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[Even if it means turning the world into an enemy (8)]
Today was a lucky day for some reason.
Eunha and the fairy, Im Gaeul, had aligned their interests.
Eunha wanted to kill the Italian ambassador, and Im Gaeul was wary of what the Italian ambassador might do in Korea.
So when he entered the Alice Hotel, there was no one there.
Not in the lobby, not at the counter, not in the room.
When he checked the register, he found that everyone had checked out.
When he asks Seoyoung Shin, she tells him that the government has ordered the entire Alice Hotel to be emptied.
I don’t know what Im Gaeul was thinking, but it was a lucky break for him.
Now he can run amok.
Inwardly, he smiled a smile of conversion and wanted to kill the people who had brought Julieta and Bruno such misery.
Just then, he caught sight of Zenko Myron walking toward the restroom.
He seemed to be in a hurry. And judging by his red face and gait, he’d been drinking quite a bit.
«Uncle Bruno. Let’s get out of here.»
«…Can you do it by yourself?»
«It’s okay, you don’t have to worry about me, you have to save Julieta, don’t you?»
Looking down at him, Bruno nodded solemnly.
In some ways, the two men were thinking alike.
To protect what you want to protect, even if it means turning the world into a enemy.
Where Eunha fought to protect his own happiness, Bruno fought to protect Julietta.
The rest was none of his business.
«Well, you better get ready to die.»
Because it might be the last time we see each other.
Eunha killed his presence and walked towards the restroom.
One of the buffs Shin Seoyoung had granted him. It was a spell that minimized footsteps.
It was a spell that increased the speed of your body’s movements by leaps and bounds while it was in effect.
Another was Strength. It was a spell that inflated muscles and increased strength.
In addition to those, Seoyoung also cast buffs for increased defense, faster recovery speed, increased mana within the body, faster mana regeneration, increased magical and physical resistance, and so on, but there were so many that Eunha gave up counting from the middle.
«─I’ll kill you!!!»
Eunha wasn’t intimidated by Zenko’s lunge.
There was no reason to be afraid, no reason to dodge, when his entire body was overflowing with power.
What’s more, Zenko wasn’t wearing any gear, and he didn’t even give him a chance to pull up his pants.
So he had no choice but to tear his pants in two, and fight with them around his ankles.
Eunha kicked up against the bathroom wall, flipped Kukri over the back of his neck, and swung wildly.
I never had to worry about mana in my body.
I had buffs to compensate for my weaknesses, and potions to replenish my lack of mana.
Zenko deployed his barrier when he saw the mana surrounding Kukri glow green.
The glow was strange.
One layer was unnerving.
In a short time, he created two layers, then three.
Kukri tore the first barrier to shreds. Then the second, then the third.
The green magic subsided as it tore through the third barrier, but the shards that made up the barrier splattered against his body.
«What will you do when you only see that?»
That wasn’t the end of it.
He was so focused on stopping Kukri that he allowed him to get within striking distance again.
A kick to the stomach sent him crashing into a radiator.
«Eh, eh, eh…!»
Sprawled out with his legs in an Mshape, Zenko wiped the raw flesh from his face with the back of his hand.
He looked ridiculous.
Eunha laughed out loud at him as he glared at him.
Zenko, flesh on flesh, squinted toward the exit.
So what was he going to do?
Zenko was going to get past him, somehow, and run away from the restroom.
But Eunha had no intention of letting him escape. He’d pushed him, unarmed, into a confined space, and he didn’t want to send him stupidly out into the open.
He wanted to end this in this place.
«I came to see you today with a plan. But I can’t pass up a good opportunity like this.»
The kukri was not the right weapon for slashing people. It was more of a blunt instrument.
Of course, there was no better weapon for striking down the barrier that Zenko was deploying.
And the kukri wasn’t the only weapon.
With the mangoshu he held in his left hand, he stabbed it into the only remaining barrier.
Zenko jerked back. He didn’t care that the mangoshu had sliced his arm, he just kept moving forward.
I can’t believe he had that!
He clicked his tongue as he saw his hand groping for the small of his back.
Sure enough, he pulled out a Berettatype player device.
The distance was too close.
Dodging in such a small space was impossible.
If only he were an adult.
He teased his feet with a steplike motion and spun around, kicking the wall, leaping, and hitting the ceiling.
He’d been storing mana in his kukri since he’d decided to perform his acrobatic maneuvers.
Before or after the regression, my mana handling hadn’t changed in the slightest.
In fact, I’ve been managing mana since I was a kid, and I’m more efficient with it than I was before the regression.
Eunha realized in hindsight that he’d been caught in a fake.
He’d pulled out his Beretta, but Zenko hadn’t pulled the trigger and had run out of the bathroom.
He hurriedly released the mana bound to his Kukri, but Zenko only deployed a barrier, flesh and bone, to block it.
The mana turned into a blade and tore through the barrier. The ensuing impact struck him in the back.
Still, Zenko gritted his teeth and ran down the hallway.
«…A tredici is a tredici, I suposse.»
The restroom was a mess.
Losing sight of him, Eunha stepped over the debris on the floor and gave chase.
He couldn’t let Zenko get his hands on the player device.
He was on the eighteenth floor.
He would have to take the stairs or the elevator.
Zenko’s choice was.
His choice was the kitchen.
He figured that if he ran to the elevator, he’d be attacked in an enclosed space.
Same with the stairs. With only his Beretta as a weapon, he had no means of stopping the pursuing Eunha.
Zenko abandoned his search for the player device.
His head spun.
His legs stiffened as he rounded a corner.
He felt drained.
He circulated mana through his body, spewing poisonous energy.
His head cleared, but his body still didn’t.
Now he was running down the hallway, pantsless, with only his boxers underneath.
His face was covered in raw spots, his left arm was tingling from a mangoshu cut, and his back was aching.
If he could just get some rest, he’d feel better.
The problem was, Eunha never gave him a chance to catch his breath.
Even now, he was chasing him down the hall.
«What kind of a child…!»
Zenko threw whatever he could get his hands on as he ran for the kitchen.
When it was dangerous, he used his beret to keep them at bay.
«…You brat. I’m going to have to kill you.»
«Who says that? It’s your day of sacrifice.»
In his mind, he didn’t want to send Zenko to the kitchen.
But if he tried to get to him, he couldn’t do much about it.
His child’s legs couldn’t keep up with him.
To make matters worse, his buffs were wearing off. He had used up quite a bit of his mana.
Eunha pulled a small glass bottle from his waistband.
Before the regression, he had been a fan of the double shot of espresso, but in this era, Jung Seokhoon had not yet realized the full effect of the double shot.
For now, a single shot was all he had.
But even a single shot was enough to restore his mana, which was still not as high as it was before the regression.
«Suspicious bastard. I should have killed him then.»
Zenko clicked his tongue when he saw the potion dangling from Eunha’s waist.
Still, he could guess what it meant that he had taken it out.
One, he didn’t have enough mana in his body for his skills.
Two, he was getting weaker.
The latter would mean that the buff was coming to an end.
«You’re dead. Really.»
Zenko clutched a knife in each hand. It wasn’t a player device, but it wasn’t something he couldn’t handle with a weapon.
He crouched low and lunged. He shuffled his poke, hoping to disorient his opponent.
He wasn’t fooled. He predicted the direction of my attack and parried it with his sword.
«Who the hell is this guy!»
«Someone who will kill you.»
The motion of the sword was familiar.
Zenko held the knife upside down, ready to strike him in the head.
Still, he didn’t hesitate, plunging it into his chest.
Eunha raised the mangoshu he held in his left hand just before Zenko’s knife reached him. He parried the knife with his blade, then blocked it with his crossguard.
Then he struck him in the side with his kukri.
If I hadn’t blocked in time, my side would have been harpooned.
Zenko grabbed the kukri by the wrist and slammed it to the ground.
«I guess you’re out of strength now, huh?»
Zenko was sure of it the moment he slammed down, and though he tried to resist by summoning his mana, it was too easily broken.
Before he knew it, the buff was gone.
«Give this to me.»
Zenko looked down at him as he was pinned to the ground by his arm, tugging the kukri away from him.
«I’ll need one of my own to fight, right?»
If I let him out of here, he’d do it again later.
I had to kill him while I could.
Zenko loaded his feet with mana and slammed down on him.
He had a barrier, but it was a thin one.
And he was wearing no armor.
Even though he tried to create a barrier, there was no way a thin barrier could hold up.
Furthermore, he wasn’t wearing any armor.
He released mana abundantly to protect his body. The manifested mana rushed towards Zenko without any restraints, like vengeful spirits tearing apart souls.
«After all this trouble…»
Once Zenko recognized the nature of the magic, he jumped back to evade the resentful spirits.
An advanced technique that devoured mana as soon as it touched the body. It was a skill that could only be handled with a good sense of manipulating mana, which was not something an ordinary person could manage.
Especially not a kid.
I should have killed him, I should have! Because of Julietta…!
He regretted it now as he ran down the corridor, leaving the kitchen behind.
A little more, just a little more!
He berated his intoxicated mind.
The resentful spirits tore at his leg. The magic applied to his leg was partially damaged.
Eunha didn’t miss that opportunity.
Closing the distance in an instant, he shredded the mana in his mangoshu.
The needlethin mana rushed into Zenko’s back.
He tried to dodge it with his legs, but there were more than a few spirits clinging to his legs.
Cursing under his breath, he coated his kukri in mana. It tore through the spirits, parrying their attacks with the remaining mana on his sword.
Heavenly. Madness. Insanity. A thousand steps. Mana Crusher.
You crazy bastard…!
Eunha didn’t want to send Zenko out into the open lobby.
Right now, he was using his small body to push Zenko to the limit.
But sending him to the lobby?
One wrong step and the tables could be turned.
The reason he was able to push Tredici now was purely the result of Zenko’s defenselessness.
No one would miss you here.
It was a mistake to send him to the kitchen. It cost me two espressos.
«Ha…, ha…, ha…, damn it.»
«Then you should get the potion. If you can get it.»
I took a step back and swallowed my third espresso.
A bitter taste spread in my mouth.
He pulled out a bottle of banana milk to wash it down. It was the most potent of the healthrestoring potions he could currently concoct.
Espresso was quite effective, but it took a toll on the body as the number of doses increased.
Therefore, he had to neutralize the effects of espresso with a staminarestoring potion.
«Are you tired now? Am I mistaken in thinking you’re weaker than before, and where’s your swagger?»
«Whatever, attack me then.»
The reason Eunha had been able to deal with Zenko so far, even with his buffs gone, was because he was maximizing his mana efficiency with extreme control.
His mind was more tired than his body. It was like having dozens of fingers moving in different directions.
«Don’t think you’re the only one who can do this!»
Spitting on the ground, Zenko swung the red mana in his kukri sideways.
A fiery trajectory struck.
Eunha tried to tear through the flames flying toward Mengoshu.
But it wasn’t enough; he was being pushed back.
He retracted his sword without a second thought.
This is it…!
Behind the flames, Zenko was performing another spell.
It was this one. Wrapped in flames of mana, Iri was sprinting through the flames.
A thousand steps.
As soon as he took a step, he twisted and leaped. At the same time, the mana on his blade flew out.
«You’re really weak!»
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