The Main Characters That Only I Know Chapter 22

Episode 22

“Damn it! Just you wait and see!”

Jinpoong left in a hurry after leaving behind a clichéd threat.

I stared at the spot where he’d disappeared for a while before shaking my head. I had anticipated that guys like him would show up sooner or later, but their arrival was quicker than I had thought.

‘Well, it only means that my actions so far have been remarkable.’

Currently, I was not associated with any particular department, floating in a sort of limbo.

Rumors had spread that I emerged with a splash at the start of the First Step Mission, but that didn’t mean I was yet an attractive enough prey for them to try and claim.

However, two recent unveilings had allowed me to flaunt my presence.

The beautiful sword-wielding female collector, Kang Hyerim.

And Kang Yoo-hyun, a Teller who had signed an exclusive contract with Kang Hyerim, proudly showcasing her storytelling.

In just two storytelling sessions, I had garnered a peak viewership over 100, and a subscription count in the triple digits—an impressive feat for a newcomer.

Once the rumors had spread, it was inevitable that the departments that had been quiet so far took action.

‘The high-ups are greedy enough to desire a piece of me. Even so, I didn’t expect they would use such an unworthy guy like Jinpoong to approach me.’

Jinpoong was a Teller who, upon closer inspection, seemed to have nothing but pathetic traits.

In a company like Celestial Stock Company, which thrives on competition, it was a wonder how he had managed to retain his place. One could think it impressive that his department had the power to keep such a character, but I didn’t see it that way.

‘If someone like him, responsible for departmental menial tasks, is so full of arrogance, it speaks volumes about the nature of those above him.’

Arrogant and brimming with self-importance. If the source is muddied, can the stream be clean?

Despite my general wish to get along with all other Tellers, there was a clear line that Jinpoong had crossed long ago.

I had resolved not to live pathetically as before.

I vowed to achieve success, nurture greater dreams, and to constantly strive for growth.

That had been my promise to myself.

‘It was something that had to be done at some point anyway.’

Simply bending over backwards wouldn’t resolve everything. There are fights in this world that can’t be avoided.

Fearing bloodshed and injuries, and folding before the battle has even begun, was no longer an option for me.

If necessary, I would fight, and if I fought, it would be with all my might.

With the ferocity to face death, and the resolve to bring it upon my adversaries.

Even though I had let Jinpoong’s comments slide today, considering his nature, he will undoubtedly harbor animosity and attempt to thwart me. And who knows what kind of actions his department ‘Pentagram’ might take against me.

Therefore, I needed to build up my library as quickly as possible in preparation for when that time comes.

‘Pentagram, of all departments…’

Regardless of my relationship with Jinpoong—actually, perhaps there was a connection—but anyway.

I had rejected his offer not only because of his arrogance, or his repulsive behavior, but also because of the department he belonged to.

‘The Followers of the Apocalypse.’

The Pentagram department.

Amongst the eight departments in the storytelling hall, this department takes a proud seat and had been one of the noisy ones after Earth faced the apocalypse.

I still remembered.

‘Even though most of Earth’s storytelling authority was taken away, they had the audacity to showcase their stories amidst the apocalypse.’

The Celestial Stock Company was in charge of Earth’s storytelling before the apocalypse.

However, following the end of times, they lost most of their storytelling authority and much of it was transferred to other organizations.

The one in question was Exodus.

One of the three major Teller organizations encompassing the Hybrid System.

Celestial Stock Company (Sky Corporation).

Exodus (Exodos).

And the Comedy Troupe Faction (喜劇團牌).

Among these, Exodus stood as an object of my hatred.

While the Sky Corporation showcased a variety of genres for the sake of storytelling quality, Exodus obsessively drilled into a singular genre.

What they sought was tragedy.

The organization known as Exodus glorified despair and mourning that unfolded in the Lower World.

‘The horrific disaster and massacre staged in the name of trial were but devices to enhance their storytelling.’

Exodus’ Tellers always told stories that were dark, cruel, and sinister.

Yet, the Pentagram department managed to continue its storytelling amidst the struggles between the Exodus factions. Considering that most of the main offices had withdrawn, it was clear that the Pentagram department had a connection with Exodus.

‘Curse those people.’

Not all Tellers are bad, but Exodus is different.

They were literally emotionless psychopaths, seeds that spread death. They were an enemy that I must eradicate, and naturally, any department related to Exodus, like Pentagram, was just as much of an enemy to me.

That was the reason I declined Jinpoong’s offer.

I just had no desire to have anything to do with such repugnant figures.

‘It’s likely that other departments will reach out to me soon. Maybe they are even targeting Kang Hyerim, not me.’

When those people start to take action, my schedule would become even busier.

‘I must fortify my position as a Teller before that.’

As of now, the Tellers managing large libraries haven’t bothered me. They may show interest or send their underlings to recruit me, but they’ll act passively for sure.

The type who care about their image wouldn’t do anything so unseemly.

‘I still have time. My initial goal is to fully manifest Kang Hyerim’s potential.’

I already had a complete blueprint for that goal in my head.

However, to start that process, there were quite a few things I needed to prepare in advance. I needed to earn more points, and Kang Hyerim’s ambiguous mental state also needed to be addressed.

“I need to act swiftly.”

With a soft sigh, I moved again toward the dormitory where Kang Hyerim resided.

“Hmm. Uh-huh. Yeah.”

Kang Hyerim, unaware of my arrival, was still busy in front of her mirror, continuing her own practice.

Playing with the wings of Ross, she assumed odd poses.

Could she be taking what she thinks is her most captivating stance?

As I continued to watch, the moment I saw her blow a kiss to her reflection in the mirror, I closed my eyes tight and spoke out.

“Phew. That’s enough embarrassment for now.”

“Eek?! When did you get here? You didn’t see everything, did you?”

“Everything? You’re not suggesting that before I arrived, you were doing something worse than these voodoo-like acts?”

“It’s n-not voodoo…”

Her timid response made my head ache. Here I was, worrying about the future, racking my brain over serious matters, and here she was, supposed to be a collector, acting like this.

But then again, once inside the ideational world, she did play a role beyond my expectations, so it was hard to criticize her.

Holding back the sense of ridiculousness bubbling up inside me, I said,

“Phew. Please, just keep it to a reasonable level. I’m afraid of what others might see.”

“Ah, it’s okay. I can show you, since it’s Yuhyun.”

“Can you not show me, out of consideration for me?”

This young lady kept saying things that could lead to trouble.

But now was not the time for this.

“Hyerim. Did you visit the association?”

“I haven’t been to the association yet. Why do you ask?”

“Soon, as a collector, you’ll need to update your rank. You can’t stay at rank 9 forever. You need to rank up to earn more money.”

Kang Hyerim had already reached the stage where she could use sword energy. She had defeated the boss-level phantasmal being, Minotaur, on her own, and had cleared two ideational worlds that others had not.

Beyond the rewards for clearing the ideational worlds, she could also get a bounty provided by the government.

‘Of course, the real problem is whether they’ll let her get away with it.’

I can’t let this young lady go alone; she might get tricked, so I have to accompany her.

Anyway, we needed to look around the area to find the management, so it served multiple purposes.

“Let’s go right away since we’ve decided.”

“Ah, yes!”

* * *

From the moment Hyerim and I entered the association, all eyes were on us. Well, more precisely, they were on Hyerim.

“What’s this? Was there such a collector?”

“Her aura is extraordinary. She doesn’t look like an ordinary collector.”

“More than anything, she’s incredibly pretty.”

Hyerim’s appearance was enough to garner everyone’s attention. That’s how charming she was. Most people just wondered who she was, with a curious gleam in their eyes.

Her tightly shut lips and forward gaze were the essence of a swordmaster, unreachable by ordinary people. But I knew it. I saw how the corners of her mouth twitched every time she heard praise directed at her.

If I hadn’t warned her in advance, she might have brought out Ikaros’ wings just to show off.

With a stern eye warning her against such foolishness, I led her toward the association’s counter.

“Welcome. How may I help you?”

The receptionist greeted Hyerim and me. Her gaze was fixed on Hyerim, clearly overwhelmed by her charismatic presence. I know that feeling, having experienced it in my previous life.

“We’ve come to claim the reward for clearing the ideational world.”

“What? Ideational world?”

“Wait. Are you the one who cleared the two worlds that were just mentioned…?”

As the topic of the ideational worlds came up, the surrounding collectors perked up with keen interest.

If they had previously looked on with curiosity, now their gazes turned to those filled with wariness and jealousy.

“Crazy. She cleared an ideational world beyond the border.”

“Has she gone blind with fame? Tsk, tsk. With such a selfish mindset, she won’t last long.”

Those gathered here understood what it meant to clear an ideational world.

We had crossed the ‘borderline.’

And if we consider that this ‘borderline’ implies an unspoken agreement among everyone to just get by…

‘Hyerim is practically a heretic who has shattered the framework they’ve built.’

But, I didn’t care about their opinions or gazes. What do these fools, who blindly follow their given reality, know about anything?

The receptionist cautiously asked,

“Aren’t there any other colleagues with you?”

“No. She cleared it on her own.”

“What?!”

“That’s impossible.”

The word ‘alone’ caused a ripple of dismay throughout the crowd. The receptionist, evidently taken aback, stammered out her question.

“Wh-what rank is the collector?”

“Rank 9.”

“Ah!”

“Rank 9? That’s ridiculous. Just by looking, I thought she at least had rank 5.”

From my mention of the rank, sighs of disappointment and snickers of derision erupted from the crowd. I glanced at Hyerim just in case, but her expression was unchanged. She truly seemed unbothered. I ignored the disparaging remarks of the onlookers and asked the receptionist,

“Is there a problem? It’s our right to demand the reward for clearing an ideational world regardless of rank.”

“Yes, that’s right. I’ve contacted the person in charge, so could you please wait a moment?”

“There’s no reason we can’t.”

Hyerim and I sat in an unoccupied spot nearby. The surrounding gazes stubbornly remained on us.

With my composed attitude and Hyerim sitting upright in her seat, the mood among the onlookers seemed to switch to one of being overawed.

‘Hmm, this is about the time someone should step in.’

While glancing sideways at the other collectors, I silently counted the timing.

Then, at that moment, someone emerged from the crowd, stepping in front of Hyerim and me. It was a muscular man with broad shoulders.

“If I didn’t mishear, it seems we have impostors strutting around in here.”

Looking at the man grinning with his teeth bared towards us, I inwardly smiled.

Indeed, it would be disappointing without such characters.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *