“I'm glad you look healthy….”
It was a moment when I realized once again that if one is stunned, they'll let out a forced laugh.
I looked at the flapping paper crane and first moved to a place where no one was around.
With both hands, I carefully held the paper crane in case it was crushed.
“What the hell is going on”
I stopped walking, thinking this would be enough, and looked down at the paper crane in my hands.
And the paper crane, unlike when it was Evangeline, was taking a leisurely action as if it were tending to its wings.
― It is too long to explain.
Do I have to
The paper crane flapped its wings, saying so.
― Isn't the important thing the fact that I am alive
“… please think about my feelings, when I came to Jin Ye-Jeong-ssi's funeral home, the person in question is alive and well, and instead ask me if I am healthy."
― You must have been very surprised.
“No, ha, huu….”
Yes, she is the one who originally talked like this.
I somehow managed to hold my breath and looked down at it.
Then the paper crane, which was shaking as if it were surprised, nodded its neck part as if it understood.
― I think it's going to be a long story.
There, that… As you know, I'm the type of person who can't organize my words in a hurry.
How about you wait until I organize it a little
“As much as you want."
The paper crane was silent for a moment at this answer.
After a time, when I suspected that she might just run away because it was too difficult to answer, I heard a small sigh.
— … I think you've heard about me from Jelly.
“… who Jelly"
Evangeline Lohengrin, that person.
I involuntarily shut my mouth at those words.
But Jin Ye-Jeong asked me back as if asking, is there a problem
— What's wrong
“No, I just didn’t understand who it was for a moment.”
― Okay, then I will continue the explanation.
The paper crane flapped its wings and landed on my shoulder.
Laune, who was in my chest pocket, was staring blankly at it.
― First of all, I was able to confirm that Urea's professor, Isaac McDowell, has a close relationship with the Big Watch.
Not only that, but he is also acting as the real leader.
Also, one or more of his four disciples is always by his side to serve as his guard.
She spoke in a quiet tone as she did when she first met me.
― I was told that in order to assassinate him, I'd need at least to have his trust and become his disciple.
Fortunately, I was quite recognized for my ability, so I was able to become his aide at a fast pace.
It wasn't difficult to act as if I was intoxicated by his ideas.
Well, to be honest, I was prepared in various ways along the way, but….
At her words, I suddenly remembered that Jin Ye-Jeong was a very young and beautiful woman.
Because no matter what, she was Jin Ye-Seul's biological older sister.
The two of them were similar, but had different charms.
It was when I was naturally feeling depressed at her words.
― Fortunately, that didn't happen.
Isaac McDowell is that...
So he wasn't interested in women.
“That means… ”
― He wasn't interested at all.
So later I suspected that he might be homosexual, but...
for sure, I thought he was crippled in that direction...
Jin Ye-Jeong cleared her throat.
Perhaps it was my imagination, but the body of the paper crane sitting on my shoulder seemed to tremble.
― That's not what's important.
First, let me tell you what I found about Big Watch, I mean, Isaac McDowell's purpose.
“Is it okay to tell me”
― What can't be done
she muttered like that.
― He wants to break the seals of the Seven Evils.
As many as three seals.
Minerva, Venus, and Juno.
I couldn't help but let out a small sigh at her words.
The thing the three have in common is that they hate humans very much.
And it was that each had great force, and each hated each other very much.
Above all, they weren't even Isaac McDowell's original goal.
As I was wondering what the hell was going on, Svengali whispered quietly.
If those three are released, it is going to be a real mess.
A sane guy would not even decide to do that....]
Leaving behind Svengali's words, I asked her the question that came to my mind.
“Why is he breaking three seals”
Margo, Svengali, Minerva, Venus, Juno, and Ariman.
Finally, sleeping in the Baltic Sea, the Seven Evil, whose name changes each time, and was quite deeply related to alchemy.
Thus Alice Blesbuck, Cass Lyle, and Isaac McDowell.
Thus, it was also the Sven Evil most deeply related to the three of them.
If it was the original, Isaac McDowell's purpose would have been to wake him up and obtain the essence of alchemy....
― I don't know why.
The same goes for the other disciples.
From what I've heard, the purpose has suddenly changed that much.
― And I was in the process of doing some investigation to find out why.
Among them, I moved in groups with the man called Dmitry, the leader of the disciples and the most trusted of them all.
And I didn't know it was all a trap for me.
Jin Ye-Jeong muttered as if sighing a little.
― I have always spread protective magic that automatically protects my body.
But it was all useless.
I never thought he had that kind of ability....
“You mean Dmitry”
If you get caught in that man's ability, you will be trapped in a strange space.
In it, all the magic and techniques I had spread beforehand became ineffective.
Thanks to that, I had to fight him bare-handed.
Even all the weapons I carried for self-defense, just in case, disappeared.
In just two minutes, I was dead, unable to do anything to him.
She muttered quietly, making a rare impression that she was feeling bad.
― Anyway, it was an experience I never want to have again.
I asked her quietly as she shuddered.
“… so, how on earth did you survive”
― Oh, I had to tell you that.
She nodded as if she had forgotten.
― First of all, I told you about my special ability, right
This time, it was my turn to nod.
She murmured as if it were nothing.
― I could also cut out my mind and save it separately.
It's very vague to say...
simply put, can I say it's like I made a separate copy of it and saved it Oh, I mean, it's like a backup.
“Then the original Jin Ye-Jeong-ssi is dead, and the Jin Ye-Jeong-ssi I'm talking to now is a backup copy”
― The word original is a bit weird.
I'm like some kind of copy [Note: or clone].
The description is just like that, and there's no difference between the current me and the me you've met before.
If there is, it would be a physical difference.
There, Jin Ye-Jeong let out a small sigh.
― Yes, I have to tell you this, too.
I am now in the reserve body that I made in advance.
“Wait, what Reserve body”
It was something that I couldn't just let go of.
Because it's only possible with Cass Ly...
“You don't mean a homunculus”
― Oh, my How did you know It seems that you have a deeper knowledge of alchemy than I thought.
Jin Ye-Jeong muttered like that, as if it was really surprising.
― It would have been impossible for anyone else, but it was possible because it was me.
Anyway, the homunculus I created based on my body just had no mind and soul, but all other parts were the same as mine.
So, I prepared it in advance with the help of Jelly, Guild Master Lee Myung-Joon, and Professor Alice Blesbuck.
“You mean you were reincarnated in the body of the homunculus you had made in advance”
I guess you could express it that way.
― Um, what's wrong...
I muttered, gently averting my gaze from the paper crane staring at me.
Even Cass Lyle, who was originally a homunculus, had cried out many times in the story whenever he was reincarnated in the body of his other self, saying that he felt terrible and it was very painful.
If so, I had no idea how much alienation and pain she had felt, who was originally human.
I decided to pretend that I knew nothing about it, just as she wanted.
― Anyway, there are only four people who know this.
Jelly, Guild Master Lee Myung-Joon, Alice Blesbuck.
And Yoo Ji-Hyuk-ssi, you.
Four people like this.
“What about your family No one knows”
No one knows.
And in the future, they must never know.
She muttered quietly.
― This is also the reason why I contacted you even though my body condition isn't stable.
"Wait a minute.
Your body isn't stable Are you okay"
― Yes, just...
The timing was much earlier than expected, so it's just a matter of the body not growing properly.
And so, I don't have enough mana, and I don't have enough stamina.
Was I this weak when I was in middle school
Jin Ye-Jeong muttered lamentably.
― Anyway, no one in my family should know.
Yoo Ji-Hyuk-ssi, please swear to me now.
You won't tell anyone that I'm alive.
― I have been prepared for this ever since I infiltrated as a spy.
She spoke to me quietly.
― Even if I die a lonely death in a cold place that no one knows about, even if the reincarnation technique I had prepared fails and my soul loses its place, even if no one can remember the person named Jin Ye-Jeong and my name and identity all disappear and I end up living a different life.
I was prepared for all of that.
She said so and begged me earnestly.
― So please help me so that this kind of resolve of mine will not be in vain.
“… I'll try.”
― It's not about trying.
Even as she muttered like that, she muttered quietly, as if she'd believe it for now.
Looking at her like that, I asked her what I had been wondering about since earlier.
“But why on earth did you tell me this If you want to keep a secret, the fewer people who know about it, the better."
— … they found out that the last person I had contact with was Yoo Ji-Hyuk-ssi.
So I thought I had to say it with my own mouth.
And above all….
― After receiving the order from Isaac McDowell, Dmitry, he was after you.
I thought that as long as their purpose is you, you must know.
* * *
"Nice to meet you.
Yoo Ji-Hyuk-ssi, right...”
A boy with a depressed impression looked at me and bowed his head slightly.
No matter who looked at him, the boy was the younger brother of Jin Ye-Jeong and Jin Ye-Seul.
“You can just talk casually.
I heard you're a friend of my second older sister.”
Saying that, Jin Ye-Jun took the lead and guided me.
“Father hasn't come back yet.
Mother… she's taking a rest now."
"What about the mourners"
Jin Ye-Jun smiled weakly.
“We were supposed to get some today.
Mother's condition is unthinkable and...
But I'm hesitant to act as the chief mourner.
If Father arrives today, we will have to hold the funeral in earnest tomorrow."
I nodded slightly.
“By the way, what about Second Older Sister”
"Well… I kind of expected it.”
He muttered as if he really didn't expect it.
“Where on earth did this start Oldest Sister died, and Second Older Sister didn't even show up for the funeral...
I heard we used to get along well with each other in the old days, but....”
Even while sniffling, he led me into the mansion.
The inside of the mansion was large and spacious, but I felt an unknown gloomy energy for some reason.
I felt uneasy.
And as if noticing it, the paper crane in my pocket, that is, Jin Ye-Jeong, opened her mouth to speak in a small voice.
― It's Father's work.
It was deliberately made so that the mana inside the mansion is not stable.
Thanks to this, we had no choice but to be sensitive to the flow of mana since we were young.
“… is this really okay”
I asked in a whisper.
In fact, the branches of the World Tree were tossing and turning as if they were uncomfortable, and Laune seemed to be uncomfortable as well.
― Well… if you are not used to it or have a low tolerance for it, symptoms like headaches, indigestion, hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, and nervous breakdowns could often occur.
Thanks to this, a lot of the servants quit after working for a few days.
After saying that, Jin Ye-Jeong quietly shut her mouth.
It was because Jin Ye-Jun was looking at me before I knew it.
“Uh, is there anything uncomfortable”
I'm just… a little tense.”
“You don't need to be tensed.
He muttered so.
“Mother is, so… well, is it okay if I call you Older Brother”
"Call me whatever you want.
You can just call me Ji-Hyuk.”
“Well, then I’ll call you Older Brother.
I thought it would be nice to have an older brother once.”
Jin Ye-Jun said so and smiled a little.
It was an unbelievably normal behavior for the younger brother of Jin Ye-Jeong, who expressed very little emotion, and Jin Ye-Seul, who expressed emotion to an excessive degree.
“So, Mother sees Older Brother in a good light.
If she knew that you came like this, she'd be very happy.”
“I really hope she would.
I wish I could be a bit of comfort."
Jin Ye-Jun said so and took the lead again with a weak gait.
As I watched that figure, Jin Ye-Jeong's voice came out of the paper crane that appeared beside Laune.
— … Ye-Jun knows this.
I'll just listen from the pocket for a while.
With those words, the paper crane quickly disappeared into the pocket.
Come to think of it, did she mention that the only person in the family who knows how to communicate using paper cranes is Jin Ye-Jun
“She's probably beyond this.”
Passing through the hallway, Jin Ye-Jun, who put his hand on the handle of the huge door, muttered like that.
“This is where our family lives.
If you open this door, you'll go right into the reception room....”
It was then.
A woman's scream echoed along with the clamor of something breaking.
It was not a scream of pain or surprise, but one of anger and contempt.
"How dare you crawl in here!!!"
It was the voice of Jin Ye-Seul's mother that I had heard before.
Her evil-stricken scream made the listeners' hearts jump.
“I, I'm sorry, but could you please wait here for a moment”
With those words, Jin Ye-Jun hurriedly opened the door and went inside.
Jin Ye-Jeong and I, who were able to peek inside through the gap in the open door, let out a breath almost simultaneously.
— … Ye-Seul.
Beyond that, there was Jin Ye-Seul.