Chapter 70. Break (2)


Late night.
Yoo Yeonha was sitting in front of her computer, completely focused on finishing her work. She had organized the Guild Experience Program matter from earlier in the day, and she also had to upload a job post on Violet Banquet. Now, she was working on something she had prepared for a long time.

[Information Guild ‘Falling Blossom’ – Now Hiring]
[A new information guild, Falling Blossom, is looking for elite agents.]

The founding of an information guild.
Of course, Essence of the Strait had its own information team, but that wasn’t enough. Yoo Yeonha wanted independent ‘shadows’, who only dealt with information.
As such, she worked to establish an information guild for the past year, and now she reached a point where she only needed to find members.

“…Rather than waiting for that lazy bum, I’ll look into it myself.”

Yoo Jinhyuk suddenly popped up in her mind, and Yoo Yeonha growled.

Meow—

At that moment, Yoo Yeonha’s smartwatch meowed, a ringtone she had personally set.
The sender was Chae Nayun. Yoo Yeonha immediately checked the content.

[Hey, did you see the footage from our fight with the limestone golems?]

As expected of Chae Nayun, she asked something that seemed completely random.

[Yeah, why?]

When Yoo Yeonha sent her reply, she was immediately bombarded with messages.

[Well, you see]
[Um]
[How do I say this]
[Today…]

Yoo Yeonha sighed. She had an idea of what Chae Nayun wanted to say.

[Are you talking about Kim Hajin saving you? It got recorded beautifully. You were practically in his embrace.]

[What…. Why are you looking at that?]

[Because I have to write a report.]

Nowadays, drones were deployed faster than Heroes. When a report came in, drones would be sent out from the nearest drone hangar to verify the report. Heroes could only be moved afterward.
As such, the scene of Kim Hajin using his magic power to pull Chae Nayun into his embrace was recorded in high definition.

[Argh, don’t you dare spread it.]

[I won’t, hehe. So? Did you like it?]

[As if. Anyways, I’m going to a seminar next Tuesday with Kim Suho. Do you wanna come too?]

Chae Nayun quickly changed the subject. Yoo Yeonha retorted shortly.

[No.]

[Shin Jonghak’s coming too.]

[Fine, I’ll go.]

At that moment, a lion’s roar rang out from her smartwatch.
This time, it was a phone call.
The caller was Park Sangho.
Yoo Yeonha picked up the phone thoughtlessly.

“Yes, Park Sangho Hero-nim.”

—Um, Yeonha-ssi.

Park Sangho spoke in a hurry. As she listened to his explanation, Yoo Yeonha’s face contorted to a frown.

—Um, it looks like Jin-Ah messaged Hajin-ssi on her own. Jin-Ah is saying she didn’t mean it that way, but Hajin-ssi is saying he’s quitting the Guild Experience Program because of it….

“What? Okay, I’m hanging up for now.”

Yoo Yeonha bit down on her lips. She was fuming.

‘That damned woman must have finally gone mad. We should be sweet talking him to get him to join us, but this is what she does?’

Yoo Yeonha felt enraged for the first time in a long time. Yi Jin-Ah would always criticize her for every little thing, but Yoo Yeonha endured it because Yi Jin-Ah was a competent person. Knowing that Yi Jin-Ah would eventually come under her leadership, Yoo Yeonha didn’t act hostile on purpose.
But what she did today was absolutely unforgivable.

“I didn’t want to resort to this….”

Yoo Yeonha took a deep breath.
She needed to prepare her heart to maximize the effectiveness of this method. Just thinking about it made her face redden, but now was the time to put on a thick skin.
Huuuu—
After taking three more breaths, Yoo Yeonha made a call.
The receiver picked up almost instantly.
Yoo Yeonha twisted her tongue as much as she could.

“…Un, Daddy~ You still weren’t sleeping~?”

**


The next morning, the office of the Essence of the Strait’s vice-leader.
Yi Jin-Ah stood with her back straight in front of the vice-leader, Jung Chulsoo. Looking wronged and upset, she gave an explanation of what happened the day before.

“Well, no, you see, vice-leader-nim, I did message him after he left, but…”

“So it’s true that you messaged him privately. How did you even get his number?”

“Well, I have a friend who works in Cube as a vice-instructor….”

The vice-leader let out a sigh.

“What a mess.”

“No, vice-leader, I swear I didn’t mean to threaten him in any way.”

Yi Jin-Ah was about to explode from frustration.

“I didn’t explain in detail, so I understand how he might have misunderstood, but…”

—Um, Hajin cadet-nim? This is Yi Jin-Ah, you saw me during the day. Can we talk?
—Ah, right, you’re coming to the guild tomorrow anyways. Let’s talk then.

Thinking back to her message, Yi Jin-Ah really didn't know what to do. It seemed that the cadet misunderstood her intention.

“Then why were you trying to talk to him privately?”

Yi Jin-Ah muttered hesitantly.

“…It was to talk about a scholarship.”

“Shut it. The guild leader is going to have a private meeting with you.”

At that moment, Yi Jin-Ah’s expression broke down.
A private meeting with the guild leader.
An outsider could think that it was a better punishment than being demoted or getting a reduced salary. Although it didn’t even come close to the serious punishments, in Essence of the Strait, there was no other non-serious punishment more fearsome than a private meeting with the guild leader.
Yi Jin-Ah swallowed hard.

“S-Spare me just this once.”

“I’d love to, but I have no choice. It’s an order from the guild leader.”

“No, please….”

Yi Jin-Ah really was desperate. She was only 25, and the last thing she wanted to do was to meet with the guild leader, which supposedly made one age by five years.

“It’s already decided. Go back.”

However, the vice-leader was resolute.
In the end, Yi Jin-Ah made her final ditch effort.

“B-But come on! That kid really isn’t up to our guild’s standards! He’s rank 934 for god’s sake! Even if he’s rank 1 in theory, he wouldn’t be here without his connection to Yoo Yeonha, and a mere cadet shouldn’t be allowed to interfere with a guild’s administration!”

On the surface, everything she was saying was right. In truth, even the vice-leader had similar doubts about how a rank 934 cadet was selected to the Guild Experience Program.

“…Huu.”

However, such doubts were washed clean by what Yoo Jinwoong said yesterday.
He spoke.

“Mountain Tyrant. You’ve heard of that name, right?”

“Of course, do I look like a rookie?”

“Then you should know that the Mountain Tyrant’s vital point is in our guild’s database.”

“Yes, though you wouldn’t tell me even if I asked.”

Data on a high-rank monster like the Mountain Tyrant was top-secret information. Even within Essence of the Strait, there weren’t more than ten people who had access to this data. Furthermore, those that knew had their mouths sealed with a magic contract.

“Come here.”

The vice-leader gestured with his hand. Yi Jin-Ah walked up to him stiffly. The vice-leader then whispered into her ear. Immediately, Yi Jin-Ah was dumbstruck.

“…Is that true?”

“Yeah. Kim Hajin is the one who provided that info.”

“H-How?”

“This isn’t the first time we’re seeing an oddball among Cube’s cadets. I’m sure he analyzed it himself. It’s not like there aren’t videos of Mountain Tyrant hunts. And didn’t you say so yourself? That he’s rank 1 in theory.”

Yi Jin-Ah shut her mouth. Thinking about it now, it wouldn’t be impossible for someone so outstanding in problem-solving to analyze a few monsters’ vital points.

“Listen, this is why I always tell you not to judge people by their ranks. Ranks can’t fully encapsulate cadets’ abilities.”

“….”

‘But last hiring season, you told us to reject anyone below rank 100….’ Yi Jin-Ah pouted, not daring to voice her thoughts.

“So just accept your punishment.”

“Ah….”

A private meeting with the guild leader wasn’t really a meeting, but a hellish, week-long training. As this “meeting” was under the pretense of a training, there was no trouble with the law, and because anyone would be happy to train under an expert like Yoo Jinwoong, you couldn’t complain about it either.
If Yi Jin-Ah could become stronger through this training, she wouldn’t be so against it. However, because the difference in skill was too big, she would only act as a sandbag for a week.

“…uck.”

“What uck?”

“…Nothing. I’ll be on my way.”

Yi Jin-Ah bowed and turned around.

“I’ll hope to see a new you in a week.”

“….”

“I’m only doing this because I care about you. You might be scared now, but it’s better than having it stay on your record.”

The vice-leader then admonished her.

“Also, don’t even think about contacting him again.”

“I won’t.”

“Good. You can go now.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

When Yi Jin-Ah grabbed the doorknob, vice-leader chattered for the last time.

“Ah, before you go into training, make sure you apologize to him.”

**

[You obtained 89SP!]
[Luck bonus applies! You obtained 12 additional SP!]

“…What now?”

When I was looking at my laptop screen nervously, an alert suddenly popped up.
I didn’t know what happened, but I was happy to get more SP.
However, I didn’t have time to celebrate.

“Huu.”

I let out a deep sigh and got back my focus.
Currently, I was planning on using about 1500SP to create a new Gift.
It wasn’t a Gift related to physical abilities or magic power.
I realized from my fight with the limestone golems that no matter how much effort I put in, my physical stats would only lag behind as time went by.
So rather than investing in my body, I would invest in equipment.

The following was the Gift I wrote.

===
[Random Consolidation System]
[Low rank] [Spirit attribute]
—Scanning
*Scans a designated equipment.
—Random Consolidation
*Consolidates the ‘concept’ of the scanned equipment by 1~100%. The consolidation lasts for 24 hours, after which the consolidation percentage will be randomized once again.
—Growth
*You can use SP to strengthen the Gift ‘Random Consolidation System’.
===

Random Consolidation System.
It was a Gift that fully utilized my incredible luck stat.
The concept of an equipment was exactly that. For example, consolidating a gun’s concept would strengthen its accuracy, recoil, rpm, firepower, and stability; consolidating a vehicle would strengthen its sturdiness, speed, fuel consumption rate, maneuverability, among others.
Since the boost percentage was completely random, it might seem like it’s completely reliant on luck, but it just so happened that my luck stat surpassed the human threshold. Given that, this Gift was extremely efficient.

“Let’s go.”

I was more nervous than when I consolidated my equipment in games.

“May Lady Luck shine on me….”

Tap.
I hit [save].
A message popped up on the laptop screen.

[You do not have enough SP. The Gift will be modified accordingly.]
[An incredible luck applies! A portion of the Gift has been restored.]

===
[Random Consolidation System]
[Lowest rank] [Spirit attribute]
—Scanning
*Scans up to five designated equipment at once.
—Random Consolidation
*Consolidates the ‘concept’ of the scanned equipment by 1~44%. The consolidation lasts for 24 hours, after which the consolidation percentage will be randomized once again.
*A scan on an equipment can be canceled, after which it will return to normal in one hour.
—Growth
*You can use SP to strengthen the Gift ‘Random Consolidation System’.
===

I wasn’t too happy with it, but considering this was what I got after my luck preserved some of the original effects, it only meant what I had first was too absurdly strong.
I had to be content with what I got.

“…Hm.”

I checked the message I got on my smartwatch some time ago.
This was the reason I was racking my brain trying to come up with a Gift.

[Traveling Club Next Friday. Destination: England.]

It was an announcement from the traveling club.
The next main story event was here.
I picked up the magic sword I kept in my drawer.

**


English Royal Court.
Rachel was enjoying her break in her room. Free from studying, training, and potential danger, she spent the entire day sleeping on her bed.

“Uuun~”

The morning sunlight felt pleasant after 14 hours of sleep.
Each day seemed to get brighter after experiencing a portion of her future on that day.

Tok tok—
Someone knocked on her door.

“Come in.”

The old man who walked in was Henry, the butler of the English Royal Court, Henry. His hair had now turned grey, and Rachel was more comfortable around him than her own father.

“How was your time in Cube?”

“It was fine.”

Rachel replied with a smile. However, Henry knew the various fears that were suppressed in her heart.

“You don’t need to worry from now on. We made an agreement with Cube. We’ll be sending a trustworthy agent to Cube.”

Rachel was relieved to hear the news. With a gentle smile, Rachel praised the butler.

“Ah, also, about the cadet that saved Princess….”

He brought up something she had been wondering about, a request she personally made as soon as the final exam ended. Rachel’s ears stood up.

“The Royal Court will contact him.”

“…Good.”

Rachel nodded in satisfaction.
Of course, the English Royal Court wasn’t worth much compared to Korea. However, the English Royal Court was a competitive place to get into in its own way, and it also had fairly distinguished Heroes.
Although it wasn’t a particularly enticing choice for the top 100 cadets, Kim Hajin wasn’t in the top 100. He was currently ranked strangely low, being at rank 934.
However, his true strength wasn’t on the level of rank 934. Rachel could still clearly remember what happened that day. A single bullet had blown away an assassin she had trouble dealing with.

But for some reason, Kim Hajin was hiding his true strength. Rachel was happy with it since it meant there wouldn’t be guilds approaching him. Even if there were, that would be illegal. However, as the English Royal Court had a special privilege that allowed them to recruit cadets before graduation, they could make recruitment offers to cadets without breaking the law.

“Thank you, Henry-ssi.”

“No problem. I’ll leave you to rest then.”

The butler went away.
Rachel’s room was large and silent. There weren’t many fun things to do either. There were Welsh Corgis in the garden, but they seemed to hate her.
As such, Rachel went back to rolling around on her bed. Then suddenly, she rubbed her belly. Her stomach was flat with well-defined abs, being nowhere big enough to carry a life. But one day… one day…
A shy smile bloomed on her face.

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