eaded to the plane's first class, tension filling up her expression.
That was because she could still hear the voice of her manager ringing in her ears even now.


“We have a VIP in first class, so don't you dare make a mistake! Got it?”


The manager said that to Lee Mi-Hye during the briefing held before the boarding procedure.
The thing was, though, even a whole team of directors from one of Korea's top five corporations wouldn't get such a warning from the manager.
In that case, how important was the VIP passenger riding in first class today?

'One mistake, and it'll be my funeral!'

If she made any mistake today, it wouldn't be the VIP but the manager kicking her butt all the way to hell! No wonder Lee Mi-Hye was walking stiffly like a doll to the plane's first class.


Out of twelve seats inside the first class, only two were occupied.

'Who's the VIP, then?'

As long as one had paid for a spot in first class, they all deserved to be treated equally well.
There was no changing that fact.
Indeed, offering a different level of service based on the passenger's status was unthinkable.
However, Lee Mi-Hye still couldn't help but get curious about the VIP’s identity.


Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy to figure out the VIP in the current situation.
Only two men were in first class, one of them was wearing an expensive-looking business suit.
However, the man—he was sitting on his seat looking like his soul had abandoned him, and his complexion was as pale as a sheet of paper.

“D-dear guest, are you feeling alright, sir?” Lee Mi-Hye wouldn't usually start her job by saying things like that, but the situation forced her to change her repertoire this time.

Jo Gyu-Min looked up at her in a daze.
“…Can you get me a glass of water, please?”

“O-of course! I'll bring it right away!”

After chugging down a glass full of cold water, Jo Gyu-Min seemed to have regained his bearing somewhat, and then he started to glare at the seat next to his.

'…Who's sitting over there?'

Lee Mi-Hye cautiously craned her neck to see and spotted a young man focusing on his phone's screen.

'…He's the one.'

Lee Mi-Hye instantly figured out today's VIP.
That young man in not-too-expensive apparel, with a style that didn't shout 'I'm rich!' in any shape or form…! The clincher was his young age.
Anyone could tell that he didn't seem to belong in first class.

'And that's why he's the VIP!'

The manager wouldn't have warned her if the VIP was someone that looked at home in first class.
In that case, this young man had to be the real VIP today.

She quickly approached the young man to offer her greetings.
“It's a pleasure to serve you today, dear passenger.
My name is…”

The VIP wasn't really attentive during Lee Mi-Hye's briefing.
When she finished speaking, the young man simply told her that he would call if he needed anything, then lied down.
He even closed his eyes as if he wanted to sleep.

'…Well, the real thing starts now, anyway.'

Indeed, the real battle would only begin after the plane takes off.
Her time to shine was when the passengers were allowed to undo their seat belts and ask for in-flight services.
That was why Lee Mi-Hye settled down on the crew seat and fastened her seat belt, then sucked in a deep breath.
Her service shouldn't be over the top, but she still had to be alert and ready to answer the passenger's demands as quickly as possible.

Lee Mi-Hye was determined to become a shining beacon for all flight attendants today.
But then…

She could only pout slightly while scanning the interior of the plane's first class.
In other words, 'ordinary' people would try to exploit this rare opportunity to ride first class by trying out as many different things as possible.
Being in first class didn't happen every day, after all.
The curiosity to enjoy the services on offer would be too strong to resist.

Not to forget, the information on first-class travel was shared widely online, so people would be even more compelled to try out the service as much as possible.
Thanks to those people, some flight attendants would be forced to cook as much ramen as the number of first-class passengers or hold an impromptu wine-tasting of ten different wines.

But now…

'…Why did they even bother to ride in first class?'

The answer was obvious, of course.
They had the money to buy the tickets.
Even if they had a ton of money, though…
Now that they were in first class, shouldn't they at least try to enjoy the minimum level of service on offer? The flight to Guangzhou would take around four hours, yet the two men riding in the first class didn't even bother to summon her once.

Feeling nervous, no, anxious, Lee Mi-Hye voluntarily went over to her passengers and asked if they needed anything.
However, they simply waved their hands and repeated the same words from earlier, “We'll call you when we need something, thank you.”

'Why couldn't they get a flight during mealtime or something?'

By a quirk of some unfortunate timing, this flight was in between mealtimes.
Which meant Lee Mi-Hye had nothing to do but sit and glare for four hours straight.

Just use me, damn it!'

This was another type of torture.
She used to think that passengers who made her sweat over every little thing were hell to work with.
However, they were angels compared to these two! Lee Mi-Hye had no idea that being tense and sitting still for four hours straight could be this torturous!

[All passengers, our plane has reached Guangzhou.
We'll be landing at Guangzhou's airport soon.
All passengers, our plane…]

Lee Mi-Hye sighed deeply in relief while listening to the announcement.

'Wow, they only drank water during this flight…'

In that case, why didn't they travel in economy class? To think that they rode first class just to get some water! Even passengers stuck in economy class would get that much if they asked the flight attendants nicely!

The plane soon landed, and the two first-class passengers undid their seat belts to disembark.
What they said in those moments nearly blew Lee Mi-Hye's fuse.

“Mm, we arrived pretty quickly.”

“It's nice to travel in something spacious, isn't it, Mister Jin-Ho?”

The two men exchanged banters like that while leisurely stepping off the plane.

“…Is this a new type of rude customer or something?” Lee Mi-Hye muttered to herself, then shook her head helplessly.


After passing through the customs, Kang Jin-Ho and Jo Gyu-Min exited the airport and headed to a nearby smoking area to get their nicotine fix.

Jo Gyu-Min spoke first, “I figured four hours would be pretty short, but after riding on a plane for that long, it sure was a slog, wasn't it?”

“Yes, it was…” Kang Jin-Ho nodded.

“In any case.
Where are we going now? I think it's fine to tell me now that we're here.”

Kang Jin-Ho switched his phone on and launched a map app.

“Huh?” Jo Gyu-Min frowned at the location Kang Jin-Ho pointed out.


“But, uh, why that location?”

Jo Gyu-Min was deeply stunned by this revelation.
Since they were headed to Guangzhou, he figured their next stop would be nearby Macau or Hong Kong.
However, the location Kang Jin-Ho had shown him was a massive mountain range located between Nanning and Guangzhou.

“…What’s the name of that place, Mister Jin-Ho?”

“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho pondered something before replying, “It's usually called Shiwan Dashan.[1]”

“Shiwan Dashan? What’s that?”

“It's also known as…” Kang Jin-Ho took his time before answering, “Tian Shan, the Mountain of Heavens.”

The place the demon cult used to call home—the Mountain of Heavens.

Ten Thousand Great Mountains ☜

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