Arena

 
 
 

Arena Chapter 1991


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Chapter 104 An Unexpected Reunion (Part 2)

"If you wish to protect her from danger, I think it would be best that you stop living with your girlfriend and keep her at a distance."

Because Aha Ji-hye's numerous reasons all made a lot of sense, I was unable to offer any sort of response.

If I mess up, I could plunge Min-jeong into danger.

Wanting to keep Min-jeong close to me like I am now would be extremely selfish on my part.

But……

'Suggesting we stop living together now is the same as breaking up!'

Without any reason, just kicking Min-jeong out of the house will no doubt be a big trauma to her.

"There is the option of telling your significant other about the Arena and the exams and explaining everything to her."

"That isn't an option."

"Anyhow, you must make a decision."

After that, Cha Ji-hye didn't say anything more about the topic.

We grabbed a taxi together and on our way home, I was at odds with myself over what to do.

Definitely, to keep Min-jeong out of the dangerous cross hairs, I have to move her out of the house.

'There is no other way.'

I have to, no matter what, get Min-jeong out and try my best to console her.

"Is there no way to stop this threat to myself?"

"That does not exist."

Said Cha Ji-hye.

"First of all, it would be good to let your existence be known far and wide."

"And why is that?"

"Various national agencies are already suspicious about Chairman Park Jin-seong's miraculous recovery. We can safely assume that they are all already searching for an examinee with the skill to cure diseases."

"Yes, probably."

"If multiple countries are involved, the Chinese examinees can't just behave however they want when they're in Korea. An 'expelled' examinee makes for good hunting."

"I guess that's true. But won't there be those from other nations who like the Chinese will attempt to kidnap me?"

"There will be those that try to kidnap you and those that want to recruit you. If you gain so much interest from the latter, doing those things becomes harder. Plus, you already have a formidable ally."

"You mean Odin?"

"Yes. Odin from the Nordic examinee group is an abnormally strong player that no one is willing to cross without an extremely good reason. With his support on your side, everyone will think twice about going after you directly."

"Hmm……"

Become the center of attention of the whole world?

Just thinking about all this was giving me a headache. The scale of this problem was much bigger than the problem of kicking Min-jeong out of the house.

After thinking over the situation a bit more, I said to Cha Ji-hye.

"Can our country not protect me? If they know I have healing powers, won't they try to protect me?"

"Korea is currently in the midst of (two country) policy building. Especially in regards to matters connected to the Arena, they are convinced that China will be a majeong rich country in the future and are thus maintaining friendly relations with the Chinese."

"Is that why they sold my information to the Chinese?"

"Although that was a dangerous act done solely by Chief Kim Joong-tae, as long as our policy with them stands the way it does the pro-Chinese chief won't be replaced from his position."

"Damn it….."

Not only is being protected by my own country completely out of the picture but to be sold out by it. What kind of fucked up situation is this.

"If I killed Chief Kim Joong-tae, wouldn't our connection to China grow weaker?"

"There is a program that exists for when an examinee becomes a serious criminal. More so than Kim Joong-tae's corruption, the murder of a person in his position would probably stir up more trouble."

"……"

"So it could be a better choice to publicize your skill to the world. There are more than a few people amongst those that have the power to move nations that could use your help, and you can turn them into your allies."

Cha Ji-hye continued to speak.

"If you do that, you will actually become a strong power that no one can touch."

I nodded my head.

"Okay. I guess I have no choice but to do that."

Letting myself be known and gathering allies like Chairman Park Jin-seong sounds like it may be the only viable way for me to survive.

"Anyway, Cha Ji-hye, who killed you?"

"Have you heard the name Lee Chang-wee?"

"Nope."

"He is the strongest of the Chinese examinees. There is no one in China that is more capable or holds more authority."

"What powers does he have?"

"The only things I could verify were teleport and that he uses a sword. According to the rumors, he was an impressive martial artist before he became an examinee."

"An impressive martial artist?"

"Do you remember Kang Chun-seong?"

"Of course."

"If Kang Chun-seong, who was extremely strong as a 2nd turn examinee, had continued to grow into a veteran, what would he have become? You can say that that is Lee Chang-wee."

"……"

If he was originally a strong martial artist like Kang Chun-seong, his starting point alone was different than others.

If he has even acquired authority then he will be able to gain even more benefits from his country, even in the whole world that makes him a top class examinee.

"If Lee Chang-wee himself had gone after you today, you would not have been safe. Thankfully, it seems he did not see the need to take care of this himself."

"That's really grim. Before he sets out to take care of you himself, we need to quickly take action."

"You must."

Before going home, we headed to the real estate agent's office.

I asked if there was a one room/studio immediately available today and there was.

Close to Hyun-ji's studio there was one place available so I contracted a lease. Seeing the listing photo, the space looked pretty clean and neat. Of course, it was priced to reflect that.

The owner picked up and raced over and signed the lease agreement.

'Since I felt really bad to just kick her out.'

Thinking of how much this was going to hurt her, I had to at least provide her a place to go. And since it's close to Hyun-ji, that's good too.

Having to ask Min-jeong to move out, I couldn't help but to keep sighing.

After coming out of the realtor's office, I said to Cha Ji-hye who was waiting in the car.

"For today, spend the night at a nearby motel. I'm going to send Min-jeong away tomorrow."

"I understand."

I gave Cha Ji-hye a decent sum of money.

When I finally returned home, it was late at night.

"Oppa, you home?"

Min-jeong came out to me and greeted me happily.

"Yeah."

I replied with a forlorn look on my face.

"What? Did something happen?"

Min-jeong saw my expression and asked.

I nodded my head.

"What is it?"

"I'm sorry. I can't say."

"…… does it have to do with your work?"

"Yeah."

"Okay. I won't ask."

Answering politely, Min-jeong was in good spirits.

"Min-jeong."

"Yes, oppa."

She must have sensed the tense atmosphere, because Min-jeong's behavior quickly changed to one of caution.

"Will you really not misunderstand and listen to what I have to say?"

"Why, why are you being like this?"

"We should live separately for the time being."

"What?"

Min-jeong looked so confused.

I quickly continued to speak.

"This isn't a problem about us, but a problem with my work. A rather serious problem has come up……"

"You, um, want me to leave this house?"

"Even if we don't live together, our relationship won't change at all. So please. I'm begging you."

"Oppa, did I do something wrong? Is it because of that thing before?"

"I said it's not about us. It's something I can't tell you about. There is no problem between us."

"But, um, it's so sudden. Just why are you trying to kick me out?"

"I can't tell you."

"You want me to suddenly leave, and, well, where am I supposed to go….."

There were tears starting to well in Min-jeong's eyes.

"I got a studio close to Hyun-ji's place. There really is no problem between us. Please don't ask questions and spend the time being there. Please."

"And you're not using excuses because you're sick of me?"

"I'm not that despicable of a guy."

At my sudden request, that really seemed more like an order to move out, I had to console Min-jeong for a long while.

She asked several times just what my job is. Of course, I couldn't tell her.

"It won't take months. I promise you that. Please trust me and wait."

"…… okay. Even if we don't live together, we have to see each other all the time."

"Okay."

But honestly, seeing her all the time is difficult. The more I met with Min-jeong, the more likely it was that she would become a target.

Instead, my plan was to increase my entourage of powerful allies as fast as possible so that no one could touch me.

The next morning, I took Min-jeong to the newly leased studio.

I had just looked at the photo and leased it but thankfully it looked like it did in the photo and was a nice place.

"If there's anything you need, always let me know."

"Okay, oppa."

Even as she replied, Min-jeong couldn't shake the depression off of herself. I felt so bad.

After moving her out of the house, I went and got Cha Ji-hye who was at the motel. If Min-jeong saw this, there would be a huge misunderstanding.

"You can stay in the guest room there."

"Thank you."

"Don't mention it. I'm the one that is thankful."

She's a woman that died because she tried to help me.

She became an examinee because of me, I had a duty to do the best I could to help her.

'Oh wait, I haven't checked how much karma I got.'

I hadn't yet checked how much karma I got from killing the small man.

"Board retrieval."

-Name: Kim Hyun-ho

-Class: 21

-Karma: +4,152

-Mission: rest until the next exam.

-Time limit: 74 days 2 hours 21 minutes

I've gone up roughly 4,000 karma.

I wonder how I'm going to spend this prize when I suddenly asked Cha Ji-hye.

"You said you're a 6th turn examinee?"

"Yes, I did."

"Just how were you able to become a 6th turn examinee like me?"

"I didn't use any rest time. I had to become stronger in a very short period of time."

"That's possible?"

"Thankfully, I was granted my request."

Cha Ji-hye spent 15 years in the Arena.

Even though she spent so much time doing exams, she barely took a break! What an intense mentality she has.

Her mood had definitely changed as well. I got a sharp feeling from her, like a well sharpened blade.

That's for sure.

She was no longer the Cha Ji-hye I knew. She was an examinee that spent 15 years fighting.

"May I ask what your skills are?"

"What do you think about sharing and discussing ours with each other?"

"Yes, that sounds like a good idea. Since we are in the same boat now."

I knew I could trust Cha Ji-hye for sure so I told her about all my skills.

She told me her skills as well and they're all pretty strong.

Aura control intermediate level 1.

Physical strength buffer intermediate level 1.

Similar to Odin, she concentrated on growing these two skills.

"I spent a lot of my exam time training under a warrior who lived on the outskirts of the world."

Cha Ji-hye recounted her story, which continued on.

She started in the southwest of the continent tropical swamps, and in the 2nd exam, she met an old warrior who lived on its outskirts and became acknowledged as his disciple.

"A woman like you wouldn't be able to handle my training. My style of fighting requires a body to that has already been trained to the limits of what the human body can handle before starting."

At the time, Cha Ji-hye's body was at physical strength buff entry level 4.

Over the next three years, with blood drenching hard work and training, she trained her body its limits.

So really, she achieved her physical strength buff entry level 5 through sheer training.

She became his disciple and her 3rd exam's time was used to master the aura control.

Her main skill, aura control, wasn't bought with a karma prize but through five years of training.

Like that, for 15 years, she received training from her master and saved her karma time and time again and reached the stage she was at now.

"In order to catch up to you, who has set a record with every exam, I endured severe training."

"You are really something"

"…… I thought I had caught up to you so I came to help but in the time I haven't seen you, you have grown unrecognizably stronger."