Episode 35. Frost Peak (1)

The Frostbegmund territory contained the perpetually frost-covered mountain, but unlike its name, the weather there was only relatively cool. Contrary to what Seon-Hyeok had imagined, it was neither a bleak mountain valley with frigid northern winds, nor a barren land covered in snow year-round.

However, what was even more surprising were the Frostbegmund nobles. Unlike other aristocrats who ruled their land for generations, the nobles here seemed surprisingly plain.

“Why even bother playing at being a noble in this tiny territory? We’re just regular people, despite being nobles in name.”

Hansen casually responded to his questions. Seon-Hyeok found himself looking around uneasily, wondering whether it was an appropriate topic to bring up in front of Hansen’s father.

“That’s true. Put simply, we’re closer to village chiefs. Let’s just say it’s a hereditary position as village chief recognized by the royal family.”

Baron Wulfmeyer, Hansen’s father and the head of the Frostbegmund territory, introduced himself as little more than a common village leader. He repeated this several times, as if pleased by his wittiness, and food flew out of his mouth every time he spoke. It was far from the appearance of an aristocrat.

“So undignified, and in front of a guest at that!”

The baroness rebuked her husband as her hand moved to cover her plate from any incoming food projectiles. Even so, their interaction felt so friendly and natural.

“But don’t you like the food? I took special care with it, but you don’t seem to be eating much.”

The only problem for Seon-Hyeok was that he felt pressured by Hansen’s family, as they all had tremendous appetites and devoured mountains of food. Thankfully, Hansen stepped up to defend him, saying that he normally didn’t eat much. In reality, it was Hansen’s family that was abnormal when it came to eating, but Seon-Hyeok didn’t point this out.

“Tsk. You should eat more. It’s why you look so frail.”

Baron Wulfmeyer, treating his family as the norm, seemed to have a different idea.

“That said, you act more like a noble than me. People would probably say your dining manners are pretty refined, though I don’t know what that even means.”

Baron Wulfmeyer treated Seon-Hyeok with interest. Then again, Seon-Hyeok had been taught tableside manners since he was young, so he wouldn’t be considered rude no matter where he went.

Seon-Hyeok wasn’t taken aback, considering that even a noble’s meal here didn’t meet the colorful and high quality food of the other world. His lack of a reaction was conspicuous.

“Are you from a noble family by any chance?”

“Some of my ancestors served the country in the past.”

To be fair, there wasn’t a single Korean family that didn’t fit that description.

“As I expected! I recognized your noble status in an instant!”

“Well, I heard you’ll soon be getting a title here too. You’d be a great match for our Anne.”

Seon-Hyeok had been slowly working through his meal, but he immediately froze at those words.

‘Hansen has an older sister?’

‘He does. She looks exactly like him.’

‘Come on, Hansen. You don’t want to take him and have your sister see him! You know what could happen!’

‘Hey, have a safe trip. Be careful of Hansen’s sister!’

Seon-Hyeok shuddered, recalling the advice of his fellow riders. But Hansen, clueless as usual, jumped in.

“Did she go somewhere? We have a guest here, but she’s nowhere to be seen.”

“Wow, it took you that long to notice? She left a while ago, so it’s about time she returned…”

At that moment, Hansen’s sister appeared, seemingly having finished with her business.

“Huh?”

However, Anne’s appearance was different from what Seon-Hyeok had imagined. He thought she’d be ugly, considering how she was compared to Hansen. To the contrary, she was an attractive woman with a slim figure and loose brown hair.

“I heard Hansen’s back?”

“Sister!”

Hansen jumped up and spread his arms, and Anne gave him a warm embrace. The two seemed close, but Seon-Hyeok shuddered as he watched. His comrades’ words made sense now as he saw them side by side.

Anne was definitely attractive, but her features were surprisingly similar to Hansen’s. Seon-Hyeok groaned unconsciously, uncomfortable with that realization.

“See. She looks like me, doesn’t she? She’s my sister.”

“Ah, nice to meet you. So you’re the one who came with Hansen. My name’s Arianne von Frostbegmund.”

Belatedly realizing she was being rude to the guest, she stepped back and introduced herself. Seon-Hyeok was once again amazed by her appearance.

Arianne von Frostbegmund, or Anne, clearly was a member of the family. If Baron Wulfmeyer and Hansen showed their superior physique through their height and broad shoulders, she did so in a more feminine manner. Even compared to the women of this world, who were naturally gifted, she had particularly large breasts.

Nevertheless, Seon-Hyeok couldn’t enjoy her beauty, because the more he looked, the more her face resembled Hansen’s.

Anne was essentially a pretty, female version of Hansen.

“So. You have business at the Frost Peak?”

After a while, Baron Wulfmeyer questioned Kim Seon-Hyeok.

“Now’s not a good time. Do you really need to go?”

The baron expressed his concerns, saying that monsters, which typically only occupied the peak, had recently come down to the base of the mountain as well. However, the journey was essential for Seon-Hyeok. Seeing he was willing to face any potential dangers to reach his goal, the baron eventually agreed to help.

“But you’ll have to be careful. According to the hunters, the current situation seems as though there’s a new apex predator occupying the peak and pushing out the remaining monsters. The monsters we’ve encountered at the base haven’t been particularly dangerous, but there’s no saying what could be at the peak.”

Seon-Hyeok was pleased to hear this. He strongly felt that the apex predator would be the drake he was searching for.

“I’ll assign you a hunter who can be your guide, as well as several soldiers. They’re all skilled hunters, so they should be able to help.”

“Thank you for your kindness.”

“Hansen told me that if it weren’t for you, he’d have died at the hands of those Sastein bastards. In other words, we owe you for saving his life. This is nothing.”

Seon-Hyeok lowered his gaze when he heard the words ‘life debt’. He did save Hansen’s life, but he couldn’t say the same for Hansen’s future offspring. Seon-Hyeok couldn’t raise his head because of his remorse.

“So don’t feel too burdened!”

The baron apparently hadn’t heard of the accident(?) to Hansen’s lower body, and he continued to heap praise on the foreigner.

That evening, Seon-Hyeok once again heard the voice of the dragon. The dragon praised him for taking the correct path and confirmed that there would be a subspecies of dragon at the highest point of the mountain.

“There’s no time.”

Seon-Hyeok hurriedly finished preparing for the search mission. His vacation was for a month, and the journey here had taken ten days. Considering the time required for the return trip, he didn’t have much time to look for the drake. Fortunately, the men offered by the baron were soon ready to leave as well.

An old hunter claiming to be the guide, two younger hunters, and six experienced soldiers were waiting for Seon-Hyeok at the entrance to Frostbegmund.

“Are you coming as well, Arianne?”

There was an uninvited guest. Anne, dressed as a hunter, was playing around with her bow.

“My sister’s good with a bow. She’s probably the best in our territory.”

“Anne’s archery skills are the best around. Nobody else here can use that monster of a bow.”

Come to think of it, the bow Anne was tightly holding onto was unusual. It was at least 1.5 meters long, with arrows much longer than an average man’s arms. (TN: 1.5m = 5ft)

“Well, it shouldn’t be a big deal.”

Seon-Hyeok coolly nodded. Their praise suggested she would be more than capable of handling herself, and even if it weren’t the case, he had no intention of stopping her.

The men were rather perplexed when he gave his permission so readily. Anne also awkwardly mumbled several times, wondering to herself whether she had packed everything she needed.

Just a day into their climb, they realized why Seon-Hyeok hadn’t objected.

“Stop. There’s something up front. Is there another path?”

“There is, but it’s a bit out of the way.”

“Then let’s go that way.”

Hansen nodded to the group, who blinked in confusion. After similar events repeated themselves, one of the hunters, unable to hold back his curiosity, asked aloud.

“Isn’t it strange? Even before the changes here, we should’ve run into one or two monsters by now.”

“That’s true…”

“It’s all thanks to him.”

They weren’t fully convinced, but as a second day passed without a single monster encounter, their expressions grew more and more bewildered.

There were no delays caused by monster encounters, but that did not mean their journey was entirely effortless. The mountain paths grew increasingly treacherous as they ascended, and eventually, they had to crawl alongside a dangerous cliff.

And during this time, a monster finally appeared.

“There’s no other path. We’d have to climb up the cliff otherwise.”

The hunter expressed his disapproval when Seon-Hyeok brought up the steep and narrow path, and the presence of the monster waiting just beyond it. The current environment was just too unfavorable to deal with any additional problems.

“Then let’s just keep going.”

Seon-Hyeok didn’t hesitate. The others had worried expressions, but they followed, wondering what new ability this mysterious guest would show.

And with that, they encountered the monster.

“Damn it. It’s a group of yeti!”

The hunter shouted upon seeing monsters with tough fur covering their bodies. They resembled orangutans.

“Are they dangerous?”

When Seon-Hyeok, unfamiliar with the monsters of the world, asked, the hunter replied with a pale complexion.

“They’re not exceptionally strong, but they’re dangerous on this type of terrain. Instead of fighting us, they’ll try to push us off the edge and then eat our corpses at the bottom.”

Seeing the yeti moving freely along the cliffside with their long arms, Seon-Hyeok realized that his party would be at a disadvantage.

“We have to head down immediately. We’ll have a better chance on the open ground below!”

“No. We’re not going down.”

“Ugh! We’re all going to die! It’s okay if we do, but not you and Anne!”

“None of us will die here.”

Seon-Hyeok remained calm even as he watched the hunter scream. The hunter, seemingly angered by his nonchalant attitude, urged the party to turn around, but Seon-Hyeok took action first.

“Atiya.”

‘Did you call, master?’

Atiya suddenly appeared in the air as he whispered.

“Push them all off.”

Atiya was a wind spirit. Even if she was low-tier, she had more than enough power to push the yeti off the edge.

This wasn’t the ideal hunting grounds for just the yeti.

Hehe! Roll! Roll them off!’

A cheerful shout unfitting of the current situation rang out, and soon, the yeti charged towards them with a loud scream. The yeti in front was grabbed by Atiya and immediately thrown off the cliff.

Argh!

A gruesome scream was heard, but it soon faded away, only to be replaced by another.

“What the hell…”

The hunters and soldiers, on the verge of turning back and retreating, stopped in their tracks.

The herd of yeti was handled so easily that it made the hunter’s earlier fears seem ridiculous. One by one, the yeti were tossed off the cliff and became bloodstains on the ground far below, and soon, they had all fallen to their deaths.

“Let’s go.”

Seon-Hyeok spoke matter-of-factly, and the gazes of those looking at him were completely different from before.

“Isn’t he even more amazing than what father said?”

“Yeah, Seon-Hyeok’s pretty great.”

“Yeah. You’re right, he’s amazing. I changed my mind.”

Hansen and Anne were quietly having a conversation behind him. They thought that their voices would be drowned out in the wind, but for Seon-Hyeok, the wind was his eyes and ears.

“I’ll have to break him down.”

Seon-Hyeok stumbled as he heard Anne talking to herself.

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