CHAPTER 142 – Remnants of Time (Part 5)
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With the whole group finally reuniting, they made their way to the current hideout. On their way there, Hajin explained the situation while Olivia and Cristopher followed them from the back, making sure they weren’t followed.

“So… We’re really back in time…?” Suho asked after Hajin finished his explanation.

“Yes.” Hajin nodded at him. “We’re in Gwangmyeong of 1972. Only 15 months after the Outcall happened. So, as you all saw, this place is still hell.”

“You think so?” Cristopher intervened from behind. “It kind of looks like an amusement park for me.” He said, causing Olivia to chuckle, and Nayun to glare at him. Hajin just sighed at his comment. “What? It’s true. Right?” He asked Olivia, who nodded, while inwardly she was thinking that it was hell, but for a whole different reason, after all, being trained by Cristopher was hell, no matter where it happened.

“Ha…” Sighing, Yoo Yeonha turned to look at Hajin. “Then? How long have you three been around here?”

“I don’t know?” Hajin tilted his head while rubbing his bearded chin, making Olivia and Cristopher roll his eyes.

“Like 9 or 10 months, something like that.” Cristopher was the one to answer the question.

“Huh?” Everyone apart from Olivia and Hajin stopped in their tracks. “How long?” Yeonha asked again.

“9 or 10 months.” Cristopher shrugged, and a heavy silence enveloped the group. The remaining five cadets looking between the other three. Some of those stares were filled with pity. “What?”

“...” They didn’t answer Cristopher’s question, but kept staring at them with pity.

“Whatever, let’s keep going.” Hajin shrugged it and they all kept walking towards the hideout.


“So, did you figure out what caused this mess?” Shin Jonghak asked as they reached the hideout.

“Yeah.” Hajin nodded as they entered the place. “Let’s settle first, and then I’ll explain.”

Jonghak snorted. ‘Does he think he’s the leader here?’ He thought, but kept quiet.

Once inside the base, the recently arrived group couldn’t help but look around. This was a recent base they found, it was a relatively intact building with three floors. Thanks to Cristopher and Olivia, the place wasn’t dirty or filled with dust, so it was clean, without any rubble in sight. There were some makeshift chairs and table, as well as a makeshift kitchen with some wood inside a metal container, with a metal grid on top.

“You’ve been living in this place…” Yoo Yeonha asked as she looked around. “For 10 months?” The pity in her tone couldn’t be disguised.

“Home sweet home.” Cristopher said with a nod as he let himself drop in one of the chairs, which was basically an horizontally-laid cut trunk that rested beside one of the walls. “Nice, isn’t it? This one is new, so we still are arranging some of the decoration. But it’s quite nice, if I say so myself.”

Olivia and Hajin rolled his eyes, while the rest could only look at them in pity. Even Jonghak, for a hundredth of a second, looked at them in pity.

“Not even my horse would leave here…” Chae Nayun muttered as she looked around.

“Tch. Fucking rich people, they’re are a useless bunch…” Cristopher clicked his tongue. “Just wait until they have to go around truly disgusting places for missions… I’ll be laughing in their faces…” He kept muttering and complaining, while the rest just gave him a deadpan stare.

“Well… Let’s prepare something to eat, and then we can talk about the situation we’re in.” Hajin said while clapping, pulling their attention to him.

“Please! I’m starving!” Olivia shouted as she stood up. Before moving to an icebox that was at one of the corners of the place. “I’ll look for the pork.” She simply said.

“I’ll help you.” Yi Yeonghan, who was looking around, turned and followed her.

“Whatever.” Olivia shrugged, ignoring the glint in Cristopher’s eye, who started smirking while glancing between Olivia and Yi Yeonghan. Yeonha too was looking at this, with a glint in her eyes.

‘What…?’ Hajin could only spectate both of them for a moment before sighing. ‘Whatever. I don’t care what those two are thinking. I have better things than falling into Cristopher’s craziness and Yeonha’s misunderstandings.’

With quick work, Hajin started cooking the butchered pork that Olivia and Yi Yeonghan brought from the icebox. Thankfully for the recently arrived, the pork was already butchered, courtesy of Olivia, who learned from Cristopher how to butcher it. Hajin also participated in those classes, but he still had problems tolerating the gruesome activity.

“Shin Jonghak.” Cristopher said. “Go look for water. There’s a stream nearby, at the back of the building.”

“Huh?” He glared at Cristopher.

“Nayun, you go with him.” But before he could start arguing, Hajin sighed and also told Chae Nayun to go with him.

“Hm? Me~?” Chae Nayun tilted her head.

At this, Shin Jonghak coughed, and silently grabbed a couple of buckets, giving them to Chae Nayun before grabbing two more himself. “Let’s go.” He simply said while urging Chae Nayun towards the exit with a nod.

“Are we going to go get water?” She asked him.

“Yeah.” Jonghak nodded.

“Great, I was getting thirsty.” She nodded and followed him.

“Haha me too~.” He said with an obviously satisfied smile.

“Fucking dog…” Cristopher muttered with a sighe while shaking his head. Although, he couldn’t help but notice how Yoo Yeonha was slightly glaring at Hajin while muttering why it was Chae Nayun. ‘He… I almost forgot about that small detail.’ He smirked at her obvious reaction. But still decided to ignore and just lay back on the wall.

Hajin, also noticing the glare he was receiving, turned to Olivia. “I think Ramen would be good.” At his words, Yeonha’s glare stopped, while saliva started dropping from her mouth.

‘She’s so obvious!’ Both Hajin and Cristopher thought simultaneously.

“By the way, why is it that we can’t use magic here?” Yi Yeonghan, who was now sitting beside Olivia, asked her.

“Mm? Oh, apparently that’s because your body can’t use the magic power it had while coming to the past, and you have to wait for it to replenish it with new magic power.” She said with a yawn.

“Is that true?” Kim Suho, who perked his ears up at the question, turned to Hajin, who nodded at him.

“You can’t use magic power that you brought from the present.” He started explaining. “Though usabel magic power starts accumulating inside you after two days. Even then, you’ll have to wait for at least a week to get used to it.”

“So long?” Suho, Yeonha, and Yi Yeonghan widened their eyes in shock.

“How did you do to handle the danger here during that time?” Yeonha asked with a frown.

Hajin simply shrugged while patting the gun that he had in his holster. “I just need to pull the trigger. Besides, there’s that guy too.” He then pointed at Cristopher. Everyone turned to him with a questioning look.


“You were able to use magic power from the start here?” Suho asked with a frown.

“Not really, it took me like half a day or so.” He shrugged.

“Damn monster…” Hajin muttered with a sigh, remembering how the guy forcefully used his magic power, while simultaneously pulling magic power from the surroundings, also by force, saying how it was a pain for the mana to ‘rebel’ against him. Olivia could only nod awkwardly at this, as she too was flabbergasted at this. She’s been through some of Cristopher bullshitery, but the guy still manages to surprise her every time.

Not too long after, the group was sitting on the makeshift table and started eating the ramen that Hajin prepared. Originally, Chae Nayun was looking at the greasy pork that was accompanying the ramen, moving it around, thinking whether she would really be okay eating it or not, after all, she didn’t even glance at the cafeteria food, now imagine food from a random pig hunted in this god-forsaken place.

She wasn’t the only one thinking like that. Shin Jonghak was thinking the same, while Yoo Yeonha was clearly holding back because of them.

“Damn rich kids…” Cristopher muttered while looking at them. “I would love to put you in the middle of nowhere, having to get your own food. Without a fucking 3 stars restaurant around…” He kept muttering as he ate the pork.

Jonghak and Nayun glared at him from the sides but kept quiet. After all, they weren’t in such a different situation, with only this food to eat.

“Your mana will be replenished quicker if you eat.” Hajin, deciding that it was getting bothersome, decided to intervene. “Animals around here have a high mana concentration.”

“The flavor is also great because of that.” Olivia nodded, before pulling out some noodles to resume eating.

At Hajin and Olivia’s words, Shin Jonghak sighed, and with closed eyes, he picked up the chopsticks and started eating. At the sight of Jonghak eating, Yeonha’s eyes shined, and she started eating, no longer restraining herself.

“...” Chae Nayun looked at them before looking at the bowl in front of her. ‘Was it really that delicious?’ She thought. “Ah, I’m going to feel queasy if I eat this…” She muttered, before picking her chopsticks and grabbing a piece of pork belly. “...Eh?” After eating a piece of pork belly, her eyes widened. “Why is it so tasty?” She asked, chewing the piece in her mouth.

“It’s a pig that grew up by eating mana.” Hajin simply said.

“What?” Nayun turned to him.

“The pig.” Hajin pointed at the pork belly. “It lived in an area where the concentration of mana is higher than Baekdu Mountain. That’s why it’s so tasty.”

“Wow… really?” She looked at the pork belly in her bowl. “That’s amazing!” And without a second thought, she started eating again.

“By the way.” After a while, Chae Nayun turned again towards Hajin, pointing her chopsticks at him. “That surprisingly looks good on you.”

“Hm? What does?” He asked with a tilted head.

“The hair and beard.” She clarified. “You look like someone from a historical drama. You know, like one of those warriors who act cool.”

“She’s right.” Suho intervened with a nod. “Hajin, your beard grows like a Westerner.”

“...Like a Westerner model?” He asked.

“No, not a model.” Nayun shook her head.

‘A westerner model.’ Hajin kept thinking to himself while slightly pushing out his chest in pride.

“Why don’t you have a beard or long hair too?” Yoo Yeonha asked Cristopher who had finished eating.

“Didn’t want to.” He shrugged.

“Mm? So Hajin wanted to just let it grow?” Suho asked with a tilted head. “Why not do that at school too?”

“Because in school there isn’t a voodoo magician that wants to use your hair to damage you.” Hajin said while shaking his head. “If I cut my hair or beard, and that voodist gets a hold of even a single strand, then he can curse me, and in this place with a high concentration of magic power, that’s lethal.”

“But then why did Cristopher cut his hair?” Yi Yeongha asked.

“I didn’t cut it, I burn it.” Cristopher simply shrugged. “I don’t have to cut, simply burning it every morning is enough.”

“Oh…” They all nod. “But then why don’t doing the same with Hajin?” Suho asked again.

“I offered it, but the ungrateful bastard didn’t want to.” He shrugged back.

“Of course I refused! I won’t let you burn my face to ‘burn the hair’” Hajin said while quoting the last part, making everyone chuckle. 

“Beard…” All the while, Jonghak kept rubbing his chin and muttering 'beard' time and time again.

After everyone finished eating, Hajin started explaining to everyone the current situation, how they were in a Recorded Past because of a Tower remnant.

“Basically, a fucking ghost took hold of the crystal, and borrowed its power to create this Recorded Past and pull us into it.” Cristopher also intervened from time to time.

“And we weren’t the only ones.” Hajin continued. “A Djinn who goes by the name Asura was also pulled into this world by the ghost. But don’t worry, it’s not the real Asura, so we’ll be fine. He’s using the ‘mana crystals’ that grow into this place filled with unstable mana to grow stronger.”

“Um, I have a question…” Yoo Yeonha raised her hand, and Hajin nodded toward her. “How can he grow stronger using mana crystals? It wasn’t until the 2000’s that scientists found out how to use them.”

“He’s eating them.” Cristopher shrugged.

“...Eh?” The recently arrived were shocked. And with a proper reason. After all, any normal person, even Djinns, would die upon consuming mana crystals. And even if by a miracle they managed to survive, they would suffer huge internal injuries as the magic power in their bodies fought the crystal’s condensed mana.

Hajin sighed. “It looks like he gained a special power by uniting with the ghost. He can swallow and digest mana crystals without any repercussions.”

“Then…” They were shocked. This means that their enemy was becoming stronger by simply staying here and eating crystals.

“Don’t worry too much. The guy’s an idiot.” Cristopher intervened. “He can’t perfectly digest the crystals, so the power he can get is reduced. Don’t think too much into it.” He shrugged.

‘Besides, I’m his perfect counter.’ Hajin also nodded. This Asura had a pretty curious power, that would make him truly powerful, but sadly for him, Hajin turned out to be a direct counter to his power, and that made him an easy target.

“So this Asura is our only enemy?” Shin Jonghak asked after a while.

“No, there’s more. But before moving to that, I’ll explain how we are getting out of this place.” Hajin continued, pulling a purple crystal from his pocket and putting it on the table. “As I said before, this Tower Remnant is what’s holding this world of the past together. Asura has these crystals, which are all remnants, placed around this Recorded Past’s world. Without them, he can’t materialize the past.”

“So we have to steal them?” Jonghak asked.

“Right.” Nodding, Kim Hajin pulled a map they all made during the time here and opened it on top of the table. “There’s one in Gwangmyeong City Hall, one in a water tower to the northeast, one in an armory to the west, one in a steel to the south, another one in an abandoned factory southeast, and finally, one to the east of here, inside a hospital.” He kept pointing at the marked positions.

“We need to steal all six.” Cristopher said, before putting a knife in the City Hall. “This is the biggest problem, in a sense. Asura has around 8,000 residents inside that damn place. Maybe more. Apart from that, five of his most trusted subordinates are guarding the other five places.”

“So…” Kim Suho said as he looked at the map with a frown. “It’s clear what we need to do.”

Everyone nodded, while Olivia and Hajin tiredly yawned. It was late, and they’d been training most of the day before having to pick up the remaining cadets.

“It’s late.” Hajin said. “We’re going to rest for five hours. It’ll help you replenish your mana.”

Everyone nodded and prepared to go to rest. But Yoo Yeonha raised her hand. “Who’s going to be on night watch first?” She asked, while the other newly arrived cadets nodded and prepared to vote.

“I will.” But before anyone could say anything, Cristopher simply said. “I take the night watches. You don’t have to worry about that.”

“...” She stared back at him in silence, for some reason, she felt there was something going on here, but she had no idea what it was. ‘It’s not normal for a single person to take all the night watches.’

“Right, he’s in charge of night watches.” Olivia intervened as she yawned and stretched. “You all better start moving, we don’t have the luxury to sleep a lot around here.” She said as she went on her way to the upper floors.

“She’s right. Let’s go. We have some tents on the upper floors.” Hajin said while signaling the others to move. “Girls on the third floor, and guys on the second floor.”

“Huh?” Chae Nayun tilted her head. “Why so?”

“That way the boys won’t be tempted to stay on our floor after going for a night piss.” Olivia smirked, giving a slight glare to Suho, Jonghak, and Yeonghan, with a clear meaning. ‘Put a single foot on the third floor, and you’ll find a knife deep in your butt and a missing member.’ For some reason they couldn’t understand the three guys, Jonghak included, shuddered.

As they all made their way upstairs, Cristopher stretched and went outside, not before hearing Yeonha behind him.

“If you need someone to cover for you, you can wake me up.” She simply said.

“And risk having my dick cut off? No, thank you.” He chuckled as he went outside. Yeonha nodded and followed the rest upstairs after staring at his back for a little while.