Chapter 56. My Spirit is a Little Strange (2)
“It was an honor to work with you,” Cha Min-Woo said as they came out of the Incheon Airport.
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say that…but you helped me a lot too.”
It was the truth. If he hadn’t teamed up with Cha Min-Woo and the other Players, he wouldn’t have been able to clear the Gate.
“See you next time!”
“Make sure you get checked out by an Association healer just in case.”
Seo Mi-Rae and Choi Jin-Pyo waved, and Cha Min-Woo simply nodded. Seo Jun-Ho turned around and walked toward the woman who was waiting for him.
“I wondered if you’d come again.”
“It’s the duty of a secretary, remember?” Cha Si-Eun shrugged and escorted him.
“I was really busy, so I couldn’t get you a souvenir this time.”
“Well, it’s not like you went on vacation like last time,” she said cheerfully. “It’s enough that you came back safely. Oh, and welcome back.”
Cha Si-Eun climbed into the car and checked his schedule. “You have a press conference tomorrow at 2 pm. Your schedule is free until then.”
“Haa, a press conference…” He had been swarmed by reporters in front of the Gate before he came home. But he had to do it again? He let out a long, annoyed sigh.
“Still, it’s being held for a good reason. Go Korea! Super rookie! Kiya~ cheers!” She pretended to take a shot, and Seo Jun-Ho grinned at her antics.
He glanced at the Frost Queen.
‘I don’t think other people can see her.’
First Cha Min-Woo, and now Cha Si-Eun. No one ever seemed to notice her.
“I can make myself visible if I wish to,” she said as if reading his mind.
“…Nah, not now.”
“Huh? What did you say?” Cha Si-Eun asked.
Seo Jun-Ho waved his hand. “It’s nothing. Please send me a list of Gates that I can go to if there are any.”
“Eek…You’ve just returned, but you’re already searching for your next Gate?”
“I can’t sit around doing nothing.”
“I think it’s okay to do that sometimes…You seem like you’re pushing yourself too much…” Despite her nagging, she still sent a list over.
The Frost Queen pressed herself against the window, watching the passing landscape with interest and wonder. “So this is how the humans of Earth live… It’s quite different from what I saw from the sky. Things looked much smaller up there.”
Seo Jun-Ho scrolled through the list of Gates throughout the world.
Cha Min-Woo had told him that he and some other Players had talked to each other after they cleared the Gate. They said that if they had failed, the Gate would have become a 1-star Gate.
‘Gates are given one star if ten thousand Players failed to clear it…’
Seo Jun-Ho rested his chin on his hand.
The conquest had taught him that he couldn’t clear a 1-star Gate on his own.
‘But what about now?’
He looked to the naive little Frost Queen, who was marveling at the sights. He didn’t trust her, but she was still a spirit.
‘Spirits are strong. Insanely strong.’
The spirit users he met before had been powerful in their own ways because of the spirits they had contracted.
‘I have to check how strong she is as soon as we get back.’
Whenever he got a new power, he had to verify its strength before he used it. He would also have to assess his own abilities while he checked hers.
‘It seems that I’ll be busy for a while.’
He was a Player, after all. It was natural that he would be thinking about training as soon as he got back.
Shim Deok-Gu was out on business today, so he wasn’t there to greet Seo Jun-Ho like usual when he came to the Association.
Seo Jun-Ho headed straight to the training room. Cha Si-Eun wouldn’t stop nagging him about it, but she couldn’t win against his stubbornness.
The Frost Queen scanned the room. “How boring. There’s no one to fight here.”
“That’s because it’s a training room.”
Title: Bringer of Spring, Helper of Ascension
Strength: 69 Stamina: 65
Speed: 71 Magic: 92
He wasn’t even level 30 yet, but his magic stat was over 90. It made him smile.
‘It’s still not my best, though.’
These were his raw stats without Black Armor.
“Let’s see how I am at my best,” he muttered, equipping the armor. But that wasn’t all.
‘I got something really useful as a Gate reward.’
Seo Jun-Ho opened his inventory and took out a flowery bracelet.
[Blue Fairy Bracelet]
Summary: Fairies created this bracelet with Agarit petals. Its user will quickly recover from fatigue.
Stamina regeneration rate +100%
Magic regeneration rate +100%
A bracelet that increased both stamina and magic, as well as their regeneration speed.
‘And Bringer of Spring already increases them by 500%…’
If the bracelet was added to the equation, his regeneration rate would increase by 600%. Now, even if he ran as fast as he could for a long time, he wouldn’t get tired.
‘There’s still one more left.’
His body was overflowing with power, but he wasn’t done yet. Seo Jun-Ho stared at the plain silver ring on his palm.
“Aura buff ring.”
Nazad Hallow of the Nine Heavens had given it to his disciple, Skeleton Mage Arma. It raised the stats of allies and summons in a 30-meter radius. Of course, its user was included as well.
“Phew…Status window,” he whispered.
Title: Bringer of Spring, Helper of Ascension
Strength: 74 Stamina: 90
Speed: 76 Magic: 100
He stared at the window. His stats had increased immensely.
Seo Jun-Ho nodded. At his peak condition, his magic stat was finally at 100, and his other stats were also monstrous for his level.
‘With this, I can clear a 1-star Gate.’
And the one who would guarantee that was none other than the spirit in front of him—the Frost Queen.
“Hmm, you look better than before.” She crossed her arms and gave him a look.
“I never asked you to assess me. Besides, I want to see your skills.”
“You know my power better than anyone else.”
“But you’re a spirit right now. Things must be different from before,” Seo Jun-Ho said, squinting.
The Frost Queen twirled a strand of hair around her index finger. “Hmm.” She thought to herself for a moment, then nodded. “I understand. You made a contract with me. If I show you how incredible I am, you will treat me properly.”
The temperature around them started to drop. It felt like his heart was freezing.
‘…This is what I felt when we entered the Frost Queen’s Nest.’
Seo Jun-Ho started to become nervous and swallowed.
The Frost Queen slowly raised her hand. “I am not in the mood.” Her hand dropped back down. The choking cold suddenly disappeared.
“Hey, what’re you doing?” Seo Jun-Ho looked annoyed.
“It’s not that I do not wish to show you.” She spun in the air. “It’s just that I do not wish to use my powers at the moment.”
“Are you kidding…”
“If I am curious about something, I cannot do anything else. It is in my nature.” She cut him off.
Seo Jun-Ho let out a long sigh, soothing his anger.
“What. Are. You. So. Curious about?” he asked politely.
“I wish to look around the human world.” She flew toward him as she spoke as if she had been waiting for that very question. “Earlier, I saw that the humans’ castles are very tall. Like this.” She raised her hands high.
“…They’re not castles, they’re buildings.”
“Regardless, I wish to look around a little more. If you show me around the human world, I will reward you with the good graces of a Queen.”
“Ugh.” She said so many words, just to say that she wanted to play. Seo Jun-Ho gripped his head, trying to figure out how he should deal with the spirit.
“…If I show you around, you have to show me your skills.”
“The Queen of the Ice Kingdom Niflheim keeps her promises.”
Seo Jun-Ho took off Black Armor and put Black Dragon Fang into his inventory. He hadn’t even started training yet, but he was already tired.
“Follow me. I’ll show you around.”
He should have realized how stubborn she was back then, and that she would only be satisfied if she got what she wanted.
“Wow!” The Frost Queen flitted around excitedly.
Seo Jun-Ho watched dryly while wearing a hat and sunglasses. “There’s nothing to be excited about…”
All he saw were skyscrapers and roads full of rush-hour traffic and pedestrians walking by, but everything was intriguing to her.
“The castles here are tall and unique. But at that height, I fear that they may be easily toppled by catapults…”
“Something like that won’t happen.”
“Beware. Such careless thinking can bring down a kingdom.”
“Ah, yes.” Seo Jun-Ho scratched his head and kept his mouth shut. But even with that, the Frost Queen kept chattering as they went around without a moment to rest.
“I know what that is! It is the carriage we rode in earlier. There is a similar device in my kingdom.”
“The people here have no patterns in their appearance. Then, how do they discern each other’s status?”
“They’re all bent over and staring at a strange screen. What kind of curse is this?”
She was so annoying, he felt like he was going crazy, but he still answered each and every one of her elementary questions.
Seo Jun-Ho sat down on a bench and sighed.
The Frost Queen approached him. “Contractor.”
She pulled at his sleeve, leading him to a pet store. The puppies and kittens were visible from the window.
“What are the names of these adorable creatures?”
“Dog, cat. You don’t know that?”
“The climate of my kingdom was not one that such frail children could survive in. Can I touch them?”
“No. Unless you’re gonna buy one.”
The Frost Queen pressed against the window, studying a baby kitten. She looked a bit pitiful with her drooping ears.
“Well, you might be able to touch one of the cats on the streets.”
“A cat on the streets you say?”
“Yeah, they’re called stray cats. They don’t have owners.”
“Stray cat…Stray cat…I will not forget their names.”
“Sure.” Seo Jun-Ho checked his watch and started back toward the Association. He took a different route from the one they came from, cutting through a residential area.
“Hm?” Unfortunately, there was an ownerless cat laying on the street. “It’s a stray cat.”
The Frost Queen happily flew over.
‘Well, it’s not like it can see her…’
But he was wrong.
“Nya?” As the cat noticed the Frost Queen, its eyes started to sparkle like it had found a toy.
Thus began their intense chase.
“W-why is this child acting as such?!” It was probably the first time that she was running for her life thanks to a cat. She quickly escaped to Seo Jun-Ho.
The cat didn’t want to provoke Seo Jun-Ho and quietly returned to its spot.
“What a fierce monster! To think that it hid its savage nature under an attractive mask. I was fooled.” She pulled at Seo Jun-Ho’s hair, upset. “How do you humans keep such fearsome monsters as pets?”
“That’s…” Because they don’t bite humans. You probably seemed like a butterfly because you were flying around. Before he could say that, however, a plan hatched in his head.
“Huhu. Well, cats cower under the presence of someone strong.” He walked over to the cat and gently stroked its head and stomach. It didn’t refuse him and actually purred. The Frost Queen looked shocked.
“It’s not attacking…”
“Because I’m strong.”
“I-I am also strong.”
“Well, I don’t know about that…I can’t really judge because I haven’t seen anything…”
She fell into his trap. She pouted and crossed her arms.
“I shall show you my power in the training room.”
“Really?” Seo Jun-Ho suppressed his smile and nodded. “Sure.”
He had figured out how to deal with the powerful Queen.