The interior of Sinyoung’s headquarters was even more luxurious than the building’s exterior. Adding to the fact that there were quite a throng of people coming in and out, Seol Ji-Hu couldn’t immediately tell whether he had set foot inside a top-class department store or a top corporation’s lobby.
He stood there looking around and a while later, discovered the reception desk. When he walked closer, a young woman wearing a tidy uniform greeted him with a smile.
“How may I be of an assistance?”
“I’d like to speak to someone working here.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Please provide me the name of the person you’ve made an appointment with.”
“Oh, no. I don’t have an appointment. Can you call Miss Kim Hahn-Nah down here for me, please?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
After hearing his rather forthright demand, the reception lady’s eyes went extra round.
“You mean, Captain Kim?”
“Yes, her. Tell her that it’s Seol. She’ll know right away.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
The reception lady didn’t say anything, but simply blinked her eyes a couple of times. She looked at the youth’s attire and tilted her head for a moment or two, before her gaze shifted over to the ice-coloured spear emitting chilling air behind him and nodded her head slightly.
“Please wait for a moment.”
He was worried about not being able to meet Kim Hahn-Nah without an appointment, but let off a huge sigh of relief inwardly when the reception lady took out a communication crystal.
“It’s Park Ah-Rah from the reception desk. By any chance, is Captain Kim in her office today? Oh, actually, there is….” (TL: LOL, the reception girl’s name literally TLs to ‘slam your head (somewhere)’.)
The reception girl sneaked a glance at Seol Ji-Hu, and then…..
“He said he’s Mister Seol…. Pardon?”
….She was clearly startled by something as she quickly shifted her gaze over to the stairs in the distance. Seol Ji-Hu followed after her gaze and looked over yonder, and not too long after that, spotted a woman kitted out in a smart business suit quickly walking down the stairs with a small bag in her hand. It was, of course, Kim Hahn-Nah.
‘That was quick!’ (Seol Ji-Hu)
Regardless, Seol Ji-Hu waved his hand, feeling happy to see her.
“Hey, Kim Hahn-Nah!” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Hey, you. Been a while.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
She smiled refreshingly and replied.
“What brings you here? Coming to see me all of a sudden like this.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Well, I wanted to see you.” (Seo Ji-Hu)
“You craz…. Well, should we get out of here to have a chat, then? As you can see, it’s a bit of a madhouse here.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah spoke really quickly. She even grabbed Seol Ji-Hu’s arm and pulled at him before he had a chance to reply. As soon as her back was turned towards the reception desk, the smile on her face evaporated in an instant.
“Come with me.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
She whispered to him and yanked him by his arm. Seol Ji-Hu could only open and shut his mouth like a goldfish and got helplessly dragged outside by her.
By the time Kim Hahn-Nah stopped walking like a possessed person, they were in a comparatively deserted side street.
She uncrossed her arms and planted her hands on her waist. She glared at the heavens above in total silence, before letting a long, long sigh escape from her mouth.
Meanwhile, Seol Ji-Hu just stood there, staring. He wasn’t sure, but it felt like he had done something naughty here for some reason.
“Okay, so.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah spun around to glare at him with narrowed eyes.
“Seeing that not only you showed up back in the capital, you even dared to shove your head inside the jaw of a tiger, I guess you got yourself some sort of a safety net behind you.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
What with her facial muscles twitching like that, if he jokingly said “Nope” here, she might really cause him some bodily harm.
“Yeah, I think I’m pretty well covered.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“….Really?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah’s barely-contained self, looking as if she’d blow her top at any moment, seemed to ease up a little. Seol Ji-Hu seized upon this opening and quickly followed up.
“I entered a team.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“A team? Which one?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Carpe Diem.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
Kim Hahn-Nah’s eyes became small dots like a rabbit’s. She wordlessly stared at him, before her lips parted slightly.
“Heh~eh. That’s a surprise. I thought the requirements to join Carpe Diem were supposed to be pretty strict, too. So, how did you find yourself in a team famed for their close-mindedness?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“You know about them?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Do I ‘know’ about them? C’mon, it’s a team containing Edward Dylan, an upper-level ranker. He’s a Level 5 Arch Shooter, for crying out loud. And not to forget, both Chung Cho Hong and Richard Hugo are known as really skilful fighters, too.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
This time, it was Seol Ji-Hu’s turn to be surprised.
“Cho Hong’s surname was ‘Chung’?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Yeah. She’s from Area 7, the so-called Independent League, I think. Nationality, from Hong Kong, and famed for walking on the path of a Warrior, even though she’s supposed to be a Priest. People see her as a success story for someone with a Dual Class.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah recited the info in her head, before asking him again.
“Never mind that. So, you fearlessly showed up in Sinyoung all because of Carpe Diem, is it?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Well, there are others.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“I built up some connections with the Haramark royal family. I also got to know the royal family’s Sorcerer, Master Ian, too.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
One of Kim Hahn-Nah’s brows shot up.
“Are you talking about Ian Denzel, by any chance?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Wow, you really do know pretty much everything.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seol Ji-Hu was genuinely impressed.
“You, you are only saying that because….” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah was about to finish the rest of that sentence with “…Because you don’t want to get scolded by me, right?”, but she promptly shut her mouth up after the youth smiled brightly and swung the spear around while saying, “Look, look! Princess gave this to me.”
Even with a casual observation, the spear did not look like a simple weapon to her. She needed to take a closer look, but no doubt, that spear wasn’t something a newbie Warrior should be walking around with.
“So, how about it?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seol Ji-Hu straightened his back proudly. Kim Hahn-Nah stared at him with narrowed, probing eyes, before slowly crossing her arms with a smirk on her lips.
“Hmph. Trying to show off. Oh, well. I’ll say that you managed to get yourself a helmet, at least.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Only that?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“It’s not ‘only that’, okay?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah’s voice suddenly became rather small. Even though there was no one around, she was being even more cautious.
“I mean, seriously, you just had to show up on the same day that the First Mistress decided to come back…” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Seol Ji-Hu asked.
“Are you talking about Miss Yun Seo-Rah?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Nope.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah quickly shook her head.
“We can count Lady Yun Seo-Rah as your ally in this case. If the First Mistress takes a full-on interest in you and reaches out, then the only person currently in Sinyoung who can shield you from her is the Youngest Mistress. She has the necessary drive to do so, and that’s after not taking into account her abilities, too.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Seol Ji-Hu had no idea what was going on here. But even then, he could sense something like a political machination was taking place behind the scenes.
It was at this point that Kim Hahn-Nah flinched somewhat and pulled out a communication crystal from her small bag. She then formed a deep frown.
“Look. They are calling me already.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Did I do something wrong?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Well, not exactly, but….” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah massaged her forehead as if she was suffering from a migraine. She then told him to stay here and wait for her, and hurriedly walked away.
She didn’t look like she’d be back in a jiffy, though. Seol Ji-Hu fished out a packet of smokes and scanned his surroundings for a bit. He had no problem smoking anywhere back in Haramark, but well, having seen how neat and clean the streets of Scheherazade were, he thought that smoking publicly might not be an accepted practice in this city.
Seol Ji-Hu continued to look for a suitable place and eventually settled on a small alleyway next to a building with a signboard that proclaimed it to be the ‘Teahouse of the Winds and Fairies’. When he got there, he found a flowerbed in the alleyway filled with small but beautiful flowers.
‘….Well, this sucks.’ (Seol Ji-Hu)
He felt this quite often, but well, his current situation came across as a big unfair slap on his face. Seriously now, he helped Sinyoung out, not wronged them in any shape or form, so why were they so dead-set on swallowing him up like a greedy predator?
‘Really now, I gotta get stronger soon and make them stop this bullsh*t….’ (Seol Ji-Hu)
He figured that, as soon as he reached the so-called upper ranks, lots of things would change. For one, he’d consume his Elixirs, use up all the accumulated points, and most importantly, he’d finally get to use the ‘Divine Stigmata’, too. All those things would happen only in the distant future, though….
Seol Ji-Hu sucked on the cigarette, before unhappily spitting the smoke out.
It was then, he was greeted by a warm, soothing voice.
“My apologies, but it is forbidden to smoke here.”
Seol Ji-Hu’s brows shot up, and he quickly looked to his sides. Where did that voice come from?!
“This is a private property, but at the same time, the flowers in the garden are especially sensitive towards cigarette smoke, you see.”
A friendly voice that spoke as if to pacify a crying child continued to enter his ears. Seol Ji-Hu hurriedly killed the cigarette.
“I, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
He then spun around and saw the face of the woman who had emerged from the side exit of the building. At the same time…
“Oh, no, it’s fine. There’s no need for you to kill the cigarette, though. If you walk a little away from here, you can find a pla….?!”
….The woman suddenly stopped in the middle of her sentence roughly at the same time as well.
“Oh, my goodness.”
The woman covered her mouth up with her slender hand.
Out of the blue, he picked up on a familiar scent. When he looked into her gradually-widening, elegantly shaped and pure eyes….
Seol Ji-Hu was overcome with a feeling that he was facing a calm yet infinitely wide ocean.
‘…Yu Seon-Hwa?!’ (Seol Ji-Hu)
No, it wasn’t her. The quiet and still aura was eerily similar, but when he took a closer look, it was also somewhat different. Should he say that this woman’s aura felt a bit more mature?
From her long, smoothly-arching eyelashes; from her hair that cascaded down to her waist like a waterfall; from her scarlet lips that sported the inviting colour of a well-ripened fruit; from her slender shoulders and straight collar bones; and even from her skin glowing in the pale hues of a ripe apricot, as well as her white dress that perfectly suited her….
Most importantly, a wonderful fragrance wafted off from her direction. It was reminiscent of the warm rays of Spring that made one close their eyes and deeply savour the moment.
Just as his thought arrived at this point….[“Let us meet again, little prince.”] (TL: from ch 2.)
….He truly forgot to breath, then.
“….Ah.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
Unconsciously, he dropped the cigarette in his hand. The childhood memories that he had completely forgotten about rushed back in.
But why was that?
Why was he suddenly remembering the events of that fateful day right here, right in this place?
As the unknown something agitated his brain, Seol Ji-Hu followed his instincts and activated his ‘Nine Eyes’. And then, he freaked out again.
‘W-why?’ (Seol Ji-Hu)
When he saw no visible spectrum of colour coming off from her, he simply chalked that up to yet another case of him failing to see a colour. However, even the special ability of the green colour, the ‘General Observation’, failed to activate. No matter how hard he tried, this woman’s Status Window didn’t want to show up. This was the first time something like this happened.
It was then.
“If it’s okay with you….”
The woman slowly lowered her hand from her face and pointed to the side entrance of the building.
“We do have a separate smoking area inside. Would you like to use that, instead?”
A suggestion made with her elegant yet gentle-sounding voice made Seol Ji-Hu nod his head almost out of pure instinct. But then….
“Hey, you! What do you think you’re doi….??” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah ended her call and entered the alleyway to look for Seol Ji-Hu, only for her eyes to grow as wide as bulbs on a lamp post.
“You, you are….” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
The woman softly turned her head towards Kim Hahn-Nah, prompting the latter to hurriedly open her mouth.
“M-my apologies, ma’am.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
For the first time ever, Seol Ji-Hu witnessed Kim Hahn-Nah hurriedly lower her head like that.
“Well, uhm, this kid only entered the Paradise in March this year, so…. He still doesn’t know anything….” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Only allowed on Creativenovels.com
A certain light flickered in the woman’s eyes.
“Is that so.”
She then formed a gentle, inviting smile.
“If, by any chance, you seek a quiet place to safely converse, then you can come inside.”
“….E-excuse me?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah quickly asked back with a dazed face.
“B-b-but, what about the restraining order?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“I’ll always welcome you if you wish to visit me as a customer.”
The woman answered with a gentle smile, politely gathered her hands in front, and turned around. She then stepped into the side entrance without saying anything else. Her white dress was cut low and exposed almost all of her back, but rather than looking cheap or too risqué, she came across as refined and dignified from the way she walked and carried herself.
“Pu-ha!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Seol Ji-Hu stared at that back like a man bewitched, before regaining his senses the moment Kim Hahn-Nah spat out her breath.
“You…. Just what happened here?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Now that was the question he wanted to ask her, instead. No, he had a c**p ton of other things to ask her, too.
“Who is she?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
When he replied to her with a question of his own, Kim Hahn-Nah spat out a long, heavy sigh as if to say, “I thought as much.”
“Yup, there was no way you’d know each other, anyway.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Also, what was that about the restraining order, too?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“You don’t need to know, yet.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah cut the conversation short right there, while licking her lower lip. Her face looked as if she couldn’t figure out whether she was dreaming or not.
“Okay, for the time being, let’s go inside.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“You want to go in?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“I mean, she invited us in, so we must go inside. You think such an opportunity comes around everyday?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
She slapped her own cheeks and recovered her usual demeanour right away.
“And besides, we’ll be able to talk without a worry if it’s in there.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“….Is that somehow related to the restraining order you’ve been talking about?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Yup. What a surprising turn of events this is. I even get to enter this place all thanks to you.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
She said that while cautiously entering the side entrance. Seol Ji-Hu also hurried entered after her.
The interior turned out to be unexpectedly empty. There should have been a number of tables and chairs here, but there were none.
“I see that you’re almost finished with the preparation to leave, ma’am.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah mouthed “Excuse us” with her trademark business smile and entered.
“Yes. The only thing remaining is choosing where to go.”
The woman grinned and lightly patted a long table attached to the counter. There were two chairs nearby; she must’ve brought them out just now.
Kim Hahn-Nah cautiously settled down on one of the chairs and opened her mouth.
“Although it is regrettable, it’s also a honour for me. I’d never have guessed that I am going to drink the very last tea made by you, Lady Seo Yu-Hui….” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
While taking a seat next to Kim Hahn-Nah, Seol Ji-Hu swallowed his saliva. Seo Yu-Hui, Seo Yu-Hui…. Fearing that he might forget this name, he continued to repeat it in his head.
Seo Yu-Hui gently chuckled before speaking up.
“Which tea would you like to have?” (Seo Yu-Hui)
“Oh, I’m fine with anything, actually.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“How about you?” (Seo Yu-Hui)
“Ah, well, I….” (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seol Ji-Hu was thinking of initiating a conversation with this mystery woman through this opening, but Kim Hahn-Nah was one step faster; she reached out with her hand and covered his mouth.
“This kid doesn’t mind whatever it is.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Seol Ji-Hu tried to pry her hand away, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Seo Yu-Hui simply formed an enigmatic smile.
“He must be your lover.” (Seo Yu-Hui)
“Eeeehh?? No, of course not!!!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah jumped up from her seat.
“Who would want to go out with this guy?! No, our relationship is simply one of a contractor and a contractee. Nothing more.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
She laughed out loud and quite strongly denied it.
“Oh, I see. It’s just that, you two seemed very familiar with each other.” (Seo Yu-Hui)
Seo Yu-Hui tilted her head slightly as if she was somewhat confused. When her gaze met Seol Ji-Hu’s, she smiled brightly.
No matter how many times he saw it, that smile just fantastically suited this woman to a T. Not only that, her voice reading out each of the syllables, her smooth and silky hand gestures, and the graceful air about her, easily caused his heart to flutter almost uncontrollably.
She wasn’t exactly…. his ideal type, no, but instead it’d be more like….
If he were to describe the feeling he got when meeting Teresa Hussey for the first time as a type of ‘strong attraction’, then from Seo Yu-Hui, he felt a deep sense of familiarity.
An atmosphere that was kinda like, she’d gracefully accept whatever prank he’d pull, and shelter him from the storm, that sort of things.
‘Wait. Aren’t I putting all the carts in front of a horse here?’ (Seol Ji-Hu)
Nothing had been confirmed so far. Seol Ji-Hu could only form a wry smile after finally waking up from his deep dive into the sea of imagination.
“Please wait for a moment. I’ll bring them out very soon.” (Seo Yu-Hui)
Seo Yu-Hui turned around and began wringing out tea water.
“You can take your time, ma’am. There’s no rush.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah politely pointed this fact out, and then poked Seol Ji-Hu on the side as the youth sat there rigidly and stared his front in a daze.
“So, speak up.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“M-mm??” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Not ‘m-mm’, I want you to start telling me what happened.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Seo Yu-Hui softly giggled as if she found Kim Hahn-Nah’s impersonation rather funny.
“If I’m honest, I still can’t figure it out. It hasn’t been that long since you left the Neutral Zone, yet you’re already a member of Carpe Diem, you got a d*mn spear as a gift from Princess Teresa Hussey, and became friends with Ian Denzel? What the hell?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Mm…. Well, it’s a long story.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Start from the beginning. Don’t you dare leave anything out, too. Don’t worry, you can speak freely in this place.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Seol Ji-Hu nodded his head and slowly recounted his experiences so far. He started from when he arrived at Haramark, in full detail. He gradually grew excited after seeing Kim Hahn-Nah respond at the right time, meaning that she was concentrating fully on his story.
“So, I went over to the inn with them, thinking that being a porter would be better than nothing. But, like a lie, I found Carpe Diem waiting for us there. We discussed the scouting mission of the Forest of Denial, and…..” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“What did you just say?!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Right at that point, Kim Hahn-Nah abruptly cut him off even before he could finish his sentence. She had been listening quietly until then, so Seol Ji-Hu had been left flustered by her sudden burst of fury.
“Forest of Denial?!?!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“….Uh, yeah.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Y-you, you dumba*s?! THE Forest of Denial?? FOREST of DENIAL?!?!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
When Seol Ji-Hu nodded his head, Kim Hahn-Nah’s eyes opened super wide, before she…
“You idiot!!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
….She loudly yelled at him.
“D-did you lose your d*mn mind?! You actually entered the Forest of Denial?!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah’s expression crumpled unsightly. Her lips bobbed up and down non-stop, and even her neck trembled visibly. Her reaction easily exceeded his expectations.
“You, you…. You promised me not to go any further South than….” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
She couldn’t even finish what she wanted to say as if she was far too flabbergasted for that.
“Do you have any idea what kind of a place that forest is?!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Yup, here it was.
Her explosive nagging landed hot and heavy on Seol Ji-Hu, causing him to squeeze his eyes shut for a moment there.
“That’s the border region!! A d*mn border region! Not only that, where the Federation and the Parasites meet, too!!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“I know, but they don’t invade through there because of the forest’s effects.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Oh, really now?! So, you saying you did a smart thing, is that it?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“….No, not necessarily….” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Gimme a break, Christ on a pogo stick, somebody just shoot me, please! Don’t you know how terrifying that place is?! Also, a group of Lioners including a leader and a female was found there, too…..?!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah fired out many words like a machine gun, before abruptly stopping there, her brows visibly tightening.
“W-wait a minute. I remember now, the guy who compiled the report on the Forest of Denial was Ian Denzel……. No freaking way?!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah muttered to herself, before glaring at him with eyes that could almost definitely kill somebody.
“L-listen. We did encounter a Lioner horde, but you see, I….” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Keep quiet!!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Her loud roar reverberated within the interior.
Seol Ji-Hu went Oops, and quickly shifted his gaze over to Seo Yu-Hui, and saw her completely unmoving back. Only until a second ago, she had been wringing out tea water with great care, but she wasn’t moving an inch now.
“You crazy buffoon!!! You deranged idiot! You really wanna kill yourself that badly?!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Hey, you dumba*s! Those are creatures that not even the high rankers can…..!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Just before Kim Hahn-Nah completely blew her top, two tea cups were placed on the table. It was Seo Yu-Hui.
“Please, calm yourself. And drink this.” (Seo Yu-Hui)
Kim Hahn-Nah grabbed the tea cup and took an unhesitating gulp out of her sheer enraged state. She probably didn’t find the tea hot because she was drinking it with seemingly no problem.
“Fuu-woo! Fuu-woo!! I, I’m sorry for the d-disturbance….!!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah panted heavily like an angry bull. Meanwhile, Seo Yu-Hui was carrying an unreadable expression. There was even a hint of anger somewhere in there, too. The issue with that being, she wasn’t looking at Kim Hahn-Nah, but she was glancing at him from the corner of her eyes.
‘But, why?’ (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seo Yu-Hui lightly bit her lip.
“….Would you like a cup of iced water?” (Seo Yu-Hui)
“P-please!! I’m feeling really, really… this…” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Of course. Please wait for a moment.” (Seo Yu-Hui)
Seo Yu-Hui spoke as if she completely agreed with Kim Hahn-Nah and turned around. Meanwhile, the latter somehow managed to get a grip on her rage and spoke in a relatively calmer voice.
“Okay, so. You were able to get this and that all thanks to the meritorious deeds of surviving the Forest of Denial, is that it?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Well….. Not exactly.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“There’s more?!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Seol Ji-Hu avoided her glare.
“Y-you. You better look at me and tell me everything, you hear? Don’t think you can hide anything from me, because with Sinyoung’s information network, I can find out pretty much everything you wanna hide, okay?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“You still not saying anything??” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“….Only when you promise not to get angry.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
When he unwillingly replied, Kim Hahn-Nah formed eyes of an axe murderer ready to strike. She slapped the table, hard.
“You better speak up now, while I’m still being nice. Besides, I don’t think I can get any more angry than right now, too.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“Well, I, uh……. When we were coming out of the Forest of Denial, there was a sudden communication from the royals.” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“I don’t care about that. Get to the point!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah coughed once and gulped down the remaining half of the tea still left in the cup.
“….Well, the Parasites attacked the Arden Fortress, so our team met up with the army led by the Princess midway and joined them so we could head to the Arden Valley…..” (Seol Ji-Hu)
“Phuwoooo!!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah grandly spewed out the tea water out of her mouth. Thanks to that, he was now showered with a mixture of liquids containing her spit, but that wasn’t really important at the moment.
Kim Hahn-Nah was now staring at him with a dazed expression.
“….You also participated in that?” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
“A Level 1 Warrior did what? No, no, no. Wait a minute.” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
If there was one thing Seol Ji-Hu hadn’t been aware of, that would be the small fact that Kim Hahn-Nah had already heard of everything regarding the defence of the Arden Fortress.
To be more specific, all the related stories regarding the unexpected victory were some of the most hotly discussed topics among the humans for the past few days. Everyone expected the Haramark royals to abandon the fortress, yet them achieving a resounding victory took almost all who heard the news by surprise. And they were facing off against Parasites, too.
“A low level Warrior volunteered as a bait and successfully lured in the Parasite army, and at a certain ravine……” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Hoping that it wasn’t so, Kim Hahn-Nah carefully remembered the contents of the report she read, but then….
“Aha, hahaha…. I, uh, those chasing Cockroaches can be pretty scary. Did you know that?” (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seol Ji-Hu awkwardly laughed out.
“You dumb mad son of…!!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
She swung her hand rather powerfully. SLAP!! Seol Ji-Hu spat out a pained moan when her palm landed his back.
“You crazy b*stard! Have you lost your mind?! Are you??! Seriously?!?!” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Slap! Slap!! Slap!!!
She slapped him on the back multiple times, but maybe that wasn’t enough, because she then began panting out breathlessly as if no air was entering her lungs. She pounded on her chest and grabbed the back of her neck, which in turn, made Seol Ji-Hu enter a flustered state.
He was about to ask for that promised cup of iced water, but then…
He spotted Seo Yu-Hui’s unmoving back once more. As if she was also dazed out of her mind, her arms lay limp on her side and her head was leaning back, her eyes obviously staring at the ceiling above.
She then grasped the cup of water with enough force to almost shatter it and gulped the cold liquid down in one go. When she slammed the empty cup down, Seol Ji-Hu felt a certain sense of power from her, which he hadn’t sensed before.
She then even spat out a long sigh, too.
Guessing that she was angry at all the noise, Seol Ji-Hu tried his best to calm Kim Hahn-Nah down before things could get worse.
A short while later…..
“You dumba*s moron….” (Kim Hahn-Nah)
Kim Hahn-Nah hid her face with her hands and began to tearfully mutter to herself.
Seol Ji-Hu sheepishly scratched his cheek and flinched somewhat when he realised that Seo Yu-Hui was staring straight at him.
‘And why is she looking at me like that now….?’
< 67. An Encounter (2) > Fin.