Soulmancer – Chapter 36: Unconventional III

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Izel gripped his seat handle tightly, his sense of direction and balance thrown into disarray.

“What’s happening? Did the nucleomagical reactor explode?” Blake questioned, tendrils of mana intertwining with the arid scent and smoke in the air.

However, Izel dismissed the idea, shaking his head in disbelief. With a subtle movement of his fingers, the mana within his ‘kit’ retreated into his cloak. Simultaneously, the blind teen pondered deeply. It couldn’t be a reactor explosion; the entire train wouldn’t convulse from the destruction of one nucleomagical reactor.


In the grip of his anxious imagination, a thumping sound reverberated, weaving its way into his [Sound Reading]. The low, 30-40 Hz frequencies hinted at something ominous stirring amid the chaotic climate. Simultaneously, a deafening noise erupted from the ‘set’ in front.



As the sound of shattering and people screaming reached Izel’s ears, realization struck him.

“It’s an attack,” Izel stated, exhaling deeply, confirming his premonitions. There was no respite for him.

“An attack on this train?” Blake questioned, releasing a heavy sigh as a droplet of water brushed the glass window.

“Most of the guests on the Magic Train are wealthy merchants, normal folks, and Hunters. It must be the Acolytes or Hidden Hunters targeting them,” Izel explained, vigilant.

On this luxurious train, civilians, hunters, children, and affluent merchants mingled, making it a prime target for those seeking money and valuables. The idea of Acolytes or Hidden Hunters raiding a train seemed unusually audacious. Izel couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Why target a train?’ As he assessed the attackers based on their mana and bodily responses, he realized these were no ordinary Acolytes or hidden hunters. The earlier explosion that shook the train hinted at extraordinary power. Tension gripped Izel’s mind as he pieced together the fragments of what he could fathom.


With [Mana Inspection] activated alongside his [Sound Reading], a familiar energy slowly entered his range. ‘Is it demonic energy?’ There appeared to be a demon hunter among the raiders, making robbing the high-speed nucleomagical-powered train and escaping amidst this chaotic climate easier. Only two organizations possessing such demon hunters could produce this level of firepower and sinister energy, disrupting the atmosphere and attacking a train with civilians and regular hunters. This was the First District, crowded with acolytes and hidden hunters, at least from what Izel had observed.

“Mr. Blake, I think we should hide for now,” Izel suggested.

With a cigarette dangling at the side of his lips, Blake nodded and began packing his luggage.

“Why are you trying to pack your bag in this situation?” Izel asked with curiosity.

“Well… Something important is inside,” Blake responded briefly. His chest was upright as though ready for battle any second.

‘Really?’ Izel nodded. ‘Whatever, man.’ He wasn’t in a position to worry about anyone else. He got up, but Blake took the lead.

“I’ll go in first, just in case,” Blake said, visible faint tendrils of mana dancing around him as if ready to release his fighting spirit.


Izel, a blind teen in his 19s who had chosen unconventional means of transportation, and Blake, an ex-hunter in his mid-20s and a member of TFO, prepared for potential conflict. Blake took out a small steel sword in his right hand. The two of them opened the door to the room, and as Izel expanded his [Sound Reading] and [Mana Inspection] to navigate the surroundings slowly, Blake observed the corridor of the 4th set. It was empty. Izel assumed the passengers were now waiting quietly in the safe room while the hunters aboard the train fought the intruders, judging by the multiple sounds of metal clashing that he could decipher.


Amid the tense atmosphere, the blind teen, despite not being the sharpest, couldn’t shake the feeling that gathering all the passengers in one place was a mistake. Each ‘set’ and ‘room’ appeared shielded by subtle layers of magic, revealed through intermittent blanks in his somewhat stable, ripple-like [Mana Inspection]. Uncertainty surrounded the intruders, whether acolytes or attackers, who seemed far from ordinary. In situations like these, clustering around a single point was akin to waiting to be captured. It would be wiser to disperse into different ‘sets’ and ‘rooms’ as much as possible.

“Hmm,” Izel mused, “Even so, residents in sets 6, 7, 9, and 10 are still present.” He completed his thought as panicked bodily responses filled his [Sound Reading], which had spiked from 30% accuracy to 35% due to the simultaneous utilization of somewhat stable, ripple-like [Mana Inspection]. Taking a deep breath, Izel considered that at least someone shared his perspective, though their panic was evident as they simply locked the door.

Regardless, it seemed the acolytes or intruders might disperse and extort money from the guests. However, their focus might be on the occupants of the first and second ‘sets,’ epitomizing luxury reserved for wealthy civilians and rich merchants. Izel acknowledged the strict protection, but in short, they were the golden eggs sought by those craving comfort amidst the terrifying and relentless climate.

A faint smile played on Izel’s lips as he exhaled deeply. ‘I’m happy if that’s the case,’ he thought. Drawing attention to the first and second ‘sets’ would serve both him and Mr. Blake well. If the onboard Hunters faltered against the attackers, the unconventional means of transportation lacked the ‘Moderator’ protection but could still send a rescue signal for a dire emergency. The potential loss of thousands of civilian lives might trigger reinforcements. Izel understood that his task was to hold on until help arrived.



In the stagnant silence of time, a man, draped in a grey pallor and adorned with a crow mask, shattered the hallway window. Droplets cascaded from his drenched form, swirling around. Detecting the duo’s presence, he pivoted, bloodlust flickering in his masked gaze. Izel sensed the imminent surge of violence, while Blake, exhaling cigarette smoke, mused on the crow-masked man’s potential need for eye medication.



The crow-masked figure, soaked and seething with hatred, presented a contrast to the acolyte Izel faced in the alley hours earlier. Blake, grappling with thoughts, speculated if this rain-soaked individual waiting for the train had succumbed to malevolence. His musings ceased as the crow-masked man unleashed a torrent of rage upon the duo.


“What…” Izel was puzzled.

Simultaneously, Blake’s pent-up mana and fighting spirit erupted, materializing as he stood resolute with bloodlust.


Blake’s sword cleaved through the air, leaving a distinct trail. The etched slash transformed into a potent surge of mana, a manifestation of multiple slashes.


‘Crazy!’ Izel remarked briefly. Initially perceiving a single slash, single ripple, and single frequency, he soon realized that the air resonated with multiple curved slashes as subsequent ripples and frequencies jammed his ears. These strange potent attacks pierced the intruder’s hastily deployed flimsy [Shield] and lanced his body. Blood splatters.

“Kgh!” The Acolyte, charging toward them, collapsed, blood splattering across the floor. Izel turned to Blake with a questioning gaze.

“Did you kill him?” Izel asked.

“No, I avoided vital spots. He’s incapacitated,” Blake replied, exhaling smoke and cautiously approaching the fallen intruder, sword at the ready.

“Wait, Blake. It’s risky,” Izel warned, sensing strange ripples in his [Sound Reading] from the acolyte.

“I’ll interrogate him lightly to uncover their motive for attacking the train,” Blake insisted, pushing the fallen intruder with his foot.

“Don’t…” Izel attempted to say more, but Blake dismissed him, cigarette dangling from his lips. Raindrops fell through broken glass as lightning flashed eerily. He nudged the fallen intruder towards the door with his feet.

“Speak. Why did you raid this train?” Blake initiated his investigation as a TFO member.

“Hehehe…” The fallen man, wearing a shattered crow mask, blood oozing from his lips chuckled.

“Laughing in a situation like this?” Blake clicked his tongue, annoyance creasing his forehead. He took a drag from his cigarette, exhaling tendrils of smoke in circles.

“Everyone, everyone, must die!” The fallen acolyte coughed blood, jeering. “DIE… DIE!” Cold madness echoed in his stuttering voice, sending shivers down Izel’s skin. Droplets fell from his broken mask and soaked clothes. “Hahahahahahah! DIE!” The acolyte convulsed, blood streaming from his nose and slashing wounds.

Simultaneously, the water-soaked trench coat, tightly wrapped around him, unraveled, unveiling what hid within.


The metallic beep reverberates through the air, emanating from a sleek, compact device adorned with pulsating LED lights and intricate circuitry. Its matte black casing casts an eerie glow—a harbinger of danger.

It was a huge nucleomagical bomb.


Time ticks relentlessly and…


“What the fuck—?” Blake’s exclamation is cut short as his eyes widen as he spots the looming nucleomagical bomb. In a swift response, he activates a magic barrier, while a fallen acolyte, with a bloodied eerie face, smiles as he presses the console on his wrist. “Hehehe! Acolyte Ka-boom!”


A huge pinkish-black explosion swept the ‘set’ No. 5 and…

[Cloud Boots had been detected.]

[Special Condition had been met.]

[Agility had solely been added to Movement Speed.]


“Fuck!” Izel couldn’t fake ignorance even if he wanted to. Witnessing the impending disaster, he swiftly deploys his [Cloud Boots]. However, the enormous nucleomagical bomb covers the ground faster than the [Cloud Boots] allow. With limited options, Izel summons a thin-reinforced mana shield, a significant improvement from the flimsy one he used against Avalanche and Gatekeeper. He twists his body to safeguard his internal organs from the impending shock.

“KGH!” Yet, despite his efforts, the explosion’s recoil proves overwhelming. Izel feels his mind drifting away as he is propelled far back.


Numbing, shuddering arms, and excruciating pain surge through his body—a physical torment reminiscent of the Gatekeeper hellflame. “Ugh!” Izel grunts upon landing on the next glass door, his consciousness dimming.

* * *

Just before the magical train dashed into the underground tunnel amidst the chaotic downpour, a blinding flash of neon light erupted as the nucleomagical bomb detonated. The force of the explosion sent shockwaves rippling through the long corridor, hurling an individual backward, who slammed into a glass-steel door. The fate of the other individuals remained shrouded in uncertainty. The deafening explosion shattered the reinforced window, showering the corridor with glass shards. The once-sleek train hallway crumpled like a metallic accordion, twisted grotesquely by the blast’s force. Grey smoke billowed from the wreckage.

In the desolate corridor, the biting cold wind stirred the grey smoke, mingling with the flickering overhead neon fluorescents. Amidst the wreckage lay Izel. As the dust from the explosion began to settle, he let out a deep breath, his head throbbing like he’d indulged in a night of excess. Despite the discomfort, he rose, brushing off the debris that clung to his wears. Thankfully, amidst the destruction, there were

[The Skill: Hemostasis is activated.]

Izel’s body stitched his few external injuries, burst-open wounds using blood cells and sizzling heat. Welling up and strewn about, it healed all internally burst organs. He let out a slight groan.

[The Skill: Hemostasis is deactivated.]

numerous minor injuries caused by shattered shards that pierced through his thin-reinforced mana barrier as he slipped into unconsciousness. With Hemostasis activated, the wounds swiftly healed. ‘Facing death multiple times and undergoing rigorous training has proven useful,’ Izel briefly contemplated. As he clapped his hands, semi-large ripples resonated amidst the faint waves from the tracks and distant rumbling thunder outside, unveiling the tumultuous hallway before him. The ‘sets’ and hallway walls, previously intact, lay obliterated. Cold winds ushered raindrops through the exposed cracks, seemingly from the wind carried by the magical train’s fast motion, slicing at his face like knives.

“… I thought he was just an ordinary Acolyte,” Izel thought aloud, sneezing as the clearing smoke tingled his nostrils. His mind raced as he processed the scene he had just encountered. Detonating a nucleomagical bomb wrapped around his body while being suppressed by a trench coat with in-built barriers, which was revealed when Blake slashed through—this was by no means the behavior of a normal acolyte. He seemed more like a fanatic, with a mindset of dying together with the enemy.

‘Hidden Hunters?’ Izel shook his head, dismissing those thoughts. ‘No, they’re busy hunting and cutting their tails in the labyrinths now.’ With that out of the picture, he concluded, clenching his fist. These guys are worse than acolytes. Yet, they seemed to wear the same masks.

As he wiped his face with his hands in frustration, Izel sighed, feeling his face exposed, both his bamboo hat and stylish bandana. “Tch!” Annoyance overtook him, even with [Cloud boots] and his thin-reinforced mana shield—a significant improvement he trained for before using the ‘Runic stone’—it wasn’t enough to protect him from the blast. ‘No!’ He contradicted his thoughts, he shouldn’t think like that.

After all, his reflexes were good enough that he hastily activated his [Cloud Boots] to preserve his ‘own’ safety, and when that proved futile, he twisted himself to preserve his internal organs, while also summoning the thin-reinforced mana shield to safeguard his life. So he shouldn’t beat himself up over such things. At least he should be thankful his training did pay off. ‘I guess, I was just overthinking things,’ he considered, letting out a deep breath to calm his mind.

Though he did, his once tense body briefly became vulnerable as he felt the cold wet wind blowing straight into his face from the open crack. ‘Both are expensive, but it’s a pity,’ Izel briefly thought. Both cost at least 5 Lupin each, yet only shattered parts and torn pieces lay scattered elsewhere.

He removed the torn bandana from his back, recognizing its uselessness now that it was nothing but shreds. Only Izel’s fairly brown-skinned face, dull-sharp eyes with scarred golden pupils, and long noodles-like white-sliver hair tied in a ponytail braved the brutal weather. His body flinched as the wind brushed against his skin. “So cold,” he mused briefly, frost escaping his lips.


‘By the way, where is Mr. Blake?’ Izel shook his head amid the clearing cloud of dust. A man selected as a member of the Freelance organization, he was nowhere to be sensed. Not even his bodily responses, heartbeat, or pulsating lungs. Nothing…


It dawned on him then, amidst the explosion, that the ex-hunter hadn’t been able to react in time and was blown away by the eruption. “Ah!” Biting his lips, he tried to inwardly picture Mr. Blake’s pathetic end. He couldn’t save him, nor could he save himself. Alongside the blown-away wall, Mr. Blake was gone without a trace, not even his steel sword or the damned cigarette remained. ‘I wasn’t strong enough to protect others.’ It was a harsh conclusion, but palpable. If it weren’t for the training and life-and-death experiences endured in the Fortress, Izel would have died a dog’s death. Amid his regrets and helplessness, a flashback of the previous raid, where he fainted—yet different—lingered in his mind.

Apparently lifeless Mr Blake’s hollow, smiling face spoke accusingly, “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE ME? WHY?!”




Malicious gaze alongside dense and intense exclamations that once filled his mind flashed through his soul.



The sudden halt of the similar, yet different flashback was jarring as he snapped back to reality, his breath labored, and his heart pounding in his chest.


Izel trembled violently, but he managed to steady his breathing. “I know, I don’t need to overthink this,” he muttered shakily, sweat trickling down his cheek even in the chill of the climate. As flicking neon fluorescent above flashed eerily, illuminating his struggle, he gripped his head tightly. Realizing that he could bear the weight, Izel decided he could endure a little longer.


Leaning his head out slightly, Izel expanded his [Sound Reading] alongside his [Mana Inspection] outside. As the somewhat stable, ripple-like mana spanned out, he took in the scene with a contemplative silence.

Although his [Efficacy Equilibrium] stage of [Mana Inspection] wasn’t perfect yet, it showed improvement compared to previous attempts. Its range and overall effects opened even more to Izel. The ripples of mana gradually revealed and sprayed rapidly through the tunnel. Yes, as the pamphlet noted earlier, the train was supposed to pass through an underground railway track. It was nothing but a dark enclosed underground track, and the swift motion of the train could be sensed, along with the ripples and the low, screeching frequencies of the flinching tracks. Moist air brushed across his nostrils, indicating the train had just entered the underground railway tracks, limiting his observations.


Once again, the ripple-like mana aiding in amplifying his [Sound Reading] dissipated. Unlike previous attempts, the power within his partially stabilized, straightened-out mana didn’t abruptly cut off as it reached its limit. Instead, it was interrupted by the disorientation caused by the high-speed magical train. ‘…I guess he died,’ Izel briefly concluded. If Mr. Blake had known in advance and hadn’t sealed off his fighting spirit and mana, he could have prepared for it, but unexpected situations always happen. ‘What an unfortunate man,’ Izel mused briefly. Unbeknownst to the blind teen, Mr. Blake had indeed deployed a barrier just before the unexpected explosion. However, he had never anticipated the overwhelming power of the attack, which shattered the barrier and… In the end, he is nothing but a pitiful man, dying on the day he joined the Freelance organization.

With his palms pressed together, Izel silently prayed for Mr. Blake’s well-being, hoping he’d find nirvana with plentiful cigarettes. But there was no time for relaxation; these weren’t ordinary acolytes, and the risk had skyrocketed. If they unleashed nucleomagical bombs, even this sturdy high-speed, nucleomagical-powered train, protected by defensive magic, might derail. ‘Maybe derailing the train is their goal,’ Izel mused briefly before making a decision and heading back to his room, to the fourth “set.”



At that moment, the hallway door swung open, revealing the conductor sporting a cap and a nervous expression.

“What’s going on? Are you alright? Gee, what a mess…”

The Conductor felt a twinge of confusion as he spotted him standing alone in the ruined hallway beside the blown-off wall, and he stuttered. Izel appeared different, lacking his usual bamboo hat and stylish bandana that typically obscured his face.

Hating being exposed but managed to regain his composure, Izel answered calmly, “An acolyte attacked. He was armed with a dangerous nucleomagical bomb, and I was almost swept away by the explosion.”

“I see,” the Conductor exclaimed, trying his best to avoid the dashing motion of the train outside, which could disorient, blur, and upset one’s sense of vision, balance, and direction.

“They seem to be mainly targeting sets No. 1 and No. 2, so I think it would be better for us to step back,” Izel explained, turning the range of his [Sound Reading] to the conductor and himself. He directed his sense of direction purely close to him and around himself to prevent any issues from the fast motion of the train.

“While the Hunters aboard fight the brawls between the intruders, most passengers have been evacuated to the exclusive ‘set’ of the train.”

“That’s good,” Izel let out a deep breath of relief. However, he still thought that compacting the passengers in a single space was a bad idea. Perhaps he was overthinking things. He let out another deep breath, trying to calm his nerves.


Approaching the conductor with a relieved face, as soon as the distance was narrowed enough, Izel stretched out his arm, enhancing it with both [Strength] and [Constitution] stats, grabbing the conductor by the collar.


Puzzled by the situation, the cap-wearing conductor, or at least that’s how he appeared, questioned, “Why, why… do… you do that?”

Izel’s expression turned cold. “Did you really think such fake acting would work in front of me?”

“Yes? Yes?” Still feigning confusion, the conductor glanced at Izel, withholding any resistance for now, pondering how a blind teen could possess such strength.

Izel couldn’t shake the nagging suspicion in his gut, even though it was merely speculation. If anyone else with sight had been present, their doubts would have vanished instantly. But for Izel, who was blind, detecting subtle disturbances in bodily responses was second nature, like double ripples from the latter; one faint, as though blocked by something—perhaps a face mask—and the other, normal ripples. Moreover, the man emitted unsettling bodily responses, with tendrils of bloodlust swirling around him. With this ominous premonition, Izel began his interrogation. So, his lips opened again—.

“I sensed something was amiss. How could a magic train, powered by five nucleomagical cores, and each ‘set’ and ‘compartment’ protected by strong defensive magic, be infiltrated so easily?” Of course, according to Izel’s [Sound Reading] observation, there could be more cores since even if one of the cores were damaged, the magical train only flinched, but its speed didn’t decrease one bit. Izel’s grip tightened on the conductor’s collar, emphasizing his point. “And why attack before reaching the high-speed underground tunnel?”

“That…” The conductor faltered, attempting to speak, but Izel cut him off.

“It’s virtually impossible without inside help to disable the defensive mechanisms,” Izel concluded. Though not as astute as Jenna, who relied on logic to reach her conclusions, it was the only conclusion he could come to with all that he observed so far. Of course, even though unconventional transportation wasn’t on the radar of the ‘Moderator’, it was packed with defensive mechanisms that not just anyone could penetrate when it started moving.


At that moment, the conductor’s expression changed, sneering. He mustered his strength, veins bulging on his arm as he grabbed Izel’s arm. Simultaneously, his other hand moved, fingers curling up…


Behind the blind teen—like the freezing of air molecules—appeared a golden spear, brimming with malice and mana. It illuminated the distorted hallway with its power, looming toward Izel’s blind spot at the flick of the conductor’s finger.



Of course, if he had his [Flawlation] activated and his special blindfold on, he would basically have no blind spot. However, that wasn’t the case. Yet, for some reason—whether it was because he had encountered death seven times, his abnormal sense of danger, the experience he obtained in the Fortress, or instinct—whichever the case, Izel knew the man in his grasp would attack, and he prepared for it by expanding his [Sound Reading] range.


“Stay still, blind kid,” the Conductor. Hell, acolyte jeered as the attack loomed, aiming to strike them both. However…


“No!” Izel exclaimed with a swift shift, as his [Sound Reading] detected the approaching attack’s frequency, ripples, and proximity through echolocation. In an instant, he analyzed the impending collision. With a [Strength] stat of 53 and a [Constitution] stat of 46, though he didn’t know about the acolyte’s stats, it was enough to lift his somewhat sturdy body toward the impending attack. “You stay still,” he retorted, his tone icy.



The attack tore through the acolyte’s body in a gruesome, blood-splattering way as an abyssal hole opened in his chest.

“Ugh,” he coughed, spitting out a mouthful of clotted blood, groaning in agony as blood dripped from the fresh wound.

“You act fast. That means you’re no ordinary acolyte. Where do you guys come from?” Izel persisted, his brow furrowing with annoyance.

The acolyte remained silent, even as death loomed.

“Are you going to keep your mouth shut? Well, that’s good too,” Izel muttered, frustration evident. Despite his soft heart and past traumas, he knew he wasn’t adept at torture, at least not now. But if his hunch was right, something might have happened to the fourth ‘set’ that this guy had passed over.

“Let go of my hand!” Izel demanded as the acolyte clung to his arm, blood still gushing from the wound. His intestines spilled out in a grotesque cascade, writhing as if alive, each movement bringing fresh agony. The screams of torn flesh mingled with his own horrified groans. “ARGHHHHH! Huff…Huff!”


Trying to free his arm from the guy’s collar proved futile; the bastard clung on like a spiderweb. With a flick and a twist, Izel forced him to release his grip.


The man fell, his body creating a sickening splash in his own blood. Izel crouched, observing that the man was still breathing, his heart still beating. Unfazed, he pressed on with his investigation. “How many comrades do you have on the train?”


“Are you not going to tell me? Then I’ll have to make you talk,” Izel said to the bleeding conductor who had gone aloof.


At that moment, Izel’s head snapped towards the sudden sound picked up by his [Sound Reading] from ‘set’ No. 4. The bulkhead had been blown away, and a cold gust of wind carrying rain droplets rushed in. Though the sound of the train’s motion-filled the air, Izel’s ears remained alert, catching the sound distinctly. It was a familiar one—a metallic object flying through the air at the speed of sound. He recognized the distinct sound of reloading—recoil and the changing of clips and magazines.


Magical bullets tore through the air, shattering the glass door entry to Izel’s current ‘set,’ where the blind teen found himself. Reacting swiftly, Izel clapped his hands, utilizing echolocation to detect the range, sending out spreading ripples. Without hesitation, he dragged the fallen and bloodied conductor, using him as a shield. Since his black cloak’s flexible polyethylene fiber internal wear defensive barrier had been broken from the fight against the Gatekeeper, if just one magical bullet plunged him, it would be a futile end.


Shortly afterward, a barrage of magical bullets tore through the glass door, whizzing past his head.


The conductor Izel had used as a shield now resembled a beehive, steaming with condensed mana and bearing the marks of friction from some metallic source as the bullets pierced through. ‘Regardless, I survived,’ he thought fleetingly. Of course, it was a crude act, one that anyone would have resorted to in his situation. As debris scattered and dust billowed, Izel extended his [Sound Reading] beyond the shattered door, but the relentless dance of bullets showed no sign of abating.

‘Is it a magical submachine gun? They’re really well-prepared,’ Izel thought, his dull-sharp eyes narrowing. If that was indeed the case, he’d have to deal with this threat as well.


“Is he dead?” one of them asked.

“Damn, 50 rounds should have blown him to smithereens, right?”

“You bet.”

They thought that was enough, so they stopped shooting.

Izel clicked his tongue under his breath as his [Sound Reading] caught up to their chattering. They shot without mercy, even with their comrade present, not letting him send any signals. That meant if they didn’t hear from him after a certain time, they’d open fire. ‘The suicidal acolyte and now this, it’s obvious these people are crazy,’ he briefly thought. Why did this happen when he got on this train? He sighed and stood up.

After wiping the dirt and dust from his body, he faced the door, the approaching quick yet silent footstep catching his attention.



Soon after, the shattered glass door was smashed by a kick. A shockwave erupted with shards of glass, and three tall men in crow masks wearing trench coats rushed into the hallway.

“Damn it, someone’s still alive?”

“Didn’t you say everyone would die after that?”

“I thought so too?”

As they chatted amongst themselves at this unexpected turn of events, they hoped to find a swift end for the survivor.


“Why don’t you guys just go away, so I don’t have to hear you talking?” Izel interrupted their chatter with an annoyed yet stressed voice.




They exchanged glances and then began to approach the blind teen. The hallway was narrow, allowing only three people to come at a time. Izel had to deal with three of them simultaneously. According to the bodily responses revealed to Izel, one was the same height as him, one was chubby, and the last one was much taller. “Ah!” Letting out a weary breath, Izel didn’t feel like fighting here, to be honest. He already had enough on his plate with traumas and… ‘I’m hungry all of a sudden,’he briefly thought as his stomach growled. All the food he overate to at least digest on the magically relaxing train had gone to waste through fighting for survival. Moreover, he was at a disadvantage. Even if he surrendered now, they wouldn’t accept it.


As they slowly approached, mana began to unfold around them, and bloodlust gleamed in their eyes behind their masks. It was evident they had no intention of sparing even a blind kid.

“There is one thing I want to ask you,” Izel calmly stated.

“What? You want to beg for your life now?” replied one of them, the tall one.

No way in hell, Izel shook his head. If it were 27 days ago, he might have surrendered instantly and begged for his pathetic life. Not now, not ever. So he continued, “With what guts did you attack this magical train? Is it worth throwing your lives away? Besides, the reinforcement team will be here soon.”

“Do you think your threat will work on us?” The tall acolyte snorted warningly, then clocked the slide to dispose of the empty magazine, dropped the gun, and drew his steel longsword, channeling mana into it using the principles of [Mana Coating]. “I’ll kill you with a single strike,” he added menacingly.

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