Episode 8. Becoming a Generalist

Kim Seon-Hyeok focused even more on his training. He thought back on his basic military training, during which he only worked as hard as he needed to induce his awakening, and started mastering those lessons at random. If he held a spear in his hands, he swung the spear. If it was a sword, he stabbed. If it was a shield, then he ran all day while carrying it around.

His actions obviously stood out.

“He’s still on that?”

“How many days has it been?”

Kim Seon-Hyeok’s behavior was now known by everyone in the 24th Regiment. For those garrison soldiers who did not have any special tasks on a given day, it was an interesting spectacle to see this foreigner run around every day in heavy armor.

“I guess not all foreigners are cheaters who get by on their stats.”

“Right. He’s working hard every single day.”

The regular soldiers, who had an unfavorable view of foreigners because they quickly advanced using their abilities and classes, began to cheer him on.

“Wow, those cavalry jerks really don’t like outsiders, do they?”

“Shouldn’t they be accepting of him after seeing him work so hard? Telling a rider he’s forbidden from riding a horse – what kind of nonsense is that.”

Some even began to speak negatively about the cavalry, saying they were being unnecessarily proud.

The riders were unhappy with the current situation, where they were resented by the other soldiers. However, they pretended not to notice, not wanting to lose face by acknowledging the infantrymen who they considered beneath them.

Their answer to this newfound stress was to blatantly ignore Kim Seon-Hyeok. Now, none of the riders even spoke to him. Even Jonasson, who had made jokes bordering on sexual harassment from time to time, pretended as though he didn’t exist.

“Here, drink this at least.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok was bewildered by the sudden kindness of an unfamiliar infantryman as he swung his spear once again.

“Well, nobody’s a rider from birth. If you keep working at it, those rotten jerks will have to acknowledge you eventually. Keep it up.”

In the end, he did not know how to respond, and simply nodded his head to express his gratitude. The soldier, treating this emotionless response as a sign of manliness, soon left.

“What was that? It’s been like this lately.”

Over the past few days, infantry passing by had often come to offer him words of encouragement, which puzzled him. However, he soon forgot about the incident and concentrated on swinging his spear once again.

- Your skill level has improved as a result of your diligent training.

- Standard Kingdom Spearmanship (Lowest Tier) has improved to Standard Kingdom Spearmanship (Low Tier).

- This skill can be improved and developed through continued use.

- Your proficiency with the spear has increased as a result of this skill. Attack speed and power have slightly increased.

“Hell yeah!”

Kim Seon-Hyeok had started to feel something just now, and it seemed it was a sign of his skill improving. He let out a cheer upon seeing the message that his spearmanship skill had grown from the lowest tier.

[Kim Seon-Hyeok]

- Level. 2

- Dragon Rider

- Unique Attribute: Wind

- Strength 19 / Stamina 18 / Agility 21

- Possessed Skills

o Dragon Taming

o Dragon Riding

o Charging

o Novice Horsemanship

§ Novice Horsemanship + Charging = Clumsy Charging

o Standard Kingdom Spearmanship (Low Tier)

o Standard Kingdom Swordsmanship (Lowest Tier)

o Heavy Armor Proficiency (30kg)

o Infantry Shield Proficiency (Lowest Tier)

He had made significant gains over the past ten days. In addition to the improved spearmanship he just achieved, he had succeeded in obtaining the standard kingdom swordsmanship, heavy armor proficiency, and infantry shield proficiency skills.

It was the result of his hard work and extreme focus on training, which he pursued even at the expense of his sleep.

“I think I’m about 1.5 times stronger than before.”

He didn’t actually know how much he had improved, but his confidence was sky-high. And also, it wasn’t as though his words had no basis in fact. Thanks to his lighter movements from acquiring heavy armor proficiency, his spear and sword strikes were clearly different from before.

Rumble.

At the sudden noise, Kim Seon-Hyeok, who had been muttering to himself, looked up at the sky and frowned. The sky was covered in clouds, as though it would be pouring soon. Considering he had practiced the same movements for the past ten days, he decided to end his training for the day.

“They can’t stop me from riding a horse forever, can they?”

It was about time he lived up to his cavalry role and resumed riding a horse. Even though he had improved a bit, the power he felt now was nothing compared to that of the wind attribute the other day. He sought out Clark, hoping for a lifting of the horse riding ban.

“Ah, I completely forgot. I’ve been preoccupied because of those Noctein bastards.”

When he encountered Clark as he left the company commander’s barracks, the captain said he had forgotten without the slightest hint of an apology.

“It’s fine to start horseback training again, but now is not the time.”

“Is there another problem?”

“Problem? There is.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok asked with a frown, and Clark simply pointed at the sky.

“A typhoon is coming.”

Clark added a few words with a dull expression upon noticing Kim Seon-Hyeok’s dissatisfaction.

“You might not have a problem since you’re pretty strong, but the horses won’t be fine running around in this weather.”

As soon as he said those words, raindrops began to fall from the cloud-filled sky.

“Now go back to your barracks. There will be a lot of work to do.”

***

“Damn those mage bastards! They should have told us sooner!”

Hansen swore fiercely as he removed a piece of cloth stuck to his face.

“Wouldn’t it have been nice to prepare while the weather was still good?”

The other riders, who normally would have told Hansen to stop complaining, did not say anything. They were also disgruntled about having to work through the unfavorable elements.

“Well, at least they told us. It’s better than being caught completely unaware like last time, when the barracks blew away and the stables collapsed. We won’t have to struggle to gather the horses later.”

Clark, busy repairing the roof of the stable, tried to console the irritated riders to no avail.

If they had known earlier that there would be a typhoon, then they could have evacuated to Fort Mangsk along the border, which was just two days’ travel away. There, they could have waited for the weather to calm down.

“If we rode like crazy, don’t you think we could reach Mangsk before we’re hit by the full brunt of the typhoon?”

“I won’t stop you if you have a death wish. But if you do decide to go, leave your horse behind. I’ll use it well.”

Hansen’s face distorted at the snarky words of his companion. However, he didn’t have much to say, since he knew there was nothing crazier than riding a horse out onto the plains in this weather.

“But anyways, what’s with the commotion over there?”

Clark, still busy working, tilted his head at the noise that could be heard over the wind.

“It’s from the barracks. Did something happen? Hansen, go check it out.”

“Why me!”

“You’ve been complaining all this time, so clearly you’re not busy working.”

Hansen grumbled, but eventually disappeared towards the barracks. He wasn’t gone long. Hansen immediately rushed back, as if he had seen something strange.

“What? Did something really happen?”

“That foreigner…!”

As soon as Hansen uttered the word “foreigner”, Clark hurriedly jumped down from the roof.

“No, the guys left to clean up around the barracks.”

“Ugh! So useless!”

Clark shouted at Hansen, blaming himself for sending the guy who was particularly muscle-brained even among the tough riders. With that, he ran straight to the source of the commotion.

“Huh?”

Finding a scene completely different from the one he expected, Clark had a dumb expression on his face upon reaching the barracks.

“Oh!”

There was a joyous shout that didn’t seem to fit the inclement weather, and at the middle of it all was Kim Seon-Hyeok, holding a shovel firmly in his hands.

***

At first, he just planned to stand and watch. Kim Seon-Hyeok wasn’t so good natured that he would try to help those who blatantly ignored him, and at the same time, it wasn’t as though he loved physical labor enough to step up and volunteer. He watched the riders run around trying to build a drainage ditch.

“Ugh. Why do we even need to do this? We’re riders, not common infantry!”

“Those infantry bastards are busy cleaning and repairing their own barracks!”

Kim Seon-Hyeok started to get upset watching the cavalry complaining while holding their shovels. Their shoveling was so clumsy that he wondered if they had ever properly held one before.

“Step aside!”

In the end, he snatched a shovel away from one of the riders and cut in between them.

“What’s this weakling saying?”

It did not take long for the riders looking at him with a hostile expression to open their mouths in shock.

“Hold the shovel like this!”

Firmly grabbing the shovel, Kim Seon-Hyeok drove it deep into the unsatisfactory ditch the others had made. Then, using his strength, he dug up the tool embedded in the ground.

“And dig like this!”

In just a few, highly proficient movements, he dug a ditch far deeper than the one the riders had struggled to make after all this time.

“See? It’s so easy!”

The cavalrymen had a dumb expression after being mocked for their incompetence. But no matter how many times Kim Seon-Hyeok demonstrated and repeated his movements, they could not figure out how he was doing it.

“Why can’t you do this!”

Then again, he was particularly skilled, having the relevant experience from being a Korean soldier. The sight of Kim Seon-Hyeok rapidly digging the drainage ditch, as if by magic, was awe-inspiring.

Kwak, kwak!

His shoveling was so refined it seemed to be the pinnacle of shoveling, and it was equally as effective.

“Oh!”

A drainage ditch soon began to form around the barracks. The riders unknowingly rejoiced after watching his incredible speed. It was around this time, when the riders shouted with each shoveling motion, that Hansen reached the barracks on Clark’s orders.

Hansen’s eyes were wide as he saw Kim Seon-Hyeok’s incredible digging speed. It seemed that he could singlehandedly dig a castle moat, let alone a simple drainage ditch.

“He’s a legendary digger!”

The actions of his peers, who had stopped working to follow Kim Seon-Hyeok around, were almost understandable considering this amazing display of skill. While Hanson stood there in surprise, Kim Seon-Hyeok ignored the reactions of those around him and focused only on his shoveling. His stress from earlier seemed to disappear as he saw the barracks becoming more organized.

“Oh!”

In his excitement, Kim Seon-Hyeok sped up his shoveling, and those around him began to cheer even louder. He had originally planned to give a demonstration and let the others finish, but perhaps due to his high stats, he was able to focus on his task and dig the ditch quickly.

“Ah…”

Kim Seon-Hyeok only later realized that he had been so focused on his work, and he stepped back with an exclamation to see the results. The drainage ditch surrounding the barracks was truly deep and impeccably neat.

It was so perfect that he thought the barracks would be fine even if everything else surrounding it flooded. It was the result of the synergy between his high stats and his experience as a Korean army sergeant, during which he used shovels more often than guns.

- You have acquired a new skill by demonstrating your innate abilities.

- You have generated the new skill, Manual Labor (High Tier)

- This skill significantly reduces the stamina required to repair garrisons and form defensive positions. Work efficiency has increased.

Kim Seon-Hyeok had received another skill. Compared to his other skills, obtained by pushing his body day and night, this one was generated so easily that it seemed ridiculous.

“You really completed this all by yourself?”

Clark, upon reaching the barracks, asked Kim Seon-Hyeok. His shoulders shook and his masculine face was red as though he was in a hurry.

“Yes.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok nodded his head. Clark, with an indescribable expression, looked back and forth between him and the ditch. After a while, he asked.

“By any chance, are you good at other things as well?”

He didn’t answer. Creating something out of nothing was what the Republic of Korea army was proudest of, and as a sergeant approaching the end of his service, he could do anything if given the right tools.

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