After walking for about five minutes, I soon saw the building of the Cheongna Guild.
As a small elite guild, the size of the building is not very large. However, the tall entrance of the building, divided into the main building and the annex, had a considerable presence even within this sparkling street.
“Is this the right place?”
Together with Ash, I entered the main entrance of the guild. There was a reception desk at the front of the neatly decorated entrance hall. At first, I tried to tell the receptionist the purpose of my visit and asked for guidance.
“Hello. I … uuhh?”
But I didn’t finish my sentence.
Puk! I felt a strong impact on my back.
From the inside of the guild, Joo Shinhee rushed over and hugged me. It was a pretty heavy blow. Her twin brother, Joo Shinwoo, was with her.
“Eonni, what are you doing here? If I had known you were coming, I would have gone out to meet you!”
“Ahaha, hello. It’s been a while. How have you been?”
“Hello, Noona.” Joo Shinwoo shyly added a greeting.
“Eh? Kim Ash is here too? I wanted to go play with Eonni too!”
“Me too, me too.”
The twins circled around me and Ash. My head was dizzy from the fast movement.
“Eonni, do you want me to guide you to our guild? Do you want a snack?”
Joo Shinhee, who stopped spinning, grabbed my arm and pulled me inside, but this time Joo Shinwoo tugged on my arm from the other side.
“You idiot! You’re troubling Noona.”
“Ahaha, it’s not a trouble….”
I appreciate the hospitality, but I’d like you to remember that I only have one body, guys.
“You idiot! She said it’s okay! I’m really close with Eonni, see?”
“You idiot! I’m close with her too, remember?”
The year has changed, but the twins are still the same, and it’s reassuring to see them so energetic. Please continue to grow up as you are right now, unlike the twins before the regression.
After a while of bickering in twos, or rather, threes, with Ash sandwiched in between, Joo Shinwoo asked.
“So, what brings you here today?”
“Right, I’m here to meet Yoohyun-ssi.”
The twins glance at each other’s faces in surprise, then back at me. Their eyes glowed incredulously. With an eagerness that was incomparable to before, the two stuck together and marked me intensively.
“Welcome! Come this way, Eonni. I’ll show you around.”
Joo Shinhee grabbed my hand, and Ju Shinwoo pushed Ash’s back. We were led upstairs by the twins. The stairs took us up one level and then down a long corridor leading to an annex, where there was a security gate. The twins manipulated the security device to open the gate and usher us through. There were no signs of others’ presence, so it appeared that this was not a place for regular guild members or employees to enter.
After leading us directly to the front of the Guild leader’s office, the twins pointed to a door.
“Noona, over there, that’s the door.”
“Kim Ash, you go this way.”
Joo Shinwoo pushed Ash’s back and turned sideways.
“Come on, play with us.”
“Let go of me….!”
With a grimace, Ash pushed the twins away, but two against one seemed too much. The twins surrounded him, chattering away.
“Kim Ash, I’ll show you our armory.”
“Don’t you want to see my new cursed stake?”
“……! That, I might want to see it a little.”
Oh. Ash looked curious.
“I purified a fourth-grade stake to remove impurities and then carved a curse into it. It took me a week to make. It can curse even the highest-ranked demons with a single blow.”
“After purifying the 4-stars stake to remove the impurities, I inscribed a curse on it. It took me a week to make this masterpiece! It can curse even the highest-ranked demon with a single blow.”
“Hmph. You’re quite skilled.”
Ash’s eyes lit up at Joo Shinwoo’s words.
“That’s right. I’ll show you something special. Don’t disturb Noona and play with us.”
“Eonni, I’ll be playing with Kim Ash, so feel free to talk to the Guild leader. Take it easy!”
“Hey, let go of me.”
“This way, this way. Let’s go see the cursed stake.”
In a flash, the twins were gone, dragging Ash to the other side of the corridor. It looked like a storm had blown in.
‘I’m glad they seem to be getting along….’
Just then, the door in front of me opened.
“You’re here, please come in.”
It was Ki Yoohyun. I glanced at the back of Ash who was being dragged by the twins, then entered the room.
The guild leader’s office of the Cheongna Guild. The room, with its table, sofa, desk, and bookshelves, had a simple atmosphere. It didn’t look like it was used very often.
“Have a seat.”
Ki Yoohyun was dressed comfortably in black trousers and a pullover knit. The beige knit looked good on him. After I sat down, he poured me a cup of tea and placed it in front of me. It was warm green tea. I took a sip of the tea, then looked around and said, “Yoohyun-ssi, you’re really the leader of the Cheongna Guild.”
“Did I look like a fake until now?”
“Ahaha, it’s not like that. Just.”
“Well, the actual administrative work is handled by Hunter Han Yiseong, so I don’t use this room much.”
Having said that, Ki Yoohyun sat down across from me. The afternoon sunlight cast thin shadows over his face. He sipped his tea, waiting for me to speak. A quiet but not uncomfortable silence settled gently between him and me.
I already knew in my head that his true identity was Muwon, the guild leader of the Cheongna Guild, but it felt awkward to see him here after seeing him come and go from the cafe every time.
And I didn’t expect him to let me in this far.
Although I contacted him in advance, all we talked about was through KakaoTalk about 10 minutes ago. However, I was allowed in without any verification process at the entrance.
It must be a secret that Ki Yoohyun is a Muwon, the guild leader of Cheongna Guild.
Am I that much trusted by him?
The Guild’s office is a very public place, but on the contrary, I feel like I’ve been allowed into his private space. The silence tickles my cheeks.
Come to think of it, this is the first time I’ve been alone with him since we went to watch the fireworks. I’ve been preoccupied with everything that’s happened at the cafe, and when he comes to the cafe, Ash and the animals were always with us.
When we went to watch the fireworks, the atmosphere was very similar to this.
… Ah. When I think of Ki Yoohyun of the day, I can feel my earlobes burning. I quenched my thirst with tea and spoke, “I’m sorry for asking you to meet me so suddenly.”
“No, I just happened to be at the guild, and you’re welcome to come over even if you don’t have a specific purpose.”
He smiled, the eyes filled with goodwill turned to me, “So, what do you have to tell me, Rieul-ssi?”
“Well, a little while ago … I went there with Ash.”
I told Ki Yoohyun about what happened in Super Buff Coffee. As my story progressed, Ki Yoohyun’s expression darkened and eventually froze completely. He erased the smile from his face and let out a thin sigh.
“That’s why I called Yoohyun-ssi to get your advice first.”
Ki Yoohyun rubbed his forehead with his fingertips and said, “Why did you go to such a place?”
“What? I was just curious.”
“The idea that it’s dangerous …. I don’t think you thought about that. Not at all.”
“What do you mean dangerous? It’s just a cafe.”
“It would have been dangerous if you had been caught following the suspicious man.”
I could tell that this man was worried about me. I didn’t know what to say to him, since I couldn’t say things like “It’s okay because I didn’t get caught” or “I used my paparazzi skill” so I just emptied my tea without saying a word. The green tea is delicious.
“We are also investigating the cafe.”
“What do you mean with ‘we‘?”
I was curious about the latecomer cafe that sells buff coffee, so I went there and saw something strange. Was there some other reason for the high-level guild to investigate?
“Seonghye Enterprise. This is the name of the headquarters that runs that cafe, Super Buff Coffee.”
It was also written on the secret door that the strangely dressed man from Super Buff Coffee had entered.
“They say they started out as a crafting guild, but I haven’t found any significant history. It must be a lie.”
“The Seonghye Enterprise, the words they used for its name mean star and wisdom. It’s a blatant name.”
As I thought about the meaning of Seong Hye, a familiar name popped up.
“The Church of Starry Wisdom….”
It wasn’t completely unexpected, but I was surprised to see the name appeared here.
Ki Yoohyun’s past, Super Buff Coffee, and a religious organisation who’s trying to resurrect the Demon in the future.
It’s like they’re blatantly advertising that they’re the main villain.
“I saw a mark like this in that cafe.”
I drew the star-shaped mark on a piece of paper and showed it to him. Even without hearing the answer, I could see that this mark was a symbol of the Church of Starry Wisdom. Ki Yoohyun glared at the paper with a stony expression.
“There is one thing that puzzles me. You say it’s a secret door, but they left evidence like that outside enough for Rieul-ssi to access. It’s like they’re trying to show off.”
“Didn’t this happen before the regression?”
“No. It was more of a behind-the-scenes thing, not out front.”
Ki Yoohyun was lost in thought with an expressionless face.
I also thought to myself, Isn’t the expiration date for regressor merit too short?
It’s not even half a year since the regression, but the future has changed too much. Shouldn’t there still be a moment in half a year where you’re like, “Ah! There’s something like this happened in the past before the regression!“?
No matter how much I think about it, the future has changed a lot not because of me, but because of Ki Yoohyun. I’m an F-class, but this guy is an S-class.
Even if it’s a future that I’ve changed….
I set up a cafe, saved Choi Yichan, saved the flowers that made Choi Cedric’s brother not sick, met Ash, got Cthugha’s Ring and went to Cthugha’s Garden, and my uncle returned, and through the mysterious door, I gave buffs directly to the Hunters in the dungeon.…
….that’s a lot?
Me, am I the problem?
The Super Buff Coffee is probably based on our cafe.
I guess it’s me…..
For a while, the two regressors were lost in the thought since they fell into trouble without merit as regressors.
Then, Ki Yoohyun opened his mouth again.
“It is true that what you have told me is helpful information. However, I am worried about Rieul-ssi now that I know that the Church is involved.”
“I’ll investigate the ingredients of the coffee there first.”
The most urgent task is to figure out the identity of the coffee.
“And I’ll make sure to deal with anyone who tries to copy Rieul-ssi’s cafe, so can you leave this to me?”
He sounded sincere.
I nodded slowly.
There was no way I could investigate Super Buff Coffee further on my own. I decided to take him at his words and accept the favor.