Chapter 26: New beginning
Joonbum rolled around in his room with excitement.
“Have I gone mad? Baekgu, Heukgu, Gumdong, Urlook! What do you guys think?”
Joonbum cackled as he thought about what he did back at the café. A sense of victory surged within him as he thought about Youngah and Seohee waiting for him to come back from the restroom.
His heart was pounding with nervousness as he started the car, as if he was running away after he had stolen something. He even turned off his cell phone.
It had been two days since his small revenge. He was looking at wolf clubs which had started moving around. He couldn’t stop smiling.
“I can’t even put my feelings into words! Isn’t it so, you pigs? Baekgu, Heukgu, Gumdong, Urlook! Hehehe. They stopped uploading for the past two days. Were they shocked?”
He felt his old feelings melt away at the revenge. His expression brightened overall.
‘I guess I changed a bit.’
It seemed like he had changed. He remembered he couldn’t fight back against anything that oppressed him before.
“You cute little puppies. Eat well.”
He moved to prepare the milk bottles and gave them to the cubs. Their cries slowly died down as Joonbum rubbed them as they kept drinking the milk. Watching them made him feel calm and relaxed. It also made him smile.
“These guys are growing so fast. Look at how fat they’ve become!”
They were growing really fast to the point where Joonbum could see how much they had grown in just one day. The only problem was that Galfus paid no attention to them other than just taking a peek at the basket from time to time and then moving herself away to take a nap.
“I guess you guys have your own problems too,” Joonbum mumbled as he thought about Galfus.
“Hey, this is for you.”
His mother brought him a cup full of black liquid.
“It’s red ginseng extract.”
Joonbum gazed at the cup while his mother told him to drink it. Joonbum remembered its bitter taste and frowned.
“You can have it instead.”
“I already did. That’s yours. Go ahead.”
Joonbum started drinking and his mother turned her eyes to the cubs.
“Are you going to raise them?”
“Just for a while.”
“Well, they’re okay for now, but you do remember that the landlord said no pets?”
“And our house is too small for four dogs. So before you become too fond of them… you know?”
His mother was not happy to even suggest that, but they could not breach the contract with the landlord. She did not want to risk it and fight with the landlord. Joonbum changed the topic to avoid any gloomy thoughts.
“It will be only for short while. Oh, I got a new contract by the way.”
“Again? That’s awesome!”
His mother brightened up at the news. She was more excited to see her son speaking so proudly than the actual news.
‘Isn’t she curious about the amount?’
He thought about it and remembered that he couldn’t say the amount before because he was embarrassed in the past. It was so little that he avoided saying the amount. But it was different now. He even wanted her to ask him how much he would get. Joonbum continued.
“Hey Mom, shouldn’t we move to a new home? I think I will have about one hundred million won by next month…”
His mother blinked, confused at the amount. She did not expect that Joonbum was earning that much.
“Are you sure? But… really?”
He knew why his mother doubted him. It was only while ago that he had no money in the bank. He currently used a lot to make his videos, but the speed of the money coming in was faster than his spending. He now even had close to five million subscribers. If he reached the five million threshold, he could easily earn a hundred million won per month with advertisements.
There were also all kinds of short-term contracts and sponsors coming in. The bank account was full of money. It was a bizarre experience.
“Don’t you think we should save it for now? I understand you’re doing well, but just in case, you know. If… nevermind. You should know better. If you decide to move, then it’s okay. I guess we can spare some for luxury.”
She was worried, but she stopped speaking as if her worries might get in the way of her son’s success. He felt her love and care from all those words.
“Mom, I have to go.”
Joonbum stood up as he checked the time.
“Okay. Going to shoot again?”
“Yeah. It might take me a while this time so don’t worry.”
“Okay. Take care of yourself.”
Joonbum picked up the basket, feeling the weight of the cubs. He got into the car and started driving. It was good to drive at dawn with so little vehicles out on the road.
‘It would be great if the air was clean like that place.’
Time passed by quickly as he considered and chose contracts and supplies, keeping him busy. But he could not stop thinking about the other world. It was a brutal and merciless place, but he wanted to go back fast.
He sped up his truck, quickening his return.
Joonbum took a big breath and felt the cold air fill his lungs. The air was so clean.
‘This air is so good that I want to sell it.’
Joonbum looked around and examined for any tracks. There were only Galfus’ footsteps and no other signs of intruders.
‘Well, I guess no one will dare to come in when Galfus is roaming around.’
Any monsters or animals would’ve been easy prey for Galfus if they dared to enter the fortress. Joonbum checked his arms and protective gear and walked toward his fortress.
‘I don’t see any signs…’
There were no signs of intruders, but he couldn’t let his guard down. When he finally entered the fortress carefully, he found Galfus opening her eyes to see Joonbum and then going back to sleep.
“What is that?”
Joonbum eyed the object left in front of Galfus. He frowned as he realized what it was.
“Ugh! A sheep?”
A ram’s head with long horns was tossed at the corner. The size was enormous. It was about the same size as a small truck with two child-sized horns on its head.
‘I’ll die instantly if that thing runs into me.’
He remembered that even a regular ram’s headbutt was a very powerful attack. He couldn’t imagine what kind of damage it would cause if a ram of that size did the same thing.
“Well, I guess its still prey for her if she can kill those monsters.”
Joonbum shook as he thought about two-legged monsters. He was sure those monsters would prey on this ram too if they wanted to.
‘How did I fight them? I guess I was crazy too.’
He was still dumbfounded every time he replayed his memory of that day. It was an unimaginable thing for his timid past.
‘I guess I was crazy after all.’
That made the most sense. He always hated hostility and did not fight back. He was also a coward and timid. What he did that day was unbelievable, even to himself.
‘But this is not the time.’
He pushed the thought away and ran to his truck. It was full of stuff he had prepared for his two-day stay here.
“Let’s get started.”
He started the car again and drove it inside the fortress and started unloading it.
“First is the camera.”
He took out all twelve cameras that he received from his sponsor company, Direless Company. The prices of these cameras were in the hundred thousands, so he was happy to receive all this expensive equipment. It was better than the equipment he was currently using.
‘I can do twelve simultaneous shots now.’
The current equipment was limited in power, so there were times when it couldn’t follow Joonbum and couldn’t capture what was happening, bringing questions to viewers.
[Buy some better camera equipment with all the money you’re getting!]
[It’s shaking too much. Gives me a headache.]
[I can’t concentrate!]
There were a lot of complaints for using a single camera. The number of complaints was especially large from the video of the battle and when he met the Ainos people.
‘Well, I was going to change it soon.’
The conditions weren’t bad either. The company only wanted their brand to be exposed on the videos for about a month. If any equipment broke, it was promised to be replaced with no charge. There were no more special conditions anymore. Most sponsors were happy if their products were only used.
Joonbum was proud.
‘Is this how rich people feel?’
He laughed at the thought.
The installation was done at the enormous tree at the center of the fortress. It was the tree that was really tall and thick. Even the top of the tree seemed to be thick.
‘It might still be growing.’
He moved up to the house that he had made fifty feet above the tree. He moved onto the platform, untied the rope, and started pulling it up. The pulley turned and he started lifting himself up the tree.
“Wow, this is no joke.”
It was about as high as a ten-story building. He looked at the sight from the height and gasped with astonishment.
“This is like a sea.”
A green sea full of forests continued to the horizon. Even though he had seen this scenery multiple times, it was still breathtaking.
“Those trees are no joke either. Maybe they’re bigger?”
He saw trees in the distance that rose high up in the sky. Some seemed to be much larger than the tree Joonbum was climbing. He took out a cigarette and sat down, lighting it. White smoke dispersed to the sky.
“Time to work now.”
He started installing six cameras carefully, controlling the viewing angles and adjusting the motion sensors. When they were all tightly fixed, he started waterproofing them so there would be no problems when it rained.
He checked to see if it all worked as normal. The screen lit up, signaling that it was turning on.
“The resolution is so crisp.”
The new camera was much better than the predecessor. There was also night-vision mode embedded if he needed it. He could now record at night.
‘I even have night vision now. No need to worry anymore.’