Chapter 1: Prologue
“This should be a good spot! Heh, this is what you call an easy life!” said Joonbum Jang while he set up his tripod for his camera.
“There’s water for washing dishes…”
Joonbum scanned the area to make sure that there was a water stream nearby.
The area was a plain with a small stream of water flowing through it. The best thing about this area was that it was private land with no human presence around.
“Well, I got permission, so it should not be a problem unless I make the fire too big. Time to start then!”
Joonbum started to act faster. The first thing he did was set up his camera.
Unemployed for over a year, Joonbum thought of video streaming through the Internet on a whim. After a few successful streams, he began to see some potential and was now trying to up the level for higher profit.
Upping the level, or more slang used amongst streamers, meant more exaggeration to fool viewers.
“Okay, it’s good to go!”
Having everything set up, Joonbum checked the camera angle one the last time and then stood in front of it.
“Hello, Youtube! Folks! Your Survival Master Joonbum Jang is back here with you. As I told you guys from my previous episode, I will start my 30-day long-term survival in the wilderness project. Of course, as promised, I only brought food and water for emergencies, meaning that I will take whatever I need from the wild throughout my time here and provide you with the rawest and realistic wildlife experiences. Oh, Stonehead, thank you for your donation. To show Stonehead my thanks, here is my dance!”
As a reaction, Joonbum made some strange shouts while he twisted his waistline in a weird way.
-Omg, he started again-
-LOL I will vomit now-
-Who paid for this crap?-
-I’ve seen enough of this and I still can’t…-
-He plays ugly and looks ugly-
The smartphone positioned right next to the camera displayed loads of messages from his viewers, which mostly comprised of insults.
“Okay, was that too much? Thank you. Please donate and subscribe if you like what I did! We will now begin, real Wilderness Survival!”
Soon, a fire was started on wood that had been prepared earlier.
“Do you see this? You don’t need oil or paper to start a fire. No need to blow with your mouth either! Just a lighter and a torch, then boom! Easy, right?”
After showing the fire grow for a moment, Joonbum then moved quickly with his camera.
“Today, I have prepared a special – wild boar belly meat! Folks, do you see? Do you see this thickness? This area here loaded with fat is where it’s at! Wow, do you see the color of this smoke? Look at it, all cooked up, and it looks so juicy and delicious. It’s just art! We shouldn’t forget to cook up some garlic and kimchi, you ain’t Korean if you don’t eat kimchi right? Oh, thank you Mr. Gourmet for the donation! I will save my reaction for later.”
The sound of meat being grilled filled the atmosphere.
“Oh my… the smell is so tempting! I cannot wait anymore. I will eat the first one without any sauce to feel its original taste. Ouch, it’s hot!”
Joonbum, exaggerating every detail, grabbed the thick meat put it into his wide-open mouth.
“This is the best!”
His lip, already redder than normal, shined and looked more red with all the oil glistened by the boar’s meat. This lip, his lip, and his way of chewing through everything he ate was the key to the popularity of his videos. Although his looks weren’t that great, this was the reason why his videos were popular.
-Oh, I’m getting hungry now-
-I was waiting for this! He sure knows how to eat.-
-I think my stomach’s cringing-
-Bastard, makes eating so tempting!-
-Can I have a bite plz?-
“Hey! THIS. IS. SO. GOOD! I will now use sauce. AND here comes our special drink!”
Joonbum poured the soju, a Korean alcoholic beverage, into his clear, small glass cup and poured it into his mouth, letting users have a feel for it and react to his actions.
“And here goes the boar meat wrap!”
Cooked boar meat, wrapped with lettuce, some pepper, garlic, and a sauce quickly followed. Topped with sliced green onion, it filled Joonbum’s mouth with its spice as soon it entered.
The green onion and pepper created a nice chewing sound, all of which was captured and heard by his viewers.
-ugh… I can’t…-
-I want to eat too-
-I should order something right away-
-this is making me hungrier-
His video exploded with donations and viewers bombarded the room with messages. Joonbum continued with his reactions while consuming the food and the soju.
“Hah, it’s all gone now! Thank you folks, I will see you tomorrow. Stay tuned!”
After all that, Joonbum quickly ended the video and prepared his bedding. While laying down, a new concern entered his mind.
‘What should I eat tomorrow…?’
It was a fitting concern for a guy with pig as his nickname.
Joonbum opened his eyes and stretched while looking around.
‘Where am I?’
Still half-asleep, he was not sure where he was. There was weird bird screeching in the distance.
‘What is this sound?’
It was a sound he had never heard of before. Dumbfounded as he looked around, his mind began clearing up and he came to his senses.
‘Oh right, this is day one of my Wilderness Survival.’
He started to remember the events from the day before and suddenly felt shivers run through.
‘It’s cold… Was summer always this cold outside?’
There was this coldness around him that seemed really strange for any summer day.
“I’m getting goosebumps…”
Joonbum looked down at his arms and spoke like he was talking to someone. It became his habit of his to say things out loud because of video streaming since he always had to talk to no one.
Grass shook and fresh cold air blew against him; it was so cold that it almost felt like he had just dived neck-deep into a cold body of water. He shivered and felt this strange sensation.
Words of disbelief came out of his mouth. The coldness now bothered him less than what he was looking at in front of him.
“What is this?”
A tree. It was an enormous tree. It’s just that there were so many – an entire forest was in front of him. He questioned what he was looking at. He was confused and struck by what was shown to him.
That forest had enormous trees that may have lived up to a hundred or two hundred years. There were also bugs the size of human heads crawling around the bark. Its strange squeaks and buzzing wings pierced Joonbum’s ear.
Joonbum came to his senses. At the same time, strong scent came to his nose.
“What’s all this…?”
Everything in front of him was so clear. The wood was enormous, as well as its barks, and the bugs were so visible.
“Is this a dream? Yeah, it should be.”
He mumbled as he eyed what was in front of him.
But it was real.
Joonbum let out a sigh. Even the moss on the tree showed its age. Out of nowhere, a big bug flew toward Joonbum and he swung his arm, smashing the bug onto the ground.
“What the heck is this? Some kind of a beetle? Stag beetle? Hercules beetle?”
He named whatever big bug names came to mind, but none of them fit its appearance. The bug stank. Its intestines spilled out of its shell and area was now filled with a terrible smell.
Joonbum retreated and looked around. The more he looked, the more confusion was added to his train of thought.
“Where the heck is this place?”
Everything he saw was unbelievable, but it was real at the same time. He could not believe his eyes. He did not want to believe what he was looking at.
The area where he decided to camp was a small hill owned by his acquaintance. It was so small to the point that you could see the owner’s home, his backyard, and even his little dog running around if Joonbum just stood up over the hill.
But here, this place was different. The only things you could see here were the giant trees that stood so tall that you almost had to lie flat on the ground to see how tall they actually were. Not only were they tall, but each tree was so thick that tens of grown men would be required to hug one of them.
“I… I can’t believe this. This can’t be happening!”
As he was mumbling, his mind was rushing through things, trying to coming up with an answer.
‘That can’t be true. It can’t be true.’
The answer that came up in his mind overwhelmed him. All of a sudden, all sounds around him stopped and went silent. Only his heavy breaths echoed through the area. His face started to grow pale and his skin was filled with goosebumps.
There seemed to be shadowy figures lurking around the forest. The terrible smell filled the atmosphere, changing the air.
“You should move… Now!” Joonbum said to himself while picking up the hand axe he brought yesterday and ran towards the tree in front of him.
“This must be…”
Growling wolves began to sound from all around him. Not looking behind him, Joonbum began climbing up the tree as fast as he could. Although he could not bear to look back at the source of the sound, the sound was enough for him to know what it might be.
The sound of growling and teeth clattering echoed throughout the forest. Joonbum’s spine shivered at its core to the sound. As he reached a certain height, he looked back and saw a giant beast.
They were wolves. Colors ranging from gray, black, and brown, each covered with a different thickness of fur, they showed their teeth, ready to attack Joonbum at any moment.
“It’s… It’s a monster…”
His voice cracked through his hoarse throat. Fear terrified him to the point where his bladder failed him and his urine was now dripping through his pants.
The wolves, or beasts in the shape of wolves, were not regular wolves. They were 16-feet-long monsters that could not exist on modern day Earth.
His leg holding on to the tree almost failed him due to the fear. Joonbum cursed at himself.
Urine dripped from his pants and onto the ground and that drew attention from a few of them. They came closer to smell and began showing more aggression. Some started to jump toward Joonbum but he was too high for the beasts to reach.
‘It’s too big.’
Some time passed and Joonbum recovered ever so slightly to the point that he could now think. Even then, these wolves were too big. They were much larger than what he knew about wolves.
By carefully looking, these wolves were definitely close to 16 feet long, and if not for all the bushes and pointy twigs, some of them could have jumped high enough to attack Joonbum. After some of the wolves looking around and rummaging through Joonbum’s campsite lost interest, they started to leave. Soon enough, all the wolves disappeared into the forest.
Joonbum let out a sigh of relief. A feeling of comfort swept through him and he felt all his energy just wash away in relief. Then, his sight suddenly grew yellow, almost blacking his sight and he began throwing up. Some of yesterday’s meat came back out through his throat, accompanying the rotten smell with it.
When he finished throwing up everything inside, he looked up around him. His mouth was now glistening with vomit.
“This can’t be real…!”
And that is how I came to the other world.
End of Prologue