The world’s rank 1 guild, Creator’s Sacred Grace.
Inside its guild building known as Ark, Yun Seung-Ah was currently looking around a new office she received.
[Rank 250. Vice-leader Yun Seung-Ah]
She rubbed her badge displaying her newly updated rank.
The office she received to celebrate becoming the world’s rank 250 Hero was fancy and grand.
“Do you like it?”
Yun Seung-Ah only smiled at her secretary’s question.
“…Right, don’t I have a schedule for Cube’s Mission Experience?”
“Yes. October 5th, next Monday, Vice-leader Yun will be in charge of the tunnel.”
“Is that so?”
Yun Seung-Ah sat down on her chair.
Feeling the comfy leather seat of the blood alligator, she hummed in joy.
“I can’t believe it’s October already… time sure flies.”
“So, are there any interesting news?”
“There’s one. It seems Jeronimo Mercenary has a new recruit.”
Yun Seung-Ah’s eyes flickered with interest.
Jeronimo Mercenary had a deep relationship with her as well. Just like other top ranking guilds, Creator’s Sacred Grace was made up of several teams, and each team had a different delegated task. Yun Seung-Ah started her career in the Djinn Eradication Team, and the help of mercenaries was often required for Heroes to fight Djinns.
“Has his codename been determined?”
“Although we aren’t sure, our sources are saying it’s Fenrir.”
Yun Seung-Ah let out a small exclamation of surprise.
“That’s quite a grandiose codename.”
Yun Seung-Ah had seen Fenrir before. Creator’s Sacred Grace also participated in the battle with that monster ten or so years ago, and valuable data on that monster still remained in their video records.
“Yes, but he specializes in assassination and sniping.”
“…Really? That’s not very fitting considering his codename. After all, the Demon Wolf Fenrir was a monster that tore everything apart with its teeth.”
Assassination and sniping.
Although they were both related to killing someone, mercenaries who specialized in this field were often given the limelight, as the primary enemies of humanity were Djinns rather than monsters.
“Since he joined Jeronimo Mercenary, he should be an extraordinary specialist in this field. They didn’t reveal his identity?”
“No, our sources only heard rumors about him joining. Not much else is known about him.”
“Mm~ I’m looking forward to it. They make a spotlight video for every new recruit.”
These spotlight videos were officially called mercenary cinematics, and they showcased the spotlighted mercenary’s Gift and power. Jeronimo Mercenary started with 13 members, and they chose this method to advertise themselves every time a new member was added.
“It’s not looking like a new mercenary cinematic will come out.”
“Mm… well, I’m looking forward to it.”
Yun Seung-Ah felt her heart beat. It was almost as though she received news of her favorite game receiving a sequel.
That was how much Yun Seung-Ah liked using ‘Jeronimo Mercenary’ as a blade.
[Yi Yeonghan-nim invited Kim Suho-nim, Kim Hajin-nim, Yi Jiyoon-nim, Rachel-nim, Chae Nayun-nim, Hazuki-nim, and 3 others.]
Yi Yeonghan: [Hihi. This is the group chat for the tunnel team. Chae Nayun told me to make one.]
Chae Nayun: [?When did I say that?]
Yi Yeonghan: [??Huh?]
Chae Nayun: [What]
Kim Suho: [Mm? What’s up with this group chat? What is it for?]
Yi Jiyoon: [Hi Suho~ ㅎ.ㅎ]
Yi Yeonghan: [I don’t know. Chae Nayun told me to make it.]
Kim Suho: [Oh, hey.]
Kim Suho: [Chae Nayun did?]
Chae Nayun: [No no, it wasn’t me. Yi Yeonghan, do you want to die?]
Xie Chen: [Hello~]
Yi Yeonghan: [Oh~ it’s been a while, Chen!]
Yi Yeonghan: [Chae Nayun messaged me. She said to create a group chat, so we can move around together]
Chae Nayun: [When did I say that?? It isn’t me ㅋ really ㅋ you know that he’s a pathological liar, right?]
“…The heck is this?”
When I came back from showering, there were 500 or so new messages on my smartwatch.
It seemed I was in a group chat for the tunnel team.
“Was something like this in the original story?”
I didn’t think so.
I skimmed through the messages.
Cadets usually went to their missions on their own by 10 A.M. By the look of it, they were talking about meeting up and going as a group.
Now that I understood the gist of the conversation, I sent a message.
Not to the group, but to Rachel.
[Rachel-ssi, are you going with the group?]
[Yes, I am.]
[Then you should wear what your attendant gives you.]
“…Ah, what do I do?”
In truth, Rachel has been my biggest concern lately. I had to give her the Butterfly Seedling Dust, but I just couldn’t think of a method to give it to her.
“Should I put it in an accessory?”
The Butterfly Seedling Dust only adhered to targets with hidden potentials.
So, if I could seal up the Butterfly Seedling Dust in an ordinary necklace or bracelet and have Rachel wear it, the dust would naturally seep into her.
That seemed like a decent plan.
Since a necklace would be too overbearing, a bracelet should do.
I could say that she did a good job on the team challenge and use that as an excuse.
I entered an accessory shop with my smartwatch.
I picked out a decently priced accessory that was about 100,000 won.
At that moment, I received a message.
[Hey, did you use to do volunteer work?]
It was Tomer.
[Yeah, I did. But why?]
[…No reason. I was just thinking maybe I should do it too.]
[That’s a good idea.]
[But have you ever met a Latino like me while you were volunteering?]
Did she not find her father’s letter? What happened when she went to that retirement center?
“Ah, she must have met a different nurse.”
If she didn’t meet the head nurse like I did, there was a high chance she didn’t hear about the letter.
[Yeah, I have. Why?]
But no matter how long I waited, Tomer didn’t reply.
Was she planning to message me a week later again?
Well, things must be complicated for Tomer, so I could somewhat understand it.
Evandel called me from the living room.
I put on a t-shirt and walked over.
Hayang was lying on the couch, while Evandel was busily making something in front of the kitchen table.
I quietly watched her for a moment. Two sharply slanted eyes, a protruding mouth, and a four-legged body with a rough hackles.
It was a wolf.
“Wow, what’s this? It looks so good!”
I sat down next to Evandel and stroked her head. Evandel laughed joyfully and pushed the wolf to me.
“Here, it’s Hajin’s.”
“Un, un. Look.”
Evandel tapped the small wolf’s back. Immediately afterwards, the white wolf that was frozen stiff suddenly developed color and ran into my chest growling.
Startled, I closed my eyes and fell on my back.
I quickly opened them back up, but the wolf was nowhere to be seen. Only Evandel was looking at me with mischievous eyes.
“What, did you pull a prank on me? You~!”
“Ah! No, no, uhehe, ah, uhihihi, ahahahaha~”
I tickled Evandel’s sides.
Evandel was especially ticklish. Just tickling her sides was enough to send her crying and rolling around. But since tickling was too harsh of a punishment, I only continued for 30 seconds.
“Aaang… but it’s a present….”
Evandel muttered out of breath on the floor.
Only then did I realize that something was off and look down at my chest, where the wolf jumped into.
There, I was branded with a wolf symbol.
I checked my smartwatch.
[Buff – Infused Ghost Wolf. The wolf recognizes you as its master.]
—Energy of the Wolf
*Increases strength, stamina, speed, and vitality by 0.1 point.
—Sixth Sense of the Wolf
*When a life-threatening danger is sensed, a huge wolf will emerge to protect its master.
—Movement of the Wolf
*You make less sound while walking.
Evandel had finally learned how to make something useful. By the look of it, she wanted to show off to me and earn my praise, but I had misunderstood her instead.
Feeling sorry, I hugged her tightly.
Evandel didn’t say anything. When I looked down, wondering whether she was angry, I found her sound asleep.
She must have used up quite a bit of her physical and mental energy to create this wolf.
I picked her up and carefully put her down on the bed.
When I came back out to the living room, I saw that I received an alert from Violet Banquet.
[You received an item.]
It was likely from Boss.
A purple portal appeared in front of the laptop screen.
A cylindrical object the size of a baseball popped out from the portal.
Although it looked like a Yoplait on the outside, it was actually something called an Under Armor.
[Pinnacle-grade Under Armor] [Pinnacle-grade] [Partial Artifact]
[Stored Mana 5000/5000]
*Increases strength, stamina, vitality, and speed by 0.3 points.
*Uses stored mana to activate the following effects:
-High-rank Defense Enhancement
—Body Shape Correction
*Corrects to your body shape upon equipment.
*Can create a mask that allows you to breathe underwater.
Under Armor, a state-of-the-art defense equipment created by refining artifacts with magic engineering.
When I put the cylinder on my bare chest and infused some magic power into it…
A dark blue mana spread out of the cylinder and enveloped my body.
As a defense equipment made out of mana-producing crystals, an Under Armor easily surpassed 300 million won.
Considering the quality of this Under Armor, it could easily be a billion won or more…
As I thought, Boss had the tendency to undervalue items.
As I put the armor away, I made sure to text Boss a thank you message.
The next day, 9 A.M.
The tunnel team met in front of the Cube Portal Station as promised in the group chat.
With the exception of one person.
“Isn’t Kim Hajin always the last one? Don’t you think so too, Rachel-ssi?”
Yi Yeonghan asked Rachel. He tried to act friendly, but Rachel didn’t react in any way. In fact, her eyes seemed to be saying, ‘it’s bad to talk about someone behind his back.’
“…Kuhum. Ah, there he is.”
Yi Yeonghan pointed to the distance, feeling a bit awkward.
There, a student who wasn’t student-like at all was walking forward.
His hair was pushed up neatly in a pomade style, his beard was trimmed nicely, and he was wearing a black jacket and boots that made him look like he was in his mid-20s.
“He didn’t shave his beard yet. Maybe it’s because a certain someone praised him for it.”
Yi Yeonghan muttered quietly as he nudged Chae Nayun’s shoulder. Flustered, Chae Nayun’s face became flushed.
“W-What about me.”
“I-It’s not like that! He even ignored all the messages I sent him.”
“Oh~? You even messaged him first~?”
As Chae Nayun trembled in anger, Kim Hajin joined up with the group.
“Kim Hajin, you’re three minutes late.”
Yi Yeonghan tapped on his smartwatch as he clicked his tongue.
“It’s fine, it’s only three minutes. Anyways Hajin, you look great today.”
Kim Suho said as he nudged Kim Hajin’s arm.
“Like you’re one to speak.”
Kim Hajin placed his hand on Kim Suho’s waist in response. Chae Nayun was disgusted by how close they became.
“I’ll forgive you since it was only three minutes. Alright, let’s go to Busan~!”
The leader of today’s group was Yi Yeonghan. Despite often being the butt of the joke, he was still the class president.
The group took the Portal to Seoul, then to their destination, Busan.
The most famous tunnel in Busan was the underwater tunnel.
Constructed by the world-renowned architect, Kim Kyunggwan, it passed through the ocean, connecting Japan and China.
The purpose of this tunnel wasn’t trade, but subjugation of sea dwelling monsters and Dungeons.
As the group walked to the underwater tunnel’s entrance, Chae Nayun tapped on Kim Hajin’s shoulder.
“Why didn’t you shave?”
The answer was simple. It was because the beard’s 0.5 charm buff would disappear.
Kim Hajin retorted half-heartedly.
“No, nothing. By the way, why aren’t you replying to my texts? It says you read them too.”
To be completely honest, Kim Hajin was playing hard to get.
Just thinking about it seemed to make Chae Nayun mad as she frowned strongly.
“Ah, over there!”
At that moment, Yi Yeonghan pointed to the distance. A woman was standing in front of the entrance to the underwater tunnel.
“Whoa! Isn’t that Yun Seung-Ah Hero-nim!?”
Hearing Yi Yeonghan, the eyes of the cadets flickered.
The world’s rank 250 Hero, Yun Seung-Ah.
Possessing both beauty and talent, she was often lauded as the future of Korea and looked up to by both civilians and Heroes. In front of such a great figure, a few cadets froze up completely.
When Yun Seung-Ah noticed that we spotted her, she took a step forward.
In an instant, a powerful gale stormed and her single step covered 200 meters.
It was teleportation using magic power combustion.
Her sudden appearance caused several cadets to jump back in surprise.
Meanwhile, Yun Seung-Ah scanned the group with a leisurely smile.
“Suho-ssi, Nayun-ssi, Yeonghan-ssi…”
Then, she began to recite each cadet’s name.
“Rachel-ssi, and… Hajin-ssi? Is that you, Hajin-ssi?”
“Oh my, you changed quite a lot. You… even grew a beard.”
Kim Hajin nodded silently.
“Good morning, everyone. Mm… I’m not good with words, so let’s just head down immediately.”
Yun Seung-Ah gestured with her hand, and everyone followed after her like ducklings following their mother.
Yun Seung-Ah and the cadets got on the elevator.
As the elevator went down, Yun Seung-Ah explained.
“This underwater tunnel is extremely useful. It allows us to hunt sea monsters and serves as a pathway leading to underwater Dungeons.”
It didn’t take long for the elevator to arrive underground.
The underwater tunnel was truly massive. It was as wide as a four-lane highway going both ways and as high as two ogres combined.
Even in reality, the tunnel had rest areas, restaurants, and vehicles driving through.
“We’re still underground, but as we walk farther down the tunnel, you’ll find that we’re surrounded by water. It’s quite a beautiful view.”
Following Yun Seung-Ah’s lead, the group began to walk.
“As you’re walking down this wide main road, you’ll see other roads forking out every once in a while. You can see where those roads lead to by reading the sign. If it says D, it leads to a Dungeon. If it says M, it leads to monsters….”
Shortly afterwards, Yun Seung-Ah’s smartwatch rang loudly.
Yun Seung-Ah frowned and checked its content.
“…Ah shoot, it looks like there’s an emergency situation at the end of the tunnel. I’ll have to go ahead…”
Yun Seung-Ah made an awkward smile.
“I’ll come back quickly, so you can just take a look around in the meanwhile.”
The cadets replied loud and clear.
“Don’t go too far. Stay in groups of 2 and check out the sideroads.”
Yun Seung-Ah was about to leave when she suddenly turned around and snapped her fingers.
“Ah, I’ll form the groups fairly.”
Yun Seung-Ah projected a smartwatch app that began to pair up cadets.
Kim Suho and Chae Nayun.
Yi Yeonghan and Hazuki.
Xie Chen and Yi Jiyoon.
Kim Hajin and Rachel.
The groups were quickly formed.
“Then I’ll be back in a jiffy!”
Before Yun Seung-Ah ran down the tunnel, she winked at Chae Nayun.
However, Chae Nayun smiled bitterly as she watched Yun Seung-Ah run off.
‘You didn’t need to do that…’
Her gaze turned to Kim Hajin, who was laughing as he talked to Rachel.
Chae Nayun clicked her tongue and walked to Kim Suho.
“Hey, Chae Nayun.”
At that moment, Chae Nayun’s smartwatch also rang.
She checked her watch casually.
[This is director of Daehyun Hospital.]
[Today, around 10:23 A.M., Patient Chae Jinyoon showed signs of waking up.]
[Although I can’t say for certain that he will soon wake up, it is surely a great sign.]
Hearing this sudden, unexpected message, Chae Nayun felt her head turn blank.
Author’s note: Yun Seung-Ah’s age has been buffed(?). Now, she’s only 10 years older than Suho!Previous Chapter Next Chapter