“But what’s this?”
With a sneer, he put his hand on my necklace. His other hand held my wrist tightly so I couldn’t escape.
Alarms rang in my head. If he ripped my necklace off, I would undoubtedly return to my feminine form.
And it wouldn’t be hard to do it, the clasp on my necklace chain adhered together with magnets.
“Is there anything you want to tell me? Aselia?”
His green eyes watching me intently, held my gaze as if reading my thoughts.
Shockingly, Z-999–no, Kalisten—appeared. He came to find me. With restraints on his neck.
“Do you really intend to partner with an A-grader, Z-999?”
Kalisten replied off-handedly to the researcher who raised the question behind him.
He must have been complying with the researchers as I requested earlier. Otherwise, there would be no way they would find and assign him an experiment partner.
In this hellish laboratory, being selected as a Z-Class’s partner was actually a great honor.
But, for an A-classer like me, who had very little magical powers it was nothing short of a curse.
“Over there, A-888.”
Felix let go of my hand. Thanks to the interruption, my necklace fell from his hand. My heart was pounding in my ears in terror.
“See you later, Aselia.”
Kalisten’s visage clouded over and didn’t look good when Felix said my name with a smile.
When a higher level partnered with a lower grade it was usually because they had already awakened, and had to undergo training to better handle their abilities. However, Psychics who had not yet awakened had to practice handling magical powers before advancing.
In general, there is an advantage to exchanging mana with someone with high mana. Someone on a lower level like me, can increase my rank by continuously exchanging mana with a Z grade. But someone who is already a Z-Class would gain no advantage and their power would remain the same.
Thank you for saving me! I called him by a nickname, but he pretended not to hear.
“Did you two even address each other by first name?”
Kalisten reacted harshly to the researcher. The researcher pretended to treat him casually, but I could tell he was afraid, he couldn’t even properly look at him.
Maybe because Kalisten severely injured that researcher a short while ago. But it seemed that he didn’t end up dead. I could tell because if he had really killed that brown haired researcher, he’d be right now, not a Z-Class, but an X-Class.
After saying that, he swiped a card and opened the door in front of him.
He announced as we both went in,
“I’ll be back in 55 minutes.”
And closed the door. The overwhelming number of researchers here at this male-only Psychic Lab were majority male, with the exception of the leaders. I heard that the accompanying women-only Psychic research institute had a similar structure, despite it being smaller.
With the exception of the director, the vice-directors and the executives were mostly women. The strange thing is that Espers of ambiguous rank did not rise to the ranks of the cadres, but brainiac women who did not manifest as psychics composed the group of executives here.
The director almost entrusted everything to the deputy director. She was said to be so competent, that every task was so perfectly concluded and that the director didn’t have to do anything.
And the deputy director, the one who held the real power in this institute, genuinely liked Kalisten.
There was only one reason why she didn’t become the director even though she had all the qualifications:
The boss of this place was Duke of Magnolia, one of the two great dukes of the Eldras Empire.
Since the room we entered had a magic one-sided mirror taking up a wall, I was going to guess the deputy director was behind it, keeping an eye on Kalisten.
She was probably trying to see if he would be obedient and practice his abilities in private.
“Kal*.” [*t1v: his nickname is also how you say ‘knife’/‘blade’ in Korean]
“I can feel the presence of people on the other side of this mirror.”
He took a glimpse at the mirror behind my back.
“Mm, but they can’t hear us.”
“How do you know that?”
I actually read it in the book. If they let in sound, noise from all rooms they were observing would be mixed. If the deputy director wanted to turn off the soundproofing in this room, the sound would leak out to all the rooms.
But she likes to concentrate quietly, so if she’s watching Kalisten, there is a good chance that no one around her would be able to breathe, nevermind move.
The deputy director would want to focus without the distraction of sound.
What she was curious about wasn’t Kalisten as a person, but the top Esper’s, Z-999, abilities.
After all, all she wanted was to see a Psychic’s abilities, hypnotize them and ensure their loyalty. It didn’t matter how those objectives were achieved.
Nothing was out of bounds when it came to the means to achieve her goals.
“How do you know?”
“I am an A class. I used to come here and the other areas often to clean up. On the other side of the mirror there is one chamber there, which is designed so that you can see all the rooms at once.”
I chuckled at his subtle reaction. Since in the original story he said he killed me/the body’s owner because I/she didn’t laugh, I made it a habit to smile anytime we made eye contact.
Then he let out softly,
“The name is awkward. So, stop giving me nicknames.”
“You need to use nicknames to become closer.”
“Do you really want to be close to a monster like me?”
“Why are you a monster? You are Kalisten.”
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