The S-Classes That I Raised - Chapter 29
< Dokkaebi (1) >
After washing up and changing clothes and eating breakfast and lunch combined, somehow my head became cool. Though my heart felt like it was beating faster than normal.
I thought my hangover had disappeared but maybe it didn’t? How should I say it, it felt like my Mental stat was reduced.
‘Though I guess it would be like that after realizing an unexpected skill effect from yesterday’s events.’
But it was still a little weird.
First, let’s sort it out.
1. I couldn’t ever tell anyone at all about the keyword’s effect.
There weren’t many in the world I could hang my life on and trust. It’d be one thing if I were able to read minds, but how would you completely know someone else’s intentions?
If they didn’t have a history of risking their life to save me, like Yoohyun, then I couldn’t ever immediately trust them.
My stats were F-Rank.
I had to always remember that and be careful. I was a weakling who would go to heaven if a passing S-Rank hit me, if I put myself forward just because I had an L-Rank skill.
2. When I used the keyword, I had to be cautious to the utmost.
Right now, there were only four people, but from now on, if I kept on using the same keyword, anyone could notice something. More than anything, using it somewhere where there were a lot of people, like yesterday, was definitely forbidden.
If it was that simply the growth skill application would be impossible if the keyword was discovered, then I would be able to afford it, but if the mental brainwashing came to light, then there would obviously be a huge fuss.
So, if I had to use the keyword, I had to mix in several other words 1:1 in order to be safe.
3. Prioritizing monsters over people, I had to find S-Rank level magic beasts to protect me as soon as possible.
Even after 5 years, there weren’t any instances of monsters who could communicate with humans. So, I didn’t have to worry about the skill effect disappearing for Peace and the monster that I would receive later.
If I kept two S-Rank monsters near me, I would be able to relax about my personal matters.
4. Finally, let’s not take the damn system lightly. I didn’t know if there might be another trap hidden, so let’s be careful, very careful.
‘If I were stat S-Rank, I wouldn’t have needed to worry this much.’
It was definitely too much. Ah, I was about to feel mentally weak again. Why was I like this today of all days? It was a feeling like I had taken off and thrown the armor that I was wearing.
…Was it because I overloaded my liver?
‘Let’s go get training at least.’
It would probably get better after I rest for a day or two. As expected, excessive drinking was bad for the body.
When I went outside, Yerim, who had already gone out and was waiting, happily greeted me. Maybe she had gotten expert styling, because today’s clothes were refreshing and cute.
“I heard you were really drunk, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“That’s a relief. Please don’t drink a lot. It’s not good for your body.”
Even so, I was feeling something bad in real time. See, my heart was pounding again.
I should ask while Yoo Myeongwoo hadn’t come out yet.
I was wondering what to do, but there weren’t people listening so I asked directly.
“Is there anyone you think of when you look at me?”
“S-someone I think of?”
Flustered, Yerim’s eyes darted around. Bingo. There was.
“Th-that’s… That is, I was trying not to show it……”
“It’s okay. Say it.”
It was okay as long as you didn’t say mom.
“When I was young… when I was living in a house, there was an ahjussi next door who looked after me.”
Ahjussi! Hooray! Yerim’s next door ahjussi whose name I didn’t know, thank you.
“He was younger than ahjussi, but back then I was also younger. Mom said he was a next-door student, but I saw him as a fully grown adult, so I just called him an ahjussi. It wasn’t that he resembled ahjussi, he was sickly. Enough to make my young self worry.”
Yerim’s gaze was towards me, but it seemed to be looking at the past. She continued speaking, thinking of an old memory.
“Our house was on the nicer side, but the next-door house was even bigger and nicer. The yard was pretty too. There was a white swing, and a large dog. Ahjussi’s body was weak so he didn’t go out of his house much. Instead he played with me almost everyday.”
“You must have liked him a lot.”
Yerim nodded her head hard.
“Yes. I really liked him a lot. Back then, I spent more time with ahjussi instead of mom or dad. My dad was busy and my mom went to do church volunteer work with the lady next door since I got along well with ahjussi.”
So was that why that ahjussi… student became the most influential caregiver? It might have been different if Yerim’s parents had continued to live, but they passed away early.
“And I thought that once I grew up later, I would be stronger than ahjussi, so I would protect him…”
She trailed off. I didn’t have to hear the following words to guess.
After holding back either tears or a sigh, Yerim looked up at me with an uneasy glint in her eyes.
“It definitely makes you feel bad right? When I look at ahjussi, I think of someone else… Usually, people don’t like that.”
“No, it’s okay. It’s not like it’s a criminal; you said it’s someone you like. Rather, it feels good because you think that way about me?”
Of course, there were a lot of people who would feel bad, but in my case, but I brought it onto myself. Even though he was sickly, he was a nice wealthy male student, so it was enough to be thankful.
At my words, Yerim was relieved and smiled widely.
“Really? As expected, ahjussi is also a good person. I thought you would be good natured since the first time I saw you!”
…Even though you yelled about statuatory rape.
“Do you by any chance remember when you first thought of that ahjussi when you saw me?”
“Yes. At the steakhouse, after you talked gibberish. That easygoing-looking appearance seemed familiar.”
If it was after I talked gibberish, it was right after I said the ‘I love you’ keyword.
As expected, it definitely was the effect due to the keyword influence.
“I will definitely protect ahjussi!”
Yerim clung on like normal, but one side of my heart became cold unlike normal. Thinking that it was all due to the skill, I was a little afraid.
…At any rate, if I was careful, there wouldn’t be any problem, so why was I worrying in advance? Was it really because of my liver? Because I was screwed up all last night? Or was there a different reason-.
“Did you wait long?”
Yoo Myeongwoo opened the door and came out.
“No, not really. Let’s go. We’ll be late.”
Since today was theory class, I should listen a reasonable amount and come back early and rest.
The novice Hunter theory classroom was smaller than I had expected. Unlike the Association facilities that could admit several hundreds of people, there were exactly only five desks and chairs. Then again, it would be surprising if Haeyeon, which was picky about screening rank ability, took in more than five novices at once. Even now, the only real newcomer was just Yerim.
‘The chair’s comfortable.’
It must have been expensive.
A short while after we each sat at our seats, the person in charge of the theory class appeared. The person who opened the door and came in was a woman in her early twenties wearing light sandals and a long tropical one-piece dress.
There was an air of being immediately about to go off to summer vacation, so was she really the person in charge of class? And it felt like I had seen that face wearing round glasses before, too.
The woman standing in front of the lecture podium put down the materials she brought and spoke.
“I am Suk Hayan. I am the person in charge of your theory class today.”
Suk Hayan! When I heard her name, I remembered. The expert on dungeon studies, Doctor White.
She was a young genius who had originally studied dungeons and Awakened People with her statistics major before going to the U.S. and playing a large role in discovering the laws governing dungeon formation.
She looked younger than the appearance I had seen on TV, so I didn’t recognize her right away. I remembered her being older than me, but with her make-up and clothes different, she had a total baby face.
Why was that kind of impressive person here? It was the time when she was still in Korea, but she wasn’t at a level where she would train novices.
“First, I will talk about the basic knowledge of dungeons.”
Suk Hayan placed printouts on each desk. Then, she stopped and stood in front of my desk. Behind the round glasses lenses, the two also round eyes looked straight down at me.
What was it?
“…Do you have something to tell me?”
“You are Han Yoojin-ssi, correct?”
She said, as if she was waiting.
“Yes. That is correct.”
“I heard a lot about you from Uncle, I mean Haeyon’s head of human resources.”
…Head of human resources? Uncle? Now that I thought of it, their surnames were the same. No, before that, what did you hear a lot about? Suk Simyeong, that ahjussi, guaranteed that he would keep things more secure than Guild Leader’s personal information; was he not able to bear it and opened his mouth? On top of that, something that wasn’t verified since it was still before the dungeon attack?
He wasn’t that kind of person.
“I don’t know what you have heard, but Department Head Suk overestimates me a little.”
“It seems like you are being modest. He isn’t someone who would overestimate. He’s very particular.”
Suk Hayan said, beaming. Well, that ahjussi was indeed particular. Still, I was right that he was exaggeratedly mistaken about me.
“I wasn’t being modest. Before that, could you tell me what he said about me?”
“I heard that you were knowledgeable about Awakened People and dungeons, enough to make him completely surprised.”
So he really didn’t say things about being able to know dungeons types ahead of time. It was a relief I didn’t assess him incorrectly. I regained my composure and replied with a smile.
“As expected, it really is an excessive compliment? If you happened to deliberately come find me because of what you heard from Department Head Suk, I feel apologetic.”
“I came to Haeyeon to meet the Dokkaebi. Of course, undertaking the training was because of Han Yoojin-ssi.”
“You wouldn’t be speaking of real dokkaebi, so are you speaking of a Hunter?”
“Yes. A Hunter famous for special skills.”
If it was the Dokkaebi, then I also knew a lot about them. No, I couldn’t say that I knew a lot.
Like the nickname, they wore a dokkaebi mask and clothes that seemed like they were from a traditional madangguk, and this special Hunter didn’t reveal their age and gender, much less their name, even 5 years later.
The reason why he, or possibly she, who wasn’t registered at the Association at all, was famous was exactly because of those special skills.
Mid-range teleportation and hiding.
Unlike instant movement that couldn’t pass over blocked places, teleportation let you move in and out of anywhere. And since hiding was added, they really were something elusive that suited a dokkaebi.
‘Their way of living was good too.’
Being able to secretly go inside anywhere was an incredibly threatening ability. If you rashly showed it, you could become everyone’s target of attack at any time.
But the Dokkaebi boldly revealed their ability to the world.
‘I have all sorts of secrets bundled away, but because I’m safe, I will never release them.’
With that kind of announcement.
In the first place, they were a Hunter who was extremely hard to catch because of their skill’s characteristics. But now, far from attacking, it had become a situation where they had to be protected. Since there was no person in the world, especially organizations, that didn’t conceal secrets.
Thanks to that, the Dokkaebi wasn’t affiliated with anywhere and acted freely. They rarely attacked dungeons, and instead, they played the role of a messenger who delivered important objects and letters and such.
Since they could figure out any secret, they were somebody who could relax more than anybody else.
‘And after a few years, it was brought to light that they could make ultra-long-distance movement portals.’
There was an uproar saying that they should be a dokkaebi king or god instead of just a dokkaebi. Since it was a rather useful ability, they became extremely sought after, but the Dokkaebi didn’t use it except for rescue use.
Of course during dungeon breaks, but they also saved many people in various natural disasters, so that their fame and approval ratings were through the roof.
Even though their personality was a little weird, they were a kind person and an impressive one.
“I didn’t know they were at Haeyeon. I would like to meet them once too?”
“There is no reason that can’t be possible. If you converse with me about this and that until the meeting time.”
“Aren’t you holding a class, instructor?”
“You speak exactly like a professor.”
Suk Hayan rolled her eyes slightly and went up onto the podium.
Her continuing lecture content was considerably excellent. She had an incredible understanding about dungeons and about Awakened People, and her explanations were easy and nice to hear, as if they were slipping into our ears. And she was skilled at using audiovisual materials.
It was to the extent that I would unconsciously focus even on things I already knew. Still, there were a few points that she got wrong. No matter now hard she studied, the materials were the amount from 3 years, so it could only be worse than the amount from 8 years.
“With this, the novice Hunter theory class is concluded. Our professor, thank you for listening to this lacking content.”
…Why professor again. To someone who hadn’t even stepped over the threshold of a college.
“It wasn’t lacking at all. The lecture was incredibly masterful. It was easy to listen to, and also easy to understand.”
Since she called me a professor, I gave my assessment. Then Suk Hayan rolled her eyes again.
“I am thankful for your praise, but at times you had an expression like you were saying that it was wrong. Your gaze was somehow exactly like my major professor, so that it felt like I had gone back to my undergraduate days.”
Was I like that?
“The very first time was when I was explaining about Awakening. Awakening usually occurs when you feel personally threatened, and initial skills are effects that are for protecting oneself. That part.”
She was sharp-witted and had a good memory. Then again, she had the title of ‘genius’.
I sheepishly smiled.
“It wasn’t completely wrong. It was mostly correct. But Awakening initial skills are usually…”
Suk Hayan widened her eyes. It was an expression that was urging for the following words. Was it okay to easily disclose it like this? Though it wasn’t particularly important information.
“I see it as divided between aptitude and environment. Rather than being for protecting oneself, there are many skills that can’t be immediately used for combat.”
“However, aren’t most of them combat and combat assistance?”
“It is most of them, not all of them. And, the environment was so that most would be like that. If you check, the proportion of Awakened People with skills unrelated to combat would have increased recently.”
Of course, ‘huk, stand up, me, you might die!’ situations were the easiest to Awaken in, so combat skills would still take up the majority. But now, when dungeons rarely burst open, the proportion of people Awakening in everyday life could only increase.
A while ago, even the Hunter Association had someone who had a seafishing skill and an earthworm-calling skill.
Suk Hayan closed her mouth for a short while and wrinkled her forehead, before nodding her head.
“Okay, I will check. And the second time you quirked your lips was…”
“Wait please. Are you perhaps going to check them one by one?”
“I don’t have time, but I can make some, and Han Yoojin-ssi has a lot of time left over.”
“It’s not time left for Suk Hayan-ssi to use.”
Suk Hayan put on an expression wondering what she should do.
“…Is there something you want? Should I pay something like research funds?”
“I just want to rest, though.”
“I will get you a 5-star hotel room. A suite with a good view.”
Why was a hotel coming up? My room also had a good view.
‘What should I do?’
Solidifying closeness wouldn’t be a bad thing. Though she would be going to the U.S. later… Wait, if I happened to give her a hint, would she be able to figure out the laws of dungeon formation in Korea? Hm… the number of dungeons was too lacking for that.
The number of dungeons was proportional to the population and the area of territory. So, in order to continue researching the laws of dungeon formation, which required a lot of data, Suk Hayan had no choice but to go abroad. Since there were no places that would allow a foreigner to investigate their dungeons.
The royalties were no joke, so it was a waste. Was there no way to get her to research here?
“Since I want to meet the Dokkaebi, please let me meet with them for at least a short while. I can’t answer everything.”
“Really? Thank you!”
Suk Hayan delightedly clapped her hands. Was she that pleased?
 dokkaebi are mythical creatures from krn folklore, and the closest eng equiv would be goblins I guess.
 i.e. ‘die’. It’s lit. ‘cross the Jordan River’ from the Bible, where crossing the Jordan River gets you to the promised land, but as the saying evolved, ‘promised land’ became ‘heaven’ and thus it just means ‘die’.
 Ahjumoni (pronounced ‘ah-joo-muh-nee’) which is another (slightly more respectful) way of saying ahjumma, the female equiv. of ahjussi
 ‘doctor white’ is said in eng transliterated into krn. ‘Hayan’ also means ‘white’ in krn.
 technically she says ‘teach’ but nobody really says that in eng, when teachers talk it’s always ‘I’ll talk about…’. Idk if this warrants a footnote, but just fyi since I tend to tweak little things like that here and there
 마당극 (pronounced ‘ma-dang-geuk’) is a traditional performance performed on a big house’s front yard (madang)
 the raws say specifically ‘he, or maybe she’ (specifically, as in pronouns are rarely used but they were used here, probably bc the sentence structure called for it) which is why I used that instead of the ‘they’ I’m otherwise using unless the text specifies.
 both the words for ‘teleportation’ (lit. ‘spatial movement’) and ‘instant movement’ (the same word used to describe BYR’s flight skill) mean ‘teleportation’, but I used the literal tl for ‘instant mvmt’ to differentiate
 lit. ‘there were a lot of love calls’ where ‘love call’ is eng transliterated into krn as konglish slang
 lit. ‘to the extent of piercing the sky’
 actually, he calls her person-in-charge-nim, but that doesn’t really work in eng.
 lit. ‘as if [they] were being embedded 쏙쏙 in [our] ears’ where 쏙쏙 (ssok-ssok) is an onomotopeia-ish word that doesn’t really have a tl/meaning but is used, among other things, when something is easy to understand/remember