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The royal lineage and their descendants.

The two have a lot of things and common and tend to live their lives close together, but they are strictly different.

Still, Yong Jegun naturally called Kim Shinrok a “Tiger Clan”.

‘Yong Jegun told me to leave the tiger up to him. Of course, I thought a tiger would come. I didn’t expect it to be Kim Shinrok.’

The Dragon Clan also treats Yeom Junyeol, their precious descendant, as a natural dragon.

Perhaps that’s why he so naturally referred to Kim Shinrok as a tiger even though he was only a descendant.

Cheongryong, Yeom Bangyeol, and even the others from the Dragon Clan greeted Kim Shinrok well, making it obvious just how close he was to Yong Jegun.

From a few steps away, Yong Jegun and I watched Kim Shinrok interact with the others.

“I see Professor Shinrok has good relations with the Dragon Clan.”

“Yeah, it’s been a while since Shinrok and I knew each other. He and I are close so naturally, he’s met the others from our clan.”

It’s obvious that Yong Jegun’s “a while” actually means a few thousand years.

According to Yong Jegun, Kim Shinrok was “young and vulgar” at the time they got to know each other.

‘I did hear about how Yong Jegun and Kim Shinrok became acquainted.’

Not long after returning to the dorms from Joo-Oh Island, Yong Jegun, who met up with the Bear Goddess, told me the story.

— There was someone of royal lineage who enticed the young and vulgar Shinrok.

— That someone of royal lineage took a long time to gain the trust of Shinrok, and succeeded in bringing Shinrok out of the Tiger Clan’s territory. Shinrok was told he’d meet with the Sad Bear Goddess.

— At that time, I was the one who saved Shinrok from almost being caught by the Bear Clan.

I know that Yong Jegun and Kim Shinrok’s connection had been established a long time ago.

Still, wouldn’t it be a little dangerous for a descendant of another powerful royal lineage to freely enter and exit their territory?

Yong Jegun just looked happy, looking like he was visited by a friend in his house after a long time.

“He’s welcome to our house anytime if he’s being bullied by the other tigers. I asked Cheongryong to make it possible, so he did.”

I couldn’t easily think of a time when the tigers bullied Kim Shinrok.

Perhaps he’s the son of the Sad Bear Goddess, there are some people from the Tiger Clan who feel uncomfortable by it?

No, but Hwang Jiho, head of the Tiger Clan, is supposed to protect him.

And Baekho-gun is Kim Shinrok’s teacher.

Who in the world would bully Kim Shinrok?

Although Jeokho doesn’t make it too obvious, it’s clear that he cares about his son very much.

‘It’s because of those tigers that I haven’t had the chance to talk to Kim Shinrok recently.’

After using the Replay function on Kim Shinrok, we’ve only had the opportunity to interact in the presence of the other tigers.

Because of that, it was difficult to greet each other properly, let alone talk about the Replay function.

‘Well, it wouldn’t be easy to talk about that here either.’

First of all, I have no intention of talking about Replay in the presence of a possible traitor.

And Kim Shinrok is a cautious person, he wouldn’t comment on that ability outside the territory of Tiger Clan.

“I should’ve prepared dried persimmons if I knew you were coming.”

“We can have them prepared now.”

“…It’s alright.”

Despite Kim Shinrok’s refusal, Cheongryong had dried persimmons served.

Kim Shinrok hesitated before sitting near Cheongryong and enjoying the dried persimmons in a sharp posture that looked like it was straight out of a textbook.

Somehow, I was also served dried persimmons.

‘I don’t need this right now though.’

The guests, Kim Shinrok and I sat near Cheongryong and Yeom Bangyeol, the people of the highest rank in this place.

Yong Jegun, who was connected to us both, was also seated at the table.

While the commercials were drawn out, the small talk between us also became longer.

“Didn’t you hate sweets, Yong Jegun? But whenever Shinrok comes over, you force yourself to sit down and eat. That face of yours is very worth seeing.”

“It’s not that I hate it, it’s just that it’s not fit to my taste.”

Yong Jegun had a single bite and calmly explained things, while Kim Shinrok had two dried persimmons in his mouth.

‘Isn’t that the same thing though?’

Kim Shinrok said before that his drinking buddy doesn’t like sweets, and I think based on that, Yong Jegun really does hate it.

As if he didn’t like how his food preference was being revealed, Yong Jegun quickly changed the topic.

“It’s been a while since Shinrok came to our house to hang out. He hasn’t been here since Junyeol was born. Cheongryong said you can come over anytime though.”

“Why would I come? I didn’t have any reason to.”

“Then that means you have a reason why you came now.”

“…”

Kim Shinrok looked displeased at Yong Jegun’s insincere tone.

Yong Jegun was speaking as if he was merely guessing why Kim Shinrok was here even though he knows the reason very well.

That fact seemed to make Kim Shinrok even more upset.

“Didn’t you come to greet us since it’s been a while?”

When addressed by Cheongryong, Kim Shinrok immediately erased the displeased expression from his face and returned to a polite and obliging expression.

Yong Jegun didn’t miss this change in expression, and he seemed to like it very much.

Kim Shinrok ignored Yong Jegun as he gave the excuses he prepared in advance.

“It’s already quite late, so I came here to pick up our student Jo Euishin. I’m the one who looks after the dormitory after all.”

“It’s late so you should stay the night. The wind is chilling these days, so it wouldn’t be good for you and your student to go around at night.”

“That’s right. Euishin was injured after all. Stay the night.”

“…Was student Jo Euishin injured?”

The arrow suddenly pointed at me.

I know that my playable character and assistant homeroom teacher shows care for me, but I don’t know why the heck he had to say those words to Kim Shinrok right now.

Fortunately, before Kim Shinrok could say anything, Cheongryong put his foot down.

“This and that happened, so wait for Junyeol to come home and greet him too before leaving. Don’t you think fellow descendants should at least greet each other? Moreover, Shinrok-ie is also a teacher at the school where Junyeol attends.”

“I mean, I…”

“The bedroom you used to stay in is still here. Don’t worry.”

Before Kim Shinrok could rebut, the giant screen where the commercials were playing suddenly turned quiet.

It seems like the broadcast of Playlist is about to resume.

“Oh, the s are finally over. You’re going to watch, right Shinrok? We were all waiting to watch Junyeol’s broadcast.”

Now Kim Shinrok also has to sit here, watch the broadcast, and stay the night.

He came to fetch me but now he’s stuck here too.

* * *

If the broadcast resumes without any intervention, it’s clear that Yeo Raehun will win by an overwhelmingly large margin.

If such an ending comes, it’s clear that Dokgo Miro, who would come in second, got the shorter end of the stick.

Despite that, Dokgo Miro asked for the broadcast and voting to resume.

“It’s only natural that matters outside the competition would affect the competition itself. It was like that in the death match and the previous episodes. If it weren’t for the active Eungwang High students who helped me, I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the finals.”

The judges, who were also there during the preliminary rounds, turned silent.

Back then, their opinions on Dokgo Miro were greatly divided.

Some of them thought that Dokgo Miro’s performance in front of the cameras was too lacking and that she deserved to be eliminated.

Meanwhile, there were some who were in favor of her and thought that she wasn’t a bad performer and that she has the traits of a star.

They also argued that she was still young and had a noticeable academic background.

Dokgo Miro knew in herself that she benefited from elements that weren’t supposed to be in the criteria for the competition.

“Raehun oppa didn’t build that boundary to gain an advantage in the competition. He’s only ever acted in good faith, so I don’t think there’s a need to stop the broadcast.”

“Miro isn’t wrong, but the timing is just so bad…”

One of the staff members said so out of worry for Dokgo Miro.

Still, her will never wavered.

“My friends fought hard so that I could stand on that stage today. I can’t just back down too.”

As Dokgo Miro’s will was clearly firm, the staff members couldn’t express further opposition.

Complaints were already pouring in from the uncharacteristically long s, so they can’t afford to stall any longer.

In the end, the main director of the show reached a conclusion.

“We will proceed with the filming as scheduled.”

As soon as the director’s announcement was over, everyone began to move busily.

Yeo Raehun will be the next one on stage, and he was approached by the audio director and the makeup artist at the same time.

‘I should’ve told Raehun oppa that he didn’t have to be sorry…’

While Dokgo Miro was feeling a little regretful, someone spoke to her.

It was Yeom Junyeol.

“Thank you, Miro.”

“Yeom Junyeol sunbaenim…?”

“I really wanted to finish the broadcast safely. Still, considering your position, Miro, I couldn’t give that opinion.”

The Yeom Junyeol that was speaking to her looked somewhat different.

Even his energy wave felt better than usual, and above anything, his eyes looked different.

‘Is it because of the outfit? Or the makeup? No, his energy wave is different from usual too… Different even from a few hours ago when we met before the shoot…’

Dokgo Miro noticed something different about Yeom Junyeol, but she didn’t have any time to speak with him further.

“I’ll be cheering you on.”

Yeom Junyeol spoke and smiled not as a host, but as a high school sunbae.

Dokgo Miro took a deep breath and walked away to prepare for her performance.

The audience camera briefly showed her classmates and school seniors cheering for her, and Dokgo Miro was smiling before she realized it.

* * *

Meanwhile, at Cheonik Mountain.

In front of Tiger Clan’s sacred tree, Cheondansu.

Sanryeong (Mountain Spirit) was moving busily.

“…”

Beyond the darkness, Sanryeong could be seen flying up to the top of the Cheondansu tree.

Sanryeong looked closely around the roots, and he seems to be looking for something.

After going back and forth around the Cheondansu for quite a while, Sanryeong went down looking depressed as if he hasn’t found what he was searching for.

“…”

After looking around, Sanryeong got up.

Quite a while ago, Sanryeong made the mistake of using ‘that ability’ without scanning his surroundings and he ended up being bothered by a bunch of Year Three Class Zero students.

He ended up succeeding in coaxing the group, one that he doesn’t know if they were brilliant or just crazy, but Sanryeong still feels his blood pump faster and his eyes go wide whenever he senses Woo Kihwan nearby.

Only after being convinced that there was no sign of movement did Sanryeong touch the Cheondansu.

Fwaaaa…!

A thin but distinctly colored ray of light stretched out into the sky.

While Sanryeong was discreetly trying to communicate with something…

“I think I know what that power is.”

The cold voice and equally cold gaze shocked Sanryeong and he immediately stopped using ‘that ability’.

He looked up at the owner of the voice in surprise.

Ever since Eunho woke up, Sanryeong has been avoiding Baekho with all his might.

The Tiger best at martial arts has successfully deceived Sanryeong by hiding his presence.

While recalling the familiar light and the feeling of the remnants of that specific ability, Baekho finally spoke.

“That power you used right now is the same thing that Jo Euishin has.”