You wanted a chapter. Here you go
Chapter 187 Sung’s Birthday (5)
“Hey, maybe you’ll catch a cold. The wind is quite chilly.”
Yerim seemed worried. Since it would be September soon, the heat had died out. I had placed some clothes in my inventory but thought it would be indecent to change outside.
“Can’t you dry him off, Yoohyun?”
“I’ll burn him without fire resistance. Can’t you remove water from him?”
Yoohyun answered her as he handed me Irin. Yerim pouted.
“…I ripped a doll while trying to do so.”
“See? You can’t do it.”
“I’m the one who brought us here!”
I watched them bicker with a smile. Things were going well. We ate breakfast and lunch together if we could. If they both could not make it, they at least called. I would visit Myeongwoo with Noah or listen to Hayan Seok’s field reports. Then, dinnertime came. People around me laughed, smiled, and seemed happy, and such days went on. That may be why I had acted like that to Hyunjae Sung.
I was trying to like myself as others like me. While it had been an urge, and things were still unstable, Hyunjae Sung had stepped back. I was surprised at how agreeable he had been.
I saw Hyunjae Sung, who managed to look dignified while soaking wet. He smiled at me, and I thought this was the first time I saw him as a person. That was maybe why I became a bit curious about what he was like as a person and what kind of a life he had led.
We went to a convenience store, which had a table we could eat. The staff flinched on seeing us, and stood at the counter as he stared. That would be the normal response in this situation.
“There’s not much left.”
We bought sandwiches and instant noodles. Since we had been in a storm, credit cards would probably not work. I carefully gave the staff two fifty-thousand won bills so they would not rip.
“Think of the change as a cleaning fee. Can I use your phone to make a call?”
I called Hayeon, and Simyeong Seok answered me. He reported that Riette and Noah had taken the guests out of the water in dragon form. I asked the staff where we were, and Simyeong Seok said he would send someone in an hour. We were not that far.
“He said that he would contact Sesung.”
We decided waiting here would be a better choice and feasted on warm food. Hyunjae Sung looked awkward eating convenience store food but somehow made instant noodles seem elegant.
I now turned to Yoohyun. Come to think it, he really would not have eaten junk food like this. I had been careful about his diet in the past, and he would not have eaten convenience store food after becoming an awakened.
Yerim looked on Yoohyun’s awkwardness with interest.
“You haven’t eaten food like this? I thought you had been a normal high school student before becoming an awakened.”
“My brother told me not to, so…”
“I mean, wow. It’s a shame there’s not much choice here since we came too late.”
Yerim then gave me a heated instant noodle cup.
“Drink the soup. It’s warm.”
“Yoohyun, did you eat fast food? I mean, the way you eat noodles…”
I turned to Hyunjae Sung, who seemed at peace. While I knew he had brought this upon himself, I thought spending a birthday like this was too dreary. Come to think of it, I had seen a small cake in the fridge section…
I asked the staff for it, and there was a small candle with it. Yoohyun, despite showing his protest, lighted it. It was for comic effect, but there were candles and a cake.
“So, make a wish.”
“Don’t you have one?”
“Just think of anything you want to be done and blow on it.”
Hyunjae Sung stared at me for a while before actually doing so. I thought maybe this had not been such a good idea.
The cars started arriving soon. I saw people from Hayeon, Sesung, and the Hunter Association and felt guilty as hell on seeing Taewon Song. Things might have gone a bit smoother if I had not interfered.
“I may be saying this too often, but please tell me anytime if you need help.”
Taewon Song slightly shook his head at my words.
“It’s all right. I have not much to do since civilians are safe. The Association will give out appropriate punishment after I report.”
“It was lucky we were at the ocean.”
“…I guess so.”
Taewon Song looked even more tired on seeing Hyunjae Sung. I understood that sentiment.
“You probably know more about Hyunjae Sung than I do.”
Taewon Song had known Hyujae Sung well for three years, and he had given the Sesung Guild Leader his skill in my past life. I still did not know the reason and hoped to know why.
“You’ve seen him for a while.”
“I would not be able to say that I know him with confidence even after ten years.”
Taewon Song looked at me again, and his eyes were deep as always.
“You’re also difficult to know in another way.”
“I’m comparatively normal compared to him.”
What I wanted was simple and ordinary. I was not also really that special. I had always been that way and just wanted to help those I liked. I did not want to let them go.
Hyunjae Sung approached us with his smartphone in one hand. I saw that he had been about to change my name on his phone number list.
“Do you have any preferences?”
“…Are you asking me?”
He had erased the previous nickname for me, which had been Item. Hyunjae Sung’s eyes bore into me, and unlike his light voice, his gaze was heavy. He may not accommodate me as he had, and one mistake may break our relationship.
Standing on equal terms meant that risk, as being benevolent, was also condescending.
I received his phone and thought, what should I type. I typed in two words after glancing and Yerim and Yoohyun, who were with the people from Haeyeon.
I typed in ‘Business Partner’ and handed the phone back to Hyunjae Sung.
“That’s who we are. Let us work together.”
“Trust me, I am very expectant.”
That was a scary thought. I saw Hyunjae Sung look at the phone screen and change the name to ‘My Partner.’
“Why did you do that?”
Hyunjae Sung ignored my protests and went back to his people. I noticed Taewon Song was looking at me like he had something to say but turned back on seeing my eyes.