Volume 1 / Chapter 3
There were 10 one-hour videos. Each of them was extravagant and ostentatious enough to be comparable to a blockbuster movie. They could not take their eyes off of them.
The lifers were watching a life mission between the Evil Queen and Overload’s battle, and it was almost enough to strip the gamers of their souls. The last video was especially amazing.
Overload lost both of his eyes and his left arm, but he did not care and killed the fleeing Evil Queen.
-[Is this for real?]
-[Wow….. I spent the whole night watching the videos, and I didn’t even go to school the next day.]
-[It’s surprising that he even found the Evil Queen. But to think he was able to catch her? A Level 9 mutant?]
-[That’s Overload alright! He’s on a different level from the guys who fire their arms from a distance!]
-[I threw up raiding the Level 6 mutants. I guess I have to go kill myself.]
-[He diced her with just a combat weapon. How do you do something like that?]
-[To the person above, watch Overload’s videos from 10 years ago in order. You’ll know if you watch. Your world will change.]
-[What do you mean his world will change? This person seems to be mistaken – your universe will change.]
His mouse rolled through the comments on the video. He went through hundreds of pages with 100 comments each.
Cha Jun Sung looked through his blog. It had been one week since he uploaded the video.
The fervor did not fade and, with time, there were even more visitors. It was evidence that word of his raid with the Evil Queen was spreading.
It would have been unfortunate if he did not receive this kind of response. He had invested a lot in this raid. Thinking about the balance, she was not an opponent that could be defeated with pure skill.
When he caught a Level 8 mutant, he had earned two and a half times the investment. He was not sure how much he would raise this time, but he was expecting it to be more than ever before.
“I guess the mission was a success. It’s needless to say there’s no greater glory to commemorate a retirement.”
He had played Life Mission for 10 years. He began playing games ever since he was young and his start was the same as everyone else’s – but his mastery was obvious soon after.
One day he wondered what it would be like if he filmed his games and posted the videos up. As a joke, he created his own blog and uploaded each and every one of them.
Mutant strategy, promotion, creation. There had not been very many visitors at first but after 3 years, he had become a power blogger.
That was the start of a new world. When he became a power blogger, several advertising partners came in. He did not make a profit off of Life Mission, but it was still a good amount of money.
Cha Jun Sung was Overload, one of the 36 rankers in Life Mission, a game enjoyed by millions of people. The synergy he demonstrated was impressive.
There were currently about 100 advertisements on his banner, giving him an income of around $100,000 every month. At this rate, it was comparable to a small business.
There were usually 400,000 visitors in one day. Sometimes it even went up to 600,000 on a good day. But day before yesterday, the site had accumulated 1.2 million views. In many ways, it was a happy event.
“I’ll have to hurry and wrap it up so I can finally go travel. I can’t play games my whole life.”
Life Mission was fun. It was almost as addictive as drugs.
Even after playing for 10 years, the possibilities were endless. But he did not want to leave his body in capsule and play in his room until he grew old and died.
“Let’s see. The parts I have to sell are the legend patch, 15 sets of switching equipment, metal cyborgs, and 5 mansions. Ah! This is one I’d like to keep.”
Even without connecting to the game, it was possible to see the market situation through searches.
Most of the items he had registered on the auction had been sold. This was bound to happen because he had posted items of the highest quality for cheaper than the market price.
“Hades….. My everything.”
-[+18 ultimate Hades blade.]
5 years ago, he had taken $500,000 worth of materials and $300,000 for reinforcement to create this treasure.
Elite weapons had a lower rating than legends so they did not have as many options, but it was not +18 for no reason. The most important attribute for bladers is by far agility; it was still an unbroken record.
There was a famous rumor amongst lifers that a member of Middle East royalty was inspired by his enhanced video and had given a lot of money.
“Is there someone who would be willing to buy this?”
Using it as an occupation other than blader was like a pig wearing a pearl necklace. There were only a few lifers who could handle being a blader perfectly.
“I’ll just keep it if it doesn’t sell. Honestly, it’s a waste to give to someone else.”
Other items could be bought with money, but not Hades.
It seemed foolish when he was quitting, but didn’t he need to keep one symbol to later prove that he used to have a great reputation as “Overload”?
Cha Jun Sung posted a notice on his blog saying that he was no longer playing Life Mission.
There were comments upon comments. The comments were a motley of people congratulating him on leaving, some saying that everything he had done until now was a waste to throw away, and some begging him for items.
As the computer powered off, the overheated machine cooled down.
“I guess I would have been working at part-time jobs until I reached this age if it hadn’t been for Life Mission?”
He laid on his bed and looked at the ceiling. The game and his life were at a standstill.
He could not believe that he had put everything down. He felt like come tomorrow, or even immediately, he might feel the impulse to access the game to fight mutants.
A text message came through, because his phone rang. Cha Jun Sung did not get up and reached his hand out to grab his phone. Friends? Advertiser? Could be spam.
-[The virtual version of Life Mission has been stopped from May 7, 2020. Thank you for your interest. We will meet you in the reality version.]
“That’s a new kind of spam.”
Cha Jun Sung gave his best wishes to the spamming company and deleted the message.
While he was playing around on his phone, he instinctively went on the Life Mission homepage. He rubbed his eyes as though he had seen something that did not make sense.
“What is this saying? Is it a joke? This wasn’t spam? Is my phone broken?”
The same text from the message was on the homepage. On top of that, the whole site must have been paralyzed because he could not do anything beyond looking the text.
Cha Jun Sung powered up the computer again. If he wanted to confirm it, he needed to look on the computer and not his phone.
He plopped down.
His legs were weakening. It was the same on the computer. All top 10 real-time searches on the portal site were about Life Mission’s suspended service.
Cha Jun Sung and the lifers had known that this was going to happen at some point.
Life Mission was strange. First, this incredible system was open to people for free. Even the maintenance costs were funded by the company.
Its industrial utility value must have been overwhelming, but it had stayed the same for 10 years.
“Was that contract about this?”
To create a Life Mission account, he had needed to sign a contract.
It said that the company would not be responsible even if the service was suspended. He had thought that this meant that they just needed to deal with it since the company was taking on everything else.
He sighed automatically. There was still a fair number of equipment he had not taken care of yet.
The elation he felt at succeeding in the raid fell flat. At this rate, it was hard to break even. It was even more frustrating that he couldn’t complain.
“There are going to be people who commit suicide…..”
It was not a joke. It was common for people to put all of their salaries into this game.
In the most extreme cases, there was a person who sold his house to buy an item. Cha Jun Sung experienced minimal damage because he had coincidentally quit, but those people were ruined.
-[Apologies for the inconvenience. The virtual version has been suspended. We ask that you use the reality version that will be running soon.]
He opened the capsule to check, but it was for nothing. The homepage and virtual path were blocked. Now, he had to fold everything even if he did not want to.
“But what’s the reality version?”
If it was an update, there was no reason to suspend the service. He could not figure out what the company was thinking.
Could they be playing some kind of joke?
The bell rang again. Cha Jun Sung instinctively read the text message. It was from the company. The message was as ridiculous as the one before.
-[Would you like to activate the reality version of Life Mission?]