Ding dong.

 

[Everyone in the Frontera Barony is deeply moved by your heroic courage and initiative.]

[For this great social achievement, a large amount of bonus RP will be awarded.]

[You have earned 500 RP]

 

[Current RP : 507]

 

“…..”

 

Lloyd blinked.
His eyes were out of focus, maybe because he had slept soundly for too long.
No, because he saw something that seemed to be an illusion. 

 

‘RP? A large amount will be awarded? A whopping 500?’

 

Still in a daze, Lloyd read the message.
Then, little by little, he recalled what he had gone through. 

 

‘Ah.’

 

Mine development.
Ant beasts.
Methane gas explosion.
Trapped in a dark tunnel.
Carried Javier on his back.

 

‘We survived.’

 

He remembered walking with Javier on his back.
The last thing he remembered was meeting the Baron and the soldiers.
Only then did he understand the meaning of the message that appeared in front of him.

 

‘Hohoho.
Everyone is praising this body’s achievements?’

 

It was an extremely good development.
Remarkably splendid.

 

Lloyd felt satisfied.
He had been struggling to not die.
He survived with tenacity as strong as an amur honeysuckle1Honeysuckle or Lonicera maackii is a plant that has high adaptability, flourishes in a wide range of conditions, and grows rapidly.
Considered invasive because it impedes reforestation and prevents the re-establishment of native plants..
Thanks to this, he was awarded a large amount of RP, which he didn’t expect at all.

 

It felt just like when he took out his winter clothes in late autumn and found a bunch of 50.000 won he had forgotten about after putting it inside his inner pocket last year.

 

Lloyd sunk into a pleasant agony.

 

‘How should I use this? No, I shouldn’t do that.
It’s better to have some RP piled up rather than wasting a lot of it because I have many.’

 

He didn’t know what else would happen in the future.
In such unexpected situations, a thick stack of RP was the most reliable card, reminiscent of what he had gone through this time.

 

‘What would’ve happened if I hadn’t carried Javier on my back and he hadn’t formed a favorable impression of me?’

 

If that was the case, he wouldn’t have been able to obtain some RP.
It wouldn’t have been possible to use RP and convert the Asrahan Core Technique into a skill.

 

‘I’d be dead without further ado.’

 

Goosebumps sprang up all over his forearms.

 

‘So, RP is my trump card and last resort.
Let’s not waste it and save plenty.’

 

Lloyd got rid of his goosebumps.
Then, suddenly, he turned to the bedside.

 

He paused and then opened his mouth, “You, what are you doing there?”

 

“I am looking at Lloyd-nim.”

 

“…..”

 

“…..”

 

Lloyd asked a question and Javier replied.
Silence fell between the two.

 

Lloyd then broke the silence first.
“No, I mean, how long have you been sitting there like a statue while watching me?”

 

“If you asked me how long, um, I think it’s been three hours.”

 

“Three hours?”

 

“Yes, because I took turns with My Lord after breakfast.”

 

“Then, you’ve been sitting there since you had breakfast?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Have you been watching me sprawled out on the bed from there all morning?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Are you a pervert?”

 

“No, I’m not.”

 

“Then?”

 

“I was just taking care of Lloyd-nim.”

 

“Taking care.
How are you taking care of me?”

 

“Just in case you stopped breathing when sleeping, I am prepared to call someone right away.”

 

“…..”

 

“I’m just kidding.”

 

“Uh, that doesn’t sound like a joke.”

 

“You must be mistaken.”

 

“By the way, are you all right?”

 

“Yes, somehow.”

 

Lloyd’s eyes landed on Javier’s ankle.

 

A faint smile appeared on Javier’s lips.
“I’m all better now.”

 

“Already? How many days has it been?”

 

“Four days.”

 

“….
Have I been sleeping for four days and woke up just now?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And your legs that got sprained, which made you unable to even walk, have completely healed in four days?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Wow.
You, be honest with me.
You didn’t get hurt that bad that day, right?”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“You’re exaggerating your injury.”

 

“I’ve never exaggerated,” Javier said, as if asking Lloyd what he was talking about.

 

A vein popped on Lloyd’s temple.
“You’ve never exaggerated huh.
You said you couldn’t walk with a face that looks like you’re about to cry.
Saying ‘Lloyd-nim, I can’t walk.
hiiiing’.
Huh? You were whining a lot.
Huh? That was why I gave you a piggyback.
Was all that just acting?”

 

“Of course not.” Javier shrugged and then spoke with his peculiar cynical way of speaking, “It’s all thanks to the recovery power of a triple circle.”

 

“Recovery power? Triple circle?”

 

“That’s correct.”

 

“Aha.
Therefore, thanks to the mana amplified by the triple circle, your resilience is more extraordinary than that of common people?”

 

“That’s an accurate summary.”

 

“Whoa, that’s unfair.
My bones are still throbbing.”

 

“There’s nothing for you to feel unfair about.”

 

“Why?”

 

“It’s just because you’re older than me and thus less resilient.
I do think it would comfort you a little if you think of it like that.”

 

“What a straightforward shot! Why do you keep hitting me with facts over and over again?”

 

“I didn’t hit you, however–”

 

“However?”

 

“I would like to say that I’m delighted you regained consciousness.”

 

“Oh, yeah.
I’m glad too, you little brat.” Lloyd chuckled.

 

Thank goodness.
The fact that he survived and Javier was unharmed.
All in all, it was nice to see.
Javier seemed to feel the same way.
It finally sunk in that they had escaped together from the dark and gloomy ant nest.

 

“Thank God.
Seriously.” Lloyd slowly got up from the bed.

 

It was indeed a relief.
Now, it was time to move.

 

 

Lloyd recovered quite fast.
All because of the double circle he gained when he was underground.

 

Throughout the day, he frequently trained the Asrahan Core Technique.
The absorbed mana got amplified by the double circle.
And then, the amplified mana was spread to every corner of his body.
The somatic cells’ 2Somatic cells: any normal body cell of an organism that’s not involved in reproduction biological cycle and the cell’s recovery cycle naturally got accelerated.
Because of this, most of his muscles and ligaments—that got strained due to being severely overworked—recovered completely in less than 10 days. 

 

There was another piece of good news. 

 

The foreclosure sign that was pasted on all over the mansion, those red stickers that had been bothering him since he first transmigrated, had disappeared.
This was because the baron’s property seizure was lifted. 

 

‘All thanks to this body.’

 

Out of the blue, Lloyd recalled the contents of the [Iron-Blooded Knight] novel.
According to the novel, at this period of time, the baron’s mansion had become completely empty.
The reason was that the seizure got carried out early.

 

But now? The seizure was canceled instead.
All due to the money he earned from ondol room construction, which had been steadily expanded by him.
With that money, the Baron’s immense monthly interest had been settled.

 

‘Thanks to this, I’ve regained the Baron’s trust.
I’m really glad.’

 

In the [Iron-Blooded Knight] novel, all of the Baron’s family members had been kicked out of the mansion around this time.
The Baron couple fell in despair, meanwhile Lloyd began to live in denial and immerse himself in alcohol.

 

But not anymore.

 

He changed that grim scenario by himself, and he also planned to keep on changing the future.

 

“So, everybody, let’s move! Don’t make a fuss about the heat!” Lloyd’s shout echoed throughout the mine construction site.
He already returned to finish the final mine construction work.
Personally directing the construction, he took the lead with an extension belt fastened around his waist.

 

Lloyd always participated in the most difficult and dangerous tasks.
Each time, the skilled workers and the soldiers from the construction teams worked without being negligent until they sweated endlessly.
All of this was due to everyone’s trust in Lloyd which grew higher than ever before.

 

‘He values our safety more than his own life,’ everyone thought.

 

There was no longer the ruffian from the past.
Even if he was once a ruffian, it didn’t matter anymore.

 

On the day when the ant beasts first appeared, Lloyd had remained behind so the workers could evacuate safely.
His figure was deeply imprinted on the workers’ hearts. 

 

Everyone thought that was not something anyone could do.
If it was a work directed by such a person, then they could believe and follow him.
Even if there was another dangerous moment, he would take responsibility for their safety.
Because of the power of their trust, the completion of the mine was livelier than ever.

 

“This is the last support column! Just a little more! Put it up according to my command! 2! 3!”

 

“Heuuap!”

 

The final phase of the construction was completed in line with Lloyd’s command.
Finally, the coal mine was completed.
However, Lloyd didn’t get excited.

 

‘It’s just the beginning.’

 

Even when at a dinner party to commemorate the completion of the construction, all while giving special bonuses to all of the skilled workers and soldiers of the construction teams who participated in the construction, instead of being excited, Lloyd calmly envisioned his next step.
Then, he put it into action.

 

Lloyd was not in a hurry and took one step at a time.

 

The next step was the safety inspection for the mine that had just been completed.

 

‘I have to work diligently to pay off the debts!’

 

It was natural.
The baron had only just escaped the seizure.
The money earned from the ondol construction project was just enough to pay the interest every month. 

 

‘That means there’s still the main goal, which is to pay back the remaining debt.’

 

The debt was like a huge chunk of poo that ultimately had to be cleaned up.
In order to sort it out, he had to take a rest.
At the same time, it was also impossible to be hasty.

 

‘Safety first, and the second priority is also safety.’

 

In fact, if he only thought about money right now, Lloyd could just open the mine.
He could recruit miners to work in the mines and start to train them immediately.
Coal mining could begin as early as possible.
Both time and money could be saved.
Yet, Lloyd didn’t want to do that.

 

‘If I did that, I would be able to make a little money right away.
But, the longer we do it like this, the bigger the damage would be.’

 

Lloyd recalled many of the things he had seen and experienced in South Korea.
The Republic of Korea was a country that valued speed.
There, he couldn’t even dream of them doing a safety inspection.
No, they used to treat workers as accessories.
Most of the time, numerous factories, logistic centers, and even construction sites also did the same.

 

‘Hands got cut off by machine, fell into the furnace, electrocuted by a high-voltage wire, got stuck in a train screen door, suffered an accident, got caught on an escalator while repairing it, and then got involved in disaster….
Even if such tragedies are constantly reported on the news, those guys who manage the workers will end up pretending to reflect on themselves and care about their safety.
After the accident, they’ll fill the vacancy with new workers.
And they’ll do it until another accident happens again.
What if there’s another accident? It doesn’t matter.
They can just find new workers.
Because that’s the natural thing to do, they say.
It’s as easy as throwing away old accessories and changing them with new ones.’

 

It was the dark side of Korea that he had seen through the news and experienced first-hand while living as the bottom class.
Lloyd was sick and tired of that.
He felt a skepticism that was close to disgust.

 

‘If you do that, you may like it right now.
But in the end, you’ll lose the trust of your workers.
And in the future, no one will do what you entrusted them with.’

 

And, what if an accident happened belatedly? It would cost more money to fix it.
No, above all, he’d hate it if the people under his leadership went through such situations.
Therefore, carrying out safety inspections before opening the mine was essential.

 

‘Fortunately, I have this Survey Skill, which is very convenient.
Survey!’

 

Bzzzzzt!

 

Lloyd’s eyes faintly glowed as he examined every corner of the mine.
He carefully inspected the structure inside.
He checked whether the ground was stable, the foundation was well laid out, or was there any place that was going to sink.

 

He tried not to miss even a single centimeter.
In addition, the scope of his safety inspection wasn’t limited to only the mine.

 

“Are you trying to go back inside the ant nest?” As Lloyd tried to enter the hole that was dug on the coal bed at the bottom of the mine, Javier’s questions came from behind.

 

Lloyd smiled as he looked at Javier.
“Yes.
Scared?”

 

“That’s not it, just-”

 

“Just?”

 

“I wonder why you want to go there.”

 

“Why are you wondering? It’s for a safety inspection,” Lloyd said, as if Javier was asking something obvious.
“Actually, this is more dangerous than the mine that was made from the construction.
They’re ants.
Ants are known as natural tunnel builders, but there was an explosion down there, right? The ground must’ve become unstable.
If it collapses further on a larger scale, the mine above could get affected.”

 

Lloyd continued, “Is that all? We have to see whether there’s any risk of the remaining methane gas leaking out or whether there are some surviving ant beasts moving around.
They could come out and hurt the miners.
You understand by now, right? Then let’s go.”

 

Having said so, Lloyd went inside the ant nest together with Javier.

 

“But I still don’t understand.”

 

“What is it that you don’t understand?”

 

“Why are you taking the risk yourself?”

 

“You’re asking why I don’t ask others to do it?”

 

“Yes.” Javier, who hesitated, organized his thoughts for a while and then said, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard that it’s common for a nobleman to personally do these kinds of dangerous work.”

 

“Why shouldn’t I be a nobleman who is just like that?”

 

“Pardon?”

 

“I mean, I’m going to personally check the safety of the people who’ll work for me.
Is it so strange for me to think of that?”

 

“Not like that.
It is reckless, but on the other hand, I think it’s great.”

 

“Oh.
What brings you to compliment me?”

 

“It was made on my assumption that you are reckless.”

 

“Don’t be shy, if you want to compliment me, just do it.”

 

“I don’t want to.”

 

“Hoho.
You’re tsun tsun3I think here the author refers to Tsundere, as in a character that’s cold outside at first but later warms up.
I don’t know for sure because the author used some kind of Korean slang..”

 

“What is tsun tsun?”

 

“There’s such a thing.
But, what is that?”

 

They were in the middle of investigating the ant nest while chatting.
Lloyd frowned and pointed forward with his torch.
There was something shiny on the ground.

 

“I’ll take a look.” Javier drew his sword and approached.
He examined the place Lloyd pointed at.
However, the thing that glinted there….

 

“It’s a sword,” said Javier.

 

“A sword?”

 

“Yes.” Javier picked up the sword that was on the ground.
“I don’t think it’s a human sword.
It’s crude and out of balance.
Judging from the shape of the handle and the damaged blade….
I think it’s a sword that’s used by an Orc.”

 

“Orc?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Why is there a sword used by orcs down here?”

 

“I don’t know about that either.”

 

It was mysterious.
Orcs were monsters with pig heads that often appeared in [Iron-Blooded Knight] novel.
But what did it mean that there was a sword made by the orc in the middle of an ant nest, hundreds of meters underground?

 

Lloyd then asked, “Aren’t they the ones that originally live in the wilderness across the eastern mountain range?”

 

“That’s correct.”

 

“Hmm, this is strange.”

 

Perhaps some ant bit and brought it here.
With that in mind, Lloyd put aside his questions.

 

“If we continue our investigation, we might find something else.
For now, let’s keep moving.”

 

“I understand.”

 

After that, the two of them examined and searched all over the ant nest.
The passageways were entangled and made such a vast area.
While they were doing a thorough investigation fifteen days flew by. 

 

On the 16th day of the investigation, both of them found a young orc warrior lying in a storage room inside the ant nest.

 

“What is this?”

 

Why is an orc here?

 

Lloyd looked at the orc with a puzzled look on his face.

 

Javier, who was watching the orc and standing beside Lloyd, replied, “Looks like it’s an orc that got caught by the ants, but seems like it’s still alive.”

 

“What?”

 

It’s alive? But it’s lying down like he’s frozen?

 

Javier nodded.
“It looks like it’s been paralyzed.”

 

“…..”

 

Suddenly, Lloyd remembered what he had read in the [Iron-Blooded Knight] novel about the ant beasts’ ecology.

 

‘Right.
It said that they kept some of their food alive and paralyzed.’

 

Maybe, that was what happened to this orc.
As he confirmed that fact, a new picture abruptly came to Lloyd’s mind.

 

“….
Oh, wait.
Bingo.”

 

After Lloyd checked the orc’s condition, an unexpected plan that could result in great benefits struck him like lightning.
A smug smile bloomed on Lloyd’s lips.

 

 

Author’s note : New pushovers are always welcome!

 

Tl/n : If you want to support me, you can buy me a ko-fi

1Honeysuckle or Lonicera maackii is a plant that has high adaptability, flourishes in a wide range of conditions, and grows rapidly.
Considered invasive because it impedes reforestation and prevents the re-establishment of native plants.2Somatic cells: any normal body cell of an organism that’s not involved in reproduction3I think here the author refers to Tsundere, as in a character that’s cold outside at first but later warms up.
I don’t know for sure because the author used some kind of Korean slang.

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