“But where are we going?”
Ann asked Sophia as she was walking without telling them anything.
However, Sophia just laughed and didn’t give a clear answer.
With that said, she turned to the left corner and a large silver door appeared.
In the centre of the door was a large round handle which seemed like a knob.
Sophia grabbed the handle and placed her thumb next to it, which read her fingerprint.
Then a beeping sound came from it.
As she turned the knob clockwise, the door opened with the sound of the lock being released.
And as she struggled to pull the door which was too large for her size, cold air and white mist escaped.
At the sudden cold, Ann and Finn flinched.
“Wow- that is heavy.”
Sophia gasped as if she had done some exercise and looked back at the children.
Finn and Ann looked at each other, something felt strange.
At first, she was the teacher, who greeted them kindly.
But at some point, she stopped talking to them and only showed them her back, and despite that, the children felt something had changed.
“What are you doing? Come in.”
As the two hesitated, Sophia beckoned them to come in and the two glancing at each other, approached.
They could feel it was wrong.
It wasn’t like they had met Sophia for two days or so, so they knew that she was a good and intelligent adult.
So the two went in carefully.
A room with blue lights, and the lights brought in an eerie feeling onto the children.
Sophia was already deep inside the room.
“Come, let’s go.”
Gulping, they continued to follow Sophia.
A large door appeared again and Sophia opened this in the same way, revealing a large circular space.
Cold storages were lined up along the wall and various medicines seemed to be stored in.
Ann looked around as she asked Sophia.
“W-what are we doing here?”
“This is a good place.”
Ann wasn’t naïve enough to say ‘Ah, I see’, for that response.
“I am scared here.
Teacher, are you really going to teach here?”
“P-Potion classes, right?”
Finn too seemed afraid as he tried to ask.
But the tension in his voice was clear and so was the frightened look.
Sophia didn’t answer.
She looked at the space and went through the medicines in it.
“It must be around 3 years or so.
Since we started with the development of these drugs.”
“What is it, Teacher?”
The two children called out to her in a trembling voice but Sophia just continued to talk.
“At first, the reason for it was simple.
We just hoped that the talented wouldn’t be pushing others down.
Why were some people doing well and the others are caught in a cage unable to get past their level? Right, there is no equality in the world, so it can be considered as the providence of nature.
But why do the good guys have to trample on the bad?”
Sophia’s face was no longer what they knew.
Her eyes, which had been smiling up till now, were cold.
And her lips which were cheerful were now shut tight.
The atmosphere they felt wasn’t an illusion anymore.
The woman in front of them was not the kind Sophia they knew.
“Because it is fun to bully someone worse than you.”
Sophia stopped and continued to talk looking at the drugs.
“Isn’t it funny? What do you say? It’s embarrassing.
It is said that those who don’t have talent are ignored, despised and even messed with.
And revenge cannot be taken since we are weak and the heart is filled with anger.
The weak did nothing wrong and continue to suffer for it.
I hated that.”
She turned and looked at the two children.
“So I thought I wanted to give the chance to the less talented ones.
It is about giving the less talented ones a push.
To keep the talented ones from snapping.
That was why this research started.
A lot of people are now participating in this.
At first, there were difficult times since we didn’t have any results, but not anymore.
Now we have huge investments coming in along with good results.
Not perfect, but it will soon be perfected.”
She raised her hand and pointed at the two.
“So I need your help.
You are more suited to the situation I was talking about more than anyone.”
As she said, Ann and Finn weren’t treated right from the moment they came to the Magic world.
Well, Ann was fine because of her brain, but not Finn.
Sophia called, but Finn had bowed his head, unable to answer.
8 years old.
Six years ago.
He first entered the Phoenix Academy.
Everything seemed fine in the beginning.
It wasn’t a weird that an 8 year old was a little slow and everyone got along well
However, as years passed, Finn’s condition changed..
He was hitting 13.
-That stubborn jerk.
-Why don’t you drop out?
-Don’t even try you little brat.
He has to be a fool.
-Tch tch, among the classmates, he is the only one who couldn’t move up.
-To be precise, those who couldn’t have dropped out, but he still stays here.
Ordinary students attend elementary school for about three years before being promoted.
The student who took more time than that was judged to be insufficient and asked by their homeroom teacher to drop out.
It was because they considered going to a regular academy would do more good instead of wasting their precious time here.
Because this was an academy of magicians.
Most of Finn’s classmates were in middle school and a few more talented were in high school.
As the children who cursed him said, dropping out seemed like the right choice.
‘But… but I don’t want to give up.’
14 this year.
Too old to be in elementary.
Finn’s fist trembled.
Sophia, who looked at it, smiled.
I believed that you would understand this better than anyone else.”
“And Apophis would be a great help to make your dreams come true.”
When Apophis was mentioned Ann was startled.
“The research you were talking about… did you mean the Apophis?”
“What else did you think?”
It is Apophis.
Which I have been working on for 3 years.
Everything from the early one to the latest model out.
Have you ever taken it Ann?”
“… you must know that Apophis is a dangerous drug.”
Ann looked at Sophia and began to back away slowly.
Sophia smiled and shook her head.
“It isn’t a dangerous one.”
Looking at Finn, I expected it to some extent.”
Finn bowed his head and didn’t respond.
“Apophis X isn’t some nutritional supplement but also improves the mana.”
“The human mana core which is a certain fixed mass is asked to forcibly handle more mana because of this drug.”
“By amplifying the mana core, it absorbs a large amount of mana….
Why is it so terrible?”
“Magic is known to have an equivalent exchange.”
At the word equivalent exchange, Sophia smiled.
“I knew it.
Ann, so smart.
Not just magic.
But for anything except for God, everything in the world has equivalent exchange.
Like you said, Apophis puts a pretty dangerous load on the body, with the condition of boosting the mana core.”
“And, and such things… you made the students drink!”
“What if that risk could be ruled out?”
Ann was speechless.
What if the risk was ruled out?
Then, Apophis X could be a very good potion which boosts mana without side effects.
But it was impossible.
Maybe if it was God there is a chance, but such things can’t happen in this world…
Ann looked at Sophia with eyes which didn’t believe what she said.
“Our smart Ann realized.”
“… what church?”
“You don’t need to know that.
I just need to break down the absurd reality.”
“What does that mean?”
“The only thing you lack is talent in magic.
With Apophis X, I can help you.
You may not feel it since you are young, but with your state, you will go through the phases which Finn went through.”
Finn shuddered at it.
Sophia walked to him and hugged him.
“Our pitiful Finn.
It is fine.
Your teacher will take care of you in the future.”
Finn’s face couldn’t be seen, but his shoulders were shaking as if he was crying.
Ann still didn’t accept this situation.
No need to talk.
She had to leave this place.
The door was shut tight.
Sophia too had to work hard to open it.
And what could a 10 year old girl do?
As Ann couldn’t hide her shocked face, Sophia calmed Finn and walked towards her.
“It is fine Ann.
You might not like it now, but once you taste it, you will see a whole new world.”
“D-Don’t come! Don’t come!”
“You don’t need to be afraid.”
Sophia tried to grab Ann’s lean wrist.
It was then.
Keniac suddenly appeared and grabbed Sophia’s wrist.
Then her face contorted like a demon’s.
Ann was stunned by Keniac’s sudden appearance.
“It is fine.”
Keniac smiled awkwardly.
He must have tried to smile to reassure her, but since he wasn’t used to it, the smile felt weird.
He looked at Sophia again.
“Let us not do this anymore.”
“Don’t say us!”
Ice crystals formed on Sophia’s hand.
And they slowly grew huge like thorns of ice and wrapped around her entire arm.
The thorns moved at a speed to split open Keniac’s head.
“You can’t do a thing without me.”
A magic circle was created in the air, and Sophia’s ice thorns disappeared.
“W-what are you doing?!’
“I already understand the structure of your magic.
So destroying it is easy.”
“Kuk… do you think this will work?”
“Escaping from here is all I need to do.”
“If you can, try it.”
A cold sensation ran up Keniac’s neck.
He opened his eyes and teleported.
He was unable to properly land because he moved in a hurry.
He rubbed his neck with his hand and felt a cold liquid on his palm and as he checked it, it was his blood.
“You respond quickly.”
Finn shuddered at the commotion and raised his head to meet Ashtar’s eyes.
“Oh- old kid!”
“W-why are you here….?”
Ashtar talked to him as Trinity’s manager yesterday.
So why was he holding a sword with blood on it?
When Finn looked at Ashtar with fearful eyes, he smirked.
“Don’t be scared kid~ you are on our side.
Am I wrong?”
Ashtar’s eyes curved like a crescent moon as he smiled.
A weird sense of intimidation could be seen in the red eyes.
Finn couldn’t even respond to it and fell back.
Sophia glanced at Finn and said.
“You are here on time.”
“It is my job, right?”
Ashtar licked the blood on the sword with his snake-like tongue.
Sophia only frowned and turned her head away.
“Don’t kill him, just capture.
I’ll take him to the doctor.
It isn’t too late to punish him for betraying us.”
“Such a difficult mission.”
Sophia, who heard Ashtar’s words, approached Ann with a smiling face.
“Shall we talk to each other?”
Ann stared at Sophia’s hand.
She couldn’t even imagine what terrible things would happen if she held that hand.
But if she didn’t, she would be killed here.
The brown skinned man was approaching Mr.
Keniac and Mr.
Keniac was trying to get his staff to face that man.
Can everyone survive here?
She didn’t know what would happen, but Ann was determined.
“I don’t like that.”
“Because I am Mr.
Sophia asked in a cold voice.
The creepy voice made Ann speechless, but not giving into the intimidation, she said.
“I will not succumb to a villain like you.”
“I am getting more excited now.”
Sophia raised her hand to caress Ann’s cheek.
Ann closed her eyes shut.
“You don’t need to close your eyes.”
A familiar voice was heard.
Then came the scream from Sophia.
Ann slowly opened her eyes.
The first thing she saw was Sophia’s face as she fell down holding onto her stomach and the next thing.
A robe fluttered.
And as the person landed on the floor, the emerald hair shook.
A sword in the right hand, and an amazing looking staff in the left.
Jamie turned to Ann and said.
“Watch very carefully.
What an amazing person your teacher is.”
Ann was suddenly able to smile in that situation.
With Ann’s strong answer.
“Now is the time to get punished.”
The space around shook.
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