TL: Uncle Choi
I despised the world.
Right after I was born, I was abandoned in a bag meant for trash.
I had absolutely no reason to cherish the world, for I had been treated like a stray beast my entire life.
I hated the world for making me one of them.
I was disgusted by the fact that I was classified as a human, grouped with those pretenders who wore human masks, but were blinded by their greed and ambition.
That is the reason why I did not trust humans.
Whatever I had to do, I did it alone.
This mindset remained the same even after the world transformed in its entirety.
On January 1st, 2020, the world metamorphosed into a game-like state.
Dungeons and monsters began to appear, and so did players with the power to stop them.
An unprecedented change in human history had begun.
In my perspective, however, the world did not change very much.
For the strong still took advantage of the weak; the fact that the ones with everything took from those with nothing did not change.
Players used the threat of dungeons and monsters, which terrified the world, merely as an opportunity to fulfill their ambitions.
In the world, there is nobody you can trust.
Only one person seemed different from the rest.
“I will kill the final boss of this game and put an end to it all.”
One of the first seven to become a player, and one of the few who had been chosen by the sacred light. He was also a man that has held the title of the highest level player; ever since he partook in the sacred light ritual.
Only he was different.
“Therefore, he will be the one to save the world.”
While all the other players treated the new game-like world as their stage for satisfying their ambitions and greed; only Lee Se-joon was selfless, and dedicated himself to saving the world.
He hunted monsters even if it did not bring him any benefits, he annihilated the dangerous dungeons that everyone else avoided, and he also judged the players and guilds who defied the law.
In other words, to save the world, he fought against the world itself.
He was the first.
It was the first time in my life that I met such a person, someone who I felt I could trust and follow wholeheartedly in this shitty-ass world.
That was why.
“Hunting Dog Kim Woo-jin, I need your strength.”
When Lee Se-joon, he, reached out for my hand, I didn’t hesitate for even a second before accepting it.
I would follow him to end this damn game, I was willing to even risk my life in order to change this world.
Life as a companion to a savior who will one day save the world was incomparably onerous compared to a carefree lifestyle.
Players with a vested interest didn’t want this game to end, so the closer the Messiah Guild came to beating the game, the voices of the world swarmed towards them and only became louder and louder.
However, I never thought of giving up, not even once.
We will save the world. I believed that risking my life for the sake of my fellow men, who were united by that shining noble cause, was never a waste.
I believed that as long as I were with them, I could change this ugly world.
“Master, the only thing that is left now is the final battle.”
“The final battle does not exist.”
“I never thought of ending the game.”
“What do you…”
I was certain I was hearing incorrectly.
“There must be wolves for the sheep to be obedient.”
Before Balmung, even dragon leather was pierced like a sheet of paper. The moment Balmung pierced his chest, Kim Woo-jin heard the system notifications.
[You are under the effect of Balmung’s Curse]
[All resistances are reduced by 90%]
[All defense stats are reduced by 90%]
[All healing effects are reduced by 90%]
“You’ve done a good job. Kim Woo-jin, without you, we would not have been able to make it this far.”
What I heard afterwards was Lee Se-joon’s voice.
So, Lee Se-joon’s voice, which did not overlap with the system’s notifications, bluntly entered Kim Woo-jin’s ear drums.
“Wha, what do you mean?”
However, Kim Woo-jin could not understand a single word coming from Lee Se-joon’s mouth.
“Wha… What do you mean that you never had the thought of ending this game from the beginning?”
“What do I mean?”
However, Kim Woo-jin’s question wasn’t answered by Lee Se-joon but by a different figure.
Crimson leather, as if it was cut from blazing flames, made up the robe of a bewitching beauty who stood behind Lee Se-joon’s, and looked down upon Kim Woo-jin, who was kneeling in front of her. She then spoke.
“If the game ends and the game system disappears, the powers and items we obtained would disappear, along with the all the dungeons and monsters. The reason why people obey our every word will disappear as well.”
The heiress to the Hansung Group, the largest chaebol group in Korea, who was Lee Se-joon’s biggest financial investor in the early days of establishing the Messiah Guild.
“If we end the game, then how can we rule the world?”
Kim Woo-jin looked gravely toward Lee Se-joon after hearing her words.
Lee Se-joon, however, did not say a word.
It was an unambiguous response.
At such a response, Kim Woo-jin gritted his teeth.
‘I need to take the sword out first. I can’t hope to do anything while Balmung is still stabbing me.’
His primary instinct was to live. He desperately wished to live and listen to Lee Se-joon’s explanation.
‘I want to hear a more detailed explanation…’
He didn’t want to hear it from some other person, but directly through Lee Se-joon’s mouth alone.
[Venom of the Thousand Snake is spreading throughout your body]
At that moment, a new system notification rang in Kim Woo-jin’s ear.
Simultaneously, Kim Woo-jin threw up blood from his mouth.
The blood that Kim Woo-jin threw up melted the floor.
‘Venom of the Thousand Snake?’
“As expected, quite impressive.”
The person who spoke to the miserable Kim Woo-jin again was still none other than Park Shin-hye.
“To think that the effect of the poison manifested only after being stabbed by Balmung; others were easily taken care of by the might of the Venom of the Thousand Snake alone.”
In that instant, various faces appeared through Kim Woo-jin’s mind.
“Don’t tell me…”
Companions who would give up everything, even their lives, for humanity; and people who would gladly sacrifice their lives for these companions.
The moment he recalled the faces of his dear friends, the expression of his eyes changed.
His eyes began to emit an aura of strong killing intent and resentment.
This was the proof of acceptance.
It was proof that Kim Woo-jin finally understood the truth of this situation, and accepted it.
“Lee Se-joon, so from the beginning, you never thought of becoming the hero or saving the world.”
In addition, Lee Se-joon’s silence was also an irrefutable evidence. Then Park Shin-hye spoke.
“Yeah, you are right. That was our plan from the start. If not for that reason, do you really think our Hansung group would risk everything in support of the Messiah Guild?”
In place of the silent Lee Se-joon, the explanation that came from Park Shin-hye proved everything was true.
Lee Se-joon, who stood in front of him, was not a hero.
“From the beginning, our plan was to create an empire that is able to dominate and rule the world. In order to achieve this, we needed to get rid of the competitors, and play the hero to distinguish ourselves from those competitors.”
A villain in a hero’s mask.
He was an insincere guy who wouldn’t even speak the truth using his own mouth.
“Finally, all the preparations are complete.”
Park Shin-hye said everything, instead of Lee Se-joon.
“Dragon Hunter, Grouse, Deadly Poison King, and even the King of the Undead. Actually, we were going to trade with the King of the Undead at first, since I would have had to risk my life if I tried to kill him. But to think that a hunting dog would kill such a monster. That was quite unexpected.”
Lee Se-joon. I dedicated my life to him, and to think I could not even hear the reason behind his betrayal from him directly, but only through Park Shin-hye.
“Well, I was supposed to finish you off after I joined hands with the King of the Undead. Isn’t it ironic? I mean your nickname is ‘Hunting Dog’.”
It was extremely difficult to suppress this chaotic feeling, which was beyond description.
“So, how do you feel?”
There was no fucking way I would feel any kind of happiness or joy.
‘He can’t even fucking spurt out a single excuse?’
From Lee Se-joon’s actions alone, from beginning to end, he felt abject betrayal.
The fact that he didn’t even say a word, with his own damn mouth, in a situation like this, made him look like nothing but a goddamn coward.
Facing this reality, he was overwhelmed with rage.
‘You even killed those who trusted you with their fucking lives?’
Countless men had sacrificed their lives in order for Lee Se-joon to be here right now.
Disregarding everything they hold dear, their boundless determination and unshakeable resolve to save the world was the only thing that pushed them forward.
But you got rid of them because they’re now in the way?
And you won’t even say a word of explanation using your own damn mouth?
This was something one could not analyze or understand rationally.
“Lee Se-joon, if you have anything to say, say it with your own mouth.”
The last string of rationality he had left made asking this question possible.
“Why even bother with you when you are just going to die anyway?”
“Shut up, I am speaking with Lee Se-joon.”
However, Lee Se-joon did not respond, despite the repeated imploring from Kim Woo-jin.
Instead, Lee Se-joon turned his back on him.
In that moment, everything was clear to him.
“After all, there is no one in this world that one can truly trust.”
He had dedicated his life to the hero who he thought was destined to save the world. However, but that was nothing but a lie. In the end, he was betrayed by the hero.
Furthermore, like he had always believed, there was no person in the world that one could believe or trust. Such a figure did not exist.
He was our only hope.
Kim Woo-jin’s situation was clear.
So it was also very clear what Kim Woo-ji had to do.
“I killed everyone and everything that hindered the dream of ending the game. So, if you are going to kill me, you better do it right. Cause if I survive, I will do everything I can to stop you bastards.”
Making a traitor pay for his betrayal.
That is the end of the story of Kim Woo-jin.
On March 7, 2023, it was the story of his future. One which he remembered after waking up from his slumber.