There was a term called a ‘life reversal.’ In recent times, it was used when a person sitting on a pile of debt won the lottery. It was wrapped in the name of luck but there was also an unknown effort in it. The same was true for Korea University where Mido was currently taking classes.
The prestigious Korea University had invested a lot in virtual reality in anticipation of its future and it was now in its prime. Since the establishment of the virtual reality department last year, it had entered into an agreement with the Union Company, which has leading stock prices. Now it became a department where many talented people wanted to come to.
The professor spoke at the front, “Is your vacation period starting from today? However, I prepared something because I thought you would be bored without any assignments.”
Sighs from the students rang through the classroom. The professor pushed up his glasses.
“As you know, the game Arkstar has a lot of contact with our department. Everybody knows this?”
“It is a game that is inseparable from our department. I also have a job-related program. The thing I’m proposing to you today is something that Union has prepared.”
Simultaneously, everyone made a ruckus. It was the same for Mido.
‘What does he mean by Union...?’
Mido raised her hand and asked a question, “Can you please tell us what exactly do you mean?”
The professor smiled.
“You have to play Arkstar starting from today. You don’t need to do much, just investigate a certain thing and then submit a report based on that.”
“What are we investigating?” someone asked and the professor replied, “The constellations.”
Once again, the students were in an uproar. The murmurs were louder than before. Mido remained silent and waited for the professor to speak. Professor Yeo said, “There are 88 constellations in Arkstar. Those who discover the most identities and abilities will be eligible to work as an intern in Union.”
The students had different expressions. Someone frowned while someone else clenched their fists. They listened to the professor while filled with their own desires.
“You’ll need money to enjoy Arkstar, right? Still, don’t worry. Union has made it possible for our students to enjoy it for free during the school holidays. All you have to do is take your student ID card and go to the affiliated capsule room. Union will pay the full amount, of course.”
Everyone’s eyes widened. Some people happily discussed what they wanted to do with their friends next to them. Maybe their reaction was natural. Union was currently making an unconventional proposal.
Mido’s reaction was the same. ‘Wow, I can play Arkstar every day now?’
Mido’s heart jumped. How much had she enjoyed Arkstar in the meantime? The dream that was impossible in reality was being achieved in virtual reality. Even if it wasn’t real, it was a real place for Mido. It was her other home.
“Those who put yet to be identified constellations in their report will get a higher score. Congratulations on the vacation, everyone. I wish you all good results.”
“Thanks for the good work!”
Everyone’s chair moved back with a loud sound. Their faces were full of joy. The same was true for Mido and her friend Sung Gayeong sitting next to her as they smiled and chatted.
“It is really amazing. Right, Mido?”
“Yes, I didn’t think Union would make such an unconventional offer.”
“I think it was really good that I came to this department.”
Sung Gayeong asked, “Mido, what are you worried about? What are you thinking?”
“It isn’t a big deal. I was just thinking about how to play in the future.”
“Aren’t you in the Icarus Guild? You’ve recently become famous on YouTube. How many people want to sign you these days? Just play as usual. Then it’s all going well.”
“I’d like to do something different than anyone else...”
Mido and Gayeong left the lecture room and arrived at the cafeteria to eat their meals. Sung Gayeong picked kimchi fried rice while Mido simply picked a sandwich and a small salad. Sung Gayeong wondered, “Aren’t you going to be hungry with just this?”
“I’m on a diet lately. I have to broadcast tomorrow.”
“You work too hard.”
“Yes, I’m making a lot of money.”
“Wow~ I wish I could do YouTube as well.”
“Then don’t eat that.”
“Forget it. How many delicious things are there in the world? I am a person who can never give up on them.”
The two people laughed and chatted. At this time, a message arrived on Mido’s phone.
[Cha Jincheol: Mido, let me meet your grandfather.]
* * *
“It is really crazy.”
Cha Jincheol texted Mido and got a chill. It was because of the ‘one person’ he found on his laptop.
“What the hell is this grandfather?”
He was told that no one on team two had found the new Star's Beloved. They were talented people. The fact that this person couldn’t be found meant they were in a place no one knew. Cha Jincheol shone a lamp on dark places just like last time and his guess was spot on—he found clues in a place where users had never set foot on. The place where he looked up was in the middle of the open sea.
‘How did they get a ship?’
In fact, it cost a considerable amount to buy a ship of this size within Arkstar. Considering that even a decent merchant shook from buying a small sailboat, it was unimaginable that a single grandfather with a chef class had bought it. The even more shocking thing was something else.
‘How can he use the power of another constellation?’
He had heard some explanations from his brother-in-law, Yoo Minseok. Cha Jincheol remembered the story he was briefly told when he first joined the company. In fact, it was something that everyone felt was insignificant at the time. A true legend hidden in the legends—Dr Kang Jaeseong, who was currently in a coma, had said it. He said that one day, such a thing would appear. Once it appeared, it would overthrow the existing order that existed within Arkstar.
At that time, everyone had joked about it and thought it was a joke. However, now it was no joke.
“It is real.”
Cha Jincheol picked up a can of beer from the refrigerator in the monitoring room and turned to the screen again to watch the giant wolves’ fight. It was a fight between an old, dignified white wolf and a black wolf giving off a dark, evil energy. Then there were the users riding on top of short-legged wolves. Surprisingly, one of them was the new Star's Beloved.
‘Is it Firefly Star's Beloved?’
The even more remarkable thing was that the man who helped her eat the Star Fruit was ‘Mido’s grandfather’ that he previously met.
‘It is like he knew all the constellations.’
He was busy sipping the beer when his brother-in-law, Yoo Minseok called. Cha Jincheol answered the phone straight away. “Yes, what is it?”
-Hey, did you see the news?
“Of course I saw it.”
-Did team two find it?
“Nope, they couldn’t find it and were scolded by Team Leader Woo.”
-Hmm, I see. Then at times like this, my handsome brother-in-law...
“I knew it and have already started looking for it.”
-Ohh! As expected of my handsome brother-in-law. So did you find it?
“Come and see. I have something to tell you.”
-Huhu. You’ve already found it. You handsome guy. If I was there then I would kiss...
“Come quickly. It is serious now.”
-What’s so serious? I know. I’ll be there soon. It will take around 30 minutes.
After completing the phone call, Cha Jincheol lowered his phone with a deep expression. However, there was another vibration from the phone. Jincheol looked at the blinking screen of his phone and slightly raised the corners of his mouth. “She isn’t easy.”
[Choi Mido: I don’t want to.]
* * *
Small snow crystals were piled up. The snow crystals gathered to become snow, the snow gathered to form hills and the hills gathered to become a magnificent landscape that a group of people was crossing.
“Father, are you really going to do it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Pono. Do we have to find his mother? Can’t we just take him?”
Just earlier, Taibeus had asked us to find Pono’s mother. I had accepted it without any hesitation. “That can’t happen.”
“The emperor penguins can’t live outside the North Pole.”
Kim Sujeong still looked sullen and I told her, “In fact, there is one more reason to look for his mother. This is the real reason I have to do it.”
“Huh...? Wasn’t it just returning him to his mother?”
“That isn’t the real reason.”
“Then what is it...?”
The answer came from the sky. It was from Camille.
[The firefly star, ‘Camille,’ says it is to confirm the life or death of the mother.]
“Life or death..? Is she dead?”
Camille seemed to know the reason. Indeed, there was no way she couldn’t know. It was a reason that wasn’t very sweet.
[The firefly star, ‘Camille,’ says it is still unknown.]
[The firefly star, ‘Camille,’ says that if she is dead, this place will be dangerous.]
“Dangerous? What are you saying? Why is this place dangerous...?”
“That is what I’ll explain.”
All eyes turned towards me. Kim Sujeong, Gyeonso Dragon, and Drain were waiting for my answer. I sighed and questioned them, “Do you know why the North Pole exists here?”
“Huh? Of course I don’t know. How could I know this?”
“I also don’t know, Brother.”
“Buroder, do you know?”
...I shouldn’t know.
“What is it? Isn’t it just because this place is the North Pole?”
Just the North Pole...
It was possible to think like this using general common sense. However, this was a place where common sense was completely different from reality.
“I’m curious, Brother.”
“Tell me, Buroder.”
My eyes passed over the curious faces of Gyeonso Dragon and Drain before falling on Kim Sujeong again. She looked excited. She was probably looking forward to the answer that would come from my mouth...
However, my words wouldn’t be good news. “The tundra dragon.”
“This is where the strongest ice-type constellation is staying.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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