Chapter 1 – Prologue

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Author: Starving Wind Original Source: Joara Word Count: 1617 characters
Translator: Anonymouss English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1111 words
Editor(s): Silva

My life was not like the average.

I was dumped off to an orphanage as soon as I was born and grew up there, an altogether common story. However, the fact that the orphanages I stayed at keep going under and made me keep moving to one orphanage after another may not be an as common thing to happen.

After all that tumultuous period, I thought that my life will finally change as an adoptive family took me in, but that happiness didn’t last very long.

Because I lost my adoptive parents through an unexpected accident. The reason why I didn’t start wandering off even with all that misfortune was because of the great manager of the orphanage, the many friendly volunteers, and generous adoptive parents.

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That was how I had both misfortunes as well as the luck to have such supportive people around me. Yes, that’s what I wanted to believe.

Until one day, I’ve lost most of the money I inherited from my deceased adoptive parents to a woman that was my everything and my love, who worked together with my closest friend that I thought would have a life-long friendship with me…

I felt like I was falling into an endless abyss, and was also actually falling into a deeper hole, but I still couldn’t simply just sit down and despair. It was because I had a little sister who was of the adoptive parent’s blood and didn’t have any blood mixed with me, but was holding onto my hand and crying.

I quit the graduate school I was attending and started working as much as I physically could. Multiple times I had severe nosebleeds and fainted due to overwork. Many days passed, yet our lives weren’t getting any better. The rent prices skyrocketed, and the price of commodities seem to go up exponentially, rising up to seemingly infinity. In this period, a single opportunity came to me. An unfamiliar company starting with T had released an ambitious virtual reality game. This company made plenty of headlines even before releasing the game, while keeping their mouth shut about any controversies about them.

The experts claimed that it was made using technology that’s several centuries ahead, and that it was a technological revolution, but people who aren’t well versed in science and technology like me just simply knew that it was quite an amazing game.

Even though it wasn’t exactly the world’s first online game, it was still amongst the first generation of them. For an average young man of South Korea with interest in video games, this game went beyond simply being an interesting game and became a way to possibly generate revenue.

It’s an obvious fact that games that are popular allow players to make money. Even primary school kids knew this logical connection. But the interface capsule that allows you to connect to the game with stock standard features cost well over ten million won1. It was way too expensive for anyone to even think about joining the game.

Of course, there was a lighter goggle alternative that costed less, but it put severe limitations on what you can do in the game. The biggest problem amongst those was ‘fatigue’.

This ‘fatigue’ was a numeric representation of psychological stress the user feels. It indicates whether the user can connect their character into the game. In other words, once the player’s brainwave shows signs of fatigue, it automatically shuts down the game. And if you’re playing in goggle mode, this fatigue builds up quickly.

Even so, the goggle cost still one million won2, something that’s definitely not a cheap price. But if you are invested in getting into the game, then going all out was the best way to go.

In any case, I was desperate. I bought the capsule and ambitiously stepped into the world of [Blue Sky] that the company T had released.

Then 5 years passed.

I was on a roll. That’s right. My bet paid off, and the initial investment of 30 million won turned into a profit of 150 times as it became 4.5 billion won3, and I was finally able to admit that I’ve properly made my own fortune. My relationship with my little sister became awkward at some point, but I was still happy.

I can just take my time to get closer to her from now on. I should make up for the times I’ve been neglecting my family. No, I needed to.

But I was foolish.

Even though I knew not to give trust to people, I’ve once again became betrayed by someone I trusted.

No, it was more that I did not take careful enough consideration due to my belief in them. I had only foolishly delayed the arrival of betrayal.

And for that, the 5 years of effort I’ve put into building this success had completely fallen apart.

I cried tears for the first time since five years ago when I vowed to myself that I will never cry again.

In that moment of despair, when I opened my eyes again, what I saw was the hospital’s ceiling. I had fainted.

I saw my little sister lying her face down on my bed. She had been acting cold to me, but seeing as how the only brother she had was in pain, it looked like she had come here to nurse me.

How funny.

They said it was endstage cancer. The life insurance that I took up 5 years ago. It meant that the last possible bet I’ve made to gain some money had come back up, and I won the bet.

I was ecstatic as I heard that I was about to die. It means I can rest now, right? I was too tired to go on. The last 5 years had been brutal for me.

If there was one thing I was sorry about, it was my little sister. I really wished I could have made her live happily. That was my only regret.

But I was glad that I had something that I can at least do for my little princess.

Do not cry. There are so much sin and weight to my body that I do not deserve such tears. Please, go on and live a happy life.

… That’s right, I’m perfectly happy with only that.

“… What is this.”

The girl spoke with a trembling voice, and dropped the paper she was holding.

“Damn it.”

As opposed to her crude use of language, she picked up the dropped letter and sank down, sitting on the floor.

She then bowed her head down on her knees and cried without making a sound.


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References

  1. TN: 10,000,000 won is $8,200 USD
  2. TN: 1,000,000 won is $820 USD
  3. TN: 30 million won is 25 thousand USD / 4.5 billion won is 3.7 million USD
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