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He didn’t seem to instill fear as he mildly scolded those around him. It seemed like he was warning them to not cause too much trouble. However, it could not stop the drunken young blood completely. After a while, one of the men walked to the fire and started roasting the meat and vegetables he had chosen.
He chose the apples and pineapples.
‘Pineapples are really sweet when baked,’ Joonbum thought as he watched the man bake the pineapple, humming with his red face. He seemed to feel good. The other men watched him enviously as he continued roasting with a pincer tool as if he was the owner. It seemed like they wanted to it try out for themselves also.
‘I was lucky.’
He sure was lucky. Joonbum glanced at the hole with the thickness of his finger on the table. It was the spot where the arrow had suddenly pierced into it a few hours ago.
Joonbum remembered the moment he saw an arrow in front of him before realizing what had happened. His body was completely frozen with fear.
It was a fear that was completely different from when he fought the monsters. There was part of him that started introducing intense curiosity against the intruders.
Joonbum thought about the saying where man is an animal of curiosity and that people die because of it. It was the same mentality that could be seen in horror movies when the main character goes down to the basement and opens the door that should not be opened, or crawls into an abandoned house. It was human curiosity that opened Pandora’s Box in the myth.
‘Am I that kind of person?’
Joonbum thought for a second.
Joonbum was filled with confidence as he watched the remains left from the arrow. He suddenly emptied his glass of beer as he became proud of himself. He was getting drunk.
The dishes on the table were refreshed. The Ainos who started cooking by himself brought back cooked food and started to eat proudly. It seemed like he had figured out what to do by watching Joonbum as the meat was sprayed with pepper and salt. It was too salty, but he seemed to like it better that way.
Joonbum ate the baked pineapple which was even sweeter than before. The sweet taste filled his mouth.
The other Ainos slightly frowned upon the man’s sudden behavior, but they began to enjoy the food again with laughter.
As the first came back successfully, the other Ainos joined in on the cooking by putting what they wanted to eat themselves. One liked mushrooms when another liked green onions. As they brought their food according to their tastes, Joonbum brought fresh strawberries and the lettuce from the refrigerator.
The Ainos watched as Joonbum wrapped the food with lettuce before eating it, and they started copying him.
‘Hey, we don’t need any talking.’
There was no need for conversation. From the moment they started eating, they exchanged emotions. Joonbum no longer felt threatened despite the fact that men were armed with weapons.
‘Hope they don’t turn to me and say, ‘You’ll be the last meat we eat today.’ Or something of that sort.’
The wild imagination soon faded as he drank another beer. He was now filled with interest and curiosity about these people. It was a very pleasant meeting with these strangers. It might have been a similar experience to meeting someone when traveling to a foreign country. They were uninvited intruders to his solitary life, but it was pleasant. But it was almost time to end.
The party ended with the last remaining food vanishing into the mouth.
“Thank you for your hospitality. We will come back to pay the debt of saving my child when we finish dealing with our tribe’s problems.”
Howen, the head of the Ainos, bowed and said something that Joonbum did not understand.
“Ah! Yes! Goodbye,” he answered as he realized that they were getting ready to leave. He didn’t understand what Howen said, but he was able to get the gist of it.
Joonbum suddenly felt lonely. He realized that he had been alone in both worlds. Although he always was proud of him living alone in the wild, it still felt lonely. It might have been the reason for all his endurance against danger and all the mindless labor.
As such, Joonbum welcomed the intruders who had even shot an arrow at him. It was sad to see them leave.
“Just a moment.”
The five men were stepping out the door and when they were stopped. Joonbum, who made a gesture to wait to the Ainos, dropped the cover near the table and pulled out items that were hidden underneath it.
“Is it salt?”
“Oh! It’s salt!”
“What is that?”
They were surprised at items Joonbum gave them.
‘I knew it!’
They figured out the salt and pepper as they used it once while cooking. It was the sugar and chocolate box that they could not recognize.
“It’s a sugar! Sugar! This is Choco Pie! Choco Pie!”
Joonbum took a small bowl of white powder and tasted it himself with his finger. The Ainos copied how Joonbum tasted the sugar and gave an astonished look.
Joonbum then pointed to the box containing the Choco Pies and gave them an opened one, demonstrating how to eat it.
“It’s really sweet and delicious. He was saying it was sugar. What would that be?”
“Chieftain, this black thing is really soft and sweet. It’s filled with some white substance.”
“Ah! It’s very sweet and delicious.”
Howen’s looked embarrassed as his men grew excited childishly.
“Gift! It’s a gift.”
Joonbum shouted after looking at Howen’s face and gestured for him to take it. Howen thought for a moment but nodded to show thanks and left the fortress.
‘Hope they felt my love from it?’
Chapter 13. New Contract.
Minki Jeong shivered at the annoying voice of his direct supervisor, Jongsoo Oh. The man pounded his desk as he saw the report in his hand again.
“So you think that there is a gate that is connected to the other world? ‘BJ Joonbum Jang’s video content seems to be real. It is not a computer graphic and needs to be checked. This can be a matter of grave concern at the national level…’ Ha! Are you crazy? Are you nuts?”
Jongsoo stopped reading the report, sighed, and looked up at Minki. Minki could not directly look at him as he glared at him.
“I- I’m sorry.”
Jongsoo rolled his eyes and slapped the desk with the report.
“Are you a fantasy movie fanatic? Or a novel addict? A comic book addict? Is this some place for you to play detective? Don’t you know where this is? This is the NIS (National Intelligence Service). NIS for God’s sake! You- what? You think there’s a way to get to this ‘other world’? He seems to be using some sort of means to move between them? Are you out of your mind? Huh? Are you kidding? Are you kidding me? When the world is still barely paving the way to space, you believe there’s a dimensional warp gate? And you believe that this individual is shifting into another dimension? What a report!”
Jongsoo spat angrily and Minki was shaking his shoulders, quietly enduring all the screaming.
“Would you record it and put it up on the internet if it were you? Would you? If it wasn’t for the old man who told me to look after you…!”
Jongsoo stopped and gulped down the water. Even all the ice cubes disappeared into his mouth. He then took a deep breath and swept up his disheveled hair. He calmed his breath for a while and organized his hair and clothes before speaking again with a calm look on his face.
“Minki, don’t let this nonsense happen again. There are a lot of people watching us. Understand?”
“I- I’m sorry.”
Jongsoo frowned at Minki’s incompetent reply. Jongsoo eyed him, full of hatred, but he let out a more composed voice at Minki.
“It’s good to report anything unusual, but not this, okay? The other world? Make sure you fish out nonsense yourself.”
“Maybe go dig up any information on that new left-wing party that started the other day. Do something productive. Off you go.”
Jongsoo dismissed Minki from his room. When Minki left, he picked up the contents of the report and angrily threw it at the garbage can.
“Ha! Where does he think he is? By the way, what’s up with that old man? I can’t use some idiot even if it was for a favor. I should get rid of him once I get a chance. Young ones nowadays…”
Jongsoo shook his head as the wrinkles on his forehead grew deeper.
A similar discussion was also started in Joonbum’s latest video.
[Wow! There’s people now. Is he starting a full-scale pioneering and settlement project?]
[I guess it wasn’t a werewolf.]
[Not an elf? Isn’t this the other world? Why aren’t there any elves?]
[Why is this guy still not caught? The NIS should be on him already. I’ll report him.]
[If you report him, you’ll be taken to the mental hospital. Be careful!]
[I think Joonbum will be abducted and become live specimen soon.]
[They’re all fakes. Can’t you all see that? Why would you record if it was real?]
[Rubbish. If this was real, Martians are real too.]
[Aliens exist, and so does the other world. Joonbum, can I go with you?]
[Look at the views increasing! Joonbum finally gets what he deserves after that battle video.]
[Show me the money, Joonbum!]
[A battle with a monster is a must for other world content.]
[I liked pioneering part too. Can you start digging again?]
[I like farming too. It’s good to watch when I need to kill time.]
[Yeah, it does work well for that purpose.]
[Present… Choco Pie… Is he going to share some love?]
[Choco Pie is the almighty.]
[Joonbum, stop giving love to other world and start giving us sound.]
[I get salt, sugar, or pepper… but a Choco Pie? So out of blue.]
[Why not? It’s our proud Korean snack. Brilliant idea.]
[How did you think of that?]
[I think he planned it. Probably commercial.]
[You want money that much?]
[Choco Pie, sharing love to the other world? LOL]
[Love in the other dimension!]
Joonbum let out a sigh after reading the responses.
‘I got lucky.’
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