Their curiosity did not cool down until the end of the last class.
Some students came to ask me about it, but I said I had an urgent phone call and left.
I thought it wouldn't matter because there was Choi Hyun-Woo to take my place, and most importantly, Han Soo-Young was there.
… Rather, at what point did Han Soo-Young become the center of the class
At first glance, many of the boys seemed to have a secret crush on her.
A few of the female students who found out that Choi Hyun Woo was not her boyfriend seemed to be happy.
‘It's not surprising if it's the two of them.’
If there had been kids like that in my school days, I would have reacted no differently.
As I came out with such a little thought, I immediately checked the text message from Lydia.
It looked like an ordinary spam mail, but since I had agreed with her, I was able to figure out what it meant.
No way, she had already made Esmeralda a free body.
I knew she could do it, but I didn't expect she could do it in less than a day.
'I'm sure she must have been wary in various ways...… .'
Didn't she say that she was strictly ordered by the boss of Red Case to never do anything conspicuous
Through years of maneuvering, she had been sitting in a high-ranking position in the association.
To be honest, it wouldn't have been a problem for her to forcibly take Esmeralda away by giving orders, but doing so would inevitably lead to unnecessary suspicion.
Of course, it was unprofitable to be suspected by everyone for trying to take one low-level member of the organization, Esmeralda Lysnerger.
… At this point, I thought I could almost put aside my suspicions about her.
As I inferred from her text, I moved my steps towards the empty classroom.
There was nothing and no one in the classroom, which was currently empty and unused.
Even things like desks were literally empty because they had been moved somewhere.
Did I come to the wrong place
While I was thinking so, someone opened the door and came in.
“Oh my, there's someone here…… .”
Looking at the clothes, the things he was holding, and his appearance, he was an ordinary cleaner.
He looked at me and muttered, holding a mop.
“Um, I have to clean…… .”
I apologized at those words and walked outside.
Then, as I walked past him, I could feel something snapping into my pocket.
“If you have anything to tell me or ask me, leave an empty milk carton here.
Then I will come to you right away.”
It was a voice I hadn't heard in a long time.
When I glanced, the middle-aged man had disappeared, and a rather gaunt-looking woman, still dressed in her cleaner clothes, was looking at me.
She was none other than Esmeralda Lysnerger.
"Long time no see."
"What Whose fault was it that I got into that mess, but now you're casually saying hello...
She, who was choked up at the moment, took a breath and said.
“If it wasn’t for the leader’s orders…… .”
"Haven't you heard anything from the leader you respect so much"
That's why I'm leaving you alone like this."
Thanks to you, I'm a cleaner who doesn't have a destiny.
She muttered, fixing the mop.
"The USB drive I gave you should have all the materials you asked for organized in it.
Once you've viewed it, the material will disappear, so keep that in mind....… And if there's anything you want to look up or need, just let me know.
I've been ordered by our leader to serve you for a while."
With those words, she changed into the man she had first appeared as, and started mopping.
Seeing her like that, I gave her a roughly expected date.
“I'll probably be finished with my preparations in about two days.
Be ready to be contacted then."
Without hearing an answer, I left the empty classroom.
Then the phone rang once more.
It was a text message from Jin Ye-Seul.
When I checked, it was said that she had arrived at the academy now.
I called her right away.
She answered my phone even before the beep went twice.
― Yes, Ji-Hyuk.
It's sudden, but I have something to tell you.
And I have a favor to ask you.
Can I see you right now”
Jin Ye-Seul pondered for a moment and murmured.
― Ummm…… Can't we meet later at night I think I'll be a little busy because I have to got to an interview soon.
I'm not sure when it'll end.
“Then, around 8 o’clock”
― Yeah, I think that'd be good.
After saying that, Jin Ye-Seul asked me in a subtle voice.
― But why didn't you check what I sent you this time Last time, you replied that I was pretty and that it suits me well...… .
I was a little busy.
The situation was like that."
― I see…… Then be sure to check and reply, okay See you later.
With those words, Jin Ye-Seul hung up the phone.
I was at a loss for words for a moment when I checked what she had sent me.
The text showed Jin Ye-Seul wearing the same purple party dress as last time.
This time, unlike the last time, she was sitting quietly rather than taking a pose.
And what does it mean to clearly reveal the ears with nothing hanging on them
I felt my chest tighten for a moment, so I didn't reply to her.
I couldn't send it.
* * *
As I headed to the alchemy club, which I hadn't visited in a while, I could, as always, find Cass Lyle throughout the gap of the mixing of variously unique smells.
Unusually, no other members of the club were seen today.
He was so lost in thought that he didn't seem to notice I was there until I came over and greeted him.
When I touched his shoulder lightly, he looked at me in surprise.
It's Ji-Hyuk, Sorry.
I was thinking about something.”
"What are you thinking that you're so distracted"
“It’s nothing, just…… .”
Then we could smell something unpleasant.
Cass Lyle seemed to immediately know where the smell was coming from.
With a small swear word, he grabbed the bottle in front of him and quickly ran off to somewhere else.
A few moments later, he appeared with an absurd look and murmured as if he were complaining.
“…I didn't know I'd ruin my 18 hours of work like this.
I'm sorry to surprise you."
I was even more surprised that he made such a ridiculous mistake of ruining the reagent by getting stuck in another thought, rather than the fact that he had been working on something for 18 hours.
That's because it was that Cass Lyle.
As a homunculus, he was an artificial creature created with all the learned knowledge and experiences that many alchemists could not acquire in a lifetime of effort.
In a word, there were few beings that could surpass him in alchemy.
How could he make mistakes that even a beginner wouldn't make
And he asked me in a subtle voice whether he knew my thoughts or not.
"Come to think of it, Ji-Hyuk, your professor is Professor Blesbuck, right"
Yes, that's right."
"Then perhaps there was something special about the professor yesterday"
“I'm not sure."
He nodded as if he understood.
“What’s going on”
"That…… I haven't been able to contact her since yesterday.
This has never happened before…….”
"Oh, come to think of it, someone else did the ordinance today.”
I thought it might be because it was quite common for her position at the Academy, but it didn't seem to be for him.
Cass Lyle more and more made an expression as if he couldn't understand.
“Is there something urgent”
“No, no matter where she went, she always told me.
she has never had this before...… .”
He shook his head and began to mumble in a low voice.
Then he got up from his seat and opened his mouth as if sorry.
I'm sorry to tell you after you've come here, but I think I should stop here today.
If there's anything you want to do...… .”
“No, it’s okay.”
With that, he began to walk away, looking listless.
I hadn't seen him like that before, except in the original story when Alice Blesbuck was falsely accused and driven to the brink of being fired.
But now that hasn't happened yet, so what the hell is going on
I felt the need to find out the details.
There was Esmeralda, so I'll find out soon.
I didn't think I'd suddenly have time like this.
After thinking about it for a while, I decided to head to the archery club.
When I was sick, I often visited the reading club, but I had never stopped by the archery club before.
When we arrived at the archery club, as always, there were quiet a few students shooting arrows or talking with each other.
As I walked in, someone tapped me lightly on the shoulder and pretended to know me.
"Yo! I heard you were sick.
Are you okay now"
A second-year female student with bobbed hair.
She said her name was Kang Yeon-Kyung
She smiled as if she was happy, and I greeted her with a smile.
“Yes, thanks for your concern.”
“The manager was quite worried.
Oh, since it's like this, I'll tell you what happened...… .”
Before I knew it, Lee Ye-Eun was next to me.
Thanks to that, Kang Yeon-Kyung, who had not noticed her at all, was startled, but she didn't seem to mind much.
"But is it okay to move like this already Your body...… .”
It's already been days."
“Are you really fine Who was it, yes I heard from Lyle that you were almost half-dead...… .”
Lee Ye-Eun spoke in a quiet voice.
Then she asked, not even looking at the stiff Yeon-Kyung.
“Aren't you going to practice Do you want me to go easy on you after a long time”
I was just about to go...… .”
With the words, she disappeared as if running away, saying, See you later.
Lee Ye-Eun, who hadn't even checked that, looked at me closely and shook her head with a sigh.
“No matter how much I look at you, you still have some after-effects, and strenuous exercise in such a case would be harmful to your recovery."
"Oh, I'm really all better now.
“It’s not good to lie.”
She said so and gently turned my body and pushed me out.
Before I could say anything, she pushed me out of the archery club, and as soon as I came out she looked around and asked me with slightly furrowed eyebrows.
“Where does it hurt Do you want me to take you to the infirmary”
“No, thank you.
I'm really fine.”
“That's what people always say.
Now, go and get some rest.”
“No, it's true.
I went to a dungeon a few days ago...… .”
Instantly, Lee Ye-Eun Lee looked at me with sharp eyes, making herself look even more bewildered.
Pardon Dungeon, I must have misheard it, right How is your body right now, a dungeon … .”
I said to her with a small sigh.
It was also a question that had been raised until now.
“Why are you doing this to me”
“So, why are you treating me so special”
“When did I…… .”
“Honestly, it is very burdensome.
Both this time and last time.”
When I said that, Lee Yu-Na stared at me blankly as if she was shocked.
“To be honest, I'm grateful that my senior looks at me in a good light, but acting like that when there are other people around…… I'm a little worried about how the people around me will see us.
Even if they see me like that, senior, you are in the student council, so you're in a sensitive position in many ways.
I don't think it's good for you to get involved with me like that for nothing."
“Tha, that…… So…… .”
“Thank you for treating me well, but I hope that you will treat me the same as other people in the future.”
With those words, I bowed my head slightly.
Then I added as if to say, don't worry about me.
"And I'm taking good care of myself, so don't worry."
Then Lee Ye-Eun stretched out her hand while letting out a small ‘Ah…… .'
Should I go to the library and find what I'm looking for
As I left with that thought, I heard her murmur quietly behind me, but it was too quiet to hear.
“… Treat you like everyone else, there's no way I can do...… .”
When you are my…… .
* * *
In the end, I spent my time today without getting anything out of it, and it was now the time I had promised Jin Ye-Seul.
When I went out to the vacant lot that I had promised in advance, Jin Ye-Seul was waiting for me.
Even though it was a place frequented by people, she would instinctively find a remote place where other people did not come often, and the place we were supposed to meet this time was also such remote place with few people.
She smiled when she saw me and got up from her seat.
I greeted her briefly and handed her the Mirage gloves I had brought with me.
At that words, she was startled and surprised, and then carefully took the gauntlets from me.
Then she stroked it with trembling hand.
“Have I ever lied to you about something like this”
Then, Jin Ye-Seul blankly looked at the gloves and murmured.
“… No, this wasn't there."
It was kind of a curious reply, but I thought that much.
I sat on the bench with her and talked.
"I'm sure you'll learn the art like the statue before.
If it's you, you'd learn it in a few days."
When I said that, Jin Ye-Seul was absent-minded for a moment and then smiled a little.
“You always believe in me.”
“I told you, you have talent.”
“… Yes, you did.”
In reality, no one but her could learn, but there was no need to tell her the truth.
And I carefully took out the necklace.
It should be okay now.
And I moved my finger as I watched her eyes shine a little when she saw the necklace.
Immediately, the necklace changed into the shape of a dagger.
“It will be used in times of need.
I thought you might need it.
I heard that it boosts the vitality of the body.”
"And I want to ask you a favor…… .”
Jin Ye-Seul cut me off mid-sentence and stared at me.
“I heard an interesting story today.”
"It was about Soo-Young's relationship."
As Jin Ye-Seul said so, she slowly moved her body and began to approach me.
“Girls talk fast, you know.
I didn't know when I was being bullied in the past, but now it's different...… Yeah, if I had known it would be so easy, I would have done this a long time ago."
She dragged the female student who had been bullying her down and pushed her into the abyss, but surprisingly, the incident hadn't been talked about much.
Perhaps it was because she had been working on the bottom before that, but I could only guess.
On top of that, Jin Ye-Seul was definitely gradually increasing her influence in the class.
It certainly wasn't strange if someone told her about today.
“That's about Ji-Hyuk, right”
Jin Ye-Seul asked me in a weak voice.
If I pretened I don't know, it wouldn't be the right thing to both to Jin Ye-Seul and Han Soo-Young.
As I nodded her head slightly, Jin Ye-Seul dropped her head as if discouraged.
After a while, Jin Ye-Seul raised her head and looked at me with a smile.
She had a small smile on her face, and the corners of her eyes had small tears in them.
"I see…… .”
“Um, can you do me one favor"
Jin Ye-Seul said that and pointed to the necklace I was holding in my hand.
Can you put that on me with your hands"
she added quietly.
“Let me break my lingering feelings."
When she said that, I approached her without a word, holding the necklace.
She lifted her long hair with both hands without a word to make it easier to put on the necklace.
I approached her in a hugging pose, and I carefully put the necklace on her.
“Okay, then…… .”
It was when I was saying that and about to step back.
She suddenly hugged me tightly with both arms.
Jin Ye-Seul, who grabbed me so tightly that I couldn't even move an inch, whispered quietly in my ear.
“I got you.”
Her hug was so full of strength, that it made a cracking sound rather than the squishy sound.
I could feel the pain as if my whole body was crushed, not just from her words, but also from her action that was full of strength.
“What are you doing… !”
I was about to say something, but I couldn't say anything.
It was because I felt something hot and a sharp pain on the back of my neck.
She bit my neck like a beast.