Novel Name : The Novel's Villain

The Novel's Villain - Chapter 191

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56. Everyone lives in the same place. (2)
Jin-woo went out after a bit of rest and Internet-browsing. He locked the door behind him to prevent anyone from getting it.
He had installed multiple techs in it. If someone were to forcefully enter it, they would probably be roasted.
Leaving his room, two men immediately began following him. When their eyes met, they folded their arms, refusing to direct their gazes elsewhere.
He thought they’d make for quite interesting friends.
‘There are quite a few people in here.’
Their population reached over 60, all of them belonging to different age groups. There were even children among them. The problem was that there weren’t many strong and healthy men.
They settled in a shopping center, which provided quite a lot of space for them to use.
‘Survivors won’t skip out on places like this.’
As a child, there was a time when he dreamed of spending the night in a department store while nobody was around.
There were many tools in the building, but unfortunately, the grocery store was already empty, which meant they had been here for quite some time already.
That was also why Rachel and the others were forced to leave their safety behind and gather more supplies.
“The time of the apocalypse has come, and we now suffer because of our sins. The time to repent has come.”
People gathered in the central hall, which was lit up by multiple candles.
A middle-aged woman dressed in black was giving a sermon with her arms wide open.
Unlike other religions, it seemed a little crazy.
‘God, huh…’
The only deity Jin-woo had actually seen was Goddess Luna.
While he was looking down at them from the second floor, Alex approached him.
“I heard you’re great at cooking.”
“It’s just a hobby. Who’s that person?”
Alex looked down on the first floor as well.
“Judith. It’s best not to get too close to her. If you get caught, you’ll most likely suffer. She’s been preaching about some god or something for quite a while now.”
“I see.”
“But when she began doing that, the people became pretty docile.”
Jin-woo nodded.
Faith was a matter of personal freedom. It didn’t seem bad to have a place to turn to during such dark times. However, it would cause headaches if it was wielded as power.
“Rumors are saying they kidnap and experiment with people, but don’t worry. We haven’t found any proof of this yet.”
“I see.”
Jin-woo was able to get a lot of information from Alex.
According to him, the zombie apocalypse happened five years ago. It hit so sudden and fast it killed enough people to cause entire countries to collapse.
Now, this place had become a lawless zone where people had to be wary of both the living and the dead. To survive, they had to form groups like this.
Was this the Emperor’s fault? It truly did seem to be at fault, though.
“There were other groups I could contact years ago, but they’re all gone now.”
“This place must be dangerous, too.”
“That’s why Rachel is trying to move us out…”
Alex pointed to Judith. She was now talking with their Leader.
They seemed to be in a complicated situation.
“I’ll go cook, then.”
“Let me guide you.”
Jin-woo followed him to the kitchen, finding Jerry busily preparing food.
There weren’t many ingredients available. All they had were smoked meat, canned goods, and sauce.
“Jerry, the chef is here.”
“Wow! My savior has come.”
Jerry welcomed him warmly. Looking around the kitchen, he nodded. It was clean, which meant he had been taking good care of it.
“Are you still clean?”
“Yeah, Peter always said the kitchen should be tidy. I used to leave it dirty, but…”
Peter was a former cook.
“Let me know if you need help.”
Alex left.
Based on the available ingredients, he could only cook meat stew.
He immediately started working on it. Jerry brought vegetables from the rooftop garden.
‘This can’t be eaten.’
Finding spoiled meat, Jin-woo secretly swapped it for the meat he had.
His cooking assistant admired his hand movements. They were so swift and precise that light seemed to flash with every slice, yet the ingredients remained neatly and uniformly cut.
“You’re amazing!”
“I can’t do much more than this.”
“Still, that’s awesome.”
Jin-woo matched Jerry’s words appropriately. In Alex’s case, he couldn’t communicate well because he was a police officer.
He was hit hard when Rachel pointed it out.
While they talked about various topics, Jerry began treating him like his elder brother.
“The way you looked at Rachel was no joke. How did you do it?”
“How you present your eyes are important.”
“My eyes?”
When he gave him a rough explanation, his gaze softened.
Rachel soon entered the kitchen. Taking this opportunity, he gave her a melancholic look.
She only shook her head in reply, seemingly having heard the two of them talking prior.
“That won’t work on me.”
“Ugh… This is hard.”
She patted Jerry’s head then helped Jin-woo cook, hastening the process.
The two tried his stew.
“Wow! This is amazing.”
“You should be proud of your cooking skills.”
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Its taste surprised them.
After preparing the food, the Leader and Judith came in and took it, saying they’d distribute it themselves.
As they left, Judith stared coldly at Rachel and Jerry. The two didn’t pay much attention to her, though, as if this was a normal occurrence.
Jin-woo wanted to return the favor, but he decided she wasn’t worthy of his attention.
After a while, he felt gazes coming from beyond the door. Turning his attention towards the entrance, he saw children hiding right outside the doorway. When their gazes met, they hid completely before peaking back slowly.
Looking at them, he spread out his hands, revealing a coin in one of them. He balled them into fists, then moved brilliantly.
When he opened his hand, a black flame exhaled out of it. The coin had disappeared.
The children walked over to him.
“Do it again!
He did as they wished.
“Have you all eaten?”
They nodded, but the look on their faces told him they were still hungry.
“If we don’t pray, they don’t give us food.”
“I was scolded for not wanting to do it.”
All the children here had been orphaned by the apocalypse.
Jin-woo took out some chocolate bars from his pockets and gave them away.
They were imbued with magic. They wouldn’t be hungry for a while.
“Eat them secretly.”
Smiling broadly, they all ran outside.
Dinner time was over.
Jin-woo looked at the people from the second floor.
‘What else will happen on my first day?’
Jin-woo returned to his room and rested, suddenly remembering the Emperor of Settings. The system said he could summon her anytime, anywhere. Her encyclopedia would certainly be helpful, so he decided to try it at least once.
“Hmm? I can’t?”
There was no reaction. Was it because he was too far away?
It wasn’t that big of a problem, though, so Jin-woo decided to think about it next time.
* * *
Jin-woo woke up early in the morning and made ramen using various seafood, spam, and even expensive mushrooms.
Tang Tang!
Just as he was about to eat it, someone knocked on the door. Hiding his food in his subspace, he opened the door.
Alex was standing outside.
“Have you seen Jerry?”
“I saw him moving the boxes of canned goods earlier. Did something happen?”
“Jerry and the kids are gone.”
It was a more serious problem than he thought.
The missing children were the ones he saw in the kitchen.
Jin-woo put on his outerwear and went out to the hall on the first floor.
The leader and his men had already gathered.
As soon as he saw him, he hurriedly approached him and tried to grab him by the collar.
Naturally, he failed.
Jin-woo grabbed his hand and twisted it.
“What are you doing?”
The men around them aimed their guns at him. When he let him go, he stepped back.
“It happened after you came.”
“He never left his room.” Rachel voiced out.
He looked at Jin-woo, then took a deep breath. With a gesture, his men lowered their weapons.
He didn’t seem that uptight, after all.
A lot of the suspicious gazes towards Jin-woo disappeared.
Now that he thought about it, it seemed like he did it on purpose to quell the people’s doubt on him.
Leading a group was not something anyone could do.
“Let’s pray for the children to return safely.” Judith’s words made the people around them pray.
The leader addressed him once more.
“I don’t trust you, but… I do believe in Rachel.”
“I see.”
He gazed at him sternly.
“I heard you’re from the military. Can you help me?”
“Jerry is my cooking assistant.”
The leader nodded, then gestured towards his subordinate, who in turn handed Jin-woo a rifle.
He joined Rachel after receiving it.
On Rachel’s side were Alex and the other men. Among them was a nice-looking, fleshy man that seemed close to Judith.
His name was Lucas.
They began their search on the first floor.
Aside from the living room, every door was locked to prevent outside intrusions.
Opening one of them, they entered cautiously.
It was so dark they couldn’t see anything, leaving them no choice but to rely on candles. Of course, Jin-woo wasn’t affected by this.
Looking around, Lucas spoke.
“Maybe Jerry took them?”
“What do you mean?”
“You know… Those Black Pot bastards. I heard they like children…”
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Rachel stared at him.
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“Shut up, Lucas.”
The surroundings were quiet. While walking down the halls, Jin-woo stopped for a moment. He heard the slight breeze from a large cabinet in the hallway.
Everyone looked at him.
When Jin-woo grabbed it, Alex helped him, immediately understanding what he wanted to do.
Moving it to the side, they discovered a large space.
“A passage…?”
“Looks like someone covered it.”
Rachel and Alex looked at it with great surprise.
Jin-woo noticed fresh bloodstains on the floor.
Following his gaze, Rachel and Alex immediately raised their guns.
“I’ll go in first.” He said, taking the initiative.
The rest followed right behind him.
When a zombie lying on the floor tried to get up, Jin-woo stomped on it, causing its head to burst.
The trail of blood continued, almost as if someone was dragged deeper into the passage.
Looking at it using the Magic Eye of Information, he found out it was Jerry’s.
Jinwoo’s eyes subsided.
Continuing down the tunnel, it led them outside.
There were several footprints all over the place, some of them belonging to children.
They were taken outside.
“Someone took them, and I don’t think it’s Jerry…” Rachel’s voice trembled.
“A traitor? I’d better go back and report.” Alex said in reply, his eyes still on the footprints.
“I don’t think it’s a predatory group considering they’re targeting children.”
“Did the Black Pot infiltrate us?”
Alex thought for a moment, then continued.
“Once I report to the leader and conduct a detailed investigation…”
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Gunshots rang before he could finish his thoughts, and the men in front of Lucas fell to the floor.
“Lucas! what are you doing—”
Bang! Bang!
He shot Alex and Rachel.
The two plopped down to the ground. Alex had a bullet wound on his shoulder and Rachel on her thigh.
He aimed for their heads, but his bullets bent and landed on non-vital spots thanks to Jin-woo’s magic.
“Drop your guns and candles!” Lucas shouted, pointing his gun at Rachel. The two could only clench their teeth as they looked at him.
Jin-woo put his gun down on the floor and raised his hands. Looking back, it was clear that Lucas was the culprit.
He glared at him.
“I couldn’t help it! They found our base. If I hand over the children, they told me they’ll let me live…”
“Did you kill Jerry?”
“All he needed to do was keep his mouth shut… This is his fault! He must be zombie food by now. Hahahaha!”
He was probably talking about Black Pot.
Jerry was unlikely to be alive.
Jin-woo noticed something shining out of his pocket.
A silver foil…
… Covered in chocolate.
It was the chocolate bar he gave to the children.
When Jin-woo’s mana burst, Lucas staggered backward.
Rushing right in, he landed punch after punch on his pathetic face.
Bam! Bam!
The first hit broke his teeth and caused his gums to swell, and the second completely dented his facial structure.
He launched another punch.
But this time, his fist landed just right beside his face. Shivering, Lucas began to wet himself.
Jin-woo looked at Rachel and Alex.
“Are you two okay?”
Rachel lifted her body up, using the wall as support. Alex did the same, his hand applying pressure on his shoulder.
The others were also still alive.
Rachel looked grim.
“This place is no longer safe.”
“You’re right. We’ve been here for far too long.” Alex frowned.
Jin-woo turned his head, looking at the presences he felt around them.
“Looks like this is just the beginning.”
Phew! Pop!
Fireworks erupted around their building, decorating the night sky with majestic explosions.
It was as if they were in the middle of a festival. It was a beautiful sight, but it was terrifying for Rachel and Alex.
The noise they created was far too loud.
The effects revealed themselves in an instant.
Zombies that had been lured away from their base began to rally up.
“Go inside. I’ll buy you some time.”
Rachel hesitantly agreed with his suggestion.
Alex then handed him his gun, saying, “Use it and make sure you give it back to me yourself.”
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It was a pretty cool pistol.
Everyone hurried inside.
“Now, then…”
Jin-woo looked at Lucas, who was lying on the floor.
“S-save me! Agh!”
He grabbed Lucas’s neck and injected him with mana. Until all of it had been consumed, his mind would keep conscious and functioning.
He then threw him to the zombies.
“Aaaaaah! Ahh!”
Lucas was lucky.
He was able to enjoy the pain of being eaten alive extremely slowly.
“There’s quite a lot of him to go around.”
The zombie festival began.
* * *
Yoo-na scolded Butterfly for changing Bread Jam’s settings.
The Emperor of Settings was obedient to her since she carried the scent of her master, the Great Emperor.
In any case, she was left with no choice but to go to the Settings World and restore Bread Jam to his original state.
“Aww! Damn it! You perv!” He screamed, banging his fist against the wall. His appearance was quite cute.
Even his mad look was adorable.
“Have you repented for your past actions?”
“Ugh… Who…? Huh? Woah! The cat is talking!”
Bread Jam fell to the floor out of sheer surprise. This scene would’ve looked ugly if it had happened in the past, but now it was just cute.
Butterfly gave him a lengthy explanation, ensuring she understood she was an Emperor and how great her master was.
“So you’re a subordinate of the Great Emperor… And you turned me into this because I didn’t keep my promise?”
“Yes. That’s why you must always keep your promises.”
“Teacher Butterfly! Please forgive me! I promise to never go back on my word from now on!”
When Bread Jam apologized, pressing his forehead against the floor, Butterfly nodded.
“I will show you mercy for the sake of the Great Emperor.”
When she swung her front paw in the air, a picture of Jin-woo’s photo emerged.
“Oh! As expected, Lee Jin-woo is an amazing person!”
She pulled out her encyclopedia, opened Bread Jam’s settings, and took out her eraser and pencil.
He shed tears!
He could finally leave this hell and go back!
The disgusting main character clung to him every day, spouting cheesy words. He came so close to killing him.
“Once I delete this part, you’ll return immediately.”
“Hey, can I touch it?”
The moment his finger made contact with it, light erupted from the encyclopedia. Within the blink of an eye, Bread Jam disappeared along with it.
Butterfly just stood there blankly for a moment.
The Emperor of Settings wasn’t her but the encyclopedia itself.
She lay down on the spot and stopped thinking.
Meanwhile, the light brought Bread Jam to an even stranger place. All around him were ruined buildings and hordes of zombies.
“Oh no…”
He found it ridiculous. In The Maze: New World, zombies were weak monsters, but he knew this wasn’t just a game. This was real.
“You didn’t even revert me!”
He was still in Lee Jae-mi’s body.
“Arghh… Raoahgh…”
Sensing his presence, Zombies began to approach him.
“Ugh, ooh!”
Bread Jam ran away from them at great speed, a certain force within his body enhancing his physical abilities.
‘It’s not adrenaline, is it?’
He didn’t realize it before since he was too busy avoiding the main character, but he was also a heroine with a Holy Power.
While avoiding the main character, she trained her Holy Power control to a great extent.
“Ugh… S-save… me…”
While he was running away from the zombies, he heard a man’s voice. Looking sideways, he found someone crawling on the floor in an attempt to get away from the zombies following the scent of his blood.
This troubled him.
He had always been despicable. He was even called the epitome of horror.
‘But if I run away…’
He might be ugly, but he wasn’t dirty.
He rushed to the zombies, launching Holy-Power-infused punches to send them flying. The man lying on the floor could only stare at him blankly.
“Who… are you…”
“Hello! I’m Bread Jam, your favorite broadcaster!”
He couldn’t say such things out loud in the Settings World. Hence, now that he was out of its boundaries, he instinctively uttered his introductory remarks.
“… Beautiful…” He said, causing a moment of silence to fall upon them.
Fortunately, the zombies broke the awkward atmosphere.
“Jerry said he was just a cooking assistant. Does that mean they have a chef?”
“There was, but he got kicked out for stealing supplies. It made Jerry sad.”
The plot here also seemed complicated.
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Even in such small groups, political and factional struggles existed.
This world was overflowing with zombies, but that wasn’t all the threats out there. There were also dangerous groups of humans all over the place.
The most dangerous of them all was an unidentified organization that wore thick body armor and black helmets.
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They were known as the Black Pot.
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