Chapter 19: The status window opened on the first day of enrollment (III)
“Senior, don’t you think it’s a little awkward for us to see each other here? An orphanage is nice. An orphanage. That’s where we should meet. Do you think I’m a regular patron at your orphanage for nothing?”
“Sigh… You came in a rush. Why did you hit the boys again? Seriously, just convey the message.”
Dmitri grumbled as he led Ivan to a nearby café.
The second floor of the café near the university was crowded with people waiting for the ceremony to end.
Or so it seemed.
As soon as Dmitri led Ivan up the stairs to the second floor, the bustling café suddenly fell silent.
“Ah, just do what everyone else does. Act normally.”
As Dmitri waved his hand, the operatives who filled the café returned to being regular citizens. In the middle, a table strategically placed out of sight from both the window and the stairs stood empty.
“Sit. Ah, that place used to be a safe spot, but now we can’t use it again. Do you know how hard it is to make a hiding spot in the middle of Frechenkaya?”
“Never mind. So, what did you bring?”
Dmitri smiled and, extending his hand, Ivan pulled out three small explosive devices from within his coat.
Dmitri’s expression disappeared momentarily. Upon seeing his hand moving gently toward the explosives, Ivan spoke.
“The detonators are removed.”
“Why didn’t you say that first!! Ugh, you scared me to death!”
“If you had so many doubts about me, you shouldn’t have hired me from the start.”
“Why such a petty remark? In our line of work, even our parents might harbor doubts about us.”
Dmitri shrugged and inspected the explosives. After fiddling with them for a while, a broad smile gradually appeared on his face.
“Interesting. This is inside Jan’s University?”
“Yes. They’re experts.”
“It’s obvious. Three. Judging by the power, it seems unlikely to be a building demolition or an assassination. This is about diversion, right?”
“Yes. Probably, there was a separate infiltration team.”
“We didn’t miss anyone on our side. Definitely not the Royalists. We’ve kept a close eye on them.”
Dmitri chuckled and clapped his hands together. Soon, one of the operatives, disguised as an ordinary middle-aged woman, approached.
“Send this to the headquarters’ magical department.”
“And the documents? Are they ready?”
She retrieved a thick stack of documents from her basket. Dmitri briefly glanced through the papers and pushed them toward Ivan.
“This is what you asked for, and I’ve really gone to the trouble of preparing it in a hurry, even if Her Royal Highness is sincere in her support of you, but, uh, well.”
“Don’t mention it. Oh, Her Royal Highness wants to see you, when you free?”
“It might be difficult for the time being.”
Ivan picked up the documents and stood. As he turned to leave, a voice came from behind.
“You have dark circles under your eyes. You know that, right?”
As Dmitri turned around, he looked at Ivan with a serious expression.
Shadows danced beneath his hat, and his eyes glowed with an intense and precise gaze.
“Relax. This isn’t a battlefield here.”
“Well, it’s a bit much for a retired man asking them a job, but it’s important for you to broaden your perspective and not feel pressured to be flawless, neither Her Royal Highness nor I anticipate perfection from you.”
Without a response, Ivan gave a slight nod and turned away.
Dmitri chuckled and tilted his head. “That’s why people should fall in love. Staying holed up, not even basking in the sun, how dreary it must be, right?”
“Lieutenant Petrovich… indeed, the ‘Little’ Ivan. Your reputation was not in vain. Impressive.”
“When I first saw him, I almost peed myself. To think someone who had been idling away for four years would have this capacity. Anyway.”
Tapping on the table, Dmitri urged, “Find someone for him. Don’t let him be alone.”
“Do you want me to intervene if he goes too far?”
“What? Are you looking to get yourself killed? Just observe. But from a very, very safe distance.”
Even if he crosses the line, how much further can he push? Perhaps he’s eager to step in and uncover the person behind the explosives. At most, he’ll frighten a few students—what’s the purpose of provoking an irritated Ivan?
While Dmitri was pondering this,
Ivan was in the office, retrieving an axe and a healing potion.
It cannot be told to anyone.
The story that this world is, in fact, merely a kind of game and is rolling by a sophisticated system.
So, I have to do it myself.
Ivan sincerely believed that as he unfolded the report received from Dmitri on the table.
– List of faculty members.
– List of freshmen.
– Personal information of undergraduate students.
This year, over 300 freshmen enrolled. Jan’s University is a three-year institution, so the total number of undergraduate students approaches around a thousand.
Taking into account all staff, including faculty, assistants, security, administrative staff, admissions office, and considering students who entered graduate school or postponed graduation due to reasons such as leave.
“One more thing there.”
He had to examine the ‘families’ of students who have access to the entrance ceremony.
If there’s enough likelihood for everyone to step onto the university grounds on the day of the induction ceremony, then all of them can be considered suspects.
That is, if considering dignitaries from various countries and the families of the students. Total: 2429.
“I know you’re in there.”
Ivan organized the piles of documents classified by category and tapped them heavily.
“Don’t think it’ll be easy to find.”
Arrogance is the sharpest dagger that kills operatives.
“But it won’t take long. Promise me.”
The people who possess abilities in the academy can never lead a quiet school life.
That’s common sense.
They’ll repel attacks, monopolize skills, and somewhere, gain a vision.
Academy stories, in essence, follow the standard ‘generic’ platform. It can’t be helped. Who would like a story about simply going to school and graduating normally?
Hence, if this guy knows the ‘original’.
It was clear that he’d undoubtedly mimic the movements of the protagonist in the original work. All those who possess abilities live like that.
Even Kim Sunwoo’s initial thoughts when he was first possessed were ‘monopolizing skills’ and ‘spreading modern culture.’
So, all possessors are extremely selfish, filled with variables, and any sudden action from them wouldn’t be surprising.
After the fierce war that the NPCs fought had ended, perhaps they wanted to peacefully enroll in the ‘academy’ and enjoy a pleasant game-based story.
They probably wouldn’t care or understand the lives of the countless people passing by in the background setting.
They’d just enjoy it. They’d feel like they’re in a well-made theme park.
The fact that this is just a vent, an aimless hatred, or even a baseless jealousy, has already been acknowledged.
“What’s that, Santa Claus?”
It was just a casual remark, but that one word made it clear how the guy dealt with others.
He’s not even hiding the fact that he’s transmigrated, just enjoys it. That one word twisted Ivan’s heart.
That one word, looking at others as mere ‘objects.’
“Lieutenant! Did you see that? I was incredible, right? I parried all seven attacks!”
“Haha, if you ask me to, I might be able to do it again. It’s a pity. I should have angled the shield a bit more to the right.”
“Chernovika. Don’t talk.”
“If I had done that, maybe that fool Sasha could have been saved. Truly a shame, Lieutenant. Truly.”
“We’re nearly there. Just hold on a little longer, please.”
“I’ll go keep Sasha company…. Even then, we won’t be alone. We’ve handled our relationships well….. whether it’s heaven or hell.”
“Please. Silence. The blood cools faster. Chernovika. Please.”
“Live long…. Lieutenant…. Come as late as you can…. If you come early… we’ll be in trouble.”
Their story is not just background settings.
Amid the scattered documents, Ivan was having a nightmare.
It’s a memory from a long time ago.
“Don’t mourn those who leave first.”
“I stand alongside them.”
Their story is not just background settings.
– They were the finest men of their time.
– We all are.
Their history isn’t some sort of scenario.
No, it shouldn’t be.
In the nightmare, Ivan muttered slowly.
Listening to Kim Sunwoo’s voice patting his back.
“Kimchi stew, tteokbokki, nachos with melted cheese, pork stir-fry, raw fish bibimbap, Sokcho-style cold raw fish, warm ramen.
Hometown, home, Korea, Seoul, rooftop room, parents.
Subway stations, convenience stores, nightlife, hometown, need to return. Firmly set my heart, don’t waver, face it head-on.
It’s okay. We’re not alone.”
Picking up the things that calm the mind aimlessly.
Until the night ends.
After the start of the semester, Ecdysis found herself in a difficult situation.
Nobody wanted to eat with her. Despite the title of “royalty” at this school where nobles from all over the world gathered, it didn’t exempt her from isolation.
However, having the royal guard (a middle-aged man, muscular, wielding an axe) always glaring could indeed be a significant burden for young students barely in their early twenties.
“Ah, it’s all messed up because of you, Uncle!”
“How’s that my fault? Isn’t the problem the ones flirting with my niece in the first place?”
“Then why are you stopping the girls too!”
“Uncle already heard those girls talking behind my niece’s back.”
“Uwaaa… my university life… my life… Dad… I hate it…!”
The strongest music student, becoming a target on the first day of school, ran while sobbing.