I Became the Academy’s Genius Shikigami Summoner – Chapter 127

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟐𝟕

“Are you saying you’re going to go back to those people? Why all of a sudden?”

“I’m thinking of changing my tactics a little.”

I hadn’t had the chance to think about it when I was hurriedly escaping earlier, but there was definitely something suspicious about Cheong Un-cheol’s party’s actions.

Just like in the original story, Cheong Gi-beom’s faction tended to act independently, without much regard for the family’s authority.

I couldn’t be sure, but it was clear that they weren’t on Cheong Do-yool’s side and weren’t following his orders.

If there was an opening, it was there.

“If my guess is correct, it might be possible.”

So from now on, I’m going to negotiate with Cheong Un-cheol and join hands with none other than Cheong Gi-beom’s faction.

That was the best way to keep Cheong Do-yool’s faction in check and stop them.

And in fact, someone who could help me with that was already on their way here.

Sensing someone’s presence just then, I took out my talisman and opened my mouth to tell Cheong Juhwa that she didn’t need to worry.

“You don’t have to be on guard. They’re on our side this time.”

As soon as I finished speaking, a woman who looked like she had been running in a hurry from between the trees appeared. It was Cheong Ji-yeon.

She took a few quick breaths before speaking in a surprised tone.

“. . . You’re still as reckless as ever. What if Cheong Do-yool’s exorcists had seen your shikigami instead of me?”

“It’s fine. I was confident I could have escaped anyway.”

“Tch. Well, whatever. I’m sure you knew what you were doing. But don’t get too overconfident. There are plenty of people in the family who have monstrous abilities.”

Although she seemed to be wary of Cheong Un-cheol, at least she was providing backup, which was a relief.

It was only then that Cheong Juhwa seemed to realize that this might be a more promising plan than she had thought, and she nodded in agreement.

And so, we found ourselves face-to-face with Cheong Un-cheol’s party again, near the spot where we had clashed earlier.

“Well, well. How unexpected. You ran away desperately just a little while ago, and now you’ve come looking for me again.”

“Of course I have no intention of fighting. I would like to have a conversation with you, Cheong Un-cheol-nim.”

“Well, if that’s the case, I don’t see why I shouldn’t oblige.”

Cheong Un-cheol glanced at Cheong Ji-yeon, who was standing next to me, and then spoke again.

“So, what exactly did you want to talk about that you came all the way here? And with such a fancy escort, no less.”

“First of all, I’m curious as to why Elder Cheong Gi-beom’s forces are trying to capture us.”

“That’s simple. Because you’re an effective bargaining chip against Cheong Do-yool.”

“. . . In that case, may I ask what it is that you wish to gain by handing us over to him?”

That was a key question. Depending on the answer, I might be able to find a way to get Cheong Gi-beom’s faction on our side.

Cheong Un-cheol thought for a moment about my question before answering.

“I can’t claim to fully understand the Elder’s intentions. However, it seems that there is something he wishes to obtain from Cheong Do-yool.”

“What might that be?”

“I don’t know. Cheong Do-yool has more than a few treasures in his possession.”

Cheong Un-cheol truly seemed to be in the dark. But that didn’t matter. In fact, I already had a pretty good idea.

Having gained some confidence, I began to reveal my intentions and make a proposal to Cheong Un-cheol.

“In this situation, I would like to enlist the cooperation of Elder Cheong Gi-beom.”

“That’s only natural. If the Elder lends his strength, Cheong So-ha’s faction will be able to gain a complete advantage over Cheong Do-yool. But why should we do that?”

“Because I can put what the Elder desires in his hands.”

“Oh? You speak boldly, as if this were not a mere jest.”

Cheong Un-cheol exuded a subtle aura of intimidation, but his eyes held a gleam of interest as he questioned me.

“Do you know what the Elder seeks and speak thus?”

“Yes. I do.”

“Then tell me.”

At Cheong Un-cheol’s words, I recalled the answer I had come up with after much thought and deliberation.

In truth, it wasn’t that difficult. Although it hadn’t been mentioned very often, there was one particular treasure in the original story that Cheong Gi-beom had his eyes on.

「𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘽𝙡𝙪𝙚-𝙒𝙝𝙞𝙩𝙚 𝙎𝙤𝙪𝙡 𝙈𝙞𝙧𝙧𝙤𝙧.」

One of the three great treasures of the Cheong family, along with the Blue-White Sword and the Blue Heart Jade, it was a special-grade cursed tool that could reveal the soul of any being reflected in its mirror.

It was clear that the item Cheong Gi-beom wished to obtain was none other than the Blue-White Soul Mirror.

“You can contact the Elder yourself. If you tell him that I can put the Blue-White Soul Mirror in his hands, I am sure he will respond.”

“. . . It seems you are not simply spouting nonsense after all. Very well, I shall relay this information.”

Cheong Un-cheol nodded, instructed one of his subordinates to do something, and then spoke to me again.

“By the way, I am also interested in the talisman you used earlier. If you tell me how to make it, I may be able to assist in persuading the Elder, assuming that everything you have said is true.”

“. . . . . . .”

That was not something I could decide. Not only did I not know how to make it, but it had a different owner.

As I was pondering this, Cheong Juhwa, who had quietly approached me, whispered in my ear.

“You can accept if you want. He won’t be able to make it anyway.”

In that case, there was no reason to refuse. I nodded and agreed to Cheong Un-cheol’s proposal.

And just then, as if an answer had come, Cheong Un-cheol received a whispered message from one of his subordinates.

He then spoke to me, a slightly surprised expression on his face.

“The Elder wishes to meet you. However, you must come to our abode for that. What do you say?”

If things went well, this first step could be considered a success. However, it was certainly not an easy decision to make. It was like willingly stepping into the heart of enemy territory.

「𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙣𝙤 𝙜𝙪𝙖𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝘾𝙝𝙚𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙂𝙞-𝙗𝙚𝙤𝙢 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙗𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚.」

From his point of view, he could simply capture Cheong Juhwa and hand her over once we arrived at his abode.

Of course, doing so would not get him what he wanted. Cheong Gi-beom was fundamentally mistaken about the most important fact regarding the Blue-White Soul Mirror.

However, judging from the current situation, it was clear that he was unaware of this fact. Given his rather simple-minded nature in the setting, there was a chance that he could end up being sold out without realizing it.

「𝘽𝙪𝙩 𝙄 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙜𝙤.」

If Cheong Gi-beom started to actively support Cheong Do-yool, that would be even more problematic.

After a brief deliberation, I decided to accept Cheong Un-cheol’s proposal.

“Then lead the way. I will protect you from the other factions until we reach the Elder.”

Cheong Un-cheol took the lead and began guiding us, while Cheong Ji-yeon, who was following beside me, clicked her tongue and spoke.

“Are you sure about this? It seems like too much of a risk. Just to let you know, I won’t be much help against an Elder-rank exorcist.”

“I can’t say there’s no risk, but I think it will be fine.”

“Hoo, I wonder where that bottomless confidence comes from.”

Cheong Ji-yeon seemed to be somewhat dissatisfied with my judgment.

Of course she would be. She, too, would be well aware of how dangerous the family’s Elders were.

However, it seemed that her concern for Cheong Sa-woon’s daughter, Cheong Juhwa, ultimately led her to decide to accompany us.

“Let me give you one piece of advice: never try to beat around the bush or deceive him.”

I knew what Cheong Ji-yeon was trying to say.

Recalling the few significant appearances of Cheong Gi-beom in the original story, I continued walking, my mind racing.

🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷

Cheong Gi-beom, the fourth Elder of the Cheong family and a special-grade exorcist, was filled with questions after receiving an unexpected message from Cheong Un-cheol.

「. . . 𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙤𝙣 𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙝 𝙙𝙞𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙩𝙡𝙚 𝙗𝙧𝙖𝙩?」

I don’t know how he came to that conclusion, but it seems that the academy student who was with the girl who was Cheong Do-yool’s target knows my goal.

Naturally, I was curious.

「𝙃𝙚’𝙡𝙡 𝙜𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙢𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝘽𝙡𝙪𝙚-𝙒𝙝𝙞𝙩𝙚 𝙎𝙤𝙪𝙡 𝙈𝙞𝙧𝙧𝙤𝙧?」

That was almost laughable. What did he think he was? Was he saying that he would take the Blue-White Soul Mirror from Cheong Do-yool, an Elder of the Cheong family?

Even for Cheong Gi-beom, who was also an Elder, that was an impossible task.

When I told him to come here if he wanted to talk to me, he said he would actually come to my face.

He didn’t know what kind of guts he had, but Cheong Gi-beom found him quite interesting.

And when he soon came face-to-face with Han Kang-yoon, Cheong Gi-beom was momentarily impressed.

「. . . 𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙢.」

The flow of spiritual power that he sensed from him, both inside and out, was like that, and so was the look in his eyes.

There weren’t many people in this day and age who had such deep eyes. Cheong Gi-beom straightened his posture, which had been slouched, and focused on Han Kang-yoon. He then opened his mouth.

“So. You’re the one who wanted to see me.”

“. . . . . . .”

“Now that you’re here, let me tell you this first. As you said, what I’m after is the Blue-White Soul Mirror.”

At those words, the expressions of Cheong Un-cheol, Han Kang-yoon, and the others who had accompanied him changed slightly, as if they were surprised.

However, Cheong Gi-beom paid them no mind and continued speaking.

“But I’ve only been able to wish for it. I, an Elder of the family, haven’t been able to get my hands on it. Do you know what that means?”

At the same time, Cheong Gi-beom began to release his powerful spiritual power in all directions, pressuring his opponent.

It was a silent warning, telling him not to even think about saying anything impertinent.

Han Kang-yoon, who frowned briefly at the heavy atmosphere, met his gaze and spoke again.

“It will take time and effort, but I can get my hands on the Blue-White Soul Mirror if I set my mind to it.”

“Then tell me how.”

“That’s difficult to say. I can’t just give away my only bargaining chip.”

Cheong Gi-beom’s brow twitched at that. It wasn’t a wrong answer, but if it went on like this, he would end up being the one to give in.

Cheong Gi-beom clicked his tongue, shook his head, and waved his hand dismissively.

“Not interested. I guess you’re nothing special after all. I’d rather hand over Cheong Sa-woon’s daughter and negotiate with that Cheong Do-yool.”

He was partly trying to test Han Kang-yoon, but he was also partly serious. If nothing unexpected happened, Cheong Gi-beom really intended to do so.

However, the words that Han Kang-yoon uttered next piqued Cheong Gi-beom’s interest.

“Even if you do that, you won’t get what you want. The Blue-White Soul Mirror is not in Cheong Do-yool’s possession at the moment.”

“What?”

“What Cheong Do-yool has is a forged replica. The real Blue-White Soul Mirror is hidden in another location.”

In that single moment, the positions of the two sides were completely reversed.

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