62 – Fated Demise – 2
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Back in my room. I stood in front of a mirror and stared at my reflection. Specifically, at the pitch black smoke surrounding my body.

"...It can't be avoided, huh?"

I played out various hypotheticals in my head, considered using various powers... and even thought about using Transcendent Insight. But the color around me never shifted, only turning various shades of black. In short, changing the duration of time I had left.

But at the same time...

"Death isn't the end."

I could see it as well. Or rather, I checked it back on Earth.

There was a way out. While I had to 'die', that didn't mean that I had to stay dead. And it also didn't mean that I had to die in Paradise and come back a second time.

But it would be hard. The chance of it succeeding was out of my hands. This world wanted me gone, and the only way I could get through this... Well, I just had to hope that my friends didn't let me down.

Now, all that was left-

A knock on the door. Shortly after, it opened and Flone walked in.

I glanced at her and smiled. "You know that you're supposed to wait after knocking instead of walking in, right? What if I was changing my clothes?"

She smiled back and said, "It's fine. And it's not like I'd see anything new."

"...Wait what?"

Flone whistled and averted her gaze.

I rolled my eyes. "What happened to the pure and sweet Saintess I met?"

"She met a very bad man." Flone walked over and stared at my reflection as well. "What are you doing? Just admiring yourself?"

I glanced at my smoking reflection and shrugged. "Something like that." I looked back at Flone and said, "What brings you here though? I thought you were busy researching something."

"I was. But I wanted to talk with you first."

"Well, sit down then." I conjured a pair of chairs and sat down.

Flone nodded and sat down on the other.

For a while we just stared at each other. Flone looked like she had something she wanted to say, but she couldn't.

I waited for her.

Eventually, Flone said, "Jihu... Let's run away."

"Huh?"

Flone looked up at me, determined, and said, "I said, let's run away. This fight... I've talked with a lot of people and they've said it's dangerous. There's a chance that monsters with actual divine power will show up, you know!"

I nodded. "I know."

"Then why are you still fighting! Who cares about this world or everything else!" Flone shook her head and said, "Jihu's worked hard enough!"

"Flone-"

"Don't 'Flone' me!" She stood up and glared at me. "I know... I know! You aren't going to stop! You don't know when to stop! I still remember the last time! Your entire body was broken on the inside and out, and that was only a small fortress!"

"Flone."

"If you fight in this war, you're not going to stop there! I know! You're going to keep fighting until someone makes you stop! Even when your body breaks, even when you can't move anything anymore! That...!" Her blue eyes started to water and she collapsed onto her knees. "I don't want... I don't want to see the person I love like that...!"

I was quiet and then I let out a sigh. "I know." I knelt on the ground and patted her head. "I know that."

"Then..." She looked up at me and said, "Why?"

"Because of you."

Flone froze. "What?"

I smiled and said, "Did you forget? This is your world, Flone. Even if we run away... Even if you come back with me and I never come back to Paradise, that means that your home will be gone for good."

She shook her head and said, "That's not true! As long as you're there-"

"-It'll be fine. That's what you're going to say, right? But it won't be." I lifted her head up by her chin and looked into her blue eyes. "This world is your real home. One that you never got a chance to properly enjoy. One taken away from you before your time. And just when you have the chance to experience it again, you're going to lose it? Sorry, but I won't let that happen."

Flone brushed my hand away and shook her head. "I don't care about that!"

"But I do." I stared at her and said, "I promised you. I would give everything back to you. In the place of the gods that had forsaken you, the Empire that betrayed you... I would grant your wish and give you what you lost. And I'm a man of my word. You know?"

Flone's eyes shook and she grabbed me, pulling me into a hug. Her body trembled as she placed her head against my shoulder and she said, "What if... What if all I want is you? What if I don't care about anything else then?"

"In that case... That's fine. But you know, Flone?" I pulled her back and let out a sad smile. "You're a bad liar."

I could see it. Even while she was worried about me. Even while she wanted me to be safe. She also didn't want to give up the peaceful life she had now.

And seeing that only firmed my resolve.

"Flone."

She looked at me. Beautiful blue eyes glittering with tears and clear affection- No, love and adoration.

Seeing that...

"Live. Alright?" I tucked a strand of her silver hair behind her ear and said, "I want you to be happy. I want you to have a peaceful life. I want to see you acting cute and your jealous pouts again after this is over. So... No matter what, live. Understand? And don't do anything crazy."

"...You're going to disappear, aren't you?" Flone looked at me and shook her head. "You... You're making the same face that Grandpa made back then."

"I won't. And to promise that..." I held out my hand and materialized a ring. An intricate silver band with a sapphire rose.

"Eh?" Flone blinked. "That's...?"

I picked up her left hand and slipped it onto her ring finger. "Now, this isn't a vow... but it's a promise. As long as you're alive, I won't disappear on you, alright? I might have to step out for a while... but I'll always come back. After all." I smiled and said, "I can't run away from such a scary resentful ghost, can I?"

Flone trembled, her eyes watering. And then she brushed them away and punched me. "You... stupid idiot. I'm not a ghost!"

"Ah, you're right. Then let's keep it that way. It's much easier fighting my way back from hell than fighting my way down, you know?"

"...You're not making any sense."

"Yeah. Probably not. I haven't had much sleep recently with arranging everything, you know?"

Flone fiddled with her ring and then said, "...I'm going to make you take responsibility. If you run and disappear on me now, I'm going to kill everything in my way until I find you."

"Then I'll just have to make sure to stick around. It'd be bad if that happened."

"...Stupid. Making jokes at a time like this... but I guess that's why you're so cool and stole my heart."

I let out a wry smile.

Flone nodded and then stood up. "Fine. I won't say anything else, Jihu. But..." She shook and then looked at me. "Please. Don't push yourself."

"...I won't."

Flone stared at me and then turned away, walking out. "...I'm not the only one who's a bad liar, Jihu."

The moment she left, someone else walked in. Someone I hadn't expected to see.

Sora glanced back, causing her crimson hair to scatter, and then she shook her head. "Geez, it looks like you're more of a lady killer than I thought. To send that Saintess off in tears when you're so close to her..."

I shrugged. "I'm a bad guy. Can't be helped."

"Sure, sure." Sora dragged the chair over and sat down. "Anyway, you free to talk right now?"

"For a while. I still have one last thing to check with Ian, but that can wait a bit."

"Good. Then..." Sora looked at me and said, "Dear. Why don't you recruit me?"

"Recruit you?"

Sora nodded and said, "You already pulled in that Maria, didn't you? Now, I know I'm no Priestess, but I'm sure you know that my skills aren't half bad by now."

Hearing her try to beat around the bush, I couldn't help but laugh. "Heh."

"What?" Sora frowned. "Don't tell me you still think you're better than me?"

I shook my head. "No. I would never. But you know, if you wanted to join that bad, you could have just asked."

Sora froze. "...What? Wait." She frowned and said, "I could have?"

I nodded. "Of course. There's no way I wouldn't want someone as skilled as you on our team. Not to mention the fact that you've helped a lot with my training and also recently with the siblings. I don't have a problem with it, and I'm sure the others don't either."

Sora groaned and then said, "Why didn't you tell me that?!"

I shook my head and said, "I didn't want to tie down someone as skilled as you. It'd be nice to have you on our team, but I know that you also like doing your own thing, so-"

"Goddammit, Dear! You're a lady killer! Be more aggressive with these things!" Sora sighed and shook her head. "And here I thought you just didn't like me or something..."

"Of course I like you. You're the only one I can mess around with who doesn't get embarrassed."

"You mean I'm the only one you can flirt with who doesn't fall for your roguish charms, Dear."

I shrugged. "You said it, not me."

Sora rolled her eyes. "Whatever. In that case... I'm part of the team?"

I nodded. "I'll remember to tell everyone later and do proper introductions some time... Ah, and here. A welcome gift." I held out my hands and conjured a pair of gloves and a sword before handing both over.

"Hm?" Sora grabbed them and said, "What are-" The moment she grabbed them... and the moment her energy went out to resonate with the items, her eyes flew wide open.

Seeing that, I took the time to explain. "Your ability is one with the sword, right? That blade has a lot of elemental magic in it as well as the anti-evil... Well, I suppose it's more 'Evil Nullification' inside of it. Since you've thrown yourself in with us, I can't let you die on me now... so that's your insurance policy."

Sora looked back up at me and said, "Oi. Dear... You're not kidding, are you? This..." She clenched her hands and said, "...I still haven't repaid you for my debt."

"What debt?" I smiled and said, "Since you're a part of our team, we're friends now. And friends don't have debts between each other, right?"

Sora stared at me with her crimson eyes and then clicked her tongue, looking away. "Dammit. I see what the other girls were talking about now..."

"Huh?"

Sora shook her head and stood up. "Nothing. Then, if you'll excuse me... My Dear gave me his sword and took responsibility, so I have to make sure I keep the house in order while he's off to work."

"Well then, I hope you practice putting those gloves on before handling a sword. When this is over, you're going to be seeing mine a lot in the future."

Sora blushed.

I blinked and then started to panic. "H-Hold on-"

"I'm going!" Saying that, Sora ran off, slamming the door behind her.

Of course, that didn't cause the thick crimson threads floating behind her to vanish.

"...Dammit." I sighed. "Guess I shouldn't be making fun of Seol for his girl problems..."

I shook my head and got up.

There were things left to prepare.

xxx

Scheherazade, the Sinyoung Headquarters.

Seated in a lush couch lined with silk, Yun Seohui idly flipped through a report.

Across from her, standing with a blank expression, was a man cupping his hands in respect. The deliveryman of said report.

After a while, Seohui smiled and said, "How interesting."

It was a beautiful expression. One that could be used as a model for a goddess's depiction.

But it was also fake.

An artificial recreation, carefully honed and polished over the years.

The man seemed to be aware of it, but he kept a respectful and deferent smile on.

Seohui found it amusing. But she ignored it, focusing on the information instead.

It was a report compiled from the interview of an archer called Lara Wolff about the extraordinary young man whose name was making rounds. 'Seol Jihu.'

The same man who her younger sister was protecting and who that foxy Kim Hannah kept dodging questions about.

While there were plenty of embellishments in the record, no doubt because the archer wanted to puff up her benefactor, Seohui was certain that they weren't far off. No, her instincts were telling her that they *were* off, but in the opposite direction. That they fell short of what he could do.

After all, if it wasn't the case, her usually meek younger sister wouldn't be so ambitious.

"Hm..." She swirled her finger around the rim of a crystal glass, watching the vibration of the wine inside, and then said, "It's cute."

It really was. Her younger sister was trying desperately to cover for that Seol Jihu... and that foxy Kim Hannah was also acting surprisingly biased in recent times. Her work had also taken a few steps down from the usual excellent quality.

All of that, because of a single man.

"Seol Jihu... No, 'Jihu.'" The man who she tried to get in contact with and failed, easily seeing through her plans at pretending to be Seora. The man who was renowned across all of Paradise at this point.

And the man she was sure served as the cause for the Parasite Queen's recent actions.

"Um... Executive Director Yun." The previously silent man spoke up, interrupting Seohui's thoughts.

She blinked and tilted her head.

Seeing that, the man continued. "There is a meeting with the royal family soon. President wanted you to think about the matter carefully..."

"I know." Seohui smiled and said, "That's why I'm reading this." One of her delicate fingers traced the paper in her hand and she hummed.

Seol Jihu...

For some reason, Seohui couldn't stop thinking about him.

Not just because his name had been going around. Not just because of his impact on her younger sister or that Kim Hannah.

But rather...

"...How strange."

Seohui placed her hand over her chest, feeling her heartbeat.

Whenever she thought about him, her heart would race. At first, she thought it was palpitations. That the stress was finally catching up to her. But it wasn't. Her body was perfectly fine and even in better shape than most people.

Next, she thought it was fear. But she knew fear. And the emotion she felt wasn't it.

So she couldn't understand it. She couldn't understand it, but her instincts were telling her that he was someone she couldn't ignore.

Humming, she finally set down the report and looked at the man. "Manager."

The man tensed and nodded his head. "Yes, Executive Director Yun."

"Would you like to make a bet with me?"

The man's eyes widened. "A bet?"

"That's right." Seohui took a sip from her wine and said, "A bet on whether Parasites' Seven Armies will show up in Haramark or not. How about it?"

The man paled. "T-The Seven Armies?"

"Mmhm." Seohui smiled. "I’ll bet on them coming. At least two, perhaps even three."

"But the Federation is preparing for a frontal assault... If they did that, wouldn’t they lose control over Tigol Fortress. The place they spent so much effort to conquer?"

"Generally speaking, yes. But this Parasite Unni acts a little random sometimes, you see?"

The man looked confused.

But Seohui expected that. He wouldn't understand, so she explained herself. Glancing out the window at the distant horizon, she said, "Sometimes, I imagine. What if I were the Parasite Queen? What would I do to conquer this world? …Then, I often find myself thinking the same thing Unni does."

The man looked like he didn’t know what to say or do.

Seohui turned back to the man and said, "Did you know? That there has been a strange common point every time the Parasite Queen led the Seven Armies to attack the human forces."

"A common point?"

"Yes. A secretive common point between Parasite Unni and me." Yun Seohui interlocked her fingers and made a pleased smile. "I might write it off as coincidence if it happened once or twice... but she’d always kill the children I have my eyes on. She would either Parasitize them and take them, or cleanly murder them."

"Is, is that true?"

"Yes." Answering with a clear voice, Yun Seohui crossed her arms. Her gaze went up to the ceiling. “Who was it again? Ah, right. Marika Larisa. You’ve heard of her, right?”

The man nodded. “The Magician from Romania? She was famous in the past when she was together with the Archer of Steel.”

“Right. I was eyeing her because she was the only Magician who wielded photons rather than the elements, but Parasite Unni took her from me. By commanding Vulgar Chastity, that is.”

Yun Seohui crossed her legs and shrugged.

“It wasn’t just once or twice that this happened.”

“Then... this war is...”

“Seol Jihu. His reputation has spread across Paradise lately, hasn’t it?” She didn't finish the thought, but the implication wasn't hard to follow.

The man looked as if he found this hard to believe. If Yun Seohui wasn’t the one telling him all this, he would have snorted and turned his back on such nonsense a long time ago.

“But, even so... Tigol Fotress is on the line...”

“Well, we’ll find out. The question is what we should do.”

The man organized his thoughts before speaking. “Executive Director Yun, if things are as you say, then can’t we call Seol Jihu to Scheherazade? We can come up with a good reason.”

"We can't."

"P-Pardon?"

Seohui stared back at the report and reread his name. "Seol Jihu... No, Jihu." She hummed and said, "Things might be different if he was a normal Earthling. But he isn't. That's probably what has Unni so worried."

This was the latest official report, but it wasn't the only one she had received.

There were some that mentioned his combat abilities, able to utilize something like Spatial Displacement as a level two. There were others from the recent conference in Haramark that said he could use a Dimensional Pocket, meaning that he could be a Unique Ranker already. And then there were his actions.

The Banquet revealed him to be willing to commit cruel acts to force others to comply. But his act of spending three gold bars to help a tiny village showed he could be kind.

At least, that was how it appeared. But sources from Earth informed Seohui that Jihu was in no lack for money. At least, not anymore. It seemed that the foxy Kim Hannah had been growing a business under their noses, taking advantage of cutting edge technology and gaining traction. Enough to where Sinyoung couldn't shake it. Not without giving up their place on Earth entirely.

A paradox. A man with no reason to fight for Paradise, and yet chose to do so anyway.

Seohui tapped on the table and muttered, "Is he an idiot?"

The guy didn't make any sense. He was clearly rational and intelligent considering his accomplishments and his background on Earth. But at the same time, he seemed to be completely irrational, choosing to play out the role of a hero when he didn't need to.

"...Alright then."

She decided. If that guy was going to be irrational, then she would try it as well. And her instincts were telling her...

"...My little sister's going to be upset after this."

A flicker of a smile appeared on her face. An ugly and stiff expression that stood in direct contrast to the beautiful smile she had before.

The man froze and hesitantly called out. "Executive Director Yun?"

Seohui blinked and fixed her expression. After, she nodded and said, "Let's go."

"W-Where to?"

"To see if a 'Hero' really exists in this world." Staring out the window towards Haramark, Seohui couldn't help but wonder.

'Seol Jihu... How far can you go?'

xxx

Yuhui rushed through the lobby in the Temple of Luxuria, ignoring the gazes on her as she headed towards the gate pathway.

She heard them mumble in disbelief, but that didn't matter.

'Jihu...'

A message. The words Luxuria mentioned to her on her level up still echoed in her mind.

[That child... It seems that he's resolved himself to face it. So that everyone he cares about will be safe, he's taken upon the Fated Demise as his own destiny. It's heroic, but...]

A flash of light. With it, the scenery changed, revealing Yuhui's familiar room. But she didn't take the time to reminisce or appreciate it. Quickly moving to her drawer, she pulled open the top and grabbed her phone.

"That idiot...!"

She knew. She knew it too. If Luxuria herself had said it... If the gods were talking about it as if it was determined, then it couldn't be changed.

In the upcoming battle... Jihu would die.

But.

If that happened...

If that man lost his memories of Paradise... If he did, and turned back to the one she remembered in those memories, she...!

Yuhui grit her teeth and then quickly dialed a number.

"Come on, come on...! Pick up...!"

She couldn't do it by herself. Even if she had turned level eight, it wasn't enough. After all, she was just a healer. Despite everything, the only strength she had was to heal his wounds, not fight beside him.

The only one who could do that, the only one who might be able to overturn this harsh situation was...

"...Hello?" A soft and kind voice. But one that was also aloof. A bit frigid.

"Miss Seonhwa! Please! Help him!"

Silence.

Yuhui felt her heart race, not knowing if she would accept.

But then-

"...Tell me the details."

xxx

Seonhwa gently set her phone down, staring out the window.

It was night, the sky filled with brilliant stars. The full moon hung above, shining with its milky white hue.

For a while, Seonhwa stared at it, lost in thought. The stars were different, but she remembered that sight. One she had seen many times in the past after enduring countless hardships in Paradise.

But now...

"...Why are you like this, Jihu?"

...She couldn't help but reflect on it.

The same. He was the same, but different. The childish and mischievous pipster she knew was gone. After she left, he spiraled into a dark hole and tried dragging everyone else with him. Even when she tried to help, he didn't see her anymore. All he saw was another resource, another person to help fuel his addiction.

And then he suddenly changed again. Just as she had given up hope, he forcibly pulled himself out from that pit. Tossing away his vices, enduring stringent training to change himself, and even fulfilling the potential she always knew he had by starting up his own company and creating web applications that were spread the world over now.

He had everything. His family had forgiven him, *she* had forgiven him.

But he was still fighting.

Walking over to the window, Seonhwa muttered, "I don't understand it."

It wasn't because he was being pressured. Seonhwa thought that might have been the case at first after hearing the details from Jinhee about that night he rushed to her house. But the fact that he had Kim Hannah and Yun Seora's support showed otherwise.

It wasn't because he needed money. Jihu had completely given up gambling, and even if he did, she was sure that his companies were making more than enough to fund whatever he wanted.

Then...

"...No. It's because you haven't changed at all, have you?"

A nostalgic but sad smile crossed her face.

Seonhwa remembered it. The young boy who held out a hand to her after her world collapsed. The one who made a fool of himself to make her smile.

She thought he had vanished for good, but it seemed like even after everything, his core didn't change. He was still someone who saw the world with different eyes, who wanted to help those around him despite the cost to himself.

And from hearing Yuhui's urgent tone, it seemed that he planned to do that again.

A selfish part of her wanted to ignore it. Jihu... She wanted to keep him all to herself. And if he forgot about that side, if he forgot about all the people he met there, then he would have to turn to her. Even if he had connections here on Earth, the times they had together were more.

But...

"...So this is what he meant." Seonhwa sighed and lowered her head.

She had been selfish. No, she couldn't help but be selfish. While she had been fighting for her life every day in Paradise, Jihu had been descending into a downward spiral. Begging her for money, losing himself in gambling... She always wondered why that happened. When she found out, she couldn't understand it.

But now...

Was he doing okay? Was he eating properly? Was he seeing other people? Did he still miss me?

Thoughts like those had flickered in her mind since he started to change. And more than that... She remembered how he tried to push her away.

Was it her? Was she the reason why he didn't stay? Why couldn't he just do everything here? Why did he have to go somewhere she couldn't reach, somewhere she couldn't see?

Jihu told her that she would be hurt. That sticking around with him would only cause her pain.

It wasn't on purpose. Seonhwa knew it. The last time she had seen him, Jihu still cared for her.

But there was a distance now. Something that hadn't been there before. Something different between them...

Because he was different now.

...They both were.

In Paradise, Seonhwa had to learn how to stand on her own two feet. No, even overseas, she had to learn how to assert herself and draw lines. Because Jihu wasn't around, she had to pick herself up and fight for herself.

...But at the same time, because she was gone, Jihu had fallen. Without her to lean on, he fell flat onto the ground, unused to standing on his own feet.

A flicker of guilt passed through her heart.

Because she realized it.

Jihu... since the beginning, he had always been propping her up. Focusing on her, he had never thought about himself. His life had revolved around her, and she had relied on him.

But while she had learned to stand on her own two feet, because he had become so accustomed to holding her up and carrying her along... when she left, he collapsed. And in her absence, he tried everything to fill that gap.

And now he had done it. Seeing that she could stand alone, he resolved himself to let her go. She was no longer the reason he fought.

That thought... made her a bit sad. But she was also determined.

Paradise. It hadn't changed at all since when she left. No, it got worse.

At least, until Jihu arrived. But since then... Doing impossible tasks, pushing himself beyond his limits...

He was fighting. Jihu didn't tell anyone why, and Yuhui didn't know either.

But Seonhwa did. Jihu. Her Jihu... The one she fell in love with. The one who held his hand out to her... And the one who had returned after all these years. If it was him, seeing that place with his eyes, rife with injustice and sins... He would never allow it.

So...

She lowered her gaze and then walked upstairs to retrieve a piece of paper.

Staring at the tiny slip, Seonhwa took a deep breath. And then she nodded and tore the slip in half.

xxx

"Unni...!" Seora gripped the report in her hands, glaring at the pages.

A branch office of Sinyoung, set a few blocks away from the main branch in Scheherazade. The one owned exclusively by Yun Seora and under her complete control.

Seated behind her desk, Seora glared at the report in her hands and then looked up at the one who brought it.

It was a middle-aged man. The same one who drove the car to pick up Jihu in their first meeting on Earth, and the same one who kept escorting her whenever they met afterwards.

He let out a wry smile and said, "I'm sorry, Lady Seora. But it seems that the First Lady is determined this time."

"Dammit!" Seora slammed her fist on the table. "Of all the times for Unni to be whimsical...!"

It was a crisis. Seohui had recommended that they leave Haramark be and respond to the other requests. Her argument was that Princess Teresa had reinforced Arden Valley well enough that they didn't have to prioritize it in the upcoming battle.

On paper, it made sense. But Seora knew the real reason behind it.

"She just wants to see how far Oppa can go...!"

Seol Jihu. The one who saved her life, her dignity, and pulled her out of the darkness when Seora had given into despair. Not only that, but the one who gave her the encouragement and tools to fulfill her desires instead of just clearing the path for her.

In recent times, Jihu had grown. Enough to where his growth was nonsensical. Not only that, but Seora knew the truth of his powers. Especially the fact that he wasn't limited to using them in Paradise.

But like this...

"You stupid Unni...!"

Seora knew Jihu well. While he was kind, he also had a bottom line. There were certain things that he couldn't forgive or allow. And while he treated his friends and allies like royalty... No, better than royalty, to his enemies he was a cruel and merciless demon.

And Sinyoung was his enemy.

Seohui didn't know because Miss Hannah had covered it up well, but Seora did since she learned about it from Jihu's sister.

Because of Sinyoung, Jinhee had almost suffered an unspeakable fate. The same or worse than the one that Seora was going to suffer back in the Neutral Zone.

He already didn't have a reason to help Sinyoung, and he had been neutral towards Seohui at best. But now...

"Oppa hates being toyed with, Unni. And if he loses..."

It was an impossible situation. The Parasites were mounting an unprecedented attack. It was a situation where even the brightest stars could be snuffed out in an instant.

And if Jihu died... if he suffered the death penalty...

Seora was sure that he'd be mostly fine. He returned to Earth frequently enough to fill in the gaps, and even before arriving in Paradise he hadn't been desperate.

But that was the problem.

Jihu... No, Oppa wasn't stupid. She was sure that he had a backup plan for the worst case scenario. But he was also emotional.

That boundless wrath he had towards those foreigners that were trying to violate her. The display he showed in the Banquet against those who tried to sacrifice innocents...

If he suffered the death penalty, even if just for a short while, Seora was sure that Jihu would focus more on his emotions than his thoughts. And in that case...

"...There's going to be a bloodbath." Seora set the report down and then laced her fingers together on her desk.

Lacking the context of Paradise, Jihu would definitely take out his anger in reality. And without any information, it would be indiscriminate. Murder. And murder that would never get connected to the source. An absolute bloodbath to remove Sinyoung down to its roots, leaving only what Seora possessed.

"What do you plan to do, Lady Seora?" The man called out to her.

Seora didn't respond at first. But then she sighed, determination filling her eyes. "Call my father."

"P-Pardon?!"

Seora looked up at the man and said, "Shin. You heard me. Call my father." She glanced back at her report and said, "...Unni's had her way long enough. And if she's not willing to get her beautiful hands dirty this time... Well, all the better for me, isn't it?"

The man... Shin, chuckled and said, "True. That is definitely more suited for you, Lady Seora."

Seora stood up and said, "Let's go. We don't have time to waste."

Shin nodded. "Where to first, my Lady?"

"The Temple of Luxuria. I don't have Unni's sway... but it should be enough if I can get Lady Yuhui's help."

Shin grabbed a coat from a rack nearby and handed it to Seora.

She gave a grateful nod and put it on, running over how she could fix the situation.

Unni... Well, Seora thought she was pitiful, but she wasn't going to go out of her way to help someone who threw themselves into the fire on their own volition.

No, instead of that, she had to focus on keeping Oppa safe. And to give as much help as she could to avoid the worst case scenario.

Seora started walking towards the exit, mulling over her thoughts.

Shin followed after her, frowning. "...I don't mean to be rude, Lady Seora. But while I agree with your plan... How are you going to convince Lady Yuhui?"

Seora giggled. "That's easy, Shin."

The middle-aged man blinked. "How so?"

Seora turned towards him and smiled. "You see... Oppa is so amazing that Miss Yuhui is actually his stalker from Earth."

"...What?"

Seora shrugged. "Oppa is just that great... Which makes me wonder why his previous girlfriend left him. And why his sister keeps avoiding the question when I ask..." She shook her head. "Anyway, she should help us if we explain the situation. And that should be enough to change the power balance too."

Shin paused and then gave Seora a meaningful look. "Then... My Lady. Have you decided on Mister Jihu's proposal?"

She opened the door leaving her office and nodded. "Yeah." Staring at the staff members looking towards her who bowed their heads, she smoothed her expression and said, "It's about time I started cleaning up the mess my family left behind. In both worlds."

24