The Academy's Deceased Ate It All - Chapter 1
The first thing I saw was a piece of land floating in the sky.
It wasn’t an airplane or a helicopter, nor was it a drone or an airship.
It was literally a piece of land.
Just like what you see in sci-fi movies, there were chunks of land floating in the sky, and even buildings with unknown purposes were built on them.
No, I knew the purpose of the building.
A white obelisk.
I muttered unconsciously as I watched it.
A defense and intercept system that floats over downtown Seoul and protects the city.
Of course, there was no way such a thing really existed.
It was a term from the game that was almost the only thing I was obsessed with in my life.
Recalling that, I stood there blankly for a moment, staring endlessly at the huge mass of land floating in the sky.
“Phone call… … .”
Startled and surprised, I mumbled and reflexively lifted my cell phone.
And right away, I could tell that my cell phone was weird.
Everything was clean.
Messenger, Internet mail, Phone book… .
All information related to my personal relationship was gone.
All that was left was sudoku that I had installed to play when I was bored.
I immediately called one of the few numbers I remembered.
[who is this?]
A man’s voice.
My heart sank for a moment, but I didn’t press the end of the call just in case.
“Excuse me, isn’t it Yoo Ji-Na’s cell phone?”
[You got the wrong number.]
“Yes, I’m sorry. Excuse me.”
I called my sister’s number, and it was a middle-aged man with a calm voice who answered the call.
When I called my mother’s number as well, a high school girl answered the call this time.
I held the phone in one hand and with my other hand, I rubbed as if scratching between my eyes.
It was a habit that came out when I was in trouble or thinking deeply.
In fact, I felt a little more comfortable when I rubbed the space between my eyes.
“What is it?”
I muttered quietly like that.
And thought of all the likely assumptions as calmly as possible.
First of all, a hidden camera.
I immediately shook my head.
In the first place, I wasn’t in the shoes of a celebrity or a public figure.
In other words, it was not worth the money and time to shoot a hidden camera.
Above all, there was no way you could make a lump of land float in the sky just to take a hidden camera.
Is it a lucid dream that I had only heard of?
Immediately, I tried to snap my finger as I heard from somewhere, but I immediately stopped because of the dull pain I felt.
I could feel pain.
Then it wasn’t even a dream.
I let out a big sigh in the rising tension.
No matter how hard I thought about it, there was no clear answer.
When I woke up, the world had changed.
Connections with those around me that had disappeared.
In the midst of all this, I looked at the floating land, the Aegis System, glimmering in my eyes.
The building I saw in the game.
The luggage I packed yesterday.
I went straight into the house and unpacked my things.
At the top of the luggage was a game console.
I picked it up with a slightly trembling hand.
And its screen, which should not have been turned on, was brightly colored.
I swear I hadn’t touched it since yesterday.
“… … .”
I didn’t know what it was, but I could tell something unusual had happened.
I calmly put down the game console and started to think calmly once more about what was going on.
Even when I was a child, I had already experienced a situation like being thrown alone into this vast sea.
Thanks to that, I was able to keep my cool.
Although it was only a matter of fact.
I wonder if it had been about an hour since I sat still like that.
Now, looking at the synchronization rate that has now exceeded 70%, I made a quick conclusion.
“The world in the game… ?”
I couldn’t believe it even when I said it.
But even now, if I turn my head a little and look out the window, the mass of land floating in the sky was the greatest evidence of all.
If it wasn’t, then I might have lost my mind without even realizing it.
“… … .”
I got up from my seat, where I had been leaning against the bed for a while.
I was thinking of washing my face to calm myself down a bit.
And when I went to the bathroom, I could see that my face looked strangely young.
Recognizing that, I realized that my body had definitely become smaller.
“In another world, plus the younger body?”
I was dumbfounded and muttered as I was looking back in the mirror.
There was certainly no long torn scar on the chin that I had when I was in college.
Then, was ‘I’ a high school student now?
I quickly got out of the bathroom at the sound of an electronic sound.
Before I knew it, the game console that finished synchronization was making sounds.
I immediately sat down and picked it up.
“This is… … .”
The screen of the game console was showing things that I had never seen before.
I swear this wasn’t a game I played, nor was it a feature that came with the console itself.
Is it like a dictionary or a setting?
Numerous tables of contents and lists.
However, most of them were filled with ‘???’.
There was only one thing other than ‘???’.
With a hopeful thought, I operated the game console and pressed the status button.
And when I saw the screen that appeared right away, I sighed quietly.
“I think I’d be better off being crazy… … .”
On the screen, a familiar game status window appeared.
It was a familiar screen.
Except for the fact that my figure, not the game character, was placed in the center of the screen.
* * *
Luckily, I found clothes that fit my body, put them on, and went outside.
It was because there was no point in staying in the room.
Above all, this situation was very frustrating.
I went out and tried to gather as much information as possible.
It would be convenient to use a cell phone, but it was because of my strange stubbornness to see it with my own two eyes.
And after walking around for about two hours, I was finally convinced of the absurd hypothesis.
It was for sure.
This world was a world in a game.
It was the world in the game that I played more than 10 years ago.
It was the ‘clouds on the horizon’.
There was no joke like this.
With that in mind, I took out the game console I had brought from my cross bag.
The screen, which was filled with only ‘???’, had changed a bit.
It certainly looked like a setting book or an encyclopedia.
It was filled with information about important places and buildings in the game that I checked while walking around.
Typical examples were Aegis, the association branch that I checked while walking around, Hunter’s office, and so on.
I checked it out, but the only one with detailed explanations was about the ’23rd Association Branch’, which was located near Aegis and me now.
There were only geographical names and photos that were not even mentioned in the original.
After checking the screen once, I put the game console back into the bag.
‘Cards and cash still work as usual, but ……..’
The problem was that I didn’t have much money on me, to begin with.
How long would it last from now on? Two weeks?
Munching on the gimbap I bought at a convenience store, I tried to figure out what to do now.
Before leaving the house, I searched the house thoroughly, just in case.
And I was able to discover things that were related to me, but that I had absolutely no memory of.
It was things like family relations certificates and bankbooks.
And from the documents and bankbooks I found, I could see that the ‘me of this world’ was an orphan and there was no relative or guardian to rely on.
Also, the fact that there was nothing else related to personal information to the point of being pathological.
I was alone in this world.
I could feel myself calming down in a situation that was too unrealistic.
“… … .”
What should I do now?
I moistened my throat with bottled water and thought.
I just couldn’t help it, and I couldn’t live in this world.
Family, friends… .
And there was no way I could throw away what I had built up so far.
And above all, this world wasn’t so peaceful and safe.
As a game made with teenagers in mind, there were supernatural powers, magic, monsters, and villains, and even more so considering the main story ahead.
A world that was perfect for bloodthirsty.
In a world like this, where people were more likely to suffer than death, there was no desire to live with a bloody body.
I had to go back.
I didn’t know how I fell into this world.
So, I had no idea how I could return to the original world.
‘There was definitely one of the last bosses related to space.’
The last boss-class monster of the game, a monster with space-related abilities.
And when the monster dies, it drops a marble containing its power and essence.
In fact, I heard that there was such a story in the DLC.
I didn’t know the detailed story because I had never played it before, but I knew that the main character of DLC, who had Ariman’s marbles, was wandering around the various worlds.
If so, maybe if I got my hands on the marble, I could return to my world like the main character.
But Ariman, as I said earlier, was a boss mob that is hard to meet, let alone catch with normal gameplay.
If you didn’t meet the special conditions, you couldn’t even meet them, and even in the original story, they were mostly mentioned only in terms of setting and story.
The only thing I knew for sure was that Ariman was incredibly strong.
Of course, there was no unconditional way to kill Ariman.
This world was a world where magic, superpowers, and spirits existed.
Then there must have been information and research related to dimensions and space.
‘There’s no way I can easily access it, or understand it.’
No matter what I thought, there was no easy way.
But at least I was able to decide what to do first.
Let’s go to the academy.
In a way, it was paradoxical to walk into there, which was also the center of the main story, saying that I was just trying to be safe.
But if you think about it, there is no better way than this.
‘I need a minimum means of force, a guarantee of identity, and a means of making money anyway.… … .’
Now, I was just a minor with no connection.
It was clear that there would be many restrictions in doing anything with such a status, and above all, there was no money.
The Academy inevitably gathers a great deal of information and material.
Even if I didn’t take a way to antagonize Ariman, it wasn’t a bad choice to go to the academy.
I picked up the admission certificate that was lying around in my room.
[Proof of admission to Orhe Academy.]
At the end of the certificate that started with such an introduction, my name and photo were clearly printed.
It was one of the most famous academies in the series and the main background of the main story.
Also, most of the playable characters in the game belonged to the Orhe Academy here.
An institution that educates talented students to foster the next generation of heroes against various threats, including monsters and villains.
Talent is inevitably required to enter the Academy.
And I didn’t know if it was original me in this world, but at least there was no way for me to have such a thing now.
“… … .”
I took out the game console and checked the status box.
There, my abilities were displayed in numerical values for easy viewing.
Name: Yoo Ji-Hyuk
* * *
strength : D
Agility : D
* * *
It was not only objective but also cruel.
I was wondering where and how the ability should be used.
But instead of focusing on the physical abilities, I focused on what was underneath.
Talent, skill, art.
There was no information written in any of the columns.
If I had the talent to become a wizard, there would have been a ‘Circle of Mana’ or the ‘Call of Nature’ if I had the talent to become a spiritist.
But there was nothing.
In other words, I was not gifted, at least in the magical field.
Positions such as warriors, archers, or thieves were of course physical, so you might be able to do it if you put in the effort.
However, with these abilities, it was clear that one would only end up third-rate even if one tried.
“Hmm… … .”
In a way, it might be an outsider’s situation.
I had to go to the academy, but I didn’t have the ability or talent to go.
And that ability or talent was not given overnight.
There would be no problems with admission itself.
However, it would become a problem after entering the school.
Orhe Academy was always a place to mercilessly kick students out if they didn’t meet the minimum standards.
[We would like to congratulate on your admission and ask you to strengthen your mental and physical stability and to solidify your will during the month until the Academy’s schedule… Remember, admission can not be canceled after that… We look forward to seeing you again then.]
Once again, there was little significance in the guide.
Except for the fact that I now have about a month of grace period left.
“… … .”
Some students died, though very rare, in the academy’s practice.
I was well aware of the fact that as there were many applicants from all over the world and a grace period was given to confirm their intention, as it had been mentioned in the game.
For me now, it was a time to prepare for my life at the Academy, not to establish my will.
After making such a decision, I got up from my seat, devouring the hard-pressed foods.
‘I’ve played this game quite a few times.’
I had played all the playable characters in this game.
Early characters, characters that would be released later, and even characters that would be distributed only at events.
So, I knew most of the characters’ personal stories, abilities, personalities, and where they got their abilities and items.
Of course, it was a long time ago, so I didn’t remember everything, but at least I knew all the big things.
After all, I was one of the heavy users of this game.
And I could say that I was not in the game, I was an error in the game itself.
I was also well aware of the so-called bugs.
If so, that’s the first place I should go.
That’s when I was about to leave my seat thinking that.
“Hey, if you don’t mind, could you excuse me?”
I lifted my head at the sudden voice.
There was a man in his thirties looking down at me.
“Are you in some kind of trouble?”
As soon as I saw him, I could immediately realize that one of the first ‘???’ engraved on the densely packed console.
And even without looking at the game console, I could immediately recognize who he was.
The left eye mark, where the dent was visible, and the eyepatch covering it.
Conversely, the golden eyes that sparkled excessively and were torn straight like snakes.
And a trident with a hidden blade hanging from the back.
He was in front of me, one of the ten strongest and an important figure in the story.