This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, BDark, Haikai, Lei, and ThunderHamster.
Ahn Hyun Do cleaned his sword with a clean cloth.
The famed sword that the craftsman had completed with his soul and by smelting even the purest part of iron. As famous swordsmen used it generation after generation, the sword’s value had grown.
“Through the sword, what makes a human capable of rising to the sky… is the sword.”
Ahn Hyun Do possessed many famed swords, but he never carelessly took out the Radiant Sword. Only when a big decision was ahead did he meditate over the resolve of his time of youth while cleaning the Radiant Sword.
“The years when there was nothing scary in the world. The years when I was so bent on just fighting that I didn’t have time to look around. I received my undeserved Radiant Sword at that time. This is the sword that let me realize that the days of the sword had no meaning, that in the end people were more important.”
Ahn Hyun Do gazed at the Radiant Sword that he had cleaned to a mirror-like shine.
The azure sky and the clouds drifting away that shone through the office room’s window were also reflected on the blade. The sunlight made him squint his eyes.
“Swordsmanship is learning the way to use the sword. If the motive of fencing is merely strong swordsmanship, what worth is there in learning it?”
The sword that nurtured a person.
Like the flourished weed of the rough wilderness, in the end, a human also had to pass through training. There was a need to learn not just in the small dojo, but the vast world.
“True fear, the drive for life… and also one’s self can be learned through the sword.”
Ahn Hyun Do slid the sword into its sheath and left the office.
The one who took care of the secretarial jobs in the Dojo was named Yul Min.
“It seems like it is time to teach the youngest disciple the way of the sword.”
“So it has already come to this. Then I will book two tickets. On about what date should I reserve the departure?”
“Since he has to go to school right now… Around summer should be fine.”
“Though it appears he’s not ready yet… Might you be rushing it too much?”
“If he’s lacking, he should be able to earn something greater from his insufficiencies.”
Anyone can learn swordsmanship.
For a sword faster than anyone else’s, repetitive effort and studying are necessary. However, simply possessing such a fast sword doesn’t equate to winning matches. A heavier sword or developing muscular strength didn’t mean winning in matches either.
The reason for learning the sword was to see one’s self clearly.
In Ahn Hyun Do’s opinion, young people these days were weak.
“When they go to school and study, prepare for employment… If they spend ten or so years like that they’ll end up running into the world without knowing what they like or what they want to do.”
Once they are out in the workforce, there wouldn’t be a chance to change one’s self. At their workplace, after working in the store and earning money, they would see that the precious times had completely passed and were gone.
Time doesn’t ever come back. It would be great if you could cheat time, but that was an impossibility that only happened in movies.
You would discover yourself through the sword.
Here, there was also the reason of victory by the sword. Observation of yourself and your opponent!
As you compared each other’s might, you would crave for greater heights. Seeing themselves clearly, swordsmen fought with the appetite for advancement.
“A truly powerful sword. Why you must learn the sword, what a true swordsman is… I should be able to show him what those are through travels.”
* * *
As the Korean University’s festival approached, with less than one week left, Lee Hyun’s school life became really busy.
“Those of you who are preparing for the bar; since we’ve gotta win the snack contest, you must absolutely not do it carelessly!”
To make the snacks for the bar, they were abruptly thrown into culinary processes!
Though Lee Hyun didn’t need to learn because he was quite well-versed in cooking, there was no time to rest because he had to teach the other students.
“Lee Hyun-oppa, how do you break an egg?”
“It’s okay to clean the apples with the sponge. Right?”
“When you wash the dishes can’t you use facial soap instead of Dawn™?”
Every time a question was asked, Lee Hyun sighed heavily.
These days, instant and delivery foods were set up too well. There were many cases where kids who had been conditioned to only study never even once made their own meal until they enrolled to university.
“But who’s gonna make the rice?”
“The Cuckoo makes the rice.”
[T/N: A Cuckoo is a popular brand of rice-cooker in Korea.]
These kinds of conversation!
Lee Hyun controlled his frustration and endured as he taught the students the basics of cooking.
“When you fry an egg, you have to spread vegetable oil in the pan first. It’s probably better if you use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.”
“Peel the skin of the apple first so it’s easier to cut. Don’t slice pineapple with a fruit knife!”
“You don’t cut the bananas, if you just peel it…”
Truthfully, the students were enjoying watching Lee Hyun get upset and explain, so they purposefully asked about even things they knew.
“But can’t you make rice with flour?”
“I heard that originally, stew is boiled as ramen soup by putting this and that in…”
Lee Hyun’s patience hit rock bottom.
Nevertheless, Seo Yoon was on the side of learning cooking quickly. Although she burnt the vegetable pancake (buchimgae) as black as coal, once he taught her the trick of it, her next attempt was beautifully fried.
With her chopsticks, Seo Yoon held out a bite of the kimchi pancake she had fried to Lee Hyun.
“You want me to try it?”
When Lee Hyun asked anxiously, Seo Yoon nodded with a similarly anxious face. As he stared at the kimchi pancake, Lee Hyun’s eyes became as sharp as knives.
‘Ingredients, flour, kimchi, kimchi liquid, egg, scallion, octopus, some others. There are no problems based on the ingredients.’
It was a kimchi pancake fried using normal ingredients.
‘Seeing as it’s been well grilled to a reddish color, there shouldn’t be any particular problems with the cooking process…’
After resolving his doubts, he received and ate the kimchi pancake Seo Yoon was giving him.
The kimchi pancake went into his mouth, and the rich aroma of kimchi fully diffused throughout!
‘It’s fragrant. It’s the taste of local kimchi after all. The cabbage grown in neighborhood gardens with the pickled fish and red pepper powder mixed in well… And its fitting rebirth as a pancake, good! It’s a well-made kimchi pancake.’
Although his evaluation of the kimchi pancake ended quickly, Lee Hyun’s mouth was as hot as a fire.
There was no way it wouldn’t be hot since she had given it to him fresh off the pan.
‘I’ll have to be more suspicious after all.’
Lee Hyun’s eyes became more sharp.
Eyes with a look that could kill!
Even as he glared, he raised his thumb for the taste.
“It’s tasty. Keep making them like this.”
lthough there was no reply, Seo Yoon’s eyes looked like they were laughing, if only a little.
‘Did she know how to laugh too?’
It was an expression that flickered past too fleetingly. However, the beauty she had shown for just a short moment’s instant was the smile he had imagined when he had made the first Goddess of Freya.
Seo Yoon made the fruit salad well too, and the skill with which she arranged it in the platter was also excellent.
The cooking practice they did in the Department of Food and Nutrition’s classroom that they had borrowed ended like that, and they did the planning for the opening of the bar separately.
10 men and 7 women made up the personnel for the bar.
“Make it a tent bar. Doing that will reduce the expense, too. Looks like about 5 tents in an array will do, so what do you think.”
At Hong Sun Ye’s words, the guys nodded in unison. The festival wasn’t going to end in a day, so they also had to prepare for rain.
“Then 5 tents. We’ll be able to set them up before the festival starts, right?”
Hong Sun Ye looked at Lee Hyun.
She had seen the construction ability that used all sorts of materials at the MT as well, so she thought that at that level, a tent or the like would be nothing.
“It’s definitely doable.”
“But where should we get the tents?”
“There should be a specific place that rents them out.”
“Then the tents are fine…”
Hong Sun Ye swiftly drew the blueprint. She actualized the place where they would set up the bar and the tent size as she drew the blueprint on the spot.
“I think 20 tables will go in.”
“Then about 100 chairs should do. Is that too much?”
“We have to prepare for cases when customers come all at once, too. Since there are really a lot of students from other schools and people who are coming, many customers will gather. We can borrow the chairs from the classrooms so let’s get plenty of them.”
“In the morning before the festival, we’ll have to set up the tents, tables, and even the chairs.”
“The materials for the gas stove and cooking…”
“If we make an order at a supply house, they’ll send it to us by truck.”
As Hong Sun Ye and Lee Hyun conversed, all the jobs progressed like lightning. The guys merely occupied space; in truth, the female students and Lee Hyun took on the bar preparation.
“But what should we choose as our bar’s concept?” Hong Sun Ye went around asking everyone.
All the bars in Korea University progressed with their own concepts. To attract amiable customers, it was vital that they dressed up and put out their individualized bar.
“Should we do a club atmosphere?”
“How about a schoolgirl atmosphere. I still have my uniform…”
“I have my uniform too. But I put on a few pounds…”
Every time the female students chatted, the male students were speechless.
The short skirt, clothing that exposes her bare shoulders and back that Seo Yoon would wear in a club.
Seo Yoon dressed as a pure, innocent schoolgirl.
‘This is the jackpot.’
‘This is the jackpot.’
‘This is the jackpot.’
‘This is the jackpot.’
The male student’s fantasies were taking flight.
“What concept should we use?”
It was the female student’s greatest worry. If only to win in the pride competition with the other school bars, they needed to plan out a concept that stood out.
“For now, guys should come dressed comfortably. The girls will think about the concept more and try to choose.”
At the female students’ words, the male students answered earnestly.
“Alright. Hope you choose a worthy concept.”
“Don’t think about it too seriously, the ones you talked about earlier were also very good.”
“Ahh. If it was the festival today…”
The female students gathered separately and debated.
Club girl, schoolgirl, office uniform. Although they had initially chosen concepts that were enough to excite the guys, all of them were cancelled.
“We can’t just become eye candy for the guys!”
They were also considering Seo Yoon’s position, as she was obviously troubled about the exposure of the clothing.
“What concept should we use? As we serve, a lot of people will see us, so isn’t there something that’s elegant yet alluring, that can bring femininity to life but never prods our conscience to wear?”
“Since it’s a festival of May, how about a bride?”
[T/N: May is known as the month of weddings in Korea.]
“Bride! That’s pretty good. Bride of May. With student brides in wedding dresses and even bridal veils, I think it’s gonna have a lively feel.”
“I approve too!”
“The idea’s good, but is there a place where we can borrow the dresses?”
“We would buy fabric or material and make them ourselves. Can’t we just look at a fashion magazine and make it roughly similar?”
The female students came to a mutual understanding.
Didn’t they say the clothing that made women the most beautiful was the wedding dress?
It would also be an opportunity for them to wear a wedding dress once before they married.
“Seo Yoon-sunbae, is senior okay with this too?”
Seo Yoon hesitated for a moment before nodding.
* * *
The dungeon exploration for the school assignment!
Because they had to complete the exploration before the festival started, they were really pressed for time.
“Please come here quickly.”
“I’m saying that the rest of us were all here.”
As soon as the group members gathered in the capsule room after finishing their morning studies, their complaints flowed out.
However, Lee Hyun also had an excuse.
“The traffic was severe.”
“Lies. You walked here.”
The group members weren’t deceived.
“It takes 3 minutes to walk here from the school, so why would you come here by car.”
“It’s more than one stop by bus so if you get on it takes longer.”
Lee Hyun’s eyes became mellow and moist.
Choi Ji Hoon, who uses the in game name Zephyr had taught the elder brothers this; Lee Hyun tried to use the method to pacify girls.
Lee Hyun wagged his finger, and spoke with his most sweet voice.
“These sly deer… Are you doubting my words right now?”
At that moment the female students’ expressions indicated that something from within their stomachs was urgently coming up.
‘Ah, the breast milk I drank when I was a baby…’
The queasy and greasy feeling!
Even if you mixed peanut butter and cheese and made ramen, it wouldn’t be this bad.
“Ah, we get it. For now let’s just hurry and start.”
Hong Sun Ye, who saw Lee Hyun a lot doing this and that these days, took his side for him. Though he was even harder to deal with than her hair-splitting cousins that her uncle left from morning to evening, she demonstrated patience.
Lee Yoo Jung addressed him before she went into the capsule,
“You’re near Dale Kingdom, right? We’re already all gathered, and we also did a lot of exploration practice.”
Lee Hyun answered as if there wasn’t a problem.
“Of course. I’m almost all the way there.”
“Yes, then that’s a relief. We’ll go in first and wait. Please come quickly.”
“Just wait a little. I’ll be there soon.”
Lee Hyun went into the capsule, and as the sensors mounted he thought, ‘I guess I should leave soon.’
* * *
He had been busy selling the accessories and sculptures he had made in Kuruso Kingdom to merchants, so he was still at Nest Kingdom’s Herom Castle.
Even by riding a horse, Dale Kingdom’s Nekan Castle was over five days away.
‘In Korean terms, I’m almost all the way there. Since “soon” means “still gonna take a long time” now, they’ll probably be understanding even if I’m late.’
As the Kingdom had a position in the borderland, it was a castle bustling with Merchants dealing in entrepot trade. As a result of the users who were buying had wagons and goods. It was so disorderly it reminded him of the marketplace at dawn.
There were users who struck out at the prices as they bargained, and Merchants who weren’t going to cut down even a single penny were even having a fierce fight.
“Why, no matter how money-grubbing a Merchant ya are, how can ya do this? How can ya buy the wares that are like my own children that I created at the end of so much suffering with that price?”
“Look, elder. Please calm down for now and listen to my explanation. The current market prices of wares…”
“Market prices! What did ya say the wares I made were like? Is there even a wee scratch somewhere? Or are ya saying the quality of this ruby is low?”
A small Dwarf was in hysterics. Of course, the Dwarf’s true identity was Weed!
He became an obstinate Dwarf to the novice Merchants and was striking up the prices.
He sold crafted jewel ware accessories and sculptures, and even the Dwarves’ gifts. To be honest, when he sold the gifts he had received at the farewell ceremony, he felt a small prick of his conscience.
‘Even so, the market nowadays has changed. For the gifts I don’t need, I can just think of them as receiving a gift certificate.’
Gifts from the heart!
He had received the hearts of the gift-givers and thought that was good enough, and was selling them with overcharged prices to his heart’s content.
Since they were goods being sold by a Dwarf the credibility was high and the quality was good too, but because he insisted on the high prices, transactions weren’t made quickly.
* * *
“Ugh, when is he coming.”
“It’s getting too late… Should we just give up and go by ourselves?”
“We can’t. ‘Cause if there’s even 1 person missing from the group we won’t get points.”
Beneath the old tree by Nekan Castle, a party of people were waiting for someone.
A party composed of two Swordsmen, a Thief, Enchanter, Elemental Magician, and Ranger!
Hegel set the shield he had cleaned to a sparkling shine on the ground.
“It’s getting late. Though I pulled out Kudram’s Shield for a change.”
A kite shield that could cover the whole body, it had a defense of over 70, and had the effect of blocking charges with its ponderous weight. Choe Sang Jun had borrowed the armor and shield from his older brother, who was a member of the Black Lions’ Guild.
When Enchanter Rumi saw the shield, she said with a curious face, “Sang Jun, no Hegel, who enchanted that shield for you?”
“The best magic user in Haven Kingdom, Perrier-nim did it. He’s the Enchanter of Black Lions’ Guild.”
“Ah, that famous person did…”
The party members’ gazes were bent toward Kudram’s Shield.
Even inside Nekan Castle, the attention was focused on Hegel, who was attired in outstanding equipment.
In the Versailles Continent, generally it was possible to show a person’s might with equipment. A Swordsman’s attack power could become the strength to support the whole party, and they could also be the root of enemy pulverization.
If you looked at the outstanding Swordsman, being envious was a given.
“Must be nice, Hegel.”
“It’s really enviable equipment. The armor isn’t a normal item either, right?”
“You guys wouldn’t know ‘bout it even if I told you, ‘cause it’s the Snake’s Bantis Armor Set. The boots and pauldrons, and helmet are a set item.”
“I’ve never heard about the Bantis Armor.”
“Of course not, though it’s not a famous item, no! It’s an armor that’s so rare that only the people who know use it, so it’s less well known. However its performance is more outstanding than Norman’s weapons.”
“It’s better than Norman’s weapons?”
“The comparison in itself is impossible.”
When Hegel was boasting about the equipment, the Elemental Magician Selsia’s eyes gleamed.
“With equipment like that, there’s really no need to wait.”
“Won’t I be doing most of the hunting anyways? Then let’s just go between us.”
“But if hyung doesn’t come, we won’t be able to get a proper grade…”
“We can go first and start exploring first, can’t we meet up later?”
Hegel had a tempted expression. He was also eager to hurry and try out the equipment he’d borrowed from his older brother.
Swordsman Bella also opened her mouth.
“There’s not much a Sculptor can do in an exploration anyways. So even if he isn’t there in the beginning, it shouldn’t stand out too much.”
With even Bella’s approval, Hegel made up his mind.
“Alright. Then let’s go between us.”
“But what’s the dungeon you decided to explore?”
The ones who had researched the information about dungeons and had made the choice were Hegel and Nide.
Nide gave the answer to that question.
“It’s not far. If you pass Plain’s Red Territory, a forest of dried up trees comes up; the entrance is there.”
“Is it a famous dungeon?”
“No, the only people to have discovered it is probably us.”
Hegel widely broadened his shoulders.
“Yep. It’s a location that Nide and I found by investigating the booklets of the Kingdom’s library. Though of course, Nide was the one who discovered the booklet.”
“Do you mean it’s a dungeon that hasn’t been opened before yet?”
“We’ll prolly be the first.”
If they discovered a hidden dungeon, not only fame would rise, but they would receive 2 times the experience.
“Even if there’s a trap, Nide can deactivate it, and I can take responsibility for the fighting.”
Enchanter Rumi looked worried at the talk of the hidden dungeon.
“What about Weed oppa? If it’s a hidden dungeon, shouldn’t we wait and go together?”
“Will that be necessary? We can just hide the booklet with the dungeon info in this old tree and go. Let’s just have him look at the booklet and approximately find his way to the area ‘round the entrance.”
“But since he can’t fight, he might not be able to come.”
“He shouldn’t be that bad. Then he wouldn’t have been able to travel all the way to Thor Kingdom. Then let’s hurry and go.”
Hegel dug in the ground and hid the book.
– You have thrown away Gildras’ Strange Story Booklet.
They finished their preparations at a simple supply stand and left for the Plain’s Red Territory.
* * *
With the sale of the wares in Herom Castle, penny pincher Weed had made 35,000 gold!
“The stagecoach leaving for Dale Kingdom departs the day after.”
“What’s the travel fee?”
Although he had planned to ride there by transport stagecoach, not only did he have to wait, but the price was expensive too.
‘This won’t do.’
Weed left Herom Castle and went into the rarely visited forest.
The beginner’s forest where small animals like birds and squirrels lived!
The squirrels, which had been picking up and eating acorns, gathered in the area around Weed. Though they were close, they didn’t think of coming down from atop the neighboring trees.
If he was a Human, they wouldn’t even have come near. Because Dwarves had the attribute of not enjoying killing, they had come this close.
If he was an Elf, they might have even come and rubbed their faces on him. It was because the Elves, who had an affinity with nature’s beings, were a race that were welcome anywhere.
It was then.
While standing motionlessly, Weed’s mantle fluttered and beamed with a brilliant light. The Wings of Light on his back had widely unfurled, displaying majestic allure.
The piled leaves on the ground were swept up into the air, and the squirrels covered their eyes at the bright light. Weed spread the wings in the forest and soared up.
The Verona River that flowed grandly next to Herom Castle looked like a stream. Herom Castle, which had been so crowded when he had been selling his wares, now looked as small as a sesame seed.
A Dwarf flying in the air; this was something unheard of.
“Light Wing, let’s go!”
The Wings of Light flapped gracefully.
Since he hadn’t thought to make it a body, the Wings of Light could only survive by existing parasitically off another body.
As soon as the Wings spread out in earnest, he moved at a fast speed. Before he could even catch his balance, he shot away like a bullet.
The acceleration was so incredible that it could be expressed as instantaneous movement!
– You are flying in the sky.
Wings of Light can give 26% of the maximum speed.
The Dwarven trait of not being able to ride neither a horse nor stagecoach well!
Since he was flying in the sky, that Dwarf race’s penalty was undoubtedly in effect. Like when he had guzzled beer and become smashed, his dizziness became severe.
Weed knew the most simple way to solve this problem. He just had to cancel the Art of Sculpture Transformation!
However, Weed was still enamored with the body of a Dwarf. Stamina was good, and an additional effect was granted to Handicraft, so he didn’t want to cancel it just yet.
“It should be fine if I can somehow bear with it.”
As he flapped the Wings of Light like an angel, Weed positioned himself southwest and dizzily flew forth.
Whether they were mountains or hills, he flashed past them like that in the sky that was above everything.
Occasionally he’d be heading towards a precipice or a mountain peak, so there were times when he’d come perilously close. They were emergencies caused by flying with dizziness and motion sickness!
It was a flight so overwhelmingly fast that he had to adjust his path to avoid eagles he would collide into.
* * *
The Hegel party passed the land of the red sand and went past the Forest of Dead Trees. Without a single leaf, a forest with an eerie feel.
It was a forest in which there would be nothing strange if a ghost came out at any moment.
The Thief Nide, who had a lot of experience traveling round the Versailles Continent, spoke.
“You can’t wander around here at night. When it becomes night, though only every so often, fierce Grollers come out and root around the forest.”
At that, Rumi put on a fearful expression. Simply imagining the Grollers plunging out from within the forest and raising an axe or bamboo spear in her direction just terrified her.
“If we meet ‘em, we probably can’t even escape?”
“Yeah. If we meet Grollers at night, we’ll have no choice but to give up our lives.’
They were able to find the dungeon after struggling amongst the trees for a long time. The entrance was covered with dirt and stones, and was buried together with animal bones.
“Let’s go inside.”
As Hegel went in the entrance first, the rest of the briefly hesitant party followed him inside.