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[Leores Sword Inst.i.tution — Commander's Office]
Kim Suho was pacing back and forth in his office.
He informed Seraine of Kim Hajin's arrival as soon as he heard the news from Chae Nayun. He was still worried, however, about Seraine's declaration that she would test Kim Hajin's skills.
“…Why are you so worried? Kim Hajin knows how to take care of himself,” Aileen said. She was slouching in a chair in the corner of the office and yawning.
Kim Suho awkwardly scratched the back of his neck and sat in a chair.
“Will he be okay?”
“How should I know? But, as we all know, he's not a kid.”
Mnnn~ This time, Aileen stretched.
“By the way, I found more people.”
Kim Suho widened his eyes.
With a smirk, Aileen answered, “Yup, 3 more. Rachel, Yoo Yeonha, Yi Jiyoon.”
“Wow!” Kim Suho exclaimed in surprise.
But then he remembered 'her' and his heart sank.
He knew that she had also been dragged into this world.
Just where was she now?
“The three of them are running a business together in a local city.”
Kim Suho tilted his head in confusion, and Aileen handed him a crumpled piece of paper. It was a doc.u.ment outlining Yoo Yeonha, Rachel, and Yi Jiyoon's current status.
Kim Suho began reading the doc.u.ment in silence.
…As Aileen had said, Yoo Yeonha was indeed running a business in this world.
She was the daughter of a merchant. Her family had been running local businesses for generations. Rachel was Yoo Yeonha's maid, and Yi Jiyoon was a local aristocrat.
“Looks like they've joined hands. Apparently they're making tons of money.”
“…It's hardly surprising. Yoo Yeonha is the kind of person to thrive anywhere.”
She'd even survive being dumped on an uninhabited island. Kim Suho put the doc.u.ment down with a smile.
Yoo Yeonha had settled in 'Lecor', a provincial metropolis.
'I should pay her a visit as soon as I finish taking care of the current matter regarding Kim Hajin…' Kim Suho thought.
It was then.
—Emergency! Emergency! It's a Monster Pathway!
The siren wailed through the speakers in the office.
Kim Suho immediately rose from his seat and ran out of the office.
Aileen sighed, then stretched and yawned once more before chasing Kim Suho.
[The bas.e.m.e.nt of Seraine's mansion]
Seraine couldn't believe her eyes, even though she was standing in the middle of everything.
The gigantic hole on the surface of the ground. The flood of monsters traveling through the hole.
But neither was more unrealistic than the man who was extinguis.h.i.+ng the monsters.
The man was aiming a strange looking machine at the monsters. On the outside, his shooting seemed unruly. Surprisingly, however, his attack knocked the monsters out one by one with stunning precision.
There was no exception.
Monsters that had been struck by the bullets died as their heads and hearts exploded. Every single bullet was more powerful than Seraine at her best.
“Wow, this is endless,” Kim Hajin muttered with a chuckle.
Was it because he hadn't shot for a while? Excitement and thrill made his heart race.
But he knew he shouldn't waste bullets out of excitement. This was not Earth, and the supply of bullets was limited here.
And so, Kim Hajin took out the grenade he had ordered from Essential Armory. It was made using 'Dimensional Entropy'.
Kim Hajin upgraded this grenade with [Bomber]—the Trait he earned from the Tower of Wish—as well as his Gift [Random Consolidation System] and a streak of [Stigma].
The grenade was only as big as a baseball.
Its impact, however, would exceed most bombs.
Kim Hajin threw the grenade into the hole through which the monsters traveled.
Then he turned to Seraine and said, “Cover your ears.”
Seraine flinched and covered her ears as instructed.
The grenade exploded immediately.
The giant explosion shook the ground, and white pillars of light shot out from the hole.
They were caused by the light attribute attached to the grenade.
Silence descended after the huge explosion.
Buried in a solemn stillness, Seraine ran her fingers through her hair.
Suddenly, she felt a severe headache coming.
'What is this? What am I seeing?'
Her head was about to explode in confusion.
In comparison, Kim Hajin moved calmly and looked inside the hole.
Everything was completely wiped out as he expected. All the monsters had disappeared without a trace, dismantled by the light.
“This place is safe now.” He declared proudly and picked up the Desert Eagle, which was in the shape of a machine gun. He then asked, “Excuse me, Seraine-ssi, does this place have a rooftop?”
“…Rooftop?” Still dazed, Seraine swallowed her saliva and asked back.
Kim Hajin answered, “Yes. There's more of them outside, right? I want to go to the rooftop and shoot all of them.”
That was good enough confirmation for Kim Hajin.
He surrounded himself in Aether.
Aether and Parkour increased his physical abilities.
“I'll go on ahead.”
He stepped on the walls and quickly climbed to the rooftop like a spider.
“That's a lot.”
He looked down at the ground below from the windy rooftop.
Monsters that had escaped out into the world were raising a ruckus on the streets of the city.
He gave a small sigh and grabbed the machine gun.
With Thousand-Mile Eyes, he estimated the number of monsters to be roughly around 20,000.
This meant he had to kill at least 30 monsters with a single bullet.
“…Will it work?”
Because the power of his Gift had been reduced, he didn't think that the speed and movement of his bullets would be as accurate as before.
But then again, these were just monsters.
He mounted Desert Eagle, now in the form of a machine gun, on his shoulder.
He then aimed at multiple targets simultaneously, calculated the trajectory of bullets, and pulled the trigger without hesitation.
From the rooftop of the mansion— bullets began to rain.
[2 hours later, Leores Sword Inst.i.tution]
I went down to the bas.e.m.e.nt with Harin. Seraine, Kim Suho, and a number of knights were waiting for us there.
Harin greeted them. Seraine looked at Harin in silence. Only when Kim Suho signaled her, did she finally nod.
“…Yes. Nice to meet you, Lord….”
Seraine stopped midway through the sentence.
No one here was supposed to know that Harin was a member of the Leon clan. The Leons had been officially annihilated.
“Thanks for taking me in, Lord Seraine.”
Harin wasn't offended by the way she had been called. In fact, she could bow down to Seraine for saving her life.
Seraine turned to me. The way she looked at me was completely different from when we first met.
She, however, turned her gaze to Kim Suho without saying a word to me.
Seraine stared at Kim Suho for a while before finally opening her mouth.
“Seems like everything you say is true, Commander.”
Kim Suho's expression brightened up.
His lips began to twitch. Unable to contain his joy, he put his hand over his mouth before bursting into laughter.
“Hahahaha. Didn't I say so? So, how was my friend?”
Seraine gave a small sigh. Then she took out a doc.u.ment.
“According to the statistics, the number of monsters that came out of the hole were 15912 low-intermediate ranks, 6534 intermediate-ranks, and 301 high-ranks. This was nothing short of a grand invasion. Originally, we would have suffered a serious loss in both life and property, and spent at least 3 days subjugating the enemies. However….”
Seraine stopped and looked at me. I knew by instinct that this was the right time for me to shrug.
“We brought everything under control in 2 hours. With the help of a mysterious weapon.”
“A weapon? You mean a person.”
Kim Suho quickly corrected her.
Seraine gave him a dirty look and nodded.
“Sure. With the help of a person.”
Seraine crossed her arms. She reminded me of Yoo Yeonha, except that she was much more sloppy and inexperienced. This thought made me smile.
“…Excuse me, what are you laughing at?”
“Huh? Oh, no, it's nothing.”
“Ssp… anyways,” Seraine pouted and asked, “How did you do it?”
How should I explain?
'One bullet killed at least 30 monsters. My bullets also serve as guided missiles. As long as the alt.i.tude is high enough, I can shoot just about anything. I still have more than 3,000 bullets left.'
“Regardless of the number, if the enemies are weak, I can kill them all with a pull of a finger…”
I condensed the complicated explanation into a very short but accurate sentence.
…30 minutes later.
I officially reunited with Kim Suho in the office of the sword commander. Harin left to speak with Seraine, and Boss returned to s.h.i.+murin's mansion. We had to keep our relations.h.i.+p hidden from others, after all.
“I got this from a quest.”
[Summary of the Past and the Future to Come]
The first thing Kim Suho did was to hand me a book he received as a quest reward. It contained the summary of this world's past and future.
“Can you see what's written inside, Hajin?”
I opened the book.
But I saw nothing but blank plages.
“No, I can't.”
"Ah. I guess I'm really the only one who can read it,” Kim Suho muttered regrettably and skipped to the last page, “This book ends with a description about the Transnational Peace Conference, which will be held in a month and a half.”
“Transnational Peace Conference?”
“Yeah. This is the last sentence of the book. [A grand calamity descended on the day of the Transnational Peace Conference].”
[A grand calamity descended on the day of the Transnational Peace Conference.]
I stroked my chin, deep in thought.
'I'll have to ask the Book of Truth about the conference once my Stigma is restored.'
“I think it's clear that something's going to happen at the Transnational Peace Conference,” said Kim Suho.
I nodded in agreement.
“…I'll look into it later,” I answered and turned my gaze to Kim Suho, “More importantly, did you find the others?”
“Oh, right. We found Yoo Yeonha, Rachel, and Yi Jiyoon.”
My lips curved into a smile.
I've been dying to meet them again— well, maybe not Yi Jiyoon, but definitely Yoo Yeonha and Rachel.
“Yeah. And they're not far from here.”
Kim Suho beamed.
“Yeah? What have they been up to until now?”
“Business. Yoo Yeonha already has influence over a local metropolis.”
I immediately burst into laughter.
“As expected of Yeonha, right?”
Kim Suho asked jokingly and I nodded.
“Then… how about we go meet them right now?” suggested Kim Suho as he put on a coat.
I also straightened my clothes and raised myself from the chair.
“Good idea. You know the way, right?”
“Yeah, you can count on me.”
We stood in front of the door of the office together.
Kim Suho grabbed the door k.n.o.b but stopped as if he just remembered something.
“…Oh, before we leave,”
All of a sudden Kim Suho cast an affectionate look, and… pulled me by my arm.
“It's good to see you again.”
Before I knew it, I was in his arms. They were as big and st.u.r.dy as I remembered them.
“Huh? Um… sure. It's good to see you, too.”
Confined(?) in Kim Suho's arms, I patted Kim Suho on the back.
Tak, tak, tak.
Three times. It was to signal him to let me go.
It appeared that Kim Suho had mistaken my intention, however. He began squeezing me even harder….
As uncomfortable and awkward as it was, I couldn't help but think that he smelled good.
This was probably a main character trait as well.
Anyways, thanks to his fragrance, the hug wasn't too bad.
Thinking so— I waited for Kim Suho to release me.