Their way into the academy was rough from the entrance.
“What brings you here?” The security guard gave their car a suspicious look.
“I’m a student.”
“Ah, Ms. Yoon, this car isn’t registered in the database. Would you like to register it?”
“Okay. Go on.”
After Sae-ah showed her student ID, the security guard registered the car and let them in.
“What’s a car like that doing in the academy?”
“That’s Yoon Sae-ah. She seems to have become bankrupt, but who’s the guy next to her?”
“That’s her Uncle, the one who broke the Dual Sword sculpture.”
JiHan heard the security guards murmuring behind them.
“Uncle, you can go this way.”
Sae-ah definitely heard their comments as well, but she smiled like usual and acted as if she hadn’t heard as she guided JiHan to the underground parking lot.
The underground parking lot was as spacious as the one in the Sword Palace. There was plenty of space for each car to park, and the cars parked there were all top-tier imports.
It was often said that there were more foreign cars than domestic ones in Gangnam, but…
‘There’s not a single domestic car.’
All of the cars there were foreign, so theirs stood out even more.
“Let’s park it next to the elevator…”
“Yes. That’s where we usually parked.”
Number 17 was a space near the 1st floor and was located not far from the elevator.
After he parked the car, JiHan asked, “When does your class end?”
“Uhm… Around three? Are you going to pick me up?”
“That’s a short enough time for me to stay here. I’ll just wait and play a round on Battle Net.”
“Don’t worry. Go home. Waiting will be uncomfortable for you, and you also need to eat lunch.”
Time would fly if he played a game on Battle Net and thought about the three elixir fields.
JiHan waved his hand toward Sae-ah, who was looking at him with concern. “Don’t worry about me.”
If JiHan didn’t wait for her, given Sae-ah’s personality, she would most likely return by bus.
If she did that, there would be no point in him taking her to school to begin with.
“Call me when it’s over.”
Unable to convince him, Sae-ah shook her head and exited the car.
She was about to pass the automatic door to take the elevator when…
A high-end sedan parked next to JiHan, and a bulky, middle-aged man jumped out of it.
“Hey! How dare you park such a crappy car here!”
Was he the troublemaker Sae-ah had mentioned?
‘I expected some mockery, but I didn’t expect someone to pick a fight so openly.’
JiHan didn’t feel the need to reply. Instead, he just pointed at the middle-aged man’s mouth with his index finger.
“Come out, you bastard. Who’s in th—? Ugh?!” The driver’s mouth was shut due to JiHan’s Force.
Even if abilities from Battle Net were weakened in the real world, the power of Force, which offered dominance over space, was enough to shut someone’s mouth.
The middle-aged man tried his best to open his mouth but couldn’t. His face started to turn red, and his jaw remained tightly shut as if it had been glued.
‘M-my body isn’t moving!’
As if he’d been trapped in concrete, he was unable to move his body.
Meanwhile, JiHan waved at Sae-ah with a calm expression on his face.
“Uncle, you should go home instead of waiting here. I think I might have fallen behind on my student council work. I don’t know when I’ll be done with it, and on top of that, things like this…” Sae-ah glanced at the middle-aged man.
“This isn’t trouble at all. I’ll take care of things, so don’t worry. Contact me when it’s over.”
JiHan didn’t even consider leaving.
Sae-ah sighed and was thinking about what she should do when…
The sedan’s back door opened, and someone came out.
“What’s going on?” A female student with her arms crossed appeared.
She was tall, skinny, and gave a cold impression, but when she saw Sae-ah, she approached them with a smile.
“Ah, Sae-ah! Are you going to come to school now?”
“Yes. Long time no see, Hee-soo.” Sae-ah waved her hand at her.
She’d become friends with Kim Hee-soo shortly after she entered the academy.
They were close enough to have participated in the student council elections together, and she was the acting vice president.
“You have a different car.”
“Yes. I decided to have the previous one serviced, but Sae-ah, you…”
Hee-soo glanced at the compact car JiHan was driving and made a worried expression.
“What happened to all of your other cars? Why are you using such a thing…?”
“Ah, Dad sold them all off,” Sae-ah casually said.
“Really…?” Hee-soo looked sympathetic.
“I think you’ll draw a lot of unwanted attention if you commute in that car… Do you want to go back to your home with me after school? I’ll drop you off at the Sword Palace.”
“I would feel bad if I asked you to do that…”
“There’s no need to feel bad about such a thing between friends.”
After Hee-soo said that to her with a bright smile, Sae-ah looked at JiHan.
“Uncle, what should I do?”
There didn’t seem to be any reason to reject the offer.
‘All of Sae-ah’s friends cut contact with her after the Sword King left for Japan…’
All of the people who had tried to get close to Sae-ah due to her connection to the Sword King drifted away after he left for Japan, and the group of high school girls who used to hang out in the penthouse with her no longer visited.
At some point, Sae-ah stopped talking about them.
Did she have any friends left at that point in time?
‘I’ll have to wait and see,’ JiHan thought as he answered her question.
“I’m okay either way.”
“Hmm… Uncle, I’ll take Hee-soo’s car today! I can’t make you wait here, after all.”
“Okay, got it. Was your name Hee-soo? I’ll leave her in your care.”
As JiHan told her that, she nodded with a bright smile.
“Yes, Sae-ah’s uncle, but, um…”
“Could you release my driver?”
It seemed like Hee-soo knew about his ability. Perhaps she’d seen JiHan’s stream.
JiHan snapped his fingers, and the driver collapsed to the floor.
The driver’s sensation of relief only lasted for a brief moment.
“Is it still a shitty car?”
“No, not at all!”
The scared-looking driver quickly backed away as he trembled.
It seemed like he didn’t want to experience that again.
Leaving Sae-ah behind, JiHan left the parking lot.
‘I should start Battle Net as soon as I get home.’
His goal was to participate in the promotion match that would take place on August 25th.
If he kept finishing 1st, he believed he should be able to reach level 25 before that day.
He also had to schedule a meeting with Massid and research the survival map’s epic quest, so he had a lot to do.
The academy’s entrance gate opened, and JiHan’s compact car drove out past the mocking security guards.
“It’s amazing that he brought such a car to a Battle Net academy.”
“It’s perfect for Insta.”
One of the guards took out his phone and snapped a photo to post on social media.
He posted the photo without much thought.
– How could the Sword King’s family fall so much…? To think they’d commute with a car like this.
↳ Even if she fell, she’s still worth about 50 million USD.
↳ It isn’t at a level that a security guard should be worried about.
↳ Still, taking such a car to a Battle Net academy… Aren’t they embarrassed? Lol.
The photo attracted many people’s attention, and there were even articles written about it.
“JiHan left the Sword Palace.”
It also drew the attention of many guilds.
* * *
[A piece of junk passed through a Battle Net academy’s gate. Who’s inside?]
An article with a small photo was posted early in the morning.
At first, it didn’t draw too much attention, but as soon as it was revealed that the people inside were JiHan and Sae-ah, everyone started to talk about it.
Everything related to the Sword King was still hot news in Korea, after all.
– A Battle Net academy’s tuition cost is about 300K USD, yet they have enough class to ride that piece of junk.
– Didn’t the Neo Self-Defense Force pay yet? Why a car like that?
– Wasn’t that a sponsored car? It’s going viral.
↳ There’s no way they’d sponsor someone with an old model.
Unlike the public, who were merely gossiping about it, HaYeon, the director of the Twin Star Guild, was excited after she read the article.
“GaYeong, we’ll wait at the academy’s parking lot tomorrow.”
She’d been rejected after asking JiHan for his phone number just the day prior, but instead of being disheartened, HaYeon was thinking of pushing further.
There’s no tree that doesn’t fall after being hit ten times, right?
‘I must recruit him before others take him.’
HaYeon recalled the previous day’s game.
He hadn’t just gone down from the tower and killed tons of monsters, he’d even defeated a semi-boss monster like a Flesh Golem, a monster even those in Gold struggled with.
‘It was crazy…’
His unbelievable performance had caused controversy in Battle Net communities.
– He… took it down after receiving a buff, right?
– I didn’t see any buffs.
– Come on. How could he kill that without a buff? Even a Gold Warrior would have trouble fighting it alone.
– He must have received a buff through Telekinesis.
– Ah~ That makes sense.
There was a heated debate over whether JiHan had received a buff or not, and the conclusion was that JiHan defeated it after receiving a crystal buff through Telekinesis.
Even if it was an unbalanced game, the idea of a Bronze defeating a Flesh Golem alone was ridiculous.
‘Whether he got a buff or not, the important thing is that he defeated the Flesh Golem with a single attack.’
HaYeon entered JiHan’s channel.