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Adopting Disaster - Chapter 170

 Second Light (6)


It was a disconcerting sight at a glance.

The man with the broken wrist was crying, and the people around him were gasping for air, clutching their throats.

Phoebe's gaze never left Ritz.

It looked like she was trying to kill Ritz outright.

Reed stood in front of Phoebe, blocking her view.

"Phoebe Astheria Roton, and Ritz Roton. Both of you, back off."

"That man insulted the lord."

"Back off for now."

As Reed spoke calmly, she withdrew her gaze and stepped back.

The murderous aura emanating from her body faded.

"Now, we need someone to explain what's going on..."

It's hard to ask Phoebe, the perpetrator, first.

"Heuk, heuhueuk...!"

The victim, Ritz, was struggling with his broken wrist, making it difficult for him to talk.

In the end, Reed asked Ritz's friends who were with him.

"You, a third party, report the situation. Objectively."

"Yes, sir."

The trembling man nodded and recounted what had happened truthfully.

After hearing the whole story, Reed looked at Phoebe first with a serious gaze.

He approached her and then

Slap-

He slapped Phoebe's cheek.

Phoebe looked up at Reed with disbelief.

She was staring down at the eyes that she wouldn't even meet because they were ominous.

Phoebe's lips trembled as she asked.

"You... hit me?"

"Yes, I hit you. No violence can be allowed in the tower. I'm punishing you for violating that."

She felt betrayed.

Emotions welled up, and her face flushed with anger.

Her pupils narrowed vertically, and a thicker murderous aura began to flow.

"Ugh... Kehuk...!"

Everyone gasped for breath and collapsed, but Reed stood still in his place.

He was sweating a little, but he didn't move otherwise.

Phoebe clenched her fist.

Her hand, which could even shatter the city gates, looked fiercely dangerous as if it could pierce Reed's body at any moment.

"You said you liked following orders?"

"..."

"If you like following orders, then I'll order you. Go back to your room, right now."

Upon hearing those words, Phoebe swiftly turned her body.

The thick murderous aura emanating from her body disappeared.

Reed let out a deep breath, putting an end to the incident.



* * *



That night.

As Reed lay in bed trying to sleep, he felt something strange.

His body felt heavy and unable to move when he tried to toss and turn.

He opened his eyes to see what was pressing down on him.

What was visible in the dimly moonlit room was a human figure.

"Who are you... Eup!"

With one hand covering his mouth and the other pressing his throat.

Reed tried to resist, but the figure didn't budge at all.

Who on earth is it?

His vision adapted to the darkness and the silhouette.

Seeing the eyes staring at him, he could finally recognize the identity of the person who had ambushed him.

"Phoe...be..."

As he uttered her name, the hand covering his mouth was removed.

Instead, the hand pressing his throat tightened.

"Never! Never again!"

Phoebe shouted in an angry voice.

"Don't ever touch my body again!"

But Reed didn't succumb to her pressure and fought back.

"You ungrateful wretch! You're trying to kill the one who saved you? In this tower, if you commit assault, both you and that guy will be punished! Do you understand what I'm saying? The moment someone with a bad reputation like you causes trouble, you'll have to strip off your clothes in this tower!"

"Who! Wanted! To live! Like this!!"

The pressure on his throat increased.

Yet Reed didn't give in.

"No one can live the way they want! We endure this hellish place because we have the hope of living the way we desire! Do you think you're the only one!?"

Phoebe's angry face, reflected in the moonlight, trembled once more.

"If you want to clear your lord's name and seek revenge, first you have to bend. Bow your head and apologize, smile, and mingle with others to make them think you're a good person."

"I... can't do that."

"You have to. If you truly want something, you have to change yourself to achieve it."

The atmosphere and voice become calmer.

A choked voice asks.

"Do you think I look easy to you?"

"Phoebe Astheria Roton."

"Do I look like a woman who would just fall head over heels and become your property with just a little manipulation?"

"It seemed that way to you? Do you think I take you lightly?"

"I don't know."

She didn't know.

She asked him because she couldn't know.

She had never lived according to her own thoughts.

Thinking with this kind of mind, there would be no answer anyway.

"It's up to you. Think for yourself how you see me and come to a conclusion."

"I am..."

Phoebe couldn't answer.

After a long silence, Reed grabbed both of Phoebe's hands around his throat.

And he pulled, tightening the grip on his throat.

"If you think I see you that way, what more do you have to hesitate about? Kill me right here, right now. That would be the beginning."

"Do you think I can't do it?"

She wanted to do it out of spite, but Phoebe couldn't.

Those eyes.

The golden pupils staring straight at her made it hard to gather her strength.

She felt like she would be devoured.

Phoebe pushed Reed's hands away.

She fled the place as if running away.



* * *



It was strange.

Phoebe started to feel strange looking into his eyes.

Phoebe didn't know what kind of emotion it was.

Her insides felt twisted, and the sensation of her body wanting to move back and forth was unpleasant.

"What's happening to me?"

She didn't know.

She didn't know what would happen to Ritz, what her punishment would be, or how she would improve her image in the future.

But the scariest thing was how Reed, who she had threatened by choking him this morning, would see her.

What would she do if his gaze changed?

She wished someone would just tell her the answer.

That's when it happened.

Reed walked over.

He always walked elegantly at the same time, wearing the same outfit.

She thought that if one of those things changed, she might be scared.

However, as if to say such worries were foolish, Reed wore an indifferent expression.

Even with the clear marks of her fingers on his throat, he looked down at Phoebe with the same eyes.

Reed glanced at Phoebe up and down and nodded.

"You're dressed decently today."

After checking Phoebe's clothing, he led the way, walking and speaking.

"Today's test will be at 11 o'clock. Study before then."



* * *



The incident where Phoebe had used violence was resolved.

The victim, Ritz Roton, suddenly resigned and left the tower.

Reed was behind it.

He showed Ritz a paper recording all the misdeeds Ritz had committed so far, along with a crystal ball, and gave him a choice.

To leave quietly or to live inhumanly here.

Ritz, of course, chose the former.

Without leaving any regrets in the tower, he packed his belongings and disappeared.

As he disappeared, public opinion reflected on his backbiting and misdeeds and gradually leaned towards Phoebe.

She had broken his wrist, but it wasn't satisfying enough.

Phoebe scored 65 points on the test.

Her score for the first test was 65 points, and everything else was a complete zero.

She was 5 points short of the 70-point cutoff, and Reed declared a retake without any leniency.

Phoebe could no longer handle it on her own.

But she gritted her teeth and memorized it.

Taking notes was her strength since her time in Astheria.

'I'm annoyed.'

There was some progress, but it was too slow.

It seemed like if she barely walked 100 meters, 9 kilometers would be added.

No matter how she thought about it, she wondered if he was doing this just to annoy her.

Someone stood in front of her.

It was Reed.

"Do you think anything will get in your head by just racking your brain like that?"

"..."

Ignoring him, biting her lips slightly, she wondered if he had come to laugh at her.

"Let's postpone this test for a week."

"...Why?"

It would usually be a happy occasion, but Phoebe felt uneasy about his postponement.

"Don't you think we should see once what you are doing in our tower rather than wrestling with books? Of course, if you don't like it, we'll pretend it never happened. We'll stick to the scheduled test."

As soon as he said that, Phoebe closed the book and got up from her seat.

Phoebe's head was aching too, so she needed to take a light walk and change her mood.

Reed began to take her around the tower.

Instead of the places he often visited, he mainly showed her research labs and key facilities she hadn't seen yet.

Phoebe, who had little interest in the work of a mage, found the story boring.

However, it was an opportunity to rest, so she didn't let it go.

"Now we just need to go to the basement."

"There's a basement?"

"We shoot mana from the underground up. So the mana fountain is located underground."

They moved to the basement by stairs, not by elevator. They went down the spiral staircase and arrived at the basement.

Reed opened his mouth with a displeased expression.

"There should be at least two administrators here. Where did they all go?"

He looked around.

It was impossible for an administrator to hide in a cylindrical space with no blind spots.

"They must be playing somewhere."

"Hmm... Take a look around for a moment. I'll go to the break room for a bit."

Reed went up the stairs with big strides.

There was nothing for Phoebe to see.

All there was were blue mana pillars and complicated-looking panels.

It seemed that if she touched them carelessly, things would only get worse.

Phoebe knew that, so she just watched. She had no intention of touching anything.

That's when it happened.

Wing- Wing-

A sharp warning sound started to ring.

The blue room suddenly turned red and flickered.

"What's going on?"

Phoebe had a rough idea that it was an emergency.

She was the only one inside.

'I shouldn't touch it...'

So she decided to wait for a minute.

The warning sound got faster, and the red light flickered quickly.

'I can't leave it like this.'

She didn't know what could happen.

With that thought, Phoebe approached the panel in front of the mana pillar.

'I don't know.'

There were only a few symbols with unknown meanings, so she couldn't even guess what to do.

Phoebe started to press random buttons.

After touching a few buttons, the warning sound stopped.

"Success...?"

Kuuuuung-!!

Before Phoebe's words were even finished, the Silence Tower shook loudly.

The blue light from the pillar distorted fiercely and stretched upward.

As Phoebe looked up at the light, the door opened.

The administrators who should have been guarding the place, and Reed, were looking up at the overloaded mana pillar.

Phoebe could only understand their gazes.

She was screwed.




* * *

* * *

Dream big tl dot com

***



Ironically, the things Phoebe pressed to resolve the situation were commands to overload the tower.

In trying to fix the situation by pressing anything, she ended up pressing the self-destruct command.

The tower administrators were all disciplined for their negligence in management.

Phoebe was not without fault for pressing the self-destruct command, so she also had to be held accountable.

To determine her punishment, Reed and Phoebe were facing the Silence Tower's owner, Jude Roton.

"This is quite a difficult situation. The error occurred just when the administrators left their posts, and it's surprising that the overload command was used..."

"What should we do about this?"

Jude Roton stroked his white beard.

"Reed."

"Yes."

"What do you think we should do?"

"First, I would expel all the negligent administrators from the tower, and then build a system to monitor and supervise the administrators more closely."

"That's true. But, I don't think that's the end of it."

Jude Roton glanced at Phoebe.

Phoebe avoided his gaze while biting her lower lip.

"It's not a trivial matter, as the pillar of the tower is damaged, and the morale of the tower's mages is already low."

Reed understood what Jude was saying.

That's why Reed looked back at Phoebe and gave her an order.

"Phoebe Astheria Roton, step outside."

"..."

"Hurry up."

Phoebe walked out of the room as he ordered.

His intention was probably to have a private conversation with Jude.

However, Reed didn't know one thing.

Phoebe's senses were beyond imagination, and even from afar, she could hear their conversation as clearly as if they were right next to her.

The first thing she heard from beyond the door was Reed's voice.




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