Yeah……. he wondered why it didn’t come up.
<Sudden quest! Visit Cahaya’s house! Successfully completing the quest will increase Cahaya’s favorability!>
He couldn’t believe he was playing a dating simulation game. Seowoon ignored the messenger’s already familiar nonsense. Instead, he quickly drank the alcohol in his cup and got up from his seat. The blood on Cahaya’s clothes was already bothering him.
Cahaya was chasing him with his eyes. He looks like a painting just sitting there, and his abilities are so powerful that everyone covets him. Seowoon wished he wasn’t among them.
“Come on, let’s go home.”
Having drunk faster than usual, Seowoon steadied himself by putting strength into his legs. They had to clean up what they had eaten, after all…
Cahaya packed the remaining alcohol in a convenience store bag. Seowoon wanted to help put it away, but Cahaya turned his shoulder toward the entrance.
“Hey, didn’t I tell you? Handle it gently.”
“You said it was an elephant.”
Seowoon suddenly pressed his palms together. It was as if he was holding a small creature in his hands.
“It’s just the name; it’s actually quite small, like this.”
“That’s really what you reawakened with?”
Cahaya pointed to the invisible creature on the palm of his hand.
“Well, yeah. Something like that.”
He couldn’t be completely honest due to the messenger’s warning.
“Didn’t you tell me it was better than a searcher?”
“Yeah, you’re good at finding mutants with your animal-like senses.”
“You trust me?”
“Yeah, I trust you.”
Seowoon, I’ll trust you… Cahaya said, elongating his words once again.
Cahaya put on a mask before going outside. Seowoon looked around and found a worker’s hat that read ‘Tacheon Pig House’ on it. He shook it to clear out anything inside and pressed it firmly onto his head.
Since the elevator was out of order, the two of them walked down the stairs. It didn’t take long to get out of the lobby since it was only on the second floor. The still-cool night breeze felt like it was fanning their flushed cheeks.
It was a little past 9 o’clock, and the streets were bustling with drunken people. Even with the masks on, some people seemed to recognize Cahaya. Stares and hushed whispers followed them without fail.
“Oh, right. Did the third installment of that movie come out?”
The sequel to that movie came out in their senior high school year while they were in the Naraka.
“I already saw it.”
“Cahaya, that’s f*cking cheesy. Who did you watch it with this time?”
He quickly lowered his face and answered near Seowoon’s ear.
That made Seowoon’s ear itch.
He whispered again, and Seowoon pushed Cahaya’s face away and chuckled. Cahaya, too, was inexplicably amused, laughing along.
“What made you watch it alone?”
Seowoon spun around at the sound of a voice right behind him. Cahaya also stopped abruptly, causing the soju bottle inside a plastic bag to rub against him. Two women who seemed a bit tipsy started elbowing each other, gesturing who should speak first. Cahaya was about to turn and walk away when the woman with the short hair closed the distance even further.
“Cah… Haya, right? Thank you always!”
The faces of the perennials were well known, even if it was only because of the videos of killing mutants. Just being a perennial was enough to drew significant attention, but if you were also good-looking, you’d get the same attention as a celebrity. Perhaps even more than that.
Especially the perennials who had abilities, wealth, looks, the whole package—they garnered attention wherever they went. It was for this reason that they had created a restaurant district in the guild headquarters that only they could comfortably use.
Cahaya replied with a smile hidden behind his mask and attempted to leave again, but the woman blocked his path and stood in front of him. Seowoon lightly scratched his eyebrow with his index finger. Seeing these people, who were clearly more intoxicated than him, gradually made his mind clearer.
“Are you heading for round two, by any chance?”
“We’re going home.”
Seowoon answered in Cahaya’s place, and the woman looked up at him, looking surprised.
At that, the woman merely smirked at her friend behind her. At that moment, her approaching friend stood in front of Seowoon.
“Home? I didn’t hear any mutant stories today…”
Seowoon gave a vague answer to the girl who was signaling for them to join them for a drink.
Even back when they weren’t perennials, there were quite a few people who approached them. Every time, Seowoon would look at Cahaya, wondering how to handle it, and this time was no different.
‘Do you want to have some fun? Then let’s have some fun.’
In response to such a similar reaction, Cahaya silently clicked his tongue.
What does he take me for?
Sometimes, based on Seowoon’s actions, made Cahaya feel like he’s a womanizer.
“You might not remember, but when there was a mutant incident at our school before, you helped. You saved me and my friend’s lives. I want to repay you somehow… What do you say?”
“Do you know how we got here?”
Cahaya looked at the woman as if she were close to his heart.
“What? Oh… you need something like Wu ore? Is that it?”
“Do you have it?”
Cahaya bent his index finger to pull down his mask.
“If you give it, we’ll join you.”
Seowoon almost failed to notice that Cahaya had turned down the woman with a smile on his face. It was highly unlikely that regular people would have a Wu ore. Seowoon apologized before things got too complicated. The other party’s response indicated they had no intention of forcibly detaining them, so there was no need to feel sorry. After thanking her for her support, Seowoon walked away with Cahaya.
“They never actually supported you, so what’s there to be thankful for?”
“Just an empty greeting.”
They had unconsciously ended up on the street because they had grown accustomed to Narakga, where only perennials lived. It had only been a few months, but the way they used to live here has already faded. Before, they frequently took photos with people who asked, so they didn’t use public transportation much.
“Did you think I was going to play with those people from earlier?”
Cahaya’s question was unexpected, Seowoon couldn’t immediately say yes or no. While he was trying to think of something to say, his phone rang at the perfect moment. Seowoon deliberately showed the screen to Cahaya.
“It’s an unknown number.”
“Don’t answer it.”
The call soon ended, and a message arrived.
[This is why I hate you Tacheon bastards].
Although it was an unsaved number, someone briefly crossed Seowoon’s mind.
[I’m Jo Kyungmin.]
It turned out to be the expected person.
“Oh… this is bad.”
Cahaya looked at the message that Seowoon showed him.
“It’s such a trivial thing.”
[Sorry, the guild members were too hungry, so I fed them first. It’s late today, so I’ll get back at you.]
Seowoon sent a polite message.
[Deputy Guild Leader, how about feeding them etiquette before food?]
Cahaya also saw the message that came back aggressively. “What a nerd.” Cahaya sneered. Seowoon just said “He must be really annoyed,” and put his phone in his back pocket.
“Because of inferiority complex.”
His hand, returning from his back pocket, twitched slightly.
“He can’t dig his own Wu ore. He’s just like a weak dog barking, so just ignore him.”
“Whatever, he’s a healer.”
“Why don’t I just be a healer?”
“Can you do that as you please? It’s not a good fit for you anyway.”
“You fit better than I do.”
“What are you saying? I don’t fit as a healer, being a swordsman is just right for me. Oh, I had a name for my Cosmos, but you took it. Give me my ability back.”
Seowoon, with a decent amount of alcohol in his system, desperately pleaded into the empty air.
“What did you name it?”
“That’s a secret.”
Seowoon elongated his words just like Cahaya did.
“What’s so obvious?”
“Violet, purple, or lavender. I’ll bet 1 billion on a word that fits in those categories.”
Cahaya said without even taking a breath.
“No. Is my creativity that rotten?”
Seowoon’s voice rose as he rebutted, and his violet eyes shook wildly.
“Huh? There’s an earthquake.”
An earthquake? Seowoon looked down at his feet.
“From your violet pupils.”
Cahaya chuckled and teased, “I’m right, aren’t I?”
<Ah, I didn’t realize it then. I didn’t realize our good times would end. If I had known….>
Seowoon barely stopped himself from swearing aloud. The messenger’s narration was following the flow of a story that made Seowoon shudder. It was like those movies or novels that show you a good time and then hint at the impending tragedy.
Seowoon clenched his fist so tightly that his nails dug into his palm.
Is the messenger trying to tell me something ominous about the future?
So far, the Messenger had only provided information necessary for his survival, not just for dealing with mutants. Some of it was almost prophetic, so Seowoon waited anxiously for the messenger to reveal the future.
<I was just joking because the atmosphere was nice, but I didn’t expect you to take it so seriously. I’m sorry, so I’ll give you a gift instead.>
It was a joke?
If Seowoon could grab the messenger by the throat, he would have done so a hundred times already. Still, the messenger had saved his life a few times, so he should be generous. Still, the messenger had saved his life a few times, so he should be generous. But even if he were to be generous, he couldn’t even cut the messenger down.
<Now, from now on, Seowoon’s Cosmos. I hereby name it! Let it be known as ‘Violet Rain’!?>
Seowoon stopped dead in his tracks.
Cahaya reacted quickly.
“Cahaya, lend me your sword, quickly.”
Borrowing someone else’s weapon was almost taboo among perennials, but, Cahaya didn’t attach any special meaning to his weapon. As expected, without a word, he handed over the sword hilt as Seowoon had anticipated.
Today, in this place, Seowoon might be able to find the origin of the Perennial Species he had felt when he awakened. Seowoon’s hand gripped tightly.
Seowoon grabbed the hilt and swiftly drew the sword with a determined motion.
<Let the cries ring from my sword, Violet Rain!>
<It requires shouting at a volume of over 80 decibels.>
Seowoon sheathed the sword with another swoosh.
“Hey, did you bless my sword?”
Cahaya laughed in disbelief, but he seemed to think it was just Seowoon’s quirks.
“……No, I compared it to Matahari.”
The sword’s name doesn’t have violet in it, so could he really shout using it? It seemed like the messenger was trying to make a fool of him anyway.
Anyway, he have plenty of time. He could test it secretly with Matahari when he got home.
“Do you want to clean up inside?”
Cahaya pointed to Seowoon’s high-rise apartment.
“You get spoiled when you have a girlfriend, don’t you?”
“I’ve never been to a girlfriend’s house.”
Cahaya narrowed his eyes.
“I really can’t remember.”
“How can you have such a selective brain?”
“It just keep what’s necessary.”
“What the f*ck. But when I made you feel bad, you considered it a necessary memory?”
“That’s pretty damn vivid.”
Laughing, Cahaya pressed the elevator’s up button.
Seowoon occasionally thought it was fortunate that he was a man. The only reason he could be friends with Cahaya was because he wasn’t of the opposite s*x. If he had been a woman, he might have flirted with Cahaya and asked him out. In that case, he might have ended up like Cahaya’s past girlfriends, with no memories left of their time together.
Seowoon looked at Cahaya’s reflection in the elevator door. Cahaya was also staring at him.
“Why did you stay away from me?”
Seowoon wasn’t expecting such a direct question. It was too late to avoid eye contact.