Episode 129 Admission to the Academy (4)

A dark night.

In front of a large, shabby warehouse, several mercenaries were burning cigarettes.

As they chuckled and gossiped, they spoke with a sense of relief.

“It’s so refreshing to not have to listen to the children whine.”

“The warehouses have been full of them the last few days.”

“But where have they all gone, in one day?”

“At dawn, a wagon came and loaded everything up. I didn’t ask where you were going. live long.”

Not long ago, the warehouse was home to a number of orphans with no connections.

But now the warehouse is empty, and in a few days, a new batch of children will be transported from somewhere.

And then they’ll disappear, no one knows when or where.

“I want to know where they’re coming from and where they’re going.”

“Arthur, wondering about useless things will lead you to your destiny.”

“I heard they go to some kind of nursery in the center of the Imperial City.”

“That’s right, a nursery run by the Religious Quovadis. Don’t worry.”

The mercenaries make small talk, stretching and yawning.


Suddenly, the mercenaries fall silent.

A hulking man who must have stood at least six feet tall stepped to their side.

Captain Ron Bartison.

A fierce mercenary from the North. ‘The Flesh Grinder’, ‘The Butcher’s Hammer’, and other gory nicknames followed.

“Stop talking and stand guard, if you want to take home a handful of coins for your wasted life.”


“Trashy stuff.”

Bartison clicked his tongue and continued on his way.

He sneered inwardly at the mercenaries who couldn’t speak a word at his size.

What kind of argument could a lowly mercenary with no mana have against a man of his stature?


The standing mercenaries didn’t just talk.


A man slumped to the ground.

He was followed by the other mercenaries, who went limp.

“What the hell?”

Bartison quickly reached to the hammer at his waist.

Now, a long shadow is cast in the glow of the roaring campfire.

“What, what?”

Bartison was startled.

A figure peered down from the roof of the warehouse.

A black cloak, a black hat, and an ominous stork’s beak mask covering its face.

“……are you Ron Bartison?”

The spooky voice said.

Bartison swallowed dryly.


Bartison’s hammer took on an aura.

A liquid aura that could only be used by those who had attained enlightenment, an aura that symbolized the Graduator, wrapped around the hammer.

“What are you doing!”

He swung the hammer with all his might.

……tried to swing it away.

But all he could manage to swing were his two wrists, which were now missing.


The hammer flew upward with such momentum that it landed behind him, scattering the aura it carried.


Bartison staggered backward.

No blood gushed out. The cut where his wrist had been severed had been instantly dried by the heat.


Bartison opened his mouth to scream.

But he couldn’t.

The ominous shadow had crawled down from the roof of the warehouse and was now looking into his face.

“Ron Hubert Bartison. First pact with the demon four years ago, when he molested and killed the 13-year-old girl next door and sacrificed her. Since then, he’s been stealing information from the Northern Guild Union and feeding it to the demon. Finally, he betrayed his platoon, the 1st Platoon, 4th Company, 207th Regiment, 75th Division, 5th Legion of the Humanity Alliance, by handing over the location of the platoon’s sleeping quarters to the enemy while on guard duty. Led a friendly platoon to destruction. Is that right?”

The Shadow’s question was hard and chilling.

Bartison stammered a reply.

“Ughhhh… … At the very beginning, the incident from 4 years ago is correct, but what happens after that!? I didn’t do them!”

“Yeah. They’re just things you haven’t done yet.”

“What, what?”

Bartison gasped, stepping back.

But he couldn’t.

This time, his ankle was severed.


Bartison couldn’t even scream anymore.

The Shadow stretched out his right hand, and a black sword was drawn and plunged into his throat.

Bartison struggled, and then he was dead.


Vikir. The hound of the night.

He stared down at Bartison’s body in front of him.

No, he wondered.

In time, Bartison’s corpse would quickly begin to decay and turn to mush.

Just as Set Baskerville had said.

“The odor is still there.”

Vikir’s brow furrowed slightly.

Those who have made a pact with the demon emit a rotten odor from their very souls.

A stench that grew more and more foul with the degree of corruption.

Veteran swordsmen who have lived through the Age of Destruction recognize the scent like a ghost, but the people of this age will not yet be able to smell it.

So for now, only Vikir knew how to smell it.


Bartison’s face melted like ice under the sun, and soon he was gone, his skeleton on full display.

It was unusual for the face to decay so quickly compared to other body parts.

“I wonder if this is the ability of the Ten Commandments who made a pact with him? I’ll have to investigate that as well.”

Vikir took an owl from his bosom and wrote a letter detailing the situation.

It was addressed to Sindiwendi, who had a number of agents and informants at his disposal.

With the letter in hand, Vikir turned away.

Several bottles of liquor lay in front of the roaring campfire.

Vikir picked up the strongest bottle of rum and poured it over the bloodstains on his cloak.


The strong liquor washed away the dirty blood.

Vikir tore the page from the entry in the kill book that listed the name Ron Bartison and threw it into the bonfire.

The page turns black in an instant and curls into a ball, then turns to ash and floats away into the sky.



“It’s your back.”

“What, did I fall asleep?”

The mercenaries standing in front of the warehouse began to wake up one by one.


But all they saw was a dying bonfire that had lost most of its wood, and a faceless corpse lying in a heap beside it.

* * *

Ding- ding- ding- ding- ding- ding- ding- ding- ding- ding- ding- ding-

From the clock tower at the center of the academy, the majestic bell chimed twelve times.

A little after midnight. The night’s tasks were over earlier than he’d expected.

Vikir had visited mansions in upscale neighborhoods, warehouses on the outskirts of the city, gambling dens in the slums, glitzy clubs in the basement, secluded houses by the lake, brothels, and more, and that night alone he had snapped twenty-nine heads.

The only thing they all had in common was that they’d made pacts with the demon, were accused of betrayal and infidelity, and their faces melted immediately upon death.

Unfortunately, Vikir got almost no clues out of this whole process.

This meant that his assassination was going to be a long and arduous one.

‘I didn’t expect a harvest from the first step.’

Today is literally just the first day.

Vikir returned to the academy, the pages of the Killing Journal still thick in his mind.


He climbed over the Academy’s outer wall, which was as high and solid as a city wall.

From this vantage point, you can see that the Academy’s buildings are indeed large and magnificent.

In the distance, the dormitories are silent in the darkness.

Vikir flies toward the lecture hall.

Bright lights and boisterous laughter emanated from the windows of the buildings in the other direction.

‘……OT, is the freshman welcome party still going on?’

Vikir thought for a moment.

Should he go back to his dorm and sleep, or should he stay up late and attend the freshman welcome dinner?

After a few moments of deliberation, the answer came quickly.

‘Just show up.’

It wasn’t about networking with seniors or classmates.

I just wanted to have an alibi, just in case.

He was also a little worried about Piggy being alone.

Vikir took off his mask, tucked it into his arms, and landed on the roof of the lecture hall.

As he was about to descend the stairs leading down.

…Ping! Boom!

A single firecracker shot high into the air, lighting up the night sky.

In the next moment, Vikir could see two men and woman standing by the railing of the rooftop stairs.


Vikir’s eyes narrowed.

The brief glow of the firecrackers as they exploded and faded was enough to tell him who they were.

The beautiful woman, tall and sharp-featured, was unmistakably Usher Bianca, a freshman in class 20.

She was a super rookie who was making a name for herself by ranking first in the cold class placement test.

The boy’s face, on the other hand, was not one that Vikir remembered particularly well.

Their vibe was odd.

The boy squeezed his eyes shut and called out to Bianca.

“I…… fell in love with you the moment I saw you! Won’t you go out with me! I’ll be nice to you!”

Apparently, he was a second-year student.

But Bianca was adamant.


With a deep sigh, she swept her bangs and squinted one eye.

“You’re right. Did you call me up to that rooftop just to say that?”

“Uh, yeah. Uh, yeah, right?”

“Well, first of all, let me apologize, I can’t afford to go out with a guy or anything right now, and I only got in today in the first place.”

“Ha, but you have nothing to lose by going out with me! I’m in the student council and I’m also in the leading club……!”

“Yeah. I’m sorry.”

And with that, Bianca turned and kicked her confessor to the curb.

Vikir stood behind the stone pillar of the railing and thought.

‘Good times. Well, it has nothing to do with me.’

Watching the innocent lovemaking of children twenty years younger than him made the tip of his nose tickle.

Vikir soon pulled away, his back to the pillar.

At that very moment.


Bianca’s head snapped up.

“Who’s there?”

Bianca asks in a cold voice, and then she takes a step and shoots toward the stone pillar that Vikir is hiding behind.

‘Oh no. You must have good eyesight because you’re from the Sacred Palace.’

Vikir shrugged once.


Vikir slammed into the wall and leaped down.

No need to take the stairs.

Vikir leaped from railing to railing, pillar to pillar, and quickly disappeared in the direction of the lecture hall.

Bianca caught up with him a few minutes later, and her eyes widened.

“……What was that? I could definitely feel the presence.”

Bianca looked again at the stone pillars, railings, and stairs that had been kicked in just before.

But something that had been there was gone, like a ghost.

“Did I see it wrong?”

Bianca scratched her head.

The divine archers of Usher, the superhumans, can see and hear things miles away.

They are also masters of the art of archery, and their bodies are so strong and gaunt that it is no exaggeration to say that no one can match their speed, especially in pursuit.

Bianca, the eldest daughter of such a family, chasing someone and losing them?

That couldn’t happen, at least not within this academy.

“I must have been looking in the wrong place, I was too sensitive.”

Bianca turned to look between the stone pillars.

It was time to return to her seat at the new student reception.

…… Just then.


Bianca stopped in her tracks.

A faint smell wafted past her nostrils.

It was the unmistakable scent of strong rum.

Not the kind of smell you’d expect to find on a rooftop exit staircase with nothing but the night breeze and moonlight.

What does that mean?

‘Someone was here.’

Bianca’s expression hardened.

Someone had been here just moments ago.

But that didn’t matter now.

What mattered was that someone was here, and that someone was gone.

And that someone who had been here had evaded Bianca, the prodigy of the Usher family!

‘……No way!’

That person must have been there when Bianca was feeling the hits.

But what about the fact that there’s nothing in front of her now?

It means that the person has fled at a speed that ‘barely’ exceeds her own.

‘Who could it be? A senior or a professor?’

But there’s no reason for a senior or a professor to run away from Bianca’s pursuit.

Moreover, Bianca was confident that she could outrun any senior or professor in terms of speed.

After all, she’d demonstrated that in her practical assessment.

“…… But who.”

Did he mean that anyone in the academy could just walk away and leave her behind?

Bianca sniffed, confused, at the scent of rum that was slowly fading on the night breeze.


“Hey, Bianca, come on, it’s almost time for the freshman talent show!”

I hear my classmates waving and calling from the window below.


Bianca can’t help but turn on her heel with a nervous look on her face.

With only the scent of cheap rum wafting behind her.