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(TN: He’s writing a blog post)
[Title: Dreamt a strange dream.
Content: Last night I had a strange dream.
It was a white and empty world, void of anything. A revolting looking baby angel appeared, flapping like a sparrow. He spoke of nonsense commandments and exams.
Anyway, I asked him for the lotto numbers and he actually game them to me! This week I will scratch my lotto tickets. If I get first place, I will confirm. (Honest) I hope you all have good dreams too haha]
Yes, this should suffice.
A white world, an angel, commandments, exam. All the important keywords are in there.
I might be ignored if I write it too sincerely so I purposely put in the stuff about the lotto, but a fellow examinee will recognize it and contact me through email.
After copy-pasting this message onto multiple places, I put on my sweats and leave the house to go hiking.
On my way up the Mount Taejo hiking trail, I am contacted from Joon-ho.
-This is Hyun-ho hyung’s cell phone, correct?
“Indeed. You too have awoken.”
-Yeah, hyung. Did you get Hye-su noona’s contact info?
-What’re you doing right now?
“I ate and now I’m hiking.
“Exercise should be consistent.”
-Really? After getting the entry level 2 physical buffer, I haven’t bothered with exercising or anything at all.
Hm? After hearing it, that makes sense. If you use a bit of karma to get the physical buffer and gain an impressive physique, it negates the prize of earning it through hard work.
“Now that I hear it like that, that makes sense. Anyway, it’s something I’ve been doing every day so I’m going to continue. Oh by the way, have you used the karma you received?
-No, I haven’t used it yet.
“Then don’t use it and leave it for now. Let’s meet up and consult with each other and then carefully decide.”
-Will do. When should we meet up?
“I’m not sure. I’ll give you a call about it later.”
I finish the call and save Joon-ho’s number. In the address book, I make and put him in the ‘Arena’ group and move Hye-su’s number over to this group too.
It seems in the meantime my physique has improved quite a bit. Reaching the peak of Mount Taejo and coming down isn’t as difficult as it used to be. I was able to directly finish the hike without taking a break once.
‘Then again, compared to fighting those anthropoid beasts, this is a piece of cake.
It’s after I return home and finish a shower.
Wing, wing (zing, zing).
The smartphone vibrates. I check the number and it’s a restricted caller ID.
‘Who could this be?’
I decide to pick it up.
If you say me, who am I supposed to know who you are?
… is what I want to say but I was clearly able to make out who it is by the voice.
“Oh, it’s a good thing you called. I made contact with the others. If you could give me your contact info…”
-Right now I do not have a contact number. In the future, I will reach out to you if need be.
I wonder what happened?
-It would be good to meet in person. Where is your house?
“It is in Cheonan. You can come to the Cheonan train station or the Cheonan express bus terminal.
-I will depart now. I will contact you when I arrive.
“What? Hold, hold on…!”
The call ends.
I am extremely flustered but I decide to hold it in for now. But still at least he contacted me to meet up first. It seems after receiving the harsh judgement from the baby angel, he is in his own way, repentant.
I do some push-ups and read the comments on my internet posts and pass the time.
This time again, a restricted number gives me a call.
“Yes, Kang Chun-seong, where are you?”
-Cheonan station, eastern square.
“Okay, I will be there soon.”
I change my clothes and head out.
I loiter around at the entrance of the eastern square at Cheonan station when someone taps me from behind on my shoulder. I turn around and its Kang Chun-seong.
“Yes, did you eat?”
“Me neither. There is a restaurant nearby where we could eat while we…”
“We can get the food to go. I want to talk where no one else is around.”
“Oh, okay, then let’s do that.”
Kang Chun-seong says he does not care what kind of food. So we buy a pizza and a cola. Kang Chun-seong must have had a place in mind because he takes the lead and goes to a nearby shopping building. I follow him up the stairs and we arrive at the rooftop.
Obviously there is no one on the rooftop.
“I have no other option as I am being chased. I apologize for inconveniencing you.”
“When you say chased, are you possibly talking of the police?”
“The police and the Incheon gang.”
I had surmised as much but it seems to be a complicated situation indeed.
We take a slice of pizza each and begin to eat.
As we eat, Kang Chun-seong speaks.
“I caused adverse circumstances in the last exam.”
“No worries, it was nothing.”
“I apologize; I was a distraction to the exam.”
“No, that isn’t true. Do not pay heed to what that angel bastard said.”
“No, it was an accurate judgment. I made the group uncomfortable. I am sure I would have been able to control a guy like Park Go-chan with a few threatening words.”
“But it is because you took the lead and headed up the fights that we all made it out alive. And that’s why you got 400 karma. You made a contribution which is why you received the prize, if you were nothing but a distraction, you probably would not have received anything at all.”
Kang Chun-seong smiles a bitter smile.
“Since you are our leader, it seems you must listen to my situation.”
“No, what do you mean I’m the leader…”
“Not only the angel, but I too took notice of your decision making. To be able to pass all the exams, you must lead us. I thank you in advance.”
“Well, okay, I thank you too.”
Without another option, I took up the role of leader. Since I was the one who practically led the group anyway.
“I am a person that was trained in the martial arts way from Shanghai.”
And so began Kang Chun-seong’s story.
Kang Chun-seong’s life began its twists and turns when he rescued a humiliated friend.
When the friend took out a loan and was being threatened with his life from the thugs, Kang Chun-seong had no choice but to intervene in order to save his friend.
Using a broker, while he was in the process of smuggling his friend in to Korea, he got into a fight with the gang and sent 15 of them to the hospital.
Eventually, he became a target for the gang as well and had no choice but to escape to Korea with his friend.
The troubles continued to ensue.
His friend and him became contracted workers for a factory in Incheon but because of their illegal immigrant status, they were unable to get due compensation.
After beating the factory boss, the friend and Kang Chun-seong were looking for a way to survive when they became participants in an Incheon gang.
The friend just became a gang member, but Kang Chun-seong’s impressive skills made him a guard to the gang boss and he received special treatment for it.
“Then how did it come to pass that you are being chased by this gang now?”
At my question, Kang Chun-seong bitterly speaks.
“It turns out the Shanghai gang with which I had my quarrels had spread their hand to Incheon, using Chinatown as their center. The Incheon gang made some kind of deal with the bastards and as a show of friendship, they offered up my friend and me.”
“And so my friend and I lost our lives, and I was given the opportunity to live again as an examinee.”
“And what happened to your friend?”
“He picked the road to the beyond. I heard so from the angel. He was too tired to continue living.”
“… and what happened after?”
“First, I turned the Incheon boss that had turned us over into a hemiplegic.* I disabled about 15 of the members too so either the gang is bust or they are chasing me out of revenge, one of the two.”
(TN: Half paralyzed.)
It’s a chilly story.
Having mastered the aura control, Kang Chun-seong’s revenge would have gone on without a hitch.
“Thanks to that, I’m now being chased by the police but I don’t care. I have become even stronger with the 400 karma I received this time.”
“Oh, you used your 400 karma already?”
It would have been better to use it after consulting as a group.
“Can you not tell me where you used it?”
“I must tell you. I used all 400 karma and got the medium level 1 physical strength buff.”
For a moment, I was doubting my hearing.
“Medium? Not entry level?”
“It turns out after entry level 5 is medium level 1. I had an entry level 5 body to begin with.”
Already at aura control entry level 4 and physical strength buff medium level 1! I get shivers at Kang Chun-seong’s awesomeness. Just how strong is this guy?
“So how much is a medium level?”
“Starting at the medium level, it seems to surpass human limitations. I am able to use strength and stamina that is not possible for humans.”
Kang Chun-seong looked down from the edge of the 5th story rooftop.
“If I jump down from here easily would that be explanation enough?”
“That’s truly amazing.”
“Because of the things I experienced, I tried all the more to stay apart from others, but it was the wrong way to think. From now on, I will cooperate with you all the way. I have become stronger since, so I will be of more help in the upcoming exam.”
“Yes, thank you and I look forward to it. But do you not have a place to stay right now? It’s getting cold too.”
“After the medium level 1 physical strength buff, I am immune to cold. It is not a problem.”
“But even so, I am sure you need to eat. For now, at least take this.”
I take out $40 from my wallet. Surprisingly, Kang Chun-seong passively takes the money.
“I thank you.”
“Don’t mention it. I’ll keep getting help in the exams anyway.”
“Indeed. Anyway for now I am planning on staying in Cheonan and I will give you a call every day around lunch time.”
“Yes, please do. If there is anything you need, give me a call…”
But then at this moment, my smartphone begins to ring. It’s a number I don’t know.
“Who is this? Sorry, I’m going to take this.”
I say excuse me and pick up the phone.
-is this Kim Hyun-ho?
It is a business like voice of a woman.
-I am contacting you after reading what you posted.
At those words I get the feeling of my heart just sinking to the floor.
The words I posted? That means she is contacting me after seeing the words I posted online. But how did you get my cell phone number?
“Who is this? And how did you get this number?”
-I’m sorry for calling you out of the blue. I am a researcher at the Korean Arena Research Center by the name of Cha Ji-hye.
“The Korean Arena Research Center?”
At my words, Kang Chun-seong’s expression changes.
“It is a government institution?”
-Yes it is. With the support of the country we are aiding examinees like you, Kim Hyun-ho.
Lady Cha Ji-hye continues to talk to a very surprised me.
-You seem to me to be out in Cheonan station, would it be possible to come see us right away?
“How do you know I’m at Cheonan station!”
-We just got you location from this call.
“Who are you people!”
As I get angry, Cha Ji-hye replies.
-If you feel badly about it, I apologize. It was to move things along faster, there are no bad or other intentions to it. You probably don’t have a lot of rest period until your next exam so would it not be better the faster things progress?
Not long after posting online they found my contact information and with a call got my location. It must be true that this woman is from a government institution.
-I am on the outer ring road heading to Cheonan. Would it be possible to meet up right away? I am, of course, on my way there alone.
I finish the call for now.
I ask Kang Chun-seong.
“What should I do? She said it’s a government institution that recruits examinees and she’s on her way over now.”
“What kind of person was it?”
“A young woman, and according to her, she’s coming alone.”
“A national institution…”
Kang Chun-seong is deep in worry.
He finally speaks.
“Let’s meet her.”
“Should we do that?”
“It seems true she is government group and if they already know your personal details, it is unavoidable.”
“That is true.”
“First, meet her on your own. I will watch from nearby and if anything suspicious happens, I will act accordingly.”
With Kang Chun-seong as my bodyguard, my heart feels strong like none other.
I call lady Cha Ji-hye again.
-Have you decided?
“Yes, I will meet you. But, I will request one condition. Are you going to do anything bad? Say, kidnap me or…”
-There won’t be anything like that for sure.
“Can I trust you?”
-Think about it sensibly.
Cha Ji-hye lets out a quiet sigh and speaks.
-Would I be able to behave harshly against a strong examinee?
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