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Side Stories Chapter 101 – What If Story (END)



Side Stories Chapter 101 – What If Story (END)

The news articles popped up almost simultaneously around the world.

I could see steam coming out of Yoo Yeonha’s ears.

“…”

“Let me take a look,” I said as I pushed my face towards her smartwatch.

[The vice guild master of Essence of the Strait was found on a date with her bodyguard in Paris. Both were wearing disguises.]

[Vice guild master Yoo Yeonha left for London at two-thirty in the afternoon to meet with the English Royal Court guild and…]

“What the? Isn’t that today?”

It was indeed a picture of us in Paris. It would be difficult to refute it since we were together the entire time.

Yoo Yeonha let out a sigh, “Haa…”

“How did they find out? Was it someone on the inside?”

“Phew…”

“But this news outlet has balls. I have to give them that.”

The vice guild master of Essence of the Strait, Yoo Yeonha, was powerful enough to shake a country’s very core. Digging up the personal life of someone like her indeed required guts.

I couldn’t help but be in awe of their bravery while wondering if they were actually just stupid.

“No,” Yoo Yeonha shook her head. She pointed to the end of the article and added, “It’s my mom.”

“Huh…? Your mom? I mean, your mother?”

Yeohwa News was a well-known news outlet that was acquired and run by Jin Yeojung’s family.

“Tsk…” Yoo Yeonha clicked her tongue.

I didn’t know what to say, so I just ended up scratching the back of my neck.

I knew that Yoo Yeonha’s mother, Jin Yeojung, tended to act rashly. I never imagined it would be this bad…

“I think I know what her intention is, but…”

Yoo Yeonha gritted her teeth and switched off her smartwatch.

I started to massage her head to reduce her stress and tension.

“Ah, ah… Hang…~”

Those kinds of sounds escaped from her lips.

“It’s not bad… Ah, yes… right there… Hiik!”

“What’s not bad?”

“That is… ah… so I was saying… hang~… Yeohwa News is currently planning to establish a cable channel, but those opposed to it are preventing it by mentioning Yeohwa News’ ties to Essence of the Strait. After all, my mom owns the news outlet… Hiik! Hang…~ but this will prove that there’s no relation between the two and…”

I was amazed at how she was able to think about this situation objectively from a business point of view.

“Haa… That’s enough. My head has cleared up now.”

I stopped massaging her head and hugged her from the back.

She leaned against my chest and continued, “But I’m glad the news broke out while we were on Clancy Islet. Normal reporters can’t come here.”

“I think all hell will break loose once we step out though…”

“Oh, right… You have a helicopter, right? I remember you using it,” she turned around and said.

“Yeah, I have one.”

I recently started using a helicopter that I modified with [Settings Intervention]. It was connected to my smartwatch, so it could come wherever I called it and would go back if I told it to. It wasn’t a living breathing creature, but more like it was programmed to understand my commands.

“I can call it as long as the English government allows it, but this islet is off-limits to flying vehicles, no?”

“Hehe… Do you really think they’ll refuse?” Yoo Yeonha said with a haughty smile.

***

— That’s why I told you not to get too close with a mercenary. Anyways, I guess there’s no helping it. How can I sit by and watch my daughter go down the wrong path?

The next day, Yoo Yeonha was forced to grab the back of her neck because of her mother’s brazenness.

She was currently in a limousine parked in Gangnam.

“Mother…”

— Enough. I’m going to hold a press conference soon. It’s up to you to decide what is best for all of us.

“…”

Yoo Yeonha gritted her teeth while thinking, ‘I see… So this is how you want to play it… but how can someone be so petty towards their own daughter…?’

“Alright. I’ll do as you say. It’s up to me to decide,” Yoo Yeonha said before ending the call.

“… Shall we go?” Yi Jinah asked from the front seat.

Yoo Yeonha nodded and replied, “Yes, let’s go.”

“Alright,” Yi Jinah said before she got out of the limousine and opened the door for Yoo Yeonha.

Yoo Yeonha stepped out of the limousine and a horde of cameras and microphones ran up to her.

“Vice guild master! Please look here!”

“Picture! Please take one picture for us!”

She walked through this chaotic stretch while being reminded of a childhood memory. She was teased by others for coming from a family of slaves solely because her grandfather used to be one of Chae Joochul’s servants.

She was young back then and the teasing completely shattered her self-esteem. She didn’t know how to stand up for herself.

However, that child started to harbor a grand ambition.

She swore to bring all of them under her feet one day and made sure they would regret every word they said to her. She would show them that she was much better than them by becoming someone they would never dare to even dream of.

That resolve probably created who she was today.

The question now was… what would that ambitious side of Yoo Yeonha do about this situation?

This issue wasn’t related to her success or ambition. It was quite cruel to put it this way, but Kim Hajin wouldn’t be that helpful in achieving her goals.

He wasn’t a hero and was only a somewhat famous mercenary.

She wondered what the repercussions would be the moment she admitted to their relationship, but she knew in her head that this relationship would cause more losses than profit.

More importantly, it was too early.

The public never looked favorably at the romantic relationship of a young celebrity. Their reaction would be obvious if the other party was a lowly mercenary. Some would try to defend him by saying he was her bodyguard, but that didn’t change the fact that he was a mercenary in the end.

The problem with being a mercenary was that they were no different from treasure hunters or scavengers who did anything and everything for their own profit.

She knew very well that her one million young followers would turn their backs on her the moment she admitted to the relationship.

… She suddenly realized that thinking about all of this after calling for a press conference only gave credence to the fact that her mother, Jin Yeojung, knew her very well.

Her mother knew what she would think, what choices she would make, and what she would do. Basically, she was dancing in her mother’s palm.

Yoo Yeonha found herself standing in the press conference hall after arranging her thoughts.

“Haa…”

She was trying to compose herself before starting the press conference, but her attempts were continuously disturbed by the cameras flashing in her face.

Yoo Yeonha looked at the cameras before proceeding to read her script, “Hello, I am here today to make a statement regarding the numerous issues around me these days…”

She stopped and looked around the press conference hall. Chae Nayun was in the third row with Kim Hajin beside her.

Chae Nayun smirked after they locked eyes.

“I am the vice guild master of Essence of the Straits as well as an intermediate high rank hero. I understand that the public and media are curious about my personal life, but these kinds of excessive…”

Yoo Yeonha stopped mid-sentence, which was uncharacteristic of her.

Her eyes were looking at Chae Nayun again while she was busy chatting with Kim Hajin. She was nonchalantly touching his shoulder, pushing her face towards his, and even touching his thigh.

Yoo Yeonha crumpled the script she was holding and threw it to the floor.

“I, Yoo Yeonha, am not dating the Black Wolf Kim Hajin,” she said.

The cameras went wild with their flashes again as the reporters nodded. They said stuff along the lines of, ‘I knew it’ or ‘Why would she?’ They were ready to put this scandal to rest.

Everyone was one hundred percent certain that Yoo Yeonha would deny it even if it was true.

However, her next words were so shocking that even the cameras stopped taking pictures of her.

“We are getting married.”

Chae Nayun and Kim Hajin’s jaws dropped. The reporters also dropped everything they were doing and looked at her.

“We are not dating. We are getting married.”

Silence ensued in the hall for exactly three seconds before all hell broke loose.

***

We were on our way back to the mansion after the press conference.

“… Will you be okay after doing that?” I asked while patting Yoo Yeonha on her back.

She had her head buried in my thighs while trembling. I had no idea if she was embarrassed or regretting what she said, but she stayed like that for quite a while until she suddenly turned towards me.

“It’s all because of Chae Nayun… No, never mind…”

She tried to sound as nonchalant as possible, but I could see her cheeks and ears still flushed red from embarrassment.

She wiped her tears away and told me while fidgeting restlessly, “I’m content with you. No, I’ve decided to think like that from now on.

“Hmm… You knew I would agree to marry you?”

“What? Is that what’s important right now? Argh!” Yoo Yeonha drew her claws and charged at me.

I avoided her attack and hugged her, “I’m just joking. I’m okay with it, but what about your mother?”

“I have no idea… but it doesn’t matter if I manage to convince her or not. I’ve decided to be a disobedient daughter from now on,” she grumbled.

I simply smiled and tapped her pouting lips.

“… You know,” she muttered and held my hand.

“What?”

“Then… are we really going to get married?”

I frowned at her sudden question. Did she suddenly develop dementia or something? ‘Hey, you’re the one who said that without consulting me…’

“Well…”

However, I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. I decided to let her hear what she wanted to for a change.

“I will marry you ten times over if you want to.”

***

[Yoo Yeonha’s shocking announcement…]

[Who is the mercenary, Kim Hajin?]

[Essence of the Strait is shaken by Yoo Yeonha’s sudden announcement. Their subsidiaries’ market values are taking a beating.]

[The truth behind the rushed announcement…]

[Are they truly in love?]

[Yoo Yeonha and Kim Hajin have made their first official outing as a couple.]

[Yeohwa News has finally obtained the rights to start a cable channel after one year…]

Time flew by quickly thanks to the endless stream of news about us.

Quite a lot of things happened over the year. I raided a dungeon with Yoo Yeonha, accompanied her to a field, and resumed my mercenary work.

The number of terrorist plots I stopped numbered twelve and I was awarded the title of ‘Top Mercenary’ in South Korea. It was an award equivalent to being an intermediate high rank hero.

[Essence of the Strait’s partnership with the mercenary Black Wolf.]

Today, I would become an official member of Essence of the Strait. This was the reason why I poured everything I had into working as a mercenary.

“Here you go. It’s your name card,” Yoo Yeonha said as she passed a stack of cards to me.

I scratched the back of my neck in embarrassment and said, “Then is it over?”

“Yes, you’re now the top mercenary and are more than qualified to be our partner,” Yoo Yeonha replied while fidgeting with my name card.

“Hmm… Then that means…” I muttered before ambushing her lips with mine.

Yoo Yeonha flinched at the sudden kiss, but didn’t bother pushing me back or anything.

“Geez… Do you like me that much?” she grumbled.

“Yeah, I can’t hold myself back.”

“Hoho~ How are you going to survive without me?” Yoo Yeonha asked with a triumphant smile.

— A year has passed since the vice guild master of Essence of the Strait, Yoo Yeonha, announced her marriage…

The news was playing on TV in the mansion’s living room.

Yoo Yeonha placed a finger between her lips and innocently said, “They’re talking about us.”

“Yeah.”

— However, there has been no further news despite a year having passed. There has been a lot of speculation that they broke up, but Kim Hajin joined Essence of the Strait as an official partner today and…]

Poke… Poke… Poke… Poke…

Yoo Yeonha poked my shoulder.

I tilted my head in confusion and looked at her.

She smiled and asked, “But when are we going to get married?”

“... I think I should be the one asking that question, no?”

“What about next month? I already picked a wedding dress.”

“… Huh?”

I frowned at her words. Didn’t the bride and groom usually pick out the wedding dress together?[1]

“Why did you pick one alone? I saw on TV that couples tend to do that together.”

“You were busy. Besides, I can just change it if you don’t like it. I’ll wear whatever you want.”

“I’m sure you look beautiful in it. Can you show me?”

To be honest, I didn’t really want to go dress shopping. I heard it was both tiring and stressful…

Yoo Yeonha flashed a mischievous smile before going into her walk-in wardrobe as I stood outside the door blinking like an idiot.

Around fifteen minutes passed and she finally came out.

The smell of roses filled the air as she appeared wearing a dress that would certainly steal every eye that ever saw it.

“…”

I felt my heart skip a beat.

“What do you think…?” she asked while feeling a bit embarrassed.

Her bare back was slightly exposed, her hair was held up by a pin, and her facial features looked sharp even without any makeup… Every inch of her looked perfect like an immaculate picture.

Did it make sense for someone to be this beautiful…? Could a person really be this beautiful…? Wait… was this what people called being blinded by love?

I nervously gulped and said, “Let’s do it today.”

“Today?”

“Yeah, let’s have a mini-wedding right away. No, let’s do it right now while you’re wearing it.”

“… Do it while I’m wearing it? That sounds a bit weird…?”

“Not at all.”

I lost control over myself as I pounced on her. Every man probably wondered at least once in their life if it was possible to do anything while their bride was wearing a wedding dress.

“Wait! You’re going to rip it! Haaaang~” Yoo Yeonha tried to resist and pushed me away, but I restrained her by licking her ear.

All of her strength left her body along with her desire to resist me. I used this opening to dig in here and there in her wedding dress.

Ring! Ring! Ring! Ring!

That damn alarm…

Both of us looked at our wrists while intertwined with each other in the wedding dress.

“… It’s a mobilization order.”

“Yeah…”Vissit novelbin(.)c.𝒐m for updates

I wanted to ignore it, but that would defeat the purpose of joining a guild in the first place.

Then, I suddenly recalled a resolution I recently made. I wasn’t content with being happy alone in this world since I couldn’t go back to my own world, so I decided to live a meaningful life instead of just surviving in this one. I wanted to sacrifice a part of myself to improve the lives of others living in this world with me.

Yoo Yeonha placed her hand on my shoulder and said, “Let’s go together.”

“Sure, and let’s continue where we left off once we’re back.”

“… I don’t know about that.”

Yoo Yeonha ran into the walk-in wardrobe, slammed the door, and changed her clothes.

I waited until she changed into her suit, and we set the coordinates on my smartwatch.

“Done?”

“Yeah, it’s ready.”

“Okay~”

Both of them shouted ‘Hwaiting!’ before setting out on their mission.

The bed was still warm from their body heat in the empty mansion that they left behind. The plates they didn’t wash after eating, the hologram TV with a doll that looked like Kim Hajin sitting on top, the picture frames on the wall, pictures of them laughing together, the neatly folded wedding dress on top of the sofa, and a place where the husband and wife would live happily ever after.

This place was no longer just another part of a novel.

It was now a place where they would make new memories and achieve their dreams together.

Maybe, perhaps, forever.

1. This is the norm in Korea. ☜

FudgeNouget's Thoughts

(The side stories were translated by Tokki)

It was a short but a good run y'all.

I hope all of you enjoyed the side stories! I must say that TNE was quite a challenging novel to translate as it contained a lot of 'emotions' and 'depth', so I'm not sure if I did a great job translating that to you guys. Still, I hope you guys enjoyed the novel as much as I did!

Shoutout to Mike for being awesomeeee. His edits enhanced the reading experience by 58,000% (and made my translation look QUALITY to you guys...) so please do drop him a thanks too!

Time for the important stuff... Who's the best waifu? D:

Leave a comment below which one you think suits our lucky MC the most 😉

Last but not least, thanks for reading everyone! bow

P.S. Some of you might know me from my previous and other current translation works (Return of Thousand Lives, Leveling Up Alone, and Debuff Master). Why don't you go over and give them a try? Hohoho 🙂

-Tokki

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