Why am I Karin? – Chapter 9

Karin’s POV

 

We all teleported to Harris Village after I had packed my stuff. After all, I don’t plan on returning to the lair and I want to claim a workshop before anyone else can. I also need to process the information I have in written form so what happened earlier doesn’t happen again… Information explosion isn’t fun for either party. But anyways, damn is this atmosphere awkward right now. Ugh, this silence is terrible.

(I’ve calmed down and I’m not really mad either, but Eruhaben keeps peeking at me and I can feel an invisible Raon flying circles above my head. Cale is just standing nearby with Hilsman while looking like he ate a lemon. I’m really not that upset, though?)

I’m wearing a cloak to cover my hair and face because technically I am still a duke’s daughter despite how much I don’t want to be… It’s heavy and it’s gonna get all sweaty… Ew gross.

 

-Karin, are you really okay?

“Yes, Raon. I’m fine.”

 

Hilsman is talking to Cale and then proceeds to guide our ‘merry’ group to a tent as the village is still under reconstruction. Once we had all gotten inside the tent, Cale introduced Eruhaben and I introduced myself after pulling off my hood. Hilsman froze in place, struck speechless by his new apparent reality of being face to face with two dragons and a missing duke’s daughter on the run.

 

“This sir is Eruhaben-nim, an ancient Dragon-nim.”

“Hello Vice Captain, My name is Karin Evelyn Orsena, pleased to meet you. I look forward to you guiding us in the Forest of Darkness.”

 

I even curtsied just to mess with him further since his face was funny and I am so done with this awkward mood, please just let my suffering end. Hilsman’s mouth just opened and closed like a fish out of water, before glancing at Cale, with the question,

‘Young master! She is the young ducal lady on the run! Duke Orsena is going crazy trying to locate her. Should I report this to the Count or tell the Duke?’,

In his eyes, to which Cale promptly shook his head in firm refusal. Raon and I glared at Hilsman, causing the knight to shrink back slightly into himself. I’d call him a poor bastard, but there’s no way in hell I’m going back there. Absolutely not. Hilsman quickly, almost frantically, nodded in understanding. I will trust he will not tell anyone. 

After a tangible moment, Hilsman composed himself to ask me what would normally be a very reasonable question to someone of my status and appearance. Sadly, I am not normal like you were hoping, Hilsman. It must be tough to be you.

 

“Y-Young lady, please excuse me if I am being rude but… Are you sure you want to come along? We are heading into one of the forbidden regions, the Forest of Darkness. It could be dangerous and I am not sure if the journey will be suited for a young noble lady like yourself.”

 

I noticed Eruhaben, Raon, and Cale also peeking at me with varying degrees of concern as well. Guys, I have stamina thanks to one of my items, and defense too. Well, let me just demonstrate for them I guess.

 

“I appreciate your concern, Vice Captain, but there is no need to worry. I have made an item that will protect me from most physical attacks. Not to mention, we have two dragons here. I believe I will be safe regardless with these two great and mighty beings by our side. If you are still worried, would you like to test the efficacy of my defensive item? Also, please don’t refer to me as a young lady, I hate the culture of nobility with a burning passion. Just call me ‘miss’ if you can’t comfortably use my name.”

 

Hilsman glanced at Cale for permission? I think? Cale nodded in approval, and Hilsman drew his sword. I reached up and gently touched the pendant around my neck. If I remember correctly, Vice Captain Hilsman is a high or highest grade knight at this point in time. As long as he is not a swordmaster with aura, I will be untouchable. I worked so hard on this thing after all.

 

“I would greatly appreciate that, even if it is just for the sake of my conscience, miss.”

“Go ahead then. Please feel free to attack me directly, I have no combat skills so I will just stand here. I am confident in my ability.”

“Wait, Karin are you sur- hmph! Goldie gramps why are you grabbing me? What if this human gets hurt? She is even weaker than our human!”

“Just watch little kid, she’s more skillful than you would think.”

 

Eruhaben moved to the side of the tent with Raon squirming lightly in his arms before just settling down to watch. It seems like he was ready to cast a shield to protect me though. How sweet of him, I’m happy we seem to get along so well and that he cares about me this much. I’ll be okay though, kiddo. Just watch.

I channeled a chunk of my mana into the egg shaped silver pendant hanging in between my shoulders, and it started to vibrate. A strange opaque film, more foggy looking than the one that appears when I use my gloves, spread to cover my body in a skintight layer. It was barely perceptible to human eyes so I just looked slightly shiny and blurry when you looked close up, and completely normal from a distance. Honestly, it took a lot of adjustments to get the mana usage this efficient, but I wanted to be able to protect myself from physical attacks at least since Cale and his group will be getting into a lot of fights. Once I was certain my ‘shield’ was in place, I just braced myself by bending my knees slightly, and just stared at Hilsman as he swung his sword. This guy won’t be able to get past my anti-bullshit barrier!

[Defensive Barrier, protect me from physical forces]

 

Swooooosh

 

Clang!

 

Clang? Somehow a sound of metal hitting metal resounded in the tent, but his sword simply slipped off the surface of my clothes and body. No physical contact with the steel sword had occurred in the slightest. I remained untouched and Hilsman looked understandably confused. Raon looked excited and relieved while still stuck in Eru dear’s grasp, and dispelled his mana. Cale looked astounded and impressed despite his facial muscles not moving at all, was he watching the trajectory of the blade as it slipped off?

 

“H-Huh? Excuse me, may I try again?”

“Sure, go ahead. Don’t take too long since we should try to get to our destination before dark though.”

“Understood.”

 

Hilsman adjusted his posture and swung once, then twice, and then a third time just in case. He put more effort into each swing, visible confusion on his face.

 

Claaaang

Clink!

Claaaaaaaaaanggg

 

Of course, the sword did not break past the shimmery film even once. Choi Han probably could get past it and cut me, but someone on Hilsman’s level could never. He looked so unbelievably baffled at how he was unable to touch me even at point blank range. This is really funny, but we really do need to go dude. Time is ticking, and I don’t wanna sleep in a dark forest full of monsters, even if we have two Dragons with us.

 

“I believe I’ve proved myself, sir?”

“Ahem, yes. I apologize for doubting you.”

 

He bowed to me with an apologetic smile, and then Cale gave the command to move out. It was time to find the Super Rock. 

We dashed into the forest, with Cale and Eruhaben leading the way, and Hilsman and Raon flanking with me in the center. Sadly, Raon did have to cast haste magic on me because there is no way a former noble lady raised to be a decoration would be able to keep up with the speed of this group. I take no offense though. All monsters fled or started to bang their heads against the ground upon sensing Eruhaben, an adult Dragon. Thanks to that, we were almost to the edge of the outer region within a bit over an hour. However, the awkward atmosphere between Cale and I still prevails despite this annoying talkative creature named Hilsman continuing to try to make conversation as we ran. I really wish he would stop… His attempts to lighten the mood just keep making it worse! I can’t see his face because he is ahead of me, but Cale seems to be lost in his thoughts. Ah. hopefully this can be resolved soon… My shoulders keep hunching over more and more the longer this mood continues.

(UGH! I want to just verbally forgive him already so bad but I know I can’t! If I make the first move and forgive him first it’ll just make everything more awkward and difficult, this sucks… I need to wait for Cale to be ready though. I can’t rush him or anything. I just need to bear with this horrid uncomfortableness for a little longer… Come on Cale, you can do it. I forgive you.)

About ten minutes of awkward silence later, we reached the border between the inner and outer regions. Upon crossing the boundary, the large ogre-like monster with some semblance of intelligence that appeared in the novel appeared, and Eruhaben ordered it to lead us to the center. The monster quickly stood up and proceeded to strike the trees and boulders in front of us, destroying anything in Eruhaben’s way in a straight line. 

 

Baaang!

Craaaaash!

 

“Damn, it sure is loud…”

I absentmindedly mumbled as we ran while thinking about where I should set up shop in the Super Rock Villa. Occasionally Raon lifted me up slightly with his magic so I didn’t trip over roots, which I appreciated greatly. Raon Miru is really such a good kid, I’m so glad Cale saved him. Speaking of Cale, somewhere along the line he had slowed down to be a little closer to me, though he still hadn’t spoken a word to me since we left Eru dear’s lair. I paid close attention to him now that we were getting closer to the goal of this journey. A few seconds passed and then I heard Cale mumble while turning his head away from me, probably under the pretense of checking the vicinity. He had been peeking back at me once in a while this entire time. 

 

“…I may have gone a bit too far…”

 

(FINALLY I CAN BE FREE OF THIS MOOD! Wait a minute, hold on a second there Evelyn you should be excited he apologized to you before being happy about the awkward silence almost being solved. Well, whatever. Kim Rok Soo has always been a good kid despite his tsun tsun behavior and insensitive moments like before. I understand why he did that anyway. Yay, I can verbally forgive him now!)

 

“It’s okay, I understand why you did what you did and what you were feeling, Cale. I’ve already forgiven you. Just… don’t do it again, okay? It was very painful.”

“…mm.”

 

Cale then suddenly winced slightly and turned his head towards me in shock and panic. I could see the ‘What? It was painful??’ in his eyes. Oh wait, it’s okay Cale! I’m okay!

I flailed my hands in front of me a bit while I rushed to clear this up. 

 

“Emotional! It was emotionally painful! I’m not hurting now Cale, so it’s okay! I’m fine! I’m over it already, so let’s just let bygones be bygones, okay??”

 

Cale’s face visibly relaxed in what seemed to be relief and he glanced at me again before speeding up a bit more to catch up with Eruhaben. The awkward atmosphere was completely gone, so I sped up a little bit too so I could be a bit closer.  I could see the Fire of Destruction sparkling in his palm. We must be getting close. I hummed a little tune to accompany the song I was singing in my head as we followed Cale’s lead.

 

(Super Rock Villa tiiime~ Gotta call dibs so I can get the best room~ Woohoo! I get first dibs Rosalynnnn~ I know you won’t even care but yeyyyy~!! Woohoo, home sweet home here we comeeeee~ Viva la underground base! Woo! So cool!)

 

Oh yeah, the giant left at some point. I don’t know when but neither do I really care. Making friends with my bed in my new home is all that matters. 

Soon enough, we got to the entrance boulder thingy. So excitedddd~ I am giddy to be able to set up a proper home base since I escaped from the Duke. I watched as the thunderbolt on Cale’s palm, was it floating?? Anyway, it headed over to the boulder and upon contact the boulder split in half, revealing the entrance passageway to our new home! Homes are great! Homes are good. We like homes. Homes are friends. Yes.

Cale approached the entrance after randomly stating the ‘I am Cale Henituse’ thing, which made me certain he was hearing the voice of the Super Rock right now. He headed into the darkness. Now then, the hardest part of the journey for an impatient person like me. Playing the waiting game until Cale comes back. I leaned against the remnants of the big ass boulder to rest my feet until he gets back here.

 

“Ugh I just wanna go and pick a room and make myself comfyyyyy~”

“Karin, are there really rooms in there? All I could see was darkness!”

“Yeah there are, Raon! I can’t really tell you how I know, but at the end of that passage there’s a big stone villa! Five whole floors! It’s been sealed and protected in there by the original owner of the earth ancient power, who is now called the Super Rock.”

“Wow! So we are going to have another home now?”

“Yup, and it’s even underground! It’s like a secret base! Isn’t that so cool?”

“Yeah! Secret base… I like the sound of that! I’m sure the human will like it too!”

“I’m certain Cale will love it, since that villa is filled with riches the original owner kept for his friend’s heirs. Yet again, I can’t really tell you why I know, but Cale is actually the heir of at least four of those friends! All of those friends fought together during ancient times against a truly terrible villain, and guess what? Now those once separated friends are being reunited with one another after so long thanks to Cale!”

Raon’s eyes opened wide, totally absorbed in my story.

 

“Wow~ That’s really interesting Karin! You are not great and mighty like me but you know so much!”

“Hehe, I’m happy to hear you say that~”

 

(Oh my goodness how are you real, Raon?! You’re so cute!! Ah, I want to pet him so bad! I wonder if he’ll let me since we’ve gotten closer… He might not since it hasn’t been that long since he was freed, but maybe it’s worth a shot. If he says no, I’ll back off immediately. His feelings are most important here.)

 

I reached over slowly as not to spook him. Raon looked at me in confusion, but didn’t run away. I gently placed my palm onto his head, very lightly. He didn’t do anything, he just blinked slowly. YAY! I slowly pet his cute little scaly head, very very careful as to not risk scaring him or hurting him. I mean, I know I couldn’t actually hurt him because he is great and mighty, but it’s the thought that counts! This child needs to be protected and only have good things from now on! He’s so baby after all! 

Oooooh, his scales are so nice and smooth and soft yet firm… They’re cooler than my hands as well! Wait a minute, are Dragons hot-blooded or cold-blooded? I know they are reptilian in appearance but wouldn’t being cold-blooded be a potential weakness?? But they look like reptiles! Suddenly I want answers. I heard Raon’s amused voice as I started imagining the probabilities of various aspects of Dragon biology based on my rudimentary knowledge from school.

 

“Karin, I am Raon Miru, a great and mighty Dragon! You don’t need to be so afraid of hurting me. I am strong now, so no one can hurt me ever again! I know this! So you can pet me without worrying so much. I know you are a good human, Karin. It’s okay.”

 

Ah, I was exposed. Somehow I feel kind of embarrassed… 

 

“Oh um! O-Okay! Raon, may I pet your wings? They’re very cool looking.”

“Sure!”

 

The little baby black Dragon came closer and landed on my shoulder. It would have been fantastic if that worked and I could roll with that because oh my cookies I feel like I’ve unlocked a life achievement, but sadly reality is not that kind and my body sucks. Raon was too heavy and I started leaning to the side despite the smile on my face. My face is smiling but all I feel about myself is disappointment. Damn it! I want to be able to enjoy a live Raon scarf like Cale too! I’m so weak, this is so lame… Raon immediately got off my shoulder, visibly surprised. I caught myself and straightened up again in a blink.

 

“Are you okay Karin!? I didn’t realize that would happen! You must be even weaker than I thought!”

 

(Ouch my pride. You’re not wrong though. Dammit. So lame.)

 

“It’s totally okay Raon! I didn’t know that would happen either, to be honest. I must be physically weaker than I thought. It’s not like noble women exercise, but I thought that it might be okay since of my work, but I guess not. I’ll try to get stronger so that won’t happen again! Would you like to try landing on my shoulders again once I get stronger? Would that be okay with you?”

“Sure!”

“Um, maybe you could sit next to me instead? If you’re still willing to let me touch you of course.”

 

He flapped his little wings and sat down right next to me on the rock. Awww, my heart feels all warm and fluttery-

 

“I don’t mind, Karin! You’re a nice person after all! You remind me a little of the human, did you know that?” 

 

What? Nani. I mean. I know that Raon means that as a compliment but as someone who has read about all the times Cale bleeds and faints in the future, it doesn’t really feel all that nice somehow… However, he doesn’t mean anything bad by it and that he doesn’t even know what’s gonna happen in the future, so I should try to take it at face value. He’s a good kid who loves his human, so this must be high praise coming from him. Yes. Ignore the bloody sacrificial dumbass Cale of the future and focus on the present. Do it for the children. Do it for Raon.

I smiled at Raon and gently stroked one of his wings that he offered to me. Wow, it’s leathery but smooth like satin and the bone structure is so cool. Dragons are awesome.

 

“Oh really? I’m happy you think so highly of me. I think Cale is much more impressive than I could ever be though. I have a story about Cale, do you want to hear it while we wait? It might be better to wait until we get to the villa though, since he should be back soon.”

 

This cutie tilted his head and scrunched up his big blue eyes. He’s visibly conflicted. What is this. HE’S SO ADORABLE! 

 

“Hmm… I want to hear it but hearing it in our new house would also be good. OH! The human is back now! Karin! You must tell me the story once we go to our new home!”

 

He fluttered his wings enthusiastically and nyooomed over to the entrance to welcome Cale back, and probably ask him about the house too since I told the little kiddo about it. I lightly jumped off the rock and landed safely on my feet, noting how for a moment Hilsman had leaned forward to catch me in case I needed it. Sorry pal, but I’m not that fragile. I dusted off my dress before walking towards the entrance as well. Red hair poked out of the dark corridor followed immediately by a very smug looking Cale. As I expected, the Super Rock gave him the villa and all its contents to him. Woohoo~

 

“Human, human! I can feel the power of earth in you! You’ll be fine now! So don’t do anything stupid like that again and let’s travel the continent-”

“Raon.”

“What is it? Oh by the way, human! Did you get our new home? Karin told me about it! She said it’s like a secret base and that the Super Rock kept it safe to give it to the people who inherited his friends’ powers! Human, is that true? Super Rock sounds like a good person!”

 

Cale immediately turned to me and gave me the Dad Cale™ look. Wow, to think I’d be the first receiver. I have quite the mixed feelings about this. 

 

“A-Ahem. Uh ahem, I told him because it’s cool and I was bored! I did nothing wrong!”

“…sigh.”

 

Ow, my feelings. Ruuuuude~ Anyway, it is time for calling dibs! Let’s go!

 

“Ahem. ANYWAY, let’s go in now! I want a bed! Let’s go to the Super Rock Villa already~”

 

Cale sighed again and turned back around and I almost started skipping while following him in. I’m so excitedddd I just can’t hide ittt~ Forests suck and I love bedddd~

 

“Hmm hm hmmmm~ Home sweet homeeee~ here we go~”

 

We quickly got to the end of the tunnel and everyone gasped at the sight of the house. No, this thing was a mansion. A castle! What is this?? Reading about something and seeing something with your eyes is totally different! This is AWESOME! 

 

“Your luck is oddly good, Cale Henituse.”

 

Eruhaben praised it while Raon patted Cale’s shoulder in approval.

 

“Human, I like this place. Good job! You deserve praise! Karin you were right! This is a good house!”

“…Thanks.”

“I know right?! This is actually much better than I had expected… How incredible.”

 

The building is all white, and it seems like it was carved out of one gigantic chunk of marble. It’s elegant yet simple, so it appears almost modest at a glance. Almost. This mansion of a villa is by no means actually modest. It’s so truly exquisite. WOW. Really, ‘wow’ is the only way I can describe this place right now. But bed comes first above house appreciation. I have literally been traveling at full effort full speed for two hours to get here. Even with the support of my stamina enhancing item, my legs feel like jelly. Oh bed my love, where art thou? I will join you shortly.

 

“I’mma let myself in okay, Cale? That okay with you? You’re the new owner, right?”

“…Do whatever you want. Pick a room on either the second or fourth floor.”

“Roger that~ Yeyyyy, I gotta pick a room! Gotta pick a room~ First come first served~ Woohoo! See ya in a bit~”

 

I booked it to the front doors leaving the rest of them behind. They need to chat canon novel stuff after all. And I need to claim a bedroom and set up my workshop! I call dibs! 

 

(Apology Time) Cale’s POV

 

I followed closely behind Eruhaben, using the Sound of the Wind as the monster created a path. Dragons really are convenient. Though despite the ease in which we were traveling, the atmosphere between the group was tangibly tense and awkward. Eruhaben kept peeking back at Karin behind me, and Raon kept occasionally flying over to check in on her. This has been going on for a while now, and it is getting really annoying. This situation had started back in the ancient Dragon’s lair, when Karin started crying. 

 

‘I wasn’t in the wrong, but perhaps I could have done things differently. She definitely isn’t an enemy, so I might have been too harsh with her. I just wanted some answers. Do I need to apologize? I do feel a little guilty but she’s still definitely suspicious… But the Dragons are definitely blaming me right now so I need to do something so they don’t get angry at me. Besides, she is just a young girl. Yeah, I must’ve just been too harsh.’

 

The loud crashing sounds the mutant ogre was making as it broke gave a good idea of how I could make amends with this girl while not making a scene. Yeah, and even if she can’t hear anything, the Dragons will have heard me so there won’t be a problem. 

After moving a little closer to this girl named Karin, I suddenly felt a little embarrassed and turned my head away from her. What am I doing, I’m just clearing things up!

 

“… I may have gone too far…”

 

I glanced towards her to gauge her reaction. Did she hear me or not? Why do I care? I don’t even really know this girl. Her face lit up with joy and relief? Why is she relieved?? She cheerfully responded to my mumbled words in her usual carefree tone.

 

“It’s okay, I understand why you did what you did and what you were feeling, Cale. I’ve already forgiven you. Just… don’t do it again, okay? It was very painful.”

“…mm.”

‘Shit, did she really forgive me just like that? Really? How? How can this girl forgive me just like that? I drugged a girl like her to extort information and made her cry, I didn’t even properly apologize! Yet she forgives me this easily? Ah, why did I do something like that to such a nice person… Now I feel even more like trash.’

 

Wait. Painful? I asked the Dragons to make it not poisonous but did it have a side effect? Is she injured? Is she now feeling sick and hiding it because of what I did? What have I done? She waved her hands quickly in a placating way after looking at me. Sometimes I really do feel like she can read me like a book. Karin Orsena is so strange.

 

“Emotional! It was emotionally painful! I’m not hurting now Cale, so it’s okay! I’m fine! I’m over it already, so let’s just let bygones be bygones, okay??”

‘Oh, so she isn’t sick or injured because of my decision. That’s good.’

 

At that moment the Fire of Destruction appeared on my palm, and my other ancient powers started to react. I get the cheapskate, but really? The others knew the Super Rock too? 

An aura from the ground reacted to the powers and together they guided myself and the rest of the group towards where the earth power should be. Let’s hurry there so I can get this over with already and rest.

 

-AUTHOR’S NOTE-

Karin Fun Fact: Karin is actually very good at being able to read the room and is completely capable of understanding what she needs to do, and acting appropriately out of consideration. She is very compassionate towards Cale and most of his group, and will choose to respond to a situation in a responsible manner or at least in the best way possible if it will benefit them, despite her carefree attitude and chaotic gremlin tendencies. Even if it’s bearing with cripplingly awkward silence for like over an hour while patiently waiting for Cale to apologize when he’s ready, despite feeling like she’s dying inside and is screaming internally the entire time. THEREFORE,  if she still acts like a gremlin even when there’s an uncomfortable or awkward mood or the other party is expressing some sort of distress, she is 100% aware of the mood and situation. She totally knows! She just is choosing not to care and to ignore it for the sake of being obnoxious lol

 

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6 Replies to “Why am I Karin? – Chapter 9”

  1. Uriel

    Wow thanks. it’s really an amusing fanfic. It always make me laugh in excitement like when I read the original. Anyway thank you again author-nim😁❤

    Reply

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