“Both of you seem to overflow with a sense of justice, but could you call some people? Maybe it’s a good chance to sort out the hierarchy.”
“Bring it on.”
“Then, Mr. Baek Dohyun, you stay here, and Mr. Kwak Junghan, you can come with me.”
Anyway, Baek Dohyun wouldn’t come to the lodging tonight. This was because tomorrow was Group 2’s turn to compete. He was certainly going to spend the night in the training center, swinging his sword, preparing for survival.
“Jaeyoung, you should really drop out of the Marstone group. Your brother will talk nicely to them, okay?”
“I have to do it.”
“Then I’ll do it too. I… I’ll definitely protect you, Brother.”
Lee Jaeyoung said, clutching his clothes tightly. His trembling hands reminded him of the very first day they met. That’s why he couldn’t say anything. In the meantime, an unexpected question flew from Kwak Junghan.
“Are you using Marstones to protect the village?”
“Yes. When the village is first established, it receives the system’s protection for about a week. After that, we need to process Marstones and use the vibration of the Marstone to protect the village. Originally, expanding the Marstone processing center was the priority…”
“The chief set up the training center first.”
“Yes. It was judged that this would increase the survival rate.”
“Do you really need Marstones? The houses were just extensions, weren’t they?”
“It’s because magic is involved. As the village grows, the part that requires Marstones will increase. To build a fortress that can’t be destroyed even by firing cannons, we need buildings made of processed Marstones. And later, Marstones can be exchanged for money. You’ll understand the necessity as you live.”
Sehyun moved away from the crowd gathering towards the training center and walked to the lodging. By tomorrow, most people will have realized their aptitudes and experience joy or sorrow.
“…I was sorry earlier. I… I didn’t know anything.”
“It’s just a matter of perspective. I’m fine with anything as long as it’s not vinegar death.”
“Yes… I will catch a lot for you tomorrow.”
There’s a time when even justice needs to give way. Kwak Junghan probably realized this time. That his justice is useless here.
Suddenly, he felt he should have greeted Baek Dohyun more kindly.
Sehyun’s gaze lingered on the training center for a moment. Whether he had gone into the training center or was obscured by people, he couldn’t see Baek Dohyun. Despite having lower stats than others because he hadn’t awakened, wanting to live must have been his drive.
He wasn’t particularly affectionate towards him, but he didn’t wish him dead either. Rather, he hoped he would come back alive and start conversations again in his blunt manner.
“Let’s go, Mr. Baek Dohyun won’t be coming in tonight.”
Leaving the possibility of it being the last time unsaid, Sehyun playfully messed up Lee Jaeyoung’s hair and moved on. The survival probability of Group 2 was still unknown. It would depend on what kind of preparation they did in the training center today. That alone could make all the difference.
The real problem was…
Sehyun’s gaze shifted to the awakening window blinking at the bottom of the screen. A hold time, which had not been there until yesterday, was now specified. He didn’t want to care about whether it was consideration or haste, but given the situation, it was quite irritating.
“Can’t I go in place of Mr. Sehyun?”
“No, you can’t.”
Kwak Junghan immediately backed down at the immediate answer without any hesitation. Despite his size of over 2 meters, his figure, hugging his knees together and sitting down, seemed unusually meek compared to usual.
“Let’s just wish good luck to Group 2.”
“…I will lay out the bedding.”
“Bro, are you going to sleep now? Since that guy won’t come in today, we can spread out wide.”
No, Jaeyoung? That person might die tomorrow…
Seeing him happily noting the expanded sleeping space, it seemed Baek Dohyun’s well-being didn’t bother him at all. Sehyun casually labeled this attitude as ‘childish.’ Of course, Kwak Junghan didn’t seem too worried either.
Sehyun quickly lay down on the dry grass that Kwak Junghan had spread out. It was only after lying down that he realized he had always been passively receiving things up to this point. For example, since coming here, Sehyun had not once spread the grass himself.
Lee Jaeyoung, as usual, lay down snugly next to Sehyun, frowning as if he didn’t like Kwak Junghan, but when Sehyun gave him an ‘it’s okay’ look, he sighed and relaxed his expression.
Sehyun didn’t know where Lee Jaeyoung’s trust in him came from. Maybe it was because he was the first to talk to him when they were dropped in an unknown place.
But having someone to rely on in an unfamiliar place wasn’t a bad thing. If they got along well, it could even lead to significant synergistic effects.
As he closed his eyes, the room darkened after a while. Only after it got dark did Sehyun stealthily open his eyes towards the void.
The awakening window pushed to one side of his vision felt particularly striking because of the darkness. Sehyun stared endlessly at that window until he fell asleep.
The first thing Sehyun did upon waking up was to head to the Ability Development Center. Since everyone was still asleep, the area in front of the training center was cleaner than yesterday.
Lee Jaeyoung and Kwak Junghan, left unknowing, would surely rush there in urgency later, but Sehyun had something urgent to check.
Unlike the silent Ability Development Center, the training center was still full of people sweating it out in training. The faint sound of yelling, along with the friction of metal, scraped past his ears. Most likely, it was Marstone Group, who had been ordered to deploy today.
Sehyun proceeded as planned to the development center. Upon opening the door and entering, the dark space instantly brightened, and the ground, marked with complex magic circles, was dyed in bluish light. As Sehyun stepped on the magic circle, the light illuminating his footsteps gently spread around in a parabola.
And when he arrived in front of the round stele rising in the center, the lake-like blue light was shot towards the stele.
“May the blessing of Helveil be with you.”
“Do you want to check the traits of abilities you can develop?”
Familiar letters floated above the stele, inducing a bit of nostalgia. It was a phrase he had seen to the point of saturation when he was a beginner. Memories of those days, when he frequented this place in and out to grow his retainer, seemed to be engraved anew.
Sehyun exhaled deeply and reached out towards the stele. The touch he felt at the tip of his fingers wasn’t the image from a game, but the cold sensation of stone.
“Evaluating the potential abilities for development.”
After a short wait while watching the faintly appearing and disappearing letters, the stele displayed “Evaluation Complete.” No sooner had his hand left than numerous letters brilliantly lit up the surroundings.
“There are no developable racial traits.”
“There are no developable racial skills.”
“There are no developable racial talents.”
“There are no developable racial stats.”
Seeing those words, Sehyun immediately turned his back without any regrets and left the Ability Development Center. The next destination was the Weapon Forge.
Upon opening the door and entering, it seemed someone had made a mess, as items were chaotically scattered. Although he sighed, considering how desperate they must have been to leave it this way, Sehyun picked up the scattered objects and neatly arranged them on one side.
Sehyun visited the Weapon Forge with the intent to make a bow. A gun would have been nice, but there was no chance of having such a thing when they could barely build huts. It was a dire situation if even getting iron for arrowheads seemed like a luxury.
He actually wanted to make a crossbow, but due to the absence of a blacksmith and the low level of the forge, it hadn’t appeared on the manufacturing list yet. In fact, there was only one weapon that could be made for each type.
Sitting in front of the furnace water tank, Sehyun eventually clicked on “Hevna Wood Bow.” Its making grade was D, low enough even for a beginner to handle.
“This should do…”
Even with your eyes closed. Sehyun immediately rolled up his sleeves.
It seemed sure at the time, but the actual completion of the bow came after three failed attempts. And it was of an unimaginably low quality.
“…Eh, can’t be.”
Despite several attempts, the result was always the same. On the seventh try, he applied too much force in bending the bow, snapping it in half. Broken fragments flew and left numerous cuts on his cheek. Amid the rising frustration, someone appeared in the disordered forge.
Reacting to the timid voice, Sehyun glanced back. A man was standing there, looking at the pile of broken bow staves and Sehyun alternately, not knowing what to do.
Whether he was shocked by Sehyun’s terrible craft skills or felt sorry for the wasted materials, his expression was not pleasant.
“Yes, what is it?”
Despite the frustrating hesitation, Sehyun patiently waited.
He was a large man with ashy hair and full of freckles. His arms, particularly his forearms, were disproportionately large and thick compared to his body, indicating he possessed a strength useful for something, such as, perhaps, a blacksmith.
“Should I… make it for you?”
✧˚·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥·̩̩̥͙✧·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥˚·̩̩̥͙✧ 𝑔𝓇𝒶𝓋𝒾𝓉𝓎𝓃𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓁𝓈 ✧˚·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥·̩̩̥͙✧·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥˚·̩̩̥͙✧