[Han Yoojin-ssi? Can you not hear me well?]
As I didn’t respond, Suk Simyeong spoke again. I wanted to say I couldn’t hear and hang up.
Haeyeon Guild’s head of human resources, Suk Simyeong. He was an unusual man who didn’t go into dungeons much despite being a B-Rank Awakened Person and stuck to an office job. So there were rumors that he had skills related to human resources.
He was a big shot about whom it wasn’t an exaggeration to say was trusted with most of the Guild’s affairs, and as one of Haeyeon Guild’s founding members, he, along with the head of the legal team Kim Hayeon, were exempted from dungeon attacks. You could say that he was a foundation that fully supported the super young Guild Leader, but.
…He and I didn’t, kind of, really get along.
He was someone whose specialty was to reduce people to complete messes by cutting into them with his knife-sharp tongue. Fuck, back then I was really depressed and furious and bitter, and couldn’t sleep at all so I even considered drowning myself in dish water.
[If you cannot hear me, I will go up there directly.]
“Ah, no. I can hear you.”
What do you mean come up! I don’t want to see your face. I had enough goosebumps just listening to your voice, don’t come here!
[That is good. As it seems you could not hear well, I will introduce myself again. I am called Suk Simyeong, Haeyeon Guild’s head of human resources.]
“…I am Han Yoojin.”
Why did he call me? Was it because of Yerim? Then he could just directly contact Yerim tomorrow… ah, I’m her guardian. Sh*t, should I not have said I would be her guardian? Why do I keep on choosing to do regretful things? I hate this person, I really hate him. I should have escaped from Haeyeon Guild from the beginning. Why didn’t I think of the fact that I would have to interact with this bastard? If you’re the head, then get one of your subordinate employees to do it. Was it because she’s an S-Rank? Damn, should I run away at least now?
[First of all, please take care of me from now on.]
“Ah, yes, me as well… please take care of me.”
Unlike in my trauma, Suk Simyeong’s voice was calm and graceful. He was a middle-aged gentleman who looked exactly like he would appear on the cover of an econimc magazine. My first impression was quite good. He looked competent and kind.
…‘Kind’, yeah right.
[I have heard a little about Bak Yerim-nim from Guild Leader. As the guild’s head of human resources, I would like to offer my gratitude and admiration.]
“Yes. Thank you.”
Suk Simyeong’s attitude was polite as ever. Then again, this time I hadn’t made any big troubles yet. …Then is it ok? I don’t have to be afraid? I probably wouldn’t get stabbed in the back this way.
[It is enough that I wish to bring you into the human resources team, if you are willing.]
Are you crazy!
“No! No thank you. This time was just, just an accident.”
No matter how different the situation was from before my regression, I didn’t want to work looking at Suk Simyeong’s face. If I did, I’d probably get chronic indigestion from the stress.
[Even if it was an accident, I think it is an achievement that should not be diminished. From now on, it will become a huge assistance to Haeyeon Guild in various ways.]
“Is, is that right.”
That I would hear praise from this person, it was worth regressing. How should I say it, it felt like my ear was itchy.
[I have contacted Bak Yerim-nim’s school. I have heard that she would be finished adjusting to her abilities at least by tomorrow afternoon. If she actively uses the equipment inside the training room, then it is possible that she will finish in the morning.]
“Yes. I was thinking of going down to check on the situation early tomorrow morning.”
[It seems you are busy. Guild Leader expressed his concerns, but I believe that Han Yoojin-ssi will make a fine guardian.]
…Why was this ahjussi so amiable? Was he so pleased that an S-Rank newbie was brought in? Though, it was something to be pleased about. It might be different if it was after Awakening Centers appeared and there was a sharp increase in Awakened People, but there were no domestic Guilds that had two S-Ranks.
Haeyeon Guild might suppress the 3 big guilds a lot faster than before my regression.
[I will discuss matters specifically regarding Bak Yerim-nim’s contract with you face to face.]
I didn’t want to meet him but there was no helping it since I was Yerim’s guardian. Still, if he was nice like now, then it would probably be okay.
[Do you have any matters outside of this that you would like to ask about?]
“No, I don’t.”
[Then, I would like to extend my greetings once again, and I will contact you tomorrow in the morning.]
“Yes, I will see you tomorrow.”
As soon as the call ended, a sigh burst out of me. It’s okay, the mood is good. Let’s stop trembling.
As if asking what was wrong, Peace cocked his head and laid the belt he was biting on my lap. Reaching out with my hand, I stroked the soft fur around the uni-horn.
“Suk Simyeong, and other people, too. They don’t remember the past me so it’s okay.”
The current me was still clean. There wasn’t a single drop of blood on my hands.
Everything had disappeared.
This ‘regression’ thing was quite comfortable.
“Peace, do you want to sleep together today?”
“Alright, come here.”
I held Peace and stood up. Instead of thinking about useless things, I should go to bed early.
‘Did she have a lot of stress?’
I mumbled to myself, seeing the scene of complete devastation. In the training room that was normal just yesterday evening, there wasn’t a single piece of equipment left.
It wasn’t just to the point of being broken; you couldn’t recognize anything at all. Since they were made with Awakened People in mind, the durability of those equipment shouldn’t have been normal either. To this extent… were you doing origami?
“Didn’t you say your Strength stat was 61?” I asked, looking at the paper… crane that you couldn’t even guess the materials of. It wasn’t paper but I couldn’t say anything but paper.
“Does that much become to this extent?”
At my question, Yerim proudly smiled.
“I used my skill. Of course, not an attack skill, but a buff skill.”
“Buff skill? That… what is it?”
I was about to thoughtlessly say the skill’s name. Yesterday was so busy, I couldn’t ask about her skills. After getting into the car, in the middle of calculating the average stats, the frontseat headrest was crushed. While she was waving her hand around at the joy of being an S-Rank.
“It’s Shadowless Day. It’s an SS-Rank skill,” Yerim bragged. At any rate, I was wondering, so Shadowless Day was a buff skill.
“An SS-Rank, that’s impressive. What kind of skill is it?”
“It’s a wide-range buff with a special effect. Designated stat 30% increase and designated attribute skill effect 20% increase, I can swallow an enemy’s shadow and stop or slow down their movements, and according to the quality and amount of the swallowed shadow, there’s an additional buff.”
Designating a stat and skill to buff, debuffing an enemy, and even an additional buff. Sure enough, it was great, being an SS-Rank skill. If it was a debuff that stopped movement, the effect usually differed according to the difference between the user’s rank and the opponent’s rank. Since it was an SS-Rank skill used by a stat S-Rank, at most B-Rank and lower monsters would just become sitting ducks.
…My useless L-Rank skills, follow this example. It was just an SS-Rank but its effectiveness was great.
I put on a very impressed expression and clapped.
“That’s really impressive! How are your other skills? You have others, right?”
“Yes! I have Hermes’ Sandals, White Corpse, and Cold Sigh. The first two are S and Sigh is A.”
Cold Sigh was one of Bak Yerim’s initial skills when she was famous as an ice witch. So at least one of those appeared.
“Cold Sigh seems to overlap with Shadowless Day. This one also freezes and stops movement,” Yerim said, as if disappointed. Usually, if you had skills that had the same effects, one was useless, but.
“Can they be overlaid on each other?”
“I haven’t checked so I don’t know, but it said that similar and same skills couldn’t be overlaid… just a minute. Shadowless Day.”
As soon as she spoke, she displayed her skill. Around Bak Yerim’s feet began to dye white and the shadows that were short because they were under the light bulb stretched out 2-3 times their original length. As soon as she stepped on the shadow of a roundly smashed up iron ball, the shadow disappeared as if melting away.
So that was how you used it.
Continuing on, a faint fog spread and froze the iron ball.
“They can be overlaid!”
“As expected, they can. Cold Sigh freezes things physically and Shadowless Day seems closer to curses or magic, so I thought it might be like that.”
“You mean the effects are similar but they aren’t actually similar skills?”
“That’s right. For example, moving something across a cliff by magic and moving it across by throwing with your strength – both give similar results but aren’t they completely different actions? It’s like that.”
Skill explanations gave only the basic details so Awakened People had to try different things to find effective ways to use them.
“Cold Sigh is better to use so you should probably use it first, and then you can step on the shadows of ranks that weren’t taken care of by Sigh and freeze them. The synergy between the two skills seems pretty good?”
“Is that so?”
“Of course. If you step on shadows first, there’s a higher danger of you receiving a counterattack. But if you use first Sigh then Shadow, won’t you be able to easily make your opponents into sitting ducks? Does it become applied as long as you step on shadows?”
“No. In the skill explanation, it said I had to disturb and absorb them.”
‘Disturb’, you say. Meaning there wasn’t anything about being proximity attack. I picked up a piece of metal that was lying around on the floor and handed it to Yerim.
“Throw this and check.”
“By thowing it?”
The flying piece of metal hit a triangular object’s shadow. At the same time, the shadow disappeared.
“It works this way too?”
Yerim was surprised and turned to look at me.
“Since it said you just had to disturb it. Do you have any attack skills by any chance?”
It’d be perfect if she had a wide-range damage skill. But she shook her head with a regretful expression.
“Hermes’ Sandals and White Corpse both aren’t attack skills.”
“Hermes’ Sandals is agility increase and flight, short-distance teleportation, and White Corpse……” Bak Yerim trailed off. What kind of skill was it that she hesitated?
“That, it’s a skill that… pulls information from corpses.”
It sounded unpleasant. Still, it was a good and highly useful skill. Though it would be hard for a 15-year-old girl to use.
“For now, let’s hide White Corpse.”
“That’s right. It’s advantageous to use those types of skills while keeping them hidden. There’s no need to reveal all your skills when you’re registering as an Awakened Person. Just write down Shadowless Day and Hermes’ Sandals, Cold Sigh, and downplay those skills’ explanations.”
It was better to hide one, or even better, several. Usually, people revealed effects that were easily exposed during battle, and hid effects that weren’t.
“For Shadowless Day, let’s just write down the buff and debuff. Don’t write down the additional buff that you receive. For Hermes’ Sandal, just the flight, and since Cold Sigh only has one effect, write all of it down. Normal flight-only skills are around A~B-Rank, so write down that Hermes’ Sandals is A.”
One SS, two A should be just enough for an S-Rank.
“Ahjussi, you really know a lot! You’re like some kind of expert!”
At my words, Yerim’s eyes sparkled in awe. I was at the bottom for more than 4 years so this much was basic, how embarrassing.
“It’s nothing special.”
“But it’s only been a couple days since ahjussi has Awakened, too. And yet you know how to use skills and combinations, and tips like hiding; did you study these?”
“Not to the extent of studying… I just know a bit more than others since my dongsaeng is an S-Rank.”
If you live 5 more years and then regress, then you’ll also know this kind of stuff.
“It’s too bad you don’t have attack skills, but if you level up, you’ll get new skills.”
Usually skills appeared once every 10 levels. But there were situations where you had to meet particular conditions for them to appear, and there were cases where people would only have initial skills after over 50 levels if their luck was bad.
“What if I only get assistance types again?”
“Don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll definitely get attack types next time.”
Since Cold Sigh appeared, the probability of other ice-related skills appearing was high. If ice witch Bak Yerim’s wide-range representative Pale Rain appeared, that would be the icing on the cake.
My Brat definitely said that other skills than initial could also be acquired, right? Since the duration time was only 3 days, using it now would be a waste, so I should use it on her when she goes into a real match during training.
“You’ve adjusted to your abilities, right?”
“Yes! I didn’t sleep much and smashed the sports equipment!”
She was energetic for someone who didn’t sleep. Was it because she was an S-Rank or because she was young? Then again, even I didn’t think much of pulling all-nighters when I was young. Right after hitting 30, I slowly started getting more tired.
“Then let’s go sign the contract.”
I said, pulling out my cell phone. Even if it was my own dongsaeng’s guild, public was public and private was private. We had to do it right.
 the phrase ‘ram one’s nose in dish water’ is a way of expressing a ridiculous situation, and here YJ says lit. ‘…I couldn’t sleep so much that I thought about ramming my nose in dish water and dying’ which implies something like ‘the situation was so absurd that I figured I might as well die’. Adding in the ‘dying’ part is sort of a play on words since it might be possible to drown yourself in dishwater if you really try, to express the idea that the situation is so dumbfounding/embarrassing that you’d go so far as to try out this ineffective method of dying, but he’s not necessarily being literal about the dishwater because it’s an idiom. It’s most likely just a turn of phrase, which is why I’m clarifying the comment, but it’s up to the reader to decide if he’s also skirting around suicidal tendencies. I guess you could compare it to something like ‘crawl into a hole and die’…? Which is the closest thing I could think of but I was unsure so I left the tl to be mostly literal.
 in krn, it’s possible to express questions by grammatical structure without using “?” and by not using “?”, it gives a more of a wondering/rhetorical nuance rather than an outright question. It’s the same for eng to a certain extent but it still feels off for the most part if you forego the “?” so I’ve decided to add “?”s in from now on
 lit. it means something like ‘I will offer my request (to treat/take care of me?) well’ but it’s something formal that you say when you meet someone. Like ‘nice to meet you’ but a lot more formal. I couldn’t think of a better way to express it. In eng it sounds a bit more intimate, but in this case, it’s supposed to be p business-like.
 he actually says ‘guild leader-nim’ but I didn’t know if I should put that in or just leave it as ‘guild leader’. SSM speaks v formally. I also capitalized it and didn’t put in a ‘the’ in front, bc the fact that he puts ‘-nim’ implies that it’s being used as a title
 the phrase ‘ear is itchy’ is used when you feel like someone in talking about you (ppl who read manga/watch anime, you’re probs familiar w jpn analgous sneezing) but I think in this instance it means more like he’s feeling embarrassed or shy? Not sure…
 he’s saying the ‘nice to meet you’/‘please take care of me’ phrase again but I couldn’t word that in a way that wasn’t clunky so I just stuck with this since it has a similar general meaning
 lit. ‘scarecrows’
 meaning ‘rock bottom’ with the connotation ‘of this world’
 lit. ‘adding flowers to embroidery’