༺ Precept (2) ༻
: Quests will be given within the proximity of the sub-player’s cognition. When cleared, the status will increase appropriately based on the Karma.
※ Failure to follow the Duty will result in a decrease in stats that is 10 times greater than the increase.
: The sub-player will be unable to perceive astral bodies, and astral bodies cannot touch the sub-player. The sub-player will gain 50% additional advantage against every physical opponent.
※ Violating the Restriction will result in taking 600% additional damage from every opponent.
: The sub-player must save the world at any cost. Additional support will be given to the sub-player when entering a fight that is in correlation to the world’s doom.
※ You will definitely die upon failing to keep the Pledge.
There were a bunch of messages, but I couldn’t read any of them.
What’s going on? Somebody please tell me!
For Alicia, today was a day of misfortune with a strand of good luck.
Who would have guessed that a person saved from the claws of a demonic beast would stab her with a poisoned dagger from behind? Her nanny used to scare her off by saying there was a thing in the city called ‘thrill killing’, and she was actually right!
Alicia thought she would be helplessly murdered by that ungrateful lunatic, but she was helped by someone who defeated that murderer.
And he even treated her wound!
Although it was very painful when he was stopping the bleeding, there was no first-aid kit around so that was understandable.
“It seems like the poison of a duke frog.”
Plus, he was also so well-informed that he knew what poison it was just by looking at the symptoms!
‘He must be an amazing person with remarkable experiences!’
She imagined the appearance of her benefactor on her own accord. His low voice sounded cold but an undisguisable hint of kindness lingered within.
Is this the so-called ‘cold city guy’ who despite looking cold on the outside is actually very gentle to his girl?
“Ms. Alicia. Bite on this.”
Alicia, who was in tremendous pain from the process of stopping the blood, flinched upon feeling the flesh that was inside her mouth. It was true that people would often bite on a piece of cloth to withstand an unbearable amount of pain. A person’s teeth was actually a very lethal weapon.
To think he would unhesitatingly give his hand for that!
How could he be so gentle and sweet?
It was unfathomably painful, but Alicia held it in. The wound had been created by the thick claws of a beowulf, and it was very fortunate that her organs were relatively safe from the attack.
‘Oh no! I was biting too hard!’
She had accidentally added an excessive amount of power to her jaws. There was even a deep wound on the flesh inside her mouth.
Even though it should be painful… and extremely agonizing…
Her benefactor did not let out a single groan. Alicia marveled at his self-restraint.
She had been trained by her grandfather, the Sword Emperor, but what was painful was still painful. Because of her lack of resilience, she had often been smacked on her head with the wooden sword.
『But… it hurts though. How am I supposed to hold it in?』
『You can. Look at your older sister.』
But her sister Luina was a genius; why was he comparing her with someone like herself? She also couldn’t understand why her grandfather suddenly named her a successor candidate and was making her compete against her sister.
‘If I receive grandpa’s sword because I’m now a successor candidate, then… how much will this sell for? Should I ask after going into the city?’
Oops… Her thoughts accidentally strayed off topic.
“Y, your name… Please, tell me your namee…”
“You don’t need to know. Don’t bother asking.”
Her benefactor did not tell her his name until the end. Why was that?
Judging from how he knew her name, he must also be aware of who her grandfather was, as well as the influence of the Arden family.
Alicia herself might be admonished for being ambushed like a fool, but there would be plenty of benefit for him, and yet her benefactor did not introduce himself. Why was that?
[A true warrior does not worry about materialistic possessions.]
That was what her grandfather used to tell her.
‘Ahh, I see. He saved me not because I’m an Arden, but because there was someone in front of him that needed help. That must be why he’s saying he doesn’t need any compensation…’
She thought to herself.
Her impression of him was soaring up endlessly when the sound of skin being seared reached her ears along with a groan.
That wasn’t from her – her blood had stopped flowing already, and she was now waiting for the antidote to finish boiling.
‘Was he hurt? Was he injured while saving me?’
Her lips twitched from the sense of guilt. She wanted to ask if he was okay, but could not dare open her mouth.
She felt embarrassed.
There was a person who was hurt because of her, who was forced to close his wounds using a method as extreme as searing his wounds and yet she, the granddaughter of the Sword Emperor, had been screaming ‘Kyaaa’ from something that paled a lot in comparison.
In addition to that was his righteous mind that was not blinded by wealth, and that tremendously increased her impression of the man whose face she had yet to see.
He collected his breath only after searing himself a few more times, and that made her respect him even more.
“It’s finished boiling. Ms. Alicia Arden. It’s time for your medicine.”
He must be a very talented man, judging from how he could create an antidote in the middle of woods like this.
– Bubble bubble.
Her sense of hearing was the only one that still functioned properly, so Alicia lent a close ear to the boiling sound of the medicine. Soon, after a jingle, she heard the sound of the antidote being poured into a cup.
“You might burn your tongue if you drink it like this.”
Then, he started blowing, ‘Huu, huu,’ on the cup. She was touched by his consideration.
– Huu~! Huu~!
After the liquid was cooled down for quite some time, a large hand touched her back and made her sit up straight.
“It’ll be quite bitter. Can you open your mouth?”
– Huu~! Huu~!
He cooled it down one more time before carefully letting her lips touch the antidote inside the cup.
A bitter flavor immediately filled her mouth. It was too bitter… Alicia wanted to have something sweet. Apparently in the city, there was something called honey tea…And she wanted a honey bomb candy.
Alicia was trying to ignore the bitter flavor by continuing her trail of thoughts in whatever direction possible when a low voice whispered into her ears.
“Don’t worry. You can slow down.”
It was a gentle voice that treated her like a kid. He then continued while tapping her back.
“Do you have anything sweet? I’m sure it’s quite bitter. Do you want me to take something out of your bag for you?”
“It, it’s okayy…”
“Really? Then let’s get up when you’re done.”
He then helped her finish the leftover antidote.
– Gulp gulp!
“That’s right~. That’s how you do it~. Well done.”
As if she was a very young sibling of his, he fed her the antidote along with his compliments.
Even though she was a little embarrassed, her mind was more focused on the bitter taste of the antidote and the return of her senses from the detoxification. Her wariness dissipated and Alicia soon sluggishly fell asleep.
After coming to her senses, Alicia immediately tried to raise her body in a hurry but ended up groaning from the stabbing pain of her wound. It was unclear whether she heard her shout or the groans, but a nurse came in from the echoey corridor outside.
“Aht! You woke up! We heard you were under the effect of a duke frog’s poison. How do you feel? Can you see me?”
The lady in a nurse uniform checked her state and asked her questions before recording them down. Alicia bewilderedly responded to a few questions but after waking up completely, she asked the nurse.
“Where is the person that carried me here? He must have been greatly hurt as well!”
“Sorry? Ah… if you’re talking about him, he left straight away…”
Alicia noticed she was in the emergency hospital of Merkarva City, and that her benefactor had carried her all the way here from the forest outside the city.
“Right. The soldiers that were on patrol retrieved your items and the corpses of the guardians. This is yours, yes, Ms Alicia Arden?”
“Ah, yes…… Huh?”
The nurse was pointing at the large bag placed in a corner of the room, but there was one thing that didn’t belong to her. There was a belt with a remaining hint of blood which was made of a coarse material that was too rugged to be used by women.
It was the belt used to close her wound. It was a crude and mass-manufactured belt with no particular design on it.
Alicia tightly gripped onto the belt while vowing to find its owner.
The nurse seemed quite overwhelmed by the serious gaze in her eyes, and took a step back.
“Do they sell honey bomb candies nearby?”
“…You must only have porridge for the time being.”
The third day after the end of the tutorial quest was the day of Merkarva Academy’s entrance ceremony. Living 27 years on Earth, I’ve only been registering for courses that started at around noon in college but after living here for 3 years, I became used to waking up early.
That was still the same even after the regression of my body, and my eyes automatically opened at 6 am, ready for the first day of school.
Heading to the bathroom, I took a warm shower and wiped the steam off the mirror as it revealed the reflection of Korin Lork’s bare face.
The unattended black hair was long enough to reach below the shoulders but I tied it to a ponytail as always.
Leaving behind the mirror that quickly turned back to being foggy, I changed into the same clothes I wore three days ago. Even though it used to be bloodstained, the washing skills of this world were remarkable.
This jumbled-up world based on things from the 16th ~ 20th Century had things like magic artifacts and crystal technology to replicate modern products.
There was no particular uniform in this academy, so I was wearing the same relatively-tough pants and a white shirt like I used to even before the regression.
All I needed was the student ID card received beforehand to enter the campus.
I opened the wallet to check the ID card inside and found a piece of paper fluttering down to the floor.
To my proud son, Korin Lork,
There are no words to express how proud your father is to have you to enter the guardian academy.
Become a great man that can protect those around you, as well as the whole world like countless other guardians.
It’s your mum. Don’t skip your meals and don’t push yourself to become a hero. I’ll be happy as long as you’re healthy.
Oppa! Send me 10 jars of honey bomb candies when you get there!
‘Korin Lork’ was an average ungifted student like one of those players in an amateur baseball team who always stayed in the waiting room.
Although he was pretty much a non-existent side character in the story, even he had a family.
He had a father who was proud of him; a mother who wished for her son’s well-being, and a growling and annoying younger sister.
In the previous iteration, I felt very awkward around these people. Because they were the family of Korin Lork, and not me.
I even felt guilty for taking Korin Lork away from them, and it took a long time for me to accept Korin Lork’s memories which I gained by coming into this world as my own.
But now, it was different.
Forging bonds with a lot of people over the past 3 years, I started to love them and I began to love this world.
I acknowledged that this world was real.
That was probably the difference between Park Sihu and me. The difference in our perspectives would not let us understand each other until the very end.
“First off, let’s buy some honey bomb candies and send them home.”
10 jars my ass. Be glad that I am willing to send 1 jar.
The place where the freshmen had to gather was the Liberty Hall located north-east of the Academy.
Because of how enormous the campus was, it would have taken years to go there on foot, but fortunately, there were carriages doing rounds across the campus.
The automated magic carriages were traveling on top of the rails of the campus like trams, while stopping at each of the stations.
As expected of one of the 4 guardian academies of the entire continent, they were loaded with money.
In fact, academies in this world were even more influential than countries so the amount of donations flooding in was on the level of the national budget of a kingdom.
“Wow… There are so many carriages.”
“So this… is Merkarva Academy.”
In rural cities, there would only be 1 or 2 magic carriages going around and yet there was an abundance of them in this place, so the students that came from the countryside dropped their chins and watched in awe.
It was quite rare and in fact, some of them might have gotten on a carriage for the first time in their lives after getting the admission offer. Therefore, they were bound to mindlessly wander off due to not knowing the stations and directions of the automated carriages going around the Academy.
That was something the school was also aware of, and there were always people allocated at the entrance of the Academy each year. I also did it in the past before the regression.
“This way~. Everyone~! All the freshmen juniors, gather up!!”
There was a girl at the southern entrance of the Academy, who was gathering freshmen in front of one of the stations. Her long turquoise-color hair was spread all the way down to her waist, and her hair that was braided across the side was decorated with white potato flowers.
She was wearing white clothes with a hint of blue throughout. The beret which artists would wear, her skirt, boots and the protective coat which was worn by every mage were all coloured in white.
Judging from how there were close to thirty students of the academy that were presumably freshmen lining up in front of her, that girl appeared to be in charge of the guidance this year.
“The carriage will be coming soon! It will depart after around 2 minutes? So let’s move fast! But not too fast so that we don’t get hurt, and let’s go in one by one and go all the way to the back!”
The girl with turquoise hair color gave instructions to the freshmen with a bright smile on her face. Her refreshing smile which was the same as the one before the regression flushed the faces of some of the freshmen.
“Are you also a freshman? Come here and sit down. Wow~ You’re very tall! I’m sure you need to eat a lot as well!”
There was no-one who could ever hate this girl who was kind and bright to everyone. However, I couldn’t return a carefree smile as one who knew about the future waiting ahead of her.
“Do you want some potatoes? It’s from my family, and I baked a lot of them to give to our juniors today.”
She took out a potato covered by a handkerchief from the basket and gave it to me. There appeared to be a preservation spell cast on it, and the potato was steaming hot.
“Oh right. I’m Marie. Marie Dunareff.”
A genius at using magic, and a 2nd year student of Merkarva Academy. The unfortunate girl blessed by everyone who would have easily become a Grade 1 mage, that however crumbled in an instant.
“I’m Korin Lork. Do you have sugar?”
“Ahtt! I don’t have sugar! But I did bake them with salt!”
Is that okay? She looked up at me with an amicable smile on her face.