[You have connected to the Obelisk.]
[Your personal information is being confirmed. Please wait a moment.]
“…..What is this?”
My vision blurred and a new world appeared.
I stood there blankly, not knowing where I was.
I had just been in the white hallway of the hospital, but this was a closed room with black walls all around. The light coming from the stone on the ceiling was the only way to see.
There was a weird hologram floating around me.
I didn’t understand any of it. It all seemed to come straight out a movie.
Was my illness so bad that I was seeing illusions now?
“Is anyone there? Hello?”
My voice echoed on the walls.
I got a grip on myself then.
There were two possible scenarios.
I was crazy, or…..
“…..This is real.”
Our poor schizo brother would’ve paced around, asking where this was, but I calmed myself down and tried to look at the situation with reason.
The more realistic judgment out of the two was the former.
The rare disease I had was hard to diagnose, so it wasn’t weird for illusions to suddenly be its symptoms.
It wouldn’t be strange for my brain to be influenced by the shock that my mother suddenly fainted.
So if this really was an illusion, there was nothing I could do until someone from outside treated me.
If this was reality.
It was totally nonsensical, but if, if some godly being granted my wish like in a movie or a novel…
Then what now?
“Let’s face it head-on first.”
I decided to accept this realistic illusion. If it really was an illusion, I had to find a way to get used to it, and if it was real, I needed to get back to my mother and brother.
[All player information has been confirmed.]
[Player: Cha Jeong-woo]
[Would you like to continue?]
The letters in the hologram changed and new information was shown. It looked like a message one would see in a game.
[You have accepted.]
[From now, your awakening as a player is being prepared. Unlike other players, you have entered through an “invitation of the future.” There will be a short guided tour to close the gap in skills.]
[First, please choose one of the weapons below for smooth progress.]
1. Sword Type
2. Dagger Type
3. Spear Type
4. Batting Type
5. Throwing Type
There were six categories in the list.
Each category had tens of weapons.
They were all things one could find in a game.
I pressed the one that was at the very top.
The blade is sharp and straight. The most basic weapon.
**The overall length is 90 centimeters, the width 3 centimeters, and the weight 2 kilograms.
[Would you like to select the ‘Long Sword?’]
[Warning! A weapon cannot be returned once selected, and you cannot choose other weapons.]
[Would you like to continue?]
I quickly lifted my hand from the hologram. The message about selecting the long sword disappeared.
‘I have to choose wisely.’
If this was reality, I had to be prepared. I didn’t know what would come after. I was dropped in a closed room after clicking “yes” to the message. It wasn’t normal. I wasn’t sure, but the weapon I chose now was probably directly related to my survival.
They were all weapons that seemed to be from the middle ages, but there was something that stood out.
An artifact that helps the flow of magic. It has a white light.
‘Crystal ball? Magic?’
Magic existed? But thinking about it, it wasn’t weird at all. Why wouldn’t it exist when people could be summoned by a message? Of course, that was all assuming this was real.
How much time had passed?
[You have been checking the list for longer than any other invited players have.]
[Your careful attitude can help in climbing the Tower. It is recorded in your accomplishments.]
[You have gained the trait ‘Thinker.’]
[A god is looking at your with interest.]
Trait? God? The message had information I couldn’t understand again.
Thinking that I should ask someone if I met them, I came to my decision.
[You have chosen the ‘scutum.’]
It was an item that was known as the “Tower Shield” in games. The scutum was 2 meters long, 80 centimeters wide, and weighed 15 kilograms. Multiple layers of wood supported the center and the top and bottom of the surface were fixed with gold.
The shield was so perfectly specialized for defense that history recorded it as the “walking turtle shell.”
There was no way that I would suddenly be able to grow just because I got a weapon when I had absolutely no talent for sports back in Korea.
Since I didn’t know what kind of danger would be outside, I had to focus on protecting myself.
I thought of getting a bigger shield, but it would be useless if it was too heavy, so I went with this.
Light flashed and the scutum that suddenly appeared in front of me had a fancy crest on it.
There was a cross in the center with wings spread to its sides.
I didn’t know what kind of crest it was, but the damages on its surface showed that it had been with someone through trials.
There was a belt on the inside of the scutum so I could grasp it firmly. When I fixed it to my left arm, I covered my body with the scutum as much as possible and slowly began to move.
That moment, the tightly closed wall opened with a creaking sound.
There was a long path beyond it.
The light there was brighter than where I was, but I was careful in my movements.
“Ohyo ohyo. Ohyohyo! You’re so careful that you’re a scaredy-cat.”
A strange laughter rang in the hallway. Footsteps became louder as something approached my direction.
I peeked through the corner of the scutum to check who it was. My heart thumped when I saw it.
‘What is that?’
He was less than 150 centimeters tall with bumpy skin and lips that stretched to his ears.
Sharp canines. The word monster described him perfectly.
But the neat tuxedo and monocle looked well on him, so it was strange.
“Still, since you came here on an ‘invitation,’ it means that you were acknowledged by the Tower. You don’t have to be that careful.”
The monster curved his lips, fixing his monocle. He probably thought he was smiling, but it was too gruesome for me.
Was this really an illusion?
“An invitation? What’s that?”
The only life form I met in this strange place was that monster. First, I needed to find out where I was.
“Oh dear! Isn’t the invitation useless if you don’t know what it is?”
“That’s why I’m asking you.”
“Did you get anything when you were ‘connected’ to here?”
Just then, I thought about my phone.
The ad message that said I could make any wish if I reached the top of the Obelisk.
“Is it this?”
I showed my phone to him.
The monster smiled with satisfaction and nodded.
“Seems like you’re from a developed world. That is right.”
[The ‘Invitation of the Future’ has been confirmed.]
[You have succeeded in meeting the Guardian Yvlke.]
[A special benefit is being provided.]
Yvlke? Was it that monster’s name?
“The benefit that’ll be provided to player Cha Jeong-woo is….. ohyohyo! How interesting. ‘Dreaming of a Dream.’ It’s pretty rare, but it’s yours now.”
[Benefit: Dreaming of a Dream]
When the player wishes, they will be able to log in and out of the Obelisk freely. There is a limit of 2 times.
**If invited by “Invitation of the Future,” the benefit can be exchanged with a new one for a price.
What was this now?
I didn’t know anything at all.
“It seems like you’re curious about a lot of things. It’s the duty of a Guardian to lead confused players on the right path. If you’re curious about anything, feel free to ask! I’ll explain everything that I have the authority to. Ohyohyo!”
* * *
Yvlke’s summary was very simple.
This was a tower.
A point where multiple worlds and universes met.
Tens of thousands of beings visited it every day, hoping to climb it.
“Tower? What’s in there?”
“Yes. Gods. At the end, there’s the path to become a god.”
“What kind of nonsense are you…..”
Gods? There was no way they existed. My family wouldn’t be in the state we were if they did.
“Ohyohyo. It’s up to you to believe me or not. In fact, supernaturals called gods and demons are just imagined beings. Ah, there are a few who are glaring at me sharply now that I’ve said that. They really have nothing to do.”
Yvlke muttered to himself looking at the air in front of him, like he could see someone.
He was crazy. I wondered if I could really trust that monster.
“Anyways. If it’s hard to believe me…… let’s see. Yes. You can accept it like this. There is a ‘wish’ at the end.”
“The wish to fulfill anything. Wasn’t it written like that on the invitation?”
I checked my phone again.
You can make a wish if you reach the end of the Obelisk.
The word that called me in here.
Yvlke nodded with a smile.
“It’s a strange place with beings that call themselves gods and demons. Impossible doesn’t exist. If you still don’t believe me….. how about seeing for yourself?”
Seeing it for myself.
Yes. That wasn’t bad either.
“What should I do now?”
“Reach the end after going through this path.”
Yvlke moved to the side and pointed at the hallway behind him.
Lights turned off, and darkness came.
It was scary and heavy like a monster was opening its mouth wide open.
Normally, I would’ve stepped back in fear, but I just clenched my teeth.
If a wish really was granted after reaching the end, I might’ve been able to see my sick mother laugh again.
I also thought about what Hyung would do in this situation.
What would he do if he had this chance?
It was obvious.
He wouldn’t look back and face it head-on.
Like that, I took my first step into the darkness, completely dependent on the large shield.
And that day, I died.
* * *
Beep, beep beep—
I opened my eyes at the noisy alarm sounds.
I could see a neat desk and books stained with spit. There was a notebook with a pen lying next to it. I guess I fell asleep while I had been studying all night.
My head hurt like someone was poking at it. My mind was foggy, like I had dreamt something weird.
What did I dream of? I only remembered arrows pouring down at me. My hair stood on edge from the fear I could still fear, but it quickly vanished.
I think I made some strange friends too. Like a giant who was 3 meters tall and a pretty girl who called herself a witch.
I think I dreamed the same thing multiple times, but I didn’t remember.
What did I dream of?Previous Chapter Next Chapter