The Game Director Who Returned from Hell - Chapter 3 (Part 2):
After making the decision, I acted right away.
Putting on my clothes and stepping out, I reminisced about the now somewhat faded bus route and arrived at my alma mater, Korea University.
‘Wow, it’s been ages.’
I lifted my head and gazed at the academic building.
After rewinding time, this was the first time I was seeing the building in nearly 20 years.
Suddenly, memories of that time surged within me.
The nights spent working on assignments, or more assignments, and even more assignments.
…It’s probably better to stop thinking about it.
Looking back, I hadn’t exactly enjoyed my time at school.
While I was continuing my self-reflection,
“Huh? Isn’t that Yeon-ho?”
I heard a voice.
“Right! It’s Yeon-ho!”
A guy from a distance greeted me with a warm smile.
Who was he again? It took me a moment to remember.
It took me a while to recognize him since we hadn’t met separately after graduating.
He was the guy known for his love of alcohol in our department.
I remember he was popular because he was the son of a well-off family.
“Yeah, it’s me! Hey, you came back from the military, and you already forgot me?”
He strode toward me and playfully smacked my shoulder.
That’s the kind of person he was.
Reliable and cheerful, he got along well even with a loner like me.
“It’s been a while.”
“Yeah, yeah. It’s been about two years since you went to the military, right? Are you returning to school now?”
“No, I’m taking one more semester off.”
“Really? But what brings you to the school?”
“I have something to take care of for a moment.”
Jin-kyung hyung scratched his head.
He didn’t seem too curious beyond this point.
Well, we weren’t close enough to share every little detail.
“Are you a fourth-year student now? When I come back to school, you’ll probably be graduating. Congratulations in advance.”
I was about to give a perfunctory greeting and turn away.
“What are you talking about? I’m adding another year.”
“Retaking courses. Fifth year.”
Ah, that’s right.
When I returned to school, he was in his fifth year.
“Jin-kyung hyung! Let’s go!”
People who seemed to be in a mood for daytime drinking called out to Jin-kyung hyung.
“Yeah! Oh, this works out nicely. Yeon-ho, you wanna come too?”
“No, I’ll just finish up my business and leave.”
“Oh wow, the top student who doesn’t know how to have fun? Anyway, got it. Good luck!”
Jin-kyung hyung led the group and disappeared like the wind.
Many thoughts crossed my mind, but I pushed them away.
I simply continued walking.
‘Where was the Fine Arts Building?’
Considering the pressing issue I needed to address immediately, worrying about someone else’s life seemed trivial.
Luckily, there was a directory that would replace my faded memories.
With that, I headed to the Fine Arts Building.
I decided to approach people in a more traditional way.
“Excuse me, I’d like to ask something.”
“Do you know Han Seo-rim from the Visual Design Department?”
The student blinked.
He looked bewildered, but I had no other choice.
After all, it was a time when smartphones weren’t widely used.
This was the right thing to do
“Seo-rim! Han Seo-rim!”
A classmate burst into the study room and shouted loudly.
Seo-rim lifted her head from the desk.
She was in a state of exhaustion from an all-night assignment.
Her head was pounding, and the guy didn’t seem to have any consideration as he made a racket.
“A guy came looking for you!”
“That, what’s his name… Yeon-ho … Cheon Yeon-ho?”
It was an unfamiliar name.
As Seo-rim furrowed her brows, a senior sitting beside her stopped texting and raised his head, pretending to know the name.
“Cheon Yeon-ho? from the Computer Department?”
“Huh? You know him?”
“I do! He was the top student in the 2006 class! After military service, he came back to school!”
The senior got up in a hurry and enthusiastically exchanged greetings with him.
He must be famous for studying well.
But it was strange.
Being the top student was normal for each department, each year, and there was no reason for someone from another department, let alone another school, to be this well-known.
“Do you really study that well?”
When Seo-rim asked with curiosity, the senior smirked.
“What are you saying?”
“Top student. That’s why he’s so famous.”
“But he’s not that kind of ‘top.’ Well, he is a ‘top,’ but in a different sense.”
The senior grinned.
“Top in looks.”
The classmate nodded and his eyes sparkled.
“Do you know each other?”
There was no room for doubt.
It was like watching a cunning cat that had found a chewy and delicious prey.
Years of experience had taught her.
Opening her mouth would just make things worse.
“Why would he be looking for you?”
“How should I know that?”
“Wow! Could it be?”
The classmate and the senior exchanged happy glances and chuckled.
Soon, they burst into loud laughter.
That damn TV show must have messed with someone’s life again.
Virtual celebrity marriages were all the rage.
It was clear what was going on in their heads.
Seo-rim stood up right away.
“He must be here for work, right? What’s all this fuss about? Our oppa is there too.”
She tried to stop the commotion, but seeing their expressions, she seemed a bit grumpy.
She would probably have to keep a low profile for a while.
“I’ll be back soon.”
Seo-rim left the study room in quick strides.
Slightly uncomfortable, the situation reminded her of her school days when baseless rumors spread easily. She didn’t find this attention endearing.
Naturally, her impression of Cheon Yeon-ho was bound to worsen.
It was probably at the request of that unreliable brother of her, Jin-kyung hyung.
If not, she’d have to fend him off immediately.
Making up her mind, as she stepped out in front of the building.
In the stream of people, she could spot Yeon-ho immediately.
He had an aura that was hard to miss.
He’s handsome, isn’t he?
“Mr. Cheon Yeon-ho?”
A woman with her arms crossed approached, her stance slightly askew.
With her sharp short hair and sharp features, she bore a fresh expression.
In an instant, I recognized her.
This woman was none other than Han Seo-rim, the Art Director of “Lost Kingdom.”
Her face, sharper than the image in memory, triggered a peculiar sensation.
Seeing the past of someone who would create such a masterpiece in the future was a rare occurrence.
At the same time, it was thrilling.
With her, I could vividly depict the hell in my mind better than anyone else.
‘It’s okay if it doesn’t work out right now.’
As I gradually nurture it, I will aim for a level of satisfaction, if not more.
My mouth suddenly felt dry.
Suppressing the rising thirst, I extended my hand for a handshake.
“I’m Cheon Yeon-ho from the Computer Department. Are you Han Seo-rim?”
“Yes, that’s me.”
“Could we talk for a moment?”
“What’s the matter? If it’s not something important, would you mind telling me here? I have a class soon.”
Even until that moment, Han Seo-rim didn’t shake my hand.
A guarded attitude was evident.
It was understandable; I was a guy she didn’t know, yet I came all the way to her department.
It didn’t seem appropriate to talk while standing; oh well.
After a moment of thought, I spoke the prepared words.
“By chance, I saw your mini homepage. More precisely, the drawings you posted there.”
“Oh, the doodles?”
Doodles, it wasn’t a dismissive term.
On Han Seo-rim’s mini homepage, I found a few digital drawings that she had uploaded for research purposes.
Each one was of a high standard.
It wasn’t about the quality, but the sensibility that mattered.
Should I say that the essence of “Lost Kingdom” that I remembered was melted into these drawings in its raw form?
“Yes, those drawings are correct.”
“Okay, go on.”
It seemed I had piqued Han Seo-rim’s interest.
“I’ll be straightforward. I have something to ask you about.”
“What is it?”
“I’m working on a game. I’d like you to take charge of the game’s art department.”
Han Seo-rim’s face displayed an oddly puzzled expression.
“You’re making one?”
The answer came at a moment when an unease surged within me.
“…I’ve never tried making a game.”