4 Julien D. Evenus [3]

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Lead the way... To where?

The echo of my footsteps rang in my ears as I followed the man from the vision from behind.

He seemed younger than the vision, and was it just me, or did he look pale?


Thinking back to my actions, I had acted purely out of instinct.

I knew nothing about the situation. Nor who the man in front of me was. No, not quite... I had an idea. One that I refused to believe.


If there was something clear to me, it was that whoever the man in front of me was, he could kill me at a moment's notice.

One wrong move and I was dead.

"Master has asked that you manage to pass the examination. In case of failure, he is prepared to exonerate you from the family."

His cold and even tone resounded across the empty corridor as he moved ahead of me.

I remained silent throughout the entire time.

"It's important that you pass the examination. I can't stress that enough. For my sake as well."



What examination?

I strained my ears and listened attentively. Every piece of information was vital for me.

"That said, I don't believe a situation like that will happen. You're more than capable of passing the examination. At the very least, you shouldn't be worse than the commoners who only had one year of practice."

He continued to speak along the way. As I listened to his words, my eyes couldn't help but trace toward my surroundings.

What sort of place is this?

The corridor seemed vast. Large windows lit up the corridors with purple curtains draped around them. It gave off a medieval vibe.

But there was no way, right? How could it...

"...We're here, young master."

I had no time to adjust myself to my surroundings before I found myself standing in front of a large wooden door.

My feet came to a halt and he pushed the door open to reveal a large hall where hundreds of people stood. They all lined up in an orderly manner, facing another door at the very end of the hall.

"You are...?"

A woman with short black hair and glasses approached me. She held a clipboard in her hand and scanned me up and down.

My heart grew tense at her appearance.

I thought back on her question, 'You are?' and found myself unable to answer.

I'd like to know that as well.


Even so, I kept my composure. We stood like that for a couple of seconds before her eyes fell on my chest where realization finally hit her.

"Ah, you must be from the Evenus Barony."

She glanced at her clipboard.

"Julien Dacre Evenus. I see you."


Julien Dacre Evenus?

Tapping the board, she smiled.

"Please follow me. I'll lead you to the examiners."

I secretly sighed in relief before glancing back for a brief moment. My eyes met his for a moment and he nodded. I looked away and followed the lady.

She seemed to be leading me toward the large door in the distance. I could feel the gazes of those around me as I moved. However, I paid them no mind.

Not because I didn't want to, but because I couldn't spare them the thought.

The closer I was to the door the faster my heart started to beat.

The only thing I knew was that I had to take an examination. What sort of examination, I didn't know.

My palms felt sweaty and my legs felt like lead.

Each step felt heavier than the last.

The only reason I followed along was purely because the situation forced me to.

It felt like I had to move.

But what now?

What was I supposed to do now?

"We're here. Please don't be too nervous. They won't bite."

The woman graciously opened the door, unveiling the expanse of a generously decorated room. Elegant paintings adorned the walls, flanking the space alongside pristine white pillars.

What grabbed my attention was the large wooden desk that sat in the middle of the room where four individuals sat. In front of them was a boy with blonde hair and blue eyes. He wore a strange uniform and stood upright in front of the four individuals.

I felt a terrifying pressure coming from the four of them, and amongst them, a woman with long flowing black hair grabbed my attention.

She seemed the center of the four people, not just because of her looks, but because of the aura she gave off.

She had something beyond her beauty... Something I couldn't quite explain.

Just what sort of...?

"You must be Julien."

Her lips curled slightly as she glanced at the papers before her. Looking away, she pointed ahead.

"You must be here for the examination. Please make your way toward the center."


I had no choice but to follow along.

It only became more evident to me that there was something wrong with the people in front of me when I closed in on them. I couldn't quite describe it... but just standing close to them felt extremely pressuring.

As if boulders were being pressed against my back.

Even so, I held onto my composure and kept my face firm.

But that only lasted a second before I felt my right forearm sting. What's going on? When I looked down, I realized that one of the four leaves from the tattoo had lit up.

Why was it...

As if bewitched, my body moved on its own and my finger hovered over it. I was surprised by the sudden development, but before I could snap out of it, my finger went down.


I pressed it.





The world turned pitch black.

All my senses seemed to disappear. Silence pervaded over the pitch-black space with nothing in sight. It felt as if I was levitating in an endless and lonely space.

It felt suffocating.

I was stuck in place, floating in this endless darkness that seemed to stretch endlessly. My consciousness was blurry, but I was aware of everything that was happening around me.

Was everything I previously saw another vision?

Is this what death feels like?

...It felt lonely.

And cold.


The sensation didn't carry on for long. All of a sudden, a current ran through my body, jolting my consciousness awake.

When I came to, I realized I could finally move my body again.

Even so.

My surroundings were still dark.


I tried to speak, but my mouth refused to open.


I held onto my composure and pushed away the anxiety and fear that was creeping up on my mind. I didn't let the darkness eat away at my sanity.

Not yet.


Just as I regained my composure, I spotted a bright light in the distance. A light...? It grew brighter by the second, its glow basking me in warmth.

It felt comfortable.

To the extent that I found my eyes slowly closing in relaxation.


When I opened them again, I was stunned by the sight before me and I held my breath.

'A wheel?'

Six colors, and six words.

�| Red - Anger

�| Purple - Fear

�| Blue - Sadness

�| Green - Surprise

�| Orange - Love

�| Yellow - Joy

A long red arrow pointed upward, currently resting on the color red.


'What is this...?'

The six basic human emotions? I remember studying this back in psychology class, but why...



The wheel began to spin on its own.

'...What's going on?!'

The colors alternated between red, purple, blue, green, orange, and yellow... They spun and spun and spun.

A deep sense of unease held me rooted. My eyes were fixed on the red arrow that remained firm.

The wheel continued to spin, and the colors continued to alternate. Gradually, the wheel lost its momentum before finally stopping.lightsnovel



Now what? My palms were sweaty, and the deep sense of unease that gripped my body seemed even more prominent.


And I was right to feel that way.

All of a sudden, the ground beneath me quaked. I almost lost my footing, and just as I regained it, I was shocked to see buildings sprouting from the ground beneath.

"What...? Uh?!"

I held my mouth.

"I can speak again?"

No, not just that... I looked around me. I was surrounded by buildings. No, not quite. They seemed to be ruins. The architecture reminded me of the one from the vision, but they were covered in vines and moss.

I couldn't quite get a good grasp of it since it was dark outside. However, from the corner of my eyes, I could make out faint figures in the distance.



A shiver ran through me as the cold wind caressed my skin. I grew tense, feeling a sensation that was akin to the gentle touch of two fingers slowly crawling their way up my arm.

"Haa... Haa..."

I felt my breath grow heavy, and as I tried to swallow, I found myself unable to. Something had gripped my throat. Something imaginary.

It prevented me from swallowing.


My chest trembled.

'There's nothing in front of me...'

So why...?

Why did I feel so scared?

"Haa... Haaa..."

I gripped my shirt, slowly wrinkling it in the process. There, I could feel the beat of my heart.

It was fast.

Ba... Thump! Ba... Thump!

And loud.


My breath followed its rhythm.

It went faster.

And faster.


"Haa... Haa.. Ha..."

I was hyperventilating.

My palms were sweaty and sweat trickled down the side of my face.

Fear had gripped me.

It was slowly consuming me.

I could feel it.

But why?

'...I need to run. Get away from here.'

My legs started to move. All thoughts disappeared and I just ran. Faster. And faster. And faster...

Soon, I found myself sprinting forward. I ran as if my life depended on it. I didn't know why I was acting like this, but if there was something I knew it was that I needed to run.

Get as far away as possible.


I stumbled several times, scraping my knees in the process, but each time, I'd pick myself back up again and continue to run. I ignored the burning sensation that came with each breath that I took.

The only thought I had in my mind was that I needed to run.

I needed to get away from the shadows.

"Haaa... Haaa.... Haaa..."

I'd look back from time to time, catching sight of them each time. The distance between us remained constant. Are they not running out of breath as well? ...I can't keep this up for long.

The pain that gripped my lungs intensified. It was as if I was breathing fire.

But I had to hold on.

Not yet.



My face came smashing against a hard surface.


Ignoring the pain, I looked up.

"No, I...."

A shadow appeared. Its appearance remained a mystery to me. It wobbled in front of me, staring down at me as if I were some sort of prey.

"Ah... Don't..."

The sense of fear that gripped me intensified.

It was almost suffocating.

"I... I..."

The words refused to leave my mouth.

And then.


The shadow reached out for my throat, gripping it tightly. My eyes bulged, and I felt my body grow limp.

Ah, no... I'm going to die. I'm going to die. I'll die...!

The feeling of helplessness under its grip, the steady thump of my heart, the weakness, and the gripping fear--all of it was etched deeply into my mind during those last moments.

What I was experiencing...

It was real.

And then.

Cr Crack--!

I felt my neck snap and the world turned dark again.

Only for a brightness to suddenly engulf me.

"Examinee? Examinee?"


I slowly raised my head. Four figures sat not far from where I was standing. They all stared at me with frowns while a young man with blonde hair stood not far from me.

'Isn't this...?'

Slowly lowering my head, I stared at my right forearm where the tattoo was. It no longer hurt, and it wasn't glowing anymore.


My arm was trembling.

The emotions I felt before... They continued to linger over me. I couldn't get rid of the sensation. It felt suffocating.

I needed an outlet.

An outlet to let everything out.

"Examinee? Is everything alright? We don't have all day."

One of the people seated in front of me, a bulky man with a red beard raised his eyebrow, pointing at the young man in front of me.

"...Show as what you've got."


My feet moved on their own.

As if I had finally found what I needed, I moved toward the young man in front of me. He was staring back at me with a frown. As if he was trying to say, 'What is he doing?'

But I didn't care.

I paid him no mind and continued forward.

Before I knew it, I was standing before him. Just as his mouth opened to say something, my hands reached out for his head, grasping both sides solidly. My hands were still shaking but I kept a firm grip on his head.

His expression changed.

"You, what are you...!"

But I didn't care.

Feeling the sides of his face, my mouth parted open as I softly mumbled,


My mind blanked from then on.

I lost myself in the moment.

When I came to, I was standing in the same spot I was before. My hands were no longer shaking, and my mind seemed calmer.

Or so I thought.

"H-help...! Haa.. Haa...!"

When I looked down, I was stunned to see the young man from before on the ground. His face was pale, and he held his head with both hands while mumbling things like, 'Ah... I'm sorry...! Ah...'

As our eyes met, his expression distorted and his pupils dilated.

"Ahhh...! N-no...!"

He hastily moved back.

What is going on...


A small screen appeared in front of me.

That was when I understood.

�| Lvl 1. [Fear] EXP + 10%

I did this.