Chapter 90. Fake and Real (2)


Rachel returned to the sixth floor, other members of Team Black following suit. They asked what was going on as they chased after her, but Rachel only ran.

“…What.”

When they arrived on the sixth floor, they saw three cadets lying on the ground. They were all from the white team, and their hands and feet were tied together, leaving them wriggling like caterpillars.

“Um, what’s this?”

The members of Team Black were befuddled by this bizarre scene. Rachel’s head also drew a blank, but she soon realized what happened. She thought that even Kim Hajin wouldn’t be able to handle six cadets at once, but it seemed she was wrong.

“Um, Rachel-ssi?”

“Ah, it looks like the situation is already taken care of.”

Rachel replied somewhat in awe.
At that moment, a spearman walked in from the other side of the lobby.

“Ah, it’s Shin Jonghak! Jonghak~!”

Yi Kyungrak, one of Shin Jonghak’s lackies, ran up to him. Looking at him, Shin Jonghak made a leisurely smile.
Although he lost to Kim Suho, he avoided taking critical damage. After escaping to the sixth floor’s residential area, he was catching his breath.

“Nice to see you.”

Shin Jonghak spoke to his team members, then was surprised when he saw Rachel.
Rachel gave a slight bow in greeting, and Shin Jonghak greeted back with a light nod.

“Jonghak, do you know what happened here?”

Yi Kyungrak asked as he pointed at the tied up cadets on the ground. Shin Jonghak replied in a perfectly calm manner.

“I do. I eliminated two of them.”

Immediately, Rachel furrowed her brows.
Although what Shin Jonghak said was the truth, Rachel thought he was trying to steal Kim Hajin’s achievement.
What really happened was that Shin Jonghak saw Yoo Yeonha and Chae Nayun fighting with some nimble guy, and used the opportunity to eliminate two cadets by ambushing them.

“Kuhum. Then from now… I’ll take command.”

Shin Jonghak spoke as he glanced at Rachel. Rachel looked at the other members of the black team. They looked more comfortable with Shin Jonghak being their leader.
However, Rachel didn’t want to be with someone who would steal someone else’s achievements. Not to mention, she was the one with the artifact.

“Then I’ll take my leave here.”

“Ah, you should come with us.”

Yi Kyungrak tried to dissuade her, looking visibly wistful, but Rachel was resolute. She walked to the east emergency staircase, and Shin Jonghak watched her leave for a while before leading the black team to the central staircase.

From then, the Mock Artifact Scramble resumed at a quick pace.
Shin Jonghak gathered all surviving members of the black team and managed to steal two artifacts. Rachel also made great achievements through guerilla tactics.
On the other hand, the white team protected many of their artifacts despite being chased around by Rachel. Kim Suho displayed outstanding leadership and might, safely transporting five artifacts to designated locations.
Thanks to Kim Suho and Chae Nayun’s performance, Team White came out victorious in the scramble. However, Rachel and Shin Jonghak also managed to get satisfactory individual grades.

…For the record, Kim Hajin, who miraculously survived Chae Nayun and Yoo Yeonha’s joint attack, spent the rest of his time hiding in the fourth floor bathroom.

**


“…Huaaam.”

Seventh floor bathroom.
Tomer finally opened her eyes. After waking up, she blankly stared at the ceiling for a moment. She was still a bit drowsy.

“Oh right, the mission.”

She then remembered her mission and checked her smartwatch.

“…Huh?”

But when she saw the smartwatch screen, she fell into a daze.
Currently, it was 3:02 P.M.
Thinking her smartwatch was broken, she rummaged through her pockets and took out the cadet smartwatch.
On it, a more definitive truth was being shown.

+Mock Artifact Scramble Results+
[Final survivors – Black Team: 12 / White Team: 11]
[Artifact Possession – Black Team: 3 / White Team: 5]
[White Team MVP – Kim Suho, Chae Nayun]
[Black Team MVP – Shin Jonghak, Rachel]
+White Team Victory+

“…What?”

Tomer slapped her cheeks, thinking it was all a dream.
However, the smartwatch screen remained unchanged. Next, she tried slapping herself harder. But everything was still the same.

“No way, no way, no way….”

She hurriedly ran out of the bathroom.
With classes over, all lights were turned off and the seventh floor lobby was pitch black.

“Ah….”

Devastated, Tomer dropped to the floor.

**


After the end of combat training.
Cadets were sitting on a grass field. Some were frowning as they were treated with potions, but most were talking about the artifact scramble either happily or regretfully.

“Jamer, is Jamer not out yet?”

Among the cadets was the instructor Kim Soohyuk, who was calling Tomer’s false name and looking for her.

“…Tsk.”

On the other hand, Chae Nayun was sitting alone, picking on poor grass.
There were many things she was unhappy with. Of course, the scramble ended with the white team’s victory.
But her fight with Rachel didn’t come to conclusion, and even in a one versus six situation – though Shin Jonghak interfered in the middle – she was unable to defeat Kim Hajin.
Most importantly… although she didn’t act like it, she was concerned about what Yi Jiyoon said during the scramble.

“Hmm~”

Then, someone came up to her, making an audible sound. Chae Nayun turned her gaze. It was Yoo Yeonha.
Yoo Yeonha struck up a conversation with a grin.

“Are you bothered?”

“…What do I have to be bothered by?”

Chae Nayun retorted bluntly at the sudden question. Yoo Yeonha rebutted with a nod.

“Oh really? I just thought you were bothered by what Yi Jiyoon said.”

“W-What, are you crazy? Why would I be bothered by that? I don’t even remember what she said.”

“But still~”

Yoo Yeonha stared at Kim Hajin. He was sitting with his team in a shade under a big tree. In other words, he was with Rachel.
Yoo Yeonha spoke straightforwardly.

“At this rate, he might get taken away."

“Wh, what? Taken away? Can you stop spouting shit. He was never mine in the first place.”

Even though she said that, her actions clearly contradicted her words, her fists clenched and shook slightly. Yoo Yeonha looked at her for a moment, then continued speaking.

“Well, I don’t believe in those rumors either, but he might be searching for someone else because you keep pushing him away.”

Then, Chae Nayun’s gaze slowly turned toward Kim Hajin. She saw Rachel next to him.
Chae Nayun furrowed her brows and looked away.

“…If his feelings change that easily, he isn’t my type to begin with.”

“Pft.”

Yoo Yeonha couldn’t help but laugh at Chae Nayun’s self-justifying excuse. Chae Nayun seemed to want to strike back, but Yoo Yeonha continued talking first.

“Nayun.”

“What now?”

“Between Kim Suho and Kim Hajin, who is it?”

“You—! It’s not like that!”

Chae Nayun shouted with a reddened face. Gazes of nearby cadets fell on them, but Yoo Yeonha didn’t stop laughing.

“Then is it Jonghak?”

“Are you crazy?”

She reacted much colder than last time. Shin Jonghak was clearly out of the picture. Somewhat relieved, Yoo Yeonha blurted out feeling a bit bitter.

“…I’m jealous.”

“About what?”

“I have no one, but you get to choose from three.”

“Ueek.”

Chae Nayun simply shook her head, not bothering to answer Yoo Yeonha.
It was then.
Shin Jonghak approached them, wagging his butt.
After getting nine eliminations and stealing two artifacts in this Mock Artifact Scramble, his mood was through the roof.

“Yo~ Chae Nayun.”

“Oh, Shin Jonghak. Your team lost, how do you feel?”

Chae Nayun snickered as she made fun of him. However, Shin Jonghak was satisfied with being the MVP of his team, so he rebutted leisurely.

“It was inevitable. You were in the white team.”

“…Hm, I guess you’re right.”

At that moment, Tomer walked out of the excavation site. Chae Nayun glanced over as well. Kim Soohyuk was approaching her with a scary expression.

“Jamer, why did you come out so late?”

“….”

“I checked your smartwatch GPS, and it looks like you stayed in the seventh floor bathroom the entire time.”

For some reason, Tomer looked completely lost as she couldn’t even reply quickly.

**


Once the scramble ended, I returned to my room. My body was aching all over the place. Perhaps I should have killed myself during the scramble. Because I didn’t write about the Mock Artifact Scramble in detail, I stayed until the end to see how everything panned out, but I only ended up fatigued.

“Hajin~ Hajin, Hajin~”

But the fatigue melted away when Evandel ran up to me with a bright smile. I held her up and looked around the room. Nightingale, crow-tit, dog, cat… Evandel made all sorts of animals.

“You didn’t forget to keep them inside the room, right?”

“Un!”

Evandel replied energetically as she checked my hands and pockets. However, I didn’t bring anything back. Next, she peeked over my shoulder and even checked my back. There wasn’t any food there either.
Evandel gave me a confused look.

“Hajin, you didn’t bring anything…?”

“Ah… sorry. I was tired, so I forgot.”

“….”

Evandel closed her mouth. Her sparkling eyes became filled with disappointment and betrayal, and began to tear up. I stopped her from crying with just one sentence.

“I ordered chicken and pizza. It’ll arrive soon.”

Evandel’s expression immediately brightened up.

“Aha~ I see~ I see~”

Of course, it was a lie. I would have to order them while I pretend to take a dump.

“I need to use the bathroom.”

I put Evandel down and walked into the bathroom. Sitting down on the toilet, I ordered a chicken and pizza set.
Then, I checked the most recent news.

“…Oh!”

I exclaimed loudly.
Finally, the news I was waiting for was trending on the front page.

[New guild Packhorse Master conquers Suwon Devil’s Nest!]

August 14th came and went a long time ago without any news, so I’ve been worried thinking that something went wrong.
But after seeing this news, I knew once again that I was rich.
I quickly entered the guild stock market.

As expected, 1.5 billion won had turned into 10.3 billion won.

“Bravo.”

I was happy, but also a little worried. Should I sell this now or later? The stock price was supposed to shoot up ten times, but currently it had only gone up seven times. Perhaps I could check again tomorrow.
Of course, even if I sold everything now, I would get 10.3 billion won. That was enough for me to live the rest of my life doing whatever I wanted.
I could do whatever I wanted… but the money would be gone once I returned to my world.

“….”

Suddenly, an odd feeling rose up from my heart. It was difficult to describe, but if I had to put it, it was a mixture of bitterness and heart-wrenching emptiness.

“Ah, rather than that…”

I slapped my cheeks and shook off these thoughts.
Currently, there was another thing I needed to worry about.

“Singing, singing…. Yi Yeonghan you son of a bitch.”

My next biggest concern was singing.
Until the end of the next midterms, no special enemies would infiltrate Cube, so I only had ‘singing’ to worry about.
…Yi Yeonghan, you fuck.

“Ah…!”

I was thinking about what to do, when I suddenly remembered about ‘art’.
I quickly accessed my laptop.

[Art (1/3)]

According to the laptop, I could create up to three Arts. Currently, Parkour was the only Art I had.
However, I would be crazy to fill one of these precious spots with singing.
Not unless I could delete an Art whenever I wanted.
Just in case this was possible, I tried deleting Parkour.

[Parkour Art will be deleted. 200 SP will be refunded, but you will not attain the level of the Art you achieved.]

“Oh geez.”

Frightened, I canceled immediately. Thankfully, I found out that Arts could be deleted. Not only that, a portion of SP was even refunded. In that case, singing was worth considering.
I projected up a hologram keyboard and tried writing an Art.

===
[Master Singer]
—Allows you to sing masterfully.
===

“…It’s only singing. How expensive can it be?”

I tried hitting save.

===
[Master Singer] [Practical]
—Allows you to sing masterfully.
—Allows you to clearly imbue emotions in your singing.

[500 SP will be used. Would you like to save?]
===

500 SP. 500 SP…. It was more expensive than I thought. It seemed this Art made someone sing at an artistic level.

“I don’t really want to sing that well.”

I had no intention of shocking the crowd by being able to hit high notes. It wasn’t like I planned on becoming a singer. 500 SP was too expensive to avoid a one-time embarrassment.
If I had to explain it, I wanted to sound like a ballad singer, someone like Sung Sikyung or Kyuhyun.

“…Is it possible?”

I tried to change the content of the Art.

—Allows you to sing beautifully.

[150 SP will be used. Would you like to save?]

150 SP wasn’t cheap either, but it was acceptable. It looked like there would be at least 4000 spectators. Singing in front of such a crowd would net me 60~70 SP as well.

“Yi Yeonghan, you son of a bitch.”

I cursed the source of this evil once again, then hit save.

“Ah, aaah, aaaaaah. Oho oho, oho oho.”

I tried making noises as I pressed my neck.

“Hyohyohyo, yohyohyohyo, yohyohyo. Yodelei~ yodelei~”

I couldn’t really tell the difference.
Tok, tok.
At that moment, Evandel knocked on the bathroom door.

—Hajin~ someone knocked on the door. Hehe, I think the chicken is here.”

Evandel seemed to be drooling already.

“Uh, yeah, got it.”

I quickly ran out and received the chicken and pizza.
When I came back in, Evandel was sitting modestly in front of the kitchen table, wearing plastic gloves. I placed the chicken and pizza on the table, then opened it up nicely.

“Make sure to chew carefully.”

“Un!”

Then, I went back to practicing. Ah, Aaah, aaaaaah.
Woong—
Then suddenly, my smartwatch rang.

[Hajin, you have to sing, right? Don’t you need to practice?]

Jin Hoseung messaged in our team’s group chat.

[ㅋㅋㅋ Wanna go karaoke? What do you think, Rachel-ssi?]

That was from Yi Bokgyu. I secretly looked forward to Rachel’s reply. With my new Art and the hornflute I had, I was confident in being able to sing well.

[I have to study… I want to go, but… I don’t have the time ㅠ.ㅠ]

However, it seemed Rachel was unavailable.

“Damn.”

Then there was no reason for me to go either. Why would I go karaoke with a bunch of guys?
I replied that I couldn’t go, then took off my watch.

**


Jeronimo Mercenary’s office, located in the center of Seoul.
Jain was currently staring at a monitor, wearing the face of the world’s 58th ranked mercenary, Yohan Zestiops.

“…This will do.”

She was looking for a mission for an apprentice mercenary. The mission had to involve killing someone, but that person had to be an evildoer who deserved death.
After finding a mission that met the criteria, she contacted her boss.

“Yeah, Boss, I found one.”

—What is it?

“An Italian Mafia. He’s apparently a Djinn. No, he’s like a Djinn.”

—…Not bad.

“Ah, but are you sure he accepted your offer?”

That was the problem. Jain wasn’t sure whether Kim Hajin had decided to join Jeronimo Mercenary.

—I received a positive reply.

“…Really? What did he say?”

—Mm… hold on.

Boss went silent as she seemed to search through her message log.

—I got a message that says, ‘I’ll contact you soon when I have time….’ Mm, I think this is a very positive reply.

Jain felt a headache the moment she heard Boss’ words.

“Boss, you… when did you get that message?”

—The day I gave him our business card.

“That was two weeks ago.”

—Yeah, so he should be contacting me at any time now. So make sure you have that mission ready.

Boss said what she wanted to say and hung up.
Jain sighed from the bottom of her heart. Was it because Boss never experienced normal social life? Or was she like this naturally? In any case, she was too dense.

“Tsk. I guess I have no choice other than to do as I’m told.”

Jain placed the mafia assassination mission in the ‘confirmed’ folder.

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