I drained a lot of blood into a glass and dropped the ring into it.
While kneading the tips of my numb fingers, I lifted the spirit stone I received from Belluna.
[High Purity Spirit Crystal (Material/Unique)]
[A spirit with great power created its own power and made it crystallize like a jewel.
If you carry it, you may be able to buy favors from friendly spirits.
For some reason, it seems like an unknown breeze is blowing.
― If you carry it with you, your affinity with wind elemental spirits will increase.]
How should I handle this
As I thought about this, I noticed that Mandragora, who was in the tank, was staring at me.
“Not a chance, dude.”
Saying that, I put down the spirit stone and turned the empty glass upside down to cover it.
Mandragora was no longer just staring, he was pushing his face through the glass wall of the tank.
‘… Should I wash up first'
As I had a hard time today, my whole body seemed to be throbbing.
Should I just take a light shower and come out
It had been less than five minutes since I had entered the bathroom with that thought.
At the sudden noise I heard, I reflexively ran outside.
In that brief moment, Henir's Shadow, branch of the World Tree, and Nidhogg's fang were all pulled out.
And the first sight I saw before my eyes was none other than Mandragora holding the Spirit Stone.
Perhaps he had noticed me, but he seemed to have frozen in place while holding the Spirit Stone.
How can a guy who is nothing more than a root of a plant walk around like a human
And it didn't matter how he got out of the tank.
All that mattered now was that he was stealing the Spirit Stone.
"You… ! Hey, you!”
Hearing my shouts, the guy started running backward as if he was falling towards the tank.
In the midst of all this, he was still holding on to the spirit stone.
The floor was full of shards of the glass that he must have pushed and shattered.
I immediately tried to extend the branch of the World Tree, but stopped and instead moved Henir's Shadow.
In my mind, I was vividly reminded how it had once sucked up all the goblin's body fluids and had absorbed all the power of the executive of the Thorns Cross Society.
“… ! … !”
Caught in Henir's Shadow, the guy struggled as he floated in the air.
I came out in a hurry, so I couldn't even dry myself properly, let alone get dressed, so I quickly covered myself with a towel and looked at the guy.
“Why didn't you always move around like that”
At my words, Mandragora turned his head.
I snorted at his appearance, as if he were exercising his right to remain silent.
"Oh, that's how you're going to come out Then can I take back all the Spirit Stones I gave you before”
At that, the guy was startled and shook his head violently.
I moved Henir's Shadow and put him on the table.
Then I reached out my palm to him.
“Give it to me.”
At those words, Mandragora hugged the Spirit Stone even tighter.
As I silently waved my palm once, for some reason, the guy looked at Spirit stone and me alternately, if he was agonizing.
Then, as if he had finally made up his mind, he put the Spirit Stone down.
And as I was about to pick it up, he held out his roots like a hand and made me stop.
I looked up to see what he was doing, and to my surprise, Mandragora tore off a red fruit-like thing hanging from the tip of a stem from the top of his head.
Then he handed it to me.
He seemed to be asking me to take it and give him the spirit stone, and I couldn't help but take the red fruit he handed me.
I immediately used the emotion window.
[Fruit of Mandragora (Consumable / Legendary)]
[It is a fruit that grows on the stem of the legendary medicinal herb Mandragora.
It can never be obtained by normal means, and legend has it that the fruits that fall from Mandragora immediately spew poison and wither away.
Even in Mandragora, which is literally passed down only in words, it can be said that it is a fruit that can only be passed down in words.
In an ancient book that had been lost a long ago, it was recorded that it bears fruit only once every 100 years.
― When consumed, it increases one's lifespan.
― When consumed, resistance to all diseases permanently increases.
― When consumed, the five senses become more sensitive.]
At the truly absurd explanation, I looked at him once, and then at the fruit he gave me.
And the conclusion could be reached immediately.
Without a word, I held out my index finger to him.
The guy, who realized what I meant, immediately reached out to his roots and grabbed my index finger.
We were courteous to each other and politely shook our fingers and roots together.
And after the negotiations were complete, we went back to our respective positions without saying a word.
I went back to get a broom to clean up the broken glass, and he took the new spirit stone and went into the tank and laid his body down.
Maybe that will be his bed.
Thinking that, I wrapped a towel around my waist and started sweeping the floor.
* * *
As you might have guessed by now, Han Soo-Young had a very wary personality.
Choi Hyun-Woo commented that she has become a little rounder these days, but that meant that she could return to her old personality at any time.
But there was one person that even Han Soo-Young could not resist.
No, to say she couldn't resist was a misnomer.
The person who had taken her and Choi Hyun-Woo in and raised them like his own children.
The person who had taught Choi Hyun-Woo swordsmanship and her magic.
The person who had been caring for her with love ever since she couldn't remember.
The person was her master, parent, and family member.
And Han Soo-Young, who met the person for the first time in a long time, looked helpless with joy.
“It’s been a while, Soo-Young.”
The person was an old woman of small stature.
She held Han Soo-Young's hand, who had rushed to her, and smiled as if she was proud.
“You’ve become more prettier while I haven’t seen you.
You've become more dignified there.”
Han Soo-Young blushed in embarrassment.
“But how did you come all the way here without informing me...… If you had told me beforehand, I would have come to pick you up.”
“I wanted to surprise you, Soo-Young.”
As the old woman burst into laughter, Han Soo-young looked at her with an affectionate gaze.
“But I can’t see Hyun-Woo.”
She looked around and immediately looked disappointed.
“How long has it been since you left, and you're already neglecting this old woman… .”
"Ah… ! It, it's not like that.
Now, Hyun-Woo has been designated by his classmate, so he is in a separate preparation room to prepare for the confrontation…… .”
Han Soo-young, who had been making excuses in a hurry, saw her smiling at her, and only then did she realize that she had been teased.
“Shall we take a look at the place where our Soo-Young and Hyun-Woo are studying Will you walk around with this old woman"
Han Soo-Young took her hand carefully.
The rough and wrinkled touch made her smile even more.
“This is the dormitory.
The one on the right is for boys and the one on the left is for girls.
And that's the lounge.
It is one of the places that people visit a lot, probably because it's close to the dormitory."
“The building you can see in the distance is the library, and in front of it is the training room.
And that unique building is the one we go to when we go to take written classes.….”
"By the way, Soo-Young."
She looked at Han Soo-Young and said.
"Where is that kid named Yoo Ji-Hyuk"
“Eh, uh Yes"
When a completely unexpected name popped up, Han Soo-Young stuttered in embarrassment.
Seeing that, she covered her mouth with her hands and smiled as if she were happy.
“The kid named Yoo Ji-Hyuk.
I'm curious as to why, every time you and Hyun-Woo send a letter call to check on my health, he comes up again and again."
“Uh, that’s…… He's a little busy right now.”
At Han Soo-Young's answer, she nodded her head.
“Oh, I wanted to meet him.”
“Wh, why him You probably won't be able to meet him today because he's really busy.
“That's a shame.”
Then she looked carefully at something.
Han Soo-Young, noticing that her gaze was directed at her own ear, to be exact, the earrings that Yoo Ji-Hyuk had given her, turned her head slightly, but it was already late.
“Why, why are you…… .”
She patted Han Soo-Young on the back with a more relaxed expression.
“Come on, let’s go see Hyun-Woo.”
Feeling tired for some reason, Han Soo-Young led her to the place where the confrontation would take place.
The place was already crowded with people who had already come to watch the confrontation.
There was nothing more that the general public was enthusiastic about and enjoyed than a confrontation between heroes and hunters.
In fact, in this era, the confrontation of heroes was one of the most popular spectacles to the extent that some sporting events could not even compare to.
Thinking that such a trend was reminiscent of the Roman gladiator's Colosseum of the past, Han Soo-Young avoided the stadium where there was no space to step.
Originally, there would have been no place to stand and watch, let alone a place for her and her master to sit.
However, the students who were going to face off were assigned seats for the spectators who were related to them.
Thanks to this, Han Soo-Young was able to take her to her seat without difficulty.
“There are so many people here.
The city is different after all.”
"Yes, it is."
Han Soo-Young sat down and looked around.
In addition to the students of the academy and the general public who had come to watch, various people were sitting there, including reporters who looked like they came from broadcasting stations, people who looked like they belonged to the association or the government, and scouts from the guild.
Even at Orhe Academy, which has nearly 10,000 students, only less than 100 students could receive the S-rank.
And it had been a long time since the word of the match between two first-year students with an S-rank match had gotten around.
Moreover, one of the main characters of the confrontation was Ahn Do-hoon of Lee Won Group, one of the world's leading conglomerates.
Han Soo-Young let out a small sigh in the condition where rumors couldn't be avoided.
She believed in Choi Hyun-woo, but the master who taught her and him was here, and there was nothing absolute in a match.
‘If you ever lose…… .'
Han Soo-Young shook her head slightly at the unpleasant imagination.
All she could do now was believe in him and support him.
After a while, the announcement that the match was about to start came from the speaker.
Han Soo-Young swallowed her saliva slightly, and as the spotlight installed in the stadium turned on, and began to illuminate one side.
“The kid is the bloodline of that man…… .”
Her eyes shined when she saw Ahn Do-Hoon walking up to the stadium from one side with a dignified gait.
Ahn Do-Hoon's entire body was covered in armor, and he carried a huge lance that most people couldn't even imagine.
There was a great sword hanging from his back, and it was like seeing a medieval knight that would only appear in an old tale.
Just looking at it made one feel intimidated.
“This is going to put a lot of pressure on Hyun-Woo…...
She muttered in a small voice and when she saw Choi Hyun-Woo walking out from the opposite side of Ahn Do-Hoon, she raised her voice as if surprised.
Contrary to Ahn Do-Hoon, Choi Hyun-woo was wearing a simple armor that only covered his vitals.
The sword he was holding, was a supply sword that was provided to the students in bulk.
He had a sword hanging at his side, which didn't look too good for a backup weapon.
At the sight of the two people in such a contrast, sighs with various meanings erupted from the inside of the stadium.
And whether or not he knew that most of them felt sorry for him, Choi Hyun-Woo was just walking out with an imposing gait.
"Oh oh…… .”
And she, who was sitting next to Han Soo-Young, admired the sight of Choi Hyun-Woo like that.
The bird that leaves the nest flies high, after all.
Her monologue was too quiet for Han Soo-Young to hear.
Before she knew it, Choi Hyun-Woo and Ahn Do-Hoon, who came up to the stadium, were facing each other.
It was a very tense moment.
In the stands, people were already shouting the names of the person they were cheering for.
In the midst of this, a sharp whistle sounded as if covering even those loud shouts.
That was the signal for Ahn Do-Hoon and Choi Hyun-Woo.
And the two rushed towards each other without anyone knowing who was first.