Academy Certified Pongpong
《Fantasy X Academy》
Commonly referred to as “FantAcad”, this game was a character collection mobile game.
It was a type of game where you could enjoy charming characters and storylines without much stress, if you had money.
After a tiring day, I lay in bed watching the newly updated episode video.
The Academy blowing up with a loud explosion.
“Why! Why on earth! I gave everything for you, but none of you even looked back at meeeee!!!”
“Calm down, Ian…”
“Die, you b*tches! All of youuuu!”
The academy students, covered in black, jumped. The academy had become half-ruined.
Above it, a message announcing the beginning of a new episode appeared.
[Chapter ■. Act 1. Rising Darkness]
And so, the new episode video ended.
Without realizing it, I muttered,
“Woah, I knew it, you b*stard.”
Why suddenly say ‘I knew it’?
The guy who suddenly destroyed the academy in the episode.
[Ian Von Pong Istan Blackangers]
He was the guy who I had been closely watching because his name was the same as mine. Of course, our full names were not the same.
“People with names like ‘Ian Dong X Pongpong Heukwoo’ don’t make sense.”
I had a precious name inherited from my parents, Kim Ian, and that kid had a name that hinted at the developers’ sense, Ian Pongpong.
(TL: Really weird name/nickname, it references dish-washer soap, it’s supposed to be an insult, for example, a pong-pong man is the one washing the dishes aka counter-stereotypical, it seems to also be used by unmarried men to insult married men.)
Of course, having someone with the same name as you in the game usually isn’t a bad thing. If he forms a harem, I can also get some vicarious satisfaction, you see.
But this guy was different.
This rascal appeared like a thorn in the side from the early stages of the scenario.
“I’d rather he was a proper villain.”
It is difficult to even say that he is a villain.
It was even ambiguous to call him a villain. If I had to specify, he did good things, but they left a bad taste?
Where was the problem?
‘Ian Von Pong Istan Blackangers’
If I had to summarize this guy in one word, it would be ‘Pongpong the Black Sheep’.
He only pursued attractive characters.
If users were nurturing female characters, he suddenly appeared and handed them something.
For example, something like this:
When playing as the Elemental Mage heroine Lina Rosewell.
— Lina, don’t you need this? It’s a hard-to-find elemental crystal that I found with difficulty. Ah, did you happen to see what happened the school supplies on the desk? This is a lunchbox. Would you like it for lunch?
He took care of things that were hard to obtain or annoying like this.
It wasn’t just Lina.
He took care of the other three heroines as well.
When raising the Swordswoman Sharon, he provided weapons and equipment; when raising the Holy Maiden Aria, he offered psychological support, and when raising the Lightning Mage and heiress Emilia, he provided various forms of assistance.
“He would give various items, hard-to-find equipment, all kinds of gems, and even growth buffs…”
He was quite the provider of many things.
And by this point, it was only natural for such a question to arise:
— Isn’t he a god-tier character?
Such opinions naturally surfaced.
In fact, during the influx of newbies, there were many opinions praising Ian Blackangers in the community.
— Accept newbies: If you have a guy like Ian Pongpong among your friends, you will have no wishes left, seriously lol.
As you played the game, you came to realize something.
There was a hidden agenda behind everything this b*stard handed out.
If you blindly accepted everything he gave you, these kinds of events occurred.
It was the moment when this crazy guy started messing with the characters I was raising.
[Lina (5-Star) received a confession letter. Will you accept? (Y/N)]
— Accept Newbies: What happens if you accept this?
—ㅇㅇ: Heroine NTR.
— Accept Newbies: □□ What kind of messed-up game is this? Seriously.
— ㅇㅇ: The guy who commented above is lying; even if you click accept, the heroine rejects. But it damages your relationship with the heroine, lol.
Ian Von Pong Istan Blackangers. Shortened as ‘Pongpong’. Every one of his antics had that kind of unsettling feeling.
Helping and showing off. Helping and showing off. Instead of not helping at all, he helped and showed off again.
And he didn’t do this just to one person. If he saw pretty heroines, he repeated it endlessly. He just jumped on anyone who caught his eye.
— Accept Newbies: Seriously, what’s wrong with this crazy guy messing with every character? Can’t he just die?
— ㅇㅇ: Yeah, you have to endure until he commits s*icide and disappears, lol.
So, from the player’s perspective, you naturally start having thoughts like this.
— Accept Newbies: Game uninstallation confirmation. I’ll never play this crappy game again, seriously.
That’s why Ian Blackangers had two nicknames. One was ‘Pongpong,’ and the other was the ‘Newbie Guillotine’.
He provided numerous things, but he was an unlucky fellow.
“People who lead fan clubs, cams and go into debt for female characters don’t even do this much.”
Actually, well… after a while, you get used to it.
Since heroines won’t fall for him anyway, and in the end, his help is beneficial.
‘At this point, isn’t he just a kind but slightly lacking guy?’
That’s how Pongpong-like beings were, to begin with.
And it’s around this time that the worst side story comes into play.
[S*icide Threat Show]
As you progress through the story, at some point, this guy disappears. If you dig through the student newspaper the next day, you find a story like this:
[In the early evening, a student attempted to jump from the rooftop. The extent of injuries from the s*icide attempt is not yet known, but four letters were found at the scene, suggesting they may be the s*icide notes of the student who jumped.]
Because nothing was resolving despite his indiscriminate meddling, he jumped from the rooftop.
— “I’m jumping because you didn’t accept my confession.”
He sent notes like this to each of the heroines.
“This is really the worst of the worst.”
Pongpong. AKA the Newbie Guillotine.
There was no doubt that he was the main culprit behind turning ‘Fanta X Aca’ into a ruined game.
“… Wait a minute.”
A guy like that is resurrecting and destroying the Academy…?
‘No matter how dark it may be, the talent that single-handedly destroys the Academy is worthy of recognition.’
At this rate, it would be a disaster. I’ve already dominated the rankings because everyone’s leaving the game these days.
“I can’t let it fall to ruin.”
I can’t accept it because it would be a waste of money I spent on this game.
I jumped out of bed.
“Feedback, I have to leave feedback.”
Hurriedly, I sat down at the computer desk.
To provide proper feedback, I needed my keyboard.
Finding the game’s website wasn’t difficult.
I immediately navigated to the feedback section.
[TooLazyToNickname]: I’d like to make a suggestion.
[TooLazyToNickname]: There seems to be a need to modify the character Ian Von Pong.
..not only difficult for the characters in the game but also for the players to like. Frankly, just his appearance used to make me furious in the beginning. And on top of that, turning the academy into ruins due to his corruption in this scenario? I would recommend reducing his role, especially in the early stages of the scenario. This way, at least, you might save a few of the newbies.
Feedback was sent along with a cheerful sound.
I was proud.
Then, suddenly, a green light appeared in the chat window.
Oh, what’s this?
Was a developer guy watching?
[Developer]: I find it hard to empathize with the opinion that the character Ian is so repulsive. Ian provides many things to the characters. Shouldn’t you naturally like him to some extent? You ingrate.
Ingrate? Did he say that to the heroines, perhaps? The developer’s response seemed a bit strange.
(TL: Ingrate – someone who finds something wrong with anything.)
[TooLazyToNickname]: People don’t necessarily appreciate it just because you give them everything. Excessive kindness can sometimes be burdensome.
[Developer]: Humans are ungrateful after all. Artificial intelligence programming went wrong. From that damn b*tch. She’s the culprit.
What’s with this guy?
Why is the word b*tch coming out of nowhere?
And who’s the culprit?
Could it be that he’s identifying with Pongpong? Is he the type of person who believes that the heroines should respond positively to his one-sided and indiscriminate kindness?
‘Is this complete self-insertion?’
The developer, who seemed exactly like the character Pongpong, seems emotionally invested.
Perhaps this person may have designed the character Pongpong itself.
“… Wait a minute.”
So, in this scenario, did Pongpong really destroy half of the Academy, and was it not just staged?
A sudden cold sweat broke out.
This developer b*stard is seriously out of his mind.
[Developer]: Players like you stole my…my characters. It was a mistake from the beginning. I gave too much to the players. It’s my fault.
Suddenly, a chill ran down my spine.
Avoiding crazy people is their best remedy.
I quickly threw up my hands.
[TooLazyToNickname]: Hahaha… It was just a personal opinion. I’m sure you know the game better, Developer.
While typing, I could feel the cold sweat running down my back.
For some reason, an ominous feeling came over me.
I glanced behind me.
“That’s right. No one’s watching me.”
But why does it feel like someone is watching me?
My mouth felt dry.
No, this doesn’t make any sense. The developer can’t possibly be monitoring my house.
‘Let’s just apologize and log out.’
With that thought in mind, as I was about to touch the keyboard…
Suddenly, the monitor screen went blank.
“Ahh! Geez, that scared me.”
My heart was pounding like crazy.
It’s just a screen malfunction.
Bad timing, that’s all.
White letters appeared on the black screen.
…What is this?
Wasn’t the screen just out?
What’s going on?’
A sense of foreboding washed over me.
[Developer]: You catch on quickly, huh?
Before I could finish the remaining sentence, the screen started glitching, stuttering.
[Developer]: You catch on quickly? You catch on quickly? You catch on quickly? You catch on quickly? You catch on quickly? You catch on quickly? You catch on quickly? You catch on quickly? You catch on quickly? You catch on quickly? You catch on quickly? You catch on quickly?
Countless words filled the screen in white.
A deafening noise that felt like it was cutting through my brain.
I lost consciousness just like that.