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All businesses affect the executioner in any way: the formation of habits, values, or even linguistic peculiarities. Needless to say that the SCP Foundation's researchers would be the one, expressly.

Dr. Abraham Paulson opened the door and stepped into the study room. It smells like old papers at the tranquil indoors as usual, following fragrance of coffee and cigarette and mannerism and weariness combined itself. Perhaps it had such atmosphere since there had been murky and gloomy space with closing a thick curtain over the window, but the real cause would be a job whose working in there.

The fourth study room, located on the third floor, site-46, was conquered by researchers of the Historical Department a few days ago. Paulson headed to his desk, getting over the old documents that scattered in great confusion. There was sigh-heaving scenery over. The paper cup contained leftover coffee yesterday(coffee was already dried up to the bottom), documents spread in a disorderly manner, and—


A huge slug fallen prone on his desk erected its body wiggling along. A stained navy blue colored sleeping bag was soon opened with some kind of tearing sound, and then a shabby man and succeeded to pull out his body from it with some groans.

"Hello, Abe."

"What on earth are you doing in my desk?"

Researcher Kyle Williams raised corners of his lips, enjoying the pain that he got by sleeping crumpled all night. He put on the gold-rimmed glasses thrown carelessly onto the desk and nodded at Paulson raised his eyebrows.

"Your chair is the softest one among the chairs in this room. Also the ratio of the desk and chair."

"It shall be impudent."

"You said the impudent is the basic acquirement of this department, sir."

"Very well. Didn't you left last night?"

Paulson roughly cleared bundles of paper away and put the briefcase on the desk.

"Yep. I was going to do almost after midnight and just at the moment I found exceedingly interesting data."

The old man rubbed his chin.

"Either I was the one who investigates secrecy documents of defeated anomalous-Japanese Army too, but couldn't find anything intriguing."

"Well, you'll change your mind if you see the data I gathered." Williams grinned, casting off his slough and stamping out of the chair. "To begin with, let me wash my face first."

Quiet was the library. They were rare those who make time to come and read books, so Laura Nguyên could enjoy reading alone. At last this time, she didn't have to be bothered by the researchers requesting data for an experiment and interview every day. Moreover, she had great pleasure these days. Guys who had been staying almost all day in the library, for a certain project, finally left to the world of peace.

Undoubtedly, it is not true that she doesn't love her job. Every hour working as a librarian of the Foundation was pleasant. Above all, when a cool breeze blew from the half-open window, and the feeling of turning over pages, under the warm sunlight, wouldn't be gratifying in exchange for anything else in the world. Feeling like strolling in condensed calmness. It was the image of unimpaired peace. Just like right now.

And that is the reason why she couldn't recognize somebody else was standing between the bookshelves.

"It is a nice forenoon, librarian."

Heard someone's voice, Laura turned her head. Surprised to hear the sudden voice, but what made her warier than anything else was the strange accent and delivery of its voice, and telltale malice and threat contained itself. Even though its tone was obviously cheerful. Suddenly disparate air hung over the peaceful atmosphere.

Laura slowly took a step backward, watching the visitor. The owner of the voice was tall, wearing a long coat and covering its face with a red muffler. Groundless gooseflesh was rosen. The visitor was totally unidentifiable human at all. No, even if it was a human. Laura responded slightly, keeping her distance from the visitor. "Good forenoon, too."

"Librarian, do you…" The entity unaffectedly began to talk. Couldn't recognize it clearly, but she thought it grinned somehow. With exposing abnormally pointed teeth. "Do you know a little about some myths?"

"I, I'm sorry but I know nothing about such line…"

//"Pity. I'm looking for a volume about oriental myths. If you knew about it, I would be trying to ask you to recommend some."

"Oh." Laura approached lightly, with a troubled look. "I've read such kinds of books. I can be a little help to you… What are the exact contents you looking for?

"The myths of Pox Deities. Of East Asia… Do you remember about it?"

"Yes. I think this book would be appropriate." Laura drew out a green-covered book from the next shelf and opened it. "Pox Deities of Northeast Asia were emphatically described in this book. Among them, Pox Deities of Korea have vivid characteristics. The Guests. For wandering from door to door and disseminating pox, they called 'Guest'. They are constituted of three Great Guests: the Bride Guest, Martialist Guest, Literatus Guest, and also Juvenile Guest."

"As I remember, they killed a boy by variola and make him follow themselves.

The visitor's voice was cheerful, as before. Laura answered, feeling ominous air. "Yes, he is the one who called Juvenile Guest. To be exact, the child, Chŏl-hyun Kim김철현, 金哲賢 was willing to follow them about. Although they killed himself as a punishment of his father, Kim the rich's neglecting and inhospitality toward Great Guests."

It giggled.

"How hilarious it is. They cannot throw away their nature to the last, which they even themselves despised. No, do I have to call it the way they taught? The law of penalty following the discipline of traditional punishment. The Motherland, even she banished you, huh?"

She stared at it with a scared and suspicious glance. The words were definitely English, but she didn't comprehend the meaning of them. The only thing she could notice was the emotion buried under the words.

Hatred, exceedingly deep-rooted hatred.

"Are the names of theirs written in it? Or the occurrences at their motherland."

"Uh…" Laura held her lips for a minute. "Well, words I told you before are all. And things of motherland… there's just a phrase that they just come to Korean Peninsular because they like that place. Why you…"

"That's lamentable." The visitor talked under his breath. "Pourushaspa, there's no one who remembers thy name. Yeah… that's the death of suitable."

"Who is tha—"

"Would you like to hear? Who were they, and where they came from?"

"Well." Laura started to talk timidly. "The book says that they were from Great Han of South of the Liver강남대한국, 江南大漢國, which is presumed to be China."

"There are so many things distorted in myths." The entity replied gloomily. "Conveying for such long times… How we expect it not to be deformed."

"That's… true."

"Jakarren, Pourushaspa, and Ashuling. Each of them is correspondent to the Bride, Literatus, and Martialist."

It walked a step to Laura.

"Jakarren was a daughter of Matriarch, she herself was the Matriarch too. And Pourushaspa was her adviser. Ashuling was the widow of legendary Matriarch, and warrior who skilled in both scholarships and martial arts." His words got low and boiled with unhiddable rage. "And they were exiled from Daeva for a sin of belief in heresy."

Daeva. Laura became dazed in a moment. Daeva. The SCP she could get brief information within her security class. The entity standing in front of her was telling those pox deities of Korean myths— was the Daevite exiles.

"…Is it true? No, e, even it's true, how do you know that? And why are you telling me this?"

The entity slipped off its red muffler. Then pierced her with eyes. Laura understood at the very moment. She understood even though she didn't understand what she understood. And at the same time, she felt the fear dwelt in her whole body connected by her spine. It was like a blessing. Anointment that dare might of human beings not resist. It slowly opened its mouth.

"One way or the other, you will not be able to tell anyone no longer."

"Soooo, what is the exact substance of data you found?"

Paulson asked Williams who was munching a tuna sandwich. He wrapped a towel around his neck, passed into his own desk, and finished one last piece of sandwich. While they were not aware of it, the time was running out almost an hour since his explanation had been notified. Anyway, it is impossible to exaggerate how he is out of all Scotch. He made a wry smile and pour new coffee into a new paper cup.

"Well, at first I believed it was just unworthy at all, too." Williams smacked his lips and carried on. "However, such was a unique career that the man has."

"The man?" Paulson raised his eyebrows again.

"Yeah." The sandwich predator stretched his neck, breathing satisfactorily. "The man who served in IJAMEA to 1919. Commonly known as Major Nikaho."

Ni-ka-ho. Three syllables. The three syllables were the roots of evil. Paulson realized that the face is being contorted by himself. Words had too cruelly collided with him without any warning. Like all of the affairs in a lifetime would be.

"There's no information of when this man started to serve in IJAMEA. But also stories about him was written there since nearly 1909."

"What is his whole name?"

"Umm…" Williams' focus became dim. "Han… Han…something or another."


"Ah, that's it! Hanno, Hanno Nikaho. Speaking with Japanese way, Nikaho Hanno."

In the joy of remembrance, Williams didn't notice that the face of Paulson became pale.

"How did you know that, abe?"

"…I thought I saw the name too."

"As I said, he's a unique person. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in February of 1909."

"If it was the first year of his service in IJAMEA, there would be continued considerably exceptional reshuffling." Paulson replied quietly. "Three grades promotion for 10 years. Huh, was he belonged to any loyal family of Japan?"

"Hmm, at least it's obvious to tell that his family is not just unanomalous family. Probably constituents of Shūshū-In, especially having some powers than other families of. It seems like reputed houses' members, among youngsters who transferred Shūshū-In to IJAMEA, were treated better than others. Some kind of high-handed. To solidify the strength of IJAMEA by gaining these houses' power."

Paulson sipped coffee with a stern look.

"I think it went well somehow. Second lieutenant Nikaho was promoted with extremely high speed, a few months intervals. And shortly after he—"

Williams sprung to his feet, rushed to the desk placed in the middle of the room, and buried himself there. And soon he found a document pile.

"Umm, By Project Hakutaku III… He was dispatched to Korea — at that time its name was actually Joseon —which just got a colony of Japan in those days. Shortly over a year of him to enroll in IJAMEA. The grade was a captain then."

He continued, massaging the back of his neck.

"This document says that he got accelerated promotion to captain by the credit for help accomplishment of Project Hakutaku I."

"What did he do there?"

"Things that all IJAMEA agents who dispatched to Korea usually did: Poking anomalous entities of there." Williams threw the file and leave for his desk, picking up another bundle of paper. "The reason why Project Hakutaku III remains steadily until the 1910s, although it was started in 1907, is because people of Korea did not cooperative wholly, regardless of nomalies and anomalies. That's because the Japanese army ruined south of Korea for 2 months by September 1909, anyway…"

Paulson pensively glared into the void.

"It was the same to anomalies. They fought against or shunned and hide from IJAMEA that had an interest in them. One of the merited ones who found these beings is Captain Nikaho. Even in 1912, he was promoted to Major."


Paulson perched on the edge of his desk.

"It sounds like plenty of cases were carried out by him, even he could be promoted to field officer."

"It would be, but the principal reason was this."

He took the document Williams held out before his eyes. Old and discolored paper smelt like nice blood. Additional records of Project Hakutaku III. It was a proposal of Major Hiranuma.


His breath was shivering.

"…Please do not tell me they sold Seŭlga off."

"Do you know what Seŭlga is?" Williams asked with a perplexed look. "I was about to inquire it to the Department of Anthropology."

Paulson started to talk heavily, with his neck strained.

"…Sarkic order of Korean Peninsular. I heard that they are writing a paper about them."

"Hah." Williams nodded with interest. "Anyway, whatever it is, they did sell it off. It was Major Nikaho who appeared again at this time. It was him, who found the location of Soŭl Hamlet; the village of Seŭlgaites, and brought the army to there."

Paulson clenched his teeth.

"So, I was thinking Major Nikaho actually was a Korean or one who had a close connection to Korea. Abe, how 'bout you?"

"…If he was Korean," Paulson opened his mouth painfully after a while. "If he was Korean, it was obvious that he could not get such quick promotion. It also conflicts with your hypothesis about owing kudos to his house. Besides, agents from the Anti-abomination GuardI-gŭm-wi (이금위, 異禁衛) and Preservation DivisionBo-jŏn-won (보전원, 保傳院), which were national paranormal organizations of Joseon, were restricted on promotion beyond assistant agent, though."

"But Koreans hadn't recognized the location of Soŭl Hamlet, neither. So they even thought about giving up, Major Nikaho succeeded. It has to be explained that he knew something in advan—"

"Got it. Is that all?"

Since Paulson cut off his word coldly, Williams gave a dubious look, soon he began to talk pleasantly.

"It seems like his way was highly favorable except for that case. He formed Project Yakubyo, keeping coming and going between Japan and Korea, Taiwan from 1915. It was the project which presented a plan to cope effectively with the epidemic in the colony by anomalous means."

Paulson replied, rubbing his chin. "Did it work?"

"I don't know."

"What do you mean I don't know."

"Things go wrong before it became fully accomplished."

"Go wrong?"

"Major Nikaho left IJAMEA." Williams shrugged his shoulder.

Paulson gazed at his face.


"1919." Williams continued with a smirk. "The year when a large-scale civil movement to protest the colonial rule of Japan occurred in Korea. Of course, I cannot measure how much it related to that event… The one thing certain is that Major Nikaho did be awfully disappointed in IJAMEA that year."

"Disappointed, huh."

"Or maybe he even got hostility against IJAMEA."

Paulson grimaced at him. "Why?"

"Things we've been discovering about the cases occurred in IJAMEA Department of Joseon, were only a few SCPs like SCP-2953, and pieces of information related to them. Isn't it strange when compared to the mainland? It should be transmitted to us that similar projects, similar events, similar researches in Department of Joseon as in Japanese mainland."

"Perhaps those who had such information didn't turn to the Foundation."

Paulson answered as if he was calm.

"Well, check out exhibit A."

Another document Williams gave to him was written in large Japanese as Top Secret. He carefully turned the first page. There was attached a photo snapped of a man who was haggard but had eyes burning severely. He glared at the lens of the camera taking his photograph. Below it was written like this.

Nikaho Hanno.
The ringleader of Terroristic Raid against Department of Joseon, Kyungsung Base, 1935.
Presently imprisoned in Yule Island Base.

"Kyungsung Base…"

"Now it is called Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Various cases arisen in Korea were gathered there. It's quite plain to work, cause the base was close to the the Japanese Government-General of Korea朝鮮総督府. And then Nikaho did terror against here. According to documents of IJAMEA, there were just modest casualties, but it seems like intentional modification was inflicted on them. It is obvious of IJAMEA to get damage to the projects in progress."

"…Is that a reason he was imprisoned in Yule Island Base?"

"Do you know where the Yule Island is?"

"The extradimension connected to Ieodo, which is a rock in the south of Jeju Island. Place where Foundation Korean Branch appoints for Containment Area-19K. Are you giving me an examination or something?"

"Well, seems like you're a bit, toilsome since a while ago." Williams replied in a humorous tone. "In 1906, Army of IJAMEA occupied Yule Island and changed it to base where anomalistic humanoid was experimented, professionally speaking, were tortured and assaulted and done mischief with prisoners' and draftees' body. Such peaceful place like there went he. In 15 years, the shoe became on the other foot."

"Why didn't they send him to a pen?" Paulson asked with a low tone. "…Even they tortured prisoners in there, too. Why did they send him there, for what business?"

"I don't know. Maybe they wanted him to suffer much more than the usual case."

Paulson closed his eyes.

"There are no more records about him since he was taken to Yule Island Base. Well, probably he's dead. There's no document about his releasing, also no possibility of IJAMEA didn't butcher him when they withdrew, even if he survived to the end."

"…Are you sure?"

"What?" Williams looked at him with a puzzled look.

Paulson rose from his seat and walked to Williams. He was standing up hesitatingly.

"Is there any list of prisoners in Yule Island Base? Or experiment reports? How about the disposal report of deads?"

"At least you should give me time to answer." Williams replied with a voice of perturbation. "You don't have to ask me more. There's the list of prisoners. Well, actually I gave up. The name of Major Nikaho was nowhere in it."

"Thank you." Paulson replied, snatching the list from him.

He then walked to his desk. Williams followed him, still with a puzzled look. Paulson roughly cleared away things on the desk and put the file containing the list.

"Abe, I truly emphasize this in particular—"

"Kyle, how many are the documents we need?"

Williams frowned.

"Well, a lot. Materials of Shūshū-In, the reports about IJAMEA establishments, which remained in Area-19K… Ah, and also the report about Seŭlga."

"Tell them to send those things. I'll pass them through with my authority."

Williams hesitated. "Wait, seriously?"


"What happened to you? You're the guy who examines for three hours just by asking for a glass of water."

"Or I drop if you don't like it."

"Not really."

"You should leave now. There'd be a lot of things to do."

"Be my guest." He nimbly answered. "I must say goodbye now. Don't cancel it!"

Paulson nodded, without looking back. Soon after sound of Williams quickly running out disappeared with filling all hallway.

"…Sure… I'll be your guest."

He drew a deep breath and started to spread the list of prisoners. After few sounds of fluttering, his hand stopped in one place.

"…My fellow…you poor……."

His eyes were focused on three syllables.


Kim, Chŏl, Hyun.

Paulson clenched teeth and repressed surging tears of his. A sharp dagger of old times was driving deep into his chest.

Abe Paulson left the study room. It's getting dark outside. He was the last worker in the room unlike the day before. He habitually set inside of the room in order, turned off the light, and walked out to lock the door.

And when he turned around, he could see a figure looking at him.

"Good evening, Abraham Paulson."

The entity was buried in darkness. Great height and eccentric atmosphere made one who saw it feel fear from an unknown origin. Paulson put keys into his pocket, feeling familiar déjà vu.

"May I have your identity?" He asked, gathering his brows. "Are you from the Department of Anthropology? Today's businesses just have been done, but if it is an urgent case then I—"

"It's disappointed, Abraham Paulson."

It stretched its body, laughing in an undertone. The sound of laughter was offensive to the ears and filled with dark and black vitality.

"Or shalt it be proper to call you, Ashuling?"

Paulson's pupil got bigger. His fingertips came to cold, getting tightened his neck. Suddenly the reality grows corpulently and heavily. That knows the name. That knows the real name.

That knows who I am.

Just by one fluent movement, he was crushed into the door, caught by a grip of the visitor. No sooner had a wave of pain rumbled from the back, another shock had occurred.

"…You." He talked painfully. "How you."

"You art not the only Daeva who survived. By the way, it seems like you hast lived very merrily." Stranger muttered. "I thought you shalt live as a pariah and died, but look at you. You advanced southwards, slaughtered and reigned over people of there as much as you like."

"That's not… true." Paulson hardly answered with throttled voice. "We…"

"Not true?" Entity repeated as if it feels interesting. "Come, Ashuling, no matter how does the myth has been strained, but such important part does so? You morons were Pox Deities. You just playing epidemics with the mystique arts of Nälkä, that heresy. And be worshipped by fear of the poor humans. Oh, is that an 'Apotheosis', you called?"


"Hush. No more redundancies. I don't want to hear pieces of petty ideals again that you said a thousand cycles ago. Especially from your mouth would be much more worse."

The visitor released the strength of his grip. Paulson collapsed to the floor and groaned.


"Ah, even you call me as the term?" The visitor replied with a sympathetic tone. "I never expect you to be professional, but it is quite not bad."

"How can you get in here?"

"Simple. Just killing twice. Librarian, and the first idiot who came to the library." The entity smiled, and Abe Paulson felt a shudder in his back again. "Personally, murdering is now outdated and troublesome stuff to me… However, I thought this case should be done by myself."

"Why did you come to see me?"

"Don't worry. I am not going to kill you. At least, not today."

As rough eyes of him glared at the entity, it grinned joyfully. The pleasure stained with monstrousness that the joy was.

"Oh, how dreadful you become. What are all these things? You aged and got weakened. And also you shouldst take additional measures to live mixing yourself among other humans. So far as my observation goes— it seems like not the fleshcraft used by the traitors. Hmm, let me guess. Is that a cloaking device frequently used by Xia remnants?"

"Just kill me if you're going to keep spit out that bullshit."

"Don't hurry me. You'll be done so someday." SCP-140-A answered in a low. "But you still be of use, yet."

A few photographs were scattered in front of his sight. Paulson lowered his eyes to the ground. The first thing that entered into his sight was the picture of a man wearing traditional clothes from Korea. The man, who was staring at the camera, putting gaerip. It was him. Ashuling slowly raised his face and scowled at the stranger.

"I've been looking for you for a long time."

He bucked down his breath and gathered photographs. Familiar faces were viewed again and again. Those who had passed, those who are going to be passed, and those who have been old companions.

"What a long stalking."

"Oh, sure." SCP-140-A smiled bloody. "And it did be worthwhile."


"Why what?"

"Why was it that you did all these things, and never showed yourself without a single time, and now appear only just this moment."

"Isn't it obvious? There comes the opportunity to get rid of these filthy scums."

His face stiffened.

"Why did I chase you idiots…" It lowered its voice. "You idiots who betrayed Daeva and survived till now with no shame… When the Daeva was in the hardest times… Even born in highblood, you agitated Daeva, being blindly devoted to that heresy. A scumbag heresy that had already collapsed thousands of years ago!"

The voice of the stranger burnt with anger. Its chin was strained by the hatred as deep as the abyss.

"If I managed the trial, the trial banishing you, it wouldn't be ended to sentence of the only exile. It wouldn't be ended to just exile you and remove from all records that you couldn't revive. Oh, that's so generous execution, yes it is. That's so merciful and generous execution indeed!"

Its voice was getting shivered by rage.

"Rather than you should! Like Nadox the Despised, who you respect so much! Get emasculated and suffered pain for an eternity it did be justifiable. Rather making of you beg to be mortal was the rational treatment at all!"

SCP-140-A threw another photograph from its pocket. It was the picture taken in a street in Nice, France. The picture was old and faded as if it was taken in the last century. Subjects were a 60s flower-childish man whose face was oddly pale and a woman who had alike features and wore a suit. They had a very familiar atmosphere with him. The atmosphere of Daeva. His face trembled with pain. They were the ones who he would never forget. The unforgettable ones— of him. His own friends, comrades, companions, and family. His true family.

"Well, frankly, I recognize it. You are the one I couldn't find to the last. After all that times, I couldn't catch your location… I acknowledge that. However, the other two morons were just much more dull-witted than you… Thanks to that, Pourushaspa was killed by my hand, and so was Jakarren. No, I thought so… I thought I was clear to deal with her… But it seems like it wasn't true according to information lately reached to my ears." SCP-140-A murmured, lost in thinking.

"…Is Pourushaspa…? That can't…… You bastard!" Ashuling spitted out in a quivered voice.

"After the fall of Daeva, and after knowing you've been still alive, one of my aims was to behead yours and display in my room. Now I come, to accomplish it, in front of you. Do you understand?"

Thereafter a short pause, SCP-140-A sneered.

"However, I won't do that now…Not now… There's something you can do for me."

"…What the hell do you want."

"It's simple. Jakarren, that wench's location."

Paulson laughed despite himself. "I haven't heard from them since the nineteenth century. I don't know."

"Is it you that being researcher of Foundation? Especially majored in History. It would be very easy to trail her whereabouts if you take your measures."

"Yet don't think I will sell her off to you." He breathed heavily. "You'd better kill me. Take my head."

"I can give you much more than that." The visitor answered calmly. "Such as… some papers giving proof of your real identity and request to immediate containment of you."

"Oh, go on. Go on as you wish. Make them contain me. Make them dissect me alive and throw away."

"Kim Chŏl-hyun is alive."

Dead silence reigned over the place.


"He didn't meet his end there. He is alive. With Jakarren."

The face of him was still stiffened, but his lips started to quake bit by bit. The entity burst into laughter.

"Ah, seriously? What a pathetic scene I've ever seen. Is your mind wavered because of such a Korean child, Ashuling?"

"…Shut the fuck up."

"Look at me, Ashuling. I don't have to kill all of them. My target is Jakarren. Do you really think that I even care about you, or the child? Well, yes, you're disgusting a bit, but I'm sorry that you won't be able to win her in the event. What did you call, Chŏl-hyun? Why do I assail that child? I just want to kill that filthy traitor who doesn't even deserve the name of the Matriarch."

The wave was spread all over the face.

"Think about it, Ashuling. I think I can make some fine guess. Pourushaspa nor Jakarren likes children— The boy was taken with by your obstinacy, was it not? And you raised and taught him over a thousand years…" The visitor giggled. "Nineteenth-century, then you must be apart already over 200 years."

He clamped his teeth.

"Moreover, you, already know the information about the child."


"No, no. It's too late to deny. You admit it by your own mouth." SCP-140-A broke into a smile. "You know Nikaho Hanno is Kim Chŏl-hyun. Who do you think the one gave those documents?"

"…You son of—"

"Don't you want to see him again?"


"Consider carefully and determine, Ashuling. If you determine your mind—" He took hand gestures to answer the phone. "Call me. There would be already been my number on your computer."

SCP-140-A slowly turned its body and strolled to the opposite way.

"Farewell, The Martialist."

Until its back disappeared permanently, Abe Paulson couldn't help himself but standing the point immovably.


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  1. portal:migueludeom ( 15 Aug 2020 10:20 )