Necromancer Survival - Chapter 94
Jung Garam did not remove his forehead–still rubbing against my neck–until he heard my answer.
However, his hands were still clasped around my neck, twitching as if they were on the verge of clamping down with his unexpected strength. Of course, I wanted to brush off that uncomfortable hand, but I found that I couldn’t resist. I was frozen from his unfamiliar expression–a sincere expression that held none of his usual cynical mockeries.
“It’s totally fluttering.”
“…W-what are you talking about…”
Jung Garam murmured as if he cut straight through my core and were observing my heart. His tone gave me goosebumps; swallowing my saliva, I could barely respond.
It was then. The door opened, as if we were characters in a script.
It was Seo Dawon.
Seo Dawon saw Jung Garam holding my neck and how I struggled against him; he closed the door and strode close to us.
And, thankfully, he stopped the younger ghost. He directly took the treasure hunter’s hand off my neck and stepped in between us, widening the distance between me and Jung Garam. “Why are you harassing Lee-kyung-ie like that?”
“When did I do that?”
“There’s no way you missed how scared he was?” Though he said that, Seo Dawon did not act forcefully besides removing Jung Garam’s hands.
So, Jung Garam relaxed his rigid expression and retreated. He glanced at me, “He’s the one with an overactive imagination, what am I supposed to do….”
I got angry at his words and glared at Jung Garam timidly, but Seo Dawon stepped in before we could quarrel more. “Koo Kyungman will wake soon.”
That meant that the time for us to confirm the hour of Koo Kyungman’s destruction would soon befall us. The vague anxiety that something might go wrong crossed my mind, but I chose to not voice that worry.
Moreover, it was surprising to see that neither Jung Garam nor Seo Dawon looked particularly happy. Jung Garam seemed indifferent, and Seo Dawon only had a light, bland smile on his face.
“If you’re ready, let’s go.”
However, I couldn’t exactly ask ‘Why aren’t you pleased?’ so I nodded quietly at Seo Dawon’s words. I got up from my seat; Jung Garam was already standing at the door, staring back at me.
When I opened the door, one of the servants who was serving food behind Chairwoman Shin, stood, bowing his head. They were probably waiting in advance. 1
“You may go up these stairs.” He quietly backed away after guiding us to some stairs hidden at the end of the corridor–separate from the central stairway that originally took us to this floor.
Seo Dawon nodded to Jung Garam, and Jeong Garam went on ahead. Seo Dawon and I followed afterwards.
* * *
On top of the stairs stood an iron door, painted black.
The wall next to the door was studded with jewel-like blue crystals; as we climbed up, the color of the blue crystals turned transparent. The iron door opened automatically with a clunking sound. I carefully stepped through.
The room’s insides looked a bit like a shaman’s shrine. In every corner that could be seen, there was a Buddha statue entangled in red ties; large and small talismans littered the wallpaper, creating an eerie atmosphere. 2
Looking around, blinded by the enormous interior, I almost fell, surprised by the touch of something soft at my feet–a white furball, Chairwoman Shin’s cat familiar.
Fortunately, Seo Dawon, who was behind me, caught me so I did not fall, but my face flushed red after making eye contact with Chairwoman Shin, who was sitting in front of us.
Chairwoman Shin usually has a strict and perfectly professional face, but just then she looked at me as if she saw someone lacking. Jung Garam snorted.
“H-hello,” I said.
Although I was embarrassed, I pretended not to, as much as possible, and approached her. Maybe she still thought of me as simple-minded, she just called the cat that surprised me and petted it in lieu of returning the greeting.
The blatant disregard made me feel a bit awkward, but I’d rather not start anything. So, I stood in front of her without further catching her eye. Soon enough, Koo Hui-seo appeared on the other side of the door that we entered through.
“Kyungman-ie woke up.” Koo Hui-seo paused, looking at me next to his mother, before bowing his head politely at her, as if he were a servant reporting to his mistress.
Chairwoman Shin rose up out of her seat without saying a word; I stared at Seo Dawon. He nodded, reassuring me, and walked first; I followed behind the two into another room.
Inside that other room was a large bed; laying on top was Koo Kyungman, limbs bound to all 4 posts of the bed.
It was similar to how Koo Hui-seo had previously tied him up with black ties; but, unlike before, Koo Kyungman was not wearing a blindfold, allowing us to clearly look into his bloodshot eyes.
Koo Kyungman struggled, as if he were having a seizure; he must have predicted to some extent what would happen to him. And Chairwoman Shin, who usually carried herself with a slight frown, smiled as if she were watching something amusing. “Really, this is truly refreshing–taking care of one more worry before I die.”
Though I could not grasp the emotions of everyone else here, Chairwoman Shin and Koo Kyungman were clearly broadcasting their feelings. Koo Kyungman expressed himself through his muzzled mouth, like an animal, and Chairwoman Shin observed him joyfully.
And I…My mouth felt dry as I watched his bloodshot eyes and his struggling, to the point of bruising, limbs.
To be honest, the courage to see Koo Kyungman’s two arms being cut off was fading. It’s not that I was ignorant of his actions, nor that I sympathized with him.
It’s just–maybe it’s that I was afraid of harming a living human being full of vitality. There was no answer for this feeling of weakness I felt within. Regretfully, as the barely eaten dinner began queasily moving, my stomach began to ache.
I didn’t want to be caught trembling, so I clasped my hands tightly behind my back.
However, Jung Garam had already seen me, after tearing his attention away from Koo Kyungman, and Seo Dawon held my hands lightly. It seems that I was being rather obvious.
In addition to holding my hands, Seo Dawon whispered into my ears, “Close your eyes.”
However, I could not readily accept his consideration. I was concerned by the gazes of Chairwoman Shin and Koo Hui-seo…Furthermore, Seo Dawon, Jung Garam, and I were on the same team–the same boat.
“I can’t always be one step behind every time,” I said. I, in the process of achieving their revenge, couldn’t always stay back because I was afraid.
So, steeling my resolve, I turned my gaze towards Koo Kyungman, who was still struggling wildly. Seo Dawon, seeing how I firmly made up my mind, moved to take his hands of mine…but I, involuntarily, clung on.
I was embarrassed to hear Seo Dawon’s quiet chuckles in the back, but I, who needed some support, shamelessly gripped harder. Seo Dawon calmly let himself be caught.
“……Shall we start?”
“Hmmm…Alright. There’s no need to drag this out.”
Koo Hui-seo, as if was watching over me, fortuitously asked Chairwoman Shin to start only after I raised my head high. She nodded in return.
“Mmmph!! Mm! Mm!”
The black strands that held Koo Kyungman’s limbs aloft climbed up his arms like a living snake and settled around his upper elbow.
Then it began to tighten in a circular shape, like a string cutter. At first, Koo Kyungman stopped shouting–perhaps ignorant of what was truly happening–and stared warily. Then, feeling that something was wrong, he began swinging his arms wildly.
However, the black strands did not stop tightening. The skin under the string had already turned red and swollen; Koo Kyungman began pounding his head against the wall, neck swinging here and there–the only thing he could control–as the string penetrated his skin.
The strands surrounding his arms did not loosen. Meanwhile, dozens of similar black strands climbed up onto the bed, raising its metaphorical head, and began surrounding him.
At that time, Koo Hui-seo approached the bed with a flask of blue liquid in his hand. When he sat on the mattress, the string tightening around the captive’s arms stopped moving.
Koo Kyungman stared up at his approaching brother; when Koo Hui-seo took off the saliva-covered muzzle, he breathed hard.
Koo Hui-seo shoved the flask right underneath his brother’s nose, “I’ll divide its content into three–slowly swallow. If you spit it out, I’ll cut your arms off without it.”
Koo Kyungman’s cold and sweaty face was full of vigilance, but he also seemed to realize that there was nothing much he could do. Before long, he opened his mouth very slightly, and Koo Hui-seo poured a certain amount from the flask before stopping.
TL: Quick update. I really do pity Koo Kyungman.
Chapter 100 is coming up soon and I’m trying to think of something do~