9. Snowfall on Christmas Night
Sponsored by Ser4, TLC and parts translated by Enlightened End, Checked by bloodadept and FroshiAnaki
Snow heaped up on Lee Hyun’s yard during last night. He woke up early in the morning and mumbled while looking at the scene out of his window.
“The roads are messy. More traffic accidents, more people slipping on the ground. Doctors must be getting a lot of money now. A doctor is the best profession in Korea…”
After sweeping snow in his yard, he began to cover the cages with blankets so his chickens, ducks, rabbits and dog could spend winter comfortably. He freed the animals while working to cover the cages and they became excited as they began to play on the snowfield.
“It’s not good to let food wander around by itself… but I will make today an exception.”
Lee Hyun granted them a large amount of generosity!
Even though it was Christmas, Lee Hyun had been spending his time playing Royal Road. But today was special, he decided to go into town to buy clothes for his grandmother and sister.
“My sister is a female… It will be difficult to have her spend winter with only two coats to wear.”
She was no longer a high school student and was old enough to style herself but he rarely bought clothes for her. When he gave her money to buy her own clothes, she would save it instead so Lee Hyun decided to buy it as a present for her.
“I will buy something expensive for her. ”
Lee Hyun hurried his preparation to go out. He succeeded in his hunt for Balkan and there was a lot of money to be received from various broadcasting stations. This was the reason why he was determined to buy a good, expensive coat for Lee Hye Yeon.
“I hope winter clothes are on sale right now!”
“Rather than a street market, I should go to an outlet with popular designs...”
Lee Hyun took the subway and headed downtown. The street was bustling with couples linking their arms.
“I just can’t understand why they link their arms when they aren’t even criminals. It’s as if they are going to run away if they let go of their arms.”
Meandering like that Lee Hyun went and carefully observed woman’s clothes.
Women were very sensitive to trends and styles. Even in Royal Road, no matter how good the defense options of the clothes were, if they did not like some part about the design or if it did not fit the owner, they did not not wear it much.
“I should buy her something that is popular right now.”
He was determined to buy her a whole set rather than just a coat now. Birthday or Christmas, he wanted to see his sister smiling after receiving his present for her.
“I just can’t understand women!”
Even in the middle of winter, even when it was snowing, he could see many ladies wearing mini skirts.
“Can women even feel the cold?”
Generally, more women seem to wear pretty clothes rather than something warm. It seems they were willing to endure a lot of discomfort and cold for their fashion.
After a long time of looking around, Lee Hyun realized it was difficult to pick something by himself. In Lee Hyun’s point of view, the best choice would be a hiking jumper and heated underwear. But choosing clothes for his sister, it was completely beyond him.
‘A woman would know more about woman clothes...’
Lee Hyun’s social circle of girls was not large, so he did not have many people who he could ask for advice.
“Well, I should try contacting someone at least.”
The very person that came to his mind that might know a lot about clothes was Jung Hyo Rin, so he sent a text message to her. As Hwaryeong in Royal Road, she wore a variety of clothes and in reality she went to many fashion shows so she could be called a professional.
His phone was an old model that could not even do video chat but there was no difficulty in sending text messages.
‘I am trying to buy clothes for my sister, if you have the time could you come check them with me?’’
Besides his basic fees, Lee Hyun paid less than 2000 Won per month. When he had to call his sister, the phone was enough to get a few simple words across.
“Where are you?”
“Are you coming late?”
“Let’s go home together.”
“Did you eat already?”
10 second call was plenty enough using 300 minute free rates. Those who chose the 400 minute rates were people who could not end their calls and fell asleep on the phone, it was an unthinkable call pattern!
After sending his text, a reply came back not even a minute later.
‘My schedule is full today. It’s a concert so what can I do?’
Lee Hyun sent a reply saying it’s ok and tried to come up with someone else. Kim In Young. Who played as Irene, was the same age as his sister and could be helpful picking out clothes for her.
‘I’m sorry! I’m watching a movie with my friends today.’
The day before Christmas, everyone already had plans. His female friends in university either rejected saying that they were meeting their boyfriends or didn’t even reply.
“There is no one to send a text message to...”
Lee Hyun worried for a bit, before sending a text message to Seo Yoon. It wasn’t that he did not remember her, he just did not want to ask for such a favor.
‘If you have the time, would you like to help buy clothes for my sister and my grandmother?’
It was Seo Yoon’s first winter after getting out of the hospital and moving to a house. She was lying near the automatic furnace, warming herself up.
“Weed claimed another success with his adventures, I heard praises from the people are never ending?”
“Yes, that is right. This time, it wasn’t by himself. He took along many allies with him and played an amazing role in the subsequent battle, claiming a victory. The admiration for Weed is amazing.”
“Apparently there were some famous priests and warriors that participated in the battle. Do you know who?”
“It’s the female player playing as a dancer and muscular warrior types, they…”
Seo Yoon was watching the TV. Watching the scene of Lee Hyun on television, her heart was shaken and caused her enormous worry. At that moment, a text came from Lee Hyun.
‘If you have the time, would you like to help buy clothes for my sister and my grandmother?’
Today, she was planning to just rest at home but she prepared to leave immediately. As Seo Yoon was leaving the house, the university student next door was playing basketball with his friends.
Park Jin Suk.
He moved in one week later than her and she first met him when he was handing out rice-cakes. She met the first son of H Group coincidently!
She regularly saw him jogging, passing by her house early in the morning or seeing him playing tennis or basketball with his friends.
Though they still have not shared any conversations, whenever she came out of her house they went past each other often.
Lee Hyun stood in front of the department store. Couples went to the rooftop while the entrance of the department store was filled with guys or girls waiting for someone.
“The department store isn’t that bad.”
Since it was for Christmas, he went to a department store rather than an outlet store. The price difference wasn’t that different when you buy brand products and Kim In Young informed him with a text that there is a special sale going on in that department store.
“You need information in shopping as well.”
While Lee Hyun waited, Seo Yoon approached at a quick pace and stood in front of him. As it was snowing with cold winds, she was wearing a long coat with a scarf.
“Did you wait long?”
“No, it’s cold so let’s go inside.”
Lee Hyun and Seo Yoon entered the first floor of the department store.
“By the way, where did you get those clothes? They looks really nice.”
Seo Yoon’s clothes, while not eye catching, the color was really beautiful and the texture seemed superb. Normally he would not ask, but because he had to buy clothes for his sister he asked anyway.
“I think I bought it from a different department store.”
“Really? How much was it?”
“I don’t remember clearly. I think it was about 400 thousand Won?”
It was words that thickened his fear about department stores. The department store was more ghastly than the Bone Dragon.
The first floor of the department store was filled with miscellaneous brands, bags, luxury goods, jewelry and cosmetics. Lee Hyun’s worries were abated as the price was not outrageous as long as it wasn’t a premium brand.
“This price is something I could never forget in my lifetime… It’s enough to buy 80kg of rice and still have change, it’s enough to give nightmares.”
It was a world where even a small headband costs several tens of thousands of Won!
“Whoever invented the yellow elastic band should win the Nobel prize.”
The astonishing price of the female accessories confirmed his fears.
They looked around the second and third floor to check out female apparels.
“I think my sister’s size is the same as yours… could you try it out so I can choose?”
Lee Hyun made SeoYoon try out clothes he thought were pretty, especially those on the mannequins. First, he was trying to buy jumper or a coat so just simply hanging it on her shoulder he could decide.
“Customer, this thick jumper really suits you. This is my last stock. Since I started my business, you are the prettiest lady I have seen.”
“These days, products with slimline sell well. Even in winter it discreetly reveals the figure... However you look so pretty.”
“It’s a style that is comfortable and you will never get tired of it. Its texture is really premium with a nice feeling. By the way, are you a celebrity?”
Seo Yoon looked pretty in whatever she wore. Blouses, skirts, t-shirts, caps and even hiking jackets made her beautiful. If the designers of these clothes came and saw, they would never believe that their clothes would look this appealing.
“What is the price?”
“It’s not much. It’s 540 thousand Won and the item is on 20% sale.”
Lee Hyun was wearing a thick jumper and jean that he randomly bought from a market. Even the watch on his wrists was worth 20 thousand Won.
‘I’ve seen a lot of rich people but the real affluent people do not have such tell tale signs.’
‘He must have been out of the country a long time. It must have been ingrained in him to live frugally while studying abroad.’
‘Really, how much money does he have to have for a girlfriend like this?’
If it was personal clothes he would wear, he would never dare to get it but because it was a present for his sister, Lee Hyun was resolute in his decision and purchased it. One set of coat, three blouses, a skirt, pants, boots and even a headband! He picked clothes that would suit lively twenty year olds.
“You, you think she needs a handbag as well? Probably, right?”
After a moment of hesitation, he bought a handbag on sale from some less well known brand. The clothes for his grandmother also cost him much more than he anticipated from the department store.
‘But it’s something you need.’
Through Royal Road, he was making an enormous amount of money so with a big heart he decided to spend. Of course, he was worried that he would fall into a shopping addiction if this kept on.
“And this is a gift from me.”
Lee Hyun gave a present to Seo Yoon. Thinking it would be meaningless to buy something for her from the department store, he gave Seo Yoon something he crafted by himself.
Lee Hyun carved many wood pieces to become proficient in sculpting even in real life. He started watching sculpting related documentaries and read books about it as well.
And then he started to put effort and devotion into his sculptures.
The day he met Seo Yoon for the first time, the day he left on an adventure with her, the tears he saw falling from her eyes as he passed by riding on his Wyvern, the time they struggled together as they explored the northern continent, the time they met in university and recently the scene he saw when they took a trip together to the sea.
There were 15 sculptures about her. Every moment had different attire and hair styles. After he sculpted them, he put them in his storage with other items. But he put them into a cardboard box and gave it to her.
“Sorry it’s not expensive. It’s something I made when I was bored.”
“… I will keep it safe.”
Seo Yoon received the sculptures. To her it was the best Christmas gift she received.
Two of them went outside the department store and walked on the street. They did not have any place in mind. It was a day were music was flowing and couples were playfully pushing each other!
Because he circled around the whole department store to purchase the most beautiful yet inexpensive clothes, he was getting hungry.
‘It’s getting dark now.’
The mood felt like he had to buy Seo Yoon dinner before they part.
‘Restaurants rip off during Christmas season…’
There weren’t many places to go to on a day like this. Anywhere they go it will be expensive and crowded with people that it will be uncomfortable. Lee Hyun thought it would be better to take her to his house.
“You want to go to my house? My sister is watching a movie with her friends so she’s coming late.”
It was words that could be easily misunderstood. But Seo Yoon nodded and followed him. It was because she fully trusted Lee Hyun.
Right after they arrived at his home, Lee Hyun prepared dinner.
‘Sister will be coming late so I guess I only need to buy ingredients for two.’
Outside, a small amount of snow was still falling. It was weather that made him want to eat pork rib or pork backbone stew.
“I don’t have ingredients.”
He was trying to cook a simple miso soup tonight but he didn’t buy any meat.
‘Then what else could I cook…’
Lee Hyun thoroughly searched through the refrigerator. And then he found ingredients sent from a broadcasting station. Salmon, caviar and champagne!
“There is stuff sent by KMC Media.”
It was ingredients sent from KMC Media as a year-end gift. It would have been a better meal if they sent him a set of Korean cattle ribs and a box of sprite but he did not know why they sent such things.
“Whatever. It could make the flavor weird if I put it in the fish soup so let’s finish if off!”
Lee Hyun handled the salmon and caviar and brought it with champagne. And he also brought some leftover cookies he baked for his sister this morning.
“There isn’t much but please enjoy.”
He set up a magnificent supper with salmon salad, caviar, cookies and champagne, then turned on the TV.
The program on TV was, ‘Alone on a Deserted Island’, purported to be a must watch on Christmas. It was about two kids trapped on a deserted island on Christmas!
It was a story about being chased by dinosaurs, defeating the evil villain, finding the treasure and through greed beginning to fight each other. When the two were about have their last match, they receive contact and their mothers come to the deserted island to save them. They get scolded about making trouble and go back home to study again.
The movie was such a huge hit they were in the filming process of the next sequel, ‘Alone in a Dungeon.’
After finishing their meal, they saw that a huge amount of snow had piled up outside their window. He ate a meal for two with Seo Yoon while watching the movie on the television.
Cha Eun Hee met with President Jeong Deuk Soo on Christmas Eve. It was because he received reports saying that Lee Hyun and Seo Yoon were on a date, had dinner and were spending their time together.
On president Jeong Deuk Soo’s brow was a heavy frown.
“At every chance there was I made sure there was an encounter but apparently there is no progress yet.”
The first son of the H Group. He was manly, audacious and had a lot of experience in dating. He wanted for them to naturally encounter each other and gradually attract Seo Yoon, but there was no reaction from her.
“I am utterly lost. Exactly what kind of man do I need to introduce to detach her from this Lee Hyun?”
Cha Eun Hee thought this was the time to solve President Jeong Deuk Soo’s puzzlement.
“We need someone warm.”
“It was warmth that melted Seo Yoon’s frozen heart. We need someone with a warmer heart than Lee Hyun… If you are going to introduce someone, we need that kind of person. It will not be easy to find someone like that.”
Lee Hyun, Seo Yoon and Lee Hye Yeon laid out a board in the living room. They ate dinner and also watched a movie. Now they were playing Go Stop, something that could let 3 people pass the time.
‘There are two pairs of misfortune and I already got two of them… One person can use the max point card. Then I need to get Three! ’
Lee Hyun made someone shiver. He thought about a variety of situations, even when he grabbed the misfortune card, he already prepared for the next turn.
“It’s Three Go”
Lee Hyun yelled it out without revealing anything.
“Without getting a card, getting Go now is fun right? Go!”
At the end, Lee Hyun swept everything. As they were playing for actual money, his concentration could not be compared even to Royal Road.
Lee Hyun was extremely happy whenever he could earn money.
The power of Bardray and the Hermes guild rose sharply after they dominated Haven Kingdom. Absorbing the other guilds and accepting players in the Haven Kingdom, their development was great.
“If you are not a member of Hermes guild, leave this hunting ground now!”
“Those who are not part of the guild, there will be an extra 35% trade tax.”
“No hunting party of more than five allowed in the dungeon.”
They squeezed the ordinary players dry by creating a variety of regulations. If Weed saw this, he would feel admiration and ask to learn one or two things!
Criticisms about Hermes guild were rising high but they didn’t care. They held the position of lords and nobles so even if the players caused dissent they could quickly suppress it. There was no place in Haven Kingdom that was not being influenced by Hermes guild.
“If it’s unfair, leave Haven Kingdom. But vagabonds will not be welcomed by any kingdoms.”
“As we are the strongest guild on Versailles continent we need this much concession. We are managing Haven Kingdom we cannot run it as a charity.”
They applied high tax rate to villagers of Haven Kingdom. Wealth was stacking up in Hermes guild!
From the forge they made weapons of war and multiplied their army several fold with conscription. It was at a rate that it was difficult to predict Hermes guild’s current force. While the central continent was in panic because of Embinyu church, Hermes guild was preparing a war to establish an empire.
But currently Polon, the knights, spellcasters and rangers all got defeated! The chief executives opened a council.
“We need to make a genuine counterattack against Weed. Let’s make Morata into a field of ashes.”
“Not even a single ant should be spared, every villager should be annihilated. The sculptures? We can break them and make them into powder. If there are any that are useful we can bring them here.”
"Give the order and kill everyone.”
In the chief executive council the resentment from the rankers flooded out as if a dam burst. No matter how great Weed’s personal fame was, Hermes guild never raised him on the same pedestal as Bardray.
In the central continent, where the strong were in fierce competition, it was disgraceful to compare Bardray who was called the god of weapons to someone like Weed. And to defeat Hermes guild, it was a sin beyond what was tolerable!
When Bardray did not give the direct order, it was an issue handled by the guild master Lafaye.
Hermes guild Homepage.
There was a new announcement on their webpage with an enormous number of visitors checking it every day.
Title: Death Order #296
Hermes guild has assigned Sculptor Weed as a top priority target for death.
Whoever cooperates with Weed will become a target of Hermes guild.
Whoever reports Weed location in Haven Kingdom or anywhere near the Central continent will receive 130 thousand gold.
And also, whoever kills Weed will receive 400 thousand gold as bounty.
The power of this special announcement from Hermes guild was truly amazing. They went beyond hindering Weed’s adventure and made an actual declaration. The only time a death order got cancelled was when the target is no longer worth killing or the target surrendered to Hermes guild.
- So will there be a full-scale war between Hermes guild and Weed?
- In terms of forces they cannot even be compared, how can a full-scale war erupt? It’s a war between a single city in the north against the whole Haven Kingdom.
- Weed has a spell that he can use whenever he is in a difficult situation.
- If they were going to dispatch their army, they wouldn’t have issued a death order. It’s just proof that Weed is an opposition they can recognize.
- But will Weed be safe from the assassination squads?
Hermes guild operated an assassination squad just for targets on their death orders. Whenever a person on a death order appeared, the nearby assassination squad was deployed to kill the target. Nowhere in the central continent was guaranteed to be safe if they got on the Hermes guild’s death order list.
Assassins could approach their targets stealthily without being revealed. Even decent players from an above average enemy guild could not avoid getting killed if 3~4 assassins set their traps and made an assault.