"Oh, what's this Aren't you the thug who got suspended from school"
On my way to the archery club, I heard a familiar voice.
I turned my head and saw Ivan looking at me with a playful smile on his face.
“Eu, are you being mean to this poor guy because you're 1st”
Hearing my answer, he laughed and naturally approached me.
We started talking while walking together.
He talked about things like that the weather was nice and that theory classes were really boring, and then he said, speaking of which, and asked me.
"What on earth did you do to get suspended And the other three too.”
Ivan tilted his head slightly and murmured.
“Honestly, I don’t know about you and the other two, but Han Soo-Young, I never thought she would do something to get suspended.”
She just went out secretly."
"Just that much It's not like she's gone out several times without permission, one time would have been a warning or a penalty point at most...… Aha."
He nodded as if he understood.
“The incident in Yeouido.
It's because of that.
It looks like you were unlucky enough to run into it, huh"
“I know right."
"By the way, where are you going now"
"To the archery range.
And you are"
He replied with a reluctant look on his face.
“Mother said she is in the area.
And she asked me to meet her.”
Sometimes she calls herself Bellona, she is a high-ranking spirit of the wind and a being who can be called Ivan Hunt's biological mother.
She made me a ring that could hide the smell of the spirit, and as she is a spirit, she has a different perception from ordinary people in many ways, which made Ivan genuinely uncomfortable with her.
On top of that, Belluna also did not really think of Ivan as his son, as she was only treating him as if she was taking care of a cute animal with curiosity because he had her energy.
But eventually, they realized their love for each other and accept each other as family sincerely...… That was the story of the two.
But looking at Ivan's face now, it still seemed to be a distant future story.
“Yes, give her my regards.
Along with the words that he's still using the ring you have given him before, and that he's really grateful.”
… I don't know if she still remembers you."
The last part sounded almost like a whine.
Then he muttered as if something was wrong.
“Actually, this is the first time sh- mother has come to visit me like this.
It sounded like she had something urgent to talk about...… Even though she's an untrustworthy person, she doesn't say nonsense."
“Um, I don’t know.”
No matter what it is, the relationship between him and Belluna did not appear to be very bad on the surface.
Frankly, it was difficult for me to understand his feelings because I did not have a good relationship with my mother, even with empty words.
Then Ivan made an oopsie look and immediately apologized to me.
“Oh, I’m sorry.
Did you feel bad”
"Not really What's there to feel bad”
"That's a relief…… .”
Then we parted at a crossroads.
Ivan said, see you later, and added a few words.
"Next time, If you're going to get suspended, get suspended alone.
Think for a moment how I, the leader of the group, would feel if three are left out of a group of six."
“Okay, next time, I’ll try to get us all suspended, except you."
At my words, he burst out laughing as if it was funny.
Then he waved to me once and walked towards the gate.
I headed straight to the archery club.
Although it was an unexpected promise, I thought there was no need to keep Lee Ye-Eun, who is a senior and important person, waiting.
And as soon as I entered the club room, I witnessed a very embarrassing scene.
"Uuh…… uuuh...… .”
“Ye-Eun, are you sure you don't want to go to the infirmary What's wrong with this girl all of a sudden…”
Lee Ye-Eun, lying on her seat, was making a moaning sound with a wet towel on her forehead.
Next to her, Kang Yeon-Kyung looked genuinely bewildered.
Once she found me while gently fanning Lee Ye-Eun, she happily beckoned to me.
“Oh, Ji-Hyuk! Welcome!"
I approached her and asked.
"What's going on"
"I don't know either…… She's suddenly lying down like this.
I thought she might have gotten dizzy or anemic, but that never happened to her before."
“Wouldn’t it be better to go to the infirmary first”
“I said so too.
But she keeps saying it's okay.
So, I can't force her to go either...… .”
"Can I say something"
Kang Yeon-Kyung looked at me with a suspicious expression, then quickly nodded.
“Yeah, give it a try.
By the way, I've been friends with her for ten years, but she didn't even want to hear what I was saying, so she just covered her ears and ignored me...… .”
"Still, I'll give it a try.
She looks a little serious."
With Kang Yeon-Kyung's permission, I quietly bent down and whispered to Lee Ye-Eun in a quiet voice.
“Senior, it's me, Yoo Ji-Hyuk.”
"Yes, it's me."
Then, Lee Ye-Eun gently removed her arm that was covering her eyes and glanced at me.
Perhaps it was my imagination, her face seemed to have turned a little redder.
"Are you okay Senior Yeon-Kyung told me that you suddenly had a bad fever.”
"Uh, yes…… I'm a little dizzy...… .”
“Why don't you go to the infirmary once It must be hard for you to go there alone, so I'll help you."
Lee Ye-Eun replied immediately to my words.
“…Should I I know it'll be hard, but I'll ask for your help...… .”
Next to me, Kang Yeon-Kyung made a strange noise and opened her mouth.
whether she wanted to or not, Lee Ye-Eun staggered up.
Then get on my back.
I'll run to the infirmary in a flash."
When Kang Yeon-Kyung, who quickly regained her composure, said that, and crouched down as if to carry her on her back, she, who was silent for a moment and shook her head.
“No, if you aren't here, there would be no one to control this place.
So Yeon-Kyung, you stay here.”
Then she looked at me.
“Tha, Ji-hyuk, no, I’ll ask my junior."
At her words, Kang Yeon-Kyung looked shocked.
But, whether she knew it or not, Lee Ye-Eun quickly got up from her seat and told me.
“Can you go to the infirmary with me As support...… .”
Ye-Eun cleared her throat loudly.
“… You don't have to do it, but I thought I would be in trouble if I fall down again on the way."
“Yes, don’t worry.”
She nodded as if she knew and moved her steps first.
I looked at her staggering with a somewhat awkward look and told Kang Yeon-Kyung, who was still in shock.
“I'll come back after taking her to the infirmary, senior.”
Kang Yeon-Kyung looked at me without replying.
Then, she looked at Lee Ye-Eun and me alternately with somewhat meaningful eyes and nodded.
She added as if not to forget.
“Oh, and you don’t have to come back.
I think Ye-Eun has something to say to you, so since you're going with her anyway, you can just listen to what she has to say there."
And she smiled her characteristic cheerful smile as if she had never lost her spirit.
“Then take good care of our Ye-Eun, okay”
* * *
I went to the infirmary with her.
The archery club and the infirmary were not far away, so we were able to arrive quickly, and as a result of the diagnosis, there were no abnormalities, but, Lee Ye-Eun still complained of dizziness, so she was told to rest for a while and then go.
Lee Ye-Eun was half lying on the bed in an awkward manner.
I stood beside her and asked if she needed anything, but she just shook her head.
“Uh, no, I don’t need anything…… .”
Lee Ye-Eun then asked carefully, looking at my senses.
“Um, what is it Yes, can I ask you one question"
“Why was I suspended”
In response to my answer, she opened her eyes wide in surprise.
“Uh, how did you know”
"That's all you can ask about."
It wasn't much of a secret, so I told Lee Ye-Eun how I got suspended.
When I summarized it by saying, the time I went out without permission with my friends overlapped with the time the dungeon incident that caused a huge commotion in Yeouido occurred, so I think we received heavy punishment because of that, she began to huff and get angry for some reason.
“No, what's that No… ! That's absurd, really!”
“This is tyranny, how dare they suspend someone with such an absurd emotional treatment”
Lee Ye-Eun, who was huffing and puffing, began to kick the blanket that was covering her, as if she couldn't stand her anger.
Then, as soon as she noticed I was watching, she immediately stopped.
“… that, I'm sorry.
I looked ugly.”
You got angry because of me."
I answered, hiding my slightly surprised feelings somehow.
"And it'll be lifted tomorrow anyway."
"Even so…… This is a matter of formal protest.
That's what I think.
If you need my help, you can always let me know."
"Yes, thank you."
… Did Lee Ye-Eun have such a passionate personality
The Lee Ye-Eun I know was cool-headed and rational, kind but not gentle to the people around her.
Her only purpose was to revive her clan and to restore the now disappeared glory of the World Tree, which was praised as a noble tree.
She was cold to the people she didn't approve of, even if they were from the same clan, and her parents were the only ones to who she opened her heart and showed her real smile.
Perhaps that's why, unlike other playable characters, she didn't have any relationships of the opposite sex, only occasionally involving herself with Cass Lyle, with whom she often quarreled because they hated each other.
… Even so, it had been officially nailed down that the two can never continue, but anyway.
Looking back, she had often been generous and good to me.
I didn't know the detailed reason, but I did know that she had a rational interest in me, that should have never happened.
‘Is it because of the branch of the World Tree’
It was the most convincing assumption.
She was half appointed as the Priestess of the World Tree and was talented enough to have another branch of the World Tree take root in the future, so it wouldn't be surprising if she had instinctively realized that the spirit of the World Tree was sleeping within me.
“Hem, ahem ahem.”
While I was deep in thought, Lee Ye-Eun coughed in vain after calming down to some extent.
Then she took something out of her inner pocket and held it out to me.
“Actually, I wanted to meet you because of this, but somehow I got sidetracked."
It was adorned with various modifiers, but simply put, it was an application form for participation in a tournament.
It was also an archery tournament hosted by the World Tree clan.
“It is a historic tournament held every year by our clan.
Since you use bows, Junior, you should take this opportunity to participate...… .”
I shook my head slightly as I saw her encouraging me in a very enthusiastic manner.
“Oh, thank you for your words, but…… I think it's better not to participate."
Then, Lee Ye-Eun then gave me a look that said she did not know that she would be rejected.
She murmured, showing signs of bewilderment.
“If, if you win this tournament, you will get a specification, and there will also be prize money and prizes…… That's, right.
It's for donation purposes, so the purpose is good, and there are festivals and parties as an after-party.
There will be a lot of delicious food and…… .”
She muttered as if to add for the last time.
“Besides, you could be scouted by our clan and sign a contract…… .”
"Excuse me, senior."
“That, what This is very important, junior.
You are still young...… No, we're only a year apart.
Anyway, there are already a lot of people who go around outside and build specifications like this.
Junior, I'm sure all of these things will help you in the future...… .”
“It’s not like that.”
I told her a very simple and obvious fact.
“I’m a beginner who hasn’t learned the bow for less than a month yet.”
Lee Ye-Eun looked like she didn't expect it at all.
"I'm not good enough, so if I participate, I will probably be laughed at.”
“Ther, there's no way…… .”
Lee Ye-Eun had a very dejected look on her face, and mumbled in a small voice ‘My perfect plan from the beginning…… ’ and ‘So how can I help him…… '
It was too ambiguous to say anything to her, so I sat down next to her and waited, and she eventually gave me a look that indicated she had made up her mind, and said.
“Then I will help you.”
Practice is the most important thing in anything.”
She nodded and clenched both hands into fists.
“I'll do my best to teach you.
Like a one-to-one tutoring session.”
"Huh No, I'm fine.”
Honestly, it was a pain in the ass to go out there.
“No, this is confirmed."
Lee Ye-Eun nodded with a firm look.
“This time, all of our archery members will participate in this tournament.
This is what I decided as the vice president.
So, participate no matter what."
I was just dumbfounded by her determined words and let out a forced laugh.
Lee Ye-Eun seemed to have heard my forced laughter, and her face was burning red, but she didn't loosen her firm expression.