Chapter 1 - Even a Psychopath Gets on his Feet After Several Big Waves

In retrospect, since my earliest days, I wasn't really interested in what happened around me.


I began to have my own thoughts at the age of six.


My parents were concerned about my inexpressiveness and quietness and had been in a car accident while driving me to the hospital.


And like the overused cliché in C-list movies, I was the only survivor. 


Even then, my grief was overshadowed by the frustration of wondering what would happen to me from then on."


None of my relatives were interested in taking care of me, as they were busy fighting each other for the property my parents left behind.


Unsurprisingly, I was sent to an orphanage. 


I was seven years old. 


My expressionlessness made me unappealing for adoption. 

As such, I always sat back, watching the other kids find new families. Worse still, an older kid named Hyung-soo acted as a boss and began bullying me without reason.  


"I really don't like this bastard. What makes you so arrogant?"


Smack smack-


At first, I didn't care much, but the constant bullying got tiresome. 


So, I thought. 


I have to kill him. 


I was weaker than Hyung-soo, so I racked my brain, thinking about how to murder him.

I enjoyed the process of trying to achieve my objective. 


One time, I hid behind a window on the third floor and pushed a flower pot over, aiming to hit his head, but I failed. 


I secretly put tiny pieces of a broken blade in his pants pocket, but they only cut his fingers, and I failed.


I caught a snake from a nearby mountain and put it in his bag, but it was a venom-free snake, and I failed. 


Hyung-soo noticed I was behind everything and beat me severely, but I didn't care. 


I smiled even as he hit me, thinking about how I could ideally get rid of him. 


He began to avoid me after this incident. Finally, he came to me at some point, crying and apologizing, saying he was wrong.  


I felt sorry that I couldn't finish him off, but at least he wouldn't bother me anymore, so I let it go. 


Then came that day. 


"Oh my! Are you Kyu-ha? You look like such a good boy!"


A young couple visiting the orphanage wanted to adopt me. I went through the adoption process at once, as if I were being sold.


I found out later that they had asked the principal for a 'quiet, well-mannered kid.'


I didn't know until after a while that they only adopted me because it was favorable for the housing subscription, but it didn't matter to me. 


However, the violence became so severe that I had no choice but to consider fleeing. As a result, I left the house one day and began wandering.


What can a 7-year-old kid without anything do in a cold society? 


A monk found me crouched in an alley, where I lay exhausted from hunger, while he was dropping from one food place to another collecting alms.


"What are you doing here?"


He knew I was an orphan with nowhere to go, so he took me to a place known as the Doseon Temple, saying this was meant to be. 


"From your face, I can tell you will never become a monk. I'm afraid you might get into trouble when you live outside, so stay here and help them with the chores."


That was what the eldest chief monk said the first time he saw me. 


I stayed in the temple, helping with various trivial tasks.


The chief monk said one needed education to become a helpful person, so he enrolled me in a branch school at the bottom of the mountain, where I spent six years.


For six years, I listened to many lessons taught by the monks, and I could tell I was different from the average person. 


I was "lacking" in everything. 


No stimulus could impress me much, and I firmly believed that getting rid of anything I considered unpleasant was the most efficient way of handling it.


As a result, I couldn't make any friends properly, although I was in school. Other than the monks, no one approached me. 


On the summer day I turned 14, I had my 'first dream,' which completely changed my life. 


Was it a dream?


I was seven years old in this dream and knew every detail of the kid's life. 



It indeed was a bizarre experience. 


I had transformed into a child I'd never seen before and could share my thoughts and emotions with him, but I could not act on my own accord.


It was like I got into a fully-programmed character. 




In the dream, Lee Hyun was seven and had become an orphan after losing his parents to an infectious disease. 


I was roaming around a slum when I found and followed a man who promised to provide me with food, eventually dragging me somewhere I didn't recognize. 


The man tossed me over, leaving me with the impression that I should be honored to be allowed to join the Dead Soul Assassin Group as an elite killer.

After that, I was nameless, only being referred to as number 323 of 1000 kids around my age while getting intensive murder training.


Usually, I woke up and returned to being Song Kyu-ha in the real world after spending about 30 days as Lee Hyun in the dream. 

At first, I tried my best not to fall asleep, so I wouldn't become Lee Hyun again. But that was impossible. I fell asleep and became Lee Hyun often, where I was undergoing harsh training to become an assassin.

Eventually, I stopped resisting it and decided to play along with my absurd circumstance.

Fortunately, Lee Hyun had talent as an assassin. 


He didn't think twice about taking the life of a peer standing next to him and had a remarkable knack for applying newly acquired talents.

The feeling of cutting through bones and flesh. 


Dying eyes. 


The smell of blood made me feel alive. 


Although I couldn't feel it in reality, I could relate to his feelings after killing someone, which was cathartic.


As time passed, Lee Hyun eventually emerged as the winner among the final ten survivors, becoming an elite assassin who carried out all assassination requests smoothly. However, his method was so brutal that he was given the nickname Demon-Masked Killer Phantom. 


Yes, Lee Hyun… no, I….. enjoyed killing. 


I woke up feeling satisfied and refreshed after murdering someone to my heart's content in my dream. 


The chief monk noticed my moods and asked me if something was happening, saying I looked great these days. 


However, the killings eventually accumulated, forming a powerful bond and catching up with me as karma. 


I became a public enemy, going on the run for three years before getting caught by the search squad and dying miserably after they had my limbs cut off.  


I died feeling tremendous pain as I had been tortured before dying.


I could sense the feeling of fear. 


I returned to being Song Kyu-ha the day Lee Hyun died.


Perhaps as an aftereffect of the death, my body was drenched in a cold sweat, and I had zero energy, ending up sick for a week.

This incident made me realize that killing or harming others recklessly was undesirable.


In the second dream, I was a Western boy, and like the last time, I still remembered who I was.


His name was Jackson.


I was a boy born in a slum who was caught stealing bread from the market and forced to become a mine slave.


Jackson's slave life was arduous. 


Fifteen hours of intense labor were destroying his body and ravaging his mind. 


The mine was more guarded than I thought, as heavily guarded as a fortress. I couldn't endure the intense labor and the poor feeding. 


I spent three full years in this abusive labor before a guard hit me with a whip, which made my skin burst, causing me to bleed to death.  


The smell of the temple and the sound of monks reading Buddhist scriptures wet my eyes with tears as I returned to the real world and opened my eyes.


"I'm sorry for saying it this late, but thank you very much for taking me in."


The monk seemed surprised when I suddenly thanked him —I had never expressed gratitude before—but he stroked my head gently with a smile.


I usually didn't eat well as I was not fond of vegetables. But on that day, I emptied three full bowls of food.

That's how my second dream ended, and I had peace for a while. 


After experiencing the terrible life of an enslaved person, health and freedom felt so precious to me. 


I enjoyed my food almost solemnly and became grateful for even the most minor things. 


That was how I eventually learned how to become normal. 

Then, time flowed away like running water, and I became 25. 


By then, I had experienced 12 different dreams, each triggering changes in me. 


I gave up attending high school and got a certification exam instead, and I left the temple to get a job at a slaughterhouse and live independently.


The experience I had garnered through my dreams helped me become the best worker at the slaughterhouse, although I was young.


Slaughtering and prepping meat was not easy. 


You need courage and a solid stomach to kill a live cow and cut up its meat into parts.


Seol Woo-don, the CEO of Songak Cattle Farm, hadn't been sure I could do this kind of work. 

But I learned fast and won my colleagues' trust in no time, even becoming the best butcher after seven years at the firm.


A fresh piece of beef hung underneath the reddish lighting.

Kyu-ha was preparing for a large-scale cutting exercise in front of it, wearing a black apron, white surgery gloves, and a mask; while holding a knife in one hand. 

After offering a brief silent prayer for the cow, Kyu-ha moved his knife around without hesitation.


He started by dismantling the front legs; it didn't even take ten minutes to finish carving out the different cuttings; brisket, short ribs, sirloin, neck loin, and chuck roll.


"Hey, Mister Jung, look at that. Kyu-ha is amazing. How is he so good at cutting!"


"He is something special. It normally takes at least half an hour."


While he lived Lee Hyun, the killer's life, he used the knife so much that this kind of work was now straightforward. 

"I'll call it a day. Please wrap it up well."


As jobs were completed quickly, Kyu Ha was preparing his stuff to leave when the CEO, Seol Woo-don, approached him.


"Kyu-ha. Can I ask you a favor?"


"Of course, sir. What is it?"


The CEO, Seol Woo-don, treated him like family, and Kyu-ha wanted to show his gratitude, so he replied without hesitation. 


"You know, one of my old friends is shooting a movie called 'The Gourmets' or something. 

There is a scene where the main character needs to butcher meats, so he's looking for a double. 

Could you do it for me? I'll make sure he pays you well to make it worth your while."

"Yeah, sure. It's for you. I'll do it."

"Oh, thank you, Kyu-ha. I can now face that friend of mine with confidence, thanks to you."

Little did Kyu-ha know how much that small favor would change his life.

Chapter 1