Screaming echoed here and there.
As the stone walls collapsed, heavy boulders hit the floor with a thump, thump sound.
However, even during this urgent moment, Ayra could not tear his gaze off the other person let alone think of running away.

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     This was not because the other’s flaming red hair and eyes were so impressive; it was not because the person looked so handsome, smiling so coolly without a hint of anxiety or fear in the face of impending disaster.
When Ayra falteringly retreated backwards, the other’s muscular forearms gripped quickly, like a snake, and painfully at his.
The look the other sent Ayra’s way was smoldering and bright like a solar flare. 1

     “You’ll croak if you go there.” 2 His unconcerned voice fell weightlessly from his lips.

      Ayra noted that this wasn’t the best situation to do this, but he checked Janus’s status window as if he were possessed.
Before he knew it, a pebble fell out and floated nervously around Ayra.

     Soon, Janus’ status window manifested next to his head.

HP: ???
MP: ???
Physical Attack: ???
Magical Attack: ???
Level of affection: 1 ♡

     ‘Level of Affection: 1? Only 1?’

     As Ayra stared at the status window, Janus’s eyes followed his line of sight.
At first, he seemed as if he was looking for something beyond Ayra, but then his eyes focused on the empty air the status window should be.
His red eyes narrowed and glowed chillingly from time to time.

     And something worse than the strong earthquake around them or his opponent’s dismal favorability rating of 1 had appeared.
It was neither a status window nor an alert.

Thanks for saving me earlier (bad ending) Nonsense.
What are you talking about? (bad ending)

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I don’t understand what you’re saying.
(bad ending)

     ‘This… Wasn’t I only able to see the stats? Why am I suddenly faced with multiple choices?’

     But, wait a moment, what’s this ‘ending’?…Bad Ending?

     Recalling the joyful times they had together, Ayra stared blankly at the man in front of him.
Janus smiled, sharp white teeth gleaming, and gave a long chuckle; his red eyes narrowed in crooked lines.
His gaze was glassy, like a reptile.

LV.
1

 

Enlightenment

     ‘…..What the heck is this?’

     Ayra, disoriented, closed his eyes tightly shut and opened them again.
His eyes were so strained that he thought he might’ve seen a phantasm.
His sore and throbbing body, as if he had been beaten by several people, had also played a part in that judgment.
However, no matter how many times he blinked, the round thing on his chest did not disappear.
It was about the size of two adult fists clasped together, round, smooth, and translucent.

     If that was all, then he might have simply just wondered who had placed this lump on him, but this pebble had eyes, a nose, and a mouth.
Its nose was poked into the stone, its eyes were black dots, and its mouth was drawn in the shape of a ㅅ.
Ayra blinked his eyes a few times more, the pebble blinked along.
Slowly wracking his brains, Ayra made a few guesses, ‘A demon beast? Magic golem? Hallucination? Some other apparition?’

     Ayra doubted his eyes.
The pebble began manifesting floating letters on its body, right below its mouth.

     ‘Hi’? English!? Ayra, who wondered if he was now just simply seeing things, raised his hand to rub at his eyes.
When he groaned, someone approached from far away, so he raised his head.
As his blurred vision cleared, he could see Shinjae, his younger mage colleague.

     “Ayra, have you come to your senses? How’s your body?”

      “Shinjae……” Ayra wanted to ask if he could also see that strange creature, but something caught his eye.
His pupils widened–the stone thing adopted a worried face, and a strange window floated next to his colleague’s head.
No matter how much he closed and opened his eyes, that window didn’t disappear.

 

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HP: ???
MP: ???
Physical Attack: ???
Magic Attack: ???
??:??? ♡

     No matter how he looked at it, it closely resembled the user interface of–a status window–of a game he had once enjoyed.

***

     He was a reincarnator named Solar Xing Ayra.

     To be exact, he was the second son of the Solar family who had lived through a previous life on Earth for 20 suns; unfortunately, he ended that life in a car crash.
The situation now felt exactly like a fantasy novel; in this second life–the life he’s living now–he had spent a childhood submerged in anguish, receiving the uncomprehending gazes of the people around him.
They had constantly wondered why he was such a glum child.

     ‘Why was I born with the memories of my previous life? Was I perhaps given a special destiny? Am I……the protagonist?’

     Spoiler: he was not.
At the age of six, he entered the maze-like Labyrinth, the city of magicians where prospective mages would gather; The place was crowded with reincarnators and transmigrators.

     In Labyrinth, when someone started to utter the syllable ‘trans’ for transmigrator or ‘re’ for reincarnator, the following conversation would be rampant with discovered similarities and communal commiseration. 

     ‘I’m actually a reincarnator……’

     ‘Oh, you too? I’m a transmigrator.
Does anyone here know Zerkhamara?’

     ‘I’m looking for mages from Garganti! Join our regional alumni association!’

     ‘Everyone should call me ‘hyungnim.’ 3 I’m 40 years old.’

     ‘You grasshoppers that haven’t had the blood from th

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