21st Century Archmage - Chapter 13
Chapter 13: Kyre, the Mage
“Giddy-up, you guys! Hiya! Hiya!”
Neeeeiggh! Clop, clop, clop, clop!
Having stayed the night at the castle and woken up at the crack of dawn, Hans was excitedly driving the newest carriage model drawn by two horses. Since there was no real need to linger at the castle, we packed a few daily necessities and left early in the morning.
I was propping myself up with an arm atop a thick blanket on the floor of the carriage, feeling the bumpy rotation of the wheels.
‘I guess it’s about time we left,’ I mused. If possible, I would have liked to leave the village only after reaching the 5th Circle, but an enlightenment wasn’t something that could be solved like a math problem. Besides, I couldn’t stay in Luna Village forever. My mind was like the endless blue sky I could see from my position laying down—I yearned to explore.
‘I need more info. General knowledge about this world.’
Even the chief, who was apparently the smartest one in the village, was just a neighborhood pitcher, not a Major League player. At most, he knew about a few gods, kingdoms and a few other scraps of knowledge that even I already knew.
‘I asked Jamir to get some potions, so those are taken care of. With all those goods I ordered, as long as they’re used well, the village can last several years, no problem. After that… they’re on their own.’
My relationship with Luna Village had started because they happened to save my life. I had already done my utmost for them. I couldn’t continue to live for them forever.
Suddenly, the rattling carriage stopped, and Hans called me with a fearful voice.
“Yaawn! What’s up? We shouldn’t be far from the village…”
I yawned wide as I stretched and raised my head. The sight outside made my body pause mid-stretch.
‘Who are those hyung-nims?’
[T/N: Hyung-nim is a term of respect for an elder brother, much like aniki in Japanese.]
The only road heading to Luna Village cut through a few small forests and an uninhabited stretch of plains. Blocking the road were around twenty figures on horseback.
“Hans, do you know them?”
“Is this a time for jokes, Kyre? They must be bandits who were keeping an eye on us.” Putting shame to his size, Hans trembled as he named the mounted people bandits.
‘I was bored anyway, so this is perfect.’
They could be bandits who observed us making a fuss in the territory and followed us, like Hans said, or they could be connected to the no-good Daron Merchants, who were grinding their teeth at me. I thought they were most likely the latter.
‘That jerk, sending these thugs.’
There was no reason for me, a person who had even killed a demon beast, to fear these bandits who looked half-baked at first sight.
“Wh-what should we do, Kyre? Just give them everything and beg them to spare our lives. Then they’ll…”
At my quiet chant, Hans fell into the deep embrace of sleep.
‘Memorize life FTW. You’re all dead meat!’
I couldn’t just allow those who came looking for trouble where there was none to walk away scot-free.
Craaack. I cracked my hands as I rose from the carriage floor.
‘Twenty people. Perfect.’
We were about half a day of travel’s distance by carriage from the village. On this wide, empty plain, there wasn’t a single person who would help me.
Thu-thu-thump! My foes began to move.
I jumped from the carriage, landing with a light thud. Then, I stood there, tapping my feet in time with the enemy’s charge.
* * *
“Huhu, you must be the fearless kid from Luna Village.”
Just as I expected, these people definitely knew me.
‘Mercenaries? No, that’s not it…?’
These guys had a completely different feel from the free-spirited mercenaries who had come to our village. Except for the man in his early forties who was swaggering in the front, the men lined up behind him were showing controlled movements like trained soldiers.
“Who might you be?” I asked, cocking my head.
“Us? Kukuku, you’re asking a lot for a dead man.”
“Did the piggy merchant from Daron, Ryan, send you? From the looks of it, y’all aren’t mercenaries. Is it alright for you to persecute citizens like this without the lord’s permission?”
Surprised by my bullseye, the men looked at each other uneasily.
‘They’re soldiers, huh.’
As I thought, they were definitely soldiers sent under the scheming of Ryan and that administrator. By now, the story of my trade with the Rubis Merchants must have spread in the small city, and the administrator was surely afraid that his dirty laundry would be exposed because of the lord.
“You’re quite something for a youngster,” uttered the person who looked like the boss with a dangerously low voice. At the same time, the group of soldiers began to emanate bloodthirst. Bringing up the lord had definitely provoked them.
“Tsk tsk, those who live on taxes paid by the citizens should know some shame. Have you nothing better to do than to play bandit! Shit!”
“Shut your mouth!”
Upon hearing my brief verbal thrashing, the soldiers began to draw their swords while mounted.
‘Horseback soldiers without any armor on… Will the lord find out if I give them a bit of punishment?’
The cavalry had surely left their armor behind somewhere before coming here. Unlike regular soldiers, mounted cavalry were probably a pretty important part of the territory’s fighting force.
As soon as the order from the man at the front came down, one of the mounted soldiers came charging over, urging his horse into a gallop.
‘Don’t make me laugh.’
As if trying to kill me with one swing, he swung his sword with a big movement while atop his horse.
I put a slight amount of mana into the sword given to me by the chief and met the soldier’s descending sword.
Flop. The sword flew out of his hand from the unexpected parry, and the impact traveled into the soldier’s body at the same time, sending him rolling to the ground.
Bam! Unable to gather his bearings after falling down, the soldier took a low kick to the head from me and fainted.
The soldiers let out cries of surprise as they witnessed their colleague get eliminated by a single exchange.
“So there was something more to you. Huhu, it still doesn’t change the fact that you will be finished here today.”
“Who says? Mate, do you have the balls?”
I imitated a cocky thug’s mannerisms to provoke the guy who looked like the leader.
‘This guy is a knight.’
Not only was the angered man giving orders to the other soldiers, but traces of mana were also flowing from his body.
“Kill him!” came the order again.
Neeeeeighh! Ba-ba-dum ba-ba-dum!
Three of the soldiers that were lined up about 10 meters away galloped towards me.
‘Should I get a bit more serious now?’
I could take care of them no problem with my sword, too, but I hadn’t yet shown them the main course—my magic.
Flash! As the simple 2nd Circle attack spell incantation rang out, ten magic arrows were formed in the air. According to the Law of Mana, the number of arrows would increase in proportion to the circles possessed by the caster.
Even as they charged, the soldiers were shocked by the sudden appearance of magic arrows sparkling ivory-white in the air. I concentrated a little and guided the arrows towards their bodies.
After taking full-on blows from magic arrows the thickness of an arm, the soldiers dropped like flies from their horses. Since they didn’t even have any armor on, a few of their ribs were probably destroyed at the very least.
‘These guys, I wonder if they have medical insurance?’
I wasn’t the one getting injured, but I was seriously worried. As ever, I was the friendly Kang Hyuk.
“H-how come a mage is…?”
The sixteen soldiers remaining simultaneously shouted ‘mage’ as they stared at me with fearful gazes.
“Wh-which magic tower does the esteemed mage belong to?” asked the person who I thought was a knight with a trembling voice.
‘Magic tower? Is he talking about the magic tower Master Bumdalf lived in?’
“There’s nothing like that. Have you heard of this? I’m a mage from the GED.”
[TN: High school equivalency exam.]
There was no way he’d know what that meant. The knight repeated the unfamiliar acronym. Then, his face suddenly reddened with the realization that I was making fun of him.
“You damn bastard!”
As if to prove that he was a knight, he jumped from his horse, swinging his sword.
‘Slow.’ Compared to the demon beast I caught, the knight’s movements were unbearably slow.
I majored in magic, but these days, double-majoring was a popular trend. I thrusted my sword at the knight’s lower body as I cut off his charge.
He was only looking out for magic, but a sword flew his way instead. Caught off guard, the knight hastened to pull back his sword and defend.
For the first time since coming to this world, I was able to admire someone else’s Aura Blade.
‘Oi, what kind of Aura Blade is this?’
Contrary to my anticipation, the knight’s thin and fragile Aura Blade sputtered out and disappeared as soon as it clashed with mine. His body stiffened, and in that moment of vulnerability, an intense kick came flying his way.
Taking a mana-charged blow to his side, he struggled to breathe, his face turning blue, and his body going stiff in pain.
Pang. A light roundhouse kick easily finished him off.
‘Count your lucky stars that you met a 21st century Archmage-nim who knows the value of life.’
Frothing from the mouth after eating my powerful kick, the knight passed out.
The soldiers had gone pale, like puppies who had just lost their mother. I ordered them to dismount.
Fwooooooosh! What these headless chickens needed right now wasn’t medication, but a thrashing. I floated a Fire Ball the size of a person in front of me.
“P-please spare us, esteemed mage!”
It was impossible to tell who did it first. The remaining soldiers scrambled to throw down their weapons, dismount from their horses and prostrate themselves.
‘They’re acting like cornered chickens.’
The sight before me showed me what kind of image a mage held for a regular soldier. Not a single soldier acted out of line as they laid low, smashing their heads into the ground.
“Did the Administrator send you?” I asked lightly.
A person who looked like a senior among the soldiers raised his head slightly and carefully responded.
“Does the Viscount know that you guys are doing such bad things?”
The Lord was probably in the dark. From what I could tell, the viscount who was the lord of Fiore wasn’t that kind of person.
“All of you, strip. Lay down your weapons and take off the tops of your clothing! Now!”
The soldiers were dumbfounded by my sudden command.
“Move, move, move! Do you wanna be turned into Fire Ball roasted chickens?!”
In my second year of middle school, as a group, we experienced a Marine Corps boot camp first-hand. The mannerisms of the instructor who had driven us crazy back then were a big help now.
“We’re taking them off! We’re doing it!”
Perfectly subdued by me, the soldiers took off their dagger, various military items and their tops.
“Strip everything from the guys over there who are unconscious!”
The men moved in perfect tandem, as if they had become my faithful little soldiers.
‘How much money is that?’
These mounted soldiers suddenly delivered me a tasty bundle of income. Wearing a smile of satisfaction, I became emotional at the beautiful comradeship of these men stripping each other.
* * *
Translator – Lei
Proofreader – yukitokata
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* * *
“K-Kyre, where did these horses come from?”
“Did you finally wake up? You must have been very tired from the way you suddenly collapsed.”
I drove the rattling carriage, heading back to the village. The road was pretty clear, so even without Hans, the village was getting closer. After waking up from the Sleep spell, Hans was alarmed by the sight of the weapons in the back and the string of horses trailing behind us.
“Kyre, where did those bandits go? And these horses…?”
“Ah, those guys? Turned out they weren’t bandits, but honest and pious men of charity. After telling them the story of the poor Luna Village, they gave us their horses as well as their weapons and even the clothes on their back. I couldn’t believe there would be such people in this heartless world.”
“I-is that true?”
“Hans, have you ever seen me tell a lie? If they really were bandits, do you think we would be able to return to the village completely unharmed?”
“Th-that may be the case, but…”
“I see the village!”
While Hans was sleeping, I cast Lighten on the carriage and sped across the plains along with the horses. I didn’t want to grapple with monsters late in the night after the sun had set.
“Hans and Kyre have returned!”
Because most of the villagers had 20/20 hawk vision, the ones on lookout duty saw us from afar and loudly greeted us.
“Hans, I told you, right? Until the merchants come, don’t say a word.”
“A-alright, got it.”
The goods on the carriage alone were more than enough for the villagers to rejoice. When the Rubis Merchants arrived tomorrow, that joy would be multiplied manifold.
‘Shall we enjoy a proper meal today?’
More than anything, I was eagerly anticipating Cecil’s dinner. We had acquired all sorts of seasonings and kitchen supplies at the castle, after all.
“Daaad! Kyre hyung!”
The gate to the village opened and Deron, who had been itching for our return, came running over. Behind him, the hopeful villagers appeared one by one.
* * *
“Shall we hold a tuna party today?”
It was the second day after returning to the village. Twenty sturdy horses and the small gifts loaded in the carriage had sent the village into a festive mood. Because they had been living in such poverty, they were deeply moved even by small gifts.
Today was the day the merchants would arrive. They should have left the castle sometime yesterday, so Jamir would come with the goods this afternoon at the latest.
‘The chief will probably lose it, right?’
The chief was unable to hide his shock after hearing that we had only paid the taxes without being able to buy the potions, and then we’d bought the horses. If the rumor I heard was to be believed, the sound of sighing flowing endlessly like music could be heard from outside his house.
“Let’s earn big time and let Jamir get the holy water. He looked like a merchant who knew how to honor a favor, so even if I’m not there, he’ll look after the village.”
For that to happen, I needed to properly fish up a bunch of madir today.
“My mana is charged up. The rest is figuring out how I should deal with the sea monsters and safely transport the tuna…”
The fishing spot was around 1 km away from the beach. Even now, the tuna that were leaving for a long journey on their migration cycle were flopping out of the water, taunting me. These tuna, which only visited the waters in front of the village for three months out of the year, were apparently at their prime right now.
“There they come.”
While I was watching the sea, thinking hard about the school of tuna, I saw a group of people approaching from far away. The goods I had ordered were enough for the villagers to live like kings for a year. There were at least a hundred carriages because of all the grain. All those carriages were appearing in a line on the horizon.
“Kya, sure is worthwhile to work up a sweat. I’m not even envious of the platinum card Master gave me.”
I had only lived a few months in my master’s home continent, but the thought that I had done something huge for someone else with a little exertion made me proud. In Korea, I was just a kid who could study well, but here, I was a big shot in charge of a whole village.
Gong, gong, gong!
“S-someone is coming!”
“Everyone, come here!”
They must have spotted the carriages from the village lookout tower because a noisy bell began to ring and the villagers moved frantically. Only monsters would come looking for Luna Village. Unbeknownst to them, welcome guests were coming for their sakes.
* * *
“Wh-what’s all this…?”
“Wow! Pigs and cows!”
“Is that all wheat?!”
“This is good quality leather armor!”
As if a market was set up, all the villagers gathered outside. Dozens of tough-looking mercenaries and merchants were also there, but the villagers were completely occupied, feasting their eyes on the enormous pile of goods that they’d never seen before. They had probably never even seen such an enormous amount in their lives.
“Our—our village only has potatoes and barley to trade. We do have a few horses, but… they’re not ours…”
Unable to tear his eyes from the various good-quality goods in front of Jamir, the toothless chief was thinking fast. He was probably agonizing currently about what he should buy with a few bags of potatoes.
“So you’ve come, Jamir-nim!”
“Where were you, coming so late?”
Jamir, who was making a difficult face at the chief and the villagers’ hungry gazes, was delighted to see me. He might be a manager of a big merchant group, but it must have burdened him to acquire goods on a tab.
“I can trust the quality of the goods, right?”
“Young Kyre, your family’s motto was ‘Honesty,’ wasn’t it?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
Jamir asked about the Kang family motto with a joking glint in his eye. “Our merchant group’s business motto is to trade only with the honest. I believe in your conscience.”
‘Woah, my conscience?’
Even I couldn’t trust my own lawless conscience sometimes. Jamir, who boldly stated that he trusted my conscience, was truly not an easy opponent.
“Kyre, do you know these people?” asked the chief, looking at me with surprise as I spoke naturally with the merchant group’s leader.
“The goods will be granted every time I get a madir.”
Jamir shoved a wedge in the contract.
“Of course. But if you’re satisfied, you will give us an extra bonus, right?”
Jamir had trusted me and taken quite the risk. He was the first person to invest in me in the Kallian Continent.
“Those who do not betray our trust will always be top customers of our Rubis Merchant Group.”
There was no need to say much.
“Then shall we go check the goods?”
“Wh-what, did you already catch them?” stammered Jamir, startled by my words.
“Shouldn’t you know that a fish is all about freshness if you’re a merchant?”
“That’s true, but…”
“Let’s head to the back of the village. I’m in a good mood, so I’ll catch them real quick for you.”
“What are you talking about right now? What will be granted and what’s getting passed over?” The chief was wearing an expression that said he was going crazy with curiosity.
Behind him, only Hans was following the situation and nodding.
“Let us go.”
In any case, it was impossible to catch madir without using magic. Moreover, I would have to use the peak of the offensive 4th Circle spells today, so there was no way to keep the villagers in the dark.
“Wait, before that, there’s a respected person who wants to meet you.”
“Excuse me? A respected person who wants to meet me?”
There weren’t many people Jamir would refer to with such honorifics. And there wasn’t anyone among them who would come looking for me.
“Open the carriage door.”
Jamir’s assistant, Terrison, responded energetically and ran to one of the carriages.
‘Who is the person receiving such respect from the merchants?’
My curiosity was reaching its climax—it was comparable to the amount of curiosity the chief must be feeling.
“We have arrived. Please exit.”
Ker-chunk. Terrison opened the carriage door with a careful pose.
‘A… a woman?’
A clear, pleasant voice came from within the carriage. Then, a white leather shoe stepped onto the carriage’s foothold.
The sight of the woman descending from the foothold as sunlight shone down on her shocked me to the core.
It was her. Surprisingly enough, the person who had followed Jamir to Luna Village was Aramis, the apprentice priestess of the Goddess of Mercy, Neran.
“I thank the God of Fate, Romero, for allowing us to meet again.”
Everything was connected to the gods here on the Kallian Continent. Aramis approached me and greeted me with an elegant and dignified movement, like a noblewoman.
“It… it is an honor for me as well to see you again.”
‘Seriously, what is going on!’
Wanting to see me, Aramis had followed the merchants all this way. This woman, who looked holy enough to ride a unicorn in a parade of animal friends, was smiling widely at me.
‘My heart, why are you racing like this?’
Just looking at Aramis’ holy beauty made my heart grow warm. My heart was busy pumping away like a senseless idiot.
“OOOOHHHHHH! GODS ABOVE!”
“For—for a Priestess of Neran to come here…!”
“Sob! Oh Goddess of Mercy, Neran!”
Thump, thump. While I was lost in confusion, all the villagers, including the chief, drew crosses and fell to their knees.
‘F-for them to react like this…’
The sight of her had inspired so much emotion that the villagers were sobbing as they busily drew crosses.
“I apologize. And I love you all. For you, her faithful servants, Neran-nim is… crying tears of joy right now.”
Upon seeing the devotion of the simple villagers towards the Goddess of Mercy, jewel-like tears that sparkled like the sun fell from Aramis’ eyes. It wasn’t just the villagers, but also the merchants and mercenaries who were making positions of devotion.
‘So this is true faith.’
A servant who understood the heart of God and the lambs who longed for God. Seeing the huge contrast with the corrupt religions tainted by greed in the 21st century made me emotional.
“Why did you come with Aramis-nim?”
Until now, no priest had ever come here, but now, a passionate meeting was unfolding between the villagers who held God in their hearts and a priestess of Neran. Jamir was quietly watching with a satisfied expression. Turning to him, I surreptitiously asked him what was going on.
“Didn’t you tell me to get potions?”
“No, what do potions have to do with the priestess? In the end, she’s just an apprentice priestess,” I retorted, falling back on the common sense I knew.
“You didn’t know? That Aramis-nim here is the one who makes the potions of the Neran Temple?”
‘No wonder there’s such a halo around her.’
“Kyre, consider yourself very lucky. From what I can see, Aramis-nim is the person possessing the greatest holy power amongst the current holy figures. If someone like her came this far because she wanted to see you, then your path forward will be filled with the blessing of God,” Jamir said, looking at me enviously.
“Ahem, I’m quite a lucky person, it’s true.”
I didn’t feel like being modest. The goddess Aramis was caressing God’s lambs with a hand filled with blessings. A part of my chest grew warm at the thought that she had come to see me.
‘A mobile general hospital. Perfect.’
It wasn’t a bad thing to know a few holy ones and priests who could cure most diseases with holy power. Moreover, if they were female priests that were this beautiful, I would welcome them with both hands.
* * *
“You see the tuna—I mean madir, over there?”
“I do see them, but… how do you plan on catching them without a ship?”
The burly mercenaries lined the 2.5 meter long, 1 meter wide magic refrigerators neatly on the beach. Then the villagers, merchants, Aramis and mercenaries followed my finger and looked at the tuna that were flopping out of the water as they swam through the ocean.
“It doesn’t matter how I catch them, right?”
“Right. But how will you do that…”
‘Huhu, you’ll find out when you see.’
I didn’t really want to boast about my skills, but it couldn’t be helped anymore.
“Kyre, why did you agree to such a difficult thing…?”
Having heard the gist of the previous conversations, the chief was looking at me with a regretful gaze. No matter how hard he thought of it, it would be impossible for this white-haired chief—no, everyone here, to see the solution I had in mind.
‘Aramis, don’t smile at me like that.’
Only one person was different. As if knowing something, Aramis was wearing a mysterious smile and gazing at me with glittering eyes.
“Do not disappoint me.”
Unable to figure out the answer no matter how much he racked his brains, Jamir’s expression hardened.
‘Was he always getting deceived?’
But, well, even I had to admit that I wouldn’t believe a person like me.
“Kyre, q-quickly apologize. If you do something wrong—Oh, oh, oh!” Hans stopped mid-approach.
Gathering mana with a breath, the mana arose from my body. With the incantation I had memorized, my body lifted lightly into the air.
“Kyre is a mage?!”
“H-how can this be!”
As I flew on the wind towards the ocean, the scene on the ground erupted into chaos. Anyone who wasn’t surprised by the truth that the ordinary person who had lived amongst them was a mage would be a druggie addicted to tranquilizers.
‘Kuku, look forward to it, everyone! I’ll show you a real lightning show today!’
It was for this exhilaration that one lived as a mage. I had absolutely no desire to learn magic and eke out an ordinary, boring life. Life was about living well if you had the fortune, and vice versa. I was a true man of culture who knew how to enjoy life.
* * *
‘To think he was a mage…?’
From the moment they first met, he knew with his merchant’s intuition that Kyre was no ordinary man. From his unordinary appearance that couldn’t possibly come from a small territory’s backcountry village, to his unbridled, natural actions that resembled a noble family’s heir and eyes that sparkled with intelligence—there was more to the young man than it seemed.
On top of that, he even had the ability to understand and utilize human psychology at a level that outshone merchants. The black-haired young man named Kyre was more than enough to awe Jamir, someone who would one day become the next head of the Rubis Merchants.
But that person, that young man, was a mage.
‘Using Fly magic that naturally is only possible if one is a master at the 4th Circle. You’re telling me he has conquered the 4th Circle at his age?’
Before becoming a merchant, Jamir had dreamt of becoming a mage. His fate with magic ended as a mere 2nd Circle assistant mage in the end, but Jamir was well aware. That ascending to the 4th Circle before even reaching twenty years of age was a feat that would shake the annals of magic history.
‘What in the world is your identity, Kyre?’
Delighting in everyone’s astonished gazes, Kyre had already reached the part of the ocean where madir were flopping and swimming. His hands were drawing a formula in the air.
The simple villagers, who were feasting their eyes on the sight of 4th Circle magic for the first time in their lives, cheered with their mouths open in astonishment.
It took a lot to surprise him, but even Jamir could not help but open his mouth and praise Kyre.
The boy was casting the strongest 4th Circle attack magic while simultaneously using Fly.
With that level of perfect mana control, it was enough to believe that Kyre wasn’t a mage of the 4th Circle, but a master of the 5th Circle.
* * *
Struck by the powerful lightning shock, a mound of tuna flopped belly-up and floated to the surface of the water.
‘One, two… Huhu, fifteen of them in one go… This is awesome.’
As expected of the specialty of the AOE 4th Circle Lightning Wave, the tuna were shocked to high heaven. It wasn’t just the tuna, either. From regular fish the size of people to thousands of miscellaneous fishes, the surface of the water was littered with them.
‘Now the problem is dragging them back…’
I wouldn’t break my back like last time, when I struggled so much to catch a tuna for the first time. If you didn’t learn and grow, you couldn’t call yourself a human, lord of all creatures. You’d be no better than a monkey.
‘I have around half of my mana left. As expected from the strongest of the 4th Circle offensive spells.’
Controlling my mana while maintaining Fly wasn’t as easy as I thought. Any other 4th Circle mage would have had their hands full just controlling the mana for Fly.
‘The next spell is Wind Fan.’
Next up was the 2nd Circle spell, Wind Fan. It was a low circle spell, but dragging the tuna 1 km to the beach was no easy matter. Luckily, the ocean was at high tide, so this spell was worth a try.
In order to catch the tuna, I had racked my brain to combine these spells. Because I had memorized it beforehand, the spell was cast with just an incantation.
Woooooooosh! Before the tuna could float away, a gust of wind gathered them to one side. Then, the tuna and the school of unconscious fishes were pushed according to my will towards the beach.
‘Perfect! I really am a genius! Kukuku!’
Who would think to catch a huge tuna without a single boat? Having become the captain of a one-man fishing vessel, I was once again overjoyed by the endless versatility of magic.
‘Today, I’ll give everyone here a memory they’ll never forget! Festival! We’re gonna have a festival!’
Just like how a person couldn’t just live on rice alone, events like festivals were absolute necessities to break up the boredom of daily life. That was even more applicable for these villagers, who had never had a proper taste of life’s joys ever since they were born. I wanted to grant them a memory they would never forget even on their deathbed.
‘Eh? But what’s this energy?’
While I was anticipating a festival and happily dragging along the tuna, I suddenly felt an uncomfortable energy.
“Ah! Th-those are—!”
Even as I pushed the school of tuna and fish nicely along, decently-sized fish kept disappearing into the ocean, leaving clouds of blood floating to the surface. Underneath swam black silhouettes. They were definitely those sea monsters I had only heard about.
‘Dammit! Da fuq is this?’
Using 21st century words frequently uttered by kids when they encountered an unexpected situation, I felt my mood tanking. I had caught these fish with difficulty, but these sea monsters were stealing my catch without breaking a sweat. Because of these guys, I felt like I could finally understand how the villagers must feel as they looked straight at the fish swimming in the ocean without being able to do a thing.
‘Aarrgh! How frustrating!’
After regular fish disappeared one by one, even one of the decently-sized tuna sank down into the depths. But there was no way to attack the culprits. Consecutive use of magic had dropped my mana to just a third left. If I tried casting magic to get rid of the monsters, I would most certainly end up dropping from the air like a puppet with its strings cut.
‘Gods above! Have you no conscience?! If it’s this hard to do something nice for once, who would ever throw coins into the charity pot?!?!’
There were still 500 meters until I reached the beach. While I slowly pushed everything over, the tuna would be devoured without even leaving a bone behind. I stared into the sky as I let loose my resentment towards the gods ruling this world.
As if responding to my earnest complaint, a holy energy suddenly spread over the waves.
“A divine blessing!”
“OHH! The power of purification from Neran-nim’s hand!”
Hearing surprised cries from the beach, I turned my head.
And then, I saw it.
The sight of a woman raising both hands in earnest prayer.
She looked like an angel bringing peace on earth. Even from far away, I could see it very clearly: a sacred aura was flowing from her body like the brilliance of the sun’s rays.
Kyaaaakkk! As the holy energy washed over the sea, the monsters who were enjoying the free buffett shrieked as they suddenly disappeared.
‘So this is the power of God.’
This was yet another level of difference from the sight of the shamans on Earth who lit incense and waved their fans. I was able to see why the people here believed in the gods so earnestly.
‘Keuu, but why do I keep thinking of her!’
The pretty Ye-rin was waiting for me on Earth, but my head was filled with Aramis’ beautiful figure and holy face.
That was definitely the fault of hormones, the hormones of a male panther who hadn’t yet found his match!
* * *
“The madir… are coming over!”
“It’s—it’s FISH! Fish!!”
To exaggerate, just like how the illegitimate son Hong Gil-dong couldn’t call his father ‘Father’ and his brother ‘Brother,’ the villagers of Luna Village could not call a fish a fish. The villagers had only been able to taste the unlucky fish that were pushed ashore during stormy weathers. They were currently busy losing their wits at the sight of all the madir and the thousands of fishes that were floating towards them.
[TN: Hong Gil-dong is a fictional illegitimate son of a minister. His story is the Korean version of Robin Hood.]
“Mercenaries, quickly pick out the madir! Terrison, slice their necks and drain the blood! The life of a madir is its freshness!”
Jamir knew very well that it was no time to sit around cheering. He rallied the blankly staring mercenaries and merchants under his employment.
‘They’re all top quality without a single scratch! At the very least, I can get 200 Gold per fish!’
If the madir were caught at this speed, the merchant group could secure a huge profit. If that happened, the merchant group that was currently struggling because of madir would most certainly put even more importance on Jamir.
‘Kyre, thank you.’
The eccentric young man, Kyre, whose identity was unknown…
Delighted for whatever reason, he was laughing energetically as he soared freely in the sky with Fly.