The Novel's Villain - Chapter 118
33. Big Event (2)
The Emperor of Nightmare was certainly a nightmare. Even other Emperors were just prey to it. It was saying that it was a greater God than the Devil, that it would eat everything from Jin-woo and give him pain in return.
However, it touched the wrong person. The Emperor of Nightmare had crossed the line, and went far beyond it. It didn’t know how far Jin-woo could possibly go.
Jin-woo wasn’t an ordinary Emperor. He left the Middle World and returned to the Sanctuary. Yoo-na, Heo-young, Arina, and Luna were having a chat while drinking tea. Arcana brought out tea, but she had stiffened in place just like that when she noticed Jin-woo.
Fortunately, she didn’t faint because she put on her eye patch in a hurry.
They were sometimes said to find time and get together like this. There was a placard on the wall that held the words ‘The 4th Golden Women’s Gathering.’ This week’s schedule was Choi Hee-yeon’s application for membership. They seemed to be having a debate between the pros and the cons.
The pros said, ‘Women must unite with each other to prevent someone being left behind.’, ‘It doesn’t matter if she joins because there isn’t a lot of importance.’, ‘She’s pitiful.’, ‘Looking at it, she’s a senior.’ The cons were ‘Things now are perfect’ and ‘It’s hard for us too.’
Yoo-na and the others moved quickly to clear the papers. Jin-woo had already grasped it with the Magic Eye, but he pretended not to know.
‘Having a meeting this early in the morning…’
Jin-woo thought it was amazing. Yoo-na stood from her seat, coughing in embarrassment. This was because, after examining Jin-woo’s behavior patterns so far, she thought he would go directly to the mansion or head to the central control room. Jin-woo looked at them for a moment. Seeing everyone’s faces, he understood what the Emperor of Nightmare had said.
Jin-woo smirked and took off his coat. Arcana came by secretly behind him and grabbed it. Then, she went to the corner and cast high-level magic to dry-clean it.
“Cancel all my meetings.”
Yoo-na looked at Jin-woo questioningly. After all, he had a very important schedule. However, Jin-woo just smiled without saying a word. Yoo-na nodded and immediately canceled all of it.
Lee Jin-woo said that he didn’t want any meetings. Who would say anything about it? Just then…
“I am resurrected.”
The Maze came out of its room with Elise standing behind.
The Maze flashed its arms up, showing off its revival. Many players were clearing out the monsters, which seemed to bring the Maze back to its senses.
Luna hugged the Maze with joy, but the Maze stared at Jin-woo. Jin-woo shook his head before saying anything.
“Um, is there anything you want to eat?”
With a little bit of his power, luxurious dishes were served on the table. Jin-woo nodded while watching everyone enjoying the meal he cooked.
‘I have to show it what real pain is.’
The nightmare was, after all, just a dream. The pain he would cause would be real. Jin-woo had never really done anything with all his heart. He somehow came this far with improvisation. Even when he was angry, he quickly returned to his original self.
However, that was not the case now. It seemed like it would last unless he made the Emperor of Nightmare suffer forever.
Jin-woo was thinking of mobilizing everything he could. Power, wealth, and connections. Jin-woo contacted his grandfather and Lee Min-woo. It was the first time Jin-woo had asked them to meet first. The three gathered again on the top floor of the Frontline Group building.
Perhaps it was because he entrusted everything to Lee Min-woo and led a leisurely life; his grandfather looked better than when Jin-woo first saw him. He seemed to have found his original personality thanks to The Maze: New World. Now he didn’t hide his love for Ella. The three of them sat down in the garden.
“Hmm, For you saying you want to meet me first… what’s the matter?”
“I have something to tell you.”
“Not a request, but something to tell me?”
Jin-woo nodded. He was smiling slightly, but his eyes were very cold. His grandfather looked at Jin-woo for a moment and then nodded.
Jin-woo told them about the Emperor of Nightmare. The moment the Emperor of Nightmare’s remarks entered the ears of his grandfather and Lee Min-woo, their expressions changed.
The teacup that his grandfather was holding broke. Lee Min-woo’s eyes were full of murderous intention.
“How dare… that scumbag…”
“It’s a declaration of war.”
They weren’t a family for nothing. They looked rather calm despite the anger rising to the top of their heads. The three faces were very similar as their Grandfather returned to his heyday. He couldn’t help but have his eyes turn when the Emperor of Nightmare said that it was going to brutally kill not only Ella but also his granddaughter-in-law candidates for Jin-woo. Jin-woo didn’t know, but sometimes they visited to talk or give him gifts.
Grandfather looked at him.
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“Do you have any plans?”
Grandfather and Lee Min-woo nodded.
“Do it. The world will help you.”
It wasn’t a lie to say that the world was helping with the Frontline Group behind them.
“Gather everyone. The fallen ones, tell them to be prepared.”
“Understood. I will kill it myself.”
Grandfather and Lee Min-woo stood first. Their murderous intention was so great that the plants around them were withering away. Even the air seemed to have become murky.
“Oh, Ella is here. Hehahahaha! So, how was the test result?”
Perhaps because she was an elf, she had a long pregnancy. Jin-woo was worried since she was of a different race, but it was really good news. Ella was already making grand family plans. Lee Min-woo, who was affectionately covering Ella’s shoulder, was startled.
Jin-woo could hear what Ella whispered to him.
‘She wants to make a big family, huh…?’
Jin-woo nodded. He thought that the more nephews and nieces, the better.
* * *
The Emperor of Nightmare produced nearly endless monsters of the same rank as the intruders attacking. When the intruders suffered, the ranks of the monsters rose. Thanks to this, a regular army could never win against it. Even if a swordmaster participated in the war, the monster army would match the swordmaster’s rank.
Jin-woo’s plan was simple. He would put many players at a level where they could fight. Then he would put them into the nightmare and destroy it. A regular army couldn’t handle the nightmare, but the players weren’t a regular army. They didn’t feel pain and logged on to the game for pleasure and fun.
What if there were hundreds of thousands, millions, or even tens of millions of such terrifying beings? It was a nightmare. No, it would be the moment when reality broke the nightmare.
Jin-woo prepared an event at the Cultural Center. It was planned to announce an update, but all attention was focused on the fact that the CEO, Jin-woo, was coming out in person. Jin-woo originally hated going to places like this, but it was worth it to take his vengeance.
“Media control is complete.”
“Well, are there any uncooperative media companies?”
“There are none. We even took control of all local broadcasting stations. The same goes for the major foreign media and broadcasting stations.”
Jin-woo nodded at Yoo-na’s report. He couldn’t have gone this far with only using G&P power. Jin-woo was using the Frontline Group as his tool. problems and entertainment events continued to break out, but Jin-woo didn’t want the public’s attention to be drawn to those things.
The parties responsible for any political incidents had to self-reflect quickly, and the Frontline Group took the initiative to eliminate controversial issues. The most talked-about case of a teenager group beating a soldier was recently settled legally and neatly by force outside the law. It turned out that one of the perpetrators was the grandson of a political tycoon, and both fell into the abyss.
Jin-woo had warned them so that no one suffered unfairness.
‘Be quiet for the time being.’
It was a warning out of kindness. The cost of violating Jin-woo’s warning was too great. Even horrible cartels that linked with the political giants were all uncovered and blown up. They couldn’t even resist. It was easier than pressing down on an ant with his thumb. Those who made fun of him abroad proved to be no exception.
Thanks to this, Korea was now the quietest since its establishment. Everyone lay on their stomach obediently. At this point, it wasn’t media control but domination.
Jin-woo was currently at the Cultural Center. It had expanded to become the largest convention center in the world. The festival was in full swing when he arrived. It was natural that there were many people because all the attention was focused there. It was crowded with people mimicking the outfits of The Maze: New World.
Elves and demons were able to walk around in their original form, thanks to that. Even though they were just walking around, they became hot topics posted everywhere on social media.
Jin-woo came out of the waiting room. Fans from all over the world had gathered, hardly leaving any space to walk. Now The Maze: New World wasn’t just a game. For some, it was a place of adventure. For others, it was a refuge to escape from the harshness of society. When Jin-woo came out of the waiting room and stood behind the stage, his surroundings grew dark. A video started playing from the hologram artifact on the stage.
The audience cheered. And soon, it became quiet. It was because the phrase ‘The Maze: New World’ showed up.
[After the official opening in March, our journey began.]
An angel appeared and spread her hands, then the screen changed, and a newbie who had a puzzled look appeared on it. They fell into the dungeon that taught the basic controls.
“Wow, that place… it was terrible at first.”
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“That wasn’t even a tutorial.”
Depressing music played. The newbie died several times after being chased by skeletons, and each time the audience groaned. After all, most of them had already experienced it. The newbie sat down in despair. It seemed too hopeless to move forward. Gradually, more and more people began to surround him. When a guy holding a sword reached out his hand, the newbie hesitated and took his hand.
[With colleagues, and with everyone.]
The melancholy music was gone. The beat grew faster, and the rhythm came alive. The newbie started running with his colleagues. After defeating the skeleton, he came to the Village of the Beginning. The beautiful shopkeeper, Seria, smiled and waved.
“Wow, it’s Miss Seria.”
Seria had quite a few fans. She was currently suffering from gift attacks from newbies alongside some of the other popular NPCs. After that, Degurron came out. The hall was buzzing.
“That son of a…!”
“Oh, I want to beat him.”
“The enhancement is really… it looks like he’s destroying it on purpose.”
“He smashed my weapon and laughed.”
Public opinion about Degurron wasn’t good. He felt it was unfair on his own, but it couldn’t be helped. Was he told to enjoy it since he couldn’t avoid it? Lately, he had been laughing to himself.
The beat grew even faster. As the newbie looked at his hands and body, a light burst out, and his equipment changed to that sold in the Village of the Beginning.
[A moment of crisis…]
The screen was switched to show the great expedition. It was the battle with the middle boss on the lowest floor. Cries of admiration burst out one after another. The newbie was hit and staggered. At that moment, a huge burning skeleton soared through the floor. Yet, as the newbie was about to fall through the collapsed floor, someone took his hand.
“Ugh! As expected of his name.”
Kim Emperor threw the newbie back up. Then he took his shield and fell underground with the burning skeleton. On the way down to the basement, Kim Emperor’s head turned. He gave the newbie a thumbs up.
[A hero is born.]
The scene changed. The newbie, who had been sitting there, wiped away his tears and swung his sword at the giant skeleton. White light burst out. The beat cut off, and quiet music played. The screen gradually projected a different landscape. The sky was visible. There were the seas and mountains. It was a very brief appearance, but cheers and applause burst out.
The hologram clicked off.
The building vibrated with the sound of cheers. Jin-woo, who was behind the stage, nodded. Such a reaction was natural. The world’s best experts were invited to film that video. The director and staff were exhausted to the point of collapse after a hellish push.
The lights on the stage turned on. Jin-woo went up on the stage. When he appeared, even louder cheers and applause erupted.
“God of Luck!”
“Without you, I wouldn’t have a 10+ weapon!”
There were people in the front row in cosplay who deeply bowed to him. It had become a ritual to show respect to Lee Jin-woo just before the enhancement process. This was also an interesting factor. Jin-woo greeted them leisurely.
“Hello, I’m Lee Jin-woo. I am here today not as a Knight, but as the CEO of G&P.”
Jin-woo was dressed casually, though the public was more familiar with Jin-woo in a Knight’s uniform. He was being broadcasted on the Internet as well as on the airwaves.
Jin-woo first lightly introduced the 2nd generation of the Login Device. Complaints were exploding because it wasn’t long after the first generation came out. The performance was incomparable to the first generation and even supported an AI system through smartphone linkage. People couldn’t help but admire it when Jin-woo directly showed them.
Lee Sang-woo: Wow, I think I can have a girlfriend now.
Big Archer Man: It must be replaced with real aliens.
Men of Two-Handed Swords: 2nd Generation, I think the price will be very high. I’d buy it even if it were 3 million won.
Pogo: Oh, I just bought the first generation. I should have skipped the first generation.
The internet reaction also proved to be hot.
“Are you annoyed that it’s coming out so quickly?”
The 2nd generation could be quickly purchased over the Internet because the supply problem had been solved. Jin-woo laughed.
“We’ll give you a free upgrade, so you don’t have to buy it again.”
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Everyone there had forgotten who Lee Jin-woo was for a moment. When he said that, there was a moment of silence, then everyone cheered. But it was finally time to get to the point.
“The Maze: New World you have experienced so far is only a small part of the maze world. There’s a lot of content waiting for you.”
As Jin-woo gestured, a hologram appeared. Beautiful mountains and seas, white castles, and swamps showed up. Of course, it was fake. Those were the videos that filmed the Middle World.
The hologram video suddenly changed to show a gloomy forest and monsters.
[The Land of Nightmares Update!]
“The Land of Nightmares is the beginning.”
The players were satisfied with the dungeon, but frankly, it also felt stuffy. No matter how large the dungeon was, the feeling of being trapped couldn’t be erased. However, it was said that a vast open field was coming. Of course, there was bound to be an uproar.
“The Land of Nightmares is a difficult place. You have to build up your strength and prepare yourself.”
An explanation of the Land of Nightmares opening event was also published on the official website.
Prepare for Nightmares!
1. Fast-growing event!
1. High-speed growth event!
*All zone EXP increased by 200%!
2. Novice Escape!
If you help newbies achieve rank-up and post-proof shots and stories, 5,000-dimensional gold coins will be awarded through a lottery! (500 people)
3. Find the Lucky Shop!
Find the shop in the safe zone of the dungeon!
*General items are free!
*50% off on dimensional gold items!
4. Oh, My Hands Won’t Slip!
All the blacksmiths are nervous about the Nightmares coming!
*Enhancement rate increased by 30%!
*Price discount 30%
It was the first event of The Maze: New World. The event had already started from the moment Jin-woo came upon the stage. The hall was abuzz as people wanted to go back and play the game quickly. There had never been a better response than this.
After Jin-woo’s announcement, the festival’s fever cooled sharply. It wasn’t that people lost interest in The Maze: New World, however. Everyone left the festival site and either entered nearby accommodations or returned home to log into the game. The event went smoothly, and as the 2nd generation Login Device became available, the number of users continued to increase. Each village in the Maze soon became crowded.
As other villages were being built, it wasn’t impossible to handle the users. Even the streets of the city center became quiet as a result of the event, and some companies even closed their offices. Jin-woo headed to the Valley of Erosion. Jin-woo drew an X while looking around the valley. It was right next to where the Emperor of Nightmare was.
The Emperor of Nightmare looked at Jin-woo and shuddered.
[Did you lose your mind because you couldn’t overcome your fear? If you make a sacrifice in advance, I’ll reduce your pain. Hahaha!]
When Jin-woo completed the marking, a portal opened, and the Maze appeared.
“Summon them to the marked place.”
The Maze began to focus, placing its finger on its temple.
[W-What are you trying to do?!]
The Emperor of Nightmare was bewildered. After all, it was completely unpredictable. As the Maze concentrated, the space shook, and a huge structure appeared. A large shadow was cast on the valley, obscuring the sun’s light. Each building that appeared was a huge dungeon.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
Huge dungeons all fell where the X was marked. The valley began to break apart as the huge dungeons surrounded the Emperor of Nightmare.
“Can I participate too?”
“We should think about it.”
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The two lightly ignored the Emperor of Nightmare. Jin-woo and the Maze didn’t say anything but headed straight back to the Sanctuary. The Emperor of Nightmare was going crazy trying to figure out what Jin-woo had installed. There was no way to check because it couldn’t move.
Now, Jin-woo waited for the pain to come.