Omniscient Reader - Chapter 7

Published at 18th of January 2019 07:05:11 AM

Chapter 7

The subway train stopped around halfway past Dongho Bridge .

"Oh my god…"

Several survivors stood up and looked at the scene taking place outside—the ruined Seoul and the collapsed buildings . Monsters reminiscent of a giant snake were eating the wreckage of a fighter jet that had crashed into the Han River .

"W-What the hell…!"

I recognized their identity at once . An ichthyosaur . A monster that was commonly called a sea serpent, it would later be classified as a 7th grade monster in the world of Ways of Survival . One of the ichthyosaurs looked in this direction .

"U-Uwaaah! It is coming!"

People screamed with fright . However, I just looked apathetically at the approaching ichthyosaur . These guys couldn't be a threat . The ichthyosaur circled around the bottom of Dongho Bridge and vanished into an air bubble . In the world of Ways of Survival, 'scenarios' took precedence over anything else . As long as we were protected by the scenario, we wouldn't have to deal with such monsters straight away . At least for now .

[Compensation settlement is delayed due to an unexpected scenario check . Please wait . ]

The compensation settlement should've started right now but only an error message floated in the air . It was probably due to me . I looked down at Kim Namwoon's body which only had the torso remaining . According to the original Ways of Survival, Kim Namwoon killed most of the people in this carriage and moved on to the next scenario .

However, I stopped it . If my thoughts were right, those who would be angry at Kim Namwoon's death would appear . Here? Not here . They were in the sky above .

[Due to the death of character 'Kim Namwoon', two constellations show a faint hostility towards you . ]

Constellations . They were mysterious beings in Ways of Survival . They sat watching from the distant nebulas and were the masterminds of this tragedy . Once the constellation's preferences notification appeared, I realized that it was now starting in earnest .

It was funny . A day ago, our positions were opposite . Now they were the ones watching me .

[A handful of constellations admire your scenario . ]

[The constellations have sponsored you 500 coins . ]

If there were some constellations who disliked me, there would also be some who liked me . Either way, it was an uncomfortable situation . However, I couldn't do anything about them right now . It was my turn to be a clown . I picked up Kim Namwoon's Swiss Army knife on the ground and thought—feel free to watch . They will end up paying the admission fee with their lives .

"…Dokja-ssi? Are you okay?"

I looked up and saw Yoo Sangah's face . Her shoulders were sagging . Blood covered her white blouse and there was a run in her stockings . The Yoo Sangah I knew was gone . I held Yoo Sangah's hand and said, "I'm sorry . I couldn't save the grandmother . "

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I looked down at the body of the grandmother that was missing its head . I didn't know the name of the grandmother . In the future, many people would die in a similar manner . Yoo Sangah looked at me with a complicated gaze .

"How is Dokja-ssi so…"


"Ah, it is nothing . Rather… Thank you . "

"What do you mean?"

"That, I…"

I belatedly thought back to the previous scene . I had thrown the net in Yoo Sangah's direction . I knew what she was thinking and said, "It was just a coincidence . It won't happen twice . "

"Ah…" Yoo Sangah nodded silently . She didn't know the truth but she was smart . She knew what I meant . Someone lived because of my choice and someone else died . No matter how she survived, I didn't deserve a thank you .

[Wow, amazing . ]

The dokkaebi appeared in the air .

[What on earth happened here? I was just watching the other carriages…]

There was a mixture of delight and surprise on the dokkaebi's face . Twinkling stars floated over the dokkaebi's head . I counted the number of stars . One, two, three… Twenty, twenty one . Twenty one in total . He would be happy .

[For 21 people to be connected to my channel… Haha, isn't this quite good? Gosh, thank you for your sponsorship . Constellations . Haha, everyone! Did you properly show off your value?]

The number of stars meant the number of constellations connected to the channel . 21 wasn't a lot, but it was a strange number for a beginner dokkaebi .

[The number of survivors is quite high? The fellow in the next carriage was a nutter as well… It seems that things are quite interesting today . ]

The dokkaebi manipulated something in the air . A moment later, a list of survivors came up .

[Survivors from the 3434 Train to Bulgwang, Carriage 3807: Kim Dokja, Lee Hyunsung, Yoo Sangah, Han Myungoh and Lee Gilyoung . A total of five survivors . ]

Five people . There were more survivors than I thought . I looked at the faces of the survivors one by one .

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Lee Hyunsung had a good physique and excellent motor skills, so it was expected that he would survive . I even expected Yoo Sangah to survive—to a certain extent . Additionally, there was Lee Gilyoung . If my guess was right, 'Lee Gilyoung' was the name of the boy standing next to me . The fluid of the crushed grasshopper was still on the boy's hands . He squeezed the grasshopper I had given him .

The boy was looking at his mother, who lost her head . The boy's mother had abandoned him to join in on killing the grandmother . The boy had just watched the whole thing from beginning to end . I hesitated for a moment before touching the boy's shoulder . It wasn't foolish sympathy . To put it simple, this was…

That's right . Hypocrisy .

"Kid . " The boy slowly turned his head and in his eyes, I could see the fear of death that he experienced for the first time in his life . It was an unavoidable instinct . This boy wasn't grieving his mother's death . He was just afraid of his own death . It was natural . He was human . "Do you want to live?"

The boy's eyes shook anxiously . His body trembled with a force that couldn't be resisted . Then little by little, the boy's head moved .

"Then let's go together . "

Lee Gilyoung moved slowly and came close to my legs . Yoo Sangah was watching me with an impressed expression . I unintentionally caused another misunderstanding . In fact, it was meant to be seen . However, the target wasn't Yoo Sangah .

[A few constellations are impressed with your good deed . ]

[The constellations have sponsored you 200 coins . ]

I couldn't help thinking that it was a low move, but I also wanted to live . Given the upcoming major events, it was essential to draw the attention of the constellations right now .

"W-Will you release us now? Didn't you get what you wanted?" Han Myungoh, whose shirt was torn, shouted from half a dozen steps away .

Department Head Han Myungoh . He was a lucky human . I couldn't help wondering: Why was Han Myungoh riding the subway when he had so much money? This was the man who had shown off a new Mercedes-Benz S-Class not long ago .

[Hrmm, release? Haven't you looked outside? Do you really want to go out there?] The dokkaebi chuckled . [It is somehow admirable . In fact, I didn't expect much from this carriage but you managed to pass the first scenario . This proves that even bugs deserve to survive . ]

His words made us realize our position . Maybe we were like grasshoppers in his eyes .

[Now now, shouldn't there be a reward for overcoming the hardships? As a reward for the first scenario, you are entitled to the sponsorship of the 'constellations . ' Waahhh! How about it? Aren't you looking forward to it? Hmm, you are all unenthusiastic . This is really a big deal . ]

The reaction was natural—I was the only one here who knew what 'constellation' or 'sponsorship' was . The sponsorship of the constellations . The meaning was obvious . One of the key events of Ways of Survival, 'Sponsor Selection' was about to begin .

[Hmm, everybody has confused expressions . I can easily tell you . Right now, you are incredibly weak . If you are thrown into the scenarios that will take place, you will be killed when you meet a weak ground rat, let alone a 'kruk . ' Benevolently, there are some great people in the universe who pity you and would like to sponsor you . Do you understand what I am saying?]

Lee Hyunsung finally couldn't stand it anymore and opened his mouth, "What are you saying? Who is sponsoring whom…"

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[Hmm, my words are just entering dirty ears . Isn't there an old saying in South Korea? It is better to see it once than listen a hundred times . So experience it directly . Well, the less fortunate ones might not get the chance . Hahahat!]

I was tense . From now on—a good choice here would make my survival in the future easier .

"Dokja-ssi? Two strange choices suddenly appeared in front of me…"

"I don't know even if you ask me . "

This was naturally a lie to avoid suspicions . By the way, there were two choices . Yoo Sangah was quite lucky .

"Do it comfortably . Think of it as an aptitude test . "

"Aptitude test…"

"Nobody knows what the situation is anyway . Why not do it comfortably?"

"Ah… I understand . "

Yoo Sangah closed her mouth and started staring into space . It was a profound expression, as if she had encountered something curious . The others suddenly became silent . Everyone was reading the options in front of them . I also had my own choices to look at .

[Sponsor Selection]

-Please select your sponsor

-Your chosen sponsor will be your strong supporter .

1 . Abyssal Black Flame Dragon

2 . Demon-like Judge of Fire

3 . Secretive Plotter

4 . Prisoner of the Golden Headband .

There were four choices like a riddle . It meant there were four constellations that wanted to turn me into their incarnation . Four choices wasn't small considering that the protagonist of Ways of Survival received five options the first time .

The constellations never revealed their true name . Therefore, all contractors must infer the identity of the constellations by words such as 'abyssal', 'demonic' and 'garden . ' Of course, this puzzle was nothing to me, the sole reader of Ways of Survival .

Let's see .

First, the 'Abyssal Black Flame Dragon . ' According to my memory, this constellation was a powerful entity that led the group of constellations called the Black Cloud . I forgot his real name but I remember it was a very long name . The advantage of this constellation was that the contractor could receive a very strong attack power . In the early days when physique and strength were in urgent need, there was no constellation as strong as the Abyssal Black Flame Dragon .

Of course, that was limited to the beginning . As the power of this constellation was more frequently used, the mind became corrupted and the contractor would become a mad murderer . This constellation usually sponsored the people with the 'chuuni' attribute… I didn't know why the constellation picked me .

I felt uncomfortable and excluded this guy .

The second one, the Demon-like Judge of Fire . I couldn't believe I was actually seeing this option . Somehow, the strong emotions I felt were enormous . At first glance, the name was overflowing with evil . However, this was actually a trap for the wicked . The 'Demon-like' actually meant 'not a demon . ' Then the words 'fire' and 'judge' were added .

A being who wasn't a demon and who made judgments through fire . Paradoxically, the identity of this constellation was an angel . If I recalled corrected, it was Archangel Uriel… In fact, I remembered this because someone in the novel picked this constellation as a sponsor .

It was a pretty decent choice . This was pending . The constellations of 'absolute good' imposed ridiculous constraints if you wanted to use their enormous power .

The third, Secretive Plotter . It was the first time that I, the sole reader of Ways of Survival, had seen this choice . This name might've been mentioned in passing but… I didn't know it right now . If I could read Ways of Survival more thoroughly then I might get a feel of the constellation .

However, I was certain that the owner of this constellation wasn't a very strong entity . Apart from the obvious modifier, there wasn't one 'proper noun . ' Secretive Plotter, it was too simple for a constellation . This one was also pending .

Finally, there was Prisoner of the Golden Headband . My heart jumped the moment I saw the fourth option . I didn't expect this constellation to appear so early . I doubted my eyes several times . Yet it was unmistakably 'Prisoner of the Golden Headband . ' At first glance, this name gave off a negative image due to the word 'prisoner . ' However, you had to pay attention to 'Golden Headband . '

Golden Headband . The smallest prison in the world . It was a hint that anyone would recognize if they enjoyed reading Journey to the West as a child . There was only one prisoner who was held captive by the golden headband in the journey from east to west .

The master of the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, who lived in suffering due to the shackle on his head . The Handsome Monkey King with the 'golden-gaze, fiery-eyes . ' The Great Sage the Equal of Heaven, Sun Wukong .

Among the characters that appeared in the novel, there was one supported by Sun Wukong . A wondrous power that could sweep through hundreds of incarnations and to kill thousands with one lightning strike . The author had described this part with a lot of energy so my memory of it was clear .

I didn't know why such a powerful constellation was showing me interest but if I became the incarnation of the Great Sage the Equal of Heaven, I would be able to survive in this new world more easily than anyone else . However…

I quickly looked at the door connected to the carriage in front . Beyond that door, 'he' was looking at the selection screen like me . If I chose The Great Sage the Equal of Heaven… Could I win against him?

[There is one minute left to complete the Sponsor Selection . ]

Time was running out . I breathed lightly and looked through my options . My worries didn't last long .