Chapter 14

***

 

Filina let out a few ragged breaths. The stares around her were harsh. The effect of the potion was so much better than she expected.

 

She couldn’t imagine how many seconds she would have gotten if she had run with all her might. She ran as slow as she could.

 

Because she had gotten off to such a good start, she had to work very hard to slow down on purpose.

 

She ran the 100 meters in nine seconds and didn’t feel out of breath at all. However, there were so many eyes staring at her that she ended up performing unexpectedly.

 

If she had known it would work this well, she would have tried taking it beforehand and been prepared. The fact that she had taken the drug had almost been discovered.

 

Filina stopped her breathless performance and prepared for the next test.

 

She continued with sit-ups, grip strength, and even push-ups.

 

She said she would adjust them to meet the passing standard in her own way, but it didn’t go her way.

 

In particular, when the grip strength of the right hand came out to be 71 kg, Filina herself was perplexed.  At that time, the highest score was 67kg…

 

It was then that the men around her started to avoid Filina.

 

The only one who came up to her and gave her a thumbs up was the short haired woman who had saved her from the tattooed man earlier.

 

“I was surprised. You don’t look like it, but you’re surprisingly strong.”

 

At her words, Filina replaced her answer with an awkward smile.

 

“I’m Bessie. What’s your name?”

 

“Filina.”

 

She exchanged a quick greeting with Bessie and waited for the rest of the exam. She too scored right in line with the passing standard.

 

The last remaining test, the 1,000 meter race, was held outside the test center.

 

As they followed the instructors, the large performance hall of the military academy appeared.

 

This time, five people joined a group to conduct the test.

 

Filina had to struggle with how to run in order to minimize portion efficacy.

 

Rather than timed directly, it would be more natural to match the speed of the second most advanced person in the group running together.

 

“Next group, please start at the starting point.”

 

A little later, it was her turn. Filina turned her head and quickly looked over the people in the same group.

 

On the far left was a man wearing a black mask.

 

His legs were long and slender, and he seemed to be able to run well…………

 

She couldn’t see his face so she didn’t have a rough idea of what he looked like.

 

The man next to her was of average build, and the man in the middle had amazing muscles. Filina gulped down her spit.

 

This man seemed to be in first place.

 

Finally, she turned her attention to the right. There was still one person left.

 

“?”

 

Filina’s shoulders shook as she looked straight at him. He was staring at her with a mischievous expression.

 

It was a man with red irises, just like Filina’s.

 

Somehow it was a familiar face, he was the one that was lying on the floor sleeping during the fitness test.

 

“You’re a bad kid.”

 

He said that with a funny look on his face. Filina stared at the man with a puzzled look on her face.

 

Underneath the straight-facing gaze, she could see a pouting mouth.

 

The way he was teasing someone he didn’t even know was really ridiculous.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

Filina asked in an absurd face, but the man just shrugged nonchalantly.

 

She gave him a grim look and turned her head.

 

He didn’t seem like a normal guy.

 

“Everyone, get ready. You’ll start at the sound of gunfire.”

 

At the sound of the instructor’s voice, Filina stepped forward to check the target area. The man beside her also took a relaxed stance.

 

Bang!

 

Then a gunshot rang out, and the five men at the starting point dropped to their feet.

 

The fastest was the man with the most ordinary build of the five. After that, the person wearing a mask and the person with abundant muscles maintained their seats in order.

 

Filina was in fourth place.

 

The man standing to her right was fourth as well.

 

Filina looked at the man running beside her in line with a furrowed brow. His eyes were mischievously painting lines.

 

‘Are you messing with me now?’

 

She glared at the man with a gasp, then quickly turned and stared straight ahead.

 

She didn’t mean to speed up from the beginning, but the man following her was annoying.

 

To lose him, Filina accelerated her steps.

 

She passed everyone who went ahead of her and ran ahead.

 

She was going to keep this speed for a while, and when the others started running as fast as they could, she was going to back off a bit.Then there would be no suspicion.

 

 

At that moment, a cool breeze blew nearby. She turned my head to the side with a sickening sense of déjà vu, and she almost cursed at the red eyes that soon passed her by.

 

When the game started, the man who had been running alongside her followed her again.

 

“What is it?”

 

She managed to swallow her swear words and let them out in frustration. He chuckled and replied flatly.

 

“What?”

 

The corners of his eyes were curved into the shape of a half moon.

 

“Don’t follow me.”

 

With that, Filina slowed down again. This time she was last in line.

 

And the man also slowed down to match her speed.

 

Filina said with a nervous look on her face.

 

“Hey, don’t follow me.”

 

“I don’t want to.”

 

“You’re crazy.”

 

The man’s red irises grew larger at her terrible swearing. Then he started laughing loudly. 

 

She could feel the examinees glancing this way.

 

Filina ignored him and began to speed up again. She caught up with one of the people who was running in front of her and watched what was happening.

 

Before long, first place was taken by the masked man. He was followed by a muscular man who was eagerly catching up.

 

Filina was currently running in third place.

 

If she could keep her speed and get to second place on the last lap, it would be good.

 

“Two more laps to go.”

 

The instructor’s words added strength to the crew’s feet. The red-eyed man followed behind Filina, and the last one was the man of average build.

 

Filina glanced back and measured the distance.

 

“Why aren’t you going faster?”

 

The red eyed man who had somehow snuggled up to her asked in a strange voice. Filina stared at him. She could see his red eyes staring at her.

 

“You can win first place.”

 

The man said as if he knew about her.

 

‘Is he guessing by watching what has been going on so far?’

 

“If you run fast.”

 

Filina asked dryly.

 

“You’ll follow me again, won’t you?”

 

The man’s eyes folded long at her question.

 

“Yes.”

 

The man who had said that was far too comfortable. His breathing was quite steady, as was hers.

 

The examinees in front of her right now were breathing heavily. The man running in the last place was also running out of energy.

 

Normally that would be normal.

 

However, when Filina turned to the side, she saw a carefree face that was not the least bit disturbed.

 

“One more lap.”

 

The muscular man in front of her began to take first place.

 

The masked man was in second place before she knew it. However, the movement forward didn’t seem to change much.

 

“Aren’t you going to…?”

 

She heard the voice as if urging her to run faster.

 

She wanted to beat him and run first. It was very annoying to see him flirting next to her.

 

But she didn’t know what the consequences would be if she overtook all the men here and she took first place.

 

She had to pass as quietly and amicably as possible.

 

Filina decided to ignore the red eyed man beside her. As if to make her angry, he gently pushed her arm.

 

Then, the red eyed man who had been shaking his shoulders and laughing all by himself, as if it was funny, started to speed up all at once.

 

And in an instant, he was in first place.

 

Only half a lap left.

 

If she continued like this, she would be in fourth place. At least third place was safe. Filina decided to pass the masked man in front of her.

 

Her feet accelerated a little more. It wouldn’t be too difficult to catch up to him.

 

She was already comfortably in third place.

 

“Whoa!” 

 

Suddenly there was a person running towards them, making a strange noise. Filina turned with a furrowed brow.

 

The last-place man was seen sprinting with a red face.

 

What a mess.

 

Even so, he was pushed back again after a short time.

 

As she looked behind her, her eyes caught a glimpse of the masked man.

 

His face was half hidden so she couldn’t see much, but the black irises seemed to be staring at Filina. She turned her face forward like it was no big deal.

 

Second place was good anyway. She was going to catch up momentarily.

 

She was almost at her final destination.

 

Just then, a small breeze passed by.

 

In an instant, the masked man passed by her and emitted a very familiar scent. Filina’s pupils expanded significantly.

 

“Candidate 082, 152 second entry.”

 

First place went to the man in the mask. In second place was the red eyed man that momentarily stole her seat.

 

Filina managed to overtake the muscular man and came in third. She was so startled by the sudden familiar scent that she couldn’t go fast enough and almost came in fourth.

 

She didn’t expect the man who was running behind her to pass her.

 

She couldn’t believe he won first place……

 

It was an amazing result.

 

“Thank you all for your hard work.”

 

The instructor could be seen greeting the audience as he checked the scores. However, Filina looked stunned and couldn’t move from her original position.

 

“Godd*mn it!”

 

The man who came last stood angrily and pushed Filina’s shoulders aside as he walked past. It was none other than the man with the red irises who caught her as she wobbled to the side.

 

“Why are you doing this?”

 

She could hear his voice, but she couldn’t answer anything. She couldn’t understand why her body was shaking so much.

 

Filina turned and looked around. She couldn’t find where the man in the black mask had disappeared to.

 

He had incredibly dark black hair and black pupils that seemed to absorb all the light in the world.

 

A cool energy that didn’t fit him at all brought back familiar memories.

 

Filina laughed in vain.

 

How could she not know?

 

That familiar scent…

 

She roughly shook off the man who was grabbing her shoulders and got to her feet.

 

She had to find him. She had to check it with her own eyes.

 

What kind of face he had behind the mask…

 

“……Where did you go?”

 

All the people who had finished their exams grabbed their bags and went outside. Filina also walked out of the performance hall with the others.

 

“Miss Filina, are you done with your exams?”

 

Enoch, who had been waiting outside the examination hall, stepped closer. Looking around, Filina grabbed Enoch’s wrist and urgently asked.

 

“Have you seen the man in the black mask?”

 

“…Black mask?”

 

There was no time to wait for Enoch’s reply. Filina moved her feet to check the black-haired man’s face every step of the way.

 

How could she not recognize him? He was this close to her, just a hand’s distance away, but she didn’t even suspect anything.

 

“…Leon.”

 

She dropped her head to the ground. She couldn’t find him. It was like a false image that had already been scattered.

 

Notes

N/A

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