Chapter 18: The status window opened on the first day of enrollment (II)
Many students don’t even think about it, but in fact, the category of university staff includes many workers besides professors and teaching assistants.
For instance, security guards are responsible for campus security and safety, or administrative assistants manage administrative tasks.
Just as you might not notice the cafeteria cleaners while you’re eating, there are other people who come and go from your peripheral vision without you noticing.
Gardeners are the same. That’s why Elizaveta assigned Ivan to the gardening job. Not a noticeable role like professors or teaching assistants, and a position where someone could be stationed without raising any suspicion, simultaneously a role with no defined duties.
Since there wasn’t a garden at the university, there was no need for a gardener at Jan’s University.
It’s a matter of course. A university built in the center of a capital city wouldn’t waste land on a garden or flower garden.
That was the case.
However, even if the princess made a position available, nobody could have any suspicions.
After all, if it was truly an important figure, or if Elizaveta was plotting something within the university, they would have assigned an agent to a more crucial position than this.
The royal faction probably believed that one of Elizaveta’s subordinates quietly secured a position for their acquaintance.
This kind of action is just a minor transgression typical in a kingdom – known individuals securing positions for themselves or others, which isn’t illegal. In noble circles, these slight transgressions are often perceived as acts of integrity.
(TN: Even though I found it suspicious that the university hired a gardener despite not having a garden, it turns out due to a culture of nepotism there. Officials intentionally opened job positions for their own relatives/acquaintances to receive a blind salary, so this practice was considered normal.)
“Indeed, it was here.”
So, the gardener at Jan’s University has a lot of free time. Enough to engage in leisure activities.
At this point, the gardener’s leisure activities at Jan’s University were bomb disposal.
“Their movements, the circulation of people within the campus, and the field of view from each building were all considered.”
These individuals are “experts.”
Ivan, while disarming the third explosive, narrowed his eyes. It was a crude magical explosive, making it difficult to pinpoint the culprit.
The reason Ivan was identifying and searching for the explosives was as follows:
Firstly, an attack during the Academy’s induction ceremony was considered “common sense.”
Secondly, with bombers in the sky and the surveillance from the intelligence headquarters heightened to an extreme level at this moment, only “experts” could attack the Academy.
By thinking this way and reverse-engineering the enemy’s movements, the location to plant the bomb could be determined.
A place inconspicuous to the guards.
At the same time, an area not visible to any civilians.
Moreover, a spot from which no one could be seen through the building’s windows.
By examining the intersection of these conditions, the bomb would be found. It’s almost like harvesting potatoes.
Once the location was roughly determined, he’d leisurely stroll there and pluck it out.
“Now, whose doing is this, that’s all it is.”
The problem was precisely this.
There were too many suspicious individuals.
Demons, though the least likely, were suspicious precisely for that reason. These individuals had sufficient motives to terrorize Jan’s University. But simultaneously, if these individuals were not riffraff, they wouldn’t repeat such actions right after their previous failure.
Elves, on the other hand, were also suspicious. But their motives were faint.
The fact that they still have the battleship hovering over Jan’s University makes it easiest to pull off such a feat. However, even if an elf commits this act and tarnishes Krasilov’s reputation, the gain is minimal. The royal faction. Presumably, they are the closest to the culprit.
These individuals have both the means and the motives to attack Jan’s University. But today would have been challenging. The intelligence headquarters, directly hit by Elizaveta’s wrath, has lit up and guarded this area intensively.
So, there are too many suspicious individuals.
A mysterious organization, harboring highly skilled operatives, has clandestinely infiltrated the academy.
“Just an ordinary academy setting.”
At this point, Ivan felt somewhat relieved.
Yes. An attack during the academy’s induction ceremony and having secret operatives planted within the academy – that’s what constitutes an ordinary academy scene.
Especially with the absence of newcomers performing martial arts or introducing themselves as magical beings, or a cowboy shooting a pump-action gun with a leaf in their mouth, or a young girl who swears a lot but is an exceptional tank.
Shaking his head with a bitter smile, Ivan headed towards the next expected explosive location.
And then, at that moment, he heard something odd.
“What’s that? Santa Claus?”
Ivan’s eyes sharply widened. Without giving any hint, he stooped down as if to tie his shoelaces naturally, holding a pebble in his hand. He hurled it in the direction where the sound came from.
The sound of something being deflected, and immediately, like a bolt of lightning, Ivan sprung in that direction.
(TN: Ivan is called Santa Claus because of his beard and the bag (bomb) on his back.)
Thud, thud! The swift footsteps were audible, and finally, Ivan stopped in his tracks.
Without a trace. Through the multitude waiting for the end of the induction ceremony outside Jan’s University.
“Santa Claus, huh.”
Ivan chuckled wryly and turned around. Returning the same way, a cleanly split pebble lay visible after a short while.
Methodically breaking down and reassembling the information.
-A young male or female. If male, at least not in puberty.
-The voice is too indistinct to specify, might need a few more listens to gauge.
-Height, not confirmed.
-Quick reflexes. Swift motor skills. Probably, senses diagonally.
-Difficult abilities to have at a student’s level, but very likely a student.
He turned and changed direction, this time heading towards the campus.
Towards the most dangerous place at Jan’s University. Towards the auditorium where Elizaveta is attending the induction ceremony.
And certainly towards the on-site control room of the intelligence headquarters that would be nearby.
There’s no folk legend of Santa Claus in this world.
Naturally, Christmas doesn’t exist. There isn’t an elderly red rogue, righteous enough to stuff candies and toys in socks. That’s why the mere mention of those insignificant words drew such a sensitive response.
Did this guy also write the 5,700-character critique of “Gratitude”? Or is this some product of chance? Got hit by a truck? Diving into the Han River is too old-fashioned, so let’s dismiss that. Of course, it could be the original author. That’s also a common possibility.
For what reason and by what means did they arrive in this world?
But one thing is certain.
This entity knows that this game is an “Academy scenario.” The only reason a transmigrator would enter the university or seek employment is for that reason.
So, this guy.
Knows the “original work.”
Knows what will unfold next.
Knows the ending.
“Hey, wait. Stop right there! This is a restricted area!”
“Call Dmitry here.”
“What? Who are you… Where did you get the name from…”
Ivan snapped the arm of the uniformed soldier blocking his way. The soldier reacted immediately, pulling a gun from his sleeve, but it was disassembled like water flowing as Ivan turned the lock.
The soldier, with his arm held and only the grip of the gun remaining in his hand, stared blankly.
The next moment, click, click. The gun barrels popped out in an instant.
Five. Good training. Good disguise, too.
The five soldiers surrounding him each portrayed different personas. Like ordinary citizens you might see anywhere.
After scanning the surrounding soldiers once, Ivan took a deep breath. Then exhaled shortly.
Anger surged. Anxiousness ate away at his patience.
“Do you know Lieutenant Colonel? Please don’t make a scene here; let’s talk in a quieter place…”
“I’m Ivan Petrovich. Are you from the Cleansup Unit?”
“I was the last recruit. Sir. Excuse me, but if I may confirm your face…”
The soldier kneeling before Ivan raised his head cautiously. Slowly letting go of the gun grip he had been holding, he raised his hands wide open.
He scrutinized Ivan’s face for a while with a perplexed expression, then gently covered Ivan’s chin with his hand.
“Oh my goodness. Really… ‘Little’ Ivan…?”
Cold sweat dripped from the soldier’s face as he examined Ivan’s features – eyes, nose, forehead, and beyond.
He quickly gestured with his eyes, indicating the surrounding soldiers, then politely inclined his head.
“Lieutenant Petrovich, it’s an honor to meet you.”
“I’m Osip Sorenov. You probably don’t know me. I’m from the 3rd Strike Squad, and we’ve only met once from a very distant place.”
“I remember now. Osip.”
Ivan released the soldier’s arm and stepped back. Osip brushed his knees and stood up, extending his hand politely. Ivan shook hands with him.
“Do not mourn those who have gone before us.”
“I stand alongside them.”
“I heard you perished in battle, Lieutenant. I distinctly saw your nameplate at the National Cemetery…”
“I, too, never expected a survivor from the 3rd Strike Unit.”
“We survived in place of the finest men of our time.”
“All of us did.”
The final mission executed by all Strike Squads of the Cleansup Unit was the ‘Dragon Lords Assassination.’
Therefore, including Ivan’s squad, the only one to survive, if there were any other survivors.
They were merely survivors indebted to the most exceptional men.
Ivan patted Osip’s shoulder and spoke again.
“Bring Dmitry. And inform Cherkatov, ‘We need the entire list of students, not only freshmen but all undergraduate students, as well as the full roster of faculty. Attendees of the induction ceremony, VIPs, their families, acquaintances, relatives. We need a list of everyone who can access Jan’s University right now.'”
“Yes, Lieutenant. Hey, tell Colonel Cherkatov! Urgent situation!”
Startled and unable to follow the situation, the agents hurriedly vacated their positions.
Staring at the bustling auditorium where the induction ceremony was taking place, Ivan took a slow, deep breath.
Perhaps Korean. No, it doesn’t matter. Because they’re all Earthlings.
Countrymen. Sadly, that was the case.
That was it. A bitter feeling arose. Both for Kim Sunwoo and for Ivan.
They had to be eliminated.
Information about the ending was needed,
The variables heading towards the ending had to be removed,
And most importantly,
“I’m not an NPC.”
Ivan closed his eyes.
I’m not an NPC. My memories, my experiences, my career are not part of the prologue. I’m not an NPC.
My life is not just a fleeting background story. I must, I must…
Survive and return.
So, I’ll say that I have more reasons to kill you than to let you live.
Before I heard in that damned ‘original’ about ‘Ivan Petrovich.’
Before it’s too late. Definitely.
“Gasp, cough… What’s that crazy…! A pre-emptive monster? No, damn it, I’ve never heard of something like that! What the heck, where did this mess start from!”
Sweating profusely and panting, suddenly, a familiar voice was heard.
“Are you back? What have you been doing…? Forget it. Pathetic.”
“Sit down. Making a ruckus like this over using the bathroom, you’re still the same as ever.”
That damned ‘spoiled youngest.’
If ‘spoiled’ is common in proper fantasy immediately after transmigration.
We should have heroically repelled the ‘Academy Assault’ and started the mood reversal from here. But suddenly, the quest was canceled!
[“D-Rank Quest” Academy Assault Repelled -Canceled-]
[The academy is under attack by an unidentified group! Repel the assault towards the auditorium and undergraduate facilities during the induction ceremony!]
[Objective: Remove explosives in the campus 3/3 (Removed)]
[Optional Objective: Intruder Elimination -Canceled-]
[Optional Objective: Protecting Freshmen 0/322 -Canceled-]
Lost a crucial early quest. Wasn’t the Academy Assault meant to be a debut stage for the protagonist?
An excellent opportunity to instill a clear understanding in the heroines and future colleagues, to gain admiration from the instructors…!
Suddenly, when the quest was canceled alone, I was shocked. Rushed over, only to meet a Santa Claus-like monster!
And, what’s this now?
[“??? Rank Quest” St. Jan’s University’s Gardener.]
[You’ve caught his eye. Good Luck.]
[Objective: Eliminate the St. Jan’s University gardener, Ivan Petrovich]
[Optional Objective: Persuade Ivan Petrovich]
[Optional Objective: Conceal Information]
[Additional Objective: Survival]
[Failure Penalty: Death]