"Thank you for all your hard work!"
Kang Seol Hee's comment marked the start of the shoot.
"Please take a look at the screen. It'll show whether the teams succeeded or failed their mission."
An image showed up on the screen.
It showed all of the participants' names, as well as 'success' next to their names.
"All of the teams successfully cleared their level 1 dungeons."
Seol Hee clapped, and the participants followed suit.
'Yawn. Hurry up.'
Jae Woo clapped absentmindedly.
He was never all that eager to be on TV, so all he wanted was for this to be over ASAP.
"Ms. Seol Hee, shouldn't we ask them some questions?"
"Of course, Mr. Seong Gook. Take the wheel."
Seong Gook approached Park Bae Shik, who was sitting to the farthest right.
"Mr. Bae Shik, how was your dungeon conquest?"
Park Bae Shik smiled.
"It was really good. Ms. Lisa over here did really well."
Bae Shik gave the female celebrity beside him a finger heart.
"From what I can see, it seems like you succeeded this time," Seong Gook said.
"Of course!" Bae Shik immediately replied.
"Man, that's quite unfortunate. I would've liked to see you spit out sikhye again..."
Conquering a dungeon not only yielded a reward, but also gave a team the opportunity to move on to the next dungeon.
However, failing would force the team to repeat the same level.
They'd also be punished; they would pick a card and take whatever punishment was written on it.
"Haha. That won't happen this time."
"We'll see... Next up is..."
Jeon Seong Gook spoke with each participant individually.
Jae Woo and Soo Ah were last in line, so they just listened in and reacted appropriately.
Eventually, they got to Yoon Se Hwa's partner, Park Tae Gyu.
"Mr. Tae Gyu. How does it feel to conquer a dungeon with Fortune's Yoon Se Hwa?" Jeon Seong Gook asked.
Park Tae Gyu possessed a ruggedly handsome face.
"Ms. Yoon Se Hwa has a wonderful personality. She's good at the game, and we work together well too," Tae Gyu smiled and said.
'She has a wonderful personality? What a load of crap!'
Hearing that, Jae Woo inwardly snorted.
"Could you explain what you mean by you 'work together well'?"
"Ms. Se Hwa's a Priest, while I'm a Swordsman. You can see for yourself later, but we were like a knight and a princess," Tae Gyu said, maintaining his smile.
'A knight and a princess, huh... So you just carried her the entire way.'
Jae Woo had an idea as to how Yoon Se Hwa and Park Tae Gyu had conquered the dungeon.
"Ms. Se Hwa, how was it for you?"
They transitioned to Yoon Se Hwa next. Basically, she said something along the lines of, 'It was fun', or 'He was reliable'. You know, the obvious stuff. Of course, she didn't forget to add in the fake laughter too.
"We'll move on to the last team. Mr. Oga, you've previously participated in the Chuseok program with Ms. Soo Ah, so I feel like your teamwork should be better than the others... How was it?" Seong Gook asked.
"We didn't have a relationship like the previous team. We were like partners or friends. Or maybe siblings?"
Jae Woo stared at Soo Ah. She beamed, seemingly in agreement, and nodded her head.
"Man, seeing you two like this makes me feel like you'll have great chemistry together."
Seong Gook briefly caught his breath and then continued, "Ms. Soo Ah. How is Mr. Oga as a partner? And have you seen his real face before?"
"He's a great teacher and a considerate friend as well. I happened to see his real face, but... whoever's hoping that he's good-looking will be disappointed," Soo Ah said teasingly.
"How bad could it be... Did you cover your face because you're ugly? Oh dear!"
Seong Gook sported a pitiful look.
"I'm not ugly," Jae Woo firmly said.
"Then would you like to show us your face?" Seong Gook baited him.
"No thank you."
Of course, Jae Woo didn't take the bait.
Then, Soo Ah jumped in, saying, "His face is normal, but... it has its own charm."
She slightly blushed.
"I see. It seems like you two really are close and work together well!"
The talk ended with a heartwarming atmosphere.
"Ms. Seol Hee."
Seong Gook passed it back to Seol Hee.
"What fascinating conversations. We'll be looking forward to the teams’ chemistry," Seol Hee said clearly.
Seong Gook chimed in with a teasing voice.
"Everyone, please take another look at the screen."
The image on the huge screen changed.
'Success' next to each participant's name had changed to '1 million won ($1,000 USD)'.
"Every team successfully completed their level 1 dungeon's mission objective, so they receive 1 million won as a reward."
The participants fervently applauded. Even Jae Woo chose to applaud now more than ever.
"Hoo, hoo. This is just the beginning. Whichever team clears all the dungeons will receive a reward of 15 million won ($15,000 USD) for each team member! So please do your best."
Seol Hee raised her voice and glanced at Seong Gook, signaling that they should 'begin finishing up here'.
They'd worked together for a long time, so he immediately caught her signal.
"Ms. Seol Hee. It's quite unfortunate, but it's time to say farewell to our viewers."
She acted disappointed, despite telling him that they needed to wrap things up.
"Hoo, hoo. You don't need to be so disappointed, since Dungeon Conquering Man isn't a pilot anymore; it's become a regular program!"
"Ah, you're right! Then we'll see you all later!"
Kang Seol Hee beamed and waved both of her hands.
"We have even harder dungeons awaiting our participants, so please look forward to it!"
Seong Gook smiled as well and gave a closing statement.
The participants behind the MCs waved their hands as well.
"Cut!" the main producer, Jin Cheol said.
"Good work everyone!"
"Thank you for all your hard work!"
"Hurry up and clean up the equipment... Then we can go home!"
The staff raised their voices everywhere.
"Uahp! We're finally done."
Kang Oh stretched out.
"Good job, Oppa," Soo Ah said.
"Yeah, you too. Was this everything in your schedule today?"
"No. I still have more stuff to do."
"Man, it must be tough."
"What about you? Are you going home now?" Soo Ah asked.
"Of course. But I was thinking of stopping by a gaming store."
A gaming store sold the virtual reality goggles and capsules.
Of course, that wasn't all they sold; they sold other goods that gamers might need.
Soo Ah nodded her head.
At that moment, Yoon Se Hwa brushed past them.
She glanced at Soo Ah and Jae Woo, seemingly pissed off, and said, 'How unlucky.' under her breath.
"Phew, she's being like that again."
Jae Woo furrowed his brow, but no one could actually see his expression, as he was still wearing his helmet.
"Next time we meet, I'll give her a piece of my mind," Soo Ah pledged.
"Yeah. Give her one for me too, will ya?"
"Ok! Anyway, let's say our goodbyes to the producer and staff, and then be on our way."
Jae Woo and Soo Ah approached Producer Park Jin Cheol first.
"Thank you for all your hard work."
"Thank you for everything."
"So how was your first shoot?" Jin Cheol asked.
"You'll complain if I say it was long, won't you?" Jae Woo asked.
"Yes, I will. We filmed two episodes today, so... this is nothing," Jin Cheol said, smiling.
"I had a lot more fun than last time. I saw something amazing too!"
Soo Ah gave an idol-like response.
"Please show the scenes where Soo Ah looks pretty," Jae Woo said subtly.
He didn't have any interest in TV, so he didn't care whether he showed up a lot or not.
However, Soo Ah was an idol, so it was best if she looked beautiful and charming on the air.
"Understood," Jin Cheol replied as a matter of courtesy.
It wasn't a promise; he was just being polite!
Jae Woo and Soo Ah weren't idiots; they knew he was just being polite.
"Then we'll get going now."
"Alright. I'll see you at the next shoot."
They parted ways with Jin Cheol and thanked the rest of the staff for all their hard work.
That's how the first shoot of Dungeon Conquering Man ended.
* * *
Jae Woo left the broadcasting station, and took a bus to a nearby gaming store.
"Hanbyeol Gamer Mart, huh..." he read the entrance's giant sign.
The front wall was made of transparent glass, showing extravagant capsules on display.
Jae Woo opened the door and went inside.
"Welcome. What are you looking for?" a female worker wearing a neat uniform greeted him.
"I came to buy a capsule."
"Ah, please wait a moment."
She picked up her receiver and called someone.
"Yes, we have a customer here looking to buy a capsule. Yes, yes, I understand."
She put down her receiver.
"Excuse me, but could you please sit over there and wait? An expert will come out and assist you shortly."
The female worker pointed towards a sofa.
A short while later...
A man wearing a suit and appearing to be in his 30's showed up.
"Hello. I'm Lee Hyun Shik, a game equipment dealer."
Jae Woo and the man shook hands.
"You said that you came here to buy a capsule?"
"You've come to the right place. Our store only sells the best. Then shall we start taking a look at..."
"Ah, I've already decided what I want to buy. Dreamgate's Origin 400."
Dreamgate, the company that had created Warlord and Arth, were also adept at creating virtual reality gaming equipment as well.
The capsules they created, known as Dreamgate's Origin series, were considered masterpieces amongst gamers.
The Origin 400 was the most recent version of that line.
"Ah, you've come to see the Origins."
Hyun Shik smiled.
Normal capsules cost around 5 - 10 million won ($5,000 - $10,000 USD), but the Origin 400 cost 20 million won ($20,000 USD).
Jae Woo had come with the intention of buying an expensive product, so Hyun Shik couldn't help but smile.
"I heard there's a promotional event here that gives me a 20% discount on the Origin series. Also, I'm going to buy with cash, so you can give me another 10% off, right? Please give me the Arth half year pass, free delivery, the 5 year free repair guarantee, as well as various free gifts too," Jae Woo said, falling upon him like a storm.
"Um, excuse me, sir..."
Hyun Shik began to sweat.
"Please don't say you don't have any more in stock. I did my research. If you're not ok with my terms, then I can just go somewhere else," Jae Woo said firmly.
"Ahem. Understood. Let's look at the item in question first."
Jae Woo followed the dealer and looked over the Origin 400.
The Origin 400 was long and oval-shaped. It was silver in color, and its design was smooth and sleek.
Jae Woo sat inside it and tried running it as well.
"Mm. As expected, an Origin capsule works great."
While virtual reality goggles could only be used for virtual reality games, capsules had various other uses as well.
A capsule could care for one's body while playing through massage or stimulation, offered virtual reality support for personal office use, AI support, etc.
In other words, it was a gaming device, a personal computer, a massager, and a comfy bed!
The Origin 400 was a model that exceeded all of its competitors in all those parameters.
'The physical care it offers for gamers is the best.'
For gamers like Jae Woo, who played for long lengths of time, it was best to buy a capsule if they had the money since it would do less damage to their body!
"Would you like to buy it?" Hyun Shik asked.
"If you include everything I talked about before, then I'll buy it right this instant."
"Understood. We'll give you a discount for the promotion and for paying in cash. We'll add in the 5 year free repair guarantee, etc."
"Please give me one in black."
"It will be installed tomorrow, right?"
Jae Woo smiled in satisfaction and purchased the Origin 400 right away.
It cost more than 10 million won, but he felt like it was worth it.
For a gamer, good equipment was akin to a weapon for a soldier.
"Ahem. Take care."
Jae Woo left the store with a brisk step.
What a nice shopping experience!Previous Chapter Next Chapter