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Seraph, is Flustered.
I had turned back 10 years of time. Seraph, whom I had spent 10 years together, was gone.
‘What happens now….?’
In a moment, an Angel would be summoned on top of the now empty altar. A new Angel could appear, but Seraph could also be summoned once more. If the former happened, it wouldn’t really matter. But what would happen if the later occurred? I guess she would appear without any memories of our time together, but maybe….
After waiting for 3 minutes, I felt a response. The empty space above the altar began to lash out like the waves in the ocean. In my first life, I would probably have lost conscience right about now. Having never observed the process of an Angel being summoned, I looked on at the spectacle with great interest.
Like a ripple on the surface of the water, a pure white light poured out, humming out a dissonance of concentric circles. For a moment I thought the light would waver out, but it exploded like fireworks creating an explosion of white light. From the light, a shape began to form. I didn’t want to miss anything leading to the formation of the new Angel.
Before long, the generation process was complete and an Angel could be seen above the altar. While Angel’s eyes were still closed, the appearance was so very familiar. The undulating wings that exuded divinity. The sublime elegance one would hardly dare approach, the prideful splendour emanating an imposing detachedness. Lacking no difference, the now revealed Angel was perfectly and completely identical in appearance to Seraph.
As if she felt my eyes on her, Seraph slowly opened her eyes. In a short moment, her conspicuous, light green eyes crossed my face and passed me by.
Beautiful, and noble.
Seraph, like the Angels in novels and manhwa, exuded an overflowing aura of peace and holiness that was impossible to describe with words alone.
Her silvery hair looked like it was waxed from moonlight, full of silky lustre that meticulously flowed out. Her ivory skin was like white snow, no imperfection could be found on her resplendent and delicate complexion. Her turquoise pupils inside her light double eyelids gleamed. Even that faint hint of her skin…
But even with that delicate and exquisite appearance, not a hint of lust arose within me. First of all, we were beings of different dimensions. I am sure even the basic emotional response would be completely different.
Seraph seemed surprised that I was still awake as her eyes snapped back to me. Her placid eyes were searching my every nook and cranny as if she was observing a new specimen. Feeling her ever familiar gaze, I could now be completely certain.
‘Seraph. So this is you 10 years ago.’
At that moment, Seraph opened her lovely lips.
“I am pleased to meet you.”
“Welcome to the Room of Summoning. Planet, Earth. Hailing nationality, the Republic of South Korea. Age, 23. Name, Kim Su-Hyun. Principal confirmation complete. For convenience, Human Kim Su-Hyun will from now be referred to as Player. I am called Seraph, an Assistant who shall be in charge of your guidance from now on.”
“Player Kim Su-Hyun, in this Room of Summoning, I shall inform you of the basic knowledge you require. Afterwards, you are scheduled to be transferred to what is known as the ‘Rite of Passage.’ In that place, you are expected to earn the entitlement of becoming a true Player.”
The rapid speaking Seraph closed her mouth. Tilting her head, her expression spoke volumes ‘this isn’t right.’ Seeing such expression on Seraph, I felt slightly elated. But first, I should get what I should get.
“There is one thing I am curious about….”
“I must recommend that you avoid questions such as where this place is or why the principal is in this place. There are merely 2 hours left before you are to enter the Rite of Passage. Of course, I understand that this current situation is confusing. But if you want to live, if you want to return….”
Seraph must have thought she was on the right track again as she kicked off her rapid-fire speech again. One could say by now, the person would have adapted to the situation. But truthfully, the first time around I was full of fear. The blank, expressionless face and the emotionless tone, it felt like I was speaking with a ghost.
Think of back then, laughter poured forth. After my abrupt giggling, I spoke more somberly.
“I recommend with the time allocated, the Player use it to maximise his understanding of the current situation….”
Although I acquiesced obediently, a slight scowl appeared on Seraph’s brows. Her hands floated in the air sluggishly, her eyes blinked several times as she mumbled brokenly.
“Negative on mental illness…. Subject currently emotionally calm. How peculiar.”
“Who are you calling a psychopath…. No, that doesn’t matter. Seraph, is it not preferable for you to follow what I say?”
“That is correct.”
“Then that’s that, so what’s with your muttering.”
“Negative, I am not muttering. In any case, this is acceptable. Player Kim Su-Hyun’s attitude is preferable. If you can maintain such attitude, the chance of survival shall rise dramatically. Therefore, firstly….”
This time, I just put my hands in the air. Seraph seemed to finally catch my signal as she stopped speaking again.
“I said I was curious about something.”
“Is that so. Acceptable. If the question doesn’t pertain to the subjects discuss before, I shall make a special exception.”
“No not that. Isn’t there something you need to give me?”
“Question query is ‘give?’ The precise meaning behind the question has not been understood. Please specify further.”
“Hmm~. Ah, I think I just need to say Tanay?”
The moment I spoke ‘Tanay,’ Seraph began to tremble so noticeably my eyes could pick it up. I knew this would happen. The response was amusing but, I was slightly worried that at this rate I would not be able to receive my privileges. But I couldn’t give up. For now, I was of the thought to do anything in my power to get it, so with reproaching tone, I began to ease the topic.
“Tanay, it was definitely Tanay. Sure, starting off as you please is okay, but I should get what I should get….”
Seraph recovered in an instant, but it was only her expression that recovered. I could see clearly how much effort she was putting into hiding her restless unease. The usual gentle and swaying manner was not present on her wings, as it flailed wildly. Without a doubt, she was greatly flustered.
“Ple, please wait a moment.”
Seraph promptly closed her eyes. Then her fingers began to type in the air with incredible speed, her lips were unceasing in some muttering. She was probably confirming Tanay and conversing with the other Angels.
Enough time passed to finish a cup of tea. During that time, Seraph displayed so many different expressions. I kept my silence as I watched the spectacle. With how rare the sight before me was, I did not felt any boredom as time passed by.
Finally, Seraph opened her eyes. Her expression told me she still wasn’t convinced.
“Player Kim Su-Hyun, I would like to converse with you.”
“Just a moment will do.”
“I must recommend that you avoid questions such as where this place is or why the principal is in this place. There are merely 2 hours left before you are to enter the Rite of Passage. Of course, I understand that this current situation is confusing. But…. Um, what else did I say?”
Realising she was repeating what she said in verbatim, she immediately shut her mouth.
“Anyway, as you said there isn’t much time till I have to go to the Rite of Passage…. Give me what you should, and I will take what I should. Won’t this be a rational course of action?”
I am emphasised ‘rational’ on purpose. Seraph began to chew on her lips. Yes. This must be so vexing. I am sure she had never been manoeuvred and pushed back in a conversation with a human.
Truthfully, I really wanted to experience this. The first time I came here, Seraph’s response was very distant and cold. The feeling back then, how do I say it… Was it like she was looking at me like a lab rat? Pretending not to have heard any of my pleas to take me back home, immediately being thrown down when I was running hither and thither as I threw a tantrum.
Well, I am not completely sure if the last bit actually happened. But regardless, this situation was like a sweet, pleasant offering.
With such pleasant feeling wafting in my heart, a relaxed smile automatically plastered on my face. Seraph was giving me a blank stare when she lightly snapped her finger.
Slapping of the skin was heard and my surrounding flow slowed. With my body being in its initial state I could not feel it precisely, but the scraps and pieces of experienced gain in my 10 years did not just disappear.
Shortly after, Seraph spoke.
“Player Kim Su-Hyun’s assertion is rational. Therefore, the lost time shall be recompensed. Currently, the flow of time surrounding the Room of Summoning has been slowed. Is this to your satisfaction?”
I replied stoically. Seraph, for a moment, observed me very scrupulously before quietly opening her mouth to speak.
“I, however, possess some curiosity concerning Player Kim Su-Hyun. However, if this displeases you, I shall prohibit myself from asking.”
“Ah, really? I was just going to tell you anyway but if you are sure….”
But I wanted to tease her more, so I squared my shoulders as Seraph’s eyes began to sparkle.
“Ah, is that so? Assuredly every Assistants, including myself, have fallen into turmoil. If possible, we would like to hear the whole story.”
“But I don’t wanna.”
Seraph seemed to have realised I was playing with her, as in that moment, both of her cheeks began to blush red. I wanted to laugh out loud and applause as I saw it. Shooting me a pouty face, she began to calmly readjust.
“Actions that cross the line can be appropriately sanctioned, however, the 1st principle of all Assistants is that we are not to inflict any harm to the Player. With that in mind, please eschew the cheeky remarks while conversing with the Assistants.”
“You are a different Dimensional being possessing the Distant Class, aren’t you? I am sure you can forgive me with your deep benevolence.”
“…. The Tanay you spoke of, confirmation, completed. Payment has already been settled. This is a one of a kind pledge carrying an enforcement of ‘cancellation not allowed.’ After a detailed scrutiny of the power granted by these privileges, it has been ascertained that Player Kim Su-Hyun is perfectly within the right of ownership.”
“Hmph. You acquiesced too quickly. That’s no fun.”
“For us, Tanay holds such meaning. While examination is possible, we can exert no other influence. Therefore the privileges granted to Player Kim Su-Hyun cannot be retracted. Please be at ease.”
“But if I start from year 0 with this strength, will I not become an anomaly? For example, won’t the Balance fall out of equilibrium or….. ”
“This does not exert any influence on the Balance.”
Seraph, without hesitation, had replied back curtly. Her expression became slightly stern as she continued.
“I have read the data on Balance. There were many details that went completely beyond scope. But please be aware, being self-conceited is prohibited. Even if you were to accept all your privileges, that does not mean other beings with great powers does not exist.”
Even now, Seraph was being Seraph as she repeated the exact same words. Regardless, her confirmation was enough. The past evaluation of ‘receiving immeasurable amount’ was now dramatically different. I decided to accept it meekly.
“Right, there is no need to focus on the level of Players. There are still plenty of greater beings in Hall Plain.”
“That is right.”
When she heard ‘Hall Plain,’ Seraph’s eye became wide open.
“Player Kim Su-Hyun, in order to apply all the privileges, I predict much more time is needed. Time currently left is 1 hour, 47 minutes and 26 seconds. Time is too tight to make the Rite of Passage. This is my speculation, but you seemed to already understand the inner workings of Hall Plain….”
“Ok. That omission. That was something I wanted in the beginning.”
“I have artificially manipulated the time to flow slower, but I can only confine the extension within the compensated time. In the process of moving to the next phase, the allocated time is expected to be consumed. Please wait a moment.”
While Seraph was preparing, I was sunked into the thought of the Rite of Passage.
The Rite of Passage can be simply described as ‘a place of test for Player to validate their entitlement.’ A place that kidnapped people like me who didn’t even know a smidgen of English. There were only two conditions to pass the test. Survive for what they say is 7 days, or arrive at the Warp Gate within 7 days. In other words ‘survival’ is meant to be the necessary requirement.
The people who survive are brought back to the Room of Summoning. Then, they receive a Class that fits their potential and for the first time, enter the true reality(實在) that is Hall Plain. No matter how you look at it, it’s a terrifying and unfair test. Those who cannot sufficiently meet the survival requirements, received the ‘death’ judgement as is.
“Player Kim Su-Hyun. All preparations complete.”
While I had fallen into meandering in my thoughts, I received the signal from Seraph that all preparations were complete.
“The detailed content of the privileges….”
“I already know. All of it is in my head, so it will be good if we can start immediately.”
“Acknowledge. I shall understand that you do not require any transfer of knowledge. Then, which privilege will you accept first?”
In order, the first ability came to mind.
‘1. Player Kim Su-Hyun is granted the privilege of retaining the data of his possessed attributes. First, you shall be able to ‘load’ your first round’s character information. Second, from the 6 attributes you possess, 4 will be randomly chosen and enhanced. The percentage of enhancement will also be random.’
I could not wantonly apply the privileges as I felt like it. There must have been a reason for Seraph to assign such order. Therefore, applying the 1st privilege was the right choice as a beginning of every setting, the attribute was included. If I inherited exactly the same attributes as before, I would naturally be inclined as a Swordman. But for now, I had to confirm my enhancements.
Without a hint of hesitation, I spoke.
“Yes. Calling recorded data of Player Kim Su-Hyun. 27%, 56%, 87%, 100%. Complete. Load has been successfully compiled. ”
The moment Seraph finished, I could feel energy well up inside me. With it, I could feel a heavier current encroach the surface of my skin. While I had the body of 23-year old who was freshly discharged from the army, it could not compare to the physique I attained as a Sword Master.
As I spread out my right arm, a rough striking sound could be heard. Filled with satisfaction I checked my Player Status.
My attributes were enhanced, but excluding that, everything had been reset to their initial state. While it was a pity that I lost my title of Zenith and my achievements, it was necessary so I nodded to continue.
“Player Status load confirmed. Now I need to use the attribute enhancement privilege?”
“Yes. Of course. Just in case, I advise caution. Of the 6 attributes, only 4 will be greatly enhanced. The percentage and the attributes that will be augmented is all random, but to a certain point, it follows the Player’s latent growth. By all means please consider this point.”
“That much, I already know.”
To put it simply, the higher the attribute, the lower it will be augmented. In reverse, the lower the attribute is, the higher it will be enhanced. Compared to latent growth, I didn’t know how much the other minor difference between individuals affected the results, but this was a rule that was applied to everyone equally. Excluding fate, elixir, and rewards from achievement, there was a limitation in increasing the attributes through simple training.
Strength, Vitality, Magic Power. I was praying in my heart for these 3 attributes to be enhanced.
For me, Magic Power was the most important. Then it was Vitality and Strength; Resistance and Agility were equally comparable. Luck was the last on my list. Of course, if only one value was high and every other value was ridiculously low, it would be a problematic foundation. But, one figure that can bring up and support the rest the most efficiently was the Magic Power attribute.
“Then I shall commence immediately.”
‘Luck can be forgotten. Please Strength, Vitality, Magic Power. If all else fails, then at least Vitality and Magic Power…..!’
I am not sure if my fervent plea was heard, but in no time the privilege seemed to have been bestowed. In the time it took Seraph to stir her finger once, streams of messages popped in the air in front of me, occupying my field of vision.
===== Translator’s Note =====
Summon Room -> Room of Summoning
연한 쌍꺼풀이 진 눈 안으로 옥빛 눈동자가반짝였다. – Her turquoise pupils inside her light double eyelids gleamed.
쌍꺼풀 – double eyelids probably does not conjure up any images or any context for most readers who are not Asian. This article will give you a background context.
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