A Monster Who Levels Up
(This extra chapter is brought to you by these kind hearted good samaritans: Gerald C, Tyler L, Khalfan R, and Dale B. Thank you for your generous support!!)
What are you going to do with that Vampire? (Kim Yu-Rin)
Inside the British luxury SUV, Kim Yu-Rins favourite ride. (TL: a Range Rover, perhaps?)
Kim Yu-Rin signaled towards the quietly-prone Rahaimde on the back seat using her eyes and asked.
Hmm. Well, I could hand him over to the SID something like that. (Sae-Jin)
Sae-Jin had half a mind to make sure the vile bastard would never wake up again, since it seemed the unconscious Vampire was far too strong for the Dark Energy Link to properly work.
But then, he didnt want to give up on earning yet another bit of achievement by bringing this guy in, as cheap as that sounded. Also, it was still illegal to summarily execute a Vampire without going through a proper trial.
Kim Yu-Rin snorted once.
No more conversation happened after that. He did try his best to initiate one, but her facial expression was way too stiff for that. It was as if she was locked into some serious thought process or some such.
Since Sae-Jin had something to feel guilty about anyways, he decided to follow the old mantra of Doing nothing leads one down the middle path.
Wait!! What are you doing? (Sae-Jin)
Were going the wrong way!! (Sae-Jin)
Unfortunately, though Kim Yu-Rin wasnt paying attention to her driving and as a result, she missed the off ramp and ended up going straight ahead. She hurriedly looked around for a chance the turn the vehicle around, but well, they were on a piece of road where making a U-turn was impossible.
W, why didnt you tell me sooner?! (Kim Yu-Rin)
After giving up, she sent a gaze full of resentment towards Sae-Jin in the passenger side.
Why are you getting angry at me? (Sae-Jin)
Ive never driven on this road before. And it hasnt been long since I got my licence, so Im not that good a driver yet. But here I am, tasked to bringing Mister Sae-Jin back home (Kim Yu-Rin)
Only after going the wrong way did Kim Yu-Rin concentrate on her driving.
And time relentlessly marched on. 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes Crossing a distance which 10 minutes would have sufficed, cost them one full hour, and worse still, they were
Wait, isnt that the city of Pyongyang? (Sae-Jin)
From Gangwon Province to Pyongyang in one hour!! .As expected of an extraordinary invention, the Mana Car. (TL: Oh, so its not a Range Rover, then Also, oops, looks like there is no South Korea in this novel, just a United Republic of Korea. Dont feel like going back to old chapters and changing them, so, oh well)
.. (Kim Yu-Rin)
To drive all the way till Pyongyang from Gangwon without the aid of a map Truly impressive, Miss Yu-Rin. Great driving. (Sae-Jin)
All Kim Yu-Rin could do at Sae-Jins sarcastic remark was to pout unceasingly and silently steer the car.
I wonder, how long will we need to go to Gangwon from here. (Sae-Jin)
If you dont stop now, I will leave you behind here. (Kim Yu-Rin)
As far as she was concerned, that sounded like an effective warning, but for Sae-Jin, it was actually not a bad suggestion to consider.
I can take over driving for you, if youd like. But besides that, why havent you turned on the satnav? (Sae-Jin)
Sae-Jin reached towards the centre console to switch on the GPS navigation. However, she slapped his hand away while narrowing her brows.
I have my pride, Mister Sae-Jin. Please do not interfere. (Kim Yu-Rin)
Pride? What pride?!
Sae-Jin dumbfoundedly stared at her.
A pair of stiff-as-rock hands grabbing the steering wheel tightly; her neck cranked out like that of an elderly turtle while her face contorted unnaturally as she surveyed the surroundings No way in hell something like pride had a room in that.
I just hope that we get there within two hours (Sae-Jin)
It was then, the drunkard lying on the backseat showed signs of waking up. Sae-Jin quickly formed another mace and slammed it hard on the forehead of the waking Vampire.
Accompanied a dull sound of impact, Rahaimdes face sank back down the seat cushion.
By the way, how long has it been since you started using a mace? (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin asked after observing him doing his thing, but then
No way!! You entered the wrong road, again!! (Sae-Jin)
What?! No, no, that cant be! (Kim Yu-Rin)
One hour it was, for them to reach Pyongyang from Gangwon. But the return trip took two solid hours.
While regretting the decision to ride on Kim Yu-Rins car right down to the bones, Kim Sae-Jin finally made his way back home.
The following day.
Sae-Jin went to speak to Yu Baek-Song regarding what to do about Rahaimde. He suggested that, since there were a few suspicious individuals within the ranks of the SID, the captured Vampire should be locked up in the underground prison located below the Mercenary Company HQ where Mana couldnt be wielded. She consented to the idea.
After the meeting ended sooner than expected, Yu Baek-Song handed over a magazine about Knights over to him.
[The Knights Academys most famous martial arts quickest to become a Mid Tier Jin Seh-Hahns technique]
Slow motion of the footage, breakdown of fist and foot movement, reading the flow of the fight, etc, etc A thorough lecture containing all this, and more. The number of learners attending the lectures of Jin Seh-Hahns Jin Mudo school has exceeded 300. The approval rating of the learners show no sign of decline; only the continuous upward climb. (TL: I left Jin Mudo () as is. It actually means, Real Martial Arts, so uh, Im sure youll agree leaving it in Korean sounds more impressive)
Several Cadets have been seen without carrying a weapon within the Academy grounds of late, and such behaviour is not being looked down on, either.
And we at XX magazine, are proud to present to you a timely interview with a hero emerging from the darkness like a rapid meteor blazing across the sky.
It was about Jin Seh-Hahn. Sae-Jins brows furrowed as he read the article.
Youve become a real celebrity, huh. (Yu Baek-Song)
There was a leisurely smile hanging on Yu Baek-Songs lips as she looked at him.
Ever since she had climbed to the position of the Minister of Monster Affairs, she was constantly reminded of Kim Sae-Jin and his influences. Bosses that constantly got on her nerves were no more; even those petty attempts to hinder her saw a sharp decrease, them unable to publically challenge her and remaining only as nothing more than some weak yapping behind her back.
It was the first time in her professional career where she could experience a stress-free work environment every single day, so she was understandably happy.
But, this might become a bigger problem if I get more famous than this (Sae-Jin)
In reality, the identity of Jin Seh-Hahn was one-time use only.
Although Sae-Jin said his goal was to reach the High Tier during the interview, the main aim was to get to the upper Mid Tier instead, where hed gain the access to the information he was looking for. The original plan was to have the upper Mid Tier Jin Seh-Hahn meet with an untimely accident before he could become a High Tier, thereby leaving behind a tragic but juicy story for all.
Argh, dont worry about that. A hero is an existence that gifts hope to the masses even in his death. Besides that, I see youve been getting along ve~ry well with fellow Knights, eh? (Yu Baek-Song)
Yu Baek-Song clumsily dug out a mobile phone from somewhere.
It was indeed a mobile phone. Sae-Jins eyes opened wide after witnessing something he thought hed never see, since all of their communication involved landlines or via those magic notebooks right up until recently.
You bought a mobile phone? (Sae-Jin)
Yu Baek-Song showed him an image from the Internet search results. It was of Jin Seh-Hahn, Yi Yu-Jin and Goh Yun-Jong. Seeing this, Sae-Jin let out a forced chuckle and reached out towards the phone only to have his hand angrily slapped away by Yu Baek-Song, who carefully embraced the phone in her chest as if it was the most precious treasure in the whole world.
No touch. (TL: lol. Actually, its supposed to be Youre being rude.)
Ah. Oh, sorry (Sae-Jin)
Afterwards, she continued to fidget around the phone with those small hands of hers. And whenever she found something funny, shed laugh out loud like a kid and told him to take a look.
It was as if for someone like her who had lived a dreary life without a phone until now, she had finally discovered a whole new world to explore.
Sae-Jin quietly studied her for a while. Funnily enough, he didnt feel bored watching her. He could only blame her gently-swaying tail and that pair of twitching cat ears on top of her head.
You know that the Lycans press conference is next month, yes? (Sae-Jin)
Mm? Of course I know. (Yu Baek-Song)
And do you also know that, as a slight exaggeration, the contents are related to the end of the world? (Sae-Jin)
She didnt even bother to answer him. After all, with her ears standing stiff and her eyes opened wide, she was totally immersed on a video she found online. It must have been a very interesting video, indeed
Figuring that he had to snatch that phone away for the conversation to progress, Sae-Jin slowly reached out, but
*SFX for a low, threatening growl*
.He had to withdraw his hand when he saw her glaring at him while baring her fangs, growling.
Sae-Jin could only stay there and witness her completely engrossed in the wonders of the Internet for the next 20 minutes, before leaving the place with the words, I should get going now, another meeting to go to.
Unfortunately, that video didnt end until then.
Curious as to what she was watching so intently, Sae-Jin took a peek. He found her watching an episode of the programme Animal Kingdom that featured daily lives of untamed tigers in the wilderness. Chuckling to himself, Sae-Jin left her office without a proper send-off.
Walking towards the car park, he quickly climbed aboard his car and set the destination on the satnav to a certain restaurant in Gangwon Province.
With a good timing, his phone rang at the same time.
Hi, Mister Sae-Jin, where are you now?
The friendly voice of an Elf, Hazelines, came out of the receiver.
Im on my way as we speak. What about you, Miss Hazeline?
Im also getting ready to set off. riding on a bus.
Sae-Jin checked the time and the destination. There was enough room to spare, fortunately enough.
In that case, wait for me at your place. Ill come and pick you up.
Pardon? No, no, you dont have to do that
Oh? If you feel that way, then
Ill be waiting for you at home~.
Hazeline hurriedly ended the call.
Smiling slightly, Sae-Jin turned on the ignition and stepped on the accelerator.
After around five minutes, he could see a woman wearing a thick robe waving her hands through the windscreen. He was about to hit the brake to slow the car down, but then, felt the deeply-suppressed urge to play a prank rush out and take over
Huh? W, where are you going?! Mister Sae-Jin!! Over here!! Heeey!! Stop!!!!! (Hazeline)
He deliberately didnt stop the car and continued on. When he took a glance though the rear-view mirror, he saw Hazeline hurriedly running after the car, looking rather flustered.
This went on for another 200 metres or so. Thinking that he should probably end it here, he stopped the car and opened the passenger side door.
Pant, pant. Pant, pant
Panting heavily thanks to the untimely sprint done with all her power, she grabbed the door frame real tightly and shot him a glare he was sure of Hazeline glaring at him, even though the hood was covering her eyes. But Sae-Jin maintained a nonchalant expression and held open the door.
Ah, my apologies. Forgot where you lived. (Sae-Jin)
Pant, pant Forgot? Really? You were not like this before, but you seemed to have developed a mischievous streak lately. Would you like to taste the bitterness of a magic spell? (Hazeline)
Get in. Or else Ill move the car again. (Sae-Jin)
She pulled the hood off as soon as she sat down on the passenger seat. She seemed unhappy, sweat from the unnecessary exercise sliding down on her face. However, the strands of wet hair clinging on to her skin only made her look more alluring.
Shall we go? (Sae-Jin)
While on their way towards the restaurant, she didnt talk but continuously recited something to herself. Judging by how official the words sounded, they must have been either a script she had prepared in advance or the breakdown on various information she wanted to present.
And they arrived at the restaurant located in Seoul after 20 minutes of driving. (TL: Oh boy. Seoul isnt in Gangwon Province. Author made a mistake here.)
However, the scene surrounding that place was quite something else to behold.
There was a limo with the national flag of France draped all over it, as well as dozen escort vehicles filling up the entire parking lot, not to mention the countless bodyguards carrying swords on their waists guarding the area.
What the Did the Prime Minister come personally or something? (Sae-Jin)
He did. (Hazeline)
Prime Minister Roland has made his way here personally. Thats why the meeting had been delayed slightly, to accommodate his busy schedule.
But, I didnt hear of such a thing? (Sae-Jin)
Oh, you havent? Im sorry. Its probably because Mister Sae-Jin has a habit of ignoring other peoples phone calls.
Hazeline spoke as if it was nothing much and entered the restaurant. Kim Sae-Jin stood there dazed for a bit, before finally moving his feet after one of the bodyguards walked over to his direction.
Unlike with the USA, the meeting with the representatives from France who had all flew over to Korea personally, concluded rather smoothly.
After hearing the French Prime Minister greet him in Korean, saying its an honour, Sae-Jin found himself unable to speak properly but Hazeline was quite the opposite, speaking her piece out like a professional. So much so, it was impossible to tell that this woman was the very same person who stuttered like theres no tomorrow during the seminar back then.
At the end of the two-hour long meeting, it was decided that the next country to receive the potion exports would be France. Sae-Jin quickly ran back to his car and extracted a weapon he crafted from the trunk, and gave it to the Prime Minister as a goodwill present.
The French PM returned with his entourage, pleased as a punch by the gift.
Looks like everything went well. (Sae-Jin)
Watching the distancing cavalcade of limo and escort vehicles, two of them stood there, smiling in satisfaction.
And as they headed towards the parking lot while still carrying that smile, they heard a voice calling out to them.
It was cold and hard, but a deeply familiar voice. Hazeline and Sae-Jin simultaneously turned around to look.
It was Yu Sae-Jung. As if she had just left the Knights Order for the day, she was still wearing her Order uniform as she stood there, staring at the two. Her eyes as she alternated her gaze between them were indescribably cold.
You two seem to have gotten real friendly lately? (Yu Sae-Jung)
Oh, this is because of work (Sae-Jin)
I already know that. The restaurant is owned by my family, after all. But Im asking because you two seem really happy together, is all. (Yu Sae-Jung)
She walked in heavy footsteps, opened the passenger side door and climbed in first.
Oppa, why arent you getting in? (Yu Sae-Jung)
At her chilly voice, Sae-Jins body shook in fear, then he looked over at Hazeline. She too seemed deeply flustered as she pulled the hood over her head.
Miss Hazeline, would you like to (Sae-Jin)
Nope. I, Im going home alone. Its fine, fine. Its not that far, anyhow. (Hazeline)
Huh? No, wait a second (Sae-Jin)
Im telling you, its fine!! Everythings cool, so please, quickly go. Sae-Jung, take care. (Hazeline)
.You too, Unni. Bye.
At Hazelines fervent dissuasion, Sae-Jin had no choice but to enter the car and start the ignition.
Through the mirror, he could see her lonely back as she walked away.
< 31. All Tangled Up (5) > Fin.