Jae Woo was getting ready to go out.
Normally, he'd just wear a T-shirt, jeans, and a jacket, but the fact that he was 'getting ready' meant that today was special.
"Mm, that's fine," Mina looked at his selection and said. It was just a navy suit, but because of his work at the kendo dojo, his body filled it out nicely. "Wear this over it." Mina passed him an overcoat.
"Sit down. I'll fix your hair." Mina began rubbing his hair with wax.
"How have things been going with your boyfriend?" Jae Woo asked.
"What do you mean?"
"You're still a minor, so keep it wholesome," he said rigidly.
"Don't worry about me." Mina pulled his hair.
"Ugh." Jae Woo scowled at the sudden onset of pain. "Come home on time, and on the off chance that you sleep over, then..."
"I'm going to pull out all your hair." Mina stared and brutally threatened him.
"..." Jae Woo kept his mouth shut. He wanted to say more, but he decided against it. 'My hair's important to me, after all.'
"You're so much better when you're quiet," Mina said savagely. She smiled and then styled his hair, her fingers moving with familiarity and skill. "I'm done."
'It's not bad!' Jae Woo looked at himself in the mirror and liked what he saw.
"Give it." Mina extended her hand.
"Sure." Jae Woo pulled out 30,000 won ($30 USD) from his wallet. It was payment for services rendered.
"Hehe, thanks." Mina snatched the cash and returned to her room.
"Guess it's time for me to leave." Jae Woo looked at the living room clock, and then left the house.
* * *
Jae Woo had agreed to meet her at this classy cafe.
'I came a little early.' He checked the time; he'd come 30 minutes early.
Jae Woo leaned back in the comfy chair and waited for her. Then, he thought about his plans for the future.
'I guess First Hunter's shoot is first. I'll be busy for a while.'
He had to go to the studio for his shoot, and he also had to kill the monster for the reward. Whenever he had free time, he had to explore Despia too.
When he starts receiving the dragon materials from his new soul dungeon, then he'd be able to begin his new dragon equipment business in earnest.
Fortunately, there wasn't much that he had to do on his end. The Black Hammer Dwarves could craft the equipment, and Man Bok would sell the finished goods.
'I have to complete the goddess's quest too.'
Killing Krishan, as well as the rest of the Mayanes, and reclaiming the God of Creation's sources took priority over all else.
His schedule was packed; his shoot, exploring Despia, and the goddess's quest! He'd have his hands full in the future.
'I hope he doesn't give me any Guardian of the Continent tasks.'
He already had plenty on his plate, but what if Valan were to come and give him a Guardian of the Continent related task? There wouldn't be enough of him to go around.
The doorbell rang. Jae Woo came back to reality and stared at the door.
A girl wearing a woolen hat and sunglasses entered the cafe. She was also wearing a white trench coat; she truly reminded him of an angel.
'Man, she's pretty.' As he admired her beauty, he realized how lucky he was to be her boyfriend.
Soo Ah came over and smiled. Jae Woo smiled back.
"You came early."
"Yeah, you too."
"Let's buy some drinks and go."
Jae Woo and Soo Ah bought some warm coffee and left. There was a yellow car waiting for them in the parking lot.
"It's cute." That was his opinion of it anyway.
"Please get in." Soo Ah got into the driver's seat, and Jae Woo sat in the passenger seat.
The car moved smoothly. Soo Ah looked completely relaxed as she spun the steering wheel.
"Do you drive often?"
"I drive occasionally. You don't have a license, do you?" Soo Ah asked, keeping her eyes on the road.
"Yeah." He had neither a driver's license nor a car.
"I can teach you. Would you like to learn how to drive?"
Her teaching him how to drive with that gentle voice of hers... Moreover, during the lesson, they'd be alone in the car. It didn't sound like a bad offer.
"Maybe I should." Jae Woo grinned.
After she'd changed gears, Kang Oh saw her soft, white hand on the stick. He placed his hand atop hers and softly grabbed it.
"Your hand is so pretty."
"Hehe." Soo Ah smiled.
The car drove across the road. The two looked quite happy.
* * *
The car stopped.
They could see a giant screen through the windows. It looked like a movie theater.
It actually was a movie theater; a drive-in theater!
Apparently, they were showing an old movie that Soo Ah wanted to see. However, it was only being shown in a drive-in theater, and Soo Ah had asked him to see it with her.
Jae Woo agreed 100%. He didn't really care what the movie was, so long as he was alone with Soo Ah in the car.
"They sell popcorn and some other refreshments over there. If you want something, then you can go buy it and come back." She pointed at the stall.
"I thought you didn't eat anything when you watched a movie?"
Jae Woo knew that she liked movies, especially the classics. He also knew that she didn't eat anything while watching movies so that she could completely focus on the movie itself.
"Then I'm good."
The screen explained what frequency they should set their car's radio to, moved on to some ads, and then showed the movie.
They could hear the music and dialogue via the car's speakers, and Soo Ah watched the movie screen with sparkling eyes.
At first, Kang Oh wasn't interested in the movie. He didn't really care what movie it was, as he'd be able to hold her hand, see the side of her face, and spend time together.
He watched Soo Ah focus entirely on the movie, and at some point, he did as well.
The movie portrayed the relationship between a man, who could travel to the past, and a gentle, beautiful woman. It was a good movie, which questioned what true love, life, and happiness were, and came to its own conclusion.
The two's relationship progressed like flowing water, and the gradual deepening of their relationship felt natural, making it worth watching.
'I want to live a long, happy life like that with Soo Ah!' Kang Oh suddenly thought.
"How was it?" Soo Ah said after the movie was over.
"I was happy throughout the movie."
After all, he'd spent time with the girl he loved, watching a good movie.
Jae Woo and Soo Ah began discussing the movie.
They talked about what their favorite scene was, the actors' performance, the feelings it evoked, and what they thought about happiness, life, and love. The two spoke enthusiastically and at length, so much so that they got hungry!
All of a sudden, Soo Ah's stomach grumbled, causing her to blush.
"Woah, was that thunder?" Jae Woo turned his gaze, smiling impishly.
"What? What noise?" Soo Ah feigned innocence. 'Female idols don't even use the restroom!' her expression seemed to say. However, she couldn't help the reddening of her face and ears.
"You didn't hear it?"
"That's weird. I'm pretty sure I heard it from here." Jae Woo poked her stomach, and Soo Ah defended herself.
"Hey, you shouldn't touch a lady's body like that!"
Jae Woo just smiled. 'She's so cute.'
Her actions were just so adorable! Man, he'd fallen for her hard.
"Let's go eat. Better hurry; we don't want to hear anymore thunder."
"I'm telling you, there wasn't any noise!" Soo Ah fought back till the bitter end.
"It's ok, it's natural. Why don't you let out some gas while you're at it?"
"Oppa!" Soo Ah glared at him. It was the same way that Mina would look at him sometimes; it was really brutal!
"Let's go eat. I'm really hungry," Jae Woo said, changing the topic. He also looked as pitiful as he could. If Eder or Sephiro could just see him now... they would punch him or shoot an arrow at him.
"Hmph, fine. Let's go eat." Soo Ah stopped glaring at him.
"What do you want to eat?"
"How does udon sound? There's a great udon restaurant nearby."
* * *
In no time at all, the sun had set and night had settled in.
Jae Woo got out of the car.
"Take care, Oppa. Be careful." Soo Ah cutely waved her hand from the driver's seat.
"Be careful? My house is right here." Jae Woo pointed behind him. The streetlight was illuminating the alley, and his house was right across from it. "But thanks for worrying about my safety." Kang Oh bowed his head.
"Hehe, it's nothing." Soo Ah laughed.
"Drive carefully, and call me when you get home."
"Ok. Then I'll get going now."
"Take care." Jae Woo waved his hand.
Her and her yellow car left.
Jae Woo stared at the back of her car as it got farther and farther away, locked in thought.
Soo Ah was an incredibly popular idol. Thus, he had no choice but to be careful when meeting her in real life.
But using a car eliminated that problem entirely; no one would pay them any mind when they were inside a car. Moreover, it allowed them to be alone in a confined space!
In the future, it felt like they'd have more dates in the car. Since he didn't have a license or a car, Soo Ah would have to drive every time and drop him off.
He didn't want that. His pride as a man wouldn't allow it.
'Let's get a license, and buy a car too!' Jae Woo grinned as he envisioned him driving Soo Ah and taking her home.
* * *
GBS's cast waiting room.
Jae Woo sat in his seat, waiting for First Hunter to begin.
Jin Cheol opened the door and came inside. He was holding a helmet in his hand.
"I have what you requested." Jin Cheol smiled.
"Thank you." Kang Oh took the helmet and carefully looked it over.
It was a silver helmet that covered everything above the nose. It was simple, lacking any sort of ornaments or feathers, but it wasn't unfashionable either.
'It looks fine.'
"Please try it on," Jin Cheol said.
Jae Woo nodded his head and did as he asked.
The helmet was a bit too big, but it wasn't uncomfortable. It did narrow his vision, but it wasn't bad enough to ask for a replacement.
Jae Woo looked himself over in the mirror. He looked like a villain in a fantasy novel or movie.
"It's not bad."
It was better to be a villain that did the backstabbing than be the hero that got backstabbed.
"Good luck on your shoot today. I'm rooting for you!" Jin Cheol clenched his fist.
"Yes, I'll do my best," Kang Oh replied.
"I'll see you later in the studio." Jin Cheol bid him farewell.
Jin Cheol left. A short while later, someone else knocked on the door.
'Who is this?'
"Please come in."
It was one of the staff members.
"The shoot will begin soon. Please follow me."
"Understood." Jae Woo stood up.
It was finally time!
* * *
"Please wait here."
Jae Woo sat in his designated seat. There was a giant veil in front of him, obscuring his vision.
"We'll begin the shoot now."
He heard a staff member's voice from beyond the veil.
The camera turned around, and the bustling staff members either moved around carefully or stood still and watched. Of course, Jae Woo couldn't see what they were doing from beyond the veil.
"Hello, viewers. I'm the MC of First Hunter, Jeon Seong Gook."
He could hear a bright, cheerful voice.
'This voice is... It sure has been a while.'
Jae Woo had once starred in GBS's Dungeon Conquering Man. At the time, one of the MCs had been Jeon Seong Gook.
He was shameless enough to call himself the face of GBS, but he was a skilled MC.
"What, you're curious about the veil behind me? I'm curious too. The staff tipped me off; there are amazing people behind the veil. I wonder who they are!?"
'Yeah, who are they?' Jae Woo was just as curious to find out who they were.
"You usually save the best part for last. Isn't that right? First, let me explain what First Hunter is all about. Everyone, please take a look at the screen." Seong Gook pointed at the large monitor. The monitor hung from the ceiling, so Jae Woo and the rest of the contestants could see it.
The screen showed a prepared clip.
Arth's player base claims that some monsters are impossible to kill.
Each of these monsters has a huge bounty on them! Experienced hunters have come forth, ready to kill the monsters and take the reward.
They aren't comrades but competitors!
Who'll be the one who kills the previously unkillable and takes all of the bounties for themselves!?
It pretty much just explained what First Hunter was all about.
Jae Woo felt sleepy, and forcefully stifled a yawn. He already knew what the program was all about, so he was completely uninterested in the clip.
Fortunately, he received some good news once the clip ended; news that completely blew away his sleepiness.
Like an MC of a pro-wrestling match, Jeon Seong Gook raised his hand, the one holding the script, into the air and drew the contestants' attention to him.
"Let me introduce our great hunters, those who'll hunt these unbeatable monsters!"
Kang Oh opened his eyes. 'Seriously, just tell me who else is here already!'Previous Chapter Next Chapter