Chapter 54

‘Has anything changed?’

Biyeon shook her head, scattering her troubling thoughts away. She felt full inside.

However, she also felt a bit of emptiness. Was it a similar feeling of having something released and filled again with something else? Or was it like crying one’s heart out and feeling a sense of release afterward? Or the sudden sadness that came rushing in after laughing out loud and seeing the world brightly for a brief moment? Whatever it was...

‘Where is this sense of fullness and vitality coming from?’

Biyeon closed her eyes. She looked internally out of habit. As soon as she lifted the ‘colors’ of the world, her honest ‘feelings’ could be observed.

It was just a kiss, but the result was not small. Even though it was a skin-to-skin contact that wasn’t anything new, however, this time, it felt different.

She couldn’t think of anything else. 

Will was powerless, wisdom was impermanent.

During that short time, her ability to calculate and to judge stopped. Her reasoning cleverly hid behind her emotions.

It seemed that a new awakening had begun.

Biyeon saw it. A vast world that she didn’t know or recognize opened up within her body. The new world took the space between ‘him’ and ‘her’ as its territory. The world was still exploding between them and expanding. The world was quickly filling up with unknown energy that started enveloping their whole bodies. Enchanting freedom and pure joy!

‘But nothing has changed…?’

Biyeon glanced at the person next to her. Everything was the same, but everything was also slowly changing.

She cleverly did not judge. She only foresaw.

From this point forward, a whole new ‘relationship’ would be created. In that new space-time would be a special level of ‘love’ that only people who could exchange ‘full trust’ could create. However, both wouldn’t yet know what power that very special love would awaken in each other.

Perhaps it was the hidden intention of the Creator who created this universe.

“Are you feeling a little energetic now?” he said, his voice ringing in her ears. 

A sense of warmth was still present in his voice, but it also created an awkward feeling for her for some reason.

“I'm drunk. The alcohol was very strong.”

Biyeon swept her hair back and smiled. She wondered if her face was as red as if she were actually drunk…

“Cheer up!” 

“I will.” 

“And clean the drool off your face…”

“…”

***

“What’s going on with them?”

“I don’t know?”

San and Biyeon looked at the staff staring back at them. The two tilted their heads. They were walking back to the square towards the staff when they were confronted with this weird predicament.

“Yuren!” San shouted as he called out the company commander. 

“Yes, sir!”

Yuren quickly stood in front of San as if he had been waiting. His expression was a little odd.

He looked anxious and restless. Afterward, San and Biyeon noticed that Yeria was also watching them with a strange expression.

“You guys… What is it? What’s going on?” San asked Yuren.

“Nothing, sir. Captain Dongye has been waiting for you. He’s been waiting for your response for a while

“From earlier? Why didn’t you call on me?”

“That, eh… there…”

“Ah! This guy!”

San became annoyed. Yuren blushed as he didn’t know what to do or say.

“I told them not to contact you, Dongye cheerfully said as he came up behind Yuren before breaking out in laughter. There was a strange smile on his face.

“I wouldn’t dare interrupt you two when you’re spending such a good time together. I waited quite a long time. Hahaha…”

San and Biyeon looked at each other. It seemed like a long time had passed. Those few moments seemed to have passed quickly in real-time. San tilted this head. Biyeon smiled.

“Thank you for waiting. What may we do for you, Captain Dongye?”

San skillfully changed the topic and handled the awkward situation naturally.

“I came to ask if you’d like to have a drink. I feel like I’ve been given a prize that you two rightly deserve. In addition, a valuable guest came today, so I’d like to make introductions.”

“You justly deserve all the praises for the battle this evening. A hunt is only as successful as the person who leads it. Our mission is to support, not to hunt. By the way, you said you had a guest?”

“Dite, one of the Chief Apostles of the Temple of Diana, has come to visit us. I’m familiar with this person, but I think you two should greet her as well. Is this okay for you both?”

“Apostle… What position is the Apostle in the temple?”

This time, Biyeon asked. San placed his gaze elsewhere far away.

His expression was calm, but he was actually opening all the non-verbal channels, searching for this person with the ‘Apostle’ title.

“Ah, that’s right… you two don’t know about the customs and titles here. Usually, there are general priests in a temple and a priest who presides above them. The presiding priest is the ‘Chief Apostle’. The Chief Apostle receives the divine messages directly from the god or goddess. They are known to be able to borrow the power of the god directly. These Chief Apostles have actually foretold many prophecies and miracles in the past. Its said that the 12 main gods designate five or six such chief apostles to do their work in this world. They’re also known to be able to make medicine and drugs with the power of the god.”

Dongye was cautious with his explanation. The two people in front of him were also in possession of a miracle drug. Furthermore, the concentration of their drug was beyond imagination… Dongye thought that perhaps these two were also direct apostles of a god.

[Damn… so it’s that ‘person’ from the forest.]

[Shit… What should we do? Should we refuse?]

[Can we avoid it?]

[Probably difficult, right?]

[Let’s hit it head-on. We need to know about that person anyway.]

[Let’s do that. I don’t think we can live long while trying to avoid a ‘god’ in this world.]

Even in a short period of time, they were exchanging opinions and discussing options.

“Thank you for your consideration. We’ll be there shortlyWe have something to tell the staff, so we’ll be there after we’re done.”

After sending Dongye off, San and Biyeon summoned the support staff members. After instructing them on what they needed to do, San and Biyeon carefully packed their luggage and put it in one place. Then, with only simple armaments, they headed to Dongye’s area. Throughout this time, they had countless conversations and prepared various countermeasures.

[Ah- Why is this salt so unusually salty? Every time I eat it, it makes me want to hurl!]

[Yes, for me too. Maybe we need to find some dry seaweed.]

Dongye was having a conversation with five people at a round table surrounded by a small bonfire in the center. On another round table next to them were the Dong-Myung warriors regaling in their conversations and achievements with noble manners.

Freshly grilled meat and alcoholic beverages were placed on the tables. The alcohol was probably not fruit wine but strong alcohol made from grains. This type of alcohol was a staple amongst those who hunted. It could also be used as a disinfectant.

Biyeon’s eyes shone. In the middle, a beautiful woman, who was not likely to fit in with this rough crowd in any other situation, sat with a thin aura surrounding her.

She wore a light, flowing chiton robe with a silver clasp that had a bow insignia imprinted on it. She looked like a being that came from the times described in Greek-Roman mythology. Her black and shiny hair was like ebony and was easily tied and naturally drooping behind her back. In short, she closely matched the image of the Goddess of Hunting. She was also very neat and beautiful. Biyeon looked at Dite’s figure by sweeping her eyes from left to right.

Before long, their eyes met. The end of Biyeon’s mouth curled upward.

San squinted. Next to Dite, a ‘Hawk’s’ angelic image with white feathers was openly staring at him. San was starting to feel a little offended. However, none of the others gathered in the area seemed to perceive the Hawk.

“Ah! Welcome.”

Dongye stood up to greet San and Biyeon.

The other four noble guests stood up awkwardly and looked at the two with interest. They were probably high-ranking warrior officials from various clans. Although their clans may not reach the top three Absolute Clan levels, they were clans with quite a large source of power in the north.

Although they stood up out of respect for Dongye, their expressions were filled with curiosity.

Only the head of a regional Count’s support staff arrived, so why did someone with Dongye’s stature get up from his seat to greet them? These clueless guests came to this area after the night’s attack, so they didn't fully experience what happened just a few hours earlier.

“Apostle Dite, these are the captains of the unit sent by Count Essen to support this hunt. They have done a lot for this hunt.”

After Dongye’s introduction, Dite slowly stood up, held her hands together as if praying, and greeted them both. Her voice was strangely refreshing and echoed out.

“Goddess Diana’s protection be with you! My name is Dite. You two… come from very far away. And you’re both very strong.”

Dite laughed as she spoke. Dongye was looking at Dite with an ‘of course they know they’re strong’ type of look. Awakeners who had passed the third stage generally did not believe in gods. This was because they had awakened to the greatness of humankind’s body while experiencing its tremendous ability. Also, their understanding of the human body and mind transcended worldly limitations.

However, in San and Biyeon’s view, the Apostle in front of them had something that they sought. They wondered how she obtained her powers.

We were able to succeed thanks to the grace of the Goddess. Thanks to the care given by the Goddess of Hunting, this hunt has already reaped a great harvest,” San politely greeted and answered.

[Thanks to that goddamn Goddess's protection, a whopping 400 people were killed, no? Or maybe this Goddess of yours planned to kill us all along. Don’t spew bullshit you bitch. Let’s talk about the purpose of why you’re here. We’re both knowledgeable players in this game.]

San’s intentions echoed in Dite’s mind. Dite opened her eyes wide. Then another sound came through.

[You’re a pretty strong bitch, right? Still, don’t you think it’ll be hard to handle us together by yourself? You’re foolish to go out on a search with your measly level of combat power. Did you think you could subdue us with your paltry powers? What do you want from us?]

Biyeon's intentions were clearly conveyed. Dite was momentarily at a loss for words.

Episode 2. Book 2: Planning – Chapter 1

Dite raised her eyes and alternately looked at the man and woman. San blatantly stared back. He hated to admit it, but her eyes were really beautiful.

It was as if a cluster of stars twinkling in the night sky was reflected in her eyes. Would the expression of ‘bright’ properly illustrate this beauty in words?

“We will talk a lot in the future.”

Dite looked up at the sky for a moment instead of continuing her words. She blinked her clear eyes constantly.

“Yes… Goddess Diana is very happy to see you, Dite responded with a direct voice instead of using San and Biyeon’s communication channel. She smiled and sat back in her seat with an elegant movement.

[Did you hear anything?]

[No… the Goddess and her Apostles seem to be using a special communication channel like us. Still, it seems like she really did communicate with her Goddess. There was a signal that transmitted back and forth.]

[She’s definitely not a simple person.]

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