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    “Why do you think that way?”

    “Well, because you talk a lot about Jongsik, pretty boy.”

    “Then since you call me pretty boy, does that mean you like me?”

    “Is that how it works?”

    “……”

    When he answered with a slight tilt of his head, Geon-joo stared at Sa-yoon with a dumbfounded expression. He wanted to take a picture of his foolish face and show it to him. Sa-yoon, who had been contemplating lending him his eyes, eventually gave up on his greed.

    “Anyway, no means no, and yes means yes. Why are you getting so startled again? I’m an open-minded person.”

    whether someone was homosexual or heterosexual, as long as they did their job well, it was all good to him. Her mindset hadn’t changed at all. When he told him to feel free to tell his even if he ended up liking Jongsik, Geon-joo glanced at his guild leader with suspicious eyes as if looking at a shameless person.

    “Are the people in this guild only thinking about romance? Why do all the interpretations jump only in that direction?”

    “Then can it be interpreted in a different way?”

    “It can be interpreted in any way depending on the person interpreting. Isn’t there a saying that you only see what your eyes want to see?”

    The last words sounded like a sarcastic remark. He was about to ask about his intentions when a system window popped up along with a bright light, indicating they would be expelled from the Room of Rewards.

    The gate was closing. When he opened his eyes after the intense light disappeared, it was the place where Jongsik had dropped his off from the car. Geon-joo, who should have been with him, was nowhere to be seen. As he scanned his surroundings, he spotted him far away, about four or five steps from his side.

    “What the heck? Why are you over there, pretty boy?”

    “Now that Guild Leader calls me pretty boy, I’ve started to find that nickname suspicious too. How long are you going to keep calling me by that nickname?”

    “Well, until you’re less pretty?”

    Without any hesitation, he blurted out what came to his mind. Geon-joo, who had flinched momentarily, soon shook his head as if tired.

    After the pointless verbal sparring ended and Sa-yoon brought Geon-joo to his side, he checked his phone.

    7:12 p.m.

    They had come out much earlier than the time he had notified Jongsik in advance. Swallowing his satisfaction, Sa-yoon found Jongsik in his contacts and sent him a message saying they had come out of the gate and to come pick them up. Jongsik, who was startled and sent about five question marks, soon replied that he understood.

    Now all that was left was to wait until Jongsik arrived, return to the guild, rest, and then….

    “Pretty boy.”

    “Why are you calling me like that? It sounds ominous.”

    When he called him affectionately, he reacted immediately. Sa-yoon smiled and tapped his shoulder.

    “You’re not hurt anywhere, are you?”

    “You know that’s a question you already asked earlier, right?”

    “I know. I’m just asking to make sure.”

    “You know it’s weird to be so kind, right?”

    “I told you, I’m always kind to you.”

    “That’s why I’m asking why.”

    Perhaps finding the gentle tone with a hint of composure burdensome, he stepped back slightly and brought up the topic that had been previously concluded. It was a question that he had heard so much in the past two days that he was getting sick of it.

    Sa-yoon, recalling the battle that had shown his premonition about Geon-joo becoming a capable person was not wrong, smiled with the corners of his mouth raised.

    Every time he thought of his battle, he felt happy and his heart raced. It seemed he wouldn’t need to watch any romantic movies for a while.

    “Why? Because I tend to treat talented guys well.”

    “Isn’t it too much treatment to give to a mere B-grade?”

    Again with that suspicion.

    He was unnecessarily sharp and unnecessarily persistent. He wondered why he wanted to dig deeper when it was enough to see the end once. Realizing that he would likely be stubborn a few more times, Sa-yoon made a tired expression and waved his hand roughly.

    “If you really don’t understand, well, think that I’ve fallen for you.”

    “…What?”

    When he replied nonchalantly as if saying to do as he pleased, Geon-joo, who had asked back a beat late, corrected himself, telling his not to answer, and turned his back. It was an unnatural reaction no matter who saw it.

    Was he feeling shy?

    Perhaps he thought he was pathetic, but the fact that he had become quiet remained unchanged. It was a moment when he unexpectedly learned a way to thwart his persistent question of “Why are you treating me well?”

    I’ll have to make good use of this in the future.

    Sa-yoon, who had inwardly cheered, changed the subject. Now that the urgent matter was over, it was time to bring up the main point he had been gradually building up to.

    “Anyway, if you’re not hurt anywhere, shall we go back, rest for a bit, and then depart right away?”

    “Suddenly? …Where are we going?”

    “The Field.”

    S-grade gate, the Field.

    He was going to take this cutie there.

    Just thinking about it made his heart pound with excitement. Geon-joo, who was still at an age of ignorance, showed another question.

    “Where is this Field?”

    “It’s a good place.”

    “…Guild Leader.”

    “What?”

    “That place isn’t a gate, right?”

    This is why he dislikes kids with good instincts.

    Although he hadn’t said anything yet, Geon-joo’s voice already sounded weary. If he told him that the good place he mentioned was indeed a gate and even an S-grade gate, it seemed like he might run away somewhere.

    When he deliberately didn’t answer, he turned to look at the gate entrance that had just closed, taking his silence as affirmation.

    “I think we just cleared a gate and came out.”

    “That’s why I said let’s stop by the guild, rest, and then go.”

    “Didn’t you say we’ll rest ‘for a bit’?”

    At his sharp point, Sa-yoon clicked his tongue.

    “To be honest, pretty boy, you’re not feeling like you’re about to die from exhaustion right now, are you?”

    “What does that have to do with anything?”

    What does it have to do with? Do you think S-grade is a joke?

    Words of rebuttal surged up to the root of his tongue. Sa-yoon swallowed the words that had risen to the point where he could spit them out with a single poke. He put his weight on Geon-joo’s shoulder again, pretending to be friendly. When he grabbed his shoulder tightly, he frowned and removed his hand.

    “Of course, it has nothing to do with it, but if you’re not that exhausted, I’m saying let’s go to another gate right away.”

    You said you wanted to become an S-grade.

    He whispered in his ear, getting close to him. Unable to resist the downward pressure, Geon-joo, who had rounded his upper body, furrowed his brow and looked at Sa-yoon. When their eyes met, Sa-yoon threw additional information that he would find hard to refuse.

    “You need to be at least S-grade to be able to face that white thing you saw. Otherwise, you’ll just have to get beaten up helplessly like before.”

    “……”

    “You wouldn’t like that either, pretty boy.”

    “……”

    Waver, waver.

    A faint energy of agitation flowed from the eyes that met hers. Sa-yoon, with the corners of his mouth raised crookedly, uttered the decisive blow in a gentle voice.

    “It’s embarrassing to run away again without putting up a fight when you meet the Unknown, isn’t it?”

    He coaxed him softly, melting it like a candy in his mouth. When he persuaded him by touching his pride with a gentle tone, Geon-joo, who had stubbornly maintained his silence, slowly opened his mouth after a rather long wait.

    “I’ll listen to the explanation and decide. What kind of gate is it? Tell me honestly without leaving anything out or deliberately hiding it like before.”

    He spoke well, firmly, even with a sullen expression. Although he let out a small sigh, it was closer to a face of resignation, not a look of dislike. Considering it a relatively positive response, he hugged him tightly and cooed, saying, “Yes, yes.” He smiled brightly even at Geon-joo’s scream-like cry telling his to restrain his physical contact.

    “Take it easy, geez…. What’s the grade? Are we going to a B-grade this time?”

    It seemed he had definitely realized that C-grade wasn’t suited for his level. Sa-yoon let out a “Hmm” at Geon-joo’s words, suggesting a grade one step higher than this gate.

    If he honestly said it was an S-grade, he would run away, right?

    Her gaze, slightly tinged with a blue energy, swept over Geon-joo’s face and his entire body.

    As expected, his pretty boy seemed like he would run away. It was clear in his eyes that he would dash off without looking back, treat his as a lunatic, and regard his as the craziest person in the world. Sa-yoon smiled as he imagined Geon-joo’s reaction, saying who would go straight to an S-grade.

    If being honest was a problem, he could just hide it.

    The leader of the Crime Information Guild had a very good option called scamming.

     

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