Hong Gyubin felt dazed before his thoughts started to clear up.
His fatigue disappeared like snow the moment he met Jegal, and now that he’s seeing the first print of the first edition of Jegal’s magazine.
Due to the rush of emotions, Hong Gyubin lost his words and instead kept on staring at the magazine in his hand.
‘Am I dreaming’
When Hong Gyubin started working at the Player’s Association, Jegal had pretended not to know him.
But now, that same Jegal visited him at the association and even brought him a gift.
Hong Gyubin was so shocked that he couldn’t find the words to say.
On the other hand, the also speechless Jegal couldn’t utter a word because of his shyness.
He just wanted to subtly hand over the magazine full of his photos and interviews.
He didn’t want to take a lot of Hong Gyubin’s time.
The fact that his talkative first student turned speechless added to Jegal’s shyness.
Jegal tried to retrieve the paper bag as he spoke.
“I-if you don’t like it, I can prepare a different gift for you…”
“No! It’s just… I don’t know how to thank you for such a precious gift.
It’s what I wanted the most lately.”
With Jegal’s hand left hanging, Hong Gyubin smiled and grabbed the paper bag tightly.
“I know this was most likely printed by the newspaper department, but isn’t the first print too precious to give away”
“…The kids gave me three copies.
They said one should be for collection, another one that I could read and open, and another one as a spare.
I thought it would be alright to give you one.”
As expected of the ever so reasonable Jegal!
Hong Gyubin was amazed and touched at the same time.
It occurred to him that he’s not supposed to lose himself.
“What should I do for you in return Do you need a cha, professor”
(T/N: The word “cha” in Korean could mean either “tea” or “car”)
“A cha Tea It’s okay, I bought good tea leaves from the place I visited recently.”
“No, I’m not talking about that cha.
A new Player Car will be released by NK Company in the fall.
It just so happens that it’s the same color as the burgundy suit that you…”
“No need for that.”
Jegal drew the line before Hong Gyubin could even think about gifting him a brand new player car.
Although Hong Gyubin persistently talked about the great design, performance, and ride comfort, Jegal showed little to no interest.
“Well then, I’ll be on my way… Actually, that gift was not my idea.
It was Euishin’s recommendation to give it to you.”
Hong Gyubin became speechless again as he admired Jegal’s personality.
Although there was a misunderstanding earlier that Gyubin didn’t like the gift, Jegal didn’t fumble and try to blame it on Jo Euishin.
Instead, now that it’s clear that Gyubin likes the gift very much, Jegal chose to give the credit to Jo Euishin!
“Thank you so much, Professor Jegal.
Please also extend my thanks to Jo Euishin.
I’ll also call him personally.”
Jegal smiled faintly at Gyubin’s remark.
When Gyubin saw that smile, he became clingy again and grabbed onto Jegal.
“…But don’t you really need the car”
“I told you, no…”
* * *
Eungwang High School’s dormitory was built on a scale that could accommodate more than enough students, but only fifty percent of all of Eungwang High’s students live in the dorms.
Because of that, anyone in the dorms has the luxury of having a room to themselves unless they opt to share a room.
Despite almost everyone having a room of their own, there was still a vacant room left.
Thanks to that, Mok Wooram was also given his own room.
‘It’s my first time entering another kid’s dorm room.’
Sung Siwan, Kim Shinrok, and Yoo Sanghoon had been in my room in the past, but I’ve never gone to another kid’s room.
When I meet with my classmates or Park Seunghyun, we usually meet in public spaces like the central lounge or the Jiik Hall.
“Take a seat!”
Mok Wooram addressed me with an excited face.
In my hands were lots of snacks and drinks from the vending machine, but Wooram didn’t pay attention to it at all.
Unlike me who admired the dormitory facilities when I first entered here, Mok Wooram didn’t seem to be impressed.
He just looks impatient to hear about Kwon Lena as soon as possible.
“Since she’s not here, I don’t think I can say much about her… What are you curious about”
Respecting the privacy of my playable character, I’m only going to talk about her as a classmate.
I won’t say anything about the auction, what happened on the first day of admissions, the secret of her birth, or her real name.
“Please tell me everything.”
This guy’s in too deep.
I thought about what I should say first.
“She joined the strings club this year and started learning how to play the violin…”
Mok Wooram looked startled when he learned that it’s only been a few months since Lena started learning how to play the violin.
Although Lena’s violin skills and performance were still underdeveloped, considering that she’s only started a few months ago, it’s actually pretty impressive that she learned it so fast.
“Our classmates bought tickets when we heard that Kwon Jein had a concert in Korea.
The venue for the concert was our school’s concert hall, but there weren’t really many seats available there.
It’s also been a long time since Kwon Jein had a concert here so getting the tickets wasn’t easy at all.”
Mok Wooram couldn’t hide his regret that we failed to get the tickets as a group.
He really seems to be immersed in the story.
Maybe he’s imagining himself failing to get tickets to Kwon Lena’s future concerts.
My story continued to when Kwon Jein and Kwon Lena met.
“Kwon Jein sunbaenim came to see us.
She gave gifts to our whole class…”
Naturally, the story of the energy violin gifted to Kwon Lena came up.
Wooram fell on the floor when he heard that Lena had an energy violin.
“I saw that violin in the video of Lena-nim.
I didn’t know it was a gift to her from the most respected musician…”
Wooram looked broken.
The violin that Kwon Jein gifted to Lena meant a lot to the latter.
Should I have not told him that
“…Now that it’s like this, I have no choice but to make a better violin than what my master could ever make.”
Well, that was a quick recovery.
I witnessed just how powerful the muse’s influence on Mok Wooram was when I saw his eyes fill with fighting spirit.
“I remember Kwon Jein asking my master to make an energy violin as a gift.
I think my teacher said something like ‘If a family of yours shows interest in violin, then I have no choice but to give one to them.’”
I immediately tried to change the topic.
Mok Wooram would discover the secret of Kwon Lena’s birth inevitably.
But I don’t think the guy who fainted after three seconds of eye contact is prepared to hear it now.
“You’re going to make a violin for her, aren’t you You can just make a better one than what your master made.’”
“Yes! I’ll do my best.”
After diverting him, I asked another thing.
“I think I saw the instructions on the violin item card… Did your master write that”
“Yes, that’s right!”
The description of the energy violin was as follows.
An instrument that changes quality, rarity, and performance based on the performer’s experience, expectations, thoughts, goals, and beliefs.
Can change to a maximum of UR rank.
On the other hand, the description of the ‘Fate of the Unknown’ was as follows.
A weapon whose effectiveness changes based on the user’s experience, expectations, thoughts, goals, and beliefs.
Only those who have the power of destiny can use it.
Thinking about it, the description of the two items were quite similar.
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“The concept of a transforming instrument was quite new to me.
Are all energy violins like that”
Not all violins made by my master were like that.
His earlier works don’t have that feature.”
Then how did it become so similar to my Fate of the Unknown card
I gave a guess.
“I heard that higher beings were fond of your master.
Does it have anything to do with that”
“The higher beings may have influenced some of his works, but that’s not it.”
Mok Wooram stared into the distance with a reminiscent expression.
“My master was originally a violin craftsman.
He woke up one day as a player after the collision of the two worlds.
He decided to make a violin for a player who uses sound.
That was none other than Kwon Jein.”
Mok Wooram briefly talked about the life of the great violin craftsman.
The man was quite famous, but people knew very little information about him as he lived away from people.
Everything that Mok Wooram said about the craftsman were things I’ve never heard before.
“My master didn’t hesitate to do anything reckless before he took me in.
He often went to high levels of world invasions and took on high difficulty enemies in order to collect materials for making an energy violin.”
“I heard that he once went to a site with an SSR rank difficulty one day.
But… Once he entered the site, it changed to EX rank.”
Of course, what couldn’t exist due to the collision of the two worlds could also be something that’s just difficult to observe in this world.
However, there are only a handful of cases in which non-measurable and EX rank things have been observed in this world.
It could also be because anything beyond EX rank would be too strong to maintain its substance which would cause it to self-destruct and disappear.
“Emergency escape items cannot be used in EX rank areas.
The other party members who accompanied my master… They were all completely destroyed.
My master was actually prepared to die that die.
But then, he said a ‘white shadow’ suddenly appeared before him.”
A white shadow.
There was something that immediately came to mind at the thought of a white shadow.
The unidentified existence that ‘The Fate of the Unknown’ handed over to me.
“That white shadow took out a weapon item card and started fighting.”
The white shadow saved Mok Wooram’s master.
He dealt with all the enemies using all kinds of item cards as it led the craftsman to safety.
“My master was able to escape safely.
He thanked the white shadow repeatedly and tried to ask for its name, but… The shadow only said ‘I am the one led by the power of fate’ before disappearing.
I can’t believe the word ‘fate’ is mentioned.
“My teacher was inspired by the description on that item card so he created a violin that could change and transform depending on its user.”
With his stiff Korean accent, Mok Wooram finished his explanation.
After that, we talked a bit more about his teacher before moving on to Kwon Lena’s food preference.
I haven’t been able to get more clues about The Fate of the Unknown.
Before we parted ways, I had to ask Wooram one more thing.
“Do you know anything more about that item card Something like the color of the card’s border for example.
You could tell the card’s rarity by that, you know”
“Ah, of course!”
I anticipated Mok Wooram’s answer to be similar to my card.
But my prediction was wrong.
“That item card was as white as the white shadow.
An odd thing, isn’t it Isn’t there no equivalent rareness mark for the color white”
* * *
After parting ways with Mok Wooram, in my dorm room.
I took out the transparent item card from my item window.
No matter how I look at it, it wasn’t that white.
‘I’m sure the item card by that white shadow was The Fate of the Unknown though…’
That was based on the item description that the craftsman saw.
So why are the colors different then
I was at a loss.
Maybe I’d know more if I activated my Destiny skill
‘Looks like I have no choice but to use it.’
I was refraining from using it because I was worried about the aftereffects.
I wanted to collect as much information as possible before using it, but I think I’ve already reached a dead end.
‘Should I have used it during the fight with White Tiger’
Wouldn’t the martial art master White Tiger have some kind of clue
I opened the special menu before I went to bed.
Recently, the thing that I was constantly checking on was the newly added Replay function.
‘The names aren’t gray anymore.
I think that means I can use it again.’
I knew very little about this Replay function.
First, the list shows the names of the people I met in this world who also appears in the PMH game.
Second, there is a particular stage requirement for me to be able to select a particular person.
Third, if I select those who are compatible with the function’s current stage, the selection becomes complete and the list turns gray.
After the list turns gray, it becomes unresponsive no matter which name I choose.
Fourth, after a certain period of time, the list returns to its original state.
‘Is it like a skill cool time Still, I don’t understand its regularity.’
I clicked on the Replay function again and looked at the list.
I have already chosen Yoo Sanghoon twice.
The first time, the gray-colored list lasted for two days.
The second time, it only lasted a day.
After that, I chose Son Minki.
In the case of Son Minki, the gray list lasted for four days.
‘It bothers me that nothing happens at all when I use the function.
Every time I chose a person, there’s always a system message letting me know that the selection was successful.
But nothing happens at all.
At least to me.
‘Is it really because I’m someone who doesn’t dream’
Something was on my mind.
It’s an ominous feeling.
Still, I had no choice but to keep trying.
If possible, I want to completely understand this function before the vacation ends.
Before going to bed, I chose the name that was below Son Minki.
After Yoo Sanghoon and Son Minki, I chose Jang Namwook this time.
Recalling the similarities between the three that I was able to select successfully from the list, I fell asleep without dreaming again.
* * *
At the Player Military Academy, Men’s Dormitory.
Jang Namwook tossed and turned several times in bed as he breathed heavily.
After a few more seconds, he opened his eyes with a gasp.
Rushing up, he looked around the room as if scurrying to confirm that he was still in his dormitory.
Do Sihoo woke up soon after.
Jang Namwook usually falls asleep on time and wakes up on time.
Because of that, it’s become Do Sihoo’s habit to fall asleep when Namwook falls asleep and wake up when the latter does.
After checking the time on his device, Do Sihoo was puzzled as he saw that it was still late at night.
Do Sihoo, who was sleeping on the top bunk, jumped down.
He shone his device’s flashlight on Namwook’s face and he saw that his complexion was very pale.
Jang Namwook usually goes to sleep with his glasses on, saying that he can’t fall asleep without it on his face.
But tonight, his glasses were left on his bed.
‘Ah, I think his eyes are shining a bit weirdly…’
Although Jang Namwook knew that there’s a risk that Do Sihoo would see the ‘Eye of the Star Maiden’ in his eyes, he didn’t make an effort to hide it.
It was only after he truly looked at Do Sihoo did Namwook felt relieved.
He soon opened his mouth to speak.
“…I had a nightmare.”