Chapter 41 — Gu Ja-In (1)
Gu Ja-In’s office was so clean that one could suspect he had mysophobia.
The walls were covered in white wallpaper with a few paintings by unknown artists hanging on them.
An expensive-looking bookcase and cushioned chairs made of cedar were seen in the room. The floor was covered with an antique-looking carpet, and the combination created a unique atmosphere.
‘They did say he had mysophobia and paranoia. It seems they weren’t wrong.’
JaeHyun looked around for quite a while, then took a seat on the gray sofa at the center of the room.
He didn’t ask for permission. The office didn’t belong to Kim Soek-Gi after all, and he had received an invitation to be in the room.
Of course, the two who came with him seemed to think differently.
‘…Huh? Why is he suddenly acting like that?’
Seo Ina and Kim YooJung merely looked at JaeHyun awkwardly.
Did JaeHyun eat something that disagreed with him yesterday?
Why else would he show such an attitude when he came to meet the chairman of the Millaes Academy?
Gu Ja-In was one of the most powerful people in the country and the person who helped create three S-rank raiders.
He wasn’t someone who should be met with that kind of attitude.
“…The two of you should also take a seat.”
Kim Seok-Gi instructed a little too late.
He narrowed his eyes as he gazed at JaeHyun.
“Oh. Yes, sir…”
Kim YooJung replied quickly as she pulled Seo Ina to her side.
After the two sat, JaeHyun was positioned to the left with YooJung in the middle and Ina on the other end.
Instructor Kim stood in front of them as they waited for Gu Ja-In. His sharp glare was fixed on JaeHyun, but JaeHyun didn’t pay it any mind.
A tense atmosphere that brought about discomfort fell in the office. Kim YooJung and Seo Ina simply traded looks with each other as they remained silent.
It sort of made sense.
This was the chairman of Millaes Academy’s private office. It was one of the places that was difficult to enter in the academy.
It made sense to be nervous. JaeHyun being so calm was the strange thing here.
‘It isn’t as big as I thought.’
JaeHyun had already visited Yeonhwa Guildmaster Yoo Sung-Eun’s office at the guild’s headquarters.
There, he was awed by the size and sophistication of the top guild in the country.
Millaes Academy’s office could be said to be comparable, but there were several areas that were lacking.
Since JaeHyun was used to Yeonhwa Guild, it was normal that he didn’t feel intimidated by his surroundings.
He stopped looking around and asked in a disinterested tone.
“He’s the one who called us here, so where is the chairman? This doesn’t seem very polite of him.”
At his words, Kim Seok-Gi frowned fiercely.
Kim Seok-Gi also knew that JaeHyun was an extraordinarily talented cadet.
He had previously understood that it was possible for an immensely talented raider to appear among the Magicians and that Cadet Min JaeHyun would become an S-rank raider in the future.
However, Kim Seok-Gi erased that possibility from his mind.
He had trained numerous cadets until now, but those with an arrogant attitude never grew very strong.
Those prospects that the press were expectant about—
Every single one of them was unable to reach their full potential, owing to their own laziness, and died in dungeons that were of a lower rank than they were.
Kim Seok-Gi was the type to lecture cadets about persistence and effort.
‘I thought he was talented, but… he doesn’t seem to have a good personality. It would be difficult to grow with that kind of attitude.’
In the moment, JaeHyun smirked as he looked at Instructor Kim Seok-Gi.
‘Instructor Kim Seok-Gi is still the same. The chairman’s loyal lapdog. The reason he trains the cadets in such a Spartan manner is probably so he can show Gu Ja-In good results.’
Before his regression, back when Gu Ja-In’s corruption was reported in the news, Instructor Kim Seok-Gi was also unable to escape from his crimes and ended up in jail, on the charge of aiding and abetting the chairman in his crimes.
In reality, he was someone who would jump into a blazing fire if Gu Ja-In told him to.
The typical third-rate villain who sold the cadets off due to their desire for power. That was Kim Seok-Gi’s role.
‘One day, I have to reveal Instructor Kim Seok-Gi’s corruption as well.’
To do so, he had to continue to grow stronger.
Even though he didn’t act like it, Kim Seok-Gi was also an A-rank Warrior. At the very least, he wasn’t someone that JaeHyun could win against at the moment.
On the other hand, YooJung and Ina seemed flustered by JaeHyun’s insolency.
As far as Kim YooJung knew, although JaeHyun could be cynical and seemingly rude, he was usually very polite. He wasn’t someone who acted impudently toward adults.
So why was he acting like that right now?
At the same time, she also contemplated. Since he was showing such an attitude, was there a reason behind it?
As Kim YooJung was lost in thought, the sound of the door suddenly opening was heard.
From the other side of the door, a muscular man that was about 190 cm tall showed up.
“You’re already here. I apologize. I’m a little late.”
“H-Hello! I’m Magic Cadet Kim YooJung.”
“…I’m Seo Ina.”
“Yes, I know quite well who you are.”
As the two quickly greeted him with bowed heads, Gu Ja-In entered with a smile.
On the other hand, Jaehyun spoke in an annoyed tone as he propped his chin up with his left hand.
“I know. You should have come earlier. Why did you call us here just to make us wait?”
“…I apologize. I needed some time to prepare.”
Seemingly expecting JaeHyun to act like this from the start, Gu Ja-In replied without changing his expression.
JaeHyun crossed his legs and scanned Gu Ja-In up and down.
A wine-red shirt with a three-piece suit, an expensive watch on his wrist, and penny loafers. It was similar to an outfit a typical man of wealth would wear in a drama.
‘Unexpectedly, he’s coming out from a lower position. It seems he really tends to bow down in front of someone he deems useful while stepping on others.’
JaeHyun frowned as he looked at Gu Ja-In.
“I would like to hear the reason why you called us here.”
“Yes. I was just about to mention it.”
“I don’t know what it is, but it must be something great. Since you called the three of us, who have just come out of the demi-plane after 3 days, without even giving us any time to wash up.”
Gu Ja-In, who’d been maintaining his expression from the start, twitched.
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It was a very slight movement, but JaeHyun caught it and smiled slightly.
On the other hand, Kim YooJung, Seo Ina, and even Kim Seok-Gi looked at JaeHyun with shocked expressions.
Gu Ja-In was practically the owner of the academy and the one who had the most power here.
Acting like this and using such a tone in front of such a person was more than dangerous.
However, JaeHyun already knew.
‘No matter how rude I act, Gu Ja-In won’t do anything.’
At this point, Gu Ja-In was in an anxious situation of not being able to produce an S-rank raider in the last 4 years. So the government had reduced the academy’s budget, and he was in danger of being fired.
In such circumstances, how could he expel a cadet who showed promise of becoming an S-rank raider?
If he did so, he would have to take responsibility for everything. In other words, this wasn’t a game he could afford to throw.
JaeHyun also currently had the great backing of Yoo Sung-Eun in his hands. He had nothing to lose in this situation.
Gu Ja-In seemed to know this as he simply acknowledged his mistake and continued.
“…It seems I was a bit rude. I apologize. But once you hear what I have to say, you won’t be disappointed. So I shall get straight to the point.”
Clearing his throat, he started to speak.
“First off, congratulations. You are the elite of the elite who secured the top three spots in this year’s Freshmen Hunt. Especially Min JaeHyun, who took first place.”
“It was all thanks to my party members. I wouldn’t have been able to do it by myself.”
He spoke truthfully.
If it weren’t for the two, his plan to hunt seniors would have been impossible.
However, Gu Ja-In didn’t think so.
With narrowed eyes, he looked at JaeHyun with a smile.
‘It seems he wants to hide his true talents.’
Gu Ja-In had matched Ahn HoYeon up against JaeHyun in a fight to get a better idea of his real abilities, but he wasn’t able to see the extent of his skills through it.
And that was clearly JaeHyun’s strategy.
“You are, of course, correct. I have watched all of your actions.”
Gu Ja-In took a sip from the cup of coffee in front of the sofa.
He continued with a smile.
“You all did great. For the first time in our academy’s history, Magicians were able to get over a million points in the Freshmen Hunt and stand proud. Not only that, you also beat the record for the highest number of points earned. Truly a surprise. It was a great showing.”
Seo Ina spoke first, and Kim YooJung stiffly bowed in thanks after her. JaeHyun was the only one who still had his head raised.
Gu Ja-In continued.
“So the academy would like to give you a special reward.”
“…The reward would be…”
Seo Ina let her sentence run on.
Gu Ja-In replied with a contented expression.
“I would like to offer you a few privileges.”
This time, Kim YooJung asked with wide eyes.
Gu Ja-In nodded. He started to explain in detail the privileges he was offering the three of them.
A suite would be offered to them for free within the academy.
Considering their necessities, this was quite a tempting offer. It was only offered to about five freshmen so far.
They would have priority in the use of the academy’s facilities.
This offer was something that sounded good to anyone who wished to become stronger.
No matter how large Millaes Academy was, it was very difficult to make use of its facilities whenever they wanted.
It was a basic rule to reserve any facility a cadet would like to make use of beforehand.
Should they be unable to get a satisfactory score at the school test, they would get a chance to retake the test.
This was not something that really appealed to Kim YooJung and Min JaeHyun who were pretty academically bright, but it was different for Seo Ina.
Before his regression, he had seen that although Seo Ina did well in the practical tests, she didn’t do as good in the theoretical portions.
JaeHyun knew that she wasn’t very good at theory or math. For her, this offer was probably quite tempting.
“…These are our provisions. If you agree to our offer, you will be signing a partnership contract with our Millaes Agency, and when you look for a guild later on, please—”
JaeHyun rejected Gu Ja-In’s offer without a thought. He was so quick in his refusal that it was a bit embarrassing for the other party.
Gu Ja-In frowned for the first time since he entered the room. Forgetting to maintain his composure, he glared at JaeHyun.
JaeHyun continued to meet his eyes with a calm expression.
It was as if Gu Ja-In wanted to read his mind.
There was a moment of silence. Then, JaeHyun started to speak in a calm voice.
“Your provisions are all very good. However, with our level of skills, they are all things that we can earn through our own efforts. I don’t see a reason why we should get them while paying an unnecessary extra fee.”
It was as JaeHyun had said.
In the partnership contract that Gu Ja-In suggested, they would become a member of Millaes Agency. After entering a guild and working as raiders, they would have to pay about 30% of their earnings to the school for at least 5 years.
If calculated according to the amount a normal A-rank raider earned in a year, it was at least 10 billion won. If so, the school would be taking a total of about 15 billion won in 5 years.
‘There’s no way I’m gonna fall for such bullshit.’
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JaeHyun smirked. He didn’t know if Gu Ja-In realized that his nefarious plan was uncovered or not, but he could see annoyance on his face.
JaeHyun put his hands together as he looked at Gu Ja-in who was gazing at him murderously.
Soon, an overbearing sentence close to a warning left his lips.
“It seems to me like Chairman Gu Ja-In doesn’t want to help us but instead strike us down. Am I mistaken?”