Chapter 13

Still, Kang Sangchil crawled into the room with a bloated face after eating two cups of noodles, maybe because he bought them and wanted to eat them all.

He complained a lot in the process, but, well, it didn’t matter.

Because thanks to him, I took a step closer to completing the quest.

He took two photos and bought two cups of noodles, which added up to 360G.

Is it because shopping at the market is fun?

Even though I wanted to spend a lot of money right away to stock up on items, I held back.

That’s because I need to buy a VIP ticket.

I thought so and looked up at my watch.

It’s already 10pm.

There have been no more guests since the two guests arrived unexpectedly.

As expected, the revolving doors were also stopped.

If my prediction is correct, it would mean that no tired hunter is wandering somewhere in the dungeon now.

‘It might be a relief that our hotel doesn’t have guests….’

I was feeling strange and getting cup noodles for dinner when I remembered something and saw the bellboy.

“Does the guest in room 202 not eat?”

“Ah, I guess so.”

I suddenly remembered Shim Jiyoon’s face, which was dark.

It was an expression that seemed to be psychologically exhausting.

“I can’t. I have to go to room service.”

The bellboy smiled slightly at my words.

“Why?”

“As expected, my boss seems perfect for running a hotel management! The best! The best!”

What do you mean?

I just don’t want to see someone starve.

I smacked my lips, poured hot water into one cup of noodles, took a pair of wooden chopsticks, and put them on a tray as pretty as I could.

No matter how pretty it was, it wasn’t enough because it was just a cup of noodles.

‘Life is all about food!’

I went up the stairs with a tray, recalling Dad’s words.

***

It was when I stood in front of Room 202.

I heard a terrible scream.

“No…! No! You can’t! Come back…! No!”

What is that?

It sounded like a sound was coming from Room 202.

When I was perplexed, Kang Sangchil opened the door to Room 201 and walked out, frowning.

“She’s been like that since earlier. Hey, Miss. Isn’t the soundproofing too poor for a hotel where you pay 150 gold? Make her quiet!”

I glared at Kang Sangchil.

Should I make it so that he pays 10G every time he breathes?

Kang Sangchil cleared his throat, perhaps because he was reading my eyes, and snuck back into room 201.

And almost at the same time, the screams from Room 202 stopped.

When the screams stopped, I became more anxious and knocked on the door of room 202 urgently.

Knock knock.

There’s no answer.

Knock knock.

There was still no answer.

Boom boom!

There is no answer again this time.

I stared at the door to room 202 and then looked at the keyhole below.

Perhaps—.

I took out the master key that I carried in my pocket.

And put it through the keyhole in room 202.

Click, click.

There was the sound of a key fitting into a hole.

I opened the door without delay and went in.

Then a brilliant light poured into my eyes from the dark room.

I looked at the light.

The light was coming out of the curtain.

Inside Room 202, it looked like a movie was being shown through the curtains as if a beam projector were shooting somewhere and the curtains were the screen.

—Take this. Think of this as me.

And at the bottom of the movie, there were subtitles.

In the movie, Shim Jiyoon held out a ring to a man.

A blue ring.

The man who received it stared at the ring for a moment.

Then, with a determined expression, he said.

—What a great place to go. It won’t be a big deal. I’ll come back with the entire advanced team. Anyway, this ring…do you know this is like a proposal?

Shim Jiyoon smiled softly.

Smiling, Shim Jiyoon looked like a different person.

A different person from the gloomy guest in Room 202, who seemed to live her entire life without ever knowing a smile.

In the next scene, the man left Sim Jiyoon and entered the dungeon’s depths with other hunters.

Shim Jiyoon looked at his back with anxious eyes.

But—.

As expected, the man doesn’t come back.

The blue ring that Shim Jiyoon gave to the man remained in the dungeon.

— I’m sorry. I wanted to bring his belongings and leave… but due to the sudden attack of the Giant Boar…

It was the time when the other members of the raid gave the news to Sim Jiyoon.

Jiyoon, who was curled up on the bed, started screaming in terror.

That was the scream I heard in the hallway earlier.

“No…! Come back! Come back. No!”

I moved closer to Shim Jiyoon, whose expression was distorted in pain.

Something was strange.

I heard that the projector curtain would definitely make you dream whatever you want.

But why does Shim Jiyoon have such a painful dream?

Sim Jiyoon’s screams continued for a long time and then stopped.

And again, the scene of the courtesy came out on the curtain.

Jiyoon, who gives out a blue ring, and a man who accepts it and is happy as if he were proposed to. 

Ah. 

Only then did I realize.

For Shim Jiyoon, these scenes are painful but also a memory she wants to see, even in her dreams.

It’s painful to watch, but it was the memories she wanted to see again and again.

That’s why it’s no different from drugs.

I distorted my face.

I grabbed Shim Jiyoon’s shoulder and shook her because it was hard to watch her suffer from that terrible dream anymore. 

“Guest! Guest!” 

“Uh-huh…!” 

Shim Jiyoon opened her eyes.

Sim Jiyoon held my hand with her face covered in tears. I said without shaking off the hand.

“I’m sorry. I woke you up even though I knew it was rude. I’m afraid the ramen will be soggy….”

I opened the door, came in, and put the cup noodles on the table.

Shim Jiyoon, who saw it, got up from her position. 

She burst into tears.

“Damn it… I’m doomed….”

Her hair flowed wildly.

Shim Jiyoon gently let go of my hand.

I bowed my head again and apologized.

“I’m sorry.”

But Sim Jiyoon continued to cry and say.

“No…. No. For waking me up….”

Shim Jiyoon burst into tears.

Only then did I recognize some medicine bottles placed by Shim Jiyoon’s bedside.

It wasn’t like a healing potion.

“Thank you… for waking me up…”

*****

Shim Jiyoon and I sat down in the lobby and started eating the soggy noodles.

It was because of the judgment that it was dangerous to leave Shim Jiyoon alone.

Even after waking up, Sim Jiyoon cried for a long time before suddenly holding her stomach and muttering.

“I’m… hungry… ridiculous.”

I said with a slight smile.

“When my father passed away, I starved for about a day and cried while eating yukgaejang for lunch the next day. Even then, it was so delicious.” (t/n: Yukgaejang (육개장) or spicy beef soup.)

Shim Jiyoon took a wooden chopstick and quietly looked at me.

She seemed to be thinking about something, but then tried to pick up the cup noodles.

“Uh, that’s a hotel service. Service. I mean it’s free.”

“What? Ah… yes. Thank you.”

Shim Jiyoon picked up cup noodles.

This time, the billing window didn’t appear.

I guess it was because I said service.

Shim Jiyoon ate all of the noodles in a cup quietly but without stopping.

She must have been hungry.

As soon as Sim Jiyoon put down the empty cup of noodles, the bellboy offered her a mixed coffee.

Shim Jiyoon accepted it and smiled.

“Cup ramen and coffee mix? It’s a fantastic calorie bomb. My boyfriend really liked this combination. Sweet and salty.”

If it’s a boyfriend, is it the man I saw in her dream?

I kept silent so as not to make a slip of the tongue.

Shim Jiyoon then talked about him for a long time, as though her mouth was relaxed.

Sometimes it’s comforting to just listen to someone.

Shim Jiyoon and her lover were both B-Class Hunters.

The two belonged to the Baekho Guild, and the Baekho Guild involved the two in a Top Dungeon raid.

However, at the time of going from the fourth floor to the fifth floor, dangerous creatures were detected in front of the narrow valley topography.

If they encounter a large monster in a narrow street, the raid member could be wiped out.

Then the guild members formed an advance party and cleared the 5th floor.

And she failed to join the advanced team, and only her lover left.

And there…

“…He couldn’t come back. Today, I went to collect the remains of the advance party with the attack team. I made it to the fifth floor, but on the way to find the remains, I got separated from the rest of the team. I couldn’t find the remains, but I could escape with just this ring.”

Shim Jiyoon showed me the blue ring I had seen earlier.

If a B-Class Hunter had split up with her teammates on the 5th floor of the dungeon where someone died, of course, she had to join her teammates right away.

But Shim Jiyoon said it hesitantly.

“I didn’t want to come back as it was. Honestly, the moment I saw this ring, I wanted to give up everything. But then, suddenly, I saw this hotel sign…”

Shim Jiyoon fiddled with the ring and said,

Once again, my guess that those who were mentally or physically trapped could see the hotel was right.

But that ring.

I pointed at the ring and asked carefully.

“Um, if you don’t mind, could you show me that ring for a moment?”

Shim Jiyoon hesitated at my question before holding out the ring.

I carefully took the ring.

I checked the inner part of the ring.

Then as expected, the word “Mi” is clearly engraved.

This is the work of Aunt Misoon.

Aunt liked to engrave the words “Mi” on her early works.

‘Message Imprint Artifact. It’s not that great, but you can engrave a message with the heart of the person who engraved it.’

‘Why would a production artisan make something like that?’

‘Do you think I have a mechanical heart? In the end, I think the best machine is one that can show how a person feels.’

“Where did you buy this?”

“I bought it at the flea market.”

It looked like it had been at a flea market because it was made before Aunt became famous.

I murmured in a low voice.

“Memories of the evening, activate.”

Then a blue light flowed out of the product.

Good.

As expected, I can activate it now that I am an Awakener.

Blue letters began to be engraved on the wall.

I tried to activate it just in case, but it was as expected.

Shim Jiyoon’s lover may have roughly guessed this production’s purpose, and he imprinted a message here.

“T… this…”

Shim Jiyoon’s eyes became round and blurry, and tears began to fill her eyes again.

The writing left by Shim Jiyoon’s lover on the wall was this.

Be happy, Jiyoon-ah.

Be happy.

It was that moment.

A window appeared before my eyes.

You have achieved the ‘Customer Impressive Service’ achievement.

As an achievement reward, 200EXP points are given to level up the hotel!

The level of the hotel has been upgraded!

Hotel Level: 3→4

Ah. The level goes up faster than I thought.

I thought, wiping away my tears.

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