World of Masks – Chapter 19
A human head flew through the air. A waterfall of blood poured from the headless body before splattering on the ground.
The soft feeling of skin and muscles being cut together with the dull throb that came when he reached the bone always filled him with excitement. (TL: I’m starting to worry about the author…)
Frank’s head, which had been cut off, landed in the bushes at the side of the road. Frank’s expression, including his wide eyes which were filled with resentment, created an image that would have caused a weak willed person to faint upon seeing it.
But Jin-suk’s shoulders only shook as he tried to hold in his laughter while staring at the severed head.
Unfortunately, he failed.
Jin-suk began laughing so hard that he clutched his sides in pain.
‘Did you see? That stupid expression? That pale face? That spiteful gaze? He desperately stabbed his teammate like crazy without knowing that he was being deceived, then he collapsed and went crazy when he found out. Looking at his expression, wouldn’t someone think that he had been raped, and after struggling to live, he realised he’d been fooled?”
Jin-suk threw his longsword to the side and rolled around on the ground. A man wearing a mask rolled around on the ground and laughed like crazy while surrounded by four corpses.
It was truly not a normal sight.
Jin-suk laughed so hard that he had trouble catching his breath. He briefly raised up his mask and wiped his tears, his shoulders still shaking slightly.
Then, he lifted himself up. He’d laughed so hard that he had brief muscle spasms and didn’t have any strength left.
“Ahh. That was a good laugh.”
As he brushed the dirt off his body, he realised that this was the second time he’d gotten such a good laugh since entering this game.
Jin-suk was pleased. He felt like this game really let him experience things he liked.
After basking in the afterglow of his laugh for a moment, Jin-suk absorbed the vitality from the bandits’ corpses and invested them all into strength.
But it seemed that they weren’t much since they had less vitality than the blacksmith Hans.
Then, he took their money, weapons and leather equipment, and dumped their bodies deep in the forest, thinking that the wild animals would take care of them.
After properly ending his pleasant encounter with the bandits, Jin-suk looked down at the Contract Jewel, which was arguably his greatest harvest from the encounter.
Jin-suk’s agreement with the bandits was only to tease them, but he also thought it would have been a good way to test out the ability of the jewel.
And because of it, he’d been able to learn a few things.
First, its ability was absolute. The bandit, who had tried to lie to him had rolled around the ground in pain, and whenever he thought about not sending Frank to hell, an uncomfortable pain suddenly rose.
However, he also found that there were many loopholes. Usually, words could have different meanings depending on the context.
For example, Jin-suk said that he’d spare one person. However, the word ‘spare’ could have the passive meaning of ‘let go without killing’, but it could also have the active meaning of ‘ensuring that they won’t die’.
Both Jin-suk and the bandits had used the word with the passive meaning. However, if the word had been used in an active sense, Jin-suk would have had to protect the other bandit from Frank.
However, the Contract Jewel didn’t react when the other bandit died. This meant that it also accepted the passive meaning of the word.
It was the same with the phrase ‘let go’. The meanings of the phrase that Jin-suk and the bandits accepted were different.
Jin-suk meant ‘let them go to hell’, or in order words ‘kill them’, but the bandits took it as ‘let them go away’ as in ‘spare them’. But the jewel accepted ‘let them go to hell’.
So what were the standards by which the Contract Jewel interpreted the meaning of a word?
‘Probably based on the contractor’s thoughts.’
If that was the case then it made sense. Jin-suk had suggested that he would ‘let the person who provided the most useful information go’ and ‘spare one person’, which the bandits accepted. And the jewel interpreted these words in the way that Jin-suk, the proposer, did.
This meant that the jewel accepted the meaning according to the thoughts of the proposer.
‘It grants one the ability to make contracts filled with loopholes.’
No matter how you looked at it, it was a really good cheat-like ability.
Jin-suk put the jewel in his bracelet. He couldn’t help but feel like he would be needing the help of the jewel a lot in the future.
Jin-suk, who had gained an unexpected income and a good laugh, once again started walking towards the city while humming a tune.
Then, a thought suddenly appeared in his mind.
‘Aren’t I really good at adapting?’
Unlike other beginners who were raped and killed, Jin-suk was able to get a smooth start and additional income.
Instead, in this situation where the concept of law was vague and killing someone did not carry the same weight, it could have been said that he was living more freely.
Well, that was to be expected. After all, he was different from others.
He was off. Twisted. Broken.
He didn’t care about what others did, or their pointing fingers.
He was a psychopath, a madman.
But Jin-suk didn’t mind.
“All I have to do is have fun.”
After all, it was just a game. So it wouldn’t matter what he did.
No, even if there was a problem, there was nothing he could do about it anymore. Now that he’d already gotten a taste of meat, he couldn’t go back to being a vegetarian anymore.
Jin-suk, who had already shed plenty of human blood, no longer had the confidence to control himself.
If this game were to disappear for some reason… Reality would probably see the emergence of a new, brutal serial killer.
After walking for a while longer on the road bordered by the lush forest, Jin-suk came to a large green meadow.
Unknown weeds, that would cover his feet swayed back and forth in the wind.
Without hesitation, Jin-suk stepped out of the forest. In front of him was the wall which had seemed so far away.
It was a typical grey stone wall which had been created by stacking large cut stones on top of each other.
A stream flowed gently beside the wall which seemed to exude a magnificent aura.
Because of how close it was to the wall, there were no small animals in the meadow, but the scene was still reminiscent of a painting as unnamed birds flew into the sky.
Jin-suk continued to walk along the road.
In the distance, he could see people gathering in front of the large front gates.
It seemed that, as the bandit said, one needed identification to enter the city.
He could see people chatting with those beside them as they silently waited for their turn. Some of them petted the horses that were pulling their wagons, and some who sat on the wagons fiddled with their abacuses.
People of all kinds were gathered there.
As Jin-suk approached, a murmur arose from the people. It was natural that they would be surprised by the appearance of someone wearing a mask and covered in blood.
In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if they all ran away screaming in fear.
However, none of the people seemed afraid of him. They only talked softly to their companions while observing him.
“It’s a Traveler. It’s been a while since I last saw one.”
“This is my first time seeing a Traveler. Wow. They really wear masks?”
“But why is he covered in blood?”
“He’s probably been here for a while but had no clothes to change. Beginner Travelers are no different from beggars.”
They looked at him like they were looking at a monkey in a zoo. However, they didn’t seem to care about him much other than looking at him, so Jin-suk simply scratched his head and stood at the back of the line.
“Hey! Hey! You there!”
Who were they calling?
Jin-suk subconsciously turned to look in the direction of the shouts. There, he saw a soldier standing in armor with a sword at his waist. Maybe it was the guard who was responsible for this gate.
The soldier walked down the line of the gate he was guarding before coming to stop in front of Jin-suk.
“You. Are you a Traveler?”
Then the soldier beckoned for him to follow him before turning around.
It was an unexpected situation, but it wasn’t a bad thing, so Jin-suk followed the guard without saying a word.
After passing by another guard who was checking identities and reasons for visiting, the guard entered the gate.
Jin-suk, who followed the guard into the gate was impressed.
This was a medieval city that one could only see in movies or paintings. There was an unpaved dirt road which ran between medieval western style houses made of stone and wood.
The houses were all built in a simple way.
Because of the warm climate, the people here probably spent most of their time outdoors.
Most of the houses were two or three story buildings because of the limited space within the city.
As he followed the guard who was leading him somewhere, Jin-suk turned his head left and right.
In the real world, this was a sight that one wouldn’t be able to see even if they wanted to pay money. So except for the minimal attention that he used to not lose track of the guard walking in front of him, Jin-suk tried to engrave as much of the sights around as he could into his retinas.
Jin-suk, who was swiveling his head around like a country bumpkin who had come to Seoul for the first time, was finally led before a large church with a bell tower on top of it.
What kind of style was this?
No, was it a completely different style?
While looking at the magnificent church which seemed to exude a sacred atmosphere, Jin-suk tried to scrounge up the knowledge he’d gained from middle school and highschool.
While Jin-suk was consuming precious calories on a foolish endeavor, the guard who had brought him there knocked on the church doors.
He knocked heavily on the door with his fist before stepping back. And after waiting for a while, someone opened the door.
He was dressed in a manner that made Jin-suk think he was a priest, or a pastor, or something like that.
The guard talked to the priest while pointing at Jin-suk before finally turning around and heading back to the gate.
While Jin-suk stared at the guard’s retreating back, feeling like he’d been abandoned, someone tapped on his shoulder.
Jin-suk turned his head, and the priest smiled brightly.
“Greetings, Traveler. My name is Jorba, and my task will be to help you adapt to this world.”
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