The Main Characters That Only I Know (Novel) Chapter 42


Chapter 42

The power struggle that was secretly connected with some of the spirits ended in my victory.

I called Kang Hye-rim, who I had put on standby. 

She came to me as soon as I called her, bringing Baekhyo with her. 

Of course, she maintained her expression.

[The Sword Master has appeared!]

[Sword Master! Sword Master! Sword Master!]

[Look at me!]

Some of the spirits who were quiet before became excited and started to jump around when they saw her, but thanks to me calming the atmosphere once, no one crossed the line.

Hmm. 

That’s good.

“Ladies and gentlemen. Today, our duo is planning to clear another world of thought.”

[The spirits look at you with anticipation.]

“But since a place like Constantinople is still too much for us, we are going to a lighter place today.”

[Some of the spirits are disappointed that their expectations were betrayed.]

“Don’t be like that. We won’t just go in and out of the world of thought for farming. If we go, we will finish it for sure. Are you ready, Hye-rim?”

“Yes. I’m ready.”

Baekhyo, who was on her shoulder, moved to mine. 

He seemed to have gotten along with Kang Hye-rim to some extent, but he still recognized me as his parent and preferred to be by my side.

Some of the spirits noticed his existence and looked surprised, but they nodded their heads when they saw Michael.

They roughly guessed how the cause and effect flowed.

“Shall we go then?”

“Where are we going today?”

“We did something hard before, so this time we’re going to something easy. What’s your rank right now?”

“I’m rank 6.”

“How long have you been active as a collector?”

“Not even a month. If you only count the time, maybe three weeks?”

“That’s right. Don’t you think we’ve been running too much so far? So this time, I’m going to go with a feeling of taking a break.”

The spirits seemed to agree with my words.

They were not fools either. 

They knew how much Kang Hye-rim had been pushing herself for the last three weeks.

It usually takes two years for a collector to go from rank 9 to rank 6.

She compressed that process into three weeks, so it was amazing that she didn’t collapse from overwork.

“The world of thought we’re going to is a field type, Theodolant Swamp. It’s a place that suits your current rank.”

Theodolant Swamp is a field type world of thought, where the clear condition is to defeat normal fantasy creatures and bosses.

Worlds of thought where defeating fantasy creatures is the clear condition are basically places where fantasy creatures spawn frequently, so collectors often visit them for farming.

Theodolant Swamp is one of them, where collectors between rank 5 and rank 7 usually go.

It was suitable for Kang Hye-rim to stop by for a break.

“Really?”

When I told her the information about the world of thought, her eyes sparkled.

She looked like she wanted to go hunting as soon as possible.

I answered with a nod.

So we moved to Theodolant Swamp, which was located in the city center.

“There are quite a lot of people compared to the previous world of thought.”

Kang Hye-rim muttered as she saw the people who had set up camp around the entrance. 

They were not just collectors. 

There were also convenience stores and restaurants, and even makeshift rest areas for collectors to relax.

“Well, it’s partly because the place is close to the city, so there are a lot of people around, but also because this world of thought is a pretty good place for farming, so collectors gather here a lot.”

“Is that so?”

The problem was that Kang Hye-rim and I were going there to end it.

“Hey, hey. Look at that.”

“What?”

“Is that really him? The Sword Master?”

“Hey, what are you talking about… Wow. It’s true.”

Some of the collectors who were resting outside recognized Kang Hye-rim. 

Their faces hardened in an instant. Kang Hye-rim was very popular among ordinary citizens, but among other collectors, she was a heretic who threatened the industry.

“Why on earth is she here…”

“Don’t tell me, she’s going to clear Theodolant Swamp?”

“Hey, isn’t this a big deal?”

Unlike other collectors who maintained the worlds of thought and enjoyed the stories that came out of them, Kang Hye-rim ripped them out from the roots.

She had eliminated five worlds of thought so far. One of them was the infamous Siege of Constantinople.

As a result, she had a nickname among collectors, which was ‘Format Breaker’.

It was a bit of a dishonorable nickname if you traced its origin, but she laughed it off and said it was fun.

She was originally a sword master from the Goryeo era, so she had some resistance to this kind of thing.

“People are looking at us.”

“They’re nervous. It’s almost like a state of emergency for them that we’re here.”

“We’re not some plague or disaster that brings calamity. What kind of situation is this?”

“They might as well see it that way. So are you going to stop?”

“No? Why would I do that?”

We had a meaningless conversation while the eyes that were directed at us increased.

Some collectors looked at me with curious eyes, but there were far more who glared at her because of Hye-rim’s bad reputation(?).

Negative gazes pouring from all sides.

We didn’t care much about it, even though we received them.

“It’s like being treated as a villain.”

“It doesn’t matter how they treat us. We’re not going to stop anyway.”

Besides, they didn’t seem to have any intention of blocking or interfering with our way.

Rather, they even made way for us, as if they were afraid of colliding with us.

First of all, there were eyes of ordinary people watching this place, and more importantly, Hye-rim had already proven her skills properly.

The victor of Constantinople. 

Just that reputation alone made her status at least not something that other collectors could easily deal with.

It was practically a forced respect for them.

‘Well, of course there are people who don’t believe it.’

There are people who believe the rumors as they are, and there are people who never believe it unless they see it with their own eyes.

Surely, some of them would be like that. 

That all the achievements Hye-rim had achieved were a hoax made by someone.

But even so, they couldn’t block our way, because Hye-rim’s aura was so powerful.

Her face was tense and she managed her expression. 

She looked like an ice flower blooming in the middle of winter. 

It was natural that the collectors who were overwhelmed by her atmosphere couldn’t approach.

“Hey. What, what do we do? Shouldn’t we stop them?”

“Stop them? On what grounds?”

“Then let them go? Aren’t they going to clear it?”

“If you’re so scared, why don’t you go and talk to them?”

“No. How can I talk to them? The atmosphere is really no joke.”

“Ha, shit. Today is totally ruined. It’s the world of thought that I used to visit often, but can’t I go there anymore?”

“Phew. I’m glad I came early and hunted.”

The reactions were varied.

Most of them were disappointed that we came and tended to give up. 

Some tellers were unhappy with their situation and urged their collectors, but what would that do?

Without anyone’s interference, we entered the Theodolant Swamp and the scenery changed.

The concrete buildings’ walls disappeared and a swamp covered with thick fog appeared.

Unlike normal swamps, giant mushrooms grew everywhere and one mushroom was almost as high as 7-8 stories of a building.

The air was humid and mixed with spores from the mushrooms, making the air feel sticky on the skin.

And it seemed to smell bad too.

“Ugh. Smell.”

Hye-rim, who still had no resistance to this kind of thing, frowned.

“You’ll get used to it soon.”

“You look fine, Yu-hyun.”

“I adapted.”

This level of swamp was like a dream and hope-filled theme park compared to the end-of-the-world scenery.

However, for Hye-rim, who was still a novice, this place was still quite a harsh environment.

“Huh. I can’t see well because of the dust from the mushrooms. And it feels a bit stuffy to breathe.”

“At least the spores are not poisonous, so there won’t be any strain on your body.”

It would have been hard on the lungs for ordinary people, but not for collectors. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t unpleasant.

Buzzing.

Some of the collectors who were wandering inside noticed us right away. 

Some of them who had been wary of us avoided us as if they didn’t want to get involved with us.

But some stayed in their place and watched curiously how we would act. 

I ignored them and went into an internal analysis.

‘Hmm. First of all, where is the boundary line? ’

Unlike the mine where the surroundings were closed off by swamp as the background, it was hard to specify a direction. 

And giant mushrooms blocked the way in between, so it was not an exaggeration to say that it was a forest of mushrooms.

It was more like a flooded forest than a swamp.

‘It’s a bit awkward to move because my ankles are slightly submerged. Once I find the plant-type fantasy creature Swamp Root, it will be easier to find the rest of the direction, so shall I make that a priority?’

I was about to brief Hye-rim when it happened.

A group that had been watching us quietly came over.

“Excuse me. If you don’t mind, would you like to hunt with us?”

***

‘What?’

Hye-rim narrowed her eyes at the other party.

She was always relaxed and playful when she was with Yu-hyun, but as soon as a third party was involved, her mood changed 180 degrees.

She was wary of the group that approached us.

There were four of them.

Three men and one woman.

The one who looked like the leader smiled amiably and spoke to us.

“You two seem to be alone, right?”

“Yes, but.”

Yu-hyun stepped forward and answered.

“Oh, I see. Actually, we used to work with six people. But two of them were busy with personal matters and left, so we had some vacancies. Do you want to move with us? We thought we’d be fine with four, so we’ve been hunting for a while, but it’s a bit hard.”

Kang Hye-rim was puzzled by their approach. 

Did they not recognize her?

She felt a bit boastful, but she was a famous swordmaster, wasn’t she?

Everyone else avoided Kang Hye-rim, but they came closer instead. 

It gave her a new feeling.

‘Maybe they are the type who don’t listen to rumors.’

She nodded at the thought that it was possible.

However, she and Yu-hyun had no intention of moving with anyone from the start. 

They might have wanted to farm and hunt normally, but they came here to clear the world of thought.

She appreciated the offer, but she would decline. 

She was about to say no, when Yu-hyun answered first.

“Oh, that sounds good. We were actually looking for other people to save.”

“Ah! Is that so? That’s a relief.”

‘What?’

Kang Hye-rim was surprised by the unexpected answer.

She didn’t show her inner thoughts at this moment, thanks to the practice of poker face she had done several times.

‘Yu-hyun. Why?’

She looked at Yu-hyun’s smiling face and couldn’t figure it out. In fact, she thought he would be the one who would refuse their joining the most.

‘Is there another reason? Oh!’

She realized something belatedly.

Among the four members of their party, three were men, but there was one woman!

‘No way…!’

Kang Hye-rim glanced at the female collector with a shocked expression.

She had a sharp look with her eyes upturned, and dyed her hair gold. 

She wore clothes that exposed a lot of skin for easy movement. 

Her body was slim too. 

She seemed to be a rogue based on the dagger in her hand, but Kang Hye-rim didn’t think that far.

She didn’t want to admit it, but she was definitely attractive.

‘Did I, did I not get any reaction from him because I was weird, but he likes that kind of thing?!’

Kang Hye-rim pinched her waist with her hand.

Was it because she ate a lot of snacks after earning money recently? 

She felt a bit chubby.

Kang Hye-rim closed her eyes tightly.

Meanwhile, the conversation between Yu-hyun and the party leader ended.

“Alright. Let’s do well together.”

“Yes. Let’s do that.”

“Please take care of us.”

“Please… take care of us too.”

Kang Hye-rim barely moved her lips and answered.

That’s how a new party was formed. 

The spirits wanted to ask why Yu-hyun suddenly acted like that, but they didn’t spam the message window because of Dane’s fault.

Only Kang Hye-rim was groaning inside.

“We’ll be back soon with our stuff.”

“Okay. Go ahead.”

As the four new members went to get their luggage left behind, Yu-hyun immediately spoke to Kang Hye-rim.

“Miss Hye-rim.”

“Yes, yes?! Oh, yes. Yu-hyun. Yes. I know. I understand. Well, everyone has different tastes. Of course. Of course… I didn’t know you had that kind of taste. Of course, I can also be like that if I diet properly…”

“What are you talking about all of a sudden? Manage your image. Get your mind straight.”

“Huh?”

Yu-hyun quickly brought his face close to Kang Hye-rim so that only she could hear him. 

Kang Hye-rim blushed slightly at his approaching face, but his words made her expression harden.

“That party is scavengers.”

 ---

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