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    My co-tl’s taking a break this week. Hence the delay for this novel’s update since I did the translations all by myself. Anyway, enjoy!

    There’s a famous meme that anyone who’s used the internet has probably seen at least once.

    [Don’t abandon your conscience.]

    [What I abandoned was trash, wasn’t it?] is that meme.

    The said meme (The said meme)

    Why bring up this random topic all of a sudden? Well…because the skill I’ve just gained is exactly that mess.

    “This is beyond making fun of a person…”

    Raymond couldn’t take his eyes off the skill he had just awakened.

    The dignity of the skill, shining brilliantly in silver. A beautiful skill from which he couldn’t tear his eyes away.

    [Common Skill: Conscience is Trash]

    Beau… beautiful my ass. Yes, let’s admit it.

    This is a trash skill. Not even the worst game would ever give such a ridiculous skill as a reward. The threat of being killed if you fail to create a king was less shocking than this.

    They said they would give the abilities from when I was a hunter as skills. So, shouldn’t I at least get something like information gathering or stealth?

    [Conscience is Trash: Sometimes, you can incite people with lies that seem more truthful than the truth itself. However, there may be failures.]

    ‘To think that the ability I gained to survive in a magical world where meteors could fall anytime is this lousy incitement ability.’

    The system shifted to the next screen, this time illuminated in a different light.

    [Your second skill is being awakened.]

    ‘…!’

    That’s right, this makes sense. Fortunately, it seemed God had not abandoned him yet in this shitty world. Raymond had a good feeling about this one. Yes, the skill given to him after barely surviving shouldn’t be something like ‘Conscience is Trash’.

    As the light, bright as a radiant youth on a summer day, consolidated, semi-transparent grayish-brown letters appeared above it.

    [I hate guys who are too observant: You can detect other people’s lies.]

    Now, Raymond had become a cute—subjectively—16-year-old who was well aware of others despite possessing a trashy conscience.

    ‘Yes, these are indeed the qualities of a true spy. Is there anything more? Surely it can’t be over with just this—.’

    [That is all.]

    [Ha ha.]

    “Ha ha.”

    Following suit, a hollow laughter erupted, and Raymond’s shoulders trembled.

    I won’t deny it. Back when he was a underworld informant, this Raymond was definitely a sharp, conscientious little bastard. But literalizing it as a skill, he had become a highly competent trashy spy.

    ‘I thought I had been living a decent life.’

    Sigh. A sigh naturally slipped out of Raymond’s mouth.

    “So what do you want me to do?”

    Calm down. The system won’t spill information just because you want it to. The part about dying if you can’t make a king is probably true.

    ‘Who should I make the king? If it’s not specified, does it mean I can choose?’

    The only ones here in this remote territory were an old duke and his young brother. Am I supposed to make the brother the king?

    ‘That would be treason.’

    Hmm.

    ‘Well, if it needs to be done, it will be.’

    Raymond was always a hired hand thinking from his employer’s perspective. It was only natural for him to think this way. Then, the window that had disappeared before Raymond’s eyes reappeared.


    [Checking Raymond Van Spurling’s attributes.]

    [Raymond Van Spurling(Kingmaker)

    Health: 450

    Mana: 500

    Common Skills: Conscience is Trash, I Hate Guys Who Are Too Observant]


    Kingmaker—It’s really there. So, I really have to make someone a king with my own hands.

    ‘So…… Is there no more explanation?’

    Raymond instinctively reached out and pressed the slightly embossed feeling button where “Kingmaker” was written. Then, a new popup window appeared.

    [Kingmaker Exclusive Skills]

      • – Selection
      • – Foresight
      • – ???
      • – ???

    ‘Exclusive skills?’

    It seems that common skills and exclusive skills are different. Although the slot for his hunter skills, which were practically dead, was closed, the slots for the Kingmaker’s exclusive skills were filled with question marks. It implied there was plenty of room for them to increase. So what does this [Selection] skill do? There was no further explanation even when he pressed it.

    Raymond immediately checked the next skill, [Foresight].

    • – King candidates gather in Foreston.

    Does [Foresight] provide advanced information about king candidates?

    King candidates mean potential kings, and for Raymond, who needs to make a king, Foreston would be the optimal place.

    ‘…But this essentially means that I have to attend Foreston without question.’

    He did not know much about the royal family. The knowledge built up in this body was mostly about magic, not about the royal family or related gossip.

    Perhaps he should devour everything he can, not magic, but history books, royal-related scandal magazines, and the like. After running his thought circuit efficiently, Raymond decided to face reality first.

    First of all, he needed to increase his physical strength and magical power. The presence of magic power visible in the status window meant that this body also has a circle. To operate the magic power properly in the newly created circle, he had to further cultivate his physical strength.

    It’s a body that’s even been a Hunter. He wasn’t a martial arts hunter, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t engage in close combat at all.

    ‘Let’s build physical strength and read more newspapers. There was a saying that good magic dwells in a good body.’

    Having decided so, Raymond immediately called Nicol. Nicol, who was standing right outside the door, opened the door slightly and poked her head in. He was wondering if the young master, who suddenly shouted, was a bit mad. With trembling eyes, he looked at Raymond who snapped his fingers at him.

    “Bring that letter again.”

    “Which letter?”

    “The Foreston admission, that one.”

    Nicol was surprised and widened his eyes. The freckles on the bridge of her nose were about to pop out in surprise.

    “Ehhh? Are you planning to go to the examination site?”

    “Yes. Otherwise, I’ll die.”

    Nicol circled around Raymond like a squirrel. He couldn’t believe the change in the young master he was serving. My God! Our young master?! Going outside?

    “Our young master must have really lost his mind.”

    “Nicol, say one more word and I’ll cut off your hand.”

    “Ah, I understand! Okay, the letter, the letter! I will bring it. Please wait a moment, merciful young master.”


    ***

    Raymond decided to do all he could before the entrance exam.

    ‘… I wonder if this is enough.’


    [Raymond Van Spurling(Kingmaker)

    Health: 500

    Mana: 700

    Characteristics: Conscience is Trash, I Hate Guys who are too Observant (Sealed traits are not shown.)]


    His health had increased considerably within two weeks by increasing the amount of meals from one to two. He pondered whether he should eat more, but eating beyond that was tiring. He’d rather sleep during that time.

    His mana could be increased by reading books and practicing control. Although the figure seemed enormous compared to the mere double-digit increase in his health, his younger sibling, who even with a smaller magic circle, could control several times more mana.

    ‘Why do the Three Goddesses (samshin halmeoni)[1]grant talents randomly?’

    A slight dissatisfaction arose, but in truth, he had no means to defy his fate.

    ‘I guess I should head to the library today.’

    For Raymond, the only things he could do at the mansion to prepare for the entrance exam were reading and practicing mana control. But he wanted to at least once try using his mana in real combat before the entrance exam.

    “Good morning, Young Master.”

    “Hmm.”

    “Young Master-! It seems you’re heading to the library again today-!”

    “Yeah.”

    Since he started going out often, the servants would occasionally talk to him. As his camaraderie with them grew, his perceptiveness trait would randomly come into effect. The most noticeable feature was his ability to occasionally detect their lies. The other day, he had overheard the inner thoughts of one of the kitchen maids.

    [‘Good morning, my foot. Why does the butler always assign me the laundry? Sigh. If I were a noble lady, I wouldn’t have to do such menial tasks.’]

    That’s what she had said. Apparently, for her, saying good morning was a lie. So he decided to help. He simply asked the butler to add another maid to the kitchen staff, and since the next day, the way the maid looked at him changed subtly.

    “Good morning, Young Master.”

     

    “Hmm.”

    Now, her morning greeting didn’t seem to be a lie anymore.

    One day, as usual, he was on his way to the library, and a familiar little face that he often saw from the window across the hallway kept trailing behind him. It was an apprentice knight with a swollen cheek on one side.

    The boy was an orphan from the estate’s orphanage, brought in to help with the royal orphan relief project, and was placed in the Duke’s knight corps to be raised as a soldier. It seemed that the training method of the knight corps was quite brutal.

    “Good afternoon.”

    Unable to bear it any longer, Raymond initiated the conversation, and the boy’s shoulders jerked in surprise. He bowed deeply. His shoulders shivered like bare branches in winter, and his clasped hands radiated anxiety. Raymond’s gaze subtly fell.

    “…Ah, yes! Go, good afternoon…!”

    “You’ve been lurking around here. Do you have something to say?”

    “No, no! I don’t! I apologize!”

    He seemed to be having difficulty speaking due to his missing teeth.

    [Your perceptiveness trait is activated.]

    [You see through the lie of the unknown boy knight.]

    [I really want to tell someone. The life in the knight corps is too hard. If it continues like this, I’m going to die, die.]

    …Die? Hmm, Raymond, who was thinking, stroked his chin and leaned his elbows against the window sill, closing the distance with the boy.

    “Hey.”

    The boy, holding a wooden brown dagger, froze. Raymond asked him with a stern face, “I want to take a look at our knight corps’ training. Which way should I go?”

    Indeed. Before taking the exam, it would be good to test his mana skills.

    1. Traditionally in Korean mythology, these three goddesses are said to govern childbirth and the fate of individuals. They are considered the guardian deities of all people, overseeing their birth, life, and death. It’s common to see these goddesses portrayed as elderly women, hence the term “grandmothers.”[]
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