[Translator – woni]
[Proofreader – sharlottle]
Chapter 61: Whatever!
Limon knew all manner of things could happen in life. For example, a baby bird appeared in one of the children’s backpacks after their visit to the amusement park. A baby bird which happened to be of a very rare species that managed to escape from its cage and the zoo, all the while dying from the flu.
“Hah? What did you say was in this kid’s backpack?”
“That’s uh… A baby bird. Seems it came from the zoo according to the children.”
“It didn’t look to be in good condition from being in the rain, so we sent it to the veterinarian in Leviathan for treatment. What should we do now?”
“Ugh, treat it first. I’ll take care of the rest.”
“Yes, Master of Swords.”
And like that, Limon was reluctant but unsurprised when he first found out. He simply clicked his tongue at the fact a weird bird was causing trouble.
“Good god. All this because a zoo couldn’t handle a damn bird.”
The following day, Limon returned to the amusement park while grumbling throughout.
The bird wasn’t just something off the street. It was clearly from the zoo—and it was of a rare species, at that. The children taking it away couldn’t just be passed off as an honest mistake.
Perhaps they were just a mild-mannered person, or they recognized Limon. Maybe it was because Li Chingwei had been the middleman who got them in contact. Whatever it was, the zoo employee did not blame the children for secretly taking the baby bird.
In fact, they actually chattered in relief.
“Thank you for contacting us. We were quite startled thinking we had lost the Bluebird of the Florine thanks to some player’s sick prank.”
“A player’s rank?”
“The CCTV footage displayed signs of interference from a dimensional player.”
“Well, that is a first. It’s not everyday you see a player pull such a petty prank…”
“Yes, and the police weren’t very cooperative because of that.”
“It would be an annoyance for the police to get involved, but too small for the PAB to get involved.”
Perhaps he was just worried for the baby bird, or concerned that he would have to take responsibility for losing it. The employee had put in quite a bit of legwork to look into this case and investigate the camera footage.
Unlike him, Limon only listened out of habit as a former PAB agent. He didn’t care about who the perpetrator was, or what their intentions were. It might have been different if it were a predator like a tiger or a wolf, but letting a single baby bird loose was too trivial of an incident for him to step in—even if it were a rare species.
“But we should still take measures, don’t you think? The CCTV shows clear evidence.”
However, Limon quickly changed his mind after the employee showed him the CCTV footage. It was right after the baby bird disappeared in a poof and reappeared outside the cage.
Limon was a former PAB agent. He was also a swordmaster with senses better than even the best tracer players. And so, he knew.
Even between multiple dimensional players, the skills they used had small differences unique to each player. Just as humans had different fingerprints from one another, so were the ripple caused by「Teleportation」.
‘What the hell is that?’
That was why his eyes shot wide open when he saw the ripple that appeared when the bird teleported. Of course, as old as the facility was, he couldn’t see it very clearly thanks to the blurry footage.
But he knew. That ripple was most familiar to him. It was one he’d seen multiple times a day. One he thought he would never see ever again.
That was when Limon gave an unexpected offer to the employee.
“Hey, what do I have to do to raise that bird?”
“I suddenly want that bird. Like real fuckin’ bad. So tell me how I can buy it.”
“Uhm, this bird is a rare species that cannot be kept as a pet and raised.”
“So I’m telling you. Tell me which government office I have to go to and what documents I need to bring to get that rare ass bird in my hands. You’re affiliated with the zoo, so you would know such gimmicks, won’t ya?”
The zoo employee’s jaw dropped to the floor. Just moments before, the man came across as a conscientious person who aided in finding a lost animal. And now, he’d just turned into a smuggler.
But what could he do? This was Limon Asphelder he was talking to. Whether it was real or not, he was the man who raided the Blue House and held the president hostage—all the while broadcasting it live across the entire nation. He was not someone to get on the bad side of.
The rest went by at lightning speed. The documents, all containing Limon’s name, were all processed at supersonic speeds as soon as they reached the affiliating office. Not a single government worker wanted to get involved with Limon just for a mere bird.
“Wow, are we raising this bird now?”
“You’re the bestest grandpa ever!”
The children were blissfully unaware of the truth, and were delighted to hear that they would be raising the bird.
Meanwhile, Limon was deep in thought. Just why was the ripple of space so familiar to him? There were many unanswered questions Limon could not answer, even after his lifetime of hardship—too many questions.
‘Is this some sort of scheme too?
Obviously, he was suspicious. There were too many uncanny things for it to simply be a coincidence.
But those suspicions grinded to a halt once he watched the baby bird sound asleep in its bird cage. His vision went black. The revelation was truly out of left field.
“…Is this for fucking real?”
Limon was dumbstruck as the eye that gave him the ability to see Constellations suddenly activate.
Even if the power activated on its own, all for just one bird? But that wasn’t all of it.
He could see the birdcage as darkness stained his vision. Where the small blue baby bird was just moments ago, now stood a small woman.
The space ripple from the CCTV footage, the odd reactions of the baby bird, and what his vision showed him—
The conclusion that stemmed from it all was completely baffling. And so, Limon could not let go of his suspicions while taking care of the bird in his room.
But the moment it woke up from its slumber, Limon came to accept the truth. He had no choice but to.
A baby bird peeping at his abs while pretending to hide its eyes with its wings could only be Yoo Na-kyung’s reincarnation.
That was what led up to this situation Limon was in now. And why he was interrogating it with a sword in his hand.
Translator - woni
Proofreader - sharlottle
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“So to sum it up… You saw a white feather after you died and was reborn as a bird when you followed it?”
“And after you were reincarnated, you found yourself trapped in a bird cage, unable to do anything.
“But then you saw me coming with the children, and went through with the escape to follow us?”
“……You’re sure you didn’t get revived with dark magic or possessed that bird’s body as a cursed evil spirit?”
The baby bird glared as it kicked the phone, as if to cry out why he would think that nonsense.
Though, even after seeing her look like the very definition of ‘falsely accused’, Limon wasn’t convinced. With a suspicious look, he tapped his sword with his fingers.
“Hmmmm, should I believe that?”
The baby bird hit its chest with its wings. Its feelings of injustice and frustration were clear to see, but Limon’s response was cold.
In truth, Limon didn’t doubt that the baby bird was the reincarnation of Yoo Na-kyung. With various attempts of communication with it, it was made evident it had all of her memories.
But that was the problem.
“I mean, even if you are Na-kyung, there’s no telling if you got caught up in a dark mage’s stunt, you know? It’s rule 18 for them to use dead guys for evil.”
The dead cannot be revived.
That was an absolute law in the past. A truth no absolute ruler could deny. Not the Seven Dragons, not the Word Wielders.
The only exception came with dark magic, which denied all providence.
From human bombs who didn’t know they were zombies, to phantom assassins who were once colleagues…
Limon had gone through all kinds of trouble dealing with dark mages and their various revival antics. It was natural for him to be suspicious of his former subordinate.
“Well, this is an age where anything can happen and it won’t be weird…”
Times are always’a changing, of course.
Skills didn’t exist in the past. In the Iron Age where there were players, what was impossible couldn’t be easily determined. In fact, one of the ten Monarchs was the Resurrection Monarch, who had a mysterious cheat skill of 'dying'.
‘Besides, it’s not like I’m completely in the dark about what’s going on.’
Limon thought back to the snow white feather that vanished as quickly as it appeared on Yoo Na-kyung’s body before he had left her. If that was the feather she had seen after dying, it wasn’t entirely hard to believe that she was actually reincarnated.
The problem was that Limon Asphelder was persuasion’s final boss.
Perhaps it was the stubbornness of an old man, or his experience that a dead man would be better off staying dead. With a serious look on his face, he spat out complete and utter nonsense.
“…How about you just die and get reincarnated without the trouble of your past memories? I can send you off pretty painlessly.”
The bird’s beak opened agape.
Finally coming back to its senses, the bird hysterically jumped around.
Squeeak, squeak! Sqsqsqueak!
You want to kill your subordinate a second time?!
What color is your blood, huh?!
I’m the fool for dying so easily!
…Is what was assumed to be said, as it cried out in a way Yoo Na-kyung would have.
It glared at Limon with resentment. Pecking away at the phone screen, it flopped backwards on the desk with its chubby stomach to the sky as it chirped out.
Kill me if you can.
The baby bird looked confident— vigorous, even —boastful despite its tiny size.
Limon pressed his lips together.
‘It really does look like Na-kyung’s reincarnation.’
Not anyone could act this brazen in front of him with all his murderous energy. Only Yoo Na-kyung, who made it her second nature to act cocky to him, could do such a thing.
Limon fell deeper in thought.
‘Just what do I do with her?’
Limon may be a swordmaster, but he was still a human.
It wasn’t that he didn’t welcome seeing her again, especially not when he had to take her life with his own hands due to unavoidable circumstances.
He wasn’t pondering whether to send her back to nirvana just because he was doubtful of someone’s schemes.
“Let me ask you a serious question, Na-kyung.”
What? It’s not like you to be serious.
The bird seemed to say as it lifted its head, tilting it to the side.
Limon didn’t laugh at her worn out state. Rather, his expression was grave.
“Do you really want to live like this? You can’t be all that happy stuck with the memories of your past life while in that state. Right?”
Limon had seen many dark mages. Among them were some good dark mages, who became who they were to revive lost family or lovers.
But the outcome was tragic. The revived would’ve typically returned as zombies or evil spirits. Even those who received something close to perfect resuscitation would later go mad with agony. The symptoms were even worse if it was someone else’s physical body, especially so if it was vastly different from their original body.
The difference in mind and body is simply too much to bear.
Limon was telling Yoo Na-kyung that it would be hard to live happily as a human, much less as a bird.
But the baby bird’s response was absolute.
You worry too much.
The baby bird answered energetically as it stuck out its paunch.
Hearing the crystal clear response, Limon fell silent.
And he let out a chuckle.
“Alright, then. That’s all.”
He might come to regret this decision. It might have been better to ignore her. But ultimately, Limon accepted Yoo Na-kyung’s choice to live a new life. He may have been fired, but that was still the duty of a superior looking after a foolish subordinate.
“But let’s set aside the fact that you’re going to live as a bird for now. What are you going to do?”
“I mean if you’re going to reveal this to the others.”
“…Isn’t your answer a bit rushed? You know you can contemplate on this one for a while.”
Having already made up its mind, the baby bird shook its head firmly.
In response, Limon slowly nodded as her surprisingly fast decision.
“Oh well. It’s not going to do you any good to let them know…”
The only merit that came with revealing her past life was that it would be easier to be taken seriously. On the other hand, she would turn into a rare spectacle. Even worse, taken for animal testing.
There was a mountain of demerits that came with it.
Perhaps not unless there was someone who could help, like Limon. With such a dependable cooperator, there really was no reason to come out as a reincarnate.
Except for one thing.
“Are you going to keep this a secret from the children of the orphanage as well? I know a couple of kids who would be more than welcoming.”
As if it was hard for her to answer, she hesitated.
Limon chuckled as the bird averted his eyes.
It was interesting to see that even the ever-so-brazen Yoo Na-kyung was embarrassed to tell the children she treated as siblings that she was reborn as a bird.
“All right. I’ll keep it to myself for the time being.”
He had left it open in the air for her to let him know should she change her mind, but the bird still did not answer.
It simply sighed in relief.
“Hm, then there should be a new name to call you from now on…”
Limon pondered for a bit.
He faced the baby bird with a purposeful smile, who was looking at him with both anticipation and concern in its eyes.
“What d’ya think about ‘Squeak’, since you squeak so much?”
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