Possessing a Murim Clan’s Youngest Son - Chapter 1
He spat. He didn’t know how long it had been since he spat on the floor…how dirty.
He felt like shit. He couldn’t have endured it otherwise. Han Yibi was trembling in anger.
Is it a ‘sin’ to get a job later than everyone else?! He wasted 5 years working night shifts at a convenience store in hopes of becoming…a web novel writer.
And then he gave everything up. He didn’t even have an inch of talent to begin with…
The world was cold to the ‘late comers’. He worked hard to get a sales position at a mid-sized company.
But no matter what he did, the only thing he got in return was discrimination for not getting in during the recruitment period.
t/n: Once a year, large corporations in Korea have a recruitment period. If you get hired during that time, it is viewed as something to be proud of because of all the competition.
A pathetic excuse of a salary. Promotions being pushed to the back.
He worked as a part-timer for 1 year and worked as a contractor for 2. But even that is about to be taken away from him.
They had told him to quit and to reapply through a temp agency. The image of the oily faced manager bragging about how hard it was to achieve this passed through his mind.
Son of a bitch!
But the truth was, he was even angrier with himself for signing an ‘illegal’ contract to switch to a temp worker.
Was it even worth going to these extremes to just put food on the table…
He just wanted to drink a shit ton and sleep…but he didn’t even have friends to drink with.
While he was living a life that was different from everyone else, Han Yibi had become a complete loner.
His only hobby was reading fantasy novels…but…hm?
‘Was there always a bookstore here?’
The goshiwon that Han Yibi stayed at was on the 5th floor of a rundown building located on the corner of a red-light district.
It was a building where you couldn’t even dream of having an elevator.
But there was a comic book store only 2-300 meters away.
As one would expect, it was in the basement of a store with goods that were rotting away…
‘How come I never noticed it before?’
The words ‘Comic Bookstore’ was written in an old-fashioned white font with a black background that was reminiscent of the 80’s.
But what caught his attention was the handwritten words on the A4 paper that was taped above it.
– Store Closing. Selling comic books/ novels for cheap.
As if he were possessed, Han Yibi went towards the stairs that lead to the basement.
The fluorescent lights that blinked ominously made it seem like he was entering some sort of ‘Demon’s Dungeon’ and it filled him with anxiety.
He slowly walked down the cement stairs until he faced an old wooden door.
The faded, yellow-stained poster and the rotting corners of the door welcomed Han Yibi.
Han Yibi hesitated for a moment but he eventually opened the door.
The annoying sound of the hinge.
The smell of old paper unique to bookstores poked the tip of his nose.
B…eep B…eep B…
Even the automatic doorbell that was low on battery was scary. But that wasn’t what scared Han Yibi.
Why was there a mummy… no, it was an extremely skinny old man that was sitting behind the counter.
This isn’t a museum… there’s no way there would be a mummy in the middle of a city.
Still Han Yibi, who believed himself to be quite cultured, thought of doing a ritual greeting but decided against it. It was because the old man was dozing off.
Even though it was the end of a work day there wasn’t a single customer to be seen. Has he already given up on the business…
Since he was already inside, Han Yibi decided to look around.
Most of them were comic books, martial arts novels, fantasy novels, and gangster novels.
He even noticed some adult books.
And of course, as expected from the atmosphere of the store, there wasn’t a newly released book in sight.
Then suddenly as if he was tied to a string, he was pulled to a bookshelf in the corner of the room and there, at the top left of the shelf, he discovered a set of martial arts novels.
Han Yibi’s eyes fluttered at the sight of the book.
– By Han Moowhan
A very familiar name.
Han Yibi unconsciously grabbed the book. Dust from the book flew around.
“It’s not for sale…”
He heard a shrill voice that sounded as if wind was escaping.
A startled Han Yibi turned and looked behind him. The old man who was asleep behind the counter was now awake.
“What? Are…you talking to me?”
“What do you mean it’s not for sale…”
“Aren’t you trying to buy it?”
“I’m talking about those books.”
Han Yibi finally responded after realizing that the old man was referring to the books he held in his hands.
“Ah…yes. I’m… trying to buy it.”
“That’s why I’m saying it’s not for sale.”
While staring at the old man’s sad and sunken eyes, Han Yibi asked.
“That was left behind by my grandson. He went missing while he was studying abroad in China. There were no signs of the owner and these books were just lying in a bag in the rented room. Ah! It’s already been many years since it happened, but I haven’t been able to throw it away.”
Han Yibi trudged up the stairs of the goshiwon. The cheaply made staircase might have been to blame but his footsteps were as loud as thunder as it echoed throughout.
‘What was I thinking… Why did I…’
Han Yibi looked at his right hand. There was a cord under his index finger and his middle finger.
And below that there were books hanging from it.
t/n: The books are wrapped in a cord using a carrier knot to make it easy to carry.
– Dreams of Becoming a Snake
They were the martial arts novels that the old man said were not for sale. Han Yibi was thinking about what happened earlier.
“Sir. My father wrote these books. It’s the last series he wrote before he passed away. It didn’t even have a draft so I went to the publishing company, but they went out of business so they didn’t have it anymore. Please sell it to me.”
The old man’s thinly shaped eyes widened. Han Yibi continued.
“If you don’t believe me, I can show you my family relations certificate…”
“Sir. Please think about it. It’s not that hard. Nowadays we have the internet so…”
“Just take it.”
“It’d be better off with you.”
The old man no longer said anything else.
Embarrassed, Han Yibi hesitated a little but eventually left with the novels in his hands.
On top of that the old man didn’t even accept the money he tried to give him.
‘I don’t even need this…’
He could barely remember his father now. I didn’t need to try so hard… he thought as he smirked.
“What kind of title is ‘Dreams of Becoming a Snake’. No matter how you look at it it’s not a title of a book that would sell well. If there were at least the words heroes, clans, swordsmen, fighters, murim, or even shaolin monks or shamans. There has to at least be words like this in the title, for it to be worth flipping through.”
Even though he was an aspiring web novel writer that failed he at least knew the basics.
Han Yibi, who finally made it up to his room, threw the martial arts novels carelessly on top of his desk.
And by habit carefully took off his wrinkled suit and hung it on a hanger.
In a place like a goshiwon where everyone lives so closely together one must be cautious no matter what they do.
Once in his boxers he spread his legs out onto his bed that extended under his desk. He was planning on taking a small nap.
But without knowing why he pulled out his phone.
The sound dug into his ears.
– Oh! Is this Yibi?
– I see. Nothing’s wrong right?
“Yes. Mom. Why would anything be wrong?”
Except for the fact that he’s about to be kicked out of his company…
He heard his mother’s voice again.
– Okay. I’m glad. But at least you have a job during these difficult times. You know the Kim family that runs the rice cake shop, their son still doesn’t have a job and just stays at home…
“How’s your health?”
– I’m fine so don’t worry about me.
There was no way she was fine.
He could already hear it from her weak voice.
The hard work she put into the corner store and the diabetes she got more than 10 years ago.
Before he knew it the lively and beautiful mom he remembered was already turning into a grandma.
As the corner store became surrounded with more and more convenience stores, they barely had enough to eat but…
Mother could not give it up. She had spent her whole life on it and thus it was the only thing she knew how to do…
Mother’s voice quickly became tense.
– What did you say?
“The last book father wrote. In the past, I couldn’t find it no matter how much I searched. I found it coincidentally at a comic book store that’s closing down soon.”
“Mom. Are you listening?”
– I don’t want to…talk about your dad. It’s too…
“…Okay, mom. I’ll stop.”
There was an awkward silence.
It was time to end the call.
“Okay, mom. I’m going to go now.”
– Okay, Yibi. You need to rest up since you have work tomorrow. Let’s end the call. Good night.
“Okay. You, too.”
– Mm. Okay.
Now… it was really time to sleep.
But I can’t fall asleep. Should I go buy some beer? Aish, but I’m already over my budget this month.
As soon as he let out a silent sigh, he once again remembered what happened at the office.
Han Yibi suddenly got up. He grabbed the rusty box cutter from the pencil cup-holder that he carelessly made from a water bottle and cut off the old-fashioned bright yellow cord.
And then he flipped through the 1st book. The faded yellow pages indicated its course of time.
It…wasn’t the least bit…interesting.
At least here.
It made sense that it did so poorly. Damn it. It made sense…that father would fail.
He felt sorry for the company that published a book like this. No wonder the company went out of business.
But Han Yibi read and read. Was it because he had felt a trace of his father…he himself did not know the reason.
He read and read.
How long has it been? The cheap clock on his desk showed that it was 4 in the morning.
Before he knew it the boring martial arts novel was coming to an end.
Han Yibi mumbled. He was on vacation this whole week anyways.
They’d call him a coward if he didn’t ask for a vacation after what he was put through.
At last he was on the last page of the 4th book.
But surprisingly…it wasn’t the end. The (To be continued) that was written at the end of the last sentence bothered him.
The bold letters that had never appeared before.
It’s not just 4 volumes?
At that moment the words (To be continued) seemed to violently shake before his eyes.
What…What’s going on?
It was a woman’s voice.
Heek! What…What did it just say?
As if he was hypnotized, he unknowingly mumbled to himself.
All the lights in the room went out.
No, the whole world was in fact…
[A new player has connected]
A young man spoke.
“Did you…see that just now?”
An old man spoke.
“How could this…what is the system thinking? I thought it was done connecting new players a long time ago.”
The old man spoke in an overly mocking tone.
“Who cares? It’s better for us if the number of prey increases. We’ll just wait for the right time and get rid of him.”
“Hahaha. Still it’s been so long…should we release them?”
“No. Let’s leave him until he’s fattened up a little, If he’s even capable of that. Just leave him be since we can find him whenever we want.”
“Ok. Let’s do that then.”
It’s dark…it couldn’t get darker than this…
Did I fall into a black hole or something…
On top of that, he couldn’t hear anything. He couldn’t hear or see anything. Total silence and isolation.
Could it be that…I’m dead? Dying alone in a goshiwon?
Fear and shame intersected and engulfed Han Yibi. And then at that moment!
Just like when it turned dark, it suddenly became bright. It felt as if his pupils were being burned by the sunlight.
Without realizing it, Han Yibi closed his eyes. Then he felt a terrible sensation. It was warm and he could smell something fishy. He felt something sticky!
He began to realize. Han Yibi quickly opened his eyes.
(To be continued in the next chapter)