“It’s the end of the world?”
The atmosphere froze over in an instant. Screams could be heard from all over the place, and the Caucasian man holding Jae-seok hostage, Specter, also seemed to be in a state of despair. The people of the parallel world were always sensitive to the words, ‘end of the world’. Well, it was quite understandable. The Great Wizard, the most powerful man Earth had ever seen – he had been preparing for doomsday for his entire life. He had emphasized it so many times throughout his life that those on the receiving end of his words would have probably been diagnosed with neurosis.
In fact, the Zhu Family’s actions were quite abnormal. The fact that they would disobey his words and attack another force as soon as he died was deviant to say the least, and it had resulted in the worst outcome possible.
“Could this be? Is doomsday actually upon us? This fast? It hasn’t even been a week since the Great Wizard-nim has passed away.”
He had been holding Jae-seok by the collar. Spector put him down on the ground then turned towards me.
“This is not the time to be getting into meaningless conflict. I will come back later.”
I laughed in disbelief, and the dark sky instantly brightened up. We had escaped from the bubble world and returned to the surface world.
“What? Just now, you heard that too, right?”
“What the hell is an End Project?”
The students were looking around with confused expressions. They were talking to each other, looking at their smartphones, answering the phone, and rushing off to somewhere.
“It was heard by the ordinary people as well.”
“Social media is going rampant as well. I think it must have spread all around the world.”
“This is driving me crazy…”
While Seon-ae and Earth Sword muttered in disbelief, Jae-seok walked up to me. He was massaging his neck, which had turned red because of Spector.
“What’s going on? The end? Is this the beginning of the doomsday that was talked about so often? The event that the Great Wizard-nim always warned us about? But why is it beginning with the surface world, and not the parallel world?”
I shrugged my head at his questioning words. He looked quite confused. So confused, in fact, that he seemed to have forgotten all about the fact that he was being held hostage only a moment ago.
“How would I know?”
I replied nonchalantly, but I had some guesses as to the cause of the situation.
‘Is this the work of that guy named Juan?’
The power and authority I felt from him were extraordinary. He was an untouchable at the least, a being who might possess enough strength to go toe-to-toe with a Primordial God.
‘But that still doesn’t explain everything.’
He had come to dissuade me from exterminating mankind, so it felt rather unnatural that he would be operating the End Project. Of course, no one knew how a madman’s mind operated, but I had a hunch that what was happening now wasn’t his work.
‘Genie, has there been anything unusual? Any accidents?’
Nothing specific has been identified yet. People are just confused by the voice that spread across the globe.
‘I don’t know then.’
I grunted before turning towards Earth Sword.
“Change of plans. Let’s just go to the palace.”
I had been thinking about heading to the arcade after a long time, but the atmosphere was quite strange. Earth Sword nodded immediately.
“I will get ready right away.”
He started preparing the vehicle. But it wasn’t only our car that arrived.
“Young master! Are you all right?”
“Wow, thanks for coming so early, you guys. Phew, to think these are my escorts.”
I could see Jae-seok mutter sarcastically as he entered a vehicle while being surrounded by sturdy men. Even though this was a world where power and force was valued more than money, but I guess being a third generation chaebol had its merits.
“All units, stay on high alert!”
“Call everyone back!”
Gyeongbokgung Palace was also in a mess. Reminiscent of the war, people were hurriedly running around while shouting and whispering. I slightly turned my head and looked at Earth Sword.
“You can get on with your business.”
“I know you must be busy, so there is no need to overdo it. I won’t be needing any escorts anyways.”
He was hesitating. I left him behind and headed towards Gyeonghoeru. Earth Sword could be counted as one of the five strongest warriors in the Lee Family. With signs of the end appearing all over the world, he would have to make preparations, especially since I wasn’t placed in any imminent danger right now.
“I would like the meat combo. Twice as much as usual, please.”
“You’re still here?”
“No, why do you keep trying to get rid of me? Am I a thorn in your eyes?”
I frowned at her response to my order, and the restaurant lady became surprised and took a step back. But as if her pride had been hurt, she cracked her neck before responding with a frown.
“How can I not be bothered when I see a huge variable in front of me, just when I can finally see freedom in front of me?”
When I asked back, she answered while putting food on a tray.
“That’s right. Once all the arrangements of the Great Wizard are used up, we will finally be able to escape from being this disgusting kitchen maid thing. I was unlucky, being tricked into this crap for over 200 years already. When I go back to the Demon Realm, I won’t even spit towards the direction of the material world! Dreadful humans!”
A dark energy started to emit from the restaurant lady’s body. People became flustered when they saw the sight.
“Heuk! Emergency! Lady is angry!”
“Argh! She’s been quiet lately, why is she acting up again?”
“Did someone complain about the side dishes?!”
The noisy restaurant became even louder.
Everyone’s attention started heading towards us with the disturbance. I snuck up closer to her and whispered.
Her expanding energy disappeared in the blink of an eye, and the lady smiled awkwardly while looking at me.
“Oh, sorry. I just got a little excited.”
“I get it, so get back to your job.”
“Ye, yes. Enjoy your meal.”
She was quivering for some reason, but I ignored it and left her behind. As I sat down, Sun-ae, who was following me, asked with bewilderment.
“What are you really? Are you some kind of a secret disciple of the Great Wizard?”
“I don’t even know the basics of magic, so how would I be his disciple.”
I ignored her and started eating. As always, they were of excellent quality, but I barely recognized the taste as I shoved the food down my throat. My mind was cluttered with many thoughts.
‘Genie, is there still nothing?’
Nothing is clearly understood yet. However,
Strangely, incidents and accidents are becoming more frequent around the world.
‘Incidents and accidents, huh.’
After finishing my meal, I headed to the training ground at the Palace Museum. Normally, I would leave training up to Ares, but this time, I engaged in it personally.
I attached 100-kilogram rings on both legs and started performing chin-ups. It was way too light. I threw it aside and looked for heavier rings.
‘Ah this is frustrating. Even though it was Ares’ hard work, and not mine, it’s still pissing me off.’
When all of my stats were set at 200 points, all of my physical training went to waste. My strength, which had been raised to 140 points, my stamina, which had been raised to 150 points, my agility, which had been raised to 120 points – all of them had been instantly raised to 200 points. Even my mana, magical power, and magic resistance, which I hadn’t trained, had been raised to 200 points. I was sure that even if I did not perform any physical training, all of my stats would have been raised to 200 points.
‘Even though I wasn’t training to gain power, this is really draining.’
Just by opening the door and accepting the divine spirit, all of my stats had shot up an entire realm. If I repeated the act of opening and closing the door, perhaps the action alone would be sufficient to allow my stats to break through the limit again and again. But was it really possible to overcome the divine spirit by strengthening my stats in such a fashion?
With 300-kilogram rings hanging on my legs, I started doing 100 chin-ups. My chest, shoulders, and arms began to make grotesque noises. My shoulders swelled up and became dyed with bruises, but I did not stop.
Next was squats. Next was push-ups. Next was sprints.
Each process was destroying my body. The average person would suffer irreversible damage from such actions, but the Life Energy dispersed through my body was mutating and evolving my body to a higher level.
I continued training until morning.
Next day, I ate breakfast, then headed back to the training grounds. I trained, then ate lunch, then trained again. I ate supper, then resumed training. I trained throughout the night.
I repeated it over and over.
“…How many days has he been going at it? Is that even possible? Is he actually some kind of chimera?”
“I don’t think he’s been sleeping at all.”
“That’s him, right? The Ghost Blade’s brother…”
I could hear murmurs around me. It was only natural, as I was training at a public facility, but no one actually approached me and initiated a conversation. Of course, some tried, but handsome men appeared like ghosts and blocked them.
A high-pitched voice stopped me from continuing my meaningless practice.
- Confirming an existing concept
- Loading concept!
I stopped what I was doing and placed the weights onto the ground at the unknown voice. I wasn’t the only one who stopped training.
“What? What does it mean by an error?”
“Concept? Is this a continuation of what was happening previously?”
People were whispering anxiously. I asked Genie.
“How about now? Is there still nothing?”
Incidents and accidents have increased exponentially. Traffic accidents, murders, fires, elevator malfunctions, and so on. There are even ghost and devil sightings. And…
That was as far as Genie got.
- Concept loaded successfully.
- Changing Concept.
- Concept… Concept…
Until now, the voice had been crystal clear, but now, it was full of static noise as if it had encountered an error.
- Concept has been changed successfully
The training ground was full of confusion.
“What is it talking about? MMORPG? Isn’t that a type of game that kids play?”
“Get in touch with others! Is it resonating all over the world like last time?”
“What the hell is going on?”
- Horror… MMORPG.
The notification ended with strange words. I sat down on a large training tire and organized my thoughts.
“MMORPG? Was the last notification talking about a game as well? A horror game?”
No… I didn’t have any reason, but it certainly hadn’t felt that way. At that time, the word horror seemed to put emphasis on the fear radiated by the word. Besides, didn’t the notification sound inform us? This situation itself was an error.
‘It said that it confirmed an existing concept. In other words, an error was caused because of an existing concept.’
I had a rough idea.
‘In the first place, there is only one MMORPG on Earth, right?’
I raised my left hand. A hexagon appeared in the fluorescent light. It was the mission system.
MMORPG stood for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. I wasn’t sure if the word ‘online’ was appropriate to describe a mission system that encompassed ability users in the real world, but the system could be described as an MMORPG. The level, quest, stats, and skills were all aspects of an MMORPG.
I stood for a moment while pondering deeper.
‘Genie. Have there been any changes after the notification?’
The incidents and accidents… are declining. The reason is still unknown.
‘In the end, I won’t know exactly until I face it.’
Even though I didn’t like it, there was nothing else I could do. So I resumed training. The problem was that I would face it very soon.
That evening, 7 P.M. on Sunday.
- Stage will be open!
- Level 1. Difficulty is set at easy.
Eventually, the End Project dawned upon humanity, in the form of a Horror MMORPG.Previous Chapter Next Chapter