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    Late at night, Sijin was looking at the laptop he received in the dormitory room. On the screen, the report of the doctor who had been kidnapped and killed just a month ago was displayed.

    With a security level of 7, Sijin was able to access the incident report of the kidnapped doctor. Half of the document was marked with black lines, making it impossible to read the important parts, but he could confirm how horrifically the doctor had died.

    [4/26 19:21 Hostage kidnapping confirmed]




    [4/27 04:14 – Charlie team intercepts Chinese vessel in the western sea during attempted escape]

    [4/27 04:26 Hostage death confirmed, signs of torture and mutilation found]


    Sijin’s face froze as he looked at the photos of the corpse.

    The document contained photos of the hostage’s condition. The body was in a state where it could not possibly be alive, just as Jeong Taeyul had described. There were no intact parts of the body, and even traces of the most excruciating agony a human could feel were evident on the skin. It seemed like they had undergone cruel torture.

    Sijin quietly closed the file. He understood why he had been assigned to the Alpha Team dormitory building, and why Jeong Taeyul had personally warned him. It was a warning not to let his guard down easily, as being kidnapped once would lead to a horrific death.

    Thanks to that, he has now become vigilant enough. Sijin let out a deep sigh as he looked at the smartwatch that recorded his location in real-time.

    ‘What should I do about Ham Geonwu…’

    That aside, Sijin recalled the eerie gaze of Jeong Taeyul looking down on him. To think that he had been caught admitting his interest in Ham Geonwu… Sijin’s worries surged.

    In fact, Sijin had often been misunderstood while managing these ability holders.

    Recalling a few selected comments he had heard…

    ‘Why are you chasing me out when consulting my Esper? What are you going to do alone in the examination room?’

    ‘You, are you flirting with my Guide? Tell the truth!’

    ‘Do you want to have a relationship with us? How about a threesome?’

    …and so on. Sijin knew as a professional that it was best not to get personally involved in the bond between an Esper and a Guide.

    No, in fact, there was no hope even if a civilian intervened in the Esper-Guide relationship. Trying to dig into that relationship would only result in the civilian giving up.

    Guiding. The act of sharing sensations and the deep bond that came with it was something that an ordinary person could never experience.

    Furthermore, as Sijin would be managing Ability Users at the F12 Center, he really shouldn’t personally intervene in the deep bond among the Ability Users.

    ‘Let’s just focus on work, just work.’

    After all, the task that Sijin had to do was to manage the physical condition of the Ability Users. Did he think things would go well with Ham Geonwu? He wasn’t even dreaming about it. Sijin’s fondness for Ham Geonwu was originally a seed grown from gratitude. After all, Ham Geonwu was the benefactor who saved his life ten years ago.

    Sijin finished organizing his thoughts. He just needed to do his job well. Sijin shredded the paper where he had written down his worries and concerns into pieces and threw it in the trash. It was his own way of mind control.

    With everything sorted out, Sijin lay down on the soft bed. However, his heart kept pounding, making it difficult for him to relax. Sijin tried to ignore that feeling by curling up on his side. Perhaps due to exhaustion from dealing with Jeong Taeyul, he soon fell into a deep sleep.


    [am. 6:40]

    Sijin woke up earlier than planned the next day.

    He had plenty of time since he only needed to be at work by 9 a.m. It took him 40 minutes to shower and get ready, and the research examination laboratory was a leisurely 10-minute walk away. Sijin, who had been contemplating, decided it was better to shower rather than stay in bed.

    A while later, feeling refreshed after his shower, Sijin decided to inspect the supplies provided by the Center.

    In the black suitcase in his dorm room, Sijin found a plethora of his supplies.

    ‘The uniform looks better than I expected.’

    The Center had issued uniforms. There were two sets of black special material top and bottom, a sleek navy training suit, and a loose white coat for examiners to wear. All the uniforms had the F12 Center’s eagle logo embroidered on them.

    ‘The uniform looks pretty good too.’

    As a management-level staff, Sijin had also been given a navy uniform. Although it was stylish like a military uniform, Sijin quietly placed it in the corner of his closet. He planned to wear it only on special occasions or when there were formal events.

    Sijin read the notice on the case that was written in the corner.

    [All members and employees are encouraged to wear uniforms while conducting activities within the F12 Center.]

    [*If not wearing the uniform, identity verification procedures may be conducted at any time.]

    It was interesting. Wearing the Center’s uniform was recommended, not mandatory. After contemplating, Sijin decided to wear his regular clothes and put on the loose white coat on top. It was because he had noticed that people in the Center were wearing uniforms neatly but also freely adding their own touch according to their individuality.

    Lastly, Sijin examined the miscellaneous supplies. Socks, facial cleansing products, a spacious laundry bag, a tumbler, pens, a towel, and on top of the work pad, an electric shock gun TaserX47…

    ‘They’re giving me a taser already?’

    Although he had received basic firearm training before entering the center, Sijin had not expected weapons to be distributed so easily. Surprised, Sijin looked at the instructions. The taser gun had a note stating it was to be used in the event of a monster intrusion within the Center.

    [The number of monster intrusions within the Center is at least six times a year….]

    After reading this far, Sijin quietly tucked the taser gun behind his back.

    For a powerless ordinary person, equipment meant power.


    Sijin found himself working with four other examiners.

    On his first day at work, Sijin greeted them warmly. The examiners seemed hesitant about their new boss Sijin, but subtly felt reassured by his kind attitude.

    “Hello, Dr. Baek!”

    “Nice to meet you, I’m Baek Sijin.”

    “Wow, I didn’t expect you to be so nice.”

    Sijin found himself working with friendly colleagues. The examiner he would spend the most time with was Shin Dayoung. She was small in stature, with black short hair and cat-like eyes that left an impression, and her lively gestures made her seem cheerful.

    The two quickly hit it off. Thanks to Sijin’s impression that made everyone feel comfortable, Examiner Shin Dayoung soon asked to be called Dayoung-ssi and chatted away happily.

    “I really wanted to meet you, Dr. Baek! And I really enjoyed reading your paper, ‘All Humans are Ability Users!'”

    Sijin’s opinion of her improved upon hearing this. She had read his paper. Sijin realized that she was not only sociable but also genuinely interested in Ability Users.

    The paper Sijin presented had sparked a lot of discussion. It proved that every human has the potential to become an ability user. The only difference between humans and Ability Users is the circumstances that sprout that potential seed, proving that everyone has the potential to become an ability user. Thanks to this, society’s discriminatory views towards Ability Users had decreased significantly.

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