Chapter 1. I Still Want to Shoot (1)

‘What would happen if I just started shooting?’

The same thought always occurred to him around three in the afternoon.

“You can’t even do this properly! Hm? Haaa…

The bald department head with a bulging stomach spat in front of him and blabbered on.

“Hey! Are you listening? Are these conference materials for real?”

The department head’s nether region hid under his own stomach.

‘I could probably hit it from 500 meters away.’

Yu Sang-Hyeon thought about how far away he could accurately shoot.


Documents flew towards him as the department head furiously shouted.


Sang-Hyeon slightly tilted his head and the papers fluttered past his ears into the waste bin.

“You punk! Are you thinking of something else while I’m speaking to you?”

Only then did Sang-Hyeon snap out of it and bowed.

“I apologize.”

He politely gathered his hands with his right noticeably shaking.

The department head looked at it.

Haaa… Where did they find such a retard? Incompetent hands and incompetent brains…”

Sang-Hyeon’s shaking momentarily stopped at the word retard, but the department head didn’t notice.

“Hurry up and leave, punk!”

The department head turned in his chair to face his computer and waved Sang-Hyeon away.

“Got it, sir.”

Sang-Hyeon lazily nodded as if he had never been rebuked and stepped outside the department head’s office.

Whew, I endured it well today too.”

His expression turned bright again after walking out. He kept his composure for the sake of his mental health like every skilled archer.

“Hey, you got roasted again?” A colleague slid over and asked.

“Well, duh.

Haa… How unfortunate, you have to suffer through something you weren’t even destined for.”

Eh, I have no choice. I live like a slave since I’m a nepo hire.”

Nepo hire. This nickname always followed Sang-Hyeon.

He left the archery world without fulfilling his genius potential due to injury. His coach pitied him and landed him a spot in this company through a friend. Thus, he got in through nepotism.

“Good for you. Looking at yourself objectively.”

His colleague surprisingly laughed when Sang-Hyeon admitted to being a nepo hire.

“I should know my place,” Sang-Hyeon nonchalantly replied while massaging his right arm.

'Know the enemy and know yourself… Reminds me of old times.'

Sang-Hyeon reminisced about his athlete days at the words, Know your place. His coach always used to say that to him. He never understood those words when everyone treated him as the next great archer, but they struck his heart now when he faced criticism and curses every day. 

“I’m leaving first. I have to work overtime if I don’t reorganize this report.”

He stopped daydreaming and collected himself. Then he quickly returned to his seat.


Sang-Hyeon stopped by the convenience store after work to purchase four cans of beer and headed home.

Haaa… I barely avoided overtime,” he mused to himself as he looked at the clock that already struck 9 P.M.

He rushed to the computer and turned on a sports video.

‘I suddenly remembered it today.’

Click. Sang-Hyeon popped open a beer and played the video. He occasionally returned to this video whenever he felt down in the dumps, but hadn’t watched it recently. This video recorded the monumental moment when he became the youngest winner at nationals.

An athlete wearing white clothes took a deep breath. Then he pulled the bowstring and stopped breathing. His sharp and fierce eyes only focused on the target. All the days of training and preparation existed for this one moment. Soon, he released the nocked arrow.

Swish. Tak! Bull’s eye.

WooohooooAnother bull’s eye! Th-The camera lens just cracked! The y-youngest winner…

It’s the birth of an astounding genius! You are all witnessing history… 

The camera zoomed in on the young Sang-Hyeon’s face as the commentators buzzed with excitement.

“Dang, so good-looking.”

Gulp. He vainly praised himself and downed the beer.

Interviews, the award ceremony, and other celebrations passed by. Soon, the video ended and his face faintly reflected in the black screen.

“I got old…”

Actually, he only turned 28 with many more years to go. However, he used to brim with youth like in that video. 

“I’ll just watch a game stream.”

As usual, he turned on a game broadcast. He didn’t watch it because he liked it in particular and had never played games before. 

He only focused on archery since a young age and didn’t have time to play like his peers. Sports cost a fortune and he lived with his grandmother. He needed to earn scholarships no matter what to cover the astronomical costs. As a result, he became the youngest winner at nationals. He thought his future would be bright and full of promise.

'But it wasn’t.'

Gulp. He chugged more beer and swallowed away the painful memories.

Sang-Hyeon focused on the stream again. It showed a popular virtual reality game called Full Dive.

— Hey! Move! Why doesn’t this thing hit accurately?

— Critical! Critical! Got it!

Full Dive allowed people to totally immerse themselves in the game as its name suggested. Many considered it the greatest virtual reality game in modern history.

They also called it the capsule game because it required an expensive capsule machine to play. Just one with the basic features cost a ton. Nine to fivers like Sang-Hyeon couldn’t afford such luxuries.

He felt satisfied with just watching such an amazing game while drinking beer.

[Grit Grit has sponsored 50,000 won.]

— Aim-y! Where’s Aim-y?

One viewer donated some money and lamented over the streamer’s aim. The sponsoring program read the message in a silly voice.

— Aimy-yyyy! Aim-yyy! Where are youuu?

Similar donations continually came in.

[Jinsung's Gummies has sponsored 4,000 won.]

[5 minutes later…]

— Today we’re going to be playing…

A sponsored message said the streamer would turn off the game and restart as if nothing happened.

[Aim-y has sponsored 30,000 won.]

— Hey! I’m shooting, but why isn’t it going forward? What’s wrong with this capsule?

The gamer blamed the perfectly fine capsule for his reaction speed. Meanwhile, hefty sponsorships continued pouring in.

Messages that read, [LOLOLOLOL], bombarded the chat window.

“Gosh… It’s also a talent to suck. Is it that hard to hit? It looks easy.”

Sang-Hyeon suddenly found the way he lived in the past quite pathetic. He threw everything aside to become skilled at one thing.

“Whatever, I’m going to sleep.”

He turned off the lights and the curtains blocked out the city.

Time passed and work arrived again before he knew it. He woke up by habit from his days as an athlete.


Sang-Hyeon had been summoned to the department head’s office the next day when he arrived at work.

‘What’s going on? The atmosphere seems weird.’

Being called to the office felt normal, but his colleagues looked at him strangely. He possessed keen eyesight and could read their faint expressions from a distance. 

‘This is weird.’

He concluded that everyone acted a bit strange today and found out why when he entered the office.

Tak. A resignation letter appeared in front of him.

“They say there’s going to be restructuring,” the department head said without looking at him. “You can leave with something right now if you go quietly, but you won’t get much if you’re laid off due to the restructuring.”

He seemed so impassive that Sang-Hyeon wondered if the department head spoke to him.

“You’re the only one on our team. You know that, right? Everyone else works hard.”

Now, Sang-Hyeon’s colleagues were being held over his head.

‘So this is why he exaggerated his criticisms yesterday.’

Sang-Hyeon’s report from yesterday hadn’t been too bad. He could tell that much, but the department head criticized the smallest details.

As a section chief, he could only apologize when the department head scolded him. The rules always went like that. Now he needed to quit according to the same rules.

“Understood, sir.”

The department head finally glanced at him after Sang-Hyeon agreed easier than expected.


“You’re saying you can only give me severance pay if I leave now, correct? I’m sure you’ll add a bit more.”

“You’re quick to calculate.”

“I recorded this conversation, so please keep that promise.”

Obviously, Sang-Hyeon lied. Nevertheless, the department head nodded. Many people recorded things these days, especially when they had to visit a department head’s office.

“Sure, fine. It’s not a promise, but something the company guarantees. Don’t worry.”

“Do I leave today?”

“Will you work if I say so?”

“I’ll pack my things.”


Sang-Hyeon turned around with an expressionless face. He heard the department head’s voice from behind.

“Hey, don’t be too upset. You’re a nepo hire anyways, right? Everyone here went through college, earned qualifications, and spent money they didn’t have to study abroad. We don’t have a choice either.”

Of course, Sang-Hyeon knew that. The reason why the department head reproached him every day and why he never made a friend here. The few friends he had left would soon be nonexistent. All because he only graduated from high school and used to be an athlete.

“I know.”

He slowly returned to his desk and organized his belongings into a box. He worked at this company for four years, but his belongings didn’t even fill the smallest box from the post office.


“What should I do?”

Sang-Hyeon returned home. He left like it didn’t affect him, but now he felt like going mad.

Already 28 years old, high school graduate, jobless, former athlete, specialty: archery… He wouldn’t be able to find another 9-5 job in South Korea with these insignificant qualifications.

He couldn’t reach out to the coach he already owed.

“Sh-Should I buy some ramyeon in advance? Maybe some water too…”

He thought of things to buy like a war would soon occur. 

Haa, haa

Sang-Hyeon shook himself and took a deep breath. He found it difficult to stand, so he sat and eventually lay in bed.


He blankly stared at the ceiling. The round LED fixture looked like the target he always aimed at.

Sang-Hyeon raised his hands and aimed for the center. His breathing grew steady as if he held a bow and his arms moved into a perfect textbook position.

Tremble, tremble… However, his right hand began to shake and it grew worse as time went on.


Tak. His hand landed on the bed again and a bead of sweat dripped down his forehead.

Then he burst from bed about 5 minutes later. He moved as if something possessed him and sat in front of his computer. 

He thought about grabbing some beer from the fridge, but decided against that. Instead, he accessed the game streaming platform he often frequented and began typing with shaky hands.

[Skill streams]

Could he earn money from being good at games?


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