The One Who Does the Worst
Weed and his party members managed to safely gather the Skeleton Knight bones from the first floor of Memphis Hall and complete their quest.
However, there was bad news as well.Apparently, Pale, Romuna and Irene were real life friends who lived in the same neighborhood. In fact, Surka was Romuna’s younger sister. They had not mentioned anything so as not to make Weed feel awkward.But now, they had to reveal the truth.
“Sorry… our parents…”
“It seems we won’t be able to get online for a while.”
They had already become addicted to Royal Road and played continuously to the point of even skipping school but their parents, who had been on vacation, soon found out. Obviously, they were all grounded.
“You guys… are playing games instead of doing homework?”
“GO TO SCHOOL RIGHT NOW!”
The log-in licenses to the expensive capsules were thus confiscated, and their requests for extended leave from school were cancelled. But luckily they had learnt their lesson from watching Weed that success depended on the ability to find profit even in an unfavorable situation! They simply made their parents log onto Royal Road asking them to just experience it for themselves.
A new player could go outside the castle in four weeks. Their parents, however, were completely satisfied with staying confined. After all, it was a perfect rendition of a fantasy world.
The parents had grown up playing games and reading fantasy novels. But when they got jobs and started raising children, they were no longer able to do these things. This here, however, was a whole new universe. The paradise they’ve been dreaming of.
This game is like a whole new world where they can escape from their work and business without going to faraway country.
“Games are not all that bad.”
“It’s certainly fun.”
“By the way, Jungee’s mom, I heard you got a ‘quest’ at the Weapons Shop?”
“Yes, it’s really more of a chore. I have to buy five Whetstones for the shop…”
“Do you have enough money?”
“Yep. I got 3 silvers to buy them. Whetstones are 50 coppers, so I’ll be left with 50 coppers to spare.”
“Share with us!”
The parents started at Serabourg Castle all together. They wandered around together, doing quests and befriending the NPCs.
Like that, four in-game weeks went by but in the real world only a week had passed. Now the parents were free to go in and out of the castle. When Pale and Surka had told them they could now leave the castle their parents just laughed.
“Come on… how can we hunt monsters?”
“Hunting is for you youngsters.”
“We like staying in the castle and helping people, doing chores for money, which we can then use to buy good food.”
But upon leaving the castle out of curiosity, the parents’ attitudes changed dramatically. The following was the conversation that transpired between Romuna and her parents.
“Bastard Swords deal more damage than Long Swords… Why is that?”
“Because it’s a two-handed sword. It’s big and heavy, so you can’t swing it as fast.”
“So you mean instead of several small hits, it’s one strong hit?”
“That’s the kind of weapon I want… But the Bastard Sword costs over 10 gold from the shop…”
“Should I buy one for you?”
“Well… I’ll only say this now… But how much do you think we went through raising you? When you were just a baby, we provided you the best food and covered you in the best clothes. Since we care so much about you, we don’t really want to force you to…”
Pale’s situation was quite similar. His parents were schoolteachers and thus very strict. When he was young, he could not so much as breathe loudly in front of his parents. His father, who had been an Army Ranger in his youth, had developed significant charisma from his years in the military. On the night he left the castle for a short time, Pale had the following discussion with his father over dinner:
“Hmm, it seems those damn foxes are very strong.”
Pale, whose real name was Oh Dongman, was thinking hard to figure out what his father was saying.
His father hinted once again. “Damn foxes. They’re too strong.”.
Only then did it occur to Oh Dongman.
“They’re a bit challenging at first. If you don’t have any equipment, that is.”
“I do have some…”
“You didn’t try to fight them on your own, did you?”
“Well of course it’s hard if you try to fight the foxes alone. At your level, Dad, it’s almost impossible”
“Th-then you mean you can beat them? Foxes?”
Oh Dongman’s father grasped his son’s hands.“Avenge your father!”
Like that, the parents were also sucked into the world of Royal Road. Since neighboring families were also playing the game together, Royal Road became hot topic at town meetings and family gatherings.
Now, instead of discussing real estate and finance, parents chatted about Royal Road over drinks. Apparently, there were many people their age that played the game. They had, in fact, been late to discover the joy of Royal Road.
Hyun had long since predicted that a day like this would come. In most games, the value of items dropped over time. Same for currency like gold or silver. This was natural since the average levels of users rises over time. However, if the users are not confined to 10 to 20 year olds, and if adults who are set for life become addicted to Royal Road, the value of the game’s currency would not diminish.
When there was a great item, people started a bidding war. They bought weapons, armor and accessories the same way they bought good cars.
This actually had more merit than in the real world. If one went into battle wearing good equipment, then they could actually feel themselves becoming stronger and taste the sweetness of victory.
As time went by, more middle-aged users appeared, buying items at increasingly high prices as if they were buying race cars. This was also how the parents were lured into playing Royal Road.
Due to this, Pale and the party were no longer able to train in Lavias.
“Sorry, but we have to help our parents. At least until they adjust to the game…”
Pale spoke without hiding his disappointment. Weed understood why they had to go. It was unavoidable since they were doing it for their parents. However, Weed still had things to do, so he stayed behind alone in Lavias.
“328,200 won spent on food this month. I heard the price of rice is increasing. But we should still avoid imported rice…”
Hyun was writing on his accounts ledger.
He did not want Hye Yeon or his grandmother to eat American rice, which might be genetically modified. Regardless of how cheap it was, it just simply could not be trusted.
“We’ve been spending too much. I should stop using the recipes I had learnt online. Next is the heating… but there’s no way to save money on that because of grandma.”
Hyun checked all the expenses of the month. He had shopped for groceries, cooked food, cleaned the house and handled the money all on his own.
Only a meager 90 million remained of his family’s entire fortune after the loan sharks seized 3 billion. At one stage, his anger had led to many sleepless nights but in the end he was able to calm himself. That was all in the past. He even felt somewhat relieved knowing it was all over. He would have continued to suffer had the debts not been paid off.
They hounded Hyun for eight years, waiting for Hyun to become an adult so they could force him into dangerous work like drug dealing or worse – murdering members of rival groups. If Hyun was caught, they could just bribe the police and frame him for all their crimes. That was how they avoided most of their troubles with law enforcers.
Hyun had lived such a troubled childhood that the press and public would simply assume it was only natural for him to have committed these crimes.
One might even say such people deserved to be punished since there was no hope of salvation for them. But the wiser would understand the dangers these people had endured. Surely they too were afraid of going to jail? After all, what would happen to their families if they were arrested?
He only had his grandmother and his little sister.
The thought of them waiting for Hye Yeon to become an adult was truly frightening. Or perhaps they would not even bother to wait that long. Young women sold for better prices, after all. In Hyun’s case, a young man dealing drugs and murdering other gang members would undoubtedly draw attention.
Most people cannot fathom why a young boy would go as far as to deal drugs and assassinate gang members. Perhaps they’re forced into it, or perhaps they’re being framed.
If Hyun had gone to jail in such a manner, leaving his baby sister to live a hard and cruel life, he might have gone insane. Clearing the debt prevented all that from happening.
“90 million won. Plus another nine million if we add the five that we got from selling the old house and the four million we saved for emergencies.”
However, they had spent 50 million on a new house. They were able to buy a house for that little because it was in a less desirable neighborhood. Though they had 49 million won remaining after that, they had spent around 20 million over the last year. Looking back, it was an incredible loss. To begin with, the capsule for playing Royal Road cost 10 million, and the monthly subscription fee was 300,000. The rest had gone to basic living expenses and Hye Yeon’s school fees.
“29 million won… Just about enough to last around 2 more years.”
Hyun, dressed in a uniform, fell to despair. It was time to start living an even thriftier lifestyle.
“Oppa, I’m home!”
At that moment, Hye Yeon opened the door and entered the room. Surprised, Hyun quickly hid his accounts book and bank book inside his uniform.
“You’re early. Your grades come in today, right?”
“Yeah, here it is.”
Hyun impatiently opened the report card. This was an important moment for Hye Yeon, who was in her second year of high school.
“3rd place in your class, 14th place in your grade… Your rank went up a bit since last time.”
“Of course! Whose sister do you think I am?”
“Well, let’s leave it at that.”
“What’s with that tone?”
Hye Yeon pouted.
Hyun then looked at the list of prospective colleges at the bottom of the report. Korea University was at the top of the list, with a 98% chance of her being accepted. Until a short time ago, she would hang out with kids who might have been a bad influence, but Hye Yeon still had a good brain. Once she returned to being his gentle little sister, her grades improved rapidly. Eventually, it became almost certain that she would be able to get into university.
One could spend over 10 million won a week going to college. Not just paying for classes, but transportation, food and books, so that she can keep up with her peers.
* * *
“These test results are very good. Eyesight isn’t bad, and the liver and kidneys are very healthy.”
“How is the marrow?”
“Great. Though for a bone marrow transplant, there needs to be a matching recipient. But I’m sure a buyer will appear soon. The reactions of the intestines are very good, and the bloodstream is also free from infections.”
Hyun listened to each and every word spoken by the doctor.
“Then the tests are over?”
“Thank you. Please send me the documents. I will sell whatever makes me the most money fast. But let me wait 1 year and 4 months. If I still need the money then, I’ll get the surgery.”
“I will send the documents.”
Coming out of the hospital, Hyun didn’t feel any better hearing he was physically healthy.
He had discovered this hospital through the black market. 50 million won for a single eyeball, 30 million for a kidney. Though livers and bone marrow needed a compatible recipient, they could be sold for about 20 million won each. He had only about 1 year and 4 months left.
Royal Road would become money, he was certain of that. However, he needed to consider the alternate possibilities. If Hye Yeon needed more money to go to college, Hyun was prepared to sell his body parts.
Royal Road, a game to be enjoyed.
But Hyun could not afford the luxury of being so carefree. He had to force himself to work harder to earn more money and become Royal Road’s richest man.
‘Lee Hye Yeon, you must succeed my unfulfilled dreams. I will make sure you won’t have to make the sacrifices that I have had to make.’
Hyun, wearing worn-out clothes, came back home muttering like a possessed man. He did not care what happened to him. Losing one eye would not affect his life much, not when it came to earning money.
He wanted to make sure that at least his sister would grow up cheerfully away from the harshness of life.
If one went through too much hardship, a shadow would appear across the face. It is inevitable since they would be different from those who grew up in a good environment. The mind would weaken, giving way to fear which in turn erodes self-confidence. Out of greed, Hyun had tried hard even at a young age to attain the confidence and intellect attributed to rich kids.
Even if he himself could not eat or be clothed properly, he would make sure his little sister would never need to be jealous of others. There aren’t many men who would do this for their younger sister. Maybe not all older brothers are like this, but Hyun’s feelings for his little sister were unrivaled. She wasn’t just his little sister.
Hye Yeon had lost her parents at a young age. Since then, the one who cared for her and raised her was not the busy grandmother, but Hyun himself.
* * *
Now, there was no Irene’s holy magic, nor Romuna’s AOE spells or alarms. Surka’s relentless punches were nowhere to be found, nor were Pale’s lightning-fast range attacks. Nevertheless, Weed still had himself.
Hunting in a party was fine, but with more people arguments were inevitable, wasting time. In the worst case, the hunt ended before it could even begin.
In comparison, hunting solo had the benefit of simplicity. There was no pointless wasting of time and proved great for raising skill points. It was better to fight solo to improve Sword Mastery and other combat techniques.
A Skeleton Knight, radiating battle aura, swung its sword. The armored Skeleton Knight’s with its quick moves were undoubtedly intimidating, but Weed’s moves were also unique. Gliding smoothly, he dodged th