For a moment, a question mark appeared above Cheong Juhwa’s head. That’s how absurd it sounded.
“Did you happen to leave some medicine you need to take at the dorm?”
“I’m being serious.”
Cheong Juhwa didn’t look convinced at all. I didn’t care and continued.
“You don’t have to believe me. You’ll find out eventually anyway.”
If it was Cheong Juhwa, who was good at grasping the true meaning of words, she would have realized. At least the fact that I wasn’t lying.
I asked her a meaningful question.
“So, if I really make that happen, what will you do?”
At those words, Cheong Juhwa’s eyes turned cold. For a moment, she felt like a completely different person.
Cheong Juhwa, who had been pondering something intently, stared at me with unfathomable eyes.
“Honestly, I don’t think that will happen. . . . . .”
Her tone was flat, but the sincerity of her answer was clear.
“Well, let’s bury that bastard in the back mountain first and then think about it.”
【Spiritual power: A】
【Mental Strength: S】
【Hereditary Genius (S)】
【Extrasensory Perception (A+)】
【Battle Design (B+)】
【Accelerated Growth (B)】
It was absolute confidence.
She is the only character in “Exorcism” Volume 1 who has an EX-rank spellcasting ability score.
At least in terms of combat ability, no one can surpass Cheong Juhwa’s talent, not even Yoo Ha-on, the protagonist of the original.
In the future, the person who would truly shake up the Cheong family was not Cheong Haram, but her.
After the one-on-one exchange class, Cheong Haram came up to me and said just one thing.
「𝘽𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙮, 𝙄 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙙 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙣𝙚𝙬𝙨. 𝙇𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙣𝙚𝙭𝙩 𝙢𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙝.」
I didn’t have to wonder what was happening next month. Anyone could tell that she was talking about the Comprehensive Combat Practice Advanced Class.
「𝘼𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚, 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚’𝙨 𝙖 𝙢𝙞𝙙𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙢 𝙚𝙫𝙖𝙡𝙪𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣, 𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩?」
Cheonghwa Academy’s grading method was simple. There was one midterm evaluation for each subject per semester. After that, there was one comprehensive exam that measured all achievements. In addition to that, there were other miscellaneous items for which points were deducted or added.
In other words, Cheong Haram was planning to punish me in the midterm evaluation for Comprehensive Combat Practice.
「𝙄’𝙢 𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙙𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙢 𝙚𝙫𝙖𝙡𝙪𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙝𝙚𝙣𝙨𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙗𝙖𝙩 𝙋𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙨𝙩 𝙨𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙤𝙣𝙚-𝙤𝙣-𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙗𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙡𝙚.」
A test where people from the same grade’s advanced class fought once, and then people from the first and second year’s advanced classes fought once more to determine their scores.
It was highly likely that Cheong Haram was aiming for that part.
「. . . . . .𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙖𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙗𝙮 𝙏𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝘾𝙝𝙤𝙞 𝘿𝙤-𝙬𝙤𝙣. 𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙘𝙖𝙣’𝙩 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙩 𝙝𝙞𝙢 𝙩𝙤 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙧𝙤𝙡𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙖 𝙗𝙪𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙧.」
Rather, it would be fortunate if he didn’t help her. In fact, that was more likely to happen.
That’s why I had to come up with a way to counter Cheong Haram by the time the midterm evaluation came around in three weeks.
Of course, three weeks was more than enough.
“A talisman to enhance a spell? There’s nothing you can’t do if you have the materials.”
First of all, I needed an intermediate spell.
I said that Cheong Haram wasn’t that scary of an opponent, but compared to me now, she was like a monster.
“I’ll prepare the materials.”
“Yeah, well. It’s not going to be difficult.”
With her S-rank All-Rounder trait, B-rank Crafting trait, and EX-rank Spellcasting ability score, Cheong Juhwa’s talisman-making ability is second to none.
It was an ability that I, who couldn’t raise my ability scores right away, definitely needed.
「𝙄 𝙜𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙄 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙖𝙨𝙠 𝙎𝙚𝙤 𝙅𝙞-𝙖𝙣 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙨.」
Next, it was time to make Cheong Haram’s backing useless, just as I had boasted.
In the middle of the road where some slightly old-fashioned cars were driving by my standards.
I had taken advantage of the weekend to apply for a leave and was now in Gangnam-gu, which is called the heart of Seoul.
To be exact, I was in Cheongdam-dong, one of the areas under the jurisdiction of the Cheong family, which spreads out from Seoul as its starting point.
「𝙄 𝙙𝙞𝙙𝙣’𝙩 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙄’𝙙 𝙗𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙨𝙤 𝙨𝙤𝙤𝙣.」
Currently, the Cheong family is split into two major factions and is at odds with each other.
The Cheong Do-yool faction, which has taken over the center of the family since the Night Parade of a Hundred Demons incident, and the Cheong So-ha faction, which was once destroyed but is trying to reclaim its place starting with the last remaining bloodline.
The remaining factions are loosely attached to those two factions and are keeping each other in check.
And the Cheongdam-dong I had come to was the area under the jurisdiction of one of them, the Cheong So-ha faction.
「𝙄’𝙫𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙡𝙮 𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙞𝙩 𝙞𝙣 𝙜𝙖𝙢𝙚𝙨, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙝𝙪𝙜𝙚.」
Huge mansions that were completely separated from the areas where ordinary people lived.
Somewhere among them, Cheong So-ha would be located.
I checked the general terrain and then started walking somewhere. There was no way for me, who had no connection to the Cheong family and was under strict surveillance, to enter that place anyway.
A long time later, I stopped walking in front of Seonreung, where King Seongjong, the ninth king of Joseon, was buried.
「𝙊𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮, 𝙖 𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜’𝙨 𝙩𝙤𝙢𝙗 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙧𝙜𝙮 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙖.」
Since spiritual energy naturally gathers there, my spiritual power, which is only D-rank, would be invisible there.
I took out the talisman I had prepared and breathed a spell into it. It was something that Cheong Juhwa had made and folded into the shape of a crane.
As the spell unfolded, the talisman began to fly into the sky carried by the wind. Its destination was, of course, the Cheong So-ha faction’s residence.
「𝙊𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮, 𝙞𝙩 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙗𝙚 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙢𝙮 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙨.」
As expected of the Cheong family’s territory, it was naturally protected by a high-level barrier. Breaking through that was virtually impossible.
「𝙄 𝙙𝙤𝙣’𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙠 𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙞𝙩.」
It would be unreasonable for them, but to me, who had witnessed countless spells from the Cheong family throughout the series, the barrier technique from Volume 1 was powerful but too obvious.
For example, it’s like seeing a door with a sturdy lock but leaving the doorknob unlocked.
It meant that there was a clear way to get past it without having to use the orthodox method.
I could feel the talisman that had been flying through the air enter the Cheong So-ha faction’s residential area.
I didn’t feel any resistance from the barrier. Perhaps it had recognized the talisman I had sent as part of the spell that made up the barrier.
「𝙉𝙤𝙬, 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙄 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙙𝙤 𝙞𝙨 𝙬𝙖𝙞𝙩.」
Then it will come to me on its own.
One of the strongest people at the moment, who has a position within the Cheong family that is incomparable to the likes of Cheong Haram.
About 10 minutes after I sent the talisman, I started to hear a creepy metallic scraping sound from somewhere.
At the same time, an incredible sense of pressure weighed down on me.
“. . . . . . Do you know our ancestors?”
The leader of the Cheong So-ha faction, a monster among monsters who obtained the qualification of a special-grade exorcist at the young age of twenty-three.
“. . . . . . .”
“If you’re messing around in the name of our ancestors, I swear on this Blue-White Sword that I’ll cut off your limbs and make you rot away in a place where not a single ray of light can enter for the rest of your life.”
She was looking at me with cold eyes.