༺ Lecture (2) ༻
It was almost 9 A.M.
Trying to relax my nerves, I went to the rooftop to smoke a cigarette since everyone should be in the auditorium……
But suddenly, I heard Lizzy’s voice as she began shouting, and I couldn’t help but become perplexed by this kid’s actions.
While she didn’t explicitly mention my name, I knew I was the subject of her outcry from the context of her words and the visible emotion etched in them.
To be honest, I wasn’t offended by it.
Since it was only natural for Lizzy to do something like this.
But aside from that, I turned my head to see if there was anyone who could have heard her.
‘It seems we are alone…….’
There wasn’t anyone on this rooftop or the closest building rooftop.
That must have been why Lizzy dared to shout like that.
I feel guilty.
However, if someone did hear her, some rather unpleasant rumors could spread through the Academy.
The Claudia Family would have a legitimate excuse to confront Brutein.
From an outsider’s point of view, my thoughts must have sounded like the thoughts of an irredeemable trash.
‘No, just calling it trash is an understatement…….’
What should I do about this?
Of course, it is not like I don’t have a conscience.
It would be disturbing if a modern person didn’t feel guilty about smashing a little girl’s ankle, so Seo-Jin’s ego was rightfully disturbed by this situation.
However, how many people will be capable of holding on to such a guilty conscience when their lives are on the line?
Even if I managed to get promoted to the Apollyon class and contact the abyss dwellers on the third floor of the underworld……
No, I’m not even certain if I will be able to contract the right one.
And asking for forgiveness is also not an option.
Because if I could, then I would surely have already done it.
In fact, I still remember her hateful gaze when I tried to apologize to her.
The root of this incident was Ferzen’s severe OCD…….
But since eight years have already passed, there is no way anyone would accept such an excuse.
So this situation won’t be resolved until one side gives in or breaks.
An undeniable fate.
I wasn’t prepared for this eventual confrontation.
Suddenly, the wind blew in a different direction.
And the puff of my cigarette made its way in her direction. Seeing this, I threw the cigarette on the floor, stomped on it, and opened my mouth.
We couldn’t see each other.
Since it was only the two of us on this rooftop, then I’m sure she would have another panic attack.
‘I think she already…….’
No matter how long I waited, I couldn’t hear the characteristic sound of her wheelchair.
Since I already called her name, I can’t just go and leave her here.
Out of frustration, I looked where she should have been and saw Lizzy frozen on the spot like a statue.
Since the time for my lecture was near, I couldn’t waste time here, so I overrode the control of her corpse servant and made it push her wheelchair towards the railing.
Since there’s still quite the influx of people down there, Lizzy should be able to calm down when she sees it.
* * * * *
The corpse, who she lost control of, began pushing her wheelchair towards the railing.
Is he planning on killing me by dropping me off the roof?
It would take only one look at Ferzen for one to realize that he wasn’t trying to do such a thing.
But Lizzy didn’t have that leeway right now.
So Lizzy, in a desperate attempt, unfastened the belt that secured her to the wheelchair and flung herself on the floor.
Ferzen saw this scene and heaved a deep sigh. He then commanded the corpse servant to hold her in place and move her towards the railing.
Since she jumped out of her wheelchair, I made the corpse hold her and make her look all the way down.
But the moment the corpse tried to hold her, my connection with the corpse was cut off.
She had taken control of the corpse once again.
Of course, Ferzen only used a minuscule amount of mana to control Lizzy’s corpse.
But on the other hand, Lizzy has been ministering this same corpse for a long time, so both her proficiency and comprehension are at a high level……
‘I can’t steal the corpse again.’
A talent of having a higher control over corpses from the same lineage.
It should have been common sense for Lizzy to be unable to maintain control of her corpse servant no matter how much she struggled since Ferzen, who was a whole rank above her and his mana, was purer and denser.
‘That should’ve been the case…….’
When seen through ❰Digitization❱ her rate of comprehension of the corpse was 82%
Even though her comprehension was quite high, one should consider that this corpse was just a regular civilian.
The rate of comprehension and your proficiency with a corpse are factors that can influence the optimization of mana.
But even if one has almost 0% comprehension of a corpse, they can still forcefully achieve a rate of 90%.
It’s just that this was a terribly inefficient way of using your mana.
But even with Ferzen’s Euclidean mana reserves and proficiency talents……
He couldn’t take away her control.
‘Once a certain rate of comprehension is reached, then it becomes impossible for someone to override their control, but Lizzy hasn’t achieved that threshold yet….. Could it be an exclusive talent of hers…..?’
Still, since she is only a Keter-class Warlock at the moment, this doesn’t mean much, but in the future, if she increases her rank……
At least in a battle between warlocks, this talent will prove to be an absurd advantage.
I tried to contain this situation as much as possible, but now it doesn’t seem to be achievable.
If only she didn’t force me into this.
But then again, now that things had come to this point, there was nothing I could do, so I walked toward her.
‘At least her trauma…….’
Apparently, she can’t overcome it.
* * * * *
Lizzy, who was struggling relentlessly on the floor, barely managed to lift her upper body.
But right at this moment, Ferzen appeared in front of her and looked at her with his characteristic blood-red eyes……
Lizzy’s mind went blank.
And even the corpse servant she just regained control of fell on the floor like a puppet with its strings cut off.
And so Ferzen reached out to her and held her body.
There was no way that Lizzy’s fractured mind could do something like that, so overwhelmed by her fears, her mind made the only possible choice at the moment — complete surrender.
That just showed just how deep the mental scars carved by Ferzen were and how much his presence terrified her.
“I’m sorry….. I was wrong….. I was in the wrong…….”
“Please!……No more……I’m sorry…..Please…..”
Holding onto Ferzen’s collar, Lizzy repeated these same words like a broken record, even though she had done nothing wrong.
“Lizzy Poliana Claudia.”
Ferzen carried her to the railing.
And standing in front of the only thing that prevented a fall to the death, Ferzen put Lizzy down, held her slender waist, and turned her body forward.
“Don’t you see a lot of people down there? There is just you and me up here, but there’s no need for you to be afraid, is there?”
He grabbed Lizzy’s chin with one hand and forced her to look down.
At that, Lizzy’s body began trembling even more.
Being held like this and forced to stare at her own demise, Lizzy could only let her tears flow freely.
Seeing this, Ferzen muttered in a low voice as he wiped her tears.
“……Calm down and look down there. Isn’t it time for you to stop cowering and soiling yourself every time you face me?”
His hot breath tickled her ears as Lizzy slowly opened her eyes and saw countless people walking down there.
“You are such an annoying kid.”
Although the process was painful, the goal was achieved.
Lizzy gradually recovered from her panic attack.
And looking at the results, then it was safe to say that Ferzen had accomplished his daily act of kindness……
But to Lizzy, he was nothing more than a sick bastard who enjoyed torturing her under the pretense of ‘helping.’
Literally – a twisted form of kindness.
“Let go of me….Please…..”
“As you wish.”
Lizzy, who finally had regained her senses, spoke in a weak tone as Ferzen’s firm arms were still holding her waist.
Ferzen didn’t refuse her plea as he helped Lizzy get into her wheelchair.
“It was smart of you….choosing to omit my name from your little skit.”
“You barely avoided disciplinary actions.”
Ferzen then kindly straightened her messy clothes and fastened the belt on her waist.
“Since there are only five minutes until the time of my lecture…. I shall go first.”
After checking the time on his pocket watch, Ferzen turned his back on her and was about to walk away.
Lizzy, who was looking at his broad back, clenched her fists and barely managed to open her mouth.
“You will regret doing it.”
“Regret you say……”
Reflecting on her words, Ferzen stopped and kneeled in front of Lizzy’s wheelchair.
Then he reached out his hands, grabbed the back of her neck and pulled her closer to him.
Lizzy tried to push Ferzen away, but this was an impossible task for a frail girl like her.
“Tell me, Lizzy, does a butcher fear his cattle when they gain weight?”
“Your brother, after struggling like a madman, has finally managed to get out of the farmer’s fence. But you, Lizzy, you are like a little animal that is still in the line to be slaughtered.”
His arrogant remark……
Lizzy refused to answer it.
“So don’t trouble yourself, Lizzy….. Just be a good cattle and stay cooped up inside your little fence. Have you ever seen any sheep who got devoured by a starving beast staying inside their fences?”
“You see, Lizzy, the outside world can be terrifying sometimes. So scary that even those foolish children who dreamed of being grown-ups regret the passage of time when they eventually reach that point.”
Having finished his speech, Ferzen removed his hands from her neck and left the rooftop.
And Lizzy, who was now left alone, controlled her corpse servant to push her wheelchair as she bit her lip.
* * * * *
‘Where is he…..?!’
While anxiously chewing his nails, Alphonse, the poor administrative assistant, sighed deeply.
The only ones who could be this relaxed in front of this many influential people are Brutein.
And just as his stomach started to ache from the stress.
The auditorium doors opened, and a tall man dressed in a luxurious black suit walked in.
He always wears this same black suit but…….
I can’t deny that it fits this person very well.
As soon as Ferzen walked up to the podium, Alphonse frantically approached him and started talking about the attendance list.
“It seems that except for one person, everyone is here…….”
“That is correct, Professor. It seems that the daughter of Rosenberg’s family requested for a sick leave.”
“I see, then proceed as you were told.”
“….Are you sure, Professor?”
“Alphonse, don’t make me say it twice; I hate repeating myself.”
“As you wish, Professor…….”
Alphonse bowed his head to me, and then he took out a human-sized doll in his arms and placed it on the empty seat.
Some spectators laughed at this absurdity, and Alphonse went red from shame, but he still did as he was ordered.
And seeing Alphonse’s reaction, Ferzen then glanced at the audience.
Rank, Family, Prestige……
While those aspects varied, if there is one thing in common with all of those present here, it is that they are all Wizards.
Of course, since this is a lecture hosted at the Imperial Academy and sponsored by the Association, there is no way a non-wizard would have access to it.
Even the Imperial Family was not exempt from this rule.
The reason for this is that all those who were present here today have taken the magic oath.
Those who walk the path of magic are required to make three oaths in their lives, and it is common to take advantage of this.
1 – When submitting a thesis to the Association, thou shall only provide truthful facts without any shred of lies or deception.
2 – Thou shall not disclose other Wizard’s knowledge without permission.
3 – Thou shall not share your knowledge with other nations.
This was considered the 「Imperial Law」 that all those with magical talents must swear to at the age of four.
Those wizards who refuse to make these vows are viewed as nothing more than worthless dogs.
And thanks to these vows, even if I give this lecture, the knowledge disclosed here won’t be massively spread.
‘So it’s done…….’
After Alphonse finished setting the dolls in the empty places and left the auditorium just like Lizzy. Ferzen then slowly raised his right hand.
“A moment of silence, please…….”
And after looking down on all of those who were seated in the first rows……
“Without further ado.”
And after scanning those who were sitting further back.
“The lecture shall start now.”
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