I climbed a mountain, and from the numerous trees on its peak, I chose the tallest red pine to climb. From the treetop, I looked around. I could see everything within the horizon. Neither the densely packed pine trees nor the countless number of leaves could impede the Thousand-Mile Eyes.
Everything was within my sight – a young nameless cadet chasing after a wild boar, a second-year couple who were making out instead of hunting, Chae Nayun who was skillfully shooting her arrows, and Sven who was throwing pebbles by a creek.
Chae Nayun and Sven separated for their bet on who would hunt more wild animals. As such, Chae Nayun was focused on hunting, but Sven wasn’t. He was staring fixedly at the creek. It clearly wasn’t to hunt a wild animal.
But then, something strange happened. From the opposite side of the creek, a wild animal appeared. It was a leopard cat, one of the most common animals. Sven did not even glimpse at it, but a tentacle shot out of his back, flying towards the leopard cat like a spear and piercing its neck. The leopard cat was then dragged towards Sven on a skewer.
Clearly, it was Asmodeus’ power.
His hunting continued in this way for an hour. Chae Nayun searched for wild animals herself, while Sven killed any wild animal that came within a 300-meter range of him without moving a finger.
Then, seemingly because their promised time was over, the two of them joined up at the creek.
—A total of six. Three wild boars, one leopard cat, and two rabbits.
Chae Nayun spoke proudly.
—As you can see, I killed eight.
Sven smiled as he pointed at the wild animals piled up next to him. Immediately, Chae Nayun jaws dropped.
Chae Nayun approached the pile of corpses and confirmed Sven’s words.
—Wow, you weren’t kidding. How did you find eight?
Chae Nayun sat down next to Sven as she ruffled her hair.
—You brought them from somewhere, didn’t you? How much did you pay?
She joked as she poked Sven’s arm.
From my perspective, it did look like Chae Nayun was leading him on. In reality, she was probably doing it thoughtlessly.
—So now you have to grant me a wish, right?
—…Tsk, yeah. What do you want?
They had bet on a wish.
I was beginning to understand why Sven lost control.
Sven looked straight into Chae Nayun’s eyes. Then, he shook his head with a grin.
—No, it’s nothing.
—What is it? Tell me.
I took out my gun from Stigma’s extradimensional space. I was about a kilometer away, but I could snipe from here without a problem.
Wheesh. Aether adhered to the gun and increased its performance.
Why Sven went berserk made sense if he confessed and was rejected. Sven had fallen in love at first sight when he saw Chae Nayun at the beginning of the school year. In addition, Asmodeus, the devil Sven was contracted to, was the Devil of Lust. Endurance hardly existed in a Djinn with amplified emotions and obsession.
—I like you.
Chae Nayun frowned at the sudden confession.
—What are you saying so suddenly?
—…You don’t like me?
—Of course I don’t. It’s been, what, two days since we first talked to each other? You expect me to fall in love with you in two days? Well, maybe you did, but I didn’t.
Chae Nayun got up coldly. Sven drooped his head. He was only rejected, but his body was already beginning to transform. Black magic power was rising from parts of his body.
I aimed my gun at his head.
—Plus, I like men who are stronger than me.
—Yeah, and you’re much weaker than me, so I can’t see you as a man.
With that, the switch was triggered. Sven’s eyes turned blood red.
Though he managed to endure it until now, Sven was only an extra. And this was an extra’s limit.
Sven got up. Chae Nayun spoke without turning around to look.
—Yeah. So don’t contact me from now. I’m sorry, but I think cutting off our relationship cleanly will be better than staying friends and giving you false hope.
Sven leaned towards Chae Nayun. At the same time, I fired. The target point was Sven’s head. But the actual location of impact was his shoulder. It was because of the distance between us and the fact that Sven moved.
Sven must have planned to jump on Chae Nayun, but because of my bullet, he lost his balance and ended up headbutting her instead.
Chae Nayun flew forward after beating struck by Sven. However, she landed without shock with an agile forward roll. She quickly turned around.
Immediately, she saw Sven whose body had half transformed into a Djinn.
Sven glared at Chae Nayun and sent his tentacles after her.
I fired consecutively. One, two, three, four… I emptied the magazine. Even while she was bewildered at the mysterious support, Chae Nayun did what she needed to do.
She quickly jumped back to gain distance before firing her bow. An arrow penetrated Sven’s shoulder. But even with an arrow sticking out of him, Sven ran towards Chae Nayun and grabbed her head.
He then slammed her on the ground while shouting loudly.
—…stronger than you!
Sven sat on Chae Nayun in a mount position. Chae Nayun struggled and gathered magic power in her hand. In the blink of an eye, the magic power condensed into the shape of a dagger. However, Sven grabbed her wrist before she could make her move.
I couldn’t help her from this distance. Sven’s body was covered with reinforced magic power. Ordinary bullets couldn’t penetrate this barrier, but using a light bullet was also impossible. Because Chae Nayun was right under him, she would be swept in as well.
With no other choice, I jumped from tree to tree. At the same time, I changed the Desert Eagle into its shotgun form. I had to get close and blow up his head, which had weaker magic power reinforcement due to his incomplete Djinn transformation.
The 1km distance was shortened in a moment.
Landing smoothly on the ground, I approached Sven and Chae Nayun.
Sven had kept Chae Nayun alive. As I said before, Asmodeus was the Devil of Lust. It was clear what Asmodeus’ contracted Djinn would want to do.
Seeing Sven licking Chae Nayun’s face, I frowned in disgust and put the gun barrel next to his head. The coldness of the steel made Sven shudder. His eyeballs rolled towards me.
I pulled the trigger immediately. The shotgun shell tore through Sven’s head and messed up its inside. Sven flew away, screaming.
“Thankfully, you’re alive.”
I looked down at Chae Nayun. Her face was wet with saliva and there were wounds on her body, but she was alive.
Trying to fool around and dying in vain, this was precisely the special trait of Djinns of Lust.
When I reached my hand out to Chae Nayun, a tentacle came flying at me.
Aether instantly formed a shield and protected me from the first strike. But Sven flew towards me using his tentacle. He lightly struck Aether’s shield away and grabbed my neck.
It was an indescribable pain. As I was getting choked, I was deprived of oxygen. I couldn’t breathe, and I couldn’t talk. All I could do was struggle…
…My vision began to turn cloudy. I couldn’t feel my limbs. My body felt numb, but I didn’t see anything like my life flashing before my eyes.
My thoughts cut off and my pulse began to slow.
I closed my eyes. I was unfamiliar with the sensation of death.
—Let go, you bastard!
Like a bolt of lightning, someone’s shout woke my consciousness from falling asleep.
Chae Nayun was flying up behind Sven’s back.
She swung an incredibly long longsword. From Sven’s shoulder to his waist, the sword cleanly severed him in half.
Sven collapsed in two halves, and I gasped for air on the ground.
This was the first time I felt so thankful to have oxygen.
Haa… haa… haa…
After three big pants, I leaned against a tree trunk.
“Huu… Wow, what was that, a lightsaber?”
Then, I spoke nonchalantly while pointing at the longsword in Chae Nayun’s hands.
Chae Nayun had formed a sword purely with magic power. The sword blade surged with magic power, while the handle was calm without movement. I knew just how difficult it was to achieve this perfect harmony. Even Kim Suho wouldn’t be able to do it. It was only possible for Chae Nayun, as this was a part of her true Gift.
“…I don’t know.”
The magic power sword in her hands disappeared. Chae Nayun and I stared at each other silently.
The more I looked at her, the more I realized what poor state she was in. She was bleeding profusely from her wounds, and her clothes were ripped to shreds, revealing her underwear. I took off my coat and pushed it to her. But Chae Nayun only stared at it.
“…Are you okay?”
She asked a strange question instead of taking the coat like I said.
“…What about you? Are you okay?”
Chae Nayun collapsed as soon as she said that.
It was only obvious with how much magic power she used.
I flipped her over so that she was facing the sky and put my coat over her. Then, I stared at the spot Sven was.
Without a sound, without leaving behind a single trace of his existence, Sven dissipated into thin air. This was the death of a Djinn. As humans contracted devils using their souls as the price, they belonged to their contracted devil even in death.
The trees cried somberly.
Tomorrow, Germany would receive a tragic news.
Chae Nayun opened her eyes at the sound of ruffling leaves and the wind’s chilling breeze. The sky was completely dark. But before she could question where she was, an intense pain swept her head like a tsunami. Chae Nayun clutched her head. A pain similar to glass shards tearing up her head disappeared after tormenting her for a long time.
Once the pain died down, Chae Nayun collected her breath while still lying down on the ground.
Only then did she remember what happened.
“Was it a dream?”
Everything she experienced felt so distant, and she naturally wondered if it was all a dream. But the wounds on her body and the coat covering her told her it was all real.
Chae Nayun raised her upper body.
But at that moment, she discovered the silhouette of a man and shouted in surprise.
“Ah! Oh god, you scared me!”
It was Kim Hajin. Leaned against a tree, he was staring at his smartwatch. It was Kim Hajin again. Every time something happened, he was always there.
…Though, it was also thanks to him that she escaped from death three times.
“What time is it?”
“10 at night.”
“What? It’s curfew soon.”
Chae Nayun tried to get up quickly. But she couldn’t feel her legs. Wondering what was going on, she tried to move them again. Still, neither moved. No matter how many times she tried, they didn’t budge.
An indescribable terror swept over her, making her heart beat loudly.
“W-What, m-m-my legs, what’s w-wrong with m-my…”
“Magic power exhaustion. Is it your first time?”
“…Huh? Magic power exhaustion?”
Magic power exhaustion. Chae Nayun had heard about it. The dictionary definition was ‘a state in which a person was completely drained of magic power.’
Once a person completely used up his magic power, his magic power recovery rate would be lowered drastically, and he would be bedridden for at least two days.
After a short retort, Kim Hajin approached Chae Nayun. Then, he kneeled down with his back pointing towards her.
This incomprehensible action made Chae Nayun furrow her brows.
“Get on. You can’t walk.”
“Do I look crazy?”
“…Then what, you want to stay here forever?”
Kim Hajin’s look of pity was nothing short of humiliation.
But she didn’t have any other choice. She would be troubled without his help.
Chae Nayun wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled herself up.
Kim Hajin slowly began to descend the mountain.
Watching the distant scenery, Chae Nayun fell in thought, 'Sven was a Djinn. Then was he the culprit behind the cadets’ disappearances? Djinns were people who were once humans, so since when was Sven a Djinn? And where did Kim Hajin pop out from? Don’t tell me, was he constantly following me around?'
‘This guy… Does he really like me?’
Chae Nayun needed more time to process everything that happened today.Previous Chapter Next Chapter