Chapter 59 First Junction (2)
“Thank God. Cadet Min JaeHyun, Cadet Seo Ina, I truly apologize for not being able to rescue you due to problems with the dungeon. I’m really sorry.”
Instructor Kim JiYeon apologized while bowing deeply to them, but JaeHyun was indifferent.
Ina also seemed to recall what JaeHyun had said and merely looked at her actions coldly.
JaeHyun smiled coldly as he spoke with his hands in his pockets.
“It’s alright. It’s not like you purposefully put us in such a dangerous situation, Instructor.”
It was a strangely worded statement.
JaeHyun smiled slightly.
‘I need to do this much before I let things go.’
As he thought as much, JaeHyun considered the seriousness of the Dungeon Practicum.
‘Also, how does one decide to allow a bunch of fresh cadets to face a B-rank boss monster? No matter how powerful Gu Ja-In is, I don’t think he was ever this forceful.’
It was strange.
Gu Ja-In was still a villain and thought of the academy’s cadets as tools, but he still had a bottom line and didn’t push them like that from the very start.
That meant… JaeHyun was a big variable, and he was included in Gu Ja-In’s plans.
‘He’s really not an easy person to have as an enemy. Gu Ja-In… He’s more dangerous than I thought.’
As he was organizing his thoughts, Ina tapped JaeHyun on his shoulder and asked.
“… Um, JaeHyun?”
“… About your plans. Something like this might happen again, so…”
Ina asked while looking around, but JaeHyun firmly shook his head.
“I told you. I can’t include you in my plans going forward.”
“Sorry, Ina. I’m tired. I’m gonna go rest first. Remember your promise.”
JaeHyun left Ina behind and headed for his hotel.
Instructor Kim JiYeon tried to keep JaeHyun from leaving, but after looking at his ripped cadet uniform and the wounds on his body, she let him leave.
Even without asking, one could tell he had been in a difficult fight.
In addition, there was more than enough time to ask about the day’s events the next day, and she hadn’t decided how to treat him yet.
* * *
Arriving at the hotel, JaeHyun quickly threw away the ripped uniform and took a shower.
The academy gave out two sets of uniforms every month, so it wasn’t a problem.
Of course, that also meant training would be harsh enough that the cadets’ two sets of uniforms would become rags within those months, but JaeHyun had already experienced it once.
It wasn’t anything new.
As the spray of water washed away the blood, he used 《Sacrifice》. Unlike Sung-Eun, JaeHyun had no trouble casting the spell on himself.
It was all thanks to the special effect of blank cards.
As the green light permeated JaeHyun’s body, he slowly began to recover.
The open wounds closed and the blood pouring from his abdomen stopped.
JaeHyun nodded in satisfaction as he saw the wounds close.
“I thought I was gonna die from the pain, but I couldn’t treat myself since I need the alibi.”
A moment ago, he could have treated his wounds if he had wanted to.
But the reason he didn’t was to hide from Gu Ja-In and the instructors’ eyes.
He had actually hurt himself since his body had healed after he leveled up.
If two cadets didn’t have a single wound on them when they managed to kill a B-rank boss monster, it would really be suspicious.
After wounding himself, he was only just able to heal himself with 《Sacrifice》.
JaeHyun suddenly turned the water off and raised his head.
“I should be more careful when I interact with Ina.”
YooJung was fated to die, so he had no choice but to intervene.
Ina wasn’t the same.
Even without JaeHyun, she would become a great raider.
From that battle, JaeHyun realized that Ina was more reliant on him than he had thought.
That was something that would be harmful to both of them.
“I should keep contact with her to a minimum. Even when I do, it should not change the future.”
It was a simple and clear conclusion.
Of course, if he wanted to be selfish, he could keep her close. However, he wasn’t confident in his ability to do so.
She had risked her life for him.
He hated it when someone like that died or was put in danger because of him.
“I should prioritize finding out the connection between Gu Ja-In and 《Odin’s Raven》. There must be something.”
JaeHyun was convinced. No matter what Gu Ja-In had done to interfere with the event, it had crossed the line.
A human who could tame a B-rank monster?
That was impossible.
“The Nornir System’s enemies are the Aesir gods and Odin’s ravens. If Gu Ja-In is deeply involved in this…”
Fortunately, there was no way he would die, even if he faced Gu Ja-In in a fight immediately.
Gu Ja-In’s mind manipulating spell didn’t work on JaeHyun. 《Hel’s Blessing》 protected him from any abnormal states, and any other spells could be destroyed with 《Universal Derivation》.
As long as he had mana, he would not lose to Gu Ja-In.
The reason he couldn’t get rid of him was because he had to find out how he was connected to the ravens.
‘I shouldn’t rush to kill Gu Ja-In just yet.’
For now, he should focus on recovering and becoming stronger.
Suddenly, he remembered a way he could become stronger.
Translator – Rainypup
Proofreader – Harley
After talking to Instructor Kim JiYeon, Ina also returned to the hotel.
YooJung, whose eyes were swollen, walked beside her.
YooJung had suggested they have dinner together a moment before, and Ina couldn’t leave her alone when the other girl had cried so much for her.
JaeHyun had said he wouldn’t be coming.
YooJung had called him several times and tried to get him to come, but he kept refusing. He kept saying that he was tired, and he couldn’t come.
At those words, YooJung eventually gave up.
Usually, she would have forced him to come, but considering JaeHyun was likely shocked by what had happened, she gave up.
“By the way, Ina… Was there really a Kobold Lord in there?”
“So why did it take the two of you so long? If it’s the two of you, you should have been able to take care of it quickly. Was there some other problem?”
“… Actually, there were a lot of variables in the middle, so it took a long time.”
Even as YooJung listened to Ina’s words, she still seemed unable to comprehend what the other meant.
In her opinion, both could have taken the Kobold Lord down by themselves. Especially in JaeHyun’s case, as she thought he probably could have taken care of a couple of them at once.
So how could the two of them have struggled with a mere D-rank boss?
JaeHyun’s clothes were even torn, and he was drenched in blood.
That meant that the two went through unexpected things in the dungeon.
As the silence continued, Ina hesitantly apologized.
“… Sorry. I made you worry.”
“I-it’s alright! That… Did Min JaeHyun get annoyed or something? He’s always like that when he’s with more than two people.”
She hurriedly said whatever came to mind, but strangely, no answer came from Ina.
YooJung grabbed Ina’s shoulder as if she had noticed something.
Ina seemed surprised but didn’t resist.
“What’s wrong? Did that Min JaeHyun really say something bad to you?”
When YooJung replied, Ina’s expression became slightly sad. She repeatedly opened and closed her mouth several times before she finally spoke.
“… JaeHyun seems to trust you a lot.”
“… What the hell happened in that dungeon?”
Despite YooJung’s question, Ina only bowed her head.
She had promised JaeHyun that she wouldn’t tell anyone about what had happened in the dungeon.
And YooJung was also included in that.
It would be a lie to say she didn’t feel uneasy about doing so.
She had fought to save JaeHyun with her life on the line. Knowing that she might die or get Mana Rebound…
‘… JaeHyun. It would be nice if you could rely on me a little more.’
Did he still find it hard to trust her?
JaeHyun was strong.
She couldn’t even compare to him.
In addition, he had made the difficult decision to save his party this time.
He even used his hidden skill to save her.
If a planner like him was hiding his skills and couldn’t tell her any details, she was sure there was a reason behind it.
“… It’s nothing. I’m just a bit upset.”
She still felt a bit disappointed.
She didn’t know why she felt that way.
Was it because she hadn’t interacted with others for too long?
If she thought about it, it wasn’t like JaeHyun had turned against her as a peer.
The issue was that he had a few secrets, but they weren’t anything that would really hurt her.
But that unknown feeling seemed to constantly eat away at something inside of her.
While she was agonizing over her thoughts, YooJung put her hand on her head and patted her lightly.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but… Min JaeHyun might look like a bully, but he’s not a bad guy. Whatever it is, I’ll talk to him about it later, so don’t worry too much.”
Ina answered weakly.
* * *
After the Dungeon Practicum, JaeHyun ruminated on the battle against the Kobold Lord.
The destructive power from the overwhelming strength of the club and that terrifying mana.
It was so much that he didn’t dare to handle it by himself.
‘If it weren’t for Ina’s help, I’d probably be dead.’
As a result, he couldn’t rest after returning from the dungeon.
He was sitting at his desk, looking through all the information he had on dungeons, fields, and monsters.
The information in the book was clear.
From the weaknesses of higher-level monsters to their attributes, which attacks were effective on what monsters, which weapons caused more damage on which beasts, etc.
It was information that was considered essential if one wanted to survive as a raider.
Having already raided dungeons for seven years, it had been a long time since he’d studied monsters.
JaeHyun had few opportunities to fight against high level monsters before his return. Since he was just a D-rank Warrior, there were few guilds or parties that wanted him.
But now, he needed to study more diligently.
In a situation where he didn’t know what enemies he’d face in the future, it was a necessity, not an option, to make the right decision.
‘I should prepare thoroughly and be able to respond to all variables.’
Otherwise, he would not be able to survive the next event.
‘I’m still weak. Gu Ja-In’s tests are worse than I expected. In order to survive, I really…’
With a calm expression, JaeHyun opened a map on his smartphone.
From that moment on, he was going to find the hidden piece, ‘God’s Assignment.’