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Joonbum smiled as he drove towards Jinchul’s store as he remembered his conversation with Jinchul regarding the request.
Jinchul was waiting with a cigarette in his mouth.
“What’s with all the hurry?”
Joonbum saw Jinchul’s frown and bowed.
“Sorry about that.”
“It’s in the corner. Don’t expect too much though. It was kept in storage and the stuff wasn’t taken care of due to slow business.”
Joonbum gasped a little.
“Bastards, canceling orders left and right. Not helpful to a business. I heard it was good for a while, but it’s hard to even keep it up nowadays. There are those weapons from Japanese anime stuff too. I heard there’s a set of full body armor from that one anime.”
Joonbum closed in on a pile of weapons and armor as Jinchul explained things to him. Most were in bad condition – they were rusty and caked with dust.
Joonbum was amazed at the sight. Jinchul shook his head, not understanding the excitement Joonbum was showing. He did not mind it being in such bad shape.
“You like that? It’s all junk. But it did cost me junk also.”
“Junk? Did you buy these that cheap?”
Jinchul frowned at his question.
“You think I’d pay more for these? Scrap metals are like garbage these days. Papers would cost more. These are easy to make nowadays. With just some lasers and grinders on hardened steel, you have a sword. Look at this. It will cost more money to make it shine again than to make a new one.”
Jinchul tapped on a rusty sword he picked up from a pile. Joonbum’s eye shined in response to such a sight.
“Wow! That! Wow!”
“Oh, you recognize this? This is that famous lich king’s sword from the game. I heard this was the most popular thing back in the day, so they brought in more. Of course, it didn’t last long enough, so too many were left. Most of these are like that.”
It was a sword from a once-popular computer game. There were times when gun shops or blade stores carried these animation-based replicas to keep up with the trends. But the trend faded away as the economy took a hit, forcing the stores to get rid of their old merchandise.
“Green Dragon Crescent Blade… General Lee’s Sword… It’s full of rust but it still looks cool.”
“Yeah, it kind of does. You know, a natural beauty perhaps? I think General Lee’s Sword is all about the writings on the blade. Look around and take what you-”
“I’ll take all of it.”
“I’m taking all of it.”
Joonbum nodded, and Jinchul frowned once again.
“All these? Some are too rusty. It’s better to throw it away.”
“I have nothing better to do. It can give me some video time to work on it.”
Jinchul put a hand to his head as he realized the grinning Joonbum’s intentions.
“Oh well, you seem to be shooting all day these days. Take it then.”
“How much is it?”
“Hmm. Five hundred thousand won should do.”
It was expensive considering that it was junk, but it was way cheaper than what Joonbum originally expected it to be. Joonbum was startled at the price and stared at Jinchul.
“Only? Is that enough?”
“Sure. It’s not worth crap. I don’t think it will get me more than maybe ten or twenty thousand at most. But I couldn’t pay that much when I bought it, you know. I knew the guy and I couldn’t just ignore his struggles. The price mostly includes my labor and shipping fee. I had to bring it up from Busan. It’s a hard world. Economy’s been so bad nowadays.”
Jinchul seemed to have mixed feelings. It was a proof that he wasn’t doing that well either. Joonbum thought his wrinkles had gotten deeper as he watched Jinchul light up a cigarette and take a long draw.
“Hah, nevermind. Take this too.”
He pointed at a small wooden box.
“What is it?”
“It’s for maintenance. I heard you just need to slab it on to avoid rusting. Although you need to take the rust off first.”
“Let’s load it up then.”
Joonbum could feel his hospitality.
[Ahh, this guy is unleashing his anger on the environment!]
[He seemed shocked. But still, this is too much.]
-I think this is necessary. You need a clear view.]
[A big tree was sawed off. Destroyer of the environment.]
[How much more is he going to cut off?]
[He’ll be maxed out on his lumberjack skill soon. A true lumberjack!]
[Can you please do something else? For pig’s sake!]
[He’s cutting trees again?]
[Hey, there are some good views now. It was suffocating to see all the trees before.]
[That’s about 150 feet wide.]
[He’s good at pulling out tree trunks with the tractor now. Not like the amateur he was before.]
[Is this pig building a village? Is that it?]
[WHAT! Maybe he is. He must be building a village!]
[A city simulation game now?]
[What a wicked plan… scary…]
[Success! You just created a frontier village!]
[Let’s go! Build a town!]
Joonbum scrolled through all responses. After some scrolling, the more recent responses captured his attention.
[Hey! Is that what I think it is? Is that the lich king sword?]
[Is that the armor from that anime?]
[That’s from another anime…]
[What’s up with all that medieval armor! Why the old stuff now after you took all the modern stuff?]
[Where’s the rifle? A vest? A construction worker helmet? Why armor?]
[He started building a village and now a weapon…]
[It’s as if he’s planning an invasion.]
[He’s cleaning those things.]
[Yeah, finally something fitting for the other world.]
[Medieval stuff for a fantasy in the other world? Isn’t that a bit cliché?]
[It does fit though. But not a lich king’s sword! Too much frill.]
[HEY! Don’t you dare touch General Lee’s Sword with your pig hands.]
[General Lee, please forgive him.]
[Building Pig Kingdom now?]
[That’s cool! Make sure you leave some rust. It’ll look fake if it’s too shiny.]
[Yeah, make it show some age.]
[This is boring. I’m out.]
[I’m out too. Boring as hell. Cutting trees, cleaning a sword…]
[Use a grinder to make it more genuine and rough.]
[Go out and conquer the world! Do something!]
[No! You’re dead if you go out. Just keep on digging.]
[Is lettuce all grown yet? Let’s do an eating broadcast again.]
Joonbum wiped the sweat on his forehead and closed his laptop. Most of it was expected. There were some who claimed to have stopped watching the videos, but it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Joonbum took out a beer from the refrigerator. The icy cold beer flowed through his mouth.
“Hah, it’s nice.”
Joonbum took a break before he stood up and walked toward his working table to start cleaning the equipment he brought.
There were multiple types of items in Jinchul’s pile. Today’s pick was the chain mail.
Joonbum used an iron claw to bring out the mail that was dipped in rust removal liquid, which dripped with red rusty water. It showed a bit of its original silver color as some of the dust and rust fell off.
‘I should give it a rub first.’
He spread it out on the table and started scrubbing it with an iron brush. All the rust started to come off as he continued scrubbing. He dipped the armor again after the initial scrubbing and gave it another scrub. It was quickly going back to its original glory.
Joonbum returned to his original self as he concentrated on working on it, just like when he first arrived in this world.
“This should be enough.”
Joonbum washed it off with clear water, which also dripped with rust, but it soon turned clear. He sprayed it for a while and placed it on a stake to dry it off. Then he picked up another one to work on.
He was soon loaded with cool-looking swords and armor ready to use.
The sound of Joonbum scrubbing, digging up rust, and using the grinder motor spread throughout otherwise quiet forest.
“Finished! Aww, my back hurts.”
Joonbum spoke as he put down the helmet, the last of the pile he brought here. He stood up while massaging his shoulder and waist.
“It’s already past lunchtime! Time flies by too quickly here.”
The day went by so quickly. It was easy to miss a meal when he was concentrated.
“I hope she’s doing well.”
Joonbum turned to the place where Galfus used to sit, then shook his head as he moved away, chuckling. He picked up a basket on the work table.
“It’s growing well.”
The lettuce he planted a month ago had fully grown to the final stage.
‘I was told that it grows on its own, but it really does. I don’t think it’s because of the air. It’s probably always like this.’
Joonbum took a fully-grown lettuce as he was thinking.
‘The red pepper looks good too.’
The red pepper was still not ready for harvesting, but it was also growing well.
Joonbum gathered some lettuce, washed it with water, and brought it to the gazebo where he started preparing lunch. He took out kimchi, anchovies, beans, and pollack roe from the fridge. He then opened an electric rice cooker, scooping fully cooked, hot steamed rice into a big pot. He brought it over and started eating. A spoonful of rice gave him the satisfaction he needed in his mouth, and then he added the green pepper dipped in bean paste.
He wrapped the lettuce with bean paste and chewed on it, tasting its saltiness in full.
“Ahh, nobody will know how good this is!”
The pollack roe was delicious also. It mixed with the white rice especially well. The anchovies gave him a great mixture of sweetness and saltiness that gave him a different taste too.
The pot was empty in no time.
‘They will say that I eat like a slave.’
He grinned as he thought about the old Korean slaves who were known to eat enormous amounts of rice.
‘Whatever. Is it because I worked hard?’
The food was just too delicious. It wasn’t anything special, but it was still best he ever had every time. He realized he was eating much more than before. He never ate this much even when he was nicknamed pig. There was only one reason.
‘I did work hard.’
He worked night and day. There was a comment from one of his viewers that he had started building a village after the wolf left. The viewer was right. He concentrated on his work so he could forget about the emptiness that filled him after Galfus left.
‘Not bad,’ he thought. His base camp was much safer as a result.
Joonbum chewed on a green pepper with a spoon of white rice, then put a lettuce wrap not long after. He definitely was eating and working in enormous amounts.
“Other world slave eating realized!”
He let out a loud burp after finishing the last spoon and started gulping down cold water.
“But I’m losing weight.”
He looked at his belly. It wasn’t full of pig-like fat anymore.
‘I lost a lot of weight.’
Just when Joonbum was feeling his belly with his hand thinking about how much weight he had lost, something grabbed his attention.
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