Chapter 118: For Those Coming in the Far Future
Legends were made, not birthed. Myths weren’t created, but fulfilled, and history was written for those who began both legends and myths. The union between the first, second, third, and fourth recruits from the central region and the fifth, sixth, and seventh recruits in the northern region was definitely an event worthy of being recorded in history. They had basically achieved what was thought to be impossible—so unthinkable that it made even a legendary hero like Choi Chi-Hyun surprised. Thus, Noel Freya, who always revered Choi Chi-Hyun above all, had been wondering about the person behind these record-worthy events; now that she was finally face to face with this person, she looked very closely.
“h.e.l.lo,” Chi-Woo said politely with his head lowered. “Thank you for coming all this way.”
“I heard that you wanted to see me. You’re here on behalf of the central region’s leader…?” Chi-Woo trailed off since Noel had been staring at him blankly. Then she blinked furiously like she was recovering from shock.
“…Ah.” Noel realized her mistake a bit too late and quickly shook her head. She still looked fl.u.s.tered, but she regained her composure and spoke again, “Please excuse my behavior just now. I am Noel Freya from the second recruits.” She had a pious voice that immediately gave her a holy impression, and Chi-Woo bowed his head to this lady with ivory hair again.
Even though Chi-Woo knew it was only right for him to introduce himself too, he held back. He thought if he said, ‘I am Chichibbong from the seventh recruits’, it would make him seem ridiculous. But soon, Noel Freya continued.
“I heard from Ms. Ru Hiana that you are from the seventh recruits, Mr. Chichibbong.”
“Ah, yes. That’s right.” Chi-Woo cried inwardly, ‘d.a.m.n it. It has already spread.’
“You have done an enormous deed for Liber. Although I’m only a temporary leader right now, I want to express my deepest grat.i.tude to you, Mr. Chichibbong, as well as your companions,” Noel said sincerely.
‘She is quite the person,’ Chi-Woo thought, secretly admiring her for not laughing the slightest while saying the name Chichibbong.
“You flattered me. It’s not even as if I did it all by myself.”
Hearing this, Noel smiled slightly. She already heard about what had happened in the northern region from those she met on her way to the capital.
The hero named Ru Hiana, especially, talked about Chi-Woo so profusely that it seemed she had been trying to compete with Noel on how much she could talk about Chi-Hyun. And if there wasn’t an ounce of an exaggeration to what Ru Hiana had told her, it seemed Chi-Woo had basically single-handedly accomplished all the feats achieved in the northern region.
“You’re so humble,” Noel continued while smiling, “There’s nothing to be embarra.s.sed about if everything I heard is true.”
As Noel emphasized the ‘truth’ of the news she heard, Ru Hiana’s eyes opened slightly wider.
“Of course, I don’t doubt your accomplishments. I think it’s fine even if you boast about them. After all, even our leader was very happy to hear about your deeds.”
“Do you not know the legends? I’m talking about Sir Choi Chi-Hyun.” There was pride in Noel’s voice. Chi-Woo saw this as an opportunity. He had been wondering how he could naturally bring the topic of his brother up, but thankfully, Noel brought up Chi-Hyun first.
“There’s no way I don’t know. Of course, I know of him,” Chi-Woo replied and slyly added, “Where is he right now…?”
“Unfortunately, he didn’t come with us.”
“Ah!” Chi-Woo let out a sigh without meaning to. He had thought he would finally meet his brother, but no wonder Chi-Woo didn’t see him anywhere; Chi-Hyun hadn’t even come! Chi-Woo squeezed his eyes shut and opened them again. By then, Noel was looking at him in confusion. Even though Chi-Woo didn’t reveal his connection with his brother, he looked too regretful for her not to notice.
“Ah…it’s just that I wanted to meet him at least once as a fellow hero…” Chi-Woo laughed while scratching his head. His excuse seemed to work, though, and Noel nodded at him while smiling. After all, it wasn’t strange for a hero to admire Chi-Hyun; it was almost expected.
“In a way, it’s because of you that he didn’t come,” Noel said.
“Because of me?” Chi-Woo’s eyes turned wide.
“Because of your impressive feat, he gained the ease to go out on his own. Right now, he’s probably doing something that we couldn’t even dare to attempt for Liber’s salvation.”
“There’s always a deep meaning behind Sir Chi-Hyun’s words and actions. I understand how you feel, but please have faith and wait. He said he would visit a couple of places by himself and join us. I’m sure it won’t take long.”
“…Yes, I understand.” Chi-Woo looked at Noel, a bit taken aback. When Noel talked about his brother, she sounded like she was filled with admiration, awe, and absolute trust. What was her relations.h.i.+p with his brother? Was it similar to that of Giant Fist or Mua Janya? Did she know those two even though they were gone now? Chi-Woo wondered about all that, but thought it wiser to voice the questions next time with the long procession entering the city.
“If it’s fine with you, may I leave to complete the mission Sir Chi-Hyun requested me to do? I wish to converse with you a bit longer, but I think I need to lead the procession first.”
“Yes, yes. Do you need any help?”
“Thank you for offering, but it’s fine. I’ll make sure to ask you if I need something.”
And thus, the conversation ended. Noel bowed slightly to Chi-Woo before going past him and continuing marching. This was Chi-Woo’s first meeting with a hero who was close to his brother. He studied Noel closely as she called forth several heroes and gave orders.
* * *
That afternoon–after welcoming the newcomers, a tired but warm atmosphere filled the capital city. The city was quiet even though more than 10,000 new members had joined because most had fallen asleep from the fatigue of their long travel. And on such a monumental day, there were several gathered in Chi-Woo’s new house.
“If itz fwine with you, I want two fwinish that mission Sir Chi-Hyun gave me and s.h.i.+t. Gosh. What a load of bulls.h.i.+t.” Eval Sevaru mimicked what Noel said to Chi-Woo mockingly and snorted.
“Stop,” Ru Hiana interjected. “There’s no need to swear.”
“What? Didn’t you hear how ridiculous she sounded?” Eval shot back in anger.
“What was wrong with what she said?”
“Are you really asking me that after hearing that Noel or whatever said to our bro?”
Ru Hiana blinked hard and shook her head sideways. Eval sighed deeply.
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“She basically said she’s going to take over this place in a roundabout way. She was trying to establish ranks with our bro already. Don’t you realize it? Establis.h.i.+ng ranks?”
In a way, Noel could be likened to a stalker fan, but Chi-Woo felt relieved that at least one person was giving him an ordinary suggestion. “I know. And I don’t really mind. I don’t have any intentions to follow Eval’s words, either.”
“Hmm. That’s also a problem.”
Chi-Woo immediately turned to him. What did he mean by that?
“I don’t entirely agree with Eval Sevaru.” Zelit carefully selected his next words. “There will probably be problems though.”
“Hmm. It’s too early to tell, so I won’t say much. However, there are probably more people who think the same as Eval Sevaru, or are concerned like Ru Hiana.”
Just like how there can’t be two captains on one s.h.i.+p, community life followed the same principles.
“I don’t know if it’s the case only in my world, but… Think hard about the process of how revolutions initially succeed and fall.” With that cryptic last words, Zelit stood up and left.
* * *
“Hahahhaahah! His name is Chichibbong! What kind of name is Chichibbong!” Boisterous laughter rang out in one of the lodgings. The woman who was laughing her head off while undressing was no other than Noel Freya.
Truthfully, she had wanted to laugh as soon as she heard his name. Even after meeting him, she had a hard time suppressing her laughter. There were a few times she actually almost burst out laughing, but she was a famous hero who had followed Chi-Hyun into several missions; she exercised a supernatural composure and successfully suppressed her laughter.
“Haha. Fuufuhaha. Ah, f.u.c.k it. He’s got one f.u.c.king hilarious name. It keeps making me laugh. Really, what the h.e.l.l is up with his name? He looks so normal.” While crying tears of laughter, Noel Freya lay flat on her bed. Everything went pretty smoothly after arriving at the capital—other than the incident in which a beggar with rotten brains named Eval Sevaru kept on arguing that a whole block was his and furiously yelled at them to not enter without his permission.
‘On the other hand….’ Noel suddenly recalled her meeting with Chi-Woo. As soon as she thought of his face, all the laughs disappeared from her face. “Hmm…” Noel had blanked out when she saw Chi-Woo for the first time. Was it because she fell in love at first sight? That was definitely not the case, since there was only one man for her. ‘But they look strangely similar.’
Even though the air around Chi-Hyun and Chi-Woo was completely different, their faces looked strangely similar. As someone who remembered Chi-Hyun’s exact appearance and facial features, Noel felt a keen sense of déjà vu after seeing Chi-Woo. She would believe it if he said he was Chi-Hyun’s younger brother.
Moreover, her intuition was also telling her that something was off. Even though it was difficult for her to believe, Noel Freiya was feeling an indescribable discomfort after meeting Chi-Woo. It was not the discomfort of meeting someone new, but the discomfort of a daughter-in-law who had to visit her in-laws during the holidays. It felt as if something really bad might happen if she got on Chi-Woo’s bad side.
‘Well, there’s no way he’s related to Chi-Hyun.’
As Eval Sevaru said, the Choi family was wrapped in a thick veil. Excluding Giant Fist who had coincidentally heard from Chi-Hyun that he had a younger brother, there were very few heroes who knew that Chi-Hyun had a younger sibling. For that reason, it was understandable that Noel Freya dismissed her troubles as nothing but a strange feeling.
‘He seems pretty prestigious.’ After thinking about trivial thoughts, she began to contemplate more serious matters. ‘Just by hearing what Ru Hiana said… I should a.s.sess his skills myself, but if everything she said is true…’
Honestly, Noel Freya hadn’t thought of anything that Eval Sevaru accused her of. Or to be more specific, she didn’t even think it was necessary to go through a power struggle between them and the seventh recruits. Because she had Choi Chi-Hyun on their side—a hero who was admired and respected by all heroes. She had full confidence that he’d beat heroes from even the Ho Lactea or Afrilith family. It would be stranger to consider a power struggle might break out between them and an unknown hero she had never heard about.
On the other hand, she knew that there were also many heroes who targeted or envied Chi-Hyun’s fame, and there would be no greater honor than fulfilling a task Chi-Hyun had failed to complete. She thought of various matters, but despite her strange discomfort towards the unknown hero, her first impression of him wasn’t bad. The fact that he showed his respect to Chi-Hyun earned him some bonus points in her book.
‘I need to keep on watching for now.’ She closed her eyes and thought she should strike up another conversation with him before falling asleep—while not imagining that she’d desperately try to earn his favor in the near future.
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