Episode 7 – Landlord (4)
After the dokkaebi disappeared, dozens of casualties appeared on the platform of line 3.
Currently, there was only one room on the line 3 platform.
There was no one strong here, so the weak didn’t back down and attacked each other.
[There are 30 minutes before the third scenario is activated.]
As pandemonium occurred around me, I was quietly reading Ways of Survival. Perhaps today’s scenario would flow as I thought. In order to survive, I couldn’t miss a single word.
[What are you doing now?]
Along with Bihyung’s words, I could hear the messages of the constellations.
[The constellation ‘Prisoner of the Golden Headband’ is wondering what you are doing.]
I reflexively turned off my smartphone. There was something I hadn’t thought of until now. Why didn’t the constellations respond when I read Ways of Survival?
In the original Ways of Survival, the constellations discovered that Yoo Jonghyuk was a regressor and raised questions about fairness. It was normal for them to say something about the text I was reading.
[What are you doing right now with a blank notepad? All the constellations are going crazy with frustration because of you!]
I turned on the smartphone again. Ways of Destruction appeared on the screen.
“Is this what you are referring to?”
[Yes! What are you going to do with that notepad? You will die if you stay still! Ha, I believed in a guy like this and sighed a contract...]
I got goosebumps.
The dokkaebi couldn’t read this ‘text.’ If even the dokkaebis, which managed the system, couldn’t read it then the constellations were the same.
Then the writer who gave me the text...what type of existence was he?
The last scream rang out. Finally, the owner of the room on platform line 3 was determined.
[Green Zone 1/1]
“...Don’t come any closer.”
A boy was pointing a knife at me. Surprisingly, the winner was the boy who guided us earlier. I still didn’t know his name.
“Don’t worry, I won’t take your room.”
I spoke in order to reassure the boy. The moment I had this thought.
“Really? You are quite relaxed Ahjussi. Do you want to die?”
I didn’t need to look back to see who was talking.
“It looks like you are quite free.”
“Nobody touches my room. I will send everyone who touches it to hell.”
Lee Jihye twirled a deep blue blade round and round. In regards to specs, there was no one who could match Lee Jihye apart from Yoo Jonghyuk or people from the Landlord Alliance. Lee Jihye watched me carefully and opened her mouth.
“I don’t want Ahjussi to die. You were quite impressive against Master earlier.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t die. It won’t die even if I don’t find a room.”
It was true. I wouldn’t necessarily die if I couldn’t find a room. There was an impossible man in this station who proved this. It was only three days ago.
Lee Jihye’s eyes narrowed.
“Ahjussi, do you know what you are saying right now?”
“Ahjussi, are you strong? As strong as Master?”
Then Yoo Jonghyuk appeared behind Lee Jihye.
“Stop and go back to your room.”
Lee Jihye obediently left and Yoo Jonghyuk turned towards me.
“Are you going to fight the monsters?”
“You will die. Your four companions as well.”
“That remains to be seen.”
There was an unknown emotion in Yoo Jonghyuk’s eyes as he glanced at me and left. I didn’t use Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint. It wasn’t always possible to expression emotions with words.
[There are 20 minutes before the third scenario is activated.]
There was the sound of people coming down the stairs. Lee Hyunsung, Lee Gilyoung and Yoo Sangah... looking at their dark expressions, the result was as I expected. Yoo Sangah opened her mouth with a gloomy expression.
“Room...there were non.:
“It is okay. Rather, where is Heewon-ssi?”
“She is trying to negotiate upstairs.”
At these words, Jung Heewon jumped down with a terrible scream.
“One night is 2,000 coins? Are they joking right now? I am really going to hit them.”
The agitated Jung Heewon snorted and said.
“Dokja-ssi. Do you know what is happening upstairs? No―”
“They suddenly raised the taxes right?”
“Eh...you already know?”
It was predictable. The tenants would die if they couldn’t get a room in 20 minutes. It was no wonder that the owners would take the initiative to raise the taxes.
“Did Dokja-ssi find anything?”
“No, I didn’t.”
I examined their faces one by one. In the end, the time to choose had come.
“I have two ways.”
The eyes of the party members shone at these words. But my methods would probably betray their expectations.
“The first way is easy for all of us to live.”
Jung Heewon’s eyes narrowed.
“Usually it is the second method... what is the other one?”
“The second method is very difficult. It is likely that some of us will die.”
“Eh...that can’t happen. Then I will choose the first way.”
“What do the others think?”
Lee Hyunsung responded first.
“The first method will be good if everyone can live.”
Lee Gilyoung nodded. Only Yoo Sangah hesitated.
“...Can I hear what it is?”
I nodded and lead them up the stairs to transit line 4.
“This is the first method.”
The party members looked at where I pointed. There was a group of five men and women shaking.
[Green Zone 5/5]
“They room they occupy has exactly five spaces. But their individual abilities isn’t that high. Honestly, if the five of us...”
“Yes, kill them and take their room.”
Their trembling increased at my calm voice. Jung Heewon made a deeply wounded expression.
“...Who doesn’t know about this method?”
“If Hyung says so, I can do it.”
Lee Gilyoung spoke first.
“I’m not afraid. I will do it.”
Yoo Sangah grabbed Lee Gilyoung’s shoulder. I deliberately looked uncaring.
“They would’ve also killed someone to take that room. Honestly, we can’t overcome future scenarios if we can’t do this.”
“Dokja-ssi.” Jung Heewon interrupted. “I killed people at Gumho Station. I killed because I wanted to and I don’t regret it. But.”
Jung Heewon had a pained expression on her face.
“Just because I am a murderer doesn’t mean I want to keep killing. I don’t want to be a monster.
“...Dokja-ssi, I would like to know about the second method.”
I closed my eyes for a moment at Lee Hyunsung’s words.
“I understand your thoughts.”
Yes, this was enough.
“Let’s go the second way.”
The expressions of the party members seemed to brighten. In fact, I was going to use the second method from the beginning.
Killing was an easy way to survive, but I could never attract the attention of the constellations if I chose the easy method.
However, the second method required considerable determination. It wasn’t just me but everyone. Thus, I needed to check their determination. I had to know what these people were really thinking.
Jung Heewon laughed.
“...I thought so. Why are you talking when you were going to go with the second way?”
“I wasn’t trying to test you. Whatever choice you made, I would’ve respected it.”
I stroked Lee Gilyoung’s head, who was looking up at me with uneasy eyes. Yoo Sangah sighed and opened her mouth.
“Dokja-ssi is really spiteful.”
“I’m sorry I’m not a good person.”
“What is the second method?”
“There is no need to kill anybody with this method. But it is very difficult.”
At my heavy tone, the expressions of the party members became determined.
“If you choose the second method, please unconditionally follow my instructions. Please trust me, even if it doesn’t make sense. If one person doesn’t trust me―”
“We will all die.”
Someone gulped. The party members nodded almost simultaneously. Lee Hyunsung said.
“I believe in Dokja-ssi. I have survived up to here because of Dokja-ssi.”
[There are 5 minutes before the third scenario is activated.]
“Then follow me.”
I moved with the party members along railway line 3. We passed through the broken screen door and stood at the entrance of the tunnel leading to Euljiro-3.
Inside the dark tunnel, I saw a glowing ‘red zone.’ Perhaps the monsters would be created over there. They would sweep over line 3 and go up each floor towards the ground.
Lee Hyunsung asked nervously.
“...Then are we fighting the monsters here?”
“No, we aren’t fighting. If we fight here then we will die.”
It wasn’t possible to fight against the terrifying monsters and survive until dawn without the green zone.
This time, Jung Heewon asked.
“...Then will we run towards the Dongdae area?”
“That won’t work. Once the scenario is activated, we will automatically die if we leave Chungmuro.”
“This operation needs to be shared. Lee Hyunsung-ssi, Yoo Sangah-ssi and Jung Heewon-ssi. Once the monsters appear, run straight in the direction they are coming from.”
“Understood? Just run towards them. Just before you encounter them, be sure to look at the left wall. Then you will know that I mean.”
The people didn’t understand my words but there was no time to explain to them.
“Just trust me or you will die. Don’t forget to look at the left wall.”
“I understand Dokja-ssi.” Yoo Sangah seemed to understand what I meant and answered first.
“I am telling you in person. You must run after the monster appears.”
I picked up a stone and threw it towards the tunnel. Then stone sparked as it hit something and fell. Lee Hyunsung and Jung Heewon nodded as if they understood.
“What about Dokja-ssi?”
“I’ll find another way with Gilyoung.”
This method couldn’t be used unless my party members believed in me. Who would go against common sense and commit a suicide attack by rushing towards the monsters?
The only thing left was their determination.
[The third main scenario is enabled.]
The barrier that was blocking the tunnel to Euljiro-3 disappeared.
The three people started running the moment I called out.
The monsters started to be created in the red zone. It was mainly the grade 9 ground rats. Then the middle ranks were filled with the intermediate grade 9 underground species, the ‘groll.’
A monster with a black mane that was in the shape of a bear. The sharp horns on their foreheads was threatening.
One was relatively easy to deal with. The problem was the number. The crowded columns was already not suitable to be called a ‘group.’ We would die if we hit that wave.
The moment Lee Hyunsung encountered the first groll, I shouted.
Yoo Sangah found it first. Green tiles shimmering on the wall.
The enlightenment was instant The moment Yoo Sangah’s hand touched the wall, it emitted a bright light.
[Green Zone 1/3]
The agile Jung Heewon immediately touched the wall behind her.
[Green Zone 2/3]
However, Lee Hyunsung missed the timing. It was because the ground rats clung to Lee Hyunsung’s shield.
“Hyunsung-ssi! Catch it!”
Lee Hyunsung grabbed the ‘thread’ that Yoo Sangah threw him. Thanks to the strength of the two women, Lee Hyunsung flew through the air and reached the wall.
[Green Zone 3/3]
The monsters stared at them but once they entered the green zones, the monsters couldn’t attack.
Yoo Sangah called out to me but there was no time to look back. I was already running with Lee Gilyoung on my back.
「 ...In the third main scenario, there are several hidden green zones. This is activated on a specific wall and the green zones on the wall won’t appear until after the scenario starts... if you think about it, humans were the ones who thought of it as the concept of a ‘room’. 」
In Ways of Survival, Yoo Jonghyuk went through numerous regressions and found some secret green zones in Chungmuro.
On the platform of line 3, there were two such green zones.
A few ground rats chasing after me bit me in the thigh. The blow wasn’t big because of my high strength, but these small things could accumulate.
Lee Gilyoung hit a few ground rats with a blunt weapon from his position on my back. But there were too many of them. In addition, the groll were fast.
A dozen metres away, the boy was looking at me with terrified eyes.
[Green Zone 1/1]
It was cowardly but I was tempted to take the easy road for a second.
[Hahahaha! This situation is fun. Then like yesterday, should there be a penalty?]
A dokkaebi spoke followed by the system messages.
[A scenario penalty has been added!]
[Some existing green zones will be disabled.]
“N-No! Uack, aaaaack!”
Screams rang through Chungmuro Station. The closest scream came from the boy.
As soon as the green zone disappeared, the boy’s small body was shredded by the ground rats.
Thanks to the boy’s body buying time, I was able to run into the passage. However, the monsters that came from beyond the broken screen door blocked the path.
I hid Lee Gilyoung behind me and pulled out Unbroken Faith. The blade of White Pure Star Energy quickly pushed back the incoming monsters.
But the numbers didn’t go down at all. The person who fought with these monsters until sunrise, Yoo Jonghyuk was a monster. I wasn’t sure it was possible for me, even if I changed all my coins to stats.
At this moment, Lee Gilyoung spoke.
“Hyung, you know.”
“Don’t talk now. I’m busy.”
“You can just leave me here.”
“I really don’t understand it. Why are you helping me, Hyunsung hyung and the noonas? If you are alone... you would be able to survive better.”
He could calmly speak such words before his death. Maybe this kid’s mind was already dead.
“Yes, you are right.” Another ground rat fell to the ground with its head cut off. “It is comfortable to live alone, eat alone and survive alone. But...”
Why was I acting this way? If anyone asked me, I couldn’t exactly explain. But I could say one thing with certainty.
“I know one novel that developed in such a way and was ruined.”
I thought it every time but I wasn’t a protagonist. I wouldn’t be a hero or a savior. But...
Lee Gilyoung’s eyes were shaking. I lifted him onto my back again and said.
“Hold on tight.”
I wouldn’t let Lee Gilyoung die. At least, not today.
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