The Academy's Deceased Ate It All - Chapter 2
He grinned as if he had heard my muttering.
I didn’t know what he might think, but his eyes made him look threatening.
“You know me?”
I thought for a moment that I had made a mistake, so I looked into his eyes and spoke.
It was also because he was one of the ten strongest in this ‘clouds on the horizon’.
“You don’t have to be so vigilant.”
He shook his hand and stared at me.
Only then did I realize that I was wearing clothes that didn’t even fit me.
Also, the fact that I had a youthful appearance that looks like a high school student.
“I’m sorry to be direct, but are you in a difficult situation?”
Saying so, he shrugged.
“You know, I have the title of hero. If you need help…….”
“No, it’s not like that.”
I quickly cut him off.
“It’s just a little personal.”
“Well… … .”
Then, Lee Myung-Joon made a face as if he was thinking for a moment.
I got up from my seat hesitantly at the sight of him who seemed troubled.
An important figure in the association and one of the heros’ inspirations.
Although he lost his left eye in a past battle, he is still a threatening power.
A powerful hero who fights with lightning wrapped around a trident… … .
But those things didn’t matter.
What mattered was the fact that Lee Myung-Joon was killed in a battle with a villain before the original story even started.
That too, was where I am right now, at the 23rd Association Branch.
‘Of course, that’s today, I’m not kidding!’
In the normal case, one might think that it was just a random guess.
However, it was so emphasized in the original that I remembered almost perfectly about Lee Myung-Joon’s death.
First, he didn’t have come to the 23rd Association Branch here under normal circumstances.
Second, he died about a month before the beginning of the original story.
Finally, third, as soon as he arrived here, he was killed almost immediately, along with numerous civilians, by a woven trap.
These three facts alone gave me every reason to run away.
And when he saw me rushing to leave, he made a slightly bewildered expression.
“Uh, no, it’s not like that. If it’s that uncomfortable, I’ll just go. I’m so sorry if I was being nosy.”
According to the setting I read later, he wanted to take care of students because of his younger brother, and he had a good reputation around others, but he was often caught up in rumors and gossip because of his threatening appearance.
Maybe that’s why he was a little discouraged to see me like this.
“No, I just remembered something really urgent… … .”
I waved my hand and tried to get out of here.
That was when I just got up from my seat.
It was a dull and loud, and yet heart-throbbing sound.
‘No way…… .’
Before I knew it, Lee Myung-Joon was unwinding the trident’s blade that had been tied to his back.
Then, unlike earlier, he spoke to me in a firm voice.
“Go straight to the association branch and ask for protection. It’s dangerous, so don’t go anywhere.”
With those words, Lee Myung-Joon immediately started running towards somewhere.
It was the source of the noise.
And I knew exactly what caused the noise.
‘The Witch Isabelle Gaudi.’
She was a notorious villain and was also the boss of a hidden dungeon.
As her name suggests, her evil deeds were numerous, and she had a sick hobby of collecting corpses by killing heroes and using civilians as experimental materials.
Worst of all, she was both a witch and a necromancer.
So the more you enter the second half of the game, the more difficult it is to catch her.
‘There, Lee Myung-Joon becomes her favorite collection and undead.’
It was quite difficult to catch her, but I remember that no matter which character I played with, I always managed to capture her, because Isabelle’s dungeon was nothing but a treasure trove.
So, I was well aware of the facts about her as well as the stories about Lee Myung-Joon.
Also how he died to Isabelle.
‘Wait a minute…’
As soon as I thought of that, I started to calculate quickly.
‘The sooner Isabelle is killed, the better.’
Because of her nature as a necromancer, leaving her unattended later becomes quite troublesome.
The sooner you kill her, the better, so paradoxically, now is the best time to do it.
‘Lee Myung-Joon is enough to…… .’
In any case, Lee Myung-Joon’s death was due to a totally unexpected surprise attack by her.
And with my assistance, he would be able to get away from that surprise without difficulty.
If I help Lee Myung-Joon and kill Isabelle now, what would be the benefit to me? And would it really be worth it?
“… … .”
The items hidden in Isabelle Gaudi’s dungeon were invaluable and would certainly help.
If you neutralize the number of treasures brought by Isabelle Gaudí, Lee Myung-Joon alone would be able to easily kill her.
It can certainly be dangerous.
But on second thought, I realized that it would be hard to get something without taking risks.
There I was now in a situation where I had to get that ‘something’ more than anyone else.
I muttered to myself.
Now that I had come to a conclusion, it was time to make a decision.
‘Because of the group that Isabelle Gaudi belongs to, I can’t openly reveal my identity.’
She was the only one who knew about her dungeon, so even if she betrayed the organization at a later date, she could continue her life in seclusion without anyone finding out.
And as I said before, her dungeon is full of all kinds of rare objects.
It was clear that it would be of great help even if it could not be retrieved right now.
If there was one thing that bothered me, it was the butterfly effect caused by the survival of these two.
I didn’t care if Isabelle Gaudi survived or not, but again, I couldn’t easily predict what effect Lee Myung-Joon’s survival would have.
‘The original story was blown out of the water when the impurity that is me intervened from the beginning.’
I had no intention of letting myself just go with the flow of the original story.
In the first place, my goal was to go back home, because I didn’t care what this world was like.
That didn’t mean I would ruin everything, but at least there was no reason to be constrained to move in this situation.
Above all else, it was clear that if I obsessed over the flow of the original story, I would get nothing.
Having made that promise, I muttered to myself as I headed to the side where Lee Myung-joon ran.
* * *
“Hehehe, your crying voice is really nice.”
In the center of the city that had turned into a mess, a certain old woman was floating in the air with a satisfactory smile on her face.
There were also a few people floating around her, each holding a weapon in their hand with a lifeless expression on their face.
There was a roar that sounded like a bolt of lightning.
And Isabelle, who felt it, laughed as if she was more satisfied than before.
“Ehehe, you finally showed up.”
As soon as her muttering ended, Lee Myung-Joon, who looked like a lightning bolt had been wrapped around his body, glared at her.
“You finally decided to become a part of my collection?”
“Crazy old woman. You must have gone senile because of your old age.”
He looked at her and the people floating next to her with nothing but contempt.
Lee Myung-Joon couldn’t hide his anger when he saw the tragic end of those who had once been heroes and protected the people, but who had now been turned into undead who had lost their will by her.
Above all, one of them had once been his colleague and friend.
Recalling the bereaved family members crying while holding the empty coffin because they couldn’t even hold his funeral, Lee Myung-Joon fixed the trident.
“I don’t know how you have the guts to come here on your own, but you’d better throw away the thought of running away.”
“Of course, of course. Is there any way I can hold you without a single wound?”
Grinning, Isabelle looked at him with eyes glistening with greed and desire.
“But don’t worry, even if your body breaks down, I’ll have you fixed up in no time. In return, you’ll have to use your abilities for me for the rest of your life… hehehe!”
Lee Myung-Joon did not respond to her words.
Instead, he answered her by pulling back the hand that held the trident and letting his body fly as it was.
Isabelle Gaudí continued to let out an eerie laugh, moving her body dynamically.
At the same time, each of the undead around her began to move, half of them running towards Lee Myung-Joon, while the other half stayed in the vicinity to guard Isabelle.
“The man who used to be your friend is carrying a blade, sweetheart! hehehe!”
“Hey, you bitch really… !”
Lee Myung-Joon gritted his teeth and lifted the trident high, rotating it with both hands.
Then, the flashing light on the edge of the blade began to grow larger with a rumbling roar.
Finally, Lee Myung-Joon, who was rotating the blade so fast that it looked like a ring of light, suddenly stepped forward.
As he swung his trident wide with a sound of fervor, the light contained in the blade of his trident exploded with a loud tearing sound.
And only then, as I arrived at the battlefield and hid myself, could easily recognize that it was the lightning struck by his unique ability, ‘Condensation’.
“Ehehe, hehe! Avoid it, avoid it! You’ll be roasted to the ground, ehehe!”
Isabelle moved her fingers incessantly in a relaxed manner.
However, in contrast to her attitude, more than half of her twenty or so undead that she had dragged along were completely destroyed by the attack, blackened beyond recognition.
But I was not at all perplexed by this situation.
In the first place, Isabelle’s ability could never match Lee Myung-Joon.
Nonetheless, I knew very well why she came out so confidently.
This was because I still had a vivid memory of entering her dungeon in the original story and receiving an instant death sentence.
“Don’t worry, you were still a hero after all. I won’t kill you.”
Lee Myung-Joon said so and slowly began to walk toward her.
On the way, some undead jumped at him but he struck them down, but Lee Myung-Joon’s arm was stuck somewhere before he knew it.
In the end, there was only one undead left, who seemed to be a close friend of Lee Myung-Joon, holding a huge sword.
Still, Isabelle seemed to be quite relaxed.
Lee Myung-Joon didn’t seem to like it.
And I quickly looked through the surrounding landscape.
The smashed and burned undead were scattered around Lee Myung-joon as if they were encircling him.
“But the limbs won’t be fine…….”
“COVER YOUR EARS!”
I shouted out with all my might, still hiding from the collapsed wreckage.
And it wasn’t enough that I turned up the volume on the earphones connected to my cell phone and plugged them into my ears, I had to cover my ears with my hands as hard as I could.
I literally felt like my ears were going to split open from the raspy singing, but it was better than dying, right?
“I planted a Mandragora among the undead!”
It was the name of a medicinal herb known to exist only in legend in the worldview of ‘Clouds on the Horizon’.
And anyone who heard Mandragora’s scream will die instantly, no matter who they were.
As soon as I shouted, I felt like I heard a chilling and terrible sound coming from somewhere.
When I turned my eyes to check, the Mandragora who had been buried among some undead was shaking its bodies with its roots.
What about Lee Myung-Joon?
Fortunately, he heard me and covered his ears as hard as he could.
He was different from the general public, so he was probably using some kind of method.
Thanks to this, he didn’t seem to have any abnormality, unlike the twisted expression on his face, while Isabelle had a perplexed look on her face.
“What, what, what… How? Who the hell.. Cuckk!”
As she stepped back and looked around, she coughed up blood with a scream.
She grabbed her neck with all her strength, but blood was pouring out of it.
Lee Myung-Joon glared at her with cold eyes and slowly pulled his trident away.
“Sa, you’ll save me… .”
Lee Myung-Joon snorted and replied to her as Isabelle murmured inquiringly.
“Did you think I will keep my promise with a bitch like you?”
With that, Isabelle collapsed.
Lee Myung-Joon, who had been watching her for a while, raised his index finger and pointed at her, and immediately something like a flashing arrow was shot from the end of his finger and pierced her body.
Seeing that there was no response, Lee Myung-Joon sighed quietly and then lowered the trident.
“Hoooo… … .”
And when I saw the scene, I immediately bent down and started to get out of there.
Of course, if I revealed that I was the one who helped Lee Myung-Joon, I could have had a strong helper named Lee Myung-Joon.
But if I did that, my existence would be exposed.
‘At least, not now.’
If my identity was discovered at this point, when the forces that gave Isabelle the Mandragora were still alive and well, I would turn into a corpse in less than a week.
No matter how strong Lee Myung-Joon was, it would be unreasonable to protect not only himself but also me from them.
‘Let’s be satisfied with the fact that I can easily rob Isabelle’s dungeon later.’
Now that I think about it, I wondered if Lee Myung-Joon would come looking for me, but the sound of the sergeants crashing immediately reminded me of the fact that one undead was still intact.
‘That’s just great.’
It was not meant to be, but let’s make good use of the time that the undead earned.
With that thought, I was about to kick with my feet quickly.
Something was wriggling on the body of the undead that had fallen in front of me.
It was Mandragora.
I freaked out for a moment but was able to suppress my surprise when I remembered that besides the first scream of Mandragora, it was harmless.
Come to think of it, Mandragora was a medicinal herb that was itself a legend in this world.
Recalling that fact, I nodded.
“Yeah, even in the middle of a busy day, I’m gonna have to pick this up.”
Mumbling like that, I grabbed it and stuffed it into my bag, hastened my stopped foot.
* * *
Lee Myung-Joon, who had subdued his former friend, the undead, who had been attacking him, was sitting on the rubble of a building, looking down at Isabelle’s already cold corpse.
‘That voice I just heard….’
A voice that warned him of danger.
At first, when he heard the word Mandragora, he wondered what she was talking about, but he barely managed to survive by using the power of the necklace that he had gained in the past, covering his ears reflexively at Isabelle’s cold face.
No matter how strong he was, he would have died right away if he had heard Mandragora’s scream from the legend.
Then he probably would have been a collection of Isabelle, who was dead there now.
‘Wait a minute…’
He was frowning at the horrible imagination but realized that he had heard that voice recently.
The boy he met earlier.
Wasn’t it similar to the student’s voice that he called out without realizing because he was wearing clothes that didn’t fit in his arms and had a gloomy atmosphere?
“Hmm… … .”
Then why didn’t he show up? While he was thinking so, Lee Myung-Joon noticed the fact that a witch like Isabelle had Mandragora.
“… … .”
Mandragora and Isabelle Gaudi.
Those two things alone reminded Lee Myung-Joon of a terrible incident in the past.
And the fact that so many heroes and people were killed by the incident.
Lee Myung-Joon, who had come to that point, was able to draw a conclusion without difficulty.
There was a tail.
And he ran away because he didn’t want to be noticed.
They were still around.
“I doubt it.”
After thinking up to that point, Lee Myung-Joon nodded his head as if he understood.
It was only logical that he should return the favor he had received.
However, he did not intend to forcefully approach him unless the person wanted it.
“Branch Manager, Lee Myung-Joon!”
“Control the streets first!”
“What about the injured? We’ll start with rescue operations!”
He lifted himself up as he saw his colleagues approaching with loud noises from afar.
At least for now, there was a mountain of problems that had to be dealt with first.