The Novel's Villain - Chapter 154
45. Author, It’s Due Soon. (2)
A craze overturned the novel world. It wasn’t that there weren’t any explosively popular novels. Occasionally a box office hit appeared and became a new trend, but now what was happening went beyond that level. It was incomparable.
The number of readers was set on the serial site. Due to the nature of the novel genres, the influx of new readers was bound to be limited. However, it broke records one after another and surpassed 200,000 free views. Even more surprising was that the number of views increased even more and exceeded 230,000 after the paid service was added. A hundred percent paid conversion rate!
It was the result of a continuous influx of people.
‘Once you start reading, you can’t stop!’
‘I took my annual leave after reading the prologue.’
‘A day passed by in an instant.’
As the popularity exploded, it was automatically promoted. It was like a swamp, and if you clicked once, you couldn’t get out. And yet, there wasn’t one such novel, but three. Led by Author Arcana, Brown Rice Love by Dragon, and finally Sutra’s novel in third, they easily exceeded 200,000 views after the paid service, continuing their explosive success.
As a result, readers’ attention was drawn to the sudden appearance of JW Books. How could a new publisher come up with such great works? Moreover, illustrations were inserted in each chapter. Not to mention their quality. It was a master’s skill.
‘It is a publisher created by existing authors.’
‘They are star authors who have changed all their pen names.’
‘It is clear that it is a large corporation.’
‘Isn’t it the dinosaur company Misney?’
Some rumors popped up. However, no one could give a clear explanation. JW Books had never done any marketing, and the writers didn’t answer any questions at all. They just kept posting novels.
‘If it’s like this…!’
Young-hoon barely finished the manuscript. Thanks to not sleeping for two days, he completed the early part of the manuscript. It still lacked compared to the other JW novels, but he thought this would be okay. Young-hoon laughed helplessly as he watched the sunrise up over the city. He seemed to have burned everything beyond his abilities.
‘Will the person in charge be satisfied, too?’
That was his only concern.
Young-hoon shook his head. His body shuddered, and a cold sweat broke out when he heard her voice. He even felt chills down his spine. It was a beautiful voice, but it sounded like a death sentence from a grim reaper to Young-hoon. Young-hoon looked over the manuscript once more and nodded. He thought this would be fine.
‘By the way, JW Books is amazing.’
The number of views of all three novels’ latest episodes increased significantly compared to yesterday. The 1st to 3rd places in the best rankings were now fixed. Below them was miserable. Originally, the divide would be small, but those three novels were too overwhelming. It was to the extent that the readers treated the three of them as novels from another world. That rumor was one of the more popular ones spreading.
Young-hoon laughed when he saw that post. It was, of course, a ridiculous joke. Young-hoon checked his chat messages. He was in a group chat room where writers gathered. They were his close friends that he often met offline.
Kim Moo-won: Wow, this episode of 8 Demon Kings War is impressive. I’m impressed by the crazy action directing… I got goosebumps.
Lee Hyung-jin: It would be perfect if all three novels came out as movies. How does it keep getting more fun? The more I read it, the more I think that I am not good enough.
Kim Moo-won: I want to meet Author Arcana. I wonder what the other JW Books writers are like. Ah! Did Young-hoon sign a contract with a publisher? Which one is it?
Young-hoon agonized over what to say. He had previously said he signed a contract when he got the phone call. At that time, he was skeptical because before the three novels were released, it was now more difficult to reveal them. JW Books’ novels were so good. But he couldn’t lie to them. Thanks to their help, SSS-Ranked Absolute Ability could be called a novel in the first place.
Young-hoon: I signed with JW Books, but…
Kim Moo-won: What? Really?
Lee Hyung-jin: Really? That’s great. I can’t believe it’s that JW Books…
Young-hoon could once again feel JW Books’ status. After all, there was such a person in charge, wasn’t that normal? Young-hoon’s body shrank on its own because of that aura he projected. He knew that person was younger than him, but he wanted to treat him as someone older.
Kim Moo-won: Congratulations.
Lee Hyung-jin: I’m jealous. What are the terms and conditions of the contract?
Young-hoon told them the conditions. Then, there was an uproar.
Kim Moo-won: That’s crazy. Wow… it’s not JW Books for nothing.
Lee Hyung-jin: What conditions…
Young-hoon was able to help his parents’ shop after receiving the pre-royalty payment. His parents bragged about him for the first time in a long while, and his heart became warm.
Kim Moo-won: Huh? Check out Today’s Best.
Lee Hyung-jin: Oh, my.
Young-hoon also accessed the site to look at Today’s Best. He couldn’t help but be surprised alongside them. The colorful covers caught his eyes first. It was a picture that seemed to be drawn by the artist with all their heart, and the mark of JW Books was drawn in the upper right corner.
‘New novels from JW Books? And that also…”
There were ten novels. It was only a few episodes, but they were already lining up as Today’s Best. Young-hoon was surprised as he read them. As expected, just like the other JW Books, he read until the latest episodes when he started the prologue.
A renewed sense of shame struck him again. He had to send the manuscript to the person in charge, but he wasn’t confident. Eventually, after long consideration, he called them.
“About that… the new novels from JW Books have been released.”
[Yes. These are our authors.]
“I’m not confident at all. Can I get some advice?”
[I see. Please wait a moment.]
After going silent for a while, Zhuge Mi-xian went to talk with someone.
[Mr. Author, would you like to come to our company? Author Arcana is also in our studio so that she might help you.]
“Yes? T-that would be great!”
Young-hoon jumped up and shouted. Young-hoon was then bothered by others in the group chat room. Everyone was in the same slump as Young-hoon.
“About that… may I bring other writers as well?”
[Sure. You can bring them all.]
Young-hoon contacted the others and immediately readied himself. Author Kim Moo-won lived in a rural area, and as soon as he was contacted, he took the KTX to come to the city right away. Kim Moo-won was the oldest, and Young-hoon was the youngest. The three took the subway side by side to the JW Books headquarters.
They arrived in front of the building, looking up at its towering form.
“I-I think it’s here.”
Young-hoon said so while looking between his cell phone and the building Kim Moo-won and Lee Hyung-jin were still staring.
The building was large and beautiful. They searched for it and found that it was designed by a famous architect. The place was sold because one of the three top domestic agencies went bankrupt while relocating its headquarters. It was a very expensive place, but unexpectedly, JW Books was using it now. JW Books wasn’t renting one floor, either, but the whole building.
“C-can we come in?”
Kim Moo-won asked the question. As they pondered what to do, a very beautiful woman walked out.
“Hello? Are you the author Life-or-Death Twist?”
“Ah… b-by any chance, are you the person in charge of me?”
“Yes, nice to meet you.”
Lee Young-hoon became very tense. Her voice sounded so beautiful, but his instincts told him to run away for some reason. She held nothing in her hands, but somehow he felt like he saw a whip. The person in charge, Zhuge Mi-xian, greeted the other writers as well. Kim Moo-won and Lee Hyung-jin stared at her as if possessed. For a moment, a strange smile appeared on Zhuge Mi-xian’s lips.
Lee Young-hoon nearly jumped when he saw it. Undoubtedly, Zhuge Mi-xian just licked her lips.
‘It’s just like…’
Like a snake watching its prey, her eyes were those of a predator. If he had chills when he heard her voice on the phone, now Young-hoon was shivering. Lee Young-hoon swallowed.
Home… he wanted to go home. However, seeing Kim Moo-won and Lee Hyung-jin so excited, he had no choice but to give up.
“Come in. I will guide you.”
The three followed Zhuge Mi-xian inside. The interior was splendid. Janitors and staff were managing the building, but Young-hoon couldn’t help but be surprised.
‘They all are like Hollywood celebrities.’
All of them were equally handsome and beautiful. It was to the point it didn’t even seem real, a sense that grew when he noticed a lot of foreigners were working there as well.
Zhuge Mi-xian personally guided them through the building. She answered Kim Moo-won and Lee Hyung-jin’s questions in detail, and the two had already fallen for her.
Young-hoon suddenly looked to the side. Strangely enough, there was a gap in the wall, and when he reached out his hand, the wall gently opened. Young-hoon looked inside. Elves with pointed ears were drawing, while some others were typing beside them, agonizing.
Young-hoon cried out in embarrassment. The elves also looked to Young-hoon in bewilderment. Zhuge Mi-xian slowly appeared next to Young-hoon a second later, causing his body to instinctively flinch away.
“Our JW Books is giving the employees the freedom to dress as they want. It’s a great place to work, isn’t it? Okay, let’s move on.”
Freedom in dressing, but why elves? And the pointy ears…? Young-hoon felt a bit strange about it, but he nodded and followed Zhuge Mi-xian. When he looked back, the door had closed.
* * *
Jin-woo called Young-hoon in. He learned from his Magic Eye that the author changed his job to Writing Slave. Since he had become a Writing Slave, Jin-woo was planning to remodel him altogether. If he did that, wouldn’t his writing skills improve?
“Why don’t we add two more arms to him?”
“Wouldn’t it be great to expand his brain and make him more imaginative?”
“I think it would be better to separate his head from his body altogether.”
Upon hearing the news, the demons expressed their opinions. There seemed to be still a lot of negative emotion left.
Jin-woo invited Young-hoon and connected the building in Seoul with the moon base. The building in Seoul was just a shell, after all. People could reach the moon base through a portal installed in the elevator, and illusion magic covered the windows to make it feel like it was still in Seoul.
Jin-woo waited for Young-hoon in the reception room alongside Arcana. Before long, Young-hoon and his friends entered.
“Sir! Hello? Long time no see.”
“Yes, how are you?”
Jin-woo also greeted the other writers. Everyone glanced at Arcana as she sat there with a calm expression, her noble aura spreading out.
“This is the author, Arcana.”
Jin-woo introduced Arcana to them. When Arcana bowed her head slightly and greeted them, all three were mesmerized. Zhuge Mi-xian was also beautiful, but Arcana’s beauty was fully beyond humanity. Jin-woo smiled slightly at Young-hoon’s reaction.
‘She’s the one he set himself up, but…’
Young-hoon would never have imagined that she would appear before his eyes. After all, Arcana in the original novel was just a wild Emperor. She was a sad dragon who had been single for ten thousand years, after all. Wouldn’t it be natural for her to have murderous intent toward him? Come to think of it; there were quite a few of Jin-woo’s subordinates who suffered at his hands.
Jin-woo shook his head and looked at Young-hoon with the Magic Eye of Information.
[-F] Lee Young-hoon (Life-or-Death Twist)
Job: Writer-gt; Writing Slave
*Representative Work: SSS-Ranked Absolute Ability
Status: Loss of Confidence, Needs Advice
Possessed Technique: [-F] Speed Reading 3333 [F] Good Writing Skill
[D] Taste of Whip
‘I have to be hit.’
The louder the sound, the higher the quality of the manuscript. The more he gets hit with the technique acquired by the Person in Charge S, the more experience he gains. It affects all aspects of the Writing Slave’s stamina, writing skills, and imagination.
‘If you give me three fried dumplings, I will give you 60,000 characters a day.’
With the technique acquired from the deadline pressure of the Person in Charge S, it is possible to extract better manuscripts under extreme conditions. He can show the best efficiency in a dark and humid place with only three fried dumplings a day. Strangely, his health is preserved by the mysterious whip of Person in Charge S.
[D] Reading Malicious Comments
‘I’m crying again today.’
Reading malicious comments accumulates a lot of experience. Person in Charge S made him aware of that tendency. Sometimes he gets caught up in that strange feeling.
Jin-woo nodded. Lee Young-hoon was reborn as a perfect Writing Slave. He was optimized for being used. Jin-woo looked at other writers next. Lee Young-hoon talked about them when they had gone out drinking, saying they had helped him.
‘They’re sprouting, too.’
It might be better for the three of them to be together than to be alone. It was easier to bear the suffering as a group rather than to suffer alone.
“I am a huge fan.”
“I wanted to meet you. I cried a lot at Arna’s monologue.”
Kim Moo-won and Lee Hyung-jin could not hide their excitement in front of Arcana. They were more into Arcana’s novel than her radiant appearance. As expected, she had excellent writing skills.
“Master… The manager has taken care of everything so I can achieve such good results. All the other novels were also born from his hands.”
Arcana could not properly look at Jin-woo. The great writer who set a phenomenal record was bowing her head in front of the Team Manager. Kim Moo-won and Hyung-jin Lee gulped. They were so jealous of Young-hoon, who signed with JW Books.
Jin-woo looked to the aforementioned author.
“If you don’t mind, do you want to stay at the company’s studio while working on it?”
“Yes, all accommodation and meals will be provided. Author Arcana and the other writers are also staying there while working.”
Young-hoon was tempted. Although he received the royalties in advance, he gave it all to his parents, leaving only a small amount for himself. This was because he could receive 10 million won if his book came out anyway. But the progress was slow, and he started to run out of money. It seemed like he couldn’t even pay the monthly rent on his room.
So, he was quick to decide.
“I’ll do it!”
Jin-woo smiled softly at Young-hoon’s answer. Even though it was a nice smile, Young-hoon was trembling. Both Zhuge Mi-xian and Arcana also smiled when they heard him. That made him feel worse for some reason.
“Have Author Kim Moo-won and Author Lee Hyung-jin signed a contract with any company?”
Jin-woo produced two contracts written by the Incarnation of Evil. There was ominous energy flowing out of the contract, but the two couldn’t sense it.
“Let’s sign a contract.”
The terms and conditions of the contract were the same as that of Young-hoon. It couldn’t have been any better than this. Kim Moo-won and Lee Hyung-jin signed as if they were possessed.
[Congratulations. Kim Moo-won and Lee Hyung-jin have become Writing Slaves.]
[Lee Young-hoon has been promoted to the Chief Writing Slave. He has contributed greatly to the company.]
*[D] Chief Writing Slave
‘Let’s try to become a better writer.’
A title was obtained by supplying slaves to JW Books. The Chief receives some of the experience points acquired by the other Writing Slaves. Sometimes they offer their materials to him. The Chief always does his best to satisfy the Person in Charge S.
It was a satisfactory result. Kim Moo-won and Lee Hyung-jin also decided to stay at the JW headquarters. As soon as Jin-woo gave instructions to his subordinates, the studio was readied to be the best environment for them.
Jin-woo guided them directly there.
“Use the studio you want, and if you are hungry, you can use the canteen downstairs. There is also a shower room.”
The facilities were very good. Everyone was satisfied. Jin-woo smiled quietly, looking at the excited three talking to each other. The Person in Charge S, Zhuge Mi-xian, stood next to him, the pen in her hand looking like a whip.
[B+] Moon Cannery
‘You’re not writing? You can’t do that, you know?’
‘If you don’t write 60,000 characters a day, there is no meal for you.’
A space prepared by the General Manager, Person in Charge S, and Arcana. It is a prison in the disguise of a working studio providing all meals and accommodations. The Moon Cannery is specially created to improve the artists’ writing skills and speed up their work. The Person in Charge S controls it, and no one can escape without her permission. You may acquire new techniques by staying within.
*[B] Manuscript Production: Obtain experience when submitting a new manuscript.
*[B] Self-Reflection and Enlightenment: 30% chance of technique development.
*[B] Adaptability: An author who has endured the cannery can write a manuscript wherever they go. Even if they found themselves on a deserted island, they could find a way to write.
A writer once said: if you don’t write, you’ll go to jail. This place was worse than a prison; it was a prison on the moon. The only exit was the elevator, which was controlled by Person in Charge S.
Access to the elevator was also a different problem for other reasons, of course. There were many demons, Golden Angels, and elves who had suffered because of Young-hoon. His body might be remodeled if he were caught by the demons in particular. Sutra, who was staying in the studio, had a hobby of physically altering those she caught.
“Then, if you bring your luggage, I will schedule it right away.”
Jin-woo said so and quietly backed off. Everything was going according to schedule.