“What the heck! My game is rated 15+. This scene is not allowed. It won’t get into the store like this! Blur it out immediately!”
I screamed like an angry director yelling at the editing team. I made a big ‘X’ sign with my arm towards the corner of the ceiling where I presumed the speaker from before was located.
“Argh… Damn… that Lennon bastard… finally…ugh.”
The old man spit out blood with his incomprehensible words. A thick red l*quid dripped onto his white clothes, creating a fresh stain.
“It’s so gross… This game is completely messed up.”
I glanced at the dying man and then wiped the sweat off my face. The uncensored visuals, coupled with the high resolution, made it uncomfortable to watch.
“You… Who are…?”
The old man barely managed to lift his drooping eyelids to look at me. Even when tilting his head to see, he seemed to be asking who I was.
Soon, I heard the sound of his last breath, and he dropped his head, never to lift it again.
“…I’m a developer, for now.”
Upon closer inspection, the old man was dressed quite lavishly. He wore a Jacquard vest adorned with intricate gold stitching and frilled sleeves, not to mention golden brooches and badges.
Anyone could tell he was of high stature. Why would such a person be locked up in this small wooden attic? I examined the old man’s face from various angles. No matter how I looked, he didn’t resemble the male lead I had planned.
“Is this the first stage? Do I just need to leave this room?”
I looked around the room. It seemed like a storage room used by servants, with cleaning tools and dry clothes scattered around. Right next to the old man, there were bloody metal instruments that seemed to be used for torture.
I frowned deeply and turned away.
“No matter how much you like grotesque themes, this level of detail is too much… Haven’t you heard of mosaic? Use implied expressions. Huh? Make it classy.”
Suddenly sensing movement, I turned to the side, and there was a mirror. In the center of the cracked transparent glass was a woman with blonde hair.
“…Is that me?”
I touched my face, which looked as if it had three beauty filters applied to it. With a face like this, I’d easily get business cards from the top three entertainment agencies in real life. Moreover, I love the blonde. The neatly tied wavy bob was even cuter.
“I don’t want to wake up from this. Maybe I should settle down here.”
I made a meaningless joke while inadvertently grabbing and turning the doorknob behind me, then suddenly…
Unexpectedly, the doorknob, which I thought wouldn’t budge, smoothly turned. Isn’t this an ‘Escape game,’ how could this be so easy? But in a while I noticed, it wasn’t me who was turning it, it was opened by someone else.
From the slowly opening gap of the door, cold outside air flowed in. The chilling and vast stream of air sharply brushed over my skin
A stranger entered through the door. He was so tall that I had to tilt my head way back to look at him. At first glance, he exuded an overpowering presence.
He glanced back and forth between the dead body behind him and me, his eyes darkening.
“…What on earth has happened here… Your Majesty!”
The man swiftly bypassed me and rushed to the old man. He then felt the deceased’s pulse for a long moment. He looked down despairingly at the blood that had pooled around the old man.
‘Your Majesty’? As far as I know, that term is reserved for emperors or kings. Could this old man be…?
Instinctively, I raised both my hands to show I meant no harm. As I stepped back, the wooden floor creaked under me. The man stared at me, taking a deep breath.
“It’s unbelievable. A mere maid like you. And with such a brutal method…”
The body of the deceased bore torture marks so extensive that ‘brutal’ hardly seemed sufficient to describe them.
“I, I didn’t do it…! I was just as shocked when I saw it!”
Even if this was just a game, the feeling of injustice still felt real. The man’s gaze was terrifying as if he would tear me apart in half, so I couldn’t help but object
He approached me, step by step. His towering frame, seemingly close to 6.5 feet, cast a shadow that engulfed all the light around us. His hair and eyes, darker than a raven’s feathers, seemed to absorb all the light in the world, giving off a sinister aura.
Soon, his eyes, curved within their lids, bent slightly.
“Hena. Was this the reason you applied so fervently to our royal palace?”
This strange man, who seemed to know my name, kept getting closer until I found myself backed against a wall, trapped between him and the solid wall.
“…This sneaky little thing.”
I’m f*cked up. He seemed to have completely misunderstood me as an assassin responsible for the emperor’s, or rather the old man’s, death. With a sardonic smile, he gripped my throat.
The feeling of his solid palm slowly encircled my windpipe. I could clearly feel the warmth and roughness of his hand against my delicate skin. Without thinking, I grabbed his arm with both hands.
Although I was tense, he neither tightened his grip to strangle me nor choked me. At least, not yet.
“So, care to tell me who’s behind this? Alas, it’s going to be tough without an interrogation, right?”
This was an absurd difficulty level right from the start. I should be escaping, shouldn’t I? Instead, before even starting the escape, I was being interrogated. And why was I even involved in the assassination of the emperor? No matter how hardcore an escape game this was, this felt off.
“I… I didn’t kill him! When I arrived, he was already like that… I’m just a witness! Really! Please.”
But the words coming out of my mouth sounded cheap. I wouldn’t believe them if I were in his shoes. Damn it.
The man naturally tightened his grip around my throat. The hard sensation began to strangle me, digging into my skin. My airway constricted, allowing only a thin stream of air. The suffocating feeling was overwhelming. I clenched my eyes shut and kicked out with my legs. Unbeknownst to me, he seemed to take satisfaction in watching my distress.
“Gh… Please… let… me go…”
My oxygen levels dropped, and my vision began to blur. The blood rushing to my head made it feel like my brain was spinning. As I managed to move my trembling lips to plea, he slowly released his grip. The crushed windpipe gradually expanded, allowing me to breathe.
Only then could I collapse, coughing weakly. The man approached gently from behind me and handcuffed my wrists. Then, he called for his servants.
Soon, several people stormed into the cramped room and corridor.
“His Majesty has tragically passed away. I’ll investigate who’s behind this. For now, keep this under wraps and call for a meeting.”
“Yes, Your Grace the Archduke! However, there were a few people who happened to pass by the door and glanced inside…”
“Lock them in the office. They’ll all be disposed of later.”
As the man who appeared like an aide bowed solemnly, the man in the uniform, referred to as ‘Your Grace’, smiled faintly. ‘Archduke’… ‘Archduke’… Ah!!
At that moment, a thought crossed my mind. It was the first villain character I had conceptualized on my word processing software.
<Archduke Karzan Izihik>.
What kind of character had I made him out to be…?