Chapter 96. Initiation (3)

I came to a steakhouse with Evandel. It was supposedly a famous restaurant and as expected, it was jam-packed with people.

“I’ll help you with your order.”

“Ah, yes, can we have eight steaks in the most expensive order.”

“…Yes?”

The waiter tilted his head. Evandel and I could easily finish eight dishes. Three for me, five for Evandel.

“Eight?”

“Yes, and all in medium please.”

“Uh… yes.”

After ordering, I noticed that other customers were giving us strange looks. Even though Seoul had many foreigners, it seemed Evandel’s appearance naturally drew people’s attention. For this reason, I didn’t take off my sunglasses. That way, people would think Evandel was a child of a Western noble and I was her guard or attendant.

“Here you go. This is garlic steak.”

Our first order came out, a steak accompanied with garlic. Evandel’s eyes glistened at the steak’s savory smell and appetizing plating. I cut the steak in bite-sized chunks and gave it to Evandel.
Evandel’s hands trembled in excitement as she stabbed her fork into one.
Then, a piece of steak entered her mouth.

“…!”

Evandel quivered with a face of ecstasy. Afterwards, her hand busily moved from piece to piece.
I stared at her silently, then spoke when I saw the chance.

“Evandel, do you think you could stay home alone for the weekend?”

Evandel, who was chewing on a piece of steak, suddenly stopped. She looked up at me silently. She wasn’t chewing on the steak in her mouth and was only staring at me with a fork in hand.
For some reason, I felt uneasy. To think she would stop eating…. She’s not going to cry, right?

“…In exchange!”

I spoke up before I could confirm my suspicion.

“I’ll buy lots of toys for you today.”

“…Lots?”

“Yes, lots.”

I was overflowing with money, so I planned on buying anything and everything as long as they could keep her company.
Evandel looked at me, then nodded with a half-sulking, half-sad face. She stopped eating steak. When she was about to put her fork down….

“Next is the Tomahawk steak.”

The waiter brought a gigantic piece of meat. It had an overwhelming size that was just as big as Evandel’s head.

“Uwhoa! What’s this!!”

Evandel quickly regained her energy.

*


After eating at the steakhouse, we went to the New World Shopping Mall.
At first, I planned to take her to the floor selling toys. However, Evandel fixed her attention on a strange place. Evandel stared at this place silently and didn’t respond to me calling her.
What caught her attention was a pet store on the first floor and a white cat sitting in a glass cage.

“….”

In a daze, Evandel exchanged looks with the cat. I also turned my attention to the pet store. Admittedly, the white kitten was adorable.
Cat… I immediately calculated the size of my dorm room.
A 60-square-meter room with two rooms.
It was enough to raise a child and a cat.
And well, I’ve always wanted a dog or a cat as well.

“Hajin, Hajin.”

After staring at the cat for a long time, Evandel pulled on my sleeve. It was easy to tell what her intention was.

“I want to play with Hayang.”[1]

Evandel pointed at the cat with her finger. She had even given the cat a name.

“Hayang? You mean that cat?”

“Un!”

Evandel replied with a bright smile. I glanced at the cat.
Meow— When our eyes met, the cat raised its tail and meowed.
I couldn’t help but smile. I went on my knees and got on Evandel’s eye-level.

“…But Evandel, if we raise Hayang, what are you going to do about your ghost friends?”

“Ghost friends?”

“Yeah. They might fight.”

There were ten or so animals that Evandel made.
Evandel fell in thought at my words, then spoke resolutely.

“I’ll make sure they don’t fight.”

“…Really? Then, promise.”

I raised my pinky. Evandel moved her hand clumsily and promised me. I rubbed Evandel’s squishy cheeks with my fingers and got up.
Then, I went into the pet store and asked the employee.

“Hello, how much is that cat?”

**


Two days later, Friday 5 P.M., end of classes.
Before I opened the door and left, I looked back.

“Hayang, you… why did you bite this! Do you want me to scold you?!”

Evandel was training our new cat with a stern face. I wondered if it was possible to train a cat, but that cat cost 6 million won. It would only make sense for it to understand a few human words.
In fact, it wouldn’t be strange if it could talk.

“Evandel, I’ll be back soon, so have fun with Hayang, okay?”

“We’re not having fun.”

Evandel corrected me with a glaring look.

“…Uh, right, don’t scold it too much. I’m going.”

“Un.”

Evandel didn’t pay much attention to me and only focused her attention on Hayang.
I felt a bit disappointed, but I also felt relieved.
I left the dorm relaxed.

My first destination was Cube’s Portal Station.

“To Seoul.”

“Yes, cadet Kim Hajin, confirmed.”

After arriving in Seoul, I took the Portal connecting Seoul to Torino.
To take an international Portal, you needed a passport and a form of identification. I gave the Portal worker a fake identity and a fake passport, both of which were prepared by the Jeronimo Mercenary.
As expected of fake identification created by Chameleon Troupe, they were extremely effective. The Portal worker didn’t give me any suspicious looks, and I managed to arrive in Italy in just 30 minutes.

“…Interesting.”

Southern Torino looked completely unfamiliar. It was to be expected since it was a foreign country, and even in reality, Italy was a rather special country. The reason for it was obviously the existence of the Mafia.

Italy’s government were anti-Mafia on the surface but the reality was different.
In my setting, Italy’s Mafia weren’t simple organized crime syndicates.
They cooperated with the government if a monster outbreak occurred, and a few large Mafia families operated publicly, disguised as guilds.
In a way, they were freedom-seekers operating within the boundary of the law.
Of course, there were exceptions every now and then.

In any case, the Mafia formed their headquarters in Torino and Milano, which was faraway from the central government.
Important characters of these regions were the Colaion family and the Fermun brother and sister.
The Colaion family was the biggest Mafia family in Milano and Torino, and the Fermun brother and sister were elite soldiers groomed by them.

In other words, I was currently on my way to kill a member of the Italy’s biggest Mafia family….
Ah, no, this mission could have come from the Colaion family itself. After all, my target used his position to sully the family’s reputation.

“Little Apprentice, over here.”

When I was stealthily moving to the hotel, someone called me. A lethargic yet deep voice. I turned to the direction of the voice.

“…Eh?”

There, I saw Boss. She raised her hand without even a single change in her expression, almost like a child waiting for the traffic light to change.

**


Same time, Cube’s martial arts training room.

“Ah~ I’m so tired.’

Chae Nayun let out a sluggish breath and collapsed on the floor. Kim Suho, who was sparring with her until just a moment ago, didn’t know where to place his eyes. Because her training uniform became stuck to her skin from sweat, her breast area was being highlighted too much.
However, Chae Nayun didn’t pay any attention to it and glanced sideways. Yoo Yeonha was sitting nearby and pondering with a serious face.

“Yoo Yeonha, what are you doing? I even went out of my way to find you a sparring partner.”

“….”

Yoo Yeonha averted Chae Nayun’s gaze, then replied briefly.

“…I’m just thinking about something.”

Currently, Yoo Yeonha was thinking about last night. Why was Kim Hajin with that child, and who was she?
A daughter? No, it was impossible for a 17-year-old to have such a grown up daughter. Then was she his niece? No, an orphan couldn’t possibly have a neice. Then could it be that he’s a… lolicon? No way, Kim Hajin wasn’t such a person.

“Ehhh? It doesn’t look simple~ Is it Shin Jonghak again?”

Yoo Yeonha flinched, hearing Chae Nayun bring up Shin Jonghak.

“W-What about Jonghak?”

“Uh, nothing, I was just wondering if you got rejected.”

Yoo Yeonha immediately clenched her teeth. She felt rage suddenly rising up from her heart. Mentioning Shin Jonghak… she was annoyed anyways because he rejected her offer of studying together…
Yoo Yeonha blurted out angrily.

“Oh right, Nayun, Kim Hajin says he doesn’t like you anymore.”

“What? What are you talking about? Are you crazy?”

“Oh, is that true?”

Suddenly, even Kim Suho showed interested. Yoo Yeonha shrugged.

“Of course. He says he likes Rachel more now. You’ve heard the rumors, right? I mean, even if I were him, I would like Rachel more than Nayun.”

“W-Wha, what? Are you crazy?”

Chae Nayun shot up. However, Yoo Yeonha wasn’t intimidated and continued with a bright smile.

“I’m just saying. It’s not like it matters, right? You said you don’t like him.”

“….”

Chae Nayun was at a loss for words. She simply didn’t know how to respond. After all, it was true that she said that.

“…Tsk.”

Chae Nayun glared at Yoo Yeonha once, then sat down far away from her. Yoo Yeonha didn’t look at her either.
An awkward atmosphere descended between the two.

“…Hey, guys, don’t be like this. You were getting along until just now. Yoo Yeonha, do you want to spar with me? I’ll help. You came here to train too, right? You too, Chae Nayun. Ah, where did Yi Yeonghan go…?”

Kim Suho, who was stuck between the two, muttered helplessly.

**


Italy, Torino.
I took out my bike in a deserted alley. Boss seemed surprised by the bike that popped out of nowhere, as she rubbed her face filled with curiosity.
I asked her.

“Did you come to help?”

“No, I won’t be helping you.”

Saying that, she got on my bike. Standing next to it, I tilted my head.

“…What are you doing?”

“Come, Little Apprentice. I want to go driving.”

“….”

I was a bit dumbfounded, but I got on in front of her and grabbed the handle. Woong— The engine noise was soft.
I left the alley and drove into the road.

“Little Apprentice, let’s go around Torino just once. We still have a lot of time.”

Boss whispered softly.

“…Sure.”

I did as she said.

===
[Horse Saddle] [Antique]
A horse saddle used by a nameless cavalryman 500 years ago.
If you sit on this saddle, you will be able to handle rides better.
===

Driving was easy thanks to the saddle I bought in Clancy Islet. I glanced back when I had the chance. Boss’ hair was fluttering in the wind.

“…Tonight at 9, there is a fellowship party planned in Torino’s Leolen Mansion.”

Boss suddenly spoke while we were still driving.

“Your target will serve as the party host. If you arrive around 8:30, he might be preparing for the party in the mansion’s garden. That will be a golden opportunity for your attack.”

I carefully listened to Boss’ advice.

“There is a forest next to the mansion, and inside that forest is an abandoned church. That church’s steeple is the perfect high-ground to snipe a target.”

Hearing that, I immediately turned on the bike’s navigation system.
I searched for an abandoned church near Leolen Mansion, and the navigation outputted one result.
I set that place as my destination and turned the handle. It didn’t take long for me to get there. Although the road disappeared in the middle, my bike drove through the forest without problem.

Just as Boss said, there was a church buried inside the forest.

I stopped the bike near the church. The dilapidated church was covered in moss and vines, but climbing to its steeple did seem like it would grant a direct view to the mansion.
I got off the bike and checked the current time.

[8:10 P.M.]

At that moment, Boss suddenly asked.

“Little Apprentice, can I watch you work?”

My answer was obvious.

“I’d feel uncomfortable.”

“…There’s no need to.”

Boss grumbled and got off the bike. She was about to leave, but suddenly stopped and glanced at my right hand and left arm.
On my right ring finger was a ring, and on my left wrist was an obsidian bracelet.
Her gaze was fixed on these two items.

“…Oh right.”

I suddenly remembered. Boss liked pretty equipment regardless of its function. That was her personality. I remember writing that she loved sparkly items to death.

“….”

Then suddenly, Boss raised her head.
Our eyes met.
She gave me a somewhat envious look. When I stared back silently, she smacked her lips and spoke.

“What are those accessories? They look nice.”

“It’s a normal ring and a normal bracelet.”

“I’m okay with the bracelet, but that ring… do you want to—”

“It’s not for sale.”

I gave a stern reply. Boss narrowed her eyes and leered at me.

“I never said I’d buy it. I have many items prettier than that ring in my vault. For example, Persian King Darius’….”

“I’m jealous.”

I cut her off and jumped up to the top of the church’s steeple. As I got used to Parkour, my movements were smooth and nimble even in my eyes.
I looked down from the top of the steeple.
Boss was glaring at me with a somewhat unhappy look.

“You can leave now.”

“…I was planning to.”

Only then did she turn away and leave.
I checked the time with my smartwatch

[8:30 P.M.]

Then, I peered at the mansion using the Thousand-Mile Eyes.
It was about a kilometer away, a distance most Heroes could cover in 30~40 seconds. Factoring in the time it takes to react to the assassination and figure out my location, I predicted that I had about a minute.
In other words, I had to escape in one minute.

“…Huu.”

I took a deep breath and took out the Desert Eagle.
Fusing with Stigma’s magic power and Aether, the Desert Eagle transformed into a vicious anti-material sniper rifle.

“Scan.”

Random Consolidation System activated three times.
First was on the Desert Eagle, then Aether, then my bullet.
The numbers I got were 25, 31, and 22.

“…Today’s luck isn’t that good, huh.”

Even with a slightly lacking luck, I was using a modified bullet. To erase the evidence that would be left behind on the corpse, I added a property to the bullet that made it vaporize after penetration. Since I also planned to use an ample amount of Stigma’s magic power, a single bullet should be able to finish the job.

[8:35 P.M.]

I covered my face with the mask I brought and peered at the faraway mansion with the Thousand-Mile Eyes
All kinds of preparations were done in the garden: waiters, champagne bottles, food, music…
Among them was my target.

“….”

I held my breath and raised my gun.
I checked my target’s face from a kilometer away. The target was a Caucasian man with a handsome beard and well-defined facial lines. Currently, he was shouting at a group of waiters.

—Andiamo! È una mossa veloce, bug!

I didn’t understand what he was saying.
But I had to kill him before the fellowship party began and the number of eyes watching increased.
I placed the man’s figure in my eyes and put my finger on the trigger.


1. Hayang means white.

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FudgeNouget's Thoughts

Author’s note: used a machine translator for the Italian sentence. It is supposed to mean, “Let’s go! Move faster, you bugs!”