Player with Maxed-out Talent chapter 123

Player with Maxed-Out Talent

# Player with Maxed-Out Talent, Chapter 123

An Seohee’s explanation continued. As I heard more, it was quite shocking. I knew that she had been to and from the Predatory Tree’s territory several times already. But that wasn’t all.

I was momentarily at a loss for words.

“……”

An Seohee looked at me with a hint of fear. She fundamentally feared the very existence of ‘men.’ When I said nothing, she seemed to be stricken with fear. Perhaps noticing this, Shin Yeonseo patted An Seohee’s shoulder comfortingly.

“Don’t be startled. It’s okay. He meditates even during raids. He gets so focused that he is like this sometimes.”

While it was more of a shock than focus, Shin Yeonseo’s reassurance and warm smile seemed to put An Seohee at ease again.

“……You’re not angry, are you?”

“No, I’m not.”

I was not angry. On the contrary, I was very pleased.

“So, you have a special quest.”

The name of that quest was,

“‘Find Charles’ quest, right?”

The quest “Find Charles!” was assigned to me. That means I had “Find Charles’s Owner!” and An Seohee had “Find Charles!”

“Yes. But, there’s only about a week left for the deadline.”

“I see. Where is this owner?”

“They are inside the Predatory Tree’s territory. It’s connected to a huge mansion.”

I also had about a week left for my task. We received our quests around the same time, and it seemed like we were approaching the same quest in different ways and from different sides.

‘Did An Seohee have this quest in the past?’

I wasn’t sure. The An Seohee of the past, that is, the one before she met me, would probably not have completed the quest.

‘The pieces of An Seohee’s life are changing.’

I spoke candidly.

“Actually, I have a quest, too.”

As I shared the details of my quest, An Seohee’s eyes widened in pure surprise. Shin Yeonseo made a fuss by our side.

“Wow. This is huge.”

Our interests matched perfectly.

“Boss. Be honest with me. Did you treat Seohee nicely because you knew this?”

“That’s not the case.”

Even with my heightened senses, I can’t see the quests of others.

Shin Yeonseo laughed brightly.

“I would’ve been a little disappointed if that were the case.”

There seemed to be a peculiar charm to Shin Yeonseo’s laughter. Even the darkness within An Seohee, detectable by my senses, seemed to brighten a little each time it was met with Shin Yeonseo’s warm smile.

Shin Yeonseo gave me a playful wink. As if saying, ‘I did well, didn’t I?’ It almost seemed like an overt request for praise.

‘Yes, thank you.’

I praised her inwardly. Shin Yeonseo was purposefully asking the question. She wanted to reassure An Seohee, who feared society and adults, that her aid was not predicated on ulterior motives or personal gain but was a gesture of comfort for a frightened child’s heart. She purposely asked that question to communicate this.

After a little time passed, I asked,

“Seohee.”

“Yes?”

“I’ll speak frankly.”

Honestly and truly. I decided to dispense with any pretense or false kindness when dealing with a child who has been deeply hurt and fears the world.

“I think it would be beneficial for us to collaborate. I have something I want, and you can complete your quest through me.”

Simply put,

“We can use each other. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.”

I didn’t think that approaching her with simple kindness would open this child’s heart. Even if I asked her to go on a raid with me right now, it was doubtful whether she would agree. This seemed better. I have something to gain from you, and you have something to gain from me. So let’s join hands for a moment.

“But I won’t force you.”

The Predatory Tree’s territory and “Find Charles’s Owner!” weren’t part of my original plan. It would be great to complete it, but if not, it couldn’t be helped.

“……”

“I won’t demand an answer right now.”

We were still building a foundation of trust.

“Give me your answer within the quest’s deadline. Whatever your choice, I will respect it.”

* * *

A day passed. An Seohee called me directly. Although her tone seemed very cautious, the fact that she contacted me directly was encouraging.

-So…

After hesitating for some time,

-I’ve decided to follow your suggestion.

She referred to me as “that person.” I didn’t take offense. She said it felt strange to call someone ‘brother,’ as she had never used that term before. I already knew about it through Sunhwa. Titles weren’t a major issue, and I was fully prepared to be considerate of this child.

‘It’s not because she’s ignoring me, but because it’s too hard for her.’

The crucial part was something else.

‘Our party with Red Ear. No. Can this friendly relationship really last?’

She harboured deep darkness within. The endless ripples of darkness were palpable to my sense-enhanced eyes. I was willing to cooperate with An Seohee, but that didn’t mean I trusted her wholeheartedly.

‘I can’t let my guard down completely.’

The environment had changed. But a change in environment doesn’t necessarily change everything. What if Red Ear starts to act like her past self? If that’s her true nature?

‘Then……’

I might end up committing murder. To prevent Red Ear’s rampage. Right now, our interests merely align, and I am extending the minimal consideration as a human being.

‘First, the Predatory Tree’s territory.’

For now, we agreed to explore the Predatory Tree’s territory together. Today, we met in front of the burger shop again. This was already significant progress. She was meeting just with me, a ‘man.’

“Let’s eat first and then get going.”

Kang Sanggu arrived while we were eating our burgers. Having ordered four burgers, Kang Sanggu was sweating profusely.

“Hey. Are we really going there? With just this little girl?”

Officially 18 years old, but actually 19. She’s a bit too old to be called a little girl.

“You have the map, don’t you?”

“Yes, but I don’t want to go.”

The Predatory Tree’s territory. A place where herds of Predatory Trees might be lurking.

“She’ll be our guide. She’s been there and back several times.”

“That’s because she’s got a special class. She’s terrified of Predatory Trees. It was hard enough dealing with one. Are we really going to go? I wish you would leave me out of this, boss.”

I can’t do that. Letting someone as valuable as Kang Sanggu go would be a significant loss. Then, An Seohee’s eyes widened.

“H- have you hunted Predatory Trees?”

“Yep, exactly. We nearly burnt to death that time.”

The combination of oil and fire magic, combined with the effects of Corruption Water and Poison Mist.

“Wow. That was truly scary, damn hot.”

An Seohee looked incredulous.

“It was said that at my level, it was impossible to hunt Predatory Trees.”

“What level are you at?”

Kang Sanggu asked so innocently that An Seohee responded without thinking.

“I’m at level 34.”

Then, realizing her slip, her expression changed. She managed to mask it quickly, but not enough to fool my ‘Observer’s Eye.’

‘Is there a situation where she shouldn’t talk about her level?’

Was she instructed not to talk about it by her Guardian? Or was it her BJ?

‘Now that I think about it…’

I can’t feel her BJ’s presence at this age, at this level. The growth rate is unbelievable. And it’s a character with a special barrier that prevents the identification of her Guardian’s name. She’s definitely a character worth the buzz, so why doesn’t she have an intermediary manager yet?

I interrupted the conversation.

“From now on, do not disclose your level truthfully.”

“……”

If she’s in that situation, then I’ll take advantage of it. Not to exploit her, but to use the situation. I’m sure An Seohee’s level rise isn’t natural.

“Your level is nonsensical by any standard.”

Considering that the current top-rankers are level 30 or 31, a girl who hasn’t properly utilized barriers or gone on real raids is level 34?

I took a bite of the burger and spoke as if unaffected.

“You may not realize it, but you’re an irregular.”

Not normal.

“Someone might have forcibly changed your level.”

Such interference would require a powerful Guardian to take great risks. Hardly any would bother to that extent.

“Otherwise your starting level was different from others.”

Maybe she started at level 30.

“And your Guardian wouldn’t want others to know that.”

“……”

You can’t lie, can you?

“So you better watch what you say from now on.”

“……Yes, I understand.”

Kang Sanggu gulped down his third burger, shaking his head.

“That monstrous kid. Ugh. Sickening. How can you read the situation with just a few words? Sometimes you’re scary, you know?”

“……”

I ignored Kang Sanggu’s nonsensical muttering. We finished eating and headed towards an open field.

“This is where I usually activate gates.”

“Ah.”

The positions of stones, bumps of soil, the location of metal frames like monkey bars and swings.

‘All of these are important elements for a Barrier Master.’

That’s why An Seohee chose this place for gate activation.

“This spot. Did you choose it?”

“……”

Unlikely. That ‘special Guardian’ probably told her.

‘Who could it be?’

There’s no known information about Red Ear’s Guardian. Even if An Seohee is a ‘favorite character,’ is there really a Guardian who pours so much effort into them?

‘It would be good to find out the Guardian.’

A Guardian showing that level of dedication(?) is rare. I have to catch them. They will offer blind love and devotion, after all.

“Nevermind. Don’t speak.”

I shifted my gaze to Kang Sanggu.

“You have the map, right?”

“Yeah. It’s practically my lifeline.”

The map detailed the locations of the Predatory Trees, their appearance times, and more.

“Ah. I feel like I’ll pee my pants. Walking into hell willingly. The world’s gone completely crazy.”

What was interesting was that Kang Sanggu’s light-hearted attitude was relaxing An Seohee. She was entering the field with ‘two men,’ but she seemed to be carrying a lighter heart.

‘Kang Sanggu doesn’t intend it, though.’

An Seohee picked up a few stones. She took a small shovel from her inventory and dug into the dirt in various places.

‘Red thread.’

Then she took out some red thread and sprinkled it in a few places.

“I’ll start now.”

The red thread rose into the air.

[The Barrier Master’s (結界術師) movement circle is activated.]

[The movement circle’s name is established.]

A clickable black gate formed. Clicking on the pulsating blackness brought up information.

──────────

[Predatory Tree’s Territory]

This gate allows transport to the Predatory Tree’s territory.

Entrance Qualifications:

1) Activator of the gate who is level 30 and above.

2) Those who have experience hunting Predatory Trees and are level 30 and above.

Players who meet condition 1) or 2) are eligible for entry.

──────────

At first glance, the description didn’t seem very special, but there was a clear ‘peculiarity’ here. There were details that could be missed if one didn’t pay close attention, and I was already aware of the content.

‘Could this possibly be…’



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