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Dongtae
Enough said
Before and after Dicership
Description


First Appearance Chapter 01
Status Dicer
Rank A
Skill Time Pause
In X's chess Black Pawn
Main Stat Agility
Other Stats Night vision

Dongtae is the male protagonist of DICE. His name contains the Korean word for "pollock", and this is used humourously throughout the story. He is a high school student who lives alone with his alcoholic mother.

As the series opens he is, in DICE terminology, a "1": someone lacking in every attribute and skill, and widely ignored, despised and bullied by his peers as the classroom official loser. Seeing no way out of a life of misery, and incapable of confessing his feelings to his crush Eunju, his life changes completely upon becoming a Dicer.

AppearanceEdit

Unrequited love

Sneaking on Eunju, with the snot line.

In the beginning, Dongtae was short and skinny, with small dark brown eyes and a freckled face. His facial features were plain and he constantly had a snot line out of one of his nostrils.

As a Dicer, Dongtae has become a tall, well-built, handsome young man with clear skin and large, bright, reddish-brown eyes.

His distinguishing feature, even as a Dicer, are his "panda eyes", dark marks around his eyelids which become attenuated but don't vanish as he evolves, and later on contribute to his attractiveness.

HistoryEdit

After the prologue, the story opens with Dongtae reflecting on his life so far, marked by personal failures at everything he does. He concludes that something must have been wrong with himself from the very beginning, and that he is destined to be a loser for his entire life. This reflection, which defines his personality, is interrupted by a session of bullying by Hyunjo and his minions. Shortly after that, the reader learns that Dongtae is deeply in love with Eunju, a former middle school acquaintance who is still in the same class as he and is the only person ever to have treated him with respect and humanity.

Later in the same day, he briefly meets Taebin, who in the next day greets his class as a transfer student, sitting next to him.

His polar opposite, Dongtae grows quickly jealous of Taebin, who becomes extremely popular for his looks and physical and academic accomplishments. This is made worse by the obvious attraction Eunju feels for Taebin and which Dongtae is quick to notice.

Down in the dumps

Dongtae after hitting the bottom of the barrel.

Things come to a head when, suspicious of his behaviour and willing to find a way to keep him and Eunju apart, Dongtae stalks Taebin to a rooftop, not knowing that his presence has already been detected by X. Having been interested in him for a while, X devises a quest that will lure Dongtae in. It succeeds: after a brief struggle with Taebin, Dongtae rolls an unactivated Die by accident, and thus becomes a Dicer.

While initially suspicious of what X offers, Dongtae is nonetheless propelled by his jealousy to accept quests in exchange for Dice, in the hope he will eventually become able to confess to Eunju. However, despite his best efforts, he misses the opportunity by very little: the next time he sees her, she has already entered a relationship with Taebin.

Dongtae is devastated, and knowing that much of Taebin's behaviour is pure pretence, he decides to accomplish as many quests as possible and improve himself. However, when X gives him a quest that involves a small lie, Dongtae feels ashamed of himself and, realising that Taebin is ready to fake his feelings and lie to gain Dice, he decides to do only tasks that do not involve harming other people. X complies, and most of quests Dongtae is seen doing involve pranks and practical jokes. In the next few weeks, he piles up on his Dice and evolves physical and intellectually, gathering male friends and female admirers in the process.

Things go well for a while, until Dongtae witnesses Byungchul being violently bullied by Bowl-hair. Seeing himself in his classmate, Dongtae rushes to his aid, but when Byungchul accuses him of being a hypocrite, Dongtae feels guilty and gives him a Die.

He comes to regret this deeply later on, when Byungchul gravely hurts Hyunjo, and even more later when Byungchul is tricked into a corner by X and ends up dying, spreading Dice all over the school grounds in the process. Meanwhile, Dongtae finds Byungchul's notes on Dice and learns that there are other levels of Dicership involving ESP powers.

Things go downhill from there. New Dicers and wannabes start harming each other in their quest for Dice. Dongtae tries to stay away from conflict, even refusing to help Taebin restraining the Dicers, but is forced into action when X makes Eunju into the target of a mass quest involving the whole school. With Taebin's help, he succeeds in protecting her, but at a heavy price: X awards him, in front of Eunju, with the first Golden Die in the school, causing her to doubt his sincerity and wonder if he had been protecting her just because of a quest. Regardless of that, Dongtae saves her again, activating the Die in the process and thus acquiring Time Pause.

Walking tall

Dongtae, at the top of the world.

In order to protect non-Dicers in general, and Eunju in particular, from harassment, and seeing the power Daewoong had wielded over his Dicer guild, Dongtae decides to create a guild himself to control other Dicers and protect people who are not involved. He becomes sad that he will be estranged from Eunju due to the events of the quest, and Mio sees an opportunity to get closer to him.

This works for a brief period, but as quests become rarer and Dicers grow restive, Dongtae's authority becomes resented by his guild members, who end up betraying him on Gilma's instigation. Sungchul and others, ultimately on Mooyoung's orders through Gilma, try to kill Dongtae, but fail, only to be trounced by him in a rampage of fury. He then talks to Mooyoung for the first time and learns of the final Die, who enables its holder to change the world. This is later confirmed by X when he announces the PVP stage. The day ends with another disappointment when Dongtae learns from Eunju that she had asked Taebin out, not the other way round.

Devastated and embittered, Dongtae decides to have nothing to do with Eunju, and begins to reciprocate Mio's attention, but his latent feelings for Eunju initially prevent him from going further. Eventually, though, he begins to put his feelings in order and declares to Mio that what he felt for Eunju was not love, but an unrealistic yearning for a better, unreachable life. He asks Mio to wait for him to thank Eunju for her kindness to him in his darkest hours and to sort out the situation before asking Mio out for good.

In parallel, after having forced Taebin to a draw in a PVP mock battle, Dongtae and he exchange information on Eunju and Mooyoung. Dongtae spurns Taebin's request for cooperation by saying fighting PVP battles would be no better than Mooyoung's own behaviour. He also declares that he won't stay put either, though.

Later that day, after leaving Mio's house, Dongtae meets Che-hyun. He is initially distrustful of the student, who is a Dicer and an A-Ranker but refuses to reveal his skill, but Che-hyun manages to stop Dongtae from attacking him and the two have a conversation about strategy on the PVP stage. At that moment, X announces the War Quest and Dongtae immediately decides to choose Defence.

In the next day, he is shocked to find out that only Mio, whom he had asked to be neutral, chose Defence alongside him. Despite that, he rushes to the frontline on the spot and confronts Hood and Samsusaeng, asking the former for his identity. He doesn't get an answer and has to chase Samsusaeng to protect Hyunjo, who is nominated by X as the first target. The two fight a fierce battle and Dongtae comes out victor, at the cost of consuming all his Dice and suffering physical damage from using a store item to overclock his agility.

He then has a brief confrontation against Hood, who asks him whether he got his Die from Taebin, which leads Dongtae to reflect on whether his acquisition of the Die was a coincidence.

When it seems Hood will overwhelm Dongtae, Che-hyun shows up and, despite having chosen Attack, he begins to work on Dongtae's side, supplying him with three ordinary Dice and an Enchant Die which increases one's chance of Strengthening successfully. However, Dongtae prioritises the evacuation of the B-Rankers and uses the blue Dice to stop time instead.

Dongtae, Che-Hyun and Hyunjo then struggle to find out who the second target is. Eunju beats them to it, and eventually all rush to rescue teacher Chun, but teacher Kim ultimately succeeds in taking down the target.

In the third period, as any 64 people, regardless of Dicership status, are nominated by X as the target, Daewoong proceeds to attack the students in the auditorium, causing them to panic and run to Dongtae for protection.

Abilities Edit

Surprise surprise

Dongtae about to show someone, who's boss.

Dongtae has maxed out agility of his entire body to the human limit, meaning that he is extremely fast, to the point of being able to climb a wall while running. He is also extremely strong, being able to crack concrete with his bare fists (implying that he has also put Die points in endurance) and toss a grown man into the air with just one hand. During the Eunju quest, he also enhanced his darkness vision and can see in the presence of very little light. He has invested points in his intellect as well, and his grades have improved a lot as a consequence. He is also a good strategist and in the PVP stage manages to make the most out of his store items.

As an A Ranker possessing Time Pause, Dongtae is arguably the most powerful Dicer after Mooyoung, with only Taebin as a direct rival.

PersonalityEdit

Despite having become clever, handsome and strong, Dongtae remains gentle and honest, in contrast with most other Dicers. Like Taebin, he has not grown power-greedy and is contented with having escaped his previous life as a weakling. He has a strong sense of justice and treats everyone decently. He has retained traits from his previous life as a bread shuttle and tends to be shy around girls and loses his cool completely around Eunju.

However, there is a completely different side to Dongtae. He can be forceful and command great authority if the occasion calls for it, and is able to compel most B-Rankers in his school to obey his guild rules for a while. When betrayed, he can display terrifying rage and is not above heavily injuring his backstabbers. He is also very passionate in pursuit of his goals, something that has even earned Mooyoung's respect.

Morally, Dongtae believes Dice can be used virtuously and are not intrinsically bad, and simply refuses to accept quests that involve harm to other people. In the PVP stage, he has shown no intention of fighting other Dicers. It is also revealed during the War Quest that Dongtae desperately clings to this notion by trying to protect the targets, because in his mind failure to do so will vindicate Eunju's position that Dice are detrimental per se and thus his own rebirth through their usage will be proven worthless.

At home, he is resourceful and self-sufficient due to his mother being an alcoholic divorcee and working on long shifts away from home. He is shown caring for her and doing house chores like laundry.

RelationshipsEdit

Good night sleep tight

Behaving like a fool after receiving a "good night" from Eunju.

Eunju: probably the most complex relationship in the series, and the strongest influence in his personality. Eunju met Dongtae in middle school when he was already the target of bullying, but treated him with respect and dignity as a classmate, and even invited him to join the choir. His amazement at being addressed with humanity soon evolved into love, although he has never been able to convey his feelings and did his best to hide his constant misery from her. After he became a Dicer and found the courage to talk to her more often, they grew friendly until the mass quest. Afterwards, they became estranged for a while until Eunju, brought to her senses by Mio, apologised to him for having doubted his motivations in protecting her. Dongtae promptly accepted her apologies and his feelings erupted again. After he found out that she had asked Taebin out, though, Dongtae started to try to reeducate his heart and cease his attachment, going so far as saying that his feelings for her were not love but a longing for a better life. Nevertheless, he is still interested in her.

X: in the first stage, Dongtae and X were shown talking to each other a lot and although Dongtae was annoyed by X's nosiness, they seemed to get along well. Dongtae even pulled X's leg once. After Byungchul's death, though, Dongtae has become warier of the game master, which has become worse with Eunju's quest and the PVP phase. Even without knowing that X framed Byungchul, he recognises now that the GM is malicious and has started to think and act purposely to foil his plans.

BFF

Dongtae and Taebin, best friends forever.

Taebin: they will never be friends, but the two most powerful Dicers in the school are in polite mutual understanding. Dongtae despises Taebin's dismissive attitude towards other people's feelings, and didn't pass on the opportunity of giving him a good punch, but they don't consider each other enemies and have not only exchanged information on Dice and Dicership, but worked in concert to protect Eunju during the mass quest. Dongtae disapproves of Taebin's decision to stop Mooyoung by fighting in the PVP stage, seeing no difference from going after A-Rankers for their Dice.

Byungchul: the closest he had to a friend before becoming a Dicer. Dongtae and Byungchul didn't hang together much but exchanged friendly text messages and shared some comradeship as fellow class losers. They enjoyed mutual trust enough to discuss Dicership and Dongtae was the last person Byungchul talked to before dying. Dongtae feels guilty for not accepting quests that in his mind might have saved his friend.

Mio: because he had no paralysing crush on her, Dongtae's rapport with Mio developed in a much less tense way than had been the case with Eunju, even more so because both are Dicers with similar past histories who consider the opportunity to be reborn through Dice sheer bliss. They get along well, although Dongtae is somewhat intimidated by Mio's pushy behaviour. He is developing romantic feelings for her and allows himself to go along with her all-too-obvious schemes to entrap him. He intends to ask her out after he has a conversation with Eunju to sort out his feelings and trusts Mio to fight alongside him. At the end of the second season of the webcomic, Dongtae asked Mio out near the end of their date. Mio pretended not to hear him, trying to make him repeat his words, but she ends up kissing Dongtae when he struggles to repeat it.

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