Tuesday, 26 November 2013

[Clotaku Club! v2] 1. The Sangkam's Game - Part 1

A Wild CUTE HAMSTER appeared!

Translator: Narane
Editor: MadTix
Temporary Editor: Foodpenguin

Please enjoy~

After school,

I was on my way to the school's infirmary, as usual.

'As usual' were the key words. It might sound strange, but my average day at that point consisted of taking daily trips to the infirmary, and it wasn't because of some chronic disease conveniently emerging. It was my duty. At the end of each day, I had to sneak past my relationship-starved classmates looking for company, and then weave into the sparsely populated routes to avoid attention, eventually reaching the infirmary.

Having done that for the last many days, I felt like I'd become some sort of a superhero who protects the school from the shadows.

Why did I do this? It was because there was a certain place-- no, more accurately, there was a certain girl always waiting for me at the infirmary after school.

What was this 'certain place', and who was this 'certain girl'? If I broke my habit of visiting the infirmary in a timely fashion, then this certain girl would be after my life like a vengeful spirit-- and if this certain place wasn't approached in a stealthy manner, I would end up discovering a whole new world of problems and pain.

The girl had my phone number, knew my address, and was constantly ready to come after me. If I, on our next meeting, didn't want to see her glowing like a malfunctioning microwave that's about to explode on me, I had to maintain my daily schedule at that point.

"...Aw, man."

Now that I think about it, this is just a repeat of my middle school days! After all that effort of avoiding it, I brought back my old lifestyle! Only a week ago, I would have been laughing at the prospect that I'd be living this way again! If it weren't for that girl...

I mumbled, cursing the girl who brought me to this disastrous state of my life.

I stopped, having found myself in front of the infirmary, and then I looked around to make sure that no one was watching.


What kind of onomatopoeia is that?  Why, it's the sound of a door opening, then a person entering, and then the door closing, all in a single, swift motion!

"Phew-." I sighed in relief, having successfully made a stealthy entrance like a trickle of rainwater leaking in. But it wasn't the time for me to relax; thanks to this school receiving more funding than they can handle, the infirmary alone contained eight king-sized beds with fancy dividing screens between them. I had to make sure that there were no potential witnesses resting on those beds; I walked around the infirmary on tiptoes to systematically inspect every area, looking past each screen's obscuration.

Alright, let's see if there's anyone crazy enough to be hiding at the infirmary this late... Nope. Okay... no witnesses today, either.

With a liberating, fuzzy feeling in my head that was either relief or extreme lethargy, I dragged myself to another door within the infirmary.


Upon lifting the cover to the door locking mechanism, a keypad revealed itself. While a normal person would ask why an infirmary would require such security measures, the greater twist was that the keypad was, in fact, fake. The real security system was the inconspicuous mic that was attached next to the keypad.

One, two--

"...Moe, moe... Kyun."


With a loud click, the door was unlocked.



...Pretty cool, huh? I hate my life.

I- I know, it's embarrassing for me, too! Stop looking at me like that, it's not what you think! This password wasn't my idea at all! If anything, I stopped her from deciding on a password that was far worse than this one!


It's not like I enjoy saying something like 'moe-moe-kyun' by myself! It's the just how this door is designed to open! What do you want me to do? I'm serious...

I fell to the ground into a brace position, feeling my face get hot in embarrassment.

After recovering, I noticed an uncomfortable lack of sounds from within the room. It seemed that I was the first one there. Oftentimes, at least the nurse would be camping within, but she had been unusually absent ever since the voice-locking mechanism was installed; it suggested that she came to this room solely to prevent strangers from breaking and entering.

Unfortunately for me, that means I'll likely end up being alone with that girl...

With that thought, I turned the door handle and pushed, and on the other side--

There was a girl who I had never seen before.


A girl who I had never seen before.

Beneath her long, raised eyelashes and past her round glasses were her wide, staring eyes, and her mouth was slightly dropped open to complete her surprised expression. She had short, brown hair that barely touched her tense, quivering shoulders, and her legs were shaking just the same. Altogether, she resembled a small animal; maybe a surprised squirrel, or a hamster, maybe, some cute animal that would fit in a single palm-

There was such a girl, standing in front of me, who I had never seen before.


My mind blanked as if my brain were hit by a bolt of lightning. I didn't think it was possible to be so surprised that I could neither think nor move.

I wasn't surprised because I'd previously expected the room to be empty. And the fact that she was pretty cute had even less to do with my surprise.

The important part was that she was a complete stranger.

...Who is this girl?

If I were to describe a single person who I'd never seen, heard, or known about before, a person who was absolutely nowhere within the deepest parts of my memory, I would have named this girl, who was standing in front of me. I couldn't muster up a single 'Huh, wait, maybe I did meet someone who looks like her before'. It was most definitely the first time that I met her.

...And so, only one question naturally came to my mind-

In our Clotaku Club, the secret club of the closeted Otakus, why was there a girl that I, a member of the club, couldn't recognize?



In this land, the Otaku paradise, where every corner was filled with anime figures, manga, light novels, and game packages, I was faced with a mysterious stranger-

And I, Kang Injin, a freshman of Eunsung High School, Class 7-1, could only think of a single word-- 'doomed'.

* * *

"...So, what happened?"

Thirty minutes later,

A tiny, black-haired girl sat cross-legged on a couch opposing mine, conducting an interrogation.

"She ran away." I answered honestly.

"...Be more descriptive, using the Five W's."

"A stranger was in the room a while ago, then I found her, and then she ran away screaming. ...What do I say for 'why'?"

"You idiot--!" With a loud 'bang!' her tiny fist struck the cupboard that stood between our couches. She abandoned her brief, calm attitude, launching herself up from the couch. "I can't believe this guy! What kind of a man can't even chase down a little girl? What were you thinking?"

"...Wait, no, uh, you know..."

I was going to stop her from running away, but she was a lot faster than she initially appeared. By the time I came back to my senses and ran out of the infirmary, she was already disappearing down the hallway! I couldn't chase her down when she had that big of a head start, more so because the room's door was left wide open. What was I supposed to do?!

"Shut up! You stupid, idiotic fool! You ham-fisted, shrimpy fruit!"

"...Sorry." It seemed that my attempts at explaining myself were futile; Yeonji's only responses were insults that were, in retrospect, appetizing. I apologized before she did actual damage to the cupboard from her repeated punches.

I'd known, however, that her anger wasn't baseless. I should have tried to prevent her from escaping, regardless of whether or not I knew I could do it. Considering the meaning of our club's existence, I had potentially brought ruin for all of us.

"Humph!" She scoffed in her patented, contempt-filled way. She calmed down, ceasing her violent abuse to the cupboard, and leapt back on her couch into a sprawl.

...If it's not too late for introductions, her name is Seo Yeonji, the (self-proclaimed) president of this club-- the club for the closeted Otaku, the Clotaku Club. Our club was otherwise ordinary; we didn't have any aliens or time travelers, nor did we go hunt monsters during the Da** Hour. It was a regular club created by some hobbyists who wanted to keep their business to themselves.

If I must explain what made our club different, maybe the fact that we basically broke every rule in the school to start our club?

We honestly had no say in that matter; our school was the Eunsung High School, a school for the nation's elites. They had no money to spare for a bunch of Otakus looking to find a place to waste time. We had no choice but to forego the school's rules and leave our club unregistered and unofficial.

...But that wasn't an issue for us, because-

Q: If you had the chance to steal a million dollars from a stranger and get away with it, would you do it?
A: Oh, of course, definitely!

--And that would be Yeonji answering. Even if we were at a school with a laissez-faire attitude to its students, our club's unlawful history would remain the same under Yeonji's presidency.

From the school's perspective, our club was now nowhere within the protection of its rules. We were technically criminals in this system. And then, in this illegally-created club made for hiding the lives of closeted Otakus, a stranger had entered, witnessing the extent of our criminality!

...That was our situation.


Yeonji had all the reasons to be furious, and I hadn't a single excuse to explain myself.

This room was stocked full of Otaku goods, as if they were laid out for display. I couldn't imagine what business that girl had in here, but a single glance around the room should have been enough to form numerous, dangerous ideas about the club.

"...Oh no."

A terrible, dark thought spun in my head; by the next day, everyone around me would be saying 'Hey, did you hear about that creepy room at the infirmary?'

Yeonji was distraught, her eyes shifting left and right in rhythm. "This is a big, big issue... An intruder? This can't possibly end well for us! Maybe the student council sent a spy after us, after finding out about my plan to conquer this school!"

"...I really doubt that." If the student council knew, I'm sure they'd send a demolition crew instead of a spy. Also... "Plan to conquer this school? You're still sticking with that?"

"I'll never give up! I'm just getting started!"

"...Sounds the last panel in a sports manga."

Just getting started, huh? Truthfully, we hadn't accomplished much in the last many days. Since our glorious establishment of the club, all we managed to do was sit around and play games every day.

"...Nyuu-t." Yeonji grumbled, unable to face the uncomfortable truth. I didn't press on, since I had enough faults of my own at the time.

Her 'plan to conquer this school' was, as Yeonji claimed, the first step in achieving the *second* end-game goal of our club-- to transform our society into one that won't look down on the Otaku.

Improving the public's opinion of us was, of course, completely contradictory to our existence as closeted Otakus, missing the point by maybe a billion parsecs. Yeonji's counter-explanation was as follows:

1. I don't like how the people of this country treat the Otaku!

2. I'm sure that the Pubtaku (Otakus who aren't afraid to publicly show off their hobbies) are scaring off the non-Otaku people! Those bastards.

3. Then, all Otakus must hide their power levels, which will reduce the general public's aversion to them, so we can infiltrate the ranks of the ruling classes of this nation!

4. And then, once the Otakus fully dominate the government, we can convert the entire nation to the Otaku culture and get rid of their negative thoughts about us! We'd have a real Otaku nation! Yay!

...Finally, since the Eunsung High School was responsible for the upbringing of this nation's elites, converting this school to the Otaku group was our first step-- and that summarizes Yeonji's takeover plan.

...What a scary thought. The summary alone puts any Resident E**l plot to shame.

I'm sure that I've said all I needed to explain what kind of monster Yeonji was, and how every element of the Clotaku Club was grounded in evil. Considering how serious she was about her plan, she must have been quite terrified of our club being found out.

It did not take long for Yeonji to break out of her nervous silence, and explode with the fury of a kitten whose paws were fondled with for too long. "Argh--! I don't even know anymore! Who the hell was that? Wait, actually, didn't we install a new door lock few days ago?! How did she get in without the password? Hey, dumb blonde, why don't you do your duty as the treasurer and shed some light on this?"

Yeonji stopped flailing her arms around and began glaring. The glare wasn't directed at me for once, but on a different person who belonged to this club.


In response to Yeonji's mocking shout, the 'dumb blonde' turned her attention away from the 82-inch screen that displayed an animation. She dramatically placed her palm on her face with a long sigh, glancing at Yeonji with cold, blue eyes.

"I believe I have told you, several times, not to address me by that derogatory term, little miss. How many times must I repeat myself until you cease your rude mannerisms, Miss Seo Umji?"

"It's Seo Yeonji!"

The blue-eyed girl scoffed, shrugging off Yeonji's shout, while gently and calmly brushing her golden hair. She replied, "Yes, I personally saw through the process of installing a new door lock. Did you finally find the manners to thank me for my kind efforts?"

"You want me to thank you? After a stranger broke through the crappy lock? Are you sure that thing isn't broken?!"

"Broken? It's a product of our Eunsung Electronics! The quality of the hardware cannot be at fault-- you should be more careful with your words."

"Then how do you explain the intruder?!" screamed Yeonji, violently thrusting her finger at me. Hey... it's rude to point at people in their faces, you know?

"Hmph, why must I explain for a stupid peasant? Perhaps his mind is heavily corrupted with such-and-such, that he saw an illusion of a cute girl, alone and defenseless in this isolated room."

"What are you saying?!"

I think I was happier with only one rude girl around.

The golden-haired girl glared at me, frowning and squinting like I was a disgusting insect. "Hmph, it was obvious from the beginning. It is much more probable that you are a deluded sociopath who cannot tell apart reality and imagination, rather than to believe that my Eunsung Electronics would release a faulty product."

"That's a really unhealthy level of pride in your family's business, you know that?!"

I'm a completely normal, well-adjusted guy, thank you very much! And she's the one to talk of basking in delusion, when she had been watching an anime filled with a harem of unrealistically cute girls just a second ago!

"...Sh-shut up! Admit that you've merely deluded yourself. Would that not resolve this conflict with haste?"

"But I'd end up as the crazy one! Even if I sacrifice myself and plead insanity, it still won't solve our actual problem-!"

Yes, yes, I really hope that what I saw was a ghost, too, but running away from reality isn't going to help us!

"...Hmph!" The golden-haired girl pouted, her gaze still trained on me.

...I suppose I should introduce her, too. Her name is Eun Yerin, the granddaughter of the CEO of the nation's largest corporation, the Eunsung Corporation. Simply put, her upbringing was done through a cheat code.

Her presence in our club unfortunately meant that she was also an irredeemable Otaku. She picked up her strange way of speech from some well-known anime that involved high-class girls, which ended up in the mess that we've seen so far.

She used to be the notorious 'Pubtaku Queen' and the president of the 'Moe Research Club', a club that began all the way back in her middle school years. The club had come to an end after a certain grudge match that occurred between it and the Clotaku Club. After an unexpected merger of the two clubs, she had come to embrace her fate as the treasurer of our club.

Yerin's position was the result of what could be interpreted as Yeonji's rare kindness, seeing how that allowed Yerin to stay in our club after our dispute. Though this decision was based upon the presumption that Yerin 'probably had a lot of money from Eunsung Electronics selling off so many smartphones', and that she should 'use some of that money to help out the team', Yerin did not seem to particularly mind having to pay up for the club on a frequent basis.

Even the new voice-locking mechanism that we recently installed was done through Yerin's donation, after Yeonji's endless bickering that we needed an amazing security measure for the door to the club (Yeonji's initial plan was to have a mechanism that involved a fingerprint scanner, then a retinal scanner, and then a mic that required singing an anime opening from start to finish-- but we decided against it due to monetary and technological reasons. Thankfully).

However, the security system failed, and an intruder had made it inside. We had a mystery on our hands.

"Why must we be afraid of the intruder? Under my kind protection, the lowly peasants of this school are powerless against us! If an ungrateful peasant dares to start a rumor at our expense, then they shall face the swift hammer of justice. Isn't that so, Miss Sukyong? Mister Yujin?" Yerin smiled reassuringly. She seemed to be blissfully unaware that she was behaving less like a treasurer and more like an agent of the Korea Communications Commission-- the censorship agency.


"Yes, of course, madame. Once we activate the hidden mic installed in every classroom, we should be able to track down the source of any rumors. There should be no problem."

"...As you said. We will take action as soon as we have a lead. Have no fear, madame."

...The ever-smiling butler and the ever-expressionless maid replied.

They stood closely beside Yerin, ready to take her orders like obedient servants. The robot-faced girl in a maid uniform was Sul Sukyong-sunbae, and the feminine boy in a butler's outfit was Sul Yujin. They had also become members of our club following the merger, but their status as hirelings was unaffected; their jobs were more like their life's purpose at that point.

Even when considering that every member of the Clotaku Club had personalities that treaded on the fine boundary between 2D and 3D, the Sul family was decisively the weirdest of us all. While Yerin's high-class act was immediately obvious to any listeners, the two servants were, quite scarily, perfectly natural in their roles.

"Nyuu-n..." Yeonji groaned, biting her lips, when the trio asserted their control over our situation. Though she might not have cared for Yerin's confidence, she was likely convinced by the two servants' reassurance.

The merger hadn't been more than a couple of days ago, but it was enough time for the two to showcase how superhumanly reliable they were. I didn't need their explanations to share their confidence; they were dead serious with every word that they said, and so their promises became extremely credible. For Yeonji, a girl without a single worry in life otherwise, she was then, probably, perfectly content.

"But... Hey, what do you think about this, Nurse?" Yeonji asked, turning around, and her voice had already shifted back to a calmer tone.

Our attention then moved onto the nurse, the original owner of this infirmary, and now the supervising teacher of the Clotaku Club, Miss Yu Youngseon. She was also a glamorous beauty in her late twenties, and so it seemed that she had the makings of an ideal woman -- a respected job, and a more respectable body -- ...But she was also a visual novel addict.

Calling her an 'addict' wasn't a hyperbole; after all, the only reason that we were allowed to use this room was because I had suggested that we'd show her a playthrough of an interesting visual novel: our lives in this high school. Even as we spoke to her, she was visibly and audibly sleepy, presumably from reading visual novels overnight.

"Oh , I don't know..." The nurse replied, breaking her attention away from the visual novel that played on her computer. The speakers were on, blasting out the game's uncomfortably lewd noises that weaved between the nurse's slow, droning voice. "Well... I don't think it's a problem either. If Yerin says we should be fine, aren't we? ... Fufu. "

...Thanks for your input, I guess! Though it was hard to hear, it seemed that the nurse wasn't worrying too much, either. Arguably, she would suffer the direst consequences if she were revealed to be the one responsible for allowing us to use her room; her status as an adult and an employee would compound the issue that we would share. Thus, it meant a lot that she was completely relaxed. Perhaps she also had a great level of trust in the Suls.

"Phew." I deeply sighed in relief, assured by the nurse's confidence. She might look a little slow, usually, but it would be a mistake to overlook the fact that she had once completely crushed Yeonji's devious plot that was targeted at her. If she says everything will be fine, then it must be.

"Fine, if the nurse says so too, then... well, okay." said Yeonji meekly, in a feeble attempt to hide the fact that she had calmed down a long ago. "Then we'll end the discussion here. If anyone catches her, bring her to me alive! I'll tear her limbs apart and hang them on the front door as an example to all!"

Such terrifying words did not fit her cute face. When did you become one of Ali Baba's Forty Thieves? I don't know if I'd be too fond of a murder being included in our story.

""Yes, Miss Yeonji. We will see to it.""

And what are you two doing, obeying her?! Please don't feed Yeonji with ideas!

Encouraged by the the maid and the butler, Yeonji leapt up from the couch in an arc with a mighty, bellowing, "Alrighty, then!" and began,

"Let's play the Sangkam's Game!"

...She relaxed a bit too much.

* * *

"...Sangkam's game?" I asked.[1]

Yeonji had a nasty habit of bringing strange toys or ridiculous ideas, and she never failed to make everyone's life miserable with them. Naturally, my duty in the club quickly became the periodic sealing of the devil within the vessel known as Yeonji, so that it would not grow uncontrollably and unleash itself upon us.

And so, it was my job to ask what the nature of this "Sangkam's Game" was. I actually asked out of fear, not because I was just curious.

"I thought about it after reading a book yesterday!" Yeonji stuck her (flat) chest out proudly. "In short, we start by drawing names from a hat. The person who gets the 'Sangkam' gets to boss people around."


That sounds origina-- Wait, that's just the King's Game! It doesn't sound any different from the King's Game that you'd see in anime! It's a pretty popular party game in the country, too, though it's probably better known by its variations.

I almost thought she came up with another one of her tiresome plays, but it turned out to be a very uninspired-but-thankfully-harmless game. I should have expected it from her, considering how she shamelessly took most of the ideas from random anime or light novels.

"Hah, you think it's just another King's Game? Think again, this is the amazing Sangkam's Game! It's completely different! Much like the difference between a peasant's life in the Koryeo period and the Chosun period!"


She added an extra adjective into the Sangkam's Game, but that was far from enough to distinguish itself from the King's Game. She hadn't explained much.

"Fine, I'll explain it!"

She hurried over to her backpack and retrieved a small plastic bag with strips of paper filling the inside, each of them folded in half, and a small stack of cardboard.

"What is that?"

"It's for drawing names for the game."

"Yeah, I got that, but-"

There were far too many strips of paper in the plastic bag-- I could see at least fifty, sixty pieces in there. Why would she need so many names for the King's Game? Wouldn't we just need a single piece with 'King' on it, with enough blanks to match the player count? Even if every member participated over multiple games, we would never need that many draws.

Yeonji scoffed when I voiced my thoughts to her. "Heh, I told you it's different from the King's Game! See, look at this!"

Yeonji drew a piece of paper, which looked like it was hastily cut to its size. She unfolded it, revealing a writing that was done in her round, flowy font.

Job title: 'Guard'
Description: Something like a policeman by today's standards
Duty: Arrest criminals, maintain peace
Social level: Usually the lowest of the ladder, but allowed to arrest higher-ups if they are criminals
Special ability: *Would it be ORA ORA?*[2] Tie up a criminal with ropes while shouting "You are under arrest!"

... W h a t.

I felt my brain cells evaporate after reading.

...Why did she make this so complicated? A normal King's Game would involve draws with a single number on it each. What the hell is this?

"Fue-heh-heh... And that's the most amazing feature of this game! I call it: the 'Job System'!"

"...Job system?"

It could only get worse from there.

"Yes, a job. Or, the person's place in the social ladder." Yeonji explained, "Even the people who don't get the King's position must draw from the bag, so that they have a job of their own. Not only do they have to obey the King, they also have to act out their own, given roles! Like a historical reenactment!"


It seemed that what she really wanted to do was a role-playing game, mixed in with the King's Game so that every player could affect the progression. It wasn't so unexpected in retrospect, since her favorite subject in school is national history.

But wait, isn't it still mostly the King's Game, other than a little roleplaying thrown in? ...but then I stopped myself from asking the question, since it couldn't end well for me if I did.

"So, everyone understands what the game is about, right? Okay, let's begin!"

"W-wait!" I halted Yeonji, carrying out my duty in the club. If I let her go freely, there was no telling what kind of tragedies could be brought upon this club.

"Oh, what do you want now? If you're going to complain, save it for later! Trust me, once we actually get the rhythm going, you'll feel great, too!"

"I, uh... You know-..."

Her words struck me as something that an old pervert would say to a little girl. ...Disregarding the thought, I began thinking of a way to stop Yeonji from forcing everyone into her game.

She called it the "amazing Sangkam's Game", but it was essentially the King's Game. I did not like it. I wanted to avoid it as much as possible. There were plenty of other embarrassing party games, but the King's Game had the biggest potential to turn out to be the worst event in anyone's lives.

Right, let's say, Yeonji became the King. I couldn't even begin to imagine what kind of terrible orders would be given out by Yeonji. A quick exercise in probability showed me that I wasn't likely to become the King, and that meant that I was completely screwed if I entered the game. I might as well play a game of Russian Roulette with five bullets in the chamber.

With that conclusion, I began, "...Ahem. Hey, Miss President?"

"Hmm? What is it?" replied Yeonji as she smiled. She appeared to be quite happy that I called her 'Miss President'. What a transparent girl.

My mind raced to think of a plausible excuse. I felt my brain boil up from the temporary overclocking. "...Okay, how is this going towards the club's second objective?"

"Huh? The second objective?" Yeonji's face briefly froze in confusion.

I dove in for the kill. "Don't you remember? The second objective of the Clotaku Club... What was it, 'Let's make a nation of Otakus!', or something? I thought we should start doing something about that. As a club. So we shouldn't be playing around like this, right?"

I was confident that I said the right thing.

Like I explained before, Yeonji's master plan was to spread the Otaku infection across the entire school, and then eventually spread the disease to the rest our society, turning this nation into an Otaku paradise... though she didn't make any real progress in it. She never tried to.

Thus, by reminding her that her "Sangkam's Game" has no benefit to our club's goal, she could stop herself! As much as she liked to annoy us with her constant mentions of the club's goals, she wouldn't want to be a hypocrite by continuing her game!

--That was the thought that zoomed through my head, as I planned for my escape a second ago. It was perfect. Even Yeonji's persistence couldn't save her from my flawless logic!

"Heh heh heh."

--That would have been the thought that zoomed through my head, if not for Yeonji's quick intervention.

"Of course it helps us! Did you really think that I didn't account for our goals?"

"...What?" Seriously?! Her game was a direct ripoff of an existing idea, with extra features thrown in to hide the lack of originality. How could she turn this into a plan that helps us conquer this nation?

"Hah... Think about it, you idiot. This game isn't some random waste of time." Yeonji replied, "Even in this prototype version of the game, I already added over sixty-seven different classes into the job system. If we put our time and effort into this game, we will get a good understanding of how our society worked back in the Chosun period."

"...We will?"

"Of course we will! Ultimately, this game is both educational and fun, and it can teach its players about how our country's modern society came to be!"

"Uh... Huh."

"Because it's very educational, and because our country is full of nerdy try-hards, the game will spread around the nation like a wildfire! Soon, every man and woman of this country will be playing the Sangkam's Game."

"I... don't think that's how it works."

I thought she was making some sense in the beginning... but her explanation made a wrong turn at some point, and now it became forever lost in the Mariana Trench.

"Why not? 'As our nation faces tragedies such as the land disputes, and the lack of respect for the country in our younger generations, our new game will aid in bringing this nation together through a lesson in history!' If we add some blurb like this, any overzealous parents will fall before my plan. History novels are selling well these days, aren't they?"

"Y-yeah, but..."

"While that's going on, we'll encourage online communities from the back end, by making a good review here and there. Eventually, everyone in the country will be dying to play the game."

"I... have no idea how you went from 'increase in popularity' to 'total addiction'."

" 'Another Sangkam's Game addict takes his own life!' 'Teenager executed in an overly serious round of the Sangkam's Game!' 'Sangkam's Game: Has it gone too far?' ..."

"That's extremely far from being beneficial! In fact, we're seeing more harmful side effects than good!"

" 'P-please-- I can't pay that much, this is all I have! Please let me play 'the game' one more time! It's been three days since I last played it-- I'm going to die if I don't play it!"

"We don't need a new backstreet drug in this country, thank you very much!"

...Did she not realize that she was talking about a game that we were going to play together?

"And so... Once the nation becomes more familiar with the game, they'd start being more accepting of King's Games depicted in anime or manga. And then, it will be easier for the Otaku rank to merge into the common folk. We'd already be on our road to making the Otaku nation!"

"How does that work?! How would that work?!"

I thought she was finally coming up with a deep meaning behind her play, and she blows it all away with an insane troll logic! I wanted to argue, but I couldn't figure out where I should even begin to point out her errors-- as if her main defense was to have too many glaring flaws, so that her opponents couldn't decide on how they should approach the argument.

Yeonji's ability to make up random nonsense was beyond superhuman. Simply brilliant. If she were born in ancient Greece, I'm sure that she would have been great friends with sophists like Gorgias and Protagoras.

Yeonji scoffed at my lack of response, glaring mockingly at me. "Hmph! We'll have to try it out before we can judge, no? I put my heart and my soul into making this game, so you better devote your whole body to it! If you don't, I'm going to tie you to a cross and stab you with a spear."


Why have you forsaken me, God?

I hung my head, dejected. My efforts to prevent Yeonji's plan had become fruitless, and it seemed to be my destiny to accept my terrible demise by joining in Yeonji's plans. I raised my arms and announced my surrender.

Yeonji giggled, with an annoying 'Hee-hee!', and said, "Alright then, let's begin!"

1. "Sangkam" refers to a South Korean monarch from the Chosun era.
2. Steins;Gate, Future Gadget #3. The word 'Ora' is also old Korean for ropes that are used to arrest criminals. "Ora Ora" is also a reference to Jojo's Bizarre Adventure series.


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