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Tower of Hero, located in the heart of Seoul.
On the 103rd floor of this Hero a.s.sociation headquarters, Yun Seung-Ah was reading the records on the recent incident unauthorized. The video she was watching was filmed by the museum's camera. Naturally, it contained the battle between Cube's cadets and a Djinn.
Though she was a bit hesitant, knowing she could get in trouble if found out, the words she heard from a Hero a.s.sociation agent urged her forward.
—A trace of light attribute mana was found at the scene.
Light attribute mana. Not only was it strange, it was also extremely valuable. Light attributed Heroes played vital roles in suppressing Djinns, as most Djinns had the darkness attribute.
The fact that light attribute was detected in the museum naturally meant that one of the three cadets who defeated the Djinn had the light attribute.
Yun Seung-Ah, who often emphasized the importance of attributes wherever she went, wanted to know the owner of that rare mana.
"But this person…"
Indeed, there was a man who caught her attention. From head to toe, he was ordinary in every way. Inside the video, the man in question was talking to Kim Suho. When the Djinn appeared, he backed off stealthily and simply spectated the fight.
But seeing the Kim Suho being pushed back, he went into hiding and began to make strange actions. He unloaded his gun, leaving only a single bullet behind. Then, he began to tap on thin air.
After about a minute, he loaded the bullet in his gun and headed to battle.
What happened next was even more mysterious.
His gun exploded at the same time he fired his gun, while a brilliant white light dyed the surroundings. Because of the light, the camera froze up for three seconds. By the time the screen came back to normal, everything was settled.
Most people a.s.sumed the attack to be Kim Suho's, but Yun Seung-Ah was doubtful. No matter how she thought about it, the light had to have come from the man's attack. Even Kim Suho admitted in his report, "Kim Hajin covered me."
"Kim Hajin. I remember him now. He's the cadet who chose a gun… So there was a reason he chose it."
At that moment, the door shot open. Startled, Yun Seung-Ah turned to the door.
There, she was the a.s.sociation's executive, Aileen.
Though she had a small build and was only 153cm tall, Yun Seung-Ah knew that a 10m tall giant resided inside her. Unfortunately for her, Aileen was glaring at her with terrifying eyes. Yun Seung-Ah's face paled as she jumped up in horror.
"O, Older sister?"
"I knew you were here. Come out."
"Ah, wait, older sister. I can explain. I can…"
"Shut up and follow me."
Yun Seung-Ah didn't want to follow her out even if it cost her life. But her body moved on its own. It was Aileen's one-of-kind Gift, 'Spirit Speech'. Of course, as powerful as it was, the price she had to pay was equally great. There was a high risk of magic power recoil and her underdeveloped body was also a price she had to pay. But still…
"Older sis, I'm a Hero too! Please, give me some face!"
Her ability was honestly too much of a cheat.
"Only the a.s.sociation's Heroes are authorized to come in here."
"I know! I'll leave on my own, so let me go!"
"You better hurry before I throw you out the window."
In the end, Yun Seung-Ah was chased out of the record room.
"You have two choices. One, be punished. Two, help me with something."
"I'm sorry. Please, let me go this one time. I don't want to do either."
Only the video Yun Seung-Ah was watching was left to play in the emptied room.
[Tuesday's combat training, labyrinth exploration.]
Inside a dark cave created by Cube, Yoo Yeonha, me, and the rest of team 5 were in the middle of our combat training.
"Hoseung-ssi, Hazuki-ssi, can you see something?"
Yoo Yeonha asked with a frown.
We were in an artificial dungeon designed after a dark labyrinth. The goal of the training was to break through the labyrinth filled with undead monsters and to reach the labyrinth's center. Because the mist was created through darkness mana, even Heroes found it difficult to light up the cave.
"No, I can't."
Jin Hoseung and Hazuki answered.
Yoo Yeonha clicked her tongue and didn't ask anymore. I was still treated as an invisible person, even after I gifted her a c.o.ke.
Shaking my head, I spoke, "I can see."
Jin Hoseung and Hazuki were surprised, but Yoo Yeonha ignored me.
"I said, I can see."
Annoyed at her att.i.tude, I spoke loudly to the back of her head.
"I can see through the dark."
At that instant, Yoo Yeonha turned back quickly with glaring eyes. However, she was facing Jin Hoseung, not me.
"Stop fooling around."
Insulted out of the blue, Jin Hoseung was taken aback, while I retorted casually.
"I'm just saying, you're going to fall if you go that way."
"What nonsense— kyak!"
Yoo Yeonha missed her footing at just the right time. As she began to plummet downwards, I jumped in and grabbed her arm. Yoo Yeonha clutched my shoulder with trembling hands.
After climbing back up using my body as a rope, Yoo Yeona let out a dry cough as though nothing happened.
"…Looks like you aren't lying. How can you see?"
"I have good eyes."
It was thanks to my Gift. Thousand-Mile Eyes weren't hindered by distance or obstacles. That, of course, included lighting.
"…Good, you should at least be able to do that much. So, where should we go?"
"Just follow me."
"Oh~ how reliable~"
Jin Hoseung placed his hand on my shoulder as though we were friends. Taking his hand off, I walked forward.
Things were pretty easy from that point.
I just had to walk, dodging what I could dodge and notifying Yoo Yeonha what I couldn't.
If the unavoidable enemy was a fluid-bodied spirit, Yoo Yeonha's merciless whip took care of it, and if it was an undead, Jin Hoseung and Hazuki took care of it.
My stamina had increased thanks to working out, so there was no problem there. Though not having to run played a big part, this particular training was a breeze.
And now, I could see the result with my own eyes.
We managed to reach the center of the labyrinth. There, we only saw 8 people. In other words, we scored third place.
s.h.i.+n Jonghak, who was sitting on a rock acting needlessly cool, called Yoo Yeonha. She ran towards him with an amiable smile. How she treated s.h.i.+n Jonghak was clearly different than how she treated me.
Kim Soohyuk, who was waiting, read out our time without paying attention to Yoo Yeonha's touching reunion.
"Team 5. 48 minutes 10 seconds. Third place."
At the same time, Jin Hoseung and Hazuki cheered.
"Whoo. It's all thanks to you. You really have great eyes~"
"You do, you do!"
For now, I sat on the ground with them. Yoo Yeonha had already left for s.h.i.+n Jonghak, and Kim Suho was sleeping on the ground. It seemed he was still suffering from releasing his ability at the museum.
I also relaxed.
In about five minutes, another team arrived. I wasn't surprised with who it was. Sharpshooters generally had good eyes.
Seeing Chae Nayun's silhouette from the darkness, Yoo Yeonha approached, pretending to be happy.
For some reason, Chae Nayun was covered in dust. It seemed she fell into a trap. Walking towards my direction, she rested her eyes on me and paused. Her cold eyes seemed to pierce through me.
She didn't respond to Yoo Yeonha's call. Ignoring her completely, Chae Nayun marched towards me and asked suddenly.
"What was your time?"
It was a short question. I gave back a short reply.
Chae Nayun clenched her teeth. Sharpshooters often acted as a team's pathfinder. Chae Nayun rightfully thought I guided my team.
"Looks like even you have something you're good for."
It was a clear provocation. I hesitated to reply. Should I strike back?
I did have a good reason to do so.
The novel's antagonists had become stronger, so it was necessary for our side… though the current Chae Nayun might not be on my side… Anyways, it was necessary for the leading characters to also get stronger.
To do that, Chae Nayun needed to quickly abandon the bow. In this world, her potential was second only to Kim Suho. But with a bow, her potential would be wasted.
"…I guess you're right."
But I still didn't find the need to respond to her provocation.
Between negative motivation and positive motivation, Chae Nayun was more affected by the former according to my setting. However, the agent of the motivation was important. A weakling like me provoking her most likely wouldn't have much meaning.
Now wasn't the time. Furthermore, I was confident that it wouldn't be long until I surpa.s.sed Chae Nayun in archery.
I just had to wait until then.
Chae Nayun seemed bored by my retreat, as she returned with a snort.
I shook my head.
At that moment, my eyes met Yoo Yeonha's. For some reason, her eyes carried a slight hint of interest that hadn't existed before.
…But soon, she walked away with the same disdainful snort as Chae Nayun.