'......who is this?’
The Magic Extermination Squad's leader attempted to wrench free his sword from the man's hand, but it didn't budge. The leader was a powerful person that was at least a 5th Order Adapter. But the opponent in front of him blocked his strike with his bare hands. Even though he hadn't retracted the spirit power from his sword, the man in front of him still grasped it with his bare hands, a feat that could only be accomplished by a handful of people within the fortress.
‘Furthermore, how did 「Law」 not work?’
The leader was someone who had spent a whopping one hundred years in Gorgon Fortress. It was the first time he saw someone ignore「Law」and block his sword. He didn't know this man's identity, but he was strong.
"......I don't know who you are, but do not interfere with matters of fortress security. We're just here to stop this from becoming an even bigger disaster."
“It's a disaster."
Jae Hwan sneered.
"Killing Carlton won't solve anything. Shouldn't your first objective be to figure out the cause of this instead of killing Carlton?”
What he said was correct.
The leader was aware of what caused this incident.
The Forbidden Heavens group used some sort of item that polluted Carlton's soul. Listening to what happened, he had arrived here as fast as possible to save as many people as he could.
But so what?
The perpetrators had disappeared and the evidence was nowhere to be found. Carlton was going to become a Deceased. And those were the facts.
“We just do things according to the law.”
“It's nice right, the law.”
Jae Hwan used「Doubt」to forcibly take a peek at Carlton's inventory.
‘As expected, it's there.’
Jae Hwan's hand entered Carlton's bosom, and when it came out it was holding onto a book. It was the『Stubborn Mule's Lawbook』that Carlton carried around with him.
“Gorgon Penal code Article 1 Section 4…… all those suffering from a soul pollution of 95% and are undergoing the Transformation of the Neglected are to be executed. What about this article?"
"If your purpose is to prevent the transformation, then you have no reason to kill Carlton, correct?”
After rummaging around in his dimensional bag, Jae Hwan pulled out a long horn while speaking.
“I think that this should be more than enough.”
Some of the medical staff realized what it was.
They had heard somewhere that a garnak's horn had been brought into Gorgon Fortress. But the owner was that guy?
“If it's that, then it's possible.”
Seeing the medical staff agreeing, the leader slowly let go of his sword. The man's words were right. He didn't need to kill Carlton if the transformation could be prevented before it began in full. But the expressions on the medical staff wasn't so good.
"But there is a small problem......"
Most of the medicine on the market was under the level of a Three-Horned gaksu. It was rare for anyone to be able to even process the horn of a Four-Horned gaksu.
The only person in Gorgon Fortress who stood a chance at it was <Twilight's Shadow's〉vice head, Meikal.
But even if they were to call in the vice head right now, it would take too much time. And let's say he comes in time, then would he even be willing to let us borrow the technology and other means in order to process such a high-end medicine?
“Is this not enough?”
The garnak horn in Jae Hwan's hand was being grounded into dust.
With trembling hands, the medical staff members received the powder.
It was a medicine that they couldn't even tag a value on. They quickly guided the powder so that it would enter Mino's and Carlton's respiratory systems. As soon as the garnak's horn was introduced into their system, the level of soul pollution stopped, and for the first time since they were affected, their conditions begun to stabilize. They had yet to be completely purified, but they had been prevented from turning into the Deceased.
Right then, the person who was treating Mino opened his mouth with a serious voice.
“S-something big has happened!"
Their soul pollution levels started to fluctuate again.
"The Transformation of the Neglected hasn't been suppressed. The woman's strength is dropping......!"
The other staff members quickly measured Mino's pollution level again.
[Warning! Soul pollution has exceeded 95%! Transformation of the Neglected has begun!]
The medical staff had terrified looks on their faces.
"Stopping it now is......"
No matter how good medicine was, there was no way to stop the transformation once the pollution level exceeded 95%. The Magic Extermination Squad (MES) leader tried to pull out his sword again.
“Chung Heo, call Chung Heo! If it's that old man, then he could use 'Death Slash'! If he uses it, it's still possible!”
“……are you just spouting things out of desperation now?”
The medical officer frowned and said.
Inconspicuous Medical Saint, Chung Heo.
There wasn't anyone in the medical center that didn't know that name. The only doctor who could save those who are undergoing the transformation. Most people had faith that he had the ability to stop the transformation by using his 'Death Slash'.
Jae Hwan listened in on the medical staff's Whispers.
[But Officer, what is that 'Death Slash' that the woman was talking about?]
[It's a technique used by the Medical Saint. I heard that he cuts off the actual pollution responsible for the transformation.]
[How could something like that...... ]
Claire opened her mouth.
“That's right! This child personally knows the saint. If it's him, he'll help this child no matter what.”
“The saint wouldn't bother with something like this. There's no reason for him to come here for something so minor.”
“……for something minor like this?”
Claire was absolutely livid, and as she was on the verge of saying something, the MES leader jumped in.
"Get out of the way.”
In the face of his aura, the medical officer and Claire who were swearing at each other quieted down and sat down. Recalling Mino's spirit power, the MES leader spoke to Jae Hwan.
“I cannot make any concessions this time. It can't be helped, please move aside.”
Jae Hwan took out Self Will.
The air began to freeze. As soon as a bloody confrontation was about to break out, Jae Hwan unexpectedly turned his back.
“I'll kill the woman myself. It was a favor she asked of me.”
Surprised at what Jae Hwan said, the leader loosened his grip on his sword. The air slowly warmed up. The medical team withdrew. While biting her lips, Claire stared at the tip of Jae Hwan's blade. James made a look of resignation on his face as the other guards turned their heads.
Jae Hwan looked at the woman. With her disguise skill gone, though her skin was pale, she was quite beautiful. The first person he met when he first arrived in《Chaos》.
Her name was Mino.
A name that he had never spoke before.
Jae Hwan was fairly distant from her and had little to do with her.
He didn't know what kind of life she had lived until now, and he didn't know why his mood was so erratic when dealing with this assassin. It was because he didn't want to know.
He slowly lifted Self Will into the air.
Oong oong, the sound of crying from the sword increasingly intensified.
Jae Hwan could see invisible lines leading to Mino's death. Death threads that he could only see once he reached the extreme state of「Selflessness」. It was the most care he would show for Mino. No matter which line she followed, she would die.
But in the next moment, the surrounding scene began to change.
‘What is that?’
Aside from Mino and himself, the surrounding scene turned completely white.
Jae Hwan's「Doubt」was in full bloom.
His senses became extremely sensitive.
He had felt a similar feeling when he faced up against the Succubus on the 66th floor of the Nightmare Tower.
‘Very advanced magic.’
Jae Hwan used「Doubt」to take a look around.
He couldn't see anything aside from Mino, who was lying down.
Jae Hwan grasped the hilt of his sword.
He was going to try and split space itself apart.
But in the next moment, Jae Hwan was overcome with surprise.
Sitting next to Mino was an old man Jae Hwan had never seen before.
[Huhu, how could our Mino have turned out like this?]
An old man wearing a wide brimmed hat and an ancient, Korean gown.
It would have been easy to mistake him for the grim reaper at first glance.
As though he didn't realize Jae Hwan was there, he looked at Mino and clicked his tongue.
[Poor child, I'll help you.]
Moving Mino's cheeks this way and that with his hands, the old man finally stopped with a satisfied look on his face. Jae Hwan calmly watched the scene. An unknown amount of time passed. The old man looked at Jae Hwan with a surprised look on his face.
[Haaaat! What is this, who are you!]
The old man's face reddened like someone who had been caught red handed about something, but momentarily coughed and cleared his throat.
[The friend over there, it seems like you have quite the powerful and noble soul. How did you come here?]
Instead of replying back, Jae Hwan used「Doubt」.
However,「Doubt」did not work.
Various theories flitted through Jae Hwan's head in but a short few moments.
An elderly man suddenly appeared while looking at a polluted soul.
‘Could this man be the source of soul pollution?'
In addition, the energy from the old man resembled that of a Deceased. Then Jae Hwan recalled what the medical staff had said.
'They said it was called the Death Slash.’
Regardless, she might survive if he killed this old man. Whether he knew what Jae Hwan was thinking about or not, the old man continued to talk.
[But why does someone with such a noble soul carry such a narrow-minded spirit? Like a 5 year old child......]
Like that Jae Hwan's blade moved.
Surprised at this attack, the old man bellowed out in rage.
[Young friend needs to be punished before he understands what's going on!]
A dazzling sword light flew out.
As they exchanged blows, Jae Hwan stumbled back one step while the old man stumbled back three steps. Jae Hwan was shocked.
‘He blocked my sword?’
This was the first time anyone in all of Chaos had blocked his 'Light Thrust'. There were those who dodged the strike and thwarted death, but none who had directly blocked the strike.
The old man had used 'Slash' to block the thrust.
The old man exclaimed in shock.
[H-how could my 'Common Slash'......?!]
Somehow it was a nerve triggering technique name.
The old man stepped back a few steps, his beard trembling.
He had just lost in their first exchange. It may have been because he had hurt his wrist, but the old man was shaking his wrist. Furthermore, there was also a serious crack in the old man's sword.
[What are you!]
With a loud roar, the old man broke the illusion. Jae Hwan realized that he had been returned to the real world. Self Will was frozen above Mino's neck.
But the atmosphere was strange.
Something had changed.
A desperate voice rang out from somewhere.
“No...... my sword, it was made from a Four-Horned gaksu!”
Jae Hwan realized it was the voice of the old man he had heard just moment before. Turning his head, he saw the old man who exchanged blows with him was kneeling on the floor.
Seeing the old man on the floor mourning for his sword, the MES leader and Claire shouted at the same time.
"Old man Chung Heo!”
Gorgon Fortress' self-proclaimed greatest doctor.
Medical Saint Chung Heo had arrived.