leg and handed it to him.
Taein stuck by the surgeon’s side while Kanghyun sat next to Jiwoo.
Gyutae began to concentrate and remained completely silent.
Seeing how focused the man was, no one spoke.

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Jiwoo worked hard to peel the anaconda’s shell.
Taein and Kanghyun were waiting like a couple of hyenas to pounce on whatever they could get.  With no work coming their way, they couldn’t take it and asked for a slab of meat to practice on.
Jiwoo willingly passed over a chunk of meat.

There was a sense of quietness in the swamp.

Beads of sweat dripped from everyone’s foreheads.
Before, they had been busily moving around to countless swamps, now, such a day arrived where they were fixed at a single spot.

“We’re still getting paid for this, right?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Can’t we do it roughly and call it a day.
Body firm seems to get all the good things anyway.” Kanghyun said.

“A job like skinning requires professional skills and is priced differently.
The price changes depending on the quality, not quantity, hence the surgeon receives a portion of the sales price.
If not, I would do it half-heartedly too.
Why else would I put in all this effort?”

“How much is that portion?” Jiwoo showed interest.

“I’ve worked on a giant anaconda that was smaller than this before, I think I received about 32 million won.”

“Huh? How long did it take you?”

“About two hours.”

“Mr.
Gyutae, you got a killer job.”

Gyutae laughed at what Jiwoo said.

“If you can do it as well as me, it’s a jackpot alright.”

Jiwoo had ruined three of the legs given to him.
By the fourth one, it hit him.
Kanghyun saw the color of the chakra on Jiwoo’s blade change.
He quietly shook Taein’s arm, which in turn made him look too.
Even Gyutae noticed the change in atmosphere and stopped what he was doing.

For skinning, it was necessary to maintain a steady pace and do the task in one sitting.
However, Gyutae couldn’t help but to place his knife down.

Mouth half open and eyes wide open, Jiwoo peeled the shell from the monster’s flesh.
The skin was thinner than a sheet of paper.

The surgeon was at a loss for words.
This was the first time he felt on guard with Jiwoo.
Gyutae didn’t say much until they finished.
The others assumed he was tired because he had consumed a lot of chakra in the process.

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But that wasn’t the entire reason.

Gyutae called Jiwoo shortly after the team split for the day.
Jiwoo found it strange for him to do so.

“There is something I’d like to speak to you about with just us two.” Gyutae had told him.

It seemed to be a serious matter so Jiwoo immediately went.
Gyutae was waiting for him at the park that had the view of the Han River.

“Mr.
Gyutae.”

The other man held out a can of beer to him.
Jiwoo accepted it but couldn’t calm down, fretting over what the man was going to say.

“Jiwoo.”

“Yes.”

“Kanghyun and Taein are really good people.”

“Yes, I know.”

“What I’m trying to say is… others won’t be like them.”

“What do you mean…”

“I take a lot of pride when it comes to skinning and chakra control.” 

“Yes, I’m already aware.
I can understand, I’ve never seen anyone handle chakra as precisely as you.”

“You will do it.”

“What?”

“You handle it much better than I do.
Chakra.”

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“That’s ridiculous, sir.”

“No, it’s the truth.
Comparing the shells we skinned, the fourth one you did was thinner than mine.”

“I…”

“That’s not the main point.
I only wish you the best.
However, others might not want the same.
That’s what I would like to speak to you about.”

“What?”

“Other people will envy you.
They’ll be jealous and despise you.
The reason why Kanghyun and Taein see you favorably is because they believe you’re still behind them.
Your low stats.
That’s what’s protecting you right now.”

“I’m not quite following…”

Jiwoo couldn’t grasp the situation.

“How should I put this? A seal? Something like a seal perhaps? When the seal is released, your growth will explode.
Once that happens, no one will want to stay by your side.”

“Mr.
Gyutae.”

“May I give you some advice?”

“Of course, sir.
You can say anything you want.” 

“Hide it, Jiwoo.”

“Sorry? Hide… what?”

“What makes you happy, what new things you can do, what you realize you can do.
Your talent.”

 “…….”

“You’re going to make a lot of other friends besides Hunters.
We will need to work on hiding your true self first.”

“You mean, if I don’t, I will end up losing them.”

Gyutae nodded.

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