The Main Characters That Only I Know (Novel) Chapter 144


Chapter 144

As soon as I heard the name of the young man who introduced himself as Ishmael, a phrase flashed in my mind like lightning.

“Call me Ishmael”

The most famous sentence from Moby Dick, a maritime novel by the American writer Herman Melville.

I realized that this curious young man was the protagonist of that novel, and that the world we entered was not a simple maritime legend, but the novel Moby Dick.

“Wow. I didn’t expect that.”

I muttered, feeling the puzzle pieces fall into place.

“What? What is it?”

“No, nothing. So, Mr. Ishmael. What are you curious about us?”

“Just call me Ishmael! I’ll call you brother!”

The young man Ishmael said with a bright smile. 

As the narrator of the novel, Ishmael seemed to have a very dry heart after experiencing the storms of the world, but now he looked like a dreamy youth.

He couldn’t take his eyes off me since a while ago. 

It was a look of longing for someone who knew a world he didn’t know.

“So, Ishmael. What are you curious about?”

“Are you really from outside?”

“Yes.”

I accepted the word guest naturally without questioning it. 

It seemed that our existence was treated as uninvited guests here.

In fact, at the Siege of Constantinople, the collectors were treated as mercenaries. 

The world itself assigned a role to the collectors.

Once Ishmael started talking, he didn’t stop easily.

“I wanted to see more of the world. But I haven’t confirmed anything yet. I wanted to see a farther world, so I boarded a whaling ship instead of a merchant ship, but all I saw was boring sea every day. And the captain was so strict, he told me not to mingle with the guests?”

Ishmael grumbled about the captain behind his back.

“The captain?”

“Captain Ahab. I don’t know what he’s doing right now, he’s not showing up, but he’s probably locked up in his room drinking rum like crazy. Oh. This is a secret. Don’t tell him I said that.”

“Don’t worry. I’m not the kind of person who blabs things like that to others.”

As soon as I heard the name Ahab, I was sure that this was the Moby Dick world.

‘The giant white monster that the second exploration team saw was Moby Dick, the main character of this novel.’

Moby Dick was a white sperm whale that had become a legend by now. 

Although it was a story in a novel, it had destroyed several huge ships so far.

A whale that destroys everything but does not conquer.

And Ahab, the captain of the ship I was on, was a vengeful demon who threw his harpoon at Moby Dick in hell.

“Why did you board this Pequod?”

“Oh, we?”

I wondered what reason to give. 

There was no particular reason why we came here. 

If anything, it was to check out the world and clear it. 

There was no way I would tell Ishmael that much.

“There’s only one reason to board a whaling ship.”

“Are you looking for Moby Dick too?”

Ishmael asked in a low voice. 

I nodded.

If this was the Moby Dick world, then surely the clear condition of this world would be hunting Moby Dick. 

Leaving aside how to catch that huge thing, that was the goal for now.

Ishmael asked me various things with curiosity. 

What other continents were like, and what kind of people lived there.

I answered him moderately while getting various information from him in return.

“Ah. It’s time to go now. If I slack off here, Queequeg will be looking for me desperately.”

“I see.”

“Brother. But I have one question.”

Ishmael looked at Kwon Jia and Kang Hye-rim on both sides of me and asked innocently.

“Are those two ladies your wives?”

“Uh, what?”

I was caught off guard by his naive question. 

So were Kwon Jia and Kang Hye-rim who had been watching the conversation from both sides of me.

“Yes, yes?”

“What, what!”

Their faces turned red as a tomato. 

They looked quite cute as they fussed around. 

Yu-hyun put aside his admiration and tried to say something to Ismael, who was clearly misunderstanding something.

“Hey. I know everything. I heard that in the other continent, a capable person can have as many wives as he wants. Right? Ladies. I know everything I need to know. You are amazing, brother! To marry such beautiful sisters.”

“No, that’s not…”

“Oops. Look at me. Anyway, I’ll go now! If we meet again later, please tell me more interesting stories!”

Ismael left without waiting for Yu-hyun’s answer.

Yu-hyun reached out his hand in vain to stop him.

How could he throw such a big bomb before leaving!

Yu-hyun swallowed his saliva at the suddenly awkward atmosphere.

“Uh, um. What do we do?”

“…I don’t know.”

“…I don’t know either.”

Kang Hye-rim and Kwon Jia answered with flushed faces.

***

Even after that, Yu-hyun, who was trying to gather more information, did not achieve much success after Ismael. 

Most of the crew members were careful about the guests and acted like they didn’t know anything.

Rather, Ismael was an unusual case and the conversation he had with him was the last chance.

‘I don’t know where he is even if I want to see him again.’

He knew that he was with the harpooner Queequeg, but he didn’t know who Queequeg was.

Yu-hyun didn’t regret it. 

He had learned the most important fact that this place was a world of stories composed of Moby-Dick.

“Oh. You were there.”

By chance, Park Cheol-oh was looking for Yu-hyun and greeted him when he ran into him. Behind Park Cheol-oh were Bang Sang and one other collector.

“Oh, Team Leader Park Cheol-oh. Did you get any clues?”

“No, not at all. They wouldn’t answer even if I tried to ask them. I thought about forcing them a bit, but they have their own rules on the ship, so it’s hard to act rashly. So I told the other crew members on the other ships not to cause any trouble.”

“I see.”

“How about you? Did you find out anything?”

“Yes. I did.”

When Yu-hyun nodded his head, Park Cheol-oh asked happily.

“Really? What is it?”

“I found out what kind of story this world of ideas is. The name of this place is Moby-Dick. It’s a famous novel, so I believe you know it too.”

Park Cheol-oh slapped his knee.

“Aha. That’s it. Of course, that makes sense! I thought something was strange about this ship being armed differently from a normal merchant ship, but if it’s a whaling ship, then it’s a different story. Thank you. Thanks to you, I got the most important clue about this place.”

“It’s my duty.”

Park Cheol-oh immediately informed the other people on the other ships of the information through radio.

He was a very upright person. 

He said that this information was obtained by White Flower Management and that they deserved credit. 

He also warned them not to make too much noise because there might be more clues to find.

“Then it must be that white whale that the survivors of the second exploration team saw. This is really something. I don’t know how to thank you.”

“It was nothing. The real problem is still there.”

“That’s right. The important thing is, even if we know that this place is Moby-Dick, we don’t know what the ‘condition’ is to get out of here.”

Yu-hyun didn’t know what the condition was either. 

According to the survivors’ statements, they lost consciousness when the ship sank and most of their teammates died, and when they woke up, they were outside.

‘Is sinking the ship the condition? Or when Moby-Dick appears? Or maybe there is only one survivor like in the novel’s ending.’

If only one person can get out, then the situation becomes serious. 

It would be better to hunt down Moby-Dick and end this world of ideas.

‘To do that, I need to meet Captain Ahab.’

The thing that bothered me the most right now was not Moby Dick or Captain Ahab, but the three collectors sent by the Twilight Curtain.

They seemed to behave themselves for now, but I had no idea what they would do at the most critical moment.

“Team leader, I have something to tell you.”

“What is it?”

Fortunately, I had a reliable ally who was on my side in front of me.

“Do you remember the three people sent by the Twilight Curtain clan?”

“Of course. I’m the person in charge here, so I know all the participants.”

“Be careful of them. They are dangerous people.”

“Those three?”

Park Cheol-oh reacted as if he was puzzled by my words. 

Well, that was understandable. 

There was no reason for the Twilight Curtain to secretly plot anything here.

“They are already on a leash because of the previous incident. What do you think they will do?”

“Any normal clan would try to protect themselves. But those three are different. Weren’t you a bit surprised when you first received their names? Did you know that there were such mid-level collectors in the Twilight Curtain?”

“That’s…”

Park Cheol-oh closed his mouth as he tried to say something. Come to think of it, I was right.

Mid-level collectors were popular enough to have their names known among people. 

There might be some differences, but no one would not know a newly risen mid-level collector. 

Most clans would boast about having a mid-level collector.

The three sent by the Twilight Curtain were out of place in that sense.

‘Where did those collectors come from?’ That was the natural reaction to them. They had no clear past records and appeared suddenly.

There was something fishy.

Park Cheol-oh felt it too.

“…Do you know anything for sure?”

“I’m not certain.”

I shrugged it off casually. 

I had succeeded in arousing his alertness, but if I told him too much, he might become suspicious of me instead.

When revealing information, you should stimulate the curiosity of the other person and only give a small part of it, not the whole.

That was my principle.

“There’s a rumor going around lately. Some clans secretly raise collectors. You must have heard about it too, right? The incident that happened in Hanul.”

“Yeah. They secretly trained a special team without the government’s permission.”

“There’s no law that says other clans can’t do that either. Especially, the Twilight Curtain has always been notorious for that. They even caused trouble before. And they sent three unknown mid-level collectors from there? Don’t you think that’s suspicious?”

“…”

Park Cheol-oh’s expression became serious. His eyes sharpened like a soldier facing a war.

“As a commander, let me ask you one thing.”

“Yes.”

“I get that they are suspicious. But there’s one thing I can’t figure out. Why would they do that? Especially considering the background of this world view. It’s like an abyss here. If they do something wrong, they might die too. Do you really think they will do that?”

Park Cheol-oh tried to find a rational reason. 

He thought logically like an experienced commander.

He understood that the Twilight Curtain had something hidden. But would they really risk their lives and do something like that?

He doubted that those three would do something that could cost them their lives.

That was what worried Park Cheol-oh.

“Team leader, let me ask you one thing too.”

“What is it?”

“Do fanatics have a proper reason for their actions?”

“…”

Park Cheol-oh shut his mouth at my words.

“Do you know why crazy people do crazy things? There is no reason. They just do it because they are crazy or they grew up like that. There are people who act without any reason in this world. Those three are exactly like that.”

“How can you be so sure that they are crazy?”

Park Cheol-oh asked me with a hint of doubt in his voice. He still wanted to believe in logic and reason.

I smiled bitterly and answered him.

“Because I’ve seen them before.”

“If you are still uneasy, take a look at their ‘eyes’ later. You are a wise person, you will know.”

“…I see. Yes, I was mistaken.”

Park Cheol-oh admitted his mistake.

He regretted that he had been too optimistic, considering that they were short of one person’s power right now.

“I’ll let the team know. We don’t know what they might do, so keep an eye on them.”

“It should be fine for now.”

“Why are you so sure?”

“Think from their perspective. Team leader. If you were to ruin this operation, when would you move?”

Park Cheol-oh widened his eyes.

If he had some reason to sabotage this operation and hinder the others, when would he act?

That would be.

“When everyone is relaxed, and the most critical moment…”

And in this Moby-Dick worldview, there was only one such moment.

“When the white whale appears, that’s when they will move.”

The uneasy hunch became reality.

Ding-ding-ding-ding!

Hoot!

Along with the loud bell sound that rang in their ears, the white hawk that flew in the sky shared its vision with Yu-hyun.

“It’s him! He’s here!”

Far away in the sea where the five whaling ships were heading, a huge black shadow was moving under the water.

 ---

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