Chapter 15. For Growth (2)


Today’s combat training came to an end.
Though I was exhausted, I still had to go to the academic club. After that, I had to do my daily workout. Thinking about the agony of my daily life, I became depressed. If I knew this would happen, I would have put more points into perseverance.

…In any case, I was currently heading to the academic club’s clubroom. Perhaps because this was the usual path she took or because we had a similar personality, I could see Yoo Yeonha in front of me.

Yoo Yeonha herself didn’t see me and continued walking. When she arrived at the clubroom, she stood in front of the door and took out a hand mirror. She lightly checked to see whether or not anything was on her. But at that exact moment, her eyes met mine.

“What a coincidence, right?”

“…”

Ignoring me, Yoo Yeonha walked in. I also followed. Yoo Yeonha sat on a sunny seat, while I took the dark corner seat.
Yun Hyuk, the club president, was already standing on the podium. Wearing his glasses, he seemed to be organizing today’s lecture notes.

Not long afterward, 43 first years arrived along with 20 upperclassmen. At seven on the dot, Yun Hyuk began the first academic club lecture.

“Good evening, everyone. The weather’s starting to get…”

Any useless talk went into one ear and left from the other.

“Today, we will discuss monsters’ vital points. As I’m sure you all know, the location of a monster’s vital point is an important piece of information in defeating a monster. You can see how critical this information can be by looking at senior Seo Youngji. By reaching the pinnacle of this ability, she has reached top 2000 on Hero rankings.”

A hologram of Seo Youngji’s specs popped up on the projection screen.
A Hero’s specs were summarized into strength, dexterity, durability, constitution, and magic power. Other than dexterity, Seo Youngji’s specs were all under intermediate rank, but her dexterity was at the Master rank. For the record, only 300 Heroes in the world had Master ranked dexterity.

“Senior Seo Youngji even hunted a high rank monster by herself.”

As he said, Seo Youngji was a well-known character in this world. Though she had an introverted personality, I was sure I would meet her since she played an important role in the story.

“But don’t think monsters’ vital points are the same as a human’s. For us, the eyes, heart, and head serve as vital points, but that isn’t always the case for monsters.”

To add on, a monster’s vital point became stranger the higher ranked it was.

“Now, let’s take a look at an example.”

In an instant, a hologram of a monster appeared on the screen.
Though it looked similar to a mountain tiger, its giant body, bloodshot eyes, and ferocious teeth clearly indicated that it wasn’t a normal tiger.

“This monster is called the Mountain Tyrant. It can be classified anywhere from intermediate rank to high rank. As one of the first monsters to have appeared during Outcall, it has been known for 50 years, but its vital point hasn’t been discovered yet.”

With that, Yun Hyuk paused and made a meaningful smile.

“…At least, that’s how things are in public. In reality, even if an individual or a guild knew its vital point, they wouldn’t reveal it to the public. They likely weren’t allowed to either.”

He was right. In this world, information was an industry. There were large corporations solely focused on gathering and researching information on monsters, and in a smaller scale, private detectives and detective agencies gathered and sold information. As such, leaking such information was heavily penalized.

Of course, requiring this information to be public would greatly help humanity fight against monsters, but the power of capitalism suppressed any debates on this topic.

“Now, where do you think this Mountain Tyrant’s vital point is?”

Yun Hyuk gave Yoo Yeonha a meaningful look. A Mountain Tyrant’s vital point, Yoo Yeonha likely had no clue. Even I only created the setting and never used it. There just wasn’t a chance for the main character to go tiger-hunting.

“…”

As I thought, she didn’t seem to know. Seeing as how she was fiddling with her hair and looking around, it seemed she was ashamed for not knowing the answer.

“Would anyone like to guess?”

I, of course, knew the answer. It was a good opportunity to stand out, but I didn’t raise my hand. Yun Hyuk was acting like he did. Though his pretentious face irritated me, I wanted to see what he was scheming.

“I…”

At that moment, a girl raised her hand. I was surprised. Who the heck was that?

“Is it his nose?”

She guessed with a flushed face.
She was just an extra who fell for Yun Hyuk.

*


The academic club continued for two hours. Unexpectedly, there was a lot to learn like the vital points of monsters, compatibility between attributes, and the difference between a magic and a spell. I learned in detail about things I had lazily explained in my novel, all the while I watched cute female cadets discuss the topic.

“We have an after-party planned at a nearby restaurant! It’ll be great if you can come!”

Anyways, after the club ended, Yun Hyuk announced that there was an after-party at a nearby restaurant.
For some reason, Yoo Yeonha seemed interested in going. Feeling a bit worried, I followed her. I knew she wasn’t the type to participate in things like after-parties.

“Hey, you going?”

I approached her casually and asked.
She didn’t respond.
Thinking it was because of the way I talked, I asked again.

“Are you going?”

She ignored me again.
This time, I asked with even more decorum and propriety.

“Are you also going to the after-party, Yeonha-ssi?”

Only then did Yoo Yeonha respond with a faint nod.

“Why? Aren’t you busy?”

“…Tsk.”

‘This fool.’
That was what Yoo Yeonha’s eyes were saying.

“Why are you going?”

“Aren’t you curious about the Mountain Tyrant’s vital point?”

“…Huh?”

Oh, I get it now.

Public information on the Mountain Tyrant was scant to say the least. Not only did its strength vary greatly from individual to individual, it also lived in an extremely remote place. Although the Mountain Tyrant’s leather sold for a hefty price, it was hard to plan a hunt when one couldn’t be sure of the efficient number of people to bring.

Yoo Yeonha was the successor of a major guild.
So the reason Yun Hyuk acted like he knew the Mountain Tyrant’s vital point was this. Because I didn’t write my novel from Yoo Yeonha’s point of view, I didn’t exactly write out how Yun Hyuk managed to coax Yoo Yeonha. It seemed ‘guild’ was the keyword for luring her out.
Yoo Yeonha had a guild lineage. Her clan had risen to power during Outcall 50 years ago, thanks to the massive success of her family’s first generation head.
Her family was still a successful Hero clan, but Yoo Yeonha had a bit of an inferiority complex. Compared to a true noble clan, she felt her family was lacking. This was why she saw Shin Jonghak favorably, and it was also why she was overly obsessed with face and decorum.

“…The Mountain Tyrant’s vital point?”

Was this a good chance to make an investment? There was a lot to gain from keeping a cordial relationship with Yoo Yeonha. With great proficiency in handling businesses and at calculating profitability, she was destined to become the ‘King of Seoul’ in the future.

“I’m not curious. I already know.”

“What?”

Yoo Yeonha asked again as she furrowed her brows. She looked thoroughly annoyed on top of being in disbelief.
At that moment, I made my decision. Using this information that would be publicized one day, I would draw Yoo Yeonha’s interest and instill a sense of mystery into her. Considering the SP and additional benefits I would gain from it, it was an acceptable trade.
I lowered my voice to a whisper and relayed the information to her in a serious tone.

“The Mountain Tyrant’s vital point is on the heel of its hindleg.”

“What nonsense are you…”

“There’s a blue mark on its hindleg’s heel. But its DNA determines whether it’s the right hindleg or the left. That’s probably why its vital point hasn’t been discovered until now.”

I was the one who created the setting for the Mountain Tyrant. I was inspired by the story of Achilles’ Heel when I made the setting. It was unlikely that this setting was changed, as tiny details seemed to be left untouched.

“The Mountain Tyrant’s body is tough, but this blue mark on its heel is the only place that’s soft. That’s the Mountain Tyrant’s vital point. If you strategize around it, it should be easy to rob it of its two hind legs.”

The value of this information had to be tens of millions of won. But considering my current credibility, it likely wouldn’t be over 100 won.

“…Nuthead.”

As expected, Yoo Yeonha gave a disdainful look as though she was looking at an insect. She then began to walk away. I followed after her.

“It’s true. Believe me.”

“Would you believe me if our positions were swapped?”

“…”

I, of course, wouldn’t have believed her.

“It’s your choice whether to believe me or not…”

I hoped she would.

“Hey!”

At that moment, Yun Hyuk suddenly cut in between Yoo Yeonha and me. Shoving me back slightly, he asked.

“Don’t you think you’re being too pushy?”

Because of this cheesy son of a bitch’s height, I had to look up at him. But instead, I turned to Yoo Yeonha.

“Am I bothering you?”

“Yes.”

“Heh.”

She gave a cold hearted reply. I grew angry at Yun Hyuk’s mocking laugh.

“By the way, are you also coming to the after-party?”

He spoke condescendingly. I shook my head.

“I’m not.”

“Then don’t bother other people too much. Um, Yeonha-ssi…?”

However, Yoo Yeonha had already begun to walk away.

“Heh.”

I returned what I received. With a distorted face, Yun Hyuk chased after Yoo Yeonha. I, on the other hand, simply watched them leave.

I gave Yoo Yeonha a valuable information, but I didn’t know whether she would use it or forget about it. In the case of the former, I would gain a likely ally, and in the case of the latter… nothing would happen.

In any case, I had nothing to lose.

**


On a dark winter night, Yoo Yeonha was deep in thought as she tapped on her desk with her pen.

Tomorrow, ‘Essence of the Strait’ guild’s elite team would go out to hunt a Mountain Tyrant.
They had secretly purchased information about a lone Mountain Tyrant living in Kumgang Mountain, and they had already confirmed its size with a scout.

It was estimated to be high-intermediate rank grade 1. The strength of its pelt reached Promentium, a tough ore found after Outcall. As such, the guild would gain an astronomical income if the hunt was successful.

But Yoo Yeonha was worried about one thing. It wasn’t for the safety of the elite hunting team. The current vice-leader of ‘Essence of the Strait’ held too much power. She felt her seat as the guild’s successor threatened.
Right, Yoo Yeonha’s worry was about this. To succeed the guild without a problem, she had to start making contributions.

In the end, Yoo Yeonha turned on her smartwatch. Using its communication functionality, she made a phone call. Soon, the receiver picked up, and a hologram screen popped up.

“…Um, Uncle?”

—Yes, Young Lady.

On the screen was Kim Sangho. He was a veteran in his forties, who was her father’s most trusted right arm. Ever since she was a child, Yoo Yeonha treated him like her real uncle.

—What’s wrong?

Though she made the call, Yoo Yeonha was too embarrassed to say anything.

A blue mark on its heel? You can disable both of its hind legs by attacking it? Just what was I doing, fooled by that crazy’s nonsense?

“Um, I’m saying this just in case…”

But the possibility wasn’t zero and it didn’t seem like it would hurt to try. Though it came from that crazy nutjob, there had to be a reason he was so confident. Justifying herself, Yoo Yeonha caught her breath.

—Yes, Young Lady?

“Um, I know it sounds crazy, but…”

Closing her eyes and clenching her fists, she spoke.

“If things are looking rough, try looking at its hind legs’ heels.”

—…Hindlegs’ heels?

Kim Sangho furrowed his brows.
Yoo Yeonha knew what that meant. But if she could be of help, and if this information was real…

“Yes, its hind legs’… heels. Either on its left or right heel, there should be… well, I’m not sure if it’s true, but…”

Yoo Yeonha continued while risking being embarrassed.

“If there is a blue mark there, try aiming for that place.”

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FudgeNouget's Thoughts

Edit: I originally planned on translating oppa/unni as older sister/older brother, but realized that it's a bit tricky when the terms appear while people are talking.

So, I will use Unni/Oppa (Hyung, etc.) when characters are talking to each other, and use older sister/brother otherwise (I will use my discretion and use whichever one fits the context best).

P.S. I will mention this again in tomorrow's TL thought for the early readers who didn't quote catch this message.