The sound of water dropping echoed around him. It was a space of emptiness where he couldn’t feel anything.
‘Parasite…… did you drag me back into this place?’
As I growled towards the emptiness, the black smoke-like parasite appeared out of thin air with his chin resting on his hand. The parasite had a sort of refreshed face compared to its normal sneering grin.
[What an idiot. Oh, how my kindness was repaid with such ungratefulness.]
’Stop the BS and tell me why you brought me here.“
[Me? Bring you? Here?]
The guy floated down to the ground. On the thing’s black smoky hand were two pale, flesh-colored fingers that stuck out from his entire body. The index and middle fingers that the body in my consciousness didn’t have. The two parts of the body it had complete control over.
It placed his right hand, which had two fingers, on my shoulder.
[Stop blabbering nonsense and wake up. It doesn’t look like you have much time outside.]
Outside? What was this guy saying?
He was about to shake off the hand of the guy who was saying things he couldn’t understand, but then, in the corner of his eye, he saw one of the black, smoky fingers disappear and get replaced with a pale one.
[Oh, and I’m taking this.]
Professor jumped in surprise and looked at his left hand. It was gone. The ring finger on his hand that was just there moments ago. It moved over to the parasite’s hand.
‘W-Why did you…?!’
[Don’t be so salty. This is a real cheap price for what I did. I even added a discount. If you see what I did outside you’ll be thanking me.]
Light started to seep through the crack that appeared in the space of void.
[Sigh, you’re finally waking up. You slow vessel bastard.]
‘W-Wait! Give me a moment! Tell me what happened!’
The parasite completely ignored Professor’s shouts, and instead, scratched the inside of his ear with his new finger.
[You’ll know when you’re out. If you’re so thankful that you want to repay me, you can let me use your body once a week.]
‘Damn it! Say something that I can actually understand……!’
As the crack widened, the black void filled up with light, and Professor woke up.
The first thing he felt when he opened his eyes was, of course, pain. He was dizzy and he had a headache, along with a pain that felt like his insides were being twisted into knots.
‘What was I doing before I blacked out?’
The first thing he remembered. Soft lips. Uh, hm….. what was after that? There didn’t seem to be anything really important after tha—
‘Know your place, beast! You are not worthy to even speak to me!’
Professor’s hazy mind cleared up instantly. He was then finally able to see his surroundings. It looked like the place had been hit by a bomb, and there were several system messages that were red and flashing his eyes. The chat was moving at a crazy speed, and Isaac was in a corner muttering to himself while clutching his arm.
To Professor, it looked like his arm just had a little bit of ash and a small wound, but Isaac tried to rip something off of his arm, then clutched his head again, screaming something out.
“Gahhhhh! No… no! Get off of me, please! The nightmares… The nightmares are going to come true! I need to stop it… I… I.… need to stop it!!!!!”
The back of Isaac’s neck swelled and ruptured with his last frenzied scream, as a centipede-like creature came out and crawled up his face.
“Wait! That’s an insomnia crab. There was a mute in his body?”
Insomnia crab. It was a special type of mutant, similar to the burrowing worms and Pale Face from that one time. They’re considered about a level 5–6 mutant, but it’s only about the size of a person’s palm with no fighting ability, and the Queen still has to produce them herself, so the profitability isn’t that high, making it close to trash.
It only had two abilities. To weaken the host’s mind and plant the image the Queen wants, and when the host loses consciousness or is unable to fight—
Kreeek! Kreek! Kreeeek!
Stab! Stab! Stab!
To come out and stab its antennae into the host’s body to take control.
“Ahh! Ahhhhhh! Aghhhhh!!!”
Once the antennae completely entered the brain and took control, a horrifying cry came out of Isaac’s mouth, and water started to gather around his body. One difference the insomnia crabs had compared to other infected mutes was that they could use the knowledge their host had to an extent.
“Hydro— grrrk, ball—!”
“That’s a Hydroball? The same spell that I used?!”
Even if the insomnia crabs could control the body, they must not have been able to use the full awakening of a level 6 mage and instead used the most basic spell, Hydroball, instead. But the scale and strength of the spell were on another level. The ball above its head gathered all of the water near the body, making it more than just massive.
‘I don’t know exactly what happened after I got knocked out, but my body is in shambles.’
He had gotten serious wounds before and had his own share of near-death experiences. But he had never been this weak before. The ash that fell from his hand every time he moved it made it seem like he was going to blow it away with just a small breeze. This body could no longer fight.
‘Rakshasha also seems to be at her limit.’
Her entire body was covered in red spots, and she seemed to have used up all her strings, as she was standing guard with only her dagger. Her wounds were not light either.
“Something, anything, will work. Just something I can attack with. It can be something weak. I just need something to attack the enemy….”
Sensitive Observation scanned and took in all of the information near his body. Everything was broken and covered in shattered debris. It would be a struggle just to throw those little things with his arms.
He desperately wanted a gun, a modern weapon that could do critical damage with just one twitch of a finger.
At that moment, the water that seeped through the collapsed building walls hit his finger, and Professor had some sort of awakening.
A spell, verbalizing the meaning of the spell he wanted to cast based on his awakening.
Hand motions, engraving images into his hand, and combining the meanings to create an image.
Professor slowly raised his right arm, as if he were being controlled by something. He extended his index and middle fingers, attaching the two together, and folded all of the other fingers. He hadn’t separately engraved the image into his head before, but the image was strong enough that any person living in the present would have thought of a single object…
The water that was coming from the tower’s mana core traveled along Professor’s body and flowed to his hand.
The gunpowder was his mana.
And using the image in his mind, he used his fingers as the barrel.
And finally, the bullet.
Through his nearly empty veins, his heart squeezed out a single drop of blood that flowed to his fingertips.
Why didn’t he think of it sooner? He was already instinctually using the awakening within his body. Like how he controlled the water, the mute blood that flowed through him also moved by his will.
The water that accepted everything also accepted blood as water.
The drop of water that slowly traveled through his veins arrived at his finger. He imagined the sound of a gun loading in his head.
He crouched down on one knee and supported the ‘gun’ with his left hand. Take a deep breath and hold it to stabilize your aim. He was not the character Professor in this moment—he was Gyosu Park of the Wastelands.
He aimed the gun at the enemy’s head, the insomnia crab.
Level 1 Origin Spell.
The one-letter spell left Professor’s mouth…
The blood bullet that was triggered with the mana shot through Professor’s hand and towards Isaac’s head.
There was no loud bang or a painful scream.
Isaac’s body slowly collapsed, and the Hydroball that had formed splattered back to the ground.
The insomnia crab was pierced directly through its body and twitched for a second before slowly sinking into the water.
‘I did it.’
Once he thought that he had won, the strength in his body slipped away. His body didn’t have enough strength to even raise his fingers, and it seemed like his body’s regeneration speed was not recovering.
‘That reminds me, the exhaustion after I escaped Turan was pretty bad as well.’
At that time, it must have just ended with exhaustion because he ended the battle fully regenerated. The Mutation Blood Lust skill severely decreased the body’s recovery speed after usage.
Rakshasha approached Professor, who was just leaning against the wall. A small smile spread on Professor’s face.
‘Is she trying to help me?’
There was no need to decline. When Professor reached out his hand towards Rakshasha, she held her dagger towards his throat.
“Can you tell me your name?”
“Uh…so can you tell me what’s….”
Rakshasha’s dagger slightly penetrated Professor’s skin, as if rejecting his question.
“Ahhhhh! Fine! I’ll say it! Professor! And your name is Rakshasha! Are you satisfied now? Just put the dagger away!”
Once the name Professor left his mouth, Rakshasha let out the breath she was holding in and put her dagger away.
“I’m relieved that you’re back. Of course, I was certain you were Professor once you used magic.”
“Back? What do you mean? And what’s me being Professor supposed to mean?”
“….Do you really not remember anything?”
Rakshasha pointed around the room with her face. The entire room looked like everything went through a grinder, whether it was wood, stone, or metal. Their only similarity was that all of them were drenched in water.
‘It’s the sign of magic usage. It…. Probably happened before I got back to my senses. Then does that mean Rakshasha made that strong of an attack by herself? But she was just barely holding off Isaac when I was still awake.’
The Isaac that Professor last saw was feeling immense terror. To the extent that he was seeing hallucinations and was in complete panic.
“Is this….. mage panic?”
A mage was a person who could project their images onto the world and was that much more sensitive to mental triggers. If a negative image or trauma entered that sensitive mind, those images would also become reality to them, and they would fall into a panicked state.
‘But…… Isaac’s not just a level 1 or 2 trainee mage. How can someone even affect a level 6 mage’s image to that extent?’
“Rakshasha. Was the person who made Isaac like that you?”
“Then…. did we have someone else helping us?”
“Then who could shock a level 6 mage’s solid mental….”
Rakshasha interrupted my question and looked at me as she poked my cheek. When I pointed to myself with my finger, she nodded her head.
[Well, he is a level 6 mage, but he spent all of his life just studying and experimenting. His mentality was built high up to the sky but that sky was of a small ant’s. He must not have had much life experience because he was more of a scaredy cat than I thought.]
While Rakshasha’s expression responded to my question with a ‘How would I know that?’ The voice in my mind answered the question.
“….I did that?”
“Then…. You did?”
The rhythmical tapping of three fingers reminded me of what had happened.
[So be more careful with that body of yours. We really almost died this time, you know that? Even if you could regenerate, it was a dumb move to destroy the brain that contains consciousness. Of course it would regenerate. With all of the infectious agents moving into the empty space in that brain of yours. I tried really hard to just watch, but I almost died from the idiocy, so I used the body while you were asleep.]
‘You…. moved my body?’
[Yeah. Why can’t I? It’s an ‘unconscious’ body, and I was just another consciousness that filled up the empty spot. Hey, if it wasn’t for me, you and that woman would have been made into meat patties by that old man over there!]
No, that wasn’t the problem. This was a much bigger problem than that.
Realistic Mode basically meant that the user’s consciousness was projected directly into the game. There was no delay when moving the character, and it was basically as if the user’s soul was transferred into the in-game world.
‘But… a consciousness in the game moved my character?’
Then, doesn’t that mean the consciousness in the game can affect my body in reality?
[Oi, why so serious? I gave you back the body! You look really serious right now, but to think that you still didn’t thank me!]
‘Shut up for a sec, parasite.’
I needed to check exactly what happened while I was knocked out. Thankfully, I had people who were watching my every move even while I was unconscious.
-professor: Soybar, jokasss, nacho, Speedwagon.
-Soygaybar: come to the Dome.
-professor: I assume everyone knows the current situation. Can someone explain what happened?
-Soygaybar: I know you don’t like that place, but just quit that game. Come to the damn Dome and get to a hospital!
The chat was full of the viewers’ messages. From the countless messages that showered him with praise and admiration, he narrowed out the messages from the familiar IDs, which led him finding a bunch of messages from the users expressing their concern.
-professor: Soybar, calm down. I know something weird is happening, so I’m here right now to ask. What the heck happened?
-Soygaybar: Do I look like I’m about to fucking calm down! You, you have that! The thing!
-Speedwagon: I’ll explain it. Is that okay?
-Speedwagon: You look confused, so I’ll summarize it with three lines. You were unconscious, And regained consciousness, And started to act like another person and called yourself ‘Hyde’.
[You called? Kekekek, how is it? Isn’t it a nice name? Dr. Jekyll?]
-Jokasss: We don’t need to explain to know what happened to you, right? You, the ‘Professor’ in the game, was just controlled by a separate individual going by the name ‘Hyde’. Like many of the other players that played Realistic Mode, you were just ‘possessed.’ You know what this means, right?
Professor muttered to himself as he looked at the three fingers that were moving by themselves even now.
“The individual inside the game is starting to affect me in reality.”
[Vessel, I wanted to ask you since a while ago, but who is the thing you’re talking to sometimes?]
But in his case, it wasn’t the Professor in the game…. but another weird something.
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