Episode 226

Chapter 9. Hey Ugly Korean (1)
1 week ago
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After arriving in this world, if I had to choose the three best things about it, without a doubt, I would place having special abilities at the top of the list.

The era of special abilities.

Had I been powerless, I might not have realized, but becoming someone awakened to special abilities has made life in this world quite enjoyable.

‘Anyone would think at least once about wanting to live in a world with abilities.’

By acquiring a very special ability known as the Goblin’s Bat, I became capable of achieving anything, as long as I had enough magical power.

And if there’s a second best thing, it would be my life as a Goblin in the Secret Society.

Though I hadn’t experienced living as a villain.

Nor had I executed villains in reality.

The best part about becoming the third-rate villain Goblin was getting to date various women as the Goblin.

‘You’d get stabbed for spreading your tentacles in reality, but here, it’s somewhat better.’

It’s partly due to my hard work, but that effort led to forming close relationships and connections with the Chief, the executives of Yi Maengmangnyang, and several heroines at the Academy, which was the second best thing.

So, what’s the third?

Definitely going abroad.

Specifically, enjoying the wealth I couldn’t achieve in reality, based on a much wealthier economic foundation than the real world.

Though it’s for a business trip, boarding a first-class international flight to Thailand was a novel experience compared to my previous life.

‘Going abroad like this is all part of the experience too.’

For someone who had only flown domestically to Jeju Island, enjoying the services of a private jet or first-class was always a new experience.

Of course, if you asked whether this was similar to the services enjoyed by the wealthy in the real world, that would be ‘worlds apart’ in a different sense.

The privileges might be similar, but the phenomena they entailed would be completely different from those of the wealthy in my world.

“There’s a Korean magazine.”

“These days, wouldn’t it be necessary for flights to have Korean magazines?”

Just as a coin had two sides, and light brought shadow.

“The display defaults to Korean too.”

“Why bother changing it to English? Korean is the common language after all.”

“…….”

Others might not see this as a shadow, but for me, it’s an experience that made me cringe and twist inside every time it appeared before my eyes.

“Excuse me. What drink can I get for you?”

“……..”

“Sir?”

“Is that a stewardess uniform? The design, it’s pretty nice.”

“Yes, it’s the uniform of our airline, designed by the famous Korean designer, Park Do-sik.”

Even the stewardess’s uniform, though it followed the airline’s coloring, feels a bit chilly to me, like a game character wearing a hanbok skin.

I was not well-versed in fashion, but having a stewardess uniform styled like a hanbok was indescribably odd for me.

“What drinks do you have?”

“We have sujeonggwa, sikhye, and sungnyung available.”

“…….”

“Sir? Is there anything uncomfortable…?”

“……Sujeonggwa, please. And for her?”

“I’ll have the sikhye. Without the rice.”

“Alright. I’ll prepare it right away.”

Normally in movies, they asked first-class passengers whether they wanted red or white wine, but here, they even offered sungnyung.

It might be a flight from Korea to Thailand, but sungnyung seemed a bit too much.

‘Even if Joseon had conquered the world, it wouldn’t be to this extent.’

Every time I simply breathed and walked around, getting hit by a whiff of nationalistic pride, I felt suffocated.

It’s almost like a gestaltzerfall.

“Hey.”

“Yes, Oppa.”

Gunggi—Now I should definitely call her Yun Hye-ra—put down her magazine and turned her head towards me, lowering her sunglasses.

“Why?”

“I always feel this, but isn’t it odd to have sujeonggwa or sikhye on an international flight, not just a domestic one?”

“Oppa. If a first-class passenger says that, it would shock the stewardesses.”

Yun Hye-ra winked at me, placing her index finger on her lips.

“Saying that in first class would sound like complaining about poor service quality. Ah, did you want wine? Shall I order it for you?”

“No, it’s okay. It just feels weird. Everywhere I go, it feels like Korea.”

The influence of K-culture, penetrating every corner of the world, made my whole body tremble and my clothes feel like they’re turning inside out.

As if the Korean atmosphere forcibly enveloped the places where foreign cultures should exist.

“What’s wrong with having sujeonggwa and sikhye as first-class service drinks? They’re not from factories, but traditional Korean drinks made by masters brought in for service.”

Yun Hye-ra was right.

“Out there, a single drink of this caliber would cost 30,000 won, right?”

“…….”

In this world, sikhye and sujeonggwa have become premium beverages.

In my world, wine aged over 100 years in French vineyards was obviously more prestigious, but here, sikhye researched for over 50 years by a master in Chungcheong Province took precedence, making it awkward.

“If you look closely, Oppa, you seem to have a bit of a knack for criticizing Korea. No, sorry. Not criticizing, but you just can’t stand Korean culture spreading this far?”

“Yeah, it’s not about criticizing; I just want to experience a variety of cultures abroad.”

“But every time you go abroad, you’re shocked by anything Korean.”

“That’s what I’m saying. I can fully experience Korean culture within Korea, so why do I need to see Korean stuff even when I’m abroad?”

The flourishing of traditional culture?

That’s fine.

But when a bullfight in Valencia, Spain, turned into a Korean bullfight, or when people at the Olympics were shooting arrows with Korean traditional bows instead of compound bows, it’s hard for me to stay silent.

“Isn’t it too much? Not everything Korean can be good.”

“Of course, the most Korean thing is the most global, right?”

“That phrase hits home but also makes me sad.”

Are you watching, Mr. Bong?

Your words were being used in a completely different context in this world.

Behold, the Koreanization of the entire world.

‘Is this really traveling abroad?’

I despised it.

Author.

Spreading Korean culture around the world was one thing, but the culture of this world had become too Korean.

Instead of maids in Japanese maid cafes, there were gisaeng.

In Europe, military cosplay brought out guards from Gwanghwamun.

In Brazilian sugarcane plantations, foreign workers were made to work in traditional Korean clothes.

Instead of EDM blasting in concert halls, you heard the clanging of gongs.

“Your ordered drinks are here.”

“Thank you….”

In a world where the dessert that came with first-class drinks wasn’t macadamia or macarons but bite-sized rice cakes and yakgwa.

I cursed it.

Author.

“…….”

“Um, is there something you’re not satisfied with?”

“No, it’s just that I’ve had a lot of yakgwa and rice cakes. Do you have any chocolate or simple cookies?”

“Oh, yes! I’ll change it for you right away! As for you….”

“I like them.”

The stewardess, pale-faced, hurriedly collected the yakgwa and left my seat.

“Hye-ra, did I act like a nuisance?”

“What’s wrong with asking for a change in first-class service?”

“Well, it’s not like I asked them to make ramen or anything.”

“…? Shouldn’t they at least make ramen?”

“…….”

Was that so?

Asking for ramen wasn’t being troublesome.

I thought asking for ramen in first class might be inappropriate, but it seemed ramen was quite a popular item after all.

“The real nuisances are something else.”

Yun Hye-ra chuckled as she took out her smartphone.

“We’ll be arriving soon. Once we do, don’t stray too far from me, okay?”

“That’s my line.”

“You’re in more danger than I am.”

“Sir? Here’s your chocolate. Shall I unwrap it for you?”

“No, that’s fine. Thank you.”

“Oh, yes! Please call if you need anything!”

“…Hmm.”

Yun Hye-ra shot a slightly menacing glance at the stewardess.

Then, she unfolded the paper wrapping of the chocolate I was about to unwrap.

“Look at this.”

“…….”

“Where’s the mischief from?”

With a whoosh.

Though open flames were strictly prohibited on the flight, Yun Hye-ra discreetly created a small flame to incinerate the paper without others noticing.

“Oppa, do you know what Korean honeymooners in Phuket need to be most wary of?”

“……Human trafficking?”

“Not just human trafficking. It’s not only the fear of being stripped of organs that’s terrifying but also the fear of something else being taken.”

Yun Hye-ra pointed downwards.

“Stealing seeds.”

“…….”

“Going abroad, the crime most Koreans, especially men, fall victim to is exactly that.”

Indeed.

In this world…

For Koreans traveling abroad, men were more at risk than women.

Why?

Naturally, because the seeds of Koreans had a high probability of producing ability users.


We arrived at Phuket Airport.

As soon as we arrived, Yun Hye-ra left for a moment to handle some business for the Secret Society, and I simply fiddled with my smartphone, waiting for her return.

-You were so keen on not letting me stray away earlier.

-You’re not going to follow me to the women’s bathroom, are you?

-Of course not. I’ll wait. I’ll keep your handbag and luggage with me, so go ahead.

Yun Hye-ra headed to the bathroom, but not for the reasons one might think, like using the restroom or fixing her makeup.

Her purpose for going to the bathroom was to disguise herself….

“…Hmm?”

“Excuse me.”

Someone approached me.

“Are you traveling alone?”

It was familiar Korean.

But the accent was slightly strange, unmistakably foreign.

“…Who are you?”

In front of me stood two women.

Both looked somewhat Korean, or at least half Korean.

What was peculiar was that they were wearing clothes similar to academy uniforms.

“We’re travel guides, Oppa.”

“We assist travelers from Korea.”

They’re Kosian.

Mixed-race individuals born to Koreans and various Asian ethnicities.

Created by Ugly Koreans, born out of humans’ vile desires after a great upheaval, the ‘mixed-race’ individuals emerged.

There might be exceptions, but if 90% were categorized this way, it’s fair to say it’s the majority.

Currently…

Globally, since the year 00.

Over 25 years, the number of Korean mixed-race individuals that had been born.

Officially, it’s said to be about 50 ‘million’.

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