TMM Chapter 8

<~ Previous ChapterTOC | Next Chapter ~>


 ­ Avatar 1

To start with, Kang-Joon looked more into the locations where Acacia appeared. In the last six months, Acacia has shown herself only in Seoul.

 

During that time, Acacia was captured in seven video footages and, according to news articles, has showed up to sixteen different situations. Specifically, she only made an appearance in Core situations.

 

There has been no article about her resolving a Pocket Dimension or Dungeon situations. There have been five Pocket Dimension situations in the last six months yet Acacia has not been to any of them.

 

Avatars can enter both the Dungeon and Pocket Dimension.

 

Although monster breakout is rather common and frequent in Seoul, thanks to the high use of Wide-Range Wave Sensors, recognizing and reacting to those situations as quick as possible has no longer been a problem.

 

Submerged too deep in his own thoughts, Kang-Joon went past the station he was supposed to get off by far. Since he was supposedly on a ‘business trip’, there really was no need for him to get off at Gangnam station.

 

Thus he decided to stay on the subway for a while and go around the loop so he could have some time to peacefully think more.

 

The Magical Girl, although not all, has intervened in quite a few of monster breakouts in Seoul. There is a large number of hunters. So even in the rural areas, the designated hunters are always there to react to different situations.

 

There has been a confirmed theory about the proportional relationship between population and abnormal phenomenon.

 

Since there is a large population in Seoul, the frequency of abnormal phenomenon is also proportionally high. Hence, there are more hunters in Seoul compared to another city, making it not too hard for the situation to be resolved as soon as possible.

 

While on the Seoul city loop train, Kang-Joon quietly looked outside the window.

 

He needed to find her, yet there were no evident traces.

 

[Dear passengers, Core energy has been detected around the City Hall Station. Hence, an army unit is on the way to resolve the situation. If the situation is not resolved by the time this subway gets to the station, we will bypass the station without stopping. Thank you for understanding. Dear passengers, Core energy has been…]

 

To the announcement, a few of the passengers let out a sigh, while the others remained unstirred. Those who wanted to get to the City Hall Station had no choice but to get off at the next station and walk all the way.

 

In the midst of that, Kang-Joon came to realize something completely different yet useful for him.

 

Then, he scanned through the information he saved on his phone. There was a list of locations where Acacia was spotted. Kang-Joon started looking for the nearest stations around those locations.

 

Gangnam, Daerim, Gangbyeon, Jamsil, Euljiro 3-ga, Hapjeong…

 

On the news articles, the locations were specified with its suburban address so Kang-Joon had no idea. However, looking at those stations, Kang-Joon came to realize a totally different point.

 

Suddenly, Kang-Joon felt his head clearing up. Every location where The Magical Girl has shown herself up was…

 

around the 2nd subway line stations.(E/N: Someone play the detective Conan theme song)

 

Information about monster breakout is not necessarily broadcasted quickly to the unrelated areas. Such spreading of information can result in unnecessary panic. Hence, it has been set as a policy to inform only those in the nearby area.

 

However, since the subways go around the whole Seoul city and are supposed to stop at every station, every monster breakout in the city has been notified to the passengers as an announcement.

 

Which means, if a normal civilian or freelance hunter is to get any information, the subway is the easiest way to do so. It may be not quite efficient in different ways, but Kang-Joon thought it was clever and somewhat of a cute idea.

 

After that, it was a race against time.

 

Since then, Kang-Joon was looking for kids who looked to be about eleven or twelve on the second subway line by going through different carriages.

 

Acacia did not make an appearance to the Core at the City Hall station. Swapping and going back and forth and the 2nd subway line, Kang-Joon kept looking for a little girl who could possibly be Acacia only to reach nobody.

 

After two days of searching, Kang-Joon had come up with a different plan. A little girl who was on a subway by herself was indeed easy to be recognized. Although Kang-Joon spotted a few children like that, none of them stayed on the subway but got off at some point, heading somewhere else.

 

Once, Kang-Joon came to find a girl who he thought was very likely to be Acacia herself. Hence, he was keeping his eye on her.

 

“Hey.”

 

“Ah, yes?”

 

“Why do you keep looking at that little girl?”

 

A woman in her thirties said, scowling at him.

 

Only then, Kang-Joon came to realize what he was doing might cause a very big misunderstanding. Once wrongly accused, he could be dragged to a police station right away.

 

However, Kang-Joon was quick with his response. Pulling out his hunter ID from his wallet, Kang-Joon whispered into the woman’s ear.

 

“I have been working on this important case for a while. So it would be appreciated if you could just cooperate for now. Shhh, please don’t do anything that would draw attention. If you keep looking around and act suspicious, you will ruin my case.”

 

“Oh, yes, yes…”

 

“Please get off at the next stop. Then you wouldn’t have to deal with anything annoying. Just look at your phone and act distracted.”

 

The woman could not see any logical reason as to why a hunter was going after a little girl, the world of hunters was something beyond her understanding.

 

She seemed overwhelmed by Kang-Joon’s mentioning of his ‘case’, nodding to Kang-Joon’s words with a tense face. There was a bit of attention drawn towards Kang-Joon and the woman, but they got back to their own business once they overheard Kang-Joon mentioning hunter and somewhat.

 

As Kang-Joon kept talking as if he was some sort of an expert, the woman really froze up and fixed her eyes only on her phone with cold sweat running down her face.

 

As Kang-Joon said, the woman in her thirties got off at the next station. He got out of all the annoying troubles.

 

Although, there was not really any annoying troubles for the woman but Kang-Joon once he was accused of something very wrong.

 

Kang-Joon got out of the situation with his exceptional bullshit skill. Then he realized he might have been too obvious in keeping his eye on his potential target, causing him to be more subtle since then.

 

The girl who Kang-Joon thought was a possibility soon got off the subway. To say she was Acacia, she got off way too soon.

 

As Kang-Joon failed day by day, he started thinking maybe there was a fundamental mistake in his approach.

 

If Acacia really was a kid, she’s supposed to attend to her school yet The Magical Girl appeared only around the subway stations. Then, what about her parents? Is she an orphan? How does she make a living then?

 

Trying to answer such questions, Kang-Joon started from a clean slate. This time, as well as the locations of appearance, he also looked into the time frame.

 

From there, Kang-Joon came to one more useful information.

 

The time around which Acacia appeared was concentrated between 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Also, during the weekend, she appeared randomly, regardless of time. That could only mean one thing.

 

Acacia could only work as the Magical Girl from 6 p.m. during weekdays and there was no restriction on the weekend. Which meant there was some sort of a barrier for her during the weekdays.

 

Possibly school, or full-time job. If she really was a kid, it still did not quite explain how she could be on the scene from 6 p.m. freely.

 

Kang-Joon knew that the appearance of Avatar was not restricted to the appearance of the owner.

 

Hence, he flipped his thoughts and came to the conclusion that the person behind Acacia might actually not be a child. Then, it would explain why other managers could not quite get to her.

 

Since then, Kang-Joon changed his targets. He no longer paid attention only to the children with the traces of Acacia but anyone that he thought looked like her.

 

During this process, Kang-Joon had to spend a lot of time. He was afraid he might never be able to get to her if he only searched for her during her time of appearance so he almost lived on the subway.

 

From early morning, he swapped around the 2nd subway line, looking at people’s faces. Going back and forth and staying on the subway for almost the whole day certainly required quite a bit of stamina, but it was not too difficult for Kang-Joon.

 

‘Better than hiking those mountains.’

 

Kang-Joon has been around the most extreme terrains in the world, searching for monsters that went hidden and wild into nature. For him, searching through carriages of the subway was a piece of cake.

 

As he was getting bored with his search, he came to spot a few possibilities only to later see that they were not the person he was looking for.

 

4 p.m. on the weekend, Kang-Joon was going past Hapjeong to spot a woman looking into her phone quietly on her seat, on the fifth carriage of the subway.

 

She looked rather attractive, dressed in a comfortable sweatsuit with her hair tied back clean. It was fair to say she somewhat looked like Acacia.

 

Only looking into her phone, she did not even look around or tried to see where the subway was going. They went past three stations like that and as Kang-Joon stared at her still looking at her phone, he started to become certain about his feeling.

 

Casually, Kang-Joon came to stand in front of her, overlooking what she was doing.

 

She was searching.

 

[Abnormal phenomenon in Seoul, current status]

 

Though it may not be the fastest, internet news was never too slow to notify the situation to the public. Staying on the 2nd subway line, the woman would jump right into the location once she spotted a situation. Standing in front of her, Kang-Joon hesitated for a second. There was no certain clue that this woman was the Magical Girl.

 

However, it did not hold him back completely.

 

“Found you. Magical Girl.”

 

“Oh, Oh my God!”

 

She panicked and recoiled, dropping her phone.

 

“W…Wh….Wh…..Who are you?”

 

“Uh huh, looks like I really did find you.”

 

He taunted her out of uncertainty. Yet, his assumption was entirely correct. Grinning, Kang-Joon looked at the full grown ‘Magical Girl’. The woman looked back at Kang-Joon but immediately kept her head down, murmuring.

 

“You…you found a wrong person. Wh…Wh…What Magical Girl are you talking about? Acacia is a little girl and I’m a grown ad…adult…”

 

“Never said, Acacia. I only said ‘Magical Girl’, right?”

 

“I…I mean!”(E/N: She’s a kuudere lol)

 

She looked like a type of person to stuff up her words when embarrassed. She was almost digging her own grave and lying into it.

 

“Well, that’s that. There’s a lot of eyes here. Can we talk quietly for a bit?”

 

“……”

 

With eyes full of wariness, she looked back at Kang-Joon. There was already a few people looking at them because of their weird conversation. Blushing, she decided to deny no matter what.

 

“Nope. I’m not the person you are looking for. Who are you anyway? I’m going to call the police if you don’t get away.”

 

If things got messy, it would be Kang-Joon who would look like a weirdo. Using the crowd as her tools, it was obvious that Kang-Joon would be kicked out of the train and miss her forever.

 

That would mean that all his effort up until then would turn into a handful of ash. Kang-Joon’s face tensed up and the woman, still panicking inside, pretended to be calm and stared at Kang-Joon fiercely.

 

Right at that moment, an announcement started coming out in the subway.

 

[Dear passengers, D-Rank Core situation has been detected around the Daerim Station. If the situation is not resolved by the time this subway gets to the station, we will bypass the station without stopping. Thank you for understanding. Dear passengers, D-Rank Core situation has been…]

 

Including the woman, every passenger on the carriage started to tense up. There was a few civilian who was letting out a sigh or tilting their heads a little bit as if they were finding the announcement odd. The woman scowled at Kang-Joon with a stern look.

 

“Oh, what a bad coincidence…it had to be right at this moment…”

 

“Ah, no way…”

 

Agonizing for a second, she clenched her teeth. They were at Hapjeong and there still was a few stations to go through until Daerim.

 

However, for the Magical Girl to be able to get to the spot before the breakout, she had to fall into the out-of-body state as soon as possible.

 

She was a woman with strong sense of justice and since she started acting as the Magical Girl, she had decided to run into any situation if she was aware of it.

 

“You…You… I don’t know what kind of person you are, but let’s talk later. Just, just a while. Just wait for twenty minutes.”

 

She came to admit and told Kang-Joon to wait. Kang-Joon put on a weird smile and tapped her on her shoulders when she was just about co close her eyes.

 

“There’s no need to pull out the Avatar.”

 

Kang-Joon said, pulling out his phone with the voice recording app running on the screen. As he pressed the play button, a voice recording started to come out.

 

[Dear passengers, D-Rank Core situation has been detected around the Daerim Station. If the situation is not resolved by the time this subway gets to the station, we will bypass the station without stopping. Thank you for understanding. Dear passengers, D-Rank Core situation has been…]

 

It was a recorded file of the announcement on the 2nd subway line which Kang-Joon prepared before.

 

As the sound source of the announcement was above her head because she was sitting down with Kang-Joon standing in front of her, she did not quite think deeply about volume or the sound quality of the announcement.

 


<~ Previous ChapterTOC | Next Chapter ~>

6 Comments

  1. Thanks for the chapter

  2. hmm, ithought she was dojikko

  3. detective of the century ??? damn what a nice deduction

  4. Hahahahah told you he somehow is going to blackmail her into joining!!!!!

  5. He got her good!
    Thx 4 the food!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *