The Main Characters That Only I Know Chapter 28

Episode 28

“Are you ready, Hye-rim?” I asked, and Kang Hye-rim answered with a nod. Since there were curious eyes around, she was currently acting out the character named ‘Sword Princess’.

At first, she complained about the difficulty, but after a few tries, she became familiar with it and performed without much complaint. Actually, she even seemed to enjoy the reactions she received from those around her.

‘I didn’t expect her to enjoy it this much, though.’ In truth, Baek Seo-ryeon played a significant role in Kang Hye-rim finding this fun. While I dressed her up in character as needed, Baek Seo-ryeon had an innate talent and passion and went all out in crafting the character ‘Sword Princess Kang Hye-rim’.

She went beyond just styling. She meticulously crafted every aspect, from when to say what, how to act, even down to her walk. It was as if it was madness, real madness—I could never hope to reach such heights.

The problem is that Kang Hye-rim herself had an active imagination, and she eagerly adopted Baek Seo-ryeon’s suggestions and worked hard to meet expectations.

When a collector full of wild fantasies met with a manager full of madness, the synergy produced was spectacular. As a result, in the past week, Kang Hye-rim built quite a reputation.

‘So much so that she’s become more recognized among ordinary people than by the Holy Spirits.’

Moreover, these rumors hadn’t just spread among ordinary people. Just looking around the entrance to the Ideological World we were about to enter, there were quite a few collectors who turned their attention to her.

“Is that the Sword Princess everyone’s been talking about lately?”

“The Sword Princess… the emerging collector who’s been clearing Ideological Worlds at a terrifying pace?”

“They say she’s cleared four already. They’re mostly low-tier worlds, but among them is the Labyrinthos that even the Association once tried and failed to clear.”

“I heard the rumors, but it looks like they were true. Look at her form and aura. Isn’t she stunningly beautiful?”

“Should we try talking to her?”

“Don’t bother. Look at that noble bearing of hers. Wouldn’t be bothered by the likes of us, no?”

Listening in on the conversations between collectors, it seemed Kang Hye-rim’s image-making was paying off. I wondered how they’d react if they knew that the image she presented was crafted and that beneath her stoic expression, she was constantly pondering how to look cooler.

‘It’s strange, though. I helped create this image of hers, and yet why does it feel so irksome?’

Especially lately, seeing Kang Hye-rim confidently smiling at me for no apparent reason, I had this inexplicable urge to whack her—an urge that wasn’t just a one day thing.

She seemed a bit too smug? It wasn’t like she was trying to compete with me, but something about her attitude was irksome.

Well, that didn’t matter right now. The most important thing now was the Ideological World we were about to enter.

‘The Ideological Worlds Kang Hye-rim cleared so far had mostly been abandoned by other collectors.’ They were either too easy to bother clearing or just left alone for farming, or weren’t worth farming at all.

But today’s destination was different. As evidenced by the number of collectors gathered at the entrance, Kang Hye-rim was about to enter a major Ideological World. It promised large-scale and abundant rewards… but it was also fraught with danger.

Even seasoned collectors appeared tense as they checked their weapons before entering the Ideological World.

‘There’s quite a crowd.’

Considering that Ideological Worlds were usually explored solo or at most with a party of 4 to 5, the gathering here was indeed large. By a rough count, there were about 50.

If they were all planning to enter at the same time, that was significant indeed.

‘It means this Ideological World must be unique.’

Glancing at Kang Hye-rim, she didn’t seem as nervous as the other collectors. The book floating above her head subtly shimmered with a silver light.

“Is everything ready?” I asked.

“Yes, I’m all set.” she replied confidently.

“As I’ve mentioned on the way here, this Ideological World is quite dangerous. It’s no coincidence that so many collectors are on edge despite their numbers.”

Over 50 seasoned collectors had gathered, yet they did not seem at ease. The concern was not about dividing the rewards; they were worried if they could even manage despite the numbers.

By now even Kang Hye-rim couldn’t hide her curiosity.

“What kind of place is it that’s causing such concern?”

“It’s a battlefield for large-scale conflict,” I explained as I had to her before. An Ideological World was not just any place. Anything could be inside, and nothing would be considered strange.

Take the mysterious labyrinth Labyrinthos, for example. A place where stories spread by people had materialized into reality, a place that defied ordinary understanding.

The Ideological World we were set to enter was just as extraordinary—a place for a sprawling battle. Dangers lurked in every direction, and one could never know when they might fall to a blind attack.

Unlike other worlds that were always open to enter, today’s Ideological World only allowed entrance once every three months.

What was particularly unique was that should you fail upon entering, you would never be allowed reentry.

If you failed, that was it.

It was, quite literally, a lifelong stain of failure.

“We get one shot at this. No second chances if we fail. For collectors who know how much one failure can hurt, the stakes of this place are even higher.”

She seemed to grasp the weight of the situation as she listened.

“That’s the reality of where we are going today.”

“It’s a dangerous place.”

“If it’s such a dangerous place, why did you choose to go there today?”

“I thought Hyerim needed the experience.”

She had reached a relative point of safety. From here on out, like other Collectors, she could earn points by farming and slowly become stronger without any harm.

However, she couldn’t do that. She shouldn’t do that.

“Hyerim. You became a Collector because you want to succeed, right?”

“Yes.”

“I feel the same way. Although I’m a Teller, my goal is no different from Hyerim’s. I want to succeed, and I want to climb higher than anyone else.”

And she was willing to do anything for that.

“I believe it’s the same for Hyerim. Your purpose and drive are personal and full of desire but I don’t think that’s bad. In fact, I would even praise it.”

“Yes…”

“But do you know? A half-hearted desire eventually devours the person themselves. If you truly wish for it, you should not give up, even if your bones break and your flesh is crushed and burst open. That’s why I ask. Are you confident you can do that, Hyerim?”

“That’s…”

Hyerim wasn’t able to give a swift answer to my serious question.

“I’m not expecting an answer right away. However, you will eventually have to answer this question, both for my sake and your own. That’s another reason why I chose this place today.”

As soon as I finished talking, the Collectors who had been waiting began to move.

This was because the white entrance floating in the air suddenly began to emit light.

The signal that the thought realm that had been closed until now had opened anew today.

“Let’s go! Let’s succeed where others have failed!”

“Let’s see for ourselves how extraordinary this place is!”

With shouts encouraging themselves, the Collectors headed towards the thought realm. Dozens of people streamed in, with Hyerim following behind them.

The moment everyone disappeared, the entrance quickly became an empty field.

I glanced around discreetly. There were other Tellers here, watching the Collectors they had contracts with.

Some of them looked at me curiously, but nobody approached to speak directly.

The Tellers were also tense, without the luxury to attend to their competitors at the moment.

As many as fifty Collectors had gathered. If you combined the size of the libraries they represent, the number of spiritual beings would also be significant.

And yet, all these libraries were reflecting the same thought realm simultaneously.

An unintended joint battle. And an unexpectedly grand stage.

‘There is only one spot at the top.’

Indeed, who would be the protagonist under the spotlight on this stage?

Today was the day that result would be decided.

* * *

Having cleared the thought realms alone so far, Hyerim was amazed to enter one with other people for a change.

As soon as she entered, she was startled for a second time by the rapidly changing scenery.

Waaaaaaah!!

The first thing to hit her ears was a tremendous roar that shook the heavens.

It was only then that Hyerim realized she was standing atop a huge rampart. The reactions of the other Collectors nearby were no different from hers.

The warm wind of May began to carry heat.

Beyond it, a massive cloud of dust was rising, created by the tens of thousands strong army.

‘That’s…’

Even in such a situation, Hyerim didn’t show panic and surveyed the battlefield.

Her position was atop a high wall, defended by a number of incarnations.

On the opposite side, far away, were the incarnations that seemed to be invading this side.

Instinctively, Hyerim understood what this thought realm required her to do.

‘Protect this side from the enemy forces?’

More worrying than the simple task of defending was the scale of the adversaries. Hyerim seemed to understand why Yoo Hyun hadn’t told her about this place beforehand.

It would have been useless anyway.

Had he provided detailed explanations, she might have chosen not to come out of fear.

Hyerim turned her eyes to the other Collectors. They were pale, seemingly unprepared for the vast number of enemies visible even from a distance.

The Collectors who had been burning with fighting spirit just a moment ago seemed to loosen their grip on their weapons unknowingly.

Hyerim swallowed her nervousness. At that moment, she received a communication from Yoo Hyun.

-Do you hear me?

“Yes, I can hear you.”

It was curious. She wanted to sit down right there, but as soon as she heard Yoo Hyun’s voice, she felt a surge of courage from somewhere.

Yoo Hyun, observing from the [Watcher’s Chamber], clicked his tongue.

-I’d only heard about it, but seeing it myself, it’s no easy task.

“Do you know where we are, Yoo Hyun?”

-Can you see the surroundings first?

“Yes. Everyone’s tired, exhausted, and already scared.”

The incarnations guarding the ramparts were dressed in armor with spears, but their faces were worn with fatigue. Upon closer inspection, parts of the towering wall were damaged, showing signs of battle.

And what about the numbers? There were no few incarnations on top of the ramparts. Quite a lot, actually, but numbers are relative.

The number of enemies coming to invade this place… seemed to easily exceed this side by tens of times.

It made sense for the Collectors to be scared.

“It looks like the temporal background is after several battles have already been fought. Where exactly is this…”

-It’s a battlefield.

Yoo Hyun’s calm voice resonated clearly in Hyerim’s mind.

-At the end of the Middle Ages, with the beginning of the Modern Age, it was one of the most noted sieges in history.

The final war where the army of over 150,000 from the Ottoman Empire put an end to the Eastern Roman Empire.

-The Siege of Constantinople.



Leave a Reply

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