Rachel contacted the Royal Court as soon as she returned home. Then, she revealed everything that happened today to her butler.
That Lancaster had appeared and murdered the agent protecting her, but had returned without hurting her for some reason.
—Can you describe the situation before Lancaster appeared in more detail?
The butler asked with a serious face.
“Yes? Ah, um… I was in the middle of receiving a present from a friend.”
—By the way, Princess, you can use English when you’re talking with me.
“Ah, right, sorry. So um, about the situation….”
Rachel reported what happened in English. The butler rubbed his chin in thought, then continued in a low voice.
—Hm… perhaps Lancaster wants Princess to suffer the same pain he has.
Rachel tilted her head.
—Lancaster lost the people precious to him in the London Incident. He must want Princess to share the same pain. He must have misunderstood Princess’ relationship with this friend.
Looking back, it seemed fairly believable.
After all, Lancaster said he saw an ‘amusing’ scene.
“But that’s not it….”
Rachel looked at the bracelet on her wrist.
If that’s what Lancaster thought, he was gravely mistaken.
In Rachel’s mind, she wasn’t in any position to be intimate with someone else.
—Anyways, Princess, I can see that you’ve changed a lot.
“Eh? In what way?”
—In the past, you used to love eating and playing around like a child. But now, you’re calm and collected.
“T-That was before I matured.”
In truth, Rachel was quite playful until she was six.
But she was always responsible. Because she finished all her work before she went out and played, the queen, the royal consort, and Rachel’s butler could all only watch her with a smile.
It was only after that incident that her playfulness disappeared.
—Anyways, it’s getting late, Princess. You should go to sleep. We will let you know soon whether we will deploy another agent or hire a skilled mercenary.
“Yes…. By the way, did that agent… have a family?”
Hearing Rachel’s careful tone, the butler smiled bitterly and shook his head.
—No, he didn’t.
“…I see. But please treat him well. I will also participate in the funeral.”
Someone had died to protect her.
Although that put a heavy burden on her heart, Rachel hung up the call without showing a weak appearance.
However, she couldn’t prevent a sigh from escaping her complicated emotions.
Rachel took out her earphones to soothe the suffocating pressure she felt. After putting the Bluetooth earphones in her ears, she looked at the music app on her smartwatch.
[If – Kim Hajin]
[Now I Wish It Was So – Kim Hajin (karaoke)]
[You In My Arms – Kim Hajin (karaoke)]
[To J – what I sang (karaoke)]
On it were several recordings she secretly made when she went to the karaoke with Kim Hajin.
Thanks to Kim Hajin’s tender voice, she was able to deal with her insomnia to a certain extent.
On a side note, she also found out that she was a terrible singer through listening to her own singing.
“Today, let’s go with….”
Now I Wish It Was So.
Rachel hit the play button and hopped into bed.
[I can start tomorrow.]
Seemingly encouraged by my positive reply, Boss contacted me the next day with a new mission.
==Apprentice Mercenary Mission==
[Reward: 400,000,000 Korean won or an item of an equivalent value]
[Goal: Attacking the Djinn group Jehon’s human trafficking truck]
[Once every week, Jehon operates a human trafficking and human smuggling truck. At 10 P.M., two guarded trucks will cross the Weike Bridge. Attack them and rescue the hostages.]
The mission location was China.
To be more precise, it was a road connecting China to Mongolia.
It was a trafficking and smuggling route often used by Djinns.
According to my setting, the Russian region neighboring Mongolia was a lawless zone, where strength reigned king. It was also the lair of Djinns who committed all sorts of crimes.
However, this ‘lawless zone’ had a society of its own operated by Djinns.
Although the UN refused to recognize it, this place was called Pandemonium and had the size of a small city.
When classes ended the next day, I went to Beijing through Seoul.
Once I arrived in Beijing, I made sure to always have a mask and sunglasses on.
Northern region of Beijing, an intermediate rank danger zone where monsters often appeared, and a worn-down bridge built above a river.
I arrived there after an hour of driving.
“…It’s kinda creepy.”
In intermediate rank danger zones, intermediate rank monsters appeared with high frequency.
So although the region would have housed a whole city in the past, not even a single person could be seen.
I knocked down several short trees and blocked the bridge’s sole entrance.
Soon, I received a message.
[There will be multiple enemies, but not all will be Djinns. Some are people drawn by evil and became the dogs of devils, and others are evil people who lead despicable lives. These are your targets.]
Djinns were existences whose negative emotions were amplified through contracts with devils. As a result, weaker Djinns tended to commit harsher crimes, employing all sorts of methods.
Their instincts to become stronger and desires to be recognized weren’t being met, leading to rage and being expressed in pure evil.
“That’s nice to know….”
They were easier and less mentally burdening to deal with.
I looked around to find a cover.
The area around the bridge was like a desert. Although there was a forest nearby, the trees were all short.
There was no other choice.
I had to face them directly.
I got on my bike and drove about 600 meters over the bridge.
Then, I faced the bridge directly. The bridge and everything around it was in full view.
I checked the time.
Their expected time of arrival was 10.
I weaved Aether into the shape of a chair and sat down on it. Then, I took out a cloth and wiped the Desert Eagle’s barrel clean.
After about 30 minutes of killing time, I could see two trucks and four escort vehicles driving to the bridge.
“Here they come.”
I slowly got up and infused the Desert Eagle with Aether, transforming it into a vicious sniper rifle.
Holding the sniper rifle up, I aimed at the truck drivers.
The truck driver in the front seemed to be drunk or high on drugs, as he was snickering with an unpleasant face.
I had no reason to hesitate.
I pulled the trigger.
My clothes fluttered from the raging wind pressure. The bullet flew with great intensity, blowing up the truck driver’s head.
There was no screaming or howling.
The truck window shattered and the driver immediately scattered into black dust. The bullet still didn’t stop and even pierced the truck’s cargo compartment.
I ejected the bullet casing.
The next target was the second truck driver.
He was still clueless as to what was going on, making him an easy target.
I aimed at the second truck and fired. Immediately, a white bullet pierced through the truck.
With the drivers gone, the trucks skidded to the side and crashed into trees.
Only then did the escort vehicles notice the situation and come to a stop. The doors shot open and a total of 18 Djinns equipped with various weapons ran out.
Three with swords, four with spears, two with axes, three with bows, and the rest with assault rifles. I observed their movements as I took out a medicine from my pocket. It was a ginseng pill with its effects modified to my liking.
[Medicinal energy fills up your body.]
[For 5 minutes, all variable stats except magic power increase by 1.5 points.]
Only 5 SP was needed to make this modification. The low cost was likely because a permanent stat increase was changed to a temporary one.
I swallowed the medicine, activated the Under Armor’s Haste effect, and transformed the Desert Eagle into assault rifle mode.
In the next moment, I could feel my body swirling with energy.
After taking a deep breath, I stared at the incoming Djinns.
They were rambling to themselves. Of course, I had no way of understanding what they were saying since I didn’t speak Chinese.
To be honest, I wasn’t that curious.
“Shut up, will you?”
I aimed my gun at them leisurely.
Only then did they stop talking and rush toward me. Kicking up a cloud of dirt, they charged at me like enraged bulls.
However, within Bullet Time, they were moving like snails.
I first targeted the Djinns with the assault rifles.
Six bullets, each to their head.
As they were unable to use even magic power reinforcement, they couldn’t withstand the firepower of my bullets and scattered into dust.
My next targets were the ones rushing in with spears.
Although they managed to close in until they were only 200 meters away, they would be unable to step any farther.
However, they were clad in magic power reinforcement.
Although I was surprised, that was it.
Magic power reinforcement was different than qi reinforcement. The former was only a low-rank defensive skill that was the result of releasing magic power randomly.
Such an elementary skill could be easily broken through.
I fired three bullets simultaneously at the foremost Djinn.
The first bullet made the magic power reinforcement unstable.
The second bullet destroyed a part of the unstable magic power reinforcement.
The third bullet pierced through the gap in the magic power reinforcement and destroyed the body.
Only three bullets were needed to kill the spear warrior.
The world was still slow, and I was the only one maintaining a normal speed.
In Bullet Time, I continued to fire without stop.
Multiple sparks of light flashed from the barrel.
A barrage of bullets that slaughtered only weaklings.
I aimed like a sharpshooter and fired like a machine.
Just like that, I fired a total of 30 shots.
With exactly three for each, ten warriors were killed.
Not even a minute had passed since they got out of their cars.
Now, there were only two left, the two Djinns with bows.
They pulled their bowstrings courageously, but unfortunately for them, I only needed to flick my finger.
White light flashed from the gun barrel.
The two Djinns scattered into dust.
Time returned to normal.
Feeling a bit lightheaded, I slowly walked over the bridge.
Of the two trucks, I opened the lock of the right truck and opened the cargo compartment.
It was then.
A man charged toward me with a dagger.
Caught completely off guard, my head turned blank for a moment.
The man’s eyes flickered with killing intent and his dagger glowed blue with magic power.
But before it could reach my heart, a giant wolf shot out of my chest and bit his neck.
The wolf was the size of two adult men put together.
While the wolf was restraining the Djinn, I raised my hand and rubbed my chest.
I… wasn’t hurt.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
Although I wasn’t hurt, I ended up making a potentially fatal mistake.
I should have been more careful.
With his neck broken, the Djinn scattered into dust.
Next, I looked around the cargo compartment.
It was full with people who were presumably kidnapped. Their eyes were filled with fear and sorrow.
After sending Boss a message, I threw a smartwatch that a Djinn was wearing to them.
“The Djinns are all dead. You can use that to call Heroes. You can go home now.”
Then, the wolf that saved my life approached me. He was panting, seemingly asking for my praise, so I stroked its head.
At that moment, Boss replied back.
[Confirmed. We’ll deal with the cleanup.]
I stayed up all night at the Beijing Hotel and returned home around the time Cube’s Portal opened up.
For some reason, the dorm room felt warm.
Was it because of Hayang, who was lying on the couch, and Evandel’s ghost nightingales perched up on the TV?
With a thin smile, I walked into the bedroom.
Evandel was sound asleep on the bed.
I sat down on the edge and stroked Evandel’s head.
As I was feeling Evandel’s soft hair, I came to a realization.
This child has been my emotional support.
At the same time, I couldn’t help but wonder when I had turned so weak that I needed to rely on such a young child.
Only a year had passed since I fell into this world.
I reached this point after only a year.
Once I spent another 10 years like this and returned to Earth…
Would I be able to go back to how I was?
Would I be able to forget everything about this world like it never happened?
At that moment, Evandel yawned and opened her eyes.
She stared at me with narrowed eyes, then came into my arms with a warm smile.
“It’s Hajin. Hajin, Hajin….”
She murmured as she rubbed her cheeks against my chest.
“Oh right, Evandel, you saved me today.”
“Yummy, yummy food….”
But it seemed like Evandel didn’t care about that.
“…We can eat yummy food later. For now, sleep a bit more.”
I said as I rubbed Evandel’s back.
Three hours later, inside Veritas class.
Currently, I was slouched over the desk. Because I slept less than an hour, I was mentally and physically exhausted.
When I was struggling to stay awake, someone sat down next to me and tapped on my shoulder.
“Yo~ Kim Hajin~”
I could tell who it was by her voice.
It was Chae Nayun.
Still slouching down, I turned my head to the side and looked up at Chae Nayun.
It looked like she was in a good mood.
In fact, she was beaming with joy.
“You didn’t forget your promise for tomorrow, right?”
When I asked, Kim Suho joined in.
“You forgot, Hajin? We said we’d eat together.”
Only then did I raise my body. Looking at Chae Nayun, I spoke.
“I thought you said you were eating together with Kim Suho.”
“Uh… ah, didn’t I tell you we were all eating together?”
“I’ll be there too.”
Even Yoo Yeonha appeared and stood next to Chae Nayun.
“Jonghak and Yi Yeonghan will be there too.”
“Yeah, it will be for all members of the time travel group.”
Chae Nayun placed her hand on my head as she said that. Startled, I stiffened up. Meanwhile, Chae Nayun straightened my hair with her own hand.
Then, she smiled in satisfaction.
Dumbfounded, I glared at Chae Nayun. Even my mom stopped doing this to me after I hit puberty.
“Anyways, don’t forget to come. We’re going karaokeing afterwards.”
“But I’m busy that day—”
“Otherwise, we’ll invite you to a group chat.”
I furrowed my brows.
Please spare me from that….