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81 New Face (3)
As expected, the players who opened the door were Jung Ha Yeon and Shin Sang Yong. It would be nice if I could turn my body and see them, but it was hard to do so. Shin Sang Yong seemed fine, but Jung Ha Yeon’s face was miserable; it felt like she had suffered a great deal of pain. But still, it seemed like she wasn’t down for the count, because her eyes were still alive and clear.
Jung Ha Yeon was a kind of player who had no difficulty to gather attention. It wasn’t just her appearance. My experience of being in the Hall Plane for 10 years and my subjective eyes tell me that this woman is the real deal. It was a complicated feeling to explain; it was like I should catch her, literally.
But I couldn’t reveal my inner thoughts. I stood up and greeted them with an absurd expression on my face.
“I heard you came in the afternoon.”
“Yes, I heard that you and the members of the party went out of the city.”
“It wasn’t an expedition, but we were just out to build up combat experience. Anyway, sorry to make you walk again. Sorry.”
“No. If you say it like that, we are the ones more sorry.”
It was polite. She lowered herself but didn’t lose her grace. It felt dignified, and I nodded my head at her answer. Quick with her actions, Yoo-Jung already dragged two more chairs. After a brief period of greetings with Jung Ha Yeon and Shin Sang Yong, we all sat down.
For a while, Jung Ha Yeon and Vivian looked at each other. However, Vivian turned away her gaze soon. This slightly awkward atmosphere encouraged us to go back to our meal, but the two had already had their meal, so they refused to have it again.
“Have you settled down a bit?”
“Honestly, no. It’s hard to sort things out because of the death of my sister. I’m still grieving, sad, and angry.”
At that candid answer from Jung Ha Yeon, all the kids swallowed their breaths. Especially Vivian, she clenched her face.
At the unbelievable answer from Jung Ha Yeon, I went back to tasting. But this answer wasn’t so bad. It would rather be disappointing if she had lied and hid her feelings. Shin Sang Yong pulled on her robe and spoke out with a small smile.
“After breaking up with you guys, we went into an Inn where I stayed the last time with sister. I went in, hugged Je-Yeon’s robe and cried. I almost cried the whole day.”
Now, Jung Ha Yeon’s face was calm and straight. It was as if her crying was a lie. The kids all looked at Jung Ha Yeon with a sympathetic face, but I didn’t. There was something that she hadn’t spoke.
I also lost my brother in the first round. At that time, I entered into a murder spree, and it lasted for one week. After killing millions of enemy players and racing towards blood, I could barely sink my anger away. And as far as I can tell, Yoo-Hyun still cannot forget her brother Han So-Young.
Her attitude was in contrast with the present. If Jung had concealed the feelings within herself, she was definitely a scary person. But from the time they came in, I had triggered my third eye, and what she was saying seemed to be true.
I stared at Jung Ha Yeon’s face with an impassive expression for a while. “How can I control my emotions like you do?” It almost came out of my tongue, but I barely managed to swallow it. She saw my gaze and turned her head away, towards Vivian.
“I, we killed your men, we killed your children. And you killed my sister and my party.”
“I don’t feel uneasy for killing your children and men. And I’m not sorry at all. Because originally, humans are animals. But I still want you to acknowledge that you have done a bad thing to my sister, at the least, and apologize sincerely.”
“I still can’t understand. However, if Mr. Su-Hyun favors you, the words that he gave us are true, and if your mind had reverted to being a human, and not a monster, then prove it to me.”
Jung Ha Yeon continued talking with a fierce expression. Shin Sang Yong was looking between and me and Ha Yeon’s face restlessly. In a moment, in a soft, charismatic way, my mouth transformed into a thin line.
Simultaneously, Vivian bowed her head too easily compared to Jung Ha Yeon’s serious statement.
“Sorry. I’m really sorry.”
“I know and remember what I did when I was a monster. But I didn’t have my will. However, if I were a human with the intelligence of a human, it would have never happened. At that time, I didn’t know that you entered my dungeon and killed my men. I don’t think I’m such a person now. But, for what I did to your party and your sister, I don’t know if you’ll forgive. Even so, I’m sorry. I know that this isn’t enough, but I want you to know my inner feelings.”
Vivian’s face was different from the usual. Not a blank face that she wore daily, but a face looking for forgiveness. Yoo-Jung looked at Vivian with her mouth open. I also admired her for the first time, then I gazed at Jung Ha Yeon once again.
Jung Ha Yeon hadn’t spoken a word at all. She opened her mouth once, but closed immediately. And then opened it, and closed it again. It seemed like she wanted to say something, but her throat seemed to be out of it. She eventually closed her eyes. It was as if she was putting effort to control her emotions.
A moment of awkward silence passed. But that silence didn’t last that long. Jung Ha Yeon opened her eyes immediately, and she opened her mouth with a sudden voice. Vivian still held her head down.
“Please lift your head.”
“I don’t know what your real feelings are. At least your attitude makes me say nothing towards you. Please lift your head. And Mr. Su-Hyun, I’m sorry for troubling you and your party. Nevertheless….”
I lifted my hand and blocked her speech. When Jung Ha Yeon saw my signal, and I spoke in a soft manner.
“You don’t have to say anything more. I’m thankful to Vivian right now, but I don’t see her as a fine person. I fully sympathize with your situation and the heart of a player.”
“…. Thank you.”
Jung Ha Yeon didn’t even look at Vivian while speaking. However, I bowed my head and sighed deeply.
After finishing up with the event, we came up to the room An Hyun and I use. The other players might misunderstand what might happen from now on. Near the room, as I opened the door with An Hyun, they saw a record of rolling maps with something written in them. Both Jung Ha Yeon and Shin Sang Yong came in with our sign and their eyes were widened.
She asked me if she could look at the maps for a moment, and I just stared at her. For a moment, they watched it with interesting eyes. I laughed inside while watching Jung Ha Yeon and Shin Sang Yong. The map that they are looking at now shows the process of finding a Research Institute where I found the ancient Alchemist’s dungeon and the forest ruins.
They turned their heads towards me while wondering how much my capability to explore was.
“No, no, no way. Did you discover all this while you were searching for an ancient Alchemist’s dungeon?”
“Basically, the approach was the same. Of course, I did have some luck.”
“Wow, wow. This is awesome! No clues, no information, so close to the records, like this…. Wow.”
Shin Sang Yong was shaking his fingers and stretched them. Shin Sang Yong possessed a slightly introverted personality, so he had been struggling to talk to people, but he seemed to be the type that expresses enthusiasm for his interests.
Jung Ha Yeon looked at the map with a lively face and then looked at me with an admired expression.
“This is great. Did you do this alone?”
“It’s just idiot’s luck.”
“If you say it that badly. Do not underestimate your capabilities. This one, though. I think it is hard to put it into action.”
“Unnie. Is what Su-Hyun oppa did a really great thing?”
Yoo-Jung clung onto Jung Ha Yeon. She was a little hesitant to talk with her previously. This was the first time for me to see Yoo-Jung trying to familiarize herself with the other person. Jung Ha Yeon had a slightly embarrassed face and looked at Yoo-Jung and laughed.
“Many players will call this finding a needle in the haystack, or picking a winning ticket in a lotto. But Mr. Su-Hyun has done such a good job in finding the needle or the winning ticket.”
Somewhat of a subtle praise. However, Yoo-Jung looked at me with a clear face and opened her mouth.
“You asked me if it was great. Yes. It is great. Mr. Su-Hyun has done a lot of hard work here.”
The last words of Jung Ha Yeon contained strength in them. She looked at me after I stole a quick glance at her. The gaze that she used to see at the party, and the way she saw me now. Whenever I saw her, I felt familiar; she closely resembled Kim Han-Byul.
Of course, she wasn’t identical to Kim Han-Byul and had characteristics that were different from her, too. But they were similar. However, Jung Ha Yeon had experienced this world far longer than Kim Han-Byul, and she was a prideful player. If Kim Han-Byul had experienced more, she was more likely to become like Jung Ha Yeon. Of course, it was only my words.
After looking at the records for a while, the two of them sat down together, forming a circle. It was a little ridiculous, but I did not have enough chairs to sit, and this wasn’t such a good inn. So, I couldn’t sit on the bed.
Jung Ha Yeon and Shin Sang Yong nodded at each other, then looked at me.
“I came here looking for Vivian, but Mr. Su-Hyun asked me to come here, so here I am.”
Jung Ha Yeon said so. Suddenly, I wondered why Shin Sang Yong raised his glasses. From now on, Shin Sang Yong, rather than Jung Ha Yeon, wanted to start talking.
“We, we have the grace of player Kim Su-Hyun. My life was rescued and… So….”
Jung Ha Yeon smiled bitterly as she watched Shin Sang Yong stuttering and sweating. I opened my mouth softly while maintaining my casual face.
“You may speak comfortably. And about what happened, anyone would have done the same.”
“Ah. T-thank you. Wow. When I’m nervous, I start stuttering. It is natural, kinda from my birth; it can’t be fixed that easily. And….”
Sin Sang Yong had a sore throat for a while.
“Mr. Su-Hyun, you’re still in your 0th year, so you might not know it, but in any case, you don’t act like it. Well. Maybe you saved my life, but I cannot… It is a little embarrassing for the players to admit… but it is natural to take advantage of players’ desperate situations. Well…. it could be a bit strange, but at least it is what Hall Plane is. That is why, we are so thankful.”
Of course. The reason they are thankful to me now is to say, “Thank you for saving my life.” If it were someone else, “Isn’t she pretty? Guys, this will be fun. Let’s taste her. Let’s touch her instead of saving her.” That wasn’t how I was.
If I was the me of the first time, I would’ve stripped them off of their weapons and never looked back. That’s for sure. If the kids didn’t have the eyes to see, and if they didn’t want to recruit Jung Ha Yeon, then the good might have been a bonus.
I liked the current status. He was pointing out that they were second years, and yet we could help them after having just 0 years of experience. He was carefully speaking, just like how a hyung teaches his younger ones on how to survive in this world. I recalled the third eye and waited for the following words from him.
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