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Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy Chapter 8

Here, Now?

『What do you mean “guk-eo”?』
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Said Lee Yu-ha.
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『Even so, our country taken away. How can you call “enemy’s” language guk-eo?』

Even though her clumsy Japanese sounded awkward, her gaze, as she said this, was incredibly harsh.
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Yang Bok-ja, having heard this, realized Lee Yu-ha’s changing attitude and answered back with a serious face.

『……You realize we’re at school? Be careful with what you say.』

Hearing this, Lee Yu-ha said,
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『It is you who be careful should! How can forget you are also Joseon, thrown away your name—』
『What? ……Hahahahahaha!』

Yang Bok-ja laughed, cut off what Lee Yu-ha was saying, crossed her arms and sarcastically said.
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『I was wondering what you were talking about. It’s been so long since Joseon disappeared, but you still talk about Joseon?』
『Wh-What……?』
『Joseon collapsed a long time ago, and I’m just adapting to the times. Is that so bad?』
『If-If you are Joseon person, how can you……!』

As the fight between Lee Yu-ha and Yang Bok-ja got more intense, Murasaki, who was at a distance leaning on a tree with his arms crossed, scoffed.
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『Hmph! To be expected. Joseon women just fight whenever they get together, and they don’t feel a shred of shame…… Old ones and young ones, they’re all the same.』

As if they couldn’t hear Murasaki, Lee yu-ha and Yang Bok-ja continued arguing. Yang Bok-ja shot back with her arms crossed.

『Did I say anything wrong? Joseon people only memorize 「Go-Shi iwaku, Mo-Shi iwaku」 and fail to keep up with the changing times, getting left behind. I don’t want to end up like that.』

As Yang Bok-ja mentioned that Joseon was destroyed because people followed the “Confucius says, Mencius says” philosophy (note: referencing the “Go-Shi iwaku, Mo-Shi iwaku” above; Korean saying), Lee Yu-ha suddenly blurted out,
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“DOST THOU ACTUALLY THINKST SO!”

In Joseon language. Even so, Yang Bok-ja calmly responded in Japanese.

『Did you just speak in Joseon? Didn’t you learn to only use “guk-eo” at school? Oh, did you go to a Seodang when everyone else attended school?』
“You……!”
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Lee Yu-ha couldn’t answer back. It seemed Yang Bok-ja had hit the nail on the head.

‘……It’s so cold.’
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As the two were arguing, it felt like the air surrounding them had dropped 10 degrees in temperature. No, it wasn’t “it felt like”. It was the middle of the day on an April afternoon, but you could see your breath, and frost began to form on the leaves.

‘Lee Yu-ha’s ice release ability.’

When people get emotional, they lose control of their abilities and release them subconsciously.
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If this kept on going, something bad would happen. Aikawa, the timid Japanese girl we had recruited onto our squad, looked nervous.

『He-Hey…… What should we do? Should I go call the professor……?』
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She said carefully, approaching me. We hadn’t chosen anyone to be the captain or the leader of this squad, but she had asked me since I had been giving out instructions so far, and Murasaki had just been sitting off to the side, sneering.

But, I answered back firmly.

『No.』
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Even if the professor came, they would only punish Lee Yu-ha and Yang Bok-ja for breaking the school rule that they shouldn’t fight, and if unlucky, the whole squad would get points deducted.

‘I have no choice but to step forward.’
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I was a veteran Hunter that had been fighting on the verge for 10 years. Even during raids in the 21st century, internal conflicts would often occur between party members that had grown emotional, and I had experienced such situations countless times.

Even if a class at school and a raid were vastly different, stopping the fight between these kids wouldn’t be too much of an issue.
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Now, then, what would be the best way to stop them from fighting?

① Gently calm Lee Yu-ha down.
② Grab Yang Bok-ja by her hair and get out of this place.
③ Put my hand out and shout out, “Stop!”.

.
.
.

④ Attack Murasaki, who’s just standing around.

I strode towards Murasaki and slapped him hard on the cheek.

Slap-!
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『……?』

When I suddenly slapped Murasaki, a loud slapping sound rang out, and all the squad members stood still, looking at me with puzzled eyes.

Slightly looking sideways, I saw that Yang Bok-ja and Lee Yu-ha had also forgotten that they were going at each other and were looking at me.

‘Done.’
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I suddenly said to Murasaki, who was still standing, stupidly staring at me, seemingly unable to understand the sudden situation that had just happened.

『Fight me.』
『……What? What was that? Fight? Did you say “fight”?』

Murasaki mumbled and stayed like that for a while and,

『Th-That’s exactly what I wanted! You dirty Joseon—!』

He cried out like thunder and tried to pull out his sword. But,

『Wait!』
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I shouted out loudly to stop him and raised a finger, I said.

『I’m not saying we should fight here and now. We’re students, and if they catch us fighting, we’ll be punished for violating school regulations. I don’t think you want that either.』

I was saying this to Murasaki, but the truth was that I wanted Lee Yu-ha and Yang Bok-ja to listen to what I was saying.
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‘They’ll understand what I’m saying.’

Meanwhile, Murasaki, after hearing what I said, shouted.

『Then…… Then what do you want to do?!』
『Wait. There’s a way.』
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I glanced at the half-drawn sword Murasaki had in his hand and said.

『You’re going to start taking swordsmanship lessons this semester, right?』
『Of course! Isn’t that painfully obvious?!』
『I will as well. And, of course, in those classes, we will have sparring lessons between students……. We will spar when we start those lessons. Let’s compete fairly in a place where the professor and other students are watching.』
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Private fights between students were, of course, prohibited, but what if it was a spar held in the presence of a professor?
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There would be no consequences, and the loser would have no choice but to accept the result.

And the reason why I made this proposal to Murasaki wasn’t only to stop Yang Bok-ja and Lee Yu-ha’s fighting.
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The reason was that eventually, I would have to beat this guy, anyway. In the morning, I didn’t want to get involved with a thug like him, so I just endured it, but now I couldn’t just leave this as is. If I left a guy like this, someone who talked down on Joseon people as if it were their job, he’d eventually just bring trouble during my school life.
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Even so, you’re wondering why I was not afraid of the consequences from having just slapped him? Why? Because he’s the son of the Jongno Police Station’s chief.
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Well, I wasn’t the same guy I was in the morning.
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‘I’m nobility……!’
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Right now, I have learned that I’m the son of a nobleman. In the morning, I was intimidated by his position as the son of the Jongno Police Station’s chief, but now I wasn’t.
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‘Even the Japanese police can’t touch Joseon aristocrats.’

No matter how much the Joseon nobility was just quasi-nobility in a colony of the empire, we should still receive a similar level of legal guarantees as Japanese nobility. Even though I was just the son of a baron, the least prominent of aristocrats, it would still apply.

This meant that even if he went away to his dad and told him that he got slapped, he wouldn’t be able to kick me out of the school or penalize me.
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On top of that, by proposing a fair “fight” right after the slap, the focus was switched onto the idea of competition, and the fact that he had just got slapped didn’t matter anymore.

Murasaki, after listening to my proposal,
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『Hmph, good enough! You Joseon brat…… Don’t you dare run away! We’ll settle it then!』

He shouted and put the sword he was about to draw away.
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‘He’s easier to handle than I thought he would be.’

Anyway, this side was done, so I looked back at Lee Yu-ha and Yang Bok-ja. I called out to Yang Bok-ja, who had forgotten about her argument with Lee Yu-ha and was looking my way.
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“Yang Bok-ja.”
“……!?”

She seemed to be startled by the fact that I wasn’t calling her by the “Tomiko” that she used for herself, nor the “Ryoo Fukushi” that would be the Japanese pronunciation of her name Yang Bok-ja (梁福子), but rather her actual Joseon name “Yang Bok-ja”,
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“Wh-What?”

She said back, so startled that she had forgotten to use Japanese instead of the Joseon language. I looked at Yang Bok-ja straight in the face and continued.
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“You stop as well, Yang. Bok. Ja.”
『Sh-Shirabayashi-kun, you too?…… But she started—』

She wasn’t even a kid but was still using the typical “she started it” excuse. No, wait, if you’re 17, does that technically mean you’re still a kid? Anyway, I told her again.
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“Stop.”
『Uh…….』
“You were in the wrong. Apologize to Yu-ha. And you, Lee Yu-ha, accept her apology.”
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The heated atmosphere between the two of them had started to cool down completely as I picked a fight with Murasaki. It was a fight that had already stopped once, so even if just left alone, it would just end with them glancing at each other and not much more, but I wanted to sort out the situation completely.

Especially since it would get worse if they started fighting like this from the beginning of the semester.
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Furthermore, the perception that “Joseon people always just make a mess” could be created. I mean, hadn’t Murasaki, earlier, stood there just watching as if a spectacle was going on, scoffing that Joseon women fight whenever they get the slightest of chances?

If that kind of perception spread among the students, all Joseon students, including myself, could end up getting looked down on or harmed by the Japanese students. As they say, “an innocent bystander gets hurt in a fight” I could end up getting caught in the crossfire.
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As I urged her to apologize, Yang Bok-ja didn’t have much of an option and told Lee Yu-ha.

『I’m sorry…….』
“Lee Yu-ha, you too. Hurry up and accept her apology.”

Fortunately, it seemed that Lee Yu-ha was shocked when I cut in and cleared up the air. She seemed surprised and like she had forgotten all about her anger.
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Hmm. Maybe she was astonished by the fact that the son of a disgusting pro-Japanese traitor was telling her what to do. But it seemed that Lee Yu-ha didn’t want to make the fight that had finally calmed down any bigger, so she said, calming down,

“……I am sorry for raising mine voice.”

And turning her face away.
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Their fight had finally settled down from my intervention. I sighed and shouted out to the whole squad.

『Okay! Let’s all calm down, have some lunch here right now and continue hunting in the afternoon.』

I was originally planning on continuing the hunt a little longer and then eat, but because of the fight breaking out, it was already almost 12 o’clock.
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Besides, the squad had been working really hard all morning, so everyone was probably quite hungry. And it was only natural that people would start to get sharp-tempered when they were hungry.

I sat down on one corner and took out the lunchbox I had brought with me in the morning. Everyone sat at a distance from each other and took out their lunchboxes.
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Even in that awkward atmosphere, as if she had already forgotten about the argument with Lee Yu-ha earlier, Yang Bok-ja approached Aikawa and asked politely.

『Aikawa-chan! What did you get in the dorm bento?』
『O-Oh. Rice and curry-』

‘The dorm’s food isn’t too bad.’
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Students that commuted to school like me brought their lunchboxes, but the students that lived in the dormitories got them provided from the dormitory’s restaurant. It seemed that the lunch for today, the first day of school, was curry.

‘That looks good.’

My lunch was basically some plain rice and seasoned vegetables, although there were some pieces of meat that looked like sanjeok and a boiled egg. I ate this the night before for dinner, and it was, speaking well of it, light, but frankly speaking,
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‘It makes me I had some ramyun (note: instant noodles similar to Japanese ramen)…….’

For someone used to the food of the 21st century, it just tasted bland. Why hadn’t Baek Cheol-yeon, the guy I resuscitated as, not entered the dorms?
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Even if he didn’t go into the dorms, considering he was the son of a baron, he should be quite loaded. Then, why did he decide to stay in such a run-down boarding house out of all places?

I wondered, but thinking about the effort that the daughter of the boarding house had put in to wake up at dawn and pack me a lunchbox, I was about to eat thankfully. Then I looked at a distance and saw Lee Yu-ha sitting by herself, not even touching her lunch.

‘Oh right, she’s in the dorms as well.’

Lee Yu-ha entered the dorms today, so she would have probably received a lunchbox as well, but she wasn’t even looking at it. I took my lunchbox and approached Lee Yu-ha. I sat next to her and talked to her.
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“Lee yu-ha.”
“…….”

She wasn’t answering. Even so, I told her that she should eat as she was probably hungry,

“I am not consuming because I hast no appetite.”

She said, using her appetite as an excuse.
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“Here.”

I put my lunchbox in front of her. Lee Yu-ha looked alternating between me and the lunchbox that had suddenly been put in front of her and said,

“……What ist?”
“I haven’t even touched it yet. Let’s trade. You don’t have an appetite for curry, right? I like curry, so I’ll just eat that.”
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Lee Yu-ha’s eyes were shaking. And her gaze landed on the lunchbox I put forward.

“…….”

Considering how she was, she probably preferred bland home-cooked meals over western dishes like curry. Even if it might be bland, there was definitely more effort put into it than the curry. It definitely wasn’t me acting out of self-interest and trying to deceive Lee Yu-ha.

“Here, go on.”
“…….”
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Lee Yu-ha eventually accepted it. I grabbed her dorm lunchbox without saying a word and started eating it next to her.

‘Home-cooked meals are good, and gukbaps are good, but sometimes you need things like this.’

It was lacking when compared to that of the 21st century Korea, but still, the strong taste of the spices……!
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Lee Yu-ha inspected my lunchbox for a bit and carefully took the first bite, and soon she started to go through it as if she was enjoying it. Even though she said she didn’t have an appetite, it was just the curry that she didn’t like.

I looked a Lee Yu-ha and thought.

‘It’s a bad moment to try to clear up the misunderstanding from earlier.’
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You shouldn’t speak about serious matters when eating. Also, at this point, when I offered her food if I went ahead and told her, “I’m not really pro-Japan”, wouldn’t it look as if I was bribing her with food?

……Although I can’t say I wasn’t.

***

After each of us had our fill, we all started to climb the path through the forest again.

I slightly glanced at Lee Yu-ha, and she still avoided my eyes. But the feeling of hostility I got from her before had faded quite a bit.
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‘Food is the best.’

People that are full tend to be more generous!

Of course, I hadn’t cleared up the misunderstanding yet, so she probably didn’t think too well of me. She was probably confused by my actions…….

And the heavy air between Lee Yu-ha and Yank Bok-ja was still lingering around.

It felt like the two were cooperating only because they felt they had to, as they were in the same squad, but there were no issues as they were following my instructions.
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『Let’s try going this way.』

I said, walking ahead, but Song Byung-oh asked, standing next to me.

『Wait, Baek Cheol-yeon, lad. Is this not enough?』
『Huh?』
『I think we have got quite a few already, but you want to continue hunting?』
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Saying that, Song Byung-oh lifted his cage for me to see. When this pre-field study started, apart from our weapons, we each got a cage to collect the monsters we hunted down.

Before I even realized, the cage had already filled up with dead monsters. It wasn’t only Song Byung-oh; all the other squad members’ cages were also full.

『M-Me too…… I agree with him. It’s too heavy…….』

Aikawa supported what Song Byung-oh said.
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They were right, the monsters we had been hunting were small, low-level monsters that were about the size of a fist, and if our cages were almost full, it meant that our squad had hunted down over a hundred of them.

『Yeah, you’re right! Even if this is a test and is added to our grades, I doubt any other squad has captured as many as us. Even if we go back right now, we’ll be first!』

Even Yang Bok-ja agreed with them. However, regardless of grades, there was a more pressing reason why I wanted to continue hunting.

‘Status window!’
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Whoop-!

[Status system recovery initiated.]
[Status system being reinstalled onto Ghost.]
[Reinstalling…… 27.83%]
[Time left: 62 days 4 hours 52 seconds]

Even though I had absorbed a lot of mana that had just been extracted from the mana stones, as they were small and insignificant low-level monsters, I was still a ways off.

I didn’t know how often we would have on-field practices like this one, so I wanted to keep going as far as I could.

I said.
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『The practice is until three in the afternoon, so let’s grab a few more. If the cage is too heavy, you could just take some out.』
『Ugh……. It’s such a waste just to throw them away…….』

Yang Bok-ja said, groaning.

……I started to feel a bit sorry for my squad members.

But still, it wasn’t only good for me. It would help everybody, right? Even if this wouldn’t affect our grades, they were getting the opportunity to learn from the experience and know-how of a (former) veteran professional Hunter like me, so there was no reason to think this was just bad……!
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So I dismissed their protests and wanted to keep on going, but contrary to what I wanted, I couldn’t see any more monsters around us anymore.

‘That’s strange……’

There were so many in the morning, though. Was it just that there had been no monsters released around this area? But, it was still the same even if we went on further.

‘For some reason, there seem to be less and less.’

On top of that, we hadn’t met any other squads the whole way. Had some other squad already come through here and wiped the entire area?
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As we headed deeper and deeper into the mountain, we came to a shady valley with very little sunlight and found some things in a line embedded into the ground.

It was a long, thick piece of metal, firmly buried in the ground ……
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‘……An iron stake?’

Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy

Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy

경성의 헌터 아카데미
Score 9.2
Status: Ongoing Type: , Author: , Released: 2021 Native Language: Korean
I woke up during the Japanese Colonial Era. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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