That was the only thought that was floating in Lee Ye-Eun's head.
It's over, everything is over.
Even if I was caught, I was caught in the worst possible way.
I should have told him then.
If I had known I was going to get caught like this, I'd have told him earlier on the balcony.
But regret is always too late.
Her vision became cloudy and her hands began to shake.
“… What kind of bullsh*t is that”
Meanwhile, she heard a dumbfounded voice from the side.
It was Yoo Ji-Hyuk's voice.
“Whose brother am I"
Shaking his head, he looked at Lee Ye-Eun.
He had a small smile on his face, as if he had heard a funny joke.
“Senior, what the hell is that guy… .”
But when Yoo Ji-Hyuk saw Lee Ye-Eun's expression, he stopped speaking.
Because she had a face full of guilt, anger, sadness, and regret.
Seeing her as if she was about to collapse at any moment, Lee Jae-Joon burst into laughter as if it was just satisfying.
"Hahahaha! Wow, you knew this too! You knew everything! Indeed, like father like daughter! You knew everything, but you kept playing house like that You know how he's lived his whole life, and yet you're standing right next to him, pretending you don't know anything, putting on an innocent face!"
“I, I…I was going to...
Lee Ye-Eun muttered in a somber voice.
She didn't know what to do and just bit her lips.
“Ah, I feel better.
It's just so sad that I can't show your face to my brother right now.
How proud he would have been.
To see his daughter and son fighting with his brother like this.”
“… I will kill you.”
Lee Ye-Eun muttered like that.
Seeing her like that, Lee Jae-Joon only sarcastically said, now you're showing your true colors.
“I think I should do it, too, Ye-Eun.
It would only be reasonable to at least send the siblings to his side as soon as possible, right At least he needs someone who will take care and listen to him.”
Lee Jae-Joon, who was muttering like that, dropped the spear he was holding.
In his lifted left hand, there was a blackened piece of wood.
“Don’t worry, Ye-Eun.
I'll kill you later.
I'll show you every last bit of your brother crying out to me to kill him in front of you.
And when you see that, you'll have to say the same thing you said earlier...!"
Something strange was heard.
While speaking, Lee Jae-Joon let out a wet cough.
As he muttered, he glanced down.
Something black was protruding through his chest.
“… What is this”
Lee Jae-Joon, who was muttering like that, felt an emptiness in his left arm.
When he turned his head to look, his left hand was as empty as his right.
A hand with a piece of wood rolled on the floor like a ball.
He tried to approach it in a hurry, but he couldn't do what he wanted because of the black thing that fixed his body like a wedge.
“I've always felt it, but why do you guys have so many useless words”
Yoo Ji-Hyuk muttered like that.
Black things, shadow.
He grabbed his hand that had been cut off and threw it at him as if it were a pass.
“Thi, this can’t be… .”
“A piece of wood from Svengali.
This probably kept you alive, didn't it"
Taking the piece of wood from his severed hand, he shook it lightly.
He was right.
If you wanted to talk so confidently, you should have done it earlier.
He murmured mockingly and put it into the shadow.
Not like this absurd, stupid way...
Lee Jae-Joon muttered and floundered his severed arm.
As he did so, Lee Jae-Joon could see Lee Ye-Eun pulling the string towards him.
He could clearly hear the sound of arrows flying towards his forehead, even in his dying consciousness.
He called out someone's name blankly.
With a small sound, he dropped his hand.
It was such a futile death.
Lee Ye-Eun lowered her bow with trembling hands.
As Yoo Ji-Hyuk waved his hand, the shadow that had pierced Lee Jae-Joon as if fixing him disappeared as if melting, and his body fell forward helplessly.
Even though she killed her lifelong enemy, Lee Ye-Eun was suffocating.
Her whole body began to tremble, as if she had a stroke, and she felt chills.
If she could, she wanted to run away right away.
But she couldn't do that anymore.
What he just said...
"I!" [Note: 제가: Formal way.]
Lee Ye-Eun shouted in a voice so loud that even she was surprised.
She said, biting her lips roughly.
“I, no, I… I'll explain everything.” [Note: 1st one - 제가: Formal way; 2nd one - 내가: Informal way.]
Lee Ye-Eun clenched her fists tightly.
She managed to look at Yoo Ji-Hyuk without crying.
He looked at her without saying a word.
Lee Ye-Eun caught her breath and managed to speak to him as if throwing up.
Your, I'm your sister...
It was long.
I really don't know how long it took me to say these words.
Lee Ye-Eun began to catch her breath, which had become ragged.
“Um, I’m really sorry, but I don't quite understand what you're saying.
Right now, so...
“You and I.
We're real siblings.”
Looking at Yoo Ji-Hyuk's expression as if he didn't understand, Lee Ye-Eun declared.
As always, it was just difficult for her to take the first step, but once she started talking, she was able to pour out the words she had kept inside her without hesitation.
“My, my father… He had an affair.
He was probably...
No, he must have with your mother.
So you and I are half-siblings with the same father but different mothers."
Yoo Ji-Hyuk wondered what the hell she was talking about.
Then in his mind, he could feel the puzzles being put together in an instant.
Branch of the World Tree.
It was because of that.
The evidence of the clan, originally rooted only in the people of the original clan, had taken root in the body of Yoo Ji-Hyuk, even if it was because of expediency.
Considering that even Lee Jae-Joon knew about it, there was no way that Lee Ye-Eun didn't know about it.
And, amazingly, by chance, her father had an affair, and after a series of various misunderstandings, she mistakenly believed that Yoo Ji-Hyuk was her half-sibling.
That made him finally understand why she was particularly kind to him.
He shook his head, wondering where on earth he should begin to clear up the misunderstanding.
“Senior, I think you misunderstood something… .”
Lee Ye-Eun looked at Yoo Ji-Hyuk with wounded eyes.
At the same time, she smiled as if she understood everything, as if she should bear it.
“Sister, I asked you to call me that, but… that's too shameless to ask for, right"
And before he could say anything, she approached him and carefully grabbed his cheeks with both hands.
As if touching a newborn baby, Lee Ye-Eun patted his cheek with a careful touch.
"How hard it must have been for you… Our Ji-Hyuk...
“Sister, sister is an ugly sister… I'm really sorry...
He seemed to know very well what it means to be at a loss for words when a person is genuinely flustered.
She had misunderstood so deeply that he was sure that no matter what he said, she wouldn't believe it under the current circumstances.
No, she might only see it as him denying reality at such a shocking fact.
Still, he had to clear up the misunderstanding.
I'm not joking, I think you're really misunderstanding.
I remember my parents.
I am sure it's not like what senior is thinking...
At Yoo Ji-Hyuk's words, Lee Ye-Eun looked at him with her now tearful eyes.
He was about to let out a small sigh, but quickly stopped as he saw her flinching and startled.
“That, you're misunderstanding because of the branch of the World Tree, right”
She nodded her head.
“I can’t explain this in detail, but first of all, I'm definitely not a member of the World Tree clan.
That means I don't have a drop of your blood in me.
This is a bit complicated, but I can explain it simply...
Lee Ye-Eun sniffed.
“Even a child knows that the power of the World Tree cannot be accepted unless you are a clan member… And the branches of the World Tree are only for the main clan members… .”
She sniffed her nose.
No matter who looked at it, she was trying hard to hold back her tears.
Still, she tried to smile somehow, but thanks to that, she looked at Yoo Ji-Hyuk with a strange face.
“Tha, that's enough making excuses… Can't you just accept me"
This is driving me crazy.
Yoo Ji-Hyuk muttered that inwardly.
It was because he had a feeling that she would sob at any moment if he said it out loud by any chance.
What the hell should I do
It was when he was thinking about it.
He heard someone coughing deliberately and audibly from nearby.
At that sound, Lee Ye-Eun quickly pulled Yoo Ji-Hyuk behind her as if to hide him, and while she did so, he could see the notification window he had seen before popping up in front of him.
[One of the Seven Evils has recognized your existence as a ‘Stranger’, ‘ a being that changes the flow of the world.’]
[I pray for your survival.]
* * *
Huge bird body
And a human face.
Svengali, the Seven Evil with the most bizarre appearance, was standing next to Lee Jae-Joon's body and staring at them before they knew it.
“Um, would you mind if I join you"
After saying that, Svengali clicked his tongue slightly as he looked at the dead body of Lee Jae-Joon.
"It is a pity, but there was no one I could talk to as well as this friend.
Although he was a bit radical in his ideology… .”
With that, the human's face opened up with a gaping mouth.
With his mouth so open that an ordinary human would never have, he swallowed Lee Jae-Joon's body in one bite.
It tastes immoral.
It is really sad that I am eating my friend, but...
It is even sadder because it is unexpectedly delicious.”
While chewing and tasting, he spotted two of them and touched his forehead with his wings.
They felt uncomfortable at the sight of him clumsily imitating a human.
He bowed his head and introduced himself.
“I apologize, it has taken me so long to introduce myself.
It is nice to meet you.
I am Svengali.
I am one of the Seven Evils that you hate, and also a compatriot with the same ambition as my close friend Lee Jae-Joon, who just died.”
“… Seven Evil”
“Um, that is right.
Do you call us a catastrophe that threatens humanity”
Svengali burst into laughter.
Then he looked at them and flapped his wings as if to say, don't worry.
“But do not worry.
I have no intention of killing you or anything like that.”
“How can we believe that"
Lee Ye-Eun spread her arms out as if protecting Yoo Ji-Hyuk.
Svengali answered, looking at the scene as if it were a pity.
“Because I strongly sympathize with the ideas and beliefs of my close friend, Lee Jae-Joon, and even now that he is dead, I want to follow his will and legacy."
He nodded and muttered in a sentimental voice.
"To be honest with you, my life… No, should I say early life Anyway, one of the turning points in my life was meeting him.
He laid out his ideas to me with such enthusiasm and sincerity that one moment I found myself sympathizing with his ideas."
He smacked his lips
He gave a refreshing look, spitting out an arrow.
“However, his ideas were too radical.
Dividing human beings into two groups, letting the gifted live, and killing everyone who is not gifted...
It was too radical of an idea, no matter how much the woman he loved died at the hands of a non-gifted person.
To add to that, he just resented the world and needed the object of… Oops, another bad habit."
Anyway, I am different from him.
I have a more moderate idea.
Saying that, Svengali smiled favorably and looked at Yoo Ji-Hyuk and Lee Ye-Eun.
“I intend to manage and nurture mankind.”
He continued his words with a voice of deep passion and firm conviction.
“You are so weak.
Look at my close friend just now.
He died right away because his chest was pierced a little and his organs exploded.
Is that all You die when you get sick, you die when you get older, you die when you can not eat, and you die suddenly...
Even in the midst of all this, people fight and hurt each other, and many humans die again."
He had a heartfelt expression of regret.
"That is why humanity must be thoroughly managed.
It was simply impossible for me to do it on my own, but with Lee Jae-Joon… my close friend, I believed it would be possible, and we had come this far.
And we were able to bear that fruit.
Shall I show you once"
He opened his mouth and spat something out.
Seeds of the World Tree.
As soon as Lee Ye-Eun saw it, she murmured blankly.
“Yes, that is right.
If I have my ability along with this, my envisioned utopia will be complete.”
As he said that, his throat flinched with a raspy sound.
His body, which was made of tree branches and humus, was shaking violently, and then something suddenly grew out of his back.
Both Yoo Ji-Hyuk and Lee Ye-Eun could recognize that it was a branch of the World Tree almost simultaneously.
“I heard that those who possess a branch of the World Tree can deeply sympathize with each other’s feelings and interact with each other.
Even if it is not as good as that, I can plant a specially refined seed in every human being and make their spirit sympathize with mine.
It will do the work."
He smiled satisfactorily and looked at the branches of the World Tree on his back.
The neck, which had been turned the other way with a grinding sound, returned to normal.
“A world where there is no war, no strife, no jealousy, no conflict, no negativity of any kind.
A world that seems like a forest full of trees, fallen leaves, dirt, and mushrooms, quiet and damp and far removed from the threat of others...
A tear trickled down from his eye.
With a sniff, he wiped away his tears and looked at the two of them.
“What do you think Will you join me”
“You're totally out of your mind."
Yoo Ji-Hyuk replied, dismissing his words.
Then Svengali looked at him and nodded.
“Oh, you are the one… I have heard of you from Ariman.”
Then, for a moment, he looked at Yoo Ji-Hyuk with sharp eyes.
“Margo, you killed that annoying b*stard, did you not And it seems you have my power in your body, and you also have two things that can kill me.
And there are a few other conditions...
But soon he gave me a look that said, what's the problem
“What is the problem In my opinion, you and I can have a pretty deep relationship...
What do you think”
Yoo Ji-Hyuk showed his middle finger without saying a word.
Svengali, who knew what the act was, made an obscure expression
“That was swearing, was it not Then should I take it as you are now disparaging what I said and insulting me”
Yoo Ji-Hyuk nodded and extended his middle finger once more.
Seeing this, Svengali muttered as if he couldn't quite understand.
“However, umm… That is weird.
You are already getting along well with my alter ego, but why are you insulting me by making it clear that you can not get along with the real me"
Svengali gestured towards Yoo Ji-Hyuk, who looked at him as if saying, what bullsh*t are you talking about again
“You have my alter ego in your inner pocket.
From the looks of it, you seem to be getting along pretty well."
They healed the woman's wounds.
When they were in danger, you rescued them urgently.
From the looks of it, you seem to be quite attached to each other.
“Just what on earth is it that you and I can not be like that”