Chapter 1

Translator: Darling | Editor: Nebosuke

 

A successful game that everyone knows is called a national game and a failed game is named as a failed national game.

In Korea, there is no national game but there is a failed national game.

About 10 years ago, one game was launched.

Mobile RPG ‘Player Master High School’, also known as ‘PMH’.

The present world transformed due to colliding with outbreeds.

A master school raised players with special talents.

It was a mobile RPG that had school as a background, and it was about controlling various characters to proceed with the story and clearing quests.

Before the opening, PMH would make headlines from the beginning. marking the highest development costs and marketing costs ever in the gaming industry.

The opening song was sung by a talented singer who ranked high on the music charts.

The commercial song which aired primetime on cable TV, comprehensive channels, and public channels.

Posters were attached to buses, bus stops, trains, and platform doors.

Banner and video advertisements were located on search engines.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that half of the citizens saw PMH’s advertisement.

‘I’ve found the game of my life.’

I thought that as I was one of the 3 million users who pre-registered.

The day after the College Entrance Exam, PMH began its service.

Since I became free after the college entrance exam, I started the game with 3 million users from the first day of service.

However, PMH became a failed game for life for many gamers.

The game balance was a mess, including its characters, skills, and items.

The bugs weren’t fixed, and the number increased day by day.

The controlling difficulty was so terrible and uncertain that it would drive users away from the game or piss them off.

There was little compensation with the repeating mundane routine that did not have an auto feature.

Not to mention, there was a lack of a multiplayer feature other than ‘Request for help to other players’ where other features were for single players.

The store was bombarded with low ratings and comments were filled with criticism and curses.

However, fans who were loyal to the game persisted.

It was full of faults, but the game had good features as well.

Beautiful high-quality illustration.

Character rendering that is similar to the illustration and in-game graphics.

Detailed and attractive character plot.

The maniacs couldn’t let go of the game.

However, that didn’t last long.

A story plot with no hope destroyed the mania’s mentality.

[Let’s get a refund for this crappy game since its opening.]

[I’m leaving as the character I raised, teachers, and all my friends all. If you managed to get a refund, please share your experience. I will reward you.]

[I’m ready to leave this game as my characters were raided. You guys should leave as well. I understand, but I wish people who want refunds to die.]

[I tried to quit the game and I received a notification to join the army. Is that a benefit?]

[The story plot is so lame. I feel like suffocating. Dropping!]

[I’m not staying long. Quitting. I want to go back to before playing this game.]

[Donating the manager position for this forum. If there is no application within 3 days, I will give it to someone randomly and will withdraw.]

After the story proceeded where the characters were slaughtered, a forum that shared unofficial information for PMH failed and the manias left the forum.

Afterward, this incidence was named as the ‘Collapse of PMH Mania.’

There was a rumor present in the gaming community.

‘You shouldn’t even encounter the maniacs of PMH.’

PMH was a failed game that would be recorded in-game history.

Only the game producers and weirdos play the game and those two groups are dangerous so you shouldn’t encounter them.

However, I was considered a geek and I repeatedly played and quit the game.

As the story was updated, playable characters and other people died miserably.

The characters who survived suffered from mental breakdowns.

Still, I persisted to read the upcoming story.

‘I will really stop if another character dies.’

At that moment, I really thought that.

However, I couldn’t quit the game although dozens of characters died afterward.

After some time, I wasn’t even quitting the game.

Even after I joined the army, I continued to play in my free time where I was allowed to use my phone for 3 hours.

“Hey man.”

“Yes, Private Jo. Did you call me?”

“What game do you play?”

“…..It’s called Player Master High School.”

The dorm became silent all of sudden.

Sergeant Choi who was holding a remote control in one hand and a phone in another opened his mouth.

Sergeant Choi talked to me while looking at me as if I were diving my head into the ground.

“Huh, what a pitiful guy.”

I was treated as a pitiful guy until I was discharged.

Until Sergeant Choi was discharged, I was treated as, ‘Don’t bother to deal with the pitiful guy,’ so I had a relatively easy life in the army.

Annoying Corporal, I mean, Corporal Gye became Sergeant Gye and he consistently annoyed me until he was discharged.

After a few years, I really became a pitiful person.

“You are at the late stage for lung cancer.”

I didn’t know what I was hearing just now.

It wasn’t something a gamer who couldn’t buy a cigarette would hear due to in-app purchases.

“It’s rare, but there are cases where you wouldn’t experience any symptoms until the late stage.”

The doctor also commented, ‘There are many people who get lung cancer despite being a nonsmoker.’

Afterward, the doctor added more comments.

Half of the comments that the doctor said flew out of my ears.

The conversation I managed to understand are as follows:

At the earliest, I may die in 6 months.

If I get treatment and become healthier, I may expect to live for more than 3 years.

Even if insurance is applied, without a job, I cannot afford to pay for the hospital bills for a long period of time.

I told the doctor that I’d think about it and never visited the hospital again.

I graduated high school after losing my parents in middle school and stayed at relative’s house.

I graduated from university after repeating many leaves of absence to earn money.

I stayed out for 1 year without a job after surrendering a job opportunity which the professor provided to someone with a connection.

Last month, I managed to successfully get a job after living as a part-timer.

I took a medical examination because I needed documents for a job interview and I received a limited life sentence.

Although there were hard times, the life that was worth living would end up soon.

I became a crippled person addicted to games.

Before, I was an ordinary gamer who had a normal social life.

However, now I quit all interpersonal activities and productive activities while looking at a smartphone with hollow eyes inside a small room.

I became a person addicted to games.

‘One of the reasons why I got cancer is due to this game.’

I lamented that I had gotten cancer while playing PMH.

But then, even now while I’m dying from cancer, I’m still playing the game.

Recently, the coughs became worse.

I coughed blood about two or three times a day.

Sometimes, my body would experience so much pain that I couldn’t fall asleep.

The painkiller sold at the pharmacy didn’t help at all.

‘Am I going to die soon?’

It was fine when I was playing the game but when there was maintenance, I only thought of death. 

I tried to refresh the page for game news to think about something else.

The main article changed.

[Anticipated update the final chapter of Mobile RPG PMH today!]

Regardless of death, an explicative came out.

I pressed the article and left a comment.

[jo2god111: Why is the update of this failed game on the main article? What successful game? If you have money to give to journalists, remove the bugs, and improve the game.]

Within a few minutes, there was a comment below my comment.

[kye777ing: For real. The failing PMH game still hasn’t closed its services. I don’t hang out with those who play this game.]

It was true that PMH was a failing game.

However, I felt angry after hearing insults related to families.

If you are going to insult someone, you should insult only those who play the game.

If you had to insult someone, the person who plays the game should insult one of the rotten mindsets as a person addicted to games.

I impulsively added a comment.

[jo2god111: You are harsh. Are you criticizing after playing the game?]

Then, people were eating me up below my comment.

[zxYJ0008xz: What are you jo2god111, are you sick?]

[kye777ing: Are you nuts? Read what you wrote again.]

[dudtn90: Don’t pay attention to this weirdo.]

[rkrehrl12: Let’s be careful with what we say (harsh curse). Mmm, there is no subject.]

It was a comment that I made but it was crappy.

Soon, the comments were filled with half of them insulting the game, and half of them criticizing me.

I couldn’t give a proper rebuttal and I turned off the feed after the maintenance was over.

‘I will die after seeing the ending……’

I laid down in a small bed and turned the PMH app on to proceed with the update.

While the update file was downloading, I took out the files and concept book.

I printed out A4 papers of strategies and put them together as a file.

It was eight books of detailed concepts with more than 500 pages in each book.

I put it under the bed so I could read it at any time.

As I was reading while lifting the concept book with comments for strategy, the update was completed.

‘Is it over now?’

The 6 months which the doctor told me passed a long time ago.

In a situation where I don’t know when I will die, time and stamina were more valuable than gold.

I was pouring all of that energy into the game.

A fierce fight for hours was over.

‘It’s over.’

It was such a bad ending with no hope and mercy.

Overall, I couldn’t get anything and no one was saved.

‘White Tiger’ was my best character until the final boss.

He lost everything due to an evil scenario writer and died cruelly.

‘Those asshole scenario writers.’

I thought it was fine to encounter any bad endings.

Instead, I may feel jealous if there is a happy ending while I’m going to die soon.

However, that was the wrong idea.

I may have expected a happy ending.

As the story was hard to read, I dropped and rejoined repeatedly but it wasn’t because I was a masochist who enjoyed pain.

If I was, I wouldn’t feel miserable like this.

‘I couldn’t let go of this game because I expected a happy ending.’

As I have a limited lifetime, I barely realized it after clearing this game.

However, the game was over.

All the playable characters died miserably.

Also, I will die soon.

I force closed the game and threw the phone to the side.

Ring!

Then, I heard an alarm sound as if someone was complaining.

It was an alarm from PMH.

<You can obtain a reward for clearing the final chapter. Please check your inbox.>

‘…Reward for clearing the final chapter?’

PMH was criticized for managing the game crappily.

They didn’t even send advertisement or update notifications, so what was this all of sudden?

‘It must be a crappy reward.’

I didn’t expect it but I was curious.

I should see it.

It was a mindset of a person with a game addiction under the control of gaming companies.

While thinking like that, I opened the app while looking dead.

However, as I opened the gift box on the main screen, the screen froze.

No matter how long I waited, the screen didn’t move.

Force close didn’t work.

I tried to turn off the phone but I couldn’t.

Since the battery was installed inside, I couldn’t disconnect the battery either.

‘Wow, another bug! Gosh, eww.”

When I opened my mouth, a cough came out.

That was the end of the game which I played for almost 10 years.

There was a futile feeling due to the ending. It lacked seriousness.

I had a long playtime and less stamina due to my illness.

My body started to deteriorate quickly.

Cough, puke, cough, cough……

Soon, it sounded like shouts rather than coughs.

It sounded like shouting from a person right before death.

I thought there was saliva and I wiped my mouth but my hands turned red.

<You have been connected to a universe beyond imagination. Screening connected player’s suitability.>

Beyond…….what?

I started to hear things.

Dangerous.

It must be really time for me to die.

<Screening complete. Selected player ‘Jo Euishin’ is suitable for two-dimensional future innovation.>

“Hey Euishin, it’s Seongheon. Are you okay?”

I heard Seongheon Cheon, who was in charge of managing the private rooms knocking on the door.

Due to coughing sounds, other residents may have complained.

There must be many people like me, so from next week on, there would be a spot available at the hospice.

If I don’t die today, I may have to enter while laying down in front of a hospital room.

It will be a burden for Seongheon and other residents.

<Proceeding with dimensional synchronization and transforming for suitable two-dimensional future innovation ‘Jo Euishin’. Ten seconds until completion.>

Seongheon, who was a junior in my university, used to hang out with me.

After meeting as a manager and tenant in a private room, his attitude stayed the same.

Instead of the food meals which I treated him to, he used to give me cough medicine and snacks.

He was an excessive person for someone who was about to die.

I prepared things in case I died suddenly inside the room.

If the funeral is over, there was some leftover money and my last will.

I wrote Seongheon’s name on the envelope.

<8……7……>

I need to say I’m fine but I can’t.

I kept hearing things and I was coughing out blood so it was a mess.

At least I tried to close my mouth to minimize the noise.

However, as the coughs intensified, the sounds grew louder.

Cough, cough, cough, puke, cough!

Seongheon knocked on the thin door.

“Euishin, open the door!”

Seongheon seemed to be looking for keys and I heard the noise of metal clinking a few times and the lock opened.

<2……1……0>

As soon as the door opened, a white light came into my vision.

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