Chapter 87. Words Without Legs (2)


Evening, after the end of classes.
Tomer was fitting in naturally among cadets. It was the result of the effort she put in for the past two weeks, going so far as to kill her temper.
Now that she had a plan for the direction of her mission, she tried her best to get close to other cadets. As a result, both magicians and cadets saw Tomer favorably.
Now, she was at a point where she could invite cadets to a café on her own initiative.

“Wow, Kim Hajin likes Rachel? Really?”

After ordering coffee and honey bread that suited their tastes, female cadets began to gossip earnestly.
The topic of their conversation was Kim Hajin and Rachel. Tomer had stealthily brought up the subject.

“They’ve been pretty close lately… but isn’t it because they’re on the same team?”

There were many male cadets who secretly admired Rachel. Not just many, but a lot.
But no one had ever been bold enough to directly go after her. It was because of Rachel’s identity and her future path that was the result of her identity.
Once Rachel graduated from Cube, she would most likely enter the Royal Court guild, becoming the youngest guild executive.

“I guess Kim Hajin is perfect for the Royal Court guild. He rose to rank 334 this time.”

The English Royal Court was the world’s 60th ranked guild.
Cube cadets in the 400~500 rank range would have fantasies of joining this guild and becoming the head of a snake.
However, no powerful cadet was blinded by love to enter the Royal Court guild to chase after Rachel, and Rachel wouldn’t be satisfied with cadets who were only at the 400~500 rank positions.

“No, no, I’m in the same team. Trust me, you would say the same thing if you saw his eyes. How do I say this… his eyes turned heart-shaped!”

However, Tomer tenaciously instigated them, even making ridiculous claims.

“Really? …Oh yeah, isn’t Kim Hajin singing in the upcoming Class Competitions?”

Suddenly, one of the cadets widened her eyes and raised her voice.

“He’s not going to confess, is he!?”

“Kyaaak! Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps. I’m going to stab him to death if he does…!”

“…Eh? Stab him to death?”

Just how were these cadets who spoke such ferocious things different from Djinns?
Tomer thought seriously.

**


“Singing….”

I sighed and murmured as soon as I returned to my room.
Back on Earth, I often went karaokeing after school, so I knew how to sing.
But of course, that didn’t mean I was a good singer.
I was average, not so bad and not so good.

“Argh, why do I have to sing?”

Of course, I had the horn-flute to improve my voice, so I was confident that I would be better than the average person. But cadets from other classes would have volunteered to sing, so they were undoubtedly great singers.
Furthermore, I had no experience singing in front of a crowd. Rather than being nervous in front of hundreds of eyes, I preferred being in a position where I wouldn’t have to be nervous.

“Will I need to eat a serenity pill like I did for the presentation…?”

“Singing~? I can sing the Pororo song!”

Evandel, who was in the middle of making a nightingale, shouted with a blooming smile. I replied with a grin.

“Really? Let me hear it later.”

“Un! But why singing~?”

“Ah, well… I got done in by a villain, so I have to sing now.”

“A villain!?”

Evandel’s eyes suddenly shot open, and she strongly twisted the nightingale’s neck. I’ve been letting her watch superhero cartoons lately, so her reaction was big.

“Villain! Villaiiin!”

“Ah, no, I misspoke. Let go of that nightingale. It’s going to die.”

“Un? …Ahh!”

Startled, she looked down at the nightingale. Unfortunately, it had already lost form and was beginning to melt.

“Ii, iiinng….”

Seeing the nightingale she worked hard on going limp, Evandel began to tear up. I silently called Evandel into my arms.

“Don’t worry. You have to make a mistake, so you know not to make the same mistake next time.”

I consoled the sobbing Evandel and turned on the laptop.

“Let’s see….”

It’s been a while, but I planned to use my laptop’s hacking functionality.
The target was Tomer’s personal smartwatch.
Last night, I met Tomer at a convenience store, and she approached me to say hello.
But at the time, she was wearing a personal smartwatch rather than the cadet smartwatch provided by Cube. Its design was a clear imitation of the cadet smartwatch, so it might have tricked instructors and other cadets, but it couldn’t trick my laptop.

[80 SP will be used. Would you like to continue?]

“Really?”

It seemed to be a highly secure smartwatch as it took quite a bit of SP. I was spending too much SP lately…
I held back my tears and clicked Yes.

[Tomer, you will have to pick up an item during this week’s Wednesday class. It will help you in your mission. I’ll tell you about the details tomorrow.]

An unknown person had sent this message to Tomer today.
I began to read other messages stored on her smartwatch and came to ascertain that her target was Rachel.
…Ah, another message just arrived.

[Wednesday’s class will be Mock Artifact Scramble. There is an administrative center in the B-3 zone on the lowest floor. The item will be left there. The administrative center will be empty from 11:00 to noon, so take it during that time.]

Tomer ended up becoming a spy without even knowing it.
Lowest floor. B-3 zone.
While I was repeating those words to myself, I received a message on my smartwatch.

A picture of a problem along with a few lines of text.
When I saw the message, I thought it was Rachel.

[Can you please teach me how to solve this problem?]

But the sender was Chae Nayun.

**


Inside a tranquil library, the only sounds present were the sound of pencils scratching on paper and the sound of pages turning.

“….”

In this dead-silent atmosphere, Chae Nayun was staring fixedly at a reference book. She tried to study, but unable to achieve her goal, she could only mess with her hair idly.

[It is important to calculate the density of magic power in a Dungeon. This is one of the most important skills for a Hero to have. This is because a Dungeon’s magic power density can suddenly change depending on what happens inside the Dungeon.
Take a look at the following formula…


Example 1) Suppose that a magic power explosion happens in a tiny-scale Dungeon with six cobalt kobold goblins…]

“Why do I have to learn this?”

Chae Nayun murmured silently and leaned back.
She couldn’t even solve the first example. She was okay with memorization courses, but she could do nothing about the damned Phenomenon Realm Analysis II, which was full of calculations.

“….”

She glanced to the side in despair. Rachel was sitting there with an empty seat between them.
In truth, Chae Nayun sat here on purpose. She wanted to peek at Rachel.

From the side, Rachel looked a bit sullen. With her chin resting on her palm, she seemed to be in deep thought, worrying about something.

‘I guess she has her own troubles.’

It seemed she couldn’t come to a conclusion, as she suddenly turned on her smartwatch. Then, she hesitated for a moment before shaking her head and turning it off.

“…What’s up with her?”

Char Nayun muttered softly and turned back to her reference book.

[Example 1) Suppose that a magic power explosion happens in...]

She stared at the words, but nothing entered her mind. Without a choice, she held up her smartwatch. Then, she took a picture of the page with the watch’s built-in camera.

Next, she looked through her contact list. Someone who could help her… was Kim Hajin.

[Help me with this]

She typed this message, then erased it. It felt too impudent.

[Can you help me with this? I’ll buy you food]

“No, this one doesn’t feel right either.”

[You’re a genius if you can solve this! ㅋㅋㅋ]

“This seems a bit stupid…”

After much thought, she made her message as courteous as it could be.

[Can you please teach me how to solve this problem?]

Then, she put down her smartwatch.
1 minute, three minutes, five minutes… Time flew by.
‘Is he not going to reply?’ When Chae Nayun was about to put her reference book away with a sullen face, her smartwatch rang.

“Ooh!”

Chae Nayun hurriedly checked the content.
Kim Hajin had sent a very kind and detailed solution.

“Heehee.”

Chae Nayun smiled brightly and took her reference book back out. At the same time, she received another message.
This time, it was a message from Yi Yeonghan for everyone in Veritas class.

[On Wednesday this week, we will have a Mock Artifact Scramble. Be prepared everyone~]

**


“Today’s combat training is Mock Artifact Scramble!”

Today was Wednesday. Just like I read in Tomer’s smartwatch and Yi Yeonghan’s announcement, Wednesday was set aside for a single combat training from 9 A.M. to 2 P.M.
Mock Artifact Scramble. Just like its name suggested, it was a competition to obtain artifacts.
125 cadets of the Veritas class gathered on the first floor of Underground Plaza, where the scramble would take place.

“Artifact Scrambles are something Heroes will experience at least once every year.”

Real artifact scrambles happened in places outside of government control. This was because artifacts found inside a country belonged to the government by law.
In this world, numerous countries collapsed during Outcall, and many of their territories remain ownerless to this day.
Most of Africa was overrun by monsters, and Central Asia was dominated by the Djinns’ rule. In these regions, artifacts belonged to whoever found them.

“The size of the artifact excavation site is ‘massive’, and the concept is ‘brawl’. You will not know the enemy command structure, nor will you have a way to contact your allies and nor will you have the locations of the artifacts!”

Mock Artifact Scrambles often used the brawl-format because of a Djinn with a Gift called ‘Brawl’.
In real life, artifact scrambles happened between guilds, or between guilds and Djinn groups. The former only happened 20~30 years ago when laws regarding artifact scrambles weren’t in place. Nowadays, artifact scrambles were mostly fights against Djinns.

“We separated you into Team White or Team Black. Team White will be defenders, and Team Black will be attackers. Remember that the concept is ‘brawl’! In addition, you can shout ‘surrender’, and you will be considered eliminated.”

Until the 90’s, humans were in an advantage due to their efficient command structure and sturdy organizations. However, the situation was reversed because of one Djinn.

Bermut.

His Gift randomly distributed humans and Djinns in an area. This effectively destroyed humans’ formations, and since Djinns were able to use Devil Transformation, they were stronger than humans in one-on-one battles.

“Now, we will take away your vision.”

With that, my vision turned dark. A few surprised cadets let out short shrieks.

“It’s an instructor’s magic. Stay calm. You don’t need to try to disable it.”

It seemed a high-intermediate rank Hero could easily blind 125 people.
Of course, that didn’t apply to me.
When I opened my eyes, I could clearly see what was in front of me.

“We will now guide you to your designated locations.”

Artifact excavation sites were usually huge, having multiple floors and even a residential area. Most artifacts were buried deep underground, so excavating them took at least 2 to 3 weeks.
Although excavation sites were underground, it didn’t mean that they looked like caverns or tunnels.
Because of technicians with extraordinary Gifts, excavation sites looked more like futuristic underground bunkers.

“Hey, hey, don’t step on my foot.”

“Ah! Somebody hit me.”

Cadets were led underground together.
15 were placed on the first floor, and 25 were placed on the slightly bigger second floor.
Chae Nayun was placed in the middle of the third underground floor. Rachel was also nearby, placed on a balcony that was connected to the third floor’s residential area.
Their fight was inevitable.
As for me, I was placed in a small room on the fourth floor. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see where Shin Jonghak and Kim Suho would be placed.

“…Eh?”

But a problem arose.
Yoo Yeonha was in the room right next to me.
Considering the layout of the floor, I needed to cross her to get out to the hall.
In addition, I was in Team Black, and Yoo Yeonha was in Team White. We were enemies.
At that moment, a loud voice rang out from the speaker above me.

—Artifacts are being kept or moved by NPCs. Team White must protect the artifacts, and Team Black must steal them. Now, we will start the countdown.

The opened doors all closed, and the countdown began.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Once the countdown ended, the blinding magic disappeared.
I checked the magazine of my cadet training issue handgun. Then, I checked the coordinate I needed to get to.
The lowest floor’s B-3 zone.

—I heard a sound next door…

At that moment, Yoo Yeonha’s voice rang out. I quickly turned to face the closed door.
Tak, tak.
Yoo Yeonha walked forward, intentionally making loud footsteps. Then, she knocked on the door of the room I was in.

—I know you’re there. Are you in Team Black or Team White? For the record, I’m in Team White.

I stayed silent.
Yoo Yeonha then hummed joyfully and grabbed the doorknob.

—No answer? I assume that means you’re in Team Black. How unfortunate, you must have been looking forward to today’s class. Consider yourself unlucky…

Ssss—
The door opened, and Yoo Yeonha appeared with a bright face.
Then, her eyes met mine.

“…!”

In an instant, Yoo Yeonha’s expression froze. Her smiling lips trembled, and the wide eyes turned stiff.
We were on the opposite team.
In other words, we had to fight.
But for some reason… it looked like Yoo Yeonha was scared of fighting me.

Gulp.
Yoo Yeonha swallowed hard. Her hands were shaking faintly, and I could clearly see sweat forming on her forehead.
After a brief confrontation, my neck felt itchy, so I moved my hand up to scratch it.
However, Yoo Yeonha reacted oddly even to this simple movement.

“Stay, stay away!”

“…What?”

I tilted my head. You were the one who came to me!

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