Who are you?”
“Well, at least you’re responding.”
The man frowned in response to the incomprehensible comment, and the middle-aged man smiled and pointed with his thumb behind him, saying, “That friend over there, I found him earlier, but he still hasn’t come to his senses.”
As the middle-aged man had said, there was a black-haired man standing there with a naked body and a frozen expression.
“Come on, go with us for now.
We’ll take you to a safe place.”
“Or do you really want to stay here like that? We won’t stop you if you’re not afraid of losing your life.”
The middle-aged man said that, gesturing towards the dead spider.
The man, who understood well what that gesture meant, eventually followed them quietly.
“Haha, what a polite friend.
Here, put this on for now.”
“Anyway, Cliff is too kind-hearted for his own good.
Hey, you’re lucky too.
Not everyone is as generous as he is.”
The man looked at the person who had suddenly joined the conversation.
He had a face that resembled a sparrow and a scornful expression.
What he said was clearly a provocation.
But before he could react, Cliff’s wave of his hand cut the conversation off.
“Gilbert, stop talking nonsense.
Let’s go quickly before our body temperatures drop any further because of the rain.”
At Cliff’s urging, the group moved on again, and the man followed quietly from behind.
The group, who had been walking in the forest for a while, eventually arrived at a place where artificial facilities had been built.
The man slowly spoke, wandering around the landscape that seemed to mix a regular train station with a highway rest area.
“It’s a temporary station.
We’re planning on taking the train again today.”
“Train, you say?”
“Yeah, so you should finish the new registration before the train arrives.”
Instead of explaining in detail, Cliff grabbed the man’s arm and headed towards a secluded building in one corner.
When they opened the door with “Information Desk” written on it, they found a small space with only one desk and a few chairs.
“Two newbies here.”
“Oh, from your place again? You always bring them in.”
Anyway, I’ll go now.
I have things to do before the train arrives.”
“Oh, wait a minute…!”
Cliff’s sudden departure startled the man and reached out, but Cliff didn’t look back and left the information desk.
“It’s as if a drowned rat has come in.
Hey, go wash up first.”
The employee handed them clothes and shoes piled up in one corner, seemingly accustomed to such situations, and led the two dazed people to a shared shower room.
“Even if you’re in a hurry, you know you need to take a shower, right?”
As the man nodded his head in agreement, the employee left with no hesitation.
Standing in front of the shower head as if possessed by something, the man stood there, lost in thought, while being hit by hot water.
“Why am I here?”
He sorted through his memories one by one to make sense of the confusing situation.
His mind was still as hazy as if it were engulfed in thick smoke, but he gradually extracted the necessary information.
His name was Lee Jin-woo, 26 years old.
He worked as an electrician in Korea and had gone to the site as usual today to do his job.
He didn’t enjoy being assigned to work with an irresponsible senior colleague, but he believed he could still do his job well as a professional despite that.
“Senior, did you drink too much yesterday?”
“Huh? No, I just had a bit.
Don’t worry, have you never done that once or twice?”
“Are you crazy? Don’t you know we need to be extra careful with today’s work?”
“No, but this guy is driving me crazy, crazy! Can you imagine making a mistake doing something like this?!”
He should not have believed those words.
The accident happened in an instant, and he lost consciousness with a shocking impact, like being struck by lightning.
“…I should have died in the situation I was in.”
The man, Lee Jin-woo, could not understand his current reality.
He couldn’t understand why he was still alive, where he was, and what that absurdly huge spider-like creature was.
Even if he asked the information desk staff waiting outside, it was unclear whether he could get a proper explanation in this situation.
Lee Jin-woo sighed in frustration and looked down at his body, feeling a prickling sensation here and there.
As he looked at his palm with a small scar, a strange feeling of discomfort soon captivated him.
“Why is it so…
After all kinds of manual labor and on-site work, his hands were sunburned and had many small cuts.
Jin-woo looked at his skin with curiosity, which was as white as jade, and finally turned his attention to the mirror on one side.
Then, he was surprised to see his own reflection.
His hair was scattered like that of a ghost.
“Why is my hair like this?”
Jin-woo stared at his dark blue hair that fell down to his hips.
Had he been running around in the forest looking like this?
With a sigh, he brushed his hair back with one hand, revealing silver-grey eyes that were neither brown nor black.
As he stared at the surreal pupils that he had never seen before, Jin-woo was at a loss for words.
If it hadn’t been for the pain that still lingered in his body, he would have pinched his thigh with all his might.
Instead of attempting a pointless escape from reality, he quietly examined his face in the mirror.
At first, he thought he had entered the body of a stranger, but upon closer inspection, he was undoubtedly himself.
He had just changed a little.
He wondered if God had created a new body for him.
Jin-woo spent some time like that in front of the mirror before unfolding the clothes that the information desk employee had handed him.
The familiar design of the work clothes momentarily took him aback.
“Am I being forced into hard labor or something…?”
Carrying the new sense of anxiety with him, he left the room, and the employee gestured for him to wait while sitting at the desk.
The man who had been rescued before Jin-woo was already completing his registration procedure.
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