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Dream Breaker - Chapter 58

The Swimming Emperor(2)

The first-team players, who are the most talented athletes from the nation's sports universities, are selected as national representatives if they maintain their first-team status until the Olympics, which are held every two years.

But even considering that, the swimming event's first team treatment is exceptionally good...

"That's a lot of investment,"

Coach Jang Seon-young explained the reason while checking my condition.


"It's because Mr. Nam Hae-soo, known as the Emperor of Swimming, sends a huge sponsorship every year to the International Swimming Federation."


Nam Hae-soo, the Emperor of Swimming.

He is a legendary figure who has won the most Olympic medals among swimmers.

"So, Mr. Nam Hae-soo is also called the Emperor of Pensions."

"It seems so."

The more Olympic medals you win, the more your pension increases!

What an enviable life.

"But if that was all, he would have received more jealousy than respect, right?"

"Now that you mention it, that's true."

"Mr. Nam Hae-soo is using his vast pensions and assets to nurture his juniors. This luxury cruise ship is also his property."

"Wow... He's really an amazing person."

I felt ashamed, as I was only thinking of saving my pension regularly and using it as retirement funds.

"Moon-soo, have you fully recovered from your fatigue?"


It would be more accurate to say that there was no fatigue in the first place.

"...You really have amazing stamina. Usually, after a marathon, people sleep for days."

"Even athletes?"

"Of course! To shorten the record even a little, you have to pour out all your stamina."

They say the difference between an athlete and an amateur is only the time it takes to complete a marathon; the difficulty is the same.

In other words,

"I don't like it."

That's because it means I have to swim another 10km without enough time to rest.

It's a dangerous demand that could not only result in poor records but also the risk of death during a marathon if I were an ordinary athlete.

“Should I just skip it?”

“Can you skip it?”

“Nothing is impossible. You just have to ignore the athletes and coaches who keep repeating the word ‘doping’ like parrots.”

"Hmm... It's embarrassing to hear it every time I eat, so I'll just do it."

"Are you sure it's okay?"


"Don't overdo it. If you become complacent and ruin your health, you'll end up like me."

It was advice from a former national representative who missed a medal by a 0.1-second difference.

"I'll keep that in mind."

Splash! Splash! Splash!

Including me, the first team athletes soaked in the sea and lined up in a row, waiting.

'There are 25 of us... Everyone is here.'

Swimmers from relatively short events such as the 100m and 300m freestyle also participated without exception.


The coach on the lifeboat shouted through the loudspeaker.

"Those who aren't feeling well, don't be stubborn and speak up now!"

Although this advice is for all athletes, why does he specifically look at me and say it...?

I didn't like anyone except my coach.

'Just you wait!'

Due to the rule of two athletes per event, it's difficult for everyone, but I vowed to send at least half of the athletes and coaches packing to the second team.



"It seems there's no one. Get ready... Start!"

Splash! Splash! Splash!

As soon as the signal dropped, all athletes swam quickly towards the island.



The distance widened from the start, and I quickly became last.

'It's okay.'

It was an expected result since the top athletes of the second team were faster than me.

Let alone the first team?

They gathered only the best among the geniuses with aptitude. Endless effort, competition, the best support, and education were also included!

They were dolphins disguised as humans.




The female athletes who didn't feel the need to compete with me of a different gender started to slow down and conserve their energy.


My speed had been consistent from the beginning, so I overtook them one by one.

'It's strange.'

But the distance to the male athletes didn't seem to be closing.

Could it be that they have as much stamina as I do?

Just when I was starting to worry that I might have to go back to the second team,


The lifeboat, which had been watching from afar, approached.


"Over there!"

Splash! Splash!

Safety officers in wetsuits, who had been waiting on the lifeboat, jumped into the sea.

'What's going on?'

I was curious because the atmosphere was urgent and unusual, but I remembered that we were in the middle of a competition.

Splash! Splash!

I continued to move forward, cutting through the rough waves and currents created by the lifeboat.

For the first time, I felt my stamina being drained.


But at this rate, nothing can stop me, who has been revered as the 'Sea God' and even had a statue erected in the world of the novel <I Became the Youngest Daughter of the Count’s Family>.

Thump. Thump.

One by one, male athletes who were almost drifting in the sea and hardly moving forward appeared.



They could only helplessly watch as I overtook them.

'How reckless.'

Those who failed in stamina distribution became the ones who couldn't complete the 10km and waited for the lifeboat.

If the lifeboat couldn't find them or didn't come, they would be dead without a doubt!

It's an unprofessional mistake.


"I'm here...!"

When I arrived at the promised beach, I shouted refreshingly.

My coach, who had been waiting there, looked at me and the stopwatch alternately,

"Are you, are you human...?"

He asked a very rude question.

"What's the record?"

"...Did you get on the lifeboat in the middle because of exhaustion and then get off?"

"Is there a coach who would allow such a thing?"

"Do you want me to believe this outrageous record?"

"If you don't like it, quit. It won't change the reality anyway."

"How arrogant...!"

That's what I wanted to say.

'I've had enough!'

I glared back at the angry coach.

"Coach, whose name I don't know. Can you handle the statement you just made? What if I emigrate to another country and become a national representative because of you?"


"Do you think I can't do it?"

It's obvious who the country would choose between an Olympic gold medalist and an ordinary coach.

"...Athlete Kang Moon-soo."


"I misspoke. I'm really sorry."

The coach, whose face turned pale, immediately bowed and apologized.

"I'll pretend I didn't hear what you said today."

"Th-thank you!"

I had insisted on maintaining a gentle relationship.

However, my thoughts changed completely after seeing the reality of the first team and their excessive treatment.

'Medals are the best.'

The first team was a group of people who only looked at that.

Friendship? Camaraderie? Sportsmanship? Trust?

Swimming, unlike team sports like soccer or baseball, is a sport where everyone of the same gender is a rival!

So they don't even think about trying to be friends.


About an hour after I arrived, the lifeboats appeared one by one in the coastal waters.



The athletes who moved by lifeboat got off the sandy beach slowly, hanging their heads like criminals.

And about 30 minutes later,



The female athletes, who had reduced their speed early on and focused on stamina distribution, safely completed the 10km.

Coach Jang Seon-young, who was responsible for their safety, also arrived. Her reaction was as if she knew this would happen.

Of course,

"As expected of my son-in-law!"

It doesn't mean she was sulking because she had already expected it.

"Coach, if you keep making remarks that will make Seon-young angry in front of people..."

"It's okay. It's okay. You know, there's a saying that a mother-in-law loves her son-in-law?"


Until now, I, who had been hidden behind the prejudice of being a shaman, began to gain attention.

* * *

"Manager, didn't you say you were going home to rest?"

"I wanted to."

Seo Hye-joo, the manager who sighed deeply, explained the contents of the call she had with the International Swimming Federation.

"Is it about doping again?"

"You were too extreme. Anyone would be suspicious if you cut the world record by an hour."

"Is there such a drug?"

"No. Even athletes and coaches often misunderstand, but drugs don't enhance the body, they deceive it. It's not like your body is healthy just because you can't feel the pain with anesthetics."


Drugs temporarily deceive the body to push it beyond its limits and improve performance.

However, since drugs can't create non-existent stamina, there are limits to them as well...

"An ordinary athlete wouldn't be able to do what you did, even with drugs. They'd die of exhaustion without feeling fatigue, right?"

"That's scary."

"Endure it even if it stings."



The needle pricked my arm, and a small amount of blood came out.

"Endure it even if it feels bad. It's because you're special."

"There might be exceptions."

"No. Athletes do perform better than ordinary people in sports that aren't their aptitude."


"It's hard to find a connection between a shaman who exorcises ghosts and a swimmer."

"In order to catch water ghosts, stamina and swimming skills are important."

It was Coach Jang Seon-young's speculation.

"Oh! That's a plausible logic? The results of the drug test... As expected, they're all negative. If they still don't believe, report them for defamation."

"Do I have to...?"

"Compensation for damages is quite a lot, you know?"

"Then I should do it!"

"Excuse me..."

An official from the International Swimming Federation, who had been quietly monitoring us from behind, suddenly interrupted our conversation.

"Did you find any cheating?"

"It's not that, but..."

The official frowned at Seo Hye-joo's question.

"Talking about defamation of the federation, which strives to prevent illegality and promote fairness and common sense... Isn't that too disrespectful to us?"

"Do you want us to treat you as non-existent?"

"...I meant you shouldn't feel burdened by this."

"So, are you satisfied?"

"Of course. The International Swimming Federation recognizes the record of Kang Moon-soo, who was suspected of doping. Kang Moon-soo, I apologize for any inconvenience."

"Hmm... Yes."

I decided not to mention it any further in response to the official's polite apology. It was a problem that arose because my record was too good.

I decided to leave a debt of gratitude to the International Swimming Federation.

"The federation classifies athletes with a high probability of winning Olympic medals as the 0th team and provides various privileges."


A measure to prevent excellent athletes from being taken by other countries.

"However... This is the first case where a medal is guaranteed like Kang Moon-soo, so we need an internal meeting."

Not just probable, but confirmed!

As long as there are no health issues, winning the gold medal in the 10km freestyle swimming marathon is almost a given.

"I feel burdened for no reason."

"We'll try our best to accommodate Kang Moon-soo. Oh! We can replace the coach immediately if needed."

"I like Coach Jang Seon-young."

She is more like a caring sister than a coach. The only downside is that she is the mother of Song Seon-young!

"I see... Oh! Ms. Seo Hye-joo, I'll see you separately when the Emperor arrives."


As soon as the International Swimming Federation official finished speaking, he left quickly.

And I asked,

"Manager, is the Emperor coming to this island?"

"I was going to talk to you about that."

"Why me? I suddenly feel creepy..."

"You must have heard the name of the Swimming Emperor, Nam Hae-soo, at least once, right?"


I recently heard it from Coach Jang Seon-young.

Thanks to the Emperor's sponsorship, swimming receives relatively higher treatment compared to other sports' first-team athletes...

The buffet on the luxury cruise ship turned me into a happy pig.

'I must thank him when he comes!'

I was looking forward to it.

"When is he coming?"

"It's hard for him to move around, so it'll take quite a while."

"Huh! What's wrong with him?"

I was worried to hear that a great person was in pain.

"We'll have to diagnose it to find out... But it's better to be prepared in advance."

"No way...?"

"Aren't you curious? What kind of dream does the Swimming Emperor have?"

"I'm not curious at all."

"Maybe he will be born as a dolphin..."

"Manager, please don't say such ominous things. How can I persuade a dolphin?"

I prayed that it wouldn't be true.

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