Chapter 49: The Family’s Condition #5
Tae-hyuk circled around the Death Circus and explained each of the attractions to An Eun-jeong one by one. The rules of the death game, spoken in a calm and cool voice, were imprinted into Eun-jeong’s head.
The next place that they arrived at was a pool filled with water up to the knees.
"There is a cylindrical shaped cushion floating on the water. Perhaps this is an attraction where we have to make it to the other side.”
Tae-hyuk approached the sign and said.
"If successful, we will be awarded 30 million won. By the way, the liquid underneath is hydrochloric acid. If a person slips, then their bones will melt. But the worst thing is that the hydrochloric acid isn’t very deep. It isn’t enough to cause instant death. You will have to endure a few minutes where your feet is melting. The name of the attraction is the Bridge of Pain... Doesn’t the name really match?”
It was a method that frequently appeared on TV entertainment programs. The red stain spreading in the hydrochloric acid looked like strawberry syrup. There was also a lump floating in one corner. Tae-hyuk spoke as he pointed to it.
"It seems like one challenger has already failed. Still, I think that this attraction has a better return on time than others. We are wasting money by just looking around. Why don’t you try it?”
"I-I-I can’t! How can I do that?”
Other attractions would only cause a loss of money if they failed. Even it it hurt, there wasn’t a 100% chance of dying. However, the Bridge of Pain would cause death if she didn’t recover instantly. Furthermore, the appearance of the red syrup and lump of flesh turned her off from the attraction.
30 million won could only be obtained from taking such risks. Tae-hyuk was reminded of entertainment programs again. An obstacle was placed on an ordinary pool and the contestant had to cross to the other side. If the contestant fell, then they would only get wet.
Even so, the success rate wasn’t that high. Among them, the most difficult thing to run on was a cylinder. In other forms, they could grab onto the cushion if they lost their balance and fell. However, the cylindrical cushion was different. They would literally turn over and hit the water.
Falling meant death. It was hard to take one step in this situation, even if the person was strong. Moreover, this wasn’t the end.
Tae-hyuk looked at the large fan that was installed in the middle of the pool. It was off now, but it was ready to operate at any time.
'In the first place, the Bridge of Pain is an attraction that can never be cleared.’
After seeing one failure, there wouldn’t be anyone who could easily challenge this.
Tae-hyuk knew how Kim Joon-young would take advantage of this. The Death Circus had a closing time. At that time, those who collected close to the amount of escape might rarely come out. If they collected 20~30 million won each time, then they would eventually get 200 million won.
However, there wasn’t enough time to play the games. Then this bridge would become the temptation for them to get enough money for freedom. Of course, it was just like a gun loaded with bullets. The participants inevitably put their feet on the bridge, and once they started crossing...
The result was that more strawberry syrup would be added to the pool.
“Then let’s go to the next attraction.”
An Eun-jeong grabbed Tae-hyuk’s collar as he walked forward. She couldn’t speak properly after such a great shock.
“I-I-I’m so...rry. T-Take a break for a moment...”
"There is still a lot to see. Time is also money. As you can see, most of the attractions engender conflict between people. It is better to move as much as possible.”
There was no time to waste. An Eun-jeong replied in a squeamish voice.
“…I can barely move. 10 minutes... no, just five minutes.”
"Then we will take a break for five minutes and look around again.”
He saw a place where they could take a break. There were chairs and a table. Next to it was a vending machine.
"I-I’ll get a drink...”
"I would strongly recommend that you don’t drink anything here, despite being thirsty. Devices are prepared. There is a possibility that you might ingest something strange.”
Eun-jeong bit her lip. She remembered the tea and sweets she ate before coming here.
"Then what I ate...”
"Well. It is possible. But you were the one who made the choice. I guess this is the big price you have to pay.”
Eun-jeong couldn’t answer and looked down at the table. A small sob was heard. Tae-hyuk looked at the crying Eun-jeong with cold eyes.
She was the one who would drive Ha-ran to ruin. Of course, it was also due to the bad multilevel company Tiwai International and the Death Circus organized by Producer Kim Joon-young. However, this didn’t mean that An Eun-jeong’s sins had disappeared. She had already pulled several people into the multilevel company.
If he had to say some harsh words... Every person needed to be accountable for their choices. An Eun-jeong had signed up for the Death Circus, and now she was paying for it. But she still had something left. The sin of bringing in innocent people to the multilevel scheme. It was something that couldn’t be easily repaid.
"Noona should know how many people suffered from her mistakes. How many people did you bring into this company? They will all meet ends like this.”
"...I-I'm sorry. I am really sorry.”
An Eun-jeong couldn’t raise her head and started to apologize.
He lost his appetite. She was the enemy who drove Seo Ha-ran to ruin. He would rather hate her and act like she was a criminal, but that wasn’t the case.
She was also a victim of the system. He couldn’t forgive her but he decided not to blame her.
Tae-hyuk wanted to confirm one thing with Eun-jeong. It was the reason why she had joined Tiwai International.
"By the way, why did you need so much money?”
An Eun-jeong was lost in thought for a moment and didn’t say anything. Then all of a sudden, she started talking.
"I have a younger sister and there is a distinct gap between us. I prefer to play around without much interest in studying, while she is an example of a perfect student. She always got first place since elementary school.”
She had a younger sister who was a model student. An Eun-jeong had a huge inferiority complex towards her sister.
"My dad told me to marry quickly since I can’t do anything else. He engaged me to a promising doctor... In the end, I couldn’t bear it, so I ran away. But... But... I found out that my mother had leukemia. I wanted to be recognized. I wanted her to be proud of her daughter at least once before she died. Not the stupid daughter who ran away...”
Eun-jeong’s voice trailed off and she slowly started to cry.
“Eun-jeong wanted to be recognized as family?”
"Then I’m sorry. They seem to think a little differently.”
Eun-jeong lowered her face with a really pained expression. However, Tae-hyuk’s words didn’t end there.
"In fact, I came here as a favor to someone.
“Yes. Someone asked me to rescue Eun-jeong from here.”
"To be exact, it was your younger sister.”
Eun-jeong’s eyes widened as she realized who sent Tae-hyuk to this place.
"The conditions for being a family? Is there such a thing? It doesn’t matter how wrong you were, nor how bad you are now. You are still family. Stop being a fool and come back soon."
An Eun-jeong sighed. Then she muttered in a low voice.
"Eun-young... I’m sorry...”
‘Is the shock therapy over?’
Tae-hyuk sighed and patted Eun-jeong’s hair. What would she look like if her sister was actually in front of her? He tried to imagine such a ridiculous thing, but it wasn’t over yet. No, rather, it was starting now.
"The melodrama has now ended. Anyway, so far we’ve looked at roughly 70% of the attractions. You must have come to the conclusion that you can’t get out of here.”
"This is just like human chess. If you lose, then you will lose a corresponding body part. If you are lucky and win consecutively, you’ll only lose an arm or an eye. You don’t want to leave here like that.”
"Then what can I do?”
"From now on, Eun-jeong will have to entrust me with your money and life. If you don’t like it, then you can move on your own.”
An Eun-jeong bit her lip. It was a proposal that wasn’t easy to accept.
"But what is your relationship with my younger sister?”
"Well. She was gracious enough to change my fate. That is all I will tell you.”
He had become a model student because of An Eun-young.
Eun-jeong fell deep into thought. She seemed to be debating on whether she should believe the stranger in front of her or not.
Tae-hyuk waited until she answered. If the proposal was accepted then she would become a chess piece that could be used at will.
“Yes. I accept. I’ll give you everything. So... Please take me to my sister.”
"Then the contract is established.”
"But is there a way to get out of here?”
Tae-hyuk laughed and started to slowly explain his plans. An Eun-jeong’s eyes opened wider as she listened to his words.
"T-That isn’t possible!”
It was really ridiculous.
Cha Soo-hyun was looking around the Death Circus.
He understood the rules of this place better than any other participant.
A variety of attractions existed. However, there were two major types. Apart from completing some missions with given conditions, there was the PvP format where two people competed to take the opponent’s money. Of course, there was a high percentage of the latter. In particular, the missions were fatal if there was even a small error. Only fools would be deceived by such things.
Cha Soo-hyun was a survivor, despite the survival rate being close to zero. He received a platinum membership card, but he wasn’t satisfied with it. He had realized the pleasure of killing others.
It couldn’t be done outside. However, it was possible here. In addition, he could also get extra income. He could earn more than 200 million overnight.
This was already the third time that Cha Soo-hyun had participated in the Death Circus. Of course, he had to change his face by using a simple cosmetic surgery, because he couldn’t reveal his identity. Only a few in Tiwai were aware of this fact.
He would kill 10 people tonight. Their lives would be worth 500 million.
Cha Soo-hyun had already eaten two people. Now he had to find the next prey.
Then he found some cute rabbits hiding near the Bridge of Pain.
‘A man and a woman.’
The woman looked like she would be a tasty kill. In addition, they seemed scared to challenge the attractions.
'Well, the man...’
Was he in his early 20s? He had bushy hair and a leather jacket. He seemed like a neighbourhood bum.
Looking at the nameplate on their chests, he was surprised to see that both of them had stayed above 50 million won.
Cha Soo-hyun licked his lips. Then he approached them with a face that was as innocent as possible.
"This is too much. It really is a crazy game... I don’t think I was in my right mind.”
"Who are you?"
The woman asked. The man just yawned with a blank face.
"Oh, I am Cha Soo-hyun. Haven’t you tried any of the attractions yet?”
“Yes... So what?”
"I was looking for someone like that. I know a strategy where three people can win more than 50 million won. How about it? Do you want to cooperate and survive this crazy game?”
The woman tilted her head with confusion. Her expression was unsure. Then the yawning man opened his mouth.
"Sheesh. I guess so.”
It seemed like this man was the one who made the decisions.
“Really? It’s a surefire win. Really appetizing.”
Cha Soo-hyun laughed.
The opponent was already halfway there. Now all he had to do was eat.
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