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Chapter 118

Master.

Please gather at location 3, and request rescue in 5 hours.

Lucia woke up after sending a short message. She buried herself in the darkness, observing the distant battle.

Ivan’s words about having nothing to learn were true. That battle was something she couldn’t learn from.

The area she could learn from wasn’t of that nature. Not even her master could fight like that.

-Boom!-

The sound of explosions reached where she was. She trembled slightly, trying to steady her shaking body.

Enrique’s teachings about combat were closer to ‘achieving victory.’ Any means were acceptable, but defeat was not tolerated.

But Ivan’s combat was different. His combat doctrine was simple. He would give up everything he could, but in the end, he would deliver a final blow even if he were defeated.

She knew those who fought in that way. It wasn’t the fighting style of ‘heroes’ or ‘superhumans.’

It was the way of soldiers. Even if their turn was over, they could sacrifice anything for the macroscopic victory of the campaign.

So, the statement about not being able to learn wasn’t wrong. Both the master and Ivan knew what they expected of her. Learning that kind of combat was also not allowed.

However…

“You can still save him.”

She admitted that she lacked the ability to jump into such a battlefield and fight alongside them. But rescue didn’t require many abilities. At the crucial moment, even if Ivan’s body were to finally collapse, just that moment would be enough.

Lucia hid in the darkness, watching Ivan advancing.

Despite swaying, staggering, occasionally losing balance. Enduring countless curses, poisons, evil energy, and constantly getting injured by the blades of the undead.

But still, not stopping and taking one step forward.

Destroying the remains of dwarves who rose again even if killed, slowly moving forward.

Did the allied forces who resisted the demons back then look like that? Even if they were in agony as if they were going to die, did they have to move forward?

It’s unknown. She wasn’t someone who experienced war firsthand. But if there’s one thing she can be sure of,

That wasn’t just an individual’s advancement.

It was no different from an army’s march in itself.

Now, long forgotten names, soldiers who perished somewhere in the distant front lines, leaving no trace in history.

In Ivan’s battles, each time he reached out his arm and stepped forward, they were entwined together, forming an army and advancing.

If even one person remained, the Cleanup Unit wouldn’t be annihilated. She then remembered Enrique’s words about stealing the ‘nameless soldier’ and keeping it hidden underground.

The one person she spoke of was here.

The surviving Cleanup Unit continued the battle.

*

[Die! I said die!! Why won’t you die!!]

The screams of necromancers echoed loudly. His arms were trembling. It was due to the strain of exceeding the limits of his body in combat.

Ivan filtered through numerous noises amidst the ringing in his ears, modifying his battle plan.

Some of his magic still needed to be consumed for cardiac support. The damage to the limbs was more severe than expected. The multiple organ failure caused by accumulated toxins was threatening his life at every moment.

But luckily, how amazing magic is. In this primitive pre-modern fantasy world, if Ivan had one resource he preferred, it was this.

It refers to this versatile resource, which can be worn as earrings or nose rings. Even though he couldn’t use magic, he had already surpassed Enrique in manipulating and tuning magic.

So, just as he could assist the heart muscle, it was also possible to forcibly move damaged muscle fibers. Fortunately.

-Boom!-

A massive skeleton suddenly stood up and swung a shield at him. The prolonged nerve acceleration felt like agony ripping through his mind, but he managed to react with effort.

Ivan adjusted his stance and once again crushed the remains. Curses spewed out amidst the crumbling bones. He swallowed them numbly. Pain surged again.

But.

Pain is merely an electrical signal stimulated by the survival instinct of the species.

Naturally, it could be ignored. Unfortunately, since the sensory organs for pain are too widespread, and blocking all sensory nerves would dull the body, blocking the source of pain was impossible.

However, pain is ultimately an illusion brought on by the desire for life. Thinking of it that way made it bearable.

Here’s a revised version:

“Stop him! Ivan Petrovich! Don’t let him get any closer!”

-Clang!

Five chains sprang out, wrapping around his body and beginning to squeeze. Ivan’s advance halted for a moment.

The laughter of the necromancers echoed loudly.

[Yes, stop. I shall proclaim your death! In the name of Abiditas—]

“It’s not enough.”

-Clang!

Ivan had no skill in magic. How to manipulate magic effectively, he couldn’t even understand if that was academically plausible. How the source of mystery, ignoring the laws of thermodynamics, became ‘learning.’

But he knew many ways to counter magic. He had experienced it. Magic is ultimately a technique of causing a physical effect using magical power.

To bind a real entity with intangible magic, one must ultimately manifest chains with a physical presence. And if it can interfere physically, it also means it can destroy in return.

So, he analyzed the structure the moment it was bound. It was a method he had already experienced. So, he shattered it and moved forward again.

[Die!! Kill him!! Die!!]

Was that all they could say now? Perhaps due to fear, the necromancers’ words were becoming increasingly dull. Their attacks were becoming simpler.

Their faces appeared. Pale, ghostly white faces. Eyes as black as pitch, without pupils. Trembling bodies.

Their terror was evident.

“Too many have already died.”

Ivan slowly raised his axe. Since the opponent had already lost their composure, what was needed at this moment wasn’t speed but accuracy.

He reflected in the mirror-like eyes of the necromancers, who were terrified.

A man who was using blood and occultism, curses, and corrupted magic, limping.

“Too many have died to get here.”

-Don’t die here.

All comrades died while saying that to those standing beside them.

When those words finally reached Ivan like a refrain, he couldn’t find another comrade to pass on that bequest.

-Go ahead and take a punch from Sasha first, huh. You won’t be lonely even then. We’ve managed our connections well, whether in heaven or hell.

-Colonel, live long. Come as late as possible.

-If you come quickly, I’ll have to behead you.

“Chernobika.”

-What—?

“One person died here.”

The necromancers hesitated. Ivan took exactly one more step forward.

Retreating sorcerers and Ivan moved with the same pace, as if reflected in a mirror.

When finally one necromancer staggered and fell, the tendons in the hand holding the axe writhed like a snake.

“Now, from this place today, the Cleanup Unit will no longer die.”

-Clang.

*

Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, and dirt to dirt.

The crumbling dead who brought death are crumbling. The bodies that rose and moved returned to remains, and the shattered war machines echoed with the noise of collapse.

There was a silence where not even a breath could be heard. Amidst this, Ivan stood tall, bowing his head quietly.

-Tap.

Lucia sat down beside him. At the same time, Ivan raised his head. With a natural gesture, he reached out his arm and grasped her throat like lightning.

Between the blood-soaked strands of hair, bright blue eyes gleamed fiercely. Veins writhed, and even steel seemed to yield to his strength.

Lucia grasped Ivan’s forearm tightly with a gasp.

“Senior brother.. sir…!” (Lucia)

“Today… in this place.” (Ivan)

“Sir! Just a moment…!” (Lucia)

Ivan’s eyes glazed over. Wrong. Could this man even hear? Right now, this man was acting on instinct alone.

A tear fell from Lucia’s eye. From pain, and from pity for this man.

How many had he buried? How many had he embraced? How many were living with him in their hearts?

Lucia fumbled, recalling her teacher’s words.

“First… mourn not the departed…!” (Ivan)

“I too stand among them.” (Lucia)

A reflexive refrain echoed from Ivan’s mouth. Lucia reached out, gently wiping away the dried bloodstains on his cheek, and smiled softly.

“‘We’ also stand among them. Ivan Petrovich. I’m still here. Not everyone in the world is your enemy. There are still those left to remember together.” (Lucia)

“…Lucia.” (Ivan)

“Yes, are you back with us?” (Lucia)

The strength drained from Ivan’s grip. Lucia sank to the floor, trembling.

Ivan glanced at her for a moment, then stared at his trembling hand for a while before raising his head again.

“You still lack the training to be included in ‘us.’” (Ivan)

“The criteria are too strict, seriously…” (Lucia)

“And why are you here? Surely the last order was…” (Ivan)

“Field operatives can prioritize orders at their discretion! Right? Retreat comes after the mission is over! This mission ends with living alongside you… sir!” (Lucia)

“…I see.” (Ivan)

Ivan nodded briefly.

In real combat situations, every agent has the authority to refuse orders from superiors. The Cleanup Unit never teaches absolute obedience. Their obedience was solely for the royal family.

Orders from superiors can be ignored according to priority. Ivan decided to acknowledge this valid and rational argument.

“You’re at the level of a rookie agent.” (Ivan)

“This man… praised me…?!” (Lucia)

“Support me. There’s something to check.”

“Ye… yes?” (Lucia)

With a grunt, Ivan leaned against Lucia’s shoulder and whispered softly.

“Aah!! Sir, sir!” (Ivan)

“About Enrique’s report. Was the target rescued?” (Lucia)

“Oh, just a moment! Sorry sir, please step back a bit..” (Ivan)

Lucia pushed Ivan’s forehead away and muttered for a moment. Unfortunately, Ivan lacked the energy to act immediately. Perhaps it would have been better if the tension had eased.

After assessing his condition, Lucia grumbled and firmly supported his body. His muscles were still hot from the battle’s aftermath.

“To master’s report: Failure. Target absent at all designated locations.” (Lucia)

“As expected. Open the second pocket to the left of my belt.” (Ivan)

“Yes? Oh, okay. This…!” (Lucia)

With a clinking sound, a transparent bottle containing red liquid was retrieved.

Lucia stared blankly at the bottle for a moment, then glanced at Ivan. Ivan stared at the bottle intently with a solemn expression.

“What’s this?” (Lucia)

“A healing potion.” (Ivan)

“Why didn’t you administer it earlier if you had it? How do you use it? It’s a different format than I’ve seen before.” (Lucia)

“Open the cap and pour it on the wound.” (Ivan)

“Now? Step back for a moment. I’ll do it right away.” (Lucia)

“Wait.” (Ivan)

Ivan raised his arm to stop Lucia.

After taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes firmly.

“I’m ready. Do it.” (Ivan)

“Why are you saying it like you’re getting married? Seriously.” (Lucia)

Lucia chuckled and gently wiped Ivan’s cracked wounds before applying the healing potion.

With a fizzing sound, pink foam bubbled from the wounds. Soon, the wounds began to heal cleanly.

“Wow, this effect is really… what is it? Is it a military potion?” (Lucia)

“Mm-hmm.” (Ivan)

“Sir? Sir?” (Lucia)

“Just a moment. My tongue got a little cut. It’s fine.”

“Do you want some gargling with this?” (Lucia)

“I said it’s fine.” (Ivan)

Ivan briefly rejected her violent fantasies and stood up. Unfortunately, in this world, there was no Geneva Convention, so Lucia’s madness of enjoying torture was technically not illegal.

What a barbaric world. Ivan sighed as he reconnected with his senses, which he had momentarily disconnected.

“Time to wrap things up.” (Ivan)

“Where to?” (Lucia)

“To rescue the Secretary’s son.”

“Huh? Do you know where he is?” (Lucia)

“It’s pretty obvious now. Except for the places Enrique has searched, there’s only one place where Abiditas’ minions could hide the boy.” (Ivan)

Their headquarters. The fallen fortress of [Fortress of Desire]. Fortunately, it’s not too far.

Ivan shook his head and said to Lucia, “How are ‘Hammer and Pickaxe’ doing?”

“The Northern 2nd Division is advancing. Estimated arrival time is in 2 hours. Sir!” (Lucia)

“Support them. I’ll be indebted for a moment. We need to reclaim the prisoners before the Northern Division enters Andgrind to facilitate negotiations.” (Ivan)


30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

프롤로그에서 30년이 흘렀다
Score 7.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
I got transmigrated into a game I’ve never seen before. I thought it was a top-notch RPG and spent 30 years on it. I retired as a war hero and planned to spend my remaining time leisurely. But it turns out, it was an academy story?

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