Prologue – A Strange Dream
I had a strange dream.
It was on a windy February night. During the short break before the start of university after graduating high school and sitting the entrance exam, in this period of time that would probably be one of the few golden ages of a person’s life, I went on a backpack trip.
My exam results weren’t bad so I managed to get quite a large sum of money from my parents, had a leisurely trip and was also able to stay at a hotel in Jeju Island near the end of it.
Laying my body and mind exhausted from a whole day tour on the hotel bed, I dozed off to sleep when something strange began to happen.
When I came to myself, I noticed myself standing in the midst of an area covered in misty fog. Looking around, I found several figures of dark shadows standing next to me.
For some reason, I felt urged to move forward.
In less than a minute, I found a table and on the table were dozens of strange sculptures.
Select your destiny.
Destiny? How could a small piece of sculpture like this decide my destiny?
But feeling a peculiar urge to pick something up, I was staring at the sculptures when one by one, they began to ‘disappear’. At this rate, there would be none left for me to pick up so I was starting to be flustered when a sculpture of an owl unknowingly entered my sight. I quickly picked it up.
That was when an announcement appeared in front of me.
/Welcome, esteemed guests, to Hotel Pioneer!
Ever since our establishment in 1847, Pioneer has a proud long history of being positively received by numerous guests with our countless mystiques and endless treasures. Of course, every treasure is bound to be followed by equal risk. We sincerely hope that our esteemed guests achieve the intended goal at Pioneer!
Now, it is time for your adventure./
What did this mean?
It wasn’t just one or two things that were strange. Firstly, the hotel I was staying in did not have a grandiose name like ‘Pioneer’ and let alone 1947 which would already be ridiculous, 1847 was just way too absurd.
Was there a hotel during the Joseon Dynasty? Mystiques and treasures? Risk? Adventure? There was not a single word I could understand and as I was about to be confused beyond what I could handle, my mind turned dizzy and crumbled down.
Aha, so this is what they call a lucid dream! Am I going to faint again now? Thinking of how mysterious a dream this was, my consciousness fell into the darkness.