Chapter 223 – Wijihoyeon (1)
Translated by : betterdays
Proofread by : Hogu
Wijihoyeon, whom Lee Sungmin had not encountered in the past week, appeared cheerful.
Her complexion was healthy, and she even had a gentle smile etched on her face.
Lee Sungmin paused as he watched Wijihoyeon standing under the tree. Lee Sungmin was not the only one who was surprised and speechless.
Even Heoju, in Lee Sungmin’s shared conscience within his head, forgot what to say.
The Wijihoyeon, that Lee Sungmin knew and always had witnessed, was always wearing a martial arts uniform of sorts.
That was not the Wijihoyeon that stood before him.
She was wearing a petite and beautiful black dress that had a golden dragon embroidered across the right side of her chest.
Lee Sungmin unknowingly took a few steps back, gazing at Wijihoyeon’s bare shoulders and her calves stretching underneath the dress.
“That’s an odd look on you.”
Wijihoyeon smiled while looking at Lee Sungmin’s expression.
Lee Sungmin opened his mouth to say something, but he couldn’t say anything and just closed them again.
He had had many encounters and incidents in his life, but none of them were as shocking as the one before him now.
“Is it that surprising that I’m dressed like this?”
Wijihoyeon asked, and Lee Sungmin answered in a dazed voice, unsure of what to say.
After hearing the reply, Wijihoyeon grinned and then said, lifting the hem of the dress slightly over her thighs.
“It’s my first time wearing something like this, too.”
It wasn’t only the first time she had worn something like that, this too was the first time she had ever worn something remotely feminine. For the past week, Wijhoyeon had countless struggles in avoiding Lee Sungmin.
Her feelings that she had been trying to hide and avoid confronting had been jeopardized with the loss in the fight with Lee Sungmin. She no longer knew what to do with them and was afraid to have Lee Sungmin leave her. That emotion and feeling she had for Lee Sungmin had been festering ever since they were kids, but it was becoming more and more difficult to express the way she felt. And so, with the situation changing, she became reluctant but willing.
“I thought you’d like it.”
Said Wijihoyeon with a playful smile.
Lee Sungmin stared at Wijihoyeon’s figure in the dress with a blank expression.
Her smile was captivating, and her figure was alluring with its own incredible charm. Lee Sungmin then noticed that his hands were subtly trembling.
What was he so anxious about?
“It’s a type of reward. Since I mean… you won the fight.”
Lee Sungmin barely managed to speak.
“Well…… it suits you.”
She wanted to say it wasn’t such a big deal. But her mouth refused to say it. She genuinely felt a fluttering feeling in her chest when Lee Sungmin said that.
The laughter that hid her anxiety disappeared, and her eyes widened for an instant in surprise. Wijihoyeon stared at Lee Sungmin with her mouth half -open.
Soon, Wijihoyeon smiled once more. Unlike the previous smile that was a false bravado to hide her anxiety, the smile that Wijihoyeon done now, was sincere.
The fact remained that even though none of the conversation was directed at Heoju, the loud and noisy Yokai, was silent from nervousness like Lee Sungmin.
In fact, according to his personality and past behaviors around this topic, he would have pushed Lee Sungmin’s back and urged him to bite the bullet and grow some balls, but he could not say anything due to Lee Sungmin’s aggressive tone and resolute mindset to not hesitate in binding him to a toilet.
If Heoju had stepped forward and nagged Lee Sungmin at this moment, there was no telling what might happen to him.
“That’s… that’s… that’s…….”
Speaking up and stuttering awkwardly, Lee Sungmin realized that he was not particularly talented in these kinds of conversation.
Maybe he truly had no talent in anything at this point.
“Just now……yes my technique. Sima Ryunju… I mean… my teacher…….”
[What a dumbass.]
(T/N : Heoju gets us finally)
There was an empty remark from Heoju who had enough of Lee Sungmin’s complete lack of social skills.
“Let’s not talk about that right now.”
Even before Lee Sungmin could finish putting his words together, Wijihoyeon slowly shook her head and spoke calmly.
Lee Sungmin immediately shut up.
Wijihoyeon lowered the hem of her skirt and lowered her head.
She hesitated for a moment, fiddling with the ends of her jet black hair that remained in her simplistic style of it laid down behind her shoulders, undecorated.
Lee Sungmin calmly put down the spear, and Wijihoyeon opened her mouth first.
“……can I talk with you?”
Wijihoyeon felt embarrassed to even ask him the question. Lee Sungmin couldn’t even formulate a reply before Heoju butted in and scolded him.
[Hey, just go to her, you idiot.]
[You stupid bastard. She’s finally mustering up some courage that you’ve never had in your life. Are you seriously just going to keep standing here like an idiot?]
Heoju couldn’t stand the frustration he was feeling any longer and shouted like that at Lee Sungmin.
[I don’t know what changed for her, but that girl is clearly struggling to do something that she’s never done before. By the way, what are you doing? In the midst of all this, this is the chance you’ve been waiting for all the time! Are you seriously just going to breeze over this and not regret it later!?]
Lee Sungmin loosened his grip on the spear when Heoju shouted loudly at him to come to his senses.
Wijihoyeon was still waiting for Lee Sungmin’s answer with her head down.
Are you confident that you won’t regret it? Will you be satisfied if this relationship stays the way it always has been?
Heoju’s words lingered in Lee Sungmin’s mind. He observed at Wijihoyeon with her head bent slightly down, avoiding eye contact with her dress.
In the end, It was just him waiting and not doing anything.
He couldn’t refute it. Heoju was right. It was a strange feeling for Lee Sungmin, and he was afraid.
He had no experience in this kind of area in both of his two lives. His last life was just a miserable life as a C-Class Mercenary.
At that time, Lee Sungmin’s only experience with women was with cheap prostitutes he could barely afford on his earnings in the bottom rung society of the mercenary world.
Lee Sungmin slowly stretched out his feet and approached her reluctantly. Wijihoyeon’s shoulders trembled at the sound of Lee Sungmin’s feet approaching her.
Although they weren’t too far apart from each other distance-wise, Lee Sungmin felt that the distance between them was incredibly far.
Heoju sighed with relief as Lee Sungmin moved his feet. He felt finally with Lee Sungmin taking the initiative finally, he didn’t need to intervene any further with the two love-sick idiots.
“……Here you are.”
Lee Sungmin hesitated to speak. He saw Wijihoyeon’s head lift up slowly. It had been so long since he had been able to see Wijihoyeon’s face so close to his own.
Wijihoyeon hesitated for a moment and raised her hand up to his face. Her shaky fingertips touched Lee Sungmin’s cheek lightly.
“………It’s been a long time.”
Wijihoyeon murmured. She recalled the past times they spent together over 11 years ago.
She was 13 at the time. When she had been first summoned to Genavis, she had been so confused and didn’t know what to do, so she just stayed in the summoning square, unsure of what she should do.
By chance, no, it wasn’t some coincidence. Wijihoyeon smiled as she recalled the memory in her head.
“Let’s walk a little bit.”
Wihihoyeon’s hand, which was touching Lee Sungmin’s cheek, dropped down to her side.
Lee Sungmin nodded his head. Wijihoyeon smiled and turned around first, prodding Lee Sungmin to follow along with her.
“It’s been 11 years.”
He had been chasing the back of Wijihoyeon those long 11 years. He didn’t want to stay left behind by her any longer, even now. Lee Sungmin took a big step and came to Wijihoyeon’s side. She glanced at Lee Sungmin standing next to her.
“We were…… No, I was young. Because you had come back in time right? You were 14, but you were actually older.”
Lee Sungmin smiled bitterly.
“I was young back then, too.”
Maybe he was still young, even as he was now. Even though he had lived for thousands of years through the trial of time, he had been trying his hardest to find his purpose, his true identity. He was probably still incredibly immature, and stubborn. He was incredibly childish and foolish in certain aspects of his life.
“You became my first friend that I had ever made.”
“In many ways…… you were an interesting person to me. To me, who had lived a secluded life as the direct descendant of the Heavenly Demon within my own world, you were like a breath of fresh air. I had only been known for the power my father wielded as the leader of the Cult. I’d never been able to express myself or truly know what I wanted to do with my life.”
“I wasn’t too much different from you in terms of having friends.”
Lee Sungmin continued in a solemn tone.
“You had told me that you hated having expectations put on you by others, and I desperately wanted to stop placing those on myself. Even now, I struggle with it.”
“Maybe. But… huhuhu! At that time. I didn’t care about that so much. I was all alone to myself, with nobody by my side. Even if I had the expectations of others, I didn’t want to meet others’ expectations since I was only thirteen.”
Lee Sungmin smirked at the words. Right. Wijihoyeon was only thirteen years-old. And yet, Lee Sungmin had been reprimanded by that very Wijihoyeon who was only thirteen.
“The last half a year…… After the time we split up and I came here. That half-year. It wasn’t a long time, but it meant a lot to me.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s the first time I’ve ever been so helpless due to that sorcerer, and it was the only time I was able to spend time with a friend.”
The word that she said over and over again was strangely touching.
“When I left Genavis, I had a promise with you. You promised me that we would meet together after 10 years and re-unite together as friends, but I couldn’t even fulfill that promise with you.”
“It was inevitable.”
“It was, but…… when I met you in Rubes. I felt good because you were strong enough to become truly reliable.”
Wijihoyeon stopped talking. Before the two of them knew it, the two were in the middle of the forest. The night of the forest was dark under the stars, along with the sound of crickets chirping.
Perhaps because Lee Sungmin was with Wijihoyeon, the chatty and annoying fairies did not come close to them.
However, he could still see the light emitted by the fairies from afar.
“It was relieving.”
Wijihoyeon murmured to him in a low voice.
“I… I. I wanted to be stronger than you. I became your goal and I know it might have been selfish of me, so…… I didn’t want to lose. Maybe I took it for granted that I was stronger than you at the time when I first called you my friend.”
Lee Sungmin did have any words for her and just listened. Just as Wijihoyeon felt about not losing, so did Lee Sungmin. And in the back of their minds, the other was afraid to have the other leave them again.
Wijihoyeon stopped walking. She slowly turned around and looked at Lee Sungmin.
“I was defeated by you last week… it might have been because I was weakened by the curse…but I can’t really even say that. The result is as it is. With that, I’m no longer… I guess I’m no longer stronger than you, am I?”
“Am I not your goal then…”
Lee Sungmin shook his head and denied what Wijihoyeon said.
“I’ve only won once. I made too many efforts to reach where I’m at now. I’m not going to go in detail, but up until now, there was a lot of strife and pain required for me to get what I have right now.”
Training in the mountains of Mush, journeying to the Shaolin, Denir’s arduous Trial of Time where he nearly lost himself thousands of times. When he realized what the black heart was, meeting Heoju, and so much more.
“Maybe I can’t grow stronger than I am now….But that’s not the case for you.”
Lee Sungmin looked straight at Wijihoyeon.
“You will continue to be strong. You’re incredibly talented that you can’t possibly compare yourself with me. I mean… just because I won once, it’s not like you won’t stay as my goal. You’ll be stronger than I in the future and I look forward to that time.”
“……thank you for saying that.”
Wijihoyeon, who was listening to Lee Sungmin, smirked and giggled. However, Wijihoyeon shook her head and then added a surprising few words.
“I don’t want to only be someone that is your goal.”
“I want to ask you something.”
When asking the question, Wijihoyeon couldn’t even raise her head to look at Lee Sungmin.
She was glancing at her feet. Before she knew it, her hands trembled tightly on the hem of her skirt.
“What… what exactly am I to you?”
It was a question that she could barely muster the courage to even ask.
“Friends? Your goal? Someone you want to be stronger than?… Well, I guess what I’m saying is……is that really all?”
Lee Sungmin could not answer her at that moment.
“What I said before we split up. Do you remember?”, Wijihoyeon asked once more.
“Something kind of silly, wasn’t it? I wondered if my breasts would grow after the ten years we spent apart from each other haha…”
“I don’t think the size matters.”
“I’m glad to hear that. I don’t want to force myself to enlarge them either.”
Wijihoyeon giggled and laughed.
“I was young at the time. I didn’t even know what my feelings were like. Maybe you would turn yourself away from me. It wasn’t much different even after that. I was nervous of what your reaction would be. And…… I tried not to think about it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. About the day I would finally see you again.”
They had met several times since that fateful day in Rubes.
“I’m not used to it.”
“…I’m not used to this feeling. Sharing my emotions and acting girly. It’s so…… awkward. I’m even more afraid because I’m not used to it. I simply didn’t want to face my feelings so as soon as I met you, I asked you to do a spar to avoid those feelings once more. But I was relieved somewhat after the results were finished.”
That didn’t mean it was any easier to say what she was about to say though. Wijihoyeon smiled.
“I don’t consider you to be just a friend.”
Wijihoyeon, who couldn’t look at Lee Sungmin the entire walk, then lifted her head to look straight at his eyes as she spoke.
“That’s why I’m curious… I want to know what you think of me.”
Chapter 223 – Fin
T/N : Heoju best wingman?
Anyways, just want to say I think this chapter is literally showing so much character development with both of them. Lee Sungmin is also able to retrospectively look at his own shortcomings, and unlike his past response which was to immediately be hard on himself and throw himself out the deep end.. He’s nervous and reluctant to make change, but is willing to do it, if given a slight little nudge from our favorite yokai hehe 🙂
Also sorry for the late upload and I’ll be posting chronicles of the heavenly demon chapter tomorrow instead of tonight since I’m having a rough one today irl Nonetheless I’ll make sure everything for tomorrow is also ready on time meaning it’ll be reincarnation of the swordmaster chaps and chronicles of the heavenly demon.
Other than that… we’re at 16 out of 20 patrons surprisingly! Meaning we’re actually still going up in terms of donations and that also means a higher release schedule when we meet 20 patrons plus a small little mass release on the day of the goal being met!
20 patrons = 6 ch per week / goal status is 16/20
Patreon Link : https://www.patreon.com/betterdays_TRL
Hope you’re having a good day – B