The Novel's Villain - Chapter 168
49. New World Universe (1)
After finishing his business at the Pirate Union’s satellite base, Jin-woo returned to the Dark Knight, which was being loaded with key components from the pirates’ battleships they dismantled and the loot they gained from the enemy’s base.
The Dark Knight’s storage was so gigantic that it exceeded the battleship’s size. It was, after all, equipped with a specially crafted subspace that suspended all that was deposited into it in time and rendered them weightless. Hence, although the pirate fleet’s core parts were huge, they had no trouble fitting them all in. That also made it convenient for storing perishable ingredients. For as long as they were held inside, they would never spoil, eliminating the need for a freezer.
When Jin-woo disembarked the Dark Flame Emperor, the Black Flame Dragon separated from it and returned to his hand. Professor Kim Dae-jin and his researchers, set on standby, rushed to the Dark Emperor to extract the data it had collected.
“Oh! With this level of stability…”
“We can try that too!”
“Ah… is this heaven?”
The scientists that explored the unknown for the sake of knowledge had already disappeared. Only the researchers from the Dark Empire remained, engulfed in madness.
Jin-woo let out a small sigh. Now that they had already become so invested in it, it was already too late to stop them. Instead, he decided to just leave them alone. They seemed to be having fun anyway.
‘Black Flame Dragon…’
Its power was great, but when combined with the power of space, it went wild. Was he imagining things, or was this truly just the beginning?
Yoo-na approached Jin-woo while he wondered.
“Yoo-na, what setting are you in?”
“I am the Dark Empire’s noble lieutenant who has grown up with His Majesty the Emperor from childhood. I’m supposed to play the part of a friendly older sister, which I think is a bit of a difficult role to fill.”
“That’s pretty detailed.”
“The instructions about it filled a few volumes.”
He then looked to Heo-young, who had completely immersed herself in the theme, an act befitting her craft. Her role was a pilot working with and competing as a friendly rival to Maze.
Yoo-na immediately provided him with a report.
“We locked the pirates away in the subspace. I plan to use them as workers after making them undergo classification and spiritual training in the Demon Realm.”
Piracy was now nonexistent, and they rescued quite a few people from the Pirate Union.
“We retrieved a total of 4,403 civilians.”
“That’s a lot.”
“Not all of them came from the satellite base. Some were found in other vessels working for the pirates.”
Their conditions were, of course, deteriorating. Some had a place to return to, but most of them had nowhere to go. Many also bore bar codes, indicating they had been sold as slaves. With their identities now tainted, it would be difficult for them to settle down in peace.
“A lot of them were sold by their hometowns, claiming it was in exchange for protection.”
Jin-woo nodded. They could just put them on a spaceship and send them to the Kingdom, but he thought that would be too easy.
“Send those who want to return on a separate spaceship. We’ll provide them enough food for their journey.”
Those that remained were the problem since bringing them back to the moon base would be difficult.
Jin-woo headed to the Main Bridge to discuss the issue, finding Se-yeon as soon as he entered. She was ecstatic by the list of items they acquired. Degurron and the professors were beside her, going over their new inventory, but everyone stood at attention when they noticed Jin-woo. When he asked for their opinion, everyone fell into thought for a moment.
Se-yeon was the first to speak up.
“Then how about finding a new planet?”
“A new planet?”
“Yes! When I analyzed the information collected from the pirates, I found quite a few equipped with habitable atmospheres. I think it’d be great to start a new settlement in one of them and build the Dark Empire there!”
Kim Dae-jin nodded along.
“The Moon Base is inconvenient in many ways. If we continue to expand, we’re bound to have an impact on the moon.”
“I also think it’ll be beneficial in achieving our grand ambitions.”
Choi Sung-min likewise agreed. Jin-woo thought about it for a moment; it wasn’t a bad plan. Since they were from this world, it would only be proper to let them stay. And since they planned to work in the Sci-Fi World, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to set up a forward operating base, like their village in the Middle World or the East World.
Jin-woo glanced to Se-yeon.
“Which one’s the best candidate?”
“This place was discovered by the Pirates Union. It’s located in the Void. According to the available data, it’s filled with resources. The pirates were even planning on moving their base there.”
Jin-woo learned a lot from the Pirates Union. For one, galaxies weren’t evenly distributed across the universe. Rather, there was a huge space called the Void. Though many believed there was nothing in it, it encompassed an astral collection known as the Void Galaxy.
Exploring the Void was difficult to accomplish even with the Delox Empire’s technology. One would have to traverse through wide space, and even with a warp drive system, they could still get lost. There were rumors about ghost ship sightings while traveling through, which made even the most veteran captains reluctant to enter.
With a gesture from Se-yeon, the screen displayed numerous galaxies until it reached a huge black space which seemed to be the end of the universe.
“That’s called the Void Sea, the deep sea of the universe.”
Filled with expectations, everyone directed their attention to Jin-woo.
“Alright. Let’s go there.”
A normal ship would be faced with countless risks, but the Dark Knight was far from ordinary. It had a powerful mana engine and Arcana, allowing it to warp over extremes distances in one go.
‘I’ll have to move the Demon’s Eye there too.’
Transporting it would be easy since he had complete control over it. Canceling their return, Jin-woo issued an order to move to this new destination. Se-yeon relayed the command.
“Let all the crew members know we’ll be crossing the Void Sea to build our great empire in an unknown galaxy!”
“To your positions!”
“Data interpretation finished! Coordinate extraction complete! Activating Warp Drive now!”
The space around the Dark Knight distorted as the output of its mana engine increased. In an instant, their gigantic battleship arrived in the Void Galaxy from the Pirates Union base.
Jin-woo looked at the blue planet before them, which the Pirates Union discovered at the cost of many men. It was rich in resources, had warm temperatures, and not too many dangerous native creatures. Its gravity was slightly stronger than Earth’s, but it was at a level that he could easily adapt to.
The Dark Knight entered its atmosphere, crossed the sea, and landed in a wide field.
“It feels different from going to another dimension.”
Jin-woo agreed with Yoo-na. Crossing the universe so easily to arrive at an unknown planet felt strange.
“Let’s get out first.”
He left the ship, finding its atmosphere was similar to Earth’s. Despite having other elements in the air, none of them were harmful to the body. Rather, it made the air taste a little more refreshing.
‘Time to move it.’
When he awakened the power of domination, a huge eye appeared in the sky.
[The Great Emperor has taken over an unnamed galaxy!]
[Congratulations! The Dark Galaxy is born!]
[The Overlord’s Dark Empire has taken over an unnamed planet!]
Not only the planet but the entire galaxy fell under Jin-woo’s command. He came to create a home for the civilians they rescued and construct a base, but the scale of his territory had grown considerably. He wasn’t surprised, however, since he already ruled several dimensions.
The T1 Troops brought those they rescued onto the planet. Despite their conditions, each held hope for a new beginning in their eyes. Slowly, they approached Jin-woo and knelt before him.
‘Now that it has come to this, I should make this place worth living in.’
It wouldn’t be bad to remodel this planet a bit.
* * *
They named the planet Dark Eye. Jin-woo objected against it, but he couldn’t do anything about it once it became stuck in everyone’s heads. He had given up on naming things now. Even the galaxy was dubbed the Dark Galaxy the moment he took control. Considering they came up with the name Dark Flame Emperor, he thought Dark Eye might be on the better side.
They moved all the facilities in the moon base to Dark Eye. As soon as the A1s started working, they swiftly created infrastructure and put factories into operation. Now citizens of the Dark Empire, the people they rescued, worked together to build their own homes. Combined with a surplus of dimensional gold coins, they changed the landscape beyond recognition.
Giving extreme importance to architecture and design when it came to construction, Se-yeon put the most effort into terraforming and remodeling the planet. It was thanks to her that the surrounding area looked like it came out of a sci-fi movie.
She now admired the buildings before her.
“It looks like a slightly underdeveloped village, but it looks so cool with such a futuristic ship behind it!”
“Se-yeon, can I move this here?”
The elves certainly helped a lot. They wore clothes she designed to make them look like aliens, fitting the sci-fi theme. Well, technically speaking, they had always been extraterrestrial beings. Anyway, they planted seeds across the lands and took care of the planet’s nature.
At some point, some of the former slave children passed by Jin-woo. They used to be skinny, but they now looked quite plump. Seeing them laughing and having fun brought a smile to his lips.
“Serra! Over here!”
Serra was also with them. Though she suffered from terrible abuse, her personality remained lively and energetic. Going beyond healing with the potions, she also became even healthier than the other children her age. Moreover, she was smart. Serra followed Maze and Luna like they were her sisters. Seemingly feeling a sense of responsibility in return, Maze taught her a variety of things.
The children looked at them blankly as they smashed a boulder.
“If a wild animal appears, hit it like this.”
They could only laugh awkwardly in response.
Beyond that, as the elves taught the people swordsmanship for defense, Luna focused on building her temple to imbue the planet with her divine power.
“Your Majesty! I have something to report!”
Kim Dae-jin ran to Jin-woo along with the other researchers as soon as they noticed his presence. Since it was connected by a portal, they could go to the G&P laboratory whenever necessary, but they called this place their paradise. After all, it allowed them to conduct experiments and research to their heart’s content without being conscious of others.
Even human experimentation using avatars was possible.
“Are you okay?”
Jin-woo patiently waited for Kim Dae-jin to catch his breath.
“The schedule is being disrupted.”
He explained as soon as he caught his breath, wiping the sweat off his forehead.
“What do you mean?”
“We don’t have enough manpower.”
Jin-woo watched him intently. They were currently creating a city from scratch, developing new weapons, and building battleships simultaneously. Even so, they still apparently had a shortage of hands despite deploying all of the A1s.
“Can’t we deploy more avatars?”
“I contacted Heaven about it, but they said we’ve reached the avatar capacity limit. Since managing yours has proven difficult, it is unlikely they will be able to produce more.”
The Maze: New World’s large number of players caused avatar capacity to reach the maximum and production to be limited. Exceeding the amount they could handle might cause Heaven’s divine power to become insufficient, ultimately resulting in a dangerous situation.
“We’re doing fine in terms of construction, development, and shipbuilding, but… our inability to meet the large number of people required for resource gathering and exploration is causing delays. We can’t even consider attempting galactic exploration as of this moment.”
In addition to exploring the planet, they also planned to explore the Dark Galaxy to gather resources, which they deemed necessary to create a powerful planetary defense system. Dark Eye wouldn’t be in peril for as long as Jin-woo was there, but he couldn’t stay forever. That made reliable defense systems an absolute necessity.
But not even dimensional gold coins could solve that issue.
‘I wish I could assign my subordinates to do it, but…’
They, too, were busy and had their own lives. Forcing them to sacrifice didn’t suit his personality; happiness had to always come first.
Se-yeon screamed, wiping the dignified expression from her face. Yoo-na, standing next to her, looked at her in surprise.
“I forgot to send an update! I have to send it off by today!”
“The Maze: New World update?”
“Huh? Oh, yes! When I went back, I found its immersion broken…”
Listening in on their conversation, Jin-woo came up with an idea. The players in the Maze: New World were using avatars. Through them, they were granted power, and it didn’t matter when, where, or how they died. They could use them as consumables.
Just as Se-yeon was about to run towards the portal installed in the ship-manufacturing plant, he called to stop her.
“I need you to do something for me.”
With her interest growing, he told her what he had in mind. Se-yeon’s eyes widened.
* * *
After so long, Jin-woo visited the Maze: New World Game Company in the Cultural Center, finding Se-yeon and Yoo-na already waiting outside the premises. Se-yeon let out a shaky breath, unable to control her excitement. Her bloodshot eyes were a clear indication of her days’ worth of sleep deprivation.
Jin-woo handed a potion to her, which she emptied within a second.
“Thank you! Anyway, it’s finally starting!”
“The world will be amazed!”
“Is that so?”
When he entered the building, all of the company’s major developers were already in the lobby to greet him. Being enlisted for the Maze: New World alone made them the world’s most famous in their field, but what mattered most to them was for their ideas to enrich the game further. The great work it did for its main story was why it received a lot of favorable reviews.
Jin-woo greeted them in turn and headed to the conference room.
“I heard you’re here because of a new project.”
One of the developers broached the topic cautiously. That was indeed why he came. He even vacated the building across the street for the occasion.
When he looked at Se-yeon, she took out one of her chips and placed it on the conference room table. The lights automatically turned off, and a holographic image of a beautiful galaxy appeared. As it zoomed in, several stars and planets passed by until it dawned upon a planet filled with peaceful music.
It wasn’t Earth. On the contrary, it appeared quite alien.
The developers expressed their astonishment. Though bearing strange forms, the animals running around the wide field seemed so real it was as if they were right in front of them. Combined with the serene melody, the viewers fell in love with the video. Not long after, however, the music changed, and the creatures started fleeing.
The sound of metal crashing thundered in the background, and soldiers in black helmets and uniforms appeared. Surveying their surroundings, they raised their guns and fired beams indiscriminately, sweeping through the alien creatures. The screen changed again at that point, revealing a unique-looking fighter jet. Moving freely in the air, it turned and zoomed away as the soundtrack gradually grew louder.
The screen now displayed a huge battleship hovering in the planet’s atmosphere. More fighters, dozens of them, also appeared, all of which entered its docking pads. It then raised its altitude until it emerged into space.
The developers watched with bewilderment as the screen now showed outer space beyond the ship. They saw a humanoid robot illuminated in the void, and the moment the black aircraft charged onward, the video ended.
Se-yeon clenched her fist.
“This is our new project.”
The developers turned to her.
“The Maze: New World’s expanded worldview: the New World Universe.”
Cheers filled the conference room.