Chapter 82: Forest of Love (4)
Editor: Hungry Panda
Ian, who received the quest from Iriel, blindly moved in order to find the sprite’s home first.
‘For the quest’s difficulty level to not be indicated… It has to be because it’s a difficulty level that makes no sense and cannot be indicated with a rank.’
Ian was certain it was a quest with an unbelievable difficulty level that he had never heard of in his gamer life of 20 years.
Next to Ian, who dragged his feet, Bbookbbook sent him a message of support.
However, it wasn’t very helpful.
‘Since she said that a dude named Wisseun lived near the top of the hill, let’s go there first.’
The names of the two sprites that Ian needed to connect were ‘Wisseun’ and ‘Carol’.
‘It will definitely be easier to talk to a male than a female.’
Exactly how it seemed from their names, Wisseun was the name of a male sprite, and Carol was the name of a female sprite.
And because he felt his mentality would shake before he even attempted to do the quest by talking to a girl about relationships, which he already had trouble talking about, he had no choice.
‘Alright, well, things will turn out one way or the other!’
The place that Ian arrived at shortly after was a log cabin on top of a small hill in the corner of the Forest of Love.
* * *
“Huh? You’re going to help me?”
After hearing Ian’s whole story, both eyes of Wisseun, a sprite of the forest, rounded.
Standing at a short height that only came up to about Ian’s chest, Wisseun had a baby-faced appearance that looked like he was only about a 12-13-year-old boy.
Ian nodded his head while responding.
“Yes. I will help you so that you can get together with Carol.”
Wisseun has had a crush on Carol for a long time. However, Carol didn’t like Wisseun.
At least, that’s what it approximately seemed like from Wisseun’s situation.
“But, do you think you’ll be able to help me, Ian?”
Weren’t relationships the area that Ian lacked the most confidence in?
Ian couldn’t hastily respond.
Wisseun asked again with an expression full of doubt.
“I can feel the sense of a solo from you as well, Ian.”
“How many days have you been a solo for?”
Forever alone Ian thought of his birthdays.
And he responded with a bitter expression.
“About 7 thousand days…?”
He didn’t want to calculate the specific number of days.
‘Wisseun won’t be able to trust me… Have I spoken needlessly?’
However, what is this, hadn’t Wisseun’s expression suddenly brightened?
“Wow, really? It hasn’t been long! Counting today, I’ve been a solo for 55,027 days. Surely, you’ll be better than me, Ian!”
Sprite Wisseun would be 150 years old this year, and he had mistaken Ian as a sprite as well, so he thought that Ian at least had some experience with relationships.
Ian realized that Wisseun had misunderstood something, but he decided to not particularly point it out.
‘Since whatever is good is better…’
Ian decided to firstly listen to his story a little more.
“Wisseun, have you recently met with Carol?”
Wisseun nodded his head.
“Hm… We met about a week ago. And I’m supposed to be meeting with her exactly tomorrow as well.”
“Yes. We’re supposed to go mushroom picking during the day together.”
‘Firstly, I need to see how the relationship of the two is.’
And he responded.
“If that’s the case, by any chance, is there a way for me to hear your conversations with her from afar?”
Wisseun, who contemplated for a bit, went inside his storage room in the corner and brought something out.
“Here, if you place this next to your ear, you should be able to hear Carol and my voice.”
Ian took the item that looked like an earplug and held it up.
“Is it alright even if I’m far away?”
Wisseun nodded his head.
“It will be okay as long as you’re not more than 200 metres away.”
If it was about 200 metres, it was enough to naturally hide and eavesdrop on the two people’s conversation.
Ian and Wisseun first decided to wait for tomorrow.
* * *
Blue skies, and clear weather.
It was impossible to imagine gloomy weather in the Forest of Love, which was like a fairy tale, but Ian was firstly thankful that the weather was nice.
‘If there was even rain, it would have been difficult, so that’s a relief.’
The place that Wisseun and Carol were to meet was a spacious mushroom farm that was located around the outskirts of the Forest of Love.
And from a distance, Ian hid up in a tree and was observing the two people.
‘Ooh, they’ve met now!’
As he was far away, he couldn’t see exactly, but Carol had a pretty girl-like image.
Bbookbbook, who was on top of Ian’s shoulder, was also watching the two people’s meeting with an excited expression.
Ian didn’t know the reason why, but because Bbookbbook also insisted, it was a situation where he had received an earplug from Wisseun as well and was wearing it.
And the conversation of the two people, Carol and Wisseun, began.
‘Alright, Wisseun. Quickly, talk to her first now.’
Ian was fixated on Wisseun’s movements.
However, surprisingly, different from Ian’s expectations, hadn’t Carol spoke to Wisseun first?
- Wisseun, you’ve come on time. The weather today is so nice, no?
- Yes, it is.
However, as soon as they heard Wisseun’s response, Ian and Bbookbbook felt an unknown disharmony.
‘Hm… What the hell? I don’t know why, but I feel like Wisseun’s done something wrong.’
And the conversation didn’t continue any further.
This was because the two began to just silently pick mushrooms.
‘What, what the hell is this? Are they seriously just going to pick mushrooms?’
Ian had even made Wisseun promise beforehand to try and converse with her as much as possible once he met her.
However, far from sharing a conversation, wasn’t Wisseun even stealthily avoiding Carol while picking mushrooms?
In the end, while watching that, Ian ultimately started dozing off.
“Euh, at this rate, there’ll be no answer…”
However, just then, Carol spoke to Wisseun first again.
Ian and Bbookbbook listened closely to the two people’s conversation.
- Wisseun, the weather’s hot, isn’t it? Aren’t you tired?
- I’m alright.
- Wisseun, how many mushrooms have you picked?
Wisseun, an impregnable man that boasted a powerful Defensive Power that could stand in comparison with Bbookbbook’s shell.
To be honest, aside from Wisseun being too nervous with the situation itself of picking mushrooms together with Carol, he was only counting the number of mushrooms.
There were a couple more conversations after that, but all of them were similar to the previous.
And the hellishly boring time passed by, and the silent mushroom picking that took a tedious three hours was completely finished.
- Great work today, Wisseun.
- You as well, Carol.
- Then, rest well!
While listening to the two people’s conversation, Ian felt an illusion that cancer cells were growing within his chest.
“Euh… What should I do with this?”
However, there was nothing that Ian could currently do, so he returned to Wisseun’s house first of all.
* * *
Wisseun’s dejected voice.
Ian let out a deep sigh while looking at him.
“Why did you give such short responses? Even Carol was the one to talk first.”
Wisseun’s two eyes became filled with tears.
“My mouth… wouldn’t open, so what could I do, sniffle.”
Ian felt his head hurting.
‘Ha… This dude is worse than I am.’
Ian had absolutely no idea where he needed to start from with the two people’s relationship.
However, just then, some sort of distinct sound rang out from the corner of Wisseun’s place.
And once he detected that, Wisseun’s expression turned pale.
“I, Ian, Uhh… A message came from Carol!”
As soon as he heard that, Ian felt his head, which was momentarily gloomy from a thick fog, brighten a little.
‘What the hell, NPCs can send messages to each other, too?’
Ian hurriedly checked the message that popped up on the crystal ball with Wisseun.
- Wisseun, did you make it home safely?
And towards Wisseun, who was hesitating, Ian pressed him without realizing.
“Wisseun, what are you doing? You need to respond quickly!”
“Th, that…. How should I reply?”
Ian worked hard to somehow get his equally stiffened mind turning again.
“Fir, firstly, try and say that you’ve arrived safely.”
And Wisseun’s message continued.
- Yes, I’ve arrived safely, Carol.
And it seemed as if he felt a bit of courage since they weren’t in a face-to-face situation, as he added on.
- Knowing that you’ve arrived safely reassures my heart a little as well.
Ian shook his head.
‘No, what do you mean your heart is reassured? It’s not like there are monsters that would attack sprites here in this forest.’
However, he decided to be a little comforted that Wisseun had at least sent a message with some content.
‘That’s right, at least he said something.’
However, just then, Carol’s message immediately returned.
- If you were that worried, you should have taken me home…
And for a moment, silence continued.
As Ian didn’t even know what kind of response Wisseun should give, he fell into a state of chaos.
“How should I respond?”
Ian was thinking hard internally.
‘It wouldn’t look very good if he just apologized, right? What should he say here…’
However, while Ian was thinking, Wisseun had already sent a message first.
- You’re right.
At the sight that was hard to believe with his own two eyes, Ian couldn’t repress his astonishment.
Ian asked Wisseun.
“Why exactly did you send it like that, Wisseun.”
Wisseun’s head dropped.
And the two waited for Carol’s reply again, but there was no way a response would come back in that kind of situation.
“Wisseun, first, send any other message.”
And gathering the courage, Wisseun sent a message again.
- Carol, are you asleep?
‘No, this person, it’s 4 p.m. right now. The sun is up in the sky.’
However, just then, a response surprisingly returned.
- Uh, I was about to take a little nap because I was tired, how did you know?
‘What the hell, are the heavens helping us?’
However, Wisseun immediately kicked away that opportunity, which was like finding a thousand pieces of gold.
- Ah, then go to sleep quickly!
As if he couldn’t bear to watch this with both eyes anymore now, even Bbookbbook closed both his eyes tightly, and Ian went into a state of resignation.
‘This quest… It was a quest that couldn’t be completed from the beginning.’
With shaking eyes, Ian began to watch the two people’s conversation that continued.
- I don’t even know now… You go to sleep instead, Wisseun.
- I’m not tired!
The two people’s conversation showed absolutely no answer.
However, just then, Wisseun began to diligently write something.
- Carol! Oyster mushrooms are said to be good at preventing obesity. Enoki mushrooms are good at preventing arteriosclerosis, and pine mushrooms reduce cholesterol, so they’re very effective against adult diseases. Lastly, shiitake mushrooms are the most delicious, so you must eat them all by yourself! Got it?
- I… knew that as well?
Now this couple had left Ian’s hands.
At least, that’s what he thought.
“Since we’ve come this far, how about you try and at least confess once?”
At Ian’s words, Wisseun wore a flustered expression.
“Ack, a confession? My friend Palkom said that confessing through a crystal ball message would truly be the worst method…”
“Still, give it a try first.”
Ian barely swallowed back the words, which almost came out, that if it wasn’t now, he didn’t think Wisseun would get the opportunity to confess.
‘Since she’ll probably cut all means of connection after today anyways…’
Wisseun, who didn’t know of Ian’s thoughts, clenched both his fists tightly and nodded his head with solemn determination.
And he began to diligently send a message.
- Uhh, Carol, do you know why I keep sending messages?
- Hm… Because you’re bored?
And Wisseun’s fatal confession continued.
- Do you want to go out with me?
Ian could do nothing but watch the truly hellish development that had never been seen or heard of.
‘Ah… This is the first time I’ve been so powerless in all twenty years of my life. At the end of this confession, this couple’s future will also end.’
The conversation continued.
- Huh? Hm… Wisseun, did you send that by mistake right now?
- Ah… I was just kidding. Don’t worry about it!
- Were you truly just kidding?
- Yes, probably?
Starting from the tips of his fingers to the tips of his toes, Ian felt as if he was curling up from the embarrassment right now.
‘Ah, why is being shameful my share?’
It seemed as if Bbookbbook received mental damage to the point he could no longer bear to watch with a sober mind, as he crawled over to the wall and banged his head against it.
- No, I… Carol. I seriously wanted to say these words. I really like you, Carol. I keep on saying weird things because I’m so nervous, but I feel like it has already been 3 thousand days since I’ve liked you. I really, really like you. Please go out with me!
Ian couldn’t believe the truth that there was a relationship idiot that was worse than him.
‘From now on, Wisseun, it’s your domain. No, although there was nothing I could do from the beginning…’
Whether Ian was receiving pain or not, the two people’s conversation surprisingly continued.
- Were you just kidding again?
- No! I’m very serious. It’s the truth.
- You’re going to tell me you were joking later, aren’t you?
- No. I’m telling you it’s the truth. Please go out with me.
And shortly after, finally, Carol’s unbelievable message arrived.
The silence that momentarily filled Wisseun’s house.
The first one to open their mouth was Bbookbbook.
And Wisseun, who checked Carol’s reply two to three more times, let out a cheer.
“Wooow, Ian! It’s thanks to you, Ian!”
Ian literally wore a puzzled expression.
‘What, what the hell? What the hell is this? Did he actually succeed in confessing right now? And what exactly is he saying is thanks to me?’
This was a development that was even more shocking than a situation where Bbookbbook gave up a meatball to Ly.
Wisseun hugged Ian, who was wearing a dazed expression while looking at the crystal ball with unfocused eyes.
“I really liked Carol, but whenever I approached her, I could never speak to her… That’s why I was going to confess to her with a crystal ball message, but that Palkom idiot told me not to…”
While watching Wisseun, who was sobbing from happiness in the end, Ian couldn’t say a word.
‘To be able to succeed even after confessing like this…’
No matter how much it was within a game, wasn’t it too unrealistic?
Ian felt the urge to kill Wisseun out of jealousy.
‘Ha… This quest, the difficulty level wasn’t indicated because it was so high, but because it was a quest that would be succeeded no matter what.’
Ian was able to learn a lesson from this quest.
‘As expected, relationships weren’t divided between people that were good at it or bad at it. It was simply divided between people that could and people that couldn’t…’