The Main Characters That Only I Know Chapter 20

Chapter 20

In past lives, numerous collectors attempted to clear the Labyrinths of Labyrinthos. However, no clan or team was ever successful. ‘Why is that?’ Was it because they couldn’t defeat the Minotaur, the maze’s master? Or did they run away, overwhelmed by its presence, or fail to find the entrance they used to get inside the labyrinth?

No. ‘The reason was that no one had ever discovered the proper way to clear it.’ Even if one managed to defeat the Minotaur or followed a thread to find their way back, the conceptual world of Labyrinthos did not disappear, as if mocking their efforts. Just as Labyrinthos was about to fade from people’s interest, one day a collector found the method to clear it. ‘And along with a hefty reward, they secured the hidden [Hidden Piece] that was concealed here.’

Originally, he was a Scavenger. He secretly confirmed that other collectors had defeated the Minotaur and sneaked in hoping to pick up anything they might have left behind, nothing more than a petty thief. What had he discovered that allowed him to clear this place on his own?

“This is it.” I said, picking up a feather that had fallen to the ground. “The method to clear this Labyrinthos is not subjugation. It is precisely escaping the maze. By using this.”

“A feather? If escape is the goal, couldn’t we just follow the thread we unraveled on the way in…?”

“That’s true, but it’s closer to returning to the entrance we came from. Hye-rim. A labyrinth or maze, by definition, has different points for entrance and exit.”

“Then where is this exit?”

“There.” I pointed a finger toward a hole in the ceiling. It was a 30-meter-high hole. “Up there is the exit of Labyrinthos.”

“…I don’t quite understand.”

Kang Hye-rim did not seem to grasp it, and the same was true for the other spiritual beings who had been closely listening to our conversation. I continued to explain kindly to satisfy their curiosity.

“Do you know about Daedalus?” I asked.

“He’s said to be the creator of this maze.”

“He was a genius inventor. To think, he constructed such a complex structure. But the problem was, someone managed to escape this labyrinth, which should have been impossible.”

That someone was the hero Theseus. With Ariadne’s help, he killed the Minotaur and escaped Labyrinthos. The problem was that the method involving the thread that Ariadne used had been disclosed by Daedalus himself.

“King Minos, furious, locked Daedalus and his son Icarus in the labyrinth. The blueprints were destroyed, and even the method of the thread couldn’t be reused. Father and son Daedalus were doomed to be trapped here forever.”

But Daedalus found one brilliant way to escape.

“Ah!” Kang Hye-rim exclaimed, apparently aware of the story.

“Wings!”

“Correct. Daedalus fashioned wings from the feathers falling from above, bonding them with wax, allowing them to fly.”

With these wings, the father and son duo escaped from the maze that was thought to be inescapable.

“That is the clear condition of this conceptual world.”

[Most spirits admire your knowledge.]

[You have received a donation of 500 TP.]

As expected.

The spirits enjoy not only visual pleasure but also intellectual satisfaction. I took advantage of this by explaining using my future knowledge, and thanks to that, I was able to earn points.

After discovering the clear condition, everything progressed quickly. Kang Hye-rim gathered the scattered feathers together.

Then something amazing happened.

Poof!

The feather fragments began to merge on their own, glowing as they did. The dull brown feathers coalesced and turned into a pure white color.

What materialized were a pair of wings—effectively, the Hidden Pieces scattered throughout this area.

[Icarus’s Wings]

The wings used by Icarus, who fell from the sky while aiming to fly. Infused with his will, they aid the user to fly.

Grade: Rare

– Allows [Flight] once a day.

– Slightly increases charm and agility.

[Flight]

– You can fly through the sky. Cannot ascend above a certain altitude. Lasts for 30 minutes.

An item truly to drop one’s jaw. It was a rare grade, not commonly found, and it provided the ability to fly.

Of course, thinking of the original story, there were limitations to flying. However, the possibility of flight for 30 minutes was akin to giving Kang Hye-rim an additional opportunity.

‘It could be quite useful in an aerial battle.’

I sincerely clapped and said, “Congratulations. You’ve obtained the Hidden Piece.”

Hidden Piece

Refers to rare items not sold in the [Dimensional Store], obtainable only through conceptual worlds. The grades vary widely, but the effects alone typically surpass similar items of the same grade.

“How incredible.”

Kang Hye-rim covered her mouth with her hand, as if she hadn’t imagined that she would acquire a Hidden Piece she had only heard of in rumors. Soon after, she glanced at me, managing her expression.

I nodded at her and mouthed words for her to repeat the phrase I had shared with her before.

“……”

She wasn’t clueless as to what I meant; she had been aware of why I was gauging her reaction. With subtle pressure from me, Kang Hye-rim hesitated a bit before coughing lightly and assuming a solemn expression.

“Fortunate.”

She uttered the promised line.

* * *

[You have cleared the conceptual world ‘Labyrinthos Maze’.]

[You have acquired 4,000 TP.]

[Unbelievable achievement! You have cleared the conceptual world on your own.]

[You have acquired an additional 1,500 TP.]

[The story of the conceptual world has been imbued within you.]

[You have acquired the skill ‘Terrain Detection’.]

[Your stats have increased.]

Kang Hye-rim put on Icarus’s Wings and escaped the maze, and as she did, the conceptual world collapsed and vanished. More points and text were awarded than in the previous Kobold mines. Some of the text that made up the conceptual world merged with Kang Hye-rim’s being.

Likewise, I also received some of the text, enabling me to complete the second book of [Chronicles of the Sword Emperor].

‘But more important than the rewards for clearing the conceptual world is the fact that I’ve definitively proven my library to the spirits.’

My library, the story [Chronicles of the Sword Emperor] I’ve shown, the protagonist Kang Hye-rim, and myself, Kang Yu-hyun, the Teller supporting her.

From today onward, the spirits would have a clear image of us.

‘This is just the beginning.’

The performance when I defeated the Minotaur was significant. The awakening of the Sword Qi. With it, I had felled a boss-level phantasmal entity that was difficult to confront alone. That fact alone was enough to attract the spirits in my library at the time. Furthermore, Kan Hye-rim was not just a great character, but also a beauty that could capture one’s attention at a glance.

It was natural that some spirits fully supported her.

“Was it worth the points I invested? Is this it?”

I ended up earning more than the points I had invested. I opened the system window to check the status of my library.

[Maximum Viewing Spirits: 162] [Current Subscribing Spirits: 112]

That day, a peak of 162 visitors hit my library, and already over 100 subscribing spirits were influenced by my storytelling. Thanks to this, I quickly achieved the submission and earned a significant amount of points.

Portions of the points earned by Kan Hye-rim, the viewing spirits entering the library, and the revenue generated by their subscriptions all added up. After calculating everything, the points I currently have amassed a total of 40,240TP.

Despite the daily text and library maintenance costs, as well as the cuts taken by the Celestial Corporation, I had still earned a considerable sum.

“Amazing.”

How much grueling effort would it have taken to earn 40,000 points when the end times came? For someone like Choi Do-yun, who did everything on his own, it might have been easy, but for an ordinary person like me, that number of points was nearly a fortune.

Yet, I had earned that much from just two storytelling sessions.

“If my library, which is still at the level of a temple, is doing this well, how much are the libraries of agents, managers, and deputy managers earning?”

Moreover, as could be seen from Kan Hye-rim’s case, it was incredibly easy to earn points before the end times. After the apocalypse, it took a desperate effort just to earn a single point.

Despite this, the current level of collectors was far below my expectations.

“The current collectors must lack a sense of urgency.”

Despite the more abundant environment now, the difference in levels was starkly evident. Everyone had become complacent in the superficial peace, their souls even growing lazy.

“However, things will change. Because I won’t let them stay this way.”

For now, it was just the second step of my grand plan.

Even with just two footprints, they were substantial enough to garner increasing attention.

*Ding. Ding.*

Even now, personal messages were flying into my [Genesis Network] inbox.

Most were from spirits who had seen my storytelling at least once. Their reason for contacting me was simple.

“They want to become patrons of my library.”

I scoffed as I read the messages.

While the tone differed based on the spirits’ personalities, their intent was all the same: to become solid patrons of my library, suggesting we should make a contract.

“What a joke.”

Of course, many storytellers would sign patronage contracts with spirits. Having solid backing was much more helpful than having nothing.

The potential profit outweighed any future losses by a significant margin.

But not for me. My library was not at a level to be swayed by ‘just’ those spirits.

“I, who refused even the offer from Satan of the great Pandemonium Legion, would I be dazzled by the support of 3rd or 3.5th generation spirits?”

Most emails were from nameless spirits. But among them, some were from revered lords known for their fame.

A few names that would even be engraved in my memory after the apocalypse flickered before my eyes.

But without hesitation, I closed the message window.

“There’s no need to mind spirits who offer patronage without genuine interest.”

For now, I had to focus on nurturing my first collector.

With that in mind, I glanced at Kan Hye-rim.

We were currently in her cramped goshiwon room.

In that tiny room, Kan Hye-rim was showing off, waving the wings of Icarus on her back.

“Hehe. How about it, Yu-hyun? Aren’t I incredible?”

She kept asking for my opinion, seemingly pleased with the wings on her back.

Dressed up with pure white wings, Kan Hye-rim indeed looked like an angel.

“Yeah, it’s impressive.”

However, I responded flatly, knowing her true nature.

Oblivious, Kan Hye-rim continued to gloat.

“Ahem. I’m now a proper collector. And considering the points I’ve earned, I’m not who I used to be.”

Ever since she cleared the Labyrinthine Otherworld, Kan Hye-rim had been in that state.

I had always felt it, but today it was clear.

‘She’s straightforward about her ambitions, but her self-adoration is too strong. Maybe it’s a reaction to her past humble and timid days.’

Regardless, Kan Hye-rim had played a significant role in getting this far, so I couldn’t criticize her.

She knew this, and perhaps intoxicated by her transformed self, she was immersed in vanity.

“Hehe. What do you think, Yu-hyun? Am I beautiful? Attractive?”

“… Can you please stop?”

“Why, are you playing hard to get? It’s okay, you can be honest.”

“Why would you ask a storyteller like me that?”

“Heehee. Even the spirits love my looks. I can see that you like me even though you deny it. So, what do you think?”

As she spoke, she struck an unfamiliar seductive pose.

Feeling goosebumps on my arm, I brushed them off and spoke sternly.

“Please don’t do that. It’s truly nauseating.”

“That’s harsh!”

Kan Hye-rim sank from my frosty comment, but this was just the beginning. Likely, she would resurface and come at me again later.

Feeling it was time to change the subject, I said, “Let’s stop this silliness, and I’ll tell you about what’s to come.”

“Silliness…”

Kan Hye-rim sounded hurt by my words, but I continued without regard for her reaction.

“Now that you have made a name for yourself, and earned a handsome amount of points. As a collector unlike me, who belongs to a body in this lower world, you’ll need to establish a foundation here.”

“A foundation?”

“Yes.”

Something necessary for collectors, though not for me.

“Let’s get you a manager.”

In the real world, she needed someone to support her, and I knew just the right person to be that support.



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