Kang Pyeong-hwa first met Hyun-seok about a year ago.
It was shortly after she awakened as a Recovery Slayer. At that time, she felt a deep affection for him as soon as she saw him. She already had a favorable impression of his appearance and personality, and he had even helped her in a dangerous situation.
It might be a bit difficult to say that she fell in love at first sight, but since that day, Pyeong-hwa never missed a single volunteer service and worked hard on her physical fitness. She had always heard people say, “If you lose a bit of weight, you will have a truly pretty face,” but she had no motivation to do so. She was already popular enough without losing weight. She had a cute and slightly prettier-than-average face, which was more preferred than a “goddess-like woman” in the world, and she was quite popular.
After seeing Hyun-seok, she became immersed in exercise. Seeing his body made her think that he had been exercising consistently for a long time, and she started exercising because she wanted to share the same hobby with him. Thanks to the exercise, she was able to lose weight and receive compliments from her friends.
With her already distinct facial features coming to life, a pure and innocent atmosphere emanated from her. If her face was already pretty and cute before, it had now become so beautiful that anyone who saw her would exclaim, “Wow.” Although the number of men approaching her decreased, the “quality” of the men who approached her became much higher.
“What should I do then? I don’t even help the people who I want to help.”
Pyeong-hwa had never tried to approach Hyun-seok directly because she had only received a dash from him. She didn’t know how to express her affection for him. Then, she received an invitation to join his guild from Hyun-seok. Pyeong-hwa was so excited that she couldn’t sleep that night. At least it meant that they would have more time to spend together.
“Do you know that the reason I’ve been volunteering for over a year is because of you?”
Even if her schedule was busy, she hardly missed a volunteer service, and it was all because of Hyun-seok.
For a year after that, she nursed her hurt feelings, and the more she thought about it, the more she grew to like Hyun-seok. It was a confusing feeling, whether he knew his own heart or not, because he always seemed to keep a certain distance, not disliking her, but she wasn’t sure if he liked her either.
Sometimes she envied her younger sister, Min-seo. Her brother treated her without hesitation and with infinite affection. Likewise, her sister expressed endless affection towards her brother, and although it was a sibling relationship, Pyeong-hwa was often jealous of their harmony.
“I want to get closer to my brother too.”
One day, while they were driving, Min-seo asked to talk.
“Do you know? Our brother doesn’t touch the girls he really likes. Even if he looks like that, he used to be a huge playboy in the past.”
“I mean, he knows how to read a girl’s mind, so if he likes her a little bit, he just gets rid of her. But if he really likes her, he doesn’t touch her. So cheer up, sister. I like you. I’ll support you.”
“What, what does that mean?”
“Oh, and as I said, our brother is a real psychic. If a girl has a crush on him, he knows it right away. So he probably knows you like him, sister. Yet, despite that, he still invited you to the same guild… Well, I guess I don’t have to explain it in detail, do I?”
Pyeong-hwa had heard this a few days ago, and now she watched Min-seo and Hyun-seok chattering together, feeling a strange sense of relief. They were trying to clear a dungeon with an even higher level of difficulty, but she wasn’t nervous at all.
“If I hadn’t been able to guarantee her safety… I wouldn’t have brought Min-seo with me.”
Now Pyeong-hwa had a pretty good idea of Hyun-seok’s abilities. Then she heard a voice.
“What? This is the team we’re supposed to cooperate with… This kind of team? They look like complete amateurs. And they’re even two girls. Oh… did something go wrong? Let’s contact the Union again!”
Hyun-seok didn’t want to stand out in front of everyone. It didn’t mean he would never step forward, but rather that he wouldn’t do so unless it was necessary.
He never intended to become a slayer, but circumstances had changed. He no longer felt repulsed by the act of slaying, but he still didn’t want to boast about his skills in front of others. Sung-hyung had taken care of that part. The rescue team consisted of about 5 to 10 members.
The 5-member team was composed mostly of famous guilds within the country, and their skills were already highly recognized. Even the 10-member team, consisting of relatively talented slayers, had organized into the rescue team. Sung-hyung had attached Hyun-seok’s guild to a guild called “Aion.”
Aion was a relatively weak guild compared to the other rescue team members. From their perspective, they were putting their lives on the line, so it was natural for them to want to join a more talented team. However, joining a guild that looked completely like newbies, with only three members and with no known reputation, made them feel frustrated.
This was no joke. They were putting their lives on the line. When Hyun-seok was first selected to join the rescue team, he was happy. But now, it didn’t seem like a good idea. To be blunt, it felt like they were being asked to risk their lives for nothing.
Kim Mun-yeol, the guild leader of Aion, wrinkled his face.
“This is bullsh*t. Something must have gone wrong.”
It seemed like a team that didn’t have a decent item. In fact, they didn’t have it because they didn’t bother to equip themselves with one. There was a member in the team who owned a deceitful stat that didn’t require any items in the first place. Anyway, it appeared as if they didn’t have any proper items in the guild.
Park Dae-young, the oldest member of the guild, said openly, “What? This is the team we’ll be cooperating with… They look like complete rookies. And to make things worse, there are two girls. Is something wrong? Let’s contact the Union again!”
Guild leader Kim Mun-yeol also shared the same sentiment, but he tried his best to conceal his disappointment. It was inevitable that Hyun-seok’s guild “Inha” would look inferior. They weren’t necessarily malicious either. Hyun-seok understood their feelings well, so he pretended not to hear what Park Dae-young said and extended his hand for a handshake.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Yu Hyun-seok, the guild leader of Inha. And you are?”
Kim Mun-yeol walked towards them, hiding his disappointment as much as possible, and said, “I’m Kim Mun-yeol, the guild leader of Aion. But if you don’t mind me asking, what kind of weapon do you use?”
They didn’t even have a weapon.
“I just use my body.”
Using only his body was absurd. It was highly inefficient, even though Hyun-seok possessed stats that are not worth discussing inefficiency. Even the most skilled slayer would use a weapon naturally. It was the norm. Kim Mun-yeol swallowed his frustration and asked carefully, “I know it’s rude, but what about your stats…?”
Asking about stats was considered rude. It was like prying into someone’s background. However, in their position where they had to risk their lives, it was natural for them to check to some extent. After all, this wasn’t just a game.
Hyun-seok hesitated for a moment, wondering if he should be honest. Currently, his stats were 101, including 284 bonus stats from the title system. If he focused solely on strength, he could possess stats that were almost 400.
“Um… How do I put this… What would be an appropriate answer?”
“Well… It’s quite high. You don’t have to worry too much about it. I can’t give you the exact stats, but if you contact the Union, you’ll get a reliable answer.”
He couldn’t articulate properly because his stats were too high. The probability of not being believed was high since the stats were excessive. There’s a common sense that people follow, and if you deviate from that, not only will you not be believed, but you’ll also be treated as a lunatic. It was better not to speak about it and instead get confirmation from the Union, an institution with more authority.
However, the way Hyun-seok hesitated was interpreted differently by the members of Aion’s guild. It seemed like he lacked confidence. Kim Mun-yeol cursed internally, while Park Dae-young swore aloud.
“Damn it, let me see… Yeah, where should I look? Contact the Union right away!”
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