The Novel's Extra - chapter-312
Chae Nyun looked around in awe. They were standing over a barren field at
night. But she could see neon lights and tall buildings in the distance.
“…This is some amazing technology. It feels real.”
Yoo Yeonha’s remark startled Chae Nayun.
‘Did they go through a major update or something? No, but if they did,
then I would’ve known about it.’
“Right. But are we in a… slum area?”
Even as Chae Nayun tried to make sense of the situation, her comrades’
Kim Suho widened his eyes at the word. Yun Seung-Ah nodded with a smile.
“You guys wouldn’t know about it, but a long time ago there were
‘neon cities’ just like that one on the outskirts of Seoul or Suwon.
Most of them were in the slums.”
“Of course you’d know, since you’re in your thirties.”
Yoo Yeonha caught Yun Seung-Ah off guard.
Yun Seung-Ah hissed at Yoo Yeonha like a cat, but the younger girl simply
“I mean, sure, but…. You don’t have to point it out, Chief
It was then that Chae Nayun suddenly shouted out loud.
The exclamation immediately drew everyone’s attention.
“…Phew,” Chae Nayun let out a sigh of relief as she held a pouch in
Yun Seung-Ah tilted her head in curiosity.
“Hm? What’s that, Nayun?”
“Ah~ This is the inventory, just in the shape of a pouch. It’s not
uncommon for open world games like ‘GTA’— I mean, ‘Grand Theft
Auto’ to refer to inventory as something else.”
Chae Nayun smirked and checked inside her pouch.
“My level is high, so this pouch should be able to hold anything
However, the maximum capacity of the pouch was only 3kg, and Chae Nayun
“Pouch! Wow, it really works!”
Kim Suho and Yun Seung-Ah summoned their pouches after Chae Nayun. They
examined them in detail, mesmerized by the technology.
Suddenly Yoo Yeonha announced, “Enough with the chitchat. We should
really get going. I don’t have much time to spare. I have to finish
this quickly and go back.”
‘I have to finish this quickly and go back.’ Yoo Yeonha’s words
instilled a sense of uneasiness in Chae Nayun.
“Okay~ Let’s get moving~ How do I take screenshots here? I wanna
upload some photos on social media.”
“God, you should seriously take a break from the social media, Yi
The party began to move toward the neon city.
Chae Nayun, too, began walking with Shin Jonghak by her side.
“So when we get there, we break and destroy and fight, right? At least
that’s what everyone was doing on YouTube.”
“Huh? Oh…. N-No. Be quiet and remain calm.”
“Isn’t that what this game is about, though?”
“Ugh, just leave me alone.”
The moment she deserted Shin Jonghak, Yun Seung-Ah approached her.
“Nayun, how do you level up in this game? I’m having trouble
controlling my magic power and I think it’s because my level is too
“Huh? Um…, give me a sec.”
Logout, logout, logout, logout…. Chae Nayun muttered to herself dozens
of times but neither the logout window nor the settings page appeared
“…Dammit. I’m totally screwed,” She grumbled in dismay, finally
“Oh? Look, a sign.”
Kim Suho, who was leading the way, was the first to discover the city’s
[Suwon Area A]
“Suwon Area A…. It’s just as you said, leader. This is Suwon.”
“Really? Interesting. This map must be based on Suwon before the
administrative changes, if they’re still calling this area Area A.”
The party passed the sign and entered the city.
Neon lights were lined up in the street. Under the colored lights were
market stalls, pubs with outdoor tables, red lanterns and motels. The
city appeared more enigmatic up close.
Gazing across the unfamiliar cityscape, Yoo Yeonha asked, “Nayun, what
year is this game based on?”
“Huh? Oh… to find out, we might have to pay a visit to the PC cafe or
the motel over there.”
“How about money? How do we make money?”
It was then.
Suddenly a group of men jumped out of the back alley. They were holding
knives, baseball bats, wooden sticks and other weapons in their hands.
A man wearing a bandana, who seemed to be the leader of the group, came
forward and shouted, “If you value your life, hand over everything you
The party stared at him in silence, then suddenly Chae Nayun raised her
arm and pointed at the thugs.
She muttered, “There it is. Money.”
I opened my eyes. The first thing I saw was a faded ceiling. I was
conscious but still a bit hazy. Then, all of a sudden, an unbearable
amount of pain engulfed the right side of my body.
The source of the pain was my right arm.
The pain woke me up fully, and only then did I realize what had happened
It was simple.
First, I delivered the final robe to Medea at the Tower of Wish. Then I
traveled to Paris where I received a flash drive from Yoo Sihyuk
containing information about Yi Yeonjun’s past. Next, I went to
[Capsule de Mars], the largest capsule cafe in France, to check the
contents of the flash drive. And then when I plugged the flash drive
infused with Stigma into a capsule— the flash drive suddenly began
absorbing my Stigma.
It all happened so quickly that I didn’t have enough time to control
the flow of my magic power.
“You finally up?”
A thick voice struck my ears.
It came from Cheok Jungyeong.
With a sigh, I examined my arm. It was bruised to the point that I
couldn’t recognize the symbol of Stigma. I couldn’t move it at all.
“Oi, you okay?”
“I’m okay…. Where are we, by the way?”
“…I don’t know, some sort of a shrine or church or somethin’. But
why are we here?”
I tilted my head in confusion, when suddenly a sharp pain shot through my
right arm again. The movement of magic power inside Stigma that I knew I
should feel at all times was only vague.
“Ugh… logout!” I shouted, hoping to escape from the pain, but my
effort was fruitless.
“…Video information. Pause. Connection status.”
Other system functions also failed to load as if they had been
“What’s going on?”
“That’s what I’d like to know. What’re ya doing?”
Something was strange. Different. This was definitely not what a recorded
video felt like.
All I could infer right now was that Yoo Jinhyuk’s flash drive and my
Stigma caused some kind of reaction when they fused together…. Judging
by the condition of my arm, I knew that ‘Overclock’ had also been
activated. That must be the reason why Cheok Jungyeong got swept up in
Was I too naive? Should I have been more careful before plugging in the
…No, I never would have imagined something like this to happen.
More importantly, I believed in my luck. Though I wasn’t sure at this
point whether my luck had just saved me by a hair or was an active
partaker in the latest turn of events.
“Oi, ya hurt yer head or somethin’?”
Cheok Jungyeong frowned.
At that moment, the message Yoo Jinhyuk had left me appeared in midair.
=Yoo Jinhyuk’s message=
[Dear customer, while investigating Yi Yeonjun’s past as instructed, I
noticed a strange relationship between ‘Yi Yeonjun’ and the
‘current boss of the Chameleon Troupe’.]
[I believed this was something you were interested in, so I focused my
research on those two.]
[My messages will arrive in order at the exact moments I have intended.]
I turned my gaze to Cheok Jungyeong. Then I got up. Looking closely, the
surrounding scenery resembled a church more than a shrine.
“Looks like we’re in a church lounge. Follow me, Cheok Jungyeong.”
We stepped outside.
Outside, there were three buildings lined up around a large, barren field.
One was the chapel, one was the nursery, one was the lounge. I could hear
the kids laughing and talking in the nursery even from where I was
“Hey, over there.”
I was examining the nursery building, when Cheok Jungyeong suddenly
slapped me on the shoulder. With a serious look, he pointed at the field.
I turned my gaze to where he was pointing.
A short exclamation escaped my mouth.
There, in a corner of the field, a child sat alone in the bleachers under
“She’s the one, right?” Cheok Jungyeong asked, stroking his chin.
“Yes,” I nodded.
Disheveled, tangled black hair and dull eyes. Even in the cold and
loneliness she stared straight ahead as if waiting for someone to come
back to her.
My heart hurt just looking at her.
Meanwhile, Chae Nayun and the others arrived at a motel somewhere in Area
A. Though the room was a bit too small for six people, it wasn’t too
bad right now because Kim Suho and Yun Seung-Ah had just left for a walk.
“There are a lot of robbers but only in the alley. In the main street
there are shops and pubs, so it’s not as bad as Pandemonium. I
wouldn’t say the level of difficulty is too high.”
Yoo Yeonha was currently analyzing the game, looking down at the street
through the motel window.
“Nayun, shouldn’t we run around the city and receive missions? Like
main quests or sub quests?” Yi Jiyoon asked Chae Nayun, clearly excited.
“Huh? Oh, y-yeah, sure. But the thing is….”
Suddenly, clap— Yoo Yeonha clapped her hands.
“Do you think this computer works?”
“Uh… I-I don’t know. Try turning it on.”
Yoo Yeonha started examining the dusty old computer with eyes full of
“This is so old. How do I even turn it on?”
She wasn’t at all acquainted with a ‘desktop’.
Yoo Yeonha managed to find the power key only after carefully
investigating the computer case.
“Woah, it’s on.”
Vroom— With a buzzing sound, the screen lighted up. The others stood
next to Yoo Yeonha.
Vroom— Vroom— Vroom—
“This is slow.”
They all stared at the screen for 3 whole minutes.
Finally the boot up ended and the first thing Yoo Yeonha did was check
“…December 18th, 2006?”
Yoo Yeonha wasn’t even born then.
With a big smile, Yi Jiyoon exclaimed, “Woah~ So we’re in the 2000s,
“Yeah. But mid-2000s is… a weird setting for a game.”
After the tumultuous 60s, superhumans were born in the 70s and 80s.
In the 90s, with the help of the said superhumans, Korea recaptured its
stolen territories and the Hero system was first established.
In the 00s, Korea saw a major growth in technology along with the growing
population of Heroes.
But from 2000 to 2010 was simply a transition period. The gap between the
rich and the poor widened with the rapid advancement of technology, and
the number of slums increased beyond the reach of government authority.
It was considered by many to be a shameful era.
“At least the details seem accurate….”
Yoo Yeonha turned the computer off after surfing the web for a while.
Then she looked around the room to see where Shin Jonghak was. He was in
the middle of training.
“Jonghak, do you wanna go for a walk?”
“Yeah, we can look around the neighborhood, see what’s where. We
still have some money left from the robbers, so we can buy things, too.”
Shin Jonghak seemed reluctant, and Chae Nayun immediately intervened.
“Sounds fun! Go, go!”
Chae Nayun pulled Shin Jonghak towards Yoo Yeonha. She was clearly acting
strange, but thankfully the pair left without saying much.
Now she and Yi Jiyoon were the only ones left in the room.
Chae Nayun looked at Yi Jiyoon, and Yi Jiyoon looked at Chae Nayun with
her round eyes.
Chae Nayun sighed. She fell onto the bed, her hands over her head.
“…I think I need to get some sleep. Why don’t you go outside and
Yi Jiyoon nodded, but instead of leaving she sat in front of the
motel’s computer. She had never seen this type of operating system
before, but was skilled enough to quickly get the hang of it.
…Just like that, 3 hours passed by.
Yi Jiyoon pulled her head away from the computer screen and stretched. At
that precise moment, Yoo Yeonha and Shin Jonghak returned to the room.
They were carrying a dagger, a spear, a sword, and other types of weapons
“Here, this is for you, Nayun. A weapon.”
Chae Nayun received the sword without putting up a fight. It was an item
named [Typical Iron Sword].
At that moment, the door opened again, and Kim Suho and Yun Seung-Ah
entered the room. With a beaming smile, the pair handed out snacks and
other food to the rest of the team.
They spent some time chewing gum and eating snacks.
…15 minutes later.
Yoo Yeonha, who was chewing on dried squid legs— pretending they
didn’t suit her taste— finally asked, “By the way, Nayun, how do
you logout of this game?”
The word surprised Chae Nayun, and Yoo Yeonha asked again, “What’s
“I said, how do you logout of this game?”
Chae Nayun glanced at her friends. Everyone was looking at her.
“I don’t know… now, how did I do it before?”
Yoo Yeonha frowned.
“Stop with the jokes and teach me. It’s already been 4 hours. I have
to attend an event soon.”
“R-Really? 4 hours already? Time sure flies~”
Yoo Yeonha glared at Chae Nayun.
Chae Nayun shuddered in fear.
“So? How do I sign out?”
“…Huh? Oh… that’s….”
Chae Nayun closed her mouth and Yoo Yeonha scowled at her friend. Kim
Suho, Shin Jonghak, Yi Jiyoon and Yun Seung-Ah, they were all focused on
Her heart was racing. Her breathing became heavy and cold sweat trickled
down her back. Her head was spinning and she was beginning to feel
There was only one way out of this.
Chae Nayun swallowed her saliva, and…
Kooong—! …smashed her head on the floor.
“Sorry! I have no idea where we are! I don’t know how to log out of
A cry of despair filled the motel room.
“…She’s doing nothing,” Cheok Jungyeong noted.
“You’re right,” I answered.
“Are you sure she’s Boss?” Cheok Jungeyong asked.
“Yes, I’m sure,” I answered again.
And then for a while we stared at the girl in silence.
3 minutes later, Cheok Jungyeong leered at me.
“…So you’re here to spy on young Boss?”
“No. I’m here to investigate Yi Yeonjun.”
“Yeah. He doesn’t seem to like me, for some reason.”
“…Yes. But I didn’t expect this to happen.”
Cheok Jungyeong stroked his chin.
“So, what you’re saying is, that flash drive and your magic power
responded to each other and a whole new world was created?”
I had spent the last three hours explaining the cause of this phenomenon
to Cheok Jungyeong.
“It’s not a ‘whole new world’, it’s just a fully manifested
virtual reality based on the data of the past. But you’ve got most of
“Uh. So how do we get outta here?”
“That… we’ll have to see.”
I stared at Boss.
Right now, Boss was waiting for someone.
Yoo Jinhyuk probably wanted me to see only the most important events, so
I believed that if I continued to watch Boss closely, then I would
eventually reach the truth.
“Oi, but what if we spend so much time in here that everyone outside
ends up dead?” Cheok Jungeyong asked, slightly worried.
“Don’t worry. We’re inside a virtual reality, so the concept of
time only applies to our brains.”
“…What the heck does that mean?”
“It means that the flow of the time is different here. It’s okay to
stay here for a long time.”
I could infer this based on the difference of the consciousness between
me and Spartan. Though I couldn’t pin down the exact ratio, I was sure
that time in here passed a lot quicker than time in the real world.
“…I’ll kill you if you’re lying.”
At that moment, we saw a luxury sedan enter into the field. Boss
responded to the headlights. She stood up with a faint smile across her
We hid ourselves as best as we could.
Surrounded by the darkness of the night, the sedan smoothly glided across
the field. Soon the back doors opened and a man and a woman got off the
Boss slowly walked up to them, visibly nervous.
It was then that I received Yoo Jinhyuk’s message.
==[Yoo Jinhyuk’s message]==
[The man and the woman are the girl’s parents.]
The man was the first to discover Boss. He stopped in front of the girl
—…I told you not to come outside.
I already knew this part of her past. It was in my original settings.
—Why are you here?
Despite her father’s cold demeanor, Boss smiled weakly. She seemed
happy just to see him.
Boss took something out of her pocket. It was a bracelet made of flowers
and shadows. She probably made them herself.
However, her father suddenly clenched his fist, and…
…kicked the bracelet.
—…I don’t need anything made with that cursed power of yours, you
I grabbed Cheok Jungyeong’s wrist and tried to calm him down.
“Shh. It’s all just a virtual reality anyway.”
At that moment, her mother came forward. She looked down at Boss with
eyes full of disdain and clicked her tongue.
—You really are a cursed child. Haven’t I told you before not to pick
flowers! Don’t you feel bad for the flowers?
Their cruelty made me doubt whether they were really her parents.
The couple trampled on Boss’s bracelet and headed for the nursery
building. Boss stared at their backs as they left.
But Boss didn’t cry. In fact, her expression remained unchanged. She
picked up her bracelet from the ground, and, grumble— with an empty
stomach, began walking towards the nursery.
“Those bastards, I’m gonna tear their stomachs open and jump rope
with their intestines—”
“Ugh, be quiet.”
I put my hand over Cheok Jungyeong’s mouth and got up. Of course I felt
bad, but this was just virtual reality. What’s happened already
Right then, I received another message.
==[Yoo Jinhyuk’s message]==
[Find out where her parents came from. You’ll find Yi Yeonjun there.]
These messages that Yoo Jinhyuk left me were very useful.
It was then.
I felt a presence behind the bushes across the field.
No, it wasn’t just a presence.
I saw a marker— ’User’.
‘What is that?’
I widened my eyes and activated my Gift, [Observation and Reading].
[User — ID GreasyPaper]
[Play time 7236 hours]
“Why is there a user here…?”
Suddenly a realization struck me as if I had been hit by a hammer in the
head. The idea that crossed my mind gave me goosebumps.
“Mm. I see a couple of people over there. They don’t look hostile to
Even Cheok Jungyeong’s voice sounded distant.
I began to think.
Just like PC cafes, the capsules at [Capsule de Mars] used a shared
public network. And at that time the number of customers at the cafe were
well over 1000.
Then, maybe, when I connected the flash drive to the capsule, everyone at
“Uh, wait, I think we have a huge problem.”
I scratched the back of my neck.
In addition to the ‘user’ marker, the information about ‘play time
7236 hours’… if that sentence was true, then it meant there was a
problem with the time axis.
I was only now realizing the scale of the disaster I had caused.
I got up, crumpling my hair.
“You see those people over there?”
“Ya want me to catch them?”
Cheok Jungyeong grinned and I shaked my head.
“No, don’t catch, just politely ask them to-”
Cheok Jungyeong was already racing across the field like a beast before I
even finished speaking.
[A motel in Suwon Area A]
It was early in the morning, the sky glowing in dim blue. Soon the sun
would rise, yet the atmosphere inside the motel was still dreary.
“I have to leave… I have to leave….”
Yoo Yeonha was scratching at the wall in agony, while Kim Suho and Yun
Seung-Ah were sighing at the thought of the 3rd preliminary round that
was to begin 3 days later, and Shin Jonghak was consoling Chae Nayun.
Chae Nayun couldn’t face her friends. She still wasn’t sure what
caused this situation, but it was her who pushed them to play this game.
Chae Nayun let out another sigh. Suddenly her gaze drifted to Yi Jiyoon
who was still in front of the computer.
“Jiyoon, did you find anything?”
“…Mm? Oh, no. I’m just looking at blogs and stuff.”
‘Blog. So she’s just killing time.’
As she heaved another sigh, Chae Nayun suddenly remembered something. An
electric shock shot through her body and she widened her eyes.
A long time ago, the words that her precious person had said to her, they
still lingered in her heart.
—I’m gonna take lots of pictures of you and your brother and post
them on my blog.
She could hear that voice clearly.
Chae Nayun jumped to her feet and ran to Yi Jiyoon.
“Show me. Show me!”
“You scared me. What’s the big deal…?”
“Just, show me.”
Chae Nayun saw the blog site on the computer screen.
She closed her eyes and rubbed her temples.
‘What was mom’s ID again?’
She buried her head in her hands.
“Huh? What’s Bellflower-”
“It’s an ID! Quick, search Bellflower!”
Yi Jiyoon tilted her head in confusion but did as she was told. There was
only one user with the nickname ‘Bellflower’.
Yi Jiyoon clicked on the link to her blog without a moment of hesitation.
Right then, Chae Nayun’s heart stopped. So did Yi Jiyoon’s.
A streak of tears trickled down Chae Nayun’s cheek.
“What’s wrong? Chae Nayun, Yi Jiyoon?”
The rest of the party began to gather around the computer as well. The
first to come was Shin Jonghak, then Kim Suho, Yun Seung-Ah, and lastly,
All of them fell silent when they saw what was on the computer screen.
Their reaction was inevitable.
[Bellflower] [●Currently online]
[Blog of eternal happiness. I write about my son.]
Bellflower’s blog— it was full of photos of young Chae Jinyoon.
“Ah…,” Chae Nayun muttered in a daze. Tears flowed down from her
eyes and a sad smile spread across her lips.
Kim Suho and everyone else looked at Chae Nayun. Shin Jonghak stretched
his arm out towards Chae Nayun but Yoo Yeonha stopped him.
“My mom, and my brother too.”
Yun Seung-Ah, who was standing next to Chae Nayun, pulled her junior into
her arms. Chae Nayun stared at the photo of her mom and her brother
smiling together, her head resting on Yun Seung-Ah’s shoulder.
“Hey Jiyoon, does this have a live chat feature?”
“Hm? Oh yeah, wait a sec….”
But their peace did not last long.
Silver wires danced quietly just outside the motel windows. The wires
shattered the windows in a swift motion and spread throughout the room.
The party quickly grabbed their weapons, but it was too late.
“Shh. Don’t move. This is a game, not reality. If you move I’ll
have no choice but to take your life.”
A threatening voice struck their ears and the sharp wire stopped just in
front of their necks.
But Kim Suho had seen these silver wires before.
He clenched his teeth and glared at the shattered window. A man covered
with a robe from head to toe was leaning against the window frame.
Kim Suho knew this man. His eyes and his build was more than familiar.
They had been enemies since they first met at the Tower of Wish.
‘Silver Kaita’ was the only person who used steel wires as his main
“Long time no see, Kim Suho.”
Kaita smirked. The marker [User] was floating above Kaita’s head.
“…Are you the one behind all of this?”
Kaita shrugged at Kim Suho’s threatening gaze.
“No. See, I have no idea what’s going on either, so don’t glare at
me like that. After all, I’m only here to help. You guys don’t even
know what this game is about, right?”
“FYI, there are at least 1500 other users here besides you and me.
There are 300 in Suwon, and about 50 of them were after you guys until
just now,” Kaita explained. He then sat on the nearest bed and
continued, “But all 50 of them ran away because of me! I helped you
guys out, do you understand? Now stop with those faces.”
Shin Jonghak, Chae Nayun, Kim Suho, Yoo Yeonha, Yun Seung-Ah, Yi Jiyoon.
At the center of the six Heroes’ ferocious gaze, Kaita smirked.
“I’ll take that as a no. Shall we continue the conversation in this