Phew, last few days were a little hectic. This chapter was already done by Wednesday but getting the next one done to make the teaser was a close call.
Anyway, happy reading~
“I’ll do it.”
“Y-You will do it..? What…”
“Didn’t you come in order to make a contract?”
“Ah, that, even though that isn’t wrong… Why so sudden like this…”
“I will become a Knight.”
Although she could become a Templar, she thought there was something to this unexpected and accidental meeting. The one who saved her life, and the person she yearned for was in front of her eyes. Aran still remembered that day vividly, when he extended her his little finger and they walked through the gaps in a mountain of corpses.
Although it was a pity that this man seemed unable to remember that time, that wasn’t a problem.
“I will contract with Hero Management.”
“Ah… Yes, yes.”
Kang-Joon didn’t even bring out all the words he had prepared to say yet, he tilted his head wanting to know what on earth was that situation. He slowly examined Aran’s face feeling he was perhaps in the middle of a scam.
However, Kang-Joon couldn’t remember Aran. That was just a short encounter, and the 14-year-old girl of that time was now eighteen.
“Uh… Well. I managed to do it.”
“Contract. She changed career’s path to Knight, and signed the contract right away.”
“Wow! That is great! Mr. Kang-Joon is great as expected!”
“So what’s with that face?”
Seol Yeong smiled happily, and Maria tilted her head. Tracking her location at the Temple and visiting Seo Aran, Kang-Joon aimed to persuade her in a face-to-face conversation. Kang-Joon was fully confident on persuading Aran. Planning to tell her the actual reality about Templars in order to change her mind.
However, Seo Aran didn’t concentrate in the conversation at all, staring at Kang-Joon, suddenly agreeing while looking at him intently with a blank expression. As such the main points were not even presented. Kang-Joon sat at the hotel drinking a glass of water with a vacant expression.
“How did you persuade her this time? It is said all of those who intend to become Templars possess strong beliefs.”
Despite Seol Yeong’s inquiring shining eyes, Kang-Joon facial expression was that of someone who had lost their soul.
“Was the person I met really the right Seo Aran?”
Kang-Joon continued in a state of anguish worrying whether all of that was real. However, the profile and face matched, and the name was the same. Seol Yeong and Maria tilted their heads at the rare sight of a confused Kang-Joon.
But, in any case, the task had finished well in the end and they had obtained their first contract.
Although he could try contacting more people, Hero Management possessed only 3 sets of equipment at the moment. First they had to properly create one Hunter team and only then search for other personnel. Accepting people blindly was no different from attaching a bomb to oneself.
Having obtained the contract Maria’s participation had come to an end, and receiving a call she had to hastily return.
“I will demand proper compensation for this later, you know?”
“Alright, you worked hard. Thank You.”
“Tsk, If you go back on what you said I will kill you for real.”
Maria had arrived and was leaving pulling only one carrier. Before returning, Kang-Joon came to see her off going down until the hotel’s parking lot, and Maria, after scanning the surroundings carefully, stabbed Kang-Joon’s chest with her finger.
“And you, make up your mind if you are going to leave the Union.”
“That isn’t it… I will tell you about it soon.”
“Isn’t it better to quit than to be dismissed? Old man Pang(Tl: Bread) is still waiting for your call.”
“Yeah, that guy was never honest, was he?”
“I will think about it.”
“Whatever you choose, you must be sure about it.”
Leaving that words behind Maria boarded a high-end van which came to pick her up and left. And Kang-Joon watched until the car disappeared from view, returning back up after releasing a well concealed sigh.
Seol Yeong too received a call saying Choi Gina’s selected replacement had reported for duty and returned to the company.
Kang-Joon was left alone in Yangpyeong henceforth.
In the end, the majority of the Knights aspirants were scouted by Lescian and Cloud. Only a few who were lower ranked signed contracts with smaller and medium managements, and most companies returned without even watching the completion ceremony.
Most of all, the most important Templar prospect in the Knight Temple suddenly changed her career’s path to Knight raising an enormous commotion. Because of that the S Rank Maria’s visit was soon forgotten.
Although numerous senior Templars and instructors attempted to persuade her, Aran was unmovable. Firmly closing her lips when confronted with the reasons, only repeatedly saying she was going to become a Knight.
Aran wasn’t very friendly nor talkative from the start.
And, thanks to the enormous commotion, rumors soon spread out among the candidates, and some management officials grasped that fact. The Templar who ranked 2nd in the total ranking had changed career’s path to Knight. As such Lescian and Cloud swiftly approached Seo Aran.
“I have already decided on a place to contract with.”
“Once you listen to our conditions…”
“No, I am contracted with a place.”
“And where might that be?”
Lescian’s official hearing Aran’s reply wondered whether he had heard it wrong. However, he had indeed heard Hero Management. Seo Aran, placed 2nd in the overall rankings, was going to a now collapsed Management.
“We offer US $70,000 as well as B-Class equipment…”
Regardless of how much they raised the down-payment, Seol Aran was unmoved. Although they didn’t know what Hero Management had offered they all thought it was something incredible, those at Lescian were trying get as many benefits as they could, and Cloud appealed through their wide jurisdiction.
However, despite all those proposals, Seo Aran shook her head stubbornly.
Therefore, Lescian and Cloud’s officials were all about to explode of curiosity wondering what sort of schemes the new manager, Choi Kan-Joon, had used to scout that Seo Aran in the end. Despite Kang-Joon himself not having done anything.
‘That fellow is on something.’
As such, Lescian and Cloud, two super managements companies, were both paying close attention to Hero Management’s new employer Choi Kang-Joon.
However, Kang-Joon still couldn’t solve his previous doubts doing nothing except sitting at the hotel as if he lost his soul. Although Lescian and Cloud had accomplished their original objective, they were both nervous looking uncomfortable as if there was a stain in the otherwise clean surroundings.
Until the day of the anticipated graduation ceremony.
Numerous graduates gathered at the main auditorium, and management staff and family members were seated there. With the officials and family’s seats arranged separately, Kang-Joon felt as if he was sitting on a bed of nails. Lescian and Cloud’s official kept looking and throwing sideways glances at him, while some even questioned him directly.
“Mr. Kang-Joon, what magic did you use after all? That girl Seo Aran, she didn’t accept any down-payment I offered and I wasn’t even able to get a private appointment.”
It was the Lescian’s official he shared greetings a few days ago. Nevertheless, Kang-Joon could only scratch his head at those words.
“I also wish I knew what it was.”
“Hey, can’t you just tell me what it was? What are you hiding?”
There was truly nothing to hide, on contrary, it was Kang-Joon who was about to go crazy with that sort of reaction having to face such situation suddenly. However, Kang-Joon was still treated like a black-hearted deceiving bastard. Sometimes, the truth didn’t work.
The director made a speech, and the Knight Temple’s representative completed the ceremony with an oath. The contents who were present were always the same, upholding the Knights’ Honor they would face a thorny road. From now on all of them would have to fight continuously in order to survive.
The representative was Kang Ju-Yeon, and Seo Aran led the oath below the podium. Many people eyed Seo Aran as if it was unfortunate. Kang Ju-Yeon chose Lescian, and the talk concerning the contract had already concluded, however, Seo Aran sudden change of heart completely receiving all attention left her in a poor mood.
The completion ceremony came to an end, and together with the applause of the participants all the schooling finished. From now on Templars became Templars, and the Knights who became freelancers or contracted with managements would go hunting monsters.
Kang Ju-Yeon was handed an overflowing bouquet by her family and close friends, and the candidates with families were all being congratulated. Seo Aran stood alone watching that scene blankly. Those without a single family member headed somewhere by themselves.
“Seo Aran, Although I don’t know why you decided to become a Knight all of a sudden… We might be able to meet once again later. It is the first time I hear of Hero Management but… Well, it will be fine if its you.”
Kang Ju-Yeon, after placing the bouquet in her arms in the floor, extended out her hand. Her facial expression seemed very happy about something, and Aran had no idea what Kang Ju-Yeon was happy for. With her good eyes her facial expression seemed forcibly exaggerated.
She didn’t have any interest in Kang Ju-Yeon from the start, whether she showed contempt or even her words themselves, Seo Aran paid them no mind. Aran shook hands expressionlessly and Kang Ju-Yeon departed leading a group of people somewhere. It was clearly a big lunch with people meant to celebrate, and Seo Aran turned her body intending to go out the exit.
As soon as she turned back Choi Kang-Joon pushed a bouquet to Seo Aran. She looked at Kang-Joon intently then bowed her head.
“You have worked hard so far.”
People were receiving their families and friends’ congratulations. However, the only one who came for Seo Aran was nothing but an official from Hero Management. Seo Aran mouth’s corner twitched, her lips trembling.
And, although subtle and brief, displayed a very radiant smile.
Those who knew Seo Aran were astonished she actually smiled. All she did was receive a bouquet from a manager.
However, she occasionally imagined it. Thinking once she officially finished the course and when she was ready to go out in the outside world, how good it would be if that man who saved her handed her a bouquet. But, that sort of thing could never happen, it was nothing but a delusion she recalled sometimes.
However, like a miracle, that was happening now, in reality. That Hunter who saved her was handing her a bouquet. It was reality, not a dream or delusion.
Like that Aran felt what happiness was in a truly long time.
“Would you like to go out to eat lunch? I made reserves in a good place.”
“There is a lot of people. Follow me closely.”
Aran knew well reality was cold-hearted to a despairing degree at times. But today, Aran realized a new fact.
There are times reality, could be sweeter than dreams.
Aran treasured the red bouquet, holding it close to her chest, and followed Kang-Joon, who was ahead. Like it happened in the past, this time too Aran slowly followed after his back.
Read Chapter 23’s Teaser and see what is coming next!
I really enjoyed that ending. Finished this Mini-Arc perfectly.