Chapter 12. Change (2)


A blue sword qi rose up around the Seven-Branched Sword. The purity of the blue mana brightened up the sword’s blade. Sneaking a glance at Kim Suho’s Seven-Branched Sword, Chae Nayun asked.

“You ready?”

“Yeah.”

Meanwhile, I slowly backed off. There was nothing I could do here. Kim Suho would reveal his hidden power and easily take care of this Djinn. Overwhelmed by Kim Suho’s might, Chae Nayun would give up seeing Kim Suho as a rival and come to admire him instead.

“Support me.”

Fixing his grip on the sword, Kim Suho spoke.

“Support? Please, I’ll be one killing him.”

Rebutting playfully, Chae Nayun nocked another magic arrow.

“Guooo—!”

But before she could fire, the Djinn ignited his magic power. A jet-black evil qi hurled towards them like hellfire. But a single streak of light annihilated it. A Sword Saint could cut fire, wind, as well as magic power.

Chae Nayun’s arrow then flew through the lifted magic power. The arrow containing condensed mana then pierced through the Djinn’s shoulder.

Kim Suho didn’t miss this opportunity. Leaping up, he cut down diagonally with his Seven-Branched Sword.
This attack should have severed the Djinn’s flesh, immobilizing him.
But despite having his flesh cut, the Djinn smiled. Kim Suho instinctively felt that something was wrong.
Immediately afterward, fierce magic power shot out from the cut.
As though standing under a torrential rain, Kim Suho was swept away by the magic power. He didn’t even have the chance to scream. He flew across the museum and became stuck inside the museum’s wall.

“…”

“…”

Both Chae Nayun and I became speechless.
Strange.
Something was definitely strange. This shouldn’t have happened. After being pushed back for a bit, Kim Suho should have released his hidden power and overwhelmed his enemy…

“Uuu…”

Thankfully, Kim Suho got up. But he didn’t seem to be in a good state.

“Hey, are you okay?”

“I’m fine… Kuu.”

Kim Suho needed time to mend his wounds. Now, the Djinn was walking towards Chae Nayun. Her face stiffened.

Chweek—
Chweek—

Chae Nayun fired two arrows. But none of them were effective. Even though she continued to shoot arrows until the Djinn looked like a porcupine, he didn’t stop.

“…This isn’t regeneration.”

Chae Nayun murmured in a daze. Just like she said, this Djinn didn’t have high regenerative power. He simply had a sturdy body. In the first place, I didn’t design him to be an opponent Chae Nayun could defeat.

Chae Nayun’s face turned ghastly pale, as fear and horror began to crop up.

“Just support me!”

At that moment, Kim Suho jumped in front of her, blocking the Djinn’s path. However, the Djinn kept his eyes on Chae Nayun. Condensing his black mana on his arm, he produced a giant beast. A wolf-like creature bared its fangs as it shot towards Kim Suho.

“Uuuk!”

The Djinn fought Kim Suho with one hand and held Chae Nayun’s face with the other.

“Are we screwed?” I murmured.

By now, I had run away to the back of the exhibition. However, this place was already occupied by what seemed to be a father-and-child duo.

“…Go that way.”

“Y-Yes?”

“There, go farther back. It’s dangerous here.”

I could feel my voice trembling, and to be honest, I was scared to death.

“B-But…”

“While the Djinn’s too busy fighting, hurry!”

At my urging, the two quickly scurried away.
From my cross bag, I took out my laptop.
The Djinn in my setting shouldn’t have been that strong. What even was that arm? Sneaking a glance, I saw the Djinn’s wolf-like arm fighting Kim Suho evenly. I had no memory making such a setting.

Something, I had to do something. At this rate, both Kim Suho and Chae Nayun could die.
Unloading the magazine, I place a bullet on the laptop. My damned hands kept trembling.
With the laptop, I checked the bullet’s setting.

===
[Mana Bullet]
「Null attribute」 「Attack Power (3/10)」
—A bullet with condensed mana. It is much stronger than a gunpowder bullet.
===

It wasn’t enough. With an attack power of 3, even scratching that Djinn wouldn’t be possible. But would increasing the attack power be enough? That was another question.
Thankfully, there was a hint within my setting.
The reason this world required a variety of Heroes was the concept of ‘attributes’.
Depending on one’s attribute, an attack could have varying effects. Contradicting attributes like water and fire could allow one to overcome a difference in power to a certain degree.

Now, the Djinn in question clearly had a darkness attribute. What pushed back darkness was undoubtedly ‘light,’ and I could do exactly that.
I just had to change the bullet’s attribute.

===
[Mana Bullet]
「Light attribute」 「Attack Power (5/10)」
—A bullet with a condensed essence of light. Starts a secondary explosion after hitting its target.
===

[This modification requires 104 SP. Would you like to save this setting?]

It was expensive. 104 SP was 80% of what I gathered in the past week. But I still wasn’t sure if this was enough. Rather than falling short, it was better to overdo it.
I tried adjusting the attack power to 6.

[You do not have enough SP. The value will be adjusted.]
「Attack Power (5.6/10)」
[Would you like to save the adjusted modification?]

I hit save. In that instant, a white light erupted from the laptop before melting into the magic bullet.
A silver-white light glistened from the bullet’s iron casing.
Modification complete.
With only this single bullet loaded, I took in a deep breath. Then, I peeked past the wall.
Chae Nayun was still struggling to escape from the Djinn’s grasp, while Kim Suho was fighting the Djinn’s right arm. No, Kim Suho was pushing the Djinn back. We were at an advantage. It seemed he would defeat the right arm soon.
The problem was Chae Nayun. Because she couldn’t breathe or because the Djinn’s magic power was poisoning her, the area around her neck was purple.
Clicking my tongue, I jumped out.

“Hey!”

Then, I shouted loudly.

“Move!”

Without even turning around to look, Kim Suho rolled to the side. The Djinn’s right arm came chasing after him, but that only increased the surface area for me to hit.
With a slightly calmer mind, I pulled the trigger. A bright light flashed from the gun barrel as though a flash bomb exploded.
The bullet of light emitted pressure and heat befitting its brightness. Unable to withstand the bullet’s power, the handgun exploded in my hand. The gun’s broken components fell down, while I writhed in unendurable pain.
Thankfully, the trajectory of the bullet didn’t change. It flew along the intended trajectory, striking the Djinn’s left shoulder.

Bull’s eye.

A clump of light erupted from the Djinn’s arm. The bullet’s secondary explosion had detonated. The light disappeared, purifying the Djinn’s arm. The Djinn had thus lost its arm.

Chae Nayun, who was on the brink of death, fell to the ground.
Kim Suho didn’t miss this opportunity. A metal attribute magic power rose up from his sword. The Sword Saint’s all-severing sword technique finally activated. It should be limited to just once or twice a day for now, but that was enough.
I could just watch from the side now.

“… Hm?”

At that moment, a child approached me. It was the child who I met before. The child had a pretty face, but the short hair made it hard to identify her gender. Suddenly, the child grabbed my hand.
In an instant, my hand was healed completely.
I see, this must be the child the Hero Association barely managed to find. The child with the Authority of healing.

“Thanks.”

With a grin, I stroked the child’s hair.

Guuuu—!

At that moment, a deep growl rang out. I quickly turned my sight towards the direction of the noise. The Djinn, who had lost one arm, was gasping for breath while kneeled in front of Kim Suho.

It seemed Kim Suho managed to win.

“Huu…”

Feeling strength leaving my body, a sigh came out naturally.
I sprawled down on the ground.

**

“Gueeek!”

Chae Nayun, who just regained consciousness, was emptying her stomach with her face pointed down. From her small mouth, vomit continued to fall. The food she had yet to digest dirtied the ground, while pale yellow liquid stacked up around it.
Chae Nayun continued to vomit, as though she was coughing out blood. Looking at the horrific scene, I could practically feel her pain.

The reason Chae Nayun picked a bow was similar to mine. Though she acted manly on the outside, she was a sheltered lady on the inside. It wouldn’t be until much later that she would overcome her delicate nature.

“…”

Kim Suho approached her to pat her back. But Chae Nayun hit his hand away fiercely. Kim Suho reluctantly backed away.

“Leave her be. I’m sure her older brother will come to console her.”

I said so thoughtlessly. In reality, things would turn out that way. Her older brother would arrive first, then her father would come to clean up everything.
But it seemed Chae Nayun took my indifference as an insult.

“You, you… Gueeek!”

Her bloodshot eyes stabbed me. Did she want something or someone to blame? It was understandable. Unlike Yoo Yeonha, Chae Nayun was a real lady. Anything but the highest quality food would upset her stomach, and seeing a cockroach or a rat would ruin her mood for the whole day.

“… You.”

“I’ll head out first.”

Kim Suho tried to say something. For some reason, Kim Suho’s face was stiff. But ignoring it, I turned back. I also needed time to reflect.
The Djinn’s strength was far greater than what I had set.
I couldn’t understand why.

**


With a single swing, a thin blade cut through the air. But from the tip of the blade, an unidentifiable white magic power undulated, shooting out in all directions and obliterating all monsters.
A clean execution.
Yun Seung-Ah took back her sword and turned around. Her hair fluttered in the gentle breeze. Dozens of ordinary people, who watched her attack, were left speechless. In their eyes, an unshakable respect and admiration could be seen. Seeing the world’s most popular Hero attack would become a great bar story for a long time.

“You can rest assured.”

“Vice-leader!”

A coarse voice interrupted Yun Seung-Ah’s sentence. Yun Seung-Ah was slightly surprised.
The man who ran over quickly dropped a bombshell.

“A Djinn appeared at the National Weapons Museum!”

“… What?”

“You should head over immedi… What? What?”

But soon, he tilted his head and focused his hearing on the transceiver in his ear.

“… Ah, yes.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Um… Apparently, the Djinn has been taken care of. Three cadets from Cube happened to be at the museum…”

“Oh? That’s great. Who were they?”

“Kim Suho, Chae Nayun, and… Ugh!”

Before he could finish, a violent gale rose up, blinding him momentarily. By the time he opened his eyes back up, the Hero who had decimated dozens of monsters was gone.

Running at the speed of light, Yun Seung-Ah arrived at the museum. An ordinary looking man walked out of the museum at the same time. Seeing Yun Seung-Ah, the man flinched for a moment before quickly bowing down.

“Hello.”

‘Does he know me? Well, there aren’t many who don’t.’
Though something felt out of place, Yun Seung-Ah greeted the man without much thought.

“Ah, yes, did something happen inside?”

“Yes. A Djinn appeared. He just died though.”

“I see… And you are?”

At Yun Seung-Ah’s question, the man replied with a grin.

“I’m a cadet.”

At his word, Yun Seung-Ah was taken aback. She finally figured out the previous strange feeling she had. Though she was acting humble, Yun Seung-Ah was one of the most popular Heroes in Korea. As a result, most cadets would freeze in front of her or act nervous at the very least.

“…Oh, I see.”

“Then, I’m off. The ones you’re looking for should be inside.”

But the man who introduced himself as Kim Hajin walked away smiling without a hint of nervousness. Yun Seung-Ah observed him walking away for a moment.

“Who is he?”

Quite daring for a young cadet. But Kim Hajin…? I wasn’t familiar with the name. How did he know who I came for?
Thinking so, Yun Seung-Ah sauntered into the museum.

The inside of the museum was a mess. The tiled floors were full of signs of battle, and an ominous magic power still lingering in the air proved the existence of the Djinn.

“Nayun!”

At that moment, a vehement voice rang out from the entrance. Yun Seung-Ah turned back. There, she saw a middle-aged man looking around the museum with reddened eyes. It was someone she knew.
Chae Nayun’s father, Chae Shinhyuk.

“Chae Shinhyuk-ssi?”

“…Vice-leader Yun Seung-Ah?”

“Ah… You must be busy lately. It’s been a while. Should we go together?”

Pointing deeper into the museum, Yun Seung-Ah smiled.

*


A curved telephone pole and a car sticking out of a window, in this strange place that couldn’t possibly be normal, I managed to grab a bench for myself. Heroes were busily running around cleaning up the situation, but I was in a bit of a panic myself.

The story had changed. If this world was the world within my novel, this couldn’t have happened. Of course, an oddity known as ‘Kim Hajin’ had already intervened, but his role had been minimal. Everything had also been fine until now.
I most certainly had not done anything that could have affected…
Suddenly, a streak of thought flashed across my mind.

“…Ah, that’s right.”

I had forgotten until now.
I wasn’t the sole author of this story.
To be precise, this world wasn’t the novel I wrote.
To be even more precise, this world was the remake version of my novel.

“There’s a co-author…”

After thinking that far, an unknown feeling of emptiness rose up within me. Why was I so relaxed this entire time? Live a comfortable life? No, that was impossible from the start. Just like when someone stopped me from modifying invariable stats, that ‘someone’ wouldn’t let that happen.

Wiing—
At that moment, the laptop vibrated like a phone.
When I opened it, I saw a message.

[Flaw. There is no semblance of danger for the main character and others. If the story continues this way, the readers would become bored thinking, “The main character will win anyways.”]

“… This crazy motherfu…”

No danger? Of course, there was no danger. Readers didn’t like extreme danger! This thoughtless amateur…

However, there was another line below.

[Makeshift solution. Even if things become a mess, increase the power of antagonists.]

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FudgeNouget's Thoughts

Bonus chapter (6th chapter of the week)! A bit late because I kept getting formatting errors...