Chapter 207. The Qualification of an Explorer (4)
With Beyond’s 14th floor in front of me, I left the dungeon and joined Hwaya to greet Ilayda Van and Laz Michel. Though we gained much attention, neither Hwaya nor me cared much for it.
“I bought a building in Seoul to use as our guild house.”
“That’s a good idea. We can’t only meet at the Residential Area after all. By the way, where’s Ina?”
“In the dungeon. Kids have to go out and play after eating.”
51st floor was where giant monsters appeared, and they were nowhere close enough to threatening Ina. I became a bit sad, thinking my daughter might surpass me, but that was my fate as a Beyond explorer. No, perhaps, Ina might enter Beyond too! With her skills, she could certainly get a god’s true name and meet the requirements!
“We’re overflowing with money anyways.”
Unlike the houses we saw on our way here, in front of us was a huge and modern mansion. It was as if someone had bought the nearby land, tore down the old buildings, and built a new one. Although we were in a quiet residential area, the center of traffic was only 10 minutes away. A land like this must have cost an astronomical… No, let’s stop there.
The building seemed to be made from Poison Wax Bee’s saliva and Blue Stone Golem’s mana-rich body parts. With these materials, ordinary explosions and monster attacks wasn’t able to shake the building in the slightest. It also had a garden. While it wasn’t big compared to the size of the building, it was still big enough for Ina to run around and play.
When I was looking at the entrance to the mansion with a stupefied expression, Hwaya muttered with a hint of playfulness.
“It’s part of my dowry.”
“I’m kidding, geez.”
“I can’t laugh at your jokes lately!”
“Let’s go in.”
There were already guests in the mansion. Leon, Sumire, Sophie, Ren, Lebuik, and other members of Revival were all present. It wasn’t that strange since we had our press conference only yesterday and no one had a reason to leave Korea. After greeting them, I finally realized.
“Oh, I see. Are we having a welcoming party for the new members? That’s why everyone’s here, right?”
“Yep. I was about to tell you about it, but you just rushed into the dungeon.”
We could have done it at our guild house in the dungeon, so why on Earth? Seeing my curious gaze, Hwaya responded with a grin.
“It’s to show off a bit. We’re currently in the world’s center of attention, so we should emphasize us all being together in one place. Marianne’s Garden is nice, but people won’t know what we’re doing or where we are.”
“You’re right. Today is a day to celebrate the guild’s expansion, but showing off our appearance might be just as important.”
It seemed they weren’t the only ones here. As proof, Elfa flew into my embrace. Yua then popped out from behind her and quickly dragged her back. From how swiftly she moved, I could tell how much Yua grew. My sister was growing unbeknownst to me…!
“Laz Michel and Ilayda Van are going to arrive soon. Stop making that stupid face and get ready to greet out guests.”
While other members were busy preparing for the welcoming party, Father and Walker were drinking without helping out. I could see Yua chastising him even from where I was standing. Oh, it seemed Leon had joined them too. Right, Leon liked drinking too… Really, Ren was the only proper man here.
“I know you want to join them, but stop fidgeting so much.”
I wasn’t a proper man either…
When we finished setting everything up including the two Soul Contracts and finished checking over everything, we heard knocks on the door.
“Shin-nim, Unni, they’re here.”
“Let them in.”
Although we would order outsiders around for external affairs, we decided not to let outsiders handle any internal affairs. As such, Sumire was working as Hwaya’s secretary. Although it was fine for now, as the number of explorers grew, we would have to deal with outside organizations. We needed to find a solution.
In any case, Sumire opened the door, and two people came inside the reception room. The first one to enter was Turkey’s healing ability user, Ilayda Van. She looked like she was the same age as Hwaya. At the same time, she was shorter than Hwaya, had smaller breasts, and had smaller eyes. Regardless, she had good style and looked like an innocent beauty.
The second to enter was Laz Michel, who I had gotten somewhat used to seeing by now. When he saw me, he raised his hand and greeted me.
“Nice to see you again.”
“It’s only been a day. Did you stay in Seoul?”
“Yep. The hotels here are quite nice.”
Sumire then led them to their seats. This was our first time meeting Ilayda Van. Although I thought about greeting her to create a more relaxing atmosphere, I decided to leave that to Hwaya, who was sitting next to me with her eyes on fire.
After greeting the two important guests, I handed them the contracts.
“I assume you already know about Revival’s purpose. Joining Revival means that you will join us in our fight against the world’s enemies. Is that fine with the both of you?”
In truth, when I first created Revival, I only thought about fighting them on my own. The only reason Revival was created was to give Ludia and Shuna a place to stay. But after the Event Dungeons we cleared together, I thought that it would be best for Earth’s explorers to come together. That was when Revival was truly created.
Now that we were together, we had but one goal. It was to fight the world’s enemies. We knew the reason for the dungeon’s existence and the reason for monsters appearing on Earth. We had to fight, not for anyone else, but for ourselves, our families, and our friends.
As for Daisy, Ren, and Lebuik, they were cooperating with us to save their own worlds. It went without saying that they were just as desperate as the rest of Revival’s members.
Laz Michel nodded resolutely.
“I wouldn’t have come otherwise. I decided to put my trust in you, so it’s only obvious that I lend you my strength. The world’s enemy… Two of them, you said. If we have to fight such terrifying foes soon, we’ll have to hurry.”
“It’s the same for me. The Turkish government also agrees with me. If my ability can help protect our world, I would be happy to contribute.”
Ilayda Van spoke with a clear voice as she stared straight into my eyes. Hwaya pushed her face next to mine and made a threatening hiss, but I pushed her face away slightly. Are you a snake?
“Great. Read over the contract and sign it. Once that’s done, you’ll be a member of Revival.”
As Ina had become a Gold rank explorer recently, Ilayda Van and Laz Michel became First Dungeon explorers using her appointments.
For the record, I had used my appointments for Ye-Eun and Ina, so I didn’t have any left. As for Hwaya, she was still in the Second Dungeon. It would be a waste to make SS rankers into Second Dungeon explorers only. Leon? Leon would surely climb the Second Dungeon as if his life was on the line.
Once the contract was signed and Ina appointed them as explorers, I reached my hand out to Laz Michel.
“I’m looking forward to working with you, Michel. With this, you won’t be able to run away.”
“I’m looking forward to working with you too, Shin. You won’t regret taking me in.”
Of course, Hwaya was in charge of Ilayda Van. As they say, a monarch only walks on royal road. There was no need to take a single step in a place that was clearly filled with mines!
“It doesn’t really feel real yet. I’ll have to see this dungeon for myself.”
“I feel the same way. You said we should climb together, right?”
It was impossible to climb the dungeon with just a healing ability. As such, we told her to climb the dungeon with Michel. Of course, we didn’t forget to tell Michel to fight Floor Masters on his own first before challenging them together. That way, he’ll be able to get the solo kill titles.
“Ah, wait. You guys must be dying to go, but wait a bit longer. We have a welcoming party planned for our new members, you see.”
It was understandable that they’d want to jump right into the dungeon, but the party we planned painstakingly would then be ruined. Though, this party would most likely end up devolving to a drinking party…
“I love parties!”
“Hm, you’re right. I see some faces I haven’t seen before, so I guess I should take some time to get to know them.”
They seemed interested as well. I smiled and got up from my seat. Just when I was trying to act cool, Ina jumped on my back and ruined everything. Ilayda Van asked with widened eyes.
“Did you two know each other from before?”
“She’s my daughter.”
Seeing me answer without any hesitation, Hwaya gave me a thumbs up. I understood from her reaction. Once I said I had a daughter, I could stop other women from making advances on me!
“Ooh, melting tuna!”
Right, today’s main dish was the melting tuna. Yua had already taken everything I had left of the giant melting tuna this morning. Tuna sashimi, tuna steak, tuna salad… Father, Walker, and Leon were already digging in impatiently, but there was nothing to worry about as we had enough to fill the bellies of 30 more people.
“Great, I love sashimi!”
“Oh, you know what you’re talking about. How old are you by the way?”
Father, who quickly grew close with whoever shared his love for food and alcohol, approached Laz Michel with a smile.
Hwaya suddenly shouted and snatched the soju bottle away from Father’s hand.
“How can you start drinking when everyone isn’t here yet! Your son is the main host too!”
“Y-You almost ruptured my eardrums, Daughter.”
“Didn’t I tell you to act with poise in official settings? You can’t make the guild master look bad!”
“I know, but this could hardly be called an official…”
“Then were you planning on undermining Shin’s authority in front of the new members? If you go too far, I’ll tell Mrs. Kang!”
Father instantly flinched back. After subjugating Father, Hwaya gave Walker and Leon a terrifying glare. Like a slug that had been peppered with salt, the two of them shrunk back. After that, Hwaya slammed the soju bottle down on the table and spoke.
“The party starts now! Everyone, give the new members a round of applause!”
“Unni is really energetic..”
“W-What a cool woman…”
Hwaya instantly gained control over the somewhat disordered atmosphere and whipped it to shape. Everyone began clapping as to not provoke Hwaya’s wrath. The claps then became more natural and everyone greeted Michel and Van. The two of them also greeted each of Revival’s members.
“I don’t know much about the dungeon. Please take good care of me.”
“I’ll try my best to be of help to everyone. It’s a pleasure to work with you.”
“Alright, Shin, it’s time for your opening address.”
It seemed Hwaya was a bit worked up. I put down Ina who was hanging by my neck, took up the soju bottle like a mic and spoke.
“As I said before, today we received two new members – Laz Michel, a body-reinforcement ability user, and the healer Ilayda Van, who will protect everyone along with Ludia.”
Ludia looked at Van with a slightly surprised expression.
“I’m sure we have our own reasons for joining Revival. However, we have the same purpose. That is to protect the place we belong.”
I put the soju bottle down on the table lightly.
“It’s only the beginning. With what happened yesterday, more changes will come and we will be in the center of it all. I’m sure we’ll get busy almost to the point of death, but we’ll surely gain something from it.”
“That’s enough, Crown Prince.”
“I like your honesty, Son.”
“I’m happy with being able to help Oppa.”
“… Trustworthy. Guild master, pass.”
That was enough of seriousness. I grinned and took up the soju bottle again. Everyone’s gazes fell on the bottle.
“Then for today, let’s drink! Forget welcoming party, let’s drink when we can! Cheers!”
“Shin! My preparations!”
“Mommy, can I drink too?”
That day, no one could enter the dungeon sober.