Chapter 41

What was going on with those two? How come the skill wasn’t applying to them? They were at the center of the target where the electric waves overlapped.

Although Dongye adjusted his energy level, it shouldn’t be possible for the two to look at him with smiles on their faces. At the very least, they should have gone into general paralysis and convulsions…

Dongye smacked his lips. Then he slowly retracted his energy. The people within his energy field started exhaling deeply. The Dong-Myung Clan’s flagship martial skills were centered on electricity and chemistry.

Based on his assessment, if the opponents were Awakened warriors who could go against his electricity field, Dongye would be in an unfavorable position.

He had taken the initiative to put forth a dignified warning to the other side as if to say, ���Don’t fool around with me.’ Otherwise, it wouldn’t have done anyone any good to have a big fight ahead of the hunting event… At least, that’s what Dongye tried to do…

Dongye smiled at the two people and walked confidently towards them.

“How did it look to you? Was it similar to my level?” San asked Biyeon in a whisper.

“I don’t know. Do you think that was his maximum output?” she answered in a small voice.

‘!!’

Dongye stood up straight. He snapped his neck back and stopped abruptly in front of the two. The warriors following him hurriedly stepped aside, barely avoiding a collision with their leader.

Dongye stood in front of the two. He had on a serious expression.

“My name is Dongye from the Dong-Myung Clan. Who are you? Where are you from?”

San looked at Dongye’s eyes for a moment before calmly replying with the ends of his mouth rising slightly“My name is San, and this persons name is Yeon. Do I have an obligation to answer your questions?”

“…”

Dongye stood speechless. He didn’t expect this answer. Didn’t these people know the name of his clan? Anyone who had the same surname Dong within the Dong-Myung Clan was specially treated as ‘royalty’.

Everyone knew this. At least everyone who had enough stature to be in the Count’s banquet would know!

His insides became cold. Tremendous energy suddenly burst from Dongye’s body. After that, the clan warriors behind him also opened their energy fields to the fullest, preparing for something to happen.

“What you just said… can I interpret your words as an open insult to our Dong-Myung Clan?” Dongye asked, bringing his hand to the belt around his waist. His voice was quiet yet firm.

The surrounding people were trembling. His words conjured a fishy blood-like smell. It was the smell of blood being spilled… The Count wanted to close his eyes.

“Well- such a funny uncle. Wasn’t it you who first approached us and asked questions? Do I have any obligation to answer you? You seem to be mistaken… I’m not your subordinate. Also…”

San’s eyes shone fiercely once he paused his words. Dongye’s fingers were fiddling with his belt.

“I wouldn’t do that… If you take out that weapon now, you’ll die.”

San’s voice was calm. However, Dongye felt San’s words crashing into his ear.

“And everyone behind this funny uncle…”

Right beside San, Biyeon’s voice rang out lazily like a monologue.

Dongye couldn’t move. The Dong-Myung Clan warriors couldn’t release any energy.

They heard more than the sound of San and Biyeon’s voice. Their bodies sent constant warnings as if assured them that they were on the cusp of death.

A person’s body usually gives an honest answer. It was an ‘instinct’. It’s also the fundamental ‘survival instinct’ that precedes one’s will…

Dongye sensed a terribly frightening aura. He was a veteran and an Awakened Warrior. There was no way he was afraid of death. Therefore, in his mind, this aura couldn’t possibly be the cautionary sign of impending death.

But he didn’t know what it was. His former intentions had already been broken into pieces. He was like a child who was scolded by adults. What did he see in these two young people? He had never faced this sort of confusing yet dire situation even within his clan.

Dongye’s fingertips trembled.

‘An overwhelming presence, perhaps?’

San laughed. It was not a laugh with ridicule. It was pure laughter. It was the exact same kind of laugh that would be given to a child.

How could Dongye understand? This deadly aura and scent could only be sent out by a man and woman who had killed thousands upon thousands of monsters and had gone through the pain of tens of thousands of deaths.

As Dongye sensed, the scent wasn’t the scent of death. Rather, it was closer to the opposite.

It represented the two’s great will to exist on their own. It was the ‘purification of existence’ that crawled out from their constant struggles against a gruesome death. Indeed… that’s how they had been awakened.

Their ‘presence’ wasn’t developed through the constant consumption of weak ‘fragments’ that were fed to them like the warriors inside the absolute clans. Their presence came from personal struggle and sacrifice.

“Let’s eat now?”

Dongye raised his head at the man’s sudden words. San smiled.

“I think you're old enough to know not to throw around your weight at an event like this, no? It’s not like we’re neighborhood gangsters who are comparing the thickness of our forearms or anything…”

San strode forward. He tapped Dongye’s shoulders and went ahead. Biyeon waved her hand at them and also passed by. Dongye stood and stared blankly at their backs.

The other warriors from the Dong-Myung Clan also stood staring at the two without taking any action. The hall was completely silent. No one dared to take a breath.

The Count and Countess were looking at Dongye anxiously.

Tuk-

A drop of sweat fell from Dongye’s forehead onto the floor. There were still quite a few sweat droplets that seemed to be anxiously awaiting their turn to fall from his face.

‘An electric field… how?”

When San smacked his shoulder, a jolt of electricity struck his body. The effects happened in an instant. His neural and nerve network was paralyzed at that moment. It was as if the main terminal that connected and controlled his limbs were torn and broken.

Then, when the woman waved her hand, an electromagnetic storm relentlessly swept through his body.

And with this…

Their ability to charge electricity from the cells of their body had all been discharged. Dongye and all of his accompanying warriors felt the same sudden discharge and emptiness.

Excluding his physical ability to accelerate, Dongye felt that all of his learned clan skills became neutralized. The energy that he had cultivated and stored up to now was completely depleted.

A weapon that couldn’t use electricity would just be a stick. Swordsmanship was not a strength of Dong-Myung Clan warriors.

‘Huh- I’ll have to recharge for at least 4 days. Was there such a fatal weakness in our abilities?’

Dongye clenched his jaw while fixing his eyes on the receding back of the two figures. No one in the banquet hall noticed, but his legs were trembling. He could taste something sweet yet bitter within his tightly closed mouth.

'Until we’re recharged, our lives are in their hands. In the meantime, we’ll have to lay low and keep our distance…’

“Wasn’t it a bit severe? They must feel quite broken…” Biyeon said in a small voice.

Contrary to her question, she wasn’t worried about the Dong-Myung Clan warriors at all.

“Not really…. Forget about them. They need to know how embarrassed they should be. Because we used their own skill on them, there’s nowhere for them to go and complain. If they truly think about it, it’s something they should be grateful for.”

“Is that so?”

“Anyway… aren’t our principles firm in this world? We don’t have to respect those who don’t treat us well. Our status here is not given by law. We never agreed. Even if we get hurt, we dictate the terms.”

“Still, I feel uncomfortable and itchy all over thinking about what they might try to do to get revenge.” 

“Then scratch…”

“…”

The Count was relieved. Nothing unexpected happened. The banquet meal progressed smoothly without a hitch. He was concerned about Dongye’s expression and possible further conduct, but it seemed there was nothing to worry about.

The warriors of Dong-Myung Clan were eating ‘kindly’ without saying anything… Other people, like the nobles, were mixing moderate alcohol and discussion topics, making the general atmosphere within the banquet hall jovial.

However, there were always exceptions.

“Does the meal not suit your taste?”

The Countess carefully asked San, who was sitting next to her. A worried expression appeared on her face. The maids who were serving the meals didn’t know what to do either. San and Biyeon ate little by little, very slowly.

The speed was so slow that they only ate half when others emptied their dishes. From the host’s point of view, this was a concerning situation.

“No, of course not! It’s so delicious…”

There was some moisture around his eyes. Biyeon was also eating slowly with red eyes. They were having a human meal for the first time in a while. Their current image didn’t suit their amazing powers.

“If that's the case, that’s fortunate, but… don’t burden yourself and eat slowly.”

“…”

The meal was amazing. Like the cuisine of most northern regions, the dishes were meat-oriented rather than grain-oriented, and because it was early spring, stored, dried, or pickled vegetables were present in every dish.

Grains, which were considered staple foods, were mainly ground and powdered into noodles, as they could then be stored long-term. As it wasn’t the grain harvesting season, the dishes with grain-based noodles weren’t as tasty or rich as the other dishes.

However, every dish was delicious and memorable for San and Biyeon. This was the first time in over a year eating starch-rich grains.

The natives here didn’t use chopsticks. They used forks, knives, and spoons like the Western people on Earth. It seemed that the nobles here ate with the same types of utensils.

As for the alcohol, fruit wine was given. It was very strong, a characteristic of cold region wines.

San was enjoying the effects of the alcohol, especially after a long absence of not having any.

Though he recalled having to drink alcohol by the buckets in order to prove his manhood in the military, the atmosphere here allowed him to slowly sip the wine and enjoy its spicy, aromatic flavor.

He couldn’t let his guard down and fully relax, but he was still able to enjoy the experience.

The fresh spring breeze blew through the open hall windows. It was a warm and friendly gust, harmonizing well with the spicy wine.

‘There’s no doubt that he was a nobleman or someone of higher status.’

The Count comfortably tilted his glass and nodded.

The dining room was possibly the only place where one could judge all of humanity’s diverse range of people. The behavior of the two completely relieved his anxiety.

If an invited guest looked shabby or behaved rudely, one would be upset. Their uncultured actions would be an inexcusable slight against everyone else invited, and it would soon become a burden for the host.

However, the Count believed in his senses. In addition, he was carefully calculating the future impact of these newly hired ‘Awakeners’.

If there was a dispute with the Dong-Myung clansmen, he was determined to mediate the clash himself. Even a group of Dong-Myung Clansmen couldn’t ignore a Count that controlled and ruled over a territory, no matter how provincial.

The Count’s eyes closely followed the two’s actions.

They weren’t clumsy in handling the various utensils, and they were neither picky nor greedy in eating food. A surprisingly natural dignity emanated from them, even when drinking a lot of wine.

Once the main courses were over, dessert was served. Conversations continued here and there. The conversations around the various dinner tables were naturally flowing. The conversations spanned a wide range of topics.

They discussed stories about everyday life, manor management, world situations and events, ongoing wars, warrior fights and battles, marriages between nobles, etc.…

San and Biyeon listened intently to the stories rather than actively participating in any of the conversations.

In truth, they didn’t have anything to share. There was no story they could tell that the others would understand. All their effort was focused on understanding this new world.

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