To Hell With Being a Hero!

로유진 - Ro Yu-jin

Chapter 109: Lunatic Lupus (2)

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Chapter 109: Lunatic Lupus (2)

The effect of the yongmaek, which had been created by offering a whole bottle of holy water, was astounding. Although Shahnaz had told Chi-Woo the yongmaek would exist only temporarily since it was artificially created, it seemed they had far different standards about what ‘temporarily’ meant. Dozens and dozens of recruits went in and out of the place every day, and there were some heroes who never left the place unless they needed to eat. Yet the yongmaek was still flowing with 90% of its original energy. At this rate, they would be able to use it for at least several months more.

However, their biggest problem was their lack of time. It would have been ideal if the recruits could leave the fortress after harnessing as much energy from the yongmaek as they could, but they simply didn’t have enough time. Soon, a ma.s.sive peril would befall them, and they needed to move quickly to survive. The witch said that if Chi-Woo fulfilled his side of the bargain first, she would also complete her end. As repeated many times before, the first part of the bargain was to get rid of as many mutated mutants wandering around the ex-Salem territory as possible. The second part was for Chi-Woo to defeat the G.o.d that the Abyss would have to fight.

Truthfully, Chi-Woo thought the first part of the bargain could have been better. If only the witch had given him a bit more leeway, they could’ve combined forces with the previous recruits and attacked the capital with comparatively better numbers. Or there was even the option of Chi-Woo joining the rest of the recruits after helping to block Sernitas’ attack. However, the witch hadn’t allowed for such things. Chi-Woo thought this was unfair of her, but Zelit thought differently.

Zelit supposed that Onorable Evelyn considered Chi-Woo to be an interesting existence, but one she couldn’t fully put her trust in. Plus, it was likely she wasn’t too pleased by the fact that Chi-Woo had made his plans based on the proposition that he would defeat the G.o.d setting out to attack the Abyss.

“The witch will probably calculate not only yours, but our value from this event. She wants to see how much we can do apart from you. And after you defeat a G.o.d, and we get rid of a sizeable force belonging to the Demon Empire with our few numbers, she will probably see our collaboration with you in a different light,” Zelit said and asked self-a.s.suredly, “In your conversation with the witch, did she reprimand you for not abandoning your companions or suggest you do so?”

Although the witch hadn’t told him so blatantly, she had hinted to him to do as such. It was when Chi-Woo had asked her to give him more time.

[Why?]

[I am not asking all of your opinions.]

Recalling these words, Chi-Woo thought Zelit’s guess held substance. But it was meaningless to fret about it now, and there was too great a gap between their powers for them to complain about the injustice of it all. They needed to do what they were told to do, and Chi-Woo needed to do his best to not trigger the witch’s capricious temperaments—at least for now.

After some time, there came the day for them to fulfill the first promise made to the witch. They had made progress beyond their expectations, and a total of 42 people were able to use their energy, albeit only a tiny amount. The biggest factor in this success was the collaboration between the traditional heroes and the modern heroes. The traditional heroes who succeeded in harnessing their energy approached the modern heroes first and offered to teach them at Chi-Woo’s request; and thus, the modern heroes momentarily let down their pride and learned.

The majority of their skills were at rank F, but that alone was enormous progress. After all, only four people had been able to use their energy so far, and now, the number had increased by 10.5 times.

Crackle! A small fire shot up at the ends of a person’s fingertips. “Although I can only use very basic and simple magic, I think I can be of much more use now,” Zelit murmured as he waved the small fire on his fingertips.

But this wasn’t all that they had achieved. Before leaving the fortress, all the recruits gathered at the entrance, and each of them had a different look than before. Their eyes were s.h.i.+ning. It seemed after harnessing a bit of their energy, their confidence had seen another boost.

“See you soon,” Ru Amuh said calmly as he always did.

“Yes, come back safely. Let’s meet at the capital later,” Chi-Woo smiled as he said.

“Senior, don’t die, alright? Never ever. Do you understand? You really can’t die this time. It will be the end then, the end!”

Chi-Woo didn’t understand what Ru Hiana meant by ‘the end’, but he also said his farewells. It hadn’t been long since Chi-Woo came back after everyone thought he was dead, so it was understandable why she was so worried.

“Don’t forget our promise.” Allen Leonard winked at him.

“Do you have any plans on cultivating fields at the capital too?”

“Haha. Are you already making plans for the future? Come back safely first, and seeing how my ranks rose, I will show you a capital made entirely of fields.”

“Well, that would be too much.”

Allen Leonard said he was joking, and his laughter grew farther and farther away. The recruits were gone now. As they had discussed before, they would go across the border and gain experience by defeating groups of monsters. Then, in the end, they would try to take over the capital. As the recruits grew farther away and eventually disappeared beyond the hills, Chi-Woo turned around. He felt his body tremble from nervousness. Still, he needed to believe in himself; to do so, he needed to train and train some more.

It was as he predicted. Less than ten days after the recruits left, Chi-Woo felt a familiar presence and a voice calling for him. As he followed the voice, he saw a square shrouded in darkness. When he was lying near the yongmaek, the sun had been high in the sky, but time had pa.s.sed without him noticing. Chi-Woo wasn’t surprised, though, since he had been preparing to leave at any moment. He got up, shouldered his bag, and got moving. He was about to head to the square when he stopped. There was a woman blending into the darkness, staring at him from far away in the corner. It was Eshnunna. When he approached her, he saw her oval face and met her eyes.

A calm silence circled around the two.

“…I don’t know what I should say to you,” Eshnunna finally spoke. “I just think…I was a frog in a well…when I was in the forest.” It was a reasonable thing to say. Back in the forest, she had thought she was inside a ditch filled with despair; now that she was outside, however, she was in h.e.l.l, where every misstep would get her surrounded by h.e.l.lfire. At this point, Chi-Woo realized that Eshnunna wanted to cheer him on but was hesitant to say something like, ‘Do your best.’

Words were meaningless, and for them to hold meaning, actions needed to follow. For example, she could accompany Chi-Woo right now and help him by his side, or she could even join the recruits to take over the capital. However, she couldn’t do anything but wait patiently. Of course, staying here was in itself a dangerous ordeal even though they had left with the natives some heroes who had failed to awaken their energy with the yongmaek. But still, it didn’t change the fact that she would be in a comparatively much less dangerous situation than those going to the capital, or Chi-Woo. Thus, Eshnunna hesitated to say anything.

Knowing how she felt, Chi-Woo purposefully joked, “Why? Are you worried that I might appear in your dream again?”

“What?” Eshnunna’s gaze immediately turned into a glare. “Try doing that again. I really won’t let it go easily next time.”

Chi-Woo smirked at her sharp words, which made Eshnunna flinch. She coughed awkwardly and fanned herself. Then Chi-Woo asked, “Do you want to make a bet?”

Eshnunna’s eyes widened at the sudden offer.

“I win if I come back safely. And if I win, please fulfill one of my wishes. Unconditionally.”

“A bet…” Eshnunna blinked and tilted her head. “That means I have to bet on the opposite result, and it means that I’ll only win the bet if you don’t come back safely. I don’t want to make this bet with you. I refuse.”

Chi-Woo was secretly glad that she firmly refused and smiled brightly, “Don’t worry. There’s no way that I’ll lose this bet.”

Only then did Eshnunna catch Chi-Woo’s intentions. She slightly moved her gaze away and shyly replied, “…Then…fine.” Soon after, she strongly nodded, “You promised.”

“Yes, of course. I promise.” Chi-Woo smiled. “Ms. Eshnunna, since you’re granting one of my wishes, I will definitely come back safely. Ah, don’t worry too much. I’ll ask for a wish that you can easily fulfill.”

“Yeah, yes. I’ll make my final decision after listening to what you want, but I’ll gladly grant your wish.” Eshnunna smiled faintly at Chi-Woo’s nonchalant words. Not knowing what Chi-Woo had made Hawa do after losing a bet, though, Eshnunna made a critical mistake. And like this, Chi-Woo gained the opportunity to officially call the princess of Salem ‘nunna’. [1] Chi-Woo slightly lowered his head and began moving, going past Eshnunna, who was standing still like a stone statue.

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But after taking about ten steps, Eshnunna stopped him. “Please wait.”

“Shall we get going?” Evelyn shrugged and waved towards the pole floating in the sky. Then the pole slowly tilted downwards and moved from vertical to horizontal. “Get on.” She pointed her chin towards the pole as it landed right in front of them.

Chi-Woo looked slightly taken aback. “We’re going to ride it there?”

“Yeah, you weren’t planning to walk, were you?”

Chi-Woo silently climbed on the pole. Even though it was quite long, the width of the pole was thinner than he thought. Chi-Woo was wondering if it would even float when it suddenly flew in the air, catching him off guard; he quickly grabbed the pole with two hands. While paying no consideration to Chi-Woo, Evelyn gracefully sat on the pole with both of her legs gathered to the side and began riding the pole without any warning.

Even though Chi-Woo didn’t scream, he felt his body shake a bit. He quickly gained his balance, but felt his head grow light as he saw the fortress get further away. ‘I feel anxious…’ Chi-Woo gulped and stared at Evelyn, who was sitting in front of him, asking, “Can I hug you?”

“Can I kill you?”

Getting another question to answer the question he asked, he decided to obediently hold onto the pole instead.

“…I wonder what’ll happen.” After a short silence, Evelyn began talking again. “If I drop you here and you die.”

Chi-Woo couldn’t believe his ears. True to her words, the pole, which was already flying at a high alt.i.tude, began flying even higher. Chi-Woo held onto the pole with one hand and grabbed his club with his other hand, hurriedly asking, “Why are you suddenly saying that?”

“Just because. Maybe curiosity?” Evelyn’s tone was nonchalant as if she really was going to throw him off here. “I’ve been curious since I was a kid. I guess it’s understandable that a hero would be weak in the beginning, but I always wondered why the Demon Lord didn’t target the hero while they were still weak…”

Chi-Woo became speechless. He had the same feeling whenever he met her, but the witch had a very unique disposition. They would be talking normally; then out of nowhere, she did something very unexpected. He couldn’t respond to every one of her whims, but he didn’t want to die, either. Thus, Chi-Woo took out his club and pointed it towards her head.

“My bad.” Evelyn immediately apologized; she followed through with her action, and the pole lowered in alt.i.tude significantly.

“Sometimes too much curiosity can hurt.”

“Yeah, that seems to be the case. I won’t do it from now on, so won’t you move that thing away?”

Chi-Woo growled, “Please take more heed to your actions.”

“I got it. I’ll do better. Sorry.” The witch apologized easily again.

Deep into the night, a pole that was too long to be a broomstick flew past the softly glowing moon.

1. nunna is an internet slang for nuna (in this context, refers to an older woman). Used commonly with the phrase, ‘nunna, I’m dying’, which basically means that someone is pretty or charming enough to kill… ☜

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