Chapter 29: Female President (5)
Rawiya kept laughing. She tried to hold in her laughter with all the self-control she could muster, but she failed and let out a clutter of sounds such as “Wh-hiii!” or ‘Humph!’’ At last, she couldn’t hold it in any longer and burst out laughing, “Hahahaha.” When Shakira nudged her, Rawiya covered her mouth with her hands and kept her head down as Eshnunna guided Chi-Woo and the rest of his companions out of the camp.
Thanks to this farewell, Chi-Woo was in a foul mood the entire trip. Sure, a name could be funny. Even Chi-Woo had wanted to laugh when he heard Zelit’s name, but he kept it to himself and didn’t make a fool out of anybody. And it wasn’t as if Rawiya had just snickered at him. She was laughing right in his face. Of course Chi-Woo would feel offended.
“I’m sorry. I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I didn’t think she would laugh so…I personally think it’s a nice name. I truly do.”
“I will warn her severely, so please don’t be angry any longer…” Ru Amuh apologized instead, not knowing what to do, but Chi-Woo didn’t even glance at him, giving only the most succinct replies. Chi-Woo also didn’t respond to Ru Hiana as she tried to appease him in a high-pitched voice.
“Ah, Senior. I’m sorry. I didn’t think you would be so angry. I won’t laugh anymore, so please stop being so angry? Please?”
Eshnunna turned around. She seemed unsettled as well, but managed to put on a smile. “We’re almost there. It’s only a little bit away.” Like she said, they soon arrived at their destination. It was a large settlement surrounded by medium-sized stonewalls, thickly coated with green moss. Eshnunna stepped inside the wooden doors and said in surprise when she saw the two people waiting behind them, “Here it is. This place is…Oh my. Were you both waiting?”
“Ah, you’re back? Did you perhaps…?”
The two quickly scanned the companions Eshnunna had brought with her and exclaimed when they saw Chi-Woo. Chi-Woo’s surly face also brightened.
“Mr. Giant Fist! And Ms. Mua Janya!”
Chi-Woo couldn’t continue because Giant Fist was running towards him while shrieking.
“Y-you’re alive…! Alive…!”
Giant Fist hugged Chi-Woo and lifted him into the air, so overwhelmed with emotions that he couldn’t speak properly and instead kept wailing.
“Wait, Mister. Ah. Please.” Chi-Woocouldn’t breathe. He turned to Mua Janya to implore her to save him, but her response wasn’t much different from Giant Fist’s.
“Thank goodness…that you are alive…oh, thank goodness…” She didn’t react as strongly as Giant Fist, but she wiped the tears falling from her eyes a couple of times. After some struggle, Chi-Woo was finally able to free himself from Giant Fist’s grasp. Watching from behind, both Ru Hiana and Eshnunna smiled brightly. Hawa, who had followed the group quietly from behind, simply stared at Chi-Woo and Giant Fist, who was still heaving and crying.
Then Eshnunna placed her hands together and smiled. “Aren’t you all hungry? I will prepare a meal shortly, so why don’t we talk at the restaurant?”
Everyone agreed readily. They hadn’t eaten anything since they were teleported to this place, so they were all extremely hungry. After the pa.s.sionate reunion, the group followed Eshnunna into a building. The place was quite s.p.a.cious, and there was even a garden and a field growing vegetables. There was also a building that was the size of a small mansion and another smaller-sized building. Eshunna explained that the smaller building was a temple, which was the main source of protection for the camp base. Perhaps its existence was the reason why there seemed to be about a hundred or more original inhabitants of Liber in the area. Of course, the size of the community was far too small to be called a village, but it was much bigger than a camp.
They soon arrived at a restaurant on the first floor and ate the food Eshunna personally prepared for them. Even though the main base was in a better situation than the other bases, the meal was still simple: a diluted soup mixed with cereals and two root vegetables that tasted like potatoes. Nevertheless, the fact that they were eating produce grown from the fields tended by the community showed how much care Eshnunna had put into the meal. No, considering the current circ.u.mstances, it was basically a feast. After all, the food Rawiya packed for them in apology was a bag of tree bark dust and a mysterious mud-looking lump. It was only fortunate that they had been able to quench their thirsts momentarily from the recent heavy downpour.
“I’m sorry. I want to let you all have your fill, but I also have to leave some for the other recruits…” Eshnunna said regretfully while watching Chi-Woo sc.r.a.pe the bottom of his bowl.
After they finished their humble meals, Eshnunna guided them all to the dormitory where all the recruits were supposed to reside. Saying that they must be all tired, Eshnunna told them to rest and left them to converse amongst themselves in private. The rooms were old but well-maintained and clean. There were even beds to sleep on and walls to s.h.i.+eld them from the wind and rain. In comparison to the camp’s tents, this was a palace. After deciding that Chi-Woo would share a room with Mua Janya and Giant Fist, they started catching up.
Mua Janya and Giant Fist were both lucky. They were teleported near the main base camp and were found early on and brought here. Although Giant Fist made a fuss, saying that he had to go look for Chi-Woo, Eshnunna pleaded for him to wait, promising to ask around the different camps once the day broke.
“I’m so glad…if something had happened to you, sir…I don’t know how I would face your brother…” Giant Fist’s eyes were still red as he whimpered. Mua Janya also shook her head.
“We were so worried, sir. He almost said your name out loud several times, so I had to interrupt him.”
‘It was as Eshnunna said.’ Chi-Woo recalled Eshnunna’s exasperated responses and appreciated Mua Janya’s thoughtfulness. ‘I really shouldn’t reveal my ident.i.ty.’ Chi-Woo was taking the utmost care to not bring attention to himself right now. If people found out that he belonged to one of the twelve greatest families in the Celestial Realm and was Chi-Hyun’s younger brother, Chi-Woo wondered how they would respond. It gave him chills just thinking about it.
“By the way, regarding the other recruits who came with you, sir, you didn’t reveal your name to them, did you?” Mua Janya asked. After Chi-Woo nodded, she continued, “You should think of a fake name in case you need to introduce yourself.”
“Ah, that is…Sigh.” Chi-Woo was about to say something, but stopped himself and hung his head low. Mua Janya asked him what was wrong with widened eyes. Chi-Woo made her promise that she wouldn’t laugh before telling her. However, she couldn’t keep her promise.
“What? What did you tell them your name was?”
“I said ChichiBbong, Chi-Chi-Bbong.”
As soon as he repeated his fake name again, the two burst out laughing.
“Ahahahah! Chichibbong! Of all names, Chichibbong!”
Giant Fist laughed so hard he cried, and Mu Janya shrieked in high-pitched laughter. Chi-Woo crossed his arms in annoyance; he knew this would happen.
“Didn’t you say that you wouldn’t laugh?”
“No! But this is…!”
“I told you to stop laughing.”
Giant Fist and Mua Janya were so out of breath that they couldn’t even respond.
“I couldn’t help it,” Chi-Woo said loudly. “He immediately caught on to it after I said ‘Choi Chi’, so I had to quickly come up with a name…ah, seriously.” Chi-Woo showed his annoyance, and Mua Janya quickly collected herself. She coughed a couple of times and changed the topic of the conversation.
“Ah, wait. You must have received a device, too, right sir? It has many functions. Let’s save each other as contacts first. I will teach you.”
“There’s no need. I already know.”
*** You are reading on https://webnovelonline.com ***
“Ah, please don’t be like that. I don’t know that much yet, but I’ll give you all the information we have collected so far. Chichi…hmph. Anyway, I will always keep it open, so you can download it whenever you want.”
Eshnunna bowed as if there was nothing for her to say, and Giant Fist kept pestering her, going so far that the others narrowed their eyes at Giant Fist with disapproval.
“Hey, what’s up with you?” Mua Janya tried to stop Giant Fist, unable to stand by and do nothing, but he snorted instead.
“Why? I can’t even ask?”
“…What?” The tails of Mua Janya’s eyes began to slowly curl up.
“What’s your problem?”
“Come on. Your old habits are coming back agai—"
“Sir, I’ll try to obtain it.” When Eshnunna saw that the situation was starting to become tense, she hurriedly tried to mediate the conflict. “It’s true that we’ve been focusing less on finding food since we’ve been putting a lot of our efforts into locating recruits…I can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to find meat, but I’ll tell the others to keep an eye out from tomorrow. We’ll try to look for it inside the camp as well.”
“Yeah, you should do that. Look into it.”
Eshnunna bowed deeply and turned around. As she took their empty bowls and left, her steps seemed weaker than usual. Mua Janya kept her mouth shut, but she looked a bit bewildered. Ru Hiana’s face was red. She glanced at Giant Fist, who was now gulping his soup straight from the bowl with an indifferent expression.
“Did you know?” In the end, Ru Hiana could not stand it any longer. “The natives here can’t even eat food like ours and try to sustain themselves with gra.s.s roots and tree barks.”
“Ah, is that so?” Giant Fist replied indifferently and bit into his share of root vegetables; he looked at her as if he was saying ‘so what?’ Ru Hiana let out an angry huff and stared intently at Chi-Woo. It seemed that she wanted to yell at Giant Fist, but was suppressing her anger since Giant Fist seemed close to Chi-Woo. Chi-Woo also didn’t like Giant Fist, but he didn’t step forward and instead quickly finished his meal.
* * *
After the meal, the heroes didn’t disband immediately. At Zelit’s suggestion, they all partic.i.p.ated in a meeting. The agenda was simple—it was to discuss what they could do here and what they needed to do in the future. However, since the meeting was sudden and the atmosphere during the meal was far from amicable, the meeting turned out horrible.
Some of the heroes argued they couldn’t just sit and do nothing, while others retorted and asked what they could possibly do in a situation like this, suggesting that they waited a bit more to observe the situation. Then another group argued that if they waited any longer, they’d all starve. Then another side quickly countered that by saying if they were so concerned, they should go and find their own food. It was basically just a dog fight. Frustrated, Chi-Woo quietly got up in the middle of the meeting and left the cafeteria.
‘We need to do something, but…’ There were a ton of things to do. Chi-Woo knew they had many problems to solve, but what would be the best way to go about it?
‘I need information.’ Eshnunna didn’t know what exactly had happened to the fifth and sixth recruits. Chi-Woo recalled what she said previously.
[I’m not sure about what happened to them.]
[We gave them as much support as we could, but they didn’t tell us their plans for important matters. I think they considered us useless to them in those regards.]
Thus, Eshnunna had just trusted them and did as they said.
‘How, how the heck do I….’ Chi-Woo smacked his lips. ‘In comic books, notification windows would pop up at these moments and kindly explain to users what to do.’
While Chi-Woo looked at his wrist and thought about fruitless thoughts like this—
‘Hmm?’ Chi-Woo saw a figure furtively moving in the dark night.
*** You are reading on https://webnovelonline.com ***