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    Jae-chan’s temperament had been strained by his difficult social life, desperate failures, and death. It would have been difficult to change the selfish attitude that had developed over time if it hadn’t been for that.

    ‘Avoiding fieldwork in particular was a problem.’

    Go Woo-jin, who always responds with ignorance, was enraged. In contrast to general guides, who were always at the forefront, Jae-chan was assigned to the office job first. Even if he went to the field, he would only be responsible for rear support.

    ‘This time, I have to go on my own. Only then can the Black Swan’s truth be captured.’

    It was not enough to just sit at the desk and look at the report. It was time for Jae-chan to solidify his mind once again.

    “Yeah… I’ll just say this much. Not too much.”

    Yu-ram, who thought Jae-Chan was disheartened, said in the sudden silence.

    “You can do better from now on.”

    She wrinkled her nose. Jae-chan laughed at Park Yu-ram’s words, which she correctly pointed out. All right. He should do better from now on.

    Yu-ram also smiled as she straightened the glasses on the tip of her nose.

    “If you’re finished, let’s go. However, your roommate seems to be as good as the rumors say.”

    She pointed to the empty bed. Jae-chan, who was pushing the carrier’s wheel, abruptly stopped.

    Roommate. He arrived at the center when he was 14 years old and insisted on a double room for a long time before being assigned to the intelligence service. He didn’t care who his roommate was because he had many, but when Yu-ram said that, it was said that his roommate was famous.

    ‘It’s the summer when he was twenty-one years old… At this time, my roommate…’

    It was when Jae-chan’s lips wrinkled strangely that he remembered a face.

    “What?”

    Yu-ram lifted her head and checked her pockets. Beep, the two pagers were ringing urgently.

    Tempo Red.

    The face of his roommate, whom he remembered in an emergency three or four times a year, vanished to the other side. Jae-chan, on the other hand, immediately remembered the emergency at this time of year. His feet came to a stop and stiffened.

    “Seon Jae-chan! Aren’t you going?”

    Yu-ram, who was running ahead, called out. Hurry! When he heard the signal, he picked up the ID card that was lying on the desk. He began to run, waving his name tag string, but he was not at ease.

    … He’d run into Go Woo-jin if he went this way.

    He wasn’t quite prepared to meet him yet. Jae-chan’s head was spinning even after he joined the other Guides on the way.

    ***

    Central Administration Headquarters Emergency Guidance Center.

    There was a commotion around the area with the beeping sirens and the Espers coming one after another. Dozens of stabilizing equipment installed throughout the center quickly filled up. The emergency center manager shouted in the midst of the commotion.

    “Guide without ID card! Come this way! Come over here!”

    Park Yu-ram, who came from Jae-chan’s room, was the case. She ran to get a temporary guide card, and Jae-chan hung the ID card he brought with him on the tracksuit.

    “Guide!”

    The apprentice called them at the entrance. As he ran, Jae-chan felt the thoughts of Go Woo-jin, which had filled his head with nothing to worry about disappeared.

    “This is an emergency!”

    The apprentice shouted. The sharp waves emitted by the fainted Esper on the emergency bed stiffened Jae-chan’s fingertips, but he clenched his teeth. Ignoring the tingling sensation that was acting like a trauma, he stuck next to the running emergency bed.

    When Tempo Red comes up, all guides in the center must keep Esper calm until a pair guide or a guide with a high matching rate arrives. This Esper was now his responsibility.

    “What is really going on with this? The on-site guides say they can’t guide them all!”

    The apprentice pushed the emergency bed and shouted outrageously. This was the reason why Tempo Red appeared in an event that should be normal.

    “Yes, I heard. Was this esper sedated?”

    Jae-chan rushed forward, grabbing the unconscious Esper’s hand. He began guiding right away. It smelled like smoke on a fire scene. “Did you hear that?” The perplexed apprentice nodded.

    “He took anti-epinen! It’s physics esper!”

    Jae-chan turned to face the unconscious Esper. A man who appears to be in his late twenties. The mind state was a mess, whether it was due to the constitution not working well with the guiding or because it was too much. Jae-chan was guiding with one hand while turning on his phone and checking the app with the other. Ring. The guide app recognized the chip inside the Esper just in time.

    [Heo Moon-gi (Esper C) – Seon Jae-chan (Guide A)

    Expected Matching Rate: 25%]

    The expected match rate was calculated and provided by the program based on the results of the national Esper-Guide wavelength screening conducted at the beginning of every year. The member of an apprentice’s team who fixed the bed also saw the matching rate.

    “I’ll install the amplifier!”

    The apprentice shouted. The amplifier was a device that forcibly and momentarily boosted the matching rate. It is only used in an emergency because frequent use is prohibited. Jae-chan tucked his phone away in the pocket of his workout clothes.

    The wheeled amplifier arrived. The device bears the logo of J company, the largest multinational pharmaceutical medical company in the union. When Jae-chan stared at the letter “J” in the logo, a flashback to the past immediately entered his thoughts.

    “Guide! Are you going to put the amplifier on?”

    The paramedic who activated the device shouted. It was because the guide was still guiding.  The matching rate was only 25%, no matter how A-Class it was, guiding without an amplifier was like pouring water into a bottomless pit. If the grade is a lethality, the matching rate is the same as the hit rate. Whether it was a bomb or a pistol, you have to aim and see the target accurately to have an impact.

    “Please install it. I’ll be the guide. It’s better than nothing!”

    Jae-chan said quickly. What a useless thing to do. The apprentice clicked his tongue while still attaching electrode pads to Esper’s limbs.

    On the other hand, Jae-chan was adjusting himself to the wavelength of the tangled Esper. He closed his eyes habitually and he could feel the densely intertwined influx more clearly.

    Jae-chan was sensitive to wavelength during the national standard guide inspection, which may have been due to the fact that he had been guiding since he was in his early teens. Before regressing, at the age of 27, he pulled off the impressive achievement of increasing the fundamental matching rate against all Esper. Thanks to that, he was given the exaggerated nickname of “Human Amplifier”.

    The question is whether the guiding skills of that time are still possible…

    ‘It’s working.’

    Even though the Esper’s wavelength had a rather dense texture, it had a weak repelling force. It meticulously and painstakingly melted the guiding wavelength, as though conforming the casting’s shape to the formwork’s peculiar shape. The knotted threads started to untangle themselves bit by bit.

    “Huh?”

    The apprentice made a startled sound. Beep. The amplifier showed a progressive rise in the wavelength stability. 46, 51, 56… It finally surpassed the stable value of 60. Even with no amplifier.

    The apprentice team looked at the guide electrode that he had in his hand, which had not yet been removed from the plastic.

    “It seems that there was an error in the expected matching rate.”

    Jae-chan said as an excuse after opening his eyes. In fact, he was surprised too. He didn’t expect that his guiding skills would remain unchanged from before his return. It appeared that guiding ability was based on mental experience separate from the body.

    They just needed to wait for Esper’s pair guide to show up. It happened as Jae-chan was about to release his hold on him. The Esper’s eyes opened abruptly. Jae-chan felt a sense of rejection that had been delayed for a moment as he faced the greedy stare as though seeking water.

    “Heo Moon-gi Esper, wait a minute!”

    Despite the apprentice’s shouts, it was already too late. The semi-conscious Esper hugged the guide. Seon Jae-chan gave up on the physical Esper’s dominance over him once he instantly and imperceptibly grasped his body. He had simply made the decision to give one hug in his all-out effort to survive. Esper’s odd relationship with the Guide resulted in numerous instances of this happening.

    … One hug is enough, right? It was a time when Esper was startled because Jae-chan had wrapped his waist too tightly.

    Somewhere, a wind blew across Jae-chan’s hair. A powerful arm simultaneously encircled his body. Jae-chan turned around as his back and shoulder came into contact with what felt like a rock-like muscle.

    “… ?”

    He was met with dark, ferocious eyes.

    Ah. Seon Jae-chan’s mouth widened. He had no choice but to do so.

    Over his forehead, his black hair was slightly disheveled. Expressionless face. Black eyes that seem to be penetrating through the person. A massive wavelength that suddenly poured into the body.

    It was Go Woo-jin, the one he thought about as he ran here.

    ***

    The apprentice thought today was full of surprises. He saw an  A-Class Guide, and the 25% matching rate stabilizes the Esper even without the amplifier. These two were surprising enough, but he couldn’t believe seeing an S-Class Esper up close like this.

    The S-Class Esper, who couldn’t be counted with hands, was like a celebrity in the union. That was why the A-class guide was also surprised. Everyone was the same in front of celebrities.

    ‘But was Esper Go Woo-jin the type to blow cold wind like that?’

    The apprentice team took a look at Go Woo-jin, who had much bigger proportions that looked like a different race. Go Woo-jin was popular among S-Class Espers, possibly due to his attractive appearance and young age. Naturally, he was frequently featured in the media…

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