The situation came to an end with Kim Suho’s arrival, but I spent another hour looking around the surroundings before climbing down the World Tree.
“Agh, what a pain.”
I couldn’t help but groan as I landed on the ground. Even though I had Parkour, the tree was just too abnormally big.
Shaking off the numbing feeling in my hands and legs, I checked the number of points I had.
22 points. It should be a bit below the average. Since I practically took 12 of these from Chae Nayun, the amount I gained from monsters only came to 10 points.
In the original story, the first place cadet scored 130 points, so I needed to obtain another 50 points to stay in the safe range.
It should be possible as long as I worked busily today and tomorrow.
I turned around, thinking optimistically.
But as soon as I did, my body stiffened and my hair stood on ends. I was so mind-numbingly shocked that I couldn’t think of anything.
In front of me was the Chameleon Troupe’s boss, who was disguised as Seo Ijin. She approached me without making any sound and was staring at me with her black eyes.
Why was she here?
Cold sweat ran down my back, and my survival instincts began to roar.
I forced myself to calm down. She should be here to observe, not fight.
“What’s the matter?”
But contrary to my expectations, she took out her sword and pointed it at me.
Silently and with unshaken eyes, she stood there. A chilling light flashed from her sword blade.
My thoughts ceased. I didn’t know why, but she was undoubtedly picking a fight with me. But whether it be close ranged or long ranged combat, there was no way I could beat this woman. I would die instantly or be beaten painfully until I die.
“You know what.”
She spoke with a tranquil voice. Just like she said, cadets were currently enemies.
However, this woman was simply too powerful to be an enemy. It was the same reason that insects couldn’t call humans their enemies. To them, humans were predators.
But in this life-or-death situation, I found a glimpse of hope.
In this exam, cadets didn’t fight each other to kill. What was important was to take the other side’s exam smartwatch. Even if you subdued someone, if you didn’t take that cadet’s smartwatch, it wasn’t your victory. Additionally, if you subdued someone, but had your smartwatch taken, it was your loss.
Currently, the smartwatch around her left wrist was loose.
It could be that she equipped it loosely to begin with, or that it was unable to withstand her unleashing of magic power and became loose, or that I was simply lucky.
Regardless of the reason, this was the only way I could escape this situation.
From my sleeve, I began to weave Aether to be thin, thinner than a spider thread.
Then, I controlled the thread so that she couldn’t see it. Like a worm trying to dodge a preying hawk’s eyes, it slowly squirmed towards her left wrist.
Currently, her focus was entirely on me. Just meeting her deep eyes seemed to strangle me, but I continued to stare into her eyes. That’s how I bought time.
Eventually, the Aether thread reached her left wrist, then took off her smartwatch without her noticing.
At that moment, she opened her mouth.
“Your weapon, take it out.”
When I asked, she gave a simple nod. Meanwhile, the Aether thread was traveling to her wrist, hovering only a centimeter above the ground, as Boss’ close proximity to me made the ground her blind spot.
When the smartwatch came close enough, I yanked it into my hand.
Was it because of my luck? Or was it Boss’ clumsiness? In any case, I succeeded. I breathed a sigh of relief.
Next, I reached into my pocket, pretending to take out my weapon, but brought my hand up holding Boss’ smartwatch.
When she saw the smartwatch, she gave a disappointed look. As I thought, she really didn’t notice.
Because her skin was an added layer from Jain’s Gift, it didn’t have the same level of sensitivity as her normal body. Not to mention, she hadn’t released any of her seals yet.
“Does this look like it’s mine?”
I asked as leisurely as I could, and Boss immediately furrowed her brows.
I pointed at her wrist with my eyes. She tilted her head in doubt, then slowly turned her head down to her left wrist.
Her eyes widened. She rotated her wrist around, confirming that her watch was gone.
“You know you’re out the moment I crush this, right?”
I spoke as calmly as I possibly could. Boss still seemed to so be in shock that she didn’t notice as she was in a daze. She was only staring at her wrist as though she had lost her country.
“This… this can’t be…”
Would that reaction get me about 50SP?
I feigned a carefree smile before gently grabbing her wrist and putting her smartwatch back on.
“W-What, what are you?”
She acted even more flustered than when I stole her watch, but I continued to put the watch around her wrist.
Still maintaining my smile, I bluffed.
“I’ll let you go this one time, okay?”
“…Let me go?”
Meanwhile, her sword was still aimed at my neck. But because I could feel that it had lost its edge, I ignored the sword and turned back.
“W-Where are you going?”
Boss tried to hold me back. I, of course, ignored her and continued forward. I focused on my legs more than ever before in my entire life. Just by meeting her eyes for a bit, my entire body felt numb.
After Kim Hajin left, Boss stared at the smartwatch on her left wrist. Even now, she couldn’t understand how Kim Hajin managed to steal it.
Her plan was to confirm Kim Hajin’s ability, but she was only left with greater shock.
Even though half of her sense of touch was gone because of Jain’s Gift, she never expected to suffer such humiliation to a 17-year-old cadet.
She pondered, ‘When did he snatch it? When we first met? When we were staring at each other? No, neither can be right At the very least, Kim Hajin never moved his body. His magic power didn’t show any sign of movement either.’
Boss turned her gaze to her right wrist on which a four-leaf clover was tattooed. This was a Seal Release Spell. Each of the clover’s four leaves sealed a portion of her true strength. Staring at the completely sealed clover leaves, Boss wondered if she should have had one of them released.
In the end, she asked for help from an eyewitness.
“Jain, did you see?”
—…Hm? See what?
But the reply she got after a short delay wasn’t what she expected. Jain sounded like she didn’t know the current situation.
Boss’ face immediately contorted with a frown.
—Ah, ah, ah, sorry. I got distracted for a moment. But it’s not my fault! Droon kept pestering me to buy him Legos. So, what’s up?”
Boss immediately continued her thought, ‘Kim Hajin stole my watch in that short amount of time? Even though my power is sealed, his dexterity and craftiness are beyond the level of a cadet.’
—Tell me. What happened?
“…I’ll tell you later.”
—No, tell me now, you’re making me curious. Argh, it’s all because of that brat, Droon. Boss? Boss?
Boss ended their contact cold-heartedly. With the previous incident, she became certain of Kim Hajin’s potential. Now, she just had to confirm Kim Suho and Shin Jonghak’s…
At that moment, her smartwatch rang.
[Ijin-ssi, where are you? Hurry up. Didn’t I tell you to come back by the half-hour mark? ㅡㅡ]
Boss stared at the message with emotionless eyes.
She thought, ‘Yoo Yeonha. Why did this girl keep ordering me around?’
After successfully escaping from Boss, I found a camping spot.
It was just as good as the other one.
…But in truth, I had stopped at the first area near a river because I didn’t have any strength in my legs. I thanked my luck once again.
After opening up my tent and the foldable table and chair, I sat down and placed my bullets on the table.
14 bullets for the sniper rifle and 20 for the shotgun.
These were all modified from normal bullets using SP. Although they greatly boosted my strength, each of them cost about 7SP, so I couldn’t easily waste them.
“…I should have at least 20 of each type.”
If I ran out of bullets during battle, that would be a disaster.
I opened my laptop.
[Current SP – 1214]
I currently had 1214 SP. To create a decent Gift, I needed about 2000, but because I kept using them to create bullets, my distance to the goal kept increasing.
But still, that was better than someone dying.
I restocked my sniper bullets and took out my portable grill.
I was hungry from using Parkour so much.
Today’s lunch was… braised chicken. It was also too dark to be lunchtime. Without my Thousand-Mile Eyes, I could barely see what was in front of me.
From my magical pouch, I took out a frozen chicken.
[If you can wield magic power, add some to increase the chicken’s flavor.]
After placing the frozen chicken on my frying pan, I imbued magic power like the instruction said. I didn’t know the specifics, but the chicken suddenly became fresh.
When I was thinking, ‘I should be able to eat it now’…
A faint sound rang out from the tall grass nearby.
I quickly pulled out my gun and aimed it at the direction of the sound. At the same time, I saw through the grass with my eyes and upon finding out who it was, I put down my gun and grinned.
Soon, the ruffling noise became footsteps.
The person who walked out of the tall grass… was Rachel.
I acted surprised. There was a leaf sticking out of her hair. It must have fallen on her while she was walking through the forest, but it seemed she didn’t notice.
Rachel looked around silently. She seemed shocked at the high-tech tent and grill as her mouth was half-open.
Other than being silent, her reaction was no different than Chae Nayun’s.
“Ah, I like to prepare thoroughly.”
When I said so with a cool smile, Rachel finally snapped out of her daze. She then stared at the grill, where a chicken sat, emitting a tantalizing smell.
“Would you like to join me for lunch?”
“…Can, can I?”
“I’ll take 4 points to be fair.”
I opened another foldable chair. Rachel sat down with slight hesitation.
I took out a plate, then placed half of the chicken on it.
Lunch then began. Rachel must have been hungry as she finished the chicken silently in just 10 minutes. Even following her eating pace was difficult.
The chicken disappeared seemingly in the blink of an eye, and I began to clean up the dishes when Rachel asked.
“Um, what have you been doing until now?”
I tilted my head.
Seeing as how she came all the way here, she must have realized I helped her.
Was she feeling me out?
“Well, I was just running around, trying to get points.”
I pretended to be ignorant, mostly because it would have been too embarrassing to say, ‘I’m the one who saved you’.
Rachel scrutinized me with a strange expression but didn’t ask further questions. But, she seemed to be thinking about something as she began to stare at the campfire I set up.
…I thought she’d keep asking. I was planning on telling her when she asked me for the third time…
“Oh, did you get hurt?”
Then, I suddenly discovered a fairly deep wound near her collarbone. It seemed she got it from her previous fight with the Djinns.
“Ah, yes. Something happened…”
At that moment…
Evandel’s Seed, which I had placed inside my pocket, suddenly popped out.
The seed bounced towards Rachel, then jumped on her collarbone. Rachel shrieked at the unexpected ambush.
“…Ah, um, you see…”
I shot up, just as surprised as she was.
“Ah, this, what is this!?”
Rachel tried to pull the seed off of her, but the seed cleverly jumped inside her clothes, specifically towards her armpit area. I froze as I could no longer do anything about it.
“You see, it’s um… my pet almond… er, not almond, pet seed. Um…”
While I was making excuses, Rachel put her hand into her clothes. I quickly turned around.
Next, a splattering resumed.
After a bit of a fierce struggle, the situation seemed to have been dealt with as Rachel’s deep sigh rang out.
I slowly turned around.
Rachel was tidying her clothes with a flushed face. I dropped my head first and foremost. I didn’t think the seed would do that.
“Um, I’m sorry.”
Rachel looked back and forth between me and the seed, then spoke.
“…A pet seed?”
“Ah, yes. Yes.”
It sounded just as stupid in my head as it probably did in hers, but since this world was full of mysterious things, I hoped she would buy it. In truth, I didn’t have a better excuse to give.
Rachel let out another sigh, then handed me the seed.
“I think it’ll be calmer… if you raise it by planting it in the ground.”
I took the seed and trapped it in a container.Previous Chapter Next Chapter