‘Good job, Javier.’

 

My heart was full of gratitude.
It was thanks to the message which appeared in my mind.

 

‘Javier must’ve explained what had been going on recently in a cool and objective way.’

 

Javier, the protagonist in the novel ‘Iron-Blooded Knight’, was a cool-headed fellow all the time.
Never panicked or wavered under any circumstances.
He tried to be objective in everything.
That must have been the case a little while ago.
Everything that had happened including what I had been doing and what I had done must’ve been informed calmly to the baron by him.

 

‘That’s a relief.
The baron didn’t think I’m weird.’

 

In fact, it was a bit of a gamble.
He was a son who only made a mess every day.
Then out of the blue, he showed knowledge that he had never learned anywhere before.
The ondol room, which didn’t exist in this place, had been made in a large amount.
Not only that, he started making money by signing construction contracts with the residents of the fief.
This situation was suspicious enough.

 

‘However, he didn’t get suspicious.’

 

Of course he would’ve pondered.
But I guess he felt more joy than anything else.

 

‘Because originally, that’s what parents want.’

 

His child has changed for the better.
Almost every parent in the world would feel joyful first in such a situation.
On another hand, it was uncomfortable to take advantage of such psychology.
Still, I couldn’t help it right now.

 

‘For the time being, let’s just observe.’

 

Right now is the time to choose benefit rather than conscience.
It was the time to seek profit through practical means.
Otherwise, my poverty-stricken life could occur once again like when I was in the Republic of Korea.
Filled with determination, Lloyd looked around again.

 

A cascade of moonlight was pouring down onto the training ground.
Fortunately, I didn’t sense another human being around.
I took a deep breath and opened the status window.
Waves of information rose before my eyes.
Among them, there was a place that caught my eyes. 

 

[Random Summon of Phantom Species]

[Invest your RP to summon your phantom species]

[A powerful and personalized phantom that will offer its absolute loyalty to the master who summoned it and provides a variety of capabilities.]

[One pull = 50 RP]

[Do you want to do a random summon?]

[YES / NO]

 

Naturally, the choice was ‘YES’.
I nodded.

 

[A random summon of phantom species will be done.]

 

50 RP was consumed along with the notice.
At the same time, a change occurred on the ground five steps ahead.

 

Paaats…!

 

A pale light was engraved to the ground.
The engraved light drew a complex shape.
The complete magic circle exudes mysterious energy.

 

‘It’s coming out.’

 

I’ve seen this a lot in mobile games, but it felt a little different seeing it in real life.
No, it was very different.
It just couldn’t be compared to 3D effects.
There was this feeling that something will really come out from there.
As I watched it, my heart was pounding. 

 

Finally, something came out. 

 

Pajijik! 

 

Something sprang out from the ground accompanied by an intense shock wave.
Soon, it flew over here and fell into my arms. 

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

“….”

 

Soft, fluffy hair.
A plump butt with short limbs.
And yet, he’s smaller than half a fist.
So, this is….

 

“A hamster?”

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

“Why did a hamster emerge from there?”

 

“Ppo-do-dong! Ppo-dong!”

 

“….
Are you the one that came out from there?”

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

“….”

 

The hamster nodded his head as if it was natural.
Lloyd stared down at him in a daze.

 

“This is a phantom?”

 

I tried to summon while consuming a whole 50 RP.
However, the only thing that came out was a hamster that no matter how you look at it, it seems like a pet.
But Lloyd didn’t panic.
Rather, he calmly collected his mind.

 

‘Phantom species are said to offer a wide range of abilities.
First of all, this guy understands what I’m saying and answers me.
This means he’s not an ordinary hamster.’

 

That wasn’t all.
Somehow, I could understand this guy’s answer.
In conclusion, having a dialogue was possible.

 

I put the hamster on my palm.
Face-to-face, I asked him.

 

“Hey.”

 

“Ppo-dong?”

 

“Do you have any special abilities?”

 

“Ppo-do-dong?”

 

“You said you were a phantom?”

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

“So, why don’t you give me some evidence that shows you’re a phantom species?”

 

“Ppo-do-dong? Ppo-dong!”

 

He put his hand into his mouth.
Then, he pulled something out of his cheek pocket and held it out.
It was a small envelope and a crumpled paper 

slip in the size of a business card.

 

“Ppo-dong! Ppo-do-dong!”

 

“Are you giving this to me?”

 

“Ppo-dong-dong!”

 

“Read the note?”

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

“….”

 

I opened the note.
There, I could see words inscribed on it.
Fortunately, the moon was bright, so I could read the contents.

 

[Ppodong’s User Manual]

[Ppodong is an adorable hamster.
Please take care of him with lots of love.]

[As his summoner, Ppodong is absolutely loyal to you.
Phantoms are lifelong pet companions and family members.
Please don’t throw it away.]

[Feed Ppodong one out of two kinds of enclosed sunflower seeds and his size will change.]

[Red Sunflower Seeds: makes Ppodong bigger.
Maximum retention time= 12 hours.]

[Blue Sunflower Seeds: makes Ppodong smaller.
Please feed him before he exceeds the maximum retention time of gigantification.
After 12 hours without eating a blue sunflower seed, Ppodong automatically returns to his small appearance.
However, he will get exhausted and gigantification will be impossible for 24 hours.]

[The two-color sunflower seeds set is 1 RP.]

[Ppodong can use a variety of skills when in giant state.]

 

[Digging (Lv 1)]

[Packing Dirt (Lv 1)]

[Cheek Pockets (Lv 1)] 

 

‘Hmm.
Digging the ground and packing it.’

 

No way, does that mean he plays the role of an excavator? After reading the manual, Lloyd opened the enclosed envelope.
As expected, the envelope contained sunflower seeds.

 

‘There are 10 red and 10 blue seeds.’

 

Lloyd looked at the hamster, no, Ppodong.

 

“Hey?”

 

“Ppo-dong?”

 

“This, do you get bigger if you eat this?”

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

“How big?”

 

“Ppo-do-dong!”

 

“Tremendously?”

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

“….”

 

How much bigger is it?

 

‘This guy, he’s so small.’

 

Size is a relative concept.
I wondered how big he would grow if he got bigger here.

 

‘Even if he’s just as big as a human being, he would be really useful.’

 

I’ve never had a hamster.
However, I had heard that hamsters are great at digging tunnels.
That’s why I had high expectations that if he was the size of a human being, he could do a few people’s work at once.

 

“Let’s check it first, then.”

 

“Ppo-dong?”

 

“Let’s put you down first.”

 

“Ppo-do-dong?”

 

I put him on the ground.
Then, I held out the sunflower seeds.

 

“Would you like to try some of this?”

 

“Ppo-dong?”

 

“Smells good, doesn’t it?”

 

“Ppo-do-dong? Ppo-dong?”

 

“Here, it’s going to be delicious.”

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

He sniffed the sunflower seed.
When I gave him the red sunflower seed, he put it in his small mouth and chewed.
In the meantime, Lloyd stepped back a few steps.

 

‘How big will it be?’

 

With half expectation and half concern, I looked at Ppodong.
And the moment Ppodong swallowed the red sunflower seed he had been chewing.

 

Ta-da!

He got bigger… approximately 10 meters in size.

 

‘Whoa.’

 

Awesome.
Lloyd raised his head in disbelief.
Ppodong, whose face was far above me, has transformed into a giant hamster.

 

‘If I hadn’t stepped back enough, I might’ve gotten hit by him and flown away like a ball….’

 

It was an instant gigantification.
Just like popcorn when it pops, or like an airbag when it’s deployed.
His volume rapidly increases at once.
Then, what if I didn’t clear the streets properly? People could get hit by his growing body and fly away.
Just like a car accident.

 

‘Let’s be careful next time.’

 

With a firm resolution, I looked up at Ppodong.
Anyway, now I need to test this guy’s performance.

 

“Hey, can you hear me?”

 

“Ppo-dong?”

 

His enormous head looked down my way.  Fortunately, his eyes still looked innocent.
I didn’t have to worry about being eaten.

 

“Would you like to start digging?”

 

“Ppo-do-dong?”

 

“From here to there, can you make it 2 meters deep evenly?”

 

“Ppo-dong? Ppo-do-dong!”

 

He nodded his head.
While stumbling on his huge, fluffy buttocks, he moved to the position I just pointed out.
Then, he began to move his two short paws.
At almost the speed of light.

 

“Ppo-do-do-do-dong!”

 

Hwababababat!

 

It was a storm of dirt.
Piles of soil sprang up explosively.
Between that, his bulky figure advanced without hesitation.
After about 3 minutes had passed, a huge furrow of 2 meters deep and 20 meters long was made in the yard.

 

“….
Whoa.”

 

This was beyond my imagination.
This was also beyond my expectations.
However, Lloyd quickly got rid of his admiration.
There was no time to be amazed. 

 

‘Because I don’t know when anyone’s gonna see this.’

 

Finish the test as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Thinking so, Lloyd said.

 

“Good job.
Next is packing the ground.”

 

“Ppo-dong?”

 

“Refill the furrows you just made, as flat as possible.”

 

“Ppo-do-dong?”

 

“Can you do it?”

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

He moved immediately.
Positioning himself in front of the furrow he just made, he shook his bouncy buttocks and spread his front paws wide.
Then, he moved left and right like a hurricane.

 

“Ppo-do-do-do~ng!”

 

Pababababat!

 

If the move from a moment ago was just like a storm of soil, this move was like a vacuum cleaner.
His supple buttocks became his center of gravity.  Using the butt as a firm weight, his upper body moved quickly from side to side.

 

Earlier, he dug the ground and splattered soil all over the place.
Now, he pushed it back into the furrow.
Advancing without an ounce of hesitation, every step forward, the furrow was filled up.
However, that wasn’t the end.

 

“Ppo-do-dong!”

 

The guy who filled up the furrow until the end laid himself down.
Then, he began to roll along the furrow.
Once forward.
Once backward.
That was enough.
His heavy and chubby sides literally flattened the ground like a giant road roller.
Thanks to him rolling back and forth, the uneven ground has been smoothed out.
Not even a trace that a furrow was dug left.

 

‘Good.
Very good.’

 

The more I saw it, the more satisfied I was.
The 50 RP invested to summon him felt worth it.

 

‘Thank goodness.
I was in a bit of a sensitive situation while collecting RP.’

 

I deliberately visited the baron who was in dispute with the debtors.
Then, I appealed to him by talking a little too much.
All of it was to increase the baron’s favorability. 

 

‘It’s worth the risk of being questioned.
Then, let’s test your final skill.’

 

Lloyd looked up at Ppodong, who was proud to see the furrow he had filled.

 

“Hey, Ppodong?”

 

“Ppo-dong?”

 

“Do you have cheek pockets?”

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

“Can you store stuff in there?”

 

“Ppo-do-dong? Ppo-dong!”

 

“Is it possible? How much?”

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

He pointed his front foot to the other side of the courtyard.
There laid a rock two meters in diameter.
Lloyd’s eyebrows twitched.

 

“Really?”

 

But, that was the truth.
Before I could’ve said anything, he moved and put the rock inside one of his cheek pockets. 

 

“Ppeu-deu-eung!”

 

“… Whoa.”

 

“Ppeu-deu-eung! Ppeu-deung!”

 

“Are you okay?”

 

“Ppeu-deung! Ppeu-deu-eung!”

 

With a proud face, he nodded.
Each time, the swollen cheek pockets which were used to hold a two-meter long rock, bounced powerfully.

 

‘He could use it as a weapon.
He’s totally a tank.
Yes, a tank.’

 

Literally 10 meters big.
Seeing this big guy in front of me, I wondered if this was what looking at dinosaurs felt like.
The elephant I saw at the zoo once before felt like a local puppy compared to Ppodong.

 

“Now, then, put that rock back in its place.”

 

“Ppeu-deung? Ptooey!”

 

“Well done.
Now, would you like to try this?”

 

“Ppo-dong!”

 

I put a blue sunflower seed into his mouth.
In no time, he swallowed the seed and became smaller. 

 

Hug.
I took the little one into my arms.
He felt sleepy, so he came into my inside pocket.
Feeling that little touch and warmth, Lloyd thought.

 

‘Success.
This is a jackpot.’

 

I recapped Ppodong’s images that I just saw inside my mind.
To be honest, the result was beyond expectations.

 

‘He dug up a 20 meters long and 2 meters deep furrow in only three minutes.
It was perfectly flattened, and he stored a few tons of rock in one cheek pocket…’

 

High-performance excavator, the perfect road roller, plus equipped with a dump truck.
This felt like getting a MacGyver of the heavy equipment world, three functions in one body.
With this ability, it was worth spending RP to buy sunflower seeds for the transformation.

 

‘In addition, he’s very portable.’

 

Before I knew it, Ppodong was fast asleep in my inner pocket.
Perhaps, for the time being, I have to hide this guy. 

 

‘I’ll have to carry a summoning scroll around with me in case people see him in public.’

 

That much bait should be sprinkled.
That way, the barony’s people will not be suspicious when I suddenly summoned a giant hamster one day.
Rather, they will shout ‘Our master is the best’.
So, he left the training ground with Ppodong in his arms.

 

Back in the bedroom, I thought about what was next.

 

‘Finally, I have heavy construction equipment to use.
Then, the next step will be a full-scale construction.’

 

The pre-sale of ondol rooms during the day was successful.
It’s best to strike while the iron’s hot.
Going with the momentum, I’m going to start a construction industry.

 

‘I need a professional construction team to do that.
The engineers and elite workers who could move in perfect order in the field, and the talents who will lead them.’

 

Of course I had to think about the formation of the construction team in advance. 

 

Tak, tatak.

 

The fire in the bedroom’s fireplace burned all night long.
In front of it, Lloyd held up a paper and a pen.
Bringing back my memories, I began to make a list of all the main characters who appeared in the early part of the ‘Iron-Blooded Knight’ novel.

 

That was a monumental moment when the ordinary knights and guards of Frontera Barony first turned into a full-fledged labor-style combat unit. 

 

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