About a week after Min Chae-young started following Sesha to school… Plop. Kronos placed a document on a table. Rhea and Ananta soon looked to see what Kronos had brought. On the document, they saw someone’s biography as well as three pictures.
“Are you doing some undercover background investigation work on the side? You seemed to always say that you didn’t have time for anything since you were so busy looking after Ye-eun.”
Hearing Rhea’s snide remark, Kronos lightly sighed. “It’s not like that.”
“…?” Wondering what her husband was up to, Rhea looked at the document closely. Soon, her eyes grew wide.
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The name ‘Son Jae-won’ was at the top of the document, and below it followed the names ‘Son Ji-ho’ and ‘Seo Eun-young’.
“We looked everywhere for the guy that Chae-young mentioned, but we didn’t get anywhere, so I employed an investigator.”
“It seems something strange is going on.”
At first, when Rhea accepted Chae-young’s request, Kronos thought that it would not be too difficult to find the boy called Son Jae-won. Though he felt a sense of unease, if the boy lived as a human on Earth, Kronos and Rhea would inevitably be able to locate and find him. If they released their powers for a moment to look through the entire planet, they would be able to locate the person of interest within an instant.
However, their thought of conducting such a simple act of search-and-locate quickly crumbled. No matter how many times they scanned the entirety of Earth, they could not locate the being named Son Jae-won. They investigated every being that possessed such a name and even those who possessed it in the past, but they had no luck.
Thinking that something was off, Kronos rewound the ‘wheel’ to go back in time to view the vestige thoughts left by Son Jae-won while Rhea followed along to shadow Son Jae-won’s movements. And after reviewing all the remnants left by Son Jae-won in the past, they concluded that Son Jae-won was not a simple figure.
Min Chae-young had stated that Son Jae-won always arrived at school early, was relatively quiet, and was unassuming. However, what Kronos and Rhea found did not match Chae-young’s description.
“You see it too, right? There’s something different about that Son Jae-won.”
Around the time when Min Chae-young was killed, Son Jae-won seemed to have changed. Not only did Son Jae-won seek revenge on the stepfather who had killed Chae-young, but he started to also resolve the various injustices and criminal cases that had occurred during his contemporary period. It was as if he had become some sort of US comic book superhero.
Kronos and Rhea also recalled that there were many corpses popping up all over Korea during that time. It had caused quite a commotion back then. In the end, no one was able to find the culprit behind all the corpses, and the serial killings of that time from the serial killer had suddenly stopped. In the end, nothing was concluded or resolved.
Rhea, who was in the hospital at that time due to illness, did not pay much attention to what had been going on. She never thought that Son Jae-won was behind everything that had occurred during that time.
“So, on a hunch, I employed someone to investigate everyone close to Son Jae-won. This is what they found.” Kronos crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes. “Doesn’t it seem like something is up?”
“Oh, Son Jae-won was the child from the parents who led the band ‘Will’”.
When she arrived on Earth for the first time, Rhea found that her age group was very interested in the band called ‘Will’. Before marrying Kronos, she recalled going to a few of their concerts. She did not expect to see or hear of them again, especially in this way. Rhea also recalled that the love and marriage of the two members of ‘Will’ had been a popular story in the tabloids back then. Moreover, the band stopped performing ever since the two members’ marriage.
“For there to be no other family information… Isn’t that unexpected?”
“Do you know what’s more interesting? Even though they were so popular, no one seems to be able to recall how they looked.”
Rhea tried recalling their faces but could not do so easily. She soon nodded her head.
Whether a blessing or a curse, once one reached divine status, one lost the sense of obliviousness. All memories that a soul experienced and piled up within one’s unconscious could be reviewed whenever one wanted. Everything one saw and observed remained as detailed as a video clip, and one would be able to recall the feelings, inner thoughts, sensations, and general thoughts one had at that time. Hence, all memories that Rhea possessed when she was the ‘god Rhea’ existed within her soul.
However, strangely, Rhea could not recall the faces of Will’s vocalist and guitarist whom she had seen when she went to their concerts with Kronos. It was as if her memories had been covered by strong sunlight.
“The child named Son Jae-won… It’s clear that his disappearance has something to do with his parents. Son Jae-won disappeared first, and then the other two disappeared. Even the other members of the band don’t seem to know anything about their whereabouts.” This was Kronos’ conclusion.
Rhea sighed. It was difficult enough trying to find out what or who the Stars were. Now, they had to contend with another difficult matter. “…Do you think it has something to do with Chae-young’s Star Fragment?”
“I don’t know. But we can’t say there’s no association at all, right?”
“Let’s not make hasty assumptions. We’ll find out more as we dig deeper, so let’s keep all this a secret from Chae-young for the time being."
“Yes, I agree.” Rhea nodded.
* * *
‘I-It isn’t going to break, right?’ Min Chae-young looked at her adorable hand, which was clenching her index finger, with a trembling gaze.
“Abubu!” A one-year-old baby, still unable to speak, babbled. Its babbling words struck Min Chae-young’s heart. She wondered how in the world could there be such a cute and adorable child! Sesha referred to this child as her ‘youngest aunt’. Maybe it received the title as youngest because her grandfather and grandmother gave birth to it recently?
Although Sesha grumbled that her genealogy was terribly twisted because of it, Sesha made sure to carefully care for her young aunt.
“…Auntie pooped again. I need to change her diaper.”
“Aww! You can\'t eat that! No, no!”
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For a long time, Sesha busily wrestled with the baby. When she finished changing the baby’s diapers, Sesha was exhausted.
“Uh… Am I a niece or a nanny?” Sesha lamented as she lay half-strewn across a chair. It seemed that Sesha had lost half her soul. As the youngest sibling in the Cha household, the baby was fierce and lively. So every time Sesha met her aunt, she felt like she was running out of power. Regardless of whatever Sesha felt, Sesha’s aunt just loved being with Sesha. Even now, the baby was standing up with her diaper on and shaking Sesha to and fro.
“Hey! Niece! Niece!”
“…There’s something odd about the way she talks.”
“…Why does her way of speaking remind me of father and uncle?” Sesha looked at her youngest aunt with a strange expression on her face, but her youngest aunt was energetically playing around in a good mood.
Min Chae-young stared at Sesha, and then she quickly said something to prevent Sesha from falling asleep due to exhaustion.「So-yeong.」
「Sorry to bother you while you’re taking a break, but can you tell me if it’s possible to add a stroke to this part of the magic circle?」
A small magic circle appeared on Min Chae-young’s open palm. It was a basic magic circle consisting of only four strokes.
Currently, Min Chae-young was learning magic from Sesha so that she could at least protect herself if she should fall in danger. Moreover, Min Chae-young was deeply interested in magic. During her lifetime, her family’s circumstances were not so good, so she was not able to study very effectively, but the situation was completely different now. Additionally, studying magic felt like she was growing wings that freed her from oppression while giving her true ‘freedom’. Everything she learned was interesting and new.
‘Really… She has talent. Perhaps it has to do with her Star Fragment or whatever it is she has.’ After giving her explanation, Sesha smiled softly as she saw Min Chae-young’s eyes twinkling. Though Chae-young was only at the level of creating simple magic circles, it was still absurd that someone who had only studied magic for a week was able to accomplish so much. To this extent, Min Chae-young exemplified excellent in her understanding, insight, and memorization of magic.
Even Min Chae-young herself was surprised by her rapid development. When she was alive, Min Chae-young felt that she was not very bright.
Sesha could vaguely guess the reason behind why Chae-young felt this way. On another note, Sesha was feeling a sense of crisis because of Min Chae-young, whose potential had only been partially revealed.
When Sesha occasionally explained the basics of magic, Chae-young often threw out sharp questions that challenged Sesha. It was as if Chae-young knew what parts were the most important. Sesha was often surprised by Chae-young’s pointed questions.
‘If things go on like this, I’ll reach the end of my knowledge soon. That can’t happen! I need to study up and not get overtaken!’
Thanks to this, Sesha was motivated to learn and practice magic more, which she had been lazy about previously. They became well-intentioned competitors.
“In the case of this stroke, it goes through the central circuit, right? Depending on the inclination of the stroke, there is a slight difference in function in terms of function…!”
While Sesha was giving her explanation…
“…Huh? What’s going on?” Sesha blinked after seeing that the magic circle was not budging. It was not just the magic circle. All the mana around them… The natural mana and the flow of the mana stream all stopped. It was as if the mana was being held back by someone.
At that moment…
A message that Sesha was all too familiar with popped up in her mind. This was a system message. The system that Yeon-woo had shut down began to operate once more. Why was the system suddenly becoming operational…
「S-So-yeong! Something strange is happening!」
Sesha urgently looked back at Min Chae-young. A different message was floating in front of Min Chae-young.
[New registrant found!]
[Data is registered.]
[Loading. Please wait a moment.]
Since this development was completely unexpected, Sesha could not help but be caught off guard.
[The server is opening.]
[The backed-up player data has been confirmed.]
[The system will restart!]
Then, as soon as the message that her connection was complete popped up, Sesha jumped up as a thought passed by her mind. “Chae-young, wait here for a second!”
Min Chae-young was startled, wondering what was going on, so she called out to Sesha, but Sesha had already left the room and was heading downstairs. And, at the place she ran down to, Sesha saw the face of the person who she longed to see.
Yeon-woo waved as he happily looked upon Sesha. He was carrying something in his arms. It seemed to be a present for Sesha.
However, for Sesha, there was something more time sensitive and important that she needed to convey to her uncle.
“Please! Please do something about Laplace!”
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