Sae-Jin returned to the conference room and told the gathered members to go home . He told them that he and Lillia had come up with a suitable plan of action, so they shouldn’t worry too much .
Then, he sat alone in the empty conference room and switched on the TV .
The footage of everyday life shown on screen was the same as before .
Channels dedicated to all things magic busy talked about the matters related to the Wizard of Bangbae-Dong, who had published a brand new grimoire not too long ago; entertainment programmes, being aired much too early in the day it seemed, were filled with a sense of responsibility, an obligation to entertain the masses during these turbulent times; while the news channels must’ve decided to run counter to the entertainment channels, by only talking about serious topics over and over again .
As expected, the everyday lives remained the same .
Sae-Jin spent a bit of time looking at the TV screen with a dazed face, before leaving the room himself .
Greeted by the employees of the Guild, Sae-Jin escaped the HQ building, and drove home in his car . Although the time was just about when folks were commuting to work, the roads were sparsely populated thanks to the frequently-occurring Monster attacks . So, he got to drive at a more than acceptable speed . He even rolled his window down .
*SFX for wind rushing in*
Cool breeze entered the cabin .
Through the open window of the car, he could see the morning sun peeking out from under the clouds . Under that clear, bright rays of the rising sun, the river below shimmered like the polished surface of a priceless jewel .
He felt like concentrating on the scenery, so he put the car on autopilot .
The stunning, beautiful views passed by him, and the people started their daily lives .
Humans, Elves, Soo-ins, they were all starting their day .
Sae-Jin carefully studied each and every one of their faces as long as he could .
Sae-Jin came home, and found Yu Sae-Jung still deeply asleep . While carrying a thin smile, he lightly kissed her cheek . She opened her sleepy eyes and smiled brightly, before hugging him tight .
“You got an off day today?” (Sae-Jin)
“Ng~~ . I was in a raid yesterday, so I got the day off today . ” (Yu Sae-Jung)
“A raid? It must’ve been not too long ago since you came home . ” (Sae-Jin)
“Yeah, maybe a hour ago? But, it’s okay . ” (Yu Sae-Jung)
It turned out, she wasn’t ‘still’ sleeping . As he was feeling apologetic, she suddenly pulled his head close and kissed him deeply in the mouth .
She seemed especially hands-on today .
There was no need for a deep discussion, then . While smiling, Sae-Jin began to slowly undress her .
And so, the two of them started their precious day together .
“…… . You what?!” (Bathory)
A day after that happened .
Bathory got surprised by Sae-Jin’s unexpected visit to her place, but then, got even more dumbfounded by what he had said to her .
“Have you gone insane?” (Bathory)
“Well, it doesn’t matter to you anyways, right? It’s not like you’ll run out of blood, after all . Instead, I’ll supply you with the highest quality blood packs as compensation . Blood from Knights, no less . ” (Sae-Jin)
Sae-Jin maintained a crafty smile even while under Bathory’s disgusted stare . What he asked her for was her blood .
“Do you even realise what blood means to us Vampires?” (Bathory)
“It’s important, I know that . ” (Sae-Jin)
“It’s past the level of being important, since it’s used to demarcate our classes, you see? But now, you asking a Vampire for her blood, doesn’t that mean you’re planning to commit suicide by my hands?” (Bathory)
Bathory’s forehead creased up rather deeply .
“Well, it can’t be helped, then . I’ll just take it by force . ” (Sae-Jin)
Sae-Jin growled deliberately and stared fiercely at her . However, her expressions became even more angrier, instead .
“Crazy b*stard…” (Bathory)
“Argh, just help me out here, will you . Like the boss lady you are . ” (Sae-Jin)
“Just where are you planning to use my… . No wait, besides that, why should I even help you out here?” (Bathory)
“Because you already helped us out?” (Sae-Jin)
“You hurt your head real bad, didn’t you?” (Bathory)
Sae-Jin chuckled and pulled out his phone .
“In return, let me give you a small present . ” (Sae-Jin)
He then projected one of the stored footages as a hologram .
*SFX for a chick chirping*
It was a recording of a Korean crow-tit chick flying around in the air . Seeing that cute outer exterior, Bathory froze up .
“Isn’t it cute? It looks cute enough, but it’s unexpectedly strong, though . ” (Sae-Jin)
“… . S, so, what about it?” (Bathory)
“I’ll let you take it as your new pet . It’s got a bit of a rotten personality, but I’m sure you’ll tame it just fine . ” (Sae-Jin)
It seemed Bathory got interested, but she quickly regained her senses and shook head fiercely .
“Why should I…” (Bathory)
But Sae-Jin wasn’t finished with his sales pitch .
“I hear that thing was created by the Vampire Lord . ” (Sae-Jin)
He heard it from the Nosferatus that this bird was actually a Chimera carefully created by the Lord himself . Which sounded about right, since common sense dictated that a Monster wouldn’t look that cute no matter what .
And his reason for creating that thing was to give it to Bathory as a present at some stage . It seemed that the Lord was aware of Bathory’s slightly strange taste in hobbies .
Sae-Jin chose not to pass on those emotive truths to her, however .
“…… . . ”
As if she had figured that out without him saying anything else, Bathory didn’t utter a single word . Judging by how her chin protruded out and trembled at the same time, she seemed to be fighting hard against the tide of emotions right now .
She finally opened her mouth after a lengthy bout of silence . Her voice was weak and shaky .
“… . But, but, isn’t that mine already? I mean… . I’m the Lord now…” (Bathory)
Sae-Jin averted his gaze in order to pretend that he didn’t see the hints of tears on her facade of steady strength .
“Technically, sure . But that dang thing is really fast, so even you’ll have trouble catching it . Most likely, you will end up wasting time flying around this way and that . ” (Sae-Jin)
“What the? So, how the heck will you catch something that even I can’t?” (Bathory)
Kim Sae-Jin smirked confidently .
“There is a way . ” (Sae-Jin)
Bathory glared at him wordlessly . Sae-Jin nervously swallowed, feeling the tension . The suffocating time crept by . He already knew she’d say yes, yet the tension was really mounting up .
Suddenly, Bathory lowered the shoulder lace of her red dress . Her pale smooth skin got exposed to his eyes quite unexpectedly, so Sae-Jin blushed a little bit and averted his gaze once more .
“Hey, hey, hey . It’s too sudden, you know…” (Sae-Jin)
“Why don’t you just shut up . How much do you need?” (Bathory)
There wasn’t too much time left . That was why he couldn’t afford to waste one single day .
So, the day after he got Bathory’s permission, Sae-Jin called for a regular Guild Members Conference to be held . Scheduled for the 17th every month, its purpose was to let the Guild members gather together and foster friendship and camaraderie .
The very first person he ran into was Kim Yu-Rin, known for her strict policy of arriving before the promised time . As a matter of fact, she arrived almost one hour early – but her complexion wasn’t so good .
More than likely, many worries and fears were tumbling around within her mind .
He took her to a five-star restaurant that even the self-proclaimed epicurean like himself found utterly beyond reproach .
Less than ten minutes ago, she protested that she had no appetite whatsoever, but as soon as a juicy slab of steak was placed in front, she began chugging it down her throat . Sae-Jin found it quite humorous, seeing her looking depressed while busy shoving the delectable meat into her mouth .
“Is it good?” (Sae-Jin)
“Yes… . ” (Kim Yu-Rin)
While he studied her interestedly, another member arrived . This time, it was Hazeline . Her complexion was just as poor, but when she discovered both Sae-Jin and Kim Yu-Rin, some colour did return .
Hazeline hesitated by the end of the table, wondering whether to sit next to Sae-Jin, or next to Kim Yu-Rin .
But then, Yu Baek-Song entered the venue, let off a short exclamation, and dived into the open seat right next to Sae-Jin’s . Hazeline had also chosen the seat next to Sae-Jin with great difficulty by then, so she got flustered by this sudden intrusion and hurriedly grabbed the back of Yu Baek-Song’s neck .
“Hey, you!! Get out of there!!” (Hazeline)
“Where the hell do you think you are grabbing right now?!” (Yu Baek-Song)
Too bad, there was no way Hazeline could win in the physical battle, so the situation got reversed in a heartbeat .
“Let, let go!! Let me go when I’m still being nice!!” (Hazeline)
Hazeline cried out in alarm . Well, she was locked into a painful-looking headlock, after all .
“Why doncha try being not nice, then?” (Yu Baek-Song)
“Ah, arh, ahh!! That hurts!!” (Hazeline)
Sae-Jin looked at them and chuckled ever so slightly .
“Hahaha… The seat next to me is reserved for someone else, though . ” (Sae-Jin)
“Today’s a gathering of all the Guild members, remember? Sae-Jung should be arriving very soon . ” (Sae-Jin)
Only then, Yu Baek-Song released the headlock and changed her seat to the one near the empty seat next to Sae-Jin’s .
“Others haven’t arrived yet? New Guild members will attend this thing, right?” (Yu Baek-Song)
“They should be arriving soon as well . Ah, here they come . ” (Sae-Jin)
Kim Sun-Ho arrived, along with Rhosrahdel in tow .
Not long after that, two new male members Joo Oh-Hyung and Bretin entered the venue, completely stiff from the nervousness .
““It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintances!!””
After the duo’s energetic greetings came to an end, Joo Ji-Hyuk and Yi Hye-Rin showed up together next .
With their arms entwined in the open for all to see, it seemed that their relationship had moved onto a more favourable stage . Was this the case of ‘danger’ being the best matchmaker there ever was?
“We’re here now, everyone~ . ” (Yi Hye-Rin)
“… . . H, hmm . ” (Joo Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Hye-Rin, pretending to be outgoing and bright, and Joo Ji-Hyuk, fake coughing to clear his throat while his expressions looking somewhat complicated – the two of them sat down next to each other .
Yu Sae-Jung entered the restaurant soon afterwards .
“I got delayed while parking the car~ . Really now, Knight Joo Ji-Hyuk, how come you don’t have the driving licence yet? Also, Miss Hye-Rin, too?” (Yu Sae-Jung)
“Haha… . I, uh, I only have a licence for riding Griffins . ” (Joo Ji-Hyuk)
Joo Ji-Hyuk came up with an excuse while scratching the back of his head . Yu Sae-Jung smiled brightly and sat down next to Sae-Jin .
“Oppa~ . ” (Yu Baek-Song)
And then, openly hugged him tightly for everyone to see .
Kim Yu-Rin took a glance at Hazeline’s direction . Hazeline too glanced at Kim Yu-Rin . Their gazes met each other’s in the middle . Hazeline’s body shuddered involuntarily, before she formed a smile that said she’s okay, and then, leaned her head against Kim Yu-Rin’s shoulder .
“…So, is this everyone?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin asked while slowly pushing Hazeline’s head off her shoulder .
“No, not yet . There is one more person still to come . ” (Sae-Jin)
“One more?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin looked around the table . However, no matter how much she looked, everyone seemed to be here .
Then, she remembered one more face . But, that woman was… .
“Can’t be . ” (Kim Yu-Rin)
With an excellent timing, the sharp sounds of high heels could be heard .
The front entrance to the restaurant opened in a rather eerie manner, and the unlikely protagonist for today’s get-together had finally showed herself .
Ellie von Bathory .
The queen of the Vampires .
At her sudden intrusion, everyone panicked, with the only exception being Yu Sae-Jung and her tilting head, who had no clue on Bathory’s true identity .
Meanwhile, Bathory walked up to the table in no time and took a seat right next to Yu Baek-Song . Seeing Yu Baek-Song stiffen up completely, it was as if she was no longer a divine White Tiger, but a mere domesticated white cat, instead .
“……And why are you all staring at me for? I’m also a Guild member, too . Are you dissatisfied by that?” (Bathory)
Bathory pointedly asked Joo Ji-Hyuk, who had been sitting in his seat with an unhappy expression while staring at the leader of the Vampires . As soon as he got asked, he violently shook his head and averted his gaze towards the table .
“Well, then . Everyone, let’s not be so stiff here . We gathered today in order to foster friendship and understanding among the members, so let us enjoy ourselves . ” (Sae-Jin)
Sae-Jin clapped his hands in order to liven up the atmosphere . At the same time, countless waiters appeared and carried many delicacies and drinks to the table . All of them were luxurious, top-of-the-line stuff that truly showcased the meaning of having a ‘feast’ .
But, well, Bathory didn’t really care for how wonderful the feast laid out before her eyes was .
Of course, that was only until a plate topped off with a pair of energy bars was placed in front of her .
“What the . Hey, you wish to kill yourself today?” (Bathory)
Bathory narrowed her eyes and glared at the waiter that brought this plate . However, as if he had received the prior ‘education’, this waiter rapidly evacuated from the spot .
“Hey! Bring me that b*stard over here!” (Bathory)
As if she got a bit ticked off, Bathory cracked her neck muscles and beckoned with her finger . Sae-Jin quickly pacified her .
“Don’t be like that, and have a bite . ” (Sae-Jin)
“And why should I bite crap like this?!” (Bathory)
Instead of calming down, though, she shouted out in an even louder voice, which served to freeze the atmosphere of the meeting completely .
Sae-Jin wordlessly tapped the table .
“Take a bite first and see . It’s wine flavoured, so I think you might be less resistant to it . ” (Sae-Jin)
Bathory shuddered a bit when she heard him .
Wine . The alcoholic drink that humans drank regularly, but something she could never enjoy . Back in her homeworld, drinking good wine was a popular pastime . Even back then, her young mind often wondered how good it could be, since a bottle of certain wine could buy a whole village . Just how tasty could it be?
Bathory surveyed her surroundings . Guild members who were silently staring at her hurriedly dug into their food as soon as her gazes swept past them . Heck, they even forcibly commenced with conversations among themselves . They still stole quick glances at her, though, as if to signal their mounting curiosity to find out whether she’d take a bite off the energy bar or not .
And so, another ten minutes went by .
Making sure no one was looking at her, Bathory stealthily picked up one of the bars, and peeled it using Mana to erase all sounds . And then, she glanced around one more time to make sure no one was looking .
And indeed, no one had noticed .
Now was the time!!
She swallowed the energy bar whole .
And at that moment, her eyes shot right open .
The faint aroma of grapes that seemed to arrest every pore of her body caused her face to blush, and her spine spasmed violently .
It completely, utterly suited her preference .
“Uh-heuph… . ”
She quickly blocked her mouth from uttering out the gasps of pleasure . Thank heavens, no one noticed her small incident even now .
… . With a clear exception of one b*stard, that was .
“Heheh . ”
Bathory felt like pouring all her strength into wiping that oily smirk off Sae-Jin’s grinning face . Even if it was for just once .
< 48 . Waves (3) > Fin .
(TL: Okay, here we go . This is the start of the daily releases until the end of the novel . Oh boy, hopefully nothing goes wrong… . Like me forgetting to post a chapter or some such…)
(TL: Here’s the “Official Synopsis” for The Returner, my next TL project, from the website Ridibooks:
The King of all dead, and the despair of all living .
The man who devours the kingdoms of living, and devouring the breaths of all who breathes .
The man, who sentenced a world to its destruction, has… .
Jumped across the chasm of time to return to the modern world!
“Seriously, can’t I enjoy a peaceful life after going through so much sh*tty-a*s experience like that?!”
But, a danger approaches the man wanting to enjoy the freedom of the modern society .
Stop the destruction of this world!
And now, the story of the world’s least trustworthy hero starts!)
(TL: My synopsis is… .
The main character Yi Ji-Hyuk has been flung to another world called Berafe with a pair of “curses” inflicted on him . Naturally, he wishes to come back home to Earth, and does whatever means necessary to do so – going as far as to destroy the world he’s been “sent” to . This happens in the prologue, so it’s not a spoiler, don’t you worry .
But, once he has returned, Earth is no longer the same – monsters are popping out of everywhere, and people has developed special sets of skills, to boot . Nothing’s the same anymore, and his desire to kick back and take it easy has gone down the toilet, so to speak .
It’s a comedy, though, so it’s not too heavy on seriousness . There’s a fairly decent amount of action, as our MC can be a total bada*s if he’s been motivated enough to act . A note of caution, though – MC can be a bit of douche, a troll, who kinda drives almost everyone up the wall . Oh, and it’s 570+ chapters long . )