The Main Characters That Only I Know Chapter 4

Episode 4

“Sigh. Whew.”

I let out a sigh of relief as I checked the remaining time.

‘That was almost dangerous.’

There were only about 3 seconds left until mission failure. Just a bit more delay, and I would’ve died again within an hour of resurrection. No, perhaps it would’ve been something even more dreadful than death since it was supposed to result in the annihilation of my existence?

‘It was a moment fraught with peril. But still.’

I had achieved a satisfying outcome.

I thought this, still seeing the Collector in front of me, looking bewildered.

I recalled the situation from 5 minutes before the mission ended.

* * *

“I’ve searched for over 25 minutes, but not a single suitable person can be found.”

When I first awakened the ability related to books, I felt like I owned the world.

I was brimming with confidence that with this ability, I could do anything.

However, I had overlooked one crucial fact.

‘Even if I have the ability to see potential, that doesn’t mean the right person would just appear before me.’

I had been searching at an incredible speed for Collectors in the vicinity of Seoul who had not yet made a contract.

But each one of them only had books of the same color, and the few that seemed decent were only at the silver level.

‘I had wondered if silver was the maximum, but the gold book I found was already bound to a Collector.’

Knowing that gold existed made me even more desperate, thinking that next time, or the time after, I might actually find one.

With that hope, I couldn’t give up, even as I watched the time dwindle.

‘Moreover, I hadn’t expected the blessing that allowed me to teleport to have a cooldown.’

After one teleportation, I couldn’t move again for a whole minute.

If it weren’t for that, I could have quickly checked them all.

‘Should I just… settle for something here?’

Not all silver books were the same even though they were the same color. Some emitted a faint glow, while others shone quite brightly.

There were a few, albeit a minority, who had books emitting a strong silver light. Those individuals undoubtedly had the potential to join the ranks of the strong.

I remembered a few people I had marked.

‘Should I risk the remaining time to search for a gold book or should I make a safe choice among the top silver books?’

In a situation like this, it would be wise to compromise, but I felt I should not.

Being in the top 10 percent of silver might be enough for some, but it still felt insufficient to me.

Was it not a known fact, even to someone who wasn’t a Teller, that the first contract was of utmost importance to a Teller?

‘Think. I must utilize all the knowledge from my past life.’

I had memories of a previous life.

Among the Collectors, I knew who were the Named, those who were truly destined to achieve greatness.

‘I need to remember. Who among the Collectors hasn’t yet been recognized in this era?’

Various names of Collectors floated and disappeared in my mind like bubbles.

The current time period was five years before the apocalypse.

Most well-known Named Collectors had already started their activities, each bound to their Tellers.

‘Some come to mind, but the timing doesn’t match.’

I recalled a few notable rookies, but the timing was off. Right now, they hadn’t even awakened as Collectors.

If I were to clear this mission now, I had to find someone who had at least awakened as a Collector.

It was a trickier condition than expected.

‘Now there are only 5 minutes left.’

Five minutes is definitely not a long time. No matter how fast I could move, there was no guarantee that I’d find a suitable contract partner within the remaining time.

I knew that there was a pearl hidden in the mud, but finding it was another matter.

I considered the conditions.

The current timeframe was five years before the apocalypse. And I needed talent—a Collector who had awakened but not yet fully realized his abilities.

So, what if I narrowed down the timeframe to refine the candidates?

‘I’ll have to select those who will be active within the next six months.’

Dozens of candidates were eliminated, and the choice narrowed down.

Out of the filtered candidates, three remained.

‘Bizarre Hermit Bang Sang-shi. Flame Knight Kwon In-beom. Sword Queen Kang Hye-rim.’

In the past, people had called these three the Miracle Trio.

After the initial 99 days of psychic integration required for Earth to join the mixed alliance, several Collectors emerged, but for some time, no remarkable talent had appeared.

During years of such drought of prowess, at most one true gem emerged per year.

The Miracle Trio were like a blessing in the midst of this talent famine.

Of course, they were grouped together as a trio, but in reality, they weren’t close to one another. They were just associated together because their periods of activity and awakening were around the same time.

The current candidates I had marked were these three.

‘The Bizarre Hermit Bang Sang-shi used strange sorcery, true to his name. But no one knew his true identity. After all, the name Bang Sang-shi itself wasn’t even real.’

He wore a mask and baggy clothes, making it impossible to even discern his gender.

Of course, Bang Sang-shi was excluded. With only an assumed name and a nickname, it was impossible to identify who he was.

If time had been ample, I might have sought out Bang Sang-shi, but with a time limit, I had no choice.

‘Next is Flame Knight Kwon In-beom. He’s an American citizen, so he won’t be in Korea at this time.’

He would start being actively involved half a year later, that too after coming to Seoul from the United States. All I knew was that he had come from America; without knowing his specific city and state, there was no choosing him.

‘That inevitably leaves only one person.’

Sword Queen Kang Hye린…

Rim.

Even if I had known the locations of both, I would have chosen Swordmaster. Although they were called the Miracle Trio, there was a hierarchy among them. If I had to pick the best, Swordmaster was the most overwhelming one.

The timing wasn’t bad either. It would be half a year before Swordmaster would begin his active duty. Moreover, I remembered an interview where he mentioned he had been active under anonymity for quite some time in the early days.

This meant that right now, she wasn’t fully aware of her own talents.

I immediately entered the name Kang Hye-rim into the search.

‘Found her.’

Once I had a specific target, finding her was easy. Her location was in a gosiwon village on the outskirts of Seoul. I couldn’t fathom why someone of her caliber would be there, but I quickly shifted my location.

Whoosh!

The view and the space around me changed.

From the bustling outdoors to a cramped gosiwon room.

The sounds of cars passing by and people chattering faded, leaving only the silence of the indoors to linger.

The air that touched my skin felt musty, and the room even had a hint of mildew.

In such a deplorable space, I managed to find her effortlessly.

And then.

The moment I saw a book floating above her, I couldn’t help but clench my fist.

Reflected in my eyes was a dazzling book of golden hue; its brilliance was incomparable to silver or copper.

‘Success.’

Suppressing the surge of elation, I cleared my throat.

“Ahem-ehem.”

“Who, who are you?!”

Startled by my sudden presence, the woman who was boiling instant noodles inside the shabby gosiwon turned to me.

Seeing her reaction, I briefly wondered if I had just intruded inside her home.

‘Wait, do such laws even apply to a Teller?’

Regardless, time was running short, so I got straight to the point.

“Greetings. You are Collector Kang Hye-rim, correct?”

“That’s… me, but who are you?”

“I am Teller Kang Yoo-hyun, appointed to Earth by the Celestial Corporation.”

My prepared speech flowed smoothly. In truth, I was in the dark about my own situation; there was no time to check when I had a mission to rush for.

“Apparently, you don’t have a contracted Teller. I am here to forge that contract with you.”

“Really?”

“Yes, of course.”

I scrutinized the woman in front of me.

She wore a pink tracksuit, the neckline and cuffs stretched from overuse. She wore glasses and had her hair, seemingly out of irritation, roughly tied back.

She looked at me as though she was in a dream.

‘Did I make the right choice?’

At a glance, she seemed nothing like the Swordmaster I knew.

I had heard she remained unrecognized for a long time before her success, but could it have been to this extent?

Still in disbelief over her current reality, she asked me in a dazed voice.

“Are you really a Teller who’s come to make a contract with me?”

“Yes, I am. I have come specifically to make a contract with you, Miss Kang Hye-rim.”

Though pressed for time, I pretended to be at ease as I presented her with the standard Teller contract.

“Will you join me?”

“But… I lack abilities, and I don’t know how to fight. I’m nothing special.”

“Who told you that?”

“Everyone around me. That’s why I thought it might be better to just give up on being a Collector and maybe try for a civil service exam instead…”

Of course. Was this why she stayed in such a place? Because she hadn’t realized her talent yet?

However, if my memory served me right, she was definitely a Collector with great potential. The light radiating from the book alone was proof enough.

“No, I know. I know how tremendous your talent is. Those people don’t know anything.”

“Really?”

“Yes, of course. I am a Teller. I show stories to the celestial beings. Do you doubt what these eyes have seen?”

“Well, it’s not that, but…”

“It’s okay. I will help unfold your talents. Just sign here, and we can get started.”

Only 30 seconds remained.

I handed her the contract. With a blissful expression, she took it from me.

“Can I… become a Collector?”

“Yes. You have the right.”

15 seconds left.

“Just a moment, where did I put my pen?”

“…Here you go.”

I quickly handed her a rolling sign pen from the floor.

Now, barely 5 seconds were left.

I felt my blood run cold as I watched her sign the contract.

“All done.”

Her voice was cheerful as a brilliant light burst from the contract.

I smiled at the spectacle and checked the remaining time.

[00:00:03]

‘Phew. That was a close call.’

It was a moment that made my blood run cold and sweat break out.

But in the end, my choice was correct. I had managed to contract with a Collector who would be known as Swordmaster in the future.

[Mission-First Step has been succeeded.]

[You have been promoted to a full-time employee as a reward.]

With the mission’s reward, I moved up from an intern to a full-time employee. Thrown into the field from the very start, considering the levels above a Teller’s position, I had a long way to go.

‘No need to rush. One step at a time.’

I had the knowledge of the future. And before I died, I had resolved not to live in such a pitiful way ever again.

‘Though I never imagined I’d be reborn as a Teller, now that I am, I’ll live to the fullest.’

Therefore, my primary goal was to achieve great success as a Teller.

To do so, it was imperative to recruit Collectors with exceptional abilities.

Kang Hye-rim became that monumental first signee.



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