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“Don’t say words that you’ll be sorry for. Even I can’t do this.”
“This isn’t crazy.”
“Did you trust me till now? Really trusted me?”
“If you believe me…, then I will believe in this. Please.”
Tears were flowing down An Sol’s face as she lay there in my arms. An Hyun rushed towards us and gazed at Yoo-Jung with a face filled with anger. If I weren’t here, there was a chance that he might’ve even hit her. An Hyun want to say something to her, but he couldn’t and within a short time he spoke.
“Sol ah. Oppa is sorry. I’m very wrong. Right. You are correct. Now, stop crying.”
“Hui… hui… Oppa… Me… a bait….” (Did Oppa really want to use me as a bait?)
As Sol was a little slow as she couldn’t fully comprehend the words, but she understood the words that he wanted to deliver. I immediately shook my head and answered that I didn’t know. Honestly, I did notice it, but Yoo-Jung didn’t say anything about it to me.
Sol was relieved after she heard my answer and stopped blubbering. Surely, the hiccups were still there. Though I wanted it to be like this, I stopped stroking her hair and pulled her away from my body. And then, embracing her again, I stroked her head. Her face was wet with tears, so she wiped her face slowly.
Yoo-Jung was on her knees in front of Sol with her hands together. She wasn’t even smiling anymore, she was just thinking that the girl opposite her was whimsical. I also felt that the atmosphere just went out of control. However, An Hyun’s anger was so high that I don’t know how to mitigate the situation.
Yoo-Jung’s eyes were crestfallen and her head was bent down. Both An Hyun’s and my face were uncomfortable due to the heavy atmosphere. Normally, it is supposed to be filled with fun, but in this case, the eyes were not like that of a gentle cat.
“Then. Give me the excuse.”
At the stiff words from An Hyun, Yoo-Jung slightly pushed out her lips and pouted again. Yoo-Jung looked at Sol once and with a hesitant tone, she opened her lips.
“That… why I did that was….”
I looked at Sol who was unable to hold her tears. Seeing this, Yoo-Jung’s eyes got fiery red. Realizing that she was guilty and had made a mistake, she opened her mouth once again to speak.
“That…. since Sol’s senses are good, if she went into the passage… In… that passage she could know if it was dangerous or safe… that was why…”
The said excuse is the exact reason why she was sending her in. Hmm. As I listened to the reason impatiently, I instinctively shook my head. In that moment, the pacified Sol came out a little clumsily, and I immediately patted her back. What am I really doing now?
Luck is a field where not much research has been done. That was the truth that I knew; the only fact known was that it had huge impact on the magic skills rather than on any kind of physical power. In addition, there were just a few more minor things, and they were completely baseless.
An Hyun’s face had nothing but indifference. After he shook his head at her excuse, he hit Yoo-Jung’s head. It would be a little unpleasant, but she didn’t display a repulsive face.
“Well, that’s it. Bait, you said! Bait!. There is something I have to say, something that I definitely need to say. Hyung, hyung, you should do something about Yoo-Jung, too. Hyung, you are always saying it’s okay whenever Yoo-Jung does things like this just because she is beautiful. You’re not supposed to be like this.”
“Sor… Sorry… What?”
As An Hyun finished talking, both Yoo-Jung and my face turned awful. What gibberish is he spouting about me? Even Yoo-Jung was very uncomfortable with this and just tilted her head. Even then, firstly, he was completely wrong about the Yoo-Jung thing, and Sol also looked at me with some kind of aspiring young eyes, making me feel a bit embarrassed.
After a period of time after the turmoil, we barely managed to move forward. Bright and lively Sol, grouchy Yoo-Jung, and silent An Hyun. Seeing this, I spit out my voice. I wanted things to be lively at the moment, because it became like the road of Amithabul.
“Oh. Something feels alright.”
We were at the entrance of the second passage as a result. Firstly, after seeing the entrance of the passage, Sol stood there confidently, so the result was very clear. First, shake the body near the passage; second, subtly shake the head near the passage; third, put up an unpleasant face in front of the passage; fourth, try to escape from that passage immediately.
With my third eye, I could see the situation at the place, and I couldn’t help but be surprised with it. Although the Priests’ strength is the most important, I was lost in thought how she had only one point – a lot of luck. Though she as 100 points of luck, with my third eye, it was the same. I felt like something was pulling me in.
I saw that Sol’s waist started to turn stiff the more we walked ahead. To be honest, it was very funny. We continued to advance on a white, narrow way.
With that, I slowly moved and sensed my surroundings. Walking around like this, there was still a remote chance for a monster to jump and attack us. Soon, it felt like something was there in the way we were walking at. When I stopped walking, the kids looked at me with a weird face. It’s natural to get skittish when one suddenly stops without saying anything.
“From here on, start treading with caution.”
As I said that with a strange face and slow voice, the kids face became flustered. If we continue ahead, we will encounter two kinds of monsters, and there were only three in total. One was a living being, and the other two were statues. The kids were in confusion as they guessed that I understood something, and they wanted to know about it. We started to walk again, and I looked at Sol. With a caring voice, I opened my mouth to speak.
As I called out to her, Sol answered me with a clear voice. I looked at Sol who brought a smile to her face, when I was going to speak in the moment.
“Save me! Help me!”
I frowned upon hearing a voice that was around the air. I was about to get into the explanation that this was from the left over players. As expected, when they heard the voice from the inside, An Hyun’s and Yoo-Jung’s face turned pale.
“Hyung, it seems like it isn’t from the player that we met earlier. It’s from a different player.”
“Whatever it is, there is an abduction….”
“Stop. I’ll talk about it.”
I cut off Yoo-Jung’s stiff voice. All the kids closed their mouth at once. The kids’ nervous body language and dissatisfied expressions asked why we weren’t going to rescue. I moved my tongue to speak.
“Is no one there! I’m begging you! Please help me!”
This was definitely a smart guy. And I was getting annoyed by it. Truthfully, when we were in front of the passage wasting a lot of time a little while ago, I had a little hunch about this. And it was a sensitive topic for the kids. However, I couldn’t tolerate this anymore, so I plan on going out of my way.
I took the sword, threw the sword to the front, and retrieved it later. Not being able to comprehend it, I swung the sword again to detect it secretly. If this one is really intelligent, then he will sense this and close his mouth as a signal.
“Save me… khyaaaaa!”
I knew that the sword lightly grazed the right arm, and once I confirmed it, I took out a cotton swab. The kids were completely dumbstruck. This was a high level of control that they couldn’t notice, and there was probably something weird because of the loud noise at the second half.
“Hmm, hmm. Once again. Sol ah, what do you know about the monster Ramik?”
“Ha… Ramik? Uhmm.”
Seeing such a thoughtful Sol, my appetite for her expressions was satiated. Surely, the monster seemed a little difficult because it reminded me of something that was indistinguishable. And the answer came from the wrong direction. Yoo-Jung, who had a greasy face, answered very cautiously.
“Oppa. Ramik is… a doppelganger, right?”
Due to her unexpected answer, I looked at Yoo-Jung. As I continued to look at her, Yoo-Jung mustered up her courage and after gulping, she spoke again.
“Perfect like a doppelganger; though it can’t change its appearance for a long time, it can use the copied person’s voice constantly. Its physical abilities are not much exceptional, but it is necessary for the players to be very careful at all times. In particular, it traps the players using their emotions; there have been many cases for this one….”
“…. Correct. But how did you know? And you don’t need to treat Ramik this seriously.”
“Just by chance.”
Yoo-Jung put out her tongue after answering, and I just stared at her with a stiff look. An Sol also muttered through her lips “Even I knew that…”. An Hyun looked at me with a peculiar face and opened his mouth.
“Hyung! So the voice that we heard earlier was from the monster, Ramik?”
“Yes. It devoured an intruding player and is utilizing their voice now.”
Though his head was hurting, it is necessary for An Hyun to evaluate the situation. If he could only add a little knowledge to the mood, this would have been a wonderful day. Feeling a little upset with this, I diverted my eyes towards Yoo-Jung. For a moment, without my knowledge, some sparks flew right before my eyes.
An Hyun took the sword from my hand lightning fast and let go of his lance. And in the same time, he took a rough turn and fled to one corner. It happened so quick that all the kids’ mouths were wide open.
It seemed that An Hyun was the one with the greatest shock. After he saw me once, he mumbled through his lips.
“Hyung, hyung, I was just kidding….”
“That… I was suspicious if Yoo-Jung surely knew about the Ramik.”
It wouldn’t have been like this normally due to existence of my momentum, but this time, Yoo-Jung was also unable to shout as I was pushed away. From the beginning of the Dark Forest, there wasn’t anything so tantalizing, and finally, I was hit by it. And. It is traumatic to be aimed by a lancer in the middle of an alley without knowing whether it was intentional or not. This was one thing that I hated the most.
“An Hyun, An Sol, Lee Yoo-Jung. You guys seem to have a lot of playful spirit. Will you keep doing this? You want to do this?”
At my question, the kids turned dumb. But I didn’t stop there, I continued to shoot at them.
“This is plain nice, nice, should I laugh and play sweet? You just do it whenever you want to do. And An Hyun. Kidding? Why don’t you do that with Yoo-Jung? How long are you going to do this?”
“Ah no, Oppa. I also did that to Sol. It’s alright. It won’t happen. So, let it go~? Oppa~ah~.”
“Hyung. I’m sorry.”
With a charm that wasn’t even working, Yoo-Jung was trying to talk me down when Hyun suddenly apologized. But my anger didn’t recede. It was nice that they were playing, but it was only fun to a certain extent. Near the Rengas, their attitudes changed in a short span, too. The more we go deeper, the more nervous we are supposed to be. How are these kids still being like this? I’m not sure.
These people have followed me into the Dark Forest, and I know how actively they follow my directions. In this world, not much Carabans possess this kind teamwork. Even I don’t understand how this is possible. In a small voice, I talked with An Hyun.
“Joking around with Sol is serious. I was in a position that I had to do it, and I could tolerate it to an extent. But. But now, we are in the dungeon. No other stuff, we are in for some serious action. Pointing your weapon at your ally? Isn’t that a little out of sanity? And kidding? What if I did something like this as a joke?”
This time, when I spoke from the inside, An Hyun covered his upset face with his hands. It was the self-reflection of a child who understood what I’m saying.
Though it was silent for a moment, he coolly lifted his face. An Hyun had a fluffy face and carefulness started to become visible on it. Seeing this series of events unfold, Sol became stiff, and I grabbed her staff.
I looked at all three of them as if looking at something outrageous. After that, I released a big sigh, swung the staff, and opened my mouth.
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