Chapter 21. Second Incident (1)


“By risking his life to subjugate a Djinn, he has shown himself to be a model citizen… This commendation proves his excellent service for the good of society and his exemplary behavior which would motivate others. Cadet Kim Suho.”

Yoo Sihyuk handed Kim Suho the commendation certificate without adding any needless commentary. Kim Suho then took the certificate with honor and dignity.

“Chae Nayun, same as above.”

Next was Chae Nayun.

“Kim Hajin, same as above.”

Then me.

“The conferment ceremony is now over.”

With the host’s announcement, the conferment ceremony came to an end. One hour and thirty minutes of rehearsal and one hour of waiting had been reduced to just five minutes. It was so quick that I didn’t even have time to feel wronged.

“Oh, by the way…”

Yoo Sihyuk, who was about to leave the garden, suddenly stopped as though he remembered something.

“The reward for the Djinn subjugation is 15 million won. I almost forgot to tell you.”

The moment I heard that, I felt grateful for everything. To the Cube associate who forced me out of bed this morning, the one-hour thirty-minute rehearsal, and even the man who was late by an hour.

“Good luck. We’ll meet again if chance allows it.”

Yoo Sihyuk then left with a bored smile.
We saw him off with our eyes, then came down from the podium. Before we could even touch the ground, guild associates flocked towards us.
However, they were only interested in Kim Suho and Chae Nayun. No one approached me. They most likely thought I was only lucky to have been with them at the time of the incident.
But that didn’t mean I was disappointed. Such was the life of an extra.
But my face automatically reddened at the clear ostracization, and thus I quickly left the venue.

**

I ran away to a nearby coffee shop. After ordering a drink, I sat down and turned on my laptop.

The reason was simple. I had not checked the laptop’s new functionality yet. I didn’t have the time. Yesterday, I fainted at the pain that came with the update’s completion, and when I woke up, I was dragged to the conferment ceremony.

[Updated Features]
▷’Book of Truth’ has been added to the Gift, 「Observation and Reading」
▷Internet has been added to the laptop.
▷Stigma.

There were three new features. The first thing that caught my attention was the second addition.
‘Internet has been added to the laptop.’
It caught my attention because it was too ordinary. After all, I could use my smartwatch to access the internet.
But it was unlikely for the laptop’s feature to be so ordinary.
I opened the internet on my laptop.

“…Aha.”

I immediately understood when I saw the ‘internet’. The internet window had rows of dull texts, but they were all too familiar.

===
[List of Currently Accessible Websites]
▷Righteous Mind
▷Violet Banquet


▷Sword of Jeremy
===

It seemed the laptop’s internet also allowed me to access websites that I needed to pay to enter. It was a hacking tool in a way.
Among the numerous websites, a specific name caught my attention.

===
▷Violet Banquet
*Website for trading undisclosed information, weapons, bounties, and commissions.
*SP needed for obtaining an ID: 200
===

Violet Banquet.
It was the most famous website in the dark web. Still, it had over a million members. The real pearl of Violet Banquet wasn’t the website, but its ‘sellers’. Violet Banquet was only a place for them to gather.
Plentiful sellers flocked at the anonymous information, weapons, bounties, and commission trading website, which didn’t care for the law. While the government knew about this underground market, they had no choice but to stay silent as this black market was frequented by almost all Heroes. As a joke, a Hero wasn’t called a true Hero unless one had a Violet Banquet membership.

Naturally, one needed to pay an enormous sum to become Violet Banquet’s member, but I only needed 200 SP to obtain an ID.

“Ah, there you are.”

It was at that moment that a charming voice and scent flowed towards me. Just by hearing the voice, I could tell who it was. I immediately straightened my back and focused on the movement behind me.

The owner of the voice then walked over and sat down on the seat in front of me in a smooth motion.
It was Yun Seung-Ah.

“You know me, right?”

Her eyes formed an arc as she stared at me.

“You don’t?”

Yun Seung-Ah asked again. I shook my head. There were few people in this world who didn’t know ‘vice-leader Yun Seung-Ah.’

“No, I know.”

“That’s a relief. I was surprised because you suddenly disappeared. There was something I wanted to give you.”

Yun Seung-Ah handed me her business card, which was adorned with gold.

[Guild, Creator’s Sacred Grace, vice-leader Yun Seung-Ah.]

While I sat speechless looking at the business card, Yun Seung-Ah continued.

“There’s a lot I want to talk about, but unfortunately, I don’t have enough time. I spent too long looking for you, Hajin cadet-nim.”

Yun Seung-Ah giving out her business card wasn’t a simple matter. It was the first step of Yun Seung-Ah style recruiting I outlined in my novel.

“There’s something I want to ask. Can I?”

I stared at Yun Seung-Ah’s eyes. Her beautiful brown pupils were absolutely calm.

“No.”

“Did you destroy the Djinns… Hm?”

Yun Seung-Ah might look kind and graceful on media, but in truth, she was extremely cold-hearted. Even talents she eagerly brought in were thrown away if they didn’t meet her expectations. Bringing in what’s necessary and throwing away what isn’t. Survival of the fittest was Yun Seung-Ah’s true mindset, which wasn’t known to the media. It was her belief that a lazy person would continue to be lazy and a person falling behind would continue to fall behind.

“Don’t ask.”

I gave back her business card.

“Eh? Um, Hajin cadet-nim? I think you’re misunderstanding something. I’m interested in you, as the vice-leader of a rank 1 guild.”

“I’m thankful for your interest, but only if that’s real interest.”

With what I knew about Yun Seung-Ah’s personality, she should be here because I used a light attribute bullet.
The interest she had in me was only curiosity. With a single gust of wind, her interest could cool down, and she could even forget my name. So, for the sake of SP, playing hard to get would probably be more memorable.

“I’ll be off. There’s a lot I need to do. It’s almost time for midterm exams, you see.”

I got up before Yun Seung-ah. Her surprised eyes chased after me.
I quickly left the coffee shop.
What Yun Seung-Ah was thinking now was none of my business.

**


1 P.M.
The reward money had arrived by the time I came back to the dorm. It was a clean 15 million won, unaffected by taxes. It was clear what I had to do with it. Without hesitation, I purchased Packhorse Master’s stocks. With over 100,000 stocks, I was likely a majority shareholder.

“Huhu… Ah, right.”

I suddenly remembered what I didn’t finish in the coffee shop. The two other features of the update – Book of Truth and Stigma.
First, I looked at ‘Stigma.’

[You can freely use the magic power stored inside Stigma, which will slowly regenerate over 24 hours even if depleted.]

“…So how do I use it?”

There was a tattoo-like Stigma on my left upper arm. But Stigma aside, I couldn’t even wield the magic power in my body.
Furthermore, it was likely that I would never be able to wield it, as I described magic power in my novel as an “ability in which innate talent and early education is most important.”
But this was likely the reason why the co-author gave me such an irregular magic power.

“I can freely use it…?”

Since it said I could ‘freely’ use it, I thought about using it.
That was all I did.
Immediately, Stigma’s magic power became unleashed. Blue light erupted from the Stigma, enveloping my upper arm. The magic power then flowed down my veins, reaching my fingertips before shooting out and manifesting into shapes. First, it formed a triangle, then a circle, then a blade.

Its mysteriousness multiplied when I thought about the Book of Truth.

The magic power branched together and formed a single book. The book’s cover waved as though it was made of water. I glanced at my veins, which had turned blue, and the strange book that had formed in the air.
At that moment, a strange voice rang out in my ear.

[This book contains truth. Ask it anything. It will answer as long as you have enough magic power.]

“…So that’s how this works.”

The words, “as long as you have enough magic power”, hung on my mind, but it was undoubtedly a great Gift.

When I was about to ask it something as a test…

Wiing— Wiing— Wiing—

An emergency alarm rang out on my smartwatch.
The sound was similar to a phone’s disaster alert, it couldn’t be ignored. I put my magic power away and turned on my smartwatch.

[Looking for the last person who has last seen World class’ novice cadet, ‘Jin Hajung’.]
[Looking for the last person who has last seen World class’ novice cadet, ‘Jin Hajung’.]

I immediately knew what was happening.
The next arc had begun. The name of this arc was ‘Cube’s Serial Disappearance Incident’. As the word ‘serial’ suggested, there would be six victims during the course of this arc.
This arc played a fairly important role in the story.
The sole reason being that Yoo Yeonha was the final victim. This was the decisive trigger that would bring Kim Suho and Yoo Yeonha closer together.

[Hello.]

Speaking of the devil, Yoo Yeonha suddenly messaged me.

[What?]

[The text from just now, that isn’t your doing, right?]

Was she insane?

[No, why?]

[Then nevermind.]

[Alright.]

[By the way, I heard you fought a Djinn last week.]

[…What are you trying to say?]

Changing the topic over and over again until the other side brought up the topic she wanted to talk about, that was Yoo Yeonha’s specialty.

[Do you know about the Giant Swamp Soldier?]

I couldn’t help but laugh. It seemed she wanted me to tell her its vital point.

The Giant Swamp Soldier was a high-rank monster known for its 30m height. Just like its name suggested, it was rare sight in Korea, as Korea didn’t have large swamps. By the looks of it, her guild must have gotten information about its location.

[I wouldn’t tell you even if I knew.]

There shouldn’t be many guilds in the country who knew about the Giant Swamp Soldier’s vital point.

[I can buy the information.]

[No.]

I cut her off resolutely. Mountain Tyrant was enough to serve as her ‘accomplishment’.

[Why not? I can offer a lot.]

It was true that Yoo Yeonha would become successful in the future, but her personality had yet to change. Currently, she didn’t hesitate to mercilessly cut down her enemies. Before the right influence changed her temperament, it was dangerous to give her wings.

[To be completely honest, I don’t know. How would I know the vital point of a monster that doesn’t appear in Korea?]

And this was true. Although I was this world’s author, there were things I didn’t know. While I created the Giant Swamp Soldier, I only gave it a rough sketch. Since it was a golem type monster, I only thought that an attribute that countered swamps would work well against it. I never wrote any specific details down.

After not replying for a long time, Yoo Yeonha ended the conversation with a single message.

[From now on, don’t talk to me so casually.]

“Pftt.”

A smirk emerged inadvertently.
As I thought, even if Yoo Yeonha acted adult-like…

“…Still a high schooler, huh.”

She was still only 17.

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