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Ji-Won couldn’t believe he was on the same level as Yeon Hae-Soo. It was just incredible to have to admit it.
“I also need to be prepared to deal with the dead, who are so powerful that the senior guides have given up. I don’t want to go out and cause a disturbance, so I’m keeping the rain around the house for now.”
“Was there any evil spirit you couldn’t handle?”
“Have you ever lost?”
Gaon, who was answering all the questions without stopping, took a break for the first time. She had a distant look on her face for a while as if recalling something, then answered briefly in a low voice.
As Gaon and Ji-Won stepped into the enormous mansion, the increasingly heavy rain became indistinguishable. At Gaon’s instruction, there was already no one in the house, and only the sound of two people’s footsteps rang bleakly in the empty mansion.
“Can you breathe properly?”
“If you feel uncomfortable anywhere, you can wait in the car.”
“I’m not uncomfortable.”
Gaon, who pressed down the air inside the house more heavily to pressure the dead, raised her eyebrows slightly when Ji-Won answered casually. He’s unaffected? No matter how strong someone is, they can’t help but be affected by her energy, but he’s walking and talking like this. It took more than 10 years for the steel-like Kwons to fully adapt.
“Can you feel the presence of the dead?”
“Yes. It’s hard to locate, but it’s definitely in this mansion.”
The veteran guide was also scared and stepped down, but he didn’t lift an eyebrow even in this blatant danger. The six-month-old beginner has a lot of guts. Gaon, who smiled broadly for a moment, soon put her expression in order and walked toward the long hallway where the portrait was hung.
Ji-Won, who was following Gaon one step behind, stared at similar faces and folded his eyes thinly. The portraits were very well-drawn, and things like costumes and changes in the style were pretty interesting too. However, looking at the portraits together, he felt like his back was cooling. Wouldn’t it be creepy to pass them by at night?
[Archduke Damon Rosenvalov. 1674.10.11. ~ 1739.2.5.]
As Gaon stopped in front of the portrait hanging in the middle of the hallway, Ji-Won’s eyes naturally turned to the painting. It was a painting of a young man dressed up to the fullest in fashion at the time. He looked like an 18th-century British aristocrat who could be included in a textbook.
It’s the 7th Head of the family. Well, he’s pretty handsome, even considering he’s glorified to some extent. He doesn’t give the impression that his personality is very good, but he doesn’t look like he’s vicious enough to be a killer…. You can’t tell what’s inside of a person by just looking at his face.
“What do you think?”
“It’s pretty interesting.”
“Yes. Most of the portraits of the nobles are similar, but this guy seems to be a person who especially cared a lot about what was more visible. Even though he died in his mid-60s, he chose a portrait he painted in his 30s to leave behind, and he turned his head slightly without looking ahead. He’s probably painted a lot of portraits, but he’s chosen the angle where his face is visible without looking ahead.”
Gaon, who began to ponder something after hearing Ji-Won’s words, opened her mouth after a while with an expression of little expectation.
“Let’s try dealing with it the way Director Cha does.”
Ji-Won, who took out his notebook that he always carried, sketched more carefully than ever. The face was drawn exactly the same enough to be almost a replica, but nothing much happened even if it was burned clean. Gaon, who was silently watching the series of processes, frowned slightly, expressing weak displeasure.
“I’ll have to see it for myself first.”
Gaon, who rubbed her wrist a couple of times as if warming up, stretched her right arm to her side. A transparent sword that Ji-Won once saw in Jungcheon appeared with a clear sound. At the same time, a terrible thunderbolt struck without mercy, as if it were splitting the sky into pieces. Boom! An eerie light flashed and soon a deafening roar was heard. The summoning order of the CEO of Jungcheon, which any deceased person must comply with, was issued, but the movement of the deceased was not felt anywhere in the quiet mansion as if it were really dead.
“It’s not coming out.”
Without fear, Gaon slowly shook her head and murmured in a casual voice. However, she seemed to have already expected to some extent, so she did not seem very surprised or nervous.
“The CEO called it out herself, so how can it not comply?”
“Old things have the power to hold the soul.”
Gaon, who was sweeping the solid stone wall with her palm, gently swung around and kicked her tongue.
“The house was built so well. No matter how strong a building is, it usually cracks somewhere after a long time, but this house remained the same as it was when it was first built. The construction itself is powerful because it has the soul to build strength.”
“Then do we have to destroy this building to summon the deceased?”
“It’s the simplest way, but how can I do that?”
Gaon, who stopped to catch her breath for a while, fixed her sword and said to Ji-Won, telling him to back away.
“Director Cha. From now on, you must never come into my activity radius. No matter when the deceased shows up and what he talks about, don’t answer back.”
“If possible, stay near the entrance, and if the house collapses, don’t look back and leave immediately. You don’t have to save me.”
“Don’t worry about me. Even if I get smashed down under a collapsed building, I won’t die. At least here today.”
What does that mean? Do you have a place to die? If you don’t die today, does it mean that you’ll die someday? You live long, but not forever? So what happens to Jungcheon if you die? Countless questions came to mind at the same time, but Gaon, whose eyes had already changed, began to wield the sword violently, so he could not speak any more.
Even in the dim interior, a beautiful sword that shone brightly moved gracefully, drawing a graceful line. Then the air, which had sunk heavily, rose and fell little by little, and soon a ferocious wind blew wildly. Before long, a thick fog like a dark cloud lay thick on the floor, and the thick rain that had banged loudly on the window now made a sound almost like gravel bumping into it.
Wow. Ji-Won, who stepped back to one corner and watched the phenomenal scene of the CEO of Jungcheon determinedly putting pressure on the dead, quietly uttered exclamations only with his mouth. A strong wind, which was different from Gaon’s energy, suddenly rose. It’s finally here! It’s definitely different from the dead I’ve dealt with so far. I would have definitely been scared if I was alone, right? A little fear and strange excitement mixed up, and his heart throbbed.
“Take a good look at the face.”
When Ji-Won turned his head to the end of the corridor pointed by Gaon, a young man who he was already familiar with stood with a very uncomfortable face. Wearing a nice hat and a sword full of jewels, he really looked like he had just popped out of the portrait. Ji-Won was tongue-tied at the remarkable synchronization. When he was busy admiring the man’s presence, the man opened his mouth with a rather exaggerated accent, as if he were a character in a Shakespeare’s play.
“Why do you come into someone else’s house without permission and make such a disturbance?”
He sounded like a typical aristocrat who seemed to have a dignified tone and straight posture. How can a completely blackened soul be so gentle? Maybe it’s because he’s an aristocrat to the bone. Ji-Won, who was quietly admiring inside, was surprised by Gaon’s cold reply. Yeah, I forgot she used to be this scary.
“It’s none of your business who I am. I think it’s you, not me, who came into someone else’s house and made a disturbance.”
“Well, what do you mean? I’ve given it to my descendants, but this is my house! I have no intention of leaving this house, so don’t act rudely and get out of my house right now….”
“Stop. I’m not here to argue with you about ownership of this house.”
Gaon, who cut off the man’s exclamation in a stern voice, stared sharply at him for a long time, and soon began to question him harshly.
“You must have been a farmer. Were you a servant in the Rosenvalov family? Did you want to pretend to be an aristocrat even if you were a dead man because you think life was so unfair?”
“Why did you vent your anger only on girls? Ah…, the real owner of that face, Archduke Rosenvalov must have coveted your daughter. But he didn’t care for her properly, right?”
The man, who had a face that had no idea what she was talking about, couldn’t hide the flash of anger. He breathed heavily and showed his teeth fiercely. Gaon in response tightened her grip on the sword.
Should I just kill it now? Is it right to give such a person a chance to reflect on himself? Gaon, who was agonizing fiercely, finally didn’t swing her sword and breathed a long frustrating breath. Of course, the man had no idea that he had managed to escape the eternal punishment just now.
“But how can you get even with innocent descendants?”
“Then what was my daughter’s fault?!”
At the moment when the man, who had lost his composure, shouted, the appearance that had been smooth became blurred, and an old man in old and shabby clothes appeared. The startled man quickly arranged the exterior, but Ji-Won, who had not taken his eyes off the man’s face at Gaon’s instruction, did not miss the moment.
“He took my precious daughter as his concubine but he just threw her away after playing with her for a few days! The poor child was eventually abandoned by her lover and hanged herself. But why does the children of the man who killed her have the audacity playing around in this luxurious house?”
“My precious daughter… How abominable. How dare a man who sold his own daughter because he was blinded by immediate luxury now dares to use his daughter as an excuse!”
While Gaon shouted in a frosty voice, Ji-Won, who carefully pulled out his notebook, hurriedly drew the man’s real face. At first, the man did not pay much attention to Ji-Won because he did not know what he was doing. But as soon Ji-Won took out the lighter, the man realised something was wrong and rushed to him with a terrible scream scratching his eardrums. However, Gaon, who blocked the man standing in front of him, did not allow the man to touch the tip of Ji-Won’s hair. The man finally disappeared in a wisp of smoke.
“I don’t know what kind of disturbance he will make, so I’ll go to Jungcheon for a while. I’ll come back after watching him go through Myeonggye Door. This is my passageway, so be careful not to break it.”
Gaon, who handed over an old silver mirror to Ji-Won as soon as the deceased disappeared like smoke, disappeared in an instant as if she was sucked into the mirror without even giving Ji-Won any chance of asking questions. Then, after three hours, she returned with a grimace.
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