"Are you okay… ”
Han Soo-Young, who was sitting next to me, asked cautiously as I held a tissue to my nose.
I glanced over and saw that the sleeve of the hand holding the handkerchief was stained with blood.
But she didn't seem to mind that her clothes were dirty.
“Oh, I'm okay.
It stopped already.”
When I took out the tissue paper and showed it to her, Han Soo-Young looked at me with a more apologetic expression.
I held out my hand to get her handkerchief, and she naturally pushed my hand to the side, pushing herself closer.
“Remove your hands so I can wipe your face.”
“Give it to me, I’ll do it.”
She furrowed her eyebrows slightly, as if scolding a child.
When I lowered my hand because I didn't want to argue about such small things for no reason, the wet handkerchief touched my mouth.
She carefully wiped the corners of my mouth and nose and muttered in a small voice.
“So why did you suddenly come out… .”
“Yeah, sorry for startling you."
"No, I'm not saying it's your fault...
Han-Soo-Young drooped with a sigh in the middle of making an excuse.
Then in a crawling voice, she muttered again, I'm sorry.
At the same time, as if she had not yet given up on her desire to run away, she tried to sneak away, but I gently grabbed her arm.
It was an action without a single ounce of strength in it, but it was enough.
“Why are you avoiding me”
She didn't say anything.
I asked carefully, looking at her, who closed her mouth as if exercising her right to remain silent.
“Did I do something wrong, by any chance, to make you avoid me”
“You didn't do anything wrong.”
She muttered quietly.
She started to touch the stone placed in front of her with her foot for nothing, and muttered again.
“It’s not like that… I wish it had been like that.”
Then maybe my heart wouldn't have been this stuffy.
I asked quietly, looking at her, who seemed depressed.
“Is it troubling for you if I know"
"I don't know.
She shook her head slightly, and then, as if giving up, she started talking to me.
“Just, I had a conversation with senior Lee Ye-Eun alone… .”
“Yeah, I think she also talked separately with Ye-Seul, not just with me.”
It was quite surprising.
I wanted to ask her what on earth you guys talked about, but judging from the expression and attitude she was showing me now, I had a feeling she would never tell me.
“So, what should I say… I realized something in various ways, thought about it, worried about it...
and even did a bit of self-loathing...
What the hell did the two of them talk about that even the word self-loathing is coming out of her mouth
Seeing my expression getting serious, Han Soo-Young quickly waved her hand as if saying, it's a misunderstanding.
“No, it's not like senior said something mean to me or anything like that! So, we just talked a little...
about something important.
There, I felt a lot of things… .”
She looked at me for a moment and sighed.
something that can't be explained in words.
You didn't do anything wrong.
It's just that when I see you, my head feels dizzy and it makes it hard...
That's why I've been avoiding you a little.”
Han Soo-Young was holding the handkerchief stained with my blood and looking at it with eyes that said, what should I do with this
"I'll wash it for you.
Give it to me."
"Huh No, it’s okay.”
She immediately put the handkerchief in her bag and even closed it.
I watched her for a while, and then I opened my mouth, thinking that if I didn't do it now, she would run away again.
“Actually, I had something to tell you guys, too.”
“It’s very important.
I was originally going to keep it a secret until the end, but...
Han Soo-Young listened to me in silence.
She looked closely at me with her mouth closed.
“Recently, I've changed my mind.
I can't keep it a secret forever.
If something goes wrong once in the future, it will be irreversible, so I think it's right to say….”
“Is it important enough to worry about that much”
At least for me, it is.
To the extent that I wanted to hide it forever if I could.”
So I came to the conclusion that if possible, I should tell the people around me who I believed in.
Because they showed me more trust than I believed.
They believed in me, trusted me, and gave me their hearts.
They were no longer just characters in a game to me.
They were just like me.
“But now I realize it's wrong.
If something goes wrong because of this...
It’s right for me to take responsibility.”
"And I figured if I have to tell you guys, I should tell you and Hyun-Woo first."
Han Soo-Young asked, staring at me.
“Yeah, why on earth, I think.”
They weren't the first people I met.
They weren't the first people to trust me.
But for some reason, I thought I should tell the two first.
It was just that.
"Can I think it's because you trust us the most”
I nodded my head slightly at her question.
“Could it be that the secret you are trying to tell us now is something that senior Ye-Eun also knows”
Saying that, I quickly added, as if making an excuse.
“I didn’t mean to keep it a secret from you guys, but somehow because of the circumstances, senior Ye-Eun was the first to know.”
“Ah, I see.”
Han Soo-Young slowly nodded.
Then she quietly placed her hand over mine and said.
“Um, it's related to the story about you these days, right”
I nodded silently.
The most talked-about story at the academy these days was, of course, about my origin.
Whether I liked it or not, wherever I went, I could hear them whispering while looking at me.
When I agreed, Han Soo-Young was silent for a moment, then slightly shook her head and said.
“If it's that important, I think it's a little too much to talk about it lightly here.
Well, I guess so.”
“Then why don’t the three of us, you, me, and Hyun-Woo go out this weekend”
Han Soo-Young said that and carefully moved her hand.
I tried to sneak it out, but this time she grabbed my hand in a gesture that didn't contain an ounce of strength.
That alone was enough.
“About that, shouldn't you also tell Ye-Seul”
In fact, revealing the truth to Jin Ye-Seul was what worried me the most.
Whatever the case was, the fact that I've been lying to her since the moment I first met her doesn't change.
Even though I knew very well just how much the name Shadow Walker carried a heavy meaning to her.
So I was especially indebted to her.
It is probably also the reason why I did not impose any sanctions when she crossed the line, or when she bit my neck in the past.
On the contrary, I even thought it was the price I had to pay for my sins.
No matter how she reacts, it's something I definitely have to endure.
Perhaps noticing my thoughts, Han-Soo-Young gently smiled and tapped my hands as if to say, Don't worry.
“Take some time to talk to Ye-Seul separately.
When you want, where you want.
She'll understand even if it's a little late.
If it was the other way around, Hyun-Woo and I would have understood too."
"I hope so."
“Anyway, then, all I need to know is that we're going out together this weekend, right"
With those words, Han Soo-Young got up from her seat and held out her hand to me.
When I took her hand, she gently lifted me up with a hiyaa.
“Is your nose really okay Shouldn't you go to the infirmary”
“Well, I've even recovered from worse wounds in no time.
Don’t worry too much.”
“How can I not worry… .”
She murmured grumblingly.
Then suddenly she looked back at me and said.
“You better fix that kind of attitude.”
“Being so kind to the people around you.
If you keep doing that, those strange people might look down on you instead of thinking you're being considerate, you know"
Of course, Hyun-Woo and I won't leave them alone if we see those b*tches and b*stards.
Oh, Ye-Seul isn't going to stay still either.
Maybe Lee Ye-Eun, that senior, too.
“You should go out a little shamelessly sometimes.”
“Well, I'll think about it.”
Han Soo-Young still looked like she didn't like it.
“This won’t work, I have to set an example.”
Saying that, she suddenly pushed me.
When I suddenly leaned over at her sudden action, she grabbed my arm.
I even wondered how on earth she could get this much strength out of such a slender arm.
She caught me almost as if hugging me as I almost fell.
I could feel her thin breath and felt something touching my lips and fall right away.
Is it what you call a bird kiss
When I fixed my posture and looked at her with eyes wondering what she was doing, Han-Soo-Young was facing me with her characteristic relaxed smile.
"How do you feel"
“I kissed you.”
Han Soo-Young said that and swept her hair with her hands.
The earrings I gave her before were sparkling.
“Don't tell me you don't like my kiss now, do you”
Even if I count in my class, there will be quite a few boys who want to kiss me once.
Han Soo-Young looked at me, speaking in a strangely confident yet contrived voice.
Seeing that, I burst into laughter.
“Yes, it really cheered me up.
When I burst into laughter, Han Soo-Young smiled slightly at me.
“I'm glad to hear that.”
Han Soo-Young, who had been facing me with a mischievous smile, picked up her bag saying, it's almost time for class.
“Oh, I forgot to say this.”
Han Soo-Young, who was a few steps ahead of me, looked back.
“You said earlier that you trust me and Hyun-woo the most, right”
Han Soo-Young said, tapping her finger and pointing at herself.
“One day, when I ask you to tell me who you trust the most, I'll let you say only one person from your mouth, Ji-Hyuk.
No matter how much it's Hyun-Woo, I won't concede this."
See you later then.
With those words, Han Soo-Young waved her hand and walked straight to the class.
Looking at her back, I shook my head with a sigh.
“I can't beat her, really.”
* * *
After breaking up with Han Soo-Young, I headed straight to the advisor's office.
The other day, Professor Grossman had finished class early for personal reasons, and she wanted to make up for it, so she asked those who had spare time to come if possible.
As I moved, I began to ponder what classes I should take from her in the future.
A few days ago I had asked her to help me become more proficient with daggers and bows, but...Now I didn't particularly need to cling to those two.
With the authority I took from Margo, I am now proficient with the sword, spear, and bow.
Bluntly speaking, I'm not proficient enough, but I wouldn't lose even if I simply fought in hand-to-hand combat with a decent number of active heroes.
There was no reason for me to cling to the dagger, as the implication that had been placed on me there had been broken.
‘The setting clearly said that the blade wouldn't get dull or break.’
I touched Yado's dagger, which was attached to my side and was broken beyond use.
The two daggers, which Jin Ye-Seul surely had spent a lot of money to give me as a gift, were broken in half, making it impossible to even use them as kitchen knives.
I felt so bitter at the thought that if these had been okay, I would have used the dagger even if it would have been wasteful.
However, once a position is decided, it cannot be changed until a certain amount of time has passed.
My position was Vanguard, that is, a front-liner and scout.
I reached out to open the door to the advisor's office, thinking it would be a good idea to discuss the matter with Professor Grossman so that I could change my main weapon.
Just then, the door opened and a male student came out.
He opened the door, saw me, and immediately handed me an apology.
"Oh, I'm sorry.
I didn't know there was someone right in front of the door.
Are you hurt anywhere”
"That's a relief."
The male student with fairly shaggy hair glanced at me and asked in a voice saying, don't tell me.
“Uh, is your advisor Professor Grossman, too, by any chance”
“Oh, nice to meet you.
My name is Yoon Yong-Hoon.”
“Ah, nice to meet you too.
I lightly shook hands with his outstretched hand.
He hesitated for a moment and then gave an awkward smile.
“Um, I am a little embarrassed to say this after we just greeted each other… Actually, as of today, I have stopped receiving Professor Grossman's guidance.
So you don't have to treat me so politely.”
“I got an offer from Urea to go as an exchange student.”
He smiled with a mixture of emotions.
“Oh, of course, I am not saying that Professor Grossman's guidance is insufficient or unsatisfactory.
She's the best professor I've ever met.
But… You know, urea is the best environment for wizards like me.”
Urea was the name of the educational institution that specialized in nurturing wizards.
If one were to name the first academy in both name and reality, everyone would pick this Orhe academy, but when it came to the study of magic, at least, there was no place that could keep up with the name Urea.
“I couldn't afford to miss this opportunity.
So… I just told the professor and am on my way out.”
“It's kind of weird to say goodbye after the first meeting, but um… So."
“I'm Yoo Ji-Hyuk.”
Ji-Hyuk, You should do your best too.
Since Professor Grossman chose you, I'm sure there's something special about you too."
Then bye, have a good day.
With those words, he waved his hand and started walking his way.
I watched him for a while, then quickly opened the door.
When I walked in, thinking that Professor Grossman would be quite lonely even if I didn't show up, I saw Lee Ye-Na standing alone in the advisor's office, not Professor Grossman.
Finding me, she made a blank sound for a moment and then waved awkwardly.
As I was about to casually accept her greeting, I suddenly remembered the promise I had made to her a few days ago.
Now that I think about it, I don't know why I suddenly thought of this.
Perhaps it was because I felt strangely refreshed after meeting Han Soo-Young.
I took a deep breath and shouted loudly.
Lee Yu-Na, who was looking at me with eyes wondering what I was doing now at my shout, seemed to have remembered something.
And she looked at me with a look that anyone could tell was experiencing deep inner conflict.
As I continued to stare at her silently, she bit her lower lip, closed her eyes, and then as if she had given up, she soon shouted.
“Good morning, Ji-Hyuk!!!”
Her voice was so loud that it echoed through the rather spacious guidance room.
A few moments later, I turned my head away as I felt the presence of someone, and saw Professor Grossman looking at us as if she was dumbfounded.
“… What are you guys doing now”
Lee Yu-Na, who waved her hand as if to make an excuse, turned her head and immediately swallowed a small breath.
At the entrance, Jin Ye-Seul stood staring at her in silence.