Episode 88

A Week In Korea (7)
1 week ago
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Rurin was pointing at the night view composed of the Han River bridge and the buildings in Gangnam beyond it.

The sun had already set, and instead of the red sky, sparkling lights decorated Seoul, filling our eyes.

The twinkling lights here and there were a sight impossible to see in Greek City and the other world, so it was only natural for Rurin to be fascinated.

“Those are lights. Yes, you could say it’s a civilization developed by technology in a world without mana.”

“Is that so? Well, as long as it sparkles, I don’t mind.”

Rurin patted her belly, withdrew her pointing hand, and started rolling around on the mat again.

It would be nice if she just rolled on the mat, but she kept going in and out of the grass. Then she would come back to my side like a magnet, hug me, and when I let go, she would roll again and then charge at me.

After a while of doing that, she finally lay down beside me, watching the lights since I didn’t resist.

We were full, the night view was beautiful, and Rurin seemed satisfied, making it a happy moment.

Having eaten the jajangmyeon I wanted so much, there was nothing more to wish for.

We lay there for a long time.

For a long time.

We got up later in the night.

With our food somewhat digested, I carried the drowsy Rurin and left the park.

The streets were already quiet.

“Snore, snore.”

And the dragon’s breathing was regular.

After carrying her for a while, I suddenly put her down.

“Hey, wake up.”

“Snore, snore?”

Why is the end of her breathing rising? No, I had already realized she was pretending to sleep before.

“You caught me? Darn.”

“What’s darn about it?”

“Because being carried by you feels so good!”

I shook Rurin’s head as she said something ridiculous, and a delicious smell tickled my nose.

Come to think of it, my stomach was already empty, and we had only one meal today. It’s the moment the law of total stomach capacity kicks in. In other words, I need to eat more to get my strength back.

So I looked for the source of the smell.

I turned my head back to find a 24-hour driver’s restaurant.

The source of the smell was undoubtedly there.

“This place somehow resembles other restaurants in Greek City. Not as good as ours, though.”

“Really? Well, it’s true that the humble atmosphere is similar to other restaurants in Greek City.”

It had a structure similar to the pubs commonly found in Greek City. Such restaurants are usually polar opposites. The food is either entirely delicious or terrible.

Since it was getting late at night, this was the only place to fill our stomachs, so Rurin and I sat at a table.

Despite the late hour, there were many men eating here and there. As expected of a driver’s restaurant, many men were eating alone.

Having many people suggests the taste is guaranteed to be good.

There were various items on the menu. After a moment of hesitation, my eyes were fixed on a menu that would be really hard to find in the other world.

It was Cheonggukjang. Of course, Rurin would likely cause a fuss saying she didn’t like it, so I didn’t order two bowls of cheonggukjang.

“One cheonggukjang and one stir-fried pork, please.”

“Sure, please wait a moment.”

As expected of a driver’s restaurant, the ordered dishes came quickly to our table. The boiling cheonggukjang was served in an earthen pot.

The stir-fried pork had a mouth-watering harmony of red seasoning and sesame seeds. It looked delicious.

The smell of cheonggukjang (fermented soybeans) was quite savory. Many people probably dislike this savory smell. But I liked it. Although I hadn’t eaten it for over 15 years.

Stir-fried pork and cheonggukjang. Facing these two dishes, I really felt like I had come home. Both dishes were intertwined with memories of my mother.

“Ew! El, that’s rotten!”

But Rurin looked at my cheonggukjang, pinched her nose, and frowned. It was the typical reaction foreigners often had.

“It’s not rotten; it’s supposed to be like this.”

I proudly scooped up the cheonggukjang and put it in my mouth. The pork, beans, and tofu inside spread a savory flavor throughout my mouth. It was delicious.

“Why do you eat weird things? Even if you say you have a stomachache later, I won’t help! I’ll torment you when you’re weakened. Ohohoho.”

She covered her nose and gave an evil grin, imagining something.

When you think of an evil dragon’s smile, it usually fits with the idea of burning down an entire country, but somehow it seemed like Rurin’s head was filled with fantasies of doing strange things to me when I was sick…

No, eating cheonggukjang won’t cause a stomachache, so it’s really just a pointless fantasy.

“Hey! Stop talking nonsense and eat yours.”

“But the smell is annoying!”

Her reaction was more intense than I expected.

“First, come over here. Now, try yours.”

“Mine? Doesn’t it smell?”

Only then did she look at her stir-fried pork, having not thought about eating it due to the intense smell of the cheonggukjang.

It’s pork, one of Rurin’s favorite foods. There’s no way she wouldn’t like it. She sniffed it closely and, finding it smelled delicious, nodded and picked up her spoon.

“This smells just like the dish you used to make.”

Of course. Unlike cheonggukjang, stir-fried pork was a dish I often made.

“It doesn’t smell. It’s normally tasty. But the one you make is better. But I still don’t like that!”

Who could throw stones at our dragon who always claims my cooking is better than any other dish? But she still showed hatred towards the cheonggukjang.

Why does she have to show so much hatred?

“Then try this once too. It smells a bit, but it’s delicious, right?”

Since it had come to this, I had the urge to make her taste the cheonggukjang once.

So I gave her a special service. I scooped up meat, tofu, and broth on a spoon and held it out in front of Rurin.

“Here, ahhh.”

“Ugh! El, that’s unfair!”

Rurin started to struggle, looking between me and the spoon.

Then, as if she made up her mind, she opened her mouth.

“No! No matter how much you feed me, I won’t eat that.”

“Didn’t you say earlier at the jajangmyeon restaurant that whatever I eat, even if it’s not tasty, is delicious? You’re contradicting yourself.”

“I don’t know.”

Despite her firm denial, Rurin seemed to remember what she said earlier and covered her mouth with both hands. Then she grimaced.

“Do you really not know?”

“El, don’t talk to me while I’m eating. Is this made of uba? It tastes the same.”

She suddenly started seriously tasting the stir-fried pork.

“Oh, trying to change the subject? Didn’t you say earlier that whatever I eat is good? I wouldn’t have brought it up otherwise, but it seems it was just words?”


Rurin couldn’t deny what she said and finally pinched her nose and opened her mouth, like a dragon being dragged to the execution ground.

“That smell is similar to food waste! How much I hate it when I throw out the garbage every day, El!”

She closed her eyes tightly and trembled. Well, it’s not something to hate that much. After all, it’s still food.

“Alright then.”


“Open your eyes. We can just eat our own food.”

Acting cool, I started eating the cheonggukjang again.

The pork and beans inside blended to fill my mouth with a savory flavor. Adding rice and mixing it made a delicious meal.

Ignoring Rurin, I continued eating like that when she suddenly froze, holding her spoon with a look of shattered values on her face.

“Is it really that good?”


“Yeah. I told you, it’s delicious. Only the smell is strange.”

A moment of silence.

“…I don’t know!”

She finally turned her eyes away again and started eating the stir-fried pork.

Well, I wasn’t sure it would suit Rurin’s taste.

Because it’s such a typical Korean dish. But it’s not like Chinese stinky tofu or Hongeo Samhap, which are extremely polarizing.

“If you don’t know, just eat yours. I’ll go to the restroom.”

I got up from my seat because I felt the urge to go due to the drinks I had at the park.

“Got it.”

Leaving her nodding vigorously behind, I went to the restroom. On my way back to the restaurant, I quickly hid myself.

Rurin was looking around and still holding her nose, carefully scooping up cheonggukjang with her spoon.

She brought the cheonggukjang to her mouth in that state. And then she ate it.


She let out a short exclamation, then pinched her nose again and brought the spoon to the cheonggukjang.

Could our gourmet dragon even appreciate the savory taste? She put the cheonggukjang in her mouth, let go of her nose, and started chewing.

She kept repeating that. She had already finished the stir-fried pork and was now about to devour the cheonggukjang.

“Hmm hmm.”

Laughter burst out naturally. She had refused so vehemently, but her curiosity must have gotten the better of her. The smell was strange, but the taste was good, so now she was eating the cheonggukjang with a fascinated look when she saw me and froze.

Then she spat out the cheonggukjang she was about to eat at my face.


“Hey you!”

“No. I don’t know.”

“What’s no and what don’t you know. Geez.”

Rurin feigned ignorance and moved away from the cheonggukjang. But the earthen pot was already nearly empty.

And the next day. My mana had recovered to about 50%.

Basic attack magic and even magic powerful enough to turn this land into a sea of fire were usable, but summoning magic was still impossible.

Because it consumes the most mana.

That meant I still had to spend time here today.

Honestly, I was eager to leave this land that only reminded me of my parents, but there was no way around the magical limitations.


I turned my head, not seeing Rurin on the bed, and an unbelievable scene unfolded.

She was combing her hair by herself. Her hair. And in front of Rurin, a women’s magazine lay open on the floor.


I called her, and only her gaze turned towards me. Through the mirror, no less. Had she mastered the skill of giving a gaze through the mirror now?

“Lady Rurin, please respond. Respond.”

“This body is busy right now!”

It was incredibly surprising to see Rurin combing her hair by herself. It felt almost like a dream.

“You… didn’t eat something wrong, did you?”

I approached and put my hand on her head, and Rurin looked at the mirror with a puzzled expression.

“I ate the same thing as you.”

“Yeah, but still.”

“More importantly, El, I like this mirror. Let’s take this too. Your homeland is weird, but the bed and mirror are nice!”

She stopped combing and started stroking the mirror, her eyes almost sparkling. Fortunately, dragons can breathe fire but don’t emit light from their eyes. The mirror was safe.

“Are you done combing?”

“How is it, El?”

When I asked, Rurin instead questioned me and stood up, finally showing her face directly instead of through the mirror.

Her hair was neat. Normally, she would be wandering around with tousled hair, complaining about being hungry.

It felt like she had become Alice in Wonderland, but since combing her hair by herself was praiseworthy, I couldn’t say anything. She didn’t tell me the reason, so I could only guess it had something to do with the magazine on the floor below Rurin.

Rurin was waiting for a response, snorting, so I nodded for now.


My words and actions were different. Then Rurin pouted.

“Let’s go eat.”

When I turned my back, Rurin followed me.


She was still pouting and looking at me. Her expression was like a sulking cat. Isn’t it a bit unfair for a dragon to make a cat face?

“Don’t you like it? But that book from your world said it would make me prettier if I did my hair like this…”

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