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One Man Army – Episode 5: [Chapter 3] Getting out of despair (2)

VRA couldn’t be controlled. Well, it was impossible to control to make one’s VRA range higher. But, it was totally possible to do the opposite. Especially someone like Sang Hyuk who had lots of experience in virtual reality, he could make his VRA low easily.

Of course they could check about such tampering with several ways if someone diminished his VRA purposely. But, they had to have a professional in the field do it.

 

As Park Sang Cheol and Kim Dae Sik never realized that Sang Hyuk reduced his VRA purposely this time, they had no doubts about it, and even if though they did, there was no way they could find out.  

“75…It is of the lowest class.”

Park Sang Cheol frowned at the number on screen. They only brought children who had at least over VRA 150. Children who had lower than the number wasn’t useful to them at all.

So, VRA 75 was a kind of trash number, they didn’t bring people who had this kind of numbers.

“Damn! Why no luck today?”

Kim Dae Sik stood up from the seat while complaining softly to himself. Kim Dae Sik took off the VR machine from Sang Hyuk’s head as soon as Park Sang Cheol finished the VRA test program.

Kim Dae Sik, who had a big frown and complained until just a few minutes ago, smiled at Sang Hyuk.

‘I didn’t know then. There was a devil face behind of that smile…’

Finally, the test was over. Sang Hyuk was definitely supposed to fail.

Sang Hyuk got out of his despair… He eventually moved into a different path from his previous life as he wished.

****

After Park Sang Cheol and Kim Dae Sik had finished formal recruitment contracts with a few children, Sang Hyuk prepared to leave the orphanage.

Because he didn’t have any feelings left for the orphanage, he left the orphanage as soon as he graduated from his high school without even receiving their resettlement aid. Sang Hyuk thought of giving it up altogether, thinking it was a clever move in order to avoid facing a rough time whilst waiting for it, not knowing for sure if he would get it.

Because Eternal Life was free open beta, which Sang Hyuk had been really waiting for, will be starting after three months, he’d better be ready for it to work on getting stronger.

EL was a game which required a lot of guts and had only one week of open beta. At the moment, people talked a lot about it, but it meant that the Raon Software, which was an EL’s production company, had confidence.

It wasn’t hard to get out of the orphanage. Children who didn’t go to the college like Sang Hyuk must be independent as soon as they graduate from high school.

Sang Hyuk packed up his stuff and left from the orphanage heading to Ilsan directly. He found the cheapest and smallest apartment in Janghang-dong, Ilsan because he didn’t see any necessity of having a nice apartment.

The most important thing for Sang Hyuk now was a capsule VR machine which was supposed to release about two months later, not an apartment.

Sang Hyuk already made the decision of what he was going to buy. It was called ‘Andromeda X’, made by IlSung Electronics. EL users said that the product gave high performance for its price.

Since he was thinking to buy the best version with full option functions, he was prepared to spend at least 10,000 dollars.

An excellent workman never blames his tools, but if a workman had excellent tools, he would get much better results. For this reason, Sang Hyuk didn’t want to economize money for the VR machine.

After moving to the apartment in Ilsan, Sang Hyuk waited for the release of EL while  meditating and learning Kendo. Because once EL was released, he would have to sleep less to concentrate on the game, and for that he had to keep his energy so as to work hard then.

Despite it being pretty cold weather in January, 2028, he kept running and working out at the Lake Park in the mornings and evenings. He seemed like an athlete who had an upcoming important game. Indeed, Sang Hyuk thought pro gamers were also pro sportsman from a different point of view.

That’s why he always emphasized the importance of the body health to players when he was a director.

Time moved on and it soon became February.

There were specific rumors about Eternal Life in February. Of course EL was the game which had bad evaluations more than good at this point.

As there were lots of secrets and also the development company was new, it was hard to get good comments from users.

 

People were more interested in a few other games rather than EL at this time. Besides, DN users were not excited with EL because of the releasing of a VR capsule machine.

Of course, Sang Hyuk visited a special shop to buy a VR capsule machine.

It was so expensive because it was really new. He ran to the shop as soon as it released, as it could be sold out if he didn’t buy the best version in advance.

“So, you don’t have the product?”

Sang Hyuk went to a huge VR machine special shop, the nearest one in Ilsan. The VR machine Sang Hyuk wanted to buy was a rare product and it was hard to find anywhere.

“Oh well… there is but…”

Sang Hyuk looked at the staff who seemed embarrassed.   

“What is the problem if you have the product? “

“I apologize. In fact, no one can set up the product yet. It is a really complicated setting in need…”

“Ah…”

After listening the staff’s answer, Sang Hyuk completely forgot something which was very obvious.

“There are a few staffs in headquarters, but they are really busy… If you submit a setting application, you could wait for them but it’ll at least be one month.”

Not anyone could simply set up a professional VR capsule machine. And the best professionals in this field could be really busy to help a few special customers at this point.

“Then, just install the product, not set it up please.”

A VR capsule machine needed a proper installation otherwise people couldn’t use DN at all.   In particular, a professional machine, which Sang Hyuk wanted to buy, required more complicated settings, people required a professional for setting the installation.

“I am sorry. This product is very different from a headset VR machine, so you can’t use it with simple installation.”

“I know. No one can do the setting up of the damage synchronization rate, the biograph checking system and VRA mixing program, they are all very complicated at the same time.   

“How do you know…”

“I work in that kind of industry as well.”

Sang Hyuk was too lazy to explain every single word, so he just made up being a professional. Actually, he wasn’t a professional. However, he had more knowledge than someone who was called a capsule VR machine professional since he had experience with a VR machine for a long time.

“Oh, I see. Then, that’s really a relief. I will prepare the product right now. The price of the product is 14,000 dollars including tax as I mentioned before.”

Even though a capsule VR machine was a little on the expensive side, 14,0000 dollars was too expensive. Because a capsule VR machine for diffusion cost around 1,400 dollars, he felt the big difference between them.

In fact, this expense was supposed to include the price for setting service of a professional so it was a little loss for him, but he’d better install a capsule VR machine and adapt to it as soon as possible rather than think of the loss.

It didn’t take long for the installation. Even though he still had to set up important programs to play the game. That wasn’t a big deal for him.

Sang Hyuk didn’t put things off any later, he entered the capsule VR machine and started setting up. Basically, all program settings of VR machine was possible in a virtual space which was made by the machine.

DHRRRR..

As soon as Sang Hyuk operated the VR machine in the capsule, a space like a white room appeared before his eyes.

This room was commonly called ‘D-room’. It wasn’t perfect yet, it was just half of D-room after logging in.

“Let’s start from the setting up of the damage synchronization rate….”

Sang Hyuk knocked the floor lightly after logging in D-room. And, a screen which had complex codes rose from the floor.  

While Sang Hyuk fell into despair and strived to get out of hopeless, he learnt how to do programming for the D-room.  

It was just one of his efforts to challenge the virtual reality game again, he had a decent skill compared to most VR programmers.

Sang Hyuk started setting up skillfully. First he didn’t remember exactly because it was too old of a version, but he slowly recalled after he played for a while.

He worked hard and finished setting up perfectly in three hours. If he had been a bit more familiar like the 7th generation capsule VR machine, he could finish in an hour. It took longer because he was unskilled with the 1st generation capsule VR machine.

Sang Hyuk connected between D-room and DN as soon as he finished setting up everything. It was like connecting the Internet after setting hp window OS.

After connecting to the Internet,  DN, he needed to check whether it worked properly or not.

When Sang Hyuk checked like this, he used to play ‘Virtual Reality Fighting Game’.

In Sang Hyuk standards, the virtual reality fighting game was the best game to warm up. It was even enjoyable.

Even though it wasn’t as popular as a virtual reality MMORPG, a virtual reality fighting game had lots of fans and there were a lot of popular games.

Sang Hyuk logged into ‘Hwan Sang Cheol Gwon 4(Meaning; Illusion Iron Fist)’ which was the most popular fighting game at the present point. Indeed, he used to play this game to release his stress during the break time when he worked like a slave at the workplace.

At the moment, the account name Sang Hyuk used was ‘Ji Roi Jin (Meaning; Mine Thunder). But, Sang Hyuk didn’t realize that the name Ji Roi Jin was what HSCG rankers was really afraid of.

According to HSCG system, each game influenced directly to users’ rankings. So if you lost to someone who wasn’t in the top ranks (Lower than ranking 1,000), you could drop your rank by quite a bit. In a sense, people were afraid of Ji Roi Jin who was out of the top 10,000 ranking but had a 95% winning rate.  

For this reason, Ji Roi Jin was pretty famous among HSCG users, even though he didn’t know about it.

Of course, it was the first time to login to HSCG in the present, so he made a new account again.

Sang Hyuk played 10 rounds to warm up as usual. It was wrong for people who thought that virtual reality and real life were not that different.

Everything was different between them. So, the meaning of warming up in virtual reality was stretching ‘thoughts’, not ‘body’.

The wide meaning of VRA was like the reaction speed of thoughts. It wasn’t just about thinking deeply, people who had fast reaction speed of thoughts could move delicately and quickly as well.

Sang Hyuk, who was Ji Roi Jin in HSCG won 10 rounds easily and logged out.

‘Whew, my skills were a bit rusty because it’s been a while since I’ve played this.’

Even though it was a bit awkward to play the game in the perfect condition capsule VR machine, he showed incredibly outstanding control ability in normal people standards.  

But he wasn’t satisfied yet with his standards.

“I have to log in regularly to recover the past feelings.”

Sang Hyuk murmured softly and nodded.

Because he had a month to start EL in earnest, he was confident in putting himself in the best condition before then.

Unlike his former life, Sang Hyuk got freedom and logged into HSCG more often to start recovering the old feelings. Existing HSCG rankers got harder and harder because of him.  

Sang Hyuk, who swept the game and got to be in the top 10,000, could fight with the best rankers at the random matching. Among the best rankers, they often mentioned the ‘shocking and scary Ji Roi Jin’.

There was a rumor in the online community that the best rankers were determined every day by whether they met Ji Roi Jin or not.

As Sang Hyuk never participated in the HSCG community, he didn’t know about it. Especially since he blocked all means to communicate in the game, he didn’t realize about the people judging and commenting about him at all.

Sang Hyuk was thinking about blocking every means to communicate with others from the start, so he wouldn’t get hurt by people. This is because he had several bad experiences about relationships,  so he couldn’t believe people anymore.

Even though, time moved on continuously.


And, finally!

It was 4th of March, 2028, the start of the open beta of Eternal Life(EL).

It was a sudden announcement about the schedule of EL’s open beta fifteen days ago.

In fact, some gamers had quite high expectations about EL before, but it was too sudden and they only opened  little information about the game. That caused people to have bad opinions about the game.

Even though people from all over the world had negative opinions, only one…Sang Hyuk never thought of any negative opinions.

He had already experienced how it grew into the best game in person… he finished preparing everything and waited for the opening of the server.  

< [ Chapter 3 ] Getting out of despair (2) > end


Translator : Joyce Gim
Proofreader : Kerrigan

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