Chapter 43 - Day 12, Cooperation
Yang Su-jin and Yoon Ji-hee weren’t here. After conquering the forest according to Isaiah’s rules, the two people disappeared with the same effect as though the floor had been cleared.
I was still affected by the poison. My HP was still slowly reducing. Since my time limit wasn’t infinite, it was impossible to relax until the poison had worn off. But there was still work to do.
I ordered some Tellans to carry a corpse out of the forest. They immediately followed my instructions and carried the body of Glasses to the factory city. The golems were waiting there. The ‘Falen Guards’ were stone statues that were much smaller than the Talia Knights.
Their rank was C+ and they were mostly dormant. Their language speaking ability wasn’t very smooth. “Now. Workshop is in downtime. Remaining power source and raw materials are completely exhausted.”
I wanted to lie down on a bed but I gave orders to the guards. I called the Talia golems. There were batteries that received energy from sunlight not just inside the golem, but throughout Talia’s facilities as well. “Can you turn this factory on?”
“In the case of the guards, the power source can be replaced immediately. It will take some time to improve the workshop facilities.”
I handed over Glasses’ body. “The armor this brat is wearing, can you take it off and recycle it?”
“It is possible once the workshop is running. In the case of additional goods production, the raw materials are insufficient.”
“Keep it.” If I wanted to make something here, then I needed to obtain an iron mine or something similar. This was enough for now. My body was shaking more and more. My eyelids kept on wanting to close. I was too sick to do any more... Despite my enhanced body, this was the limit.
I used the golems to head to the stairs in the centre of Talia. Just as I was about to step on the stairs, “That, King...” An elderly person approached me and started talking. He was an elder of one of the villages in the forest. “Thank you again for the blessing you have given us. If you command us...”
“I know.” Once again, I didn’t want to play as a king. Even small villages had experienced leaders, so it would be good if I didn’t need to touch it. “Just familiarize yourself with this city and how to use the facilities. Well, that is the end. Goodbye.”
“We will keep that in mind. If King wants…”
“Huh?” The old man stepped aside to reveal some girls. They were women in their mid teens and early 20’s. In the meantime, they had washed up and decorated themselves, revealing a gorgeous appearance.
“Once you get enough rest. These attendants...”
“Ah. No need. I don’t need them.” I raised my arm with the severed hand. Aside from whether I liked them or not, I couldn’t do anything with a body like this. ... In addition, the Tellans were similar to humans, but I didn’t know what would actually happen. I wasn’t going to risk myself in the dungeon by indulging in carnal lust. I wouldn’t accept any of them.
I stepped on the stairs without hesitation.
My eyes were currently at the limit. Blood gushed from my neck as I stepped on the stairs.
It was 3:00 p.m. I received a fifth call.
[Well done. Let’s go eat with the other study group members.]
“Yes.” The results for the exams of the major subjects came out a little faster than usual. Even if the name didn’t appear, the identity could be roughly grasped using the student number. The people who saw my score immediately sent me a message or called me.
My rank for Systems Programming and Operating Systems was respectively a ‘3’ then ‘4’. For the Electrical Circuits Test, I received the first rank.
Of course, I was glad. I had accomplished something I had never done before. It wasn’t just the exams for this semester, but everything I could do in the future. It was also scary.
I washed my face with cold water and looked in the mirror. The face still felt a little unfamiliar to me. I had changed. Starting with my appearance to the amount of time it took to understand something.
I was born again in just 11 days. No matter who thought about it, the tremendous growth was bound to be strange for those who knew about the dungeon.
Now I needed to be prepared. There was the possibility of a second or third Lee Sang-yoon appearing. At this point, it was meaningless to hide the abilities I had gained from the dungeon. There would be few survivors around here.
But what about the few who had survived? I might meet them someday. So far, I was a predator, but that was because the sea was wide and there were many prey to fill the area. Whenever a floor was cleared, dozens of prey would disappear. Only predators were left.
Furthermore, it was a bit different from nature. Predators in the natural world weren’t willing to fight bigger opponents. A shark didn’t choose the prey. But in the dungeon, the size of the prey and the taste of meat were proportional. Every shark was looking for a mass of food similar to themselves.
The phone on my desk vibrated. It was Yoon Ji-hee. She had already contacted me once in the morning. Yoon Ji-hee wouldn’t call me for nothing. I took a deep breath before pressing the accept call button.
Then I picked up the call.
It was the first time I was riding a car with a driver, except for taxis of course. I looked at the scenery passing through the window. I was alone in the car. There was no Yoon Ji-hee. Chairman Yoon gave direct orders. ‘I’ll send a car to get you to the destination.’
Yoon Ji-hee was stuttering from panic but I understood immediately. “Well, it isn’t a big deal.”
It was serious. He was the chairman of a big company. It wasn’t unusual for the old man to expect his words to be obeyed. So I took several deep breaths. Things could happen if I tried to hurt Yoon Sang-gyu. There was no other way.
In addition, the scenery passing by was the center of Seoul I had already looked at the destination on the navigator before the car started.
[You have arrived at your destination.]
UZ Convention Centre. It was a place that was always crowded with various events, including expos. I was guided to an indoor stage. It had approximately 300 seats, usually used for seminars.
I walked to the door. “Hrmm.”
After a moment, The soundproofed door was opened very slowly. Numerous eyes could be felt from inside the room. To be specific, they were looking at any new people who entered. People were sparsely sat throughout the audience seats.
Nine? No, eight. Including me, it was nine. I could somehow feel it. There was a strange atmosphere even before I came in. This was an aquarium. It was a collection of sharks.
It felt like sticky tongues were licking my whole body. I ignored their gazes and memorized the faces of the eight people here. Then I picked a spot and sat down. A few minutes later, a person appeared on stage.
He was a man in his early 30s wearing a suit. He seemed like a worker who had spent a few nights away. “Nice to meet you.” The man hit the mike a few times before talking. “Honestly, I was a bit worried. I’m glad that everyone showed up. Well, you are all great people and might have the same idea...”
I didn’t know what he was talking about. The man continued speaking. “Ah... I should introduce myself. I’m sorry. I’ve been out of my mind for a few days... I am Kim Tae-hyun, the deputy manager. You can just call me Kim Tae-hyun. Deputy Manager Kim. Anything is fine.”
The most important thing was that he didn’t say ‘where’ he was the deputy manager. However, it wasn’t a mistake. "This is a national affair.” He briefly added at the end.
“How did you know about me?” I heard someone asking.
Kim Tae-hyun scratched his head and replied. “There are reports and data from many layers of society. It is clear if a person suddenly shows outstanding skill, exam results, performance reports etc. Once someone knows about the dungeon, there are many areas that can be investigated.”
If so, the people were gathered here for a reason. “Is the country trying to control us?”
“Huh? No! That’s not it. There is no reason for that, nor do I think we should do so. Are you doing anything that will harm society?” To be more precise, we couldn’t harm society. It seemed correct.
“The purpose of this is to create some minimal rules. We hope to build a partnership with you.” Kim Tae-hyun explained.
Killing a person in reality would allow the killer to receive their talent. There was at least one person here who was thinking about killing everyone else here.
“The growth in physical abilities far beyond ordinary people allows you to kill an unspecified number of people. That would be a bloodbath. I asked you here in order to prevent that.” Kim Tae-hyun raised his index finger. “In the dungeon, please kill everyone else except for you.”
“...!?” Some groaned, some laughed.
I felt like laughing. It was because the words sounded psychotic. Who would be the ones likely to kill people in reality? The people gathered here? No. Those who attended here only wanted to kill each other, strictly limiting it to sharks.
But the ones like Lee Sang-yoon were different. Even though their self-esteem was strong, it was broken inside the dungeon. Those people would risk their lives to kill people in reality. We should kill those weak ones.
That’s why they called us. If the strong minority gathered here handled it, at least reality would be clean. "Of course, it isn’t for nothing. Some of you are enjoying the benefits of being a leader, so I won’t ask you to kill your subordinates without any compensation.”
Kim Tae-hyuk clapped and men in suits emerged from the back of the stage, pushing a few carts. "You will be able to come out of the dungeon with the body part of a person killed. If you bring a recognizable source of identity, such as a fingerprint, you will be paid a certain amount of points per person after some investigation in reality.”
However, in reality, no one would die. Society would be calm without any problems. That’s what they wanted. While Kim Tae-hyun pulled open the lid of a box, I paid more attention to Kim Tae-hyun. I wasn’t in a position to speak. But I could feel assured about something. Kim Tae-hyun was a formidable psycho.
“I will be happy to swap this for points. They are just samples so if you have any questions then please ask.” Once the boxes were opened, everyone let out a groan. “Everyone should have the default ability to take this into the dungeon.”
They were guns painted in different colours, like toys. Placed together, they seemed like explosives.
“Ah, this isn’t a very important question.” Kim Tae-hyun said like he suddenly recalled something, drawing the attention back to him. He threw a surprise hook.
“If you are a ‘king,’ then please raise your hand.”