Chapter 55 - Day 13 Princess and Dog (2)
After finishing the conversation, I handed the phone to Director Oh.
"It isn’t a big deal. The deputy manager will come back safely.”
"Well, it looks like something did happen. I think it’s the result of something he did.” I explained.
I thought about it again. I looked at Jin Soo-young.
“...” As if she was suddenly burdened by my gaze, Jin Soo-young blushed and turned her head away.
I wasn’t looking at her in that sense. This woman.
I had two unique talents: Atlas and Underdog.
I realized that unique talents were different from ordinary talents and techniques that could be gained in the dungeon. Very different.
The first time I had some questions was on the fifth floor. At the time of the mini-game, I chose a brutal way to reduce the number of challengers. Even those who were watching were bothered by my cruel torture. Of course, it was a reasonable method, but somewhere in my mind, I felt a sense of discomfort. Thinking about a rational method and putting it into practice were entirely separate matters.
On the sixth floor, it turned into a certain conviction. Even if the situation was unavoidable, I solved the problem with violence. I killed everyone except for Yang Su-jin and Yoon Ji-hee.
Atlas: ‘Your body will become stronger, leading to a desire to oppress others through violence.’ It had a huge impact on my actions.
Underdog was the same as well. Unlike Atlas that I gained from others, this unique talent was something I already had. I was convinced as soon as I saw the description. The driving force in my life so far had been based on this unique talent. After fully awakening Underdog, my values changed one more time. Unlike with Atlas, this time I was conscious and it was easy to notice the change.
I was different from yesterday. If it was the me from yesterday, I likely would have been overwhelmed by the scale of the situation involving the president and retreated. The point of a unique talent wasn’t just a few paragraphs to improve my stats. It affected the formation of human values.
"Soo-young, do you have a city?”
"If you have a city then you can accompany me in the dungeon.”
"Was there such a thing?” It was Director Oh who asked. I immediately explained the Merger Rights.
"Soo-young will lose a city, but I will be next to her and can give her constant protection.” It was essentially the same offer I made to Yoon Ji-hee.
“Then... Look, isn’t it obvious? It isn’t something I can talk about with my status. I need to report the problem. Her father...” Director Oh raised a fuss instead of Soo-young.
"Then report it, but please also consider Soo-young.”
I looked at Soo-young. "It isn’t bad for everyone.” I walked away from the mother and daughter and headed outside to wait for Kim Tae-hyun. Not long after, his vehicle arrived.
Yang Su-jin and Yoon Ji-hee came running as they saw me. Their reaction was more than I expected, so I was pleased. I never imagined that they would be able to capture a city.
"It wasn't a big deal. Whether we were lucky or not, the only one we encountered on that floor was the pushover.”
Yang Su-jin nodded towards the car. Kim Tae-hyun was on the passenger side.
"As soon as he saw us, he started firing his machine gun.”
"I charged him.”
Indeed. Kim Tae-hyun’s main weapon, that Yang Su-jin experienced yesterday, was a gun. He had the ability to fire a shotgun with the same accuracy as a pistol. Unfortunately for him, Yang Su-jin wouldn’t die unless her head was completely destroyed. “I used the boots from the eighth floor to avoid any tricky shots.”
"Still, wouldn’t it be hard to deal with him alone?”
“What? Aren’t you neglecting Ji-hee unni?”
"Ji-hee unni used the wind to deflect the bullets. Thanks to Unni, he was more likely to hit himself with the bullets.” Yang Su-jin boasted proudly and Yoon Ji-hee just laughed shyly.
"I see.” I thought about Chang Ga-ram. Chang Ga-ram was able to use his icicles to incapacitate me. If someone learned magic and accumulated the skill, would the power gradually rise?
After hearing their story, I explained about the Merger Rights. Then I told them that it would be used by Jin Soo-young.
“What? Are you going to leave us?”
Yang Su-jin’s eyes narrowed. “You know. I heard that the president had a daughter... You don’t need us anymore after getting such a great girl ~ it is like this.”
"What is that...?”
“... A joke.” Yang Su-jin poked out her tongue.
“Jeez, this woman...”
Yang Su-jin’s expression suddenly froze. It was the same for me.
We both gazed towards Yoon Ji-hee. Yoon Ji-hee’s face was pale enough to be painted white. Her eyes were huge and were shaking like there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or higher. They looked like the eyes of a dead fish.
"...Don’t...” Suddenly, in the bomb shelter, a strong wind blew. "Please don't throw me away...”
There were hiccups at the end as Yoon Ji-hee burst into tears. The wind became stronger.
“What the!?” The people still remaining in the bomb shelter were confused. The parked car shook slightly.
“Unni! It isn’t like that!” Yang Su-jin grasped the situation and hugged Yoon Ji-hee.
"It is a joke! I... No, we won’t get rid of Unni!”
Then she glanced at me. No, why did she joke like this in the first place?
“It is true. The both of you... You have value and aren’t worthless."
The wind stopped, but Yoon Ji-hee’s eyes were still wide open. The tears stopped flowing but she looked like she could burst out crying again at any moment.
"Think about it. What would happen to Ji-hee if I integrate with Su-jin’s city? Will Ji-hee be able to come along with Su-jin?”
It wouldn’t change even if she could come along. Frankly speaking, there was no sense that Yoon Ji-hee would be profitable in reality. But I had experienced it on the ninth floor; Having sure companions in this dungeon would be a tremendous advantage.
"If so, I would rather you continue to be by Su-jin’s side.”
Yang Su-jin was strong enough to clear the ninth floor. In addition, her brain wasn’t too bad either. Like I just saw... Yoon Ji-hee’s abilities had reached this level so the two of them would be able to survive by working as a team.
"Of course, it’s dangerous. But after listening to your story about the ninth floor... I believe that both of you will grow and I can join you at a later time.”
"I trust in Ji-hee’s abilities... This is something that is possible.”
The wind stopped blowing completely. Behind Yoon Ji-hee, Yang Su-jin was making an ‘O’ shape with her fingers.
"I called both of you to check your safety in reality and to help with support before entering the dungeon. Absolutely never... I’m not talking about breaking apart this group.”
Yoon Ji-hee wiped away her tears. She seemed convinced.
I glared at Yang Su-jin.
As I patted Yoon Ji-hee’s shoulder, Yang Su-jin mouthed some words. ‘So why are you using that woman?’
I replied. ‘I don’t know yet.’
In the first place, this story only applied if Jin Soo-young accepted. After telling both of them to wait, I approached Director Oh again. The director spoke with an expression that was brighter than before.
"I told her father. It was a short call but the response was good.”
"Honestly, I feel less worried... Of course, if you think of taking advantage of Soo-young by using her as a hostage...”
Director Oh was serious. His age meant he had a lot of experience and was guarded, but there was one disadvantage. This man didn’t know everything about the dungeon. So he didn’t understand Jin Soo-young.
"Did Soo-young agree?”
"Huh?” He was surprised that I asked such a question. He thought she would surely accept the offer.
"You haven’t heard from her yet?”
"That's right. Right now, Madam is having a conversation with her.”
She was a woman who became mad due to some ‘misfortune she suffered in the dungeon, only to kill a friend in reality and be trapped in a bomb shelter.’ What would Jin Soo-young be thinking? Until an hour ago, she hadn’t even be able to think clearly.
"This living space in the bomb shelter. Assign it to both of my people as well.”
"This isn’t a space that you can use easily.”
"But don’t I have to cure Soo-young’s mind? You can think of them as my ‘resources.’ It you want to continue working with me in the future then it is necessary.”
As we talked, the First Lady left the room with Jin Soo-young. "I have an official ceremony to attend... I'm really grateful. Student, thanks to you, I have Soo-young...”
“It isn’t a big deal. Rather, do you mind if I ask you something?”
“What is it?”
"I wanted to ask your permission, but I have some people with me. For the time being, I would like to be housed with Soo-young alone. "
Director Oh and the First Lady’s expressions hardened.
"It sounds strange but it can’t be helped. I said that it can’t be cured, but the signs can be monitored. Can’t we look for a cure while watching what happens?”
There were CCTVs in the bomb shelter. If I did anything strange to Jin Soo-young, then they would know.
"I... If Soo-young can regain her spirit...”
"I will do so.”
"First of all, treating Soo-young is the most important thing. Of course, if she ends up hurt...” She spoke with the face of a mother protecting her daughter. "Don't worry. I will personally persuade my husband.” She continued.
“Then... But if Soo-young says no then you don’t need to ask your husband. Anyway, it will be better if she can be treated in less time.”
They didn’t exactly understand the dungeon, but it was certain that minimizing damage caused by Soo-young would no longer be a problem. I passed Director Oh, who was smiling bitterly and entered the room with Jin Soo-young.
Jin Soo-young stood up.
I asked her, "Yes, have you thought about it?”
“...Yes.” She nodded with a determined face.
"Ah, let me tell you ahead of time.” I scratched my head. "In the end, the answer is fixed. It doesn’t matter even if Soo-young replies with a no.”
“...!!” Jin Soo-young looked at me with shock.
"If you raise your voice, then I will forcefully shut your mouth.”
"I have a good excuse anyway. After explaining that you were crazy, I will drain your head until it is completely empty. Haven’t you experienced it once? What do you think will happen if I continue without stopping?”
As I was draining her, I felt a killing intent shooting from her. The killing intent wasn’t from her talent. It was because she saw me as an enemy. It was the same as the killing intent she sent from the beginning.
"If I think about it, there is something strange. You have a city when you were like that.”
Could a person who couldn’t control herself really be able to gain a city? It might be possible to take a floor. But in order to gain a city in the dungeon, a minimum of reasoning power was needed. The reason was that clues needed to be gathered and a method reasoned out.
"That... There were no people...”
"I know because I have a unique talent. It changes the way that people think, but that is the end of it.”
I was still me. Having Atlas didn’t mean that I beat up everyone I encountered in my daily life. After getting Underdog, I didn’t run back and forth challenging people irresponsibly. Of course, what I was doing right now was a challenge.
"Having a strong impulse and following to that impulse are separate issues. Isn't that right?"
“...Are you saying that I couldn’t endure what I did? Did you view it from my position?”
"I wondered if there was a ‘need’ to endure it in the first place.”
At that moment, her right hand shot forward. There was a sharp sound. The speed was so fast that I wouldn’t have noticed the movement. Of course, that was if I hadn’t already been paying attention.
"Once again, didn’t I say that raising your voice was a big deal?”
I whistled softly as I held her wrist. "Indeed. This is the best means to find the root of the murder. I was really disturbed by the description of your unique talent. There was nothing about your mind going away as a side effect.”
There was nothing about the side effects anywhere in the description of the talent.
I continued. "I’ve been thinking ever since. You were originally such a girl.”
"D-Do you know who my father is? You...”
"He is someone with a beautiful daughter, but she has such tastes. Did you kill someone in the dungeon and realize the real taste? You got a unique talent and sliced people in real life on the third and fourth days. Maybe they were people you met in the dungeon?”
Even if she settled things on the third day, she grew too much on the fourth day. Director Oh and her parents used their power to cover up her mistakes, making it feel like a terrible tragedy was nothing. Therefore, she started thinking. While other people might know about her exact talent, no one knew exactly what she went through in the dungeon.
"If you pretend it was something to do with the dungeon, no one will know that you are such a girl.”
In fact, her parents had wandered exactly into her trap. It was easier to understand that something supernatural happened, then to think their child was born a murderer.
She muttered, “...You don’t have the evidence. It is all just guesses. You don’t know what I did to get here.”
"There should be CCTV evidence. Everybody is fooled so far, but what if I told them it was an act? They might think it is ridiculous, but if they look at the CCTV recordings, will they continue being fooled by your dirty actions?”
I was holding Jin Soo-young’s wrists.
The fact that she returned to her senses after the sacred creature ate her was because her consciousness scattered and she couldn’t concentrate on acting. In addition, she had puppy eyes because she had heard the conversation between me and Director Oh. If I thought about it differently, this girl wasn’t crazy.
Jin Soo-young bit her lip. Her eyes rolling nervously indicated her shaken mental state.
"Therefore, you can’t refuse my offer of merger even if you want to. Everyone thinks you are such a poor girl, so why wouldn’t you want a white knight?”
“...Son of a bitch.”
"You are the one who will be the dog.”
Of course, I had no intention of killing her for the time being. If I didn’t take her city here, then she would continue carrying out her gimmick and safely clear the dungeon. I would use her father’s power to put myself in an appropriate position until I gained enough strength. My plan was something like that.
“Now, take this.” It was the merger ticket. I offered it to her. "Do you still have hope? In the end, you are the princess I have to attend to. If you do your best, then I might be tamed.”
“I will kill you.”
"Uh huh. You will see blood if you try to bite a dog.” Well, on the contrary, it wouldn’t be bad if the dog tamed the princess.
Jin Soo-young looked into the air. The letter of merger appeared before her eyes.
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