Chapter 2 – First Day at the Hotel, Meeting the Crew (2)
– Han Kain
When I headed to the dining room, I saw three others that were already sitting there. There was a boy who looked a lot younger than me, who was probably in middle school, an adorable girl around my age nervously scanning the surroundings;
And… a foreigner with an unbelievably beautiful appearance which I had never seen before.
It felt like I was struck at the back of my head just from seeing someone. Her blonde hair fluttering at her shoulders looked like melted gold; her eyes were seemingly carved out of emerald, and seeing the part of her body that contained her broad and generous heart was a stunning sight.
Don’t people like this only exist in movies?
After around 5 seconds? of dumbfoundedly looking at her, she returned an awkward smile and only then did I realise how discourteous it was for me to do that.
I lowered my head in a fluster and sat near the dining table. Thinking that I had to make an apology of some sort I squeezed out an English sentence from my head.
“I’m so sorry, but…” [English]
“It’s okay. I’ve been in Korea for 6 years so you can speak Korean to me. I’m not from America or Britain in the first place.”
“Ah. I’m sorry…”
“Weren’t you lying on the bed? Are you okay? Were you hurt?”
“No, it’s nothing. I was a bit tired and was lying on the bed and fell asleep.”
“It definitely was tiring. It’s the first time I had something like this happen. Oh, and thank you for telling us to come to Room 105.”
“T, that’s nothing. The buff person was holding off very well when I got there.”
“Jinchul-ssi did save all of us. We’ll have to thank him again for that. My name is Elena Ivanova; you can just call me Elena. And you are?”
“I’m Han Kain. Umm, you probably already did it while I was sleeping, but I think it would be great if we introduced ourselves again.”
“My name is Yu Songee,” said the other girl.
“I am Park Seungyub.” The young boy also introduced himself.
Clack. The door was pushed open as the man from before walked into the room. There was an unidentifiable soft cloth wrapped tightly around his bleeding arm, and the moment he came closer, I realised how amazing his build was. At least 190 cm? He was probably even bigger than that.
Not only was he tall, but he was also built like an athlete. Do you have to be that buff to fight a monster? I was thinking in admiration when a heavy voice flowed out of his mouth.
“I’m Cha Jinchul. Ah, can I speak informally to you? You look like a student.”
“Yes, that is okay. You can just call me Kain.”
“Alright, sure. Kain. Thank you very much for telling us about this room. Those damn stupid monkeys hurt like crazy. They don’t die from getting smacked on the head multiple times and they don’t even run away. I wasn’t expecting this to happen just by killing two monkeys.”
I was a little flustered from him immediately calling me, ‘Kain’, the moment I replied to him, but I had no qualms with someone who would have honestly been aiming for the throne if he was born a few centuries ago!
Besides, I was the one who told him to speak informally so there was no problem there.
The moment we finished introducing ourselves, the ‘status screen’ flickered and changed.
[User: Han Kain (Wisdom)
Date: Day 1
Current Location: Floor 1, Room 105 (Room of Rest)
Teammate Information (!)
Sage’s Advice: 2]
Feeling slightly accustomed to it, I looked at the text and thought to myself, ‘Open!’ when a new window showed itself.
[1. Han Kain (20) – Wisdom
2. Cha Jinchul (31) – Courage
3. Yu Songee (17) – Affinity
4. Elena Ivanova (23) – Justice
5. Park Seungyub (14) – Fortune
6. Lee Eunsol (32) – Wealth]
The first would be the name; and is the one after that age? If so, what were the following words like Wisdom and Courage? For now, I spoke to the adorable-looking girl who looked to be the easiest to talk to for verification.
“Yu Songee-ssi. Are you by any chance 17 years old?”
“? I am. How did you know that?”
“Ah, do you see the number next to your name on the screen here? I was wondering if that was your age.”
As soon as I said that, everyone returned a flustered look, let alone Yu Songee-ssi who was on the other side of the table. Seeing how they were all doubtfully looking at the direction I was pointing at, I realised something.
Only I can see this screen.
“Ah, this… It seems I’m the only one that can see this screen.”
“A screen? Can you see something unique with your eyes? You were suddenly looking at the thin air so I was wondering what that was about. Does that have our ages written or something?” Jinchul-ssi asked.
“Uh. Let me explain.”
After that, I shared through a short conversation how I was the only one that could see this mysterious status screen which had the current situation, date and location written inside. According to the circumstances, I mentioned how it was likely that this ‘status screen’ was linked to the mentioned ‘Wisdom’, and they started opening their mouths one by one.
“Wisdom huh… A blessing of Wisdom – is that why you are granted some kind of knowledge? I think I also got something similar – it’s called ‘Courage’ on your screen right? I can somewhat understand what that is. It probably makes my body a little bit stronger or something.”
“Stronger? In what way?” I asked back.
“Who knows… I would have to find out more later, but I was quite surprised myself fighting those monkeys. I did work out a little but my arms were nonsensically stronger than before, and I wasn’t very tired after fighting for over 30 minutes. I think my strength and stamina have improved a fair bit. Ah, and judging from my arm, I’d say the recovery is also a bit faster.”
“Do I… have something as well? I have no clue what Affinity is about. I don’t see any screens and I don’t have any power either,” said Songee.
“I think I know what yours is about.” It was Eunsol-noonim who replied to her.
“Did you see something Eunsol-unni?”
“When the monkeys were attacking us, Songee, you were just lying down next to the tree right? I was very scared you might die soon but for some reason, the monkeys weren’t attacking you at all. I thought you were just lucky back then, but looking back, that’s probably what Affinity is.”
“Then what do you think mine is, noona.” This time, the young body, Park Seungyub, raised a question.
“Seungyub, you… I don’t know. ‘Fortune’. Did anything lucky happen to you?”
“I probably wouldn’t have ended up in a place full of monsters if I was lucky.”
“Hmm. For now it seems like I’m ‘Justice’. No clue what that might be. Maybe I’ll get powers like a hero of justice later. Eunsol-ssi you have Wealth; do you have any guesses about your ability?” asked Elena.
“Well… Not really. If it’s just talking about how much money I have, well, it’s not that I don’t have money but that is probably off topic. Am I perhaps Midas? Maybe everything I touch will turn into gold?”
Saying that, Eunsol-noona mischievously caressed Songee, who perhaps believed in her words and immediately crouched her neck like a turtle. Of course, she didn’t turn into gold just from getting touched like that.
“Seriously, why did this happen. I wanted to spend the best few months of a high school graduate’s life as happily as possible and I wasn’t expecting something like this to happen. There is not even 2 weeks left until the start of university.”
Eunsol-noona showed a fairly intrigued response to my grumble.
“2 weeks? Is it an overseas university?”
“Sorry? No. I’m a full Korean living in Korea.”
“Is there a uni in Korea that starts at this time of the year? What uni is it?”
“What? Don’t they all usually start in early March?”
Once again, the surroundings turned quiet as a heavy voice started to echo across the room.
“It seems… there are a lot of things we need to talk about. So Kain, you’re saying it was March for you. Just for reference, for me, yesterday was the 24th of November.”
“Mine was the 3rd of May. I just had my interim exam.”
“For me it was the 9th of March.”
“16th of May for me. There’s one more thing I want to ask – what year was ‘yesterday’? And looking at our clothes, I assume we would also have to inquire about our last locations,” said Eunsol-noona.
In the short conversation, we were able to verify a few facts.
1. The ‘date of yesterday’ was different for everyone. It was clear that we were all kidnapped on different days.
2. The ‘location we were at yesterday’ was all different as well. There were people who were sleeping at a hotel like me, and there were also those who had been sleeping in their own houses.
What in the world was it – what was happening to us, and what were we supposed to do now? The silence lasted longer this time. It was as if our heads were in a turmoil from countless doubtful information that they refused to think anymore.
The owner of that sound, Songee, blushed.
“Aht! Ahhht! Sorry. Sorryyy. Why did it suddenly…”
“Kukuk. Well, there’s nothing to be sorry about. I’ve been super hungry for a while as well from that vicious exercise in the morning. Anyway, this is the button for a meal right? Let’s have some food first of all. We need to eat something to think better, right.”
“Sure. Let’s have something first. I’m curious what will come out, and also ‘how’ it will come out. Do they have waiters that bring out food or something?”
“Then, let me press the button.”
Elena, who was sitting next to the button, pressed it. The button began flashing in red but nothing happened after that. Everyone waited without saying anything for 5 minutes with no change but that was when Seungyub noticed something different.
“Umm. Can you all look at the display screen? There’s something new.”
/Welcome, esteemed guests, to Hotel Pioneer!
There are several guiding notifications so please refer to them. There could be an addition to the notifications and you may see them at any of the displays of the hotel.
1. Hotel Pioneer always loves our esteemed guests.
– However, the waiters of our hotel are very shy and only work diligently away from everyone’s sight.
2. A few of the elevator’s functions are deactivated, so please take that into consideration.
3. The hotel always respects the privacy of our guests. However, perhaps meals should be shared together? Please always keep the meal times./
A new line was added underneath the 1st one. ‘The waiters of our hotel are very shy and only work diligently away from everyone’s sight.’
What did this mean? After blankly contemplating those words, I lifted my head after coming up with a hypothesis and that was when my eyes met with Eunsol-noona who seemingly had the same thought in mind.
“Noona. It suddenly came to me, but is this maybe telling us to…”
“I think it’s telling us to leave for a bit. Because they are ‘shy’, they can’t prepare the food in front of us. Isn’t that what it is trying to say?”
Realising what it meant, the others showed dumbfounded responses.
“Like, what kind of damn restaurant refuses to give food in front of a customer because they’re shy? If they’re that shy, they should stop running a restaurant!”
“Well, it won’t take us anywhere to nitpick on this and that right? It feels more and more like a movie, and is a little interesting. It would have been an intriguing experience if only there weren’t monsters.”
“Elena-unni, you really are good at Korean,” remarked Songee.
“It’s been 6 years already. I’m pretty much half-Korean.”
“Umm, then how about we all leave for a while? Sorry but I’m also really hungry.”
“Let’s do that.”
We all stood up, left the dining room, and after closing the door and waiting for like 10 seconds, we opened the door again. Like what Miss Elena said, it felt like we were filming a movie – everyone let out a faint gasp after returning to the dining room.
Was it like the meal of a magical school you go in through the platforms?
All sorts of fancy and delicious-looking dishes were filling the table. It was a multicultural dining table, mixed with dishes of countless nations. There were some familiar dishes like spaghetti, steak and stir-fried pork, but there were also some I was seeing for the first time that I couldn’t even guess the ingredients of.
When we were blankly looking at the scene in front of us with dropped chins, Jinchul-hyung opened his mouth.
“There is plenty of food, and looking at the clock, we only have about 40 minutes of mealtime left. Well, let’s each take a plate and grab all the food we want. We should feel a little better after eating something.”
On the first day after arriving at Hotel Pioneer, I discovered one good thing about this hotel.