Chapter 49 – Intermission, Happy Interrogation Time
[User: Han Kain (Wisdom)
Date: Day 19
Current Location: Floor 1, Corridor
Sage’s Advice: 2]
I woke up in immense dizziness.
What in the world was that just then? I met the ‘Lord’. And the Hotel’s announcement had been distorted, but in a way that was different from what happened inside the Animal Farm.
Looking back at the change inside the Animal Farm, it was pretty much the Hotel changing the title itself because we were heading to the ‘next stage’, the so-called Phase 2.
This time, the distortion was as if it had been ‘hacked’. It was definitely the first time this had happened.
Plus… What exactly was it that I saw? The heavenly throne, and the owner of this world.
On top of that – a cluster of golden light had been seeping into my body.
Light. Light. Light.
I could feel a storm of light raging inside my head. Holding onto my head with both of my hands, I shivered.
That was when someone held me by my hand.
“I don’t know what happened, but don’t think about anything for now.”
“Ahri… You made it out.”
“You probably have no idea what I went through. I was going to punch you again as soon as I left the room, but I guess you had your own share of troubles.”
Someone else also held onto my hand as a rather refreshing feeling swept past me. It felt as if I had dumped my head into cold water as the headache slowly went away.
“Oh my. What did you do there? Is this another function of the bracelet?”
“What are you going to do after knowing that, Ahri?” Songee asked Ahri with a cold voice while letting go of my hand.
“Thank you Songee. But I’m also curious. What did you do to me just then?”
“It wasn’t much. Your ‘senses’, I should say? They were slightly distorted so I put them back to order. I’m not a doctor so it might not be perfect though.”
“I can assure you that’s incredibly more amazing than being a doctor.”
After the headache settled a little, I stood up and looked around and saw everyone including Songee and Ahri looking at me with worrisome looks on their faces.
Everyone quietly headed back to Room 105 as if they were conscious about my headache.
Even on the way back, I suffered from a spasmodic headache and disorder and Songee had to help stabilise my mind on repeat.
How long did I have to suffer like this, I wonder?
A doubt appeared in my mind when we were almost back at Room 105.
Was everyone else okay? It might be a bit late for this, but didn’t everyone else go through painful deaths as well?
“Are you guys okay? Seungyub might be fine because he was brainwashed, but Jinchul-hyung and Songee, for example, had painful deaths right?”
“Honestly,” rebutted Jinchul-hyung. “It’s more puzzling for me to see you in so much pain.”
“What? Are you okay, hyung?”
“Think about everything we’ve gone through until now. Each and every one of those memories were horrendously painful, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it was already haunting us a trauma. But considering that, everyone is usually normal so I was under the impression that the Hotel automatically got rid of traumatic emotions from us.”
“I agree with what Jinchul said,” Eunsol-noona added. “No-one has said anything about it until now, but don’t we all feel the same way? Even when I die in a vomit-inducingly horrible manner, it feels like it’s not me that experienced it as soon as I leave the Hotel room. It gave me the feeling that I was just reading a book.
Of course, it’s definitely not a happy memory or anything and I would rather not look back at it, but I’ve never had any serious symptoms like you, Kain.”
“I think I can add something.”
It was Ahri who then opened her mouth.
It wasn’t surprising at all. The best people to ask in regards to these ‘supernatural events’ would be either Ahri or Grandpa Mooksung.
“The Administration has talked to survivors of the Hotel a few times, and they all said the same thing as Jinchul-oppa and Eunsol-unni. ‘No matter how horrible a thing happens inside, those experiences all appear like simple arrangements of letters immediately after leaving that place, and there’s no trauma at all.’
Besides, the Hotel sends us a doctor to heal broken limbs and crushed organs and even resurrects us from the Cursed Rooms so it should be safe to say that they can get rid of all the mental burdens as well.
So… Kain-oppa. Your pain right now is not because of the trauma from the Hotel.”
“Then what is it?”
“I think you can make a guess yourself, can you not? Let me be honest. I can feel an alarmingly strong amount of power boiling inside you. What exactly have you gained?”
I gained something, and that appeared to be the cause of this pain.
‘I have granted light unto thee.’ Light had pervaded into my body as soon as I heard those words.
“Now, now. Let’s stop there. I don’t think Kain knows what’s going on himself, and we’re not going to get a clear answer even if we push him here. It’s right before dinner time, so let’s have some food while we chat,” said Eunsol-noona.
“Unni is right. And we need to get the order straight. Isn’t there someone who needs to answer questions before Kain-oppa?”
Songee’s words raised the tension in the air. She had been showing quite a vigilant attitude against Ahri the whole time ever since Animal Farm, and I was now under the same impression.
Although I’ve been wanting to avoid potential strife in the Hotel since it repeatedly gave us trials, this was the limit. Hiding information here will instead break our trust.
Naturally, 6 pairs of eyes headed to Ahri and Grandpa Mooksung.
The situation turned out like a 2 vs 6, as tension was added to the air.
“Puhut. What is with this atmosphere? I was going to share everything that needed to be shared today anyway, so please don’t look at me like that. How about we go in and have some food first?”
“Right. Let’s have something first. We’re not trying to fight here, are we? It’s just that we are trying to know what needs to be known. Let’s go in.”
Fortunately, the tension slowly dissipated thanks to Eunsol-noona’s direction.
Eunsol had the feeling that all the participants of the Hotel got rid of their dissatisfaction through food. Despite swearing at the Hotel 30 times a day, those all disappeared as soon as it was mealtime. It was ridiculous how every dish tasted amazing.
The meals at the Hotel were sometimes a combination of everyone’s favourite dishes, or had one theme going through it and the theme for today’s dinner appeared to be a barbeque.
Chunks of various kinds of meat were being cooked on a large grill, and the grill was cooking the meat by itself so all we had to do was eat.
Besides, there were a few things they learned while spending weeks at the Hotel.
One of those was the way to make use of the ‘shy waiters’.
Back when they didn’t know about the most optimal way to make use of them, everyone used to leave the room when either the food or the drink ran out. But at one point, they discovered that there was no need to leave the room. It simply had to be away from everyone’s vision – if you wanted a refill for a drink or a dish, all you had to do was place the cup or the plate beneath the table before raising it back up.
Indulging herself in the lamb cutlets that were crusty on the outside while maintaining a soft and pink medium-rare inside with mint jelly, Eunsol couldn’t help but marvel at the taste of it.
Born as the daughter of the Daeyang Group, she thought she had tasted all the delicacies in the world but the food provided by the Hotel were of exceptional standards.
Thanks to that, everyone was back to being calm.
It was great. Even though she had constantly been feeling the need to have an open-minded conversation with the two agents of the Calamity Administration Bureau, she could not have the ‘conversation’ lead to a strife.
After all, the Hotel was a very dangerous place.
An internal strife was already a big problem, but to make things worse, the two agents had unidentified powers. It wasn’t a wise decision to confront them.
Now was the best time in that sense. Good food made people happy and relaxed, and that was why hard topics were best shared over nice meals.
“Now~! I think everyone’s almost had their fill, so how about we ask a few questions to each other?”
Ahri lowered her spoon as if she had been waiting for it.
“Hmm. Is it finally going to be the interrogation time for grandpa and me?”
“Interrogation? Let’s not put it that way. We are not looking for any criminals; I’m just suggesting that we open our hearts a bit more.”
Like that, the interrogation began.
Ahri was the first to open her mouth.
“I think it would be better for me to talk about myself. After that, you can ask me questions. I wondered what everyone would want to ask of me, and came up with 3 main things.
1. Who am I?
2. What is my goal?
3. What are my powers?
Firstly, I was born in the Hotel.”
Her first statement was already dumbfounding enough to make everyone speechless.
“My mother had been chosen by the Hotel a long time ago, and she gave birth to me here. Ah, please don’t misunderstand – she wanted to give birth to me. And while growing up here I… earned several powers, escaped and came back.
You might ask, ‘Why did you come back to this ridiculous place?’ and that leads to the 2nd point. I want to release my mum from the Hotel. If possible, resurrection; if not, then I would at least love to release her from the circulation of pain and give her peace.
Lastly, you already have an idea on what my ‘Blessing’ is, right? I’m sure everyone knows what hypnosis is. It has several effects related to the mind, and I need to use my blood to manifest a stronger effect. We have someone here who drank my blood twice already, so he should know what I’m talking about.
I think that’s pretty much it. Any questions?”
“I get the first and the second part. I wish you the best, and hope you save your mother,” said Songee. “But the third one needs more explanation. I clearly remember you ‘flying in’ to grab me by the neck. If I’m not mistaken about the meaning of ‘hypnosis’, then there shouldn’t be anything related to flight there.”
“Let’s just say that I have some secret measures myself.”
“Why are you ending it yourself without answering my question?”
“Then what. Are you going to explain everything to us every time you learn how to do something new with the bracelet? Back then when you ‘healed’ Kain, that’s not something you told us about, is it?”
“Why are you suddenly shifting the topic to me? I wasn’t intentionally hiding it. I’m still learning about the bracelet in real time while using it so that’s why I couldn’t–”
“In the first place,” Ahri cut off her words. “Why should I tell you all of my abilities? Have I intentionally threatened you or anything until now?”
“WAAAITT! Songee, Ahri. Both of you, be quiet for now! We’re not trying to fight here. Let’s talk about all the things that need to be shared for us to easily trust each other – that’s the premise behind our conversation.
Please don’t forget. This Hotel is a hell and we are 8 crew members on the same ship. It’s hard for us to escape from this hell even when we group together, so what are you trying to gain by fighting each other?”
Silence befell the dining table after Eunsol’s shout.
“Kuhum. What a chilly atmosphere. Firstly, let me apologise to Miss Songee because Ahri went a bit over the top there. I hope you don’t misunderstand – Ahri might be hiding something, but that is definitely not because she wants to harm you or anything.
Our ‘Administration’ is an organisation that does have a lot of secrets, and the abilities of us agents are included in those secrets.
If you find it hard to trust us, then please trust the ‘Administration’. Ever since the ‘Great Calamity’, we have been doing our best to settle the confusion after all.”
“Let me say something as well.” Jinchul opened his mouth. “In the grand scheme of things, I understand what Eunsol-noonim is saying. We definitely cannot fight here, but it is hard to build trust when everyone has secrets. I believe you need to talk a little bit about yourself as well, Sir Mooksung.”
“Right. That’ll make it easy for me as well. Like Ahri, I will talk about who I am, what my goal is and what my powers are.
I wasn’t born in the Hotel like Ahri, and I’m just a normal person who somehow ended up working at the Administration.
My objective is also very straight-forward. I’m under the command of the Administration. I don’t have any personal goals like Ahri – my objective is the objective and purpose of the Administration.
After finding out that the Hotel had the power to ‘stabilise reality’, the Administration has sent us inside. I have no idea whether that is an Inheritance or a Blessing, but my goal is to somehow gain access to that.”
“A power to stabilise reality? What is that?”
“I told you I have no idea. I’m not hiding anything. The Administration doesn’t know either. I’ll just tell you that… we had a ‘prophecy’ saying that it would be incredibly valuable for us.”
“Somehow, it feels like we are getting more questions the longer we hear from you.”
“And as for my abilities, let me be honest with that as well. I have none. None except for the communication tab that you all know about.”
Unlike with Ahri’s case, everyone immediately nodded their heads. Eunsol opened her mouth.
“Honestly, that was what I was thinking as well. Back in the ‘School’ when I was working with sir, I… have been observing you quite a lot.”
“A young lady was stalking me, huh. How embarrassing.”
“…Especially on the last day, I saw you die in a single second when the enemy was pointing a gun at us, and seeing that made me think, ‘Ah, I see. He has nothing.’”
“That’s a bit sad. You’re telling me the reason you are not suspicious of me is because I am incompetent.”
“Can you please stop twisting my words?”
“If I can explain myself… wait, this is a bit strange! It feels like I’m explaining about my incompetency. Anyway, let me tell you that it is in fact very rare even inside the Administration to have someone with special abilities like Ahri. Most are just normal people that have received adequate training, who know more stuff than others.”
“Uhmm.” That was when Seungyub opened his mouth. “There’s something I’ve been wanting to say for a while now.”
“What is it, Seungyub?”
“Kain-hyung is looking weird.”
In response, the gazes that had been focused on Ahri and Mooksung until now due to the torrent of information finally headed to Kain.
At the end of their gazes was a boy who was ambiently giving off light with his entire body.