After a brief reunion, everyone including myself gathered at the living room. An-Sol was absent but hearing the faint sound of her breathing it seemed as though she was still unconscious.
In the living room there was an atmosphere of unsettlement. Much like the silence before a storm. It seemed as though my entrance was untimely.
It may not be an emotional reunion I didn’t expect it to turn into this sort of situation. Judging from An-Hyun’s awkward face and Lee Yoo-Jung and Kim Han-Byul both steaming at each other, there was probably a dispute. I heard Kim Han-Byul’s outburst before entering but I’ll leave it for now.
After the long awkward silence. It was An-Hyun who broke the silence.
“Kim Su-Hyun. I don’t know what to say. Thanks for letting us get out of the woods. And we are deeply sorry for leaving ahead without waiting for you. I know it’s just an excuse and doesn’t justify our actions but I still wanted to apologise nonetheless.”
Seeing An-Hyun with his head down while speaking made my heart grin. He is usually dignified but knows when to show weakness. He has a tendency to be neutral or moderate but he is not as much of a big jerk as I thought. I shook my head to An-Hyun’s formal apology and spoke softly.
“At first I was flustered because I couldn’t see you.”
“I am sorry, there’s nothing we can say”
“No need to be sorry I mean you guys must’ve had your reasons. But I can’t find your sister where is she?”
“Um.. well to tell you the truth...“
“Hold it An-Hyun, I’ll take over from here. That’s ok right Kim Su-Hyun?”
Lee Yoo-Jung quickly blocked An-Hyun from opening his mouth. The way she suddenly started talking in a casual tone to me was a reflection of how social she was. I would’ve prefered to hear it from Kim Han-Byul who is usually collected. But it seemed as though she was in a bad mood so I quietly nodded my head.
“So after you dragged those things into the woods...”
After getting a sign of approval from An-Hyun, Lee Yoo-Jung quickly glared at Kim Han-Byul before continuing the explanation. Her explanation was lacking but it was that much more simple. Since I had a gist of the situation I didn’t require much further explanation. But…
“A ghost-like thing came out of nowhere?”
“Yeah but now that I think about it I think it would be inaccurate to label those things as ghosts. They didn’t seem to be completely transparent? We could somewhat make out that they had wings. The way they moved was also easy to see. But when Hyun tried to cut them with swords they didn’t fall”
This is quite important as I faced An-Hyun to hear about it in detail. His eyes were closed, trying to remember the fight. He slightly tilted his head before speaking.
“It’s like Lee Yoo-Jung said. I swung with all my might but it felt like i was swinging my sword in the air”
Swinging in the air. You can only vaguely make out their shape and it’s not completely invisible. They have wings. After combining these 3 characteristics something came to my mind.
Wraiths. An almost invisible humans with wings, these hints immediately let me know the monsters were wraiths. You cannot damage wraiths with physical attacks. They pass through the human body and deal mental pain. But hearing that An-Hyun was able to withhold over ten of these attacks I guess his rite to passage controlled the damage he had taken.
A question popped up in my head after hearing this. As of now the gang doesn’t have a clear method to defeat wraiths. Then how did they avoid them? I decided to bring up An-sol while mentioning this.
“So is that why your sister is injured?”
An-Hyun shook his head to the question. The story that followed left me in disbelief. The wraiths focused An-Hyun after seeing that he was resistant to their attacks. Of course he was in pain and eventually he dropped both his sword and shield. In that moment of despair the one who saved him was An-Sol.
I asked him to explain more clearly but even An-Hyun couldn’t exactly describe the event. The same goes for Lee Yoo-Jung and Kim Han-Byul. Just that An-Sol began to scream as her body glowed in white, when the light disappeared all the monsters had disappeared. An-Sol apparently lost consciousness right after and had not woken up since.
I nodded my head after hearing the whole story. An-Hyung broke the silence with a concerned look on his face.
“Kim Su-Hyun Sol will be alright won’t she? She will wake up right?”
“How is her condition?”
“She’s breathing steadily. Her pulse is normal. But from time to time she starts frowning in her sleep as if she is in pain. She lets out moans occasionally as well”
Magic Power Overdrive. An-Sol has already awoken her magic power? It was unbelievable but I managed to take it in. When I first started, I had a lot of difficulty due to my low magic power. It took me a long time to pull the sword in Hall Plain after my Rite of Passage.
But An-Sol started with a Magic power level of 75 so she may be different. You cannot research the realm of the subconscious so there is bound to be things that are a mystery to me. One thing I am certain of however, is that having a magic power level of 75 with such a fragile body would put a lot of stress on her. If she doesn’t overdo it there is a good chance that I can help her.
“Well I will have to look into it, but she should be fine. Don’t worry too much”
“The….then if you don’t mind can you ...”
Looking at An-Hyun who desperately started talking I could understand how he felt and just as I was getting ready to lift myself a soft hand wrapped around my wrist. Looking at the soft sensation on my left wrist I could see Lee Yoo-Jung pouting.
“Hey An-Hyun. How can you say that to Kim Su-Hyun after he just came back. Aren’t you hungry?”
“Um well I’m not starving to death it’s ok. Let’s take care of An-Sol first….”
“We already looked after her in turns. As long as you’re not a doctor it’s not like you can make an immediate difference. We told you our story so please tell us yours. I’ll quickly whip us up some grub so tell us while we eat. Please?”
She seemed very out of character; unlike her usual self; she was very assertive but it didn’t feel too bad. As if he was convinced An-Hyun smiled and nodded his head in agreement.
“Here have some water that was left over from earlier.”
I extended my hand to the bottle that Kim Han-Byul grabbed out of her shirt. At that moment Lee Yoo-Jung snatched the bottle and gave it back to Kim Han-Byul. As I was dazed from what had just happened, Kim Han-Byul raised her voice in reaction.
“What are you doing?”
“Why are you giving him something you’ve been drinking. I’m going to give Kim Su-Hyun a brand new bottle. You finish your bottle on your own”
“Um… what are you guys….”
Lee Yoo-Jung stood up and went into the kitchen before I could finish my sentence.
Soon I could hear sounds from the kitchen. When I looked back at the other two; An-Hyun smiled awkwardly while Kim Han-Byul started coldly at the floor. It was somewhat unexpected but I cleared my throat and changed the subject.
“Has everyone else eaten?”
“...Yeah. We ate before you came we were all famished…. haha”
“No it’s ok. It would be foolish to wait for me when you don’t know when I would be back”
An-Hyun scratched his head with a face to show he was sorry. A new bottle was placed in front of me. Lee Yoo-Jung placed a plate down gently she had already finished making the food, I began to wonder if this was the same Lee Yoo-Jung that I knew. On the plate there were crackers with tuna topping rom a can. I could tell she made an effort to make them presentable. Lee Yoo-Jung kindly opened my bottle for me and made an effort to speak in a very cheerful voice.
“Tadaa~! Special crackers made by yours truly! ”
“Oh wow these look really good let me have a bite”
Lee Yoo-Jung quickly stopped the hand of An-Hyun who extended his hand to the crackers. An-Hyun caressed the hand that Lee Yoo-Jung hit with a face of discontent but submitted to Lee Yoo-Jung’s sharp glare, and muttered under his breath.
“Come on that’s being way too cheap”
“I made it for Kim Su-Hyun why are you the one trying to eat it when he hasn’t even touched it? Where are your manners”
“Kim Su-Hyun try it. I assure you it tastes great”
“Hm? Ye ok Thanks time to dig in”
I laughed at the sight of the still muttering An-Hyun and Lee Yoo-Jung who turned her head to him. The taste of cheap tuna and crackers spread in my mouth. Hardly a delicacy but it was edible. Of course it was no time to be a picky eater and it was quite delicous
Luckily the mood in the room was much more brighter than before. When I reached out for another cracker I felt pressured by all the eyes focused on me. I quickly tried to bring up a topic. Of course I couldn’t say that I clobbered all 20 of those Deadmen so I tried to make a simple excuse. After telling Lee Yoo-Jung that the meal was delicious I began my tale of how I lead the Deadmen into the woods.
“So you were nearly bitten back there?”
“I tried as much as possible to move in an S shape between the trees. I didn’t expect one of them to show up right next to it. An inch further and my left hand would’ve been bitten. I still get shivers down my spine thinking about it.”
“Wow then we really would’ve never been able to see you again.”
“Lol Kim Su-Hyun, Lee Yoo-Jung was so worried about you that she threw a tantrum before you were here saying that we need to go save you that you might still be waiting there.”
“Don’t over exaggerate I’m going to kill you, I wasn’t that desperate.”
“See you just admitted that you were worried kk”
As the two argued while giggling, I felt relieved. As I was about to let a sigh of relief out, Kim Han-Byul’s stiff face caught my eye. As she stared at us coldly, much different from before I could feel a small pain in my heart.
I tried to assume it was nothing but what Kim Han-Byul screamed before I came in seemed like something that shouldn’t be overlooked. I decided to have a word with An-Hyun as soon as the situation allowed me to.