After three years of rigorous researching, Kaita discovered the way to escape from this virtual reality that was the perfect reproduction of Korea’s past.
The solution was complicated yet simple. He had to destroy the ‘core’ that was the center of this world.
The core could be a person, a location, or an object, but Kaita knew for a fact that it was a person thanks to his base game, ‘Isekai Dating Simulator’.
Kaita’s privilege were ‘eyes’ that could identify the [Importance] and the [Level of Difficulty] of the people of this world. Because his base game was set in an isekai world, his initial physical ability was also better than most people.
In any case, using his privilege, Kaita found someone he thought could be the core of this world.
His importance was [Incalculable] and his level of difficulty was [Near Impossible].
His entire existence was screaming that he was the ‘core’. But he was someone Kaita knew in the present era, someone he lived with for a long time, someone Kaita regarded as his savior— Yi Yeonjun.
Kaita hesitated. Even in the virtual world, he couldn’t bring himself to murder his own savior. Another reason for his hesitation was that Yi Yeonjun was too strong for Kaita to handle alone.
So, he decided to watch Yi Yeonjun from afar while diligently training his powers.
However, as the observation prolonged, Kaita realized that Yi Yeonjun was not the person Kaita thought he was.
He began to feel betrayed.
The Chameleon Troupe also existed in this world. They were a group of vicious criminals who used violence to get their hands on what they wanted. And their cruelty was well within the realm of Kaita’s understanding. He too grew up surrounded by blood, violence, and death.
But what Kaita couldn’t understand was the way Yi Yeonjun treated Boss. Yi Yeonjun destroyed Boss’s family just because he wanted her for himself. He sought to control Boss’s life.
Seeing Yi Yeonjun carry out such a terrifying and heinous scheme like it was nothing made Kaita wonder if Boss really was his only victim.
He had always thought that his meeting with Yi Yeonjun was fate. But maybe, their encounter had also been prearranged.
Kaita recalled when he was 11 years old. Someone forcefully injected a drug into his veins. He still remembered the rush he felt while he was high and killing people. His life changed that day.
Was that really just a matter of luck?
…Kaita pondered for three years. Maybe this world was fabricated. He spent many nights wondering if all this was just part of a scheme designed to turn him against Yi Yeonjun.
But in the end, the truth was clear, and Kaita decided to kill Yi Yeonjun and escape from this world.
Fortunately, as he was preparing to strike Yi Yeonjun, he gained a number of dependable allies: Kim Suho, Yun Seung-Ah, and other Heroes.
For two months Kaita helped them regain their original strength. The Heroes gladly cooperated with Kaita, for they hoped to escape from this fake world, too.
And today was the day they would carry out the plan….
A magic power explosion erupted at the building Yi Yeonjun just left. This magic power wasn’t pure but made up of multiple magic powers, and Cheok Jungyeong and I looked back in surprise.
Some people were climbing the building towards the top floor where Yi Yeonjun was located. I recognized the climbers right away. Kim Suho, Yun Seung-Ah, Chae Nayun, Shin Jonghak… I knew all of them.
Cheok Jungyeong watched them for a while before turning his gaze back to Kaita.
“Oi, what the hell are you doing?”
Finally having regained his composure, Kaita answered with a sigh, “…Can’t you tell? I’m trying to go back to the real world.”
“But why did ya have to go and destroy that building?”
I left them to talk and ran towards the car. I pushed my head into the car, but no one was there. Boss’s parents had already turned into digital fragments and disappeared forever.
“…Haa. Why did it have to be today?”
I ruffled my hair and glared at Kaita.
Of course, I already had a good idea about how this story would end. The couple was planning on killing their daughter, but the girl would survive and become Boss…. Perhaps it was for the best that I didn’t see it through.
Kaita said, “Even in a fake world, some things can’t be forgiven.”
His voice sounded surprisingly dignified, and I realized Kaita somehow found out the truth about Yi Yeonjun.
I looked at Kaita. Kaita also looked at me and nodded. It was a silent conversation, which Cheok Jungyeong was not a part of.
Scratching the back of my neck, I asked, “How long have you been here, Kaita?”
“I don’t know. Three years? Four years?”
I pointed at the penthouse.
“How about them?”
KWAAAANG—! Magic power exploded once again.
“Do you think two months of training is enough? I heard there’s something called a ‘privilege’ in this world.”
I asked worriedly.
Kaita, however, remarked with a confident smile, “Don’t underestimate them.”
It was then. Clang—! A giant sword pierced the ceiling of the penthouse. The sword was so big that it seemed capable of splitting the sky into two. It was Chae Nayun’s longsword, wrapped in magic power.
“All six of them are pretty damn strong.”
This time, golden magic power flashed in the distance. It was Kim Suho’s reinforced sword qi.
His reinforced sword qi traveled forward, cutting off all the light in the area, thereby wrapping the world in complete darkness for a moment.
“We may be inside virtual reality, but our real base is our own body,” Kaita commented.
It was then that Shin Jonghak’s black flames rose into the air. Kim Suho slices everything, but Shin Jonghak destroys and burns. The fire engulfed the building, swallowing it as a whole. It was a terrifying scene.
“Two months. It took them only two months to achieve that when it took me over a year to regain my original strength.”
Clang…. This time, clear lightning blossomed like a flower. It was Yun Seung-Ah’s white flowers, a graceful technique she used to incapacitate her opponents.
Shin Jonghak, Chae Nayun, Yun Seung-Ah, Kim Suho.
These four were among the strongest characters in this novel. Perhaps even Yi Yeonjun wouldn’t be able to last long against all four of them.
It didn’t look like they needed any help.
I stood in place and watched them move.
It was then.
[The execution of an event was interrupted. An error has occurred.]
[We’ll test the system to identify and fix the problem.]
[If no solution is found, your session will be terminated by force.]
Several system alerts popped up.
“Hyung-nims! What happened here?!”
“Uwaaaa, it’s coming down, it’s coming down…!”
Mohawk and Shag finally arrived at the scene. They trembled in fear at the clash of magic power unfolding before their eyes.
It was past midnight and the night sky was dyed deep blue.
Mohawk, Shag, Cheok Jungyeong and I returned to our office. I sent Kaita back to Kim Suho and the others, hoping he could serve as a messenger between us when necessary.
“Aren’t you all hungry? Let’s eat.”
I started cooking with one arm using the ingredients that Mohawk and Shag brought earlier.
I chopped the ingredients into small pieces with a knife, threw them into a pan with some seasoning and began to stir. Meanwhile, Cheok Jungyeong gathered Shag and Mohawk.
“Is anyone bothering you?”
“You just tell me if anyone’s bothering you. I’ll crush them for ya.”
“Ah, thank you!”
Even with just one arm, it took me only 10 minutes to cook.
“It’s all done. Let’s eat.”
“Oh, thank y- Wow, look at all this!”
After preparing beef steak, stir-fried pork and other delicacies, I leaned against the window frame. Looking up at the moon in the sky, my thoughts drifted to Yi Yeonjun.
Today, Kim Suho and the others killed Yi Yeonjun. His death was much too insipid for the notorious founder of the Chameleon Troupe… or not. The combined forces of Chae Nayun, Kim Suho, Shin Jonghak, Yun Seung-Ah. Only Orden and Chae Joochul could counter them.
Yi Yeonjun’s death, however, was just fictional. He was still alive in the outside world, scheming like a snake beside Boss. Boss still didn’t know it was him who ruined her life….
Suddenly, I heard a sound from below.
Somebody was sniffing. I looked down and froze.
There was a little girl. She was scruffy and skinny as if she hadn’t eaten for a long time. Perhaps, she was looking for her parents who would never again come home.
Did she come all this way just to find her parents?
I looked at the girl and sighed.
This world was fictional.
Nothing I do here would matter in the future.
But in my hands was a plate of leftover food, and I jumped to the ground below.
“…Hello,” I spoke carefully.
The girl flinched and took a step back. Dark magic power began to rise out of the girl. It was a powerful but dangerous power, one that she couldn’t control yet.
“It’s okay. This is for you to eat.”
I wanted to calm her down, but the more I spoke, the further she got away from me.
Young Boss was different from adult Boss who was always so full of confidence. If I went any closer, the girl would run away and never come back.
And so, I set the plate down on the ground and left a note beside it that said [Come back anytime if you’re hungry].
Then I returned to the office.
Mohawk and Shag saw me and shouted out loud.
“Wow, this stuff is amazing, boss. Wow!”
“We love you, boss!”
They were calling me ‘boss’ now.
I smiled at them, then leaned against the window and looked below.
Yi Byul was sniffing the food on the plate.
I knew for a fact that smell was very hard to resist.
She continued to sniff for a while, then took a quick look around and snatched the food from the plate.
—…Nom, nom nom.
The way she hid behind the bushes and stuffed her face made her seem like a small animal rather than a human.
It was heartbreaking to see her like that. The extent of the pain was strangely enormous. My heart ached for her.
Was it sympathy I was feeling? Was sympathy supposed to be this heart-throbbing?
Suddenly I wanted to see Boss. The six years I spent with her were now overlapping with the little girl before my eyes.
I let out a sigh. Then a chuckle.
If this feeling was truly what I think it was, then what should I do from now on? Nothing was stranger than falling in love with a character I had created….
Suddenly I heard a notification sound.
[Unable to resolve the error. Rewind feature has been disabled due to an unknown reason.]
[The interrupted event will play as a video.]
[Logout feature has been reinstated.]
A rectangular hologram screen appeared before me. In it, the events of the original past were playing.
The parents who had to kill their child.
The child who had no choice but to kill her own parents to survive.
Painful cries and the sound of blood spurting rang out.
I clenched my teeth as I watched Boss’s past. It was much more horrifying than I had imagined. I tried my best to suppress my anger.
It was then that I felt a certain gaze. I looked down and discovered Yi Byul looking at me.
She held an empty plate in her hands. It appeared that she wanted to return it to me. I smiled and whispered, “Tell me if you’re still hungry. I’ll give you more.”
However, at that moment, Yi Byul trembled, put the plate down on the ground and began to run away from me.
I watched her go, then checked the System.
[247 hours and 30 minutes left until logout]
247 hours and 30 minutes. That was roughly 10 days.
For the next 10 days, Yi Byul would come back to me again and again. She would never forget the taste of my cooking.
Clearly full, she even burped while running.
With a smile, I watched little Boss disappear in small steps.
At Kaita’s hideout, a luxurious mansion somewhere in Seoul.
Tap, tap, tapap—
[He’s so cute ㅋㅋ How can a kid be so handsome?]
After successfully completing the mission, Chae Nayun was currently on the computer, exchanging private messages with a blogger.
[Bellflower: ㅎㅎ Thanks, as always.]
Their exchange had been going on for two months.
It was a conversation between Chae Nayun and her mother, ‘Bellflower’.
[I can totally tell he’s gonna be a great Hero in the future. ㅋㅋ]
[Bellflower: Ah! How did you know that my son has a Gift?]
[I can tell by his face. He just looks special~]
[Bellflower: Wow… interesting. I really do hope he becomes as great a Hero as you said.]
Chae Nayun’s eyes were filling with tears as she typed.
[So is Jinyoon going to Agent Military Academy soon?]
[Bellflower: No. He’s talented, but I want him to attend a regular school until he’s at least 11.]
[I see… ㅋㅋ]
Chae Nayun stopped her fingers.
Unfortunately, Chae Nayun didn’t exist in this world yet. With a small sigh, she resumed typing.
[Oh, I hope I’m not being rude, but do you maybe plan on having another baby?]
[Bellflower: Of course~ I’ve already thought of a name.]
Her heart sank immediately. Chae Nayun forced her hands to stop trembling and continued to type.
[Do you want the baby to be a girl or a boy?]
[Bellflower: Hmm… I don’t know. I’ll love them the same no matter what.]
[Bellflower: But for some reason, I keep thinking it’s gonna be a girl. It’s strange, I’m not even pregnant yet~]
Chae Nayun breathed a sigh of relief. So, her mother wasn’t disappointed that she was a girl.
[Then… have you thought of her name?]
At that moment, someone put his hand on Chae Nayun’s shoulder. Surprised, Chae Nayun raised her head. Shin Jonghak was looking at her with a worried look.
“…Are you sure you don’t wanna go visit her?”
With a small smile, Chae Nayun shook her head.
“No. This is enough.”
Somewhere in this world, her mother was alive, as beautiful and gentle as she was in the real world.
But because she didn’t know what to say to her mother, and because just watching her from afar might make her break down, Chae Nayun decided to settle for online chatting.
“How about you? Don’t you have anyone you want to see?”
“It’s true. Something like virtual reality can’t create the person I admire.”
His tone sounded sincere. Just like he said, Shin Myungchul did not exist in this world. He wasn’t someone a mere virtual world could replicate.
Chae Nayun nodded.
At that moment, she received a reply from Bellflower.
[Bellflower: Name? Hmm… I do have a name for a girl… but I wonder if it’s okay for me to tell you this…]
[Oh, you don’t have to if you’re uncomfortable.]
[Bellflower: No, it’s fine. I’ll tell you because you’re special, Jajanggirl-nim. If I have a girl…]
Chae Nayun swallowed her saliva. The computer screen glowed in blue.
Heavy tension filled the atmosphere, and…
With a cheerful sound, Bellflower’s reply came, and Shin Jonghak’s lips curved into a soft smile as he read the message.
[Bellflower: It means ‘true beauty’. Isn’t it pretty?]Previous Chapter Next Chapter