When I arrived at the meeting place, I recognized Ahyoung at first glance. It was crowded but the appearance of my first love shone in a unique manner.
It was true that I had seen beautiful women such as Yura, Jishuka, and Euphemina lately. I never felt anything when looking at the beauty of top CF stars (commercials). But was it due to the compensation effect? Ahyoung was beautiful even when compared to Yura and Jishuka.
‘In particular, her smile is pretty.’
I first met Ahyoung when I entered high school. At that time, she always had a smile that made a person feel good. I fell in love with the way she brightened the mood around her. I didn’t have the courage to confess and graduated without saying anything. But now I had a chance.
'In fact, Ahyoung likes me as well. If not, why would she want to meet me? Okay, I will tell her my heart this time.’
The last time I met Ahyoung was two years ago at the alumni meeting. This was the first time just the two of us met personally. So I was even more nervous. I took a deep breath and cleared my throat to calm myself. I nervously stretched out my legs.
I was stretching in the midst of a crowd of people. The people passing by stared at me, but I didn’t care. After a while. I calmed down to some extent and headed over to Ahyoung. A nice scent wafted from her long straight hair, which was her symbol.
“H-H-Hello Ahyoung? It has been a while. How is your family? Well, um... Uh, it is already autumn, Isn’t there a lot of leaves on the street? The cleaners must be going through a lot of trouble. Haha, shouldn’t winter come sooner? When winter arrives, spring will come soon... In the spring, the flowers...”
What the hell was I saying right now? I tried to greet her as naturally as possible, but due to my extreme tension, my head became confused and I started talking nonsense.
I started sweating from agitation.
‘It is really pathetic. I can’t even speak properly in front of someone I like...’
Ahyoung gave me a slight smile.
“Youngwoo is still funny. Haven’t you become even more handsome?”
Ahyoung seemed to like the latest trends I was wearing. Today, I invested 180,000 on my haircut and 1,030,000 won on the shoes, pants, and shirt. My appearance was worth 1,210,000 won.
‘People are looking at me as they pass by... The large amount of money I invested was worth it. Life is also about the power of my items.’
I was able to relax and find my confidence thanks to Ahyoung’s sweet smile and praise. Then I took her to a nearby restaurant.
"I made a reservation.”
It was a restaurant that I found on the Internet. The price was very expensive because it was a tuna specialty store, but wasn’t it worth spending money on a meal with Ahyoung?
"Isn’t this place expensive? Youngwoo, are you doing well these days?”
Ahyoung’s body was a piece of art as she took off her coat and sat down. Her cleavage was revealed by her dress, making me almost have a nosebleed. I grabbed my nose and explained.
"I got a job.”
As far as Ahyoung knew, I was in debt from playing the game. I had to let her know that my situation was different from the past in order to appeal to her.
“My debt has now been cleared.”
“Omo, really? That is good,” said Ahyoung in a pleased voice. "Well, Youngwoo was a hard worker so I believed that you would someday do well.
Since I wasn’t a talented person, I had to work hard to study and exercise. That’s how I followed along in the middle of the pack. No matter how hard I tried, there was a limit to my grades and people didn’t notice I was doing my best. But Ahyoung seemed to be aware of my efforts.
‘Has she been watching me that much?’
The food finally came out. Ahyoung naturally poured some soju and made a toast.
"For Youngwoo’s new start after clearing all the debt! Cheers!”
The soju tasted like honey when I drank with Ahyoung. This was a famous restaurant, so the dishes were also excellent.
“Too delicious! I am able to eat at a place like this thanks to Youngwoo. Are you making a lot of money? Where did you get a job?”
If I said that I made money in Satisfy, I might give the impression that I was still just game obsessed. I wanted to show as much as I could, so I excluded Satisfy from the story.
"I’m just a worker at a small company.”
"Heh, is it your major?”
“Um, something like that. Ahyoung, what have you been doing?”
"Me~ I’m just going to work and work and work, it is an infinite loop.”
"What about romance?”
"When will I have time for romance when I am so busy working?”
Ha! So busy that she didn’t have time to date? I was sure of it this time.
‘Ahyoung really does like me!’
I had zero experience in dating. I didn’t know much about women, but I was certain that Ahyoung liked me. I felt great.
"You know Ahyoung. I am doing fairly well these days. It will take a while because my family is going through some tough times these days but... I am planning to collect my marriage funds soon. That... W-When...”
"When I collect all the wedding funds... At that time, marry me!”
Eh? What was I talking about now? It seemed like I couldn’t distinguish between reality and imagination because I imagined proposal to Ahyoung more than a hundred times. I thought my face would explode with shame.
Then it felt like ice water was poured on me as Ahyoung grabbed her belly and laughed. “What, a proposal all of a sudden? You really surprised me. Youngwoo, you really... Have you always been this funny?”
Unfortunately, Ahyoung dismissed my proposal as a joke. Well, it was natural. No matter what was in our hearts, we were currently just classmates. In addition, a proposal out of nowhere after not meeting for two years? Who would think I was serious? Of course she would take it as a joke.
I wanted to hide in a mouse hole. After that, we had a good time and the last dish was brought out. Three bottles of soju were drunk. I didn’t drink too much because I was too nervous. On the other hand, Ahyoung seemed a little tipsy.
“I need to go fix my makeup.”
Ahyoung went to the bathroom. I started to worry after she left.
‘Should we go to a bar? Or would it be better to go to a karaoke room? But Sehee told me not to sing in front of another woman because I was tone-deaf... Um... Or.... Maybe we should take a break at a m-m-motel because Ahyoung drank too much?’
Today was the day! But wasn’t Ahyoung taking too long?
‘Has she collapsed in the bathroom?’
I was worried and left the room. I asked an employee about the location of the bathroom and moved down the corridor. At the end of the corridor, there was the bathroom as well as a door to the outdoor smoking area.
Then I heard Ahyoung’s voice coming from the smoking room.
“Ah, he is so embarrassing.”
"Why is he wearing clothes that look like they come from the set of an Internet shopping mall? You know. Those pants that are popular these days... Yes, that's right. You see a lot of them on the street. He came fully dressed like that. People were staring. I was really mortified. His hairstyle doesn’t suit his face, making him look worse. Sigh, really.”
... She was talking about me. Ahyoung who was always friendly and smiled at everyone. She was beautiful with big breasts and a pretty face, but I fell in love with her because of her kindness. But in fact, she was the type of woman who would gossip behind other people’s back?
"Do you know? He proposed less than 30 minutes after we met. Kukuku! Not even dating, but marriage! He is really so pitiful, pitiful. Are you dying from laughter? Huh? That's right. I am having fun. Isn’t it good playing around like this? I will be sure to make him come to the reunion.”
I couldn’t believe this situation and pinched my cheeks to make sure it wasn’t a dream.
It hurt. It hurt enough to make me cry.
“... It isn’t a dream.”
Indeed, if I thought about it, there was no reason for Ahyoung to like me. We didn’t have a close relationship in our school days, and we only met once a year at the reunions after graduation... Even at the reunions, we never had a proper conversation.
In the first place, our relationship was so small that she wouldn’t like me. I wasn’t handsome, rich, well studied or have a charming personality... What woman would like such a mediocre person?
‘I’m not the protagonist of a manhwa...’
I returned to the dining room, where I drank one more bottle of soju. The sweet soju was now bitter.
“What? Have you been drinking alone? Youngwoo, aren’t you a drinker?” Ahyoung grinned as she returned to the room. "Let’s go somewhere else. We can talk more in a place where the atmosphere is better...”
I wanted to say to Ahyoung, ‘You detestable girl! Is it fun playing with someone innocent? Stop acting!’ But it was impossible to talk like that to someone whom I loved.
"No, let’s end it here today. I have to hurry home.”
Ahyoung’s expression was so natural that I couldn’t even believe she was acting. If I hadn’t heard her call by chance, I would’ve been fooled by her acting forever.
“I’m sorry, I’ll have to see you next time.”
I barely managed to suppress my tears as I got up. Before I parted from Ahyoung in front of the restaurant, she finally cut to the chase. "Come to the reunion next week, understood?”
Ah. The reason why Ahyoung met me today was because she was instigated by the other alumni in order to use my love to make me go to the reunion, where they could mock me. Why was I always so pitiful?
“Okay, I understand."
I nodded without saying no to Ahyoung. Then on the way home on the bus, I cried like a protagonist of a melodrama.
"Sob sob sob sob~!!”
The other passengers looked at me and told me to be quiet, but I cried without caring. I soon arrived home.
"Oppa, what’s with that stupid haircut? Huh? Oppa? Why’s your expression like that? Are you crying?”
Was she waiting for me? As soon as I opened the door, Sehee rushed out of her room with a concerned look.
I declared to Sehee, "I'll never love again. Women... I’m really scared of women. I don’t like them.”
There was no one who needed me in reality. I was just a joke. But Satisfy was different. Khan was solely dependent on me, while Administrator Valdi required my skills. In addition, Irene had great affection towards me. Yes, I realized once again that Satisfy was the place for me.
I went straight to the capsule and connected to Satisfy. As soon as I connected, there was a whisper from Jishuka,
-The orb’s price has been determined. Can we meet now?
Then Jishuka came to Khan’s smithy and handed him the money.
“The maker of the Special Jaffa Arrows... We have been searching really hard for you. We need your abilities. Grid, please join our guild.”
I stared at her. I remember telling Jishuka that I made the Special Jaffa Arrows and the Divine Shield during the Malacus raid.
‘They saw me using Pagma’s Swordsmanship... They might’ve already noticed that I have a hidden class...’
I seriously thought about it. If I joined the best guild, the benefits to me were obviously huge. And Jishuka promised her full support.
‘I don’t want to waste time socializing if I join a guild, but I don’t think I need to worry about that if I join the Tzedakah Guild.’
There were a lot of benefits if I joined the Tzedakah Guild. However, there was a problem to be addressed.
“I have a question.”
"Ask me anything."
"The money I will earn from my personal activities and the money I will earn from working with your guild. Which one will be bigger?”
Jishuka replied without thinking about it. "Of course you will make more money when you are with us. You will get more money and reputation.”
“Really? Is that so? Hrmm... Then I have a condition before joining the guild.”
“Yes. Whatever you ask.”
“I am based here at Khan’s smithy. I am Khan’s successor and will someday inherit this smithy. I don’t want to move my base according to your tastes.”
Jishuka responded instantly. “Okay. We will move our guild base to Winston instead of forcing you to move.”
It was unconditionally favoring him. I realized what it meant when one of the best guilds promised their full support.
‘This... Is my worth bigger than I thought?’
I was currently the best blacksmith in Satisfy. I knew this fact better than anyone else. But I never imagined that my value would be so great as to make one of the strongest guilds move their headquarters to Winston.
‘If I want to, I can live well in any guild.’
However, I had no intention of applying for membership to another guild. Have I ever been recognized and needed by someone before? No. It was my first time. My heart was weakened due to the incident with Ahyoung, so I felt overwhelmed at the fact that the top rankers acknowledged me.
“Okay. I will join the Tzedakah Guild. If you don’t keep any of your promises, I can leave the guild at any time.”
Thus, I joined the Tzedakah Guild. This was a stepping stone for my growth.
I was determined.
‘I will become rich quickly. Then I will show those who ignored me.’
I would show all the alumni, including Ahyoung, my change as soon as possible.
OG: Glossary Link.
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