With the stacks of plates piled sky-high, Hena and Min Ah Woo finally began to talk.
They claimed that when you eat with someone, a trust relationship known as ‘rapport’ develops. By digging, chewing, and tasting the pork, the two had developed an incredible amount of trust.
Hena was able to gain the courage to be honest in front of Min Ah Woo as a result of this.
“How much would all this come out to? It would be pretty expensive, right?”
Min Ah Woo put her hands on her chin in response to Hena’s concerned expression.
“Why? Did you want to buy it?”
“I do. I wanted to treat you for saving my life.”
“It’s all good. I didn’t call you out so that I can get a meal from you. And on top, I didn’t know that you would be so good at grilling…shouldn’t I be the one paying you honestly?”
Min Ah Woo praised Hena’s grilling skills.
“If you hadn’t grilled in front of me, I would have assumed you used some kind of additive cream on the pork. That was how good it was.”
Hena scratched her cheeks awkwardly from the expressions ‘additive cream.’
Despite the fact that it wasn’t a cream, she did something out of the ordinary.
“Well, hunter Min Ah Woo,”
Min Ah Woo frowned as she waved her hands.
“There’s nothing friendly about the way you address me! I’m only 27 years old, but you have to be younger than me, aren’t you? You look young. Call me unnie.”
“Then, umm, Min unnie, “
“Go ahead and say it”
Min Ah Woo leaned back like a lioness, waiting for Hena’s lips to move. It was a posture to indicate that she was prepared to listen carefully.
Hena opened her lips cautiously.
“…actually, this is one of my skills as well.”
“What? I thought you only had a skill for picking edible veggies, but there’s also a skill for grilling meat? That’s awesome.”
Mina’s eyes sparkled like those of a child who discovers something new. She lowered her voice and asked a question back.
“Is it because of your skill as an ‘Homemaker’ that gives you all the skills related to homemaking?”
Hena thought of all her skills and then nodded in agreement.
There were some odd skills. From being able to cook meat well, skills that level up the more you clean, and a skill that gives you a home…
“I still have more of which I haven’t discovered yet, but it’s all related to housekeeping.”
“I thought that my skills were high up there..but when I experienced your meat cooking skills, I wanted to have the same skill for myself.”
Min Ah Woo, as if she was reflecting on the taste of the meat earlier, made a suggestion.
“Do you want to order another serving of pork and then 2 servings of the pork rinds?”
“If you can eat more, I am okay with that. It’s not too hard to grill the meat. And as far as it goes for alcohol…hmm..yes, I will take some.”
Eating all the greasy food made Hena crave dear soju.
Min Ah Woo placed her 7th additional order.
The two started the grand piece with the meats and rinds grilling in front of them.
“Cheers to the first!”
Min Ah Woo, as her personality, gulped down the first drink in one shot.
Hena sipped all of her drink in the glass as well, since she was thirsty. The bitter fragrance and sweetness of the alcohol climbed up through her throat and to her nose. It was a purification process for the stomach linings filled with grease.
Hena felt the remaining taste of the last drop as a sommelier and then refilled Mina’s glass. As the glass filled upwards, so did the grin on Mina’s face.
“You must be one drinker, huh?”
To be truthful, Hena beat most guys when it came down to drinking. Some would call her a horse drinker(a Korean expression to call someone who keeps on drinking without slowing down, like a horse), but to Hena who didn’t really enjoy drinking, this was not a favorable title.
And on top, Hena knew how being good at drinking in a Korean society was a tedious image to upkeep, so she had always pretended not to show her true power.
“No, I’m not that good at it. Just enough to keep up, but I’m not really bad at it either.”
“Really? I saw the way your wrists snapped with the glass…you must have some mad skills, or so I thought.”
Min Ah Woo had great observational skills, as one of the top hunters
After the standard drinking introduction, the conversation finally got real. Hena started to ask questions she was always curious about.
“By the way, Mina unnie, I don’t know if I should be asking this…but are descriptions from the system always so shabby?”
“What do you mean?”
“What I mean is that the descriptions of my skills are never clear. For example, the skill that I just used to grill meat is called ‘this is the taste of home,’ and for its description, it said that it ‘allows you to taste the greatest MSG. That is the taste of hands-on cooking.’ That’s all.”
Hena recited the description, word for word.
From this, Min Ah Woo, who was emptying her glass, made a ‘pffft’ and sprayed the drink from laughing.
Hena grabbed a napkin for her.
Min Ah Woo replied after coughing.
“…The system descriptions are really open-ended. The range of things you can do with the skill also depends on how well you can understand and apply the description.”
“Really? But I don’t understand how more or less I can apply the phrase, “allows you to taste the greatest MSG. That is the taste of hands-on cooking.”
“That’s true. It’s pretty odd. How do the other ones sound?”
From this question, Hena was reminded of what happened in the dungeon.
With the keyword ‘safety,’ and making a bed out of leaves, the bed actually served its purpose to protect her.
When Hena mentioned this to her, Mina nodded.
“That’s impressive. Your skills are not related to attacks, so it’s hard for me to help you, but such is one way to understand the skills a bit better.”
After talking about this and that, the bottle of liquor was emptied.
“Sir, we would like another bottle!”
Hena ordered another drink.
The owner of the store was happy that the two ladies had increased his revenue so much. He gave them a complimentary bottle of sprite and let them know that it’s on the house.
Not caring about the additional service, Mina remained unimpressed and asked Hena a question.
“So, what will you do with this ‘Homemaker’ advancement skill? Did you have any thoughts in mind?”
It was an unexpected question. Hena couldn’t say anything.
Mina made an expression as if the situation didn’t make sense, and chewed on the rinds.
“There are so many people who just jump into the dungeon as level F to make money as soon as they advance. You never thought of the idea of using your skills?”
Mina asked another question as Hena stuttured.
“I mean, people even pay for classes that claim to teach people how to advance! Even those academies are making big bucks! You really haven’t thought about what you want to do after advancing? Your future depends on it.”
From the serious question, Hena just played around with the glass in her hands.
A lot of thoughts passed by her mind.
She had advanced, but even before she could think, she had lost her job and home. She was not in the right mind to think deeply. It was a good excuse.
However, Hena knew deep inside that she was avoiding to find a way to use her skill in detail.
“…to be honest, even with advancement, I don’t really want to live like hunters do.”
Hena made a confession.
Hena knew how dangerous the lives of hunters were from seeing her brother of level D struggle.
He was the only blood-related family member after losing her family from the disaster. When her brother lost contact for weeks or months as he went in battle to earn some money, she would get anxious.
“….I have an older brother. He is a hunter of rank D.”
Hena opened up about her situation as she poured another glass.
“My parents passed away 10 years ago, so we are the only ones who we depend on. My brother already faces so many dangers working as a hunter, so I wouldn’t want to add more risk to our relationship. I want to tell my brother to quit his job, but it’s impossible realistically…but still, I want to be there for him always.”
Hena had one wish after having dealt through so much suffering from losing her parents at an early age.
To live normally as others with her brother. Without a worry that someone would not get hurt or disappear all of the sudden.
Hena sipped on the drink and ate a piece of the grilled pork. The pork that had gone through Hena’s skilled touch remained delicious even after cooling down.
“I want to remain in a long-term and steady job at a decent company. I am not suited for an adventure that comes with the advancers of hunters’ lives.”
Mina made a groan from the honest confession of Hena.
“I feel as if I have heard something that I am not sure if I am allowed to hear…”
“Oh no, you’re fine. This is nothing.”
Due to the incident 10 years ago, there were many people who had lost their friends or family members. It wasn’t a unique circumstance that only applied to Hena.
The people of this generation were all tired and carried their sadness.
“But still, I don’t want your skill to go to waste.”
Min Ah Woo still did not give up and was obsessed over Hena’s skills. Hena shaked her hands.
“To make money, I need to be a hunter. I mean, what am I going to do with a skill like grilling meat? It might be more useful to work at a BBQ place. Actually, should I work at a BBQ place? No, that’s not a good job in the long-run so I guess not.”
Hena after thinking came to her own conclusion that she is best suited as a regular salarywoman.
Min Ah Woo frowned her face upon Hena’s thought process.
“Hena, I think you are thinking about the life of advancers in a very narrow manner. A hunter is just one of the many jobs that an advancer could choose to be. Most people think that advancers are hunters because most advancers are hunters.”
Hena questioned this statement.
“Then what else do advancers do?”
Min Ah Woo replied with a tap on the table.
“Let’s first hear more about your skills. Although it’s not good manners to dig into someone’s skills and details, you don’t even seem to be aware of yourself.”
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