Emilian’s pain subsided a few hours after that.
His complexion was still pale, but he looked much better than before.
I sat down at the bedside and looked at his face.

“Are you a little better now?”

Emilian nodded his head slightly.



“Ngh, it doesn’t hurt anymore.”

Only after confirming one more time, I sighed in relief, saying, “I’m so glad.” The pledge that I wouldn’t worry about him was completely forgotten.

‘But… I can’t just pretend I don’t know anything when I see him suffer.’

Emilian’s arms and legs had cuts from a knife.
Clearly, these were wounds that occurred during the experiment.
Looking back, it was strange.
It was obviously his first day of the experiment, and the test he received wasn’t light at all.

‘Who the hell would have done that? Did the director allow it?’ As I was immersed in my thoughts, Emilian suddenly called me.


When I raised my head, Emilian clasped his lips as if he had something to say.
His eyes, which had seemed dull before, seemed to be a little livelier.
He said,

“What’s your name?”


I blinked at the unexpected question.
A belated realization came.

‘I’ve never told him my name.’ Somehow, I missed the timing.
We had a bit of a late introduction.

“I’m Annis.”


Emilian pronounced my name as if learning an unfamiliar word.

“What’s your name?”

‘What was this kid called in the slums?’ In the novel, Emilian was just called ‘boy’ until he made a name for himself.
Still, I asked in case someone would have given him a nickname, but the answer I got back was succinct.

“I don’t have one.”


I was briefly speechless.
My heart ached at the answer that even broke my assumptions.
However, Emilian continued to speak in a calm voice.

“I have nothing like a name.

He raised his ruby-red eyes and looked at me,

“You give me one.”

My eyes widened at the unexpected words.

‘Naming you, such an important task, are you giving it to me? Is it really okay?’ I was skeptical and asked. 

“Can… I?”

“Ngh.” Emilian nodded without hesitation.
Still, I was a little hesitant.

“A name is very important.
It’s not something anyone can give you…”

“Then, are you going to keep calling me ‘hey’?”

“Ah, that’s…”

I couldn’t find anything to refute, so I blurted out the end of my words.
Thinking through, he was right.
Knowing he didn’t have a proper name yet, I’ve been calling him like that.
At that moment, Emilian lowered his eyes and said,

“You’re the only one… I can ask this…”

The researchers only called the children by their test numbers, never by names.
Aside from the adults, however, it was unlikely that there would be anyone else to name him differently in this laboratory.


The name was originally made by Emilian himself, who became a Transcendent.
So wouldn’t it be okay if I gave him the name just a little earlier? The novel’s plot won’t change because of a name.

[tl/n: did you hear that? That’s the sound of the plot shattering]


Having finally gathered my thoughts, I carefully opened my lips and said,

“How about Emilian?”

He blinked quietly.
I looked at him as he softly whispered the name.


‘Wait- what if he says he doesn’t like it? I don’t have other names in mind.’ I looked at his expression and asked, hiding my thoughts.

“Do you like it?”

Emilian replied, raising his head which was slightly bowed.

“Ngh, I like it.”

Overshadowing my worries, he answered with a bright smile.
His big eyes were folded like a half-moon, and his ruby-like eyes shone with a profound color.
For a moment, I blinked blankly.

‘You know how to smile like that…’

He was so pretty when he smiled… I stared blankly at Emilian.
Then, suddenly, I realized something that bothered me.
I was distracted earlier, so I let it slide, but his lab coat was stained in red.
Among anything else, lab coats were generously provided.
I took out a clean one from the drawer and handed it to him.

“Emilian, change into this.”

He received the clean lab coat and leaned his head.

“It smells good.” He said it as if it was strange that the clothes smelled of mild soap.
Suddenly, I remembered Emilian’s first appearance when he arrived.
He was wearing old clothes and worn-out shoes.
I couldn’t guess what life would have been like in the slums.
I wasn’t saying this laboratory was any better than the slums, but… It would be really hard to bear if we didn’t find a slight comfort in these trivial advantages.
I forced a smile and said,

“You can wear clean clothes every day here.
You can eat three meals a day.
Oh, it would be nice if I could bring dessert too…”


Like pudding or cake.
Adults eat it here often.”

Usually, when talking about dessert, the children’s eyes twinkled, but Emilian only tilted his head.

‘Have you never eaten dessert before?’

In order to increase the physical strength of the subjects, the meals were nutritious, but sweet desserts were a luxury only allowed to the researchers.

“I’ll definitely bring it next time.”

Emilian blinked quietly, then smiled softly.


He was a kid who knew how to smile like this.
Until now, I had only seen him in pain.
There was nothing much I could do for this kid, but… I felt that I should take good care of him until I leave the laboratory. 

‘Yikes, I have to go now.’

I recalled that the afternoon routine was busy, so I hurried.
As I was about to leave the room after saying goodbye, Emilian said with a faint smile.

“See you later, Annis.”

I paused for a moment, then smiled and answered,


‘I have to run away anyway, so let’s not get involved with Emilian as much as possible, and let’s not worry.’

That promise had long since faded.

‘First… I need to find out who Emilian’s researcher is.’ What was the reason for conducting such an unreasonable experiment on Emilian on the first day without following the manual? It was too much for a child who had suffered from a severe fever the day before. 

‘I don’t know who did it but…’

There was still time before Emilian awakens as a Transcendent and destroys this lab.
I wanted to be by Emilian’s side until then, though.
Even if my desire of not wanting to see him in pain was completely selfish.
I couldn’t just turn a blind eye.

I made up my mind and accelerated my pace.


*     *     *


Senior researcher Franz gloated looking at the chart with his glasses down.
The test results of subject 175 were very satisfactory.
No, to be honest, he was surprised.

‘I didn’t think he’d have this kind of potential…’ The red eyes that didn’t look human were very unpleasant, and even his cocky attitude made him feel upset.
The subject was very nerve-wracking.
However, apart from what he didn’t like, his qualities as a test subject exceeded his expectations.
Originally, the regenerative ability experiment involved long-term exposure to very small doses of the drug.
Otherwise, the pain felt by the subject would be great.
However, Franz deliberately omitted the initial steps.

He only wanted to inflict pain.

He had dealt with many test subjects.
There were some rebellious subjects, but they all succumbed to the pain.

“Please save me… uuuhggg- I was wrong.
Please… hiiik-“

“It hurts.
It hurts so much.
Stop, please, stop…!”

Franz thought Subject 175 would also be the same.
But that cheeky little bastard fainted without even emitting the smallest voice.
He mumbled as he tapped the chart with his hand.

“How will you react if I inflict more pain?”

‘Will you still hold it in?’

He sounded as if he was talking about experimenting on a lab rat.

“Either way, it’s going to be fun.”

Franz grinned and got up from his chair.

It was time to start the experiment.


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