Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint - Chapter 462
Chapter 462: Episode 87 – The Heart of Steel (4)
“Hyeon-Seong-ee will do it right.”
“Hey, it’s still not too late. Tie the PET bottles to your legs and jump from the third floor.”
“Others eventually all serve, anyway. So it’s fine. Come back after becoming a man.”
Those were pretty common advice given to someone about to be drafted, just like his life. A life too busy chasing after what everyone else was doing.
Just like everyone else, he had to sing ‘Private’s Letter’, and without a best friend nor a girlfriend to bid him goodbye, walked into the recruit training centre.
“53rd trainee Yi Hyeon-Seong, here!”
Yi Hyeon-Seong’s early military life wasn’t so bad. Thanks to his naturally-tall height and well-built muscles, he even got recommended to become a commander-in-training, too. He would’ve even graduated the training course with citations were it not for messing up the commander’s pledge repeatedly.
“Trainee, do you think the words of your training supervisor are a joke??”
He realised it from an early age that he was rather slow-witted. Didn’t matter what it was, he learned it later than everyone else, and he was also rather slow in analysing his situations, too.
Even then, he managed to live on relatively fine all because there were some people who appreciated his relaxed and honest personality. Unfortunately, there were no such people to be found in the army.
“Just why do I have to be paired with him in the buddy system….”
“A big freaking body and nothing much besides….”
Yi Hyeon-Seong endured the trainee life even as he was subjected to various insults and ridicules.
By the time he completed the training course, he became someone who could finish showering in five minutes or pack his sleeping gear in less than one minute.
Not too long afterwards, the moment he’d be dispatched to a base had arrived. This was the moment he had been waiting forever since he got drafted.
– Giving away sweet tips to those about to join the army. Follow these instructions after you get to a base. (HOT!) 
From the shoe inserts to use during prolonged marching, to being loved by his seniors after he got assigned to a base – the so-called ‘sweet tips’ on the internet he diligently studied the day before joining the military was his only hope.
His fellow trainees left one by one.
He was the last one remaining. And the person to come fetch him was a person named ‘Sergeant first class Jeong’. A steel hat deeply pressed on this person’s head obscured their face.
“You, come with me.”
While he rode on the noisy military truck headed to somewhere, Yi Hyeon-Seong thought about his life one more time. He thought about the next couple of years ahead, as well as the trials and tribulations waiting for him.
His new army base was in the middle of a small mountain. And so, this would be where his army life would begin proper. He finished the simple registration process for a new recruit with the aid of a manager and headed off to the barracks.
And the moment he opened the building’s door wide…
– You must definitely do this.
Yi Hyeon-Seong did exactly what the internet tip said he should do.
“Accept your newbie-!!”
If this was a regular army, his army life would’ve come to an end right there. That was, if this was the regular army base.
As his duffel bag was flung in the air, everything around him slowed down to a crawl, like a slow-motion video. The bag slowly came undone mid-air; unwashed army-issue underwears, toilet papers, and soap he used back in the boot camp very slowly scattered in the air. Also, Yi Hyeon-Seong’s own triumphant, confident face, filled with the hope of his upcoming army life…
As this scene resembling a tragedy-filled movie played out, someone suddenly asked a question.
– ….What should we do?
That elicited a reply from someone else.
– Nothing much. This is who Hyeon-Seong-ssi is. In any case, let’s accept this reality. The hardcore treatment last time didn’t work, so this time, let’s go with the promised ‘progressive army’ concept…
– Stop being noisy and get it started already, Kim Dok-Ja.
– ….Well then, let’s start over again!
And then, the scene began moving forward again.
His duffel bag shooting forward seemingly out of a cannon crashed on the floor like a real cannon shell.
The atmosphere became icy in an instant as if someone poured cold water. And the glares of his seniors belatedly stabbed into Yi Hyeon-Seong. Cold sweat trickled down his back. Could it be… that he made a mistake?
Right next moment.
Sergeant first class Jeong grinned brightly and clapped hands. “Begin your smile exercise, now! Hahahaha! Wow, now that was funny! My first time seeing such a refreshing debut!”
That prompted the seniors in the barracks to give him a standing ovation as if they were waiting for this moment.
“Rookie-nim, really well done!”
As the sounds of hands clapping resounded out, Yi Hyeon-Seong grew even more puzzled, but still, his triumphant air returned. The ‘sweet’ tip had been right.
Sergeant first class Jeong spoke towards the soldiers. “Jung-Hyeok-ee, you’re his direct senior, so take good care of this guy.”
The noisy atmosphere continued on. In the meantime, Yi Hyeon-Seong discovered a senior tidying up his scattered belongings on the floor for him.
His uniform was perfectly straight, the light in his eyes sharp and fierce, and his face was like a fine sculpture. His chest was home to the army service ribbon of Private first class, and the name tag of ‘Yu Jung-Hyeok’.
‘Ah, so this person is my direct senior.’
It was then, this senior’s scary eyes landed on Yi Hyeon-Seong.
“I, I’m Private second class, Yi Hyeon-Seong!!”
“Your spot is this way.”
His stuff had been gathered up in the blink of an eye and was placed in the locker. Other seniors looked impressed as if they were expecting it.
“Newbie, watch and learn from him. Jung-Hyeok-ee is our base’s ace, you see?”
Just from looking at the atmosphere of his seniors, he could already tell what kind of a being his direct senior was. That perfectly-set beret, that perfectly-set bedding – it was as if everywhere this person touched sparkled brightly. If he could carry on his army life just like this senior…
“What’s this? We have a newbie?”
It was at this moment that a cheerful voice came from the entrance. A man’s face caked in sweat as if he was returning from a hard day’s work was there.
Yi Hyeon-Seong confirmed the rank of sergeant as the man brushed past him and he quickly performed a military salute. “Loyalty!”
“Ah, ah. Don’t be so tense. It’s fine.” The sergeant studied Yi Hyeon-Seong’s face before breaking out in a grin. He then shifted his gaze towards Private first-class Yu Jung-Hyeok. “Looks like our Jung-Hyeok-ee’s military life is about to get a whole lot easier now? He’s already got himself a direct junior and all.”
The complexion of the man snickering away was far too pale for a soldier. But, why was this? The moment he saw this man, Yi Hyeon-Seong felt this sensation of the deepest corner of his heart ache a little.
Soldiers confirmed the face of the man and shouted out.
“Sergeant Kim Dok-Ja-nim! Good to see you back from your hard day’s work!”
“Alright, men. By the way, why isn’t Jung-Hyeok-ee greeting me?”
Private first-class Yu Jung-Hyeok trembled visibly, his complexion ashen-white. It felt as his scowl didn’t form out of fear, but more like out of sheer rage, instead
Sergeant Kim Dok-Ja shrugged his shoulders after observing his reaction, then spoke up. “Welcome to our squad, Yi Hyeon-Seong.”
“I’m Private second class, Yi Hyeon-Seong! Sir!”
This was the first meeting between Yi Hyeon-Seong and the squad leader Kim Dok-Ja.
….As far as the former’s memories were concerned, that was.
About two weeks went by since he was shipped out.
During that time, Yi Hyeon-Seong got to learn various things about this base. For instance, about Sergeant Kim Dok-Ja, the de facto authority in the squad he belonged to.
“Got it? If that fool Yu Jung-Hyeok does something out of line, you must tell me right away.”
“P-Private second class, Yi Hyeon-Seong!! There’s no such thing!”
“Nope, listen. Such a thing will happen. You already suffered plenty of times, you see.”
“…..I think I misheard you, sir?”
And then, Private first class Yu Jung-Hyeok who always stayed by his side and led by example, and also glared at Sergeant Kim Dok-Ja every single chance he got.
“Polish your military boots this way.”
“P-private second class, Yi Hyeon-Seong! I’ll work hard!!”
“Working hard has no meaning. The important thing is doing it right.”
Also, medical officer Lieutenant Yu, who periodically showed up to do health check-ups.
“Mm, you have a bruising on your leg… Should I just have you discharged for health reasons?”
“P-Private second class Yi Hyeon-Seong!! I’ll be fine!”
“Then, should I stitch you up? I’m pretty good with needles.”
Then, Sergeant first class Jeong who seemed to be disinterested yet also meticulous, and sometimes looking at Yi Hyeon-Seong with a saddened expression.
“…..How is it? You good?”
“P-Private second class, Yi Hyeon-Seong!! I’ll do my utmost best!!”
“It’s fine if you don’t. You always try your best anyway.”
….Everyone here, they all had something weird about them.
“For the sake of establishing the culture of progressive army environment!”
However, if he were to pick the strangest person out of them all, then…
“All soldiers must read webnovels during their downtime. Reading webnovels is the alpha and omega of a productive downtime.”
….It was none other than the squad commander, Captain Han.
“That’s enough! It’s your downtime now! All of you, read webnovels.”
That’s how Yi Hyeon-Seong’s dream-like soldier life began. However, he had no idea.
[Currently, <Kim Dok-Ja Company> is challenging the Memory Experience Centre’s ‘I lost a shell by mistake’.]
[Applicable Experience Centre’s difficulty is rated hardest.]
[Number of attempts to clear it is currently 3.]
He had no idea that this soldier life wasn’t his first time.
It didn’t really need to be explained, but the total number of people participating in this scenario was five. Yu Jung-Hyeok, Yu Sang-Ah, Jeong Hui-Won, Han Su-Yeong, and myself.
On a side note, the hidden scenario we got was this.
<Hidden scenario – I lost a shell by mistake>
Clear condition: Incarnation ‘Yi Hyeon-Seong’ is trapped in his own memories. Resolve his trauma and rescue him from his memories.
Time limit: ???
Reward: Yi Hyeon-Seong’s return, possibility of acquiring main prize item related to strengthening of <Oz>’s profile.
Failure: Acceleration of <Oz>’s destruction.
What a nonsensical scenario it was. The time limit shown as question marks already put us in a bit of spot, yet the clear condition and the failure penalty were even more disconcerting.
Sergeant first class Jeong Hui-Won-nim…. no, hang on, just Jeong Hui-Won, asked a question. “Sergeant Kim Dok-Ja.”
“Let’s forget about the rest for now. But this, why would <Oz> be destroyed if we fail?”
“There are two possible theories. One, that’s how low the <Oz>’s profile has fallen, and…. two, it could mean some kind of physical danger.”
Along with a ‘Boom!!’ a slender ripple-like thing spread from the far side of the skies. I recalled the Nebulas that chased us to this place. It was possible that they had begun their invasion in earnest. If that was the case, then we didn’t have all that much time.
Maybe he heard the rippling noise, Yi Hyeon-Seong and his pale-white complexion quickly ran towards us from afar.
“Looks like North Korea is attacking us!!”
“Nah, it’s alright. Go take a break.”
Yi Hyeon-Seong seemed lost as to what to do next, but eventually headed off to the corner of the base and began practising national military gymnastics exercise he hadn’t mastered yet.
Jeong Hui-Won watched him and muttered to me. “Can Hyeon-Seong-ssi really return to us?”
“I’m not sure. But we must try.”
This was already our third attempt.
The first try was a failure as many of my companions didn’t know much about the army (I was the only person who served among our group, actually) and the second try ended up as another failure all thanks to Yu Jung-Hyeok’s hardcore treatment.
Yu Jung-Hyeok forming a scowl next to us piped up. “Frustrating. Yi Hyeon-Seong must be put through his paces so that he can wake up faster. Have you forgotten about the events of Kaixenix?”
“We already tried that during our second try.”
“I can do better given another chance.”
“You should know better than anyone that’s not true.”
“You know that saving someone else is never that easy.”
This Yu Jung-Hyeok had gone through the third regression turn… or, possibly even the 1864th turn. So, he should know it even if I didn’t bring it up.
“Yi Hyeon-Seong! The order of your exercise is wrong!”
….Or, it’s possible that he didn’t know.
Yu Jung-Hyeok strode towards the frightened Yi Hyeon-Seong in big steps.
I watched the two of them doing the military gymnastics exercise side by side and murmured to Jeong Hui-Won. “I think staying here for too long will be bad for us. Even Yu Jung-Hyeok’s acting strange.”
“He’s never served in the army, yet he’s adapting to it just too well.”
I watched Yu Jung-Hyeok perform the gymnastics exercise with near-religious zeal. There was an event during the 144th regression turn where he wrongly received a transfusion of Yi Hyeon-Seong’s ‘Military Fable’ and went insane.
If more time went by inside here and yet another Fable like ⸢Mad Soldier Yu Jung-Hyeok⸥ was created in the process, then…..
Jeong Hui-Won replied. “Isn’t it a good thing that he’s adapting really well?”
“Yes, he’s adapting well, but the problem is with how poorly he’s treating me, his senior in rank. The military nowadays have become really soft, I have to say. Back when I was in the army….”
“Dok-Ja-ssi, you’re just sour that Jung-Hyeok-ssi never served, right? I mean, he was exempted, wasn’t he?”
I replied to her in a calm manner. “…..In any case, the situation isn’t so bad if we exclude that part. Just by us being here, the planet <Oz>’s profile is rising up, after all.”
[Currently, a large number of Constellations are paying attention to the applicable scenario!]
Maybe the rumour of <Kim Dok-Ja Company> creating yet another bizarre Fable had made rounds out there because visitors to Biyu’s channel had increased.
I couldn’t be sure, but those Nebulas targetting us right outside the planet were probably watching us right now. If they couldn’t attack us immediately, then taking advantage of the situation would be a smart thing to do.
[Many Constellations have entered the applicable channel!]
[Planet <Oz>’s fame is spreading far and wide!]
[Brand new Fable related to Incarnation ‘Yi Hyeon-Seong’ is germinating!]
The strange thing was, the newly-entering Constellations weren’t the people that I knew of. Uriel, the Great Sage, the Abyssal Black Flame Dragon, Goreyo’s First Sword…. as if they were the tidewater receding away, all the Modifiers I was glad to see were nowhere to be found.
An ominous foreboding crept up in my mind. Did something happen to them?
[Portion of Constellations are eagerly waiting for Incarnation ‘Yi Hyeon-Seong’s return!]
I need to conclude this scenario quickly so that I may get to find out what’s going on, but…
“Is there really a need to clear it, though?”
Jeong Hui-Won didn’t reply and stared in Yi Hyeon-Seong’s direction. While under the guidance of Yu Jung-Hyeok, he was continuing to perform the exercise routine as sweat trickled down his face. Maybe he got the order right this time because Yu Jung-Hyeok could be seen nodding his head. Yi Hyeon-Seong looked elated.
[Character ‘Yi Hyeon-Seong’ is feeling happy!]
“Because he always harped on about manual this and manual that, I thought that Hyeon-Seong-ssi was a natural-born soldier.”
I agreed with her assessment, so I ended up nodding along.
Yi Hyeon-Seong’s backstory wasn’t discussed in-depth within the Ways of Survival.
The man named Yi Hyeon-Seong, who lived and died by the rules of the field manual. But such a man was in reality, as far removed from those manuals than anything else out there.
This world was where Yi Hyeon-Seong’s manual had come to life.
[Character ‘Yi Hyeon-Seong’ likes this place.]
Jeong Hui-Won smiled powerlessly and spoke in a sorrowful voice. “In a way, taking him away from here could be us being greedy.”
Certainly, Yi Hyeon-Seong might be happier by remaining in <Oz>. Instead of wandering inside the hellish scenarios, spending simple, comfortable time within his memories could be a better life for him.
It was then, we heard yet another deafening boom.
Just as I was about to exchange glances with Jeong Hui-Won, several channel messages floated up one after the other.
[Constellation, ‘Demon-like Judge of Fire’ has entered the channel!]
[Constellation, ‘Abyssal Black Flame Dragon’ has entered the channel!]
[Constellation, ‘Goreyo’s First Sword’ has entered the channel!]
All those vanished Constellations had returned to the channel at once. Just before I could ask what happened, though….
[Constellation, ‘Demon-like Judge of Fire’ is trying to warn you of….!]
[All indirect messaging within the channel has been restricted.]
…The indirect message was cut off.
I raised my head to discover Biyu forming a surprised expression. Obviously, this wasn’t her doing, so… In that case, who?
Another boom spread out from the skies. Accompanying the noise akin to a giant drum being torn apart, the heavens far away began cracking up.Read latest Chapters at WuxiaWorld.Site Only
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<Episode 87. The Heart of Steel (4)> Fin.