CH 25


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The vestige instantly grabbed the blade fish.
It didn’t do so with incredible speed, but it still seemed quick in Yongno’s eyes.

“Hmm, let’s try something else.”

Yongno conducted experiments on the vestige for ten minutes.
He gauged how much strength the vestige possessed, what it could do, and what it couldn’t.

After conducting experiment after experiment, Yongno found that the vestige, although naturally soft, could transform into a hardened, sharp shape.
It possessed the strength to lift an item weighing at most one kilogram, and it could move items within five meters in circumference from the ring.
Considering the loss of power as it moved further away from the ring, the vestige could move in a range of approximately ten-meter circumference from the ring. 

“I guess it wouldn’t be too useful during battle.
Is it a pet?”

After thinking this, Yongno continued to move the vestige around the room until he saw that it did not have a reflection on the surface of the water.
Even though Yongno could clearly see his figure, there were no signs of the vestige’s figure and luminance. 

“I guess the light that it emits isn’t in the visible spectrum.
Perhaps only I can see it?”

Of course, Yongno would have to test this with others to see if this was indeed the case, but if it proved to be true, Yongno felt that the vestige could be useful.
Being invisible was a tremendous advantage.

I should start heading out.
This place probably wouldn’t force me to leave from where I came from, so there should be an exit here somewhere.”

However, no matter how hard Yongno searched, he couldn’t find an exit.
Even after using the system’s visual scanning system, he still couldn’t find any way out.

“What the hell? Whatever, I’m just going to log out.
My arm’s a mess anyway.”

Despite being able to recuperate his internal force and stamina, his right arm was still ravaged and in disrepair.
Considering that the bone was broken and the muscles shredded, it wasn’t an injury that would get better over time.
Even an experienced doctor would shake their head at his arm’s current state.
However, Yongno didn’t really give it much thought.
He knew that any injury, as long as it wasn’t life-threatening, would be cured once he logged out. 

“I guess I’ll take a break.
[Log Out].”


“Yay! With this, we’re done! Nice work, everyone!”

“Phew! Good job, Seyoung.
Do you want me to buy you breakfast?”

“No, I’m fine.
It’s time for me to deliver newspapers anyway.”

Seyoung collected the baseball cap that she had taken off before picking up her bag; her actions were quick and decisive without a single wasted movement.
Seyoung moved with purpose.
Although she was taking off immediately after her work hours ended, the owner of the convenience store didn’t seem disappointed at her rush to leave.
Rather, he seemed troubled to see this.
It was because he knew that Seyoung was rushing off to her fourth part-time job. 

“It won’t be that big a deal if you’re a little late, no? You’ve stayed up all night, so you should at least eat something.”

“You know that newspapers can’t be late.
If you really feel that bad, you can just give me the money that you’d spend on breakfast.”

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“No way.”


As she muttered complaints under her breath, Seyoung quickly got on her bicycle and took off like the wind as Sunghan watched her depart with a sad expression.
Soon, a long-haired and energetic-looking woman stood next to him.
It was Miyoung.

“Oh, did Seyoung already take off?”

She went off to deliver her paper route.”

“Ack! That girl… How many part-time jobs does she have?”

And she attends university as well.”

As she heard this new information, Miyoung’s eyes widened in surprise.

“Wow! Four part-time jobs in one day.
She’s going to become disabled in no time.
Is it because she needs to gather money for tuition?”

Korea’s average annual tuition to attend university was the second highest in the world, with the USA coming in first.
However, considering the availability of grants, loans, and scholarships in the USA, Korea was effectively the most expensive place on Earth for university. 

Even if the Korean government tripled the amount of financial aid they gave to university students, Korea would still only be providing two-thirds the amount of the other OECD countries, a well-known secret within Korean society.
Moreover, even if students graduated, they would be burdened with heavy debt, as they most likely borrowed a significant amount of cash to attend university.
They would usually have tens of millions of Won in debt, which often led many of these graduates to default on their loans in the near future.
This was the reality in Korea.
It wasn’t easy for an individual to earn their tuition and pay their way through university.
The amount they had to pay was not something that even a full-time job could fund. 

“No, it’s not for tuition.
She has a scholarship, and it’s a full scholarship.”

“She has four part-time jobs, attends university, and has a full-ride scholarship? If she has a full-ride scholarship, why does she have four part-time jobs?”

Seeing Miyoung’s confused expression, Sunghan sighed.

“It’s because she’s a good daughter.”


Not understanding the meaning of Sunghan’s words, Miyoung stood still with a dumbfounded look on her face.


“I’m going to be late!”

Seyoung was bounding through the morning’s glistening fog.
This was a critical time.
While most of her clients were probably asleep, there were still some who got up early and expected their newspapers to be delivered like clockwork.

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Whoosh! Whoosh!

She pedaled furiously while flinging newspapers without hesitation.
The newspapers would fly through the air, cut through the opaque fog, and land squarely in her customer’s mailboxes.
She hadn’t been doing this job for simply a day or two, and her mastery of these deliveries made it seem as if she had delivered newspapers all her life.
Thus, in a few moments, she finished her neighborhood paper route. 

“Hahaha! Done! I’ll be hungry if I stay up any longer, so I should head to bed.”

Even though she was tired from working such long hours, she smiled brightly as she headed home.
She had finished her paper route at 5:30 AM.
In about seven hours at 1 PM, she had university classes to attend.
Afterward, she had a part-time job at a gas station.
Thus, every hour of sleep was precious for Seyoung.



Abruptly, a middle-aged man was standing in front of Seyoung, surprising her because she didn’t see where he came from.
It was true that she hadn’t looked straight ahead the entire time, but she had only taken her eyes off the road for one or two seconds at most.
Was it possible for someone to move in front of her in such a short timespan without being noticed? Moreover, hadn’t she been pedaling quickly to rush back home? Why was she stopped here? She didn’t know how or when she had halted.
It was as if she had been momentarily taken over by a spirit or ghost.

“What’s your name?”

“K-Kim Seyoung.”

“Ah, yes, Kim Seyoung.
I know it’s sudden, but would you like a part-time job?”

Seyoung was thoroughly surprised by the stranger’s question.
This person that she’d never seen in her entire life had just appeared before her and offered a part-time job.

“Uhm, sorry, but I already have four part-time jobs.
I really only have enough time to sleep.…”


She was interrupted as she felt something smack into her hands.
It was a large stack of banknotes.
Seyoung froze as she saw this, but her money-prioritizing mind made her speak before she could process anything.

“W-what kind of work is it?”

“It’s simple.
There’s a new game that went online recently.
I need you to play it.”

“Well, if it’s only that… So, let me get this straight.
You’re not asking me to make an online game but simply play it? And you’ll pay me two million five hundred and forty thousand Won?”

Once he heard her surprised and somewhat exasperated response, the middle-aged man’s eyes twinkled with interest underneath his grey fedora.

“Oho, you know the exact amount by merely holding the money?”

“Does it matter? Anyway, I don’t have a computer at home, so I’m not sure if I can play online games.”

“That won’t be an issue.
If you don’t have a computer, I can provide one.
It’ll be delivered and set up today.”

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Seyoung couldn’t help but frown at the man’s one-sided decision.

“Hey, I know that nothing in this world is free.
It seems you plan on selling me something and then pulling the rug out from underneath me, but that won’t work-”

“It seems your mother is not well.”


Seyoung couldn’t respond, shocked by what the man had uttered.
As he saw her reaction, the man nodded his head.

“I see.
So that’s why you’ve been working so hard.
You’re an excellent daughter.
I’m moved.”

Despite saying such heartfelt words, the man’s expression remained the same.
He was just as cool and calm as before.
Seyoung felt chills run up her spine as she looked at the man.

“You… who are you?”

“Only an employee.”

“You know that’s not what I’m asking.”

“I’m a user who’s reached Level 10 in DIO; this level is also known as the Master level.
Of course, if possible, I’d like to reach Level 20 and become an Overseer or a Great Magic user.
And if I reach Level 30, I’ll be a martial art Transcendent and become part of the Ten Classes… but anyway, for most users, reaching Level 10 is the first goal.
Passing the Level 10 test just gives users the useless title of Master and nothing else of note, but it’s still important to reach that point.”

What the man said made no sense and wasn’t all that important to Seyoung.
However, his next words shook Seyoung to the core.

“Your mother’s illness… I’ll cure her.”

“Hahaha! Your jokes go too far! My mother’s disease is-”

“Leukemia, right?”

Seyoung was at a loss for words when the man matter-of-factly stated her mother’s exact disease.
In truth, there were many things that she wanted to ask and say, but she couldn’t control her mouth, as she was frozen in place from astonishment.

“T-that… yes, you’re right.
Yet, you said that you could cure her, not that you’d try to cure her.
How can you guarantee her recovery?”

“Because I can cure her.”

His matter-of-fact way of speaking was throwing Seyoung off.
She didn’t understand what was going on.
However, regardless of whether Seyoung felt confused or not, the man calmly continued speaking.

“I’ll have her admitted into a hospital right away, but I have two conditions.”

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“Since the closed beta phase already started five days ago, there are only five days left.
If you can create a character that reaches Level 10 by the end of the closed beta, I’ll make sure your mother is cured.
The second condition doesn’t have a set time period.
If you reach Level 10.…”

As if he found something entertaining, the man smiled.

“You won’t have to do any part-time work again.
Your mother will recover, and you’ll also receive a slew of benefits.
I also promise that your mother’s lifestyle will return to a standard that’s better than most other families.”

“T-then, what about this stack of money?”

“I’m giving you the money so that you don’t have to worry while you’re playing DIO.
Hmm, on second thought, perhaps I didn’t give you enough.”

Having said this, the man closed his eyes.
After a moment, he reopened them.

“Fortunately, you have a bank account.”

“Huh? Oh… yeah…”

“I’ll send additional funds directly to your account.
It may be unseemly to carry around a large sum of money in public.”

With that, the man turned around. 

“I’ll be off then.
The next time we meet, make sure you don’t have any other part-time jobs.”

“Ah, a moment, please.…”

Seyoung tried to stop the man, but a few bills loosened from the stack and drifted to the ground.
As she held the large stack with both hands, it was obvious that some of the money would fall if she made a sudden move.
However, since she’d lived with a miser’s mentality for the past twenty years, she swiftly moved the hefty stack underneath one arm and used the other to pick up the fallen bills. 


After making sure that she scooped everything up, Seyoung raised her head.
What greeted her was an empty street in the early hours of the morning. 

“He’s gone?”

Seyoung looked at the empty street with an exasperated expression.
She momentarily thought that she had imagined the whole exchange, but then Seyoung looked down at the stack of money in her arms and knew that she'd genuinely experienced what had occurred.

“What the living hell….”

Seyoung couldn’t make sense of that interaction.
However, the street was still empty.

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