To Hell With Being a Hero!

로유진 - Ro Yu-jin

Chapter 115: Union (2)

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Chapter 115: Union (2)

Around dawn, a woman stood on top of a fortress as the sunlight shone over it. Her usually tied-up jet-black hair was now flowing down to her waist. And instead of the light indigo s.h.i.+ft dress she usually wore, she had on a loose one-piece pajama with white lace and frills. It seemed she had come out of her bed after struggling to sleep for a while. Her worried, black eyes had a faraway look. It was Salem Eshnunna.

She stood still from her spot for a while. Then she closed her eyes tightly and let out a deep sigh. Not even a day had pa.s.sed since Chi-Woo left, and he had an incomparably more daunting task than that of the recruits who left before him. Thus, she knew there was no way Chi-Woo would return in just two or three days. Yet she had come out just to make sure…

“It’s really not an easy thing to wait without a return date,’ Eshnunna murmured and hung her head low; her eyes naturally followed the motion and cast down as well, and she caught sight of something silverish reflecting the sunlight. Silver hair fluttered back and forth and sideways like fish as a figure moved. After blinking hard a couple of times, Eshnunna realized that the silver haired figure was Hawa, the Shahnaz’s heir. Hawa was running around the fortress while sweating profusely just like how Chi-Woo had done.

Hawa seemed to have noticed the gaze upon her and turned to meet Eshnunna’s eyes. But that was all. She didn’t make any provocations like before, but instead s.h.i.+fted her eyes back down and focused on running again. And as Eshnunna watched Hawa’s back become more distant, she began to feel more conflicted. Since Hawa came back with Chi-Woo after everyone thought they were dead, Eshnunna had caught sight of Hawa training herself everywhere she went. Eshnunna didn’t know why, but it seemed Hawa had gained a goal, and that made her almost envious.

In normal situations, Eshnunna would have supported the heroes in many ways as a member of the royal family. In today’s Liber, however, her t.i.tle as the princess had absolutely no meaning, and even the symbolism behind it seemed nonexistent. Thus, she thought she should make herself useful in another way. Eshnunna bit down her bottom lip after she realized that Hawa had become a tiny dot now.

“I also…” One of the fortunate things about their unfortunate situation was that her country had been a garrison state due to their geographical position. Without exception of cla.s.s, everyone needed to receive basic military training, and as a member of the royal family, Eshnunna had also been trained in basic swordsmans.h.i.+p for some time. Although Eshnunna didn’t especially excel in this field and simply fulfilled the basics of what was expected of her, it was now her time to do something. Eshnunna nodded and turned to change her clothes when…

“Huh?” She saw a black dot in a clear sky without a speck of cloud, which grew bigger as it flew toward Eshnunna and landed gently onto the castle walls.

“Were you already expecting us? How impressive.” The witch s.h.i.+fted her arms and carefully hopped down with Chi-Woo sleeping on her back. Eshnunna’s eyes immediately snapped to the mysterious woman; it seemed clear to her this woman was the so-called Witch from the Abyss.

Eshnunna’s face suddenly felt hot because of how mature and sensual the woman appeared.

“He’s going to have a really hard time when he wakes up. Take care of him well. For you guys, he has done…” Evelyn lay Chi-Woo on the floor and trailed off when saw Eshnunna stare at her speechlessly.

‘You…’ Evelyn seemed to be silently asking who Eshnunna was with her eyes. Then, with an ‘Ah’ and a clap, she said, “Nunna.”

“?”

“Yes, he called you Nunna.”

Eshnunna blinked. Why was this woman leaving out the first part of name, ‘Esh’?

“Hm—I see. You are the one this guy has been talking about,” Evelyn nodded and said. “You definitely are pretty, although not as much as me.”

Eshnunna felt a vein pop in her forehead at these rude words. Although the witch was an exceedingly rare beauty, Eshnunna had never found herself lacking in this department, either. At one point, she gained the nickname as the Treasure of the Salem Kingdom, and there used to be a time when she received endless requests for her hand in marriage. What was this woman saying on their first encounter?

“But as expected, there’s not much else to look at. There’s nothing about you that really deserves attention… Why did that guy… Ah? I see, you have some talent in our domain. How interesting. I thought they were all hunted then. Well, makes sense since we tend to self-manifest rather than be born through bloodline. Still, it’s nice to meet a fellow of our kind.”

The witch asked and answered her own questions. Her words confused Eshnunna, and she didn’t know how she should respond.

“How interesting,” Evelyn said as she climbed back onto her pole. “If I met you during my time alive, we could’ve been companions. Let’s see each other again soon.” Evelyn smiled and took flight, quickly flying far away before disappearing out of view.

Eshnunna stood still for a while without doing anything. It almost felt as if someone had popped out all of a sudden and immediately ran away after slapping her cheeks. But when she looked down at the hero lying on the floor, she felt better. She quickly kneeled beside Chi-Woo.

‘So cold…!” Chi-Woo’s body felt like ice, and his face looked incredibly pale. Because he looked so clearly sick, Eshnunna didn’t even shake him awake to check if he was okay. She immediately supported Chi-Woo down the castle walls. And as she walked, she fell into a deep thought. She didn’t know what had happened, but their hope had returned in less than a day, and the witch’s response seemed positive. This all seemed to mean one thing: that from today onwards, many things would be different for the natives and the recruits for the progress of Liber’s salvation.

In the grand scheme of things, it was definitely a good development. However, Eshnunna couldn’t let the urge to celebrate overtake her, as this meant there would be more things to be done, and it wouldn’t be enough for her to just be a guide or help the natives farm. As her community progressed, Eshnunna also needed to progress. Only then would she be able to at least stand by this hero’s side.

‘I also need to…!’ Eshnunna made a new resolution.

* * *

“You’ll be in charge of the group after we set out. I’m sure someone like you could handle it.”

“Huh? You’re not leaving with us?”

“I’ll be moving separately.”

“Is there anything else you need to do separately…?”

“There are a lot of things I need to do that I haven’t been able to get to.” Even though there were many things that needed to be done, Chi-Hyun hadn’t been able to leave this place, but he kept that to himself. After witnessing a strange phenomenon in the sky, Chi-Hyun had made an incredible discovery.

‘The flow has changed.’ In the beginning, Chi-Hyun didn’t know if this event would accelerate Liber’s path towards extinction, or push back the date by a little bit—fortunately, it turned out to be the latter.

Chi-Hyun had been unable to change the flow of Liber’s trajectory by even a little no matter what he did. All he could do was delay Liber’s doom. Shockingly, the strange phenomenon had led to an actual s.h.i.+ft in the flow of the world, albeit only by a little. Liber was still going into its own destruction, but it was granted a notable reprieve.

‘I have no idea who did this, but…’ They really did a good job. They really, really did a good job. He wouldn’t go so far as to say the future had been turned completely around, but at least they have now given a chance to change Liber’s fate. If it was up to him, Chi-Hyun wanted to immediately go and give the person who caused this a hug, thanking them sincerely and showering them with compliments.

However, he couldn’t do this because he finally got the room to act how he wanted so desperately, and he needed to use this time as effectively as possible. In short, he needed to maximize the effect of this event so that this change of flow wouldn’t immediately s.h.i.+ft back to extinction, but sustain for a little bit longer.

“I’ll be going to a few places. No, I need to go there. After doing that, I’ll join you guys.”

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“Yes, I got it. But where do we need to go?”

“…What?”

“It’s the room that I used when I was a princess. Well, let’s talk about this later.” She dismissed it like it was trivial before asking, “Would you like more water?”

Chi-Woo’s throat was still burning, so he didn’t refuse. When Eshnunna gave him another bottle full of water, he quickly accepted it and gulped it down in one shot. His eyes widened. He had thought it was just water, but he also tasted a fruit. It was like drinking lemonade.

Chi-Woo hadn’t imagined that he'd ever be able to drink something like this in this world, so he smacked his lips and said, “It’s good.”

“You can look forward to the meal as well.” Eshnunna seemed pleased by Chi-Woo’s dazed expression and made a slight smile. “We’ll show you a variety of flavors with different sauces.”

Chi-Woo made an exclamation of joy at Eshnunna’s words. “Sauce? There’s sauce in this world?”

Eshnunna paused. She stiffly turned her head back and frowned. She looked disgruntled, like Chi-Woo had offended her. And she sounded angry when she said, “Do you think we’re some ancient barbarians?”

Chi-Woo finally realized his mistake and quickly apologized. “No, that’s not what I meant. It’s just that we hadn’t eaten anything like that…”

“I know. But even then…” Eshnunna narrowed her eyes and gave him another water bottle because Chi-Woo’s ripped and torn lips looked pitiful. Chi-Woo coughed awkwardly and while turning the bottle cap, he carefully moved to sit on the edge of Eshnunna’s bed.

“I know you just woke up but…there’s something I’m really curious about,” said Eshnunna.

Chi-Woo tilted the water bottle and nodded. Since he was in Eshnunna’s room when she was a princess, he was probably in the capital. In other words, the other recruits had successfully gained control of the capital, and he was probably transferred here while he was unconscious.

‘Did I faint for that long… ‘ Since his surroundings had suddenly changed so much, there were many things he was curious about. Eshnunna probably had a lot to ask him as well—questions like how he defeated the G.o.d and so on. Thus, Chi-Woo tilted his chin while drinking his water, silently telling her to talk first.

Eshnunna immediately asked, “What is nunna?”

“Ack.” It was a tongue-biting question. Chi-Woo was taken aback and coughed after spitting out water. When he finally recovered, his body was covered in water mixed with his spit. He tightly squeezed his eyes shut before opening them to see Eshnunna quietly suppress her anger.

Chi-Woo managed to say, “How did you… No, first of all, I apolo…”

Eshnunna took a deep breath and calmly wiped her wet face with a cloth. Even though there was an unexpected mishap, she wasn’t really angry at him; she had received too much from him to get angry about such a little thing. Moreover, except for one minor worry, she had been feeling as if she was in a dream these past days. And when Chi-Woo woke up, that one worry had completely disappeared.

Thus, she felt more happiness and joy for seeing him than anger, but it didn’t mean she wasn’t going to at least say a word or two to tell him off. “You really are…too much.”

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