Aura of a Genius Actor Chapter 82

Chapter 82 - A Proposal And A Plea

༺ A Proposal And A Plea ༻


  {What do you think you’re all doing?}


  Silver energy radiated out like threads, enveloping the sleeping human. The goblins, having just gathered their wits, wore expressions of dismay.




  They lingered, unable to leave their spots. Despite knowing that Miho was of a higher rank, they couldn’t just bolt – it was probably because the one who gave the order was even more intimidating. 


  {Let me see that bamboo slip.} 


  {Ah, no… it’s a confidential item of the celestial realm!} 


  {Confidential, huh…Forging a signature on a contract without one’s consent is certainly confidential. If you won’t show me, I’ll take a look at it myself.} 


  The spirit fox sneered and then chanted a spell.


  {Pause (*Stop).}


  While it didn’t literally freeze the room, the spell captured the current scene on a silver screen created by the fox spirit’s energy. The goblins blinked in surprise after seeing their images replicated on the screen.




  The screen rapidly zoomed in on a specific point. The goblins leaped towards the screen upon realizing Miho’s intent, but the floating silver barrier let them pass through, continuing to magnify the bamboo slip.


  The captured image remained clear even when magnified. The ancient script on the slip was sharp and distinct, and the spirit fox read it aloud.


  {Ah, so it says, ‘I, Shin Yoomyeong, have manifested powers beyond human capability and absorbed life energy in violation of celestial laws. I agree to surrender all gained powers and the life energy acquired through this ability.’ Ha! Even if they lack conscience, there should still be a limit to it…} 


  {Watch your words! Are we supposed to ignore that this human unlawfully gained these powers? We are just executing our duties.} 


  {Ah, so the celestial realm now enacts their ‘duties’ by stealthily stealing the parties’ signatures?} 


  Stung by his sarcasm, the goblins fell silent.


  {This is a power that a human, who suffered for 15 years due to a clear mistake of the celestial realm, developed in a desperate fight for survival.  And now you plan to just erase them with a stamp, without a hint of understanding or compensation?} 




  {You’re always the same. You keep on preaching about the fair laws of the celestial realm, but you only ever apply them to humans and spirits, and never to yourselves.} 


  The spirit fox wasn’t just scolding the goblins, who were just mere messengers and fellow spirits. His real target was someone in the celestial realm who was surely watching the whole situation. 


  {Why didn’t you just secretly erase him and obliterate his soul to destroy the evidence? Ah, I forgot. There’s our contract, right? Without it, you would have done just that.} 


  As his remarks grew more scathing, one of the larger goblins exclaimed.


  {If we leave him alone, he’ll soon ascend to immortality!} 


  Realizing the meaning of this, Miho flinched.




  Metamorphosis (When a human turns into an Immortal and ascends to the Celestial Realm).


  When a human’s combined energies nearly reach 100, they can ascend to immortality. While it wasn’t a large amount for spirits or immortals, it was significant for humans, who weren’t meant to absorb such energy.


  {I see.} 


  If left alone, Yoomyeong would rapidly reach 100 presence (also life energy).




  Miho chuckled.


  (That would be fun, too. Watching the celestial realm being turned upside down would be quite the show.} 


  A smaller, sharp-eyed goblin shouted at his risky words. 


  {Why on earth would you…?! That would put you in a difficult position too! I heard you made a significant sacrifice to make a contract with this human.} 


  {That’s true.} 


  {It’s a win-win situation. Once we get this consent form, all the life energy he was able to gather will be taken back. Then the presence you gave him will exceed his own. Isn’t that what you’ve always wanted?} 


  {Well… that does benefit me.} 


  At his admission, the two goblins became excited and were about to say more when they were silenced by his fierce glare.


  {So, are you saying I should act like you? Have you ever considered the pain this human went through because of your small mistake? How dare you treat the determination of a being who struggled enough to defy the laws of the world as something worthless! Even the most insignificant creature deserves the same respect as the highest in the eyes of the law!}  


  Was this defense for Yoomyeong or for himself? 


  The spirit fox mocked the goblins, who tried not to be subdued by his aura.


  {Won’t things get really interesting if I report this directly to the celestial realm?} 


  {That… please not that…}


  The goblins’ faces turned white when they remembered that he could directly communicate with the celestial realm despite being a mere spirit, 




  A shadow fell on the wall.


  Yoomyeong had woken up.






  The spirit fox froze at the sound of his voice. 


  Though his humanized form was unfamiliar to Yoomyeong, the quietly calling voice seemed to know everything. 


  How could he…? He shouldn’t have been able to hear him unless spoken to directly.


  {Shin Yoomyeong, can you hear my voice?} 


  “Yes, I can hear you. And I can hear them… and see them too.”


  It seemed that his ability to absorb life energy had also awakened his sensory powers. 


  Momentarily lost in thought, Miho quickly shook off his confusion. 


  ‘It would be better to think simply. This might actually be better. The person involved should make the decision.’  


  {So what did you hear?} 


  “I woke up when you arrived and those guys scattered… there was a loud noise.”


  {Good timing, then. You must have a rough understanding of the situation now… What do you want to do?} 


  Yoomyeong didn’t answer immediately, his eyes filled with confusion. Then, Miho offered him choices.


  {We can send these guys back, and you continue absorbing life energy until you transform into an immortal. It’s the best way to spite them. If you choose this, others might try to stop you, but I’ll help as much as I can.


  Or, we can directly accuse them in the celestial realm. It won’t affect you much though it might be bothersome to be summoned as a witness, but at least justice will be served.} 


  Hearing this, the goblins which were silently huddled in a corner turned pale.


  “Can I continue acting then?”


  That was what mattered most to Yoomyeong. 


  At this, the spirit fox’s brow furrowed slightly. 


  Miho suspected that Yoomyeong wouldn’t agree to these options even as he spoke. 


  Yoomyeong wouldn’t be able to act regardless of whether he became immortal or was summoned to the celestial realm.


  Time in the celestial and spirit realms flowed differently. 


  Miho himself had stayed in the half-celestial realm for only a short time, and already two days had passed.


  “And what about you?”




  “What happens to our contract if we choose one of those options?”


  {…It will be nullified. They’re separate issues, so they won’t offer compensation. My tail is not something that can be easily compensated. Well, it can’t be helped.} 






  “Why are you going to such lengths?”


  Yoomyeong felt a surge of emotion. 


  The human form of Miho, the little creature who had lived with him for over two years, seemed both familiar and strange. 


  Yoomyeong had been wary of him. It was inevitable when he didn’t know what the spirit fox wanted, after all.


  He might have agreed if Miho had asked for decades of his life, a limb, or his soul after this life. 


  But because he couldn’t understand his intentions, the thought of losing his current ability to act at any moment made him wary of the spirit fox.


  But today, Miho had protected him. 


  He also refused a clear benefit that was in front of him. 


  Even if the contract was voided, Miho promised to help him.


  …In the first place, it was only Miho who had reached out to his hopeless life.


  “What’s my current life energy level?”


  Startled by Yoomyeong’s direct gaze and question, a goblin hurriedly checked the bamboo slip.


  == Acquired life energy through powers (15) ==


  {Uhhh… The energy you gained through your ability was 15, your innate energy was 29, and the energy you obtained through the contract with the spirit was 30. That’s a total of 74… Sir.}  


  They almost let slip a formal address, quickly replacing it with a casual one.


  ‘So it’s in the mid-70s, about the same as senior Ryu Shin… It’s not an unreasonable amount.’ 


  Yoomyeong pondered for a moment and then nodded.


  “Let’s settle it by not touching the life energy I’ve already absorbed but taking away my absorption ability. I don’t wish to become an immortal by absorbing more life energy here.”


  {No, why are you…?}


  {That’s a bit…} 


  Miho seemed dissatisfied and started to object while the goblins also trailed off, indicating their discomfort.


  “This is already a big compromise on my part. Excluding the life energy I originally lacked, the energy I should have accumulated over 15 years of struggle would be about 15, so I deserve at least that much. Tell your superior that I want to make things harder for them, but I’m compromising because I don’t want to lose what’s truly important to me now.” 


  The goblins murmured among themselves and then took out a communication device, apparently contacting their superior. 


  Miho whispered to Yoomyeong, grinding his teeth.


  {What the hell are you thinking?} 


  “…Miho. You want to take over my body and do your own acting, don’t you?” 


  Caught off-guard by this direct hit, the spirit fox flinched and then fell silent.


  The goblins, after conversing through the device and adjusting the content of the bamboo slip, spoke to Yoomyeong.


  {We accept the deal. You just need to sign here.} 


  “The energy I’ve absorbed is completely mine now, right? And I can still enhance my presence depending on my efforts, just like ordinary people?” 


  {Of course. Within a limit of 1 per year, based on your achievements.} 


  “I don’t trust you. Miho, check it for me.”


  The still silent spirit fox examined the slip and nodded.


  “Alright. I hope we never have to see each other again.”


  Yoomyeong stamped the slip with a thud using the red powder, and the goblins hurriedly left with the slip.




  “So you look like this.”


  Yoomyeong opened a beer from the fridge and handed it to the silver-haired handsome man in front of him, who guzzled it down thirstily.


  “You’re incredibly handsome. It’s a feast for the eyes.”


  {What… is your intention?} 




  {I can understand it if you don’t want to become an immortal or get involved in celestial affairs, but you could have easily demanded more life energy. The 30 I gave you is already bound to you, so asking to increase your energy above 50 would also resolve our contract issue.} 


  “Ah… so if the presence you gave exceeds mine, my body becomes yours.”


  The spirit fox bit his lip, realizing he had inadvertently confessed.


  “Miho, you also want to act as much as I do…”


  Yoomyeong’s voice was gentle, without a hint of accusation.


  “I wondered what such a great being like you wanted from me. Now I understand. A human with innate energy or presence so low that the energy you provide could exceed it, and someone as thirsty for acting as you who would be willing to accept your deal. That was me.”


  Miho crushed the beer can without saying a word.


  “I’m not blaming you. You even used your precious ninth tail, an enormous sacrifice, to send me back in time. Considering the immense cost you were willing to pay for my human shell, you must have really yearned for acting…”


  Yoomyeong understood the craving to act better than anyone.


  “And anyway, you are my benefactor. I’ve been thinking that I need to repay you someday. I already owed you, but now I even owe you more after today.”


  {Did you… intentionally accept only enough to keep your presence under 50?} 


  Yoomyeong nodded.


  “Yes, I plan to give you my body.”


  {You foolish—} 


  “But Miho, I have a request.”


  With a look of desperation and almost pleading, Yoomyeong spoke.


  “Could you let me act until I’m thirty, which is just half of the 15 years you gave me?”




  Hearing Yoomyeong’s words, the spirit fox’s eyes widened.


  “And I’d like my consciousness to be preserved after you take my body.”


  {Do you understand what you’re saying? It’s like… being trapped in a prison. Unlike me, you can’t leave that body.} 


  “I know. But still…”


  Miho sighed deeply.


  He knew Yoomyeong well after living together for two years. 


  Yoomyeong was fundamentally kind, but he firmly refused in situations that didn’t benefit him and confronted any unfairness directly. But he was obsessed to the point of being blind when it came to acting.


  Hearing both this proposal to let go of his obsession and the plea to continue it made Miho feel like his head pounding.


  {…Do you even realize that you have a 100% advantage here?} 




  {Your presence just became 44. I’ve only given you 30 so far. In other words, as long as you don’t deal with me further, there won’t be any change. You can just act as much as you want and eventually, when you die of old age, our contract will be nullified. The contract loses its power the day you shed your human shell.} 


  “I know.”


  {Then why are you making such a foolish ‘request’?} 


  “Because you’re my benefactor.”


  His clear and straightforward gaze made the spirit fox feel almost embarrassed for having had ulterior motives.


  Miho hesitated, then shared something more.


  {You didn’t have liver cancer.}




  Yoomyeong’s calm expression wavered for the first time at those words.


  {I heard that your ability to absorb life energy was also present during your original life and that it influenced your liver condition. I’ve only just learned about it myself. Knowing this might have changed your decision… So, this might not be a fair contract after all…} 


  The spirit fox detailed Yoomyeong’s unique condition as he had heard from his mother. 


  After hearing everything, Yoomyeong thought quietly and then spoke.


  “No, my choice would have been the same.”


  {Would that really be the case?}


  “Yes. If I had lived as I was, I wouldn’t have been able to act properly. I was almost at my limit and filled with the desire to give up. If I hadn’t met you, I would have given up acting and probably died a slow death. So… even if I had known, this would have been my only choice.”




  A sliver of moonlight entered through the small window, cascading over Miho’s fine, flowing silver hair. 


  As Yoomyeong watched that scene, he spoke again.


  “You didn’t compromise even when it benefitted you, and you’ve been honest with me even now when you didn’t have to be.”




  “Thank you. I mean it. Regardless of your intentions, you saved me. So even if you don’t accept my ‘request’ and decide to collect your debt now, I won’t resist.”


  Miho bit his beautiful lips.


  After a long silence,


  He finally spoke.


  {…Let’s think about it in five years.} 




  {I’ve waited too long for this, and I can’t bring myself to just give up. I’ll take you up on your offer, and when you’re thirty… I’ll think about it again. Until then, try to amuse me a little more. Maybe something will change.} 


  It took Yoomyeong a while to process his words. 


  Once he understood, he looked at Miho, his eyes brimming with emotion.




  Silver mist burst out, and the handsome man quickly transformed back into a small fox.


  {Well… it’s not like it hasn’t been fun. Ahem. Move over, I’m going to sleep.} 


  Watching Miho, who seemed slightly embarrassed as he curled his tail against the wall and lay down, Yoomyeong’s gaze softened.


  “You were cool in your human form, but this one is definitely cuter.” 


  {Quiet. Just go to sleep.} 


  “…Thank you.”


  Yoomyeong pulled the blanket over, tucking in Miho in the corner. 


  The moonlight softly enveloped them like an additional layer of warmth.





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Aura of a Genius Actor

Aura of a Genius Actor

Score 9.99
Status: Completed Native Language: Korean
[Winner of the 5th Korea Web Novel Contest] He cast his very being into a life of acting, only to go unrecognized.   But now, his life begins anew


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