“It’s true. The grass was grown up to the knees earlier.”

There was still grass on her clothes. Above her knees she was clean and the bottom was a mess as if the garden that passed by was not an illusion and the rusty gate that she opened earlier…….

Nothing rusted…….

“What’s going on?”

“You know that better, intruder. Did you enjoy looking around the garden?”

The gun on the back of my neck was cold. A slim tall man stood at the end of a long barrel and the gun was close to the skin to make sure that he could blow away my neck just in case. I could feel the threat.

“I have a rough idea of how to use it. This gun may look unique, but it’s obvious how to use it. It seems that advanced magic technology has been used, but it is strange that no one has announced such technology recently. I’m sure you’ll make a lot of money so why did you do that?”

As the gun was pressed gently I could guess that he wouldn’t shoot but the sensation of the gun touching the soft flesh of my neck gave me goosebumps.


“I will listen to which underground organization developed the technology and why they aimed at this mansion. Please cooperate.”

“You really don’t know that?”

The gun was a basic item given from the start of the game. Although I raised my level, obtained various attributes and moved to new equipment from the beginning, I had affection for this gun from the beginning, so it has not been sold until even though I was using other weapons.

Anyway, everyone knows the shape of this gun, from the queen to a backstreet kid. It’s the gun that represents a Hunter’s weapon.

But doesn’t he know this? Who lives in a huge mansion and has a study of this size? Anyone who’s confident that they know everything about the technology that’s been announced?

An ominous premonition flashed by like a fire.

“What year is it now?”

“It’s 1837.”

How many people are memorizing what year the background of a virtual era-based game is anyway? Even if I hear the number, I can’t tell if it’s right.

“How old is Queen Harriet?”

Perhaps because he was still pointing the gun, the man answered easily.

“Her Majesty celebrated her 37th birthday this year.”

I remembered it as a quest just a month ago. The banquet celebrating the queen’s 50th birthday, envoys from all over the world, the disappearance of neighboring countries’ princes and princesses who attended the party, and all kinds of trouble during the massive event of her birthday.

“It’s 13 years ago. So you must be Count Avondale?”


I didn’t say that.

The man’s eyes narrow as if to grasp the situation and the gun on my skin twisted painlessly.

“Lord Avondale. Let me call you that. Everyone does it.”

The title of the nobility is quite complicated, but since I’ve been doing ‘Golden Claw’ for 7 years, it’s clear enough.

“Lord Avondale.”

“Esperanza. 13 years ago?”

13 years ago. A year before the day of disaster when Nine Hodder had a dungeon and monsters poured out. 13 years ago from the time of the game ‘Golden Claw’ that I played until now.

Now, there are no monsters in the city of 6 million people, the belly button of the world and there are no hunters.

I suddenly became the world’s strongest.

“Ah, you damn Golden Four bastards. Why are you doing this to me……?”

* * *

The rifle aimed at my neck remained the same, but my seat was moved to the sofa. It was better to move calmly because he can fire at any time.

I don’t know about ‘Lord Avondale’, but hunters can open their inventory at any time to get new weapons, and these long guns have a loophole that they can be incapacitated just by swiping the muzzle. That’s why it’s more useful in large monster battles with a long range.

“So, 13 years later, this will be an abandoned house, and I will die next year? Is that your argument? What will the cause of my death be? Heart attack? Traffic accident? Paoran addiction?”

“What was it……?”

‘Jack, I’m sorry I haven’t cherished you so far.’

I really don’t remember. He died 12 years ago, so the most likely thing is the monster situation. Although he didn’t seem to believe it very much.

“But do you smoke paoran? It’s not very good for you.”

“I know.”

“Oh, you smoke even though you know it. I see…”

“Your way of talking makes me feel like trash.”

My neck shuddered. I didn’t mean to criticize him. After all, one year later, he will die, and no one will say anything if he smokes enough to die.

“No, smoke a lot.”

“You’re going to die anyway, aren’t you trash? Is that what you mean?”

“Why do you keep saying trash?”

“Are you saying that my speech is not elegant? That’s true. You’re not well-dressed either.”

I was shot out of nowhere. What’s wrong with my outfit? It’s a game, but it doesn’t look good on me?

“Esperanza, even poor people don’t wear pants that stick to their legs like that.”

“Oh, no one will be able to say that in a year. How are they going to run away from the monster in a dragging skirt?”

Monsters were predators. Humans, who were proud of their magic civilization, were reduced to mere food. Their great architecture, luxuries coming from the colonies across the sea, and piled gold bars meant nothing in front of the fear of death.

“It’s pointless to judge the clothes of a person carrying such a weapon. But it’s better not to think about going out in that outfit with something like this. The officers will take you.”

He stroked the long barrel of his long gun as if pleased. His fingers were straight and long. The back of his hand with bulging tendons wrapped around the gun barrel still aimed at me.

“I’m very lucky to be the first person you met. I don’t intend to report it, whether to the police officers or a mental hospital.”

The round muzzle moved along my neckline while he raised his head. It was a good angle for eye contact. Lord Avondale’s eyes were gray, traditionally the eyes of the wise. Of course, it’s all prejudice, but in the world of games, eyes and hair color are important indicators for interpreting characters.

Gray eyes are really pretty.

“You have a place to go, Esperanza?”


I had money, but I couldn’t find a house because I didn’t have any status. There was a Hunter ID card issued only after the tutorial, but it was useless because it was dated a few years later.

“Do you have any more of these? I can give you a place to sleep.”

I realized that he was a freak.

Believe it or not, he was going to live with a woman who popped up in his house with a rifle? It’s an incredible insensitivity to safety but I think it’s okay to put yourself in danger a little for research.

It was good for Esperanza because she now had a place to stay but she wished she could go back to her original time right away through the front gate.

‘There’s no menu window.’

She didn’t even know that the same color menu window disappeared because it was covered by the red tree color of the study. The absence of a menu window means that it is impossible to log out. If it was a more shiny and conspicuous color, she would have noticed it quickly.

She couldn’t return to her original time or log out of the game and she hasn’t even received the quest so she desperately needed Lord Avondale’s dubious goodwill.

“If I give you more of that……?”

“I treat you as a guest.”

At last the gun came off her neck but Lord Avondale took her rifle for granted. Even if it was his from the beginning, it could not have been as natural.

“I’ll give you something better, so can’t you give it to me? It’s my first weapon.”

“Take out your weapon first and show it to me.”

I chose the cheapest and lowest level item in the inventory. He won’t know until he uses it properly.

“This is a sickle. While using a gun, you also use a sickle?”

“It’s not just a sickle, it’s a magic tool. Great Monster Magic Tool.”

It was rewarded for an achievement, so its level is copper, but it will be fine for research.

“That’s unique. All right, let’s go with this.”

My original rifle was placed in the inventory and Lord Avondale looked carefully at the figure and asked.

“Is it a magic bag? I guess that’s going to be available in about 10 years.”

“It’s similar, but I don’t want to give you this.”

“I don’t need it.”


NPCs used to carry magic bags, so the technology must’ve existed 13 years ago. It’s different from inventory, but I don’t have to tell him that.

“Let’s do these for now. Millen is late.”

“You just made him bring something weird.”

“Stimuler? Esperanza, is this your first time seeing a magic engineer?”

“It’s not my first time, but…….”

Even among the NPCs Esperanza met, there was the magic engineer Dr. Sullivan, an Einstein-haired, half-witted scholar. But there was no way to communicate properly with him.

He always sat in a large circular study or a laboratory where strange solutions were bubbling in beakers and muttered nonsense. However, he was quite useful if she could bring him good materials because he would reward her with big money and good equipment.

“He wasn’t the type to talk.”

I don’t know if Dr. Sullivan was a doctor 13 years ago. Maybe a graduate student?

“There are a lot of prejudices in our profession since we catch people and dissect them.”

Lord Avondale bent his eyes and laughed. Even with a scythe and a gun in one hand, he made good use of his original brightness. That made it sound like a very funny joke.

“Only the dead, legally.”

He spoke discontentedly. His eyes were fixed on the sickle, so he seemed to say, “If he’s not dead yet, make him a dead person.”

“Oh, yes.”

“We’ll have time to talk about prejudice.”

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