A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 240

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 240. A Subsurface War (17)



The scent of the hospital, which at first seemed unfamiliar, was now all too familiar to Desir.




Desir used to feel strange whenever he smelt it.




In fact, such thoughts were natural.




In his previous life, it was a hospital that he would come to once a year, but in this life, he had been hospitalized here almost every season.




Summer passed and autumn came, but in a rare twist of events, this time he was not the one hospitalized. The reason he had come was to visit someone.




Desir stared at the person in front of him.




A pale face. A woman of small build who at first glance might be considered a girl, lay on a white bed, sleeping so deeply that she could be dead.





Swan Katarina.




Her face, unable to wake from a coma after days of treatment, was as pale as a sheet. All visible trauma has long been treated.




“A lot has changed over the past week.”




Desir spoke to no one in particular.




He took out a newspaper from his dimensional pocket and read it slowly. From the front page to the last page, all of the stories were about the Kingdom of Divide. Page after page, across all newspapers.




“The kings of the Western Kingdom Union escaped from the Kingdom of Divide without coming to harm. As they fled, they got a taste of the power that the Outsiders wield in Divide, while investigating the various war crimes that Divide had committed. Divide has since been removed from the Western Kingdom Union, and sanctions have now been placed on them. No country is allowed to interact with Divide going forward. The Outsiders won’t be able to cause further harm using Divide


anymore.”




Desir picked up some newspaper articles and placed them on the bedside table.




The data he disclosed had caused a stir.




Divide denied all of the data Desir released, expressing its opinion that it was an obvious ploy by the Empire, an attempt to divide the Western Kingdom Union. However, under close cooperation with the Western Kingdom Unions, various illegal research that Divide had been working on were revealed one after another.




“More and more, I’m able to get a feel for the core plan of the Outsiders. Based on the structure of the homunculus, the Tower Master is currently trying to figure out what Skull Mask was aiming for. With one of the king-pins of the Outsiders, Crow Mask, in custody, we can also figure out their true military strength and troop formation.”




All he could hear was Swan’s shallow breathing.


“Thanks to you, all of this was made possible.”




Swan exhausted Crow Mask allowing Desir to later subdue him. She also figured out the anomaly of the tower, revealing the hidden basement and all of the technology concealed there.




Desir placed the newspaper on the bedside table.




She may not be able to read it.




The spatial magic Crow Mask invoked was incredibly terrible, and she was treated too late. There was a high possibility of her never waking up again.




‘The Doctor said it’s a miracle that she even managed to stay alive.’




Desir sighed with mixed feelings. Every time he saw her, these mixed feelings bubbled to the surface.




Swan already meant more than just man-power to Desir. He had some regrets in involving her.





Was the operation reckless? I shouldn’t have put her in. Or should we have moved together instead of attending the Great Council?




He trusted Swan too much and thought she wouldn’t get hurt. There were too many unexpected variables.




‘Choice… ’




There are always choices that must be made. While the result of this incident ending up being positive, there must have been a better option.




When one makes a choice, they make it in the belief that it must be the right one. No matter the strength of conviction at the time, the better option always becomes clear in hindsight.




It wasn’t just Swan that he lost.




‘… Many soldiers died after his choice to forcibly escape Divide.’




No matter how short the fight was, the sacrifice made was enormous. If they had canceled the Great Council itself, they would not have been able to dig up the required information, but they would have saved the lives of many.




In addition, he had turned Divide into an enemy.




It was now hard to count on their strength when the Shadow Labyrinth appeared.




‘… ’




At the moment, Desir recalled what Skull Mask had talked about.




[-A world that follows the path of righteousness.]




[-Everything happening as it should… ]




He insisted that everything could be righted. He wanted to go


back and fix the mistakes of humanity that had come to pass.




His words continued to linger in Desir’s head.




[-Reorganize history.]




[-The Great History.]




‘Maybe… ’




*Squeak*




A sound broke the deep reverie Desir had fallen into. This surprised him as he didn’t believe anyone else would come. Desir looked towards the door to satisfy his curiosity.




At the moment, his eyes opened wide.




The world seemed to have stopped.


Desir opened his mouth.




“Adjest.”




A strange silence ensued.




Desir couldn’t understand why Adjest was here.




While this wasn’t a palace, it sure wasn’t a place where she, a regular student of Hebrion, could enter.




*Step*




*Step*




She took several steps forward, before Sitting next to Desir.




With trembling hands, she touched Swan’s finger forlornly. After another long silence, Adjest opened her mouth.


“When she went to the tower, did she volunteer?”




Desir nodded.




As if she already knew the answer, Adjest nodded.




“I was sure this was the case. She only ever did what she wanted to do.”




She spoke as if she knew Swan intimately.




“Did her mission succeed?”




“Thanks to her, many people were able to survive.”




“That’s a relief… She’d love to hear you talk about that.”




Adjest had never shared her past with Desir, so he had no idea what she was thinking about, nor what had brought this about.


Just silently, they both looked at Swan. Swan looked so peaceful, as if she would awaken if they looked away.




“You knew Swan?”




“She was my teacher.”




“It’s a big deal, to be taught by a Royal Guard. She must have liked you quite a bit.”




“Factually, she taught me until she became a Royal Guard.”




Swan Katarina has been a Royal Guard since the revolution about a decade ago. Desir already knew this about her. It was a story so famous that it even appeared in history books.




The family that Swan Katarina belonged to before becoming a member of the Royal Guard was also closely related to her appointment as Royal Guard.




Rogfelas.



“I didn’t mean to hide it.”




Her voice cracked as she spoke and her head dipped forward leaving her white-blonde hair in disarray.




Adjest maintained that posture and continued to look down at Swan.




Desir just sat in silence.




They looked at Swan. It was as if she would awaken if they looked away.




They remained like this for a long time.




The sky was dark.




It threatened to pour down with rain at any moment.




* * *




The daily range of temperatures to expect was rather wide. This autumn day was unusually cool at sunset.




After visiting Swan, Desir hovered endlessly around his dormitory.




Frankly speaking, he was confused.




Desir had guessed that Adjest had come from a high-class family. Her behavior and manner of speaking were so luxurious that she had developed a certain aura of nobility and grace.




‘Adjest is just Adjest. That doesn’t change.’




He understood it in his head, but would he be able to treat her like before? This remained to be seen.




He was confused. His head was about to burst.




‘… This is not the right time for such trivial thoughts.’




Desir shook his head from side to side, shaking away his thoughts. Desir found himself in a mess due to the cascade of unpredictable events that happened one after another recently.




Adjest’s remarks further disturbed Desir’s thoughts. Already, he couldn’t tell how many hours he had spent thinking about Adjest.




‘Let’s put it aside for a moment.’




Desir put aside his thoughts regarding Adjest for the moment. It was because he couldn’t think of any good measures for now.




‘I have to think about what I’m going to do from now on.’




Every time, he checked his plans for the rest of the year.




The first step was counting the remaining period of time until the final goal, the Shadow Labyrinth. The singular purpose he had moved with in this life was preparing for the Shadow Labyrinth.



The Outsiders were something that had to be removed to pave the way for the smooth clearing of the Shadow Labyrinth. So far, this was the only thing driving him.




However, Desir changed his mind after hearing Skull Mask.




‘Skull Mask said the Shadow Worlds were created to show how humanity should have acted to reach the best future. He is clearly intending to turn the whole world into a Shadow World.’




The Shadow Worlds and Skull Mask were clearly related. He must have been acting in Desir’s previous life too. He must have done something Desir was not aware of. Skull Mask must have been moving to carry out his plan during that time too.




‘In my previous life… ’




In Desir’s previous life, the existence of the Outsiders was almost insignificant. Thus, Skull Mask never had to reveal himself, acting below the surface… in the dark. He must have been able to proceed with his plan without interruption.



‘Maybe it has everything to do with the Shadow Labyrinth… ’




Although he considered the possibility of this, Desir soon shook his head.




The Shadow Labyrinth was not like any other Shadow World. It was an uncontrollable disaster. The scourge of mankind of the like that had never been seen before.




‘For now, I’d better be concerned about it as one of the possibilities.’




Desir clapped his hands.




The magic lamp turned on in response. The early evening had only just passed and it was now exceptionally dark outside.




‘More important than investigating the connection between the Shadow Labyrinth and the Outsiders… It’s almost time for the third wave of Shadow Worlds in this life.’


Right before the occurrence of the Shadow Labyrinth, there would be one last wave of Shadow Worlds. They are due to appear next fall. The difficulty of them will rise quite a bit, just like the Shadow Worlds they had just completed.




‘There’s a few artifacts that I need. The Shadow Worlds that must be cleared are marked.’




He was not aware of what objective Skull Mask was after, but with some careful planning, he can surely outmaneuver a fanatic like him anyway.




Every country on the continent was now moving, and Divide had found itself in a thoroughly unfavorable situation.




Soon, the Outsiders in control of Divide will be left helpless and inconsequential.




‘The first goal is to remove the Outsiders completely before this third wave of Shadow Worlds occur… ’




That’s when he thought about it.



*Crash*




The window was smashed.




It was broken without any trace of what had done it.




Desir was left aghast, so he laughed in vain.




“This window can’t catch a break.”




Desir, who had paused his thoughts, approached the window. Seeing the broken window, Desir looked outside, wondering if anyone had thrown something at it.




His face stiffened. The lake in front of the dormitory was blackened.




[-Students, please evacuate quickly.]




*Beep*




*Beep*




*Beep*




At the same time, the alarm of the academy alerted everyone of the encroachment of a Shadow World.




‘No way… ’




Desir shook his head.




His plans and ideas for the next few months evaporated neatly in his head. His brain immediately processed the phenomena occurring in front of him, long before his consciousness caught up.




‘No, this can’t be happening.’




But he denied the possibility.


It was impossible. It was never supposed to happen like this.




But soon after, the alarm was enough to drop Desir off a cliff of despair.




[-A global reversal is detected. Students, please evacuate quickly. We are currently checking the ratings of the Shadow World.]




In a matter of moments, the crack expanded.




[-A Level Two Shadow World has appeared.]






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