“You came to play?”
“Yes. I came here because I received an Earth 34 tour package from Attraction. I wanted to enjoy some peace since I'm here, you know? But then I saw you when I got here, and I was so happy to have met a traveller like me on this trip, but you just played dumb.”
I was at a loss for words for a moment. What? A tour package?
“Uh, do extraterrestrial beings come to Earth frequently?”
“Yes. More than 100,000 stop by every year, since Earth 34 is one of the best tourist attractions.”
"But we don't even know that extraterrestrial beings come here."
"Of course. According to the rules of the Union, it's illegal to spread civilization or reveal our identities on Earth, which has yet to reach Type III Civilization. There's no way humans will know how many extraterrestrial beings stop by as tourists. Of course, very few humans know about the existence of the 'Union' and have created a cooperative system, but they are literally very few of them." Celestia said all that in a really calm way as she drank her coffee.
“So how do you travel?”
"Quietly. Some use the local means of transportation like me, and others just go around the orbit on their own spacecraft. Don't tourists sometimes get observed on Earth too? Well, although we will get fined for being seen by a civilian below Type III Civilization and lose one-third of the vacation fee.”
“...Are you saying that the UFOs captured in the photographs are real?”
“Not all of them, there will be some fake ones.”
After listening to her, it seemed like it wasn't a big deal getting caught though it was a secret. Obviously, since the penalty was just a fine. Besides, that space union? Anyway, it seemed that not all humans were unaware of the existence of extraterrestrial beings since those who knew formed a cooperative system with them. My father’s acquaintance (?), the US president, might know about them.
“But what do you mean by Earth 34?”
“It’s nothing much. There are quite a few places that call their own planet Earth, so they numbered them in the order they were first recognized by the Union. It's been about 1,700 years since Earth 34 was discovered. For your information, up to Earth 30 has joined the Union. I think this place will reach Type III Civilization in about 150 years, or as early as 80 years."
She was talking calmly, but it was a really scary story. In other words, extraterrestrial beings have known about the existence of Earth since a really long time ago and have been flying above it; it was only because of the laws which they have established that they didn't invade or conquer.
I had always thought of myself as the master of hiding my expressions well, but I couldn't help that my expression stiffened when I heard such an alarming story. Of course I've thought a lot about this world and its existence. And while the existence of extraterrestrial beings had often appeared in my thoughts, I have never imagined this kind of world view.
“Hmm... it would be weird to ask you this at this point.”
Celestia squinted her eyes and asked, “Are you really a human?”
“Of course I’m a real human. I’m an ordinary human born on Earth, educated and raised in a normal way."
“And it's your first time seeing a spacecraft?”
“But you weren’t surprised by it.”
“It’s because of my personality.”
Celestia’s beautiful eyes frowned at my words, but it was something unavoidable. Even though I have a strange ability of being able to see titles, I’m still a human.
But Celestia muttered as if she didn't understand, “That’s weird. I thought you were a Noblesse or an Elohim when I first saw you. Well, that’s crazy. But I also thought you may be an Untouchable.”
What is that, you brat?
“In addition, you, Mr. Dae-ha, have also confirmed my appearance as a Vimana. Of course, the cognitive impairment device that’s installed isn’t that great, but normal people shouldn’t be able to see it. I can only think there is something special about you, Mr. Dae-ha. If you aren’t an extraterrestrial being... are you perhaps a mutant? I heard that there were quite a few people on Earth who investigated such beings. Ah, I also heard that there are quite a lot of superhumans. Are you a magician then?”
Her eyes were shining as if it was interesting, but it wasn’t at all for me. A mutant? Magician?
I got up from my seat.
"That's enough. I don't know anything about that world, anyway. I've been born normal and raised normally, and I don't want to be involved in that world in the future either," I stated my stance clearly. Fortunately, it seemed like she had approached me purely out of interest. Then, I would just have to reject her firmly.
"Oh, I can't believe you're leaving suddenly… Do I have to pay for it?"
“Of course you have to pay for it since you were the one who asked me to see you. You want me to pay when I was dragged here forcefully?”
She wouldn’t say that she doesn’t have the money to pay, right? She was a tourist, and tourists usually brought a lot of cash with them. Nevertheless, she looked surprised.
"Wow. Usually the guys foot the bill when they have a date with someone as beautiful as me."
It was bad enough that I couldn’t deny her words that she was pretty. But were they usually so upfront about it? I smirked and left the coffee shop. All right, this should do. I was relieved, but it looked like she quickly paid the bill and followed after me.
“What? Don’t follow me.”
I tried to walk faster, but she didn't care and started hovering around me. Come to think of it, her footsteps were really light. I was guessing that I wasn't at the level where I could shake her off even if I put in all my effort.
“Hey. See that woman over there?”
“Wow, what a beauty. Are they filming something?”
“And look at that. She has blue hair. The colour came out really well.”
Gazes started to fall on us even before we could walk a few meters. Ah, this is troublesome. Weird rumors will spread at school if I’m unlucky enough to have someone recognize me.
“Eh?” Celestia looked at me with a questioning look as I dragged her away and into a deserted park. Though we did attract the attention of many, it wasn't as if they were under hypnosis, so they did not follow after us.
I was a little tired even though I didn't go that far. It wasn’t physical, but mental exhaustion.
Celestia and I sat on a bench. Of course, I pushed her away as she tried to sit right next to me. I placed my bag between us which served as a wall. And then I started thinking.
Why did it turn out like this… How should I chase her away…
Though I had always thought that my mentality was similar to that of a clear mirror that would not be shaken regardless of the situation, this time, I could feel the anxiety rising up.
Yes, actually, it wasn’t only because she approached me. It would be a serious problem if she attacked me with malicious intentions, but she really approached with pure curiosity. A solution would come out after having a conversation with her.
The problem was me. I had known since I was young that I wasn’t ordinary.
That’s right, I am aware. An ability that allows me to see titles, this ability to read other people's private lives at will with a little concentration.
Although I had often thought of superhumans as people who were capable of shooting flames and killing people, in fact, there were a lot of things I could do with this ability.
Even if it was my first time seeing someone, in about five minutes, I could ‘classify’, and even ‘materialize’ the password for their bank account (Although it only works within five minutes on people who just came out of the bank).
I could check the mental state of anyone in sight, and reading their thoughts was possible. This ability could create worldwide chaos if misused. Of course, I had no intentions of doing that. I just wanted to live a peaceful life. However, this situation where I knew nothing about myself and this ability was dangerous.
Didn’t this girl approach me because she felt something from me?
Celestia stuck out her head in front of me while I was organizing the complicated thoughts in my mind with my head bowed down.
“Excuse me, do you hate me?”
I raised my head out of surprise, but Celestia approached me as much as I had stepped back.
Ugh, too close.
Besides, she was really pretty. Her voice was so clear and soft; it felt refreshing just listening to it. I might have become a fan if she saw her on TV, but that would be merely as a fan. I would decline if she told me to meet her. On top of that, she was an extraterrestrial being!
I slightly pushed her away by grabbing her shoulders and raised my bag between us.
I spoke firmly towards the confused girl, “This bag that’s between us right now is the line. Don’t cross it.”
“Wooow. You are not even a kid.”
I felt miserable when she looked at me with that are-you-kidding-me expression.
Ah, damn it. I’m being treated like a fool. A complete fool.
But there was nothing I could do about it. I had got to take a breather too.
I let out a sigh. I didn't even have the strength to face Celestia, so my eyes turned to my toes.
And I then spoke in a low tone, “I realized that extraterrestrial beings existed after meeting you for the first time. And I have never been associated with mutants or magicians since I was born, and I don’t want to be associated with them in the future either. So can you help me?”
It wasn’t anything hard. Celestia just had to get up, turn around and never show up again. But I flinched the moment I raised my head after having spoken like that. Her big and clear blue eyes were stuck close to my face.
“Wh-what do you mean?”
I backed off in surprise, but Celestia closed the distance. When I got a hold of myself, I realized that I was almost lying on the bench and she was on top of me.
“This is the first time a man has rejected me like this.”
“No, I’m not rejecting you…”
“Men aren’t able to resist me even if I’m a perverted serial murder instead of an extraterrestrial being.”
I was at a loss for words. Wow, what is this confidence?
But she continued on no matter if I was bewildered or not, “On top of that, shouldn’t men at your age be interested in these sorts of things? It’s not baseless at all, and it’s weird that you still try to evade me even after I have shown you the proof.”
Her words make me dumbfounded.
Right, she's right.
For students around my age, there were not many instances in our daily lives where we would find it significant. Students in South Korean felt fatigue and annoyance daily, rather than significance. It was merely a prison they wanted to get out of. They would only realize that this was the most comfortable time of their life as they aged, but that would be a story for next time. The students living in the present didn't understand the value of it.
“That’s right. You treat ‘daily life’ as important as a treasure. Just as if you have experienced something uncommon like a nightmare.”
She was sharp. She looked easy-going, but it wasn't as though she was brainless. Though she looked like a cute beauty on the outside, her youthful appearance couldn't buy me over. Who could guarantee that extraterrestrial beings and humans age in the same way? The girl next to me may be a hundred-year-old granny. On top of that, it seemed like there were a hundred serpents inside of her.
“Oh my, look at them.”
“They are so bold to act that way in a public space.”
I felt my hair stand at those mumbling voices.
Damn it, I came to an empty park but there’s no way nobody would come since it wasn’t private property.
“...Can you get off me?”
“Why? Does this excite you?”
I grabbed her shoulders without replying and forced her to sit down on the bench.
Celestia shouted such things like ‘Kyak! Pervert! Beast!’ as soon as I laid my hands on her, but I simply ignored her. My mind was on the verge of exhaustion by now.
“...What is it?”
“It seemed like you wanted to sigh so I just sighed for you.”
“How nice of you.”
I want to cry at this point. Just what is up with this girl?
However, Celestia laughed as if it was fun.
“Huhu, you are entertaining.”
I’m not. Not at all.
“...I should leave.”
I took my bag and turned around, and fortunately, she didn’t follow me this time.Previous Chapter Next Chapter