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    Every time he opened his mouth, it was either a scam or a kidnapping.

    Honestly speaking, at that moment when he opened his eyes in front of the gate and Sa-yoon got out of the car and told him that they were about to enter an S-rank gate, even the lowest possible evaluation would have ended with “Isn’t this guy a complete lunatic?” and being shocked.

    However, he didn’t put Geon-joo down and started the car, speeding towards the gate entrance. The sight of him ignoring the rippling gate that seemed to swallow them up was as if proving that such things were commonplace.

    Terrified by that madness, Geon-joo shouted if he was crazy, but the scream-like yell didn’t help reduce the vehicle’s speed; rather, it seemed to contribute to exciting Sa-yoon.

    After hearing the shout, Sa-yoon whistled and honked the car horn.

    That horn sound that spread in all directions, cutting through the dawn, was the most impressive car horn sound Geon-joo had heard since he was born.

    Because of that, the evaluation that could have ended with “Isn’t this guy a complete lunatic?” fell endlessly and changed to “How is this crazy bastard living in society?”

    Not just a lunatic, but a lunatic whose existence in society was a wonder. It wasn’t an exaggeration; he was genuinely worried about whether someone like this should be out in society. It seemed like if there were just three Sa-yoons, they could easily destroy a country.

    Was he really the leader of the world’s largest criminal information guild?

    Thanks to Sa-yoon, Geon-joo learned that even the world’s top-level criminal guild couldn’t be achieved with ordinary madness.

    That’s how appalling Sa-yoon’s actions were, but who would have known that compared to what was to come, that was just a foretaste?

    Whenever he thought there couldn’t be anything worse than this, Sa-yoon renewed his insane acts that would make one’s mouth drop open.

    Not only did he arbitrarily skip the crucial gate explanation, saying there was no need to listen to it, but he also carried Geon-joo around like a keychain while engaging in fierce battles with S-rank monsters, and even resorted to swordsmanship, saying it wasn’t enough.

    Things he had never heard of or seen before unfolded before his eyes from time to time, but the most surprising thing was that he carried out all those acts with a face that was way too familiar.

    He did it as naturally as eating a meal or going to the bathroom. And yet, he twisted the corners of his lips and got excited, which was the most creepy part.

    He did all the crazy things himself while getting excited. At this point, Geon-joo had to be relieved that Sa-yoon didn’t bulge the front of his pants during the battle.

    Was the S-rank gate some kind of key to unleashing a leash?

    Sa-yoon, who was prancing around like a fish in water, was out of control.

    But if you ask if he at least trained Geon-joo well, that wasn’t the case either. As he had thought before, Sa-yoon had a terribly poor aptitude for teaching others.

    He would show demonstrations that were actually difficult to follow and throw something at Geon-joo, telling him to try it, and if he couldn’t execute it properly, Sa-yoon would look at him as if he were an idiot.

    With eyes that seemed to curse him, asking why he couldn’t do this, in Geon-joo’s opinion, Sa-yoon should have been a professor, not a hunter.

    If he had been a professor, at least he could have sworn at him somewhere.

    He became a hunter for no reason, making it difficult to even secretly curse him. If he got caught talking behind his back, he would disappear without a trace.

    He never thought he would realize the importance of choosing a profession in this way.

    The problem was that the realization Sa-yoon should have given him wasn’t that.

    He was terrible in combat, which should have been helpful, despite being utterly irrelevant.

    A person shouldn’t say two things with one mouth, but Sa-yoon said three things with one mouth. Geon-joo almost died several times, unable to figure out which of his words to listen to.

    If he was going to change his words that much, he wished Sa-yoon would change his name to BeonbokSa-yoon (Sa-yoon the Turncoat). If he was going to teach something, he should at least explain it properly. Instead, he just tapped Geon-joo’s chest every time he made a mistake.

    He just talked a lot, but he wasn’t really helpful.

    It was to the point where it felt like Geon-joo’s ability to cope during combat improved not because of Sa-yoon’s advice, but because his instincts struggled to survive and raised his skills.

    But who would have known that would be better?

    Taking him to an S-rank gate without a word and throwing him in front of monsters was considered better, but Sa-yoon managed to do that.

    Just when he thought there was nothing more surprising, Sa-yoon was a person with no limits in many ways.

    Anyone would choose to fight while hearing annoying nagging rather than being thrown off a cliff whose end was not even visible.

    Even if you roll in dog shit, the living world is better because at least you won’t die in the latter case.

    He said he would protect me, but he’s talking nonsense.

    He really shouldn’t have gotten involved with him.

    *♟*

    Damn it.

    Geon-joo cursed, feeling the wind scraping against his skin.

    The cliff was so high that even though he had been lost in thought for quite a while, he was still falling.

    The fortunate fact was that the falling speed had decreased because he had broken through large tree trunks with his whole body, but it would have been better if his ribs hadn’t been broken in the process.

    Several times, he hit trees and changed his falling trajectory, twisting his bones. It was difficult to breathe, and it felt like all the organs in his body were pressing down on him. It was then that he thought he might die before even hitting the ground if he collided more like this.

    Suddenly, a strange sound was heard.

    In other words, a sound that couldn’t be heard at all from the top of the cliff.

    A sound that couldn’t be heard even when he kicked the cliff wall to fall into the bushes gradually caught Geon-joo’s hearing, and his eyes widened.

    The faint sound became clearer and clearer. The sound of rushing water was heard from afar.

    “……!”

    Was there a river or valley?

    Whatever it was, it was good. If it was water, the chances of survival had significantly increased, so he turned his head. In his blood-streaked vision, he really saw a valley.

    An emotion that was too faint to be called joy but a bit more intense than simple happiness was reflected in his eyes. His black eyes shimmered.

    Yeah, if he died after going through this hardship, he would be so resentful that he wouldn’t even be able to cross the Hwangcheon River.

    Even if he died, shouldn’t he at least slap Sa-yoon’s cheek once before dying?

    Remembering the man who had been so infuriating that he had told Geon-joo to come up and hit him, he held his breath. His body, which had escaped the excessively dense bushes, fell precisely towards the valley.

    The trajectory change from hitting trees had acted as a godsend.

    Splash!

    The sound of water was heard, and his body sank deeply. The feeling of sinking was different from falling. It was much better than being hit and scratched here and there, so Geon-joo, who had reached the very bottom of the valley, mustered his strength and kicked the ground to rise above the water.

    As he opened his mouth and inhaled the lacking breath while coughing, he felt a sharp pain. His whole body was screaming. From muscles to bones, there was no part that didn’t hurt.

    Fortunately, there was a flat rock not far away, so he forcibly dragged his arms that didn’t want to move and swam. It was inevitable that he ended up swallowing water because his body sank several times in the middle.

    Finally reaching near the rock, he soothed and comforted his body that was sharply crying out and climbed onto the water.

    “Cough, cough!”

    He retched out the water that had entered his mouth, nose, and ears without discrimination, swaying his body. Transparent liquid dripped from his mouth. His whole body was completely soaked, and there was no place where water wasn’t flowing.

    His eyes stung, so he rapidly blinked to soothe the pain while searching for the potion Sa-yoon had given him with his hand.

    Rummaging through to find the bit of conscience the madman had handed over, a small bottle got caught on his fingertips. He took out the potion and examined his wounds. He knew that spraying it on the affected area was most effective, but right now, it was faster to find the uninjured parts than the injured ones.

    Without hesitation, he uncapped the bottle and brought the opening to his mouth. Originally, potions only had half the effect when ingested, but in a situation like this, even if it was only half effective, this method of letting the medicinal effect circulate throughout the body was more efficient.

    After finding and drinking the potion with his survival instincts, all the strength in his body drained away. He didn’t even have the strength to move a single hand.

    He lay down on the rock as if collapsing and looked up at the sky. Suddenly, the face of a man was drawn on the gray sky, and Geon-joo, who frowned, threw the empty potion bottle.

    He admitted it.

    Sa-yoon was a much crazier bastard than he had thought and an unpredictable variable. Moreover, he was also powerful, so trying to uncover the secret of such an opponent seemed no different from doing slapstick comedy naked.

    If he stayed by his side, there would be some benefits, but it didn’t come across as an attractive enough gain to take the risk. At this rate, it seemed like he would die before uncovering the secret.

    Or he would live his whole life being pushed around like this.

    That was the only thing he wanted to avoid.

    “Did he say about a month…?”

    Recalling the estimated time it would take to clear the gate, he clenched his fist. As the medicinal effect took hold, his body gradually began to regain strength. Even though it was said to be an expensive potion, even with half the effect, it was better than most potions. It seemed to be worth the money.

    Once all his wounds were healed, he had to climb back up the cliff first.

    If it were up to him, he wanted to rest in a corner of the gate until Sa-yoon cleared it, but now that he had gotten his hands on the expensive potion, he might as well. Although Sa-yoon was an untrustworthy lunatic, he was still an S-rank with undeniable abilities. Since he had already entered the gate, he intended to see its effects before leaving.

    It wasn’t like an S-rank gate was a place he could easily enter and take a look around.

    When he thought about it, there were no better conditions than this. So, for now, the goal was to reach A-rank here, as Sa-yoon had said.

    After that, he planned to leave his side immediately.

    What did it matter if he uncovered the secret?

    Interest?

    Power?

    He would probably die trying to obtain those things without even being able to save his own life. It was regrettable that he couldn’t receive support until he awakened as an S-rank, but reaching A-rank in just a month was also a blessing. He could reach S-rank later if he worked harder on his own.

    So, the top priority after leaving the gate was to escape.

    Let’s see how it feels to be fooled for once.

    Just because he had given up on uncovering the secret didn’t mean the fact that Sa-yoon needed him would change. If someone he needed so much that he was impatient disappeared, Sa-yoon’s eyes would flip too.

    Wasn’t it unfair that only Geon-joo’s insides were turned upside down and he was going crazy every single day?

    Thinking about Sa-yoon losing his unique composure and his face distorting made Geon-joo already feel good. He thought that this might be better than seeing his flustered reaction after uncovering the secret. Geon-joo, who felt the bones in his body realigning, gritted his teeth in pain.

    He just had to endure it for a little while.

    And when this pain ended, he would return to the top of the cliff and hit Sa-yoon once.

    Since he said it himself, he probably wouldn’t retaliate even if Geon-joo hit him.

    With a new goal and a desire for revenge, he focused on recovery with enthusiasm. The taste of blood came from his inhaled breath, but somehow, his mood was more cheerful than ever since entering the gate, and despite the aching and painful body, laughter flowed out.

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