Chapter 2: I See Ghosts (2)
[Roulette is being generated.]
— Hey, it’s like playing a game. No, it is a game.
He passed away on 12/12/2006.
It has been 10 years since then and on 12/12/2016, he became a ghost and appeared once again. He stood behind Lee Jinyong and stared at the same translucent hologram roulette that Lee Jinyong was looking at.
— I am.
“That means to please shut up.”
The roulette had a total of 100 pockets.
Within each of the 100 pockets there were items with things written on them.
Of course, there weren’t a 100 different items in them. In total, there were only 7 items.
– Pitch speed increase (+1)
– Polished breaking ball (+1)
– Supplementary physical strength (+1)
– Acquire random breaking ball (F rank)
– Item [Strength Charge (10 days)]
– Item [Pitch speed boost (10 days)]
– Skill [Mindset Change]
It wasn’t hard to grasp the value of the items.
That was because each pocket that had an item was written in a different colour.
There were 93 bronze pockets, 6 silver pockets, and only one exclusive gold-coloured pocket.
— It seems simple. If you get gold you hit the jackpot, and the rest are a fail. Don’t you think this game is well made?
“Can you please be quiet? You’ll bring bad luck.”
— Bad luck? What bad luck?
“If a 10-year-old ghost keeps babbling on, that’s obviously bad luck. Did you think that would be favourable?”
— Well, I can’t refute that.
“Wait a minute.”
At that moment, Lee Jinyong took out his smartphone from his pocket.
Let’s take a picture first. If I can’t take a picture… Damn it, then it’s clearer evidence that I’ve gone crazy.
It might not be much use, but it was the best he could do to try and understand the situation as well as take care of his mental state.
— Woah? What is that?
Kim Jinho responded to the smartphone’s appearance.
“It’s a smartphone?”
— Smartphone? What is that?
Lee Jinyong was at a loss for words.
Ah, he doesn’t know.
Kim Jinho died in 2006.
On the other hand, iPhones that were said to be the beginning of smartphones were revealed around January 2007, and the original iPhone sales began around June.
From Kim Jinho’s perspective, not knowing anything at all about smartphones was natural.
“Mobile phones look like this these days. With this alone you can receive calls, exchange texts, take pictures, and even use the internet.”
— That’s amazing. Ah, come to think of it, I heard Apple was making something like that. It looks like they didn’t. Was it the iPhone? Anyway, I’m sure they were making something.
“Apple did make it. It’s called an iPhone. But how do you know that? It didn’t exist before you passed away.”
— Oh? No, it’s nothing much, but at the time one of Apple’s directors was a hardcore Red Sox fan when I played for them. One day that guy told us that something called an iPhone was being made at his company, and that if we brought his company’s shares it would one day hit the jackpot. I heard that and bought some Apple shares.
— I used a fair amount of money then. I would’ve bought about 5 million dollars worth.
“How much did you buy it for?”
— It must have been about 10 dollars a share back then.
At that instant, Lee Jinyong, who was about to take a picture, went to the main homepage and began an internet search.
His goal was to search for Apple’s current share prices.
— Wow! Wow! Wow!
Kim Jinho who didn’t know what Lee Jinyong was up to added sound effects each time he tapped on the touchscreen smartphone.
Lee Jinyong added a few words to continue to keep Kim Jinho speechless.
“Now Apple’s share price…. each share is 140 dollars.”
Kim Jinho’s mouth closed like magic.
The silence got longer.
Dozens of seconds passed, and then one minute.
And that was the point.
— So, so you’re saying it increased by 14 times?
“You bought 5 million dollars, so if you had held on until now it would have been worth 70 million.”
— Yo, that’s insane! Fuck! This can’t be!
Kim Jinho who exploded in sweat and Lee Jinyong who was heading towards that way gave him an even bigger mental blow.
“You can’t be regretful about something like that. If you came out now like in your peak years with FA1 status you could have easily earned a total of 400 million dollars.”
— What did you say?
“At the end of the 2007 season, A-Rod gained FA status and managed to sign a 10 year contract worth 270 million dollars. Nowadays Type A athletes in every team are easily getting extension contracts worth 200 million. If you’re at the top of the league you can get an annual salary of 30 million dollars. Let alone in 2007, there was the opt out feature. If you had come out then…”
— A-Rod also hit the jackpot with FA status? With 270 million?
“Just letting you know, he was also doping.”
— What? No, that means those that could hit a little were mostly druggies. Damn it, I couldn’t even take flu medication easily!
Lee Jinyong, who was behind Kim Jinho once again returned to his original purpose. He took a picture with his smartphone of the holographic roulette.
Nothing could be seen in the photo.
There was nothing in both the camera and Lee Jinyong’s eyes.
No matter how you looked at it, he was fine. Even if it was unbelievable, he didn’t see the need to grab a passerby and ask them about it.
This is insane.
Whilst he was like that a new window appeared in front of Lee Jinyong’s eyes.
[Would you like to spin the roulette?]
“Okay, spin it!”
Lee Jinyong shouted in the direction of the new window.
The roulette vigorously started turning.
Community baseball was a drug.
Jinyong didn’t know who said that but he came to think of the words everybody had heard at least once.
Drugs are drugs.
Whatever the case, Lee Jinyong agreed with those words.
Because however you look at it, they harm those around them.
Just as drug addicts bring trouble to those around them, due to someone who had fallen head over heels for community baseball, Lee Jinyong was in big trouble.
“How is it? Is it alright?”
It was like that now too.
4 days before the baseball game, Lee Jinyong was currently trying to get the uniform with the Black Tiger’s logo printed on it for his company’s community baseball team.
“Yup it roughly fits.”
Obviously, you couldn’t call it a tailored fit.
Modern society was the age of the sharing economy.
Of course, Lee Jinyong as befits his generation was preparing to borrow a uniform that fit him approximately.
No, if you’re human, you wash your workout clothes after a game. Is this a uniform? It’s a rag. Nah, even with rags when you use them you wash them……
In addition, if he had a lot of money he would forget about a shared economy, as he now truly believed in the moral that buying his own to use was better.
“Deputy Kim wore this before, but it seems a bit big? Your body type is kinda small.”
“It’s not big.”
“But were you really a competitive baseball player in high school?”
That was a question that suddenly came flying out of nowhere.
However, Lee Jinyong calmly answered the question.
“If my body was the best, don’t just talk about playing competitive baseball in high school, I would be an athlete. A pro-athlete.”
“I’m telling you this in advance but I got an injury during my 2nd year and I gave up baseball and I haven’t once thrown a ball in the past 6 years.”
Don’t get your hopes up was what Lee Jinyong was trying to get at but didn’t feel the need to finish the explanation.
If a person had common sense, how could they possibly not understand what he was trying to get at?
“Is that so? If you’ve been resting for 6 years, your injury must be better then?”
Sadly Chief Song Hyunseung was clearly in the same league as the CEO.
No, if you think about it, it was natural.
A CEO who had complete discretion on picking his personnel would pick a person who was on the same wavelength as him, there’s no reason why he would pick someone who was not.
— Hey, I’m just asking because I’ve heard something weird, that’s all. Something like because you rested your injury for 6 years, you should be okay now. I must have heard wrong, right?
Just then, Kim Jinho who was aimlessly floating in front of Lee Jinyong appeared and spoke in a low voice.
Instead of replying, Lee Jinyong let out a deep breath.
— Since I died 10 years ago it seems like discernment has come to this. If you leave an injury alone for 6 years, it recovers and you’re able to seemingly throw the ball just fine like you did before. It’s become an amazing generation. I should just contract the injured FA status players to my team 6 years after their injuries then.
Lee Jinyong particularly didn’t feel the need to reply.
In addition to that, he didn’t pay any more attention to the men’s community baseball team, the Black Tigers, that he was now a part of.
Instead he started to recall.
If what I’m seeing is a delusion or a miracle, we’ll find out today.
Lee Jinyong’s eyes were entranced by the moment when the vigorously spinning roulette stopped on the golden pocket.
He could see it then.
[You have acquired the skill Mindset Change.]
A one in a hundred chance!
Lee Jinyong was lucky to get the lowest acquirable possibility.
Lee Jinyong could learn more in depth about it afterwards.
– Skill rank: F
– Skill effect: 3 physical strength points consumed. You can throw the ball wherever you want.
– Number of daily uses possible: 3 times.
It’s really like a gaming ability.
What a skill it was.
– Best physical strength: 59
– Best speed: 105KM
– Pitches possessed: Four-seam fastball (E), Changeup (E), Slider (F), Curveball (F)
– Skill possessed: Mindset Change (F)
And what a miserable waste he was.
— I know it’s kind of off to say this now, but your abilities are kind of shit. Let’s be honest. Don’t you think it’s worth giving up the game with only this much? Isn’t it?
It was because of that reason.
If I’ve hit rock bottom, I’ve got nothing to lose no matter what the results are.
In fact, because of that, the burden disappeared.
It meant that now Jinyong couldn’t possibly go below rock bottom.
“Then I’ll go warm up and try some pitches.”
“Is that so? Then I’ll be going for a smoke so come when you’re done.”
At Chief Song’s words, Lee Jinyong put on the gloves that he had gotten his hands on 6 years ago.
Even if it had been 6 years since the gloves were worn, they fit perfectly on Lee Jinyong’s hands.
At that moment, Lee Jinyong eyes changed.
— Okay, let’s go partner!
Kim Jinho’s eyes were different too.
- FA means free agent and is used in a variety of different sports when a player can entertain offers from other clubs/teams. More information on its usage in baseball can be found here and here (more info on options and the opt out feature too in the second link)