Seo-jun came to his brothers house with Gimbap and Tteokbokki in his hand. He had no problem spending his meager money. After all, it was the allowance Seung-woo had given him. It was better than wasting it on something useless. He rang the front doorbell, and a womans voice greeted him through the house intercom.
”Yes, Hyungsu~nim. Its me, Seo-junie. Is Seung-woo Hyung at home? ”
Before Seo-jun heard a reply, the house door was already open, and he got invited inside. He also met his brothers wife, Lee Sun-hwa. And behind that woman was his 7-year-old nephew, Han Seok-joo.
Seo-jun bowed to Sun-hwa and handed him the food he bought on the street. While his sister-in-law was busy in the kitchen, he looked at his nephew carefully.
”Seok-joo~ya, whats your dad doing? ”
However, Seok-joo didn reply and only took a step back while looking at Seo-jun.
That left Seo-jun speechless and smiling wryly. This snotty brat is still afraid of me. Well, fair enough. I used to be mean to him.
”Your hyung is getting ready to go to work. He has a night shift. ” Sun-hwa answered after hearing the question and knew her son wouldn answer.
”Yes, Hyungsu~nim. If Hyung wants to go to work, thats fine. I only came to visit. Theres no special occasion. ”
Not long after, Seung-woo came out of his room and saw Seo-jun in the living room. There was neither a smile nor a happy feeling to see his little brother come after some time.
”Why did you come here? Did you come to borrow money!? I don have any. Your monthly allowance should be enough if you don use it for useless things. ”
”Omo! Yeobo, don talk like that! Im sure he didn come for that. He even bought food before coming here. Look. ” Sun-hwa defended her brother-in-law. She also didn expect Seo-jun would bring food when he came to their house. It was a rare moment for her.
Seo-jun couldn help but smile awkwardly at his brothers nagging. But still, he didn mind any of it. After all, it was all his own fault for being mean to the only family he had previously.
One, who is on a mission of redemption, must prepare to struggle in tribulation.
Seo-jun just shook his head. It would be difficult to talk to his brother if the initial meeting had such wrong preconceptions. So, he just let it be and was content with just visiting to see how they were doing.
Seung-woo wasn interested in eating the food Seo-jun brought and said goodbye to his son and wife, then left, heading off to work.
”Please understand your Hyung. Lately, work has been difficult for him. ” Sun-hwa said to comfort Seo-jun. Seung-woo worked as a construction worker, and due to deadlines, the workforce doubled, and the schedule changed to two shifts.
”Ah, yes. Its fine. ” Seo-jun didn know much about his brothers family. In his previous life. He was only busy taking care of himself and subsequently got trapped in Abyss Online in 2042. After that, he felt he wanted to meet his brother one last time before he died. But, who would have thought, when he managed to get out of the game seven years later, the world and nature had been devastated.
”You don visit quite often. Did something happen to you? Why are your hands bandaged? ”
”Nothing happened. I was only visiting, Hyungsu~nim. My hands are okay. ” Seo-jun replied with a gentle smile. Luckily, he was wearing long sleeves. If not, he would definitely get questioned continuously, and it would be tricky to come up with an excuse if both of his arms were seen to get bandaged.
”I am glad to hear that. ”
Sun-hwa was happy to see Seo-jun more actively replying to conversations. In fact, she usually got ignored, and Seo-jun would go straight home if Seung-woo didn want to fulfill his wish or wasn home. But now, Seo-jun was like a different person from before. More cheerful and articulate. All those actions make her wonder what caused Seo-jun to change.
In the end, Seo-jun ended up staying for two hours, accompanying Sun-hwa and Seok-joo. After that, he said goodbye while bringing some side dishes prepared by his sister-in-law. He knew his family matters took time and a step at each stage. He couldn rush it. Apart from that, he also had to think about what he would do after his graduation.
”Apparently, I also have a lot of things to take care of. Apart from Abyss Online and Adams problems. ”
Seo-jun sighed as he looked at his left hand, which got covered in bandages. He realized that the world wasn as narrow as he thought. Despite that thought, he had no intention of letting Adam act as he pleased.
”If one wants to know someones true intentions. Then, a quality bait is absolutely necessary. ”
The next day, Seo-jun took the bus to Monarch Industries after his morning routine of jogging and exercise. He arrived at the main entrance and showed the business card that Edward Eric had given him before to the security guard.
”Hi! I didn expect you to come. Did something happen to you? Come on, lets go to my room first to talk. ” Eric took Seo-jun along.
On second thought, the entire 13th floor where Erics room was located was Monarch ENMs company. In addition, the 12th and 14th floors were also part of it. Three floors out of a total of 77 floors in the Monarch Industries building. The companys subsidiary, which was engaged in entertainment, didn have too many employees after all.
Arriving in the room, Eric immediately opened his mouth and told him that he didn get anything from the experiment they did two days ago. At first, he was impressed by the smooth movement of the character that Seo-jun was controlling. But unfortunately, the data wasn recorded, and there was no trace on the server either. On the other hand, the 10th Generation VR Cabin prototype didn have any issues. And from the firmware side, no significant problems were also found.
Seo-jun smiled wryly at that. He knew that it was Adams doing. The artificial intelligence didn want any clues in its ability to adapt and separate from the primary server to be known. So, Adam erased all data from the first time Seo-jun logged into Abyss Online until he got forced to log out.
That meant there was clearly no activity from the prototype VR machine since Eric and Seo-jun used it.
”Ah, right. I was instead talking about such things until I forgot that it was you who wanted to meet. What is your purpose in coming here? Did you experience something wrong with your body after using the 10th generation prototype? ” Eric asked while glancing at Ji-woos two bandaged hands.
It was natural for Eric to ask that after the incident, where the life signal in the 10th generation prototype was off, and the cabin lid couldn forcibly get opened. If something happened or caused any effect on Seo-juns body, he had to rebuild the prototype.
Such a measure was necessary because the device made the users entire body dive into a virtual dimension. If safety couldn get ensured, then the 10th Generation VR Cabin wouldn get released on the market.
”Im fine, Mr. Edward. These two hands of mine aren from using Euphory. ” Seo-jun replied while looking at his hands, and then he sighed.
”My reason for meeting you has to do with the problem that Monarch ENM faced yesterday. The issue of the 1st generation device not meeting the expectations of players that was looking forward to a cutting-edge virtual reality game. ”
Eric must have frowned upon hearing that. He knew about it and thought the problem was solved with a statement to release the next-generation device in two weeks. Also, why talk about that matter with him?
He wasn the person in charge of marketing and planning. Even though he was the chief of the gaming division at Monarch ENM, he only handled development and research there.
”How about we release the 10th generation, Euphory, instead of what Monarch ENM had planned. ”
Seo-jun suggested, which of course, took Eric by surprise. The 1st generation prototype alone took about two years to get perfect through various trials. Then, how about the 10th generation prototype that clearly still had many of these shortcomings? He estimated the fastest time was five to six years. That too by focusing all available resources at Monarch ENM for their gaming division. Which meant it wouldn happen unless the situation was severe.
”Look here, student Han. I respect your opinion. But thats our problem, and we can handle it. This isn a concern outsiders need to be wary of. ”
Seo-jun understood why Eric and Monarch ENM didn feel threatened by the matter. The criticism and disappointment only came from the players. In other words, they were just ordinary people. They didn hold the slightest importance that could make a big company like them falter.
However, he also couldn just back away. It had to do with his plans for Adam. All he needed to do was convince Eric with his reasons.
”Mr. Edward, theres actually not the slightest problem or flaw in the performance of the 1st Generation VR Helmet. What irritates those gamers is the unreality and lack of freedom that the device offers. Isn virtual reality supposed to be a reflection of the real world?
”If an engine isn capable of delivering that, then any VR device that connects it doesn deserve to be created.
”Therefore, its my belief that the 10th Generation VR Cabin is the only one that can show the world what virtual reality is. ”
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