I felt like I was being ignored as I saw my mother’s reaction. I felt bad and questioned my mother,
“Mother, why are you laughing? Why are you laughing when I said that I could have a girlfriend?”
My mother couldn’t stop laughing,
“Hohohoho~! It’s funny when a kid who’s lived for 26 years and never got a girlfriend speaks so proudly. You are my child, but you are really amazing! My be.lly hu.rt.s. Hohohohohoho~!”
This was obviously ignorance. Was there another son in the world who would be so ignorantly ignored by his mother? As I wobbled away in shock, my father backed my mother up instead of scolding her.
“Son, please make sure to have a girlfriend by next year. Shouldn’t you be prepared? No, think about other things first. Shouldn’t you pay off your debt first? What type of woman would want to date you when you are like this? No matter how confident you are, it isn’t easy. Do you think a meager man like you can instill confidence in your lover? Just give up on having a girlfriend for a while.”
This was also obviously ignorance. This was a morning where I felt better than ever! My heart, which was in the best condition, crumbled at my parents’ words.
“Both of you are too much! There is a reason why I haven’t had a girlfriend yet! My debt isn’t a problem. You two are the ones who made me like this!”
I poured out the words that I had buried in my heart.
“I don’t have a lover because of Mother and Father! If you two had made me like a movie star, I would be able to get a girlfriend. Dammit. The two of you made me ugly, so the girls don’t care about me.”
“Gosh, are you blaming us for being born this way? Look at your sister. She came out from the same belly as you, but she is so beautiful. Did you know that you were also born beautiful like Sehee?”
“People aren’t all about appearance…it is also about personality. Tsk tsk, the more I look, the more pathetic you are.”
I was being humiliated like this in the morning! Serious doubts revolved around my head.
‘Was I adopted as a child?’
Maybe my parents aren’t actually my parents.
‘My parents said I was a beautiful baby, but are they really my parents…? Am I just a kid they picked up?’
The two people who raised me for 26 years weren’t actually my parents! Then what about my real parents? Where were my parents?
…No, what was I doing now? It was almost time to go work. I couldn’t afford to play around like this. I calmed down. Then I sat down at the table and turned to my father, changing the topic.
“Father, how is Grandfather these days? Is he healthy as always?”
“Huh? Why are you suddenly asking about your grandfather?”
“There is an old NPC blacksmith in the game, and he reminded me of Grandfather. So I suddenly remembered Grandfather.”
…Would he become angry again after hearing about the game? No, maybe he would beat me up…
“You just suddenly thought about him.” My father said in a flat voice. “Then you should come along with I go to visit your grandfather next month. Do you know how sorry you should be for not visiting your grandfather for one year?”
My family had been visiting my grandparents’ house every holiday since seven years ago. Seven years ago, my grandmother died and it was an attempt to soothe my grandfather’s loneliness. Mother and Father tried to persuade my grandfather to stay with us, but he firmly rejected. Perhaps he thought he would be a burden.
I had been loved by my grandfather since I was young, so I visited him every year until last year. I never once visited after starting Satisfy. I wanted to play the game instead of taking time off to travel to my grandfather’s house.
‘I was an unfilial bastard.’
Was my grandfather currently lonely, just like Khan? I was worried because I was able to get a glimpse through Khan about how lonely old men could act. In the future, I should try and visit my grandfather as frequently as possible.
“I ate well.”
After a while, I finished breakfast and immediately headed towards my workplace. The people who already arrived filled the office with tobacco smoke. The cigarette smoke was causing me to get a headache.
‘Why do they like smoking, when cigarettes are a waste of effort and money. If I had the money spent on buying cigarettes…’
Let’s endure it a little longer. Once the item manufacturing was in full swing, I would no longer have to go back here. I could make a large amount of money by making and selling items. From then on, Satisfy will become my job. I could lie in my capsule all day and not have to listen to my parents’ nagging. But for that to happen, I needed to win against the Mero Company.
‘I can use Khan’s smithy as a base. I must win the game and protect Khan’s smithy.’
The Mero Company’s Winston branch.
Valmont wasn’t feeling good. It was because he felt disappointed with his most trusted subordinate, Rabbit.
“Why did you do such an annoying thing?”
A production game over the smithy? Valmont couldn’t understand Rabbit’s intentions.
“If Khan can’t pay me back, it is natural to use the smithy as collateral. And Khan doesn’t have the ability to pay off the debt. In other words, the smithy is sure to enter my hand. It is only a matter of time, whether it is slow or fast. I wanted to speed that up, which is why I let you handle the matter. But have you forgotten your mission?”
Valmont threw the apple he was chewing against the wall. The pieces of apple splattered against Rabbit’s face. Rabbit quietly took out his handkerchief and wiped his dirty face.
Valmont huffed as he saw Rabbit’s dignified manner and shouted. “Why are you giving Khan hope by making a useless bet? Why? You opened up the opportunity that he might be able to keep the smithy. Have you been bribed by Khan?”
Rabbit was a person he had trusted more than anyone before today. It was a simple example that revealed Valmont’s character, who didn’t trust people well.
Rabbit explained calmly.
“Right now, our main base is in Winston. But unfortunately, the Winston residents have recognized the Mero Company as their enemy. Considering the long-term perspective of the Mero Company’s business development, it is best to be friendly with the Winston residents. They have to care about the Mero Company in order to help develop it. But the Mero Company has taken their property. It won’t be easy to appease them.”
“The company… took their property? Bah! Sophistry! The value of their land was shit. I paid for and bought them legally. They also welcomed it. Now they regret it as the land develops and the prices rise? Truly treacherous guys!”
“They wouldn’t be so alarmed right now if you used some of the profits from the land to benefit them. Then they would’ve appreciated it and contributed to the development of the Mero Company in the long term.”
“In other words, I am the bad one? Bah! The residents of Winston are still criticizing all the work I have done.”
“’Don’t look at the backs of people. You will succeed by following the money.’ My master had that type of strategy. But my opinion is a little different. It is important to catch the hearts of the people. Then the money will come naturally. People grateful to the Mero Company will develop into loyal customers.”
“You…!” Valmont looked at Rabbit in a menacing manner. “Don’t try to teach me! Do I look like a child to you? You just have to do what I tell you to. And what is with this bullshit? Get to the point! Why did you make such a lousy bet with Khan?”
‘This is the limit of Valmont. It will be difficult to grow the Mero Company any further.’
The reason why the Mero Company could grow this big was because Valmont, when he was still young, had listened to Rabbit’s advice and operated the business. But now Valmont was filled with arrogance and egotism, and he didn’t listen to Rabbit’s advice anymore.
‘Once this business finishes, I need to leave.’
Rabbit made his decision and decided to explain his intentions to Valmont.
“Khan’s position in Winston is very high. There are many people who consider him the hero who resists the Mero Company. In these circumstances, if the Mero Company takes Khan’s smithy in a nasty manner, the anger of the residents will go out of control and will likely lead to a rebellion. The residents will work as a group to hinder the Mero Company, ultimately dealing harm to it.”
Valmont started to listen.
Rabbit continued the explanation.
“I am confident that I can reform the company’s image through this game. ‘Why did they give a chance to Khan, when they can just take his smithy?’ The residents will start feeling this suspicion. Then I will advertise that ‘we recognized Khan’s skill and want to give him a chance.’ This suggests that the Mero Company can be a friend rather than an enemy. Then the population’s perception of the company will change drastically. They will think that the Mero Company doesn’t only move for money, that is also cares for people.”
“…So we will gain loyal customers?”
Valmont still wasn’t convinced. But he didn’t feel the need to stop something that had already been started. In the end, Valmont decided to support Rabbit.
“If you hire an excellent blacksmith then we can win right?”
“In addition, the opponent isn’t Khan?”
“According to my research, he is a young man whose reputation is so poor that it is doubtful he is even a blacksmith.”
“Okay. Hire the best blacksmith. Don’t worry about the money.”
Valmont was insufficient in many ways, but a positive was that he was quick to make decisions. If he had no positive aspects, how could he become the master of a giant company in the first place?
Rabbit smiled with satisfaction. “I have already found a person.”
No matter how bad Khan’s condition was, he wasn’t stupid enough to entrust it to an unskilled person. So Rabbit wanted to watch out for the young man called Grid. But when Rabbit met Grid, he saw that Grid had no experience. It was a person he couldn’t feel alert against.
Rabbit was convinced that if he chose a suitable blacksmith, they wouldn’t lose the game.
‘I can’t be careless.’
But Rabbit had a cautious nature. He tried to get the best results every time. So he would be vigilant this time. He was going to hire the best blacksmith.