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10:55 P.M. I safely arrived at Gangwondo's Portal Station with Chae Nayun. Thankfully, there weren't many people around. I put Chae Nayun down on a nearby bench. She glanced at her smartwatch and murmured.
"It's almost curfew."
Immediately, I became speechless. Going to Cube in her current state was ridiculous.
"Contact your father."
"You know why. Go get treated at a hospital."
I turned to the Portal, leaving Chae Nayun alone on the bench.
"To Cube. You can give my coat back later."
"Take me too! Hey! Aak!"
Chae Nayun tried to get up and fell forward. Looking at her pitiful state, I couldn't help but sigh.
"…You should really go to a hospital."
Chae Nayun clenched her teeth and glared at me. Her lips trembled. It seemed she really didn't want to call her father.
It was understandable. Chae Nayun's father was the head of a chaebol group. He was a busy and important man. Even though he would run over the moment he heard his daughter was hurt, Chae Nayun didn't want that.
"You have a butler or an attendant, right?"
"…Yeah, you can go."
Chae Nayun retorted curtly.
I walked towards the Portal employee, then stopped.
I suddenly remembered something. Today, Chae Nayun subconsciously unleashed her Gift. The magic power sword that cut down a Djinn in a single slash, that was the Gift Chae Nayun needed to develop.
"Hey, are you still going to use a bow?"
"What? What are you talking about?"
"You felt it today, didn't you?"
Chae Nayun's Gift was specialized for close ranged combat. More specifically, it was specialized for war.
As long as she had a conductor of magic power, she could amplify it tremendously. For example, her Gift could transform a 2-meter sword into a monstrous 20-meter sword. Furthermore, because magic power was weightless, the transformed sword wouldn't be any heavier.
In a way, it was similar to Sun Wukong's Jingu Bang. The only difference was that Chae Nayun didn't need a legendary grade weapon to display a similar strength.
Slaughtering hundreds of monsters with a single blow, an imperial might capable of making Djinns shudder in fear, 'Emperor of the Battlefield' would be the epithet given to her.
"You should be at using a sword, not a bow."
Just like in the original story, large weapons like zweihander or claymore suited her best. She even had the financial power to purchase the most expensive weapons.
"Oh yeah? What do you know about me?"
But Chae Nayun didn't know her future. She refused to even accept the idea.
The current Chae Nayun had yet to overcome her fear of close ranged combat.
I stepped into the Portal.
I could feel a resentful gaze piercing into my back.
She might be thinking, 'is he really going to leave me here?' But yes, I was planning to do exactly that.
The next day.
Just like the saying, 'nothing travels faster than words', last night's matter was already widespread.
Chae Nayun was attacked by a Djinn, and the Djinn was a cadet named Sven. Chae Nayun came out victorious, but she was seriously injured…
But even in the midst of such rumor, Friday's class resumed normally. My meeting with Kim Suho wasn't delayed either. He asked me to come to room 303 before 5 P.M.
"It's an important matter, so don't forget! If it goes well, it can improve your grade too."
After class, he reminded me once more. He should have heard about what happened to Chae Nayun, so he was probably planning on visiting her after the meeting.
I nodded. Kim Suho tapped on my shoulder and busily walked away. I yawned while looking at his back.
Since it was 3:30, I still had some time before the meeting. I wanted to go back to the dorm and take a nap.
But while I was talking down the hallway…
It felt like someone was following me. But when I turned around, no one was there. The presence was too calm to be a Djinn. Then was it an assassin? Why would an assassin be following me?
Was I mistaken? I took out my laptop and continued walking.
[383,013,160 points have been deposited. These points can be used in Violet Banquet or traded for cash. (at least 10,000,000 P required)]
Because of Violet Banquet's enormous fee, what was close to 600 million won had shrunk to 400 million. But there was no reason to think it was unfair. First trade with Violet Banquet was always like this.
[Purchaser 'Youngfly' has requested to talk to you. (Seller's nickname will show up as anonymous.)]
[If you have any more ginsengs, I'd like to buy them.]
I didn't accept his request. I didn't have any ginsengs to sell either.
I turned around quickly.
In a flash, someone hid behind the wall. However, my eyes could see through walls.
…It was a rather unexpected person.
With her back stuck to the wall, she was holding her beating heart.
"Hm, was I mistaken?"
To understand why she was following me, I turned back around. Then, I turned off the laptop. Using its black screen as a mirror, I looked behind me.
When I started walking, Rachel peeked her head out. Her gaze was fixed on my bag.
But why my bag? The only thing in it was a notebook. Ah, thinking about it now, this was the way to the library. The dorm was right next to it.
"…Is she trying to steal my notebook?"
No, a princess wouldn't do something like that. Besides, there wasn't anything worthwhile in it.
I continued to walk and Rachel tenaciously chased after me. She didn't stop until I entered my dorm.
"She really followed me all the way here?"
When I looked out from the dorm window, she was glaring at the dorm with a regretful face.
I walked into my room with a grin.
After taking a light nap, I left the dorm and arrived at room 303 Kim Suho told me about.
There was already quite a crew gathered here - Shin Jonghak, Yoo Yeonha, Kim Horak, and Yi Yeonghan.
It almost looked like a scene from my novel, Kim Suho and his friend versus Shin Jonghak and his lackeys. Even Kim Horak, who was the weakest one here, had a fairly important role until the middle of the story. I felt completely out of place.
They didn't say anything when they saw me, so I opened my mouth first.
"Why did you call me?"
I asked, pretending not to know. But just that innocent question was enough to make Shin Jonghak frown. Thankfully, Kim Suho explained before Shin Jonghak expressed his dissatisfaction.
"I haven't told Hajin why we're meeting yet."
"So, what is it?"
Kim Suho stood up at my question.
He should've just stayed sitting. His height made me slightly uncomfortable. I set his height as 185 cm. Now, I was slightly regretting it.
"Hajin, you've heard about cadets going missing, right?"
"It's about that. Cube entrusted us to investigating the cause. Of course, they're going to do their own investigation, but since it's likely that the culprit is a student, they think it'll be easier for students to investigate."
I was about to nod nonchalantly, but after realizing that this was supposed to be my first time hearing about this, I dropped my jaws pretending to be surprised.
"…But why me?"
"You have good eyes. I heard you can see over a thousand miles away."
"Well, yeah… I do have good eyes."
So it really was for that single reason? I feigned a smile and sat down on a nearby chair. As a result, Kim Suho naturally came to sit at the table's head.
Kim Suho looked into my eyes and asked.
"Will you help us?"
"I don't know if I can, but…"
I didn't want to give up on potential SP.
Kim Suho smiled happily. He then cleared his throat and brought up yesterday's incident.
"First, I don't think the Djinn who attacked Nayun is this incident's culprit. But…"
Shin Jonghak interrupted him.
He was picking at the fact that he didn't address Chae Nayun with her last name.
"…But I think there is a high chance that Chae Nayun is the real culprit's next target. Djinns follow their contracted devil's orders, so if Sven's contracted devil ordered him to attack Chae Nayun, it makes sense that another Djinn would go after her."
It was a good theory, but incorrect. Sven's contracted devil and the culprit's contracted devil weren't the same. In the first place, Asmodeus and Lilith had completely different dispositions.
"So I'm wondering, can you think of anyone suspicious? Someone you know who recently has been acting strangely…"
Before the real investigation began, Kim Suho asked for everyone's opinions. But no one stepped forward, and Yoo Yeonha was staring at me fixedly. Soon, Shin Jonghak and Kim Horak also turned their gaze towards me.
I knew the real culprit.
But I was hesitant to reveal his name without any proof.
The culprit should be leaving behind traces of his act, but he was going too quickly. In the original story, six people went missing in the span of two months, but in this storyline, three people had gone missing in just two weeks.
I felt guilty letting more people die just so I could wait for the story to catch up. At this rate, there could even be more victims than in the original story.
Perhaps, it was better to throw down his name, so the investigation team had an idea where to start.
"Yeah, I have someone in mind."
Five pairs of eyes became focused on me.
Kim Suho asked.
I slowly opened my mouth and spoke the real culprit's name.
…Immediately, a deep silence descended in the room.
No one seemed to react to my comment.
Soon, Yoo Yeonha's mocking laughter broke the silence, and Kim Suho gently rebutted.
"That person has an alibi. We already looked into him because he was close to the first victim."
It was obvious that Yun Hyun had an alibi.
"But what if the victim went to Yun Hyun on her own?"
"A mental magic that could lure a cadet? Yeah, that makes sense."
Shin Jonghak rebutted sarcastically. The contempt and disdain he had in his eyes were as if he was staring at an insect.
Just like Shin Jonghak said, it wasn't easy to lure a cadet with a mental magic. Even if it was possible, it couldn't have escaped people's suspicion. After all, people who were under the effect of mental magic moved like puppets or scarecrows.
"If it's mental magic, yeah. But…"
It was different if it was 'love'. That was the biggest difference between enchantment and mental magic. Someone who was in love didn't know oneself was bewitched.
"Screw the useless talk."
Shin Jonghak cut me off before I could finish my sentence. He then kicked an empty chair, which rolled towards my leg.
"As for me…"
At that moment, Yoo Yeonha made a dangerous smile. She slowly raised her hand and pointed at me.
"I'm more suspicious of you."
My head drew a blank. Because it was so sudden, I was lost for words and froze.
"Yoo Yeonha, that's not right either. Hajin also has an alibi."
Kim Suho quickly refuted the idea, but Yoo Yeonha easily rebutted him.
"His alibi is a record of him using the Portal. If he is a Djinn, tampering with something like that should be easy. Compared to senior Yun Hyun who was with others, that person is much more…"
"Why don't we beat him up first?"
Kim Horak hastily got up. With the way he cracked his knuckles and displayed his muscles, he practically looked like a miniature ogre.
"I'm sure he'll sing or transform if he's beaten. Hey, get up."
Yoo Yeonha and Kim Horak. Shin Jonghak and Yi Yeonghan.
Everyone other than Kim Suho looked at me with suspicious eyes.
As the person in the middle of it all, I was furious. This had never happened to me before even in a mafia game. So this was what it felt like to be falsely accused.
Should I not have brought up Yun Hyun's name?
No, even if I didn't, this would have happened anyways. Yoo Yeonha must have planned to do so from the beginning.
"Jonghak, I can break an arm or two, right?"
The ogre asked for Shin Jonghak's consent. Before Shin Jonghak could give his answer, I jumped out of my chair.
"Yeah come at me, you fat son of a bitch. I'll drill a hole in your head."
"…What did you say? Look at this crazy motherfucker."
Kim Horak raised his voice. I took out my gun from my back pocket, but Kim Horak only snorted disdainfully.
"Retard, you think that can make me flinch?"
Kim Horak positioned himself to charge forward. I also lowered my center of gravity. I had Aether. I could cook up some stupid pig whenever I wanted.
But at that moment, Kim Suho stepped in between us. He even had his training sword out.
"Now's not the time for this. Hajin, you calm down too."
I snapped back to reality, looking at the chilling flash on his sword blade.
Though I shouted in a grand manner, Kim Horak was too strong of an opponent for my current self.
'Don't get angry. If you get angry, it's your loss.'
After telling myself that, I took in a deep breath and pointed at Yoo Yeonha.
"You, if you're doubtful, ask Chae Nayun."
"…What does Nayun have to do with this?"
I was talking to Yoo Yeonha, but it was Shin Jonghak who reacted sensitively.
"When she was attacked by a Djinn, I was there too. We killed him together. She didn't tell you yet?"
I said so as I glared at Yoo Yeonha. She received my gaze in a perfectly calm manner without a single word.
"Anyways, I made myself clear. The culprit is that that piece of shit Yun Hyun."
After leaving those words to Yoo Yeonha, the 'final victim', I turned around.
In the middle of walking out, I tripped accidentally. My body slipped to the side.
But in the path I was walking, a fat boar suddenly flew in and smashed against the wall.
The charge was too quick for a boar and too destructive for an attack on a fellow cadet, as a crack appeared on Cube's reinforced wall.
"Oh? You dodged that?"
Shin Jonghak's lips twisted up in interest. That just now was Kim Horak's tackle. If it hit, I didn't think it would have ended with just a couple broken bones.
"You… son of a bitch."
Kim Horak stood up. For someone who attacked first, he sure was angry. I didn't have any other choice. I pointed my gun at him.
"I think I need to teach you a lesson."
But Kim Suho stopped us once again. This time, he did it with action rather than words. Magic power rose up from his sword and separated me from Kim Horak.
"If you're that suspicious, just ask Nayun! Yoo Yeonha!"
He shouted at Yoo Yeonha. Kim Suho's furious look even made the proud Yoo Yeonha shrink.
"…Wait one minute."
Yoo Yeonha clicked her tongue and turned on her smartwatch.
1. Jingu Bang is the magical staff used by Sun Wukong, which can elongate endlessly.