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1.
My oldest brother is back

As the name suggests, Lee Bobae* was the treasure of the family.
Their parents, who had only three sons in a row, prayed for a year to get a daughter.

*T/N: 'Bobae' means treasure in Korean

A famous daughter from a family with many sons.
Lee Bobae's life was comfort itself.

Her family, who lacked nothing financially; the love and attention of her parents pouring onto her; and her older brothers, who treated each other moderately but spoiled the youngest.

Lee Bobae was a happy child, a happy girl, and was going to become a happy adult.

But, like almost everyone in this world, from one day onwards, Lee Bobae's life became a thorny path.

***

Crack Day.
On that day, cracks simultaneously opened all over the world and monsters came out.
People were swept into the cracks and disappeared, or killed by monsters.
The existing firearms did not work on the monsters, so it was impossible to even fight them.

Slaughter all over the world.
The collapse of the state and the destruction of civilisation.

Humanity seemed to be walking on the path to extinction due to the unprecedented events, but they survived.

The system emerged.
The system was the first to close the cracks in the world.
Monsters from the crack were also sent back into the cracks.

This prevented a greater tragedy, but not all cracks were closed.
Not all monsters returned.

The system contacted an unspecified person as if to solve this problem.

The person who came into contact with the system awakened an unknown power that could fight against the turbulent world and monsters.

The system that resembled a game window, cracks that resembled dungeons, and the power gained by awakened people that was similar to popular novels, movies, and settings in games.

Humanity had adapted to a rapidly changing world and overturned common sense.

The person who came into contact with the system and awakened his power began to be called a Hunter.
The hunter killed the monster and went into the crack to find missing people.

Social stability came fast, and change came faster than that.
Humans were crazy about new materials brought from monster corpses and cracks.
But they were scared at the same time.

The unknown world, the unknown existence, the unknown power.
Fear was the driving force behind action.

A study to know the unknown and to overcome the fear began.

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The era of cracks had now started.

***

On Crack Day, Lee Bobae lost her parents.
Her youngest older-brother became a vegetable while protecting her.
It was a common story.

The moment Lee Bobae's eldest brother Lee Gwihan appeared, the story became a little out of the ordinary.

Lee Gwihan was an Awakener who came into contact with the system.
Had it not been for him who had awakened into the battle world, Lee Bobae would have been killed by a monster while hugging her youngest brother.

Her parents died, and the house was swallowed by cracks after bringing a few things out.
Bank deposits were frozen and prices were soaring.

South Korea was one of the few countries that kept government agencies and security, but it did not save the four siblings.
Poverty could not be helped by the nation.

In the early days of awakening, Lee Gwihan joined forces with other awakeners to hunt monsters around shelters and near hospitals.
Then, as society stabilized, they turned to cracks.

Due to soaring prices and hospital bills, their house was sure to run out soon.
Awakened into the battle world, he was the only support for the Lee siblings.

Lee Bobae's older brother, Lee Gwihan, made a big decision at the age of 20.
He decided to become a hunter who directly entered the cracks to hunt.
It was the best option to cover the living expenses of the siblings and the hospital expenses of the third brother.

Lee Bobae wept and objected, but Lee Gwihan's will was strong.

Lee Gwihan was busy working without hesitation, going in and out of the cracks.
Every day he abused his healthy body to the point of screaming.

He had a good income, but his bank account was always poor because there was a money-eating hippo in the house.

Lee Bobae's second brother, Lee Haegi, couldn't bear to see him working so hard and tried to join the front lines.

The older brother blocked the younger brother.

“You're smart.
I heard that the college entrance exam will be held normally next year, so take the college entrance exam and go to college.”

“What good is college in this day and age?”

“What do you know, man? Learning is important in times like this.
I am responsible for the third's hospital fees and your tuition.
Trust me.
Our youngest pig princess too, trust me!”

Lee Gwihan was a wonderful older brother.
He did not give up on his younger siblings, even when it was difficult for him to even help himself.

So Lee Bobae thought her oldest brother was the coolest person in the world.

The second coolest person was the youngest brother who protected her.

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As promised, Lee Gwihan was responsible for the family's livelihood for two years.
It would not have been his desire to quit as the head of the family.

A crack in a crack, a strange phenomenon that had not been reported since Crack Day, swept away Lee Gwihan.
And he never came back.

His younger brother Haegi dropped out of college.
He must have wanted to wander all over the place to find his older brother.

However, his younger brother was a vegetable, and the youngest, Lee Bobae, was a minor in need of protection.
Now that the eldest son was gone, he was the head of the household.

Sadly, Haegi was not an awakener.
The living expenses of the siblings, his tuition, and even the hospital expenses of the third child.
It was an amount that Lee Gwihan, who was an early awakener, barely managed to earn regardless of whether or not he was able to afford it.

In particular, the third's hospital bill was not an amount that could be afforded by university dropouts.

Eventually, Haegi became a porter and a collector.
A porter was a new occupation that was created as hunters became accustomed to hunting.
It was the porter's job to slice open the monster corpses, take only the necessary parts, and collect the materials within the crack while the hunters went into the crack and concentrated on hunting.

Enter the rift with the body of a non-awakened person.
Since he literally risked his life, the income itself was not bad.

But it was only a glimmer.
Compared to the amount an Awakener earned, it was not enough

It was a small amount.

Even if he worked hard to save money and spend less, the biggest expense was separate, so life was hectic.
In the end, he used up all the savings he had saved, and his account recorded a deficit.

 

Should we be kicked out of the hospital and watch the third die? That time when the siblings were both worried.

Lee Bobae awakened.

***

“Miss Bobae, are you working overtime again today?”

“Yes, are you getting off work?”

“You always stay late.
Cheer up.”

Lee Bobae, who was sitting absentmindedly in the break room, simply bowed to her colleague on their way home.
They say cheer up, but how?

Co-workers who made potions at the company until they ran out of magic and mental power, without participating in dinners or social gatherings.

A senior who doesn't earn a lot of money and never bought coffee or food.
An employee who ruined the team atmosphere by voluntarily working overtime that was not compulsory in non-emergency situations.

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An employee who had not been promoted and had been a regular employee for 5 years.
That was Lee Bobae.

'It's bad.
Really.'

Lee Bobae rubbed her dry eyes and drank half a cup of coffee.
She hated herself for questioning a usual greeting.

'I wasn't originally such a twisted person.'

As life was hectic, the mind was also desolate.
She wanted to quit her job and take a break, but she couldn't.

'My third brother…'

Eight years have passed since the tragedy that hit the world swept apart Lee Bobae's family, and six years have passed since the day her eldest brother went missing.

The youngest brother lived without dying for eight years.
Without a life support machine, he couldn't last even 5 minutes, but Lee Bobae succeeded in putting her youngest brother's life together.

All thanks to her awakening.

Her parents died.
The youngest brother became a vegetable man, and the oldest brother who she trusted disappeared.

However, it must have been unlucky when Lee Bobae awakened six years ago.

She was not a combat person, but a production person.

Her occupation was an alchemist.
The only skill given to her was 'Potion Maker (Rank C)'.

Over the past eight years, a variety of occupations, abilities, and skills had emerged.
But strangely, no one had awakened a recovery skill.

There was no such thing as a recovery skill.
There was self-healing and regeneration of wounds.
However, there was no job or skill that could heal others.
Therefore, potions were the only emergency recovery method at the moment.

The nation gave ratings to the awakened.
Unlike the combat system in which the rating calculation was complex, the rating standard in the production system was simple and clear.

The skill level was the ability level, and according to that standard, Lee Bobae became a C-Rank alchemist.

A C-Rank should not be underestimated.

Even now, as the first Awakeners grew and latecomers were fiercely levelling up, Rank C was classified as a high Awakened.

Thanks to this, Lee Bobae was a member of the Four Seasons Guild, one of the largest guilds in Korea.

She was able to join as a full-time employee.

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There may have been a better option if only money was concerned.
However, the Four Seasons Guild had merits that went beyond money.

Best employee welfare in the industry.

Even if Lee Bobae's salary, additional allowances, and bonuses were combined, she could not afford the youngest brother's hospital expenses.
Because it was not covered by health insurance.

The Four Seasons Guild covered 70% of hospital expenses for employee welfare.
The hospital fees were also discounted by linking with partner hospitals.

Even after receiving such a discount and receiving support, most of the money Lee Bobae earned went to hospital bills.
That was why Lee Bobae was squeezing out her magic and mental power today.

What if Lee Bobae quit the guild here?

The youngest brother would die.

'Let's rest.'

Lee Bobae stumbled out of the room and returned to her seat.

All of her team members left work, and she was the only one left for her overtime.

'Of course.'

In this battle world, their income was not low, and most Awakeners earned more than non-Awakeners.
There was no need to dwell on additional bonuses, suffering from depletion of mana and headaches.

Once you've met your quota, it was better to focus on personal development or allocate time to social activities, family, and hobbies.
Everyone would think so.

It was stupid to neglect yourself like Lee Bobae and focus on family that had become vegetative.
This perception had been strengthened in society as a whole.

'It wasn't long ago.'

Before Crack Day, I could occasionally hear stories of people caring for vegetative people for decades.
Not anymore.
The scarcity of resources and the tragedy that engulfed the whole world drove hearts that could not give up on family into foolish regrets and waste.

From the guild's point of view, the money going to Lee Bobae's brother would be a waste.

It was obvious even if you don't see it.
It was a pity, so they were probably thinking about when to fire Bobae.

So maybe Lee Bobae wouldn't be promoted even when her juniors became a team leader.

The potion-making team, which started with only one team, grew into two, then three, and then four.
Her juniors came in later than her, but they became the team leader of teams 3 and 4.

Nevertheless, Lee Bobae was still an employee of the Four Seasons Guild Potion Team 1.

'Let's work, work.'

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