We headed straight to the director's office.
Although it hadn't even been a month, the first-floor hallway was littered with graffiti-like lacquer marks, leftover food waste, and broken glass windows.
Maybe that's why they put a lock on the front door.
Still, from the second floor, only staff or people with a pass could enter, so I could only hope it wasn't at least as messy as the first floor.
And of course, as would be expected, the access rights given to me during my time working part-time had long since disappeared.
I said, looking at the unresponsive door.
Jin Ye-Seul touched the door for a while with a clicking sound.
Not long after, as I saw the door open wide, I gave a small bitter smile.
I'm sure they said it was up to date.
When we eventually arrived at our destination, we opened the locked door of the director's office and went inside.
There was nothing inside.
Starting with the traces of people, nothing could be found.
Just when I thought, no way, was it for naught the shadow, the World Tree, and Svengali reacted almost simultaneously.
But it was Jin Ye-Seul who took action first.
Jin Ye-Seul, who kicked the ground and bounced forward, kicked the bookshelf to the side with all her might.
Svengali whistled as he watched the bookshelf and the wall behind it smashed with a resounding sound.
[When you build a house later, be sure to put iron plates around the walls and the floor.
Once there is a fight between the husband and wife, there will not be any house left.]
[Hmm No, no.]
[Would you be already cut into small pieces and dead before that]
[I wonder how many pieces it would be.
One, two, three, four… this is real.
It is not even a planarian, how muchaaaaa!!!]
He babbled nonsense without getting tired of it, so I immediately crushed him and looked ahead.
There, a man, who had hurriedly escaped from Jin Ye-Seul's attack, was looking at us.
The face I saw in the picture.
Late 20s, male, Asian.
A disciple of Isaac McDowell, and considering the method of elimination, that man's ability is clearly to nullify the shock he receives.
He tilted his head at my question.
“You know my name I thought you were just thieves, neighborhood bullies, or b*stards who came because they didn’t have money to go to a motel, but I guess you weren't."
Saying so, he muttered, as if he were really in trouble.
“The professor told me to stay still, but I guess I can’t help it.
And I have to find out how you got here....”
A resounding sound rang out again.
This time, it was the sound of hitting a person's body with all its might, not something inorganic like hitting a bookshelf or a wall.
It was Jin Ye Seul.
Jin Ye-Seul, who kicked his neck in the air, clenched her fists without stopping.
Soon after, she hit him in the head as if hammering.
His body was thrown violently and fell to the floor.
She hit him so hard that his body bounced back in recoil.
If he were a normal person, he would have died.
If he were a normal person.
“Ye-Seul, fall back.”
Immediately, I stretched out a branch of the World Tree and pulled Jin Ye-Seul back.
Even though she meekly let herself to me, she looked at me with eyes wondering why on earth I was doing this.
"Uh… Ji-Hyuk I think he'd be done already.”
Jin Ye-Seul said so as she hung in the air, caught by the brunch of the World Tree.
“Ji-Hyuk, rather than that, could you put me down a little… Did I do something wrong, by any chance”
She looked at me shyly, flapping her legs in the air.
I carefully put her down and shook my head.
"No, he's not dead yet.
He didn't even get a scratch."
I said, looking at him lying on the floor as if dead.
I know you're totally fine.”
At those words, he stood up, wriggling from his seat.
As expected, he looked fine as if he had not suffered a single scratch, let alone a serious wound.
“You have an unusual ability, that girl.”
He stood up and brushed the dust off his body nonchalantly.
"There was definitely one punch, but the feeling of being hit was three times.
In addition, I tried to counter the footwork that came flying at me at first, but I got hit instead."
He muttered as he looked at Jin Ye-Seul with greedy eyes.
“You're a person of ability that the professor will be quite satisfied with.
I'll especially take you alive."
“You're unique and your ability is also daunting, but why"
I took a step forward, blocking Jin Ye-Seul, who was about to rush right away.
"Shock nullification You have a troublesome ability."
“What, you have good eyes No, wait...
yes, you must be the member of the World Tree clan that appeared out of nowhere, right”
“I never thought I'd get two samples that the professor would be satisfied with.
Today is a lucky day.”
Looking at him muttering like that, I took one more step forward.
“… let me tell you a few of my thoughts.”
“Your ability is not shock nullification, to be exact.
You just use your body as a medium to send the shock to another place.”
He was the second most difficult guy to defeat after Dmitry, so I remember clearly.
For someone without a face illustration, the conditions for defeating him were really tricky.
"If it was really to nullify the shock itself, you wouldn’t have moved when Ye-Seul hit you earlier."
Not only ordinary blows, but also attacks with blades don't work.
To defeat that man, you had to attack him with magic or borrow the power of a spirit like Ivan.
“Originally, bringing a wizard, bringing a scroll, throwing you in the water, throwing you into the fire… There are many ways that come to mind, but I would have to choose one of them.”
To be exact, there was one more way.
To hit him with a force that is so powerful that he cannot channel.
A truly ignorant way.
And it was the way I was going to choose now.
“It's just a perfect chance.
I was just waiting for the chance to test it.]
I heard Jin Ye-Seul quietly muttering from behind.
Svengali muttered quietly, trembling slightly.
I could tell even without looking down.
I could feel the thorns coming out of my heart and covering my whole body without a gap.
[The King of Thorns has been activated.]
[While 'King of the Thorns' lasts, most of the abilities of 'Branch of the World Tree' are sealed.]
[Stamina, strength, and agility values are overwhelmingly increased.]
[Resistance to all status abnormalities is greatly increased.]
[Proficiency correction is added to the spear and bow.]
[In proportion to the time of use, the moment ‘King of Thorns’ is released, you will fall into a cursed state in which all stats are temporarily decreased.
This curse cannot be undone in any other way.]
[The thorns will soon be you.]
Immediately, his complexion changed, and he tried to send his body flying out the window.
One step ahead of him, I moved my finger.
A thorn tree rose up from the floor like an explosion, blocking the window without a gap.
He looked back at me with a distorted expression.
I could see my figure illuminated through his eyes.
As if out of an old picture fairy tale, it was a horrible figure with its whole body covered with thorns.
[You can use this.]
My voice also had changed horribly.
Watching him pull a short spear out of his arms, I began to calmly check what abilities had become unusable.
He slashed the short spear at me with all his might.
I swung my arm sideways as if chasing a fly.
There was the sound of something breaking with a snapping sound.
[Ohh, it is impossible to replenish energy by drawing it from the ground.]
His arm was torn off, and he fell on the spot and immediately began to roll around.
From the looks of it, he seemed to have a low tolerance for pain, thanks to his ability.
It was when I was looking down at him, thinking so.
[It is strange for a human to be okay even after his arm has been torn off....]
I heard Svengali's voice.
For some reason, his voice seemed to be louder and clearer than usual.
[Because what you are wearing is my body in a way.]
He did not hide his uncomfortable feelings as he said so.
[Thanks to that, I am now half assimilated with you.
Of course, it will disappear when you release the ability, but...
Is this what it feels like to move against one's will, not with one's own will It is really unpleasant.]
Then he said to me, making a crunching sound.
[Take care of your business first.
Because I do not want to talk to you right now.]
And please release the ability quickly.
At his words, I raised my fists.
I didn't intend to keep it for long because of the penalty anyway.
“Wa, wait a minute!”
I nodded at the sight of him waving his arms with tears streaming down his face.
I almost made a big mistake.
[I can't aim for the head.]
With those words, I let my fist fly as it was, a little downward.
* * *
I was nauseous while cleaning the director's office with the branches of the World Tree and the Henir's shadow.
It had been a long time since Jin Ye-Seul disappeared with a part of him that only had his head left, saying that she would extract information.
[Why are you taking credit when you are standing still and these two are doing all the cleaning]
“… shut up."
After I said that, Svengali began to make a crunching sound.
Knowing that he makes that noise when he feels uncomfortable, I asked him, as if passing by.
“What is it you don't like again Is it because of the authority I took from you”
[How narrow-minded do you think I am]
He retorted as if it were ridiculous, then sighed.
[… losers do not talk by nature.]
Svengali muttered so.
[It did not stand out because Margo was such a loser, but all Seven Evils, including me...
are afraid of death.]
As I make a sound as if I were surprised, he let out a small laugh.
[Where in the world is there a creature that wants to die It is the same for everyone.
I was like that, too.]
He sighed deeply once more.
[To be honest.
I was defeated by you, so my name, ability, authority, existence, purpose, past, present, future… anyway, everything was taken away.
You took everything from me.
Just like that thing you just used.]
[However, I do not resent you.]
He made a crunching sound.
[If I had been the victor, you and the Clan Head of the World Tree would have lost your mind and become puppets that act according to my orders.
If you think like that, how can I resent you]
To be honest, I think I am lucky to be alive, even like this.
He burst into laughter.
[However, the feeling when you use that ability… umm.
It is really….]
He muttered in a voice so low that I couldn't hear anything, clouding his words unlike usual.
After a while, he said as if he had come to a conclusion.
[Anyway, do not use that ability if possible.]
"Why Is it that painful”
[Rather than painful, I do not know if you will believe it, but I am saying it for you.]
[Do not think that the power of the Seven Evil Species is beneficial for humans Strangely, you do not seem to have any particular side effects even if you accept our energy, but it would be better not to use it without thinking.]
It was certainly as he said.
In fact, even though I only moved a little for less than five minutes at the most, I had to receive a notification window, saying that all my stats had decreased for four hours due to the penalty.
[… well, you are now my master or host.
If you die, I am really going to die now, too.
That is why I am saying this.
I hope you believe me.]
I nodded, rubbing the bloodstains on the back of my hand.
“I’ll keep that in mind.
There's nothing wrong with listening."
He was silent for a moment.
[… umm, since we are talking, let me give you another piece of advice.]
With a keuhm sound, he spoke in a more condescending voice.
[That woman just now, especially today, her mind has become quite unstable.]
“Wait, what's wrong with Ye-Seul”
[If I am right, I think she is afraid of being abandoned by you.]
[I have been watching her calmly since this morning.
Do you know that ever since she told you that she has been kicked out of the house, she has been checking your expression like an abandoned puppy Every time you said something, she got startled.]
[The reason she acted over the top needlessly today is probably to appeal to you that she is useful.]
[I told you, for a while, she will be obsessed and dependent on you more than necessary.]
[Really, do you really think it is nonsense]
I had no choice but to shut up.
No matter what, when it comes to human psychology, I certainly couldn't even reach his toes.
If he said it like that, then it was certainly a story with sufficient potential to be true.
There was definitely a point there.
[On top of that, you attacked and killed an opponent she could not do anything about in just two hits, didn't you]
[She is probably afraid that she will be abandoned for being useless now.
I have told you that her mind is at its most dangerous and unstable, especially now.]
“What the hell am I supposed to do, then"
[What are you thinking so hard about There is no need to take it burdensomely.]
He muttered as if asking, really, what's the problem
[Just roughly give her a hug and pat her head.
And then, whisper into her ear how much her existence is necessary to you.
Then she will probably calm down a bit.]
[I am not kidding.
The most important thing in her current condition is mental care….]
It was then.
A booming sound rang out.
It sounded as if someone was hitting something with their fist with all their might.
I hurriedly got out of the director's office and ran to the place where the sound came from.
There was only one cause for such a sound.
It was Jin Ye-Seul.
She was sitting on the floor.
In front of her lay what had been the head of a man and its contents, left alone randomly.
Getting up from her seat, Jin Ye-Seul muttered quietly.
“This man killed Sister.”
She smiled as she said so.