My current level was 25.
I achieved this feat within the first 10 days of the school holidays. Other people had to form parties of 5-6 people to clear particular dungeons, but I could just clear them by myself.
On the surface, it looked like I had a growth rate of 5-6 times faster than normal Awakened, but, in reality, it was at least 10 times faster.
Why? Because I skipped low level dungeons, and went to the high level ones.
Having an ability that eliminates wasting time on mana maintenance is really handy.
Right now I’m doing something that only rich Awakened can do.
On Friday, after I had finished hunting, Sang-Min invited me to join his guild: “Nobless”.
According to searches it seemed to be a so-so guild.
It wasn’t a large guild, at most it was a middle sized one; one that didn’t have any relations to history or tradition.
However, joining a guild like this would only be a dream to others with my level. Adding in the factor of the amount of time I’ve been an Awakened, it became more outrageous.
Using the guild as a stepping stone to get higher didn’t sound like a bad idea.
Joining gave a lot of perks, such as better hunting grounds, loot, items, and information.
But there were 2 rules I was uncomfortable with.
The first was money.
Every week, I had to pay 10% of my income to the guild.
Being sensitive about money, this was the biggest obstacle.
The second, although rarely occurring, was if ever a situation in which the guild had to fight against another one, I would have to join in. Well, even if I did join the battle, only the top 5% would be fighting.
I still had to think about this.
* * *
Good morning~ Good morning~
It’s been a long time since I’ve woken up to the morning call.
For some reason Sang-Min hadn’t called.
“What? Is he sleeping in?”
I called Sang-Min.
After a few rings, he picked up.
“Min-Cheol, what’s going on?”
It wasn’t a voice that belonged to a person who had just woken up.
I told Sang-Min and his party to talk to me normally.
In-Ah and Yong-Hyun were 23, Sang-Min was 25, and lastly Chang-Hyuk was 30.
“Hello, Hyung. Are we not hunting today?”
“What? Today? Today’s Saturday. On Saturdays you should rest.”
An uproar. Was he an official?
I wonder so I ask.
“So you don’t go hunting on the weekends? None of your party does?”
“Of course we don’t. We only need to work for 5 days to earn enough money. .. But this guy~~ You’re totally addicted to money now, aren’t you?”
“Haha, it’s not that… Anyway, okay. Have a good rest, Hyung.~”
After ending the call, I realised that what he said made sense.
“Huh, being an Awakened is an occupation too. Except it is rather exclusive.”
Maybe the me who didn’t even think ‘If I have this much money, of course I should rest.’ is an idiot.
Ttak ttak ttak ttak
I felt a presence from the kitchen.
I nervously gathered electricity in one hand, and carefully opened the door.
Through the tiny gap I saw my Mother.
After Grade 2 of Primary School, Mother never stayed home on the weekends.
Weekends, holidays, the dog must’ve bitten it all off.
A smile unconsciously formed on my face.
“Did you wake up, son?”
I sometimes saw Mother, at the crack of dawn, making breakfast.
But this time, she was unhurriedly making breakfast, looking peaceful. I wondered if this was true happiness.
The restaurant’s kitchen was being remodelled, so she got a two day holiday.
I wanted to skip out on today’s hunting, and just eat breakfast and spend time with her.
Are they trying to knock the door down?
It was probably the loan sharks…
They usually came when Mother was at work. Why did they come today?
“Park Se-Ran ssi! Park Se-Ran ssi!!”
They usually came once a month.
I had given them 3 million twice in 10 days, and, having smelt money, they kept coming as if one day was really far away.
Of course, it wasn’t enough to pay back the interest.
Even though I found this quite natural, Mother was surprised.
I heard the men talking outside.
I didn’t hear what they were saying, but as soon as they finished conversing.
3 men broke down the front door and came into the house.
“My, my, my. If a visitor comes you should open the door! You know, you can’t make your debt go away just by avoiding it, right?
The guy in the front said, while sticking his head up. I couldn’t help but compare him to a dried-up anchovy.
I’ve seen this guy a couple of times before, when I was home alone.
He’s that bastard who kept on swearing and complaining about how there’s too much interest backed up. Usually, after complaining, he would leave soon after.
He didn’t look like an Awakened, but the two men behind him did. They probably destroyed the door.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’ll pay back the interest no matter what.”
“Hey, Park Se-Ran Ssi! It looks like you’ve found a way to get money. If you have, then you should pay back the interest first. Isn’t that right?”
After seeing that bastard tapping on my Mother’s shoulders and head with his finger, anger started clouding my brain.
I prepared to shove that fucker away, but…
The two Awakened behind him suddenly started grabbing my arms and body.
My limbs were firmly restrained. I couldn’t get free no matter how hard I struggled.
‘Fuck! Who the hell are these guys!?’
They were definitely Awakened stronger than me.
“Wow, your son has a really high ambition! Baby, you saw me a lot right? From now on, I’ll be seeing you constantly. So we’ll definitely meet again.
The bastard said this while tapping my cheek.
Even after Awakening, I still felt rage and humiliation, similar to that which I felt towards Jae-Hyuk.
I started to suspect they came just to scare us. Soon after, dried anchovy goes back.
After he goes out, they stop restraining me. They follow him out.
I gritted my teeth and vowed to get stronger. On the day that I repay the debt, you will die by my hands.
Mother stared at the doorway they walked out of and quietly muttered to herself.
“Those fucking bastards…”
“Hm? What did you say?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“…Mother, are you really okay?”
“Of course! I’m fine. Just eat your breakfast. I made the delicious steamed eggs that you like.”
I don’t know whether she’s just acting strong in front of me, or she’s strong because she’s used to this happening.
Whatever her reasons, I can’t waste time like this.
In these circumstances, rest was too extravagant. I started getting ready to head to the dungeon again.
As I reached the doorway, my Mother spoke to me:
“Son, I can live without money, but I can’t live without you. You have to study hard and become a scientist like that Tyson person. I’ll make something delicious for dinner, so come back safely, okay?”
I wanted to make a joke, and tell her that ‘I was stronger than Tyson right now.’, , but for some reason I felt bitter and uncomfortable. Whenever I talked to her, I felt like there was a rock in my stomach.
“Yes, Ms. Park. I’ll be back!”
I acted like I didn’t remember what had just occurred, and made a humorous face.
My Mother stared at me, and her face blossomed into the world’s most beautiful smile.
Not long after I arrive at the dungeon, I noticed that the dungeon entrance looks quite relaxed. I guessed that it was because of the weekends.
It looked like everyone had formed teams with their own guild members and were filling up on their mana, or performing maintenance on their items.
“Hmm… Should I go in alone?”