Chapter 46. After the Trouble (2)


As expected of a rich young lady, Chae Nayun’s room was huge with a queen-sized bed, a living room, a bathroom that was the size of a public bath, and a gaming room designed for the best virtual gaming experience. Lying comfortably on her bed, Chae Nayun opened the envelope containing her exam reports.

“Whoa, look how thick this is.”

The stack of 24 papers had a sizable thickness.
First, she read the name of the topmost paper’s grader.
Kianu Jin.
He was a spearman who was around rank 100.

[Chae Nayun’s archery skill was extraordinary and her magic power drew out my deepest respect.
The Thousand-Mile Horse is a difficult opponent for most sharpshooters because of its agile speed and sturdy body, but Chae Nayun not only dodged its charges with incredibly nimble movements, but she also…]

“Haha.”

Because he still had poor Korean, there were some grammar mistakes here and there, but it was still readable. She especially liked the words, “her arrows were like a drizzling rain.”

After reading Kianu Jin’s report, Chae Nayun worked her way down the stack.
Some cadets objectively analyzed her battle, while some noticeably filled their reports with praises. But seeing them all remark on her astounding might, the corner of Chae Nayun’s mouth curled up more and more.

“Huu, no.”

Chae Nayun collected her thoughts before they reached cloud nine.

‘Some of them are just flattering you. Be humble.’

After telling herself that, she calmly moved on to the next report.
The report belonged to a familiar name.

[Evaluating cadet – Kim Suho]

“…”

His name shook her heart slightly, but Chae Nayun tried to act unconcerned and furrowed her brows chicly. She quietly read the contents of the report.

[It was a victory of self-conviction.
Recently, Chae Nayun seemed to have doubts about herself. Losing to a rival and being criticized by someone wore down her confidence.
But as expected, Chae Nayun was a born archer who was overflowing with talent.
Against the Thousand-Mile Horse, Chae Nayun showed a battle brimming with confidence. There were no hesitation or doubts in her movements, and her attacks were also on point.
I believe Chae Nayun has already reached a certain realm as an archer. She told me that someone said her talent was lacking, but what Chae Nayun lacked wasn’t talent, but trust in her own abilities.


If she continues to trust in herself as she did today, if she believes in her talent and strides forward, I have the utmost belief that she will become the greatest Hero.]

“…Huua.”

With a thin breath, Chae Nayun softly caressed Kim Suho’s report. She was moved by his heartfelt encouragement. A smile emerged on her face, and her worries and trembling heart settled down.
With her eyes closed, she reaffirmed her belief.

‘A bow suits me. No matter what anyone says, a bow suits me best.’

Chae Nayun carefully placed his report on her bed.
Now, there were two reports remaining. One was anonymous while the other was from Shin Jonghak.
She decided to finish what she started.
First, the anonymous report.

“Hm.”

She picked up the report without much thought.

“…”

But not long afterward, she clenched her hands which were holding onto the report. Beyond the crumpled report, Chae Nayun’s distorted face emerged.

“Iiik, iii, iiik…”

Unlike the others, the anonymous report was filled with criticisms. Its malicious words seemed to strike at her bones directly, and Chae Nayun trembled in anger.

“…Who is the fucker.”

The report was written in a respectful tone, but it was clear what it was trying to say.

‘You have no sense, talent, or brain. You won thanks to your magic power.’

It was anonymous, but Chae Nayun felt like she knew who the writer was.

“Kim Hajin, Kim Hajin, Kim Hajin…!”

She picked up her smartwatch as she fumed with rage.

**


On a fine afternoon, Rachel and I were being questioned by Cube’s investigators.
I was still sore from the added streak of Stigma yesterday, but I still cooperated earnestly thanks to Rachel sitting next to me in an upright position.

“Thank you.”

Outside of the investigation room, on our way back to the Portal Station, I expressed my gratitude at Rachel. As promised, she matched words with me. A royalty’s words must have carried unquestionable trust and grace, as the investigators who were doubting me fully trusted Rachel’s words.

“No, I should be the one to thank you.”

Rachel said so without a change in her expression. Then, she showed her wrist to me. Thanks to treating her injury early, her wrist was fully healed without a scar.

“Is it fine?”

“Yes.”

She spun her wrist nimbly.

“That’s good. So, where are you going?”

“Back home.”

“Ah, to England.”

“Yes.”

I see, so she was going back to England.
It made sense. England should be safer than Cube. The Queen’s residence was a fortress that even a manifested devil couldn’t easily enter.

“Ah, I’m also going hunting right now…”

Because we were going in the same direction, I told Rachel something she didn’t even ask for when suddenly, my smartwatch rang.
It wasn’t a text message, but a call.
From Chae Nayun.
I had a feeling I shouldn’t pick it up, so I ignored it.

“I’m also taking Cube’s Portal, so…”

My smartwatch rang once again. I immediately ended the call.
Then, a message arrived.

[Hey, you wrote that report, didn’t you?]
[I just don’t understand, just how are you in any position to say something like this?]
[I don’t have the sense or talent of an archer? Have you ever used a bow before? I’m so freaking speechless.]
[And you said I’m stupid? What, you think you can mock me because you’re good at studying?]
[You wanna fight? Wanna make a bet? Want me to teach you how hard it is to use a bow?]

“What is this bombshell…”

A barrage of five messages fell on me in just ten seconds.
However, the last message caught my attention.

Bet.

I recalled my Gift’s proficiency level. If I remember correctly, it should be grade 7 and about 67% to the next grade.
Could I defeat Chae Nayun with a bow?
Of course, I purposely nitpicked her flaws during the exam, but Chae Nayun’s archery skill was undoubtedly one of the best among cadets.
Although she was more talented with swords, that didn’t mean she had no talent for bows. Not to mention, she trained in archery for ten years…

[Sure, let’s fight and bet on it. I’ll also use a bow.]

But it was about time to show her the difference between someone of talent and a true genius.
Even if grade 7 wasn’t enough, I had incredible luck on my side. As long as the bet was done with normal arrows rather than magic power arrows, I couldn’t see myself losing.
…But just in case, I should ask for a month to practice.

“…Why isn’t she replying?”

For some reason, Chae Nayun stopped messaging me. Did she think it was meaningless to make a bet with someone who wasn’t an archer?
Looking up, I saw that Rachel had gone ahead. I quickly ran and caught up to her.
Rachel glanced back at me.

“Haha, I’m also using the Portal. I’m going to Wonju.”

“…Ah, yes.”

We walked side by side to the Portal without talking.
We eventually arrived at the Cube Portal Station, which was fairly empty. Because Cube had asked the cadets to leave if possible for a more thorough investigation, most cadets had already left.
Rachel should now take the Seoul Portal to transit through to England, while I'd take the Portal to Wonju.

“Um, if it’s okay… can I ask you what weapon you used back then?”

But before we separated, Rachel asked me a question.
It seemed she found it hard to accept what happened. After all, an assassin who had been threatening her was killed with only two shotgun shots.

“…It’s an extremely expensive weapon, and cadets generally have one or more special abilities.”

That was all I could say.
Rachel stared at me fixedly before nodding.

“Thank you again. I’ll bring something back from England as thanks.”

With that, Rachel left towards the Seoul Portal.

**


I arrived in Gangwondo Wonju. Perhaps because it was midday on a weekday, the Portal Station was bustling with people to the point there was barely any space to breathe.
I plowed through the swarm of people and left the Portal Station.

“Hajin~ Here!”

When I came outside, a man in a well-tailored suit and sunglasses shouted my name. It was Park Soohyuk. Next to him was an HUV, though it was an old model.
He looked completely different.
I approached him with a smile.

“Wow, I almost didn’t notice you. Looks like you had fun with my money. Maybe you should be investigated for embezzlement.”

“Haha, this is a proper business expense. Get in.”

Park Soohyuk opened the back door as though he had done it a thousand times before.
I got in the car.

“Are we stopping at the 1km mark again?”

“Yeah, but we’re going to hunt a lot more today.”

“Great, then I’m going~”

Yoo Yeonha promised me an unlimited supply of bullets. Since I added a setting to the Desert Eagle to make it an evolving weapon, I had to hunt as many monsters as I could when I had time.

“So, how’s the business lately?”

“It’s much better thanks to you. Everything is easier with a car.”

A mode of transportation was an important core item in any business. For a monster hunting agency, an HUV was practically a necessity.

“It’s over there, but there are a lot of people already.”

Not long afterward, we arrived at the entrance of the Field.

“Let’s get off for now.”

“Yeah.”

To get a permit for our vehicle, Park Soohyuk and I got off.

“…Hm?”

But in the distance, I saw a familiar face.
In all honesty, she was eye-catching no matter where she went. Her long black hair fluttered in the air and shone under the sunlight. Her incredibly charming black dress made her stand out even in this sea of people.

Yoo Yeonha.

She was observing the Field, surrounded by people who I presumed to be her guild members. The serious expression she had as she spoke made her seem as though she was an adult.

“Oh right.”

I suddenly recalled that it was about time Yoo Yeonha came to the Wonju’s Field for business.
In the original story, she became the greatest investor for SH Agency. Kim Suho was obviously the reason. After finding out that Kim Suho had a contract with SH Agency, Yoo Yeonha invested an astronomical sum to SH Agency, which turned out to be incredibly successful. It was the point where Park Soohyuk and Yoo Yeonha began to walk the royal road.

“What, do you know her?”

“Mm… I do, but let’s just go.”

She seemed busy, so I pretended not to see her.
But at that moment…

“Eh?”

Yoo Yeonha discovered me.

“Hello?”

Clack, clack. She approached me on her high heels, but the height of her heels was too threatening. She seemed taller than me.

“What are you doing here?”

Yoo Yeonha looked into my eyes and asked. We were at the same eye-level.

“I’m here to make money.”

“Mmm~ I see.”

Yoo Yeonha glanced at Park Soohyuk who was next to me.
It felt like I needed to introduce them to each other, so I did.

“This is my agent.”

“Ah, nice to meet you. I’m SH Agency’s head manager, Park Soohyuk.”

“I’m Yoo Yeonha. I’m still a cadet.”

“Ah, yes.”

I stole a peek at the two of them.
Park Soohyuk and Yoo Yeonha.
Though it wasn’t my intention, their meeting was moved forward by three years. As for the consequences, I wasn’t sure. But it didn’t seem like a bad thing.
I also glanced at the four men standing behind Yoo Yeonha like guards. Their equipment were all high-class goods.

“Ah, they’re members of Essence of the Strait.”

Yoo Yeonha introduced them to us. The members stood around, not knowing how to react, but Yoo Yeonha’s stinging glare immediately caused them to bow.

“Essence of the Strait…?”

Disbelief emerged on Park Soohyuk’s face. Essence of the Strait was the rank 2 guild. Park Soohyuk must never have imagined being in contact with them.

Wiing—
At that moment, my smartwatch rang.
It was from Chae Nayun.

[Haa, what would I gain by betting with someone who doesn’t know anything about bows? Just screw off.]

It seemed she was planning on ignoring me, but I couldn’t let that happen.
I kindled her rage.

[What, you’re scared?]

[Ha. You wanna die? I was going easy on you, so don’t you…]

[Just like you said, I’ve never even touched a bow before. But if it’s you… one month. One month is enough for me to catch up to your level. Of course, that’s strictly in archery.]

After sending the message, I crossed my arms.
But suddenly, Yoo Yeonha asked.

“…Are you perhaps texting Nayun?”

Startled, I stared at her.

“W-What, how did you know?”

Wasn’t I the only one capable of hacking into others’ smartwatches?
Yoo Yeonha grinned and put up a hologram of her smartwatch screen.

[Hey, look what this kid is saying to me. I’m speechless. S.P.E.E.C.H.L.E.S.S. Do I take on this bet?]

From the looks of it, Chae Nayun was telling her friends about what I said and asking them for advice.

“Aha.”

I spoke shortly.

“Tell her to do it.”

“Eh? Have you used a bow before?”

“Nope, not even once.”

I haven’t even touched one. In fact, before coming to this world, I haven’t even seen them outside of movies and the Olympics.

“But I only need a month to beat her.”

However, this was a contest of pure skill. My Master Sharpshooter Gift was specialized for the sharpshooter role, while Chae Nayun’s Gift didn’t directly support a role and was more relevant to swords.
Although grade 7 was a bit on the edge, my victory was certain if I reached grade 6.

“How can you be so confident? Isn’t your Gift related to guns?”

“…”

I stared at Yoo Yeonha silently. I was pondering on how to answer her question.

“Tsk, fine. I won’t ask. So sensitive…”

But Yoo Yeonha misunderstood my reaction and clicked her tongue before I had the chance to answer.
She then stared at Park Soohyuk and his HUV before asking.

“Ah, if you’re here to hunt, can I come with you?”

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