Chapter 45. After the Trouble (1)


‘Destructive power amplification shotgun shell’ – 50 SP each.
Although I used ordinary bullets against Chrome Wolves, I used five of these special bullets to break down the wall and kill the assassin. In other words, I had consumed 250 SP in less than a minute. It was a necessary expenditure to break down the examination room’s wall, and since I managed to save Rachel, I didn’t particularly regret it.

“Um…”

I reached out to Rachel, who was collapsed on the ground. She stared at my hand blankly before getting up by herself. I pulled my hand back and awkwardly scratched my cheek.

“…”

Rachel stared at the broken down wall to her right. The examination room’s reinforced wall was in a sorry state because of my shotgun shells.

“Oh, the mana barrier disappeared when the electricity went out.”

I made an excuse because her gaze pricked at my conscience.
Rachel’s eyes rolled and landed on my shotgun. I hurriedly stuffed it in my bag, but it didn’t fit because of its size. I quickly turned around and changed it to its handgun form before putting it away.

“R-Rather than that…”

I looked at Rachel’s body. She was riddled with wounds, and she was bleeding to a worrying degree.
I should be concerned about her safety, but for some reason, I thought of Evandel’s Seed first. Rachel’s blood would be the perfect nourishment for it.

“You’re hurt.”

I took off the belt bag around my waist. To give a brief explanation about this belt bag, it was an all-purpose emergency kit created with the combination of all my fears and apprehension.
Antidotes, potions, painkillers, tranquilizers, bandages, gauzes… all sorts of medicine and medicinal supplies were in this bag. Of course, recovery potions, namely the ‘external wound recovery potion’, were also included in it.
Although recovery potions were a bit on the expensive side, they were cheap compared to what Rachel’s blood was worth.

“Here, it’s an external wound recovery potion.”

When I gave her a glass bottle containing a red liquid, Rachel’s eyes widened in surprise.

“Before I put it on, I’ll wipe off your blood first.”

Because I was nervous, I felt my lips going dry. I wet my lips with saliva before asking, “May I?”

“….” 

Rachel nodded. She had given me permission.
First, I took out a gauze from my belt bag and wiped the blood flowing down from her wounded left arm. As I took out more gauzes, I kept the used ones stacked on top of each other without throwing them away. Once her arm was mostly clean of blood, I wet a gauze with the potion before applying it to her skin.

Immediately, Rachel clenched her teeth. Potions had a stinging sensation when applied over the skin, kind of like antiseptics.
I planned to heal her left arm first, but Rachel suddenly grabbed me.
She spoke for the first time since we met.

“…Here first.”

With that, she showed me her right wrist.
It was a serious wound. Her flesh and muscles were cut off entirely and her bones were showing. If the cut was just slightly deeper, her wrist would have been severed. But surprisingly, there was no blood coming out of the wound. It seemed Rachel was blocking the wound with her magic power.

“Ah! You should have told me earlier!”

I was genuinely shocked. She seemed to have only suffered light cuts and scratches, so I was focused on her blood and missed that she had a wound that needed immediate treatment.

“Any later and you would have had to give up on using a rapier forever.”

Despite costing 7 million won, external wound recovery potions weren’t omnipotent. Sensitive areas like a person's nerves had to be treated immediately. Otherwise, not even the Authority of Healing could do anything about it.

“It’s going to sting. A lot.”

I poured the rest of the potion over her wound and wrapped a bandage over it.

“Aaak.”

The pain must have been intense, but Rachel endured it with only a short groan. I put three layers of bandages over her wound. With this, the treatment was complete.
When I let go of her arm, Rachel crouched down on the ground and rolled her feet. It was easy to see that she was struggling to endure the pain.

I picked up the bloodied stack of gauzes and put them into my cross bag.
While I waited for Rachel to recover, I turned on my laptop. A settings change alert was there as I expected.

[Lancaster Alex]
[Worsened attachment to his lost family. His rage has also been deepened. There is an increased chance of him attacking Rachel whenever he has the opportunity.]
[Potential changed from 7.5 to 8.5 to serve as a greater threat.]

“Hm….”

Lancaster Alex.
He was one of the characters I created in relation to England. As an antagonist who appeared in the middle stage of the story, his goal was to topple England’s government.
Such a dangerous antagonist had gotten stronger and appeared earlier than intended. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

If I knew this would happen, I would have created more righteous characters.
Of course, there were plenty of other righteous characters. For Rachel, there was a secret service agent from MI6 named James Jone. As he was based on the ‘agent’ that everyone knew, his love and loyalty for his country was unshakable.

“…Hua.”

A faint breathing sound rang out. I looked at Rachel. She was covered in sweat, but she must have overcome the pain, as she looked much better than before.
Rachel staggered up slowly and bowed at me.

“Thank you.”

“Ah…”

Suddenly, electricity came back on and the darkness shrouding the room disappeared. Naturally, our conversation was put on hold.
Rachel and I walked to the door.
Holding the doorknob, we slowly pushed it open. Though it was tightly shut before, it opened without a problem this time.

After leaving the room, I stared at the examination rooms on the other side of the wall. It seemed the other two cadets were unable to escape in time, as their corpses were lying on the ground.
A mixed feeling came over me, but I knew I couldn’t have done anything about it.
I led Rachel and began to walk back. With my eyes, I could see that the waiting room was in a pandemonium.

Tap, tap.
At that moment, I heard the sound of someone walking towards us. Rachel put up her guard. Seeing her, I simply smiled.

“Thankfully, we restored the electricity…”

It was Kim Soohyuk’s voice. He was walking down the hallway while communicating with someone on a transceiver.

“You guys, what are you doing here? No, why did you come back here?”

“Come back?”

“Didn’t you guys…”

Kim Soohyuk paused in the middle of his sentence as though he’d remembered something. From his reaction, I also had an idea as to what happened. Djinns who could create illusions with form surely existed.

“The other two are still inside.”

“Ah, shoot! You two, wait here. No, run to the infirmary!”

With that, Kim Soohyuk ran down the hallway to the examination rooms. By the time his back disappeared from my normal view, I turned towards Rachel. Then, I whispered softly.

“Um, I may have to lie soon, so when the time comes, please match words with me. If they find out that I brought in my personal weapon, I’ll be expelled.”

Rachel nodded at my request.

**


…After the huge disturbance, in the silent shadow of the now empty waiting room, darkness suddenly sprung up, growing in size until it formed a human figure.
The figure was that of a short cute boy.
A deep smile emerged on the boy’s face.

“Boss, Boss! I just saw something amazing!”

The boy, Droon, came to observe Kim Hajin as per his boss’ orders. Currently, he couldn’t hide his excitement over what he saw. He seemed to finally understand why Boss was so interested in him.

“Guns, it’s a Gift related to guns. It’s not just anti-magic…”

—For now, return. I’ll listen to you later.

However, Boss cut him off coldly.

“…Okay.”

‘Boss is no fun.’ Droon grumbled inwardly as he transformed into darkness once again. Next, he messaged another troupe member.

—Jungyeong, how was the Serpent Dragon? Did you kill it?

**


Facing a clear ocean breeze, Oh Junhyuk was sitting cross-legged on a rock. He was still trying to comprehend what he just witnessed. A Serpent Dragon had popped out of the sea, but…

“Oh Junhyuk!”

Seo Youngji arrived after everything was taken care of. Oh Junhyuk turned towards her.

“What’s going on? Didn’t you say a Serpent Dragon appeared?”

“You knew that and you’re this late?”

“I ran into a problem on my way here. Monsters suddenly escaped from the laboratory…. I had to take care of it before coming here. So, where’s the Serpent Dragon?”

“It was chased away, deep into the ocean.”

“…Huh?”

Serpent Dragons were members of the dragon family, but that didn’t mean they were terrifyingly strong. In terms of the Association’s standard ranking system, Serpent Dragons ranged from high-intermediate rank grade 1 to high-rank grade 7. Compared to some of the other monsters Heroes of their caliber had to face, Serpent Dragons weren’t particularly frightening. In the first place, Serpent Dragons weren’t aggressive. They didn’t know how to fight, and because of their intelligence, they were afraid of pain.
Of course, it was a different story if a Serpent Dragon found a Cintamani
[1].
Even so, what Oh Junhyuk witnessed was shockingly unrealistic.

“Someone provoked the Serpent Dragon.”

“Provoked?”

“Yep. Its eyes were red. It was clearly enraged.”

Hurling down from the sky with its gigantic mouth, the Serpent Dragon was undoubtedly oppressing.

“How did you chase away an enraged Serpent Dragon?”

“Well…”

Thinking back to what happened, Oh Junhyuk didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“Apparently, you just have to beat it until it regains its sanity.”

He recalled what he saw just ten minutes ago.
The giant man wearing a gauntlet stood in front of the Serpent Dragon and punched it. It was a simple straight punch, but the shockwave released from the attack was tremendous. The ground shook and trees were completely stripped of their leaves. The punch tore through the Serpent Dragon’s tough scales, broke through its bones, and struck its muscles.
The enraged Serpent Dragon’s bloodshot eyes instantly cleared up.

“…You want me to believe that?”

“If you don’t want to, don’t. Oh, by the way, I need you to put someone on the wanted list. I filmed him on my smartwatch. He’s the suspect behind yesterday’s police officer murder case.”

Oh Junhyuk sent Seo Youngji a video. It showed the giant man’s face and build. Seo Youngji tilted her head as she checked the video.

“Tell them to contact me if he’s found.”

“…Why?”

“Nothing. It’s been a while, but I found someone I want to fight.”

Oh Junhyuk grinned.

**


The Cube Monster Incident became a hot topic across the world.
Djinns being involved in the incident was kept under wraps, but because a Serpent Dragon and several other monsters critically injured two cadets (I thought they were dead, but it seemed they were just unconscious), Cube received a huge global backlash.

As a result, the rest of the combat exams were put on hold.
The result of the duels would be kept, while another monster war would take place later. Finally, the group rescue mission, which was planned for Friday, was canceled entirely considering the circumstance.
In addition, classes were also canceled until Thursday two weeks later.

In other words, there were no classes for the next ten days.

With the sudden holiday, cadets seemed to be planning on returning home or going on vacation with the compensation Cube gave out.
Cube’s official community forum was filled with posts asking for good places to visit in Japan or America, while some people left snarky remarks on how they could go on vacation when cadets were injured from the incident.

In any case, none of these problems had any relevance to me.
Even now, I was sitting in my dorm room, protecting my abode.

“…Oh, did it just eat?”

Evandel’s Seed. The seed of a witch I obtained from Gari Mountain’s hidden stage was now sucking on Rachel’s blood. The bloodied gauze had returned to its white color.
Once three months passed, a kind witch would be born, who would become my trusted helper…

At that moment, a sudden pain overcame me.
The source of the pain was my upper arm. It was a pain I felt once before. I quickly pulled up my sleeve. Another streak of Stigma was being drawn on my arm.

‘Calm down and be patient, Kim Hajin. You’ve felt this pain before. You can do a lot more with another streak of Stigma. For example, you can put more magic power… into bullets…’

I couldn’t continue my encouraging train of thoughts as it felt like someone was stabbing my brain with a knife. My thoughts cut off, and I clenched my teeth, unable to scream.

In front of this tremendous pain, my consciousness slowly faded.

**


“Wow, it’s been so long.”

On the other hand, Chae Nayun returned home. Her family home was a traditional Korean house with tiled rooves and eaves. However, that was only on the outside. The interior of the house was large and elaborate and was no different than a European castle.

“Welcome back, young lady.”

With a warm smile, a butler greeted Chae Nayun.

“Long time no see, gramps.”

“I’ve been worried sick. I’m glad you’re safe.”

“Only two people were hurt. None of the ordinary visitors were injured either.”

Chae Nayun gave her bow to the butler who had been protecting her home for thirty years.

“Oh right, is the item I ordered here yet?”

“It arrived yesterday.”

“Yes!”

“Oh and Cube sent some documents.”

“Documents?”

The butler nodded.

“Yes, they’re apparently exam reports. There are 24 of them.”

“Oh that. Send it back to my dorm. I don’t want to think about school when I’m… No, wait.”

Chae Nayun recalled her might as she fought the Thousand-Mile Horse.
Other cadets must have been extremely impressed to have sent so many reports. 24. That meant close to 25% of the class had written about her feat.

“Huhu, send it to my room. I want to read it.”

Wondering what kind of praises she would get, Chae Nayun spoke.

“Yes, understood.”

The butler bowed respectfully.


1. A wish-fulfilling jewel in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Wingless dragons would seek to obtain this object to gain wings and ascend to the Heaven.

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