When God Made Me - Chapter 15
The Thing That Happened During The School Trip (2)
“Kids, wake up. We’ve arrived at Boseong.”
The students who’d all fallen asleep due to the 5 hour-long trip, began waking one by one at the teacher’s voice.
Stretching, Seung-ho also stood up and started waking the others up.
Thanks to the fact that they’d left early in the morning, it was only lunch time. The menu for lunch was grilled short-rib patties. Because Boseong was famous for its green tea fields, the green tea patties were said to be incredibly delicious.
The 7th class students got off the bus and lined up next to it. Seung-ho took a headcount like a proper class president and then stepped back in the group with Sang-wook.
“Wow, it really feels like the countryside here.”
“I know, right?”
“There are no high buildings; it’s all mountains.”
As soon as they went inside and took their seats, the delectable patties were set out in front of them, sizzling on the hot surfaces of flat stones. The meat cooked with a delicious smell that tantalized the nose; that image paired with the green onions laid on top drove them crazy.
“Check out the sound!”
“One slab of meat is almost the size of a notebook!”
“I better take a picture.”
The moment SNS-addicted Chang-min took an appetising picture, Geum-taek took a pair of tongs and scissors and cut the grilled short-rib patties into bite-sized pieces.
“Thank you for the food!”
The students’ chopsticks simultaneously headed toward the patties. One piece dunked in ssamjang popped in their mouths; another dipped with the speciality sauce joined it.
The rich juice and sauce flavours joined in their mouths, intensely stimulating their tongues.
‘It’s my first time eating patties this delicious!’
Due to the appetite of 6 growing boys, the grilled short-rib patties disappeared in a blink of an eye.
‘I have to come here with Mum next time.’
After finishing a satisfying meal, they hurried to the green tea fields. Since they were called fields, he’d thought that they would be spread out over the plains, but it looked as if they’d been carved straight into the mountains. It was the very definition of ‘staircase fields’.
“Are we going all the way to the top?”
At the female student’s worry-filled question, the teacher answered firmly.
“Of course. There are to be no exceptions in our class.”
“Ah, is this some kind of obstacle course experience?”
“School trip... this is a school trip. Since I’ve done mountaineering for such a long time and am a hiking veteran, it’s going to be hard for me to match your paces. The mountain is very high, so control your pace while you hike and don’t go off on side trails.”
As soon as he finished speaking, the teacher started up the mountain first.
“Woah, how are we supposed to go up there?”
“Honestly, it looks like we came here to hike.”
“We might as well shower in sweat, right?”
Seung-ho had similar thoughts. Not only did the inclination look incredibly high, the distance to the peak seemed very far away.
‘When are we supposed to go up there?’
Still, it was his first proper school trip. He didn’t want to complain that things were too hard.
As soon as he stood on the steps leading up to the green tea fields with the others, a half-transparent panel popped up.
Be the first to reach the summit with the green tea fields. Surpass even the homeroom teacher.
Reward: 15 points.
Strength flared up within him. With this, he had more than enough motivation to work hard.
“Guys, I’ll be going up first.”
When Seung-ho, who had looked exhausted just a second ago, spoke with an enthusiastic face, the kids couldn’t understand it at all.
“What are you suddenly doing?”
“Take it easy. It’s not like they’re going to give you anything if you’re the first to go up.”
Seung-ho laughed and shook his head.
‘You guys aren’t going to get anything, but I’ll be receiving something.’
Waving his hand, he bid his friends goodbye.
“I’m going. Take your time.”
Leaving the others behind him, Seung-ho started going up the mountain. He’d have to work hard in order to catch up with Teacher Ryu Han-shin, who had gone up using a hiking staff.
Seung-ho’s current stamina statistic was 13 points. It was just slightly higher than the average person. In times like these, stamina was more important than strength by far.
After running for a while, he caught up with the kids who’d lagged behind from the 6th class that had gone up first.
The good thing was that he’d passed all of the kids from the 7th class. However, he’d have to be in first place if he wanted to receive the quest points. In order to do that, he’d have to go up faster than Teacher Ryu Han-shin.
‘How far up did this teacher go?’
The other students were either resting on benches here and there or taking commemorative photos in between green tea trees, but Seung-ho had no such time to spare.
‘It’s a whopping 15 points.’
But the stamina, which had stood at just 13 points, was starting to tire. Wiping his sweat, Seung-ho asked the kids next to him a question.
“Guys, have you seen Teacher Ryu Han-shin by any chance?”
“He went by a minute ago, I think.”
As the female student answered, she couldn’t take her eyes off of Seung-ho’s face.
‘I want to be that sleeve that is wiping his sweat.’
Seung-ho smiled and nodded his head.
One minute was not much of a difference. He could catch up in no time. Although his breath was starting to shorten, he could handle it if he pushed just a little bit more.
After gathering his strength, he was starting to go up again when the female student whom he’d just talked to grabbed hold of Seung-ho.
“Can you give me your number?”
Those who are meant to succeed will succeed at anything. Who knew he’d get asked for his number while asking where the teacher was during hiking?
Seung-ho awkwardly entered his number in the phone that the female student was holding out.
“W-well, I’ll be going.”
He’d somehow initiated conversation naturally when asking for the teacher’s location, but he always became flustered in these types of situations.
‘Should I raise self-confidence, dignity, or stuff like that?’
He could think about it after receiving the points. After all, he’d need the points in order to do anything. He had been feeling frustrated anyway because he hadn’t gotten any quests since becoming class president, so he had to earn points today to make up for all that time.
However, desire and skill differed. After walking for quite a while and coming up to the middle of the 5th class students, his stamina was already at its limit.
‘It’s a waste to just let the points go, after all this.’
As he stood in place and was getting his breath back, a good idea occurred to him.
‘Instead of throwing away the 15 points, I could just invest points in stamina and receive those points back, right?’
It would have been nice if he’d thought of it earlier, instead of after he was already exhausted.
‘This stupid intelligence is of no use for anything except studying. Do I have to raise the ‘Tricks’ statistic or something?’
Grinning, Seung-ho invested 10 points into his stamina right away.
Name: Choi Seung-ho
Career: High School Student
Height: 186 cm (+ -)
Weight: 73 kg (+ -)
Strength: 35 (+ -)
Agility: 12 (+ -)
Stamina: 23 (+ -)
Intelligence: 21 (+ -)
Appearance: 41 (+ -)
Charm: 32 (+ -)
Luck: 5 (-)
Basketball Dribble: 4 (+ -)
Basketball Shooting Accuracy: 13 (+ -)
Basketball Passing Accuracy: 6 (+ -)
Self-Control: 2 (+ -)
Left Vision: 1.5 (+ -)
Right Vision: 1.5 (+ -)
Available points: 10
As soon as he raised his stamina, it felt as if the tiredness that had built up in his legs had washed away. With this, he could easily catch up.
‘If I don’t catch up, I’m doomed.’
Encouraging himself, Seung-ho diligently continued up the mountain.
As he was close to catching up to the head of the 5th class, he began to see Teacher Ryu Han-shin from far away.
He wasn’t tired at all yet. Contrarily, strength flowed down and into his legs. Who would have thought that raising his stamina by 10 points would have this big of an effect?
“I just got a message that the 3rd class is at the top.”
“Ah, that means we still have 15 minutes to go.”
“I’m going to die. When are we going to get there? Going back down is going to be hard, too.”
The kids in the leading group of the 5th class, who had been walking next to Seung-ho, were looking at their phones and complaining.
‘Thanks for the information.’
Honestly, with his current energy, he could handle 15 more minutes of running. It would obviously be hard, but he could rest when he got to the top.
‘Should I push myself one more time?’
Instantly, Seung-ho’s leg muscles felt a wave of energy. He quickened his pace, without running, and started back up the mountain.
“Isn’t he in the 7th class?”
“I think so. Isn’t he tired? It looks like he’s in a race or something.”
He heard the other class students talking, but merely smiled to himself and kept going. Since he was taking long strides, he could catch up to the teacher shortly.
The homeroom teacher had been about to greet him back, thinking that he was a student from another class, but was surprised to see that it was Seung-ho.
“Woah, how did you get up here so fast?”
“Hahaha. I kinda pushed myself in order to catch up with you. You’re incredibly fast.”
“Well, that’s because I climbed mountains with my father since I was a kid, joined and was active in a hiking club in university, and am now part of a mountaineering club and go up mountains regularly.”
“Woah. That’s impressive.”
The teacher wasn’t just any hiker, he was the veteran of veterans. That was why Seung-ho could only catch up after he’d raised his stats; if he were any other person, he probably would have given up halfway up.
“You’re no joke yourself, following me all the way here. The kids didn’t pick you as a class president for nothing, hahaha.”
“Thank you, sir.”
Seung-ho was bashful at the thought that he was getting recognised, but was proud at the same time. He wanted to talk some more with his teacher, but he had to go on ahead in order to pass the quest.
“Teacher, may I go on first?”
“Woah, what an impressive kid. Alright. Why don’t you try breaking the record?”
Seung-ho bowed his head and started going up first.
‘Good. If I just continue like this, I’ll get 15 points.’
After he’d gone up for a bit, the path branched off into two paths. A huge tree was simply growing in the middle of the trail; there wasn’t a big difference between the two paths. He could see from where he stood that the paths converged again after a bit.
‘I don’t think I need to ponder about it.’
Seung-ho continued walking wherever his feet went and took the left trail. As he took a few steps, he could see that the paths joined just above him.
However, something big suddenly rolled down from up ahead and attacked Seung-ho.
It was a girl’s scream. Seung-ho urgently raised his head and looked in front of him; a female student ahead of him was falling backwards.
Flustered, Seung-ho started to duck, but it was certain that the female student would be gravely injured if he did. He stretched out his arms and caught the girl as he fell backwards himself.
Seung-ho fell straight onto his butt, and thankfully the female student didn’t touch the ground at all.
“A-are you alright?”
Still in Seung-ho’s embrace, the female student was holding onto her ankle. At the delicate situation in which the girl was in his arms, Seung-ho blushed before he realised it.
‘Why am I -- in such a situation?!’
Just then, the girl’s friends hurried to them from up ahead.
“Are you okay, Ji-eun?”
“What do I do?!”
The student called Ji-eun was still in Seung-ho’s arms, letting out a groan and grasping her ankle.
“I think I sprained my ankle. It really hurts.”
Seung-ho had caught her when she’d taken a false step, twisted her ankle, and fallen just a moment ago.
“I don’t think I can go up.”
“Should we call a teacher?”
“What to do?”
The female students were crouching and either patting Ji-eun’s back or looking at her ankle. When Ji-eun tried to sit up, she realised then that Seung-ho had been underneath her.
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry!”
Ji-eun stood up with the others holding onto her, and Seung-ho stood up as well. His pants were stained with dirt and dust, but he could just dust them off later.
“Can you walk?”
“No, I don’t think I can walk at all.”
“It’ll be hard to go down as well. The way up and the way down are different here, so going down from here will be difficult with the narrow path.”
Seung-ho was worried as well, but he couldn’t say a word and just stood nearby, watching the scene.
Awkwardly acknowledging the thanks, he turned his gaze when he saw Teacher Ryu Han-shin’s figure in the area where the paths converged. Unlike Seung-ho who’d taken the left path, the teacher had taken the right and hadn’t seen the children at all.
‘It’ll be a problem if I’m passed.’
Seung-ho’s heart started to feel urgent. There wasn’t much of a distance between here and the top. If the teacher passed him a little more, Seung-ho would fail the quest.
The female students were still unable to do anything and were just letting out “What to do” noises. Then, an idea popped up in Seung-ho’s head.
“You said that we can’t down from here anyway, right?”
“And you’re hurt, so you can’t go up, right?”
Ji-eun sullenly ducked her head and answered.
Determined, Seung-ho crouched down in front of Ji-eun.
“Get on my back.”