Chapter 30: With mother
Joonbum drove through the night and drove to the gateway. When he arrived at a small hill filled with nothing but some trees and grass, she seemed confused. She seemed to have expected something more as he told her that this was his workplace.
His mother asked Joonbum, trying to hide her disappointment, “Is this your workplace?”
She seemed to be apologetic. He moved through a small road and arrived at a place with a trailer full of supplies.
“Wait here, I need to connect this trailer to the truck.”
“Do you need help?”
“No, I just need to place the hook.”
Joonbum moved the truck so that he could connect the trailer. Soon, dawn passed and the morning sun started rising.
“Mom, don’t be surprised.”
An alarm broke out, signaling it was time for the swirl.
The world started swirling and his mother’s eyes widened at the sight.
‘I was more surprised the first time.’
She was so surprised that she put both her hands to her mouth, which Joonbum watched while grinning.
“Joonbum, what is this? What is this?”
The swirl became severe and his mother shook Joonbum, quickly asking him.
The truck moved through the swirl and his mother closed her eyes, screaming. Joonbum cackled as he saw his mother screaming for the first time in his life.
She seemed dazzled as she could not walk right after she got off the truck. The cubs got off the truck and ran toward the fortress, leaving her behind.
“What… What is going on?” his mother asked, and Joonbum started to explain.
“I don’t know. I don’t know where this is, but did you see that just now? That leads to this world. I call it the ‘Gate’ as it seems to be a gate that connects the two worlds. I came here accidentally and started capturing this place on video. That gate stays open for a minute before it disappears. It opens up every morning at the same time. That’s why I come back home once every two days. And…”
Joonbum was explaining when his mother blankly looked at the ‘Gate.’ When the Gate closed, she came back to her senses.
She started looking around wildly. It took a while for her to realize that this wasn’t a dream.
‘I was worse.’
“So this is where you have been working?”
His mother recognized the fortress she saw in the videos as she drew close.
“Yeah, this is the place.”
His mother gasped at the sight of Galfus as soon as she stepped inside the fortress. Joonbum quickly grabbed her from falling down on the ground.
“That’s Galfus. Remember? These cubs grow that big too.”
“Ga- Galfus? Oh… oh!” she nodded. Galfus was one of the big reasons why the videos were so popular. Man coexisting with such a noble monster was anyone’s dream.
“Isn’t she dangerous?”
“No, she isn’t. They exist with people in peace. They’re also very intelligent.”
Joonbum nodded. The cubs who were playing with each other ran towards Galfus. Galfus did not bother with the cubs and came close to Joonbum and his mother. Joonbum’s mother shivered as Galfus closed in and sniffed her.
“Don’t be afraid.”
The cubs were circling around her, whining and barking to be noticed. It was a pleasant sight to behold.
“So Galfus is the mother to these cuties?”
Joonbum was surprised to see all fear disappear from his mother’s face. She watched Galfus with a warm smile.
‘Wow, she’s not scared.’
His mother was scrubbing Galfus’ muzzle. It seemed that Galfus enjoyed her touch as she moved her head around, wanting to be scrubbed more.
“No, she’s not the mother. I think they were the pack’s cubs, but the entire pack died.”
His mother started looking around the fortress as she moved toward the center.
“So did you make all this?”
“And those people are real?”
“The monsters, they were real too?”
Joonbum nodded and felt sudden force turning his face away with a loud sound. It was his mother, who turned around and slapped him as hard as she could. Joonbum could not say anything as her eyes were filled with tears.
“How could you!” she shouted as she started pounding on Joonbum’s chest softly, crying at the same time.
“Those monsters… What were you thinking… you…!”
Joonbum’s eyes welled with tears. He felt sadness filling his mind as she continued pounding him.
‘But I am here with her now.’
Joonbum hugged his mother who kept sobbing and smiled.
There were a lot of concerns he had as he continued to travel back and forth across the worlds. The first concern was that someone might find out the truth.
It took a while for Joonbum to realize it, but if someone noticed the existence of the other world, it would have been uncovered and turned into government property. He would only be considered as the founder of the place and soon be forgotten. This world was like a goose with a golden egg. He needed to protect it, so he had to act discreetly. He also avoided causing any troubles. A person like Jinpok was dangerous in that regard.
But as the time passed, the concern diminished. Then came the next concern. It was about the ‘Gate’.
This he realized this when he started settling down and started making money. He realized that the ‘Gate’ might disappear unexpectedly as it had appeared unexpectedly. It was okay if the ‘Gate’ closed when he was on Earth, but the thought of it disappearing when he was in the other world concerned him the most. The reason why he was trying so hard to earn money was because of his mother. If he could not return to his mother, it would all be lost.
He thought this to himself – he was ashamed that he had to keep it secret, even from his mother. When he realized this, he decided to bring her here.
Joonbum felt his guilt fading away.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
Joonbum lowered his head as his mother sobbed.
[Look at those side dishes!]
[Wow, he can eat like an emperor now that he has his mom.]
[From a pot to a formal royal course meal?]
[She’s so nice.]
[I can feel a mother’s love from all that food.]
[I can do that much myself.]
[GET OFF TROLL!]
[Go back to kindergarten.]
[You think that just comes out instantly?]
[Mommy, you’re the best.]
[Wow. Our mommy sure knows how to do it.]
[Various vegetables express their love to mommy.]
[Look at all them grow with color now…]
[She’s real. Joonbum just planted and abandoned those.]
[Galfus knows who the real boss is!]
[I want to go too. Can I go please?]
[Beep, beep. I am from the mental institution. You can come with me.]
Joonbum’s face brightened with a smile as he checked the responses. There were also a lot of responses accusing him to be selling his mother for views, but he overlooked them. He was happy now.
After his mother found out about the other world, she quit her job and joined him. He was hesitant at first but he could not resist her constant persuasion.
She did come to enjoy the nature. After she was done sobbing, she relaxed and started looking around. She seemed to like the night sky the most as she was astonished at the sight of the sky that was filled with an endless number of stars.
-It’s so beautiful. I can’t believe such a place exists…-
Joonbum smiled, then turned to scowl.
‘She doesn’t have that much of a good memory here either. It’s because of that bastard.’
He scowled, remembering his father who left them a long time ago.
‘I shouldn’t think of him.’
“Oh, are you Joonbum? Can I take a picture with you?”
“Huh? Oh, yes, sure.”
Joonbum blushed as the students left after taking a picture with him.
‘This is so awkward.’
People started to recognize him more nowadays, making him realize how popular he had become.
“I should go now.”
Joonbum checked the time and left the café.
“It’s all ready. Just sign here and we’re done.”
Joonbum signed the document he was handed over after he checked the item and loaded it onto the truck.
“All good. Thank you.”
“Thank you too.”
Joonbum turned to the item he just bought as the man left him.
“I won’t have any electrical problems now.”
His truck was loaded with solar panels. As his life on the other world continued, he realized that a constant supply of water and electricity was always the main concern. His current method was to use a generator to power all the equipment he had, but he needed a large amount of fuel for that. It was then that he thought about the solar panel.
He compared a lot of different products and decided to purchase this solar panel from Dilorex Corporation. It was considered the most durable and powerful solar panel there was. It was very popular despite its high price point.
‘I was lucky.’
He first bought a residential panel and installed it himself. It was not easy by any means, but it was still doable. He took the time to work on it by watching an installation video and was done in no time. After checking out its potential, he was on the verge of buying it in bulk when he received an email.
It was from Dilorex Corp. themselves. They offered to provide all the solar panels they had in return of a one-year advertisement contract. They also offered to pay him 100 million won for full exposure on one of the split screens. It was the most expensive contract he was ever offered and he soon accepted it.
“Two birds at once.”
Joonbum was offered with the supplies he needed as soon as he started working on something for the stream. They even competed with each other to be featured. Joonbum wasn’t even sure if it was that worth it.
“I even have an offer from a gaming company…”
It was an online multiplayer game called Tirago: The Wild Frontier. The game’s purpose was to pioneer and hunt in the wilderness. They wanted to use Joonbum’s videos as their own commercial since it had a similar concept.
He was spending more than ever, but the speed of his income was faster.
‘Should I buy a house? Or buy that place first?’
Joonbum thought about it. It seemed like a no-brainer to buy the land where the ‘Gate’ normally appeared, but he was hesitant. The land had no real use, and if he went ahead and bought it, it could draw attention. Not only that, there was a chance for the ‘Gate’ to stop opening. The land was useless other than that purpose.
The last concern was that even if he bought the land, it would be pointless if the ‘Gate’ stopped opening when he was in the other world.
‘Same goes for the house.’
He knew the risk was the same, but he still wanted to buy a house of his own.
‘Maybe I should discuss with Mom.’