Episode 50. Proper Use of the Earth Attribute (1)

Seon-Hyeok had only stayed at the capital for a month, but much had changed during that time. He realized this as they left and headed to the western border.

“Oh. This is nice.”

Nobody paid him any mind even though he was laying lazily on the cart full of royal gifts. It reminded him of when he approached the end of his service as a sergeant.

So this is the right of a viscount.

Seon-Hyeok was enjoying the privileges of being part of the nobility.

However, it was too soon to let his guard down. Just as there were senior officers in the other world, the commander and Company Commander Frederick were both with him here.

“You’ve been awarded a title now, so pay more attention to how you act.”

Seon-Hyeok’s position was still too low to ignore the authority of the company commander, especially now that he had been elevated to senior knight and held authority rivaling that of a lord. He got up with a face full of discontent.

“Aren’t you acting too differently now just because you got your title?”

Company Commander Frederick seemed displeased to see Seon-Hyeok, the rider more passionate about training than anyone else, showing such a lazy attitude. Frederick had gotten the wrong impression, however – the foreigner had acted the same way as a sergeant in the other world.

He could not afford to be lazy in this world, as training and effort were directly related to his immediate survival. Onlookers might have interpreted this as him being a naturally hard-working person, but for Seon-Hyeok, he was doing as he always had – putting in as much effort as was required to get by.

He had now become a nobleman, and was financially secure for the time being. Of course, he understood that his resources wouldn’t last indefinitely, considering he was in ownership of a horribly ravenous drake. However, he already had a solution to this in the form of the land promised him by the commander.

No matter how much he thought about it, Seon-Hyeok felt he could relax in his current position.

“Ugh. To think that he’d suddenly become a deadweight…”

Frederick shook his head, unable to accept Seon-Hyeok’s sudden change in attitude and unaware of his inner dialogue.

“I’m going to go hunting!”

It was normal for the foreigner to break ranks in order to satisfy his drake’s appetite, but this time, it looked like he was running away from the irritating nagging.

Frederick seemed to agree, as he had a discontented expression while looking at the back of the drake waddling away.

“Let it go. You know that the foreigners on the border territories need to struggle desperately to survive. It’s not necessarily bad for him to take a break now.”

“But commander. You know as well as anyone that it’s difficult to regain focus once you’re accustomed to lazing around.”

“Not everyone in the world lives to improve their position and status like you do. It’s not appropriate to force that worldview on others.”

The commander insisted that matters would resolve themselves, soothing Frederick with his calm voice.

At the same time, Seon-Hyeok did not care whether the commander and company commander were speaking about him.

“Goldie! Get it!”

He shouted as he jumped down from the saddle gifted by the royal princess. The drake stomped on the ground and charged towards the wild boar in the distance.

Squeal.

The mournful squeal of the pig and the drake’s roar died down, replaced by the occasional sound of bones cracking.

“Ugh.”

Seon-Hyeok turned his head and sat down on the parched ground, as it wasn’t a particularly pleasant scene to watch. He put his hands behind his head and lay down. It wasn’t as though hunting took a predetermined amount of time, so he could return to the group at his leisure.

Oh, this is nice.

Having reached an obedience value of 100, the drake was now fully under his control, with the sole exception of his ravenous appetite. Seon-Hyeok no longer had to worry about the drake running away or causing an undesirable situation. In addition, he could now let Goldrake loose at the sight of suitable game, and he would be able to hunt on his own. Raising the drake had become much easier.

It felt leisurely and peaceful. He wondered if he had ever felt this way since arriving in this world.

As he lay back to enjoy the situation, he thought back on his home. However, unlike before, the other world did not seem clear or particularly vivid. It was like staring at a blurry image, and even his longing for home was less intense.

It seemed as though he had finally adapted to this world, after once thinking that it was a living nightmare. He wasn’t prepared for this sensation and reached out to grab onto his past reality, but instead, a soft breeze flew into his hand.

‘Master.’

Atiya smiled brightly as she held onto her master’s hand with both of hers, and he smiled back.

Well, I’m in this world now, so I might as well live life to its fullest.

While he watched Atiya’s cute mannerisms, he heard the sound of Goldrake loudly running back from a distance after finishing his meal.

It was early in the evening when Seon-Hyeok returned to the ranks. He slipped in among the soldiers as they began to set up camp, and the troops greeted him with a smile.

As he watched the soldiers hammer in the stakes to secure the temporary barracks and dig drainage channels, Seon-Hyeok suddenly got an idea.

“Hey, give me that shovel.”

“Huh? Why all of a sudden?”

He reached out his hand to the soldier, who tilted his head in bewilderment.

“What do you mean, why? I want to get some physical work in.”

The soldier still looked puzzled, but he acquiesced.

“Ptui.”

Seon-Hyeok rubbed his spit-covered hands, grabbed the shovel, and began to dig vigorously. He once again showed his excellent manual labor skills.

“Uh. You can stop now…”

At first, he was undeniably digging the drainage canals. However, the purpose of his digging soon became unclear, as he dug haphazardly in all directions. He would cover ditches he had already dug up, and return soon after to dig in the same place once again.

A confused look spread over the soldiers’ faces as they watched. They were surprised that there was a rider who excelled at shoveling, and shocked that he was so immersed in his work.

“Ugh! Why isn’t it working!”

Seon-Hyeok shouted in irritation after eagerly digging for a while. No matter how much he dug, his earth attribute showed no signs of improving.

A massive pit formed as he shoveled in a fit of rage. It looked like a trap set on a battlefield.

“Ah. I’m sorry. I’ll put it back to normal.”

Belatedly realizing that he had made a mess of the campgrounds, he stood holding the shovel in front of the largest and deepest pit. He couldn’t leave it as is, as patrols could potentially fall in throughout the night.

At that moment, Goldrake, previously left to his own devices a short distance from camp, came rumbling in.

“Huh? What?”

Soldiers normally would not be surprised at the sight of Goldrake, as it was a common occurrence by now. However, it was the first time seeing the drake charging towards them, his huge, menacing eyes wide open in the dark. After all, Goldrake always stayed outside the campgrounds at night.

Indeed, drakes would be considered monsters even among the monsters. The soldiers couldn’t help but shriek and recoil, as the drake felt even more formidable in the darkness.

“Now what?”

Seon-Hyeok wasn’t happy. His guess that his earth attribute control would increase by handling dirt and sand proved incorrect, and he glared at the drake.

Growl.

Goldrake approached, showing he didn’t care about his owner’s reaction, and dropped down into the pit in the ground.

Growl.

With that, Goldrake growled in delight. Seon-Hyeok’s eyes grew wide, surprised to see Goldrake happier than ever before.

- Attribute control (Earth) has increased by 1.

At that moment, Seon-Hyeok received the message he had been waiting dearly for.

“Oh, wait. It had nothing to do with me?”

Seon-Hyeok had thought that his earth attribute control could be improved in the same way as the wind attribute. It was why he had dug up the ground. In fact, he had even rolled around on the ground and secretly eaten the soil and sand. However, none of this improved his attribute control.

He now understood why. For whatever reason, it was the drake, and not him, who could increase his stats.

- Attribute control (Earth) has increased by 1.

Goldrake made a satisfied sound, rolling in the ground happily like a baby bird in its mother’s embrace. In the meantime, Seon-Hyeok’s attribute control continued to improve.

Seon-Hyeok left his drake and went around the campgrounds, repairing the damage he had caused. His control continued to increase, and it now reached 15.

However, around the time he finished fixing the scene at the camp, his stats stagnated and stopped increasing.

Then came the next day. That evening, he once again dug a hole, this time further from the camp, and pushed the drake in.

- Attribute control (Earth) has increased by 1.

However, the growth rate was pitiful compared to the previous day. It only increased by 2 by the end of the night. After a few days, the control reached 19 and completely stopped increasing.

“Is there yet another trigger?”

Just as he had experienced with the wind attribute, his earth attribute control improved at differing rates at different intervals.

“Well, whatever.”

Now that he knew how to work on it, Seon-Hyeok simply had to experiment on how to further improve his control.

Of course, it was not him who would suffer throughout the course of the experiment, but Goldrake.

Seon-Hyeok did as he pleased with the drake. He would sometimes dig a hole and push Goldrake in, only to cover him in dirt immediately afterward. Goldrake, though calm at first, soon panicked when the soil reached the top of its jaw.

The improvements he saw were minimal.

Only when he had almost buried Goldrake did his control improve slightly. And even this only worked on his first attempt, as subsequent efforts had no effect on his stats.

He experimented even further. Some of these involved ignorantly putting soil, sand, and rocks in the drake’s food, and following this incident, Goldrake attempted to rebel for the first time after his obedience reached 100. Even so, the tests continued, and Goldrake suffered throughout their journey back to the garrison.

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