Trap City. (4/4)
“I am absolutely against this. Look around you, between the forest and here, isn’t the answer is obvious? I don’t want to risk my life because of Oppa’s bad feelings. I don’t want to face the dangers outside this city like yesterday.”
I thought maybe she would go along with my plan but I was wrong. Lee Yu-Jung voted against leaving and I was sure that the opposing vote would start coming out one by one. My mouth was becoming dry, still, I decided to be patient and let the chips fall.
“I really do not want to leave. However, after seeing the results he produced, I don’t think it will be bad following his reasoning. Rather, his judgement hasn’t lead us astray. I don’t think there is enough precedent as evidence but he is skilled. I can’t pick whether to agree or disagree. Therefore I will abstain.”
Kim Han-Byeol abstained and took the easy way out. Lee Yu-Jung looked confident that we would remain in the City as her face was all smiles. With the outcome uncertain, I decided to prepare for the worst. If the Boss Monster showed up, it would be trivial to beat it up. The problem was doing it without getting caught.
There was just An-Hyun and An-Sol left to vote. An-Hyun comforted his sister, stroking her hair.
“What would you like to do?”
Hearing An-Hyun, An-Sol looked troubled. She folded her fingers in uncertainty, counting the votes. Catching my eyes, she flinched in surprise and her face became red in embarrassment. She quickly turned her head away but afterwards kept stealing glances at me. Maybe she was sick?
“Sol you definitely against it~? Right? It's safe and comfortable here. If we go outside the monsters roar~! And rush after us!”
I wonder when Lee Yu-Jung started to treat An-Sol like a child. Noticing that, An-Sol cheeks puffed up and her lips were puckered as she shook her head. Glancing at my way once more, she spoke in a soft voice.
“I… I want to support Su-Hyun Oppa.”
“Then! Support! Huh? What? You agree with him?”
Lee Yu-Jung was nodding excitedly, then as An-Sol word registered in her mind her expression changed and lunged at her looking like a wolf trying to eat her alive. An-Sol swiftly clung to her brother. An-Hyun, even Kim Han-Byeol looked at her in shock. An-Sol shrank back from all the looks she was receiving and just mumbled for a while before speaking again.
“Yes, I agree.”
“Why! Just why!”
Beating back the vicious Lee Yu-Jung, An-Hyun spoke softly to the frightened An-Sol.
“Sol, tell everyone why you voted yes.”
“Um.... Hu… Just because. I just feel like we should. Because…”
Hearing that it was based on her feeling, An-Hyun’s expression changed for an instant. It was a short moment but I definitely saw it. I wondered why this would make him react like that.
“Ya! How can you base it on a feeling…”
Lee Yu-Jung became quiet when An-Hyun raised his voice. An-Hyun looked extremely serious. Frowns marred his brows as he looked at An-Sol. Unable to withstand the serious look she was receiving, An-Sol just bowed her head and pointed her finger towards me.
“Before it felt vague… But today in my dream I saw Su-Hyun Oppa.”
“Everyone please stay quiet for a moment. Sol, finish your story.”
“We were all sleeping in this room when a giant monster appeared. It looked like an alien and came to this exact building… everyone was in danger. We couldn’t do anything and it looks like we would all die, no, I was sure I saw everyone die. But then my dream suddenly changed.”
“How did it change?”
“Like a spring being unwound, the dream reversed back to the beginning and Su-Hyun Oppa appeared. When the monster came this time, it was different. Su-Hyun Oppa told everyone that he would stop the monster so we should all escape. I was being carried by Oppa out of the city and I looked back because I was worried about Su-Hyun Oppa but then the dream ended.”
“Do you remember anything in your dream?”
“I think I heard something terrifying at the end? Maybe a shout? I think I heard a sound but… I don’t know.”
We were silent as the grave as we focused on her story. Having come back to the past, for the first time I looked at her with in a new light. There were things that I didn’t know but this was beyond me.
In terms of her Attributes, she had 75 Magic and another 100 on Luck. My Magic was at 96 points and it was nothing to scoff at. If I entered Hall Plain as I was, this amount of Magic point would allow me to be one of the best Mages. With my Third Eyes, I had barely managed to see 1 second of the past. But through her dreams she had seen both the past and the future.
There was a subtle difference between me and An-Sol. I could see exactly what had happened in the past and see it whenever I wanted to. An-Sol’s dream lack the certainty and seems to activate randomly. This must be all thanks to her extremely high Luck point.
With this, it solved one mystery I wondered about. The reason why I couldn’t find the party during my first time in Hall Plain. Somehow, they had all managed to gather together and had reached this City. They had exceeded their two safe days and been attacked by the Boss Monster. An-Sol must have been the only survivor left.
An-Hyun gave a loud sigh. Having finished her story, An-Sol seems unsure as she looked at everyone for their response. Tapping his fingers on the floor, An-Hyun was deep in thought. Looking perturbed he spoke to all of us.
“I also agree with Hyung’s opinion.”
“What, why? You also said you didn’t want to leave…! Are you taking your sister’s side now?”
Lee Yu-Jung couldn’t believe what was happening and immediately tackled the issue. An-Hyun replied apologetically.
“I am not taking sides. This might sound funny or not but…”
Dipping his face, indicating An-Sol who was still clinging onto him, he spoke.
“I was with Sol for 19 years. There were so many things that happened and every time her feelings were uncannily accurate.”
Of course, with 100 Luck point, she gained intuition and clairvoyance and it was also possible to predict the future. Though rank did support the skill to a point.
Lee Yu-Jung frowned and lamented.
“This feeling and intuitions. I had enough.”
“I am not lying. Whenever Sol was feeling uneasy, some bad always happened. The dream is a bit unusual but… Anyways, there are 3 yes votes, 1 against and 1 abstain. As we all agreed, we are going to follow the opinion with the most vote. Everyone get up, let’s head out now.”
“We are going to leave right now?”
“With Sol dream, it’s best that we leave as fast as possible. Everyone, pack only the essentials. Hyung, just in case can you go out on patrol?”
“Ok. Will do so. If everyone is done, shout.”
Seeing the change in An-Hyun from yesterday, I felt content. Equipping the crossbow on the left arm, I shook the dust off and left.
There was a subtle difference about An-Hyun. He undertook to patrol the area this morning and was overall strangely proactive. The private exchange from yesterday was not enough to completely change his inner troubles. However, looking at his recent attitude, he seems to have taken my word to heart and was doing the best he could. Happily humming at his positive change, I began to look around.
Just as An-Hyun said, the best time to leave was now. Bumbling about and procrastinating had to be absolutely avoided so that we could avoid travelling in the dark. Leaving in the morning and finding a safe spot by the afternoon would be a much better alternative. With the bustling and hustling about below, it seems like they were planning to bring as much as they could carry.
Breathing in the still chilly air, I felt refreshed. If this party was made of Park Don-Gul, Lee Bo-Rim and Lee Shin-Wu I am sure they would be throwing up a racket trying to stay. However, things had turned out for the better, with the party being composed of high-status Players. A moment of silence pleases for Park Don-Gul and his party.
We had survived the passed the forest, which was the most physically demanding area of the Rite of Passage and broke through the psychological barrier that was the Trap Point. If we remained vigilant against the randomly appearing Boss Monster and the other survivors, we would have a much easier time heading toward the central warp gate. Other monsters would definitely appear as well...
When I was about to recollect all the monsters that could appear while we headed to centre, I heard someone calling for me. Turning around, I saw Kim Han-Byeol with a small bag on her back. It seems her preparations were over.
“Yes. Are you ready?”
“I finished my preparations but the others are still getting ready.”
“I see. Then I will keep watch for a bit longer.”
“... Could we talk for a minute?”
I was bewildered by her sudden request to chat. Nodding I gave a positive reply.
Searching my face, she slowly approached me. I wondered what she wanted to speak to me about. Carefully judging my expression, she cautiously spoke.
“Did you perhaps… Did Yu-Jung Unni or An-Hyun Oppa tell you anything?”
“About the fight you and Yu-Jung had?”
“That… and anything else?”
I shook my head as I had not heard anything particular about Kim Han-Byeol.
“I see. Well…”
Her story wasn’t anything special. All of it was just about her rejecting Lee Yu-Jung’s proposal of going out. I felt a bit bitter when she said the remainder that survived should try and stay alive, but knowing that it wasn’t her true intention I could let it pass easily. Rather than looking like a shallow-hearted bastard, I thought to let it go was better. No matter, this was such a common occurrence in Hall Plain there was nothing to get upset about.
“... I am sorry. I was just so angry back then. Looking it from your side, it must have been really unpleasant…”
It’s the first hearing such dead response from her usual tranquil voice. It looks like she still wanted to maintain a relationship with Lee Yu-Jung but it was difficult for me to butt in. Smiling, I gave her a reassuring answer.
“No, don’t worry about it. Rather, I think you did alright.”
“Really. You gave a calm judgement to the situation at hand. If they went out then and there, Lee Yu-Jung and An-Hyun would have definitely been attacked. I don’t think you need to apologise for this.”
“I am worried about Yu-Jung as she is very hot tempered, it’s quite fortunate that you are here to calm her down. If the same situation arises next time, please stay your course. I think that will be much better.”
“... Thank you.”
We caught each other’s gaze as we finished speaking. I could see that her smile had returned. She had smiled for a brief moment but at that moment, she was beautiful.
Unexpectedly… I was reminded of ‘her’ in Hall Plain.