A resounding explosion.
The sound of something collapsing and the screams of people.
The first thought that came to my mind in the midst of all the mixture of that was simple.
It was just to think that if something was bothering me in the future, let's not move on, thinking it was just an overreaction.
The next thought that came to my mind was who the hell would commit this.
'Red Case No, it’s the time when they're still holding their breath.’
Above all else, it wasn't their way to do it so loudly.
Meanwhile, I could feel the branch of the World Tree wriggling again.
The branch of the World Tree that reacted suddenly.
The street preparing for the sealing commemoration festival of the Seven Evils.
The crazy act of committing terrorism in a place where civilians are gathering.
Putting these three together, there was only one.
The Thorns Cross Society.
A group of fanatics who almost always kept the top spot in terms of being insane, even in this 'Clouds on the Horizon'.
But why now......
Choi Hyun-Woo muttered blankly.
Come to think of it, that was the direction Han Soo-Young had disappeared.
It was when I suddenly got up from my seat following Choi Hyeon-Woo, who got up in a hurry.
[A quest has been created!]
― Uninvited guests in everyday life
― As we were preparing for the festival, there was a terrorist attack by someone hiding in the crowded streets.
We don't know their purpose, identity, or anything, but if you're an academy student who wants to become a hero, there's only one thing you have to do in this situation.
Save as many citizens as possible and subdue them!
― Inducing citizens to evacuate.
― suppression of the terrorist group.
― Contribution to Five Streets
― Intimacy with people related to the five streets.
‘A sudden quest’
I had never seen anything like this before.
But I didn't have time to think long now.
I spoke while looking at Choi Hyun-Woo, who seemed to be waiting for my instructions.
“Let's help with the evacuation of the citizens first.
I don't know why, but there's no guarantee that we'll be able to handle them, and besides, there are many other heroes and hunters in this street."
Then I added a word.
“I'm sure nothing's going to happen to her.
She's the most rational of us all.”
Choi Hyun-Woo, who had his hand on the scabbard at my words, nodded his head and went out into the street.
It was literally nothing short of a pandemonium in the streets as the citizens screamed without knowing what to do.
First of all, we had to induce them away from the epicenter of the explosion.
“Please remain calm and move one by one!”
As I went out into the street and shouted that, a young woman screamed fiercely.
“Who are you to tell me what to do!”
It was before I could say anything to the sharp response.
Choi Hyun-Woo came forward first, and made eye contact with her, brimming with energy.
Please follow the instructions and evacuate.”
"Oh… Ye, yes…..
I was at a loss for words as I looked at the woman who answered with a blushing red face.
But I was soon brought back to my senses by a sound coming from afar.
“Everyone, move quickly!”
“Groups 1 and 2, go to the scene of the incident! Groups 3 and 7, check the injured and move! The rest will induce citizens to evacuate!”
Immediately, a response team consisting of active heroes appeared.
Honestly, with a little bit of thought, it was obvious that five streets were right in front of the academy, and common sense dictated that it was a place where people would gather, so there was no way security would be lacking.
‘But to commit a terrorist attack in a place like this…...
No matter how hard I thought about it, it was a reckless plan that reminded me of moths jumping into the fire.
Was there a reason why it was so important, or was he just so confident
That was what I was thinking.
A few people appeared from the alleyway, looking suspiciously dressed.
I didn't really feel that way because I knew the original story.
Anyone would think so when you saw someone wearing a robe that covered everything from head to toe.
I called him secretly.
At my call, he reflexively grabbed the scabbard.
Their appearance was the same as that of a member of the Thorns Cross Society that I was familiar with.
Then I knew better than anyone who they were after.
'This is the first time I've tried this.'
Hoping it would work, I began to move Henir's shadow.
There were a total of seven of them that were sneaking in among the fleeing citizens.
Now, at the same time as the flow of mana, I could feel something moving from my toes.
Henir's Shadow began to split in several directions.
Due to the awakening last time, he finally began to recognize me as his owner.
Perhaps that was why I was able to make him move more easily and freely according to my will.
Contrary to my worries, the shadows I stretched out immediately clung to their shadows.
‘I wanted to hide it for as long as possible…..
It was impossible to hide even in this situation.
I didn't care if they were out there, if they were those guys, I had no choice.
Because those guys weren't after heroes or hunters, but only ordinary people with no abilities.
“Long live the thorns!”
"Hail humanity, be great!"
Robes soared into the air with enthusiastic shouts from here and there.
And then, with the weapons hidden inside the robes firmly in hand, they immediately began to attack the surrounding civilians indiscriminately.
I shouted, and at the same time, I pushed all the remaining mana into Henir's Shadow.
At the same time, the body of the one who had been swinging his mace with all his might, aiming at the child's head, was tilted and collapsed.
The guy, who suddenly lost his balance, looked down at the ground with an expression that he didn't understand.
Then he saw his ankle fall into a black shadow as if he had been bitten into the earth.
That was the last sight he saw.
Even in his bewilderment, he tried to swing his mace at the child, but was struck by Choi Hyun-Woo's scabbard and went limp.
“What the hell is going on here...!”
The citizens, surprised by the sudden attack, began to make a commotion again.
The heroes, who had noticed the commotion from afar, were approaching at a fast pace.
Originally, these seven men would have brutally murdered at least one civilian in that brief moment before they could even come close.
“I can't move my ankle!”
“What is this!”
“Someone dares to do this to our cause!”
With their ankles tied up, each of them was pouring out anger and embarrassment.
And it was hard for me to move when I had seven people bound to me at the same time.
I could feel something rapidly escaping from my body as if I were squeezing my lungs.
All I had to do was tie their legs together.
But this was enough.
"You bastard! Ahh...!"
There was no way that an opponent who couldn't move would be a match for Choi Hyun-Woo.
In the blink of an eye, he neutralized as many as six personnel one after another.
They swung their weapons in their own way to resist, but he wasn't one to take such an attack.
Watching the last opponent drooping, I retrieved Henir's Shadow.
It was only then that one of the heroes who was coming this way approached us at a quick pace.
Thanks to you, there was no major damage.”
"That's a relief."
“Are you, Orhe Academy students”
I nodded my head at their question.
Then I quickly cut his words and said.
I'm away from my party now.
Is it okay if I look for it separately”
He seemed to ponder my answer for a moment.
Originally, we were also in a position to run away according to their instructions.
But he looked around at the guys we had quickly neutralized and nodded.
It's not supposed to be this way, but I think you guys will be fine.
Instead, can you go around and help evacuate the citizens as you did earlier”
He turned himself towards his companions as if he understood my answer.
They were already in the process of arresting the unconscious members of the Thorns Cross Society.
Choi Hyun-Woo and I immediately turned to the epicenter of the explosion.
Black smoke was still rising from there.
“Can you get in touch with Han Soo-Young”
"No, I've been trying for a while now, but it's not working at all."
While talking to Choi Hyun-Woo, I looked at the quest window.
The quest was still in progress.
That means the condition had not yet been met.
‘There's definitely someone who is an executive somewhere other than them.’
If that was the case, then everything would be explained.
There are a total of 12 executives at the Thorns Cross Society.
No matter how they appeared a few months earlier, an executive-level would appear...….
Choi Hyun-woo and I were quickly moving up against the crowd.
There was personnel evacuating citizens from various places along the way, so there was no need for us to go out.
“What the hell are these guys doing”
Why are you asking me like that
As I was thinking this, he murmured as if he had even read my thoughts.
"Because I think you know something about it."
I tried to pretend that I didn't know, but I changed my mind.
If it was Red Case, it wouldn't be too strange if these guys already knew about it.
In the first place, it was their setting to be an emerging religious group, that had been steadily causing problems, big and small, for a long time.
But the only way they could have gone this crazy was if at least two of the Seven Evils' seals had been shattered........
As I thought to myself, I opened my mouth.
"I don't know the details, but they're probably the Thorns Cross Society."
“Thorns Cross Society”
Choi Hyun-Woo seemed to be hearing it for the first time.
"To put it simply, they're a bunch of crazy pseudo-bastards.
They are capable supremacists and are extremely radical.”
I started explaining to him, organizing my thoughts in my head.
There was no need to open the settings book.
The impressions these guys gave me were so strong that I could remember them clearly even in old memories.
“The people who can't awaken their abilities like the heroes and hunters are the same as the old humans who have to be eliminated.
That's why we, the new human beings, should drive out the old ones and become the masters of the new era...
Well, it's a place where they talk about such ** seriously.”
“What are… .”
"It's the bull** of a bunch of crazies."
I dismissed it like that.
If there was a problem, it was that they were a group with that much power and execution.
The most important condition for joining the Thorns Cross Society was to be an awakened person.
And if they were at least powerful enough to be admitted to any academy, not just Orhe.
The force of a group gathered in such a way would obviously be weak if compared to the average hero or hunter, but at least it could not be compared to a civilian.
The believers gathered in such a way have spread to branches all over the country, systematically trained and increased their strength, and even spread their power abroad.
And they thoroughly committed crimes like terrorism against civilians, and some of them committed murder without hesitation.
Nevertheless, it was the largest armed group that had great power and was closely connected with the political world, making it impossible to conduct a proper investigation.
Along with the Red Case, one of the main hostile forces in the clouds on the horizon were these Thorns Cross.
‘The most disturbing thing is that their leader can use the power of the World Tree.’
And his power was beyond imagination, so much so that he shared that power with others.
It would make sense if the executive who was given a share of the World Tree's power was hiding in these five streets, and the branches of the World Tree reacted to his power.
The only problem was that the timing was too early.
‘I don't know, the whole thing is moving too fast.’
The terrorist attack of the Thorns Cross Society was an incident that had happened in the original story.
But, as I said before, it would take at least a few months for it to happen.
It was the same no matter what character you played as.
‘Let’s deal with urgent matters first and think about it later.’
Thinking like that, I urged Choi Hyun-Woo.
“Let’s move quickly and find Han Soo-Young first.
They don't touch anyone, who is awakened, but they are more than willing to attack if they think you will hinder their goals."
Choi Hyun-Woo did not answer my words.
Instead, he stopped, and I immediately knew why.
“… And it seems they think we both are a hindrance."
Choi Hyun-Woo muttered like that.
I felt the branches of the World Tree wriggling, and my expression naturally turned furrowed.
Before we knew it, there was a guy with a robe covering his whole body standing in front of us.