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    [TL/N: the suffix ‘dragon’ at every Hae Gum’s speech will be replaced with -yong instead.]

    Even if I had gathered the strong ones, the most important thing was the supreme one. If there was someone with the ability to control water, that would be a green light for me.

    Because most of the difficulties in the novel’s cradle were related to water.

    “Master. The corners of your mouth are twitching, yong. Are you still cold, yong?”

    “Ppi ppi.”

    “Ah, is that a sinister smile, yong? You’re not just doing that because you’re cold, yong?”

    “Ahem. Kim Salt, stop saying useless things and come here. Hae Geum… you can’t fly, can you?”

    “Unfortunately, I don’t have wings, yong.”

    Right. I wondered if it could perhaps make wings out of water and fly.

    I grabbed Hae Geum and put him in my chest pocket.

    “You stay in here.”

    Wearing a shirt instead of a t-shirt this morning was a stroke of genius. I should only wear shirts from now on.

    “Let’s go back to the room. Hae Geum, you have to stay quiet until we get to the room. Absolutely no talking.”

    “I will keep that in mind, yong.”

    Since Shin Sooha also went out to exercise in the morning, there would be no problem talking in the room.

    I quietly hushed Hae Geum and left the swimming pool.

    Unlike the crowded morning, the hotel was quiet as if everyone had gone to train.

    I pressed the button for the top floor in the elevator and watched the rising numbers, but it stopped on the 1st floor and the doors opened.

    And I saw a familiar face.

    “Hyung? Why are you here?”

    It was Taeju, his face scrunched up fiercely.

    “What do you mean why am I here. I told you I wanted to come to the World Hunter Games.”

    “No, right now-!”

    Taeju, who had stopped the closing doors just in time, got on the elevator and pressed the button for the 20th floor.

    ‘So the high-ranking hunters were staying on the lower floors.’

    “Sigh. How did you get here? Even if you managed to get a plane ticket, visa issuance is suspended now too.”

    This bastard. He knew I didn’t have a plane ticket but left me behind anyway.

    “You left me behind even though you knew?”

    “How did you get here?!”

    Taeju raised his voice. As if he had done anything right to be yelling at me like this.

    As the doors opened on the 20th floor with a ding, Taeju pointed outside with his chin.

    “Get off.”

    “Hey. I’m going to the 21st floor.”

    “We need to talk. Get off.”

    I crossed my arms and glared at Taeju. It’s ridiculous that I have to be treated this way when I haven’t come to a place I’m not allowed.

    “I said get off!”

    “Are you arresting me right now? What crime did I commit?”

    Taeju, who had been holding the door open button and glaring at me, let out a sigh.

    “Hyung. Let’s talk. We can at least have a conversation, can’t we?”

    The fierce energy disappeared, and at his pre-argument tone, I also sighed and got off the elevator.

    The room I followed Taeju into was a hotel room, just as I expected.

    I can see why he got a separate room. From Shin Sooha’s perspective, this room would feel small.

    “Sit here.”

    Taeju sat me down on a chair and paced back and forth with a fierce energy.

    The way he was huffing and puffing seemed like he was trying to calm down, but why was he acting like this?

    “Phew.”

    After taking a deep breath, Taeju finally looked at me.

    “Hyung. Now explain.”

    Hmm. Judging by the fierceness still in his eyes, it seems like he hasn’t fully calmed down yet.

    ‘But it’s admirable that he restrained himself.’

    I was pondering whether we really needed to have this conversation while he was in this state. But I needed to be busy moving around tomorrow, and I was planning to return to Korea the day after.

    It seemed better to talk now rather than after returning to Korea.

    “Guild Master Shin Sooha registered me as an attendant, so I came with him on the private jet. So I didn’t need a visa either.”

    Taeju made a dry wash of his suddenly fierce face and let out a deep sigh that seemed to come from the depths of his abdomen.

    No. This isn’t something to sigh about that deeply, is it? If Taeju knew what I was going to do, that would be one thing. But he thinks I just came to spectate, so why is he reacting like this?

    “Hyung.”

    “Yeah.”

    “Go back.”

    “What?”

    Taeju grabbed my wrist and pulled me up.

    “I’ll take care of your luggage when I go, so let’s go to the airport now.”

    “Hey!”

    If a person answers kindly, you should accept it kindly. What the hell is he doing now?

    “Hyung. Didn’t I say? I don’t like you hanging out with hunters. Why do you think I didn’t bring you here?! Why do you keep trying to get involved with hunters?!”

    “You crazy bastard, I’m a hunter too.”

    “That’s why I told you to stop being a hunter! I told you to just live an ordinary life! Ordinary!”

    That’s when it happened. Something snapped slightly in my head without me realizing it.

    In an instant, my intention to persuade him as gently as possible was completely erased.

    “Ordinary… what’s ordinary? Hey, where in the world is ordinary?”

    “What…?”

    “If I work at a company, is that a little closer to the ordinary you want? Do office workers seem ordinary to you? They’re also living fiercely in their own way. That’s a jungle too, it’s just that lives aren’t on the line. But what, ordinary?”

    “Hyung!”

    “What? You think if you yell, I’ll just say ‘okay’ and go along with what you say? Stop whining so much. You think I’m just staying quiet because I can’t yell? Huh?!”

    I yelled roughly and caught my breath. Taeju ran his hand through his hair roughly.

    “…Fine. It doesn’t have to be ordinary. Just don’t go to dungeons. Don’t hang out with hunters either. The exchange dispatch request from Michael? That happened because you’re close with Michael, right?”

    That happened because of a misunderstanding about the potion, not because Michael and I are close, but I can only sigh since I can’t say that.

    “Shin Sooha too. I don’t know how you met Shin Sooha, but you ended up going to the rift because you became friends with Shin Sooha. And you almost died because of that.”

    “That’s-“

    “I’m anxious. Hyung.”

    Taeju sat down heavily on the bed, covering his face with both hands.

    I shut my mouth at the sight of his clearly exhausted appearance.

    “I don’t know what you think of me, but I wanted to become family to you. I wanted us to live as affectionate brothers, like our parents hoped.”

    For someone who wants affectionate brothers, he was too aggressive on the first day of possession.

    “The day the hidden boss appeared. I really thought you went to die that day, hyung.”

    I know that too. That’s why I forgave him that day, pretending I couldn’t win.

    “I realized then. As long as you’re alive, I don’t care what you do. But hyung. Every time you keep going to dungeons and hanging out with hunters, I get so anxious. Salt’s existence too. What if a bad hunter catches on to Salt’s existence?”

    “Seo Taeju.”

    “I know. I know this is a stretch and that I’m being too negative, but you don’t know, hyung. You don’t know how Mom and Dad died. You didn’t even hear the story of how they passed away in front of me.”

    Taeju’s shoulders trembled slightly.

    I sighed and sat next to him, patting his shoulder.

    “Hyung, is it really no good? I won’t tell you to just stay at home. Just… can’t you not do hunter work?”

    If I were truly Seo Go-woonn at this moment, of course I would say yes. But I was Kim Hae-ah who had to return to my own world.

    And I hate being interfered with in what I do.

    “No. You’ll be anxious no matter what I do. Let’s say I crumple up and live safely like you want. Then what about the rifts? The monster waves? That could happen at the company I work at. Is that okay?”

    “Hyung! That’s-!”

    “Yeah. It’s a stretch. What you’re saying right now is exactly the same. To do what you want, I have to do nothing and stay cooped up at home. Is that what you want?”

    Taeju finally shut his mouth tight. It seemed I had guessed the answer he wanted.

    ‘Ha. So that’s what he wanted?’

    “I have nothing more to say to you.”

    I was peeved. Not wanting to talk anymore, I tried to return to Shin Sooha’s room, but Taeju grabbed my wrist again.

    “Let go.”

    “Go home first. I’ll go as soon as I’m done here, so go home and we’ll talk.”

    “I said let go.”

    “Hyung!”

    “F*ck. Hey, if you’re going to act like this, don’t call me hyung in the first place. You say hyung but you’re trying to cage me up and raise me, so what kind of hyung am I to you?”

    “…Just go back for now. I’ll book a flight right away.”

    Seo Taeju ignored my words and took out his cell phone from his pocket, tapping the screen.

    “Yeah. It’s me. Just book one ticket for the earliest flight to Korea. It’s not for me. I’ll text you the passenger info-. Hyung!”

    I immediately snatched his phone and threw it at the wall. Then I mustered all my strength to shake off the hand gripping my wrist.

    “Are you really messing with me right now? I said I’m not going, so why are you booking a flight? Can’t you hear what I’m saying?”

    “I hear you! That’s why I’m doing this!”

    At his yelling, my temper also flared up in an instant.

    “Don’t talk bullshit! If you hear me, you can’t act like this!”

    “No. You don’t understand me right now, hyung. And I don’t understand you either. So let’s go back to Korea and talk again.”

    Seo Taeju, who grabbed my wrist again that had barely been free, immediately dragged me.

    “Hey. What are you doing? Let go?”

    “We can report your passport lost at the airport and get an emergency reissue.”

    “You crazy bastard! You think I’ll get on a plane?! Let go!”

    Taeju flinched.

    Now you get it? Pull me 100 times, see if I get on a plane. Go ahead and waste a trip to the airport, maybe then you’ll come to your senses.

    I was looking at him triumphantly, but for some reason, Seo Taeju easily let go of my wrist this time.

    I took a step back in case he grabbed me again, but he took something out of his pocket.

    What Seo Taeju held in his hand was a familiar small vial of liquid.

    “Don’t tell me…”

    “You just need to sleep for a bit and wake up. It’s harmless to the human body.”

    “You crazy bastard, why are you carrying something like that around!”

    The sleeping powder boasted the same grade as the top-tier sleep potion I had fed Hanseong. Just spraying it on the face would make one fall asleep immediately and not wake up until the next day. It was written in the novel that Seo Taeju, who suffered from insomnia after Seo Go-un’s death, used it.

    However, thanks to my possession, Seo Go-woon lived and he didn’t do anything outrageous, so I thought he wouldn’t have a reason to obtain sleeping powder.

    ‘Could it be an item he originally had?’

    Since it’s a potion, you would have to eat it for it to take effect, so as long as I don’t open my mouth it should be fine. But I couldn’t avoid the sleeping powder either.

    “Seo Taeju. Don’t come any closer.”

    “Hyung. It’s okay. You’ll really just sleep. There are no side effects.”

    “F*ck, I know that better than you!”

    “Then it’s settled. Come here.”

    Come here my ass, you crazy bastard. This is driving me insane.

    ‘This crazy bastard. How the hell do I get out of this?’

    I quickly searched for an escape route, rolling my eyes.

    ‘F*ck, he’s freaking huge.’

    Despite his pretty appearance, there was no gap to escape from the grip of Taeju, who had his sturdy arms spread out.

    And my savior who appeared at this moment was none other than Salt.

    “Ppi ppi?”

    “Yeah.”

    As soon as I affirmed the question he asked shortly, Salt soared high and quickly descended. His target was the top of Taeju’s head.

    No matter how small Salt’s attack was, it would be enough to scatter Taeju’s encirclement.

    But was it too optimistic a hope? Before his beak could touch the top of his head, Taeju caught Salt first.

    “F*ck.”

    “Give up, hyung.”

    Seo Taeju sighed and looked at me. However.

    ‘You stupid bastard.’

    I only said f*ck to make him let his guard down as part of my plan.

    “Salt, turn on purification!”

    [‘Purifying Bird Salt’s purification has begun.]

    In an instant, Taeju’s body shook slightly.

    He was bound to falter from the sudden purification, as he said being purified by Salt makes you dazed and your body languid at first.

    I took this opportunity to throw my body between Taeju’s arms.

    “I said no.”

    “What, no way?”

    “Do you think I’m that stupid, hyung?”

    I came to my senses and saw that he had let go of Salt at some point.

    In the midst of this, I thought that his quick thinking really was impressive, as expected of the protagonist. Meanwhile, Seo Taeju, who sighed looking at me, approached me step by step.

    “I’m sorry, hyung. I’ll be sure to beg for your forgiveness when we get home later.”

    “Hey hey! Let go, I said let go!”

    Taeju, who restrained my body with one arm, finally opened the pocket.

    “Kim Salt!”

    Salt, who understood my intention, tried to snatch the pocket, but Taeju’s hand was faster.

    As a last resort, I held my breath.

    “Hyung. Breathe.”

    ‘You damn bastard, would you open your mouth if you were me?’

    I wanted to curse him out good, but I couldn’t. The moment I spoke, it was clear that the sleeping powder would coat my respiratory system.

    “Hyung. I don’t want to force this on you.”

    Does this crazy bastard really not realize that what he’s doing right now is already forceful?

    He didn’t seem to realize that the very act of trying to spray sleeping powder to forcibly send me to Korea was the epitome of insanity.

    “Hyung. Are you really not going to breathe?”

    ‘Shout all you want. As if I would ever open my mouth.’

    Everything will be resolved once today passes anyway.

    If I hold out here until the flights are done for the day, there’s nothing even the great Seo Taeju can do.

    It’s not like he can charter a plane like Shin Sooha.

    ‘And holding my breath is my specialty.’

    If I thrash about and take breaths here and there, I can hold out for quite a while without a problem.

    I glared at Taeju.

    “Then I have no choice. This is what you chose, hyung.”

    Taeju, with his arm wrapped around my shoulder, pressed his fingers on both sides of my jaw joint.

    Pain shot through me and my mouth opened involuntarily.

    “Ack! Et o! Ou ahole!(Let go! You asshole!)”

    No matter how much I struggled, I couldn’t avoid it because of his SS-grade strength.

    Damn it, I wanted to hide it as much as possible.

    “Hey! Ait, I eed oh ay ometing!(Wait, I need to say something!)”

    “Hyung. Save that for when we get home later.”

    “Oh! Monter ave, a monter ave i appening omorrow!(No! Monster wave, a monster wave is happening tomorrow!)”

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