigena, they can't win here. The Wolhaiksong person in return starts to get interested hearing that the newcomer is apparently a Slayer-Candidate. Horyang states once more that they should give up on the exam, which leaves Viole silent.
Back to Wangnan's side, he, Akraptor, and Goseng, remain outside the tiny entrance; having let Miseng enter it to chase after the tiny pig. Goseng asks if Miseng will be ok on her own, but Akraptor reassures her that Miseng doing something on her own will be good for her to get some self-confidence since she's been in a gloomy state as of late due to feeling useless to the team.
Wangnan orders Goseng to continue supporting Miseng from her lighthouse while he and Akraptor look around their general area for a possible way around, which Goseng agrees to. Wangnan and Akraptor then leave Goseng as the two walk down a path in the Zigena. As the two of them walk, Akraptor looks at Wangnan acting all serious about completing the exam, and asks what he's hiding.
Confused by the question, Akraptor explains that he's been paying attention to how Wangnan's been acting ever since the two people from FUG appeared at their 21st Floor home. That Wangnan's been training more, and has gotten more serious and focused about completing the task at hand. He admits to Wangnan that it's annoying not knowing what caused Wangnan to change his ways, and asks again what he's hiding.
Wangnan answers that it's because they're in a situation where no matter what, they can't lose this exam. He tells Akraptor that failure here will result in one of Viole's friends dying, which shocks Akraptor. Wangnan explains to Akraptor that FUG has put Viole in a position where every time Viole loses a test, the organization will kill off one of his friends. He continues by stating that Viole is someone that's going up the Tower in order to protect a group of friends that he made on the Floor of Tests, and that the place Viole belongs isn't with his current group, but the ones from the Floor of Tests.
Back over to the location of the Wolhaiksong person, Viole answers Horyang that he can't give up here, which shocks Horyang. Viole walks toward the Wolhaiksong person, and asks that Horyang and Prince get out of harms way as he will finish the exam himself. Horyang begs Viole not to do it as they can just try the 21st Floor exam again at a later time, but Viole continues to walk forward.
Viole is now standing before the man from Wolhaiksong as the latter asks why Viole doesn't choose to give up knowing that he will die in this fight. The FUG Slayer answers that it's because he fears something greater than death as he enhances his right arm with shinsu.
Starting to get interested, the Wolhaiksong person raises his right hand to blow a bit of wind in Viole's face to move the FUG Slayer's hairbangs out of the way. Looking into Viole's eyes, the Wolhaiksong person admits that while the FUG Slayer has girly hair, his eyes are shown to be strong and lively. The Wolhaiksong person admits that he's now interested, and steps out of the shadow to stand before Viole. The man with the snapback cap begins to power up his shinsu, and states to the little FUG Slayer boy that he will gladly play with him.
Seeing Viole standing before the Wolhaiksong person, Horyang turns to Prince, and states that the two of them will be going. Much to Prince's confusion, Horyang answers that it's because he doesn't desire to be in a fight that he knows he would lose. Horyang then turns around, and starts walking while Prince follows right behind. Viole continues to look at the Wolhaiksong person, who informs the FUG Slayer that it will only be a couple more minutes until the Zigena to flips its body over.
He then asks Viole if the two of them should play a game, which confuses Viole. The Wolhaiksong person explains that the Flower of Zigena that Viole's looking for is down the tunnel directly below them. He states that the game is simple, if Viole reaches the flower, then the FUG Slayer can have it, and complete the 21st Floor exam. However, if he catches Viole before he can reach the flower, then it will result in the FUG Slayer's death to him. He asks if Viole understands, which the FUG Slayer gives off a nod in agreement. The Wolhaiksong person then states that the game will begin the moment the Zigena flips over.
Horyang continues to walk away as Prince catches up to him asking if the devil's truly going to be leaving Viole alone with that Wolhaiksong guy. Despite Prince claiming that it's selfish, Horyang orders him to inform the rest of the team of Viole's current location. The order confuses Prince, which Horyang explains that the Zigena is on the verge of flipping, and that once it happens, Viole and the Wolhaiksong person will be heading to the location of the rest of their team. He states that once the two start moving, it will be a perfect chance for their team to attack the Wolhaiksong person together. He orders once more for Prince to do it, which causes the latter to awe in the devil's greatness that Horyang has still not abandoned Viole. Prince turns to his lighthouse, and prepares to make contact with the rest of their team.
At Wangnan and Akraptor's location, the two of them suddenly realize that they're getting a transmission from Prince. Wangnan reads it to Akraptor as the two are told by Prince to head to the location he's showing to them in order to help Viole, who's currently in danger. Goseng informs them that she got the transmission as well, and tells the two that getting to the location Prince sent is just a straight shot from here. Hurrying to Viole, Wangnan and Akraptor start running.
Still having a few minutes to kill before the Zigena flips, the Wolhaiksong person asks Viole if they can take the free time to have a brief chat. He asks Viole that while he knows a bit about the FUG organization, he wants to know if their goal truly is to take over the Tower in place of King Jahad. He states that since the Rankers of FUG have been around for a long time, it must be incredibly tempting for them to try to one day take the seat of the man that has become the Tower King. However, the Wolhaiksong person states that he has no interest in something as boring as the Tower King since that seat is reserved to Jahad, and would rather leave the Tower altogether. The Wolhaiksong person explains that there's a huge world outside the Tower: an endless sky, numerous stars that would fill up the night sky, and lands that stretch out millions of more times compared to the size of each Tower Floor.
He then states to Viole that thinking such a place could actually exist outside the Tower is what makes the things people desire in the Tower to be so trivial. Viole continues to look at the Wolhaiksong man, and states that he doesn't know about any of this. However, he answers the Wolhaiksong person that he doesn't desire any of this, like the seat of the Tower King, or to see the world outside the Tower. However, Viole states that he will fight if it's against someone trying to hurt somebody what's precious to him.
Instead of waiting for the flip, Bam uses his shinsu abilities to blast himself down the tunnel below them. The Wolhaiksong person looks down at Bam, and admits to himself that the FUG Slayer has guts choosing to start early, which he adds that Princess Yuri would love that about him. He states that he will count to ten, and hopes that Viole uses these seconds to prepare himself.
During the ten second countdown, Prince and Horyang prepare themselves to help Viole. Wangnan and Akraptor are also seen running as fast as they can to reach Viole's location. Ehwa is then seen running through the Zigena in an attempt to catch up to Viole. Miseng is seen still crawling through the small tunnel, and is close to catching up to the tiny pig creature with the Zigena flower. The countdown is about to finish as Viole turns around during his fall preparing himself to fight the Wolhaiksong person. Wangnan and Akraptor reach an opening to the downward tunnel where they see Viole falling.
Ehwa and Horyang make it to the downward tunnel as well as the Wolhaiksong person begins to get excited seeing that all the Regulars have started to gather below him. Looking down at Viole and the Regulars, the Wolhaiksong man gives off a smile, and states that the game will now begin.
Horyang is the first to charge toward the man of Wolhaiksong as he activates his ultimate devil form. He orders for Prince to stop him, who uses the field tactic with his lighthouses to try to stall the Wolhaiksong man's movements within his two lighthouse field. With the Wolhaiksong man's movements trapped, Horyang closes in on him. However, the Wolhaiksong man claims that Horyang and Prince would need the strength of the strongest Opera lighthouse to stop his movements for even just a millisecond. The Wolhaiksong person easily breaks the bind of Prince's lighthouse field, and kicks Horyang away into a wall of the Zigena. Prince calls out to Horyang hoping the devil is ok as Ehwa is seen blow them beginning to charge up her fire-powers.
Ehwa claims that even though she doesn't know what's going on at the moment, she's at least able to deduce that what the team has to do is defeat the Wolhaiksong man they're currently fighting. Wangnan answers that her assumption is correct as he and Akraptor are seen attacking as well; the former throwing one of his explosive shinsu balls, and the latter firing a beam of shinsu from his umbrella, towards the Wolhaiksong man.
With Ehwa's flames, the three attacks explode on the Wolhaiksong man as he drops down towards them. However, the attack is shown to have no effect as he continues to fall.
Getting close to Viole, the FUG Slayer prepares a shinsu attack, which excites the Wolhaiksong person upon seeing that his opponent has still not chosen to run away despite shrugging off his teammates attacks. The Wolhaiksong man charges up a shinsu Bang in his right hand, and announces to Viole that he will be sure to show off a legendary power to the FUG Slayer. Viole throws his shinsu enhanced punch at the man from Wolhaiksong as the latter aims to counter punch with his ultimate technique, the Emperor's Scorching Fist of Death. However, at the moment their punches are about to connect, Miseng is seen coming out of a nearby hole in the wall still chasing after the tiny pig with the Zigena flower. Seeing Miseng appear next to them surprises Viole and the Wolhaiksong person as a giant explosion occurs between the FUG Slayer and the man from Wolhaiksong.
Moments later, an unconscious Viole is seen lying on the ground bleeding out due to a major injury to his back. Holding onto the small pig with the Zigena flower, the man of Wolhaiksong stands over him, and sees the FUG Slayer holding onto Miseng; having shielded the small girl from the explosion just now. The Wolhaiksong man looks nearby, and sees Viole's teammates rushing toward him. Despite shaking in fear, Wangnan, Horyang and Akraptor prepare themselves to fight the man from Wolhaiksong. The Wolhaiksong man looks down at the tiny pig he's currently holding, and is surprised to see that there was actually more than one flower within the Zigena. He calls out to Viole's teammates, and tells them that they can now have the other flower to complete the exam.
Viole's teammates remain confused by what the Wolhaiksong person is offering, and states that since this tiny pig has been born, protecting the Zigena flowers isn't required anymore, and asks that they take the other flower he was protecting beforehand. Viole's teammates question why he's allowing them to have a Zigena flower, which the Wolhaiksong person answers that it's a reward to Viole for showing his courage to him. The courage to protect a teammate from the strongest man in the Tower.
Walking away from them with the tiny pig, the Wolhaiksong man waves goodbye. Wangnan remains confused about what's going on, but Horyang asks that they all look at the tattoo on the back of the man from Wolhaiksong. Wangnan makes out the word Mazino, which shocks them all to realize that the man they had just attempted to fight was the Irregular, Urek Mazino.
Still holding onto the tiny pig, Urek exits out of the Zigena's blowhole, and is now finally outside atop the giant fish. Test Administrator Noma stands outside the blowhole awaiting Urek's arrival with two other Rankers by his side, and points out to the Irregular that he finds it surprising to see Urek exit the Zigena by himself. Urek gives off a smile seeing the three Rankers before him, and asks if their plan was to use the Regulars as bait for the Rankers to catch him. The Irregular also complains that fighting three Rankers makes for an unfair match, but Noma laughs off the complaint knowing that Urek had already defeated many of the Rankers that were sent at him beforehand.
Noma's two Rankers charge at Urek as Noma charges up a shinsu attack of his own, and orders the Irregular to die. However, Urek gives off a smile, and brings up once more that three Rankers isn't a fair match for him. Urek fires a giant shinsu attack that completely disintegrates the two Rankers fighting alongside Noma. The Test Administrator is left completely stunned at what he just witnessed as Urek claims that they should feel embarrassed for not sending at least a thousand Rankers to fight him. Urek calls Noma a weakling for this pathetic attempt as the enraged Test Administrator attempts another attack on the Irregular. However, Urek easily dodges out of the way, and kicks Noma down to the ground.
Stepping on Noma's back, Urek holds the tiny pig before the Test Administrator, and asks the Ranker if he knows about the pink creature he's currently holding. Noma remains confused by the question, but is shocked to hear Urek tell him that it's actually a baby Zigena. Urek explains that he found out about a group of Rankers who went about plucking all the flowers of the Zigena despite knowing that the Zigena's babies require the flowers to provide them the needed nutrients to properly grow. He deduces that Noma and company were worried that if the babies were to eventually grow into adult Zigenas, then more of the valuable jewels would start to pop up on the market, and were worried that the price of the flower jewels would decrease drastically. Noma asks how he knew about this, but Urek refuses to answer.
Getting off Noma, Urek walks to the edge of the Zigena, and informs the Test Administrator that hundreds of years from now, the baby Zigena he's currently holding will grow into an adult Zigena on his watch, and bring the race out of being an endangered species. He warns Noma that soon enough, the jewels of the Zigena will one day be common just like any other jewel. Urek also taunts Noma by stating that the beauty of the jewels will always remain the same. Noma complains back that he won't get away with this, and asks who Urek thinks he is, which the Irregular answers that his name is written on his back as Mazino.
Realizing who Urek is surprises Noma. The Irregular then states that if the Test Administrator still has issues with him, he's free to seek him out as he's not afraid of anyone.
Leaving the sea spot of the Zigena, Urek arrives at the main test area of the 21st Floor where he's greeted by his Wolhaiksong attendant, Yuje. He congratulates Urek for a job well done as the Irregular shows Yuje that he was able ot get a Zigena baby, and hands it to his attendant. He asks Yuje to get word to Princess Yuri about it, which Yuje accepts. Yuje is then congratulated by Urek in return for being able to infiltrate the 21st Floor as one of its Test Administrators, which the attendant thanks him for.
Looking closer at Urek, Yuje points out that the Irregular has a small cut near his right eye, which surprises even Urek that he someone got damaged. Even though he knows that Urek is at a completely higher level, Yuje reminds the Irregular to not underestimate the Rankers since they also reached the top of the Tower.
Thinking back to how he got the cut, Urek realizes that it wasn't from a Ranker, but from the FUG Slayer, Viole, when the two of them clashed. Urek remembers feeling Viole's punch scratch his cheek at that time, and gives off a smile that the FUG Slayer had the courage to go on the offense against him instead of being completely defensive.
He decides to give Yuje another job, which confuses the latter. Urek explains that there's a new Slayer-Candidate in FUG, and asks for Yuje to keep an eye on him. Getting dressed in his Wolhaiksong clothes, Urek states that regarding that FUG Slayer, something fun is going to happen one day.
Meanwhile inside the Zigena, Viole's teammates surround the bloodied FUG Slayer hoping that he will wake up. Eventually, Viole opens one of his eyes.
Flower of Zigena Tropes
- Achievements in Ignorance: It's not until after the fact that Team Sweet and Sour finds out that they faced off with Urek Mazino and lived to tell the tale. The man was evidently holding back immensely and only really fought with Viole, but they are now part of a very short list of people who can claim such a lofty feat.
- Viole manages to scratch Urek. Not even Rankers attacking him in groups could touch Urek, but a lone Regular did it while also protecting his teammate from what would have been a lethal blow. Nobody noticed until Urek's associate Yuje pointed it out to him. This leads Urek to develop great interest in Viole.
- Arc Villain: Urek Mazino serves as this for Sweet and Sour
- Though it's revealed later on that Noma was the true villain of the arc.
- Awesome Ego: Urek Mazino is a calamity in human form and he knows it. Every scene he's in reinforces (often from Urek himself) just how overpowered he is compared to everyone around him.
- Badass Boast: Urek states that they should have sent at least a thousand Rankers to fight him at once just so he doesn't have to feel embarrassed over how badly they're underestimating him.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Test Administrator Noma turns out to be one. He seems like a nice guy at first only to be revealed that he was part of a group of Rankers keeping the Zigena endangered so that the creature's jewels remained incredibly valuable
- Character Death: Urek claims to have killed all the Rankers that were sent after him. He even shows off his power by quickly killing the two Rankers that were with Noma.
- Chekhov's Gun: Urek's first appearance in the Zigena has him lying down near a Zigena flower. Which serves as the extra one for Sweet and Sour since he later finds out about the Zigena baby that Wangnan's group were chasing.
- Contrived Coincidence: Miseng, who was pursuing the Flower of Zigena, happens to jump out right as Viole and Urek's powerful Shinsu is about to clash. The only reason this doesn't end in tragedy is Viole's quick thinking. Although Viole is grieviously wounded, it ultimately works out in his favor as his actions earn him the respect of Urek and a Zigena Flower as a reward for his courage.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Urek performs one on Noma, and his two Rankers.
- A Day in the Limelight: For Sweet and Sour taking part in the 21st Floor test. As light-bearers, Goseng and Prince get a bit of spotlight showing off the field-trapping ability they can do.
- Dramatic Irony: Urek remarks that Princess Yuri would take a shine to Viole if they ever met, unaware that those two have been acquainted for several years by this point and that, yes, Yuri does like him a lot.
- Endangered Species: The primary issue with the arc is that the giant Zigena fish is an endangered species, which is why the jewels that are created by the flowers within the creature are extremely valuable. Urek's overall goal in the Zigena was to find a baby Zigena that he would raise himself in order to save the species.
- Exposition: Some light-bearer skills are shown here, such as the explanation of the lighthouse fields that can trap people's movements when it's activated between two lighthouses.
- Government Conspiracy: The authorities of Floor 21 intentionally keep the Zigena an endangered species in order to prevent the jewel that grows within it, the Flower of Zigena, from losing value due to a supply increase.
- Handy Shortcoming: The creature carrying the jewel they need runs into a small tunnel, and only Miseng is small enough to fit and crawl into it in pursuit. Wangnan, with Akraptor's support, encourages Miseng to go in and continue the chase alone against Goseng's protests, which Miseng accepts. When she's gone, they muse that Miseng is eager to contribute to the team however she can, and this way Miseng can feel like she's accomplishing something.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Urek Mazino is one and he knows it. The man is so ridiculously powerful that the only reason he hasn't thrown the entire Tower into anarchy is because he doesn't feel like it.note Not a single person in that Floor can hope to defeat him, not even teams of Rankers coming at him at once. The fact Viole was able to put a scratch on him while protecting Miseng from his attacks, where Rankers themselves failed to touch him at all, leads Urek to develop interest and respect for Viole.
- Internal Reveal: Wangnan reveals the truth about Viole to Akraptor, who picked up that Wangnan's behavior had shifted considerably ever since they were visited by Hwaryun and Jinsung.
- Kaiju: The Zigena is a titanic creature which is native to the 21st Floor and worshipped like a god in it. Fortunately, it is quite docile and only emerges from the deep in order to sunbathe for a few hours, although it flips every thirty minutes to sunbathe the other side, which causes enormous waves to disturb the surrounding area.
- Let's You and Him Fight: The test given to Sweet and Sour is ultimately an attempt to get Viole killed fighting a hopeless opponent (Urek), or if they somehow succeed, kill or drive said opponent out of Zigena. It doesn't pan out as intended because Urek doesn't particularly want the blood of innocent Regulars on his hands, spares Viole out of respect, and is far too powerful for anyone in Floor 21 to hope to defeat.
- Monster Is a Mommy: The jewel Sweet and Sour scavenges for grows on the back of a baby Zigena. The jewel and the flower it's named after are actually part of the reproduction process of the Zigena and harvesting it early intereferes with the process, endangering the species.
- Please Wake Up: The visual reaction of Miseng, and soon after Team Sweet and Sour, in the aftermath of Viole using his body to protect Miseng from Urek.
- The Reveal: Test Administrator Noma set Sweet and Sour up by pitting the FUG Slayer, Viole, against Urek in an attempt to get the latter out of the Zigena so that Noma's Ranker group could continue collecting the valuable jewels that grow inside the Zigena.
- The Zigena is worshipped like a deity in this Floor, but the Floor's own authorities are intentionally endangering the species to ensure the Flower of Zigena remains an exceedingly rare and precious jewel, fearing its value would drop if the species proliferated and more of the jewels appeared on the market.
- For those who haven't read SIU's translated blog posts, Urek's commentary reveals he is personally acquainted with Yuri, a relationship which is supposed to be highly improper if not borderline treasonous for a Jahad Princess. note
- Secret Keeper: Wangnan is still hiding Viole's secrets from Sweet and Sour. However, his decision to support Viole causes an obvious enough shift in behavior that Akraptor picks up on it and confronts him about it while in private, leading Wangnan to bring Akraptor in on the secret.
- Sunk Cost Fallacy: Viole claims that he did not interrupt Ehwa's desperate attempts to avoid drowning or fish her out of the water because he didn't want her effort to go to waste. Hilariously enough, it works.
- Taking the Bullet: Viole uses his own body to shield Miseng from Mazino's attack, taking a very serious wound on his back that leaves him bleeding out on the floor, but miraculously manages to survive it. Under any other circumstances, this would have been an actual sacrifice. note As Urek puts it, Viole showed "the courage to protect a teammate from the strongest man in the Tower", gaining Mazino's respect.
- The Load: Miseng is keenly starting to feel this trope as the youngest and weakest of Sweet and Sour, leading to her eagerly accepting any task in which she can contribute to the team.
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Horyang orders Prince to retreat with him and let Viole handle Urek by himself, seemingly turning his back on Viole, but this is actually a subversion; what Horyang actually intends is to get them out of earshot and have Prince message the team to gather at their rough location so that they can all gang up on Urek alongside Viole.
- Wham Shot:
- The sight of Mazino's tatooed name on his back before his full reveal.
- The complete reveal of Urek Mazino.
- Viole managing to get a scratch in on Urek is also one.
- Womb Level: The Flower of Zigena only grows inside of the Zigena, so Sweet and Sour has no choice but to venture within its body to find it. Unlike most examples of this trope, Zigena has two blowholes on opposite sides of its body that they can use to easily access its insides, as long as they can get in and out of Zigena before it's done sunbathing.
- World's Strongest Man: Honestly, the whole point of the arc was to show off the power of the Irregular, Urek Mazino.note
- Worthy Opponent: For a given value of "villain", Mazino comes to respect Viole for having the courage to risk his life to save his teammate in the face of the most powerful man in the Tower. He gains even more respect for Viole upon discovering that Viole didn't abort his attack to save Miseng, but managed to scratch him even while defending Miseng.