I Became the Academy’s Genius Shikigami Summoner – Chapter 96.2

Han Seo-ah immediately spoke up as she looked at the space that resembled a run-down village or the ruins of a fallen kingdom.

“. . .Oppa, be careful. I sense someone’s presence.”

“Ah. I just noticed too.”

Of course, we wouldn’t be the only ones trapped in this Eternal Labyrinth right now.

Those who had been swallowed up by the entrance to the labyrinth years or even decades ago and were wandering the eternal space, at least the survivors among them, would all still be enduring each day somewhere in this place.

Perhaps they had also sensed our presence, because a man with shaggy hair popped out from between the ruins and shouted urgently.

“Hey! Looks like we have some new visitors. More sacrifices!”

“What?”

About a dozen or so people had gathered there.

After checking their information, I saw that only two of them had proper fighting abilities.

“Oh, come on. They’re a bunch of kids.”

“. . .I spoke too soon. It’s been a whole year since we’ve seen any wanderers.”

They couldn’t hide their disappointment at all after seeing us.

That wasn’t so strange.

They probably thought that they needed more strong people in order to escape this place.

“What are you talking about? We just fell into this place, so we don’t know anything.”

Han Seo-ah’s question was met with a snort of derision from the shaggy-haired man.

“Tch. What I’m saying is that there’s nothing you can do here. You’ll probably just end up as livestock, your lives offered up like food.”

“. . .Hey, Tae-gil. Stop that.”

The ones who flinched at the words of the man called Tae-gil weren’t us, but the ordinary people who were with us.

That alone was enough to understand the atmosphere of this place.

「𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙮’𝙧𝙚 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙖𝙡𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙𝙮 𝙚𝙭𝙝𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙙. 𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙘𝙖𝙣’𝙩 𝙧𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝙤𝙣 𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙣𝙮𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚.」

Han Seo-ah, who had frowned slightly at that response, spoke up again.

“. . .I don’t know the situation here, but we’re capable of protecting ourselves wherever we go. We might be able to help you out depending on the situation.”

However, the response that came back was unwavering cynicism.

This time, the hooded man who had been trying to calm Tae-gil down earlier let out a sigh and replied.

“Look, miss. Do you know who we are?”

“. . . . . . .”

“I’m an enforcer from the headquarters, and this guy next to me, Choi Tae-gil, is a 2nd-grade exorcist who has reached the realm of perfection. The leader who went out to get food is even a 1st-grade.”

“. . .Are you saying that even people like you can’t do anything about this place?”

“Yeah. This is the 7th year that we’ve been trapped in this damn maze.”

Han Seo-ah’s face turned slightly pale at those words.

If that was all true, then it meant that we had gotten ourselves into a huge crisis.

“That can’t be. . . . . . .”

“Looks like you’re finally starting to understand the situation. We think that we need at least two more 1st-grade exorcists in order to escape this place.”

That’s why they were just waiting for someone with those abilities to get sucked into the labyrinth. That was the gist of it.

I had been staying quiet, but I calmly sorted out the situation and asked a question.

“Do you get a lot of new people flowing into this place like us?”

“It varies. Sometimes several people come at once, and there are times when we don’t see any new faces for a long time. This is the first time in a year.”

In the end, the influx of skilled people, which was their only hope, was unlikely. That’s why they were so exhausted.

“. . .Han-su, are you really going to take those idiots with us?”

“It’s the leader’s policy. You know that.”

The hooded man, Han-su, replied without any hesitation, and Choi Tae-gil let out a string of curses.

“Hey. Let’s be honest. I don’t get it anymore. A sense of responsibility as an exorcist? Protecting civilians? What’s the point of all that? No one is saving us, but we’re supposed to keep sacrificing ourselves for others?”

“. . .Han-su.”

“You’re having a hard time too. I respect the leader’s wishes, but this isn’t it. We’ve done enough. How many of our comrades have died so far?”

At Choi Tae-gil’s outburst, the group of civilians just hung their heads in silence, and even the man called Han-su couldn’t reply.

Han Seo-ah, who had been staying quiet, spoke up again.

“We’re also aspiring exorcists. We’ll help as much as we can.”

“Oh, for. You’re just a naive little girl who doesn’t know how the world works. That’s why I’m saying it’s pointless. Have you ever caught a yokai with a rank?”

“Yes.”

Han Seo-ah’s words made the two men’s expressions change slightly.

“What did you catch? A D-rank?”

“A C+ rank. Oppa caught a B-rank too.”

“Damn, whose dog is named B-rank? I got my hopes up for nothing. That weakling is supposed to have caught that? Tch.”

Choi Tae-gil spat on the ground, his face twisted in disgust. He didn’t seem to believe Han Seo-ah’s words at all.

Han Seo-ah, who was offended by that, immediately continued speaking.

“Really. I might not meet your standards, but Oppa is already at a level where he’s not pushed around by even the active exorcists. Would you believe me if I said that he has no equal among his peers, even including those from prestigious families?”

No, I don’t think my position is that high yet.

I felt a little embarrassed by Han Seo-ah’s words, which were much more generous than I deserved.

“. . .Huh, you’re saying he’s better than the elites from prestigious families?”

Choi Tae-gil, who had been eyeing me for a moment, suddenly and silently cast a spell and sent it flying towards me.

It was a mid-level binding spell called Tae Baek Hwan that didn’t have any killing power.

However, Han Seo-ah, who had sensed something was up, blocked it before it could reach me.

“. . .Even if that’s true, it seems like you’ve crossed a line by attacking us all of a sudden.”

“What, you blocked that? And it was mid-level?”

Choi Tae-gil was quite surprised that Han Seo-ah, not me, had blocked his surprise attack.

That made sense.

Even at Cheonghwa Academy, where all of the nation’s most promising students gathered, it was hard to find a 1st-year who could handle a mid-level spell proficiently.

And they had been trapped in this 「𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙁𝙤𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙩」 for 7 years.

The academy students in their memories were probably very different from how they were now, at least in terms of their level of skill.

Han-su, the hooded man who had watched that exchange, spoke up.

“. . .So you’re saying that they’re not completely useless. Tae-gil, drop it for now. The leader will be back soon.”

“Tch. Fine.”

And so, we joined them and headed towards a hideout in the ruins.

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