Chapter 1 – One in Ten Thousand (1)

AN General Hospital main building.

Anxiety filled the eyes of the young man who just got off the taxi.
He took out his phone at the hospital’s entrance then carefully looked over the text message he received this morning once again.

[KG Chemical Health Supplement Phase 1 Clinical Trial: December 9th-10th, 4th Floor Pharmaceutical Supply Center]

Afterwards, the young man took a deep breath, thrust his shoulders back, and entered with a gusto.

That was three seconds ago.

The pupils of the young man who crossed the automatic doors started shaking slightly as the smell of antiseptic characteristic to hospitals invaded his nose.
He felt as if his heart shriveled in anxiety again.

‘Hey, Jungwu Han, you have nothing to be afraid of.
This is a simple job where you get paid to take nutritional supplements.’

The receptionist, who met him in the lobby, stared at him with concern as if asking him if he was feeling uncomfortable.
Jungwu formed a small smile on his face to show that he was fine and crossed the hallway quickly to stand in front of the elevators.

While waiting on the elevator to come down from higher floors, Jungwu’s gaze settled on the reflection that was on the gleaming elevator doors.

It was a strapping young man with dark brown pupils in his mid-twenties.

He was on the tall side without excess fat.

This was part of the criterion listed under recruitment notice for the clinical trials he wanted to participate in today.
He saw the ad by chance while sniffing around job hunting sites.
But the problem was with the additional requirements below.

[ You have had experiences where you were in a coma for over a week.]
[ You suffer insomnia and hypersomnia in turns.]
[ You feel as if someone’s striking up a conversation with you when you’re alone.]
[ You have experienced an overwhelming sense of déjà vu on multiple occasions.]

The requirement was, that among dozens of special conditions like this, you had to meet at least one.
Maybe that’s why he got more goosebumps than usual.]

‘They can’t be selecting for mentally ill people.
Besides, I’m … ‘

Who knew that being hospitalized after a car crash could help him out in this way?

Ding dong.

As he got on the elevator, there was a man who shouted “Please hold up!” as he ran over.
Jungwu was a little surprised, as his gaze naturally turned towards this person.
The man had a similar physique to him and had a rather pale complexion.
He was a man that fit the physical requirements of the recruitment notice.

The man looked at Jungwu and asked.

“Do you happen to be going to the clinical trials?”

“Huh? Oh, yes.”

What a relief.
This is the right place.”

The man must have been cold, as he placed both hands in his armpits and scrunched up.
With a side glance, he scanned Jungwu and asked.

“Is this your first time?”

“Come again?”

“First timers usually come in feeling intimidated.
Clinical Trials.
To be honest, it’s an unnerving set of words.
You don’t know what some strangers, whose face you don’t even know, will do to your body.”


The man continued as if it was all a matter of fact.

“One time, I went into a clinical trial for high blood pressure medicine.
They first fed us a diarrhea inducing medicine, and told us to get on a running machine and keep running.
Apparently, they had to check blood pressure changes resulting from extreme stress forced on the body.”

“That… that sounds awful.”

“Nah, that’s not much.
For erection inducing medication, they told us to masturbate as they randomly turned on porn… “

“Ma- Masturbate?”

“They said, “Shall I pull it out with a syringe? Or do you want to ejaculate yourself?” What are we supposed to say? If we asked the nurse to help, we’d probably get dragged off right to prison.”


“Anyways, when you get around, there’s all kinds of weird things.
But, all of this adds up to a decent wage.”

In other words, this man was like a specialist in clinical trials.
Jungwu couldn’t tell if he meant to be encouraging or intimidating.

Ding dong.

At that moment, the elevator came to a halt, then opened its doors.
As he stepped out into the hallway, he saw five to six other participants standing there.

‘There’s lots of people who are just as nervous as I am.’

Jungwu took a spot among those waiting with a frozen demeanor and started waiting for the clinical trials that begin momentarily.

“Jungwu Han?”


The room he got called into was like a scientific lab with various medical equipment that he couldn’t even name.
The numerous people in white gowns caught his attention.

One woman approached Jungwu, who was looking around.

“I am KG Chemical’s Senior Researcher Chae-un Moon.
Call me Dr.

She had her hair tied up neatly and the voice to match her appearance.

“First, come this way.”

Jungwu followed her for a bit and was surprised that there was such a beautiful researcher in a place like this.

“The test will proceed here.”

On the table that Dr.
Moon pointed to, was a syringe and an ampoule the size of a finger, code named ‘AF-12’.

Jungwu was confused for a moment.

“I’m getting an injection instead of ingesting something? Wasn’t this a health supplement?”

Moon coldly answered Jungwu, who asked in confusion.

“The method of administration is written on the terms.
You are the one that signed the agreement, correct?”

The information on the dozens of pages mostly went over his head.
He read it all, but he couldn’t remember most of all the technical terms because he couldn’t understand them.
Moon continued briskly with a business-like attitude as other participants were also surprised like Jungwu.

“The methods are different for each volunteer.
We need to vary the administration of the drug to gauge its effectiveness in the body.
Cream, patch, liquid ingestion, aerosol, suppository… .”


He was very satisfied with the injection.

Moon picked out the blood pressure monitor among the medical equipment then placed it on the table.

“I will start with some basic tests.
We have to make sure that the side effects aren’t resulting from some other illnesses.”

“Side effects…?”

At the moment, Dr.
Moon had an expression on her face that said, ‘this isn’t a million won* job for nothing’.

Afterwards, a scene that was familiar even to Jungwu unfolded.
Blood pressure and ECG checks, measuring height, weight, and other physical features were not very different from the physical exams he regularly had in school.

30 minutes later.

“Current time is 16:05.
Administering diluted solution AF-12 to volunteer Jungwu Han starts now.”

Moon brought the syringe to Jungwu’s arm.

As he felt the sting, Jungwu watched the 0.1 mg of liquid disappear into his arm.

“It’s done.”


Maybe due to the small dose, it was simpler than even getting a flu vaccine.

“Please standby in room 407.
We have to monitor you for 12 hours to observe the progress so please refrain from excessive movements.”

Jungwu nodded as he rubbed the alcohol soaked cotton on his arm.

As he went out the door, the specialist in clinical trials recognized him and approached him.

“How was it in there?”

“It wasn’t much.”


Jungwu saw a pointy pill form of AF-12 prepared on the table and flinched.
It was obvious that it was a shape designed to go into a certain hole.

“… F-Fighting.”**

Other volunteers, who had been given the drug before Jungwu, were leisurely taking up space in Room 407.

After he met some of their gazes, he found himself an empty bed.

‘That wasn’t much.’

He felt all the pent up energy from being so nervous about the clinical trial leaving him, given how shamefully uneventful the process was.
He was almost sorry about taking a million won after spending his time peacefully like this.

A moment later.

As he was spending his free time, a man walked in awkwardly as if something was stuck in his crotch but he didn’t look all that uncomfortable.

“Hey~ Jungwu Han ssi!***”

He started chatting as he sat on the bed next to Jungwu as if it were a matter of course.

Moon is no joke, right?”

“Yes, she’s rather stiff.
It’s almost to the point of being a little scary.”

“No, isn’t she really pretty? I thought I was gonna m

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