Han Soo-Young and I were sitting side by side on a bench.
As I felt uncomfortable, as if I was sitting on a thorn-covered cushion, Han Soo-Young looked at me softly with her hands shaped like she was holding a microphone.
“We will now begin the hearing on Yoo Ji-Hyuk-ssi.
Han Soo-Young said so and pretended to pass the microphone on to me.
"Could you please state your standpoint"
When I remained silent, Han Soo-Young said with an embarrassed expression.
"No, I'd rather be embarrassed if you get discouraged for just joking a little like that…."
She stealthily lowered the hand that had been pressing against me and rubbed it against her leg.
“Looks like it's something related to the Seven Evils”
As I stared at her in surprise at the words that suddenly came out of her mouth, she smiled slightly.
“I'm not stupid.
Hyun-Woo, he too.
We're both noticing it to some extent.… We just didn't you because we thought it'd make you uncomfortable."
“… Hyun-Woo knows too”
Han Soo-Young nodded.
“You know how good his hunch is.
He probably realized it before I did.… plus, we have met that woman several times.”
Muttering like that, Han Soo-Young looked up at the sky for no reason.
“Something has happened when you went around alone or suddenly started hanging out with someone, you know That, too, is something related to the Seven Evils."
Han Soo-Young said, folding her fingers one by one.
“Even during Margo's, you suddenly became separated by yourself and something suddenly happened, and… it seemed you were going around with that Senior Lee Ye-Eun, but at some point, it was the Thorns Cross Society, the Seven Evils, or the member of the World Tree Clan...."
She secretly moved her head that was leaning on the bench to stare at me.
"And you've been going around with Ye-Seul these days, haven't you I wouldn't know if it was once, but you've done it twice, so I'm sure it's the same this time.
I'm right, aren't I"
I tried to answer no, but seeing Han Soo-Young's eyes looking at me without wavering, I automatically nodded.
“Then just tell me this.
Is it dangerous"
“More than Margo and that World Tree”
Han Soo-Young sighed deeply.
“Okay, so what do you think I’m going to say now”
"I'm not asking you to apologize.
If you don't answer properly this time, I might get really angry"
Han Soo-Young stared at me with her arms crossed.
“… how many times have I told you to tell me or Hyun-Woo if something important happened like this, but you acted without saying anything again this time.”
I know it well.”
Han Soo-Young nodded.
“Then what do you think I’m going to say now”
She secretly swept her hair back, looking at me softly.
The earrings hanging from her ear sparkled in the light.
"You have your situation and your own thoughts, Ji-Hyuk, so let’s do what you want… that's how I thought until now."
Saying so, she put her hand on her neck.
After a while, she took the necklace I saw for the first time, pulled it out, and showed it to me.
“That’s why we previously asked you to tell us anytime, we'll be your strength."
"But now I'm going to do as I please."
Han Soo-Young pronounced it like that.
“You'll say again I understand, I'll definitely ask for your help from now on, and then, as always, you're going to go take care of it yourself, right And then you'll be brought to the hospital just before you die again, and seeing you like that, I, Hyun-Woo, and the others will rend their heart."
"I didn't intend it that way."
“I know you didn't intend it that way.
Because if you had intended it that way, Ji-Hyuk, you would have really been scolded by me."
Han Soo-Young said so, and then suddenly turned back and showed her back to me.
Soon after, she swept up her hair, which came down up to her back, and thanks to that, her snow-white neck was revealed.
"Can you untie it Necklace."
I untied the necklace as she wanted without saying a word.
Then she carefully took the necklace that was in my hand and shook it at me once.
As I approached and stuck out my neck, she fastened the necklace that had just been hanging around her neck on me.
With a clicking sound, her hand, which had been tickling my neck, fell away.
“It was given to me by my master.”
"What No, wait.
Why would you....”
“Didn't I tell you earlier I'm going to do as I please.”
She said so.
"I'm sure this will help you.
Master told me it was a necklace with a powerful spell on it.
And I put my magic into it too.
Master's magic and my magic will protect you.
So don't ever untie this.
You must wear it even when you take a bath.
Even when you eat, even when you sleep.
You must always wear it.”
“No matter how much I think about it, I don’t think this is something I'm worthy of receiving."
Saying so, as I tried to untie the necklace, she gently grabbed my hand and restrained me.
"That's why you should have listened to me earlier.
Aren't I doing this because you don't listen to me"
She said, pouting her lips.
"And since it contains my mana, of course, I can detect your location.”
For a moment, I thought I heard it wrong.
When I looked at her wondering what on earth she was saying, Han Soo-Young looked as if she was not joking.
“Ji-Hyuk, you won’t do such a thing, but if you untie it, I can notice it right away.
If that happens, I'm really not going to leave you alone.”
"No, wait a minute.
Don't tell me you mean this is being tracked now"
Han Soo-Young nodded.
"No, what yes.
How could you nod simply like that...."
“Then what do you want me to do You'll go around going through a crisis of death without saying a word again, and if, really if, I don't want to say this, but if you....”
Han Soo-Young chewed her lips here.
“… if you do it wrong.
Then, have you thought about how Hyun-Woo and I would feel What about Ye-Seul Senior Ye-Eun Ivan Yu-Na And the others"
There was no word I could say in return.
When I shut my mouth, Han Soo-Young said, making a sniffling sound.
“So you must wear it from now on.
If you're in danger, Hyun-Woo and I will run to save you at any cost.”
Han Soo-Young, who said that far, gently reached out her hand and took my hand.
"Now I won't wait until you tell me to help.
Before you even say anything, I'll go and save you."
“Do you have any complaints If you have, tell me now.”
Without a word, I bowed my head and looked down at Han Soo-Young's hand, which was holding my hand tightly.
Her hands were shaking quietly.
Meanwhile, Svengali murmured quietly.
[… hey, can you now understand the situation now She is putting a leash on you now.
The way she is stimulating your emotions and spurring you on from taking it off yourself is not the skill of an amateur.
If you stay like this, you really can not run awayyyyyyy!!!]
Hearing the sounds of Svengali's scream, I nodded and looked at Han Soo-Young.
“… there isn't."
And I said, carefully clutching the necklace.
“I’ll be really careful in the future so that I don't have to use this."
Han Soo-Young's eyes, which were shaking anxiously at my answer, soon sparkled.
She nodded slightly and muttered.
“… Oh, come to think of it, that necklace is very precious.”
“Actually, now that I think about it, I think I should get paid a certain amount."
While saying that, Han Soo-Young suddenly grabbed me by the collar.
Then she pulled me roughly, and soon her scent spread so densely that it was dizzying.
Svengali muttered in a still calm voice.
[It was even stamped.]
Once again, Svengali's screaming sound rang out.
* * *
— … yes, it's not something I can hide now.
With those words, I hung up on Lee Myung-Joon's call.
It was at that moment that the reward of continuing to talk with him for a long time, even after the conversation had been settled to some extent at the guild branch, appeared.
"… it's here."
I answered the phone with trembling hands, mumbling like that even though no one was listening.
Then a trembling voice came from the other side as well.
— … hello
— … that, excuse me, but is it student Yoo Ji-Hyuk
Trembling voice of a woman.
"Yes, it is."
I added, licking my dry lips with my tongue for no reason.
— … haa.
She was none other than Alice Blesbuck.
As expected, she was secretly communicating with Lee Myung-Joon.
It was thanks to mentioning many times to Lee Myung-Joon that Jin Ye-Jeong's body was a homunculus and the need for Alice Blesbuck, a master of alchemy, to take perfect care of her, whose body had become very critical due to the sudden attack.
Of course, I had to tell a number of stories along the way, such as receiving Alice's secret letter, already knowing that Lee Myung Joon was hiding her, and also knowing that she had left because of the seal of the Seven Evil.
… Thanks to this, Lee Myung-Joon's eyes staring at me changed crazily.
"Long time no see."
― Yes, I never thought you'd contact me in this way.
“Have you made a call to Senior Cass Lyle”
— … not yet.
I did it to you before that child.
― That, well, how's that child doing
I answered her question without hiding.
“He lived like he was going to die soon for a while, but after hearing from the professor, he's still leaving like a human."
Alice, who let out an awkward laugh, sighed quietly.
― I heard the story from Myung-Joon.
About Jin Ye-Jeong-ssi's body, right
To be honest, I can't think of anyone to replace the professor.
On top of that, this is not a problem that can be easily passed.”
Originally, she would have had to stay in a special solution for at least three years.
It's also something that half-baked alchemists can't even touch.
Alice Blesbuck muttered so.
— … Lyle, if you go and ask that child, it can be done.
Right now I can't move easily, and above all else, by the time I go back, I think it'll be too late.
I'll tell that child today.
In fact, I was well aware of the fact that Cass Lyle was better at alchemy than Alice Blesbuck.
But it was a fact that I wasn't supposed to know, so I asked her in a voice that seemed to ask, is it really okay
“… that, it's not that I don't trust Senior Lyle, but is it really okay The professor said it earlier.
The half-baked alchemists can't even touch it."
I mean, it's okay.
Lyle, that child is such a great child that he can be compared to me.
"Well, if the professor says so, then it is.
I'll ask Senior Lyle for help for now."
― Why do you believe me like that
Over the phone, her voice was so shaken that, no matter who listened to it, they would be able to recognize it.
― You know, honestly, you and I haven't spent much time together… plus, the hand-written poster that went around the academy.
You've seen it too, haven't you, Ji-Hyuk
It seemed she was referring to the hand-written poster that said Alice Blesbuck has conducted human experiments.
As it was an incident that made the academy noisy for a while, I couldn't gloss over saying that I didn't know it.
“I saw it.”
— … yet you believe me The words of such an ugly and disgusting person who conducted human experiments
I opened my mouth quietly.
It was the word I had also said to the man who was Jin Ye-Seul's father before.
“I’m not proud of it, but I've lived a bit of a rough life.
I've also had hardships...
well, it's an overlap of various such things, but I’m a bit stubborn.”
"One of my stubbornness is that I don't believe in what I haven't experienced in person, but when I meet people, I only believe in what I've experienced in person.
The kind of stubbornness of judging people I meet with my own eyes and senses, not the words of others.”
A quiet breathing sound came from the other end of the phone.
"And the professor I've known so far, of course, isn't all of her, but at least I think she's not the person who would do such a thing."
And if she were, would Lee Myung-Joon, that person, have stayed still
I said so, deliberately bursting into laughter.
“On top of that, Cass Lyle, I can tell just by looking at that senior.
The professor is definitely not that kind of person."
Then, for a while, I could hear only the sound of breath catching.
After a while, she said in a very wet voice.
— … thank you.
— Thank you, really, for believing me.
She said quietly, and in a voice that sounded like she was really glad.
The sound of sobbing and swallowing tears rang out especially loudly.
— Really, really thank you...….
I quietly, without saying a word, just listened to her sobbing sound.
Because I couldn't understand the reason why she was sobbing like that.
As far as I know, the scene where she cries like this is when she makes atonement in front of the graves of her victims.
And only when she confessed to Cass Lyle that he had been subjected to such human experimentation and suffered pain because of her research.
Concealing my embarrassment, I had no choice but to listen to her sobbing.