Chapter 142. Pointing to One Thing
Chi-Woo had brought back the sole survivor from the academy stuck centuries ago. It was a mysterious, white-haired girl dressed in all white. Although it had appeared like she wouldn’t be able to survive the night, her condition improved considerably thanks to the holy water Chi-Woo gave her. She even opened her eyes for a brief moment during the night, but she soon fell asleep again; it didn’t seem she had recovered fully.
Another day pa.s.sed after that, and after looking after her the whole night, Eshnunna changed s.h.i.+fts with another person. She then took care of personal business and rested; the sun was already high in the sky by then. She a.s.sumed the girl hadn’t woken up yet since she hadn’t been contacted. While wondering when the girl would regain consciousness, Eshnunna gently opened the door to the room the girl was staying in and rubbed her eyes. Swish. A cool breeze brushed past her cheeks. Eshnunna stopped and opened her eyes slightly.
“Snooore—” The native in charge of watching the girl was sitting by the bed, snoring with her head down. A gust of wind rushed through the open window again; outside, a couple of strands of blanket intertwined like sausages being hung dry. Hesitantly, Eshnunna turned around, her mouth slightly ajar. The bed where the girl should have been lying on—
“…” It was empty.
* * *
One of Chi-Woo’s traits that Philip evaluated highly was his diligence. Disregarding unavoidable circ.u.mstances, Chi-Woo had never skipped training. Even today, after finis.h.i.+ng his morning exercise, Chi-Woo immediately went into meditation to try to use the ability he gained yesterday. Because of the nature of the exercise, Chi-Woo needed to focus for a long time, and it wouldn’t be until noon that he finished meditating. Then he would go to the square to get his share of food before recommencing his training again. He was like the model knight or friar devoted to their cause. Even Philip remained silent when Chi-Woo trained.
As usual, Chi-Woo opened his eyes again when the sun was in the middle of the sky.
“Haaa—” Small bits of refined energy flowed into Chi-Woo through his nose and lips. Then a long sigh followed. Chi-Woo appeared refreshed after finis.h.i.+ng his meditation.
‘It’s addictive.’ It was the same feeling he got from sweating through a hard exercise and then taking a warm bath or going to the sauna afterward. He had felt that his body was becoming polluted after remaining pure at all times inside the cave due to his daily bath in holy water, but after using Divine Inspiration, his body seemed to be getting fully cleansed in the same way. Furthermore, he also felt that his exorcism mana had been increasing.
He was taking a small step at a time. If he worked hard three times every day, it seemed his dream of reaching C rank for exorcism would be achievable.
“Ha! Ha!” Chi-Woo got up from his spot and swung both fists into the air. Then, after drawing out a substantial volume of exorcism mana, he struck the ground.
Bam! Craack! His fist dug into the dirt, leaving a deep dent.
“…Whoah.” He couldn’t believe it even when he was staring right at it. At this point, it seemed he would be able to shatter most stones, if not boulders. If he had been in this state when he first came to Liber, he would have gone around swinging his fists. It was then he realized from his core that he was gradually becoming less human.
—What are you punching the ground for? Are you showing off your strength?”
Chi-Woo heard a familiar voice. Philip was looking down at him while lying horizontally in the air.
With his head arched back, Chi-Woo decided to demand outrightly.
—Ah, it’s meaningless.
Philip shook his head and snorted.
—But what do you want to learn?
—I thought you said you didn’t need that.
Chi-Woo didn’t know how to respond for a moment, but quickly thought to Philip, ‘Now that I think about it, I don’t think it would be bad for me to learn it.’
—Changing your mind left and right~ Can’t you be firmer in your stance? You are a man.
‘Are you really gonna act like that? You sound so petty,’ Chi-Woo responded.
—What do you mean by petty?
Philip said while yawning wide.
—You have already chosen your path. Even if you decide to change course midway, you should at least stick to it and get a taste first.
‘You laughed at me when I first said I didn’t need to learn swordsmans.h.i.+p. That’s why I’m asking you right now.
—Yeah, I did laugh at you. But that was for a different reason. I never said that path was the wrong one.
Philip said calmly. Chi-Woo was at a loss for words again. He wanted to ask if Philip was playing with him, but by the look on Philip’s face, that didn’t seem to be the case.
—The hardware has been optimized; no need to bother with the software.
Chi-Woo wondered what the exact words Philip was using that they would be translated into ‘hardware’ or ‘software’.
—I know your judgment skills are lacking, but do you think the G.o.ds are complete idiots? That they would give you all sorts of things without thinking?
When Chi-Woo looked confused by this statement, Philip hit both sides of his chest in frustration.
—Did you really not feel anything when you taught that blonde lady on my behalf?
—Without further ado, try to do something and ask about it later.
‘Can’t you at least tell me what I should do?’ Chi-Woo grumbled.
—Well, if it’s just that…
Philip’s pupils turned round.
—Do the real thing.
‘What do you mean?’
—Get out and find a place where there are enemies. Where you can face one of them at a time.
Doubting his ears, Chi-Woo asked, ‘You’re joking right?”
—Do you think I’m joking? Aren’t you swinging your sword to survive? Then go swing your sword at least 10,000 times, defeating one guy at a time. I’m sure that when you’re put in a desperate situation, you would finally start to think and wonder if there’s a method that will let you swing your sword one less time.
Chi-Woo was tired of Philip’s nagging, but he got a gist of what Philip was trying to tell him. Philip was asking Chi-Woo what he was doing when he didn’t even fully understand what he had and telling Chi-Woo that he should learn about himself before thinking about doing things. If Chi-Woo understood his a.s.sets better, he would naturally know what to do. Chi-Woo picked up a stone rolling on the ground and scratched his arm hard with it.
—What are you doing?
Drip. Philip clicked his tongue as he saw blood trickle down Chi-Woo’s arm.
—Why are you suddenly hurting yourself? Are you sick or something?
‘Be quiet. I am testing my Divine Blood.’ Chi-Woo raised his wrist and checked his user information. Then he coated his thumb with saliva and rubbed it over his injury. The bleeding subsided until his injury disappeared completely.
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Philip was stunned, same for Chi-Woo.
Grab! The girl’s white, bobbed hair swished, and she quickly took the necklace before wrapping it with both hands and holding it in her arms like a child holding their new water bottle. Then she moved back to the corner again. Blinking light sipped through the gaps between the girl’s fingers.
Chi-Woo decided to try talking to the girl, whose eyes were glued to him. “Do you know how to talk? Miss, can you hear me?”
Eshnunna was right. The girl didn’t say anything. “I’m the person who saved you at that academy.” Chi-Woo scratched his head and sighed. “I won’t talk for long, since I’m told that you’ve already heard what happened to you.”
Moreover, he could understand her reactions. “…You must be confused. I get it.” To her, she had gone to school, and a few hours later, centuries had already flown by in the outside world. It was not something that someone could easily accept in a day or two. “However, the current situation is…extremely bad. The outside is dangerous, even here.” Chi-Woo continued, “I’ll advise you to stay here until you calm down, but…if you insist on leaving, I won’t stop you.”
With that, Chi-Woo walked to the door and opened it. Even though there were many things he was curious about, he couldn’t force her to talk. Chi-Woo decided to leave the final decision to the girl.
“You can leave.” He reached out with a hand like he was guiding her outside. The girl got up awkwardly but surprisingly did not leave. Even though Chi-Woo stood as far away from the door as possible, she remained where she was, standing awkwardly. The way she looked at him was slightly different too. Of course, the change was minuscule at best, and there was still a keen wariness in her gaze.
Chi-Woo asked, “Are you not leaving?”
The girl touched her necklace and moved it around as if there was something she wanted to say.
Growl—It was then the sound of her stomach growling rang in the room. Chi-Woo halted and pointed at the plate with a smile. “Shall we eat first?”
The girl’s cheeks reddened.
* * *
As soon as Chi-Woo got out, Eshnunna glanced at the inside of the room and asked, “How were you able to do it?”
Munch, much—The girl had her face stuck in the bowl, eating like her life depended on it.
Chi-Woo shrugged and said, “Ms. Eshnunna, I have a favor to ask you.”
“No,” She immediately refused because she remembered how had come back on the brink of death a few days ago.
“No, I’m not going anywhere.” Chi-Woo’s wry laugh only made her narrow her eyes. “I wanted to ask if you could do some research for me.”
“…About what?” Eshnunna tilted her chin up as if she was giving him a chance to explain first.
“Would you be able to perhaps find out something about Kabala?”
She frowned, but agreed in the end. After leaving the research up to Eshnunna, Chi-Woo told the girl to relax until she calmed down and went back to his place. Once he opened the door and entered, he realized he hadn’t heard the sound of the door closing behind him.
“…Hah.” Chi-Woo had thought it was strange that the girl had looked startled when he told her while she ate that he was leaving, but he hadn’t expected her to leave the palace with him.
“So.” Chi-Woo turned around. Did she seriously think she had done a good job of hiding herself? He could see the short-haired girl furtively glancing at him with only her head popping out from between the door. “Why did you follow me??”
* * *
At the same time.
“Then, as of now, we hereby announce that the eight recruitment has officially ended.” A matter-of-fact yet beautiful voice rang out in the hall high above.
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