That wasn’t the important part.
Kim Hannah’s appearance was a far cry from that of a human.
A pair of goat horns protruded from her head and a pair of bat wings protruded from her back. And with a shockingly risque and vulgar outfit covering almost none of her body…
The Kim Hannah in the vision was no different from a Succubus.
Seol Jihu immediately noticed what had happened.
Kim Hannah had defected to the Parasites. Just like how Marcel Ghionea’s fiancée had been captured and brainwashed by Vulgar Chastity.
It was definitely possible.
Kim Hannah had said so herself. That she had many enemies.
She had freely worked under the shield called Sinyoung, but that shield had abandoned her.
Those that were suppressed by Sinyoung, forced to only gnash their teeth in anger, wouldn’t have missed this opportunity.
And Kim Hannah, who now had no place to stand, was chased and chased until eventually…
At that moment, his General Observation triggered and opened up Kim Hannah’s Status Window.
[Kim Hannah's Status Window]
[1. General Information]
Summoned Date: 2014. 03. 21
Marking Grade: Silver
Current Condition: Good
Class: Lv 5. Cunning Vixen
Nationality: Republic of Korea (Area 1)
Alias: Cunning Agitator, Spiteful Bitch, Miss Foxy, Con Artist, Second Place
—Cold-blooded (Rational and unempathetic)
—Self-disciplined (Exercises appropriate restraints to avoid crossing limits)
—Synesthesia (Sensitive to changes in other people's emotions)
—Brilliant (Possesses a smart brain as well as good overall talents)
—Eloquence (Gifted in speech)
—Adaptable (Able to quickly and appropriately handle unexpected circumstances)
—Face Changer (Skilled in changing masks according to the situation)
3. Level of Cognition
Iron-blooded (Has no blood or tears) / Evil / Disheartened (Broken in spirit and heart)
His awe at her traits only lasted for a moment. Seol Jihu bit his lips after seeing her Level of Cognition.
Her Temperament was cold-blooded and self-disciplined, but the third item on her level of cognition was disheartened, a completely contrasting status.
[However, there have been quite a few cases where the ‘Disposition’ and ‘Temperament’ didn't match.]
[On the flip side, your Disposition looks good, but your Temperament happens to be not? I can confidently say this. Your Disposition will also slowly deteriorate and end up corrupted, eventually matching your Temperament.]
Just like the Status Window showed him, Kim Hannah was literally in despair and a state of resignation.
There was only evil left.
And if this situation persisted? If one day, the Parasites came and tempted her? Could Kim Hannah stop herself from being shaken?
'I can’t let that happen.’
For his and Kim Hannah’s sake. It must never happen. Kim Hannah’s fate had to be changed.
He knew the answer. He had to give her a place to stay.
In other words, it would be fine if Kim Hannah was given a place that replaced Sinyoung where she could carry out her ambitions.
Before he spoke, Seol Jihu drained a mug filled with liquor.
Placing down the mug…
"There’s something I forgot to tell you.”
…He opened his mouth.
"I leveled up."
"My contributions during the war were acknowledged and my level rose to Level 5. I’m now a High Ranker like you.”
The sobbing gradually stopped.
"The class name is the Lance of Nemesis. I don’t know what you think of that name, but I quite like it.”
Seol Jihu paid attention to Kim Hannah’s Status Window as he spoke a little louder.
"Because Nemesis is the goddess of revenge. Do you still remember what you said to me back in the Neutral Zone?”
As he said that, Kim Hannah slowly looked up.
“Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you—”
“You shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets… Matthew 7:12.”
Kim Hannah finished the sentence with an entranced voice.
"Right, the Golden Rule.”
Seol Jihu softly smiled.
"That’s how I’ve been living in Paradise. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth… What about you?”
Kim Hannah did not reply. She only stared at him with wet eyes. She had a face that was plainly asking, ‘What was he was suddenly spouting on about, and what exactly did he want to say?’
Seol Jihu decided to get to his main point.
"I’m thinking of leaving Haramark soon."
Kim Hannah narrowed her eyes.
"I’m going to create an organization.”
Her face plainly showed that she was doubting her ears.
"Yes, an organization."
Seol Jihu did not falter and continued talking.
"The discussions are already done. We’ll be going to Eva. We’ll go there and build an organization.”
Kim Hannah’s lips parted slightly. She looked completely speechless. It was a face that said ‘What the hell is he on about?’
After blankly staring at him for a while…
She started to laugh.
After letting out a long laugh, she took a deep breath.
"So, you’re telling me to enter your organization?”
"Jihu, Jihu, please.”
Kim Hannah’s voice became gentle.
"Is our little Jihu saying all this after knowing exactly what making an organization means?”
"In Paradise, how many groups do you think there are that can be called an organization?”
Seol Jihu silently shook his head. Kim Hannah spoke while tiredly smiling.
"There aren't even one hundred officially registered ones. There are eighty-two to be exact. Even though Paradise has been opened to Earthlings for a long time, it hasn’t reached triple digits yet.”
She sounded hostile, but Seol Jihu silently listened. For one, it could be understood as a piece of advice. Second, her tone sounded closer to a whine than anything else.
"Shall we calculate some more? There are twenty-eight organizations in Scheherazade alone. Then that means there are only nine organizations in each of the remaining cities.”
As if she was out of breath, she wheezed before making a solemn face.
"An organization… Do you think you can make one just because you want to? What about the minimal requirements in creating one? Do you even know the evaluation standards?”
"I don’t know for sure. I haven’t looked that deeply into it yet.”
Seol Jihu calmly replied.
"That’s why I’m trying to recruit you.”
Kim Hannah wrapped her hands around her face.
After letting out a deep sigh and slowly putting down her hands, she revealed a face that was past being flabbergasted to one that showed she had half-given up.
"…Fine, then apart from all this.”
She continued with a weak voice.
"Do you have the money?"
Seol Jihu plainly affirmed.
"At the very least, you have to think of the cost that goes into buying land, constructing the building, and maintaining… huh?”
As if she had naturally thought he wouldn’t have any money, Kim Hannah suddenly stopped herself while talking.
"A recent expedition turned out well so I got my hands on a bit of money.”
Kim Hannah scoffed.
"Ooh, really? You’ve earned a few gold coins, huh?”
"Heh. Fine then, tell me. Did you earn around ten? Twenty? You probably only earned forty gold coins at most.”
"Four 600-gram gold bars.”
The moment he spoke…
"If converted into gold coins… then around 86 I guess?”
…Kim Hannah’s face hardened. She frowned, making an expression that couldn’t be described with words. She blatantly expressed that she didn’t believe him.
There was no need for words. Seol Jihu lifted up the backpack he had brought along and set it down in front of Kim Hannah. A heavy Tong! rang out.
When Seol Jihu nodded, Kim Hannah skeptically opened the bag.
The moment a golden light shone on her face, Seol Jihu could clearly see it.
All drunkenness receding from Kim Hannah’s face.
Seol Jihu took out a cigarette and placed it in his mouth before talking.
"I’ve only brought a portion of it. The rest is stored in the temple back at Haramark.”
Kim Hannah quickly closed the bag. After darting her eyes left and right, she tightly hugged the bag.
"Besides those four 600-gram gold bars, there are also 70-gram gold eggs…”
Kim Hannah’s eyes widened the more Seol Jihu listed off his possessions.
"T-That’s the entire spoil from the expedition?”
"No, it’s after dividing it by nine portions.”
Kim Hannah gasped.
"That’s just my share."
Kim Hannah gaped after estimating the total amount.
"That… Are you saying I should believe that?”
"Why would I lie when all you have to do is check my storage in Haramark?”
Kim Hannah was compelled to agree with him since he wasn’t wrong.
Breathing out a thin line of smoke, Seol Jihu calmly spoke again.
"Like you said, there are a lot of things I don't know yet. But I’m not acting without thinking. The most important factors involved in establishing an organization, I at least know that much.”
With results right in front of her eyes, Kim Hannah had nothing to say.
Rather, she looked very stunned. After all, she had thought he was joking, but it turned out he wasn’t.
After confirming that Seol Jihu was serious, Kim Hannah could only start thinking differently as well.
When his cigarette had almost burnt out, Kim Hannah stopped alternately staring between Seol Jihu and the bag he had tossed over. After strongly shaking her head, she directed her gaze in front of her.
It was only slightly, but her eyes grew clearer.
"There’s… one thing I want to ask.”
Seol Jihu stubbed his cigarette and tilted his head.
"Why go to Eva? Staying at Haramark would be much easier.”
"You’re right. But I’m not going alone.”
“The Triads and Umi Tsubame agreed to move together. Actually, Umi Tsubame has pretty much been disbanded, but since Mr. Kazuki is coming…”
"That was Master Jang’s condition in the first place.”
Seol Jihu quietly continued.
"To properly settle internal affairs, to win over another organization, and to prepare ample funds.”
He then shrugged.
"Well… The biggest reason is because Haramark belongs to Sicilia. I don’t want to fight with Sicilia.”
Kim Hannah had no energy left to be surprised. But he could still guess what she was feeling. This was because her Level of Cognition had changed the moment he had finished talking.
From ‘Evil’ to ‘Greatly Astonished’.
It couldn’t be helped. Given how smart Kim Hannah was, she had already figured out Seol Jihu’s grand ambition just from him saying that he didn’t want to fight with Sicilia.
The young man in front of her eyes was trying to take over a city and become its King.
Seol Jihu asked for the second time.
"I’ll give you a room. A big, grand room.”
"Do you want to come and live with me?"
They were words that were very misleading to anyone that didn’t know the situation.
Kim Hannah did not reply immediately.
"W-Wait a moment."
She raised her hand while rubbing her forehead.
Shakily standing up and barely steadying herself…
"Give me some time to think… Please…"
She squeezed out a request.
Seol Jihu candidly agreed after seeing her Level of Cognition change from ‘Greatly Astonished’ to ‘Pondering’.
"Sure, that’s the least I can do.”
Then, he got up from his seat.
"But don’t even think about leaving. Stay right next to me.”
He said those words just in case.
Kim Hannah laughed, noticing that Seol Jihu was worried about her.
"I don’t even have anywhere to go, you bastard."
Seol Jihu tried to support her, but Kim Hannah declined, saying she could walk by herself.
She didn’t say anything the entire time they were walking. Seeing that she seemed to be thinking deeply and struggling internally, Seol Jihu didn’t say anything either.
Even though it was late at night, none of his teammates could be found at the inn. He didn’t even need to guess. They were probably still chugging down liquor with the intention of staying up all night long.
"Sleep for now. We can finish talking tomorrow.”
Seol Jihu checked out a room for Kim Hannah before returning to his room.
He didn’t know when it had followed him, but the egg was comfortably asleep in the middle of the soft bed.
'When did this guy tag along?'
Seol Jihu flicked the egg away with his finger before plopping down on the bed. Petting the egg that was bouncing up and down in surprise, he stared up at the ceiling.
Sleep did not come easily. The vision of Kim Hannah that he saw at the bar kept replaying in his head.
Meanwhile, at the same time.
Kim Hannah was also having trouble falling asleep.
Her head felt dizzy while her body was exhausted, but she kept remembering the words she had heard earlier.
[I don’t want to fight with Sicilia.]
A snort kept coming out. He didn’t want to fight with Sicilia. Against an opponent with an Executor and Claire Agnes.
It was ridiculous the more she thought about it.
But, what was this sense of expectation that she felt?
Looking back, Seol Jihu was always like that. Doing things that others had deemed impossible and tried to stop him from. No matter how reckless he was, the results spoke for themselves.
Just like how he defeated the Parasite’s First Army Commander when he was only Level 4.
That was why…
Kim Hannah shot up from the bed.
Just when he was about to fall asleep, he suddenly heard the door open.
And following the sound of the door closing and someone softly stepping towards him, he felt the presence of someone lying down next to him.
He became wide awake. Having lost the timing to react, Seol Jihu could only blink his innocent eyes. A strong smell of alcohol wafted into his nose.
"I know you’re not asleep."
It was Kim Hannah’s voice.
"Don’t misunderstand. I came here because my mind is a mess and because I didn’t want to be alone.”
She had told him not to misunderstand, but he couldn’t not misunderstand. Hearing her speak gibberish, it was apparent that she was still drunk.
"Then what? Why did you come?”
Kim Hannah spoke after a while.
"Promise me… Promise me just three things.”
Seol Jihu’s body froze hearing the serious tone.
"…What promise? Do you want to be protected? Sure, I’ll protect you.”
"That goes without saying.”
Kim Hannah scolded him before clearing her voice.
"First— give me authority.”
"You are planning to become a King, right?”
"Sure, if you really want, I’ll gladly break my back working like a dog for you. But I’ll have to decline if taking care of you like a nanny is what you want.”
Seol Jihu focused his ears. Jang Maldong had told him once. That everyone had a desire.
And Kim Hannah’s desire was the realization of authority. Catching that point, Seol Jihu asked.
"How much do you want?"
Seol Jihu turned around and glanced behind him. Kim Hannah was lying with her back toward him.
"Are you thinking of marrying—”
Even before he could finish his words, Kim Hannah kicked his butt with a backward kick.
"I’m not in the mood to joke with you. Enough with the nonsense and hand over the position of the Queen. Considering the level of your team, while I’ll acknowledge going underneath you, I won’t accept anyone else above me.”
"Hey, there’s Master Jang too.”
"Of course, I respect him, but at least make our positions equal. It doesn’t matter anyways since our areas of expertise are different.”
Kim Hannah wasn’t backing down. Seol Jihu fell into deep thought for a while before replying.
"If that’s what you want, then fine. But you’re going to have to show me a level of ability and character befitting that position.”
"Ability is a given, but character?”
"What I mean is you shouldn’t abuse your authority. No matter how skilled someone is, I can’t work with someone that does whatever they please.”
"You haven’t drunk enough of Paradise’s water yet. In Paradise, ability is character.”
Kim Hannah snorted.
"I’ll show you. At the very least, I won’t fling my weight here and there without any justification, so don’t worry.”
Kim Hannah coughed.
"Second— become a big tree.”
"Not a big man?"
"That’s limited to just humans. I’m saying you should grow an organization to its fullest extent centered around you. Big enough so that you can easily look down on Sinyoung.”
Sinyoung was currently called the greatest organization in Paradise. Seol Jihu replied without hesitation.
"…You, you definitely promised. I’ll never forgive you if you suddenly become content, give up in the middle, or die off by yourself without permission.”
"Fine, fine. And the third?”
Kim Hannah trailed off. Her dignified manner suddenly disappeared.
He could hear her mumble something, but he couldn’t hear it properly because it was too quiet.
"What did you say?"
"…betray me… ever…”
A trembling voice.
Seol Jihu smacked his lips.
"As long as you don’t betray me first.”
After a while, he heard her moving. She must have turned around as he felt a gaze land on his neck.
Seol Jihu also gently turned around and looked at Kim Hannah.
"Is the recruitment complete?”
Kim Hannah did not say anything. She only stared back at him with her fox-like eyes before letting out a sigh and gently closing her eyes.
It was all of a sudden, but he felt that her long eyelashes were very beautiful.
Was she relieved after he had given her a definite answer? She sounded sleepy as if a wave of drowsiness had finally hit her. Seol Jihu grinned.
"I’ll make you happy. No matter what.”
Kim Hannah softly laughed while half-asleep.
"If anyone heard… they’d think we just got married…”
Then the sound of soft breathing was heard.
Seol Jihu activated his Nine Eyes.
Iron-blooded (Has no blood or tears) / Determined / Ambitious (Hoping to accomplish something big)
Her Level of Cognition had changed completely.
Her color was still blue, Choice of Destiny.
And seeing the vision that played out in front of him, Seol Jihu clenched his fists.
With this, he finally passed one hurdle.
Secretly patting his chest, Seol Jihu let out a sigh of relief. Then he gently closed his eyes.
And of course, because old habits died hard, Seol Jihu quietly dug his face into Kim Hannah’s chest and let himself fall asleep with a satisfied smile.
'75C… No, D.'
It was then.
"Because this is so ridiculous, I’m going to ask you before I slap you.”
Kim Hannah, who he thought had fallen asleep, spoke in a clear voice with her eyes closed.
"Is this how you flirt with other girls?”
Seol Jihu hurriedly pretended to be asleep. He winced his face in preparation to receive a slap.
At that moment, he felt a hand rest on his side and gently stroke him.
"I was stupid to think you were dependable for even a moment…”
Kim Hannah clicked her tongue and grumbled. The slap did not come.
Seol Jihu faintly smiled as he fell asleep.
"Just what do you plan to do…"
After confirming that he was sweetly sleeping, Kim Hannah bitterly smiled.
"You’re the only one…"
She remarked in a low voice.
"The only one who enters Paradise… because you miss the scent of people.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter