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    “Yes. Today is our day off.”

    “Raiding dungeons is no fun without you, Hyung. It was thrilling and great when you were there.”

    Ga-eul grumbled.

    “You take them one at a time?”

    “Yes. That’s why it’s boring.”

    I clicked my tongue.

    Usually when raiding dungeons with the kids, we deviated from the party rule of everyone attacking one monster together and had each person take one monster.

    However, like Woojae the healer, I would hang back and use mana bullets to pull or kill monsters when the kids were in danger. I didn’t expect them to get addicted to that.

    “That’s the safe way. Being able to do it the original way was only possible because Go-woon hyung was there.”

    “I know that too.”

    Ga-eul grumbled at Woojae then looked at me with sparkling eyes.

    “What?”

    “When are you coming back, Hyung? Dungeon raiding is so boring I could die.”

    “You won’t die from that. Besides, I told you I’m not coming back.”

    “Why? Whyyy? When we formed our party, we took a sacred oath to live together and die together.”

    What nonsense is this? Who took what sacred oath? The only thing we formed was a temporary party.

    “Hyuuung. Don’t be like this. Let’s do it together. Our party loses meaning without you.”

    Ga-eul grabbed my hand and shook it. I brushed off her hand.

    “Stop talking nonsense. You ran your errand and saw my face, now go.”

    “Why? Do you have plans, Hyung? Come to think of it, why are you wearing a suit? Are you going somewhere? Meeting someone and leaving us behind?”

    “Oppa, was it true that you’re doing an interview?”

    I nodded at Ga-eul’s question.

    So rumors spread to the guild that I’m doing an interview. The date was only set yesterday, how did it already spread?

    “What. Then is this the outfit you’re wearing to the interview, Hyung?”

    “No, the size is too big so I’m wearing something else.”

    “Good thinking. This looks like a little brother who stole his hyung’s clothes.”

    “I know that too, sheesh.”

    She already avoids people, and there would be lots of strangers there, so I couldn’t leave Hanseong alone to change clothes and was just wearing this for now. Does it look that big? If this were Kim Hae-ah’s original body, it would’ve fit perfectly. No, if I were Kim Hae-ah, what alchemy? I couldn’t have even dreamt of joining Cradle’s party as Civilian #1.

    “Oppa. Then what are you planning to wear?”

    “Who knows. I haven’t decided yet. I was in the middle of picking clothes with Hanseong.”

    Min-hee raised her hand.

    “Me! Me! I want to pick too.”

    “No thanks.”

    “Ah! Oppa! I graduated from fashion design before awakening! I’m really good at picking clothes!”

    ‘Fashion design? What’s that?’

    As I tilted my head quizzically, Min-hee clasped her hands and looked at me. Her big, earnest eyes reminded me of a cat I saw on a TV show before.

    “Do you mean the fashion design department? You went to college?”

    While I was at a loss for words, Hanseong, who had been leaning on the sofa listening, asked Min-hee.

    “Yeah. I only awakened 6 months ago. I awakened right after finishing my graduation project and cursed my luck.”

    “Why? You can still be a designer after awakening.”

    “Mm. That’s true, but it’d be a waste not to use my abilities. Being a hunter isn’t a job just anyone can do.”

    Hanseong, who had been working as a blacksmith since awakening as a minor, seemed unable to understand and tilted her head.

    Min-hee made a thoughtful “hmm” sound. She seemed to be choosing her words carefully to make Hanseong, who had become her friend, understand.

    “Mm. I can do design even after retiring as a hunter. Plus, the designs I want to do aren’t mainstream. I want to earn a lot of money as a hunter so I can live doing only the designs I like without being constrained by money.”

    “Ah.”

    Hanseong nodded. Unlike her previous response, she now had an understanding expression.

    “So Oppa. Let me pick too. Please?”

    Min-hee, who made Hanseong understand, clung to me again.

    “There’s nothing to pick. I’m just going to wear something suitable from what I have.”

    “Is Hanseong picking it out?”

    Thinking she couldn’t persuade me, Min-hee turned to Hanseong.

    “Yeah.”

    “Can’t I pick together? I’m really confident I’ll pick well!”

    Min-hee clenched her fists. It’s just a news interview. As long as I speak well, it’s fine. Is there really a need to pick an outfit?

    “Mm. I don’t mind, but are you okay with it, Oppa?”

    I nodded at Hanseong’s words.

    I’d be happy if the two became close while picking my clothes. Although I avoided people due to circumstances until now, I’d have to start meeting various people little by little once the trial ends.

    If avoiding people wasn’t her original personality but developed from being unable to trust others, then gradually interacting with people wasn’t bad.

    Just as I slowly expanded my social circle that way.

    “Let’s go. The dressing room is over there.”

    “A dressing room! How exciting!”

    As Hanseong took the thrilled Min-hee to the dressing room, Ga-eul grumbled.

    “Why don’t you tell us these things, Hyung?”

    “What things?”

    “That you’re doing an interview. If not for Min-hee, we wouldn’t have known.”

    If not for Min-hee, they wouldn’t have known. Guess the rumors didn’t spread to the guild after all. Then where did that girl Min-hee hear it?

    “Why would I talk about that like it’s something to brag about.”

    It’s not my style to blab, and it’s not important enough to go around telling people.

    “Still. If it were me, I would’ve spread it all over town.”

    “That’s just how you are. Where’s the interview?”

    “News Nine. Woojae, you didn’t know either?”

    Woojae nodded. Hmm. Seems the rumors really didn’t spread to the guild.

    “What I heard was that Hyung is doing a magazine photoshoot.”

    “What?! Hyung, you’re doing a magazine photoshoot too?!”

    Not only Ga-eul who exclaimed loudly, but Hanjae also stared at me with wide eyes. What the. How exactly are the rumors spreading?

    “Where did you hear that?”

    “At the guild. I heard Hyung begged Guild Leader that you want to be a celebrity so set up a magazine shoot. Or else you’ll leave the guild.”

    Who. What. Who’s spouting such ridiculous nonsense.

    Celebrity? Ha. Even as Kim Hae-ah, I know living ordinarily is best. Me, a celebrity? Seriously, this isn’t sleep talk. Who’s going around saying such bullshit?

    “Who at the guild is saying that?”

    “Kang Do-hoon.”

    “Oh? I heard it from Kang Do-hoon too! He said you wanted to be on the news so the guild leader lobbied the broadcast station and struggled to arrange it.”

    No matter how much you lobby, the news. The 9 o’clock main news at that. How could you get on that? Should I call this being naive or stupid. But what grudge does this bastard Kang Do-hoon have against me to spread such false rumors?

    “Both are nonsense.”

    “But you are going on the interview.”

    “No. The part about me asking them to arrange it is nonsense.”

    “Ahh. Then both are true?”

    I nodded. If possible, I don’t want to go. I don’t need fame that will be useless once I return anyway. I’d rather spend that time raiding dungeons or clearing the tower.

    “Wow. Then you really are doing a photoshoot too. Hyung, can we come watch? I’ve always wanted to see that! Hanjae hyung, you want to see it too, right?”

    Hanjae hesitated then nodded.

    “I’d like to watch too.”

    “I also want to go.”

    Even the quiet Woojae says he wants to watch. What’s so fun about watching someone else wear clothes and take pictures? I can’t understand.

    “See. Everyone wants to watch.”

    “Aren’t you guys done here? Shouldn’t you get going?”

    “Can’t we have dinner before leaving?”

    I shook my head at Ga-eul’s words.

    “No. Go.”

    Not only were there no ingredients at home, but the other kids besides Min-hee still made Hanseong uncomfortable. I know better than anyone how hard it is to eat with someone you’re uncomfortable with. Meals with Detective Kim were always like that.

    “Go back.”

    “Ah! Hyung! You’re too cold. We’ve been through life and death together, you can’t treat us like this!”

    “Oppa! Come here for a sec!”

    “I said no. Have dinner at home, or eat among yourselves.”

    I firmly refused and headed to the dressing room. Ga-eul grumbled behind my back, but I deliberately didn’t respond, knowing more words would come out if I did.

    “Oppa, this is perfect!”

    What Min-hee handed me was a mandarin collar shirt and a light yellow cardigan. Along with light brown cotton pants.

    “The pants are too loose at the waist.”

    “Oppa, don’t you have pants in a similar color?”

    “Oh. I do.”

    “Then change into those and come out. We’ll pick out other clothes in the meantime.”

    Other clothes. Does this mean I have to change into several more outfits?

    “Hurry, Oppa.”

    As I stood there dumbfounded, Min-hee pushed my back. Pushed by Min-hee into my room, Haegeum poked his head out from the fish tank where he was swimming.

    “What is the matter, Master? It seemed noisy outside, Master.”

    “Yeah. Some guests came. It’s nothing.”

    “Please call me anytime if you need me, Master.”

    “Yeah. I will.”

    “Oppa! Change quickly and come out!”

    As Haegeum dove back into the water, I hurriedly changed at Min-hee’s urging.

    I put on my pants in a similar color, the mandarin collar shirt, and the cardigan.

    “Mm. I don’t know about this.”

    Is it because I always wear dark tones? The light yellow cardigan felt burdensome.

    “Oppa!”

    “Yeah. Coming.”

    I left the room at Min-hee’s voice loud enough to make the house collapse.

    “I knew it would suit you well.”

    “Pastel tones surprisingly look good on you, Oppa.”

    “It’s because Go-woon oppa has a fair complexion. Oppa, try this on too.”

    Min-hee handed me a shirt with three armband-like lines on the sleeves and a gray cardigan.

    “Isn’t this the same thing, just a different type?”

    It’s the same shirt and cardigan anyway, is there really a need to change?

    “Oppa. This isn’t a mandarin collar, and the color is different too. You can wear black or gray pants. Go change and come out.”

    I sighed and went back to my room. How many times did I change into the outfits Min-hee and Hanseong handed me? Taking clothes off and putting them on was more tiring than raiding a dungeon.

    “Mm. I think the first one was the best after all. You?”

    “Me too. The other outfits somehow felt awkward.”

    “Yeah yeah. Can’t be helped. Oppa, wear this outfit.”

    Then why make me wear so many clothes if you were going to pick the first one? Really, if only Hanseong weren’t having fun.

    Sighing, I went back to my room and Hanseong followed.

    “Oppa. They said they’ll have dinner before leaving.”

    “What? No way. You’re uncomfortable, what dinner? I’m gonna change and chase them out.”

    “I’m really okay.”

    Taking off my jacket, I looked at Hanseong. I couldn’t tell if this was her true feelings or if she was just enduring the discomfort.

    “I’m really fine. I talked with Min-hee and they all seem like good people.”

    “Good? They’re all dumb kids.”

    Hanseong laughed softly. I was being serious, but she didn’t seem to take it that way, so I emphasized again.

    “Han Song-ah. This is your home too. You don’t need to force yourself to be with people who make you uncomfortable.”

    “I really mean it. I want to become friends like with Min-hee.”

    “Why? Because Min-hee spoke well of them?”

    “No. More than that, I thought if Taeju sent them to the house, they must be trustworthy people.”

    Unlike Hanseong who blatantly avoided people, Taeju subtly avoided them.

    It’s true that if Taeju sent them to the house where Hanseong and I live, as she said, they must be people we can trust.

    “Alright. Then I’ll make dinner. I need to change and go to the mart.”

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