◈ Episode 171 The Flower of Zanhwa (1)
The fire in the warehouse burned hot.
It was about to spread the embers to trees and bushes near the warehouse as hot flames roared.
A situation that could lead to a major fire.
‘older brother. Are you really okay?’
Hans, who was waiting outside, hesitated.
It was to the point of seriously contemplating whether or not to intervene by using the monster powers of Jebodang even now.
Then a mouse called out to Hans. It was a sign that someone was rapidly approaching this direction.
“Ike. Hey everyone hide!”
As Hans and the rats hurriedly hide from the scene, Casey Selmore emerges.
As soon as Casey Selmore saw the flames, she immediately shot water.
However, the fire did not go out even after pouring water on it.
The flames shrank once, then flared up again fiercely.
“What kind of fire… … .”
Casey immediately spread a wide water curtain around the warehouse.
The swaying flames tried to go outside, but were blocked by a water curtain and recoiled.
Casey narrowed his eyes.
‘This is not an ordinary fire.’
Casey was able to see that he was using magical powers to suppress the flames outside.
This fire has a will.
And this fire was about to come out and burn everything.
‘It’s not even a fire caused by ordinary magic. Looking at the will contained in the fire, this should be at least the level of a red wizard.’
When it comes to fire with will, there is one thing that comes to mind.
It is the spirit of nature that governs fire.
‘Could it be a spirit? But there’s no way a spirit could use such terrible power.’
Shortly after coming to Lederbelk, Casey had been looking for old newspaper articles and reading about what was happening in the city.
In her memory, an article about a fire giant appearing at a banquet hall in the city came to mind.
And even the Black Dawn, who are now hiding in Ce’orn through the festival.
It was clear that there was some connection between the two.
‘Mr. Rudger Celish must be in there right now.’
A fire broke out in the distance, and considering the direction in which he had suddenly disappeared, it was quite plausible.
‘What’s going on inside… … .’
Casey tried to use the water to get inside, but if you pull the curtain a little here, the flames will spread out of control.
‘Could that man have expected this to happen and called me?’
At that moment, a huge wave of magical energy was felt inside the burning warehouse.
The flames that had been burning fiercely faded as if they were sucked inside in an instant.
Moments later, thick steam gushed out through the cracks in the ceiling and exterior walls of the collapsed warehouse.
‘Magic?! That’s at least 5th level or higher!’
The blazing fire was extinguished once and for all.
Casey could feel it as she kept the flames at close range.
That an enormous amount of magic was unfolding in the warehouse right now.
‘What the hell is going on inside?!’
* * *
Ludger’s 6th tier magic trick, the Heavenly Sea Ice Breaker, dealt a significant blow against Quasimodo.
Quasimodo, however, was not alone.
Gnomes gathered the flames of the warehouse into their core and resisted Ludgar’s magic.
Super-high flames burning in hell, and cold ice from the cold North Sea.
From the huge waves caused by the collision of the two elements to the invisible water vapor.
Amidst the vapors, small sparks floated in the air.
The flame grew in size and turned into a fireball, and the lingering fire that spread around it gradually gathered and increased in size.
Arms grew, legs grew, and eventually, what appeared was an ugly looking fire giant.
Quasimodo is not dead.
Even though he was directly hit by that amount of great magic, he restored his body with incredible life force, let alone reverse summoned.
However, it was not completely without damage, so Quasimodo’s size was reduced by almost half.
But that will come soon.
When the fires left in the warehouse start to grow stronger, and the fire is full again.
Quasimodo will regain his original power.
Spirit was such a being.
Even the damage that a person would have to rest for a few days for a few days to recover quickly.
Even more so, Quasimodo is a vengeful spirit that burns with anger and hatred.
He was rapidly recovering his body with intense energy toward Rudger, who made him go through this situation.
Quasimodo looked around, trying to find Ludgar.
The steam still obstructed his vision, but Quasimodo could see.
That Rudgar didn’t run away.
Quasimodo spotted a black shadow running through the steam.
I thought this one hadn’t been played yet and moved, but I was too complacent.
Quasimodo smiled tear-jerkingly and punched the shadow.
The flames that spread instantaneously and burned directly hit the black shadow.
Quasimodo, who was about to let out a shout of victory at the thought of finally defeating the mudfish, was taken aback the moment he saw the steam that had cleared.
[Human, isn’t it?]
It wasn’t Ludger that burned while punching, it was the shadow garment he was handling.
Ather Nocturnus shook his body cruelly as if he had played his part even as he was scattered by Quasimodo’s fist.
Then where is Rudger now?
Quasimodo hurriedly turned his head to look at the seat where Esmeralda was.
[you… … !]
and could see
The image of him holding Esmeralda in his arms with one hand.
To Quasimodo’s ferocious shout, Ludger responded with a cold smile.
“You called my name for the first time. Quasimodo.”
“But it’s over now.”
Quasimodo urgently ran to protect Esmeralda.
Ludger put the injectable drug he had prepared in advance into Esmeralda’s throat.
[…] … !]
Quasimodo, who had been running, stopped in place.
Quasimodo crouched down, clutching his head as if in pain.
Rudgar let out a sigh of relief.
‘No matter how great the vengeful spirit is, if the elemental lord takes a hit, it will inevitably be affected.’
The drug Ludger injected into Esmeralda was a kind of antipsychotic anesthetic.
Bondi Elemental Spirits are beings that communicate with the spirits of nature.
The contract and communication with spirits that do not exist in the body are ultimately caused by the spiritual part of human beings, that is, the mind.
No matter how powerful the spirit is, if the spirit slain loses consciousness, the spirit’s power will also weaken.
‘I couldn’t completely reverse summon, but this is enough.’
First of all, the fainting Esmeralda had to be moved somewhere out of sight of people.
And it would be fine if Esmeralda’s spirit was sealed and only Selina was left behind.
Esmeralda, who had thought she would fall asleep with an anesthetic, opened her mouth.
“… … Are you still sane?”
The moment Ludger was about to ignore the words, Esmeralda squeezed Ludger’s collar.
“What are you doing?”
“Come on, run away. More, no more control.”
For a while, I questioned Esmeralda’s words as if she was desperately squeezing them out.
Rudger felt a pull in the back of his goal.
It was a danger warning sent by animal intuition.
Before I could understand it, Rudger instinctively squeezed out the remaining magic power to create my own magic barrier.
Right after that, a large fist struck the magic barrier.
The barrier cracked and the shock was transmitted to Rudger.
Enduring the pain inflicted on his body, Rudger glared at the criminal who punched him.
“… … Quasimodo.”
Quasimodo, who had been suffering a moment ago, was smiling with a long mouth and a terrifying smile.
[Khehehe. it’s a shame.]
As if what he was suffering from was a lie, he was brisk.
[I could have killed him.]
“you… … .”
Only then did Rudgar realize that something was wrong.
Why is Quasimodo all right?
Why is Esmeralda, the person who summoned her, still not losing her mind?
Rudger’s troubles did not last long.
An eerie touch felt on his cheek, and his hand instinctively moved first.
I grabbed Esmeralda’s wrist as she was about to swing towards me.
A sharp dagger was clutched in her slender hand.
Even if it was a little late, I would have been stabbed.
“Hey, in this situation, what… … .”
Ludger, who was about to argue with Esmeralda, couldn’t help but shut up.
She was in tears now.
“no. I didn’t mean to do this sorry. I’m really sorry.”
Like a person who has lost his soul, he keeps muttering strange things.
It wasn’t Rudger she was apologizing for.
Esmeralda was looking at something else now.
“A little while ago, what the hell… … .”
Rudger stopped talking.
Instead, he focused his magic on his eyes to improve his eyesight.
Then, what had been obscured by steam began to become clearer.
It was a red thread.
The bright red thread from Quasimodo was entwined around Esmeralda’s wrists as well as her whole body.
It’s like binding them to never give them freedom.
Like marionettes that are easy to control.
A blurry red thread fluttering in the air touched Ludger’s body.
The moment he recognized it, a completely different scene unfolded before Ludger’s eyes.
– I hate you.
Burning Rotang Village.
There, Esmeralda is crying and suffering, and Quasimodo is standing behind him.
‘Is this a memory storming phenomenon?’
Ludger stared at Quasimodo in the vivid scene as if he had experienced it himself.
At first glance, it seemed that Quasimodo was protecting Esmeralda, but the opposite was true.
[Burn your hatred. Hate humans.]
The hidden story of an incident that could not be revealed with painting magic.
It wasn’t herself from the beginning that she continued to instill madness and hatred into Esmeralda.
The landscape has changed.
Esmeralda’s past, imbued with magical power, soon showed her the moment after she achieved her first revenge.
– This is amazing.
There he was.
On a dark night, a man with his back to the rising full moon.
A person who wore a mask on his face to hide his identity, but could not hide the momentum of a unique strongman.
-I couldn’t believe there was a man with a long liver who killed a nobleman. House Febius has been our goal before, but we’ve found someone like that.
He said that and then shook his head.
-no. not a person should it be something else
The Zero Order of the Black Dawn had been looking at Quasimodo, not Esmeralda, from the beginning.
-If you join us, we’ll help you do what you want. how is it. will you hold my hand
Quasimodo did not turn down the Zero Order offer.
A woman was weeping in pain, but no one paid attention to it.
The fire monster only had to burn someone to death.
* * *
After the memory storming, I came back to reality.
“It was you.”
My head hurts from the information rushing in all at once.
I glared at Quasimodo, frowning with a headache.
“It was all you.”
The fact that Esmeralda moved for revenge.
The fact that he entered the Black Dawn and burned the people of the Febius family.
The fact that she earned the nickname of the fire witch.
Esmeralda didn’t make a contract with Quasimodo to take care of him.
rather the opposite.
Quasimodo used Esmeralda as his host and served her.
It was from the beginning.
A monster born in response to the despair of a mighty elemental sage in a place dotted with death, fire, hatred and anger.
Something terribly twisted that wasn’t an elemental or even a normal soul.
He’s no longer like a vengeful spirit.
It was he who should be called a cryptid.
At my words, Quasimodo laughed.
[Did you find out?]
The tone was not at all surprised to have been caught.
On the contrary, the response is that it is difficult to endure because this situation itself is enjoyable.
The guy was laughing at me.
[It’s too late to find out anyway.]
The slurred tone of speech gradually changed into a clearer one.
It was my mistake.
Rather, Esmeralda was playing the role of a suppressor that suppressed Quasimodo’s rampage.
But now that I’ve injected him with an anesthetic, Quasimodo is more free than ever.
[The play is over now.]
Quasimodo’s size began to gradually inflate like a balloon.
It grew in size, the flames intensified, and the water vapor that scattered around it was completely washed away.
The heat made my skin tingle.
The feeling that the skin is ripening even though the body is protected with magical power.
The sweat running down your forehead evaporates and disappears.
I hugged Esmeralda and hurriedly left the seat.
[Even if you run away, it’s useless.]
Quasimodo’s voice came from behind me.
Quasimodo, who regained his original size, chased after me with terrifying speed.
The intense murderous intent and the warm heat felt behind his back.
I immediately connected the rope to the ceiling with the wire launcher in my left hand and jumped over the pile of luggage. Immediately after that, the feet were engulfed in flames.
‘What do we do?’
I’ve used almost all the means I had to use so far.
That’s how I found out that the true identity of the First Order was Quasimodo, but that’s all.
In the end, this is it.
Then, should I leave Esmeralda here and run away alone?
‘Leave it… … .’
I looked down at Esmeralda, her eyes half closed.
Her dark hair was dyed pink in places.
Light purple eyes with no red light were looking up this way.
Could it be because Esmeralda’s personality has sunk?
Selina’s personality has awakened.
I couldn’t answer that voice easily.
Perhaps it was closer to not knowing how to treat the personality of ‘Selina’ here now.
Selina was the half created by Esmeralda taking a part of her own soul.
If Esmeralda is real, Selina is fake.
Then Selina smiled at me.
It was a weak smile like a falling petal.
“are you okay.”
“… … .”
“I’m fine, so leave it. Teachers don’t have to do this.”
At that, I stopped running away.
I had to stop even though the monster was chasing me from behind.
“But so far, I’ve had enough fun.”
Selina’s helpless smile was overlapped with Esmeralda’s cry of pain.
-sorry. Everyone, I’m so sorry.
I remembered her past that I saw a while ago.
It was as dazzlingly bright as the summer sun.
It was a place that warmed me to the depths of my heart like a meadow in spring.
What if it had still been there?
I’ve been imagining
The people there still remain, and neither sorrow nor suffering would have existed.
Esmeralda must have lived happily there.
Maybe, someday, if I settled down, I might have gone to that village.
We may not have met like this.
‘It’s all meaningless assumptions.’
Roteng is no more.
Because it was burned and trampled on by others.
Even so, Esmeralda dreams.
The happiness of the day, and the despair of the day to turn around.
While grieving, suffering, and shedding tears.
Even though he cries out and apologizes, he cannot throw away the hell of the day in his heart.
The true monster is not Quasimodo.
Her nightmares, bound by the past, were the very heart that entangled her.
Laughter flowed out of desperation.
It was also a self-deprecating laugh toward me in the future, who would commit irrational actions.
“Dreams must wake up. And it’s a nightmare too.”
“Mr. Rudger? what is that?”
“When you wake up, it will all be over.”
I put a simple magic spell on the back of Selina’s neck and put her to sleep.
Normally, she wouldn’t even budge, but now she couldn’t even resist.
Seeing Selina fall asleep, I set her on the floor.
A shadow rose and took Selina to safety.
I looked back.
The greedy fire giant was slowly approaching us.
He laughed at me for not running away.
[why. Can’t you run away anymore?]
“Your mind has changed.”
I roughly loosened the tie that was tight around my neck.
Now I’m tired of calculating and noticing.
After seeing that, I couldn’t just go.
“Anyway, if you’ve come this far, you should see the end.”
Compassion and sympathy are swords that cut oneself.
How could I not know that, having lived in the underworld?
I feel it more than anyone else.
‘But so what?’
If kindness towards someone is a knife that cuts me.
Don’t cut anything.
It’s a body full of scars anyway.
What would change if one wound was added to this?
“Come on. Ugly guy.”
I poured the rest of the drug into my mouth.
“I’ll show you what real magic is.”