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Our family sat down with lots of beer and we talked since we hadn’t all gathered together in a long time,
We kind of talked about the house thing too.
I again used the story I gave Hyun-ji before, that I invested in my friends’ startup business and it exploded.
“That board member I rescued before, from Mt. Taejo. The guy that got me the job.”
“He helped me out and used the company my friends set up as a subcontractor. Thanks to that, since I invested in the startup, I keep making good money.”
Thankfully, noona who is always suspicious must be tired from the verbal wrestling she did with Cha Ji-hye because she didn’t hound me.
But honestly, why would she when her younger sibling is making money? And she also knows for sure that I don’t have the wherewithal to make money through conning like a criminal.
Mom clapped her hands in glee.
“Oh my, my, finally, you’ve made it, son! You’ve got money and a girl, now all you need to do is put a grandbaby in my arms!”
“Again with that grandbaby nagging.”
“Son, you just wait till you’re my age.”
Then mom kind of scooted over towards Cha Ji-hye and asked.
“How old are you may I ask?”
“I am 29 years old. Please lower your speech, mother.”
“Ho ho, shall I? It’s good to hear the word mother. Honey, don’t use your cold (matter of fact) style of speech, you can relax.”
“I find this comfortable. If it bothers you to hear such speech, I apologize.”
She spent 15 years in the Arena but she ultimately couldn’t get rid of that army manner of speech.
…. But did mom just call her honey?
“Ho ho ho, not at all. Concise and nice to hear.”
“Anyway, if you’re 29, you should start… no?”
“What do you mean?”
“When are you planning on marrying, honey?”
“I have no intention.”
Cha Ji-hye didn’t blink an eye and answered firmly.
“Oh my goodness, why?!”
Mom was shocked at Cha Ji-hye’s straightforwardness.
“I’m sorry. I plan on living unmarried. Hyun-ho had the same thought and we decided to date.”
Mom’s tearful face looked towards me.
“You want a single life?”
“Uh, um, yes.”
At the sudden development of this situation, I got flustered and with a bitter face she replied.
“Why would son want to be single? Weren’t you single all this time because you didn’t have the means for a woman?”
“Well, yes but when I thought about it I wondered whether there really was a rush to get married.”
Mom then went numb from the shock.
Noona and I and Hyun-ji, she looked around at the 3 of us, gave up, and sighed in lamentation.
“One can’t marry, one doesn’t want to marry, and the remaining one can’t even get a job……”
Feeling ashamed, the three siblings bowed our heads down.
Mom felt dizzy and lay down.
“It’s all wrong. I’m doomed to die without seeing a grandbaby. The convenience store family next door, their four daughters have all married and already have two grandbabies they bragged……”
That stupid convenience store ajumma!
It’s always like this. Mom brags that the business is doing well and the convenience store lady retaliates by bragging about two grandkids.
My family pounded down the alcohol and spread out. Marie, despite her young mental age, seemed to really enjoy beer.
The next morning I woke up on the sofa. Next to me was Marie, clinging on to me and asleep.
I tried to remove her from my arms but like some snake she wrapped her arms and legs around me and didn’t let go.
I tried to get her loose but she wouldn’t let up. Is this jiu-jitsu?
“Miss Marie, you’re awake are you?”
“Suddenly pretending to snore won’t help you.”
Marie suddenly opened her eyes wide. Big and blue eyes, glistening and cute.
Blonde hair and blue eyes, white skin, a Caucasian beauty. Marie is like the grownup version of Odin’s daughter Bella.
I’m sure when Bella grows up she’ll be just as beautiful. Perhaps that’s why Odin takes after Marie as if she were his own daughter.
I got Marie untangled and looked around my house.
I went to my room and in my king size bed was mom, sis, and Hyun-ji, tangled and sleeping.
And in the kitchen……
“You are awake?”
For a second I was suspicious of what I saw.
Cha Ji-hye was wearing an apron and cooking, the scene was that shocking to see.
Such a feminine vision of Cha Ji-hye, this was my first time seeing it.
“You know how to cook?”
“I’ve lived alone all my life, of course.”
Well, that makes sense too.
It’s just so unexpected that seeing Cha Ji-hye cooking looked new.
Without really thinking about it I sat down at the table and watched her cook.
Cha Ji-hye didn’t pay attention to me sitting there and continued with her cooking.
She prepared bean curd soup with tofu in it and bean sprout soup good for alcohol recovery without any hesitation.
“Go ahead and call your family to the table.”
I woke up my family and brought them into the kitchen. The three woman with shabby faces and eyes only half open made it to a sitting position at the table.
“Did you make all this, hon?”
“Let’s see how it tastes.”
Mom picked up her spoon first and had a taste of the bean sprout soup. Then she looked satisfied and nodded her head.
“It’s really good. I think you can come get married, honey.”
“I won’t marry.”
At the unhesitating reproach towards mom’s flirtation, it hurt her.
The legendary ice queen noona too looked a bit hurt at Cha Ji-hye’s brazen answers.
Hyun-ji went from gazing at the strong personalities in the room, between mom and sis and even Cha Ji-hye. You should just get a job.
The meal was tasty.
A plain meal for an average family. After breaking up with Min-jeong, it had been a long time since I had a home cooked meal like this.
After the meal, mom and noona and Hyun-ji left the house.
“Son, be well. I’ll come by again so even if you miss me, stay strong.”
“Ok, I’ll probably cry because I want to see you so bad. Next time you come, bring lots of banchan.”
“Ok, ok. Be well you too honey.”
“Yes, have a safe trip back, mother.”
“And think about the marriage thing.”
Mom was hurt once more as she left.
Like that, a typhoon passed.
Afterwards for exercise, I sparred with Marie.
Marie, like always, moved deftly going front, back, left, and right without restriction, keeping me on my toes.
With the physical strength buff intermediate level 5 and reflex superior level 1 plus the superior spirit summons that gave me the power of nature, I couldn’t help but barely chase after Marie’s coattails.
Marie’s incredibly irregular attacks, it’s too hard to follow them.
Like a predator, Marie moved instantly out of my sight. Her movements were too much.
She doesn’t use standard fighting methods but I’m overcome trying to just defend and evade, that’s all I can manage in this situation.
‘But in theory, there’s no reason for me to lose.’
Physical strength buff intermediate level 5.
Reflex superior level 1.
Spirit summons superior level 1.
Even if I were to argue it in terms of karma points I think I would far surpass Marie. I got the idea that she hadn’t raised her main skill, aura control, to superior yet.
I had no idea why I kept losing so I asked Cha Ji-hye for her opinion.
Cha Ji-hye actually answered it very easily.
“It’s dynamic visual acuity.”
“Dynamic visual acuity?”
“From what I can tell, Miss Johanna has incredible dynamic visual acuity. Beyond the level of battle, it’s much more developed.”
“Is dynamic visual acuity that important?”
“Saying that someone has good dynamic visual acuity, it means that basically in the blink of an eye, she can take in more information and decide what to do in the same amount of time than you can. Does it make sense if I say time moves more slowly for her?”
“The martial artists that we call geniuses have that ability. Other things can be improved with training but there is a limit to it with dynamic visual acuity.”
“Then that means by skill I’m not deficient?”
“Yes, your movement itself has developed well and is very impressive. By skill, I think your reflexes are very good.”
“Then is there no skill that can improve my dynamic visual acuity?”
I still have 1,500 karma left.
I hadn’t use it just in case but I thought that if I can I should use it for the visual acuity.
If fighting with Marie is like this, how will it be with Lee Chang-wee?
He’s the strongest opponent in China, world class Lee Chang-wee.
Before he became an opponent he was already a martial arts master, he’ll be a much harder opponent.
“There is an assist skill that can improve your vision but as I understand it, it doesn’t work on dynamic visual acuity.”
“There’s an assist skill that strengthens vision?”
“A vision buff. Examinees with poor eyesight sometimes use them.”
Vision buff, you say……
Instantly I thought of the special skill that’s like a cheat, the skill synthesis.
I got the reflex skill too by combining the physical strength buff and guider skill together.
So if I take this assist skill called vision assist with the guider skill, wouldn’t that create a dynamic visual acuity?
After thinking about it, I summoned my board and said.
“Show me vision buff skill.”
Then the words on the board began to wiggle.
-Vision buff (assist skill): strengthens vision.
*Entry level 1: vision 1.0 (-100)
-Remaining karma: +1,500
‘Vision 1.0 eh.’
My eyesight left and right were at 0.5 and 0.4, I guess I won’t be needing glasses.
In many ways it looks alright.
With 100 karma I decided to get the vision buff.
-Please select the skills or items you wish to synthesize.
- Skills available for synthesis: spirit summons (Sylph), spirit summons (Kasa), physical buffer, guider, teleport, vision buff
- Items available for synthesis: AW50F, Neilson H2 (quantity 2), 357 magnum (quantity 5).
*Items used for synthesis will be deleted.
I’ll have to try them all in order.
-Synthesizing spirit summons (Sylph) and vision buff (assist skill).
-Synthesizing spirit summons (Kasa) with vision buff (assist skill).
-Synthesizing physical strength buff (assist skill) and vision buff (assist skill).
Three consecutive fails.
But of course for this I wasn’t expecting much. The important stuff came next.
“I’ll synthesize the guider and vision buff.”
-Synthesizing guider (assist skill) with vision buff (assist skill).
I prayed. Then,
A light spurted out of the board. This was the reaction of success.
Then the skill appeared on the board.
-Synthesis successful. You have achieved dynamic visual acuity (synthesis skill).
-Dynamic visual acuity (synthesis skill): able to see a quickly moving object well.
*Entry level 1
I rejoiced inside. Because I got exactly what I needed.
Having completed my original goal I went on and tried to synthesize the vision buff with other skills.
“I’ll synthetize the teleport with vision buff.”
-Synthesizing guider (assist skill) with vision buff (assist skill).
Another light spurt from the board. Could it be?
-Synthesis successful. See-through (synthesis skill) has been achieved.
-See through: able to see something behind an obstruction. Activated when you say ‘see-through.’
*Entry level 1: effect 3 seconds, cool time 60 minutes
This too was a skill I needed. It’ll be very useful to see hidden enemies behind walls.
Especially because the anti-material rifle AW50F has the ability to shoot through walls and kill an enemy, I looked forward to using the two skills together.
‘Well then, I’ve tried synthesizing all the skill together now. Should I try it with the items now?’
Amongst my items I had five magnum 357s left.
They were left over from the itemizations I did for shooting, ammo revision, and reload synthesis.
I’m really curious. If I combine this bullet and the vision buff?
I decided to give it a try. I wouldn’t really be losing anything if I fail.
“I’ll synthesize vision buff and magnum bullet.”
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