Chapter 45: Look at Me (1)

“…I’m sorry, could you repeat that one more time?”

Her jewel-like red hair.

Her blue eyes, contrasting with her hair, desperately avoid my gaze.

Miss Rubia’s face was filled with shame.

Normally, I wouldn’t want to press her like this. After all, I owe Miss Rubia a lot.

If there was something she didn’t want to talk about, I could respect that.

“So... you said you got into a knife fight with the kids?”

But this was a bit much.

This was far beyond what anyone could reasonably ignore.

All I asked was for her to get a signature on a confirmation. How did that escalate into a knife fight?

This was beyond ridiculous—it was shocking.

“There, there was a reason it had to be that way!”

Miss Rubia shouted, her face reddening.

It was hard to distinguish her hair from her face now.

She must have been embarrassed.

“What kind of reason would make you test the kids with a knife fight...?”

I sighed as I spoke, and Miss Rubia shrank.

She looked like a wilting plant.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel sorry for her.

But this was something that couldn’t be overlooked.

‘Can I really trust her to take care of the kids?’

I always knew she had a bit of an eccentric side, but this was borderline psychopathic.

“What made you think it was a good idea to attack children under ten with the artifact I gave you? On the very day you received it, no less!”

Miss Rubia’s usual eloquence was useless now.

It was painfully clear who was at fault.

Miss Rubia shriveled even more than before.


Miss Rubia, on the verge of tears, mumbled her apology.

I wasn’t cruel enough to slap someone who was already about to cry.

So, I stopped scolding her and sighed.

Miss Rubia kept rambling on, making excuses.

She explained that she intended to scare them a little, but it turned into a bizarre test. I understood that much.

However, I couldn’t wrap my head around her thought process.

‘How easily swayed can a person be?’

She was incredibly competent in her work.

It was hard to believe that the competent woman in front of me was the same trembling mess.

‘And she’s always so dramatic.’

Anyone would think we were running some dangerous and criminal organization.

I only asked her to check if the kids had the determination to continue their training, not to put them through some grand ordeal.

It was common sense that I wouldn’t put the kids in any real danger.

Even if something did come up, I would handle it as humanely as possible.

There was no need for, nor did I want, a level of determination involving risking their lives.

“…Do you have anything else to say?”

However, what’s done is done.

Since it couldn’t be undone, I decided to let it go and move on.

Miss Rubia still stood in front of me.

She kept avoiding my gaze, fidgeting nervously, and then she finally spoke.

“Uh... one of the kids got hurt.”

“...So you’re telling me, not only did you use an artifact to attack a child under ten, but you even drew blood?”

Miss Rubia’s face turned crimson.

The morning sun beyond the window made it almost impossible to distinguish between the two.

“Could... could you use healing magic...?”

Miss Rubia, swallowing her shame, opened her mouth to speak.

I barely held back the urge to say, ‘You couldn’t even cast a simple healing spell, so you had to come to me for help?’

If I had said that, I felt like her face would turn even redder and then explode.

“...Fine, bring them here quickly.”

I sighed deeply as I spoke.

Honestly, she was a Noona who didn’t act her age, making me worry about her future.


Fortunately, the kids weren’t too badly injured.

Three of them had some cuts on their hands, but nothing was severed.

It was something I could handle on my own without bothering Siel, who was still recovering.

The treatment was done in no time.

The two kids bowed their heads to me in overwhelming gratitude before leaving.

They even said things like, “We’ll be in your care from now on, captain!” which was quite endearing.

They were disciplined, but seeing such young children say those things was just cute.

As I was thinking about the kids who had just left,

-Knock, knock!

I heard a knock on the door.

Naturally, my face turned puzzled.

‘Who could it be?’

Siel never knocks before entering.

Lien usually says, “C-Can I come in?” before entering my room.

Miss Rubia does knock politely, but she had just left after saying everything she had to say, so why would she come back?

“Come in.”

As I spoke, the door creaked open.

It was the girl from before.

The blind girl I rescued from the black market, the one with the “1201” tattoo.

Her brown hair and white eyes showed clear signs of tension.

The girl approached me with a slightly flushed face.

“Are you hurt anywhere?”

At my question, the girl shook her head.

“No, I just... came to say that I’ll be in your care from now on!”

The way she bit her tongue was quite cute.

Come to think of it, Miss Rubia had told me about this girl.

She had excelled in the impromptu test.

She had shown the most promise.

I also heard that she persuaded everyone. Thinking about that made me even more proud of her.

“I heard you did really well this time. Is there anything you want as a reward?”

So I asked her.

Maybe an artifact would be perfect.

I had already given Siel an artifact related to stamina.

For Lien, artifacts were unnecessary since her body itself was exceptional.

Miss Rubia also got one that suited her perfectly.


The girl’s eyes sparkled with excitement.

Then, she made a rather unexpected request.

“Could I receive a name?”

It was a slightly surprising question.

I reflexively wanted to ask why but quickly closed my mouth.

Why would an orphan girl who had been enslaved want a name?

Maybe she had a name given by her parents, but they sold her off.

Or perhaps she never had a proper name in her entire life.

Either way, bringing it up wouldn’t help.

“Of course.”

I smiled kindly as I spoke.

Naming... It was too sudden for me to think clearly.

I’d never had this experience before.

I was about to give a name that would stick with her for life. It shouldn’t be done thoughtlessly.

I wanted to give her a meaningful name.

“’Jang Hayang.”

After a moment of contemplation, I said it.

It felt a bit out of place for a fantasy setting, being too Korean, but the meaning was more important than the cultural fit.

“How about ‘Hayang,’ which means starting anew from a blank slate?”

Asking for a name likely meant she wanted a fresh start.

I thought this name would suit her well.

Just ‘Hayang’ felt a bit odd, so I added my original surname, making it ‘Jang Hayang.’

...Is it a bad name?

I wasn’t confident in my naming skills.

I carefully watched the girl’s expression.

But it seemed my worries were unfounded.

The girl beamed and nodded enthusiastically.

Despite the lackluster name, her joy was so evident that I couldn’t help but feel grateful.

I patted the girl’s head as she softly repeated the name I had given her.

No matter the process, it felt like everything had come to a satisfying conclusion once again.


Siel stared blankly, observing what was happening before her.

Ian was gently patting a child’s head.

He looked extremely happy.

‘He seems busy.’

She had come to report, feeling better now, but it seemed like she would be interrupting if she went in.

She had no idea what was happening,

why Ian was patting the child, or why he looked so pleased.

But as long as Ian was happy, that was enough for her.

There was no reason to intrude, no need to interfere.

In fact, she shouldn’t interfere.

So, Siel quietly turned back to where she had come from.

But as she walked away, she pondered.

...It seemed like something about her had changed.

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