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I didn’t tell her much, only the details that were necessary for her to know. I told her how I entered the dungeon, but I skimmed over the part about finding a player’s corpse, for now. Jung Ha Yeon listened with rapt attention while holding her spoon. It wasn’t easy for her to take it all in, yet she still listened with full concentration. Her reaction made me feel a little apprehensive about her wellbeing.
My narration included finding the male priest, then going to an empty lot. After my encounter with the spiders, I found a female player in that lot. When I mentioned the female player, Jung Ha Yeon’s eyes suddenly lit up.
“That’s Ji Yeon… ah.. She’s my sister.”
I summarized this part as slowly and as cautiously as I could. She had been hung in the air, and spiders were being born from her. She spawned those spider eggs after being raped by the monster. However, I didn’t narrate these details. This was a world where ignorance was bliss. After all, this recollection wasn’t a kind one.
“… so I killed her. I could have left her alive, but I was saddened to see a human in that situation. She also seemed like she wanted to die.”
When I admitted to killing her, I stopped for a while.
An uncomfortable silence ensued between Jung Ha Yeon and I. As I had expected, she was staring at me with an expression of utter shock. I didn’t avoid her gaze because I never intended to hide that information from her. I needed to reveal everything to her if I was to have any hope of recruiting her. Naturally, I didn’t state my intentions, but I did speak very carefully, with the intent of being as honest as possible about the demise of her sister.
Another reason why I disclosed that fact, that I had killed Jung Ji Yeon, was to make Jung Ha Yeon aware that the situation couldn’t be helped, at all. If she really thought about it, she’d understand that Jung Ji Yeon was better off dead than being constantly abused by the monsters, birthing more of them. Additionally, she wished for death.
After Jung Ha Yeon stared at me for a while, her lips parted, and she spoke with a shaky voice.
“Not at all. She couldn’t be have been birthing those things…”
“Honestly, this is difficult for me to recount as well. If you want, I can describe it in more detail, but I wouldn’t recommend that. Every time she gazed at me, her face was filled with hope, so I did what I thought was best. At least, I can tell you that she passed away without any pain. I’m sorry.”
“Ha… I guess. She was strong and filled with confidence. I hated being hit by the monsters… If she was pregnant… it must be… “
Jung Ha Yeon’s voice trembled so much, that, at the moment, she burst into tears. I closed my eyes sadly. Her gaze didn’t falter; she continued staring at me-even in tears. The inn was completely silent, except for the sobbing sounds.
But, at that time, the only person who knew how horrible the experience had been was Jung Ji Yeon, who experienced it for herself. The outcome would have remained the same even if I had saved her then, so I had to kill her.
Jung Ha Yeon wiped her tears, but her shoulders still trembled for a while. I watched her dry her tears and try to sound stronger. Although most mages were adept at controlling their emotions, it was intriguing to see her do in person. It was obvious that she had anger boiling on the inside, but she didn’t reveal any visible signs of it.
“What happened to the monster? By any chance, did you kill him?”
“Yes, I eradicated it.”
“How did you manage that? It would have been very difficult for many experienced players to even flee.”
Just as I had recounted the previous night’s events to the kids, I proceeded to recount them to Jung Ha Yeon; a recollection even less truthful than the one I told the kids. I told her that my team were on the verge of going extinct, when Vivian saved our lives. I also told her that I had restored Vivian’s body and had now placed restrictions on her via a contract.
Since the worst parts had been said, I just told her everything that happened afterwards. Jung Ha Yeon nodded slowly all through my story and stared at me with blank eyes when I was done. I sighed. She seemed lost in her thoughts for a few moments before asking me a question.
“So, the spider turned back into a human and is now in this Inn?”
“Yes. She is recovering, but now that’s she’s become human again, her regrets are deep and great. Once the wizard was turned into a spider, her ability to reason deteriorated into nothing. She was no longer able to think and feel like humans do. She also wasn’t in control of her actions, and it is still hard to see her as a pure human.”
“I understand all that. You’ve said that you will travel and act alongside her. I think that’s dangerous.”
“If it wasn’t for her, I also would have also in that place. It may be laughable, but I choose to trust her because she saved my life.”
Jung Ha Yeon donned a complicated expression, making evident what she felt in her heart. I continued softly.
“Back then, the spider instinctively viewed the players as intruders who had invaded her home, and it was angry with them for laying waste to her subordinates. I know that you’re upset, but she’s human now; there’s no need to seek revenge. There are also other players who do not see her in a good light. This party isn’t like Meuna Gouna.”
“….. I don’t know. Honestly, I want to go and get revenge right now. I don’t think I can understand your, Kim Su Hyun’s, feelings. Hmm… I don’t know. I need to think about this a little.”
“That’s up to you and your heart, then. As soon as the other player wakes up, I will give you both back your equipment and every other item that we found on you at the time.”
At my words, Jung Ha Yeon nodded and smiled.
“Thank you, but it’s alright. We failed to get into that dungeon and should have died if not for your help. Therefore, all our items and equipment should belong to you, Mr. Su Hyun from the Hall Plane. We are just satisfied with our lives.”
“We got souvenir items from other players, thus, we have received enough rewards from the dungeon.”
At my words, Jung Ha Yeon’s face stiffened. She then gazed at me with a different expression.
“… you’re a 0-year player?”
“I was once at that level as well and remembering my experiences bring me a warm feeling. Thank you. I really appreciate your courtesy. Honestly, when you admitted to killing Ji Yeon… I could only feel hate for you. About now… I don’t have any more to say in regarding that. I’m sorry.”
“You’re welcome. If there had been a way to save Jung Ji Yeon, I would’ve done that by all the means. I’m just satisfied that you understand.”
“This is the Hall Plane, after all. I will never forget this grace that you’ve showed me.”
Her face couldn’t conceal her bitterness. But, for some reason, I suddenly felt like laughing. She was a good liar, but that was her character. Jung Ha Yeon was only human; she felt confused with everything that she had heard regarding her sister’s death. It was up to her to decide if she was going to believe me.
I still had 500 gold, a jewelry pouch, a bag of potions, and a book that could be used to advance to a rare class. Thus, the value of their items and equipment paled in comparison with the harvest my team and I earned from the dungeon. Keeping their items and equipment for myself would only serve to heighten her suspicions, causing her to be cautious around me.
With this, the hard part was done. It was now time to figure out how to recruit these players in the future. If I were to have a good relationship with them in the future, I’d need to start building it up now.
I urged Jung Ha Yeon to finish her mean, and she nodded and bowed her head, but her hand, which held her spoon, couldn’t stop trembling.
Afterward, the kids came down one by one, followed by Vivian and the second player who was rescued from the dungeon. He had an innocent and good natured face, which was ridiculous; after all, the Hall Plane wasn’t meant for these kinds of people. Jung Ha Yeon went on to recount my narration to the male player, Shin Sang Yong, and he expressed his gratitude to me with a bow so low, it was almost a kowtow. He was almost crying when I gave them back their items.
“Tha-tha-tha-thank you! Thank you so much! All by your grace! I’ll never forget you!”
When I asked Jung Ha Yeon what she planned to do in the future, she shook her head sideways. I realized that I may have popped the question a bit too soon; after all, they needed time to think. However, it did seem like they planned to stay in the city until they could sort themselves out and decide what to do.
As I had promised, I gave them back all the items that belonged to them. Jung Ha Yeon pulled out Ji Yeon’s robe, looked at Vivian and spoke.
“When I think about it, I realize it wasn’t right that you got turned into a spider. There are some who will blame you for your actions and others who will not. Although I sympathize with your plight and understand the circumstances, I am not convinced. You are to blame for being impudent; after all, humans are selfish by nature. But when I look at Mr. Su Hyun and remember the grace he has shown us, I try to look at you without any hard feelings, but that is impossible for me right now.
Vivian remained silent and kept her head low. Finally, Jung Ha Yeon and Sin San Yong walked out the door. Shin San Yong seemed like he wanted to ask us a bit more question, but after recognizing the situation and seeing Jun Ha Yeon’s attitude, he decided not to.
Before they left, Jung Ha Yeon said goodbye respectfully, and I told her that I would like to meet again and she nodded. I wanted them both to quickly find a place to stay, so they can return to us. I really did hope that the time would come faster than expected.
We watched them leave in silence, and the first person to break the surrounding quiet was Yoo-Jung.
“The Unnie is great. If it were me, I’d probably have been swinging my dagger around already.”
“Well, she is indeed.”
When Yoo-Jung expressed her admiration, An Hyun nodded in agreement. An Sol watched her leave with an unhappy expression. After watching them leave, I spoke up.
“That’s it, then. I’m surprised that are players with that much self-discipline. If she doesn’t discard it along the time, in time, her name will become famous.”
There were no lies in my words. Despite learning of her younger sister’s death, Jung Ha Yeon still showed extreme self-discipline. I once lost a teammate, and my reaction to the cruel reality was the exact opposite of Jung Ha Yeon’s calm demeanor. Maybe I could build a rapport, and eventually – relationship, with this player who could control her emotions just as well as experienced players in the 10th year.
“Huh. It is not easy to be in the 10th. I also know that.”
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
I shook my head to set aside those thoughts. Jung Ha Yeon had left a deep impression on me with the attitude she displayed during our conversation. I continued with a calm voice.
“Nothing. How about your bodies?”
“No problem. I thought I was going to die from exhaustion yesterday, but today, I feel fine.”
“I’m still a little tired.”
An Hyun nodded and turned; he was fine. Yoo-Jung seemed a little sick. I turned and saw An Sol and Vivian nod their heads; they were fine as well. But at that moment, I noticed that Vivian had tears in her eyes. This left me speechless.
“The break ended yesterday. I’m starting work and practice from today, so I will be out of town often-but only for practice. The next expedition will be smoother than the last one.”
Previously, they turned green at the mention of another expedition; however, this time, their faces were filled with determination. The previous expedition had made their shortcomings clear to them and given them an idea of what areas to focus on during practice.
I had to sort out items from the expedition, but new equipment for the kids. And as Vivian was our new addition, she also had to practice. The most important thing was that in the way we found the ancient alchemist Vivian, we also needed to find the records from the ruins. I had to sort out items from the expedition, and get some new equipment for the kids. Vivian, our newest member, also had to practice. It was of great importance that we find the records from the ruin, just as we found the ancient Alchemist, Vivian.
First, I’ll let the kids practice. I had other things to do in Mule. I needed to move and find more information on our next destination, the Ruins Of Institute.
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