Chapter 70 – Room 101, Cursed Room – ‘Common Sense Renovating Media’ (4)
[User: Han Kain (Wisdom)
Date: Day 23
Current Location: Floor 1, Corridor
Sage’s Advice: 3]
After breakfast, everyone gathered in front of Room 101 with determined looks on their faces.
This was already our 4th attempt, meaning it was about time to end it.
‘It turns strange from the 5th attempt.’
Although I was slightly curious on what that meant, there was no reason to look into that while putting ourselves at risk.
I assumed that everyone would be thinking the same thing. Even Jinchul-hyung was constantly taking out and looking at the red capsule from his pocket, and he seemed ready to take it if need be.
– Han Kain
I was used to the whole procedure already.
Immediately after opening my eyes, I covered my sight with the filter and used course registration as an excuse to stay holed up in my room.
Then, I turned on my computer and searched on the Internet the words, New World Hospital, Lee Hyukjin and Kim Sangmin with only one question in mind.
What exactly happened?
After about 40 minutes, I finally understood the heart-wrenching tragedy preluding the curse. The cause of the nightmare that tainted this entire stage with its curse was, in fact, based off of one individual’s tragedy which happened to many people throughout the world.
Even though I didn’t understand everything, I had an idea of who the ‘villain’ was.
Everyone must be waiting for me already.
I used up more time than I thought in looking for clues about the scenario, and unlike those that would get there by teleportation, I had to take a family member there along with the taxi.
That would take a lot of time, so I decided to leave as soon as possible.
There were a lot of things to share with everyone.
– Lee Eunsol
The clues I found were enough to draw a rough outline of what happened. Everything seemed to have started from something more common than I had initially thought.
It was unclear how they managed to ruin the world, but I had a rough gist of ‘who’ did it.
I thought about the meeting we had last night about how teleportation worked.
That really was an unconventional method which had completely slipped past my mind. Using that method, it would be finally possible for me to get past all the hazards of this disturbingly enormous house and arrive at the TV Station.
However, there was no such thing as a perfect plan, and there was a problem we had spotted with the ‘teleportation strategy’.
It was that ‘the different version of me’ after being infected by the curse could change the plan of the day.
In order to stop this, I quickly formed a detailed plan about a ‘visit to the TV Station’ and notified the secretary and the board directors about it.
Just from sending messages on the phone, I could feel small fragments of the curse trying to seep into my mind. It really was a horrendous curse.
Soon, I stopped sending messages after judging that this was enough. Including the secretary and the directors, I had also notified a few other people including my family and officially created a ‘plan to visit the TV Station’.
This should be enough, right? The only thing I could hope for now was for my other self to arrive at the TV Station.
I opened the door and stood still as people started walking towards me.
…My consciousness slowly started to fade away.
“Senior Director! We have a problem!”
– Cha Jinchul
After gently pushing my mum away, I told her I had an interview due at the TV Station.
Was this enough? I should now go to the TV Station for the interview after being infected by the curse, right?
Just in case, I sent a message to the dojo master.
I told several people about my destination, so it was safe to assume that I would most likely stick to the plan even when I was under the effect of the curse.
Slowly, I walked up to my fake mum.
…And my consciousness slowly started to fade.
Everything was dark and not a sound was to be heard.
That was natural, because I had been starting with my sense of sight and hearing shut off thanks to Songee’s ability from the 3rd attempt onwards.
Thanks to that, I was able to keep myself sane even though my sister was currently touching me from the side.
Unfortunately, however, it was therefore impossible for me to search anything on the Internet.
Because my sister and I started in the same room, I had no other choice but to receive the help of Songee, and with no sense of sight, there was no way for me to use the computer or my phone.
I went to the wardrobe, and took out clothes to change into.
It was a lot harder than I thought. Changing clothes by relying only on the sense of touch was a lot more difficult than I could have imagined.
I told my sister that I would soon be heading off to ABS. Although I couldn’t hear her reply, I was someone who had to often go to TV Stations in the first place! So it was highly unlikely for there to be any problems with a plan of that level.
Slowly, my ears and eyes started to function as normal. The thing in front of me started to register in my brain.
I saw my sister chewing the meat off of ‘something bizarre’.
…I let my consciousness fade away.
Suddenly, I came to myself.
Surprised by the sudden feeling of waking up in the middle of nowhere, I was looking around when someone tapped me on the shoulder.
“Are you awake?”
“I’ve been waiting. You were quite fast, were you not?”
“Is everyone else here as well?”
“Miss Songee should be here soon. She should be close by, judging from the fact that I can see her messages on the conversation tab.”
“So we are waiting for Kain-gun, Jinchul-ssi and Eunsol-unni then!”
“It would probably take Kain-gun quite a lot of time, because he needs to grab a taxi and come with his sister. As for Miss Eunsol… I believe she won’t be able to come.”
“Get on your phone and check the news. This world is in shock because of what happened.”
I took out my phone and checked the news, and saw a bunch of news articles at the top of the feed saying that the chairman of Daeyang Group had died during a human hunt.
If that was what he was up to, he was better off dead.
Even though we never talked deeply about ourselves in front of everyone, most of us were somewhat aware of each other’s identity. I had also heard how unni was the daughter of the chairman of Daeyang Group.
It would be difficult for her to come if that was the situation she was in. Any schedule she had in mind would probably all be cancelled.
That was when the sound of something heavy landing on the ground echoed from outside.
Turning around, I looked past the wide front windows of the lobby and saw that Jinchul-ssi had ‘appeared out of nowhere’.
Umm, are we doomed?
Jinchul-ssi was not by himself.
Next to him was an old lady, who was presumably his ‘mother’ whom he had been talking about a few times. I was lost for words the moment I saw her.
Even Grandpa Mooksung rustled his hair while letting out a furious shout.
“That stupid freaking pig! Why the hell did he bring his mum!?”
What should we do? With his mother that close, Jinchul-ssi was bound to be unable to escape the effect of the curse.
The situation started turning worse and worse.
The mother and son started walking towards the door of the TV Station.
What do we do? At this rate, all of us were going to lose our minds because of that old lady!
“Elena! Stick to the wall! Let’s try to distance ourselves as much as possible from those retards. Songee should be here very shortly. If she uses her hallucination, she should be able to separate the two of them.”
We quickly stuck closer to the wall of the lobby.
Soon, Jinchul-ssi and his mum walked into the building. They seemed very close – I could hear them talking about interviews, finding a job and whatnot.
Calm down. Calm down. Once Songee gets here, she’ll be able to help us.
That was when the mother noticed me.
“Oh my! Look, look! Isn’t that young lady the one that comes out in Non Summit*?
Ah. Even though I only went on the show 4 times, she still recognized me. Normally I would have been grateful but now was definitely not a good timing.
Quickly, the mother took out a piece of paper and started walking towards me.
She was a fan on top of that? How thankful. I didn’t even have many fans and yet surprisingly, it seemed that Jinchul-ssi’s mother was one of those few lovely people.
I felt very grateful. But thanks to her, I felt like going crazy.
Sticking my back to the wall, I tried moving to the sides to distance myself from them, but the lobby was certainly not big enough to let me escape from the two.
Left with no choice, I waited for the inevitable to happen.
It was then. A cold clink of metal echoed as everyone in the lobby turned stiff.
I turned to Grandpa in a fluster and realised that he was carrying the gun in his hand. What was he trying to do with it?
“Grandpa! Who are you trying to shoot?”
“Sorry, but I need to kill the mother of that stupid pig.”
“What if that upsets Jinchul-ssi? Right now he must be thinking of her as his real mum!”
“I have to do it. Since we are the only ones next to Jinchul right now, he should be able to come back to himself once we kill his mum. I just have to buy a few seconds.”
Grandpa Mooksung said with a stiff look on his face. Despite having a gun, buying ‘a few seconds’ from a superhuman who could break concrete walls with his fists seemed a lot easier said than done.
“Grandpa. How about you try shooting Jinchul-ssi with the gun instead?”
What we noticed from several experiences leading up till now, was that in spite of his supernatural strength, his body was not resilient enough to be immune to bullets.
“Things will be hard anyway if we kill him, so we need to try keeping him alive as much as possible and make him wake up.”
He pointed the gun at the mother.
Upon seeing the gun being pointed at her, she, who had been walking up to me, suddenly did a handstand and started walking on her hands.
As a result, blood splattered from her shoulders instead of her vitals.
Jinchul-ssi’s sonorous roar resonated across the 1st floor of the TV Station.
Ah. We were seriously doomed.
– Cha Jinchul
Was this a dream? A nightmare?
Today, I was on the way for an interview to mark the start of a new life. My mum wanted to come with me to cheer me up. I told her several times not to, but I couldn’t stop her so in the end, I suggested she try out the food nearby while waiting for my interview to finish.
Walking into the TV Station, we headed to the lobby.
There were two people inside the lobby but for some reason, they had their backs right next to the wall and I couldn’t even see their faces properly so I ignored them.
“Oh my! Look, look! Isn’t that young lady the one that comes out in Non Summit?
“What? Who are you talking about?”
“That lady over there! Oh wow! Let me go get her signature.”
When my mum started walking to the lady in a hurry.
A bulky old man wearing a suit walked forth. In his hand was a pistol.
What in the—
Before I could even react, blood splattered from my mum’s shoulder.
Anger soared all the way up to my head.
Kicking off the ground with all my strength, I immediately jumped at the old man. Seeing me cover 10 metres in an instant, the old man audibly let out swear words.
The barrel of the gun turned towards me in the blink of an eye.
I got goosebumps all over my skin. Was I going to die? Just like this?
“You stupid boar! Please just wake up!”
While shouting out some incomprehensible words, the old man lowered the gun.
My fist carrying all my strength headed to the old man, who postured himself and used his palms to deviate the path of my fist at the perfect timing.
Or rather, he tried to.
It was futile. With ‘only that much strength’, it was impossible for him to change the path of my fist.
Despite the failed attempt to parry my punch, the old man still managed to tilt his head at the last second to make my fist land on the wall.
The sound of a hammer striking the wall filled the lobby along with the crumbling of a large portion of the wall.
After seemingly giving up on something, the old man lifted his gun again, but…
I didn’t give him another chance.
Immediately, I kicked the old man with my leg and made him drop the gun. One kick was enough to crush one of the old man’s legs, who then fell on the floor while groaning in pain.
This should be enough. Now that I bashed this crazy old man up, all I needed to do was take my mum to the hospital and—
Another click of a gun reached my ears. Surprised, I raised my head.
At the end of my gaze was the foreigner whom mum said had starred at Non Summit.
…I almost lost my mind for a second.
She was an unbelievably beautiful lady. Since this was the TV Station, was she perhaps a celebrity? But what was important was that the lady was carrying a gun in her hands. She seemed to have picked up the gun that I kicked away.
The lady pointed the gun at my ‘mum’.
What was going on today? Why was this crazy old man plus this celebrity trying to kill my mum so badly?
— Bang! — Bang!
…Her shots all missed.
Unlike the old man from before, this young lady seemed bad with the gun. The bullets didn’t even go near mum and went everywhere.
But still, I assumed that I should still take the gun away from her.
However, my feet paused for a bit.
The lady was crying.
For some reason, there was a strange feeling that I was doing something terribly wrong. What was it? My mother and I were the victims, so why was I feeling like this?
The bullet grazed past me instead of my mum.
She was really bad at shooting, but it would still be a problem if we ended up being shot by a random bullet.
Once again, I kicked off the ground and flew towards her, and with one flick, I snatched the gun away from her hands. Right when I was about to tap her gently to make her faint—
Someone walked into the TV Station. Was she a high schooler? She was wearing a uniform.
Her wrist suddenly flickered as a beam of unusual light covered my sight.
The moment I woke up from the sense of being enveloped by a mysterious power—
Everything around me was gone.
* Non Summit: A Korean TV Show showcasing discussions of people from various countries.
Question – would you prefer ‘kun’ or ‘gun’ as a suffix? Kain-gun or Kain-kun?
Gun feels a bit weird…