< Can’t Even Drink Cold Water >
“You were trying to talk nicely but uncle tried to use violence twice, I was really alarmed, did you know?”
“Uh… mm, you were?”
It was true Bak Sungtae attacked twice, but. It couldn’t be that she didn’t see me hit her uncle’s head against the door frame.
“Don’t do this from now on. It makes me too anxious to watch.”
Yerim complained. I mean, was there anything to be anxious over in that situation? Wasn’t it one-sided? Was there something wrong with her eyes?
“……Anyways, the situation is handled so go pack your things and come back.”
Yerim passed me and went through the entrance. During that time, Bak Sungtae had gotten his wife’s help and was standing up. When she saw him, the corners of Yerim’s eyes wrinkled a little.
“You too, uncle, be a little more careful. Slipping on your feet.”
At the nonchalant voice, the faces of Bak Sungtae and his wife became dazed. Following suit, I was also a little shocked. I did make that kind of excuse, but…
“You, you! Didn’t you just see!”
At Bak Sungtae’s wronged shout, Yerim shrugged her shoulders.
“I’m saying so because I saw. Or, are you trying to slander my ahjussi?”
“Yerim, you, what way of speaking is that!”
“Why, aunt? You saw it too. Uncle fell on his own and hit his head.”
At the cold words, Bak Sungtae and his wife looked like they were speechless. What should I do? Should I just leave it alone, or should I say something?
“How could you say something like that! Look at the blood from your uncle’s head! Just then that man-.”
The even colder voice continued on.
“It was that uncle slipped.”
“You keep on lying. Not understanding after being told this much.”
Yerim took out a fancy long umbrella from the umbrella stand. Bak Sungtae and his wife flinched reflexively.
“A while ago, I said that I needed a strong umbrella like Soochun did. Do you remember? Last year when there was a typhoon, the plastic umbrella you gave me turned inside out and was broken. But you said you couldn’t give me another umbrella, that it was my responsibility for breaking it, so during the entire rainy season I went around covered with a big plastic bag I picked up.”
…Something like that happened? Wasn’t that abuse?
“I don’t really care about that anymore. There were a lot of other things too, but I decided to let it go. There was no point in caring. It was too trivial.”
The pale and smooth two hands tilted the umbrella horizontally.
“Please remember that. That it’s because it’s trivial. So stay like that, trivially. If you don’t, and pick a fight with my ahjussi over things that I alone let slide.”
The umbrella was folded in half. That much, a strong adult man could do. But then, that already folded in half was,
Folded in half again. Then, like it was compressed by a large press, it was crushed. Maybe because of the backdrop of the apartment entrance, the sight of her delicate two hands crumpling the umbrella like it was rubber clay seemed unreal, despite knowing she was an Awakened Person.
Since it was like that to me, it must have been even more so to those people.
The crushed lump that you couldn’t tell the original shape of was lightly thrown.
The gazes of Bak Sungtae and his wife were fixed to it, which had fallen and was rolling on the floor.
“So… uh, I won’t let it go.”
Yerim finished speaking awkwardly. It seemed like she couldn’t think of a good threat to end on. But it was enough to have an effect on that couple.
Yerim turned to look at me and laughed ‘ehehe’.
“This is harder than I’d thought. But it was okay, right?”
Okay or not, she couldn’t have been copying me, right? Insisting that she alone let it go, and acting like she would nicely leave things be and then showing off her strength, and saying that she would close her eyes to past events, all of it was similar.
…So this was why they said you can’t even drink cold water in front of kids. Old sayings really weren’t wrong.
“……You said you were a good kid.”
“Ahjussi too. If you act good here, then it’s not being good, it’s being a pushover.”
She wasn’t wrong. Well, if she was going to live as a combat Hunter, not any other type, rather than being yielding, it would be better to have a strong side.
Somewhat nodding my head, I glanced at Bak Sungtae and his wife. They seemed like their souls had left. So why didn’t you be a little kind to the kid? Still, besides the embezzling, all their limbs were okay and they got some money, so there shouldn’t be any disadvantage. Did they collect a lot of good fortune in their previous lives?
“Let’s just do this much and leave. Do you have a lot to pack? Should I help?”
“No, I don’t have much. For things like clothes, it’ll probably be better to buy new ones.”
My attention went to the shabby sneakers again. Now that I think of it, her clothes were a tracksuit.
“I’ll buy you a pair of new shoes. Ones that fit.”
Yerim smiled widely. It was a bright and pretty smile.
“It’s not too much? Your pay is 0 won.”
Cutting to the heart with a smiling face.
“I said I have money. Did you think I just played around to this age, when I haven’t even gone to college? I have money I’ve saved.”
“Okay. Then I’ll buy lunch.”
“You haven’t opened a bank account yet so you don’t have money. Since it’s Sunday, the bank isn’t open either.”
The down payment was scheduled to be deposited when the bank account was opened.
“Th-then tomorrow! Tomorrow right away when the bank opens! I’ll buy from an expensive place.”
“I’ll wait for it.”
Yerim excitedly entered the home. If it weren’t for the people sprawled out around the entrance, it would have been quite a nice scene.
We loaded the luggage into the car trunk and got on the backseats. While nodding along to Yerim, who was excited about being completely emancipated, I took out a mana potion from the inventory.
“What is that?”
Yerim, who saw the 100 mL drink bottle, tilted her head and asked.
“Apple-flavored mana potion.”
There was also orange-flavored.
“Mana potion? It looks like a restorative drink from the drugstore.”
“Appearances aside, it’s all made from dungeon side-products, including the bottle. So if you take the empty bottle to the Association, you get points that you can use in the Hunter shopping mall.”
It was because if you put it in a normal bottle, you wouldn’t be able to put it in the inventory. The collection rate of empty bottles was low so there was even a recycling campaign targeted toward mid-to-high rank Hunters.
Of course, I was an F-Rank Hunter that need to save every cent so I regularly brought them in.
“Are there vitality potions too?”
“Of course. Should I show you?”
I took out a vitality potion that looked exactly the same and was only different in color, and held it out. Taking it, Yerim looked fascinated as she inspected it.
“If you drink this, do you really get better and such?”
“It’s the lowest grade so the effect isn’t that good. It’s enough to staunch bleeding when you spray it on wounds, rather than drinking it.”
“Oh, so it only staunches bleeding?”
“Stopping blood immediately when you put it on is pretty useful, you know. And even if it’s only that much, they’re around ten times as expensive as mana potions of the same rank.”
Yerim’s eyes became round.
“Not the other way around?”
“Mana potions are factory-made from finely ground magic stones, but vitality potions are handmade products from healers. At that, fixing skill effects to liquids is difficult so at best only up to mid-grade can be made, and you can only get high-rank vitality potions or things like elixirs through dungeon awards.”
Especially elixirs were extremely precious things that you couldn’t get several out of even S-Rank dungeons. I opened the mana potion and drank as I explained.
I kept on using Auspicious Seed-Leaf just in case, so my mana was low. The results were uninteresting and the best stat rank was a delivery man’s C. The skills were only D.
Discovering Yoo Myeongwoo was an incredibly lucky case, and usually it was like this. Far from S-Rank, even B-Ranks were in the minority.
‘It would do with just Yerim but… it would be pretty good if there was a healer.’
Did they say that a human’s greed has no bounds? After getting a combat power, I wanted a healer. Were there any S-Rank, no even an A-Rank, healers lying around? Then, I really wouldn’t need anything else.
‘Healers that became famous in the future were all foreigners so I wouldn’t be able to find them.’
For some reason, within the country, only up to B-Rank healers appeared. Even Haeyeon Guild endured with a B-Rank before finally recruiting over a foreign Hunter.
Still there shouldn’t be none at all; should I sit down somewhere where a lot of people go in and out and look around?
After buying necessary items starting from shoes and clothes, and eating lunch, we returned to the guild. Bak Yerim looked sorry and like she didn’t know what to do, every time I opened my wallet.
Even though we didn’t buy anything expensive and this much was okay.
“I really will pay you back!”
“I said it’s okay.”
On the way, I checked my bank balance at an ATM, and it was more than I had expected. Even leaving aside the money to buy stocks, it was enough to live on for about a year, so there was no problem. Well, room and board, which used up the most money, was going to be free. Not to mention, I didn’t have to go to work so there would be no transportation fees, and besides cell phone fees, fees for communication, gas, electricity, etc. were all no charge.
My dissatisfaction over my salary being 0 won was starting to die down.
That decreasing dissatisfaction completely vanished as I was ushered into high-level A-Rank Hunter exclusive dorms.
“Daily necessities and food are provided by the 15th floor dorm maintenance through phone or written request, up to a limit of 1 million won per month.”
The female employee who was in charge of guiding me to the dorms smiled prettily and said.
“Excuse me? Those kinds of things are given too?”
“Going to buy those yourselves would be inconvenient, and it is in case a quarantine is needed. The limit can be raised with your personal money.”
A-Rank were treated really well, huh. Then again, how much profit did they create? It was enough that you’d carefully look after them in case they got in trouble.
“Cleaning and laundry services are usually twice a week, and for trash, please separate into dry trash and wet trash and throw them away into the hallway chute. Of course, you can employ a housekeeper with your personal money.”
So they even do cleaning and laundry? Coming someplace like here and asking for pay on top of that – I was being a thief. I had only been in two-people one-room company housing, so I had thought they would give a big single-household place with free utility at best. That they would give this much service…
“Here is unit A-15 that has been assigned to Han Yoojin-nim. It is scheduled for Bak Yerim-nim to move into unit A-16 nextdoor.”
Yerim had to receive coordination for going to the Hunter Association tomorrow and didn’t come up with me. They were going to dress her up in a way that suited, of course her appearance, but also her personality and skills, and even the Hunter characteristic. S-Ranks outshone reasonably famous celebs, so this was needed.
…Did Yoohyun go through things like that? He did go around wearing nice clothes.
The employee took out a card key and opened the door. And then she handed the key to me.
“Only one card key is provided, so if you want cleaning when you are out, you can entrust it with maintenance. Through the current security system initialization, if you register your fingerprint and a password, you can enter without the card key.”
I took the card key and went inside. The first thing I saw was a living room that was decked out like a high-class hotel or a model house. The sunlight that shone through the whole glass window blinded me.
“For any other usage explanations and precautions, please refer to this booklet. The pen and secure facility for the Horned Flame Lion is scheduled to be installed on Monday. Until then, please do not bring it down to the dorms.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“And, for safety, a door through to unit A-16 has been placed.”
I mean, I did contract to be protected but wasn’t this much unnecessary? What about my privacy?
“……It can be locked, right?”
“From unit A-16, it can.”
The female employee said, as if saying something obvious. Then what about me? I guess I should go buy a chain from the hardware store and put it up at least.
“Urghh, I’m tired.”
As soon as the employee left and I was alone, I flopped onto the sofa. I was going to relax after regressing, but somehow, I ran around busily.
But now I had more or less found my place.
‘I won’t have anything to worry about in the future since there is no time limit on being provided A-Rank dorms.’
Unless dungeons suddenly disappeared and Awakening abilities went away. …I should put away life savings in the end. Them appearing was sudden anyways, so you’d never know.
After lying down like that for a bit, I slowly took out my cell phone. The newcomer Hunter training date was set so I should contact him. He wouldn’t have had any bad thoughts during this time, right?
After several rings, Yoo Myeongwoo picked up the phone.
[The owner of this cell phone can’t answer the phone right now.]
Huh? It wasn’t Yoo Myeongwoo’s voice? And the call was cut off. What, why can’t my precious SS-Rank production skill answer the phone?
 I can’t remember if I remembered to footnote this previously but anyways it’s actually ‘no’, but that’s used as a colloquial interjection sort of thing & the best eng equiv that I could think of was ‘I mean’ even though that’s not exactly what it means
 she uses ‘our’ actually, which, like I mentioned previously, is a lot more common in krn than in eng. I thought using ‘our’ here would make it sound like she was implying a ‘we’ that included her uncle, so I used ‘my’ instead
 what you call the wife of your father’s younger brother
 thud-like noise, then a rolling noise I think
 a saying that you say after you do sth, to imply that kids would copy what you just did. Yes, the previous ch title and this ch title together makes this saying.
 lit. ‘without a single wrinkle’ which can be used literally or metaphorically
 lit. ‘pierce the bone’, but that and other variations of bone hurty mean ‘agonizing’. I guess I could’ve used ‘cut to the bone’ but I couldn’t remember if that eng phrase also meant the same thing as ‘cut to the heart’ (bc apparently I also suck at my one (1) fluent language) bc when I googled to check, google said it meant ‘severely reduced’
 lit. ‘a space with a large transient population’
 lit. ‘carefully look at them in case they eat something wrong and trouble happens’
 actually there is no ‘…’ but I couldn’t think of a different way to express the general feeling of the sentence other than this, so.
 this is the eng word transliterated into krn, and, I think in this case, another ex. of konglish slang. I know in the entertainment industry, the stylists and fashion coordinators and what they do are called ‘coordi’ (shortened vers of the eng word) so I’m assuming it’s something like that, esp based on the context of the next sentence. So it probably means something like ‘styling’.
 lit. ‘hit (someone’s) cheek’
 it doesn’t actually say ‘famous’, just lit. ‘reasonable/quite/a fair amount celeb’ but that doesn’t make sense in eng
 in this case, YJ does say ‘my’ instead of ‘our’. Idk how to explain the differences/nuances between ‘my’ and ‘our’ bc it’s all very vague/instinctive to me, so… uh… yeah…