The Novel's Villain - Chapter 117
33. Big Event (1)
The official service went smoothly. The boss was taken over less than a month after the middle boss raid broadcast. Once players grew used to it, the clearing speed picked up. Even after clearing the lowest-floor boss, the contents of the lowest floor didn’t end there. After all, there were so many dungeons, so it was impossible to go all the way around the lowest floor.
The players who were stuck creating a map of The Maze: New World’s lowest floor for the whole month gave up. This was because new unknown dungeons which hadn’t been explored arrived endlessly. They even had different characteristics and monsters, and the items that could be farmed were also different. It was truly the ultimate game.
‘The Endless Wave Contents.’
‘G&P Must Be Torturing Aliens!’
‘There Can Be No Other Games with a Perfect Score in the Game Evaluation.’
‘It’s Not a Game. It’s a Revolution.’
Games such as Battle Lounge and Legend of Storm, which had been on top of the popular list for many years, were now less sought after. There was now a large community site that discussed only The Maze: New World. There was also a dedicated cable channel, which was said to cover news and strategies of The Maze: New World for 24 hours. Even on Internet broadcasting platforms, they were all focusing on The Maze: New World.
Title: Hidden Shop Confirmation.
Written by: Big Archer Man
I’m a short bow archer.
I’ve cleared the lowest floor dungeon, and now I’m on the F-Level stairs, and the more I play, the more new things pop out. I was attacking a dungeon that opens at 4 o’clock among the dungeons in the southeast direction of the F-Level stairs, and there is a safe zone in the middle.
Surprisingly, there was a door. I found a hidden shop. You know the sculpture that comes out when you open the random box, right? You need that to open the door. I was glad that I thought it was a useless item and left it in my inventory to sell later.
The NPC here is an elf, and she’s very pretty. Upon entering, she even served me tea. Her name is Lunné, and she sells rare items. Something like the Spirit Stone and E-Rank items. She only sells them for dimensional gold coins, but I got them all as a set in the end. It’s an Elf Set, but the performance is good. The items are different every time I go, but I think it’s random.
Hurricancel: Oh, I sold the sculpture.
Informational: Thanks for the good info.
ElftheBest: Wow, it’s an elf. Can you raise the affinity?
└Big Archer Man (Author): She likes it when I give her a gift. But she feels burdened if I give too much. Lol, she’s telling me not to waste it.
└ElftheBest: She’s nice, lol. The NPC AI is crazy. I sometimes talk to the innkeeper, and she listens to my problem, lol. Well, she looks like a real person. We also badmouthed that bastard Manager Kim together.
IAmaThief: How much did you buy it for? It looks freaking expensive, brrr.
Mega Premium: But, do dungeons keep appearing even if we go up to Rank E? I want to see something like an open field.
└Big Archer Man (Author): It’s still the lowest floor, after all. No way only dungeons appear, right?
As currency exchangers and banks connecting reality and virtual reality were created, people started making money with The Maze: New World began to emerge.
This week’s BEST post!
Subject: Income Certification
Posted by: Man of Two-Handed Swords
I’m an E- Rank Hero.
I’m 45 years old, and I have debt worth 280 million. I can’t even walk because of a recently damaged disc in my spine. I also had metal pins inserted because of a car accident. In the meantime, all my money was taken away by a friend.
I had no family, and now I have no friends. I ate only porridge for ten days and was stuck in a dungeon. The best thing about New World is that you can work regardless of your real body. I earned a lot of money after exchanging the coins I received by selling items I gathered.
[G&P Bank Income Certification.jpg]
I learned that there is no way without certification. I earned about seven hundred in ten days. I heard that it was deducted by 3.3% of the withholding tax, and you just have to pay general income tax.
I have hope to live again.
15-year public servant: Bro, where do you farm?
└A Man of Two-Handed Swords (Author): It is a secret. I’ve been betrayed too much to tell people about my honeycomb.
└15-year public servant: Stay strong. I also want to drive in a stake in the New World.
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└A Man of Two-Handed Swords (Author): OK. It looks like it will get bigger in the future. They started overseas service, so if you get a high rank, hold on. It’s three times higher than a week ago.
Big Sword: So, you are Two-Handed Swords. The sword I bought last time was blown up by Degurron, peep-peep-peep (Let’s use a good word).
└A Man of Two-Handed Swords (Author): You shouldn’t just enhance it. You have to pay a bribe to do it well.
└Big Sword: OMG? That’s crazy.
└A Man of Two-Handed Swords (Author): Before the enhancement, bow down to His Majesty Lee Jin-woo. There is a statistic that the probability rises vertically if you do that.
Rather than selling high-ranked items to shops, they were selling them to other players. The players also built an auction house in the village, and it naturally settled down. Some players made the Maze: New World as their profession. Even the fees earned at the current currency exchangers were enormous.
Jin-woo sighed. He wasn’t enjoying anything. In fact, it was the exact opposite, since the opportunity to rest seemed far off.
After all, he was too busy. It was too successful. He expected it, but he didn’t know that so many people would devote themselves to the game like this.
‘How come I keep growing busier?’
According to the original plan, he should have been enjoying a peaceful unemployed life now, but he was much busier than in the Middle World. Jin-woo had to see and receive reports all about The Maze: New World by himself. Although it took the form of a game, it was the Emperor’s affair.
After going to the Maze, he had to go to the G&P headquarters and meet with Lee Min-woo. He also had to stop by the research institute from time to time. Recently, he even participated in a fairly large meeting because there was a request from the Korean Association of Competent People to use The Maze: New World to train Knights and competent people. It was positively reviewed because it would be helpful if competent people entered the Maze. There were quite a few competent people, and they grew faster than ordinary people.
‘It will be faster. Now that the Login Devices have been released….’
With the help of Lee Min-woo, domestic supplies had been stabilized to some extent, and overseas services had been launched. Foreign experts had no choice but to praise it. After all, it was a single server, and there was no lag even after accommodating so many people, with there being no difference between regions. Experts even debated what kind of technology it was, but no conclusion was reached. They simply decided that it was a G&P technology that broke common sense.
It was only natural since it was reality.
“Eww… it’s finally over.”
“I’ve reduced as much as possible, but it’s still a lot. You worked hard.”
“It can’t be helped. I still have to manage it myself. Once the Maze wakes up, and the system is settled, it will be all right.”
“Yes, I am glad we have Miss Kim Se-yeon.”
“I know, right?”
Jin-woo nodded. Kim Se-yeon and Arorong had good chemistry. Kim Se-yeon quickly figured out how to use Arorong and developed artifacts and systems that fit it.
‘She must be suffering.’
Arorong continued to suffer anyway, and she would have to feel more pain in the future. The Emperor of Parasite had eaten so many souls that Jin-woo didn’t feel sorry for her, but she was rather good compared to the Emperor of Corruption, hence why Corruption was living a happy life of service.
“Kim Se-yeon has been giving off a dangerous vibe these days. She’s not coming out of the central control room. There are rumors that there are ghost monsters in the underground of the village, probably because of the strange laughter.”
“There’s been an uproar that it might be the Hidden Quest. Since she is an important person, I have recommended for her to take a vacation…”
“She will be fine. I think…”
Jin-woo had never seen Se-yeon look so happy.
“I will proceed with those of Choi Family’s Sword School. We’ll be able to ship it tomorrow.”
The Maze: New World would be used as a demonstration case at the Choi Family’s Sword School. It was a request from the Association, but Jin-woo accepted it since there was also a request from the head of the household, Choi Hee-yeon. As they were the best swordsman group in Korea, he thought it would be of great help to assist them.
‘The earth is becoming more and more like a game’s fantasy world.’
Wouldn’t a huge guild and a returnee who was betrayed appear like this? Wouldn’t a Hidden Piece or Quest show up and make a story that monopolized everything on its own? It was a story that was quite possible when looking at the damn original novel. Anyway, this was too much work.
Jin-woo opened a portal to the central control room. It was because he remembered something he hadn’t paid attention to. It was a very important thing he thought Arorong would know.
‘It’s a little late, but it’ll be okay.’
It wasn’t a problem since the central control room and Se-yeon’s room were separated. When he arrived at the central control room, he saw Se-yeon. It had been quite a while since he handed over Arorong to her. Even though it was late, she was still working hard on her research. Arorong was wielding her magic wand and casting healing magic on Se-yeon.
She stood just when Jin-woo appeared.
“Sir! How do you do?”
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“You’re working overtime. I heard you’ve been up all night lately.
“Yes, thanks to Arorong, I’m fine.”
With Arorong’s fatigue-relieving magic, she didn’t need to sleep. Thanks to Se-yeon, it was now possible to create not only boss monsters but also elite monsters. Not only that, but it was possible to infringe on the dungeon and transform it into a more frightening and menacing place. Through a meeting with Luna, she was even studying to produce amenities.
Arorong was still in constant pain. She appeared to be depressed. The boss and elite monsters were possessed by her alter ego, but all the mental damage came to her. Unfortunately, the Maze was made up of dungeons, so it was all dark dungeons. Although the atmosphere and appearance changed due to the directing, it didn’t deviate from that range.
“Sir, I think it would be okay to use Arorong’s AI in conjunction with a smartphone.”
“Umm… like Sari or Vix-A?”
“You can’t compare it to that. Character and personality! It’s an AI with a perfect ego.”
Of course, it was said that there was no problem since the main body took all the stress and mental burden. They also made small artifacts just in case, but mass production was possible immediately by using the Login Device production line.
Jin-woo was horrified. How much mental pain would Arorong suffer if it was distributed through smartphones? It was said that a talking pet, which induced players to make purchases, was also being developed. Of course, when the pet was released, it was supposed to come out in the random box.
‘Se-yeon… is almost like a demon.’
Maybe it was because she belonged to the Sacred Ground and ended up getting influenced by Jin-woo. Jin-woo looked at Arorong. After she was barely released from Se-yeon, Arorong was sobbing in the corner, unable to overcome the accumulated mental damage.
“Demon… she’s a demon… forcing me like this… ugh, what a disgrace.”
When she was by Se-yeon’s side, she had to be the Magical Girl Arorong. Arorong was wearing even cuter clothes, and her image as an Emperor was destroyed.
“You’ve gone through a lot of trouble. Umm, I’d like to ask you something.”
“Sobs… yes… To a trivial being like me… sob, you can just order me around.”
“I know there is another Emperor in Middle World. Do you know anything?”
Arorong nodded. She knew the Emperors better than anyone else because she was parasitic to them.
“It’s a fussy Emperor. Corruption planned to devour Middle World and eradicate it… because of this characteristic, even the Emperor of Greed avoided it.”
Arorong had a serious look on her face, but she was just cute. Se-yeon was filming Arorong’s serious expression on her smartphone. It didn’t suit the mood at all.
The Emperor of Nightmare is said to be the most outrageous Emperor of the twelve. It was said it became an Emperor because the Devil’s power resided in the space itself, but it was a very ominous existence. The nightmares people had were said to be realized in that space, and the Emperor would melt and eat those who entered. It was said that an intruder’s pain gave it near-infinite power.
“If it matches the rank….”
It was said that the Nightmare’s rank was matched according to the intruder’s rank. So, if the Emperor of Greed invaded, it had to encounter an SSS+ ranked nightmare. That was why Greed had no choice but to avoid it. What’s more, when the intruder felt pain, it started to grow stronger, and there was virtually no solution other than blowing up the dimension to get rid of it. However, its power was so great that it couldn’t move freely.
It could move only after a certain period, and it was said to eat life everywhere it roamed. It had moved before Heaven interfered with the Middle World in the distant past, and now that time would come.
“It was better to just ignore it. It has a nasty temper…”
Arorong said it was best to just let the Middle World be eaten.
‘Should I just leave it alone?’
He couldn’t do that. The Middle Earth already belonged to Jin-woo. He couldn’t help it if he didn’t know anything about it, but he couldn’t just leave it alone since he found out.
It was full since morning. It was a very busy time, but he guessed he should go and see it right away. After all, it wasn’t something he could put off.
* * *
Jin-woo returned to the Middle World. It was much more lively than it used to be. The economy developed rapidly as new products were made and sold in large quantities. He was able to immediately find the location of the Emperor of Nightmare based on the information from Arorong. It was a place called the Valley of Erosion. It was an area where many legends and stories were intertwined, and it was now said to be a place that no one entered.
It was quite a distance from the Holy Empire, and it took a while to get there because there were no portals installed. Jin-woo could only reach the Valley of Erosion by riding the Holy Dragon. Yet as he came near the valley, he could feel the Emperor’s energy.
‘I think the author just set this Emperor up and disposed of it…’
Many Emperors weren’t particularly impressive, even though the original author carefully set it. The typical examples were Maze and Arcana. Jin-woo decided to think positively. Wouldn’t it work if he talked to it?
Jin-woo was thinking of negotiating if it behaved well. The third Ordeal was to dominate or absorb all the Emperors, but peace was still the best. Jin-woo entered the Valley of Erosion without hesitation. The air changed drastically as he crossed the boundary. Jin-woo instinctively felt that he had entered the Emperor of Nightmare’s realm.
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Everything around him was completely different. This was one small world unto itself. The distorted land and forest were like seeing a nightmare, a purple sky and wide horizon visible on the other side of the forest. It was so creepy that Jin-woo was amazed. As expected, the Emperor was an existence that transcended common sense.
“Are you there?”
This space itself was said to be an Emperor, so he tried talking to it.
[I am nightmare and pain. And I am also a God! Worship me! Your pain is here.]
“I’m the next-door Emperor, and I’m here to talk to you.”
[Emperor… khufufu, so you’re a new Emperor!]
The Emperor of Nightmare laughed.
[You came in without fear. Kfufufu! The pain of an Emperor… how delicious will it be?]
Creepy voices were heard from all directions. As Arorong said, it wasn’t normal.
[Khufufu, I can see… your pain… your despair…!]
It was very arrogant. He could feel the way it looked at him. The nightmare space itself was looking at Jin-woo into his soul and memory.
[What a surprise. Amazing! Darkness… it’s the darkness! Everything I ever wanted!]
Jin-woo talked to it a few times, but the words weren’t working.
‘I’m glad it can’t move yet.’
Should he find other countermeasures rather than talking to it? Seeing it in person, this guy was dangerous. Jin-woo turned away.
“You don’t seem to want to talk, so I’ll leaving.”
[Your pain seems to satisfy me. There are so many things that look delicious about you. Khfufu… let me slowly melt everyone in front of you.]
Jin-woo, who was about to leave the space, stopped.
[Khfufu, Yoo-na, Choi Hee-yeon, Kim Se-yeon… humans are delicious. It must be delicious with their soft skin. Elves are special too. Eating a girl in front of her husband is my hobby. How is it? Is it painful?]
“You’d better stop.”
Jin-woo stared at the space, but it shed a laugh.
[I’ll melt them one by one in front of you very slowly. Your pain will make me greater. Cry out in pain! Kfufufu… struggle in pain.]
A monster appeared. The illusions of others, including Yoo-na, also appeared. Everyone was screaming with a painful look on their face, all while blaming Jin-woo. Surely it was painful to see such a sight. But the anger he felt was much greater than that.
[Anger is a pain! Taste the helplessness of not being able to do anything. Give me your strength!]
The rank of Nightmare and Jin-woo were the same thanks to their power. Jin-woo now felt pain, so the Emperor of Nightmare was a little ahead of him.
The moment Jin-woo raised all his mana, his body was thrown out of space. He just rolled on the floor a few times, his luxurious suit covered with dirt. His watch was also smashed. It was a watch he liked. It was one of the things Jin-woo brought with him when he first became Lee Jin-woo.
[Absolute pain will come! Wait for the pain and tremble. Have a nightmare! Huahahahaha!]
This guy was crazy. Jin-woo took a long breath and frowned, then slowly stood. This humiliation was the first he had tasted since becoming Lee Jin-woo. All of Jin-woo’s powers and mana came out and turned the earth into powder. But the Emperor of Nightmare was fine. It was laughing at him.
Jin-woo could still feel that the Emperor of Nightmare was watching him. It was the gaze of a predator looking at prey.
‘I think I can see why it wasn’t in the original story.’
The author thought it was a different setting, so he set it up like that. However, he couldn’t think of a way to defeat it, so it was discarded. Even the Emperor of Greed couldn’t get rid of it.
Jin-woo brushed off his clothes. Then, the Emperor of Gold opened its eyes and cleaned them further. It had declared war. The Nightmare was saying that it would eat those that belonged to him to make him suffer.
Jin-woo was the one who deviated from the original author’s setting.
“I am lucky.”
It could only be explained that he was lucky to find the Emperor of Parasite.
“Do you know what a theme park is?”
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The corners of Jin-woo’s mouth rose gradually. All beings felt pain, but what if there were an exception?