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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Profit and Loss



KMC Media wanted an appointment as soon as possible, so a vehicle was dispatched immediately.

The vehicle was an imported car.

Lee Hyun opened the door with both hands and boarded the car politely. It was the first time he’d ever rode in an imported car.

The door was closed carefully to prevent any scratches from happening. Even during the arrival at the station, Department Director Kang was waiting for him at the entrance.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Kang Han Seo.”

“I’m Lee Hyun.”

The bald, middle-aged Director Kang’s eyes lit up as he inspected Lee Hyun.

‘He’s a lot younger than I thought.’ 

The Hall of Fame video was magnificent, exciting, and dynamic. What he had in mind was a man in his mid-30s, but unexpectedly, the man was relatively young in his early 20s.

Director Kang casted his doubts about Lee Hyun aside.

“We can continue our conversation in the Planning Office. Right this way.”

“Yes.”

As they walked inside the broadcasting station, Director Kang told stories of the birth of KMC Media and its attempt to establish real-time broadcasting of games.

As more players joined the game, even more information is required. Royal Road’s success can not only be credited to its large continent but also its diversified jobs of over ten thousand different available professions.

There are information are unobtainable on the Internet. There were a handful of rare and hidden professions, obtained through excruciating efforts. So naturally, players who had acquired them would not want to share the information. Thus, only the common professions chosen by famous people were selected by starting players in overflowing numbers.

Through quest rewards and broadcasting, several promising new jobs were uncovered. Not only Professions.

Unexploited areas throughout the vast Versailles continent, where you can be introduced to a quest with specific rewards. By doing so, players can experience different kinds of enjoyment in Royal Road.

The Department Director Kang said with conviction.

“One of the ways to inform players is through broadcasting. Overall, it is beneficiary. It has attained great accomplishment by allowing secondary or tertiary players to enjoy playing together. Royal Road and broadcasting are already inseparable.”

Director Kang continued talking about the new role of broadcasting and its concept, which Lee Hyun did not pay much attention to. Broadcasting was soaring thanks to their high amount of loyal viewers.

In the end, the conclusion he came to a conclusion.

‘Broadcasting earns money from stories.’

There is money where people gather.

Broadcasting programs associated with Royal Road was popular in Korea and abroad. It was not limited to broadcasting. It extends to various industries such as movies, comic books, novels, and toys based on famous characters. Lee Hyun was, in a sense part of the industry by selling items from the game to make money.

“This is the Planning Department.”

Director Kang then led Lee Hyun into a private room.

Lee Hyun could’ve sworn that the employees eyes lit up as he walked to the private room in the Planning Department because he was the protagonist with the character named Weed, and he was young.

The room had comfy couches where the Director can meet with guest. Lee Hyun sat on the opposite side of Planning Director Kang and his staff. Director Kang immediately began asking him some general questions.

“Excuse me for asking Lee Hyun, but could you tell us your level?”

“Do I have to tell you?”

“You don’t have to tell us, but I recommended that you do because it could be helpful”

“Well, let’s say it’s 306.”

“306, huh?”

Director Kang and his staff had eyes that showed disbelief.

“Are you sure it’s 306? If you don’t want to disclose it, you can tell us privately.”

“It really is 306. By completing that last quest, I’ve gained a total of 20 level which caused by level to rise.”

“Impossible!”

“Is there something wrong with that?”

“No, I’m just a little surprised.”

Planning Director Kang and his staff were stunned.

KMC media had seen a lot of high level users while working in the industry. The majority of the users were above level 370! Of course it is surprise that Lee Hyun, with his level 306 character, was able to complete a quest of an A rank difficulty.

‘No. Prior to this, all quests that were given were reported to reflect the user’s level or lower...!’

Director Kang and the rest of his staff shook their heads, calculating the probability of this situation because it was too absurd.

‘No matter how the Orcs and Dark Elves were commanded, clearing the quest was ridiculous.’

After drinking a glass of water, Director Kang said.

“Anyway. May we ask what your profession is?”

“Profession...”

Lee Hyun hesitated. It was embarrassing to reveal that his profession was a Sculptor!

Director Kang and the staff completely misunderstood his hesitation.

‘Oh, he must have a very good job!’

‘Yeah! It was because of his profession that he was able to complete the quest!’

‘An Adventurer, maybe? The quest does require the innate ability of an Adventurer.’ 

Lee Hyun hesitated at that moment before speaking.

“I’m a sculptor.”

“What?”

“My profession is Moonlight Sculptor.”

"......"

The planning room went silent.

A Sculptor!

It was an Artist profession that everyone had forgotten ever existed, that completed the quest? Project Director Kang could barely hold his laughter.

“Cool. It is great to hear that you are a Sculptor. Recently, Production and Art professions are becoming more popular in Royal Road.”

“I’ll have to agree. The profession of a Sculptor seems really fancy.”

While the others were either embarrassed or ashamed. They didn’t think that a Sculptor could accomplish such feat.

Various growth progress.

Many Artisan professions, such as a Sculptor, have low combative skills; therefore need to join hunting parties and survival techniques. If directly involved with the battle, those with higher stat held the advantage.

With a high Endurance stat, it allows them to fight for a long time and not get tired.

As something popped in his head, Director Kang said.

“Oh! Come to think of it, a while back, a Sculptor shamelessly exploited the labor of players in Rosenheim Kingdom. Building a pyramid and savagely ate grass porridge.”

“That really happened? The world is an odd place.”

Lee Hyun blurted out in surprised.

“Yes, thanks to that, there was quite a rise in viewership. So how long have you been playing Royal Road?”

“For a little over a year”

"......"

This time the silence lasted a little longer.

Royal Road has been released for 2 and half years. Most accomplished players began playing during the beginning stages.

‘1 year, in a short period of time, he had grown enough to complete the prestigious A rank quest?’

‘How did he do to be able to gain over 300 levels in a year?’

Director Kang and the Planning Department staff’s opinion of Lee Hyun was depreciating.

‘Great, a total charlatan is just what we need.’

‘A guy with severe pretensions.’

‘Maybe it’s because of his young age.’

In a case where one plays for 18 to 20 hours a day, can lead to a misunderstanding.

Lee Hyun’s level growth was not an easy thing to accomplish. Though it might take some time, the best way to level up is to increase their abilities.

Only someone with great patience can attempt to be a Sculptor and get to an adequate level. Spent a month sewing, a month of smithing, and three months fishing. Alternating with the ability to endure boredom!

Sometimes hunted monsters without breaks. Created sculptures in between break times. It was almost impossible to endure hard labor and succeed.

After asking a few more trivial questions, Director Kang got down to business.

“Actually Lee Hyun, the reason why we asked you to come down to the broadcasting station is to have you sign a contract with us.”

“Contract?”

“Yes, a short-term broadcasting contract.”

“Broadcasting contract. Specifically, what is its content?”

“It was you who joined forces with the Orcs and battled against the Undead Legion, right?”

Lee Hyun nodded in agreement.

“I figured as much.”

From time to time, there are people who came in contact with broadcasting stations. They would be questioned about their levels and professions, and it is always certain they would not hide it.

Director Kang showed great delight.

“I saw the video that was posted in the Hall of Fame. Your quest is enough to make lots of players fascinated. Do you think that our broadcasting station could broadcast your quest? Truth be told, our generic earnings and profits are all based on the ratings and viewership of our programs. When Lee Hyun’s quest is shown during one of the broadcasts, the viewership will increase.”

“And in case the ratings are low?”

“Although that is unlikely, we will happy to pay you the basic amount.”

After pondering, he concluded that it wouldn’t cause him any harm. By giving rights to the broadcasting station, he would earn more money than posting it on the Hall of Fame.

“I see. That’s good.”

“That’s great. If you are willing, we’ll have you sign an exclusive contract with our station.”

"How is an exclusive contract different? Do I have to come down to the station and make appearances? Chat with beautiful hosts like a Singer, or go to meetings in order to get viewership?”

The people in the room had astonished faces when Lee Hyun finished speaking.

‘Does he even look in the mirror?’

‘Celebrities can attract millions of fan girls scattered in the garden...’

‘All for increasing viewership!’

Director Kang wiped the sweat off his forehead with a towel.

“Not really. There’s no need for you to make an appearance in the broadcasts. Lee Hyun, you have a recording of your quest, right? We’d like for you to send it to the station.” [1]

“So it’s like that”

“Lee Hyun, by having an exclusive contract with us, Lee Hyun’s quest progress can be seen here at the station and broadcast immediately.”

“Ah, that’s what you meant.”

Lee Hyun smiled briefly at his good fortune.

When it comes down to it, every time viewers laughed and enjoy the broadcasting station's show, that's when hard work really pays off. Director Kang and the rest of the Planning Department staff breathe a sigh of relief.

‘Whew, it was a misunderstanding.’

‘What a relief.’

‘Somehow, we passed the critical moment.’

Director Kang took out the documents.

“Here’s the contract. Please sign this document if you agree to broadcast your quests in our broadcasting station. You should know that we will not broadcast all of your quests. And we might also adjust the broadcasting time if necessary.”

“Why is that so?”

“It will be difficult not to disclose an important quest. During those times, the broadcasting station will adjust their schedule to give way to broadcast the quest.”

“The ratings of the program would be important.”

“It is not the only factor with take into account Lee Hyun. As you know, broadcasting stations are considered a company. Even if the quest is successful, the broadcast of the quest will be intentionally delayed which benefits both sides. Depending on Lee Hyun’s decision, the rewards of the quest would be revealed.”

“Then that’s not too bad.”

“For more information, you should first read the contract. And if you have any other question, please ask me.”

Lee Hyun contemplated and then read the contract.

From an unknown source of information, broadcasters can usually find information of rare quest, hidden quest, and a B rank difficulty quest. Programs were broadcast based on such information. Being bold in the field of broadcasting pays off as shown in the program ratings.

‘Sounds good.’

Until now, he’s only focused on the loot. If he has already got what he wanted, any rewards he receives from the quest would be meaningless.

If you’ve obtained a complex quest, spent a lot of time on it, there’s a chance of failing. But you will be able to earn money through these kinds of quests.

“I’m ready to sign the contract.”

“You have to answer some basic personal information and sign it.”

Lee Hyun signed the written contract.

***

The Director of the Planning Department saw Lee Hyun off and had just returned.

The employees said in unison.

“Director.”

“What?”

“There is one significantly minor problem.”

“What is it?”

The staff showed Lee Hyun’s signed contract and saw how hard it was to read his lousy handwriting.

Director Kang narrowed his eyes.

“This person’s handwriting is difficult to read.”

“I find it hard to read as well.”

In any case, once the written contract has been signed, the contract is established.

Spending a couple of days checking the Hall of Fame and the auction site, Director Kang sat on his chair, exhausted.

“Now I feel completely unrestrained.”

“Congratulations, Director.”

Likewise, the Planning Department was also at ease. Because they were always extremely busy with their job, without these small senses of accomplishment, they would have already quit.

“Director. How long would it take for the video to arrive?”

“1 hour perhaps? It will take him that long to get home from the station and when he arrives home, he’ll send the video”

“It would be great if it arrived sooner.”

The Planning Department had all been waiting for Lee Hyun to send the video. As soon as Lee Hyun got home, he had sent them the video of his gameplay and the quest.

Just as the lunch hour had approached, Director Kang left all the Planning Department staff to do their own things and simply waited for the video's arrival.

Soon after, one of the employees who was looking at their computer, shouted.

“It’s here!”

“Really?”

Direct Kang was delighted. The Planning Department staffs were pleased.

“Play it on the main screen for us to watch.”

“Alright, Director.”

One of the Planning Department staff maneuvered the computer to play the video on the screen, but Director Kang felt his tummy grumbled.

“But shouldn’t we have lunch first?”

“Director, may we watch and eat at the same time?”

The staff knew that Lee Hyun’s video was something they wouldn’t want to miss. Director Kang was eager to find out if the results of the Legions of Undead quest were true.

“Why not? Let’s order some take-out.”

“Yes. I’ll order it immediately.”

Director Kang sat down with the rest of the staff.

Just as the video was about to play on the screen, the door opened and the Station Director walked in.

“Director Kang, I trust you have acquired the contract?”

He had heard that Lee Hyun came to the station.

“Yes. It went very well.”

“Will you be the one to organize the broadcast?”

“I also want to edit the video and the audio, if necessary, so it’ll fit the time schedule of the broadcast.”

“It’s not good to delay it for too long. I want it done as soon as possible.”

“Yes. We will do as you say, Director.”

Director Kang inclined his waist and bowed. A thorough worker’s attitude.

“But what is the hurry Director Kang? The employees have all gathered here when they should be eating lunch.”

“Actually, the video had arrived. I told the staff that that we will watch it while we eat.”

“Is that so?”

Director Kang revealed the video’s content. It was about the Orcs and Dark Elves battling together, and he was excited to see it.

“Director Kang, could I possibly watch as well?”

“It would be an honor if the Station Director would watch it with us.”

“Well, in that case, I’ll also call the Program Director. Actually, except for those who are busy, let’s call everyone who participated in the last meeting to the conference room.”

Nobody opposed to the Director’s suggestion. It was much better to watch the video in the Conference Room with state of the art surround sound and screen rather than watching it in the Planning Department.

The Station Director, Director Kang, and the Planning Department staff went to the conference room, ordered a meal, and sat down. The Program Director also arrived and sat down, and waited for the movie to play.

Soon the lights went out and the sound from the video began to reverberate. With surround sound, the feeling of immersion can be felt.

- Black smoke obscuring the red sun. Chwiik! In the land of darkness, where the birds do not sing.

Chwikchwik!

The ugly Orc Karichwi appeared.

“Ohhhh!”

“Karichwi!”

Some female fans within the staff cheered quietly.

Their behavior is understandable if he was charming but it’s a puzzle when he has an unattractive face.

Overnight, Karichwi became popular among females everywhere.

The Director laughed with satisfaction.

‘It’s good that Karichwi was popular even amongst our employees.’

It’s intolerable if the staff and Station Director do not enjoy the video. They’re like a person’s immune system.

Needless to say, if it’s not popular with the staff, the viewers will probably not like it.

“Director Kang.”

“Yes, Station Director.”

“Could you tell me the duration of this video?”

The Station Director asked as Karichwi began to sing. Director Kang took a moment to check and then replied in a small voice.

“It is twenty one hours long.”

"......"

“He sent us the original video. It looks like it hasn’t been edited. What would you like for us to do? Do you want us to skip to the important parts or would you like to play it a little faster?”

“Let’s just see what happens.”

The glaive gave off a reddish depressing light overshadowing the sky and Karichwi.

What an atmosphere!

*Kukwakwakwa!*

Burning Skeletons and Zombies began to emerge from the valleys.

“Kyaa!”

Some female employees began screaming at the bloody appearances of the Undead, but it was a scream of astonishment. Their eyes were glued to the screen, as their lips formed a curious smile.

As the Orcs and the Dark Elves’ battle with the Legions of Undead progresses, Director Kang gasped and clenched his fist a couple of times.

The eight Castle walls didn’t seem sturdy and their anxiety reflected in their eyes. Relying on such walls during an important battle was nerve-wracking. [ii]

Then the lunch they had ordered arrived.

However, because of the intense video, there was only one person who laid a hand on the packed lunches.

The battle begun when the Burning Skeletons and Zombies arrived. And then the second and third branch of Legions of Undead army came out for an ambush!

Thousands of Silver Arrows were shot out of Elastic Bows.

“How much is all of that?!”

“He must be a rich!”

They were led to misunderstand the frailty of the walls.

Under the commands of Karichwi, the Dark Elves defended the walls with the help of the Wyverns, by flying around the sky while sprinkling Holy Water without care of getting their hands wet.

Not to mention the bravery of the Orcs.

Ancient Giant Monsters were fought by Soldiers who worked side by side with Orcs!

Without a single one killed, the Necromancers played a big role.

Even without showing their true powers, the Necromancers were formidable opponents, which was evident from the rate they were summoning Undead.

And then finally the Shire Lich appeared!

The Lich's power was overwhelming. Being able to rapidly fire and area of effect magic, was completely devastating.

Among the Orcs, Dark Elves, and Undead an order to come forth was heard.

A vampire and Death Knight appeared.

It was an amazing scene.

The Lich Shire pounced against his enemies like tiger, creating absolute havoc. As a level 400 boss monster, his overwhelming power was evident.

The Lich Shire roared, as he faced countless enemies!

Rampant Area of Effect magic.

Wyverns risked their lives sprinkling holy water on the ground.

The tremendous power that the Lich Shire had shown gradually weakened.

The Lich Shire tempted the Vampire Lord.

Only then did Karichwi join the battle. Without a doubt, the situation turned sour and the Lich Shire did not die in the hands of Karichwi. It was the Dark Elves who casted a large Area of Effect magic that ended the battle.

The Station Director unwittingly murmured.

“Was it a success? A failure?”

Director Kang replied.

“A source reported that the quest was a success.”

“I see.”

The Station Director took a look around.

The clock hanging on the wall showed it to be precisely 9 in the morning. They had stayed up all night watching the video. This caused them to have bloodshot eyes.

It wasn’t surprising that nobody wanted to go bathroom in the middle of the video. If they did, they went quickly. It’s the first time in several decades that they had to hold it in.

Station Director and Director Kang opened yesterday’s lunch, which has already grown cold, and started having a conversation.

“Director Kang. How does our broadcasting schedule look?”

“Today, there are some important broadcasts scheduled.”

“Can we possibly cancel it?”

“Let me see if that’s possible.”

Director Kang examined the matter.

The Station Director agrees that we should broadcast this video as soon as possible!

The Director added.

“It will not be enough to just briefly introduce this amongst our other broadcasting programs.”

“Yes. Special programs must be organized separately.”

“As soon as possible.”

Unfortunately, Director Kang inconveniently said.

“If possible, I would like to have it broadcasted before dinner. The audio and the video will only need some minor adjustments. We certainly lack the time. I’m sure it’s worth having it broadcasted before dinner and have it run overnight.”

“Please edit the video to a minimum. You don’t have to cut down on the hours. Broadcast a short segment of the video, and then post information on our broadcasting station’s website.”

“I’ll do just that. Although I think it’s possible to broadcast the original copy of the video.”

“There wasn’t a single dull moment.”

Station Director and Director Kang smiled satisfactorily.

***

Lee Hyun was happily writing on the household bookkeeping ledger.

“Easy money. I haven’t calculated a budget yet, but money keeps rolling!”

The broadcasting station's incentive contract!

The money he would receive varied greatly depending on the audience. Nevertheless, he received the Broadcasting Company’s contract deposit from the bid on Minotaurus Claws.

“However, I still need to earn more. This will only last for a while.”

For now, there was no need to worry about his grandmother’s medical bills and living expenses. The problem was his sister’s future.

University tuition is rising annually. For one year in University, it cost 10,000,000 won. Therefore for 4 years, it’s quadruple the amount, 40,000,000 won! [iii]

In addition, the Student Association decreed that students have to pay for their own textbooks.

Money that could be spent elsewhere was spent only on school. Money spent on Membership Training and University Festival isn’t included. You’ll also need money to join clubs, cosmetics, and clothes to keep basic dignity of University students.

People don’t want to live with the feeling of having someone superior to them.

To meet up with friends cost money, but it cost even more money to pursue knowledge and education in school.

“I could buy a new computer with this money.”

A very small portable computer.

Lee Hyun’s handwriting differs from a computer because it’s so small that it’s hardly legible. Many of the school’s lesson and clubs depend on computers.

The price varies. For a really good one, it could cost billions of won, and a cheap one is at least 5 million won. It was an essential item for University students.

“It doesn’t end there.”

He dropped out of school to seek employment. Nowadays, if you wish to find and a job and live in luxury, you have to graduate from University. It was worth the sacrifice to develop the slightest ability.

“If I didn’t learn, I couldn’t earn money in this world.”

***

Lee Hyun recalled a painful memory.

He had tried to forget the bitterness against others during his younger days. Stitching clothes in a sewing factory while listening to countless lectures. Mistakes were present no matter how hard he worked, followed by insults of his incompetence.

He also had to work late at night, doing some odd jobs, while not being paid overtime.

He had a fixed monthly periodic salary!

Even if he worked hard, he received less money than those people who sleeps on the job, Lee Hyun swore as tears flowed out.

Although it was common to report cases of mistreatment, he couldn’t. The Vice President of the company cleverly used his illegal age of employment against him and threatened to report him to the Ministry of Labor.

If you get reported to the Ministry of Labor, you will not receive your salary. Furthermore, you will be blacklisted and from then on, you will not be able to find a new job.

Because he had to earn money in harsh conditions, he wanted his sister to find a proper job in a normal business, preferably a corporate job.

“In order to do well in school, absorb everything. A portable computer is something she must have.”

Lee Hyun decided that everything he earns will go towards his sister’s education. There are a lot of things needed as a college student. For a time like that, an emergency fund is needed.

“Ah, I have to visit Grandma at the hospital today.”

Lee Hyun budgeted the household finances and kept the book.

He had been busy lately trying to complete the quest that he had not had the time to visit. But today, was the day they had promised to visit Grandma.

Lee Hyun left the house to visit Grandma.

***

Grandma and Hayan were already together.

“Is this really an acceptance letter for a university? You’re not lying?”

“Achaa! I would never lie to my grandmother. Look the name’s clearly written here.”

“Even though, I still cannot believe it.”

Grandma could not hide her surprise over the acceptance letter to the University of South Korea. Lee Hyun was accepted to University!

This was something beyond her imagination.

Although it came as a surprise, she and Hayan were glad that it occurred.

‘I never thought he’d get this far when he had the interview...’

Who would have thought he’d get accepted.

Lee Hayan did not rejoice, instead she thought.

‘Ah, if oppa only knew the truth, it’d be a big deal.”

He’ll be mad if he found out that I lied to him. The real problem was Lee Hyun would grind his teeth if he has to spend 100 won daily to go to University.

Grandma smiled and then laughed.

“It’s not as complicated as you think, sweetheart.”

“Really?”

“There’s nothing to worry about, I have an idea.”

“If that’s the case, I will trust Grandma.”

***

When Lee Hyun got to his grandmother’s hospital room, Lee Hayan’s head was bowed. His grandmother was about to say something, but stopped.

Lee Hyun quickly came to her side.

“Grandma, what’s going on?”

“You don’t have to know.”

From his grandmother's attitude, Lee Hyun could feel an unusual aura. In addition, his little sister still had her head bowed.

“Did you give Hayan another scolding? To my knowledge, she has been studying properly, and she hasn’t hung out with any shady people.”

“That’s not it.”

“Then, what’s the matter...”

“Why don’t you go to University.”

Grandma said it as if the matter was already settled.

“Did you say something?”

“Yes. You should go to University to have a better livelihood. You haven’t made decent money since you dropped out of high school.”

“Surely Grandma! There’s no difference, now that I’ve passed my GED and graduated from high school.”

Lee Hyun tried to convince his grandmother with soft, gentle words but she didn’t budge.

“You have worked hard to earn the money, how could you not spend it? As the head of the family, it’ll be difficult to make money if you don’t attend University and gain an education.”

“University is useless, Grandma. If ever I want to learn about something, I could always study about it in the future.”

“Hyun - ah, let’s say you didn’t have to take care and protect your sister. Would you have not gone to University?”

Lee Hyun tossed the thought aside and nodded his head immediately.

“Obviously. But I still think you should go to University.”

“What?”

“It is as I’ve said.”

You can’t get full off of one spoonful of rice.

Grandma and Hayan’s eyes met each other. But Hayan shook her head slightly.

‘It’s a little lacking.’

This was certainly not enough to persuade Lee Hyun. It needs to be done properly, without leaving any loopholes of escape.

Grandma paused for a moment.

Her expression was filled with distress.

Lee Hyun was an expert on flattery, so how in the world would Grandma convince him.

After selling goods in the market for decades, it did not occur that Grandma was a veteran. She had more experience in flattery, to get people to buy her items.

With an obstinate wayward expression, Grandma said.

“It’s a different story if your sister has already been accepted to University. Right now, there is no longer a need for you to save up for your sister’s education. I explained it to Hayan, and understand this as well."

“Grandma!”

Lee Hyun was startled.

His grandmother sounded opposed to having his sister getting accepted to University.

“What are you saying? Hayan going to University is a good thing.”

“Do you really think that this is a good thing?”

“Of course. If she goes to University, she could study Liberal Arts.”

“But you’ll have to spend a lot of money.”

“I don’t care if I have to spend a lot of money. Because if you study hard in University you will reap a lot of benefits from it.”

“Then if you also get accepted to University, you should certainly go.”

“That is ...”

Strangely enough, Lee Hyun couldn’t any words to say. He felt disadvantageous but it was too late to retreat now.

‘What’ the hell is happening?’

As if it was natural, Lee Hyun replied.

“Of course. If I get accepted to University, I would probably go. So I would spend the money to send my sister instead. Hayan is very talented when it comes to studying. Her grades improve on every exam.”

“Is that so? You’ll go to University if you had the chance. However, your words will mean nothing if you don’t attend University.”

“Yes?”

Grandma lips formed a satisfied smile. She handed him a notice written on a sheet of paper.

“Here’s the acceptance letter to University of South Korea.”

“This is really..!”

Lee Hyun’s hands trembled.

An acceptance letter to University of South Korea!

‘At last, Hayan got accepted to University of South Korea!’

He left thrilled and glad that it left him out of words.

Grandma said.

“Hyun-ah, congratulations on your acceptance to University of South Korea. You’ll be a college student next year.”

***

The forum of the broadcasting station was frantic because of the Legions of Undead video. Although the quest was a success, people were wondering why they still haven’t released the video.

KMC Media did not use any additional promotion. Nevertheless, there were rumors that a contract has been signed regarding the Legions of Undead. Just between the Station Director, the Planning Director, and other employees, caused the news to spread.

- Please show us the video quickly.
- Why haven’t you broadcasted it yet?

People who posted on the forums were quite anxious.

KMC Media were worked as quickly as possible. But to edit the original length of the video and cut it down to 1 hour before broadcasting it, would take a couple of days to accomplish.

So they were forced to make a decision without the Program Director.

“Let’s just do the broadcast.”

“I’ll take responsibility for it.”

Actually, there wasn’t a need to work on the video.

They didn’t to interfere with certain scenes by giving it some special effects or subtitle on the original footage.

So, they had to abandon the idea.

“It’ll be broadcast as it is.”

“However, some people might lose interest quickly.”

They also enjoyed watching the video very much. They didn't regret watching it. They think that the viewers would also find it interesting, and started the broadcast.

The broadcast started without any notice.

Because there was no schedule, the viewers couldn't have known that it was going to be shown and its duration. The broadcast suddenly started. Nevertheless, they somehow knew. The news was soon spread throughout the Internet.

The viewership grew exponentially. And when the broadcast ended, the viewership count was more than twice as usual.

Again, the forums were in overflowing with posts.

- I wasn't able to watch from the beginning. Please broadcast it again.
- When would be able to watch this again?

The broadcasters who were observing revealed a cold smile.

This brought in more profit for KMC media because awareness is equivalent to money earned. There were a lot of people who wanted more information about the Orc Karichwi and Weed.

***

“I have to get out of this situation.”

Lee Hyun was troubled. He never thought this would happen. What kind of University would accept someone who is only good at playing games?

“Are they some kind of a scammer group? Those shameless bastards who extort tuition fees out of students?"

In this day and age, multimillion businesses only sought out the students from the best Universities.

Truthfully, Lee Hyun has little benefit from this admission. It would be similar from extorting money from him.

“They’re probably hiding somewhere around the corner waiting for the chance to take the money.”

Nothing in the world can change regrets.

His grandmother already said that he has to go to University. His sister was also there to listen.

There were a lot of things that Lee Hyun abandoned because he promised himself that he would do anything to get his sister accepted to University. Lee Hyun didn't want to go to University because of the money and he didn't have anything he wanted to pursue.

It was her third year in high school. It’s the most critical moment of her life, but he couldn't figure out what was going on in her head.

Lee Hyun had no choice but to compromise.

‘Even if I got accepted to University, it doesn't mean I have to attend. However, if I give up on the acceptance to University, Hayan will also not to enroll to one. But if Hayan gets admitted to a University with full scholarship, I will attend University. That sounds like a nice compromise.’

He was able to think of an ultimatum.

Grandma and Hayan were persuaded with the idea. They look some time to think about it and then agreed.

‘If she studies really hard, it’ll be sufficient enough to get a scholarship.’

Lee Hayan was pretty smart, unlike him. However, even if she was to study real hard and get accept to University, there it wasn't certain that she’ll be able to receive a scholarship because there are other factors.

But nowadays, scholarships are based on grades. It will not be a surprise for her to receive one.

‘Wait a minute! It’s good that Hayan will be studying hard to get a scholarship, but doesn’t this mean that I’ll be attending University next year?’

There was less than one year until enrollment day. Only seven months away before you receive the admission letter, there wasn’t much time left.

Lee Hyun's face looked rigid.

University, overflowing with youth and romance!

This fantasy was something he had long abandoned.

“Other brother and sister studying together.”

Lee Hyun’s currently 22 years old, 23 as of next year.

It cost a lot of money to go to University and back. Lee Hyun was already getting worried. Of all things, University was one of those places that motivate youth to turn into mature working adults.

The meals in the cafeteria were expensive and tasted disgusting in contrast to food he cooked himself with cheap ingredients.

“It must be the age.”

Lee Hyun was definitely not in the normal age group to attend University.

 

{ 46 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. How can they consider him not smart?
    Sometimes people are really stupid.
    Hyun is very smart, I consider him smarter
    than his sister.

    Even if not for school stuff, when it comes to
    the world knowledge and how to be successful,
    he is a genius! I know the value of school,
    but there is more than just school knowledge.

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    1. Hyun is just a very sly bastard, very well versed in the arts of manipulating others. But it's because of the reasons of his actions that make him one of the greatest protagonists ever created

      Delete
    2. Tyknos, the Gnome MachinistFebruary 12, 2015 at 8:02 AM

      Hyun is alot smarter than he looks. He can cook, sculpt, and many other things. And whats more is he learned it all from playing a single game, Because of the fact its virtual reality, it is still a form of reality, therefore he is learning skills in there, that are applicable in his reality.

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    3. This makes me wish virtual reality to be invented and perfected as soon as possible so that we can make use of the benefits as well.

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    4. They don't. It's more Lee Hyun saying that he isn't smart not his family. It's a theme in this story that Weed is somewhat delusional about certain things so I wouldn't take it seriously. Look at how he immediately thinks that they're trying to scam him for money for accepting him. Look at how long he complained about his class.

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    5. Because in most schools and maybe in most society, being smart is measured by how well we can memorize stuff from textbooks. That's why most schools grade students using standardized tests.

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    6. Memorizing stuff from text books however is all about hard work. Hard work is all about motivation. Being good in school isn't as much about being smart as it is being motivated to study. Lee Hyun has always had his focus elsewhere, thus his hard working self hasn't studied that much. As such it isn't strange for Lee Hyun who honestly has a somewhat unintentional humble personality, with down to earth expectations of himself. To consider himself not smart, because in the eyes of society he isn't considered smart. He could become smart, but that isn't his focus.
      He wants 1. to take care of his family 2. money 3. Game Character advancement 4. other stuff. Everything he does is pretty much a result of those. No one however works harder than Lee Hyun, some do however work with other goals in their mind.

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    7. a wisemen that entered many fields of studies remarked himself as 'i know to the point that i know, i know nothing'. The vastness of knowledge he has told him that his knowledge amount only a little and theres a lot more to learn.

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    8. I think he is just average in terms of academics IRL, maybe because he hasn't been in school in years and did hard labor instead, he got rusty at it. Who wouldn't?
      But Ingame he's GODLIKE! :)

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    9. Hyun is not smart.
      Hyun never once did anything proactive other than preparing for Royal Road. Other than that, he never once tried to actively sell his services to make himself rich. Not once did he try to contact any company, or tried to open his own networks.
      Hyun simply sat back, and allowed the author to magically give him things, while telling us how clever and brilliant Hyun is, when in reality: He isn't. Hyun is merely a genius at hard-labor with Causality Narrative.

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    10. Wow the comment above me is seriously deranged.
      In the very first chapter it is clearly stated that Hyun finally got his identity card allowing him to work legally.
      Before that he had worked, however every job he had managed had been illegally. Therefor the pay had been terrible, and more so the conditions he worked under.
      He had been forced to drop out of school due to the loan company pressuring his teachers to even tell him to pay back his dead parent's loans.
      Now, please tell me, how should an underaged, uneducated person manage to 'open his own network' or in other way 'sell his services' other than the ways already stated?
      Hyun is definitely a hardworking character. He is capable of managing with every given situation, however his performance depends on the reward he will be capable of getting. This is quite smart for someone who has grown up in the environment he has, in my opinion.

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    11. Well, he knows that broadcasts makes money, he knows that selling items makes money, he is now part of a community that trades information, yet... he hasn't checked his mails, therefore missing mails that could have made him win money, he let items sleep in the auction house, and he never trades any information.

      Does it seem smart to you?

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    12. Its not that he did not check his email , he did checked it but it was filled with thousands of messages asking about the quest so he gave up on reading it.

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    13. Its not that he did not check his email , he did checked it but it was filled with thousands of messages asking about the quest so he gave up on reading it.

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    14. It might just be my opinion but a person should only be called smart after consideration since the term is vague... A person Can be intelligent (know a lot) wise (know how to get around) Quick thinking (processing speed). Some of Hyun's choices can be called stupid but as far as I've read he shows wisdom and quick thinking sometimes thou his intellect is narrow(games money and health), gaming and thus to the modern society he is seen as "stupid".

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    15. He is at minimum very naive. He is also ignorant, cynical, and jaded.

      This leads him to thinking in the incorrect manner, as is shown by how often he is surprised in real life.

      Professionals cannot afford to be scam artists. This thought line is baseless and idiotic.

      It also leads him to being better in Royal Road than most others.

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    16. Gotta love how you guys already assume Hyun is smarter than his sister, when she hasn't show us anything yet.

      Delete
  2. sculptor having bad handwriting lol!!!!!
    has good hands but the worse handwriting every!!!

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    Replies
    1. Well yeah, he hasn't really had to write anything since he dropped out of school. Probably very out of practice.

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    2. You have to say that he didn't obtain handwriting skill and grind it. Once he get handwriting skill, he can do calligraphy at intermediate lvl. :))

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    3. I'm pretty good at drawing, but my handwriting is shit.
      One does not necessarily carry over to the other~

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    4. Wait so with the calligraphy skill he could make copies of that unique undead book and make a crap ton of money

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  3. Writings of Universities and Schools, etc relating to it is boring to me :|

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    Replies
    1. Ditto. I just skipped the entire chapter.

      I already learnt that LMS is mostly composed of useless hamburger narrative. Just a lot of text, that most of it means absolutely nothing.
      I don't really mind to read meaningless text, when something fun is happening. More of something fun! Yay!

      But, the moment you get all sorts of info-dumps, TECHNICAL info dumps, about the arguments whether or not he should go to university, and how much his sister should keep up her class that she never wants because they never fucking talk to each other....Nope.

      I quite literally skipped the entire chapter. And I lost nothing.
      "Oh no I won't go to university! University is important! Okay I'll go!"
      RIVETING ACTION RIGHT HERE.

      The more volumes I pass, the less I feel sorry that they never translated all of the series. Too much filler crap.

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    2. Hahahahahahahaha! Nice! I agree with you on ther part of the fillers being absolute crap and i also skip them entirely, it's the main action that keeps me intrigued and addicted. For example, this is my second time reading and i can say with confidence that i remember none of the characters in the university and only read the alone times with seyoon (which is basically the reason he went to college).

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  4. lol such bull$%it currency. 10 mil a year for uni fees...want to earn 2mil a month..... gets 30mil in one auction... yet still not much money apparently........billions for a laptop?????!!!!....... 5mil for a cheap laptop???????? Just......WHAT???????? I'm gonna ignore any mentions of money in the future

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously that's not in dollars. A South-Korean Won is equivalent in value to 0.00091 United state dollars. So, 5mil won is only a little over 4500usd. Plus, from what we have been shown I'm pretty sure this is pretty far in the future. Who knows what the exchange rate is then.

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    2. responding anon above this post, the original poster is apparently one of those people who refuses to accept there are other kinds of currency than the kind they personally use, or that they have different worths

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    3. Let's not forget the effects of inflation. If memory serves, this story's supposed to take place in the 22nd century, so if we'll assume a hundred years in the future for simplicity's sake, with an average yearly inflation of 2% over that century (a fairly realistic figure, even a bit on the conservative side perhaps), we get
      1,02^100 ~7,2
      In other words, a dollar today would be equivalent to 7,20$ in a hundred years, meaning the earlier estimate of 4,5k$ computer would translate to 625$ in modern currency. Even if it's just a rough estimate, it should suffice to explain some of the ludicrous prices of the story.

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    4. lol, you think the dollar will be worth *more*?
      Pft, now ain't that a joke.

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    5. ^ Wrong he's saying it would take ~7 future dollars to equal 1 current dollar

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    6. Still, what threw me off was when it said 'For a really good one, it could cost billions of won,...' even with inflation the price would be ridiculous. If you reverse the inflation mentioned above, even a billion won would become around 138 million won (120 thousand USD).

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    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Seriously, if this battle was really that hard, there would be empty moments, things that you could edit. There is no way that watching a 21 hours long scene is gonna be interesting. Now let's make it simple : the real world of LMS is filled with bored people : there isn't anything to do in the world anymore.

    Also, sexism again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay sexism!

      Sorry, but I do see some kernels of truth in it.

      Best point in argument: Worlds strongest woman will never equal worlds strongest man in strength.

      Delete
  6. "Lee Hyun decided that everything he earns will go towards his sister’s education" Not all poor people would be this great. I admired Lee Hyun. For him ..poverty was a reality and does something about it. However..others try to be something they are not and then comes the problem with hypocrites

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  7. That 21-hour-non-stop-watching-all-nighter was such bullshit. These are business people ffs. That really infuriated me. The author has pulled many unbelievable things before, though most of them were in-game so they were forgivable. But that was just ridiculous.

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  8. thanks for the chapter,.......excuse me can someone tell me how to access these number in this chapter? [iii]

    ReplyDelete
  9. somehow... i dont like weed. he is just to greedy... I mean he gets 30 million won for 1 claw (i dont really know how much that is in euro but it should be enough...) and he cant take a bus to a studio?? that is stupid...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's been poor all his life. He knows and had experienced the pain of not having money. So when he has that amount of money, would he waste it all? It's just his mentality of "if the money can be saved, then it should be saved". Because of his cheapskate nature, he got a free ride. So not stupid.

      Delete
  10. the cheapest computer costs 5 million won (around 5000$)? what is it made out of silver?

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  11. Who the hell is Lee Hayan? I've read up to this chapter but haven't seen this character yet. (Jesus christ it's annoying when character names are changed as often as they are in this translation.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's his sister ( Lee Hye Yeon / Lee Hayan)
      Different translator, different name

      Delete
  12. why is 50% of stuff related to the sister so cringy? He's earning their living with Royal Road and our smart persuader is to stupid to call on that and that he won't be able to pay for his tution fees if he looses out on that much time? makin' me dislike her, even though I like her general character

    ReplyDelete

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