The Academy’s Deceased Ate It All - Chapter 211
– It’s been a long time.
Hearing Alice Blessbuck’s voice, Myung-Joon nodded involuntarily, even though she couldn’t see it.
He asked her immediately.
“But to come home so suddenly… Is everything over?”
– It’s not… but there’s nothing more I can do, and it’s time to settle down and get ready.
“Well, the workshop has been empty for a while. Cass must have had a hard time cleaning it alone.”
Alice let out a small laugh at the comment.
– I was going to tell you the details in person, but… I thought it would be best to tell you as soon as possible, so I called.
Myung-Joon had too many things on his mind to say anything.
Alice sighed quietly.
– …Besides, there are two others I have to talk to.
– Cass Lyle… and Yoo Ji-Hyuk. I have to tell these two in person.
Instinctively, he knew she was about to tell him everything she’d been holding inside.
“You’ll have to tell them in person.”
– Of course.
After answering, Alice exhaled as if trying to get her bearings.
– To cut to the chase, as you know, three seals of the Evils have already broken.
“The first in Yeouido, and then the second with the World Tree Clan. And now the latest one.”
– That’s right, and I believe Myung-Joon has been searching for the seal of the next, which is said to be sleeping in the Baltic Sea…
“You mean the nameless one?”
– … That’s right, the unnamed Evil.
Alice paused momentarily, then sighed.
– It’s called the Nameless because it has so many names…Though there is one it has used for a long time.
– That’s what he called himself.
Alice Blaisbuck muttered that.
Myung-Joon simply listened to her in silence.
– Come to think of it…
Then Alice muttered something in a nostalgic voice.
– It’s been a long time since you and I met.
“That’s right, we’ve known each other for at least 30 years.”
He replied with a slight frown.
– You were so cute when I first met you, too.
“You’ve always been the same…ever since I was a child.”
– I’m a vampire half-breed. I age slowly.
“Yeah, that’s what you said back then.”
In fact, there were few cases of so-called half-breeds, such as Alice, but they were far from rare.
And he knew more about them than the average person.
Like, for example, that half-breeds inherit the traits of both parents.
If you were half-mermaid, you could breathe underwater; if you were half-siren, you had a beautiful voice and instinctively drew others to you.
He also knew that the blood on one side would fade over time.
Human blood or non-human blood.
Every half-breed he’d ever seen had, by the time they were thirty, one side’s blood had thickened and consumed the other, and there hadn’t been a single exception.
Except for one, Alice Blessbuck.
He didn’t know how old she was
What he was sure of was that she was at least thirty years old and that she was half vampire and half human.
She still retained traits of both.
And this was not simply explained by the fact that she was an accomplished alchemist and shaman.
– …There are so many things I want to tell you, but this is what you need to hear…
She let out a small sigh as if she resolved herself and murmured.
– Myung-Joon, as you already know… I’m not like the usual half-breeds.
– I’m half-vampire, 236 years old this year… also known as a dhampir.
Myung-Joon nodded silently.
– …And my original name was Alice Milited.
At her words, he closed his eyes in silence.
“It’s not the first time we’ve met, but it’s the first time we’ve been alone together like this.
Yu-Na bowed her head slightly.
“I’m Lee Yu-na. Please take care of me.”
“I’m Yi Ye-Eun. I’ll be in your care as well.”
Ye-eun casually placed her hands on the desk.
“Actually, I’ve been meaning to meet with you for some time… but I didn’t expect you to ask to meet with me first.”
She looked at Yu-na.
“…And I didn’t expect to hear from Woo-Seok.”
“I apologize for asking you to do this so suddenly.”
“No, like I said, I was hoping to meet sooner or later, so it’s definitely not a burden or anything like that, so please don’t mind.”
Ye-Eun tilted her head as she glanced at Yu-na, sitting stiffly and shyly.
“I had a lot of personal questions about his first chosen assistant and entourage… I still need to talk with him about it.”
Yu-Na looked down to avoid Ye-Eun’s gaze, who sighed and continued.
“If you’re approaching her with strange intentions… then as Ji-Hyuk’s sister and as the head of the family, I can’t stand idly by.”
Yu-Na’s body twitched and trembled at her words.
She slowly lifted her head and looked up at Ye-Eun.
Gold and light brown eyes met.
“What do you think?”
Ye-Eun gave a small smile at Yu-Na’s blunt question, though only for a moment.
Then, she answered with a soft expression contrasting to her earlier one.
“It’s just… I guess Ji-Hyuk has a good eye for people, and I don’t think I need to worry about it.”
She added quietly.
“Actually, just looking at the friends around him, they’re all like that… most if not all of them are brilliant kids, but you… I’m sorry, what was your name again?”
“Yes, Yu-Na-ssi. But, surprisingly, he chose you as his entourage because I thought he would select Choi Hyun-Woo, Han Soo-Young, or Jin Ye-Seul first.
With that, Ye-eun stared into Yu-Na’s eyes long and hard.
“Due to parental conflict and family circumstances, Yu-Na was placed in an orphanage run by nuns and grew up there. She hasn’t seen her biological parents in years and has turned down all adoption offers. She entered the academy at the top of her class… and spent all the money she earned working to pay off her debts, which she took on because of the orphanage where she grew up….”
“…That’s my story.”
Ye-Eun smiled slightly at Yu-Na’s muttering.
“If it offended you, I apologize, but I hope you can also understand my position.”
Yu-Na nodded slightly.
“Yes, I understand Senior-nim, and from your point of view, it’s only natural.”
When Ye-Eun tilted her head in confusion, Yu-Na paused and bit her lip before answering.
“My employer is Ji-Hyuk. Not you.”
Ye-Eun opened her eyes in slight surprise at that answer and gave a small nod.
“…That’s right, your master is Ji-Hyuk.”
After muttering that, she looked at Yu-Na with an even more intrigued gaze.
“So why did you ask to see me out of the blue?”
“…To begin with, I owe you an apology.”
With those words, Yu-Na stood up and bowed to her.
“Yesterday, I accidentally eavesdropped your conversation about Ji-Hyuk’s physical condition.”
At that, Ye-Eun flinched as if she was stunned.
“You overheard the conversation between me and Ahn Joo-Hyuk?”
“……There’s a reason he took you in, after all. You were able to escape both of our perceptions.”
She replied with sincere admiration as if she had just gotten the message.
“So what are you trying to say?”
“How long are you going to… keep this a secret from Ji-Hyuk?”
Ye-Eun fell silent.
Her reaction confirmed Yu-Na’s premonition, and she spoke up.
“I can keep it a secret from the other children, but you could at least tell Ji-Hyu-”
Ye-Eun, who had coldly cut off Yu-Na’s words, slowly raised her head.
She smiled a pitiful smile and said.
“…What the hell am I supposed to say to Ji Hyuk?”
“Since you’ve already heard it, there’s nothing to hide. Do you know what kind of condition Ji-Hyuk’s body is in now?”
Ye-Eun clenched her teeth and bit her lip.
“Let me put it this way: Ji-Hyuk’s strength level right now is no better than that of an elementary school student. It’s not like he’s lost weight or his muscle mass has changed; it’s just that one curse that made his body like that. Do you think it’s just his strength- no, not only that, it’s everything…!”
After loudly crying, Ye-Eun immediately closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
She then muttered.
“On top of that, the blood of the Evil… The raw blood of a dragon is already extremely poisonous but from one of the Seven Evils…!”
Bringing one hand to her forehead as if in annoyance, she let out a small sigh.
“…I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. It was Ji-Hyuk’s choice; he made his own decisions, which became nothing short of a noble sacrifice. To call him pitiful or pathetic is nothing short of an insult….”
She continued, hiding her expression from Yu-Na.
But she couldn’t hide her voice.
With a gasp, Ye-Eun said.
“What do you want me to tell him?”
“The curse has ruined his body. Even the best healer can’t cure him, and his whole body is weakened. He may no longer be a hero or a hunter. Nay, he may find it difficult to go about his daily life. He is doomed to die at any moment.”
The image of him vomiting blackened blood flashed through Yi Yun’s mind momentarily.
Ye-Eun let out a small chuckle, which broke her out of her thoughts.
“Is that what you want me to say?”
Her eyes locked with Yu-Na, and she flinched involuntarily.
“Oh, I just… I just….”
“I guess heartbreak is not something I got used to.”
Ye-Eun exhaled quietly.
“I lost my mother when I was younger and, more recently, my father. Now, I’m about to lose another member of my family.”
Yu-Na couldn’t say anything.
What could she say?
“You’re right, I should tell him. It’s his body after all, and he has a right to know.”
Ye-Eun shook her head in a small gesture.
“I can’t now, no, I can’t tell him, how on earth can I….”
Eventually, she burst into tears she had been holding back.
“How the hell am I supposed to tell him….”
Unable to look at Lee Ye-Eun, who had begun to cry under her breath, Yu-Na simply lowered her head.
The inexplicable guilt of ‘if only she were stronger’ lingered in her heart.
“…It was a pleasure to talk to you.”
It was a while before Ye-Eun could calm down, and she quietly covered her eyes with a handkerchief.
Then, out of embarrassment, she opened her mouth, deliberately not looking at Yu-Na.
“And if you’ll excuse me, I have some… important business to attend to.”
Ye-Eun hesitated for a moment, then nodded.
“The association is up to something funny. It seems they’re after Ji-Hyuk. We have to decide how to react to that.”
“…So I’ll be busy for some time.”
Yu-Na nodded and left the room.
“…It’s time for the others to visit as well.”
As she thought so, she realized her feet had taken her in front of Ji-Hyuk’s room.
She took a deep breath.
Ji-Hyuk seemed insensitive, but he was also secretly perceptive.
She took several deep breaths and slowly opened the door, thinking that if she made a mistake, he might notice that her mood was strange.
“Oh, hi, Yu-Na.”
When she opened the door, she could see Ji-Hyuk working out with small dumbbells.
In his hand was a two-kilogram dumbbell.
It was an embarrassing thing to call it a dumbbell.
When she saw that he was drenched in sweat from his intense workout, she couldn’t help but ask him sharply.
“…What are you doing right now?”
“Uh, just relaxing and doing a little exercise….”
“What are you doing?”
She sounded nervous, even to herself.
“Hey, hey, what’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with you….”
Swallowing hard, Yu-na nervously retorted.
Ji-Hyuk seemed genuinely worried as Yu-Na began to sob and cry.
And she was confused, too.
She didn’t know why she suddenly burst into tears in such an ugly way.
Was it because she remembered him coughing up black, dead blood yesterday?
Or was it the memory of the sobbing Ye-Eun earlier?
Or was it the fact that he was panting while carrying a two-kilogram weight?
Even she couldn’t figure it out.
“Why the hell am I crying….”
“Hey, hey, Yu-Na, just calm down.”
“I-I’m your assistant… What the hell am I doing?”
“Where were the tissues?”
He fumbled for a tissue and handed it to her.
Sobbing, Yu-Na continued to wipe away her tears, and only after he saw that she had calmed down somewhat, Ji-Hyuk asked cautiously.
“…Are you feeling better now?”
She nodded wordlessly.
“What’s going on? Yu-Na, are you sure you’re okay?”
She felt a chill run down her spine at the sound of his genuine concern, and something rose within her.
Who the hell was worrying about who right now?
She made a small, pained sound, realizing she had just done something embarrassing.
“I-I need to use the bathroom to wash my fave….”
“You can use the one in the room.”
“Oh, no, I’ll just go to the one in the hallway….”
With those words, she turned on her heel and walked out of the hospital room.
She spotted a group of people waiting outside.
Yu-Na shuddered as if she had committed a grave sin.
Their eyes were focused on her, who had just burst into feverish tears.
No one could say anything.