The Main Characters That Only I Know (Novel) Chapter 43


Chapter 43

Scavenger.

It’s a word that is commonly used to refer to petty thieves, but among collectors, scavenger is a more versatile term.

Basically, scavengers are those who make a living by secretly collecting or stealing the scraps of stories or texts that other collector parties leave behind after hunting in the world of ideas.

They couldn’t hunt the phantoms that were too hard for their own power, but they still needed their by-products.

‘Of course, that’s still better than the worst.’

Some scavengers among them don’t stop at just stealing sneakily.

They rather hit other collectors from behind or even kill them in some serious cases. 

Especially this kind of group never moves alone, but forms a thorough organization or party.

The four who approached us now were exactly that kind of vicious scavenger party.

“So you’re saying that’s true, Mr. Yu-hyun.”

Surprisingly, Kang Hye-rim didn’t ask if it was true. 

I realized anew that I had built a great trust with her and felt somewhat proud. 

No, this is not the time for that.

“How did you know they were scavengers, Mr. Yu-hyun?”

[The spirits nod at Kang Hye-rim’s words.]

[The spirits are curious about how you knew.]

How did I know? 

I just read their ‘book’ and guessed their identity right away.

Of course, I couldn’t say that honestly, so I spat out the lines I had prepared beforehand.

“Their equipment. Did you look closely?”

“Huh? That… “

“It was fine. It looked like they had just entered the world of ideas, clean. They clearly told us that. They said they tried hunting here for a while, but it was too hard and they couldn’t do it. But for that, their outfits were too neat and they didn’t look tired at all.”

I moved my foot lightly and stepped on the swamp.

Splash!

“Look. This is a swamp that sinks up to your ankles. If you move a little bit violently, mud splashes like this. Even if you’re an average level collector, your clothes will get dirty as soon as you get into a fight. You can’t avoid it.”

[The spirits marvel at your deduction.]

[Some spirits ask if they might have changed clothes.]

“That’s not possible. First of all, the clothes that collectors wear are not ordinary clothes, but special items that are close to the power of stories. Do they change clothes because they are dirty? Usually collectors are not rich enough to do that. They don’t have spare clothes.”

If there were collectors who could afford such bourgeois things, they wouldn’t have to come to this dirty place to earn points.

“More than anything, it’s suspicious that they approached us without hesitation. Well, it’s funny to say it with my own mouth. But honestly, we’re not usually liked by other collectors, right?”

“That’s… true.”

[The spirits nod their heads as they can’t refute.]

Hey, can’t you deny it a little bit?

“Other collectors either avoid us or show interest in us. But those guys came over as if they didn’t know us. Isn’t that strange? Basically 4~6 people form a party, but we’re only two. Then they should have doubted us in reverse.”

Are they two? 

Maybe they have something up their sleeve? 

It was natural to think of that.

Or maybe they came in first and waited for the rest of their party to arrive later.

Whatever conclusion they came up with, it was very suspicious that they came up to us kindly and offered to join us.

“They didn’t doubt us, and they didn’t know who we were. And there were contradictions in their plausible excuses. It’s certain that they had some intention and approached us while hiding it.”

I looked around and chuckled.

“It’s foggy enough that you can’t see the scenery outside a few tens of meters away. The sound doesn’t seem to spread well either. It’s the optimal condition for people to die without being noticed, isn’t it?”

“Then why did you accept their offer? If they have something up their sleeve, you could have just refused.”

[The spirits agree with her words and nod their heads.]

Well, as Kang Hye-rim said, it would have been enough if we had just refused them sharply from the beginning. 

Or we could have lied and said we had companions. 

They wouldn’t be stupid enough to stick around too much if we suspected them.

“Then where’s the fun in that?”

“Huh?”

“I’ll ask the spirits. There are villains in front of us. They hide their true intentions and approach us with a knife behind their backs to stab us. They see us as a perfect prey. If such guys come to you, would you just avoid them? Would you do that, spirits?”

The message window became noisy in an instant with my provocative tone.

[The spirits say they can’t tolerate such things.]

[Most of the spirits shout that they have to crush them.]

[The one who resembles the brilliant light shakes his head and says he can’t let them go.]

Even Michael of the heavenly paradise agreed with me.

What’s more, what is a scavenger?

A villain.

They steal and rob other people’s things, and even commit murder without hesitation.

Leaving such guys alone is not a story of heroism.

They crush the villains and make them despair. 

That was the ‘fun’ story that the spirits wanted most.

“So I pretended to be fooled and accepted their offer.”

“Oh. I see.”

Kang Hye-rim seemed to be relieved for some reason. 

Hm? 

Did she worry that I would really get along with them? 

How naive.

“First, we pretend to go along with them. It’s not fun to reveal everything on the spot. We pretend to move as they want, and then we strike back at the crucial moment. That’s how a more dramatic story is created.”

“Do you think they’ll fall for it?”

“Ha ha. Hyerim. Do you know who is the easiest person to deceive in the world?”

At my words, Kang Hye-rim fell into a dilemma trying to figure out the intention of the question.

“Maybe an ignorant person?”

“Well, a person who doesn’t know anything would be easy to fool. But you have to know this. Rather, a person who doesn’t know anything is less likely to be fooled. They are more tense and cautious because they don’t know much. Then let me ask you. Do smart people get fooled?”

“That’s… I don’t think so.”

“Right. Smart people don’t get fooled easily either. They have knowledge and information on their side. Then who gets fooled the most?”

I smiled slyly and said.

“People who ‘delude themselves’ into thinking they know something are the most easily fooled.”

Those people are the ones who think that what they know is real and everything, and become blind merchants with their wrong beliefs.

The really dangerous thing is not the person who knows nothing, nor the person who knows everything.

The ones who know something in between are the most dangerous and stupid.

Those who think that what they see is everything in the world.

Those who think that what they know is the truth, and that they are superior to others.

Those are the ones I like the most as prey.

***

“Whew. Did you see his face just now? How stupid. He totally fell for it.”

“Heh heh. I was scared when I heard he was a sword master, but he’s nothing special. Well. What would a newbie who hasn’t been a collector for even a month know?”

“Still, just in case, let’s not be nervous and do as we always do.”

The scavengers didn’t stop smiling, thinking that their acting had worked well.

Watching their scene, the man, Han Yong-woon, bit his lip with a guilty expression.

His expression was read by the leader of his party, Baek Woo-hyun, who frowned.

“Hey. Arm dealer.”

Arm dealer.

It was a nickname that Baek Woo-hyun used to call Han Yong-woon.

It was a nickname he gave him because he had worked part-time at a cellphone store before he became a collector.

“Damn it. Look at your face. Why? Do you feel guilty for doing this?”

“Woo-hyun. No matter what, this doesn’t seem right.”

Han Yong-woon had known Baek Woo-hyun since before. 

They weren’t really good friends. 

Rather, they were enemies if anything.

In his school days, Baek Woo-hyun was a bully who harassed other kids, and Han Yong-woon was a victim of his abuse.

But even after graduating from high school and becoming a collector in society,

Han Yong-woon couldn’t escape from Baek Woo-hyun’s clutches. 

He thought things would change when he awakened, but rather Baek Woo-hyun got cocky as a collector and forced Han Yong-woon to join his side.

‘This is wrong no matter how I think about it.’

Han Yong-woon didn’t even know that his party was scavengers until recently. 

He just followed them because they lured him with a good deal.

“Ha, hey. Arm dealer. Are you talking back to me?”

Gasp!

At Baek Woo-hyun’s words, Han Yong-woon shuddered. 

When Baek Woo-hyun lowered his voice, he remembered the old memories he didn’t want to remember.

Damn it. 

He clenched his teeth.

He thought he had escaped after becoming an adult and a collector. 

But reality was not like that at all.

He was still a coward and a loser, and nothing more than a lackey of Baek Woo-hyun.

‘But.’

He didn’t have the courage to deny it either.

What’s the point of shouting that something is wrong? 

A powerless shout has no effect. It only invites ridicule and beatings if he’s lucky.

‘This is wrong.’

He didn’t think he could kill people. 

This was not morally right. 

To cheat and deceive them and try to kill them. 

That kind of thing…

“Hey. They’re coming. Keep your face straight.”

Looking at us with a glare and saying that, Han Yong-woon couldn’t say anything back.

He just rolled his eyes and nodded his head.

He was still a coward after all. 

He succumbed to the violence and power in front of him, and tried to do something that went against his conscience and beliefs.

‘How did this happen?’

Han Yong-woon hated his miserable fate so much that he felt like going crazy. 

But more than that, he couldn’t stand himself for not being able to do anything.

But he couldn’t scream or cry.

He just showed a blank face to the sword master woman and her male companion who were approaching us.

That was the best he could do.

And so the hunt began.

The hunt of those who think they are deceiving and those who try to eat them.

 ---

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