After finishing his evening training, Kim Suho headed to Cube’s cafeteria. Although Cube had several restaurants and cafes, the cafeteria was the only place cadets could eat for free. As such, Kim Suho and other cadets from non-wealthy backgrounds frequented this place. Most likely because it was summer break, only few cadets were inside the cafeteria.
Kim Suho ordered a dinner set, then headed to grab a random seat.
“Huh? Why are you guys here?”
But on one table, he found two people he never expected to see, Yoo Yeonha and Chae Nayun. They were whispering to themselves and were startled when Kim Suho came up to them. Then, they dodged each other’s gazes with somewhat awkward gesticulations.
“O-Oh, you’re here.”
Chae Nayun then spoke up.
“What were you two talking about?”
Kim Suho sat down next to Chae Nayun, then Chae Nayun sniffed him.
“Did you come from the Fitness Center?”
“What’s the point in sitting around, right?”
“…You’re obsessed. Can’t you take a break for a day?”
Chae Nayun narrowed her eyes.
“Rather than that, why are you guys here? I thought you didn’t like cafeteria food.”
Kim Suho couldn’t understand what Chae Nayun was doing here. She was well known for eating her every meal at restaurants. No one would have expected to see her in the academy’s cafeteria.
“Well… I realized during the final exam that my pickiness can become detrimental.”
Chae Nayun was speaking in a grave tone, but Yoo Yeonha immediately added a piercing jab.
“You stopped eating after three spoonfuls.”
“…I wasn’t hungry.”
Hearing Chae Nayun’s excuse, Kim Suho lightly smiled as he picked up his spoon.
Yoo Yeonha and Chae Nayun glanced at him, then met each other’s eyes.
In truth, Yoo Yeonha and Chae Nayun were talking about what one would expect from girls their age. The topic of their conversation was the person who was at the center of many emotions and mysteries, Kim Hajin.
Suddenly, Yoo Yeonha had a mischievous thought. She tapped Kim Suho’s shoulder.
“Are you close to Kim Hajin?”
Chae Nayun reacted strongly to Yoo Yeonha’s question. She furrowed her brows and glared at Yoo Yeonha. Meanwhile, Kim Suho answered.
“No, I’m not that close.”
“But you’re probably the closest one out of all the male cadets.”
At these words, Kim Suho tilted his head. The corner of Yoo Yeonha’s mouth curled up to a smile as she continued.
“Isn’t it weird? Out of everyone in our class, only a few have talked with Kim Hajin. Be it a guy or a girl, Kim Hajin never approaches them first, and he responds coldly to anyone who approaches him, driving them away.”
At this point, Chae Nayun’s face contorted to a frown. Yoo Yeonha seemed to be planning on telling Kim Suho about everything they had talked about.
“But there’s one person Kim Hajin is noticeably interested in. Can you guess who?”
Kim Suho stared at Yoo Yeonha for a moment, then made a thin smile.
“Of course, I’m not that dense.”
Meanwhile, Chae Nayun sighed with mixed feelings and massaged her temples. On the other hand, Yoo Yeonha’s face was filled with an even greater enthusiasm.
“Who is it?”
Rather than answering, Kim Suho looked at Chae Nayun. Chae Nayun also looked back at Kim Suho. Their eyes met, and that was enough of an answer.
Chae Nayun clenched her head and leaned against the back of her chair. Then, as though she found a counterargument, she faced Yoo Yeonha with sparkling eyes.
“Wait, Yoo Yeonha, wasn’t Kim Hajin close to you at first?”
However, Yoo Yeonha cut down her counterargument instantly.
“He approached me because he wanted something from me.”
Just like Chae Nayun said, Kim Hajin had approached her first. However, his interest disappeared completely once he received the Desert Eagle. Of course, Yoo Yeonha wasn’t disappointed or sad. In fact, it was a clear exchange that Yoo Yeonha preferred.
After striking down Chae Nayun’s argument, Yoo Yeonha quickly asked again.
“So, what are you going to do?”
Chae Nayun didn’t answer. She was concerned about Kim Suho who was sitting next to her.
Chae Nayun then glanced at Kim Suho. To provoke jealousy, Chae Nayun asked.
“…Hey, what do you think?”
Kim Suho’s reply was completely innocent.
“Oh yeah, you’ve been single your entire life.”
“…So have you.”
“What? No, I’m not. I’ll have you know when I was 7….”
“Oh~ You guys are here too?”
At that moment, Yi Yeonghan appeared out of nowhere. He sat down next to Yoo Yeonha, and Yoo Yeonha scooted to the side with clear displeasure.
“Yi Yeonghan, you didn’t leave yet?”
“Yeah, and it looks like I came just in time for the interesting part.”
“You should’ve left.”
“…Aren’t you being too mean?”
At that moment, the cafeteria door opened once again. Speaking of the devil, the person who walked in was… Kim Hajin. He seemed to have come from the Fitness Center just like Kim Suho as he pushed up his wet hair and pulled out a meal ticket.
Yi Yeonghan chuckled and spoke.
“He’s here too. At least he’s working hard, right?”
Seeing Yi Yeonghan talk condescendingly, Yoo Yeonha felt a deep disappointment. Yi Yeonghan clearly had no clue what he was talking about.
“You should work hard yourself.”
“Huh? I am! My end of the semester grades are higher than his.”
“…Sure, just focus on your grades for the rest of your life.”
At that moment, Kim Hajin received his food in a to-go box, then turned around. He stared at them for a moment before turning around. Although he only looked at them for a split second, Yoo Yeonha made a big fuss.
“You see that? He was looking at Nayun just now.”
“Okay! I get it! Can you stop talking?”
Chae Nayun yelled, half-embarrassed, half-annoyed. Yi Yeonghan then widened his eyes and cut in.
“What? Chae Nayun likes Kim Hajin?”
“What, where did that come from? Screw off, Yi Yeonghan.”
Chae Nayun reacted sensitively. One reason was that Kim Suho was sitting next to her, but another was that Yi Yeonghan was known for being a loudmouth.
Knowing this, Yoo Yeonha gave Yi Yeonghan the fuel he needed.
“No, we think it’s the other way around.”
“Ah, really? Kim Hajin likes Chae Nayun? But didn’t you guys argue and fight? Oh, is it like what happens in dramas? You know… love sprouting up while arguing and fighting…. Uh, I guess the gap in your strength is too far for that. Right, rank 4 and rank 934 is too far apart.”
Feeling Chae Nayun’s deadly killing intent, Yi Yeonghan quickly changed his tune in the middle of his speech.
After blurting out fiercely, Chae Nayun glanced at Kim Hajin, purely out of curiosity. But Kim Hajin just happened to be looking at them again, and their eyes met. Chae Nayun quickly averted her gaze, then scratched her face awkwardly.
—…The gap in your strength is too far for that. Right, rank 4 and rank 934 is too far apart.
“What are they talking about?”
I only listened in at the end, so I couldn’t understand what they were talking about. But I didn’t really mind since it seemed like they didn’t realize I had two people’s worth of food. I no longer cared about people talking about me behind my back.
I took the to-go boxes and returned to my room.
As soon as I opened the door, Evandel ran up to me hastily. I quickly shut the door first.
“Not Daddy, Uncle.”
After picking up Evandel and letting her sit on my arm, I placed the to-go boxes on the kitchen table.
“I brought food, but before we eat, let’s test what we practiced.”
I put Evandel down on the couch. Although Evandel didn’t need to consume food like humans, she seemed to love the taste, so I prepared them.
“Okay, first, try this one.”
Using my smartwatch, I projected a picture of an adorable cat.
Evandel then transformed into the cat in the picture. Other than her hair being blonde, she looked just like the cat in the picture.
“Oh~ great. Next is this, a bird.”
Evandel immediately transformed into a cute crow-tit. She was a bit big, being the size of about six rice-balls, but it was within an acceptable range.
I patted her tiny head. Evandel transformed back and giggled.
“Did I do well?”
Was it because she inherited Rachel’s bloodline? She was a good listener.
When I was showering Evandel with praises, my smartwatch suddenly rang.
[Today at 6 P.M., guilds released their lists of cadets for Guild Experience Program. Selected cadets will be contacted via their smartwatch.]
Guild Experience Program.
It was exactly what it sounded like. The program lets cadets, who didn’t have things to do over the break, observe Heroes working in guilds.
But well, it wasn’t something that concerned me.
In order of rank, guilds in Korea were given the right to select three cadets from first and second-year cadets. As such, most first-year cadets had to be in the top 300 of their class to have a chance to be selected. No matter how well I did on the final exam, it wasn’t enough to put me above rank 300, so there was no way I could have been chosen.
But almost as to prove me wrong, my smartwatch rang once again.
[Kim Hajin – Essence of the Strait]
[Contact us if you would like to turn down this offer.]
Essence of the Strait chose me? Why?
Soon, I figured out why. There was one girl who had a strange fantasy about me.
“It’s Yoo Yeonha.”
As the guild leader’s daughter, it made sense for her to have such authority. But wasn’t this abuse of power? I hoped it wouldn’t cause trouble for her position as the successor.
I stood under the blazing sun and the blue sky, enjoying the clear and warm Seoul weather. The only thing that worried me was the fact that I left Evandel at home. I told her sternly not to leave the room, but I still felt uneasy. Was this what all fathers felt?
I was waiting at the Gwanghwamun Plaza, and soon, Yoo Yeonha came up to me. Looking at me, she tilted her head.
“Wow, this is unexpected.”
“I thought you’d reject the offer.”
Just like she said, I planned to reject the offer at first, but I suddenly became curious about what kind of work Heroes did. There had to be things other than what I had set.
“We’re still waiting on one more person, but it looks like we’ll have to wait quite a while. Should we go ahead first?”
“I don’t care either way.”
“Then let’s go.”
At the same time, a limousine stopped in front of us. It was a long, luxurious limousine that was often seen in movies.
The driver then came out and opened the door for us.
I got inside the limousine with Yoo Yeonha. The car seat was extremely comfortable. Just sitting in it made me drowsy.
At Yoo Yeonha’s words, the driver drove off. The limousine moved without shaking in the slightest, and before long, we arrived at Essence of the Strait’s guild building.
As expected of the world’s second ranked guild, the building’s exterior looked spectacular. Each part seemed to have been designed carefully as the building looked both beautiful and geometrically marvelous. This tall building was undoubtedly built using cutting-edge magic engineering and technology.
“Let’s go in~”
Yoo Yeonha led me into the building. The lobby that entered my view could only be described as vast. It almost felt like I was in a concert hall.
“Offices for Heroes are on the second floor and up, but there isn’t much to see on the first four floors. The real thing begins on the fifth floor. The first floor has the lobby you see here, a lounge, a training room, and a sparring room. Ah, there’s a sports field too.”
I was completely absorbed in looking around the first floor, which, according to Yoo Yeonha, had “not much too see”. Marble flooring and sleek interior, and in the distance, I could see a grass lawn the size of a soccer field. It was an indoor sports field.
“First, let’s go meet the Hero in charge of the program.”
It was then that I remembered I was here for the Guild Experience Program. Because of how familiar Yoo Yeonha was with everything, I almost thought she was the one in charge.
Together with Yoo Yeonha, we stood in front of the elevator.
“Ah, by the way, the person who isn’t here yet isn’t Chae Nayun.”
“Huh? Uh, okay.”
What was she talking about out of the blue? I muttered thoughtlessly, but Yoo Yeonha looked at me with meaningful eyes, then snickered.
The elevator then arrived, and Yoo Yeonha hopped in and pressed the third-floor button.
After a brief moment, the elevator arrived on the third floor. Immediately, I saw a large circle-shaped lobby and office doors spaced out along the wall.
Yoo Yeonha guided me to an office labeled A-35.
“To be honest, you won’t be doing anything special. Today, you’ll just look around the building, then starting from tomorrow, you’ll get to interact with other guilds. You might also get to follow a Hero to see him exterminate monsters.”
With that, Yoo Yeonha opened the door.
Unlike what it looked like from the outside, the office was quite spacious. The owner of the office seemed to have a gentle character as there were flower pots under the window sill and documents were stacked nicely on the office desk.
“Have you heard of Park Sangho?”
“Uh… I think I’ve heard of him.”
“Sangho-ssi is a very highly ranked Hero.”
In truth, I haven’t just heard about him, I knew him better than Yoo Yeonha.
Park Sangho. Although he was acting as Yoo Yeonha’s right arm, he was devious and sly on the inside. He wasn’t a Djinn but was someone who would betray Yoo Yeonha in the future. A bit harshly, at that.
“Oh right, I saw that you did well on the final exam.”
“Please, I only had 67 points.”
“If you wanted to stay around the average mark, you should have given away 20 or so points. Now, other guilds are starting to pay attention to you.”
“You don’t like being in the center of attention, right? That’s why I’m letting you know.”
I decided to just ignore the strange things Yoo Yeonha sometimes said.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sorry for late chap. I'm sick; just woke up from a nap.