Chapter 79. Attraction (3)


Tomer’s boldness attracted the attention of the entire class.
Rachel stared at Tomer with puzzled eyes, but Tomer even reached her hand out to Rachel.
Looking back and forth between them, I couldn’t help but wonder why it was Rachel.
Within the Djinn society, Wicked had a similar position to mercenaries. They accepted money to carry out missions. Considering that Tomer approached Rachel, it was likely that Lancaster was the mastermind behind the mission Tomer received.

“I’ll think about it. There’s still a lot of time left.”

Rachel sent Tomer back for now. Then, she checked her smartwatch. It seemed she saw my message as her eyes widened.
She glanced at me and our eyes met.
Sssk.
Rachel’s head unnaturally turned to the window. She was trying to pretend that she wasn’t trying to look at me.
In any case, it seemed getting two offers made her happy as the corners of her mouth curled into a smile.
I turned back around and faced the front of the class.
After about 10 minutes of waiting, she gave me a reply.

[I’ll think about it.]

I hoped she would pick me since we already had somewhat of a friendship.
Now, I stopped thinking about the team challenge and focused on the more important issue.
I stared at Kim Suho’s back.
Summer break had passed, so it was almost time.
Currently, Kim Suho should be preparing to tackle a Dungeon. Just like protagonists of novels often did, he was planning to do it solo.
However, most Dungeons couldn’t be soloed unless the challenger was uncharacteristically powerful or the Dungeon was uncharacteristically weak.

However, the Dungeon Kim Suho was planning on conquering was an exception. It was a matter of suitability.
This Dungeon was small, with weak minions but a powerful boss. This boss was the Swordsman of Destruction, a monster that even a high-intermediate rank Hero would find difficult to handle.
Right, he was a swordsman.
Swordsman and a Sword Saint.
Even Evandel could easily answer which of the two would win.
The Sword Saint’s magic power would easily shatter the swordsman’s sword, and only a single tree branch would be left upon the swordsman’s defeat.
This branch was Kim Suho’s weapon.

Its divine name was Misteltein, also known as the god-slaying branch.
It was a generic weapon of legends. It was a branch in some versions, but a sword or a spear in others. In the end, I set its unawakened form as a branch, so that it would become more sword-like as it awakened.

However, because of its ordinary appearance, Kim Suho didn’t know what it was at first.
What changed this ordinary appearance was the Butterfly Seedling Dust. The Butterfly Seedling Dust would allow the ordinary branch to undergo its first awakening, turning the ordinary branch into a black branch.
It was comical how powerful monsters like King Ogres and Sea Kings were beaten to death with a branch. Thinking back to the Kim Suho of my novel, I couldn’t help but chuckle.

In any case, I had to join this Dungeon conquest. After all, the Butterfly Seedling Dust was on me.
But that wasn’t the only reason. Frankly, I was worried.
I wasn’t sure Kim Suho could beat the Dungeon by himself. This world wasn’t as easy and lax as the one I set up.
…Also.
There might be breadcrumbs prepared for me as well.

“Now, go to class.”

While I was in thought, the morning announcement ended.
I got up to go to class like I always did.

“Ah, Hajin, where are you going?”

However, a girl I had never seen before clung to my side.

“…What?”

I’m going to class, where else would I be going?

“Well, you see, I was wondering if you had—”

Before the girl could finish, someone else cut in. This time, it was a guy.

“Hajin!”

Jin Hoseung. He was a male cadet who was in my team at the beginning of the first semester.

“I got tickets to go to the French Artifact Museum. Apparently, Napoleon’s rifle will be on display tomorrow….”

I ended up accepting the ticket in the suddenness of the situation.
But it didn’t end with Jin Hoseung. A bunch of students, some who I knew the names of, some who I only knew the faces of, and some who I didn’t know at all, all started bribing me.
I accepted their gifts without declining.

**


My room, after all the classes ended.
Sitting on my couch, I pondered. Evandel was sleeping using my thigh as a pillow, so I couldn’t make any big movements.

“…How should I handle it?”

I was thinking about Tomer.
I knew how to appease her.
Currently, she wasn’t fully assimilated to the Djinn’s side. In a way, she was currently following the philosophy of the golden mean.
[1]
As such, I felt like I could bring her to my side as long as I helped her find her father. But that was the problem. I couldn’t find him. For some reason, the Book of Truth wasn’t working.

I would have no choice but to employ another method to find him. Yoo Jinhyuk was undoubtedly the best background informant, but he was too expensive and, more importantly, limited in range. To maximize his ability, Yoo Jinhyuk restricted the range of his ability to the Korean Peninsula. If Tomer’s father wasn’t in Korea, it would only be a huge waste of money and time.

“…Oh right.”

Suddenly, I recalled something.
I knew an informant, a trustworthy one at that.
He was Kim Chundong’s sole connection, an informant who looked like a piglet. What was his name? Kim… right, Kim Hosup.
[1]
Of course, we haven’t talked to each other since I was admitted to Cube, so I didn’t know his phone number. However, that was something I could easily find out.
I quickly opened the Book of Truth.
What I wanted to know was Kim Hosup’s phone number.

“Argh.”

Just looking up a single phone number consumed 30% of my magic power. Was Book of Truth too costly? Or was two streaks of Stigma too little?
In any case, I got the phone number I wanted. I immediately made the call.
Tururu— Tururu— Three piglet brothers—
He had a strange ringtone, but he quickly picked up.

—Hello?

Kim Hosup’s had a deep voice unlike what I expected.

“…Hey, Hosup. It’s Hajin. How have you been?”

—Ah~ Hajin-chan~ It’s been a while!

His tone was quick to change.

—What’s up?

“Um… Hosup.”

—Uuun~?

“What have you been doing lately?”

—Me~?

The way he dragged out the end of his sentence got on my nerves, but Hosup was an important connection nonetheless.
Although he wasn’t treated well because of his outer appearance and his strange personality, he would be noticed by Yoo Yeonha in seven years and come to play an important role.

—I’m… doing okay. Why did you call me?

His voice was noticeably meek. Tsk, it seemed he was being bullied by seniors in his workplace.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to comfort him.

“Nothing much. Just… I’m wondering if you can help me find a person.”

—A person?

“Yeah. I’ll send you a supercomputer as a payment.”

Hosup’s Gift was related to computers. As such, a good computer amplified his Gift’s power.

—Supercomputer~? But isn’t Hajin-chan poor?

“I have a lot of money now. I’ll be able to send it to you this week. So, can you do it?”

—…If you have a little bit of his background information, it should be possible~.

“Perfect. I’ll send it to you immediately.”

I sent him Fernin Jesus’ false identity, which I found out with the Book of Truth, and the picture of him I got from Tomer.

“Alright, I just sent it. Also, Chundong… I mean, Hosup.”

For a moment, I got the two names confused.

—Hm?

“If you’re going to quit your job…”

Kim Hosup was a good person. He might not be an altruist or a philanthropist, but he wasn’t someone who would do anything bad.
In other words, he would be more helpful the earlier he was discovered.

“There’s a new information guild called Falling Blossom. You should join it. They only care about your ability, so they’ll treat you well.”

I told Hosup the workplace he would shine in in the future.

**


10:00 P.M., a time when no classes were going on.
Kim Suho was training alone in a dark forest inside Cube.
Shwik—
The sword he stretched out caused the air to undulate. After a light jab, he let out soft slashes, followed by a spinning slash. The perfect flow in his movements made it seem like the sword was protecting the swordsman.
It was a flawless sword technique, sharper than a blade and lighter than a feather.
Just like this, Kim Suho reflected on his sword technique every night. To not lose the mindset of a Knight, and to advance his sword technique a step further.
Nowadays, there was another reason he was devoting himself to training. That was…

“Are you training?”

At that moment, someone’s voice rang out.
Startled, Kim Suho turned around.

“…Kim Hajin?”

Kim Hajin was leaning against a tree, seemingly having watched his sword training. Kim Suho put his sword away. Kim Hajin approached him with a smile.
Kim Suho quickly asked.

“Are you also here to train?”

Kim Hajin shook his head.

“No, I’m just on a walk. Anyways, it’s still early in the semester, but you sure are hard at work. If someone saw, they would think you’re trying to conquer a Dungeon alone.”

“….”

Immediately, Kim Suho’s body shook slightly.
Kim Hajin maintained his smile as he continued to chatter uncharacteristically.

“No way, am I right?”

“…No.”

Kim Suho denied with a smile. However, Kim Hajin’s eyes were narrowed, giving a meaningful look. Faced with his eyes, which seemingly pierced through everything, Kim Suho shrunk back slightly.

“You went out last week, right? To Kamak Mountain. I saw you on my way back.”

“….”

Kim Suho silently stared at Kim Hajin.
Resonance of the sword.
That was what Kim Suho felt from Kamak Mountain.
At first, he had climbed the mountain to feel its life energy.
However, a sword qi buried in the mountain called him. This strange yet desperate call attracted his attention, and when he went to the epicenter of the sword qi, he found an unidentified Dungeon.

“…How did you know?”

Kim Suho asked, his voice vigilant.

“I saw you coincidentally. You know how I like to go out a lot. And not to brag or anything, but my eyes…”

Kim Hajin tapped his eyes as he spoke.

“If I climb Kumgang Mountain, I can see up to Seoul… no, Uijeonbu.”[2]

Kim Suho continued staring at Kim Hajin without talking. Silence usually made people anxious. However, Kim Hajin was completely at ease as he continued to say what he wanted.

“If you really plan on conquering a Dungeon, let me join. I’m pretty useful outside of Cube.”

“….”

“We’ll split the loot 9:1. If you get a tree branch, I’ll only take a few leaves.”

**


A week passed by in the blink of an eye, and Monday came around once again. There were only two days left until the team submission deadline.

“Hmm….”

Chae Nayun was in thought, looking at the notebook on her desk.
There was one spot left on her team. She needed a cadet outside of the top 100.
In team challenges, a team with a lower average rank was given bonus points. Naturally, you wanted a cadet who was cost-effective, and that had to be… Kim Hajin.
She sneaked a peek at Kim Hajin’s seat.

Kim Hajin’s name popped up often in the class group chat, which showed just how popular he was for the team challenge selection. However, Chae Nayun was fairly confident that he would choose her if she asked.

There was only one reason that she hesitated to ask him.
She was worried that Kim Hajin would misunderstand.
She wanted him to join her team for the team challenge. There was no ulterior motive.

“Hm….”

“What, are you having trouble forming your team?”

At that moment, Shin Jonghak, who was sitting behind her, asked.
Shin Jonghak already had his team – Kim Horak and three others. Because 2nd ranked and 17th ranked cadets were in the same team, the other three were way below average in rank, but since it was Shin Jonghak, he would find a way to squeeze out their potential.

“No, I’m just thinking—”

“Let me see.”

Shin Jonghak suddenly reached forward and stole Chae Nayun’s notebook.

“Ah, HEY”

“Hazuki, Raymond, and… Kim Hajin? Kim Hajiiin?”

He repeated Kim Hajin’s name loudly. Immediately, the attention of the class fell on her. Naturally, Kim Hajin was included.
Kim Hajin was staring at her. Chae Nayun felt her face growing red like a tomato.

“Eeee, ee….”

“Didn’t you say Kim Hajin—”

“Shut your mouth!”

“Uk!”

Chae Nayun struck Shin Jonghak’s solar plexus.
Shin Jonghak was completely caught off guard by Chae Nayun’s sudden attack.
Slumped down on the desk, Shin Jonghak endured the pain.

“…uuu…. uuuu….”

Shin Jonghak’s scream rang out intermittently.

“Don’t steal and look at other people’s stuff. Hey, Kim Suho.”

Chae Nayun quickly changed the subject. Kim Suho was sitting next to her.

“Who are you going to team up with?”

“….”

Kim Suho was silent. He was tapping on his notebook with a pen, seemingly thinking about something.

“Kim Suho?”

“…Huh? Oh.”

When she called him again, he finally turned around in a daze.
Chae Nayun peeked at his notebook.

“What, you’re asking Kim Hajin too?”

Kim Hajin’s name was written in his notebook.

“Huh? Oh, um, I guess so.”

“…Everyone’s asking Kim Hajin.”

“A fitting… combination….”

At that moment, Shin Jonghak reined in his pain and muttered just barely.

“Two… trifling commoners….”

“Shut it. Yoo Yeonha, what about you?”

Yoo Yeonha, who was staring at her smartwatch, raised her head.

“Me? My team’s already decided.”

Yoo Yeonha formed her team with people she could easily manipulate. Although she also coveted Kim Hajin, she was more comfortable with people whom she could handle with ease.

“Hm….”

At that moment, the theory instructor walked in.
He placed a thick textbook on the podium and started taking attendance.

“Oh, by the way, there will be team challenges for theory classes as well.”

That was what the instructor said next.
Chae Nayun decided as soon as she heard those words.
Bless Kim Hajin.

*


“That’s it for today. Make sure you review it before next class.”

The class ended. Chae Nayun snapped up from dozing off. She got up quickly and chased after Kim Hajin, who just left the class.

“…Hey.”

She grabbed Kim Hajin’s shoulder.
Kim Hajin looked at her and asked what was going on with his eyes.
Chae Nayun felt a bit nervous.

“Um, about your team….”

When she was about to ask, someone walked past her.
Blonde hair and delicate fragrance.
It was Rachel. With an innocent face, she tilted her head and asked.

“Team?”

“Huh? Oh, it doesn’t concern you…”

“Hajin-ssi decided to team up with me.”

“…Eh?”

Chae Nayun’s facial expression became stiff. She swallowed hard, then turned to Kim Hajin. Kim Hajin nodded somewhat regretfully(?).

“Uh, um, really? Well, I, uh, didn’t think you had anyone to team with, so I thought I’d save you. You know, as a fellow traveling club member. Right… well… good luck.”

Without knowing what was coming out of her own mouth, Chae Nayun turned around after smacking Kim Hajin’s shoulder.
At first, she didn’t know what to think. She was just in a daze. But while she was walking, she suddenly got annoyed and turned back around.

She coincidentally met eyes with Rachel who was going the same way.
Rachel gave a small nod in greeting. Chae Nayun clenched her teeth.
Same sex, but opposite personality and similar grades (theory excluded).
Rachel was someone who Chae Nayun regarded as a rival second only to Kim Suho. No, nowadays, Rachel had surpassed Kim Suho to become her soul rival.

‘…Why her of all people?’

Chae Nayun stomped away like a raging bison.


2. Uijeonbu is a city that’s slightly closer to Kumgang Mountain than Seoul.

1. Kim Hosup was introduced in chapter 0.

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