Chapter 143 - Half-time

Chapter 143 - Half-time


Ian sat in the cafe and stared out the window. People were passing by. It was summer. People's clothing had become lighter. He was staring absentmindedly when he realized that someone was sitting across from him.

Ian spoke, "You came.”

"What are you looking at? You didn’t even know I was here.”

“Just looking.”

He shook his head and smiled at Ji Hayeon. She had a beauty that was hard to find, even in Elder Lord which had a wide range of customization options. So it was a good view.

"Is the lighting here okay?” She pointed to her face and grinned as the sunlight coming through the window made her face shine brightly. "This cafe is good. Oh my, what is this? Do you like mint chocolate? It tastes disgusting, really. You even operate a cafe.”

"So don’t have any.”

“Still, mint chocolate. Eek. Do you usually drink this?”

Ian used a straw to suck up the mint chocolate frappuccino and said, "By the way, did you do what I asked?”

“Your change in topic is too blatant. But well, I understand.” She pulled out some documents from her handbag. There wasn’t a lot. 

Ian’s expression became subtle as he looked through the contents. There wasn’t much information.

It was about Albino. There was an attempt to identify it. The Myeongsong Group tried an internal scan on Albino, but the surface was an unknown material and the insides didn’t seem to have any connections, making it impossible to guess how it was assembled.

It was like something that fell from outer space. There was no success so the Myeongsong left the research of Albino to Park Jujin. Apart from Albino, there was also the personal information of those involved.

The key was Yoo Jaehan.

“Yoo Jaehan is the creator of Albino. Originally, his interest wasn’t in this direction.”

"Interest?”

"He didn’t have an interest in games or computers. He was originally a physicist.”

"A physicist made the game?”

“Physicists are involved in game production, but it is rare for them to plan and produce their own game. No, there is no one who has done that. He was a genius so it didn’t seem strange.”

Ian looked at the photo on the piece of paper. A familiar face. There was a type of loneliness hidden in the eyes. It was a familiar look he had seen before. There were also personal details such as his personality and life.

Ian glanced at Ji Hayeon. She made eye contact with Ian and smiled. The attempt to look beautiful was successful, but Ian felt a strange sense of goose bumps.

[A misanthropic personality. He was religious as a youth, but devoted himself to the study of physics...(Omitted).]

Thus far, it was okay. 

[Despite this, he had a lot of relationships with women. At the age of 23, he dated Kim Yina (22). They parted after 7 months. Yoo Jaehan was nonchalant. By the the end of the year, he started dating Yoko Yanagisawa (33), a university professor. The relationship was good for a while... During a one-year leave, he met the blonde Cabrina in San Francisco... (Omitted).]

[His eating habits vary greatly. He preferred a vegetarian style diet when religious, but after showing misanthropic tendencies, he didn’t care about his health and ate meat. Smoking and drinking as well. Fried eggs every morning...(Omitted).]

[He always has a habit of drinking apple juice when waking up in the morning. Thanks to that, he has good bowel habits. There is no constipation and minor diarrhea if he drinks caffeinated beverages...(Omitted).]

It was at the level of a stalker.

“How did you investigate all of this?”

“My core talent is in management. I have my ways.”

There was a time when excessive control of employees in the Myeongsong Group had become an issue. Ian said casually. “You don’t have to investigate further.”

"Yes, it is already enough... Huh?”

Ji Hayeon’s eyes opened wide at his words.

"You’ve clearly done enough so stop.”

“Ah, that...”

"I don’t like people who lie.”

“That...” Ji Hayeon dropped her head. “Yes...”

Ji Hayeon twisted her fingers as she watched Ian. Ian smiled and turned to the next document. 

"Gordon? Who is that?”

There was nothing unusual about him. The only thing recorded was that he used to be a follower of Yoo Jaehan and disappeared as well. Of course, Ian was familiar with the name, ‘Gordon’.

It was the man he met at Chesswood. The man who seemed to know the truth of Elder Lord. Ian headed to the Temple of the Fallen God and met the grey god because of him. Ian seemed to be related to him somehow, but he couldn’t infer anything from the information.

"Well, it is a common name.”

In the end, there were no results. However, there was a phrase at the end of the investigation into Yoo Jaehan.

[Due to his sharpened senses, this can’t proceed any further.]

“What does that mean?"

"Exactly what it says. The investigator was hiding, but Yoo Jaehan kept on looking back while walking as if he was seeing a ghost. He found the follower and threatened him...”

“Since when?”

"Well...since he envisioned Albino and submitted the Elder Lord project.”

“Really?”

Ian knew the truth about Elder Lord so he found it hard to say anything else. In particular, the expression ‘sharpened senses’ grabbed his attention. The being that made this game was a mysterious existence called a god.

After passing into the world of Elder Lord, the players could strengthen their skills and physical abilities. Ian was able to detect a falling leaf in the distance when he was Crockta. As a being that affected reality, maybe that power was given to Yoo Jaehan. At that time, was Yoo Jaehan seeing the gray god?

"Are you going to keep sitting here?”

“Then?”

"Let’s go to eat. You’ve already finished your mint chocolate. Ah right, is it tasty?” Ji Hayeon quickly spoke again before Ian could decline. "I’ll tell you one more thing if you eat with me.”

“......”

"It is really confidential but I can tell Oppa. It is okay if you don’t want to. It is a real secret.”

Ian nodded. "It is better if you originally gave me the confidential information.”

“Ah, wait a minute.”

“Let’s go.”

"Really? You will dine with me?”

"You don’t want to?”

“No!”

They got up from their seats, with Ji Hayeon following behind Ian as they both disappeared out of the cafe.

The secretary watching Ji Hayeon from afar smiled as he stood with the bodyguards.

"Young Lady, that expression...huhuhu, it is refreshing.”

He had been by her side for a long time, but she was never the same as other young people. In the first place, there was no opportunity to form close relationships due to the reputation of the Myeongsong Group.

She always looked sad. But now he finally witnessed her youth.

“However...” His eyes twitched. "The other person is that young man.”

When Ji Hayeon had been kidnapped in the past, a bloody wind had blown through the Myeongsong Group. At that time, anybody involved had been demoted or fired. Just as they thought there were no more methods, a confidential special forces unit from the United States ended the situation.

They contacted Chairman Ji Eunchul first. The United States demanded various interests and investments in return for saving Ji Hayeon. Ji Eunchul accepted the conditions on the premise that his beloved daughter Ji Hayeon was saved, and the situation ended in less than a day.

The special forces unit trained soldiers from different countries and sent them to the most dangerous places. It was a secret unit hidden under the highest level of security, where the failure of a mission wouldn’t even be acknowledged.

It was them. Among this group, there was a notorious young man known as Raven. His every action would be like a gore movie.

“How interesting.”

The secretary already obtained enough information about Raven, no, Jung Ian. Jung Ian was plunged into a firing line for his sister and his heart wasn’t bad. An interesting young man.

The secretary spoke into his phone, “Yes. It's me. Deliver the instructions.”

Of course, his work was to protect Ji Hayeon. He must not allow anything risky around her. The secretary’s eyes shone fiercely.

Jung Ian.

"The Young Lady is going to eat. It seems like a normal Korean restaurant. You know that she doesn’t like fish, right? Warn the chef about all the usual things and if he interrupts even a little bit, he will die. Prepare all the dishes with the utmost care. Book out all the rooms next to them so that they are empty. Add mint chocolate to the desserts. It seems like the other person’s favorite.”

Young Lady, good luck!

***

Ian aimed the muzzle. He adjusted the scale. He slowed down his breathing. His whole body stilled as he pulled the trigger lightly, like a drop of water falling on a lake. Just like ripples on a tranquil lake, it pierced the center of the goal.

His fingertips shook.

Tung!

The BB bullet flew and hit the doll.

Bidul!

But it wasn’t strong enough as the doll sprang back up. This was the ‘magic goblin’ doll that attracted the attention of the people. It was featured in Elder Lord broadcasts and received attention because of its unique actions.

Ian continued to fail to hunt it.

"I thought  you were good at shooting guns.” Yiyu said from beside him. “It is very disappointing.”

“......”

Ian wanted to plead that the doll’s actions were abnormal, but he remained silent. He didn’t like excuses. He would just attack until he succeeded. He aimed the BB gun at the lower body of the doll, where it was in contact with the floor. He continued shooting the same area.The magic goblin doll shook with every BB bullet until it eventually crashed to the ground.

"......!"

The look of the owner of the magic goblin doll changed.

“This is pretty good.” Ian said with a grin. The owner looked between Ian and the doll before handing them the doll.

His expression was still disbelieving as he asked, "How did you do it?”

He didn’t try to hide it now. Ian replied.

"One point shooting!”

A strategy that focused on one point. The owner nodded with admiration.

“Indeed!”

Ian laughed. Then they leisurely left the firing range with the magic goblin doll. They blended into the crowds on the street.

"What, aren’t you going to give it to me?” Yiyu asked.

"Why should I give it?”

"Didn’t you play to give it to me?”

“No.”

“Wow.”

Yiyu hit Ian’s arm. Ian laughed and gave up the magic goblin doll. It was moderately large so Yiyu had to widen her arms to hug it. She took pleasure in pulling the ear of the goblin doll.

"What did you talk about earlier?” Yiyu asked.

“What?”

"Didn’t you eat with that pretty Unni?”

“Ahh.”

Ian recalled it. The information she gave him at the dinner table was truly unexpected.  It wasn’t about Albino or Yoo Jaehan. It was a rumor about drugs and illegal capsules.

***

The skills in Elder Lord were basically determined by assimilation rate. Therefore, various methods of increasing the assimilation had been studied, as well as ways of immersing the user directly into the game.

One of them was drugs. Using drugs, the user’s body was put into a dormant state while the consciousness remained. Their minds left their flesh and they could connect more strongly to the world of Elder Lord.

In other words, the assimilation rate was much higher than ordinary users. But understandably, it was illegal. There were side effects and risks. 

However, Elder Saga Corporation reported that some users were taking advantage of the drug to benefit from Elder Lord. In order to do this, the capsules were illegally modified to provide nutrients so that the user’s body wouldn’t die. The users would live in Elder Lord without having to break free.

The assimilation rate naturally increased and they could become high-level users, but it wasn’t known what side effects would occur from the continuous medication.

"Why would they go so far?” Ian asked, causing Ji Hayeon to reply with a smile.

"Money is at stake."

Ian was forced to shut his mouth. He also plunged onto the battlefield for the sake of money.

No exact evidence had been found, but the Myeongsong Group was working directly with the government to investigate. In particular, it was said that there were bad people who forced users to sign a loan contract, with the user’s mind being stuck in Elder Lord until the loan was collected.

"Oppa, don’t you play Elder Lord as well? Please be careful. Don’t fall too far.”

***

“Oppa?” Yiyu called out to him.

“Huh?”

"What are you thinking about? Are you thinking about that Unni?”

"That’s right, but why does Yiyu care?”

"Hrm.”

Ian shook my head. It wasn’t the time to be thinking about this. It had been a while since he spent time with his sister, so he should focus on her.

“Look.” Yiyu grabbed Ian’s hand and pointed to the screen.

“Ah, that?”

"What do you think?"

“Of course..."

A recent hot topic video was being played. Ian was familiar and unfamiliar with the star.

White Knight Andre.

-As a defender of justice, I would like to make an important announcement today.

He looked into the screen and laughed.

-I declare that ‘Crockta’ is an enemy using the mask of justice to disturb the world of Elder Lord.

There were dead bandits behind Andre. He pointed behind him.

-From today onwards, I will immediately begin hunting him.

He lifted his long sword.

-This sword will make the decision. I will no longer let ladies shake because of the scary orc.

It was the video Andre recently uploaded where he declared war against Crockta. Due to this, the Elder Lord community was once again divided.

A man passing by Ian and Yiyu muttered, "Crazy bastard.”

Then the girl following him exclaimed, “So cool.”

There were conflicting reactions. Ian suddenly met Yiyu’s eyes. They shrugged and turned around simultaneously. Then they said at the same time.

"Crazy bastard.”

“So cool.”


Glossary of Common Korean Terms.

Praise the Orc: Glossary Link. 

Current schedule: There will now be 14 chapters a week, meaning two chapters every day.

I have also updated my Patreon to reflect my new novels. Every tier has early access to a certain number of unedited chapters and the chapters will be updated after I finish releasing the chapters for the day.


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