Seo-ah, Ha-eun, and even that girl, Lee Hyun.
The scarlet-red blood that flows endlessly,
The dragon’s claw that penetrated their bodies,
The warmth of life that I could no longer feel, all of these things were telling me.
I failed to escape the gate.
The entrance was already cracked and lost its function,
And the side roads that I had made in advance had also become useless.
There is no way for me to survive.
Because I don’t have much energy left.
Then, as I start to feel my consciousness waver due to my energy getting depleted, something appears in front of my eyes.
As soon as this thing appears, I stare at it intently.
Just one word.
It only said one word, but the pressure was intensely different.
A man? A woman? An elder? A child? Whatever it was.
“Thank you for your hard work.”
That guy’s the one who brought me into this dungeon.
The chairman of the academy.
The one responsible for creating this damned situation.
“It was great. Thanks to you, I was able to complete my great plan. You cleaned up all the extra obstructions in my way.”
A tone as if he were looking down on me.
I pretend to be expressionless.
I could see him petting the dragon, but I can’t let him see me get upset.
Getting swallowed by emotions is fatal in battle.
I look away from my friends’ dead bodies.
“People, they are so stupid. Just for a few pennies, for a few artifacts, you give us what we want. And thanks to you, I even recovered my strength.”
“You were especially competent among those students. Since you brought us the things we needed most. Well, I guess that’s why you survived until the end.”
A person that keeps stirring my emotions continuously.
The meaning behind each of his words,
They make me want to kill him right now.
However, I do not proceed.
I have my next life.
As calmly as possible, I find a way to break through this situation.
The same way I always did.
“It seems you are not afraid.”
The chairman just looked straight at me as if he was having fun.
“This is entertaining.”
All it takes is a moment for the atmosphere of a person who was so kind to change.
Just like a snake baring its hidden fangs,
Just like a beast hiding in the dark starts to reveal itself, the surrounding air becomes heavier.
“Rebirth, are you relying on that?”
I clench my teeth.
I try to maintain my expression.
How did he ever find out about that?
However, even for that brief moment, he doesn’t miss it.
“So it is.”
The guy looked at me with eyes full of interest, as if to show he was now completely convinced.
“When, no, how did you get the [Return from Death] skill? That is not a skill you could possibly have. Well, there’s no questions to ask a dead man anyway.”
And as if to prove that,
A person that can see through the skill I have in front of me.
“…How did you know?”
I feel like my head is going blank.
However, I try to pretend to be calm as much as I can.
The Return from Death skill.
I didn’t tell anyone and kept it to myself,
It should have been a trump card that no one but I should have known about.
– In case of death, the player returns to a time a few seconds before death. Continuous use makes the player return to the moment right before they die.
– This is a passive skill that does not require the use of mana.
– Caution: Upon acquisition of this skill, the player’s level is fixed to 1. Skills above grade D cannot be acquired.
– [This skill is still in an unreleased state.]
As the skill window shows, if I die, I have the ability to go back to a few minutes prior to death.
But this guy, how the hell did he find out about this skill?
“Skills that ignore humanity always have a weak point. The same goes for this skill of yours.”
Too many rebirths.
Was that the problem?
After all, I had come back to life nearly 100,000 times to save the others.
‘I need to find a way.’
My side, having had my most important cards found out.
However I can, I need to find a way to beat him.
So, as soon as I clenched my sword,
“Don’t try anything stupid. Even if you have [Return from Death], you are too weak for me.”
A being who is still speaking calmly to me, despite the murderous intent I was radiating.
His indifferent voice continues to give me a huge sense of disharmony.
At that moment I came straight to my senses.
‘That, it’s not the chairman.’
The being in front of my eyes was not that trashy chairman I knew.
But maybe, no, definitely, it was more dangerous than him.
“You… Since when did you take over that body?”
“This is quite funny. You already realized ‘who’ I am. It is extraordinary.”
The being expresses genuine surprise at my question.
“Well, it’s to be expected. If you weren’t this smart, you wouldn’t have survived this long.”
As soon as it finishes speaking, a shadow is cast on the floor.
Something that turned into a completely different being in an instant suddenly appeared before my eyes.
Black, something that shouldn’t exist in this world, something in the shape of a devil.
The chairman’s body falls to the ground like a puppet having its strings cut.
And at the same moment, a pain as if my whole body is being torn apart.
I endured screaming out in pain, but I couldn’t stop myself from falling to the ground.
“I destroyed your soul. It would be troublesome if I kill you and you come back to life.”
I knew the chairman was a piece of trash, so I thought I had set up a good enough trap.
But, from the very beginning, the one who was caught in a trap… was it me?
Even bringing my friends here,
All for this situation?
‘Wake up. The fact that I have to defeat it hasn’t changed.’
Whatever that thing is, there was no change to the fact that it killed my friends.
Whether it’s the chairman or something else, it doesn’t change the fact that I have to defeat it.
So I struggle back up, with my trembling legs.
I couldn’t die now, after coming this far.
This gate was also a trap I set up to catch the chairman.
I only need to kill it once.
If I remember the ‘sense of death’, I can kill that thing again.
Originally, I was planning on coming back to life to take advantage of this, but….
‘It’s not going to let me kill it that easily.’
I close my eyes tightly and catch my breath.
I’m going to die here.
That much is clear. I instinctively felt that using Return from Death would be impossible.
But I can’t die without doing anything.
So I force myself to move.
“Your soul should be shattered, but you can still move?”
The being’s eyes tremble as if in doubt.
Yeah, is that all?
I guess this is no different to you than a bug trying to annoy you.
“Let’s die together, you bastard.”
Ignoring whether the dragon’s head was spewing out its breath, I rushed forward.
It doesn’t matter, so I draw out the last of the energy left in my heart and brain.
So that my blade could directly target its heart.
But the moment my sword gets close to its chest, the moment it just needs to go a little further to strike, I can feel my body suddenly get drained of any strength.
And it laughs as if it knew this would happen.
And with that, I can hear the notebook I had in my pocket fall to the floor.
The notebook I wrote on to not forget about the rebirth process.
I stay quiet.
I guess this wasn’t enough.
“…Is this a notebook? So foolish.”
Confident it has overpowered me, it picks up my notebook.
As it reads through my notes, its abominable face laughs as if to say this was all insignificant.
The notebook roars and explodes with a deafening bang.
This was my plan from the beginning.
Even if it was just a small notebook,
The mana that it held was enough to defeat even an S-class monster.
“…This fucking bastard.”
But the being is fine, even if it is swearing.
It only has a few superficial scratches,
I see in front of my own eyes that even the last of my efforts was useless.
With its single gesture, the lower half of my body disappears.
The excruciating pain that comes with it.
I hear a weak voice in my mind telling me to give up, that I have done enough, that this is force majeure.
I feel like I’m about to agree with it.
I got here dying 100,000 times.
I’ve lived through so much abuse. It’s not fair that I die here.
But this is it?
‘I’ll kill that bastard, whatever it takes.’
No matter the cost, I’ll kill it.
Even though I repeated those words to myself, my body disappears bit by bit.
I did everything I can to move my body, but I can see my body disintegrating into sand, starting at my fingertips.
With those words, my body completely disappears.
The being that occupied the chairman’s body.
It makes a grimace as it shakes off the dust from his clothes.
‘It’s an unbelievable power.’
The dragon took all the damage from the last explosion.
The dragon had died and turned completely white.
If this had been the body of the chairman, not its main body, it could have died from getting caught up in it.
‘I can’t believe it.’
It knew that guy’s level was one.
However, it also knew that this was the one guy that it couldn’t let its guard down against,
So it killed all of the guy’s friends and even destroyed his soul so he could not come back to life.
But even so, I had never expected this.
Maybe this guy was even more powerful than its own subordinate, the chairman, who was dead on the floor.
‘But that was it.’
There was no way for a dead guy to come back to life.
It continued watching to see if the soul tried to come back to life,
But his soul had already been shattered into millions of pieces and scattered.
“There should be no need to worry.”
The being turns its eyes away from the sand pile that once was “Si-woo”.
When it started moving, the gate slowly opened and closed,
And eventually it disappeared into fragments.
The notebook, buried in the pile of sand, was shining, still undiscovered.