Hamster Sounds in the Middle of the Night (1)

I became a hamster.

I wondered why there were hamster sounds in the middle of the night.

Golden fur that didn’t lose its sheen even in the dark, four cute pinkish legs, a long beard that moved whenever its cheeks twitched.
Every time a black cloth fluttered and light leaked in, its blue eyes reflected onto iron bars…

…Wait a minute.
Bars?

Iron bars?!

— Squeak?! (Why?!)

Let me correct myself.

I’m not just a hamster, I’m a hamster that was locked in a cage, getting a ride to somewhere.

*

Rattle, rattle, rattle.

The iron cage that imprisoned me was shaking violently.
When it rattled and moved, my tiny body rolled in all directions and repeatedly bumped into things.

Who was it? Who was driving like this? Drive safely!

Thud!

My small body slammed into a corner again, the bump making my butt sting. 

The sound of a horse huffing resonated.
This riding experience was fantastic.
If it was this fantastic the second time around, I would have to greet Yeomra.

tl/n: yeomra, also known as yeomra-daewang, was the korean god of death.

Where the hell were we going? Why did I become a hamster? Besides, why were we riding a horse and not a car, bus, or train?

It was unfair.
It was really unfair.
It was so obvious that it was absurd to even explain it, but I’m a human being, not a hamster! 

‘Yes! I’m a human!’

Bae Soohyun.
27 years old this year.
Even if it was a thorny path, I kept on living rather than giving up.

My life was like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Friday, Friday, but I had no doubts that my hard work would be rewarded one day.

And after years of hard work, the sun had finally risen.
The game that I had worked hard to develop became a hit.

‘… Am I dead?’

I was.
I had died.

As my worry was lifted, the last memory I had began to flood my mind little by little.

I had received the first settlement of money for my game, and feeling as if my child had succeeded at the box office, I couldn’t control my pounding heart as I was flying home…

Rattle.

At that moment, the cage shook as if we were about to jump.
When I rolled all the way to the other side of the cage and hit my head, I could see colours in my vision.

‘Are you kidding me?’

I was so annoyed that I kicked the iron bars with my small feet, and a voice was heard from not too far away.

“I’m sorry.”

An unfamiliar, low, and friendly voice.

“Hang in there.”

But I think I’ve heard these words from somewhere.

‘I’m sorry.
Hang in there.
I’ll take you to your new home soon.’

Oh, I remember.

At the crossing in front of my new house, I bumped into a young child who was walking in a hurry while hugging a hamster cage and was pushed onto the road, causing a car to crash into my body.

At that time, I had instinctively sensed my death.
Death, which came suddenly, took control of my senses, and as my consciousness began to fade away…

Twinkle.

Blue flashed in front of my eyes.

‘No, wait… Blue?’

[Hello, World!]

Suddenly, I looked at the blue system window that appeared in my field of view, stunned.

It was a very familiar phrase.
It was the most basic sentence that anyone who had done some programming would know.
When you first turned on any program, this phrase would appear.

Several windows popped up one after another on top of the system window that had suddenly appeared.

[Connection confirmed.
Checking data.]

[Arranging quest.]

[Calculating Miracle Value.]

[Only some materials can be read.]

[Synchronisation not complete.
Please wait a moment!]

[…Sync 0% complete.]

‘What’s this? Data? Quest? Synchronisation…?’

As a series of nonsensical things happened, I didn’t even know what to be surprised about.

While I was dazed and in shock, the horse that had been moving this entire time finally stopped.
The owner of the voice seemed to have climbed off with the iron cage.
The noise had stopped, but my stomach was still churning.

I was shivering in the cold wind that was blowing in from somewhere, and another voice was heard.

“Your Highness, are you really not going to throw it away?”

…Highness?

I got off a horse and now they’re talking with ‘Your Highness’? What do you mean ‘Your Highness’ in 21st century Korea? This kind of story belonged to the old man who wore a dragon robe in a historical drama that I had watched as a child.

A low voice followed.

“It’s just a pup that fell out of the litter.
Isn’t it pitiful?”

“I’m sorry, my lord.
It’s a beast pup.
When they’re all grown up, they’ll tempt their prey…”

I narrowed my eyes and scoured my tiny body.

Tempting someone with this body? How does that make sense? I’m not a beast, I’m just an ordinary hamster.
It sounded silly, but if you took it so seriously, it seemed a bit plausible.

The man with a low voice cut his opponent’s words coldly.

“It’s still a pup.”

“That’s what I said, Your Highness.”

“Yeah, it’s just a pup.”

“It’s important because it’s the pup of a beast!”

‘Can’t they stop talking about the pup? I feel a little…’

While I grumbled quietly, the man’s voice resonated, filled with anger.

“Are you unhappy with my decision?”

The words resulted in a question, but the terrifying momentum mixed into each syllable poin

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