Episode 3 – Contract (2)
Star Stream system.
The star stream broadcasting was designed to relay its contents to the entire universe.
The subscribers were constellations at the top of the distant galaxies. The actors were humans like me. And the storyteller that connected the two sides was the dokkaebi in front of me.
[Ha, hahahahat! You are crazy! A crazy human! I should’ve known it when you refused to sponsoring of the other constellations!]
Bihyung laughed for a long time before opening his mouth again.
[I don’t know how you know about Star Stream Broadcasting but I can’t accept the offer. I’m a dokkaebi, not a constellation. I can’t be your sponsor.]
“You seem to have misunderstood. I never told you to sponsor me.”
“I am well aware that you are a weak dokkaebi. I don’t need your strength. I need your channel.”
“Since you can’t seem to understand me, is there a problem with your Korean language patch?”
[No, what is this?]
“I will explain it simply. I want to sign an exclusive contract with your channel.”
Bihyung made a blank expression before belatedly regained his spirit.
[Wait a minute. Do you want to make a ‘stream contract’ with me now?]
A stream contract was originally a contract between dokkaebi and constellations.
The constellation’s incarnation would appear on a particular channel and the dokkaebi would receive a portion of the coins earned by the incarnation of the constellation as a commission.
Originally, the person who was the incarnation couldn’t intervene in this contract. It was called sponsorship but the contracted incarnation was nothing but a slave.
[Hahat, this is a hit.]
Bihyung laughed behind small fingers. The surrounding atmosphere was changing.
[I don’t know how you know about such things but some human dares to mention the stream contract? It is also a trivial buy with no sponsor?]
The tone changed and the surrounding air was filled with killing intent. Indeed, even a low level dokkaebi was strong compared to humans. But it wasn’t enough to make me back off.
“It is worth signing a contract because I have no sponsor.”
“What do you think the purpose of a constellation is to enter a channel?”
Bihyung looked like a bad student at the sudden question. From now on, it was a special lecture time for the low level dokkaebi.
“You don’t have to be so nervous. You already know this information. But let’s review it again to see what it means.”
Bihyung was caught in my pace and nodded despite himself.
“The Star Stream subscribers can be largely divided into two groups. One group are the ‘fun seekers’ who seek to relieve their boredom with the channel. The other group are the ‘incarnation searchers’ who want to find an incarnation to contract with them. Isn’t that right?”
[Yes. That’s right.]
“For this reason, you must be able to satisfy one of the two groups in order to become a famous channel in Star Stream. In other words, either stick to the fun seekers or the incarnation seekers. You have to attract one of them properly.”
[You are moderately well informed. But so what? What does this contract have to do with why constellations subscribe?]
“I don’t know how many more hints I have to give you. This is why your subscribers number still isn’t over three digits.”
[…Shut up. Say it quickly.]
Seeing Bihyung thrust his small horns at me cutely, it was hard to believe the dokkaebi had blown up people’s head a while ago. Now let’s stop making fun of him and take a chance.
“What if there is a channel that can satisfy both the fun seekers and the incarnation searchers?”
[What are you saying? Such a thing is impossible. Even if it is possible, it is only for a while.]
Bihyung’s words were correct.
The reason why it was impossible to satisfy all the constellations was due to the characteristics of the ‘incarnation searchers’ group.
The purpose of these constellations was to ‘discover an incarnation.’ They changed channels as soon as the Sponsor Selection was over. Due to this, the incarnation searchers group were just temporary customers. But.
“That is a story for when the Sponsor Selection proceeds normally.”
“What if there is an incarnation who doesn’t sign a contract with any constellation? And what if that incarnation shows an ability that transcends all over incarnations with sponsors?”
The existence of a strong incarnation would attract the eyes of the constellations. If this incarnation continued to not select a sponsor, the ‘incarnation searchers’ group would continue to subscribe without leaving the channel.
[W-Wait a minute! You, is this why you didn’t select a sponsor….?]
“Yes, that’s right.”
[Ha…this is interesting.]
Bihyung grinned at me.
[Becoming the strongest incarnation without a sponsor… if there is such a thing, it certainly wouldn’t be a dream to become the best Star Stream channel. But such an incarnation can’t exist.]
“Do you really think so?”
[…I admit that you aren’t normal. You have attracted the attention of constellations from the beginning and thanks to it, I have also been having fun. However, there is a limit to your delusions. Haven’t you noticed it after going through that? An ordinary human can never beat an incarnation. That is the law of the world.]
“I don’t know that.”
[You have already missed the opportunity. Look around you. This isn’t a main scenario. You failed a sub scenario and now your life is at risk. There are no constellations watching you―]
“By now, the constellations must be in an uproar. Aren’t they? Isn’t everybody clamoring for the channel to quickly be opened?”
Bihyung was silent.
“Aren’t they all going crazy with curiosity right now? Who is that crazy person who went against the regressor? Is he really a prophet? Can he really see the future? If he can see the future, what did he get eaten by the ichthyosaur?”
[S-Stop! You are…]
“From now on, I’m going to show it. So shut up and do what I tell you. Do you want to become the king of dokkaebis?”
Bihyung’s gaze towards me was changing. I could hear the sound of him gulping.
Bihyung was worrying. In any case, there was nothing to lose if he believed me here. Then? Bihyung’s pupils moved quickly.
[Then let’s settle the scenario failure first. Give me 5,100 coins…]
“What are you saying? I didn’t fail.”
“Maybe by now I would’ve met the conditions…”
I loosened my body and got up from my seat. My cold body was stiff. Bihyung still had a stupid expression on his face.
“Open the channel. It will start soon.”
[Start, what will―]
Then a message was heard in the air.
[The hidden scenario has arrived!]
[Hidden Scenario – Commander Slayer]
Clear Conditions: Kill the ichthyosaur ‘sea commander’ and escape from its stomach.
Time Limit: 10 days
Compensation: 9,000 coins
“Look, didn’t I tell you to be prepared?”
There were three types of scenarios in Ways of Survival. The main scenario was in charge of progressing the main story. The sub scenarios were responsible for minor events. And the hidden scenarios were only opened through special conditions.
[How on earth…?]
Bihyung’s lips were shaking with shock.
Unlike the main scenarios and sub scenarios that a dokkaebi was in charge of, the hidden scenarios were characterized by their automatic appearance when certain conditions were met.
“You didn’t even know. You low grade dokkaebi.”
[You…what on earth?]
“Anyway, if I can clear this, I will prove that I have the ability for the contract, right?”
Bihyung watched the scenario screen with gloomy eyes. He looked at me with a careful gaze and asked.
[This scenario, the difficulty is A+. Do you really believe you can clear it?]
There was a small wave as the Han River water crashed against the wall of the ichthyosaur’s stomach. Bihyung was silent for a moment before opening his mouth.
[…Okay. If you succeed in clearing this scenario then I will accept the contract.]
“The terms of the contract will be negotiated after the scenario is cleared.”
[So arrogant…then I will open the channel again. Please try hard.]
“Ah, wait a minute.”
It would be difficult if he left already. I had something to check.
“You have something left to do.”
[…What is it now?]
Bihyung’s mocking tone was somewhat annoying.
“Fix a system error for me.”
“My attributes window isn’t opening.”
[No way. The system can’t have an error. The scenario system is perfect.]
“Take a look yourself.”
Bihyung looked at me with suspicious eyes and started to mutter something.
[The dokkaebi ‘Bihyung’ has used ‘System Interference’ on you.]
It was an absolute interference skill that could only be used by dokkaebis with the right to interfere in the scenario.
In fact, it was unclear if the reason why I couldn’t see the attributes window was an error or not. But at least the dokkaebi would be able to find out something. And if he couldn’t figure it out, that was also a profit for me.
[The exclusive skill, ‘Fourth Wall’ is activated!]
In the next moment, sparks flew in the air and struck Bihyung.