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The remaining time flowed flatly. We passed the time smoothly without any threat to our lives.
The biggest danger we did get was just some rain. We had to take our rain drenched bodies back to the cave by the ravine we were at before. Thankfully, the hundreds of red apes that were in the nearby area had all gone and left.
Now that Park Go-chan was gone, it was peaceful.
Hye-su and Joon-ho decided to go brother-sister relationship and the three of us became close. The closed up Kang Chun-seong was his usual self.
Anyhow, after that day, Lee Hye-su became different. She tried her hardest at everything.
As soon as I caught a rabbit, she learned from me on how to butcher it. She didn’t blink an eye and cut the ankles and flipped off the hide.
Not only that, but she did all the cooking and even brought a bunch of berries that she found while she was out gathering kindle.
As the uneventful free time grew, Kang Chun-seong started practicing his martial arts. Joon-ho began exercising and Hye-su continually searched the forest for things to eat like fruit.
I had time to organize and understand the skills that Sylph and I learned from this exam.
First, long distance communication.
Using Sylph to deliver speech is possible within a distance of 900 meters. It can be made to only be heard by one person as well.
Second, sound removal.
It is a skill to move around discretely by getting rid of noise. Using this, I was able to infiltrate the gang of red apes and kill their leader.
Third, smell removal.
It’s a way to eradicate my odor from passing through the air. Using the sound removal and the smell removal together, I was able to successfully catch a rabbit with my bare hands, the effect is that good.
Fourth, oxygen concentration.
It’s a way to concentrate the oxygen to make it easier to light a fire, but I am also thinking that I could concentrate it to create explosives in a fight. For example, I concentrate the oxygen then throw a torch out.
Fifth, wind knife.
It is a good, viable way to attack while in close range. I passed many dangers with this. It causes a lot of damage so it uses a lot of strength, so I can only really use it when I really need it.
‘I’m only alive thanks to Sylph.’
Sylph’s incredible usefulness!
I consider myself so lucky that I chose the spirit summon as my main skill.
Things like aura control are very useful for martial artists like Kang Chun-seong but it wouldn’t be much help to a layperson like me.
And we passed by the remaining time like this and then in front of the cave, the exam door appeared.
“Wow. It’s finally over.”
Joon-ho had a moved expression on his face.
“The first thing I’m going to do when I get back is take a bath” said Hye-su.
Then again, we didn’t really have a way to properly wash while we’ve been here.
Couldn’t change our underwear or socks so we’re sure to feel a bit grimy.
I lead the pack and open the exam door and go through.
Boo boo boooo
Here we go again.
The bbundegi bastard is blowing on his horn and disorientingly flitting about here and there.
And it isn’t only me, but everybody else is looking at the obnoxious childish baby angel with unkind gazes.
It’s only natural to be filled with rage after suffering like a dog then returning to see this shit show.
“You all are looking at me with such loving eyes. Did you miss me that much?”
The baby angel has a way of pouring gasoline on the fire of rage.
“You bastard. Stop that and hurry up and evaluate us.”
At my words, the baby angel shrugs his shoulders.
“But the evaluation is already done? Check your boards.”
Mission: Survive the time limit (complete)
Time limit: –
5 class, 900 karma. Is this a good grade? I wonder what other people got?
“It is indeed a good grade.”
The baby angel abruptly shoves his face up to mine.
At that, I get startled and take a step back and grind my teeth.
“Would you not just read my thoughts and abruptly interrupt me?”
At that, the baby angel chews (ignores) my words and turns the conversation around.
“Examinee Kim Hyun-ho again sets the record. In the 2nd exam, of all examinees ever, you have received the greatest score.”
“The best grade ever? Me?”
“Yes. There has never been an examinee that has received 900 karma until now”
Everyone exclaims and looks at me
The baby angel looks away and continues to speak.
“You’ve earned as much karma as the other examinees combined. My eyes didn’t deceive me. I told you that you are a person that is capable of it.”
“Look at your contributions in the exam. You infiltrated in the dead of night, killed the red ape Rode, and you got rid of the uncooperative person who kept being a negative distraction to the team.”
Negative distraction. That is the description for Park Go-chan.
“Every moment, every second, your decision making and actions were very definitive and calculated. What average human would be able to do as examinee Kim Hyun-ho did? Now do you realize that you aren’t just an average person, but a very special human indeed?”
I have nothing to reply back with. The inside of my head is complicated. I was sure of the fact that I had to kill Park Go-chan. The fact that he tried to rape Lee Hye-su was a good opportunity for it. A good opportunity to cross the threshold of murder…
Perhaps I am like the baby angel said and I’m not like the average person. Even though I have thought myself a plain, weak, and slightly pitiful person.
“Now now, shall we evaluate the others? Examinee Kang Chun-seong, examinee Lee Joon-ho, and examinee Lee Hye-su earned 400, 300, 200 karma respectively.”
3 people’s score really is my grade. But Kang Chun-seong’s grade is lower than I thought it would be. I wonder why.
“How much of your strength did you use, how much did you contribute to clearing the mission? The grade evaluates these 2 things. In these respects, examinee Kang Chun-seong.”
The baby angle flapped his wings and approached Kang Chun-seong.
“You were wondering this because your grade was lower than you thought it would be.”
“Your role was a big help in getting your group past danger. But on the other hand, you were a distraction in clearing the mission.”
Kang Chun-seong’s brow furrows.
“How did you leave Park Go-chan’s actions alone? Was it not a problem that could’ve been solved by a single word from you?”
“Of course, not doing everything you possibly could have done isn’t automatic grounds for deduction but examinee Kang Chun-seong was definitely a distraction for your group relationship.”
It was at Kang Chun-seong’s questioning face that the baby angel continued his explanation.
“You suppressed examinee Park Go-chan but after that, with your disinterested behavior, you allowed the disorganized group ranking to continue and let Park Go-chan be a conflicting factor.”
“What do you mean?”
“If you weren’t present, the ranking would have been decided early on. Examinee Kim Hyun-ho would have used his gun and his spirit to threaten Park Go-chan’s life so that he would no longer continue to be a bother. And then perhaps the situation where he had to be killed wouldn’t have arisen.”
“Well then. Anything else you curious about? If not, I’ll send you all home.”
It was Hye-su that raised her hand and spoke up.
“What is it? You’re such a bother.”
Hye-su’s face showed a hurt expression.
“I’ll be quick about it. You’re wondering why you got 200 karma when there was nothing you did. That’s because one of the ways of evaluation is by seeing how much of your given abilities was used. Examinee Lee Hye-su had not even a rat’s ass worth of capability but all else considered, you worked really hard. You good?”
Then even counting the -50, she will have 150 karma left. Thank goodness. Working hard definitely pays off.
Her good fortune as like my own good fortune and I was happy.
“Ok. Then go on home.”
The baby angel was like a delinquent part time employee shooing us out of a store as he created the exam door.
As everyone starts to head out, I quickly shout
“Hold on! Hold on!”
The three people halt and look back at me.
“Before you go, give me your contact information. Actually, I’ll just give you my cell phone number so please memorize it and contact me. During our rest period, we should meet up and consult about our next exam.”
“I hadn’t thought of that.”
Joon-ho and Hye-su agree.
“Aww I thought you had all forgotten and I was laughing inside. What a pity.”
I look at the baby angel and grind my teeth.
After the three people memorized my number, we returned to the world of reality.
I opened my eyes and an ajumma that looks like she would be really good a frying chicken looks at me desperately.
“Its 11 am and you’re still sleeping?”
“…originally, smart people have to sleep a lot.”
“What about Napoleon?”
“That guy? He had the height of a loser. I’m an Einstein type. I need to sleep 10 hours a day.”
“Son. I know I said I’d let you rest for this month, but you really reek of unemployment. Just try living a little harder, ok?”
“Ok mom. Speaking of which, so I can be rising star of the fried chicken business, I’ve been exercising every day.”
“Alright. You always had a way with words. I’m going to drop by the bank and then go to the store.”
“Ok. Come back safely.”
Mom left the house and then it was empty. I go to the kitchen and go to the fridge and there is water and all kinds of food and ramen stacked in the pantry. There are eggs and plenty of kimchi and beer in the kimchi fridge.
“I’ve really come back.”
To think it is so easy to get food and something to drink.”
I am moved and have never thought of this before.
“Oh mom. Thank you for feeding and raising me. Turns out eating and living is extremely difficult.”
I pop an egg in my ramen and even put some rice in it and finish in a pinch.
I eat my fill and even drink a can of beer when my phone vibrates. I check it and I’ve gotten a text message.
(TN: Brackets ‘[ ]’ indicate text messages.)
[Is this Hyun-ho oppa? This is Hye-su ^^]
Hye-su has immediately contacted me. How could even the smiling face be so adorable.
[You’re up? I just had rice in my ramen and I’m being moved by a can of beer lol]
[Haha sounds yummy! Bi-bim-bap for me! With tons of red pepper paste]
(TN: Bi-bim-bap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste), soy sauce, or doenjang, a fermented soybean paste. A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The hot dish is stirred together thoroughly just before eating.)
[Eat it deliciously ^^ Oh, and don’t use your karma, just leave it for now. We can all consult later and make a plan]
[Okay ^^ If you get Jun-ho’s number please let me know]
I save Hye-su’s contact number. After saving it into contacts as ‘Hye-su <3’ I save her as speed dial 1. Who cares? No one is going to look at my phone.
I finish my meal and open my ancient laptop and get online.
There are things I must do to prepare for the next exam.
‘Oh, I almost forgot. How long is the rest period?’
I retrieve my board.
-Name: Kim Hyun-ho
-Mission: Rest until the next exam.
-Time limit: 15 days
-You may receive a karma prize. To receive the karma prize, after retrieving the board, say ‘karma prize’.
Half a lunar cycle.
The rest period has gotten longer since last time.
At the thought of there still being plenty of time left, my heart feels stronger.
‘I have to use this time wisely. I’ll just finish this and go hike.’
I have decided to hike and do pushups every day.
Even at the second exam, the exercise I did for the ten days prior was a lot of help. Thanks to the hikes, I was able to adjust to the mountain terrain, and I was able to withstand the difficulty my body endured.
I’m online and I begin to write on all kinds of community sites.
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