Level Up - Chapter 17: Ryu Hye Yeon - 2
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Translator: Juzu probably
Hyun Seok and Ryu Ji Hye quickly came out of the black market.
The spy who was following them stepped back, as another one was waiting outside the market.
Though it was hard to get rid of him, this time, old Hwang had helped them.
After entering and moving around a few alleys, they reached a traditional tea house that was situated in the secluded part of Insa-dong. They went inside the tea house and found a decent spot before sitting down.
Ryu Ji Hye sat in front of him, and with a surprised look, she asked.
“Did they help us? Damn, that grandpa had some real power.”
“That’s what I paid for. And maybe in a few days, there won’t be anyone left to spy on us.”
Disturbing and manipulating information was one of the best skills that the old man had. Hwang’s specialities were to unleash various traps and use false information to distract the enemies.
He would spread some pieces of information and lure them towards Hyun Seok, only to begin his laundry work.
“Now, let’s stop talking about it and get back down to business, shall we?”
Hearing this, Ryu Ji Hye nervously gulped down with her dry throat.
It was her sister’s business, not some stranger, so she couldn’t help but feel that way.
“So… you’re familiar with dungeons, right?”
Ryu Ji Hye nodded.
Hyun Seok thought it would be better to familiarise with the disease first.
“It’s not a dungeon disease. Rather, it’s mana addiction. But still, I’d like to check it myself so I could diagnose it more accurately.”
“Ma-mana addiction?! Does something like that really exist?”
Ryu Ji Hye couldn’t understand. Mana Addiction. It was always known for a fact that the more the mana, the better, as the amount itself measures the player’s power.
However, mana addiction sounds like a disease caused by devouring too much mana. She wondered if it really made any sense.
“Get rid of the stereotype that mana is a good thing. The reason why it is good for us is because we are players.”
Just as Hyun Seok spoke, Ryu Ji Hye came back to her senses.
‘Then what the hell is mana? Was it just for decoration?!’
So far, most players accepted mana as a concept of their spiritual aura in their body or qi that are always mentioned in martial arts.
In fact, there was not much difference, albeit only for the players.
Just like in any games, the meaning of mana here was the same so the concept was easily understood.
However, while listening to Hyun Seok, her knowledge and her common sense were falling apart.
If mana is not what it seems, then can it be accepted by the general public and not the player?
Just thinking about it, Ryu Ji Hye got goosebumps all over her body.
She looked at Hyun Seok with anxious eyes.
‘If that’s the case… then, what have I been doing all along?’ In shock, her eyes shook.
While she’s still in a daze, Hyun Seok suddenly took her hand in his and squeezed it tightly.
Ryu Ji Hye got startled by Hyun Seok’s tight grip and she almost let out a short scream.
Furthermore, it was so painful that she nearly teared up. What’s the hell? Didn’t he grab her hand to comfort her?
‘I’m so… my logic and imagination are all mixing up.’
Feeling sick and perplexed, she just gawked at him.
Watching her expression, Hyun Seok just smiled and said.
“Get a hold of yourself, it’s not your fault.”
“I know. And I’ve not gone insane yet.”
Saying that, Ryu Ji Hye’s eyes found its light again. Her goosebumps and cold sweat were gone, and her body wasn’t shaking any longer.
When her heart and mind had finally calmed down, she glanced at Hyun Seok with an expression, as if saying, ‘Who exactly is this man?’
“Come on, let’s get serious. You now know that you can’t feed her the holy water, right?”
Ryu Ji Hye nodded.
“So, my sister is really addicted to mana.”
“That’s the most important part. Let’s go.”
Right after saying that, Hyun Seok had jumped up from his seat.
Seeing such action, the absentminded Ryu Ji Hye looked up at Hyun Seok.
“Where do you think?”
Her eyes widened.
“To my sister?”
She couldn’t believe what was happening. After all, she had never introduced her sibling to anyone.
Ryu Ji Hye cared about her younger sister more than she cared about herself. So, she never wanted her sister to stand out to the other players since most of them were extremely selfish and self-centred.
They were filled with desire.
She didn’t want to imagine what would happen if any of them saw her sister.
Hearing the sudden response, Hyun Seok nodded and sat down.
Ryu Ji Hye’s eyes were slightly shaken as she watched Hyun Seok who sat back down on his seat.
He was a really clueless man.
“Why are you not asking?”
Hyun Seok smiled at her question.
“Well, I have nothing to do with it. You see, I’m much colder and calculative than you think. Obviously, I’m not that curious either.”
Ryu Ji Hye got embarrassed by his words.
How could he say that?
They have been together for a quite long time. How would he feel if she was the one who talked like that?
Ryu Ji Hye felt something bubbling inside her, but she held it in for now.
Her order just arrived, so it helped her calm down.
A moment of silence had descended between the two. Hyun Seok really didn’t say anything as he quietly drank his tea, savouring its taste and the aroma, he took a few sips.
The tea house was nothing special, but the tea was pretty good.
Ryu Ji Hye who was restless for a while, felt that there was no option but to show her sister to Hyun Seok.
‘This time might be different.’
Thinking about it, made her realize that she was being sensitive for nothing.
“…that I didn’t dare to accept your kindness right away.”
Her words made Hyun Seok grin.
To hide her embarrassment, she drank her own tea. Though it was a little hot, it was bearable.
Then Hyun Seok jumped out of his seat and patted her chin.
Ryu Ji Hye looked at Hyun Seok with her eyes wide open.
“What are you waiting for? Let’s go.”
Ryu Ji Hye alternately glanced at Hyun Seok and his tea, pointing out that he wasn’t done yet.
Noticing her gaze, Hyun Seok swiftly picked the teacup up and gulped the remaining tea in a single go.
“Okay, so are we done now? Let’s go.”
Ryu Ji Hye stared blankly at Hyun Seok.
‘What kind of person is he?’
Unruly, out of control, but always so interesting.
Before she knew it, she was already smiling.
* * *
Ryu Ji Hye’s younger sister, Ryu Hye Yeon, was always at home.
She was better off at home than being hospitalized. After all, the hospital couldn’t do anything about her illness.
Ji Hye had tried everything she could, whether it was this or that, but nothing worked.
Well, except for the elixir.
Ryu Hye Yeon was lying in bed. She, with much difficulty, had tried to smile when her sister entered the room.
But then, she was surprised to see a man coming along with her older sister.
Such a thing had never occurred before, so the anxiety and anticipation were flooding in Rye Hye Yeon’s mind.
‘So is he gonna be my brother-in-law? What if he doesn’t like me when I’m sick like this?’
As soon as Hyun Seok had entered the room and saw Hye Yeon, he nodded and said, “I can now understand why you didn’t want to show her.”
Though Ryu Ji Hye was very beautiful, if compared to Ryu Hye Yeon, she would only look like a firefly beside a bright moon.
In addition, her weak, slightly pale face had only made her more attractive.
She was indeed a beautiful woman.
Ryu Ji Hye was now nervous.
She regretted her decision up until this point and was still regretting. So, when they entered the room together, she was observing Hyun Seok’s face.
‘I’m… How could you remain unfazed?’
It was the first time she saw a man who could stay calm and collected after meeting Ryu Hye Yeon.
‘Do you have a different taste?’
She knew that Ryu Hye Yeon’s beauty was enough to be admired and that anyone would be shaken by it. So, she could only conclude that Hyun Seok had a unique taste.
And considering the current situation, she was amazed by Hyun Seok’s composure. Though only for a moment, her worried self felt foolish. However, she also felt relieved.
“Let me see!”
Hyun Seok took a step closer to Ryu Hye Yeon.
But hearing his words, she pulled the blanket up and covered herself while looking at her surroundings with her slightly frightened eyes.
“Don’t tell me that I’ll have to stay out?”
Hyun Seok laughed at Ryu Ji Hye.
Even if her question was not worth answering back, he understood her intention.
Perhaps, most men would have done that.
“Come on, remove your blanket and show me your body. I’m not asking you to take it off though, so don’t get me wrong.”
Ryu Ji Hye was about to get angry when he asked her sister to show her body, but soon closed her mouth and blushed at Hyun Seok’s following words.
She felt strange. It was as if she’s a bad person.
Looking at him, it seemed that Hyun Seok really had no intention nor any desire towards Hye Yeon.
“It could be a side effect of mana addiction.”
Ryu Ji Hye and Ryu Hye Yeon both glanced at Hyun Seok with their eyes wide open.
“When men look at you, they can’t keep themselves contained, can they? And it’s not just because you’re pretty.”
Ryu Hye Yeon’s face turned red. But because he was talking about her situation, she didn’t back away and wanted to know for sure.
“First, pull down your blanket. This blanket must have been made of special materials.”
Hearing this, Ryu Ji Hye’s eyes widened so much that it felt like they would pop out. How the hell did he know?
“You’re right! Though it looks normal, it’s a blanket weaved from the threads of a rainbow spider’s web.”
Hyun Seok eyed Ryu Ji Hye.
Understanding what his look meant, she walked forward and pulled the blanket.
Items from dungeons contain mana. So naturally, it would affect the person with mana addiction.
‘Should I stay as far as possible?’
Ryu Ji Hye looked at her sister with complex eyes.
If the players themselves were harmful to Ryu Hye Yeon, then they should reduce contact as much as possible.
“Is this enough?”
Hyun Seok nodded at her question.
After observing the quilt, he was able to grasp the flow of mana much more accurately. In fact, there would have been no problem even if she covered herself up with the blanket.
However, he didn’t want to miss any small detail. He wanted to check her thoroughly as her life is on the line.
Hyun Seok was well-informed about mana addiction. Even before Ryu Ji Hye could explain, he was already sure that Ryu Hye Yeon’s condition was due to being exposed to high amounts of mana for a long time.
And he was certain that he could cure it even without meeting the sister in person.
If the symptoms weren’t serious, a simple medicine would have been enough to treat it.
Nevertheless, he came here because he wanted to check one thing.
And this was the time to check it. Hyun Seok quietly glanced down at Ryu Hye Yeon, who was lying on the bed in light clothes after her blanket disappeared.
Then, he concentrated a little mana on his eyes.
‘I can see it!’
Her name was floating above her head.
[Ryu Hye Yeon]
Translator and Editor Notes:
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