How to Survive as a Genius Spy in the Game Chapter 8 - Herbology (1)
I was gradually becoming accustomed to this life.
Just like how humans were creatures of adaptation, life here was seeping into my daily routine little by little, like ripples created by small water droplets.
Perhaps the repetitive lifestyle had a significant impact.
The older ones, who were nearing graduation, occasionally seemed absent throughout the day, but my tasks remained unchanged.
Basic physical training, the development of Mystic powers, and Lena’s lessons in etiquette.
Regarding etiquette, it felt a bit embarrassing to actually perform what European nobles used to do in movies, but I approached it with diligence.
In any case, although the specifics might have changed, there was no deviation from strictly controlled timing.
When the time came, I trained, ate, and slept.
‘Having a routine is important, after all.’
One thing bothered me, though. My Worst Condition seemed to worsen as the days went by.
At first, I couldn’t understand what the problem was.
‘I don’t sleep well… but I exercise and eat properly, so why is my condition getting worse?’
Even with the Ironman trait, it didn’t make sense for it to deteriorate. Even if Ironman was still incomplete, it shouldn’t worsen.
However, recently, I could vaguely guess the reason.
It was just a conjecture, but I wondered if it was because my body was getting healthier.
A weak body itself was similar to being in a state of Worst Condition.
If the body became stronger, it made sense that the impact of the Worst Condition would be more severe.
For example, if you had a strength of 10, the decrease due to the trait would be 5, but if you had a strength of 50, it would be 25.
Still, as life became more familiar, I gradually entered a period of stability.
Devil’s Blood and Eccentric Actions were dormant. Perhaps because there were no situations that called for such actions.
Eccentricity and foolishness were different.
Randomly insulting Marhan or Lena without reason was not an eccentricity but foolishness.
In any case, it was clear that I was making progress within this growing familiarity.
Perhaps due to having a certain level of basic fitness, Marhan’s gaze toward me had changed a bit in the past few days.
Presumably, it seemed like the day when I would hold an actual weapon wasn’t far away.
Checking the time, I realized it was time to get up. I didn’t feel like moving due to tiredness, but…
I had to go to Lena’s lesson.
* * *
Harvan, the Duke of Haisen and Chief of Intelligence rested his chin on his hand as he looked out the window from the carriage heading towards the bustling city.
His gaze was outside, but his thoughts were moving quickly.
Did he miss any tasks? No. He had already sorted out the intelligence coming from the Empire and the situation in neighboring kingdoms.
The internal affairs of Haisen were also in order. It was only now that he had some personal matters to attend to.
Lately, Harvan had been paying the most attention to the child with mystic abilities, and he listened to reports about the child every day.
The evaluation of the child was ambiguous. It had shifted slightly from positive to subtly negative.
Of course, even with the negative shift, it still leaned strongly toward the positive side.
Rather than negativity, it was more of a feeling of disappointment or regret.
The reason was unclear, but it was because the child had only used about half of his talents.
Of course, there were advantages as well. He was currently considering changing the education policy.
Since their first meeting, Harvan had sensed that the orphan was quite perceptive. He didn’t ask questions.
Considering that he had lived on the streets without proper education, his intellect was exceptional.
It was safe to say that he was on a different level compared to the nobles who engaged in foolish talk.
‘They are just scum born lucky with good blood.’
Harvan also knew from experience that a life of poverty made children mature faster.
So it wasn’t strange for orphans to be quick-witted, but even taking that into account, Carlyn stood out.
The thirteen-year-old seemed to grasp the implications in his words for the most part. Moreover, his intuition was remarkable.
Among the children Harvan had brought in, none had shown this level of perceptiveness in a crisis.
Denif, whom he had considered to have exceptional talent, only showed slight hesitation and looked for cues after he made an attack in similar situations.
He sensed something unusual but didn’t know the cause.
However, Carlyn rolled on the floor without looking back.
It was an expression of confusion due to the lack of a counterattack.
The other children looked at Carlyn, who was rolling on the ground, with a strange gaze, and Mohen burst into laughter, but Harvan felt even more satisfied.
The child he had brought in was what he had held in his heart, someone with sincere vitality.
Of course, even if the child could only use half of his talents, it was still at an acceptable level…
Considering everything, it didn’t seem bad to focus on strategic thinking rather than pouring time into martial skills.
While he aimed for versatility, not everyone could be molded that way.
In the end, there were separate areas of specialization.
In reality, the duke was also managing his subordinates according to their capabilities and circumstances.
‘But it would be a shame to give up easily.’
Marhan had seen that Carlyn’s talent was on par with or slightly superior to Denif’s.
That was why he had high expectations.
He believed that it would improve with time.
However, even after some time had passed, the reports stating that the child couldn’t fully manifest his abilities remained unchanged.
The only thing missing now was the mention of being an “orphan.”
Enough time had passed to offset any health issues caused by malnutrition.
So, was Carlyn hiding his skills?
No, there was no reason for him to do so.
The child was perceptive, but there was no advantage in hiding his abilities.
Moreover, he was a novice in physical training.
It was impossible for him to completely hide his skills from Marhan’s watchful eyes.
In the end, there was only one conclusion.
‘…Could it be a serious illness?’
The child’s behavior was being reported during training, sleep, and meals—every aspect of his daily life.
Marhan recalled the reports mentioning that the child felt unusually tired.
He often had trouble sleeping and had a pathological case of mysophobia.
The combination of being an orphan and mysophobia seemed strange at first, but now it strangely made sense.
‘When he was young, he suffered greatly, and although he’s unaware, it hasn’t been cured yet.’
And during his severe suffering, there was a high probability that it was related to something dirty.
Mysophobia could be triggered by trauma.
It couldn’t be helped when he was an orphan, but now that the circumstances had changed, the mysophobia had surfaced.
In reality, mysophobia wasn’t a significant problem.
Even among spies who engaged in all sorts of activities, the utility varied depending on the expertise.
He could attempt treatment, but there was no need to enforce it.
He could simply utilize the child in a different area.
The duke’s disappointment lay in the fact that the child couldn’t fully manifest their abilities.
Lena was the first to suspect the child’s illness, but the child answered that he had no pain.
Lena accepted that, and indeed, apart from fatigue, it seemed so. She thought he was just lacking in stamina.
But now, looking back, apart from the remnants of a severe illness, nothing else came to mind.
The problem was whether it fell into the realm of treatability. Could the remnants of the illness be eliminated, or was it irreversible?
‘Well, it’s not a big deal, I suppose.’
Aside from the disappointment, the truth was that the duke initially brought the child for his mystic ability alone.
Other talents were secondary. He had some expectations, but it wouldn’t be a problem if he didn’t have them.
He just needed the basics. He had that level of talent, so there was no need to worry.
There were many other ways to utilize the mystic and the child’s perceptiveness.
It would be good if he could be healed, but even if he couldn’t, it would be fine. Still, there was a need to pay a little more attention.
The bustling city was getting closer and closer. The duke gathered his thoughts and spoke up.
“Put out a search for a physician, someone quite capable.”
The answer emerged from the duke’s shadow. The shadow knew that a capable physician, at least at the level of the kingdom’s reputation, was being requested.
The duke confirmed that the shadow had become fainter.
* * *
“I’m exhausted to death.”
The words were spoken unconsciously while lying on the bed and staring at the ceiling. And in an instant, a hollow laugh escaped my lips.
It had become a habit.
I don’t want to move. I’m tired. It felt like my self-talk had become standardized due to the penalty trait.
Especially in the evenings, it was even more so. After finishing the training, I had no energy left in my body.
Marhan always pushed me just beyond my limits during training.
But today, I had a bit more leeway than usual because Lena’s lessons ended early.
However, as life always goes, unexpected strokes of luck had reasons behind them. I sighed, feeling a sense of popularity.
“Carlyn, we have to go now.”
I really didn’t feel like moving. But I had to.
If I wanted to survive in this crazy world of having a body of 13-year-olds as spies, that was necessary.
I got up from my spot.
As I opened the door and stepped out, Denif and Orhen were waiting for me.
“Well, it’s not like you haven’t been tired for just a day or two.”
Denif shrugged his shoulders. Orhen simply nodded obediently. It was silent agreement, making me feel guilty.
Although my relationship with the children had improved since the beginning, it still wasn’t close.
We exchanged greetings in the morning. However, considering the time spent here and the age of 13, the relationship improvement was slower.
It wasn’t a problem with my humanity, but solely because of the penalty trait.
Even when I was on Earth, I had many friends. There was a time when it was bothersome to meet them all.
Now, with no energy in my body, I could only stay quiet while eating and resting.
Moreover, due to brushing my teeth, I ate quickly, and as soon as training ended, I rushed to the dormitory to wash up.
After evening lessons, I immediately threw myself onto the bed.
It means there weren’t many opportunities to become close through personal conversations.
I had Ironman, but it was not yet perfect. In the first place, Ironman was a high-ranking trait that only adults possessed.
Now, I was in the process of perfecting the Ironman.
Still, there were some effects. It was true that I could keep up like this thanks to having Ironman.
Nevertheless, I was fortunate that Denif approached me during such times.
Not only was he naturally friendly, but perhaps because we were both orphans, he quietly took care of me.
Why was he protecting a beggar like me as if he was from an open birthplace in a martial arts novel?
“You’ve never been to the apothecary, have you? Pay attention and remember.”
I nodded in response to Denif’s words. The schedule changed today because of the Herbology class. I was tired, but I needed to concentrate.
In the game, having the Herbology trait had health benefits.
“Huh? Wasn’t this the place?”
Denif, who had been leading the way for a while, looked perplexed, tilting his head. It seemed like he had taken longer than expected and ended up getting lost.
It was slightly surprising to me how confident he had spoken, and I was slightly taken aback.
“It’s been a while for me too. It’s confusing.”
Denif chuckled lightly.
“….We were supposed to go that way.”
When Orhen, who had been silent, spoke in a soft voice, Denif nodded his head.
“Oh, yeah! It was that way.”
“What? I could have gotten confused. You should have said something earlier.”
Denif snickered and took the lead.
Orhen muttered under her breath, her words barely audible to Denif. The corners of her mouth curved upward as she spoke.
She often expressed her emotions openly with Denif, as they were quite close.
“Do they usually have Herbology classes frequently?”
“Yeah. Herbology is originally for those aged 13 and above. You got lucky with the timing.”
“Then how did you come here before?”
I asked without much thought, and Denif noticed Orhen’s reaction. Orhen let out a small laugh.
Did something happen?
“I received special education in the apothecary because I ate something wrong…”
“What did you eat?”
“Idiot-like Denif thought it was a medicinal herb and secretly stole and ate it.”
“I didn’t steal it! It was on the carriage…”
Well, carriages did come and go for materials procurement. I’d seen them occasionally too.
He must have eaten something while moving the luggage. The image was so vivid that laughter escaped from me.
“Marhan said it was fortunate that he didn’t die. Because of the idiot-like Denif, I also received special education in the apothecary.”
Orhen smiled at me.
Seeing Denif, who used to talk a lot, now being silent, it seemed like he had some notorious history here.
Indeed, did children become friends while playing pranks?
There wasn’t anything significant, but I felt like I had become a little closer to Orhen.
Anyway, fortunately, we arrived without being too late. Rekun and Mohen were waiting for us in a place that smelled of medicinal herbs, fitting for the apothecary.
Rekun smiled at Denif.
“You got lost because it’s been a while, right? Should I have gone instead?”
“… No, it’s not because of that.”
When Denif responded hesitantly, Rekun let out a chuckle.
Among the older kids, Rekun was somewhat kind-hearted.
Different from the person standing next to him.
Mohen glared at me and pursed his lips.
“It must be because of him. He’s always lying around because he lacks stamina. What happened to the results of the training I wonder.”
This guy was causing trouble again.
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