Reflectively, my eyes shifted towards the top of Eckliss’ head on the sudden rise of the system window. I opened my eyes widely.
The letter [Favorability 77%] that shone clearly on top of his head until just now had been changed to [check favorability]. Moreover, the gauge bar which been filled with white crabs had turned dark red.
But, even before I could comprehend on what had happened, a new writing came up.
The gauge bar displayed color instead of value.
In order to check your favorability, make physical contact with the targets.
Looking at the system window with shaky eyes, I managed to speak out. A tightly locked voice flowed out, as if it were suffocating.
“Give me that, I’ll wear this for you myself.”
I ordered. The corner of my mouth, while trembling, was lifted with difficulty.
Eckliss slowly took the hand off his lips. Chool— The necklace fell with a savage sound.
I received it almost as hastily as I snatched it with my bare hands. Eckliss bowed his head before me in a puckish manner.
As the rain-soaked brown top neared, the white letters [checking favor] and the dark red gauge bar were becoming more clear.
I slipped my hair down with my hands, hanging the necklace of pieces of stealing around my neck. Then again a white square window came to mind.
To check your favorability, pay [2 million gold / 200 reputation].
Would you like to confirm [Eckliss] ‘s favor?
[2 million gold / 200 reputation]
At the new option that was given to me, a scream broke out from my mouth without my knowledge.
Eckliss looked at me with a startle on his head. But I didn’t even have time to look back on him.
‘Crazy, does this make sense? It’s a gaming system. It’s…!’
I was thinking that far, but suddenly stopped breathing when I remembered that the same thing had happened to me before.
— Aah! Why! Why are you dying again!
— Ah-shi….Should I just buy it?
When I was playing the hard mode, I remembered how many times I had wondered if I should pay or not. Yes. This crazy game wasn’t a ‘total free’ game at all. The in-kind induction was very high, and I, who lived like a scrooge, almost fell for it several times.
I stared at the square window as if I were going to tear it to death and make a fool of the [2 million gold]. Because it was the first charging system, it was impossible to know how game money was charged.
Subtract [2 million gold] to check the favors of [Eckliss].
(Remaining funds: 98,000,000 gold)
With the new writing, [Checking Favor] above Eckliss’s head disappeared.
I checked Eckliss’ favorability and it had increased by 1% but I wasn’t the very least pleased about it. This was because I knew that the money was going to be deducted from the 100 million gold I won from winning the hunting competition.
‘No! My money-!’
I shook my clenched fists and gave a silent roar.
‘How can I make that money?!’
How could 2 million gold be lost in vain?
“Master….Are you… alright?”
He thought it was strange for me to stare into space without a word, so Eckliss asked cautiously.
“Don’t you like it, master?”
The corners of his eyes were drooping, oblivious. Only then did I see him with the colorful bone fragments around his neck over his naked upper body. Before I knew it, the favorability above his head, which was 78 percent, had been overshadowed again.
“……no, it suits you. I like it.”
I forced out a smile. Actually, I didn’t even know if I am making a proper face right now. My answer brought a gleam in the grayish pupil, which was inorganic.
“You’ve given me the present, so that’s enough. I’m going to go back first.”
I spit it out like a shot and turned around. As a result, the umbrella, which was over Eckliss’ head, also moved away. I shouldn’t have done that to the ML but I was so distracted that I couldn’t care less.
Eckliss caught me who was trying to leave quickly.
“Are you just going to leave like this? Can I have this?”
I turned around in a sudden. Shoot- The man who was exposed again to the pouring rain was staring at me with a pitiful look.
The spirit that had just left returned slowly. It occurred to me belatedly that the personnel reshuffle was too insincere.
I approached him again. His face was dripping wet. The drops of water may have hurt his eyes, but Eckliss looked at me without blinking an eye.
“That can’t be the end of it.”
I reached out to him and stroked him around his eyes, wiping away the jubilant water.
Would you like to check the favorability of [Eckliss]?
[2 Million Gold / Fame 200]
This was also a contact so a white square window just popped out. Ignoring it, I managed to play my part as a benevolent master.
“I told you I’d make you happy. I still have a lot of presents left for you.”
“I’m not doing this because I want to get a gift…….”
“Shh. This means that there will be many more days for me to come and find you.”
I quickly cut off his whining and abruptly whispered it to him.
“You and I are going to catch a cold if we stay like this. You should stop training now and go back to your quarters.”
“You’re gonna do that, right?”
When I asked for an answer, Eckliss finally lowered his eyes which were staring at me and answered me gently.
I smiled fondly, touching his under eyes and slowly sweeping down his cheek with my fingers. By the time it reached the chin, I removed my hand from his face and turned back.
Leaving Eckliss behind, it only took me a step and before I knew it, the smile on my face had washed away. Quickly going back to my room, I checked the gold box first. I had it placed near my bed and covered it with sheets regularly.
When I hurriedly unlocked the lock and opened the lid, a flash of golden light blinded my eyes. The gold coins are still well.
The level of gold coins which were once piled up and overflowed the box, was subtly reduced. I was the only one who knew right away because I looked into the box whenever I was bored.
None of the employees dared enough to touch the box that the mad dog loved especially after she just hit a brown bear. Furthermore, the key to the specially crafted lock with security magic on was only in my hands, so even the duke could not open it.
Then, this really meant that the system had automatically paid.
Peoookk—! I shook my fist over the piled up gold coins.
Now, I felt devastated that I couldn’t casually see the favour anymore, more so I had to pay using money or fame in order for me to see it.
‘Damn it, certainly there weren’t like this in Normal mode! But why!’
Puck, puck-! I banged my fist a couple more times and screamed.
‘And two million gold? That’s a dirty price, you crazy game!’
Since I have 100 million won in funds, I have 50 more chances to see the favorable impression. No, I had just used it one time for testing before, so 49 chances as of now.
However, I cannot afford to use my reputation fame recklessly. It’s only 400 fame now, and if I throw them away, my reputation will hit rock bottom again.
‘……that fame is used like this.’
In normal mode, fame was nothing more than a role in helping FL establish herself as a “real princess.” Used to win favor from the dukedom employees and other aristocrats, as well as the MLs, or to skip a simple mini-game in an unexpected quest.
I never paid much attention to it because it was increasing on its own just by me passing the quests. That’s why I gave up when I got here.…
“If I had known it, I would have saved it up.”
If I had known it in advance, I wouldn’t have gone so far when I went against the dukedom employees.
I swallowed a tear of blood and punched one more time. Hard mode was more than I had ever imagined no matter what you thought of it.
“Ha… …no, stay calm. Soon it will be 80%.”
I sighed deeply and tried to regain my composure.It was a difficult system set in hard mode anyway, and it was an inevitable task for me.
‘When I get back, I need to see the face of the producer who set this crazy level of difficulty. Of course with a gun.’
Thinking so, I closed the lid on the gold coin box. After locking it again, I got up and laid down on my bed.
I was so surprised and embarrassed by the unexpected system operation that I was exhausted. But on second thought, there was no need to be too pessimistic.
The ending with Eckliss was getting closer. With all concentration and all his might, wouldn’t his favority be able to raise up until 100 percent in no time?
[2 million gold] was only used to check his favorability in the future. Maybe I can get out of this goddamn place without checking it for another 49 times. The thought made me feel much more at ease.
“…… by the way, what the hell is that color?”
As I was reflecting on the contents of the system, I suddenly wondered.
Come to think of it, I forgot about it because I was blinded by the thought of losing money. The likability gauge bar also turned dark red like coagulated blood.
“How come it was such an ominous color……”
It was during I muttered out some unknown anxiety.