I Became the Academy’s Genius Shikigami Summoner – Chapter 105

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟎𝟓

Xiao Chen, a formidable barrier master from Yahwak, is a notoriously powerful and challenging foe who emerges as a major antagonist in the latter half of the original story.

「𝙃𝙚𝙧 𝙢𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙤𝙛 𝙨𝙤𝙧𝙘𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙨 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙖 𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙢𝙞𝙙𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙤𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙔𝙤𝙤 𝙃𝙖-𝙤𝙣 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙮, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙧𝙚𝙡𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙥𝙪𝙧𝙨𝙪𝙞𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙢 𝙘𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚𝙨 𝙨𝙞𝙜𝙣𝙞𝙛𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙨𝙝𝙞𝙥.」

As a result of her actions, the protagonist Yoo Ha-on and their companions endure numerous trials and tribulations, including the loss of valued comrades, leaving them severely weakened.

「. . .𝙎𝙤, 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝙬𝙖𝙮, 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙨𝙩.」

If we can eliminate Xiao Chen here, it may be possible to steer the future in a more favorable direction.

Rumble.

Thud.

As I surveyed the situation from the chamber where Eve had been, a distant roar echoed through the air.

No doubt, she was using her immense power to break through the barriers without hesitation.

「𝘼𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙡𝙡, 𝙓𝙞𝙖𝙤 𝘾𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙞𝙨 𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙤𝙬𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙢𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙤𝙛 𝙗𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙨.」

Her abilities share some similarities with the specialty of the witch Verdi. After all, the Eternal Labyrinth itself is nothing more than a specially crafted barrier formation.

She would likely be capable of forcibly breaking through most barriers.

Rumble,

Rumble.

Screech─!

Perhaps ten minutes had passed when I sensed her presence drawing closer, almost upon us.

Even without seeing her, the tumultuous sounds were enough to tell.

Eventually, she forced open the entrance to the final barrier and stepped inside, meeting my gaze.

“Ah, you were waiting? How considerate.”

“What brings you here? I distinctly recall promising to let you leave this place if you simply remained dormant.”

“Leaving is one thing, but I can’t help but indulge my curiosity. The interior of this barrier is a fascinating place.”

I had expected as much. What else could one expect from the likes of Xiao Chen?

Letting out a small sigh, she addressed me once more.

“Han Kang-yoon, was it? You seem to be somewhat knowledgeable about this place. . . . . . .”

I could guess what she would say next, even without hearing it.

“Why don’t you share some of that knowledge with me?”

As she began to harness her immense spiritual power, I braced myself, channeling energy throughout my body.

🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷

「. . .𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨?」

The place where Han Seo-ah, who activated the Black Forest magic stone given to him by Han Kang-yoon, came to his senses was inside an unknown old castle.

Looking around, she saw luxurious decorations everywhere, and on the walls were portraits of unfamiliar women, just like the ones she had seen at the last gate.

Then, someone spoke to Han Seo-ah in that mysterious place.

“You’re finally here.”

“. . . . . . .”

“You’re the first to reach this place after passing through all four areas.”

“Who are you. . . . . . ?”

However, Han Seo-ah, who asked the question, had already guessed her identity. It was clear that it was the witch Verdi, the master of this labyrinth.

“Yes. It’s as you guessed. If you’ve come this far through the last gate of the Black Forest, you must know my name.”

“So, it’s you. . . . . . .”

Han Seo-ah wanted to ask her why she had created such a place, causing countless people to despair and die.

But that wasn’t important right now. Han Kang-yoon was definitely waiting for her just outside.

So Han Seo-ah cut to the chase.

“I need your knowledge.”

“Oh, you know that much? Then this will be quick.”

However, Verdi seemed to be checking something, and she frowned slightly as she spoke.

“That’s strange. You shouldn’t have been able to reach this place in this amount of time after opening the door. What on earth did you do out there?”

“. . .I had some company. With his help, I was able to get through the gates quickly.”

“Hmm, yes. I see.”

Then, Verdi smiled meaningfully and continued.

“However, I have no intention of giving my precious knowledge to someone who relies on the strength of others.”

At the same time, several armored knights appeared behind her and began to approach Han Seo-ah.

Clank.

Clank.

Thud.

Seeing that majestic sight, Han Seo-ah also prepared herself, taking out her talisman and drawing on her spiritual power.

“I have no intention of being remembered that way by you either.”

Han Kang-yoon was waiting for her outside. With just that fact, Han Seo-ah cast aside her hesitation.

Thinking only of delivering the promised item to Han Kang-yoon’s shikigami as quickly as possible.

🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷

Xiao Chen was roughly aware of what Han Kang-yoon’s group had been up to through the barriers she had laid out throughout the labyrinth.

「𝙄𝙩 𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙢𝙨 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙨𝙪𝙗𝙟𝙪𝙜𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙖 𝙢𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙞𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙖𝙧 𝙞𝙣 𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙠 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙝𝙤𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙨𝙚𝙧𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙩.」

In Xiao Chen’s opinion, it was impossible for Yoo Tae-jin’s group, including Han Kang-yoon, to defeat a monster of the seven-horned serpent’s rank.

She knew this from fighting it herself. Even for a 1st-grade exorcist, it was a formidable opponent.

But they had done it. If there was a variable in the process, it was highly likely that Han Kang-yoon had created it.

“I’m a bit curious, how did you do it?”

“If it was the manticore, we all worked together to defeat it.”

“Oh, come on. I hate useless talk. You know that’s not the answer I’m looking for.”

However, Han Kang-yoon didn’t say anything more. At that, Xiao Chen raised her finger, composed her technique, and drew a line at Han Kang-yoon’s feet.

“Then, I’ll make you talk without having to ask.”

Swish.

Whoooosh!

A perfectly square barrier was completed in an instant, but Han Kang-yoon quickly rolled on the ground just before it was finished and escaped the vicinity.

“Huh? What, you know my spells?”

“If it’s Xiao Chen’s barrier arts, aren’t you especially famous in the eastern orient?”

“Well, more than famous, I’m more of a thorn in their side.”

Whoooosh!

Thud!

Xiao Chen finished speaking and created two more barriers. However, Han Kang-yoon cleverly hid himself in a safe zone as if he had anticipated their location.

This time, Xiao Chen felt some kind of discomfort.

「𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚’𝙨 𝙣𝙤 𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙝𝙖𝙨𝙣’𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙢𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙥𝙤𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙤 𝙨𝙠𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙛𝙪𝙡𝙡𝙮.」

Xiao Chen’s barrier arts had been notorious since long ago.

Even when she hadn’t reached her current level, she had completely dominated a 1st-grade exorcist of the same school, and after reaching special-grade, she had never lost to anyone in barrier arts.

In particular, her barrier arts was such that even a skilled veteran facing Xiao Chen for the first time would be bewildered and overwhelmed.

So, Han Kang-yoon’s response just now was almost perfect, if she had to give him a score.

「. . . 𝙄𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜, 𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙄 𝙪𝙥 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙖𝙘𝙚 𝙖 𝙗𝙞𝙩?」

Clap!

Whoooosh!

Xiao Chen formed a spell and clapped her hands together, unfolding a new barrier.

And she touched the barrier she had created earlier, transforming it into a binding spell and sending it towards Han Kang-yoon.

This was the beginning of Xiao Chen’s signature unconventional spell utilization.

「𝙃𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙣’𝙩 𝙗𝙚 𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙡𝙤𝙘𝙠 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙡𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙡.」

Wondering how it would turn out, Xiao Chen smiled in anticipation.

However, Han Kang-yoon’s response to it was truly bizarre.

“Fierce Wolf, Bone Bear.”

Swish.

Boom!

He summoned his shikigami from the shadows and had them take the hit instead.

“Are you, are you okay with that?”

“I can’t very well get hit myself, can I?”

After finishing speaking, Han Kang-yoon quickly left the room as if inviting her to chase him, and began to flee towards another gate.

“. . . How interesting.”

Xiao Chen smiled pleasantly and chased after Han Kang-yoon.

The chase continued for a while, but Xiao Chen couldn’t catch Han Kang-yoon, who was moving in and out of the Chamber of Trials as if it were his own home.

Sometimes he would find a passage that wasn’t visible from the outside and escape, and sometimes he would use a gate that hadn’t been cleared yet to obstruct Xiao Chen.

After nearly 20 minutes of pursuit, Xiao Chen finally cornered Han Kang-yoon to some extent, and she opened her mouth in disbelief.

“. . . Did you make this labyrinth?”

At that, Han Kang-yoon’s expression suddenly changed meaningfully. Then, Han Kang-yoon turned his head and replied to Xiao Chen with a smirk.

“What if I did?”

“Huh? It’s obviously a joke. There’s no way you could have.”

“You can think that if you want.”

Behind Han Kang-yoon, who had suddenly changed his tone, a black bird made of pure shadow flew in and handed him something.

「. . . 𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩?」

Seeing the object, an inexplicable sense of unease surged within her.

And as if to prove it, Han Kang-yoon raised the purple jewel in his right hand and continued speaking.

“Xiao Chen, you’re the third.”

“What?”

“You don’t seem to be very observant, after Bi-hyeong and Hektel.”

It didn’t take Xiao Chen long to understand the meaning of his words.

「𝙄𝙨 𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙖𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙝𝙚’𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙠𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝘽𝙞-𝙝𝙮𝙚𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙃𝙚𝙠𝙩𝙚𝙡?」

It didn’t make sense. After all, Xiao Chen didn’t feel any threat from Han Kang-yoon.

If even Xiao Chen felt that way, there was no way that men like Bi-hyeong and Hektel would have lost to an exorcist of that level.

However, on the other hand, the opposite question came to mind and muddled her thoughts.

So, has Xiao Chen herself ever landed a proper finishing blow on Han Kang-yoon?

「. . . 𝙉𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙄 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙠 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙞𝙩, 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙖𝙩 𝙖𝙡𝙡.」

Realizing this fact, Xiao Chen felt a slight chill run down her spine.

Of course, she hadn’t used any powerful spells yet because she hadn’t intended to kill Han Kang-yoon, but it was certain that she felt something off regardless.

Sensing Xiao Chen’s unease, Han Kang-yoon chuckled lightly and infused his spiritual power into the jewel in his hand, saying to her,

“Then, try blocking this too.”

“What. . . . . . .”

Han Kang-yoon threw the jewel towards Xiao Chen, and she quickly thought things over in a panic.

However, even in the midst of that, her body instinctively formed a spell and created a defensive barrier in front of her.

And that was a fatal mistake.

Whoooosh.

Crack.

Crackle!

The jewel, which had touched Xiao Chen’s barrier, absorbed it, emitting a tremendous amount of power.

And then, it gradually changed shape, creating an eerie rift in the void.

Xiao Chen had definitely seen it recently.

It was the dimensional rift that had swallowed her into this labyrinth.

「. . . 𝙄’𝙫𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙝𝙖𝙙.」

Xiao Chen realized that something had gone wrong, but as she knew, this dimensional rift would naturally grow in size and suck in any humans nearby.

And Xiao Chen had already experienced being unable to resist it once and being helplessly swallowed.

“You. . . . . . !”

“You’ll probably have a harder time getting out of there than here.”

“Are for real?! If I get out, I won’t let you off the hoo. . . . . . .”

Xiao Chen’s words, unfortunately, couldn’t be finished.

Crackle.

Snap.

The dimensional rift, having achieved its purpose, vanished, and there was no one there anymore.

He had been completely sucked into the rift.

Watching the sight, Han Kang-yoon, who was left in the room, simply smiled and uttered a single sentence.

“I went through all the trouble of breaking them, so no free rides.”

And so, Xiao Chen, a member of Yahwak and a special-grade barrier master user, completely disappeared in this 「𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙁𝙤𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙩」.

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