Chapter 38 - Day 11, Use
It was the morning of the 11th day when the letters popped up. I had just woken up after a comfortable night’s sleep.
[Today at midnight. The dungeon will open.]
Those letters popped up. Well, I felt like this had been coming.
"Now." I lightly hit each cheek. I would live diligently today. The exams were all over. Even so, I was waiting for the final exams of the second semester.
I turned on the computer. There was a message from Ha Jae-hak in my messenger. Even though it happened three days ago, he had contacted me first and we frequently kept in touch.
Yesterday, I was introduced to some developers and the president of a start-up. All of them were in their late 20’s and were well known people in the current industry. I shared a few words with them and there was some outsourcing for a fairly high price.
Apart from the profit, it was a chance to work deeply with developers and learn from them! This was probably my sunbae’s gift. No, it was a bribe. He wanted to show me the full taste of his contacts.
Well, even so, I wouldn’t be moved. I would just gratefully accept the things he gave me.
[Good morning. Hee-chul.]
“Yep.” There was a video call meeting about the system and then I started to work on it. Their expectations towards me weren’t high, so it felt more like they were using me as an assistant but...
[Ohu. Hee-chul is brighter than I thought. This isn’t the image from yesterday.]
"Is that so?"
[You can just jump into the industry without needing to go to school. You will quickly adapt. Originally, bright people don’t finish school.]
"It’s because I’m afraid.”
[Huhu. If I don’t know anything, then I will contact you immediately. Anyway, I am bored because I am working at home.]
It was approximately 3 p.m. when I received a phone call in the middle of working. I checked the caller and immediately exited my apartment. Lee Sang-yoon was standing in front of my building.
"I asked for information, not for you to come here.”
“...” There was frustration and desperation on his rotten face.
I reached out. "If you don’t have anything to give me then get lost.”
A car was parked behind Lee Sang-yoon. I didn’t know much about cars, but I knew that it was a very expensive car that wasn’t commonly seen on these streets. It wasn’t a car that Lee Sang-yoon would come in.
“Don’t worry. I’ll end this quickly.”
I heard a voice as the car door opened.
“Sang-yoon isn’t good, but he did do a lot for us.” The first one who stepped down was a person dressed like a wannabe hip-hop singer. He approached Lee Sang-yoon and placed an arm around his shoulder.
Lee Sang-yoon shivered.
“Isn’t that right, Sang-yoon? It doesn’t matter how scared you are. You won’t try to sell information on your colleagues.”
“...” Two more people emerged from the backseat. One male had a hairstyle using pomade and wore horn-rimmed glasses. The other person had a big physique, like a western male, and wore a t-shirt with the name of a foreign university.
It was the first time I had seen them, but it wasn’t hard to guess who they were. They were the trio that Lee Sang-yoon tried to use only to fail.
"This time I met him directly, but his spirit wasn’t in a proper state. I could tell that something was wrong. So we investigated the truth. You asked him to give you information about us?”
"You did? Hah, truly. You’re a scary one.”
As the hip-hop person looked surprised, the macho man opened his mouth. His eyes were examining my building. "You live simply. Do you go to the same university as Lee Sang-yoon?”
The man with horn-rimmed glasses spoke in response to the macho man’s question. “Kim Hee-chul. 23 years old. Lives at 42-3, Hyunan-dong, Seongtan-si, Gyeongi-do. Rents a room in an 18 pyeong house. His father is self-employed. His mother is a housewife.”
"Kya. We’re not stalkers. Isn’t that right?” Hip-hop finished with an exclamation. When looking at the group of three, I felt like I was seeing cogs turning together.
Then Glasses opened his mouth again. "Lee Sang-yoon will be ‘out’ right at midnight today. This is a self-inflicted result. It is for trying to leak information.”
Hip-hop giggled and put strength into his arm, which was wrapped around Lee Sang-yoon’s neck. Lee Sang-yoon frowned like he was in pain. "I feel this is enough, but we came to warn you.”
“Is there still more to the warning?”
“Of course.” Glasses nodded. “On the 8th floor, there is a high probability that we will encounter each other.”
What did that mean?
“I did a simple survey on the sixth and seventh floors. The area of the fifth floor you stayed in is V9? It’s a place where all the explorers of your neighbourhood gathered. We were in V11.” Glasses said.
They had reached a guess after dealing with the people on the sixth and seventh floors. On the sixth and seventh floors, there were people from V9, V10 and V11.
"It seems like people were mixed up on the sixth floor, but in fact, it is just the people from those three areas that were mixed up. It was the same on the seventh floor. In the end, we are in close proximity and will likely encounter each other.”
There was a possibility that the number of people were reduced after the sixth and seventh floors. Thus, chances were high that the people from the three areas, who cleared the seventh floor, would meet up on the same eighth floor.
“You have until then to give an answer.” This time, it was Macho who spoke in a heavy voice.
These scum, had they come up with the script in advance?
"You will replace the position of Lee Sang-yoon, or you’ll end up like him. We know who you are. We can intervene in your reality. Remember this.”
“...” I scratched my head. Were they finished?
"He is completely stiff.”
Hip-hop laughed as he used his grip on Lee Sang-yoon’s neck to turn him around. At that moment, I said to his back.
“Kim Su-han. 24 years old. On a leave of absence from G University. Your father is the president of a confectionery company and your mother is the famous daughter of a rich family in the Gyeonggi-do area. You have two older sisters. One is married, then divorced, and the other is single. Currently living apart from your family in XX-dong.”
This time, I turned towards Glasses. “Hwang Jong-gyu. 25 years old. Graduated from S University. Your father is a lawyer and you are currently enrolled at the same law school. Your mother is a soldier. You are the only son. Due to your stingy father, the house you live in is a common apartment.”
Finally, Macho was last. “Kwak Cheol-jin. You didn’t want to do anything annoying and became a famous football player in Pasadena. You’re currently working at your father’s company."
My mouth dried up from talking too much. Hip-hop turned back towards me with wide eyes.
"What, do you think you were the only ones who could find out information?” I asked. Surprisingly, Yoon Ji-hee worked quite well. Her mother had ties with some companies. I didn’t know how a chaebol got their information, but she accomplished a remarkable achievement only three days after I met Lee Sang-yoon.
"I haven’t memorized all of it, but I have a bunch of papers with things written on them. I can show them to you if you want.” I took a step forward.
“...!” Hip-hop removed his arm from Lee Sang-yoon and had a serious expression on his face. It didn’t matter if they believed me or not. I was done with that part. I approached the front of the car that Hip-hop drove.
“Well, okay. You did a background check on us. But then what?"
"My life, will you be able to intervene in it now?” I asked.
“Why? Does it sound like a joke?” Macho asked with folded arms.
“Yes.” I nodded and...
I pulled off the emblem on the front of the car.
"You crazy bastard!” Hip-hop instantly rushed over to me.
I didn’t raise a fist. I opened both arms and welcomed him. It was like I was calling for him to hit me.
“Why?” Hip-hop didn’t end up punching me.
“Try it. I already did one thing to you guys already.” I rolled the emblem around in my hands. The people controlling Lee Sang-yoon weren’t fools. They couldn’t punch a person in broad daylight, or use an ability.
I looked back at Glasses and Macho. “Right now, you’re so afraid of getting involved with the police that you can’t even punch me. Can you really intervene in my life?”
Of course, I also couldn’t hit these guys. But they had said it first. They would ruin my life. It was like putting a poisonous pill among prescriptions. The other party that received the poison would desperately try to fight back. If they wanted to declare that they would ruin somebody’s life, they had to be prepared to play the game as well.
Sometimes, a socially weak person would be able to over a strong person with desperation. But that was different. These people had poured a lot of oil on the fire. They were going against me.
"I wonder what you would try to do? Perhaps ruin my father’s store? Will you be responsible for causing a deficit? Or maybe create a big debt like seen in dramas?”
I put strength into the hand holding the emblem. The cool brand logo became dull aluminum foil in the blink of an eye. I threw it at Glasses. It hit him in the chest and gently fell to the ground.
"If your house truly has that much power, then give it a try. But I will also intervene in your lives in my own way. Yes?”
Of course, this could just be acting but what if it really was going to happen? They seemed to realize the answer. Thus, they didn’t say anything. It wasn’t just Hip-hop, but Glasses and Macho as well. They tried to intimidate me, only to receive a declaration of war that made it difficult to follow through.
I pulled off one of the side mirrors of the car as well. I heard the sound of grinding teeth coming from the mouth of Hip-hop, who seemed to be the owner of the car. But he looked at Glasses instead of attacking me.
"What you are doing now is obviously vandalism. You also have documents containing our personal information...”
"You can sue me.” I nodded, but then said some additional words.
"But you know, if charges are brought against me... I will understand that you want to ruin my life and take it as a declaration of war.”
"Then I will start.”
"I will also intervene in your lives.” The completely flattened mirror fell to the ground. “Well. That’s okay. It’s like you said.” In a while, we would meet up in the dungeon.
"I will make sure that all of you can’t even remember this event. Both the good and bad memories. I will be relieved of my guilty conscience, so isn’t it a win-win?”
I waved my hand and headed back to the entrance of my building. I would finish off these people in the dungeon.
“... I will look for you inside.” Glasses spat out a final remark.
I said goodbye to Lee Sang-yoon who was almost crammed in the back seat. Maybe they would keep him with them until midnight in order to prevent any information from leaking. "The worst thing you are worried about isn’t going to happen.”
I didn’t have any evidence. I didn’t know how Lee Sang-yoon interpreted it, but his eyes looked a bit shaken as the door closed.
30 minutes until midnight. I finished my preparations to enter the dungeon.
I raised my hand to my mouth as I thought about the last three days. It would be a lie to say I wasn’t amused. I was able to enjoy a much different world than before. The previous days had seemed like a dream.
... I was a little afraid. The person who gave us three days of rest was very familiar with humans. After not entering the dungeon for a few days, I felt that fear. If I was to die in the dungeon, all this effort to change myself would be a waste. I didn’t want that to happen.
No matter what happened...
My phone rang. The number was one that I saw for the first time, but I knew who the caller was.
As I picked up the phone, Lee Sang-yoon’s was panting on the other end. He seemed to be in pain. “Did you run away?”
[T-That, although... It doesn’t matter.]
It was now 25 minutes to midnight. Even if he held on in reality, Lee Sang-yoon was destined to be out in the dungeon.
[I... I hate you.]
[But... You’re the only one. That seems to be the case. So... I’m talking to you.]
What of it? He was talking because he was aware of the possibility of all this happening. Although he hated me, his hostility towards those three people was greater, so he gave me information about them.
In the end, I was used to get revenge. While inwardly thinking this...
I listened to Lee Sang-yoon’s words.
[8th floor entry.]