Max Talent Player
[Translator – Lei ]
[Proofreader – Ash ]
In all actuality, Song Kiyeol was unable to render a good performance at the auction. Xu Xin’s active interference made it so he only managed to score 3 items with a total of $4.5 million spent.
–You will earn at least $7 million even with what you’ve already purchased.
That was what Kim Hyukjin had told him. But what Hyukjin meant by $7 million was a little different from what Song Kiyeol thought.
‘Not $7 million total…’
But $7 million each. And the buyer had come just yesterday. A person who introduced himself as an American investor showed up out of nowhere and asked to buy each item for $7 million, almost like it was scripted. It just happened, and Kiyeol was left feeling somewhat bamboozled.
‘To think they were worth $7 million each.’
It seemed he had underestimated Kim Hyukjin’s audacity. He was definitely not from a chaebol family, yet his thoughts were on a scale that utterly shocked a chaebol scion.
In any case, Kiyeol bought the items for $4.5 million and sold them for $21 million, raking in a $16.5 million profit in just 20 hours for a tidy earnings rate of $825k per hour.
Even his baby brother Song Jinchul had no choice but to acknowledge Kiyeol’s overwhelming win. Jinchul lost the bet, but he was happy that Kim Hyukjin was now powerless. Despite allegedly coming to “apologize”, he was clearly in high spirits.
Hyukjin raised a finger.
“Take one hit.”
The older brother Song Kiyeol squeezed his eyes shut.
What was to come had come. Hyukjin’s index finger flicked Jinchul’s forehead. He didn’t even put much force in it, but Jinchul fell over with a shriek of pain and flailed on the ground.
“Ow ow owwww!”
Without even glancing at his little brother, Kiyeol scolded, “Don’t be so dramatic.” Then, he said to Kim Hyukjin, “You can hit him a little more.”
“Well, my pet will do that for me.”
The squirrel on Hyukjin’s shoulder scrambled down and kicked the kid on the ground. It didn’t look all that painful.
Hyukjin still saw it.
[A factor in a major variable.]
It meant this kid had created some kind of ‘major variable’. He would probably find out what that was when his Eye of Perception or Observer’s Eye proficiency increased.
“I told you not to cross the line,” Hyukjin said.
“Want another hit? Didn’t you come here to apologize?”
When he raised his index finger again, Song Jinchul scrambled to get on his knees.
“I-I was wrong!”
He looked well and truly frightened. Upon realizing his own disgraceful state, Jinchul’s face reddened.
‘Just what the hell is going on?’ He panicked. ‘I thought he lost all his strength as a Player!’
And yet, Kim Hyukjin overpowered him with a single finger. And what was with that overwhelming aura? He hadn’t felt so small even when he was crushed by fear due to Mettle before.
‘I’ve definitely grown a lot since then!’
But it didn’t matter.
Song Jinchul lacked Pietro’s insight and simply sat there in confusion. Song Kiyeol hauled him to his feet.
“Come in for now. It’s cold outside.”
At Hyukjin’s invitation, the two brothers entered the home. Hyukjin took a seat on the living room sofa. The center of Jinchul’s forehead was swelling to the size of a small ping pong ball.
“What, wasn’t able to defeat your hyung with your Discernment ability?”
Jinchul’s body quivered.
“Did Hyung tell you?”
“Tell me what?”
“That I have Discernment.”
“You never told me that,” interjected Kiyeol.
Jinchul’s face reddened. “Then how does he know?”
“I don’t know that either.”
“Some guy took a peek at your little brother’s ability and you’re not mad?”
As expected of an 8th grader, he wasn’t able to conceal his emotions.
Summary: Self-Proclaimed Chosen One who has Taken a Huge Blow to his Pride
His pride was as bruised as a fallen peach. Still, a promise was a promise.
Song Kiyeol urged, “Not going to apologize?”
“Save the buts. If you’re not going to apologize, I can’t take responsibility for what’ll happen next.”
A little time passed. Jinchul brought his head down low.
“What did you say?”
The first part of “I apologize” was mumbled too quickly. Kiyeol coaxed him. “Say it properly.”
Hyukjin shrugged. In the end, this willful brat lowered his head and said sorry.
“I don’t usually accept empty apologies.”
“But I’ll let it go for today.”
Jinchul was a ‘factor in a major variable’. Until Hyukjin knew what that was, it was probably best to leave him as he was.
“So? Did you come here just to apologize?” asked Hyukjin.
“Ah, not just that…”
Song Kiyeol took out an item from his Inventory. Hyukjin recognized it.
The Ink Bow.
It couldn’t quite be called an incredible artifact, but it was a black bow widely used through the intermediate period. Though it was a little on the heavy side, archers who had invested in their Strength could easily use it. Its damage and consecutive firing speed were fairly high.
In the past, the Master Pedro once said this about the Ink Bow:
–The Ink Bow appears to have a hidden secret. I am working to uncover that secret, but I haven’t been successful yet.
In the end, he was unable to figure it out.
‘In any case, it’s a rare item in the current period.’
Hyukjin took it.
The bow responded to his touch. From observing it with Observer’s Eye, it seemed the bow was reacting to some kind of strength Hyukjin possessed.
‘This feeling is…’ With some concentration, he figured it out. ‘I think it’s responding to my fire ki.’
He didn’t know exactly. How the Ink Bow was related to fire ki would take a little more investigation.
“It’s a good item.”
“Yes. I procured it with difficulty from the US.”
“Thank you. It’s a good gift.”
Just then, Hyukjin’s mother came back from visiting a friend. Lee Soohyun walked into the room.
“Goodness, who do we have here? Are you friends of Hyukjin?”
Soohyun didn’t recognize the very famous Taeguk Shield guildmaster despite his many appearances on TV.
Song Kiyeol looked towards Kim Hyukjin, seemingly asking, ‘Can I pretend to be your friend?’ with his eyes. Hyukjin gave a brisk nod.
“Oh dear, just look at how harebrained I am. I’ll at least cut you some fruit. Sit, sit. Hyukjin, you should’ve offered your guests something!”
Laughing merrily, Soohyun ran off to the kitchen. Her son who didn’t have many friends had finally brought one home, an event that made her feel very happy.
“The more friends you have, the better. Here, here. Eat up.”
She handed Song Kiyeol a fork with a slice of apple on it. He took it politely with an awkward smile.
“Ah. Thank you for the food, ma’am.”
“I never thought our Hyukjin would bring friends home one day. What a rare occurrence. But how come I feel like I’ve seen you somewhere?”
Song Kiyeol was pretty good at acting. He didn’t quite understand why he had to act, but he did so anyway, fearing that breaking the news that he was a business partner and not a friend would disappoint Hyukjin’s mom, which would in turn earn Hyukjin’s ire.
“It must be because I have a somewhat common face.” He even threw in some flattery. “I see that Hyukjin is handsome because he takes after you.”
Soohyun laughed with an, “Oh please, our son isn’t that handsome!” But she didn’t seem that displeased. On the contrary, she was very excited. A smile floated to Hyukjin’s lips as he watched his happy mother. If he were to point out the best thing since returning to the past, it would be that he had his family with him, people who would rejoice with him and be sad with him over the smallest things.
“How did you get to know Hyukjin? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you.”
Song Kiyeol was quick on his feet. “We met over mutual friends and ended up becoming friends, haha! Hahaha!”
“Goodness, so that’s how it is. Please get along with Hyukjin. He looks normal, but he doesn’t have many friends and doesn’t have a girlfriend. It’s quite troubling.”
“I will do my best to cherish our friendship, ma’am.”
Song Kiyeol forked a slice of apple and offered it to Lee Soohyun in a show of deep courtesy.
“Please have a piece as well, ma’am. Next time, I will come bearing a gift.”
The guildmaster of Korea’s number 1 guild became extremely humble before Lee Soohyun. He almost looked like a new hire wagging his tail at his boss at an after-work party.
Hyukjin ate an apple slice.
‘This is a good feeling.’
Song Kiyeol had earned a few points in Hyukjin’s book today. And looking at Hyukjin’s easy smile, Song Kiyeol was sure of one thing.
‘This… is more effective than the Ink Bow.’
It seemed he would have to treat Mama Hyukjin well. The third gen chaebol Song Kiyeol realized exactly who he needed to flatter.
* * *
Translator - Lei
Proofreader - Ash
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* * *
On the ride back home, Jinchul bit his lips.
“Why were you buttering up that auntie so much, Hyung?”
“Watch what you say.”
“You’re a chosen one, Hyung. So why are you acting like a eunuch to that commoner auntie?”
Jinchul’s pride was once again painfully stubbed today.
“Song Jinchul. This is my last warning.”
Kiyeol would have liked his baby brother to at least realize why Michelle went so far as to lie to side with Guildmaster Kim Hyukjin. But unfortunately, his baby brother couldn’t understand his feelings at all. Put simply, he was too dumb.
“Think hard on why Michelle acted the way she did and why I’m acting the way I am.”
“Did you hear me?”
“...I heard you,” Jinchul said in a small voice. His big brother usually didn’t get mad. Jinchul knew that very well. His brother was currently on the verge of getting very angry, so he shut his mouth.
Ever since this Kim Hyukjin bastard showed up, nothing seemed to go right. Grandpa also seemed to be fixated on Kim Hyukjin. There had to be some kind of reason why even his grandfather was paying so much attention to Kim Hyukjin, but the 8th grader Song Jinchul was unable to deduce that much.
‘He even saw that I have Discernment.’
Kim Hyukjin did indeed have ‘special eyes’.
‘Which makes this bet a scam.’
That bastard went into the bet with eyes like that. Jinchul wanted to complain to his brother, but he was unable to. He did apologize to Kim Hyukjin, but it wasn’t sincere.
‘One day, I’ll crush him no matter what.’
He resolved to do so in his heart, unaware that Kim Hyukjin had read him like an open book.
“He’ll definitely act up one day. Don’t you think, Kim Darong?”
Hyukjin was now in the habit of calling Darongi ‘Kim Darong’ as well. Darongi was putting out [♪♪] notes as he nibbled an acorn on top of Hyukjin’s shoulder.
“I bet his pride got real beat up today, and that he’ll get punished by his brother. And that brother of his will wag his tail at Mom again. How angry do you think that’ll make him? It’ll drive him nuts, right?”
“A spoiled brat should grow up like a spoiled brat.”
He wanted to know what that factor in a major variable was. The strange sensation of the world distorting all around the unaffected Song Jinchul was still vivid in his mind.
“He’ll be itching to crush me.”
An elementary school kid brandishing a plastic knife wasn’t at all threatening. That was exactly how Hyukjin saw Song Jinchul—a weak opponent he could play with, but had no reason to seriously fight. So he decided to keep watching, watching to see just how that ‘factor in a major variable’ would grow.
Some time passed.
“Oppa, I’m here.” Having just returned from a short trip out of the house with Ahyoung, Sunhwa chirped, “Let’s go!”
Hyukjin got up. There was some preparation to do before he went into the Dewinged Angel Statue Gate.
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