A Man’s Journey
Ahn Hyundo said.
“Who will go with the youngest?”
Ahn Hyundo was trying to get someone to go.
When he was young, he had wandered through many countries. He had spent a lot of his life traveling throughout foreign countries.
The atmosphere of the meeting was rather good because they was going to meet women in Royal Road.
The masters knew but they kept silent.
In the course of mastering the sword, they had traveled around to learn about the world.
It was disadvantageous to be the first one to speak so they all remained silent.
They just remained in their sitting position with their strong chests and wide shoulders.
Their kept glancing at each other as if they were begging.
Ahn Hyundo looked into the eyes of each of the instructors.
Chung Il Hoon looked like he was a stoic person but he had generous and benevolent qualities.
He was extremely competent and the best disciple to further develop the dojo.
‘If he goes then the amount of work is going to increase around here.’
Ahn Hyundo thought that it was a better idea to have the instructors teach. He did not want to remove them and waste precious time that was needed to operate the dojo.
He wanted to see the woman that he met recently in Royal Road and go to the beach again.
‘It shouldn’t be him either.’
He quickly decided against having the fourth instructor go.
Roi Lee was the youngest of the instructors and had many prominent accomplishments in the way of the sword. Royal Road’s virtual reality was as expected.
It was the thing that they were looking for in order to gauge their development.
The willingness to fight, the feelings of weakness within themselves, or learning the way of the sword.
They had lived by the sword and the world of Royal Road was formidable.
A world of magic.
A moment of carelessness will lead to a surprise attack from a horde of monsters in the night.
They could face a number of challenges in Royal Road and revive shortly after suffering the despair of failure. It was a place where they could they could train their determination through struggles.
‘Sang Bom has a lot to do.’
Ma Sang Bom spent most of his time training the other pract.i.tioners so having him gone would be a large obstacle to the dojo.
“Jong Bom Ah.”
“This time you will take the youngest.”
That concluded the discussion in the dojo.
The mission was entrusted to one of the Geomchis.
“The plane tickets have already been obtained and the rest will be provided at the location. It should sufficient for the trip.”
“When do I start?”
“What should I say to the youngest?”
“No need to tell him the truth, just be moderate and tell him its going to be Jeju Island.”
“I will be going!”
The Virtual Reality Department was famous for the challenges that they issue every year during vacation. He was not aware of this fact. Lee Hyun was busy with his semester finals for his major. Lee Hyun solved the problems furiously.
‘This is the third time. That’s a problem. The subject of the thesis on Royal Road that was written by a professor.”
Aside from the subject, he did not even remember the name of the professor.
Many professors from Korea University had published several papers on Unicorn Corporation, but the thing that mattered was not the names but the content. The people that could remember that part could easily solved the problem.
‘I don’t know this. It’s been three times with the other two I couldn’t answer.’
He did not spend much time answering.
His answer was very short and it only accurately explained as much as necessary.
Lee Hyun told himself.
‘I didn’t do any of the a.s.signments but I have good attendance. It’s not going to be bad since I impressed the professors during the MT so I must not get an F in this cla.s.s!
Satisfactory enough to not receive an academic warning.
The plan was even if the grade was bad, as long as it was not an ‘F’ he wouldn’t need to retake the cla.s.s.
‘I only need to graduate.’
That was the purpose that was placing him in a difficult situation!
Lee Hyun solved the test questions within the time limit.
It was the last major test and then there would be vacation.
For students, summer vacation was more than two months long.
‘In that time, I’m only going to be doing a single thing!’
He was going to play Royal Road earnestly to level up.
Lee Hyun put his writing utensils into his cheap backpack.
Then the cla.s.sroom door open and Professor Ju Jong Hoon came in with his a.s.sistant.
The a.s.sistant was bringing in a lot of equipment, most of which were digital camcorders.
They were equipment that were used to shoot scenes to save as a movie!
With the development of digital media devices, the memory could record up to ten days of footage.
Professor Ju Jong Hoon walked onto the podium and said.
“It’s time for this year’s summer vacation homework.”
The students looked pedantic since they were looking forward to summer vacation after the final test.
“Oh, what a bother….”
“Another challenge? Is it going to be a challenge on some complex mathematical formula, or something like releasing something out of some sort of engine using physics?”
A lot of the students began to voice their concerns.
Lee Hyun began to worry.
‘An unexpected challenge has appeared.’
He didn’t do any a.s.signments that were for the cla.s.s. However, this a.s.signment seemed to be extraordinarily different from the rest.
Professor Ju Jong Hoon began to demonstrate how to use the camcorder.
“You know that in order to create a cool virtual reality you need to have to know what it is like to live in reality right? This year’s challenge is to record with the camcorders how your life is during the holidays. You can go to the swimming pool, find a part time job, travel. Anything is fine. Be sure to record with your camcorders during your vacation.”
The lecture room became dead quite.
Lee Hyun noticed after a few moments.
‘Do you really not care?’
The student’s began to guess at what Professor Ju Jong Hoon was indicating.
“In order for you to know each other more, the department decided this summer vacation challenge to be required this time. You enrollment of cla.s.ses for your major will be canceled should you not complete it.”
In order to graduate safely, this challenge had to be completed!
It was a very, very difficult task.
Other than going to the dojo to keep up his physical strength, Lee Hyun did not think of doing anything else outside of Royal Road.
The people around him quickly began to talk to each other.
“My family is planning to go to p.h.u.ket…so I could record there.”
“We’re planning on going to the South Sea Resort to rest.”
“I was planning on taking a modeling cla.s.s so I could take it there.”
The students were already planning how they were going to spend their summer vacation. As a first year college student at the age of 20, they would not spend their first summer vacation poorly.
Then it was time for the long awaited vacation!
Weed felt like a baby chicken that was going to be fried.
“The break that I was waiting for is finally here.”
He did not need any fancy vacations.
He was going to spend his time on the Continent of Versailles to raise his level and skill masteries while exploring.
“I was going to restore the rest of the seals…”
In order to repair the Ahreupen Imperial Seal he needed to increase his skills. He needed to create masterpieces and deliberately destroy them so he can repair them.
It was a difficult skill to train since it required accurate memory and skill!
Weed had to devote his time to creating fine pieces.
“I have to gradually break it and fix them little by little.”
Restore Sculpture skill was considered a subskill. Even though it was c.u.mbersome, the skill level would grow quickly. Weed’s goal was the intermediate level.
“By then I should be able to repair the Ahreupen Seal. But…”
Weed had an uneasy feeling in his chest and could not concentrate on his work to repair sculptures. Since it was a quest from the church about the lost artifact there was little chance of others ruining it. He had attempted to repair it once but it did not work.
“Yesterday, in town, when I was on the bus there was there a guy that was scratching a lottery ticket? Of course not. It was the guy in the bathroom with a b.u.t.ton up jacket with a fire designed on it…”
Then he suddenly had a good idea!
“Come to think of it, it’s almost time for the Church of Freya’s protection to end isn’t it?”
Since it was going to be a few years it was supposed to feel very long, but it was only 4 months in reality.
“I’ll have to take a look….military status.”
Weed opened an information window.
Military Force of Morata Province
|Beginner Knights: 10Average Level: 219
Average level: 45
|The level of knights is very low. Strict discipline is needed to keep knights from leaving. Morata’s soldiers have high loyalty but, with the exception of a few soldiers, their level is poor and they must seek the help of the police and vigilantes.|
|There are no siege weapons.|
|City Walls are in perfect condition.|
|The promised period of protection from the Church of Freya ends in five days.|
In just five more days, the protection from the Church of Freya would expire. Because of his public contribution, Weed was able to meet with Alveron.
“I would like to meet with His Majesty the Pope Candidate.”
There were times that called for proper respect. He had significant intimacy with Alveron from the quests he had completed. To him, Alveron was like a friend. But it was because of his public contribution that he could meet with Alveron.
“To think that Weed nim would seek a priest such as myself. What can I do for you?”
“This is Morata isn’t it? The place where Alveron and I save the people by defeating the vampires right?”
It was a good thing. Under the pretext of suffering under a quest together their intimacy would increase.
“The G.o.ddess Freya has left her invisible mark on the province of Morata, a beacon of hope that brings the land prosperity and peace has it not? To Morata, The G.o.ddess Freya is the G.o.ddess of Hope.”
“Weed nim, I am very grateful that you think so.”
“It’s a bit c.u.mbersome to say so let me speak more directly. Please extend the protection of Freya over Morata.”
Weed wanted to say a bit more. However, Alveron spoke before he could.
“However this is not in the South is it not? Even as the Pope Candidate Alveron, the distance to Morata is too great…”
He couldn’t help trying one more time.
“We have fought and spilled blood together have we not?”
“The church of Freya has much to teach about life.”
The Republic of Korea had an inseparable bond for dragging things out, so Weed used teaching as an excuse! Especially since the overly honest Alveron would never accept a bribe.
“I’m sorry. The G.o.ddess Freya would more than want to help. However there are people that are suffering elsewhere in more difficult situations so the Knights and Priests must leave at the promised date.”
They had eaten together as friends but it was like he had asked him to go buy rice without giving him any money and had refused, an unavoidable situation.
“To keep the protection of Freya on Morata for a longer period of time would cost the achievements that you have with the church.
Depending on the level of public contribution, he could get equipment or rare treasures. Weed felt it was a waste but it was his last resort. Morata had high development but very weak military force. It did not have enough soldiers and knights to fight a real battle. Alveron made the sign of a cross and bowed.
“There will be no problem if Weed nim since he has devoted so much to the Church of Freya but there will be some difficulty even if I ask. How much longer do you wish for the protection of the Church of Freya to be extended?”
|Public value points with the Church of Freya: 13290For the protection of the Church of Freya, 110 public value points are consumed a day.|
He could not help using a large amount of public value points to have the Church of Freya dispatch their tremendous forces of clerics and paladins to Morata.
Weed’s eyes began to moisten. He had been planning to use those public value points to buy high level weapons and armor from the church.
“Alveron, I would like the Church of Freya for as long as possible… to protect me.”
He needed to buy it!
“Do you wish to have the Church of Freya to protect the Province of Morata using your public value points?”
“The Templars will remain for another 120 days but since Weed nim is asking me personally I will ask them for an additional 30 days.”
Alveron gave him a courteous bonus of 30 days!
Weed gave him a hug.
The Church of Freya will keep away the other military forces.
But the time was approaching.
The next morning Lee Hyun began to prepare and put the camcorder in his bag.
“Jeju Island…the island of dreams. The best resort! I can’t believe that I’m going to Jeju Island.”
Ahn Hyundo had given him a phone call. They opened a new dojo in Jeju Island and he wanted him to go to see it. It was a good thing for Lee Hyun.
“I was worried about what I should be recording during vacation but to think that it would be Jeju Island.”
Jeju Island, even when compared to other people, it would not fall short.
It was a natural environment with the clear blue Halla Mountains with horses and the beach that he could record.
“This is such a success. Not everyone can go to Jeju Island. I better get my pa.s.sport.”
Lee Hyun put his pa.s.sport in his bag.
Ahn Hyundo said that he needed his pa.s.sport to get on a plane at the airport. To he had the written doc.u.ments and photos taken care of for him for the overseas dojo. Usually one would feel suspicious when they think about it but he did not have the slightest bit of suspicion.
The airfare, lodgings, and meals were all free!
“Oppa, take care.”
“Yes, I’ll be sure to bring back souvenirs.”
His sister went to see Lee Hyun off at the Incheon International Airport.
Stewardesses were busy running around and showing foreigners where their luggage was.
It was a whole new world for Lee Hyun.
He came thirty minutes ahead of the appointed time for Jong Bom Ah to arrive.
“So you’re here.”
“Yes sahyung, I came early.”
“Do you have your pa.s.sport?”
Lee Hyun was puzzled.
He didn’t understand since it wasn’t needed unless one was leaving Korea.
“You need a pa.s.sport to go to Jeju Island?”
Jong Bom Ah quickly answered him.
“We need to ride a plane.”
Lee Hyun only roughly knew what it was like to go on a plane.
One would know what it was like if they see a drama or a movie.
“I see, so it’s different from public transportation like a bus and I can’t just ride it.”
“This is a plane.”
Lee Hyun and Jong Bom Ah did not have much luggage other than a small bag. Lee Hyun checked the tickets that he had and they said Cairo, Egypt.
“This plane is going to Cairo?”
Lee Hyun roughly had heard about Egypt once.
“Isn’t this plane going to Southeast Asia?”
The look on the faces of the other pa.s.sengers was priceless.
‘How does he not know?’
‘Does he not even know where Egypt is?’
“As you know we are going to Jeju Island.”
“The plane directly to Jeju Island is expensive.”
“So you’re saying that… It’s like taking a bus and stopping in the middle.”
This sounded far too absurd to the other guests at the boarding gate.
To say that Jeju Island was a stop along the way to Egypt!
However, Jong Bom Ah looked very rough and had intimidating eyes so no one had the courage to tell the truth. So Lee Hyun took the flight to Cairo.
After the plane took off, a flight attendant began to walk around and pa.s.s out food and drinks. They simply pa.s.sed by where Lee Hyun and Jong Bom Ah was. As soon as they got onto the plane they had fallen into deep sleep. The two of them crossed the sea past Central Asia and were on the plane heading to Cairo.
Summer was hot in Korea, but it was incomparable to Egypt.
The hot air and scorching sun caused sweat to run down their foreheads.
There were not traces that this was a Korean airport since there were only Egyptians wearing turbans. He was not stupid enough to believe this was Jeju Island.
“Sahyung! I think this is the wrong place.”
There was deep suspicion in Lee Hyun’s eyes.
He had fallen asleep on the plane thinking that he would be in Jeju Island.
Then along with the other foreigners, they went to the immigration procedures.
Jong Bom Ah said.
“That was only part of the truth…it’s a tradition of the dojo to have its members go out to see the real world.”
“We deliberately planned this trip a long time ago.”
To think that he would be somewhere like this. From how it was explained, he could not be mad at Jong Bom Ah. There was more to learning the sword than just the physical part. Every cell in the body had to be alive in order to wield the sword.
Traveling overseas in order to properly learn the way of the sword! Even after leaving on the trip, despite the other troubles, there was nothing to regret.
Moreover, it was traveling abroad. He did not have any chances to see the world out of Korea.
Lee Hyun asked to confirm.
“This is…free right?”
“Of course it’s free.”
Lee Hyun let out a sigh of relief.
Even if it was annoying and c.u.mbersome, since it was free he could not be angry.
“Everything is free so just relax and enjoy. Kuehahahaha! It’s a journey and others are paying for you, enjoy!”
“Where do we go now?”
“For now, we get on a helicopter.”
A helicopter was waiting for them at the Cairo Airport.
They flew past the dry air and sand of the Sahara Desert in Egypt to see charming buildings of brick and stone.
Two four wheel drive jeeps were ready for Lee Hyun and Jong Bom Ah.
The jeep was opened on the roof and had a leather tent that could be opened and closed easily.
“Do you know how to drive?”
“I have never driven before, but I have ridden a motorcycle a bit…”
He did not have a driver’s license. He had driven a motorcycle to deliver food for a Chinese restaurant once.
“Do you have one?”
“It doesn’t matter since there are not traffic police, just don’t hit anything.”
Jong Bom Ah threw him the car keys.
“Go start it.”
Lee Hyun sat in the driver’s seat in the car. He put the keys into the ignition.
The car’s engine started with a cry.An off road, four wheel drive vehicle for crossing the desert!
Even if it didn’t look like much, the jeep had tremendous power.
Behind the driver seat was filled with food, water, oil, a tent, and other materials as well as a book about Africa. There was also white medicine boxes piled up.
“Well, let’s get started!”
Jong Bom Ah started his engine and went out first into the desert.
The car’s wheels kicked up dust.
Lee Hyun slammed on the brakes.
The car did not move correctly!
“Was the accelerator on the left or the right?”
Lee Hyun released his foot and stepped on the right accelerator. The car bounced and went forwards.
It was a fantastic place for a novice driver.
There were no lanes and you could park anywhere you want.
They pa.s.sed by many piles of sand, desert scorpions, and even an oasis.
The wind was mixed with the sand as the two cars moved forwards side by side.
Groups were riding on horses and shooting guns.
Lee Hyun came riding along with Jong Bom Ah in a Jeep.
Lee Hyun asked on a transceiver.
“Sahyung, who are they?”
– They’re either bandits or the militia.
“Would they attack us?”
– It’s okay. The dojo has contacts in this place. They’re not going to carelessly attack a marked car.
Lee Hyun’s car had come with a red painted patterned flag.
The armed hors.e.m.e.nt did not attack as Jong Bom Ah said, but they did get closer. The two jeeps traveled along the desert and they saw travelers on camels. Lee Hyun took out the camcorder to record the ride in the car. Houses were built with mud and straw in the first town where he met skinny children. The children had black skin and they were playing with a ball, he could feel lack of vitality in their expressions! Lee Hyun and Jong Bom Ah went to see the doctor of the village to deliver books and the boxes of medicine.
“Good… sign here.”
The doctor thanked them when he received it.
An old lady walked by and gave them a necklace made out of wood and stone for helping.
Lee Hyun asked.
“When did this start?”
“Master came on a tour of Africa about 15 years ago.”
“How many people will these boxes cover?”
“About 600 people maybe?”
“In Korea, almost absolutely all drugs come in a bottle, but here there are children dying everywhere.”
In the small hospital tent there where children lined up.
All the children in line that received a vaccination shot thanked the doctors.
Children from the next town over would come for vaccinations and then return.
Then the second village and then the third.
In the village, the other villages received hospitality as they shared the medicine.
There were people on the lookout for intruders but not many outsiders come since for a v ery long time they had lived on the high cliff.
“Sahyung, the desert’s land is very hard.”
“Rocky terrain is very broken and its very much like the desert sand of the Sahara Desert. It’s not much compared to the width of the entire region.”
Jong Bom Ah knew about the world.
The sand of the Sahara desert was different from expected since it was a endless sea of sand. But the land was covered by sand. They would not sink very deep since there was gravel and stone underneath. There were a lot of large trees nearby and bushes as well as rocks the size of houses in the distance. A single visit to Africa could save thousands of lives!
Three days after they began, they went back into the desert and they were escorted by the armed militia. As the car pa.s.sed over the hill, he looked to the horizon and then his body began to shake violently. At night the temperature suddenly dropped so he needed to very several thick layers of cloths. Lee Hyun put water to boil in a bot as he turned on the burner. Under the light of the Milky Way, he drank a cup of coffee in the desert!
“A few tablespoons of sugar.”
Lee Hyun turned on the radio receiver to listen in.
There was a talk show in an unknown language and soon music began to play. He had heard it a couple times in Korea and it was Jae Lynn’s song ‘A Dialogue of Eyes’ in English.