Chapter 11. Change (1)


After spending the rest of Friday working out and training, it became Saturday before I noticed.

[Traveling Club Announcement]
—There will be a short trip on Sunday to serve as a freshman orientation.

The traveling club’s orientation was today. The meeting place was ‘Cube Portal Station’, which connected Cube to Seoul.
After stuffing my gun in my cross bag, I walked to the meeting place. Many of the leading characters — namely Kim Suho, Yi Yeonghan, Chae Nayun, and Yoo Yeonha — were already present.

They seemed completely oblivious to my existence, but being with them still made me nervous. Today in Seoul, an unexpected incident would occur. This would be the story’s first major incident.
While I was organizing today’s impending incident in my head, the club president arrived.

“Hello, I’m the club president, Oh Hanhyun. I didn’t believe it when I saw so many club applications, but… it’s real. Who knew such amazing cadets would join my club?”

With his average height and gentle first impression, Oh Hanhyun looked around the club members while scratching his neck.

“First, I’ll give a short introduction about the traveling club.”

With a bashful smile, he took out a piece of paper from his pocket. It looked like he had a speech prepared. I described Oh Hanhyun as a timid person, so I wasn’t too surprised with his actions.

“Kuhum. Once or twice a month, we will leave Cube to travel. The purpose of the travel is to relax. So training during trips will be strictly forbidden. It’s also why our club is called ‘Healing Rain.’”

Kuhum. After clearing his throat once more, he put the paper away. What, that was it?

“Today, as part of the orientation, we’ll take a short trip to Seoul.”

From here was what I wrote. The club members would form 2-people groups and go to Seoul.

“We’ll have a theme for each trip. Since today’s meant to be an orientation, we’ll just have a free trip without anything complicated. But instead of traveling alone, we’ll split into groups of two.”

Here, Kim Suho would be paired with Chae Nayun and run into trouble while they were looking around a museum. As for that trouble, I would be able to experience it soon.

“Then we’ll start by drawing lots.”

Drawing lots was completely based on luck, but I could choose my fate. Thanks to my Gift, ‘Observation and Reading,’ I could see the content of the lots clearly. With my hand on my chin, I fell in thought. Should I choose Kim Suho? Or Chae Nayun?

“I’ll go first.”

At that moment, Yoo Yeonha stepped up. I watched her pull out a name without much thought. In the next instant, I realized I overlooked one vital information. It was the oddity known as Kim Hajin.
The lot drawn by Yoo Yeonha had the following name.

“Kim Hajin.”

My heart dropped immediately. But there was no change in Yoo Yeonha's facial expression.
With her usual mask in place, she stared at me with calm eyes.

**


Thankfully, everything else had remained unchanged. Kim Suho became pairs with Chae Nayun, and Yi Yeonghan became pairs with the club president.
After drawing lots was over, the members gathered by their pairs and stood in front of the Portal.

Portal, the cutting-edge technology utilizing magic science and engineering. With a height of 15 meters and width of 30 meters, this giant gate was built in over a hundred places throughout Korea. With it, going from Seoul to Busan took less than 3 seconds.

“Cadet Kim Ha Jin. Confirmed.”

The Portal operator gave us a seal. This seal would resonate with the Portal and take us to Seoul.

“Let’s go.”

The club president went in first. The next to enter the swaying blue Portal was Kim Suho, Yi Yeonghan, Chae Nayun… and finally me.

A strange feeling enveloped my body, but only for a moment.

In the blink of an eye, the surrounding scenery changed to an unfamiliar place. A futuristic mixture of blue and grey, it had to be Seoul Portal Station. With just two steps, I had crossed the East Sea.

“It’s 12 P.M. right now, so we’ll meet back here at 6.”

Because the Portal we were at was connected to Cube, there wasn’t anyone around. But the Portal next doors connecting Seoul to Busan should be crowded with people. After all, they were both global cities.

“For now, follow me.”

Following the club president, we received another seal from the Portal employees before leaving the Portal Station.
After coming outside, I could immediately see the words, ‘Yongsan Station.’

“You can go wherever you want as a pair using the public transportation system. For today, we won’t require you to write a report, but make sure you’re back by 6. If you’re late, you’ll be penalized.”

With a warning from the club president, cadets left as pairs.
Yoo Yeonha didn’t say anything to me, but I followed behind her for now.
When I was checking out how Yongsan Station changed from what I knew, Yoo Yeonha suddenly came to a stop. After quickly turning around, she blurted out sharply.

“Let’s split up.”

“…Hm? Oh, yeah, sure.”

Yoo Yeonha most likely planned to visit the guild her father ran. I was fine with it. I planned to join Kim Suho no matter what Yoo Yeonha did.

“Again.”

But as though I ticked her off again, she glared at me with her hand on her hip.

“Don’t talk to me so casually.”[1]

“…Huh?”

“This is the second warning. There won’t be a third time.”

I knew that she wasn’t bluffing. If I did it a third time, she might really get back at me in an unthinkable way.

“Yes, I understand. I apologize.”

“… Tsk.”

Young lady Yoo Yeonha then walked away without a goodbye. It was clear how much she disliked me.
Thus, Yoo Yeonha and I split up after just 5 minutes of arriving in Seoul.

**

“Whew, I thought I was lost.”

After switching buses three times, I finally arrived at the National Weapons Museum. Replicas of weapons excavated by Korea were displayed in this museum.
Today, an incident would occur here. With a trembling heart, I walked in.

—Daddy, what’s that?
—Oh, that’s the Four Tiger Sword…

Perhaps because it was a weekend, the museum was bustling with parents and children who hoped to become Heroes.
But no matter the size of a crowd, there was bound to be people who stood out. Chae Nayun and Kim Suho were such examples, but I could only see Chae Nayun for now.

“…I want it.”

Smacking her lips, she was eyeing a bow in a glass display.
But my target today wasn’t Chae Nayun. Looking around, I began to look for someone. It didn’t take long. The main character’s tall and handsome features easily stood out.
Approaching him furtively, I scanned the weapon Kim Suho was looking. Thankfully, it was a weapon I knew.

“Is this the famous Seven-Branched Sword?”

Before the Korean Peninsula was yet unified, the king of Baekje, the then most powerful kingdom, had bestowed this iron sword to the Japanese emperor. It was a historical weapon said to have been found in the final room of the Wiryeseong Dungeon.[2]

“Hm? Ah…”

Kim Suho’s sight turned to me from the Seven-Branched Sword. However, it seemed he was at a loss for words. I had a good idea why.

“Kim Hajin.”

“Ah, right. Sorry, I didn’t expect to meet you here, so I forgot.”

With a kind smile, he pointed at another section of the museum.

“Apparently, the rifle Napoleon used is here. Have you seen it?”

“…Napoleon’s rifle?”

“Yep. Apparently, it was a reward from a Dungeon in France.”

According to my world setting, any weapon used by a legendary figure could become an artifact. Since that was the case, it wasn’t weird for there to be Napoleon’s rifle, even though I didn’t mention it in my novel.
Though I did want a rare weapon, I wasn’t really interested in a replica.

“No, I don’t think I’ll have time.”

I unintentionally answered without zeal.
I felt strange talking to the main character I wrote. I wasn’t sure how to describe this feeling, but it definitely wasn’t pleasant.
Kim Suho was handsome, exceptional in martial arts, and had a fantastic personality. He was too perfect, so he felt inhumane. That was why some readers rooted for Shin Jonghak.
Anyways, it should be about time.
I tapped on the ground with my sneakers.

“Then…”

Right when Kim Suho was saying something…

—BOOM!

A thunderous sound reverberated through the museum. In an instant, everyone became silent.
Koong. Koong. Koong. Repeated thuds pulsed through the deathly silence.
The sound resembling the footsteps of a giant creature soon led to the sound of something breaking. The atmosphere in the museum took a quick turn.

“Kyaaaak!”

“What is that!?”

The unknown led to anxiety, and anxiety quickly led to panic. Ordinary visitors screamed and began to run. However, only death was waiting outside. The safest place was the museum’s inside.

“Stay here! Don’t go out!”

Knowing that it would be dangerous outside, Kim Suho shouted.
Currently, the outside of the museum was being attacked by an intermediate rank monster and its subordinates.
Just a single intermediate rank monster posed little threat. A Hero would arrive in less than a minute, and 20 minutes was enough to take care of the entire situation.
But that wasn’t the only problem.
Djinn.
There was a Djinn here. Simply put, it was a double-pronged attack. After coming to a scene, Heroes went to the most dangerous area. Since the museum had security guards, it was less dangerous comparatively, putting it on a lower priority. Taking advantage of this fact, the Djinn Association dispatched an assassin to target a child considered by the Hero Association to have a special Gift.

Clang—

A sharp sound resounded. It was the sound of glasses shattering. The source of the sound wasn’t far away. Turning towards the direction of the sound, Kim Suho shouted.

“Chae Nayun!”

Chae Nayun had broken a display case and was taking out the bow inside.

“Are you crazy!?”

“No, I’m perfectly sane.”

Though it was only a replica, it was still an item on display. The museum’s siren rang and its defense mechanism activated. In just three seconds, all exits closed down. People panicked even more, but thankfully, even an intermediate rank monster couldn’t break through the barriers blocking the exits.

“This is better than stopping people one by one and warning them.”

With that, she cleared her throat and shouted at the panicking citizens.

“Everyone! Stay still! It’s safer here! We’re Heroes too!”

“Hey, you…”

“Shut it. Don’t just stand there, grab a weapon too.”

“What? Why should I?”

“Because it’s the outside that’s dangerous”

Looking at us… No, at Kim Suho, Chae Nayun created a magic arrow on her bow.

“Look there.”

She pointed with her eyes. A man wearing a black coat was standing there. Before Kim Suho could say anything, Chae Nayun fired her bow without a shred of hesitation.

“Hey, don’t—”

Her magic arrow pierced the man’s throat. Immediately, Kim Suho froze. He seemed dazed by Chae Nayun’s sudden murder.

Any ordinary person would have died to her arrow. However, the man grabbed the arrow sticking out of his neck and pulled it out. Black magic power then rose up from his hand, burning the arrow to ash.
Tap, tap.
The man then turned around, facing the direction the arrow came from. His eyes burned red, as fierce hostility shot out of him.

“…”

Without a doubt, he was a Djinn.
Kim Suho’s face paled. Just like Chae Nayun, he shattered a display case.
He took out the Seven-Branched Sword. Though it was a replica, its faithful reconstruction made it similar to a high grade weapon. It should be strong enough to destroy a Djinn of this level.

“Oh, that’s a nice weapon. I heard it splits into seven branches.”

Chae Nayun approached with a smirk and stood by Kim Suho’s side.
I also took out my handgun. I thought about standing next to them, but after consideration, took two steps backward.
I was still too weak. If I showed off too much and got targeted by the Djinn, that would be the end of me.


1. In Korean, there’s a clear way to talk politely or casually (like between friends). Yeonha uses a strictly polite speech, while MC is using casual speech that would be between friends/people of the same age.

2. Wiryeseong is the name of two early capitals of Baekje

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

FudgeNouget's Thoughts

Edit: Portal Post changed to Portal Station