Father must have thought a day like this would come someday, as he acted calmly about my proposal to leave home even before graduating middle school. I also had cried that night, as I had underestimated how my parents loved me. I was their only son who had lived under the same roof. My parents must have thought hard about how to raise a child who was superior to other children in physical and intellectual ability, and when to let me go so I can spread my wings.
While I had skipped the period the system had named Tutorial, I could see from the pictures that my parents had completely doted on me.
The next day, Mother brought me an album after Father went to work. She talked about old times as she turned pages, and I saw that I grew up fast. In elementary school, I had obviously been the tallest, standing at the back for the class photo. There was a picture of me in a taekwondo uniform. Seeing how often my parents had taken pictures without me noticing, I had an awkward smile on my face.
“We took you to art classes, piano, sports…but the only thing you wanted to keep doing was tennis. Do you remember this?”
Mother spoke with a smile. I had been able to pass as a very tall child until elementary first grade.
As I grew older, the pictures were taken more and more outside. I was doing chin-ups, soccer, and other sports.
“The sports coaches all told me you could make the Olympic team. They even came to our house, you know.”
She spoke warmly about the past.
“We thought you were talented in sports, but they never lasted longer than three months.”
“Did I say I wouldn’t go? I don’t remember much.”
“You never said such things.”
“We could clearly see that you did not want to go. We were grateful that you willingly tried so many things.”
Mother flipped over the last page, and school certificates poured out. I had done well in my studies, but my elementary school teachers consistently worried about my inability to make friends due to physical and mental differences. They had written negative things about my lack of social interaction, which meant my parents would have received their calls. My mother bent closer with a smile.
“You were an excellent student like your father.”
I had been first in school, and I probably acted aloof and prideful because I thought that would make my parents happy. She stared at me, and I worried she may cry. However, her smile did not fade.
“I’m just happy you found something you like to do. Really.”
My walk to the office was light despite the heavy rains. Yeonhee opened her eyes wide, and she also smiled when she noticed my emotions. She became quiet and seemed to focus on feeling my emotions as she sat on the sofa. She looked almost like she was happy-drunk.
I also did not want to turn on the computer now, as I had seen too many reports saying that they had not caught the First Evil. Also, the other two awakened in New York were quiet.
The rain was falling hard, and I watched the drops for a while. I met Yeonhee’s eyes, which were too smug for my tastes.
“Are you coming from home?”
“Yes. Did you find what I asked?”
“I managed to do so.”
Dungeons were normally buried in mountains and large plains. The dungeon in Suwon was the same, and the construction was already underway. We were the only ones on the road due to the weather, and Yeonhee’s car shook whenever the wind blew harshly. The puddles made for slow driving, and I thought about changing to a car that could be driven smoothly in this terrain, in this weather. Yeonhee was completely focused on driving and did not even answer her cell phone.
I could not even hear the cell phone ring due to the rain despite sitting in the front with her, and the wipers lost the battle against the rain. The weather was terrible, and Yeonhee leaned back against the driver’s seat when we barely managed to arrive near the hill in Suwon. We had parked near an apartment complex, and it seemed that nearby residents used this hill to do their exercises.
I realized that there would be countless complaints if I raised walls here, and I had been wondering whether to choose a dungeon in a more secluded area instead when Yeonhee straightened her back.
“You should rest.” I was worried about Yeonhee’s condition.
Driving in a storm was like running back and forth across a tightrope all day. The mental fatigue must have been serious.
“It’s all right, I will drive on the way back.”
Rain and wind came rushing at the moment I opened the passenger door, and I knew that umbrellas would be useless. We walked up the climbing path while being hit with rain. Yeonhee changed directions when we arrived at a small exercise field.
She walked in front of me and left small footsteps in the mud. However, her footsteps disappeared as the muddy water covered them up in an instant. We continued to walk in such weather when Yeonhee stopped in her tracks. I also stood next to her with a grimace.
We both had seen the blue light, and I went up first to confirm that the dungeon was open!
I saw stairs going down under the blue barrier, and the raindrops were sliding off the invisible dome covering the entrance.
“When did you discover the gate?”
“It was not open yesterday.”
Yeonhee looked around with wary eyes and pulled out a hidden dagger from her waist. I now knew that she walked around armed. That was why she preferred wide pants. I thought she was just following fashion trends.
I also took out a dagger and threw away the sheath. I did not need to tell her to be cautious of the other Awakened and she had been even quicker to arm herself than I was. She spoke.
“How many? It may not be only one, right?”
All traces were erased by the rain, and I looked around for places where a person might be hiding near enough to overhear me. There was such a place, and the spot was covered with dead trees, which meant it would be sheltered a bit from the rain. So I spoke in a low voice. (EN: He’s a bit paranoid, but given that someone opened and entered a dungeon just before they got there…)
“You seem to know what to do.”
“If you had met another Awakened…”
“I, I would have told you first.”
“We will talk about this later.”
Yeonhee bit her lips, and she looked worried and scared. However, she held the dagger well as she crouched to lower her profile. She really did look like a cat about to fight in the rain. (EN: ^_^)
Edited by Userunfriendly