Chapter 47 – Room 104, Cursed Room – ‘Preparatory Selective, Hotel High School’ (7) – Ahri’s Side (Fin)
The day broke.
My consciousness that used to be floating around like a ghost slowly permeated back into my body. The sloppy bit of consciousness that was left behind on this body was erased as ‘I’ regained the ownership.
It was still early in the morning but I immediately walked outside. Maybe he was waiting for me? I saw Kain nearby so we discussed our final plan for this room.
Today, I will be burning down this annoying school.
Ding— Dong— Ding— Dong—-
Even though I made a firm resolve to burn this school down first thing in the morning, that plan would begin after the end of school. When doing something fishy, doing it at night with less people around was bound to increase the chance of success.
In the end, I had to obediently listen to the lessons today. Kain was in anguish about how this was his second time being a senior high schooler, and honestly, that was quite funny.
Because I graduated high school more than 10 times after all~!
It was thanks to that that I was able to become a high-performing student. Anyone would be the same after doing it 10 times though.
The boys that were only going to Songee at the start, as if she was the most likely one to succeed, started placing things on my desk as well ever since yesterday.
This too was very laughable. Did these guys even have a clue about how they were mere actors that were being recycled by the Hotel after their defeat? Well, it would be better for them to stay unaware of it though.
I was flipping through books while pretending to be studying when Seungyub and Songee walked over. In the middle of sharing a normal conversation, Seungyub spotted the can of coffee that was on my desk and widened his eyes.
Would he go and pick a fight or something if I told him who did it?
This was ridiculous no matter how many times I saw it. I knew they were both fake and yet I still had to act like this.
Well, they weren’t aware of themselves being fake, so rather than ridiculous, it might be more correct to call it a tragedy.
Turning my head, I could see that the chairs of both Elena and Kain were empty. Elena was killed by the angel before they could create a ‘fake copy’ of her, so the school would probably come up with an excuse some time soon. As for Kain… I hoped he was doing fine. He was the only survivor left behind in this absurd place with me, and was in the middle of taking care of something that was perhaps more important and difficult than my own task.
Something I’ve been thinking of ever since we were at the Mansion, was that even though he was rather dim-witted at times, there were times when he became exceptionally clever and sharp.
This morning was a prime example.
“I’ve had this thought for a few days now, but I became certain after seeing Elena’s fight and the police yesterday.”
“I think we’re thinking the same thing. You can start first, Kain.”
“This school is extremely prudent about how the outside world perceives them. Their fundamental goal is to send a bunch of people to the Old Main Building and do ‘something’, but just for that ‘something’, they built a preparatory school, bought a large piece of land and they’re even teaching proper lessons.”
“I would also add that after all the crazy things they did last night, they suddenly decided to forge a fake event and call the police to handle it as a car accident. It was as if they were trying to make it seem as ‘natural’ as possible to the outside. It’s as if…”
“As if there is the Administration outside.”
“As if there is the Administration outside.”
“Looks like we actually had the same thing in mind. Anyway, even though we cannot perceive it, it means that there is an organisation similar to the Administration in this ‘stage’ that can ‘even defeat the angel’. That is why even the ‘angel’ has to thoroughly hide her actions.”
“I thought the same thing. But does that mean anything? It’s not like we can contact them either.”
“Can you not, Ahri? Aren’t you an agent of the Administration?”
“If it was outside I might be able to contact the real Administration, but not to the ‘fake Administration’ of Room 104.”
“That’s okay. We have another option.”
“You saw them yesterday – the police.”
“…You mean we should call the police and ask for help?”
“That’s not going to be enough. We are just students of a normal school in the eyes of the police right? Even if we suddenly call for help, they would think of it as a prank. Besides, they’ll only be sending one or two officers, in which case the school might control their minds and swap them.”
“We need to do something big, and surrender ourselves to the police – a massive event that needs more police than just a few – like tens and hundreds. Would a secret organisation like this try to kill tens of police officers? Can they hide that from the outside world? This school is under a strong impression that ‘we’ are being mind-controlled. I think they would send us outside and just give up.”
“Kain, do you mean we should blow this school up?”
“No. That’s something ‘you’ can do by yourself.”
“What about you then?”
“I need to block the biggest flaw of this plan.”
It wasn’t a super difficult plan or anything after coming up with the overall structure. By destroying this school to my heart’s content, I would bring in dozens of police officers and get arrested.
Getting arrested should ironically be the escape.
Going further away from this school might count as an escape, but even if that didn’t, getting imprisoned at a detention centre should definitely be considered an escape because that removes the chance of being brought to the Old Main Building.
The core of this plan was by making the school decide to give up on one or two students that were fully mind-controlled by the angel herself, instead of doing an incredibly dangerous move such as killing tens of police officers and replacing them.
I suddenly remembered how Seungyub said to Kain that we should simply punch the teachers together on our first day at the school. I told him off for coming up with a ridiculous idea but in the end, our final escape plan was about destroying this school. It seemed that a random remark from Seungyub had been the closest approach to the real answer. Maybe I should pat him a few times after leaving this room.
As for the success rate of this plan… I wasn’t sure.
There were already a few holes to this plan that I could easily think of. The behavioural principle that we came up with was just our assumptions added together, and even though Kain had gone off to stop the biggest problem of our plan, it was questionable whether he would be able to pull it off or not.
But what else could we do?
Unless we were going to stay still and die, we had to do something. I had resolved myself already when I decided to ‘come back’ to this Hotel. It would be more likely for me to die a gruesome death than escape from this place in one piece again.
However – I had come back for something that was even more precious than my own life.
The sun was starting to set.
After the end of school, I returned to the dormitory and took the gas lighter along with the capsaicin sprays. It wasn’t curfew time just yet so no-one stopped me from going back to school.
Where should I burn first? Of course, it had to be the staff room!
– Creak. Thud!
“Huh? Aren’t you Ahri? Students are not allowed to come to the staff room unless it’s something serious.”
“Sorry. But, there is this one question that I just couldn’t solve no matter how many times I tried to. Can I please ask about this question?”
“Hah… You should have asked at the end of the lesson. What subject is this for?”
“Hmm. Come in.”
There were about 6 or 7 teachers in the staff room. At the right-hand-side of the room was the Maths teacher.
“You have a question? Which one is it? Did you not bring the book with you?”
Sorry, but I don’t need those books anymore. My head almost exploded yesterday solving your questions, you know~!
“Uhhhh! What’s going on?!”
“Mr. Han! What happened to you?”
“Wait! Ahri? What is that thing on your—”
– Chiiik! – Chiiiiik!
I ran around spraying everywhere as the teachers started rolling on the floor. Screams upon screams reached my ears.
This was seriously very fun.
How did I not think of destroying the school even though I went to it more than 10 times? If I happened to go to another one in the real world, I should seriously ponder blowing it up at least once.
One of the male teachers started running forward while protecting his face with his shirt.
I looked into his eyes.
In the middle of his sprint, the teacher suddenly turned around and started bashing other teachers up with his fists. Even though it was an extremely worse version compared to Songee’s bracelet and came at a big cost because it required my blood, this was still enough to deal with normal people.
That should be enough for the teachers and…
As expected of the staff room, there were a lot of books.
I took out my gas lighter.
Ah. How warm.
I had no idea about the season but the weather was quite cold at the Hotel High School. However, it became extremely warm now that I created a bunch of campfires all around the school.
Everyone should be grateful for my dedication and love for this school right?
After repeating what I did in the staff room 3 more times, the school became extremely rowdy. Fire alarms were going off everywhere and everyone was busy running away.
I took out the phone that I picked up before, and called the police.
[This is Gangdong Police Station. How can I help you?]
“Our school is burning~!”
[Sorry? Can you please elaborate–]
“You see! I am burning our school right now!”
[Hah! You should be old enough to know that you shouldn’t be making pranks— BEEP. Why are you doing this!!]
The person suddenly changed in the middle. It seemed that other people were also calling the police.
“The school was very cold so I’m in the middle of making it warm! I am burning the fifth classroom right now – you should come warm yourselves up~!”
That should be enough. With that, a bunch of police officers and firefighters should be on their way.
The greatest weakness of our escape plan.
‘Angel or other forces of the organisation coming out and stopping us to deal with the situation before receiving outside help.’
It seemed that our biggest hole had been resolved without a problem. Kain must have done his part in the Old Main Building.
Judging from how things were going, this should lead to escape without a problem. Now that I didn’t have to worry about leaving the room, there were other things that I had to worry about.
After Songee was Kain. They were both clearly suspicious of me and were even giving out warnings. They would probably be asking a bunch of questions for the whole day, but I knew a day like this would eventually come.
I decided to think about my response.
The police and the firefighters arrived by the time I was burning down my 7th classroom.
There appeared to be about a hundred visitors at least. Judging from their numbers, the heretics shouldn’t even be thinking about killing them. I wasn’t into getting shot by a gun so I silently raised both of my hands into the air.
It took more time than I thought for it to be acknowledged as an escape. But thanks to that, I was able to have a clearer idea on the conditions of a successful escape.
The escape condition appeared to be ‘A complete elimination of any chances of being brought to the Old Main Building’.
– Tap – Tap
“Student Kim Ahri. Are you going to keep doing this at the court?”
I’m begging you, Judge. Please just give me a sentence. I want to leave as soon as possible! Please!
“Do you not hear me? Are you looking down on this trial? Tell me why you burned the school!”
“I don’t know why you keep asking that question. I told you. I said I lit up a campfire because it was cold.”
“Do you think that even makes sense…”
“Your Honour. As you can see, the defendant is not sane. Because she had to suffer greatly under the oppressive atmosphere of the preparatory school for a long time, she has gained mental–”
“Lawyer, please. Keep your mouth shut. I think I told you more than 5 times to be quiet.”
“As you can see, Your Honour, she is clearly out of her mind. The defendant is still young. Instead of sentencing her to the detention centre, if you let her recover her mind at a hospital, she’ll be able to do many great things for the society in–”
“Ah, please. Stop your nonsense. I’m telling you I’m going to burn this stupid world down!”
It was becoming more and more exhausting. I thought it would be considered an escape as soon as I was ‘physically’ removed from the school by the police but a physical distance was not enough to escape from this room. I probably had to be locked at a different place like a detention centre or a hospital until graduation and have zero chances of returning to the school.
Thanks to that, everyone was resting after their death and yet I had to suffer for a whole month by myself.
Kain was probably dead as well, and that annoyed me even more. For some reason, I was always the one doing all the hard stuff whenever it was just me and him, wasn’t I? And after leaving this room, he would probably be audaciously asking me questions! Unable to hold myself back, I threw the pen that was next to me.
“What do you think you are doing, defendant!”
“It hurts right? So please give me a longer sentence.”
That day, due to arson, inflicting injury, murder (someone died I guess?) and showing an attitude at the court by hitting the judge, I was sentenced for 11 years.
Wow! I burned a school, killed people and smacked a judge and it’s still only 11 years? Isn’t the Korean law way too nice?
/You have successfully escaped!
Arson, murder and violence. You have committed a variety of sins! What happened? Was that a show of your grudge for the school? But that is still okay! The Hotel has been greatly awed by your merciless determination. Such a side is also a necessary requirement in overcoming trials.
With that, you have completely escaped from the mysterious ritual of a strange religion.
You have escaped the curse, but you sense the root cause of the curse still persists.
One of your team has successfully escaped! Congratulations! The successful escape allows everyone to return safely./