Go to South Korea for summer vacation they said. It'll be fun, they said.

So then why was she suddenly running for her life? And where had her sister and brother-in-law disappeared off to? Hadn't they said that they were only going around the corner to look at a small shop really fast? Well here she was, running around the corner, and they were nowhere to be seen.

Looking over her shoulder only revealed that she was still being followed by the cloaked figure that had grabbed her only minutes before, while she waited for her siblings to return so they could continue enjoying their vacation.

"Damn it, Macy, keep it together!" she pushed her way through a crowd, ignoring the exclamations of the local Koreans. She couldn't understand them anyway. It was her brother-in-law who had been translating for them, but much to her frustration, he was still missing.

She fumbled with her phone, dialing her sister's number to try and call for help, weaving in and out and around whatever she could to put distance between herself and her pursuer. Thoughts of being kidnapped and sold into a human trafficking ring filled her mind, which was somewhat amusing. She had spent four months in the Middle East and never felt like she was in near as much danger as she did now. She took the next corner, praying that she would lose him.

"Hello?"

Her sister's voice filled her grateful ears as she ran to the back of the alley that she had somehow ended up in. She was now trapped, but help would soon be on the way. She frantically tried to explain to her poor, flustered sister what had transpired in their absence, her heart rate slowing as she caught her breath. It seemed she had put enough distance between her and the cloaked man. He must not have seen her duck into the alley way.

"Stay where you are, we're coming!"

She breathed a sigh of relief and hung up the phone, slipping it into her pocket while she turned to face the entrance of the alleyway.

"What are you running from, Princess? Don't worry, I'll take great care of you."

She gave a shout as someone seized her from behind and shoved a cloth over her nose. Startled, she breathed in a sharp breath filled with a sweet smell before her vision blacked out and she slumped into his arms, at the mercy of a complete stranger.


Macy's head was pounding when she finally came to. Groaning, she rolled over and pushed herself up with her hands until she was kneeling on the ground, still feeling the nauseating after effects of what she assumed was probably chloroform. It took a second for her mind to clear, but the moment it did, she scrambled to her feet to face her attacker.

He was gone. Not only was he gone, but she seemed to be in the same alley way as before. Maybe he had just wanted to rob her? So she checked her pockets. Her phone was right where she had put it, and her purse was safely slung over her shoulder, with her wallet and its contents still safe.

"What?" she winced, wondering if maybe she had just imagined it and passed out. Her sister would be here soon, though, so Macy reached for her phone in case she had called while Macy was unconscious.

Wait. What was wrong with the screen? There was what looked like green code scrawled across it, and Macy panicked. Maybe she had broken it when she fell?

And then something peculiar happened. A box popped up, asking for her name. She hesitated. Had her phone asked for her name when she first got it? Maybe. Maybe it was just booting up again. She couldn't get in contact with her sister if she didn't put something, so she reluctantly typed "Macy" in.

Instead of bringing her to the home screen like she expected, a message popped up, letting her know that "Unknown has entered the chatroom".

"Huh? Chatroom?"

And that's the moment when Macy was launched into the most chaotic, exciting, romantic, confusing, and heart wrenching ride of her life, and it all started with one, simple word…

Unknown

…Hello…?

Macy

What is this?

Unknown
Can you see this?

Macy

Obviously…

Unknown

…Finally connected. Thank god.

Unknown

It's not everyday you get a text from a stranger.

"Yeah, no kidding…" She squinted at her phone, something nagging the edges of her brain as the "Unknown" person continued typing.

Unknown

I'm a bit flustered myself. I found a smartphone at the subway station, but all it had was this messenger app.

Unknown

I want to find the owner, but I don't see any contact info or call records…

Unknown
I've been sending messages with this app but no reply…

All I see is an address and some important-looking numbers saved in notes.

Unknown

I'd like to go there myself but I'm currently abroad…

Macy read the words over and over, but not matter how many times she blinked, or how many times she looked away and looked back, they were still there. Familiar, but bone chilling. It took her a couple minutes to compose herself enough to respond.

Macy

Did my brother-in-law put you up to this?

Macy

He's always making fun of me for playing this game.

Macy

I think he's jealous that I got my sister into playing it too.

Macy

Who are you? One of his Korean friends?

Unknown

Me? Oh sorry, I didn't even introduce myself.

Unknown

I'm just… a student studying abroad. I'm Korean.

Unknown

I could tell you my name, but it doesn't really matter.

Unknown

You won't find me on search engines. ^^;

Unknown

But, anyways…

Unknown

Can you help me find the owner of this phone?

Unknown

I know you're surprised to have someone suddenly pop up and ask you a favor like this.

Unknown

But still…

Unknown

I'd appreciate it if you could help.

What on earth? Was this guy for real? Was this for real?

She had to admit, amid her panic and confusion, there was also a little bit of excitement and anticipation, mingled with hope that this was reality, and that she was about to be plunged into a real life version of her one and only guilty pleasure dating game. The prospect of meeting all the characters…

But no. This was a joke, and there was no way her brother-in-law would go as far as having people dress up and cosplay the members of RFA. In fact, he knew very little about the game. Macy and her sister hadn't played in in many, many years, though it still held a special place in Macy's heart. If anything, this would probably end in a blind date, since her brother-in-law loved to mess around with her dating life, due to it being painfully empty.

Finally, she sighed. The least she could do was humor him.

Macy

Alright. I'll bite.

Macy

But I'm not falling for any of this, for the record.

Macy

How can I help you?

Unknown

Uhm… I'd like for you to go to the address saved here.

Unknown

I saw the street view through the internet, and I've been there before.

Unknown

It's an apartment in downtown. Very crowded.

Unknown

It's really a safe place. If you feel unsafe, you can turn around.

Unknown

I know the area. It's developed.

Unknown

Please?

Macy

Okay, suuuuuure… What's the address?

Unknown

You trust me…

Unknown

Thank you!

Unknown

Just a sec. I'll send you the address.

Unknown

Found it.

Unknown

[Address]

Click Link

Clicking the link brought the address right up. Macy sighed again. This would be difficult without her brother-in-law to translate, but she'd have to manage. Feeling much stronger after her fainting episode, she made her way out of the dark alleyway and into the sunlight, squinting her eyes to guard against the brightness for a few seconds.

When her vision cleared, she almost passed out again, this time from shock.

Everything seemed to be written in English. Not only that, but it was almost like someone had placed a pair of glasses that had a permanent social media filter on them over her eyes. Everything appeared to be animated.

Macy's first impulse was to reach up and make sure someone hadn't placed a VR headset over her face. Her fingertips made contact with her soft, warm skin. There was nothing placed over her eyes or head. Unless she was hooked up to some sort of high tech VR machine that you only saw in sci-fi movies, this was reality.

"W-what…?" Macy blinked a few more times, then looked down to stare at her phone. If this was real, then by agreeing to go to the apartment, she'd potentially be putting her life in danger. Who in their right mind would walk into an building knowing that there was a bomb in there?

But was it too late to back out? She had never purposefully achieved a "Bad Ending" in Mystic Messenger, but knew that there were consequences if the player refused to go along with "Unknown's" demands.

Plus, wasn't this what many fangirls all over the world dreamed of? A chance to meet their favorite characters? A chance to live out every fantasy they had ever had.

She felt her face grow red. Her deepest fantasy was just to be held by someone who loved her again. It was possibly her favorite part of being in a relationship… Having someone who cares and wants to be there. And it had been years since her last one had ended…

She shook her head to clear her thoughts. Either way, she was taking a risk. Wasn't it better to take a risk where she had the chance to gain some new friends and maybe even have a little fun? She had achieved "Good Endings" every time she had played the game. Would it really be that hard to do in real life?

Taking a deep breath, Macy raised her hand and hailed a taxi, hopping into the first one that stopped and showing the driver the address she had been sent. Before she really had a chance to think twice or second guess her decision, Macy found herself standing in front of the door to an apartment on the 14th floor, staring at the keypad. Was she really about to do this?

Her phone beeped and she looked at it. As expected, "Unknown" was back.

Unknown

Are you there? ^^ See. Nothing strange.

Unknown

Is there a password lock on the door?

Macy

Yes.

Unknown

I'll send you the digits. Try it.

Unknown

[Password]

Click Link

Macy opened the file, looking down at the numbers 5830. She knew it was too late to back out now, without facing dire consequences, but something inside of her hesitated. Could this still be some elaborate prank?

Macy

What happens if I don't go in?

Unknown

I-

Unknown

I don't want to think about that.

Unknown

The owner of this phone must be desperate for it back.

Unknown

Please…

She looked up at the ceiling, silently praying that she was not about to do something that she would regret for the rest of her life, and then she punched in the code, allowing the door to pop open just a crack.

Macy

It worked. It's open.

Unknown

Good. Why don't you go inside?

Macy

Am I going to be in danger?

Unknown

It'll be fun. You'll see! ^^

Macy

Alright. Here I go…

Unknown

Th

Unknown

ank

Unknown

you…

A message popped up, letting her know that "Unknown" had left the chatroom. Macy took one last deep breath, and stepped into the start of the craziest 11 days of her entire life.