the-greatest-estate-designer (NOVEL) - chapter 10
“I’ll cure your insomnia. How about that?”
Unconsciously, Javier clenched his fist. If he were hit on the head by a hammer in an untimely manner, would it feel like this?
“You know I have insomnia? Lloyd-nim? How?”
This chronic insomnia had begun to persistently haunt him from a few years ago. He had never revealed it before. No, he never told anyone. He also had no recollection of making it obvious.
“I don’t know what you mean.”
An awkward smile formed on Javier’s lips.
“Insomnia? I don’t know what you’re talking about all of a sudden.”
“Hmm, is that so?”
“Tsk tsk tsk, Javier. Are you hidding something from me?”
“Of course not.”
“But, why are you smiling? Your smile is totally awkward, too.”
“That’s the case, isn’t it? This is the first time I’ve ever seen you smile, not counting your scornful smiles.”
“Oh my. Look at him erasing his smile because he got pointed out. Yeah, it’s so obvious. Are you embarrassed? Tsk tsk tsk, what are you going to do with this?”
“I can see what’s going on inside your mind, so forget it. Let’s just make this clear. I’ll cure your insomnia and you’ll teach me swordsmanship instead. How about that? I think it’s a pretty good deal.”
Javier was silent. Honestly, he was embarrassed.
It was an illness that suddenly haunted him 3 years ago. The reason or the cause was unknown.
His senses became so sensitive at some point. The slightest sound of grasshoppers; The sound of branches swaying in the wind; Even the sound of him tossing and turning in his blanket. Every sound was audible to his ears.
All kinds of scenery were also visible to his eyes. Everything that touched his skin. Even the slightest smell from the air could be smelt from every breath. All information has been sharply entering that it was too much for his senses.
When he close his eyes, he could feel the blood vessels in his eyelids one by one. Even the sound of his pulse pierced his ear every second.
In short, all of his senses were tingling. It was just like getting poked around by needles 24 hours a day all over his body. He couldn’t sleep at all. After tossing and turning all night, he got so exhausted he barely fell asleep at dawn.
There was no solution. All kinds of attempts were useless.
It has been 3 years since.
It was a pain or a weakness he had been hiding by enduring it alone. However, it was quite the dilemma because it couldn’t be revealed hastily.
All he wished for was just to sleep comfortably for one night.
‘But he knew about that? That rascal? How?’
Javier’s expression was stiff and icy. Lloyd’s eyes glistened.
‘How did I know? I know because I read it in the novel.’
Javier is the protagonist of the ‘Iron-Blooded Knight’ novel. I myself had read the novel meticulously and remembered its contents.
I knew almost every little thing about Javier. The same was true about his insomnia.
‘You don’t know what’s the cause of the insomnia that has been bothering you until right now. However, I know.’
Sword Master’s syndrome. That was the cause of his insomnia.
‘As the level of his swordsmanship approaches the level of a Sword Master, all of his senses are abnormally sharpened. It is a natural phenomenon experienced by human beings who are in the process of transitioning to the superhuman stage.’
That was also the case for Javier.
He was only 17 years old when he became a high-level sword expert. At the same time, Sword Master’s syndrome had began. Since then, he had spent every night tossing and turning. Nevertheless, he wouldn’t know the reason for a long time. This only happened because Javier was from the countryside.
‘In rural areas like this, it’s already hard to find a mid-level one, let alone a high-level sword expert. I mean, if you look through the kingdom’s capital, there are only about three or four official high-level sword experts. That was why we didn’t have access to the information about Sword Master’s syndrome.’
If this was a world with the internet, the information would’ve been easy to access, just by utilizing ‘NAVER Knowledge iN’.
On another hand, this world is different. Knowledge is transferred through limited personal connections, books, or word of mouth, which is difficult to tell its authenticity. Other than that, there’s almost no other way to acquire new information.
Because of this, it was not until two years later that the novel ‘Javier’ realized the cause of his insomnia. And it’s not until another 3 years that he accidentally overcame his insomnia.
‘This means I’m going to push that part of the novel forward, I’m going to do it.’
I know how to do that. So I’m certain.
“I think it’s going to be successful. What do you think?”
“Do I have to answer?”
“Well, it’s not mandatory,” Lloyd said while poking and mixing the salad with a fork.
“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not forcing you to accept it, see? Just trust me for once.”
“Trust you, Lloyd-nim?”
“It’s a good thing. Let’s trust each other at times like this. Building a constructive relationship through trust; Helping each other in times of need. That’s how social life and life works, isn’t it?”
“Why do you look so sullen?”
“….” “Do I sound like a scammer to you?”
“A little bit, to be honest with you.”
“Am I that unreliable?”
“Yes.” Resolutely, Javier nodded.
Lloyd smacked his lips.
“Why don’t we do this, then? Let’s make an acrostic poem.”
“What do you mean with an acrostic poem?”
“Eh. We’re doing this to build trust in each other. I’ll do it after you start.”
“Then, we’ll try it with ‘그네 (geune)’. Now come on, let’s do it.”
“Will you believe me now, Javier, my faithful knight?”
“Randomly doing an acrostic poem. If you thought such a trick could work easily, then you’re mistaken.”
“Rather, I would like to ask you a question.”
“Huft, tsk. What is it?”
“Why are you carrying a book for summoning all of a sudden?”
Javier’s gaze turned to the thing on the table which was placed in front of Lloyd.
Basics of Summoning: Book for Mages. Lloyd was reading it while eating.
“Oh, this one?”
“I’m reading this just because I’m bored.”
“I’m just reading it. Can’t I do that?”
Javier shut his mouth. Meanwhile, Lloyd’s smile deepened.
“Javier, your intention is so obvious. Is this how you try to turn the subject of the conversation around?”
“I was just asking you a question.”
“That’s enough. Let’s finish what we were talking about.”
“So, you won’t believe me?”
“Why is that?”
“There’s no particular reason.”
“You just can’t believe me?”
“Yes, I just can’t believe you. Can’t I do that?”
A counter followed by a counter. Javier, too, is not a pushover. Lloyd chuckled.
“You think you’ve given me a punch with those words, don’t you?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Is that sooo?”
“Yes. I just gave you an honest answer.”
“Well, okay. Then I’ll yield to ‘today’s conversation’ right now.”
“Let’s finish our conversation tomorrow.”
Lloyd put the fork down. He had finished eating. After that, he leaned into his chair and focused on reading the summoning book.
He didn’t even glance at Javier. Of course, he also stopped talking to him, even when the maids cleaned the dishes and stepped back.
And that had continued ever since.
In the bedroom, only the sound of book pages being flipped could be heard.
In the meantime, Javier—with a slightly more complicated expression than usual—remained by Lloyd’s side faithfully.
The night only got deeper.
A few days had passed.
Meanwhile, the ondol room construction went smoothly. Under Sir Bayern’s proper supervision, the soldiers’ movement became more united.
The troops were barely able to move a sack of clay each on the first day.
However, it changed after a few days.
Their stamina had improved and their muscle strength had increased. They also got the knack for it. Now, they could easily carry 2 sacks of clay.
All of that was thanks to the proper amount of labor, rest, and nourishment every day.
The skilled craftsmen also acquired more skills. Just like a sponge sucking water; or like tangsuyuk3 fiercely absorbing the sauce whilst being fried. They quickly learned new knowledge and concepts from Lloyd’s instructions.
Thus, the construction of the first ondol was completed without a hitch. Starting from the second construction, everyone became more comfortable.
There was no longer a need for him to stay on-site all day long.
He just had to visit the site once a day. To make sure if they all were working properly, whether the construction is being carried out according to the blueprint, or to check if they did miss anything or made mistakes.
Just by giving a general inspection, the work went smoothly on its own. This allowed him to faithfully use his spare time throughout the day. His time was used to poke at Javier.
“Did you sleep well tonight?”
“Yes, I slept soundly.”
“You’re really a terrible liar.”
“Did you mean me?”
“No way what?”
“You know what? It’s so obvious when you telling lie.”
“What are you specifically referring to?”
“Do you want me to tell you? No, I don’t want to.”
“If you just tell me about your insomnia, I’ll act as if I don’t know anything.”
Javier momentarily avoided eye contact with me again while answering. As expected, this guy had no talent at lying. Lloyd smirked.
“I still don’t want to, though. I’m not going to tell the insomniac guy.”
“What the hell is this? I can’t even sleep.”
“Are you offended? Are you sad? Then you should accept my offer.”
“No, I don’t want to.”
“I’ll help you sleep better.”
“But I don’t want to.”
“Because you don’t trust me?”
…. It was like that every time I asked. However, Lloyd never gave up. Out of the blue, I asked Javier while having breakfast.
“Did you sleep well last night?”
“Won’t you accept my offer now, please?”
“No, I don’t want to.”
As I walked down the hall, I asked again.
“You know, Javier.”
“Please speak, Lloyd-nim.”
“Are you okay with continuously waking up from sleep?”
“So, accept my offer.”
On the way out to inspect the site, I asked again.
“Oh, that’s right. Javier?”
“How do you feel when you can’t sleep at all at night?”
“Now, don’t you think it’s time for you to accept the offer?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
Even during dinner, I asked him suddenly.
“…. Go ahead and speak.”
“Are you, in fact, actually enjoying not being able to sleep? Is it because of the rising endorphin? So you feel pleasure from it?”
“You’re a pervert, pervert.”
Even though I was lying down to sleep, I snapped my eyes open and inquired once more.
“You won’t be able to sleep tonight, will you?”
“I’ll tuck you in for a good night’s sleep tonight instead. Are you grateful? You’re happy, aren’t you?”
You know, ahjussi? Don’t swear at me with your eyes, just answer me please.”
“Phew. I understand.”
“You don’t understand.”
“I accept Lloyd-nim’s offer.”
Lloyd sprang up to his feet.
Meanwhile, Javier bit his lips.
He had enough of it.
Lloyd had been teasing him all day long and it was killing him. With all of his nerves on edge, it was impossible to doze off.
‘Of course, I don’t actually believe in Lloyd’s offer.’
Lloyd Frontera. He’s not very trustworthy.
However, what do I have to do if I want to stop his damn mockeries and questions? I think this was the only way.
“The premise is if Lloyd-nim really did cure my insomnia, then I’ll accept it. So, curing my insomnia comes first.”
Obviously, there won’t be a solution. I didn’t have the slightest expectation that Lloyd would have the ability.
It would be better to accept his offer and let him fail. If he would give up after that, it would be convenient.
‘Because I don’t want to teach you swordsmanship.’
I couldn’t believe in Lloyd. Just a few days ago, he was a person who was constantly drunk and had accidents every day.
Although he has been different lately, I don’t know how long this would last. It’s difficult to know when his bad habit will start showing its head again.
‘But to teach such a person swordsmanship? What a nonsense.’
Instead of that, it would be better to give a knife to a child. Thinking so, Javier then said.
“Then Lloyd-nim, please prove it first, that you can cure my insomnia.”
“Yes, good. Would you like to sit here first?”
Javier sat on the reclined armchair as Lloyd instructed him to.
I snorted internally. It was because I saw Lloyd clearing his throat.
‘You’re not going to sing me a lullaby, are you?’
A lullaby. That wasn’t even funny.
At the same time, I was convinced. Tonight, there will never be such a miracle where I get to sleep soundly.
However, the moment Lloyd began to open his mouth. His conviction cracked.
“If the strain of the reinforced concrete is 0.003 or less when the tensile testing5 is conducted by applying the prescribed stress of the steel equivalent to yield strength fy to the reinforcement, the designated strength of the reinforcement can be kept without reducing the fy.”
It was full of words I never knew.
He was just saying some things plainly. He was not even speaking in a mysterious foreign language. Therefore, he was talking in the same language as me, this country’s language. Somehow, I couldn’t even understand a thing. Besides, those words also continued endlessly!
“….. However, the yield strength cannot be designed to be more than 5,500 kgf/cm^2. This is because when the yield strength of the reinforcement is 5,500 kgf/cm^2, the yield strain is approximately equal to the steel limit strain, 0.003 of the compressed side of the concrete. And….”
Anyway, listening to it made me feel dazed. I’m sure I’m still in the real world.
I couldn’t hold on to my consciousness.
“And the amount of steel bars…. somehow…. except for slabs that require steel… this and that… the rebar P ratio has a given rebar cross-sectional area… this and that… minimum rebar ratio is Pmin=14/fy… blah blah….”
I felt drowsy. My whole body was pounding. My consciousness was slipping away.
The boundary between reality and the dream universe had become blurred.
Resistance was futile. Even when I tried to pry open my eyes; Even when I tried to wriggle my hands. Neither of them listened.
‘If I fall asleep… No, I can’t….’
“…. the fy unit here is in kgf/cm^2…. to the last detail…. and the reason it has a minimum rebar ratio… lalalalala.… is to prevent a sudden bending failure…. bending as well as 0.10fck•A or….. blababla….”
Reading his major’s book boasts more destructive power than sleeping pills. That’s all there is.
Javier’s eyes became relaxed.
Eyelids slowly closed; My consciousness flew away. Then, my whole body relaxed on the reclined armchair.
I fell asleep completely without even realizing it
A satisfied smile bloomed completely on Lloyd’s lips.
‘As expected. It’s exactly the same as the scene from the novel.’
One day, Javier accidentally overcame his insomnia for the first time in the novel. That day, he happened to hear a complicated magic spell being recited.
He fell asleep because of the slow-paced and endless recitation. Just like what happened just now.
Now, Javier had a taste of the sweetness of being able to sleep comfortably. He will never forget about it.
He will not be able to sleep without my lullaby service, which consists of reciting my engineering major’s subjects.
Lloyd’s smile turned delighted, but also wicked.
‘Now, all of your swordsmanship is mine.’