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“Ahjussi, ahjussi, ahjussi!!”
As soon as I turned in the hallway, I met Yerim, who had just come out of the elevator. I had heard that she was going to a B-Rank dungeon attack, but it seemed like she had already finished. She must’ve washed at the maintenance room and came up, because she was wearing a short sleeves and shorts tracksuit and her hair was damp.
“So that’s the new monster you brought over!”
“Yeah, this is the Gold Gryphon, Blue.”
“Cute! Can I trying hugging it?”
Peace hated it, but wouldn’t Blue be okay? And she was already sending a gaze filled with curiosity toward Yerim.
When I held her out from where I was holding her in my arms, she flapped over to Yerim on her own. Yerim spread her arms open wide and pulled Blue over into a hug.
“S~o cute! And the fur is soft too! There’s a slight ice cream smell?”
Since it was right after eating through a huge container.
“Peace had golden beans but this one has pink beans? Look at the bottoms of the paws, I want to bite them! Blue~.”
Maybe she had understood she was getting affection, because Blue’s tail whirled like a fan. She was an eagle plus lion, but this guy was like a puppy who liked socializing.
“Truthfully, ahjussi’s naming sense is like an ahjussi’s.”
“Putting aside Peace, what’s Chirpie and Blue? I head the unicorns were White and Black. They aren’t countryside dogs, so to think that it’s Whitey and Blackie – it’s completely like an ahjussi.”
“I-it’s intuitive, and they’re short and good, aren’t they?”
They were easy to understand and convenient things were the best… was thinking that way like an ahjussi? I mean, even considering before the regression, I was only thirty.
“But where are you going? To the training room?”
“To meet Hunter Association people.”
“Ah, then I’ll go with you! These days you only go with Guild Leader! The one who’s supposed to protect ahjussi is me.”
“You were busy going into dungeons.”
And from now on, she would get even busier. Since she had to make her own S-Rank team. As expected, I should help out a bit.
I entrusted Blue to the Hunter on duty today, and then went down. When I met Yoohyun, I thought that this guy wasn’t doing any work at all compared to Yerim. At this guy’s level, going with me was like going on an outing, not going to an attack.
“Haven’t you not gone into a dungeon at all lately? You don’t have to manage S-Rank dungeons?”
If it was a low grade S-Rank dungeon that you had perfect attack information for, it was possible to attack with just an A-Rank team, but besides that, an S-Rank Hunter was necessary. The number of S-Rank dungeons that Haeyeon was managing was probably still small, but it wasn’t to the extent of being able to play around.
“I do have to go within ten days.”
Yoohyun said, looking at me with worried eyes.
“Once I start attacking an S-Rank dungeon, I have to be gone for at least a week, so I was putting it off as much as possible. Me being… distant from hyung was also largely due to the S-Rank dungeon attack time. Since, once I go into a dungeon, I obviously can’t pay attention.”
The length of an S-Rank dungeon attack was at minimum a week, in cases where there was attack information. If it was a first attack, it could get to over one month. If the characteristics match was bad, it could take fifteen days even if there was enough information.
Having to leave for that long of a time periodically was one of the biggest weak points of a guild that had an S-Rank Hunter as a guild leader. Since, not only the guild leader, but even the elite high rank Hunters had to leave their places empty. On top of that, contact wasn’t possible, and you couldn’t come out in the middle. Though later, if it was a giant guild, they had two or more S-Rank Hunters by default, so that weak point disappeared.
“Now there is me, so why don’t you quickly go, Yoohyun oppa.”
Yerim said, clinging onto my arm.
“I will take good care of ahjussi. All this time, I have diligently gone into dungeons, so I can take a vacation for around ten days and stick close to him. While we are at it, do you want to look my skills, and do you want to go into a dungeon together? Or how about a escape room cafe? I have always wanted to go, but I couldn’t because it was expensive.”
An escape room cafe. I haven’t been to one either.
“Yoohyun, have you ever gone?”
“…What is that?”
……Gosh, was that something a twenty-year-old should say? I felt like I could cry for him. Wasn’t it the height of when he should be playing around, well-informed about the trends?
“You come too.”
“Ah, I was going to go with just ahjussi!”
“That guy said he hasn’t ever been either.”
“……Okay. Since we’re not going to go just once. Then, since we’re going out anyways, should we go today?”
“If there’s nothing big, then let’s do that.”
I nodded my head lightly and got into the car.
The place we arrived at after driving fast for a long time, wasn’t the Hunter Association, but the Awakening Center that still wasn’t open yet. Unlike the Association building, it was located in the outskirts of Seoul and would carry out the function of the Association in an emergency.
That building next to the round dome-shaped Awakening Center was the same as Hunter Association No. 2. Specifically, the Awakening Center was stuck in belatedly. It was still thought of as just a new Hunter Association building by the public.
“I will go look for a cafe with good reviews!”
Yerim said, waving her arm to send us off.
When I looked at the new smooth exposed building, I felt a little unsettled inside. It was place I didn’t have good memories of. It was the opposite. The steps that hadn’t been stepped on much, were glossy. There was nothing in the surroundings. Not the fluttering banners, nor the gathered journalists.
It was quiet.
“What are you doing not going in?”
When I stopped and stood, Yoohyun turned to look at me suspiciously.
“I was just looking around.”
I replied like it was nothing and walked on. It was place I didn’t want to come to again, but it didn’t feel that bad. It could’ve been thanks to it being disappeared matters, and it could’ve been because of the Fear Resistance.
“Anyways, I told you to be nice to Myeongwoo, but why did you go and pick a fight?”
I asked, going up the stairs. What were you going to do if he didn’t make you a weapon because of that?
“It wasn’t a fight; I was checking what he thought of hyung. Since there’s something hyung deceived him about. Just in case, if he seemed like he would resent hyung for that, I can’t just let it go.”
“You replied well when I told you not to bother him.”
“It’s dangerous because the skill is so good.”
“Myeongwoo isn’t a guy who would do something like that, and I’m going to confess it to him first.”
“If you happen to fall out, definitely tell me. Don’t hide it.”
Though I thought that he wouldn’t be hostile even if it was possible for us to become distant. Still, in the unlikely case we fell out, like Yoohyun said, he was a dangerous opponent.
It would probably be okay… but should I have been better to him?
We opened the door and went inside. Inside the building was also completely empty. The long desk still had plastic covering it. I wondered if they needed to call us over to here if it was like this. Why didn’t they just call us over to the close-by main Association building? Except for the guide standing in front of the entrance to the hallway a bit away, there wasn’t anybody. We joined him and went along the hallway.
“This is the center of the Awakening Center, the Awakening Room.”
When we passed the long hallway, the guide spoke, stopping at the round lobby. Besides the entrance we came through, there were five doors in all directions. At that time, it looked cramped, but it was quite wide, seeing it now when it was completely empty.
Inside the Awakening Room was still incomplete. We went around, looking around, and then went toward the place where the Hunter Association Head and other high up people were waiting.
“The A-Rank, B-Rank Hunters whom Hunter Han Yoojin has sent, have safely Awakened.”
The vice-head, who looked a little younger than the Association Head, said. Two Hunters’ profile data was placed in front of me.
While I was looking for special skill holders, I sent the A-Rank, B-Rank combat aptitude Unawakened People I found additionally, to the Association. It was to prove my skill and get the Awakening Center related cooperation.
Looking at the data, the A-Rank had gotten two of the three optimized skills, and the B-Rank had gotten all three. As expected, it was relatively easy for combat aptitudes to optimally Awaken.
“As you can see, five of the six skills you have told us of ahead of time, also safely appeared. As you have advised, we created situations that fit the abilities they were expected to have according to their skill names. One of Hunter Kang Donghoon’s B-Rank skills is regretful, but Hunter Han Yoojin’s Unawakened People status window checking skill’s ability was certainly authentic.”
“Then, I suppose I can expect an affirmative answer.”
Since I tossed you high rank Hunters, pay the price.
“If Hunter Han Yoojin safely Awakens special skills as well, even if we try not to, we can’t help but cooperate, right?”
This time, the Association Head spoke.
“No, it’s even welcome for a system to be made so that visitation to the Awakening Center can only be possible after receiving status window verification from Hunter Han Yoojin. What do you think of making something like an Unawakened Person aptitude checking center?”
“…I think that is a little excessive.”
Were you thinking of working me to the bone?
“First of all, my ability cannot handle a large number. The skill rank is high, but my stat rank is low. In that situation, if you place a restriction saying that people have to receive my confirmation first, I will get the most criticis… that couldn’t possibly be your goal.”
“Hahaha, would that be so?”
The Association Head waved his hands, but I didn’t trust him at all. I needed to have choices and it needed to be a private establishment, for me to receive less criticism even if I took in only one to two hundred per day.
“It’s because people who will hastily Awaken wrong are a waste.”
“It is one’s own choice, so there is no choice but for it to be this way. It is not possible to take care of all people one by one.”
If it was this much, I did as much as I could.
Besides trying to uselessly push more work onto me, the Association was cooperative. At the escape room cafe, I felt like I said to not break it about a hundred times. Was seeing Yerim and Blue superimposed a mistake of my eyes? Still, Yerim at least understood my words.
“Ahjussi, let’s come back together again! The two of us!”
Don’t make me laugh.
We returned to Haeyeon, and I went to the unicorns in the training room before going up to the dorm floor. Yerim said she wanted to see, so she trailed after me.
“Whitey, Blackie, hi~. Which one is the girl?”
“The black one.”
“So this one, how pretty. Come here.”
Yerim, towards Blackie, no it was Black. Anyways, she held her hand out toward the black baby unicorn. The unicorn raised her ears up straight, and then bit the held out hand.
“Ahaha, that tickles Blackie~.”
“You have to tell her not to bite. Or else it’ll become a habit. It might tickle for you, but an Unawakened Person’s fingers will get cut off.”
“Oh. No! Blackie!”
At Yerim’s light tap against her head, Blackie was startled and drew back. She searched the surroundings and then scuttled behind me, hiding. The white guy followed too.
“Kids! Where are you hiding? That ahjussi is weaker than my little finger!”
Little finger was too much. Though it was true I was weak.
After taking care of the unicorns’ food, I also took care of Blue. The Hunter I left that guy with said, ‘It seems you have many hardships,’ with eyes filled with sympathy. At that, it was a relief that there were no worries about money; if I had a poor household, I would have cried.
“Peace, Chirpie. How were you?”
When Peace barked with a solemn posture, Blue flapped out of my arms. Our Blue, so it wasn’t like there wasn’t any learning effect.
I went to give Yerim the side dishes she asked for, took care of the kids, and even ate dinner, but for some reason, Myeongwoo didn’t appear. Even when Blue and Chirpie were sleeping and Peace was starting to nod off, I still didn’t hear any news.
‘And I can’t contact him either.’
Maybe because it was a subspace, even cell phones didn’t have service in the Gold Forge, like when going into a dungeon. Unless Myeongwoo came out first, there was no way to contact him.
He was actually in the Forge, right? There were times when he did stay up during the night, but he came out every meal time to eat. Didn’t you have to eat properly if you were doing work that required strength? Why wasn’t he coming out?
I slept fitfully from worry, and then it was morning. Just when I took out Blue, who cried right on time like a rooster, and was wondering if I had to find a way to contact the subspace, finally Myeongwoo appeared.
“Hey! If you’re going to stay in the Forge for this long, then you should at least say something! I was worrying that something happened inside of there!”
The mouth was saying sorry, but the face was widely smiling. Maybe because he had stayed up the night, it was dark underneath his eyes, but the expression at least was bright. Enough to be able to see right away that something good had happened.
“I couldn’t stop myself in the middle.”
Saying that, Myeongwoo took something out from his inventory. It was a long spear that seemed about 2 meters in length. With a bluish chill lingering from the blade to the handle, it wasn’t a normal object.
“Is that possibly.”
When I took the spear that was held out, a simple item explanation window popped up,
[Parmini’s Ice Wood Spear – S-Rank
A spear made by a skilled craftsman using an old Ice Tree branch. It carries a powerful chill.]
It was an S-Rank weapon.
It was a ratio increase, so it didn’t raise my stats much, but a new skill appeared.
[Ice Attribute Reinforcement(S)]
Ice attribute reinforcement. That was also S-Rank. The one that came up when I used My Brat skill focused on Yerim was an A-Rank ice attribute reinforcement. To think it was an S-Rank attribute reinforcement.
……Would our Yerim have put away a lot of savings?
“So you finally made even an S-Rank weapon!”
When I sent him a gaze that was full of admiration, Myeonwoo shrugged his shoulders.
“Thankfully, I succeeded on my first attempt. Though I had to stay up the whole night. It’ll get a little easier starting from the second one.”
“I didn’t know you would grow this fast. Like this, wouldn’t you immediately make an SS-Rank weapon, too?”
“That should be a little difficult. Apparently Ismual can only help with up to S-Rank weapons. Still, there’s one thing that I’m preparing.”
As expected, SS-Rank equipment were difficult. Still, how far did he come? It was really impressive.
“Now there’s nothing more to delay. We should get your name known, too.”
Originally, I suggested to debut as a blacksmith Hunter once he made an A-Rank weapon, but Myeongwoo had refused. Saying that he would put himself forward after he had made an S-Rank.
“Okay. Now I can confidently put myself forward.”
Myeongwoo nodded his head, smiling. I smiled back, and then remembered something I had put off.
I should voluntarily tell him before it was too late.
“Myeongwoo. There’s something I need to say.”
“What is it?”
“Truthfully, we didn’t know each other originally. It seems like I made a mistake.”
I confessed, adding a justification.
Myeongwoo answered. And that was it. No, wait. Why was the reaction like this?
 she says ‘jelly’ as in the eng word transliterated, which is the krn/konglish slang term, but in eng, ppl call the bottom of cats’ feet ‘toe beans’ so…
 for the unicorns’ names, she used the eng words transliterated, as named so by yj, but here she uses the krn words, which are used to call a white animal, and to cutely call a black dog, respectively. The ‘blackie’ used here is a slightly diff pronounced word than what yj named the salamander (rip blackie) but they’re fundamentally the same words, with the exact same meanings.
 she says the two colors in krn and I added the ‘-ie’ bc it’s weird not to for names in eng. Unlike before in footnote , she doesn’t use the words that are used to describe a white/black animal, but the colors themselves, though they can be used to refer to things that are white/black as well
 ‘black’ is the eng word transliterated, as yj originally named these the eng words
 the word used here can mean either tree or wood, so the same word is used here and in the explanation, but I changed the tl according to what sounded more right in eng
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