The Main Characters That Only I Know Chapter 2

Episode 2: The Protagonists Only I Know

As consciousness rose to the surface, I slowly came to and opened my eyes that had been tightly shut. Confusion set in as reality hit me. “Impossible. How can I still be alive?” I knew the severity of my injuries all too well— injuries inflicted by the apocalyptic harbinger’s cursed Demon Spear. It was a dreadful weapon, capable of disintegrating life itself at a cellular level with just a graze. That very spear had pierced through my abdomen.

Even Choi Doyun, known for his incredible healing powers, wouldn’t have walked away from such a wound unscathed. Yet now, my body showed no signs of harm. The wounds on my abdomen had vanished as if washed away. “Huh?” It was only then that I noticed something was off—not just my injuries, but my entire appearance had changed.

“What is this now?” The human body that once belonged to me had vanished, replaced by something entirely alien. I looked around, finding myself in a dark, narrow hall with poor lighting. Alongside me stood rows of beings similar to myself, lined up in perfect order. They resembled white rice cakes, with two protruding limbs that could be arms and faces marked by two large eyes.

They appeared almost like mascot characters from an amusement park. “Just what kind of situation is this?” I thought I was dead, and yet here I was, alive and transformed into some bizarre entity.

“All have assembled.” A deep voice interrupted my thoughts, and a figure appeared before us. It was an entity wearing a well-fitted suit, with a deer skull for a head. “Tellers, right?” Although they looked different from the beings that once governed the apocalypse, their essence clearly belonged to the same race. There was no mistaking them.

Curiosity about the sudden appearance of a Teller gave way as it began to speak. “I shall briefly explain the situation. You are now employees of the Celestial Corporation, working as Tellers. This gathering is to verify your abilities for the role.”

“What? What on earth does that mean?” Despite my reservations, I remained silent. Speaking out seemed only to invite personal loss, as none of the others uttered a word.

The deer-headed figure continued. “That is all for the explanation. Now, it is time for you to demonstrate your talents.” As it finished speaking, the floor beneath us split open. “What the…?” Before I could even react, all of us—myself included—plunged into the crevasse.

Below the hall lay the vast expanse of the universe. Cast into the cosmos, I instinctively held my breath. “Are they trying to kill us?” This fleeting thought was interrupted by the appearance of a translucent window before my eyes.

[Genesis’s Blessing has been activated.] “I can breathe?” A bubble-like shield that seemingly created the blessing enveloped me. I could breathe, and the chill of the void no longer touched me. Looking around, other beings were housed inside similar spheres.

I gathered my thoughts, taking a moment to assess the situation. “First, I’m dead. However, I’ve been resurrected. I don’t know why, nor where this is—actually, it’s the middle of space. And, based on the deer-headed figure’s words, it seems I’ve been resurrected as a Teller.”

The reflection period was cut short by the unforgiving nature of reality.

Ding.

[Mission—First Steps]

You have become a Teller. Tellers act as surrogates, showing stories to the spirits. To do so, you need to determine ‘who’ to showcase.

Goal: Secure your first contract.

If successful: Promoted to regular employee.

If failed: Existence erased.

Time limit: 1 hour.

“What?” Out of nowhere, we’re thrust into fieldwork with only an hour to complete a mission, and failure means the obliteration of one’s very existence. How absurd.

“No, this isn’t the time to question.”

The mission had already begun. Compared to the vague demands of the apocalypse, this was relatively clear-cut.

“So the Teller is the central character who shows stories to the spirits, and I need to find my first contractor. That would be the place…” My gaze locked onto a large planet.

It was Earth, which I had thought was long destroyed. Seeing it whole elicited a bitter chuckle from within. The Earth before me was not marked by the scars of the apocalypse I knew. The land was not blighted or torn with blackened fades; the skies were not filled with red hues and ash-laden winds. The ruined Earth had become a planet beyond salvation.

And yet, here it was, seemingly unharmed. A particular hypothesis came to mind. “Could it be that I have returned to the past upon being resurrected?” Time travel was the only explanation that made sense.

“Yes. As surprising as being resurrected is, traveling to the past must be within the realm of possibilities.” I was insanely curious about how I ended up in such a predicament.

[00:57:34]

However, as I watched the time dwindle, I had to clear my mind of such curiosities.

“Now, I must focus on the mission.” The stakes were high; should I fail the mission, my existence would be nullified. Having been resurrected from death just to perish again within an hour was far from appealing.

“The time is the past. Given the relationship between the Teller and the contractor and based on the words of the deer-headed figure, Earth must be before the apocalypse, during the era when Collectors were active.”

The Earth was approaching its end…

Before, it was already a time far from ordinary. Gates had appeared everywhere, and from those gates emerged monsters, and there was an era where people hunted such monsters. Collectors referred to humans who had awakened; calling those who made contracts with Tellers to battle illusory beings by that name.

‘Find Collectors who haven’t formed a contract yet, and snatch one of them. This is it.’

However, instinctively, I realized that there was another meaning hidden in this mission.

Forming a contract was easy. All it took was convincing any Collector without a Teller to simply cooperate.

‘From what I know, Collectors want to form a contract with a Teller too.’

Through contracts with Tellers, Collectors could reveal themselves to the Holy Spirits.

Collectors without a Teller, no matter how remarkable their achievements, could not garner the support of Holy Spirits. Only through Tellers could they earn points.

Naturally, because of Collectors’ ability to become stronger by earning points, they intensely wished to contract with Tellers.

‘So, for an hour-long mission, it’s incredibly simple.’

Everyone desperately sought the other; where could one find an easier task?

Given that I was deployed to the field without proper explanation, the mission’s difficulty was unexpectedly low.

I could infer something else from this.

‘After all, anyone can form a contract if they think it through. But the truly important part is who you contract with.’

It was easy to arbitrarily pick a Collector and form a contract without much thought.

But if that Collector was untalented and lacked ability?

It was only natural that they wouldn’t attract the attention of Holy Spirits or earn points properly.

Thus, if I looked at the big picture, this mission was not about simply securing a contract.

The real intention seemed to be to identify a Collector with exceptional qualities.

‘The starting hurdle’s insanely high.’

For now, I fiddled with my still-stiff hands, touching the holographic screen.

It was a curious experience. Although I was handling this for the first time, my mind was filled with knowledge on how to use the screen.

On the hologram, the Earth appeared in miniature with important points I could move to marked on the map, mainly the capitals of countries with large populations.

‘First, my destination is Seoul in Korea.’

I naturally chose the country where I had been born and raised.

But there was one inconvenience: this body of mine.

‘The arms are abnormally short; the screen won’t properly respond to touch.’

To make matters worse, what I had for hands were blunt, like wearing mittens lacking fingers. No, even mittens would at least have a protruding thumb; this was worse.

‘If I were still my old self, I’d have finished this quickly just by flicking my fingers.’

In the moment I felt a strong longing for my past strength, my body changed.

‘Huh?’

My previously blunt hands stretched out, and five fingers grew on each hand. It wasn’t just my right hand, but my left as well.

Standing on solid legs inside this sanctuary, with my two arms, I instinctively touched my face. Turning my head to inspect the translucent barrier, there was a faint reflection of myself.

It was my appearance from when I was human.

‘It changed suddenly?’

I knew that Tellers didn’t have a fixed form, but I never expected to transform like this. Perhaps it was because I longed so deeply for my past appearance?

‘Now’s not the time for this.’

I had a mission to attend to first. There was still time, but this wasn’t just about time.

Without delay, I manipulated my newly formed fingers and selected Seoul on the map.

My body then vanished, drawn by an unknown force.

* * *

‘Hmm?’

Sasramdor, one of the supervisors responsible for the first mission, let a red gleam flow out from his fully dilated pupils.

With a head resembling a deer skull, he was a manager-level Teller at the Celestial Company.

Just like always, he had given the newly born trainees their mission and observed how they moved.

Until moments ago, he thought that they were all just average, like the ones before.

But after witnessing one individual’s transformation, he was forced to change his thoughts.

‘It changed its appearance in an instant?’

While most were still clumsily trying to comprehend their situation, he witnessed one changing form in a blink of an eye.

‘It’s impossible.’

Normally, a newly born Teller instinctively changes shape without being taught, but this process takes at least two weeks, and at most four.

Yet that one had transformed in no time at all, as if the process was irrelevant.

Sasramdor even considered the possibility that he had seen an illusion.

But,

“Hey, did you see that?”

“It changed its appearance right away, right?”

“Is that possible?”

Other Tellers, still processing the disappearance of Kang Yu-hyun, murmured in shock. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to change. The instinct to transform was there, but actualizing it was another matter.

However, Kang Yu-hyun had achieved it. In just three minutes.

Sasramdor had no choice but to recognize that what he saw was reality.

‘To change right from the start? Was it ever possible?’

He had observed countless Tellers undertaking their first mission for a long time. But he could confidently say there had not been a single one who took on its own form so quickly.

Not even those touted as talented geniuses.

Yet, now that record was shattered.

‘This is… extraordinary.’

Sasramdor thought that today, the mission process, which was always so monotonous, might turn out to be different.



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