By the time the world was getting used to dungeons, Hunters had become a famous money-making profession.
Not even mentioning S-Levels, even B-Levels could make whopping amounts of money. The annual income of C-Levels is also high. Even in D-Levels, you could make 100 million won. Below, not only for the E-Levels but also for F-Levels, if there is adequate combat aptitude, the income would be better than small and medium-sized businessmen.
Mana Stones from dungeons have become a new source of energy, and also by-products for the development of new medicines and the use of new materials. In addition, magic and science were combined and various new technologies have been created.
In this world, Han Yuhyun who is tall, handsome, and famous for his quickly developing Haeyeon Guild, do I need to explain any further? He is barely twenty years old, young, and promising. (??: 창창하다 못해 어리다)
Even with just one interview, viewers’ ratings were several times higher, and magazines with photos sold out instantly.
‘If it’s let slip that he’s a family man, the reaction is going to be explosive.’
I muttered inwardly, looking at Yuhyun’s back as he is pulling out a pot from the spacious induction kitchen. Of course, I thought we were going out for dinner. I never thought that we would be eating homemade cooking in his house.
For your information, Yuhyun’s house was on the top floor of the Haeyeon Guild building. It is not widely known for security reasons, but it accounts for half of the floor. It is a place where people can only enter via filthily expensive mini-portals, and not stairs, elevators, or doors.
“I did not know you were a good cook.”
Sitting at the dining table, I watched my brother finishing his cooking and accidentally let that slip.
“It’s better now that I’ve been watching what I eat.”
“What? Why? You’ve got a lot of money.”
Not even mentioning the ability to buy anything you want to eat after you’ve Awakened, you’re making enough money to hire a top-notch chef. He answered my question with some reservations.
“Now I have to detox items, unlike before. That’s why I feel more comfortable cooking my own food. Even now, when I go into dungeons, I carry my own dry rations. Dungeons are the most dangerous place to be.”
“……detox? You do that?”
What did I hear? I mean, there were some bastards who put poisons and curses in the food, so I had to cook for myself… was that it?
I didn’t know. In the past, I thought that he was just a lucky, hotshot S-Level Awakening, and that he would only suffer a little after my return. To think that his life was being threatened, I never could have dreamt that it was such a mess.
For me, Yuhyun was so strong that I couldn’t even look at him. As soon as he Awakened, he got everyone’s attention and became popular. I saw only the term “S-Level” and closed my eyes to everything else.
“Don’t look like that. This was the result of my choice.”
Yuhyun, who came to the table, said in a soft voice.
“The tall tree catches the wind. Do you think it’s nice to have a kid out there trying to make a guild for himself? If you just entered the right guild and made a proper living, you would not have to face such threats on your life.”
I couldn’t do what he did. He laughed at me.
“That’s why I’ve been upset with my relationship with hyung all this time. It is also the result of my choice to monitor, interfere with, and bind hyung in the name of protection. I made my guild, knowing that they would touch my only blood related relative.” (??: 그놈들이 하나뿐인 혈육에 손 댈 거라는 사실을 알면서도 나는 내 길드를 만들었어.)
“……Why did you not tell me?”
“At first I didn’t want to burden you… and later I thought you wouldn’t understand.”
…Certainly, if it was before my regression, I would either yell at my brother to let me live on my own or resent him.
“But I was totally wrong. You were still thinking about me and worried about me like when I was a kid. I misunderstood hyung without knowing it. I’m sorry.”
Ugh, my conscience hurts. I was just going to loaf around after my regression. If you say these things, I feel like crap.
“……I didn’t do much good either.”
“You were interrupted with everything you tried to do without knowing why. It’s understandable.”
The inside of my chest was itchy. The warm ticklish feeling became stronger as the younger brother took a bite of the meal.
It was good to go back to the past.
It was the best choice I’ve ever made.
“I roughly understand the situation. But isn’t it too much for today? You don’t have to do all this to keep me safe. So far, nothing big has happened.”
As soon as I expressed my desire to leave, Yuhyun’s face stiffened up.
“Why? I’ll be careful. I was okay this morning.”
“This morning is different from now. The only reason hyung could have done so much is because I had cut off relationships with you. It’s illegal to lay a hand on an Unawakened and people would think it’s not worth the risk.”
A heavier voice followed.
“But if I command the Haeyeon Guild to take note of hyung’s safety, and ask them to patrol your residence, my enemies will start targeting you. They’ll already start keeping an eye on you just because I brought you into my house.”
“Then it’s better to keep pretending to be on bad terms on the outside, right?”
“You said you were okay with it.”
When did I? I don’t have a single memory that allowed him to have me live in captivity.
Yuhyun replied with a cheeky face.
“I’m sorry and I love you. Honestly, it’s my fault and I’m supposed to be responsible for it, but you shouldered it. That’s as good as permission.”
Is, is that how you interpreted it? This kid’s weird, too!
“Don’t be ridiculous! Life in captivity is a no-no!”
“Just put up with it for three years. I’ll wipe them out in three years.”
Don’t laugh as you say it! And it’s not three years but five years! It took five years!
Damn it, the right choice is bullshit. The heat extended across the back of my neck and my back straightened, but I tried to calm my mind with deep breathing. The guy in front of me is an S-level awakening before he’s my brother. That’s a guild that’s experienced many hardships. Emotionally, you won’t get a scratch.
I could never win with force and this had to be solved through dialogue somehow.
“How can I live in imprisonment for three years? I already get depressed if I stay in the room for only a month. Even if there were people who were after me, it wouldn’t be hard to make a fuss in broad daylight. And if you do not mind, I can stick with a guardian. I can go with Sunghan or something.”
“Of course, I’ll let you out sometimes.”
I have arrived here in the present. I’m sitting with my younger brother, not even my parents. At my age, my parents wouldn’t even say anything. How did this happen?
“It depends on the schedule. If we start hitting the dungeons, we won’t be able to hire A-Levels to protect you. You can’t leave it to B-Levels.”
The bottom line is that all you need is an A-Level with a lot of time. I opened my mouth with confidence.
“Then you’ll let me go if I get a dedicated A-Level guard.”
“…you’re going to get an A-level?”
Yuhyun’s eyes, which were filled with wonder, suddenly turned sharp.
“Hyung, you’ve Awakened.”
H, how did he know? This jerk’s dirty fast on the uptake.
“Even in the morning, you were going to meet a broker, so you must have been Unawakened, so when did you Awaken? Right before you met me? Right after we met? That’s why you gave up on contacting the broker. Your destination would have been the Hunter’s Association.”
…I have nothing to say. I’m going to lie down.
“I’m afraid the rating is less than D.”
“You can tell that?”
“C-Levels or higher would be a little awkward as they are not able to adapt to excessive physical abilities. Especially if muscle strength exceeds the average B-Level, you would not be able to adapt for three or four days. You wouldn’t be able to control your strength so you would destroy everything you touch.”
I guess so.
“Did that happen to you to?”
“Yeah. However, the adaptability of S-Levels is high, and it gets better in a day. Of course, if you have extremely high mental strength or mana, it won’t be noticeable even if it’s above C-Level.”
“I’m an ordinary F-Level.”
“Initial skill, special skill? If you are confident that you can get an A-Level, you will be able to know the Awakening Level, Awaken the target, or both. It should be at least Grade C.”
It’s S Level. I can’t say anything in front of him. Given that Yoo Hyun’s expression is very shaky, I think it’s better to speak less about it.
“It’s a special Awakening skill, and it’s C-Grade. I can awaken the Unawakened and roughly know the expected Level of Awakening.”
“How accurate is it?”
“It’s usually half and half. It’s either strong or weak. I can’t tell you apart from Sunghan. Perhaps B-Level or less. There’s a 30-day cooldown per usage. If it weren’t for the waiting time, it would be Class A.”
He nodded at my words. His face, which had been shadowed, also lit up slightly.
“That’s enough to get caught, but I’m not going to get shot. (??: 그 정도면 들통 난다 해도 크게 노려지지는 않겠어.) It would be useful if you could find out more than grade B in advance, but the waiting time is too long. Even if you find an A-Level or S-Level, there’s no guarantee that you can sign a contract. The temptation of Awakening cannot be used because there is going to be an Awakening Center.”
I pretended not to know.
“The Awakening Mechanism has been roughly identified, so the construction of the center is about to begin. It’s the association’s goal to make sure that in the next half-year, it would be safe for anyone to Awaken. Each of the top guilds has already talked about it, and they’ve invested. I’ve invested too.”
“That’s great. The number of Awakenings will increase tremendously?”
“The official announcement is in four months, so don’t go around talking.”
“Are you going to let me meet someone to talk to?”
Instead of answering, the smile came back. Why don’t you let this madman lock you up in a prison cell?
“Anyway, I’ll find an A-Level to protect me, so just give me a chance.”
“It wouldn’t be easy once every 30 days. A-Levels are not common.”
“But it won’t take three years. If I’m lucky, you can find it right away.”
Of course, I don’t need luck. I already know who’s an A-Level.
Yuhyun’s mouth opened after a while.
“Okay, if you really sign a contract with an A-Level, I’m not going to overprotect you. They have to have an offensive or a defensive ability.”
Finally, I was given permission. He’s such a horrible, strict little brother. Although there was one more condition, Park Yerim was famous as a combat wizard, so that was no problem. The problem was the keyword, dammit.