The coachman tapped on Jang Tu’s shoulders.
“Think on the bright side. Having more people will mean the travel will be safer. With six people, you should be more than safe.”
“Tsk, I guess so.”
“Damn right, I am. Alright, be careful.”
“See you later. Alright, let’s go!”
Seemingly heated up, Jang Tu pushed the young man’s back. Upon being pushed to the carriage and climbing inside, Seol Jihu’s breath stopped.
Of the three passengers who were already inside, there was one person he was familiar with.
Phi Sora was sitting across a clearly uncomfortable man and woman.
She was rubbing her chin with the back of her hand before suddenly glancing to the side and widening her eyes in feigned surprise.
“Finally! You’re… Kuhum. You haven’t left yet?”
“What’s been delaying you?”
“Oh, a carri- aaage!?”
At that moment, the excited Yi Sungjin climbed up and screamed in shock.
It was the same for Yi Seol-Ah. Her pupils shook the moment she saw Phi Sora.
“What are you doing? Sit down.”
When the irritated Phi Sora pointed at a seat with her chin, the Yi siblings shrunk like two mice in front of a snake before finally sitting down.
“You take a seat too, Dear. How great! You see, this carriage was waiting for more passengers to come.”
Seol Jihu furrowed his brows.
Was there a need to wait for more people with Phi Sora on board? With a High Ranker like her, most monsters should be begging to not catch her eyes.
‘Well, I guess just carrying her isn’t efficient. The coachman probably wanted to wait for at least two or three people…?’
Seol Jihu tried to justify the coachman’s choice, but this didn’t seem like the case seeing how there were two other passengers on board. At that moment…
He heard Jang Tu gasp dumbfoundedly.
Phi Sora glared at the coachman before retracting her gaze with a dissatisfied expression.
In any case, Seol Jihu took his seat since it looked like the coachman urgently wanted to depart.
And soon, the carriage set off.
When Seol Jihu kept staring, perhaps having felt his gaze, Phi Sora raised her eyes that had previously been focused on her fingernails.
“What? Am I not allowed to ride a carriage?”
Seol Jihu didn’t say anything.
“I understand that those kids are uncomfortable, but then you should have set off immediately. I purposely came late to accommodate them. Anyways, it’s quite a coincidence.”
She kept talking, but Seol Jihu maintained his silence.
“For the record, I’m the one who got on the carriage first. I want to avoid any misunderstandings.”
But why was she emphasizing that this was all a coincidence?
For them to have the same destination could be a coincidence, but Seol Jihu felt that something was wrong.
“Are you going to Haramark?”
“Yes, an acquaintance of mine is there. Didn’t I tell you? That I know where to go.”
“Who is this acquaintance…?”
“What’s the point in me telling?”
Cough, cough. Phi Sora coughed lightly and dragged out the end of her speech.
Just as she said, Phi Sora was free to go wherever she wanted. Seol Jihu didn’t have the authority or qualification to stop her. He didn’t have a reason to care either.
However, Seol Jihu nodded his head, vowing to himself that he wouldn’t sit still if she bullied the Yi siblings.
Phi Sora crossed her arms and turned away indifferently.
While the Yi siblings were quietly stealing glances at Phi Sora, Seol Jihu smacked his lips.
‘I feel like I’m forgetting something important….’
The group arrived in Haramark.
The Yi siblings looked around busily while marveling at the new city and letting out short exclamations of awe.
“Are you sure you will be okay? The buildings in Haramark aren’t as nice as the ones in Scheherazade.”
When Seol Jihu asked just to be sure…
Yi Seol-Ah answered cheerfully.
“Rather than living in a grand palace where I’m not welcomed, I’d rather live in a thatched house where I can stretch my legs out and sleep in peace.”
Seeing the happily chirping Yi Seol-Ah, Seol Jihu wasn’t sure whether to be sad or relieved.
Yi Seol-Ah smiled brightly and turned back to her more anxious younger brother.
“Yeah. But… Hyung.”
Stealthily glancing backwards, Yi Sungjin quietly called Seol Jihu.
“Why is she following us?”
“Following us? Who is?”
Seol Jihu turned around. Phi Sora, who came to a stop, was blocking the sunlight with her hand and looking around the area.
Because she was silent the entire carriage ride here, Seol Jihu hadn’t been paying much attention to her.
“Um, where is the plaza? It’s been a while since I came here, so I’m kind of lost.”
“It’ll be right there if you take the main street.”
Phi Sora stared at the direction Seol Jihu was pointing to and nodded her head.
“Looks like she’s lost.”
Seol Jihu explained calmly, but Yi Sungjin looked doubtful.
Soon, the three of them started walking again. However, they stopped less than a few minutes later.
Because Phi Sora kept following them without going in the direction Seol Jihu told her about.
“Miss Phi Sora? What about the plaza?”
“Dear, do you know a good restaurant? Now that I think about it, I haven’t had any breakfast.”
Seol Jihu tilted his head.
“If you keep walking and turn right when you get to the crossroad, you’ll find Eat, Drink, and Enjoy. That place is good.”
Phi Sora nodded again and, with hesitation, walked past Seol Jihu and the siblings to the main street.
Only after seeing Phi Sora getting further away did Seol Jihu finally start moving again.
Over at the house on the opposite side, several Priests were sweating profusely while going back and forth.
Just what were they moving around that they weren’t done yet?
“Heck… heck… this is the last one….”
After staring at a short Priest who was carrying a bundle in each hand and whimpering, Seol Jihu shrugged his shoulders and headed to Carpe Diem’s building.
Before going up the stairs, he turned around just in case and did not see Phi Sora anywhere.
“Let’s go up.”
Seol Jihu went up to the third floor first and smiled as he saw the Yi siblings hesitating below.
“Don’t be scared. They’re all nice people.”
Perhaps encouraged by these words, the siblings walked up the stairs hesitantly.
Hoo-haa, hoo-haa. Listening to Yi Seol-Ah’s deep breaths, Seol Jihu opened the office door.
As he had notified Jang Maldong the moment he arrived in Haramark, Jang Maldong was sitting on the couch waiting.
“Thank you. Where are Chohong and Hugo…?”
“You should have called me earlier. They should be on their way back.”
“Yeah, I guess I should have.”
After confirming that the siblings entered the office, Seol Jihu carefully shut the door.
“They’re the kids I told you about. Seol-Ah is the older sister by two years, and Sungjin is the younger brother. Guys?”
“Hello! I’m Yi Seol-Ah!”
“I’m Yi Sungjin.”
The siblings bowed respectfully. Seol Jihu had advised them to be courteous on their way here. While Jang Maldong was already renowned in Paradise, the news of the King Maker’s return to Haramark was so huge that even the young siblings had heard about it to no end.
Jang Maldong opened his mouth.
“You said the older sister is 18 years old?”
“Then the younger brother must be 16.”
Yi Sungjin didn’t say anything, but he was shaking noticeably.
Jang Maldong dropped his head slightly and carefully examined the siblings with shining eyes. The nervous siblings straightened their posture even more.
Just as he was about to say something…
Quick footsteps climbing up the stairs rang out before, clunk! the door opened.
A woman with flowing, wavy hair barged into the office and ran into Jang Maldong’s arms.
It was, of course, Phi Sora.
Seol Jihu, who thought Chohong and Hugo were running to greet the newbies, had a dumbstruck expression.
“I’m here, Grandpa.”
When Phi Sora put her arms around his waist and pulled him close, Jang Maldong was greatly taken aback.
“W-What? Why are you here?”
The flustered Jang Maldong stared at Seol Jihu with glaring eyes. But there was no way Seol Jihu would know….
Now that he thought about it, Jang Maldong and Phi Sora knew each other. After belatedly remembering this fact, Seol Jihu clutched his head.
[Given my level and experience, do you think it will be difficult for me to find a new home?]
To think that she was referring to Jang Maldong’s place when she said ‘home’.
The office fell into chaos, but Phi Sora ignored all this and tightly held onto Jang Maldong who was trying to escape.
“Don’t say that. Who else would I rely on?”
“What do I do? Because of that Bok bastard, I’m now a miserable, pathetic loner. I’m a laughingstock.”
“Let go, first!”
“Grandpa~ Can you get me a room here? I’ll pay for my own food, okay?”
“Hey, you! Let go!”
Jang Maldong twisted his body slightly and asked while panting roughly.
“Explain step by step! What is this about a room? Did that kid ask you to come here?”
“No, but… you have extra rooms here. You’re the only one I can trust now, Grandpa~ Can you give me a room, please~?”
Phi Sora pestered Jang Maldong like a granddaughter asking her grandfather to buy her this and that.
“Why are you asking me that?”
“Well~ This building is yours.”
“No, it’s not.”
“I handed everything over to that kid.”
Jang Maldong pointed at Seol Jihu.
He wasn’t wrong. After Dylan’s death, when Seol Jihu officially reported becoming Carpe Diem’s new leader, he received full authority over the building.
As if she had not considered this, Phi Sora suddenly stopped. She turned her head to the side and stared at Seol Jihu fixedly.
Seol Jihu dragged the bewildered Phi Sora out of the office…
And slammed the door on her face with a cheerful goodbye.
Of course, he didn’t forget to lock the door afterwards. He even stood in front of it to stand guard.
Tok, tok. He heard her knock on the door but did not answer.
‘We gotta get to Huge Stone Rocky Mountain as soon as possible.’
Seol Jihu vowed to himself as he looked at the siblings who were at a loss for what to do.
“Wait, let’s talk for a bit. Hey, why did you lock the door!?”
With the Yi siblings joining, Carpe Diem finally had an Archer. Seol Jihu immediately thought about going to train. He wanted to focus on the training he had inadvertently been putting off since he leveled up.
“Hello? How can you slam the door on someone’s face like this?”
Seol Jihu thought, ‘What is Phi Sora going to do if I kick her out and go stay in Huge Stone Rocky Mountain for a couple of months?’
‘I’m sure she’ll get tired and give up.’
“Argh, open this door and talk to me! Are you seriously doing this!?”
Her voice became louder. But as Seol Jihu didn’t want to get involved with any more tomboys, he had no plans to open the door.
“Hey! Open the door!”
It was then.
“The hell? Who the fuck are you?”
All of a sudden, the sharp, blade-like voice outside the door mixed with another irritated voice. The latter obviously belonged to Chohong.
“I’m asking who the hell you are, you retard. Why are you screaming in front of someone else’s house? Go bitch about your problems elsewhere.”
“Ha, the fuck are you glaring at me for? Get a hold of this bitch… Oh? What, you’re gonna hit me?”
Jang Maldong and Seol Jihu’s eyes widened simultaneously.
“Door! Open the door! Hurry!”
The terrified Seol Jihu quickly unlocked and opened the door.
“Uwaaaah! I’m done!”
A Priest in a white robe fell to her butt as soon as she put down the final bundle she was carrying.
With kind words, Seo Yuhui skipped over and carefully opened the bundle. She checked the contents meticulously before taking them out one by one and laying them out on the shelf.
The sweating girl took a deep breath. Her face was sparkling with a blissful light.
“Haa, this refreshing smell….”
This underground room was filled with the white smoke of the Perpetual Snow and the grassy smell of herbs.
The girl sniffing the air exclaimed in shock when she looked around the room.
It was only natural.
On the left shelf were different medicinal herbs, flowers, and other plants, all sorted according to their types. On the front shelf were wooden boxes emanating holy auras and medicinal bottles filled with liquids of various colors. Finally, on the right side, all kinds of beasts were sauntering around in a cage.
This place was like a secret underground warehouse filled with all sorts of precious medicine and beasts.
So how could the girl not be astonished?
“Wow, when did you gather all these, Unni?”
“Little by little. Things just ended up being like this.”
“Woah, woah, is that what I think it is?”
The girl spotted a golden-feathered bird resembling a chicken and swallowed her saliva.
“Unni, can you give me just one Golden Wind Phoenix? With this heat, it’s the perfect weather for boiled chicken soup.”
“Stop speaking nonsense. I only have one left.”
“Ah, okay. Then can I have a bottle of Red Bamboo Flower Extract?”
“Then how about the Nine Emperor Orchid? I won’t ask for all of it. Just one leaf!”
Hearing Seo Yuhui’s consecutive firm rejections, the girl began to tear up.
“You’re so mean….”
Seo Yuhui laughed in embarrassment.
“Sorry, I need them to feed my kid.”
“Kid? You’re married, Unni?”
Hearing this, Seo Yuhui, who was busy cleaning up the place, burst into laughter.
The girl also snickered.
“I’m joking, obviously. Who would marry an ice queen like Unni? …Well, he must really be young for you to call him a kid.”
“I can’t say you’re wrong. When I see him being mischievous, I wonder whether his mental age matches his real age.”
Just thinking about him seemed to be funny as Seo Yuhui covered her mouth and laughed.
“Anyways, to me, he’s someone very preci…”
Her joyful voice suddenly stopped.
What happened? Seo Yuhui’s arms slowly dropped down, and her complexion froze stiff. In a way, it looked as though she was overtaken with terror. Although it was only for a split second, the girl also saw tears welling up around Seo Yuhui’s eyes.
“Unni? Are you okay?”
Then, she let out a deep sigh before continuing to clean the place more roughly.
“Please try to understand. There’s someone who must never die no matter what.”
“Heh— For Unni to say that… he must be someone who’s been in Paradise for a long time. Who is he?”
The girl murmured to herself, and Seo Yuhui gently shook her head.
“He hasn’t been here for that long.”
“Then it doesn’t matter if he dies, right? Ah, what I mean is the feeling of emptiness he will feel won’t be that big….”
“But his memories will disappear.”
Thinking that she misspoke, the girl became flustered and fixedly stared at Seo Yuhui’s back.
“It will be terrible if he loses his memories of Paradise… and gets his memories of Earth tangled…”
“He finally… if something goes wrong, and he once again returns to what he was in the past….”
A graceful voice flowed out, stammering.
The girl also muttered quietly and stealthily turned back. She felt like she had touched upon a subject that should not be brought up.
At that moment, she spotted a bumpy sack on the floor.
Seo Yuhui, the Master of Cleaning, had left something lying around?
As this was simply impossible, the curious girl crawled over and checked the contents of the bag.
Her eyes immediately widened. Inside the sack were weapons and armor shining brilliantly.
Not just one, but nine.
“Oh, that? Dissonant Wishes.”
“Dissonant Wishes…? Ah, you said you used your Divine Wish to attend the Banquet.”
“They’re from the people who died in Stage 3. It felt like a waste to just leave them there.”
The girl’s eyes shone.
“Nope, you can’t have those either.”
The girl quickly turned sullen.
“… I didn’t even ask for them.”
“They already have owners.”
“Wait, you just said they belonged to dead people!”
“Anyways, you can’t have them. I’ll scold you if you touch them without my permission.”
Perhaps tired of Seo Yuhui’s endless No’s, the girl sprawled down on her back.
In the end, she gave up completely.
She knew how much Seo Yuhui liked to share and give. Since she was refusing so firmly, she had to have a need for them.
Although the girl wanted to badger her a bit more, especially since she helped with moving everything, she didn’t have the heart to do so with how much help she’d received in the past.
But it wasn’t as if she didn’t have regrets. So, she puckered her lips out and asked.
“Who is he?”
Now done with displaying everything, Seo Yuhui turned her gaze.
“Who’s the lucky person receiving Unni’s unprecedented support and care?”
Seo Yuhui rested her chin on her thumb and looked up at the ceiling.
Then, she spoke with a timid smile.
“Our neighboring… rabbit?”
When the girl asked back in a daze…
“Yep. A rabbit.”
Seo Yuhui smiled bashfully.
“A very cute white rabbit.”