TL note: Rather important TL note at the end of this, so please read it if you want to know some necessary information.
I opened my eyes. The stench of mold pierced my nose.
I coughed once and looked at my surroundings. A confined space composed of stone walls covered in moisture. Excluding the iron door placed in front of me, nothing else existed. The thought of this room being similar to a solitary confinement cell brushed through my thoughts. If that were so, then ten to one, this was most likely a solitary cell.
The smell of mold.
Although it felt as if there were a large pile of things that I could question, inquiries such as ‘Where is this?’ were not important. What could I do with such information? It was meaningless. The crucial things were ‘Why was I brought here?’, ‘How was I brought here?’, and ‘What am I going to do from now on?’.
While touching the prayer beads on my wrist, I recalled the previous day.
There was nothing in particular that happened. Even after the New Years had passed, I woke up at around 5 o’clock again, washed up, took a shower after going out for a light jog, made breakfast, ate together with my uncle, my aunt, and my younger cousin Miyeong, and washed the dishes afterward. I went to cram school next. Since I was going to be entering into my third year of high school once this winter break was over, I had engrossed myself into studying. In the afternoon, I went to the hospital and visited Minhee. Afterward, I returned home and exercised for about another hour. After cleaning up inside the house, I prepared dinner and ate with my aunt and Miyeong first. I then washed the dishes, returned to my room to do my homework, and around the time I finished washing up, my uncle came home from work, so I made dinner for him and washed the dishes again. Once I finished doing so, it was 10 o’clock, so I studied until 12 and went to sleep.
And when I opened my eyes, I was like this. Feeling distraught, I thought while touching my beads.
I checked my attire. All I had on was the sleepwear I would change into before going to sleep and the prayer beads I would always wear on my right wrist. The glasses I placed next to my head while I slept were gone. Although I was able to find my smartphone after going through my pockets, the out of range icon was being displayed.
Therefore······no matter how much I wracked my brain, I could only conclude that I had been kidnapped and confined in a mold-filled solitary cell where both light and radio signals couldn’t enter. No, this was worse than a solitary cell. There wasn’t even a toilet here.
“Is that you, Chanmi?”
The leader of the bullies that had tormented me—the esteemed daughter of the Joo Group conglomerate—I called out Joo Chanmi’s name and gazed around. “Give it up. We settled things a year ago, didn’t we? Doing something like this now will only be disgraceful for you.”
There was no need to feign composure. I have constantly been calm ever since Minhee was admitted to the hospital.
“You probably wouldn’t understand even if I told you this was a crime. Regardless, I thought you would at least have some self-respect, but did you not even have that?”
The trigger to me being bullied was trivial. Though the motive behind my resolve to break away from that torment was not trivial, separate from that praiseworthy time, the method I used to break free from the bullying couldn’t be anything more than something minor. I had fragmentized Chanmi’s clique and raised up my own faction. If you looked at it calmly, the struggle was like a type of chess, janggi, or Go. It was irrefutably a board game, and in the end, my clique had overpowered Chanmi’s faction—winning by a narrow margin.
So that ‘8 Years’ War’ should have been settled 1 year ago during the scorching 18th summer of my life.
“I’m disappointed. Or is it because my finish wasn’t proper?”
There were no other methods to explain this situation. It would be different if I had been hit in the back of the head while walking the streets, but to be able to abduct a person who was sleeping in their bed and house, and to construct something similar to a solitary cell like this, these things were only possible by someone who possessed a considerable amount of wealth and manpower, and among those people who possessed all that, the only fellow who had an ill-fated relationship with me was Chanmi.
I stood up. This enclosed space was packed whether I stood or laid down. Though if my older cousin, who is currently working for the government, were here, she could most likely accurately measure the size of this space. Relying on my own eyes to make an approximate measurement of the room, the width and height seemed to be both around 2 meters. A putrid smell of mold.
Since I couldn’t find anything no matter how much I looked around my surroundings, I approached the door. A heavy door made with some black material with an unmoving handle attached to it. I tried placing both of my arms against the door and pushing, but it didn’t show any signs of opening. I gave up my pointless effort and decided to gaze at the door more carefully······. I then discovered it.
There was a hole around 1 meter and 50 centimeters from the bottom of the door. It was a hole that was made for the purpose of taking a peek outside. Since I was 175 centimeters tall, I had to bend my back in order to look through it. I contemplated for a moment. However, since there were no other methods, I lowered myself and
peered through the hole.
And then, I met someone’s eye.
The first half. I was bullied normally for 4 years. The latter half. I fought back for 4 years. Aftermath. The amount of time I spent as the victor was barely over 1 year. As I had spent my time managing the embers at school and being shoved around at home, it was an amount of time that wasn’t even remotely enough to forget my survival instincts. The ability to read the flow of emotion and atmosphere of another person was still functioning within me. The eye that met my gaze, according to my judgment was—.
First, it was a silvery gray that felt as if it could abolish darkness despite being similar to the thickness of snow that had been stepped on and crushed.
In the center of that, a certain rupture was situated there.
After that, even when our eyes had met, there was no occasion of their eye flinching or blinking.
And as if something were funny—it was smiling.
“······, ··················, ······.”
Strength went into my hand that was holding the prayer beads. Press. As if I were trying to crack it, I pressed down onto the beads. I was barely able to regain my composure again after pressing down on one bead at a time. It’s fine. It’sfineit’sfineit’sfine. Be calm. Calm down, me. Think about it. [Yujin, ain’t your head really good?] That’s right. Since I have a good head, I need to think calmly whenever and wherever I am.
(TL note: The line in the  is him recalling a line that someone said to him in the past)
I asked quietly. Gray eyes? This is the first time I’ve ever seen them.
“Do you have any relations with Chanmi?”
A foreigner? If it isn’t an incredibly diluted shade of blue, it’s difficult for pupils to be that kind of silver. Therefore, the base color has to be blue, meaning they’re probably a foreigner. Did Chanmi hire a foreigner? Although nothing is impossible for her, isn’t that too much of a jump? It was at the moment I thought that.
The other party started to laugh.
Ah hah. A strange laugh. Ah hah hah hah ha. An unnatural sound that required one to move their tongue on purpose in order to make, and yet, it sounded as if they were truly enjoying the situation. Ah ha, ah ha ha ha ha, ah hah ha······. The eye on the other side of the door hole was trembling slightly. The pupils weren’t shaking, but the head movement made them appear as if they were. The eyes themselves, without even the slightest sign of wavering, were still smiling.
Without a word, I waited for the laughter to stop. While the transparent plasticity flowed by, the stench of mold invaded my nose. A dreadful smell. Eventually, the laughter stopped, but the scent that felt as if it had become agitated by the noise did not go anywhere.
The other party spoke.
“Chanmi? Who’s thaaat?”
It was a girl. It was a young voice that had yet to break(Girls experience something similar to voice breaking as boys do). Somehow her awkward pronunciation further pointed towards my assumption that she was a foreigner. Additionally, I became certain of another fact. It was my first time hearing this voice.
“Who are you?”
It wasn’t until then that my voice had changed. I didn’t lose my composure, but it did sink down further.
“Are you talking about me? Are you curious⎯⎯⎯?” On the other hand, her voice carried more spirit. The sound of laughter reverberated once more. “Okay. I’ll teach yoouu—.”
Her eye drew away from the hole, but since the field of vision was already too narrow, I could barely see anything further out.
“Now then. I. Am.”
‘Look forward to it!’, it felt as if her body was uttering that as she spread her shoulders. The sight of the edge of her clothes rising up and going down entered my vision once before disappearing.
“The First Sky Reacher of the 12 Sky Reachers, the deepest sky!!”
The fluttering edges of her clothes appeared in my field of vision occasionally before vanishing once more. It was either a skirt or a robe. In any case, she was wearing ample clothing.
“Although it would be good to refer to me as ‘The Gate of Simla(The Lost Gate)’, I am the one everyone refers to as ‘The Universal Summoner(Princess : Featly)’⎯⎯⎯!!”
It felt as if she had taken the pose of pressing her hand against her forehead while shouting ‘How discourteous!’, but I was unable to see it.
“The mage and lord of the City of Confinement(The Asylum)!! I am the Earl of the Silver Lion⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯!!”
It was a relief that the door was closed. If it were open, then my eardrums would have shook. While I was thinking so, the self-proclaimed First Sky Reacher of the 12 Sky Reachers, Universal Summoner, Earl of the Silver Lion’s eye appeared at the other side of the hole once more. Seeing as there was a loud thud, it seems she had headbutted the door.
“And the reason why you’re here, that’s because! I! Summoned you with a bang—!! Since, my specialty is summoning!” Her eye moved away for a moment before with another Thud! it quickly drew near again, accompanied by the small shaking of the door. “How’s that? Has your curiosity been sated—? Ah hah hah hah ha ha ha······!!”
Yeah, I understand well that you’re a lunatic. I thought.
Putting aside the cackling Earl of the Silver Lion(Self-proclaimed), I reviewed the facts I was able to gather.
First, I was kidnapped.
Second, it seems the kidnapper is the fellow across the door, and she’s a girl that I have never seen before.
Third, the kidnapper is someone who attaches ridiculous nicknames to herself such as ‘mage and lord’ and ‘Universal Summoner’, so a lunatic who’s suffering from a chronic disease known as chuunibyou, like Eunji or Hanjeun.
Fourth, although it’s a mystery on what this girl plans to do with me, be it this iron door and solitary cell······ this has long past the border of a crime that could be alleviated by simply saying ‘I’m sorry, my jokes went a bit too far, ehe’.
I rotated my prayer beads.
‘Don’t mess with me!’, getting angry like that would be easy. ‘What do you think you’re doing!?’, shouting out is simple as well. However, what would change if one were to do so? I’m the one that is currently being confined. The fact that one should avoid behaving rashly until they are able to discover what the other party’s intentions are, this is something so obvious that I didn’t have to recall the ‘8 Years’ War’ with Chanmi to know. I spoke in a voice that wouldn’t invoke irritation.
“I’m Han Yujin. As you can see, I’m a male and I’ll be entering my third year of high school soon. I’ll be turning 19 this year.”
No matter how ridiculous the other party’s words may have been, you must respond appropriately. You have to introduce yourself. If you wish to implant the fact that you possess a ‘life that you have lived up till now’ and that you are a ‘human being’ into the other party, then this is one of the best methods of doing so. If you were to fail in making the other party be aware of these facts, then they will not consider you as an equal human being⎯⎯⎯and⎯⎯⎯they will do severe things to you without possessing even the slightest bit of a guilty conscience. The reason why the Nazis were able to slaughter the Jews was because the Jews were not considered as ‘equal human beings’ to them.
“I like green tea, injeolmi, and classic music. I don’t like anything that gives too much stimulus.”
In this situation, discovering that the other party is younger than you is never a good variable. I have yet to forget the incident involving a person named Shin Eunji⎯⎯⎯the person who declared that, as the black angel of the Choir of Alcania, they possessed 7 different personalities and each personality had their own respective special ability(For some reason the names of each personality were in Japanese). The fact that these type of people do not mature, that it is nearly impossible to reason with them, that they lack a tremendous amount of self-restraint in their actions, and that just these characteristics alone could make an individual terrifying, this was something that had been engraved into my bones.
“So, Miss Earl of the Silver Lion, with what purpose did you summon me for?”
The Earl blinked her eyes. Quickly after, her smile returned.
“Ah hah ha ah. Mm. Aren’t you incredibly caaalm?”
“Is that surprising?”
“Nooope!! Well, it’s within expectations. Within it.” She spoke after chuckling once, “Something like trying to use your head to think up petty tricks. I can see it cleeaarly.”
“That’s rude. I’m not turning my head to think up petty tricks.”
“Then are you turning your head to make white hair?”
“Though I don’t have any.”
Since the situation is like this, it feels like some might actually come out.
In any case, she’s wrong. I’m really not trying to conjure up ‘petty tricks’. I’m merely using all of my human capabilities to utilize my entire head. 〈Is she really not related to Joo Chanmi?〉 〈But there’s still a good chance that she’s a foreigner who was hired by Chanmi〉 〈Then is that lunatic-like behavior of hers an act?〉 〈Or is she the esteemed daughter of some CEO of a foreign company and decided to kidnap me because she’s a maniac in a degree that doesn’t fall behind Chanmi?〉 〈In any case, there’s a reason why she kidnapped me.〉 〈If that’s so, then what was it?〉
“Anyway, why did you summon me? There should be a reason.”
〈Do you not require a reason since you’re a madman?〉 〈That’s doubtful. The fact that I was ‘chosen’ meant that this chuunibyou was interested in something about me.〉 〈Look back at myself〉 〈I’ll be 19-years-old this year. A normal boy.〉 〈My eyesight became weaker so I wear glasses.〉 〈Although I don’t have my glasses right now.〉 〈I’m confident about my intellect.〉 〈Of course, I’m proud of my ability to be calm as well.〉 〈However, I have never been conceited.〉 〈No matter how much I think about it, I can’t figure out a reason.〉 〈If it’s like this, then should I confirm it with her?〉
⎯⎯⎯Going along with her pace⎯⎯⎯.
“Do I perhaps have the blood of a hero that’s destined to save this world?”
“Pbbt···!?” I wanted to retort that a child shouldn’t make such a crude sound. “Eub. Ehem. Mm. Was that a joke? Or legit? Either way, bzzt! Nope. Wrong answer!”
I succeeded in receiving a response. Then all I can do is continue asking.
“Then what is it? Do I have to get married to you?”
“Pfft? Pbbbt. That’s not it! Ah hah hah hah ha. You really are interesting.”
If it isn’t summoning a hero or a lover, then among the other chuunibyou-like settings there is only one left. Since their nickname seems to also go along with that setting, then maybe this is it.
“Then am I supposed to be some familiar? Go easy on me, I have to get ready for the SAT later this year.”
“Familiar? Mm. Now you’re getting a bit cloooser······ But bzzt! Absolutely bzzt! It’s not something stupid like that, Kuzato–Rospiante!!”
The girl uttered some other world language and started chuckling. She then suddenly spread her shoulders as if stretching out her body.
Bang! She hit the door.
“A toy to be tortured!”
Bang! She hit the door again.
“From now on, you will be tortured!! Now then, now then. I’ll stab a fork underneath your nail and BAM! raise it using a level principle. I’ll use a nail clipper and clipclipclipclipclip your eyelids off. I’ll grab a pair of scissors and slightyslightlyslightlyslightly cut off your lips! Aah, but it’s okay! Don’t worry, since I won’t penetrate your brain when I stab, stab, stab chopsticks into your ears! Why? Mm, the reason is. If I do something like that, then in an instant, wooooosh, in an instaaant.”
BANG!! I wonder if she had hit the door with her palm, as the entire door had shaken.
“You’ll diiieee, ah hah ha ha!! I won’t kill you immediately. That’s why it’sokayit’sokay. Worries ZERO!”
The girl cried out while pounding the door. There were two thoughts that crossed my mind while I rotated my prayer beads. That this fellow really has high tension······. (TL note: High tension)
This situation is far more dangerous than I originally thought.
“I understand what you plan to do with me now.”
I did not scorn the other party. I made sure the other party didn’t feel as if they were being looked down upon. Therefore, I didn’t speak sarcastically. Always treating them as a proper human being. Even while I was behaving like that, I did not put an insincere smile on my face. Using a tone that didn’t aggravate the other party, I spoke calmly like how the winner of the ‘8 Years’ War’ should behave.
“But could you stop hitting the door? Your hand must hurt.”
“Pbbt? Eub. Ah hah hah ha hang. Still with the petty tricks⎯⎯⎯? Normally, people who end up in this kind of situation fall into despair, start crying, or get mad, you know? Ooh. Maybe, you think this is a joke? Do you think this is something like a candid cameraaa?”
“I don’t.” Since this situation had already crossed the line of possibly being a candid camera a long time ago. “Also, if a young girl lets out such an undignified laugh, then people would start to suspect her class, Miss Earl of the Silver Lion.”
The silver pupil of the Earl, who had stopped moving for a moment, glistened. I continued speaking before her smile could return to her eyes.
“Only half was done.”
“Hmm? What, do you mean?”
“The answer. I asked ‘why’ ‘you summoned’ ‘me’. I’m grateful that you explained the reason behind the ‘why’ and ‘summon’, but why did it have to be ‘me’? Is there a special reason?”
The smile in her eye deepened. This response, if I look back at the patterns up till now.
“Are you perhaps trying to tell me that I was chosen by random?”
Twitch. The Earl let out a ‘Mm–‘ sound.
“Koreans, shouldn’t have had the ability to read minds.”
Oi, to be able to know that I’m Korean even though you said I was summoned. That’s quite the convenient setting, that chuunibyou of yours.
Anyway, it seems I was on the mark. If you put aside the chuunibyou like setting, then that means I was the one selected when the order ‘Capture anyone’ was given to her subordinates(whether they moved by money or authority). Similar to those urban crimes of female students being kidnapped by vans in alleyways, I unluckily ended up being a target of one of those ‘indiscriminate acts of evil’.
However, if that were so, then there’s still one fact that I can’t understand. I was sleeping in my home, in my room, and in my bed. Even if it was that kind of indiscriminate kidnapping, isn’t invading a random person’s home too high of a risk? I’ll put off that thought for now.
“But why are you trying to torture me?”
“Are you curious?”
“Yeah. Is it similar to the feeling of kicking a dog?”
“Mm, well, something like that······. There’s a lot, a lo~~t of annoying things piled up. Ehem. I need someone to vent it out on.”
“Aren’t you an earl? You can just torture your subjects.”
‘This idiot!’, the Earl of the Silver Lion shouted and pounded the door powerfully. After doing so, I could hear the sound of her hopping around as if she were in pain.
“Uu~ my hand. Mmm. There’ll be problems if I torture the people of my world. That’s why, Mongado, accordingly!”
“Isn’t tormenting otherworldly beings from completely different worlds! More! Rational!?”
Truly, it’s things outside the border.
Doing harm means to do harm to the offender as well. The most classic, and yet effective, method of shielding oneself against that reflective damage is the controversy I mentioned earlier between the Nazis and the Jews. Thus, ‘the border’. After having drawn a line, you can prevent any type of empathy by declaring that you and the people in question are completely different beings. I now understood what this self-proclaimed ‘Earl of the Silver Lion’ meant when they were calling me her ‘summon’. Since I’m a summoned otherworldly being from another world, by declaring it as so, she is able to obtain a psychological immunity······. That’s what she’s probably trying to say.
Whatever it was, the essence was something insignificant.
“Are you going to do it immediately?”
An immediate response. I really got caught by a bad person.
“How? Are you going to open the door and come in? I’m not bound, you know?”
“Hmm? Do you intend to, resist?”
“That’s obvious······ since you said you’re going to torture me. Or do you plan to use magic so I can’t move?”
Is she going to use sleeping gas or shoot me with a stun gun? If that’s the case, then this hole I’m looking through may be dangerous. Who knows when something sharp could pierce through it. For starters, I backed away from the hole and pushed my back against the wall. However, the Earl spoke up in a rather flat tone.
“Mm, that’s not it. I, can’t use any spells other than summoning. Furthermore, even that summoning ability—.”
Abruptly, the sense of falling enveloped me.
“Huh?” Without even being able to react, I fell backward just like that. Thud······!! “Kuh······!” A sense of impact spread from my bottom, back, and to the back of my head. My field of vision was distorted for a moment before it restored itself. And then, in my recovered field of vision, I no longer saw the ceiling that was 2 meters up······.
It went up a considerable amount, but my sight was now directed towards the ceiling of a hallway?
“Like this, I can only teleport my target directly in front of me. It isn’t like those Korean fantasy novels where a vow of loyalty comes along with it. Disappointing, disappointing.”
And near the feet of my sprawled out body, there was a black-socked foot, I mean, there was a silver-haired girl standing in an imposing manner with her arms crossed.
······, ··················, what?
What, happened, just······now?
I was certainly······ huh······ yeah, I had the door in front of me while I was leaning against the back wall of the cell, right? But why did it suddenly feel like the wall behind me disappeared······ and in the next moment, I was in a hallway. No, to be exact, I was moved to the hallway instantaneously and because that had happened, the wall which I was leaning against was gone, so I fell backwards······ but why? How? Something like that is impossible······ Teleportation? It can’t be······ Or maybe that wall was retractable, and this hallway is located past it······ wait, then who’s the person I was making eye contact with through the door······ it’s her······ it’s those eyes······ but······ no, no.
Calm down. Keep it together. [Yujin, ain’t your head really good?] Yeah, the [8 Years’ War], think about it, thinkthinkthinkthink. Okay. As long as I don’t lose my cool-headedness, I can analyze, dig up, and redefine anything. It’s not difficult. It’s not difficult at all.
Calm yourself down, Yujin.
My composure was just barely able to return as I put more and more strength into my grip on the beads. I raised my head and looked at the girl standing by my feet, the ‘Earl of the Silver Lion’.
The first thing that stuck out was that silver bobbed hair. Though normally, when someone mentions the term ‘silver hair’, then the image of glossy natural hair would come to mind, but her hair was disheveled like a lion’s mane. There was a sense of beauty and wit in her beaming eyes, which held silver pupils that harbored darkness. A sharp nose and light scarlet skin. There was a delicate pale pink color, as light as the breath on glass, on her lips. Within those slightly parted lips of hers, there was a misaligned tooth⎯⎯⎯⎯no, there were protruding canines and a small red tongue swelling like an ember.
Her height was short. Somewhere around 150 centimeters. For some reason, I was certain that she wasn’t in the latter years of her teens. Since she had a ring on each and every one of her 10 fingers and a bracelet on both her wrists, she gave off a parvenue-like feeling. Furthermore, the fact that her fingernails were all painted black and that there was a tattoo on the back of both of her hands, boosted that parvenue-like feeling further.
Matching her hair, she was wearing a white ceremonial coat embroidered with golden threads and balls of fluff were attached to the seams and sleeves of her coat. Even the long shirt and skirt that she had on underneath were a matching white color. But for some reason, only her belt and her high socks that reached up to her knees were black. Moreover, for some unknown reason, she wasn’t wearing shoes.
Normally, it would be fitting to say that she has a ‘western look’, but I couldn’t recommend that expression. Since every Caucasian girl on Earth could never look like her. No, any girl on Earth most likely couldn’t look like her. Especially her eyes⎯⎯⎯her pupils were different. The sense of difference I felt when I first met her was more obvious now since I was in an open space.
Located in the center of her eye, a scar that looked like something that was formed when smashing a pickaxe into a wall of ice with all your strength⎯⎯⎯a rupture.
I understood two things.
First, the fact that this fellow and I were absolutely not part of the same ‘humankind’.
Second, the fact that this is the same feeling I had when I met Joo Chanmi for the first time⎯⎯⎯that this is fate, that this will be an ill-fated relationship, this feeling passed by after having left my heart tightly bound.
The Earl of the Silver Lion, while looking down at me, who was in that state, giggled and raised the handkerchief she had in her right hand to cover her mouth.
“Ah ha ah. It’s embarrassing if you stare at me so intensely—.”
Poof. Everything in front of me changed once more. Rather than my sight, the piercing stench of mold was what informed me that I had returned to the solitary cell. After having experienced this twice, the desire to deny the possibility didn’t come up anymore.
“You······ really are a mage.”
“Mmm?” Her eye reappeared at the other side of the hole in the door. “What did you think I was?”
“A kid with chuunibyou.”
“Ufu, ah, ah hah, ah hah hah ha ha hah ha ha······!! Uah. Chuunibyou, is it?”
“You understand what it means, Miss ‘Earl of the Silver Lion’?”
“I’m generally familiar with the Korean language ♪ I’m, seriously a genius in regards to language, you know?”
I responded vaguely. The two facts I had to accept were that she could use that summoning ability or whatever and that she wasn’t the same type of human being as myself. Any more than that, for example, the claim that this was the ‘Confinement City’ of another world, Sky Reacher among Sky Reachers blah blah blah······ was something I couldn’t believe. How could I?
Am I supposed to escape?
Let’s stay collected. I thought while holding my prayer beads tightly in my hand. In the first place, if that was the case, then how was she speaking in ‘Korean’? A universal ‘translation spell’? A ‘communication artifact’? Don’t mess around. If that’s so, then how would it translate terms like ‘chuunibyou’ and what about those ‘another world-like words’ that were uttered from time to time? Furthermore, I couldn’t understand that foreigner-like pronunciation of hers either. Or perhaps······
A dark smile appeared in the Earl’s eyes as she was watching me.
“Ah hah ha··· Anyway, as I told you earlier, although I may be the ‘Universal Summoner’ who’s capable of summoning in front of me any creature from any world, any dimension, and any universe, if you put it into simpler terms, that’s all I can do. Since I can only move them in front of me, they don’t immediately understand the situation and become loyal to me just because I summoned them. Rather, there are more occasions of them trying to resist like crazy, and others try to think up petty tricks like a certain someone.”
‘What a pain!’ she uttered and her eye smoothly moved away from the hole.
“Now then! I’ll ask a question!”
Step step. Her footsteps grew distant.
“Did you say your name was Han Yujin? Mm, what do you think I would have to do in order to ‘electrify’ them, make them into a loyal ‘slave’ towards me, and turn them into my own personal ‘pet’?”
As the footsteps went further away, her voice became fainter as well. Despite that, the fact that her voice didn’t completely fade away meant that I was probably that much focused on it. ······And by the time I was able to think that far, I already knew the answer.
“There’s nothing complicated. It’s the same thing that everyone does to everyone.”
This girl’s summoning ability, according to her, is merely moving the position of her target. It can only bring the target before her, but in a state where they don’t understand the reason or the situation and with no mental communion with her.
“The answer is.”
How to tame that kind of opposition?
If you exclude mind control, then there’s only one other option remaining.
“Give them a reasonaaaable······.”
Then that’s perhaps⎯⎯⎯if this girl really is from another world, the reason why she’s able to use Korean.
“Carrot, and, stick,”
‘And tame them.’
My field of vision changed abruptly once more.
The first thing I felt was a viscous feeling crawling down my respiratory organ and spreading throughout my lungs
The smell of blood.
Things composed of wood and metal that gave off a color that made it difficult for one to differentiate whether it was rust, blood, or its original color
These torture racks.
Far from being collected, these things were not piled up or gathered and were merely left neglected
Red, green, yellow, and pink sludge mixed together
Flesh and internal organs.
And the group of bound sacrificial lambs that were still alive.
Along with a girl, who was laughing maniacally while looking up towards the ceiling with both of her knees slightly bent, standing beside me. These things entered my sight.
“Ah hah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ah hah, ah hah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!”
The girl walked with heavy steps and with the rod she was holding in her left-hand⎯⎯⎯Smack, she struck a frog-like creature bound to a rack that appeared like an operating table.
“Now then. What kind of frog, is this frog? It’s about 3 meters. But despite its appearance, this was once a brave warrior of the sea! A citizen of an underwater world, an intelligent life form!! Ezantel!! Though, now only the area above its waist remains since I ripped the frog apart bit by bit by bit by bit by bit by bit starting from its toes! Hii—Haa! How much longer can it stay alive? We can only wait and see, right? Ah hah ha ah.”
And once more, she struck the frog-like creature on the back. It groaned. “K-toro-kuku-Rra!” The frog uttered something while it twisted its body. That’s right, it ‘said’ something······. I could tell by intuition. Albeit, I couldn’t understand the context of its words, it let out such a ‘refined’ cry that it made my blood freeze. However, the Earl of the Silver Lion giggled and whispered into the frog’s ear, “Sitoros-brrr-Kadal-PeArto.”. The frog stopped struggling and became docile.
The Earl took two steps forward. Once she did so she stroked a being that was different from the humans on Earth and with an appearance which was different than the Earl herself······ a winged being that looked mostly human. There was a countless number of apparatus and hoses attached to that being who was being restrained to a steel chair.
“Now, on the other hand, this is an angel that was born in the world of heavens! Ah, but this ‘world of heavens’ most likely has nothing to do with what the people of your world refer to as Eden or Valhallaaaa!! I think she said something about originally being a certain angel from a certain tier, but now she’s merely a dairy cattle! A milk producing maaachine! Would you like a glass? Of course, the upper milk! You won’t regret it! It’s so– delicious that you’ll get addicted!! Truly, popularity MAX! The milk from the heavens is the greatest in all of the uniiiiiveerse!!”
I could feel my breathing becoming faster despite the fact that I was gripping my prayer beads. The scenery spread out before me was that dreadful.
The winged being couldn’t even protest. It didn’t feel like it was because of the hose that was stuffed into its mouth. Him-her? It had both so I wasn’t sure what to call it. In any case, the light in the angel’s eyes had faded like an old coin. The Earl chuckled and started to walk again······.
Nausea, queasiness, and a sickening feeling in my gut that felt as if I had gulped down a glass of sewer water, made my vision feel blurry.
The ‘Earl of the Silver Lion’······ let out a ‘Mm?’ sound and gazed at me. Looking straight into those eyes, I spoke, one more time.
“I said to stop it. I understand full well that······ you’re speaking the truth.”
“Hmmm······. That’s quite good.”
The Earl cackled and walked towards me with her canine teeth still showing.
“Buuut. There’s one problem······ Why do I have to listen to yoouu?”
A reasonable leisure for a person with an overwhelming superiority. Although my barely maintained composure was blabbering about my chances of victory if I were to charge at her right this instant since I wasn’t restrained, the intuition I gained after having experienced an 8-year war with Chanmi was pressing down that option. This person is an individual who has committed acts like this until now, is committing them now, and will continue to do so in the future. The thought that she appears defenseless right now has most likely crossed her mind already, thus meaning, she naturally has a countermeasure. Even if she didn’t, I had an assumption.
Just as I expected, the Earl grinned and peered into my eyes.
“Mm? By any chance, is the thought, ‘I’m not tied up, let’s rush at her and beat her up’ going through your head? Ufu, ah hah ha. Of course, the majority of people usually fall into a state of panic when they see this, so they aren’t even able to think of that idea, but, you don’t seem like you’re a part of that ‘majority’. Regardless, it’s impossible. Absolutely impossible. It’s a good idea to give up, you know?”
In regards to height, the Earl had to look up at me, but there was an imposing feeling, as if I were being stepped on, wrapping around my entire body.
“Do you know why? I, can immediately······.”
“Summon your royal bodyguards.”
She stopped for a second before chuckling.
“Of course. Adding to that, I can always······.”
“Return me to the solitary cell?”
A silence fell over us.
The Earl of the Silver Lion tilted her head, slightly. I increased the strength in my grip on my prayer beads.
“You said you could move things in front of you, then you can cancel it as well, right? Meaning the target will return to the place they were at before being summoned. For example, my first summon was from Earth to that cell, my second summon was to the hallway, and then that second summon was canceled so I was returned to the cell.”
Right now was also a similar situation. I was summoned from the solitary cell to this torture chamber. If this ‘torture chamber summon’ is released, then I will immediately return to the solitary cell.
Sharp eyes, which were no longer behaving frivolously or smiling, were directed towards me. I didn’t tell her that ‘I’m capable of looking at a situation calmly, I can read the atmosphere, I don’t get caught up by the 〈impossibles〉, so I’m able to put together the series of events as they occur, and that by being able to do these things, I’m able to always precisely understand the situation around me’.
“Ha? What are you······ ah······ mm. Are you telling me to take a guess at your ability now? But······ you’re not from the garden world or the world of heavens······ You, aren’t you Korean? There shouldn’t be any Sitrodel abilities like this there······ magic, extraordinary physical abilities, and holy powers shouldn’t be generalized in your world.”
The girl moved her head around restlessly. I waited silently. She let out a sigh.
“Haa, whatever. You’re right. My ability, is like that.”
“And by that, that means if you cancel the ‘first summon’ from my bed to that cell, then you can send me back home.”
“Correct. Well, I don’t plan on doing so.”
Ending that topic there, she abruptly turned her body. As if enjoying the hellish sight around her, she turned not only her body but the subject as well.
“Anyway, back to taming. Of course, there are problems with this method as well. For one– no matter how many traps I set up beforehand– if someone incredibly, tremendously stronger than me– ends up being summoned, then far from taming, I’ll probably die, you know? Also, since the majority of other worlds have developed Sitrodel······ super powers– they reverse trace their way back even though I canceled their summon······ In truth, I’ve gotten into big trouble a couple of times because of that······ Well, let’s stop talking about those demoralizing tales of failure⎯⎯⎯!!”
The Earl shook her head side to side. Be it this or that, for the time being, since she’s young it seems she’s used to straying off topic while talking.
“In conclusion, out of the 12 worlds I can meddle with, I can safely play around with the majority living in 5 of those worlds.”
“······And my world is one of those 5?”
“Yup. When was it again? Ah, 8 years ago. Your world⎯⎯⎯which is called the Spire World here, anyway, when I was randomly summoning an inhabitant from your world, I caught a Korean. I learned Korean from that person. I learned a lot of these and those things and those and these things. And what happened to that Korean······ well, there’ll be no more occasions of ever meeting that person again······In any case, I received a lot of Korea-related catalysts from that person.”
The Earl grinned widely and displayed her left hand. A sense of malice was being emitted from the tattoo of a crustacean on the back of her hand and the black nail polish on her pinky, ring, and middle finger.
“Substances needed for pinpoint summons, target summoning, Lo-Kisa. It’s also known as ‘the smallest piece of one’s life’. In other words, dandruff, hair, bodily fluids, or some other thing that’s the size of dust. As long as I have an object with any of those smeared onto it, then I can use it to summon its owner. Also, on those catalysts······ Mm, for example, a coat. It’s not only one person’s piece of life that’s on it.”
I was able to understand what she was trying to say. Be it sweat, hair, dandruff, or something that got rubbed onto it when passing someone by, there will without a doubt be another person’s piece of life, their catalyst, on it as well.
“Like that, pow! I brought in a bystander that was around them. Got used to Korean a bit more, learned this and that from them, then pow, summoned the next bystander. Even that bystander’s bystander pow! Ah ha ah······.” The girl licked her lips. “It was quite easy.”
“And now you’ve come to me?”
“Yuuup. Mr.Yujin. Do you have a problem with that, Mr.Yujin?”
Ever since I became an orphan, an unexplained case of disappearance has never occurred in my surroundings. At the very least, I had a grasp of the entire student body of my schools(Damn 8 Years’ War), and the people I came into contact with outside of school were only my relatives. However, there were no missing cases among them. That means it wasn’t anyone I knew.
If that’s the case······ something like brushing past someone on the subway, through that kind of coincidental act she was able to obtain a piece of my life and summon me.
“What happened······ to those other people?”
“Ah hah ha······ What do you think happened?”
I ended up figuring out the answer before I witnessed her smile while biting her stuck out tongue. In this moment, if I didn’t have my prayer beads, then I would have most likely been unable to maintain my composure. Thanks, Cha Minhee.
Moreover, what this girl said towards the frogman a second ago······ I feel like I know what it was. ‘I’ll kill you if you struggle?’, that’s ridiculous. Half of its body is already gone. It would probably welcome the relief of death. ‘I’ll keep tormenting you?’, that’s also absurd. ‘I’ll send you back if you behave?’, pouring water on gasoline that is already on fire will only lead to an explosion. Yes, the answer is probably······ no, it’s most certainly, ‘If you struggle’ ‘your relatives and the people around you’ ‘I’ll summon them and do the exact same thing to them.’. Honestly, the last vowel here was probably dragged out with a musical note, heart, or a star-like symbol attached to the end······ugh.
······, ······, ·····················, uh, ugh.
Calm down, Yujin.
Though I’ve done this several times already······.
‘This disgusting psychopathic lunatic.’, rebuking her is simple, but what will change? ‘How could you do such a thing? I won’t forgive you!’, screaming at her is easy, but what will change?
That’s right. Nothing will change if I rely on my emotions. If I try to do that too rashly, then I will ‘no longer’ be able to do ‘that’. I understood to my core, that the situation would just become much more severe if I were to do something like that. That’s why, don’t do it. Be calm. Be cool, Yujin. There is a way. A way to breakthrough must exist.
(TL note: ‘no longer’ and ‘that’ is referring to him ‘no longer’ being able to rely on ‘his emotions’ since he’d be dead)
There was no deep breathing. I was simply gazing at the Earl of the Silver Lion while working my brain as fast as possible.
Okay, think about it seriously······!!
Organize all the information that has been revealed so far.
First, I was kidnapped(summoned) by a lunatic from another world.
Second, that lunatic knows how to use magic. According to her, she’s only capable of summoning and canceling that summon, however, there may actually be more to it than that.
Third, that lunatic is an Earl. This is supposedly a different world, so it may differ with the hierarchy that exists on Earth, but for this mental patient, who’s proficient at Korean, to be calling herself an ‘Earl’······ then that position must certainly be remarkable.
Fourth, the condition of this other world. Since that psychopath said she was an Earl, then that means politically, this world is either run by feudalism or authoritarian royal power. Though it could also possibly be a constitutional monarch like in modern Britain, where the peerage title is merely a facade, since she said she was the ‘lord’ of this city, then that’s probably not it. Therefore, at least while within this city, she is protected by an overpowering authority and wealth.
Fifth, that nutcase has no intention of sending me back.
Sixth, that maniac intends to turn me into a torture pet.
And finally, once I die after becoming her pet, then by using a ‘piece of life’ that was on my body, she’ll summon another bystander and do the exact same thing to them as she did to me.
Everything was full of despair. Well, ever since I found out that the other party was insane, everything has been going down a path of hopelessness.
Regardless, if there’s one thing that was a relief, then it’s the fact that a method of returning home most certainly exists. Because if this person decides to let me go, then that’ll happen. Though if that were to happen, then certain measures need to also be taken in order to prevent her from summoning me again······ there’s no point in thinking that far ahead yet. In the first place, this girl doesn’t plan to send me back anyway.
“Now, shall we slowly get started—?”
Far from returning, it’s a question whether I’ll be able to sustain my life. I clasped the prayer beads tightly.
‘Do you have to?’, no. Cliché lines like this won’t even be able to stall for time. ‘Start what?’, should I play innocent? It’d be a question whether she’d even smirk at that. ‘Why?’, that’s an absurd question at this point. However, if I keep asking myself like this, then I can at least contemplate for an idea⎯⎯⎯Yeah, the main reason.
From the start, this girl isn’t trying to torture me because she wants something from me.
Just because she’s bored.
Merely because she wants to play around.
······That behavior of hers which can’t be understood or forgiven from a normal person’s perspective. If anything⎯⎯⎯it’s more of a gap to breach through at this point.
“I can.” I spread my shoulders and spoke. “Entertain you with a different method.”
She reacted with a ‘Hm?’ sound. That’s good enough. I didn’t expect for it to work from the start anyway.
“Think about it. You should know well if you’ve played around with other Koreans before. I won’t be able to endure for as long as that frog over there, and since I’m a guy, I won’t be able to produce milk like that angel. Moreover, my will is weak so I’ll probably die quickly.”
“But milk comes from down there too. Are you a eunuch?”
“No, it does come out, but······ are you going to eat it?”
“Eh, no. I don’t need it······.”
“It doesn’t taste good, and a child shouldn’t be saying something like that.”
Not letting go of my attitude used when dealing with another human being, I spoke to her. The Earl revealed her sharp canines as if she were dissatisfied.
“Korea may be like that, but it’s not like that here.”
“Is that so? If you allow me the opportunity to learn about this place, then I’ll be able to adjust to the customs here.”
“Aren’t you scheming a bit too much? From the very beginning.”
“Yes. But I want to live, and you want amusement.”
The Earl showed her canines once more. Silence fell on us like that.
Once that silence felt like it had gone on for awhile, I uttered.
“[Fufu. Just kidding! Uhah, ah hah ha. How was that? Did you think you’d be able to live since I was thinking for a long time? Were you hopeful? How unfortunate! Crushing that kind of foolish hope is more joyful to me than having three square meals a day.], if you plan to say something along those lines, please don’t.”
Seeing as she clicked her tongue, it seems she did plan to. During the first half of the 8 Years’ War, I properly learned about what false hope was. Though it was something that was forcefully taught to me when I was being bullied by Chanmi’s clique······I guess I haven’t become rusty.
“What will you do?”
“······It’s somewhat, extremely, a bit, annoying, you know—?”
“Probably because you weren’t able to take the initiative······. But isn’t the initiative in a conversation like this not important? You can break down the conversation whenever you want, after all.”
“Hmm. Are you personally saying that? How wiiise.”
“Don’t think too far into it. I’m saying that you can torture and kill me whenever you want. Literally whenever. If that’s the case, then it’s fine to do it after having entertained yourself a bit more, right? Do you know about the marshmallow story?”
“That’s the manga where a rabbit with an impassive expression on its face appears, right?”
“······No, not that.”
“Ah. Then is it, the manga where 4 girls and one tall girl appears? The one with an anime as well.”
That’s Strawberry Marshmallow. That’s rather old even on Earth and is a manga that only a certain type of people know. For a person who’s from another world, why is her antenna reaching out towards a weird direction? In that time, just what sorts of Koreans were summoned here?
Ah, should I have taken notice when she understood the term ‘chuunibyou’?
“To keep it simple, if you endure today, then you’ll be able to eat two tomorrow, and if you endure tomorrow as well, then you can have 4 the day after······ Like that.”
“? If it’s food then I have a mountain of it. Do you want some Heaven milk?”
“I won’t drink it so don’t squeeze some out. I said don’t squeeze it. Don’t pass it to me either. I won’t drink it, I said. You drink it.”
“But it’s gooood.”
I let out a sigh. It seems I succeeded in softening the atmosphere. The Earl showed a grin after taking her lips off of her cup.
“Ah hah hah. Mm, Mr. Yujin. So to speak, if I have patience, then I’ll be able to gather that much of an abundant harvest, so I should wait. Is that it? Mr. Yujin.”
“And if I don’t want to?”
“Juuust. What if you, going through an unimaginable pain, and dying a frustrating death, right now, is something that I want? Mr.Yuuujin.”
I didn’t clench my teeth. In any case, I can conclude that she didn’t feel even the slightest bit of inconvenience towards losing the other party. If you put it in terms of a contract, then her side has the superiority. I’m merely in a position where I’d be grateful just to have my life prolonged. Just because the atmosphere has softened, doesn’t mean that the main issue of the situation has changed. I didn’t delude myself. Even though I didn’t······ I wracked my brain.
‘I guess there’re no other choices then–Do what you want’. I can’t. Normally, I would have lowered my head like this and backed down, but right now, I could smell a trap. 〈Tsk, I had expectations but was this all you could do? Then I’ll kill you like you wanted.〉 For some reason, I feel like these words would come out nonchalantly. ‘For pity’s sake, please consider it.’ should I latch onto her? No. I feel like a 〈I had hopes, but is this it?〉 kind of reaction would be returned to me and result in my death. Albeit, if someone were to ask why I thought this, then I could only put my gut and mood as a basis. ‘Then that means that’s your limit.’ should I act gallantly? No, that’ll just cast a damper on the situation······ words that wouldn’t spoil the fun······ think, Yujin. Think.
I said to the Earl the words that came to my head after having worked my brain to the point where an audible sound of clanking could have possibly been heard.
To be exact, they weren’t words.
I knelt down. The Earl tilted her head and let out a sound, “Hm?”. As if kowtowing, I lowered my body. Following after, while using hand movements that displayed no hostility, I reached out and held her small ankle.
In this moment, although there was a possibility that the Earl of the Silver Lion would instinctively send me back to the solitary cell, she didn’t do so. Though she was startled for a moment, shortly after a look of interest filled her eyes. Thanks to that, without any interference, I brought my face towards the end of her black-socked foot and,
For a moment.
“Mm······ That tickles, mm, hm. Ah hah ha ha ha.”
For a moment.
“Mmm······mm. Uuuu–. Aah. Stop. Stop it.”
I drew back. The face of the Earl who was wiggling her toes and looking down at me⎯⎯⎯was definitely flushed.
“You’re, skilled at this.”
Techniques that I had no other choice but to learn during the first half of the 8 Years’ War. Regardless of how young one is, if they’re taught something while being beaten, then they’ll not only be able to learn it quickly but they won’t be able to forget what they were taught as well.
In any case, I waited momentarily. I’ve passed the ball.
Soon after, the Earl of the Silver Lion, who was crossing her arms with her brow furrowed, let out a sigh.
“·········, ······Well, whatever. I’ll overlook you for the moment. No, well, although I’m not sure how long that moment will be. You’ll most likely have to continue proving to me that you’ll be able to amuse me and be useful. If you don’t, then you’ll die immediately······. Ah, jeez.”
After saying that, she grumbled as if she weren’t pleased with something. It can’t be helped since the feeling, ‘I’m going along with his very obvious scheme.’ was most certainly going through her head. Even if that were so,
At the very least, I was able to escape the fate of something like immediately being bound to the rack and murdered cruelly. 〈Please, let us continue the talk tomorrow.〉, I wonder if the main character of One Thousand and One Nights, Scheherazade, felt like this?
(TL note: Scheherazade)
······Whatever. I will make it back alive.
(Please do not read this on any other site than my own, shalvationtranslations.wordpress. I have currently not given permission to anyone to post my translations on their site as of yet. I’m looking at YOU people at readlightnovel!)
TL note: Thank you for reading the first ‘actual’ chapter of 〈Your and My Asylum〉. I’m saying this to the people who were questioning why chapter ZERO was so short.
Anyway, to get to the important stuff, some people may have had a hard time reading some of the Earl’s lines, with all the weirdly placed commas and such, but that’s because she’s talking weirdly. She’s putting emphasizes on certain words and pausing here and there. So please don’t leave comments saying I messed up the grammar for her lines.
Also, as you’ve noticed from the ending of chapter 1. Feet stuff is going to happen a few times every volume, so yeah. If you don’t like that sort of thing, then you can back out now.
MOST IMPORTANT(?) NEWS, I’m sorry it doesn’t involve DD, BUT I’VE STARTED A PATREON!
I rather like patreon and the interfaces it gives, so I’ll be using this over a straight up donate button for now. If it proves to be inconvenient for too many people, then I may consider changing. Also, please keep in mind that this is solely for the purpose of donating to me, and possibly the author(If I’m able to establish something with them). Donating money to me won’t get you guys sponsored chapters since I’m already doing my best to release these translations. If I work any harder than this, then I’ll basically have absolutely 0 free time. So these donations will come purely from your own goodwill!
(While I’m at it, feel free to drop by the Dungeon Defense discord and chat!)
Anyway, sorry for the long ending TL note.