Chapter 44 – Regeneration Salve (2)
After she finished her shift, Jiwon returned to the dormitory, then she fell immediately into her bed.
The company had originally been a small one, but it had prospered from the Dungeon business. Everyday her workload increased, and each day felt more daunting as time passed.
The door to the dormitory opened. Her roommates, Haejin and Nayoung, came in.
“Uh-whew. Unni did a good job.”
“Yes. You guys also did a good job.”
Haejin and Nayoung were both 21 years old. Jiwon was a 24 year old unni, but they weren’t comfortable with the age difference. They might also be uncomfortable with her appearance. They got along well with each other, and they excluded her.
“Unni. We will wash first.”
“Yeah. You guys do that.”
Jiwon opened her hand-phone to take a brief break. After a hard day of work, she always read webtoons for a brief respite. Then she read short romance novellas.
Jiwon let her imagination run wild as she thought of herself as the protagonist inside her romance novella.
The sudden Dungeon Shock kill her parents during the 3rd year of her high school.
After the Dungeon Shock, the subsequent Dungeon Breaks put Seoul into turmoil. Jiwon had almost died on that day, but she was barely saved by an unknown Roused.
She remembered the Roused’s face, but she didn’t have any way of meeting him again.
However, the cost of being saved was high. She had lost too many things.
She was called a goddess, and she was the object of everyone’s attention. She had been haughty, and she had rejected every single guy, who had confessed to her. However, her life had crashed in an instant, and everyone looked at her as if she was a monster.
Or they would look at her in pity.
No man would ask her out just from pity.
This was why Jiwon had never dated before, and the novellas made Jiwon’s heart flutter. After she got off work, it was her sole comfort.
“Ah, this one’s fun. This author always ends it at the most entertaining part.”
She had finished reading couple tantalizing novellas, but her dormitory dongsaengs were still using the restroom. Jiwon had some time left, so she started reading articles on the portal site.
“Uh? It’s Woojin.”
She clicked on the hottest news article. She saw Woojin’s picture on the first screen, and Jiwon’s face unwittingly became red.
As if he wasn’t satisfied something, Woojin’s sour face made her laugh.
“Heh. Woojin is incredibly famous.”
The portal’s main page was half adorned with articles about Woojin. He was that hot.
[Kang-woojin’s Guild Alandal registered. Management Bureau is reviewing.]
[Korea’s 11th A rank Roused Kang-Woojin. Which star did he come from?]
[Supernova Kang-woojin. No 1 Kim-kangchul’s opinion?]
[Kang-woojin’s man. Who is Hong-sunggoo??]
[Kang-woojin’s highschool, Mido High school. His teacher’s interview.]
“Uh? Our 3rd year Korean history teacher spoke about him.”
It was fascinating, and exciting to see someone Jiwon knew become famous.
She had shared alcohol with such a person couple days ago. It felt like she was keeping a secret the public didn’t know. It was a novel feeling.
After she read over the articles for awhile, she got up then she opened the closet next to her bed. There were numerous hat of various colors stacked inside.
Hats were an essential item she couldn’t live without.
Amongst all of them, there was a hat that occupying the corner of the closet by itself. The hat had transparent tapes on the side with several strands of hair clinging on to it.
She thought about what happened couple days ago, and Jiwon smile automatically.
People filled with prejudice always stared at her with pity and disgust. She had lived through it for the past 5 years.
She had met an alumni of her high school after 5 years, and Kang-woojin was like the protagonists inside the novellas.
“Oh yeah. It’s about time Jaemin gets off school.”
Jiwon always called Jaemin around the time he got off. He was her only family member, and the only reason why she continued on living.
“Huh? Are you sick? What’s wrong with your voice?”
He was sick. His heart hurt. Ha-ah.
[Nothing. I’m fine.]
“Ok. Did you eat? Are you on your way to the tutoring school?”
[Yes. Oh yeah. Woojin hyung texted me, and he wants to know noonah’s phone number. Should I give it to him?]
“Uh. Uh? Woojin wants it?”
Do-jiwon’s heart strangely beat faster when she heard it was Woojin.
[It’s a little bit weird, right? I’ll tell him no….]
“I said tell him.”
[…that hyung is a bit dangerous….]
“Are you trying to get smart with noonah these days?”
[I…I understand, noonah. I’ve arrived at the tutoring school. Do you mind if I end the call?]
“All right. Study hard. I’m busy this week, so I won’t be able to visit you during the weekend.”
[Ok. I understand.]
Jiwon ended the call, and her face was flush.
Why did he want to know? Why did Woojin ask Jaemin for her number?
‘I don’t get why it’s such a big deal. She’s still pretty.’
Woojin’s words were still fresh in her ears. She was sure she had heard him say it. It wasn’t something she misheard when she was drunk.
“Eh-ee. No way.”
There are those that date ugly women, but there weren’t anyone who would date a monster. She squashed the sense of anticipation that was trying to rear its head.
The door to the restroom opened. Haemin and Nayoung came out, and when they saw Jiwon in front of her closet, they were startled.
“I know we are in our rooms, but can’t you wear your hat?”
“That’s right, unni. You should have some manners. We were surprised.”
Jiwon hurriedly covered her face as she gathered her towel. She went into the restroom. Jiwon turned on the shower then she started to undress.
“Ah whew. That orc bitch. She surprised me.”
“Ah, really. When I save some more money, the first think I’ll do is leave this dorm. Every time I see her my heart trembles.”
“How can she live with such a face? If it was me, I would have killed myself.”
They spoke as if they intended for Jiwon to hear everything. Jiwon soundlessly undressed. When she took off everything, Jiwon’s body was beautiful.
The sound of water from the shower wasn’t enough, so she also turned on the washbasin’s faucets.
She placed both her hands on the washbasin as she stood.
She had heard those words ad nauseam, but those words hurt much more today. It sounded like they were saying she didn’t have the right to pursue anyone.
Her sad tears joined the flowing water.
No one understood her…….
The monster inside the mirror cried more sadly today.
After Sunggoo finished gathering everything, he let out a sigh. Then he headed towards Woojin.
“Hyung-nim. I’ve gathered them all.”
Woojin, who had been resting, put all the loot Sunggo had gathered into his inventory.
“Hyung-nim. Your hunting speed is much faster than before.”
Of course. He had already almost reached level 33.
“Less Artifacts are starting to show up.”
“Yes, hyung-nim. It seems we gathered most of the Artifacts.”
At Sunggoo’s answer, Woojin cleared his palate in regret. He gathered only 3 Artifacts this run.
“Let’s go out now.”
When Woojin and Sunggoo left the Dungeon, Woo-soonghoon was waiting for them.
“Director Jung sent me. I was told to wait for president to come out, then I’m tasked to bringing you back.”
It seemed Jung-minchan had sent Soonghoon as a chauffeur.
“Where is Director Jung?”
“It seemed the guild was approved, so he’ll be back in the office after he visits the Management Bureau.”
“Then, I’ll bring the car around now, president.”
“You do that.”
Woo-soonghoon disappeared, and Sunggoo asked a question he had wanted to ask for awhile.
“Hyung-nim. How did you get acquainted with Mr. Soonghoon?”
“He sold me a hand phone.”
The parking lot was right next door. Soonghoon drove the car out, and he started honking.
“Ah. The reporters in the front should get out of way!”
When he saw Soonghoon disperse the reports with his honking, cold sweat ran down Sunggoo. He put someone who sold him a hand phone into the position of founding member?
When Woojin approached the car, Soonghoon got off to open the backdoor.
“Please get on.”
When Woojin and Sunggoo tried to enter the car, the reporters charged forward like a swarm of bees.
“Mr. Kang-woojin. I’ve heard you aren’t taking appointments for the Seoul National University Station’s 6th exit yet. When are you going to open it up for the public?”
At the reporters’ torrent of questions, Woo-soonghoon put on a menacing expression, then he started to shout.
“Ah. Get out of the way. They just finished clearing a Dungeon, so they are tired. Please request an interview through the official channels in our guild. If you continue this close coverage, we will respond with legal suits against the relevant media outfits. We aren’t taking any questions right now. Please step back. I’ve memorized everyone’s face. Even if you request an official interview, I’ll remember you all. I’m very capable of holding a grudge.”
The reporters were already sick of Woo-soonghoon’s rapid-fire words, so they retreated. Woo-soonghoon lightly got into the driver’s seat.
“Director Jung said he is going to sue the media companies?”
“He won’t, president.”
“Uh? He won’t?”
“…Uh, good job.”
Woojin’s praise caught Woo-soonghoon’s ears.
“Please allow me to serve you, president.”
He had already folded his store. He’ll give himself completely to the guild. Woo-soonghoon grabbed the handle as a sense of duty filled him.
Three days had passed. He had cleared the Dungeons 9 times, and the clear time recorded on the last raid was 2 hours and 49 minutes. This caused the reporters to busily write articles, and release them in droves.
It was an unprecedented event.
Kang-woojin hadn’t met the number 1 ranked Roused of Korea, but he was frequently being compared to Kim-gangchul now. No, he was being compared to the famous Roused of the world.
The person in question, Kang-woojin, showed no interest in the subject.
He sat on the sofa inside the president’s room, and he was eating snacks out of a full basket.
<‘Sound Mushroom’ was ingested.>
<‘Strength of Determination’ was absorbed.>
<‘Raenin’s Blood’ was absorbed.>
The medicines that increased Stat couldn’t be taken infinitely. The body needed time to accept the medicine, and the time needed increased every time a medicine was taken.
He took Raenin’s Blood and Chen’s Sagacity. They both increased Vitality, and he had taken them in succession. It would take a long time for the items to be digested.
Woojin ate a variety of medicines, which increased other Stats. Some could be eaten again after 2 hours, and others took a whopping 17 days.
Sunggoo watched Woojin eat the Reinforcement Stones like candy, and he gulped.
‘That one is worth 200 thousand, 170 thousand, and that one is worth 500 thousand dollars.….’
Woojin was a money eating hippo. A money eating hippo was in front of Sunggoo.
Woojin felt Sunggoo’s gaze on him, so he spoke in a sly manner.
“What? You want some too”
“N…no. How could I….”
The medicine called the Reinforcement Stones were being purchased by Director Jung in his spare times. There was a delay period in ingesting it, so he couldn’t ingest all of them at once. Still, he could give couple to Sunggoo without feeling the loss.
Sunggoo had to follow him, and do the odd jobs for him. If he became stronger, his survivability would increase. Moreover, Woojin wouldn’t have to worry about him as much.
“Eat this, this and this.”
Woojin picked the medicines that would increase ‘Strength’, ‘Agility’ and ‘Stamina’. He handed it over to Sunggoo.
“T…thank you, hyung-nim.”
Sunggoo was moved. He bowed to express his thanks.
“Well, it’s nothing.”
If he became stronger, then he could carry more loot. If his Agility increased, he’ll be able to pick up items faster. If his Stamina increased, then he could work more.
“From now on, I’ll give you couple medicines you’ll need.”
“I, Hong-sunggoo, realize it was a blessing to have met hyung-nim.”
“That’s right, director of miscellaneous work. Hurry up and eat these.”
Ah, the title described exactly what he did, but couldn’t he call him something else?
“Director of miscellaneous work will try it.”
Sunggoo acted as if he had received the medicine from his king. He started absorbing each of the medicine with an expression of ecstasy on his face. Woojin grinned then he took out his hand phone.
He opened the Messenger program then he pressed the chat window.
Chat with Do-jiwon-nim.
1[Isn’t this Do-jiwon?]
1[Why don’t you answer your phone?]
“Ah. She hadn’t seen this either.”
The avatar had a picture of her and Jaemin. He was sure he had contacted Do-jiwon, but she wasn’t picking up her phone or responding to his messages.
“Huh. What the hell? Whether I give her the medicine or not, I can’t do anything unless I meet her.”
Woojin spoke to himself, and Sunggoo replied back. Suggoo’s face had turned red as he was absorbing the Reinforcement stones.
“Yes? What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about Jiwon. She isn’t answering her phone.”
“If she is on her shift at the factory, she won’t be able to use her phone. Still, it’s Saturday, so isn’t she off today?”
“Jaemin said she’s too busy to come this weekend.”
“Hmmm. Jiwon noonah doesn’t really have any reasons to avoid you. D..did something happen that day?”
Woojin frowned when he thought about the day when the three of them ate beef entrails.
“Was she angry because of the tape…?”
“The hat kept falling off so I taped it on her..”
“Hmmm. I don’t have any experience with women….”
“Uh-whew. What were you doing instead of going on dates?”
He wanted to snap back with ‘What about hyung-nim?’, and it almost made it past his mouth before his patience persevered.
“Go outside, and bring me someone who is well-versed in these matters.”
Sunggoo sulked as he exited the room, then after a moment, he brought Woo-soonghoon into the president’s office.
“Did you call me, president?”
“Yes, I did. Look at the text I sent. What’s going on here? Is she purposefully not reading the text I sent?”
It was here. His chance was finally here.
Jung-minchan and Kim-haemin was outstanding at their job, and they were willing to do all the mundane work. Hong-sunggoo had a place in the guild since he was a Roused. Woo-soonghoon was the only one with a tenuous position within the guild. He didn’t want to be kicked out, so he ingratiated himself to everyone. Then he had taken on every miscellaneous work.
However, an opportunity for him to shine was finally here. The heavens was helping him, so he would have a chance to succeed.
“You made the right choice in hiring me.”
“I’m a specialist in these matters.”
I’ll prove my worth.
Soonghoon smiled in satisfaction, but Woojin looked at him with doubtful expression.