༺ … ༻
“Do you want power?”
The little girl made a simple proposal.
The situation was far too perfect, which made him all the more nervous.
“Who are you?”
“Come on, Professor, I told you. My name is Mane.”
“I’m sure you know that’s not what I’m asking.”
It was strange. The girl, calling herself a student of the academy, was offering to help him.
Who is she?
What would she gain from this?
“I don’t think you should be worried about that right now.”
“To be precise, don’t you have something you need to do?”
She pointed mockingly at his severed arm.
He came to himself again. Who or what she was wasn’t important right now.
What was important was what she wanted from him. That was how a deal worked.
“What do you want from me?”
As if she heard what she wanted, she smiled brightly.
However, that smile only made the professor feel uneasy.
“You want to take revenge on Park Si-woo, right?”
“Isn’t that obvious?”
“Hey, don’t be shy! You want to tear him apart right now, don’t you?”
Slowly, she began to stir up his emotions, but he didn’t feel the need to stop her.
Because what he wanted must be the same as what she wanted.
“So, you’re asking me to kill him? If so, I don’t have a reason to refuse.”
“No, that’s not quite right. Firstly, I want you to kill the girl constantly by his side, Seo-ah.”
“Kill everyone who looks like they’re on his side, and finish him off last.”
“Why go through all that trouble?”
It was a reasonable question.
Just a few moments earlier, it seemed like she would ask him to kill Park Si-woo, but now she was asking him to kill the people around him.
He couldn’t help but ask, even though he himself wanted to hurt them to make Park Si-woo suffer.
In response, she acted.
“…I was trying to be reasonable, but you’re asking a lot of questions.”
The iron bars of his cell shattered, and a black mass began to strangle him.
Even as he used [Mana Control], the attack did not stop.
As his weak resistance slowly began to fade, it ended.
The attack came undone at the last moment.
With barely any air flowing into his lungs, he attempted to pull himself together.
However, the air he attempted to breathe in felt wrong, as if it were a giant cloud of poison.
The pain was so intense that it felt like he was going to pass out from just attempting to breathe.
“Please endure it. I am giving you strength.”
The black mass wrapped around him as he writhed in pain. You almost couldn’t see his body amid the fog, but he slowly began to absorb it.
“Soon, you’ll feel like you’ve been reborn.”
Gazing upon the professor writhing in pain, she smiled.
The smoke slowly began to dissipate as it was absorbed into his body.
“Have you come to?”
“Yes, I have.”
Everything about Professor Park Ki-yeol had changed.
His way of speaking had changed, his severed arm was suddenly healed, and his eyes turned red.
Moreover, his initially intelligent gaze had completely vanished, his eyes seemingly dazed.
“I should have done this from the beginning instead of trying to convince you.
“What’s wrapped around your body right now is magi. It’s a substance that’s far superior to mana, and I used it to make you into a demon. How do you feel?”
He spoke so submissively that it was hard to believe it was Professor Park Ki-yeol.
While kneeling, the professor obeyed Mane’s every command.
“Please recite my last order.”
“You told me to kill all the people around Park Si-woo.”
“Hehe, this is good. I’ve only ever used my powers on some excited fans, but it doesn’t seem like I’ve gotten rusty.”
Hearing Professor Park’s submissive response, the satisfied Mane began to laugh maniacally amid the silence of the prison cell.
Of course, I knew that I would have to talk to him someday, but I couldn’t help but feel a little uncomfortable.
There was no other word to describe it.
Frustratingly, not only did I not know what name to call him, he couldn’t even remember me.
I was used to “Lee Hyun” so calling him “Lee Hyun-a” was awkward as well.
‘Damn, Lee Hyun-a is a feminine name, isn’t it?
I tried to ignore it, but the name itself was enough to make me feel uncomfortable, it felt more suitable for a girl than a boy.
‘He’s a girl?’
As I looked at him, I took note of his features. He had blue hair, but his physique was undeniably masculine.
Of course, he was quite short for a man, but if he were a girl, his chest would be bigger.
Plus, I had even shared a dorm room with him. Unless I was a complete imbecile, I would have noticed.
It was probably just a coincidence that his name was feminine.
“Do you know my name?”
His damn tone annoyed me more. I didn’t like the way he was wary of everyone, something that hadn’t changed in the six years I had known him.
It made sense for him to be wary of me right now, but he would act the same way around us years from now.
Seo-ah was seriously an angel for accepting him. If that were me, I would have done something about him a long time ago.
For that reason, I spoke in a slightly sarcastic tone.
It was for no particular reason, I simply didn’t like him.
“Why did you come here? Do I know you?”
“Then piss off.”
With that, I activated [Large Explosion] once again, although I did control it so that he wouldn’t get hurt.
If I did, Seo-ah would nag me later, and we would have to stick together in the future.
But it seemed Lee Hyun-a wasn’t finished.
“Why are you being so destructive? Why don’t you want the other students to pass?”
Every time I activated the skill, it caused destruction. I did adjust the power of the skill, but being able to precisely divide the skill into two separate halves was quite impressive.
Even my swordsmanship was something I had learned from him. His abilities with a sword were certainly outstanding.
That didn’t change how annoying he was, however.
“It’s none of your business.”
“Come to think of it, it’s been a while since we’ve fought. How about we give it a go?”
“What are you saying…?! This is the first time I’ve ever met you…!”
“Maybe you’ll find out later. For now, just think of it as my selfish desire.”
Still, I was the superior swordsman right now.
I’ll just beat him up a little since I’ve never fought seriously with Lee Hyun before. Given his righteous personality, it’s unlikely he’ll let me go regardless. This is self-defense. I’ll just hit him hard enough for him to leave me alone.
“Alright then. Mana Con-”
As I was about to activate my skill, I heard a scream that made my eardrums feel like they would fall out.
‘Fuck, something’s wrong.’
It was a voice I had heard many times, but as I turned, wondering why she was screaming so loudly, I saw her.
I could see Ha-eun trying to act as dignified as possible, even while trembling.
What was she doing? Did she have a reason she needed to talk to me?
If you were the person in my memories, you would go and fight strong kids…
‘Fuck. Please don’t tell me what I think it is.’
Did my instincts give me a premonition of bad things to come?
I didn’t have time to defeat her and destroy all the flags within two hours, so I prayed my instincts were wrong.
“Hey! I won’t accept the coin toss from earlier! You have to fight me again before you fight anyone else!”
Ha-eun, who completely ignored my pleading gaze, requested to fight me.
Dammit, why didn’t we have any normal people on our team?
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