To Hell With Being a Hero!

로유진 - Ro Yu-jin

Chapter 152

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Chapter 152. Her and the Girl

“I like how it reminds me of the old times, but…” Having stayed behind in the first bunker, Hodamaru murmured.

“s.h.i.+t, please!” Dulia from the second bunker chewed on his lips.

From the third bunker, Ru Amuh yanked the rope in front of him hard.

Bababam! The artillery stationed in each bunker fired simultaneously. Then, after shooting, the heroes reloaded their respective machines with explosives and gunpowder and made another shot. They continued to shoot in the darkness where they couldn’t see much of anything else.

On the other hand, the Demon Empire couldn’t have been more stunned by the situation. The Indigenous Monsters Alliance had backed away first after clas.h.i.+ng with them fiercely day and night, so they had thought the monsters had been in a lull. To think that they would throw a bomb at them in the middle of the night. It wasn’t even that important whether or not they had been hit. Were this a boxing match, it would be like having the opponent suddenly making a swing after implicitly agreeing to take a break.

There was no way the Demon Empire would let that slide, especially considering how belligerent demons were. Their confusion and surprise lasted but a moment, and soon the murmurings in the darkness became a furious roar that shook up the whole area.

Kuooooooooh!

Bam! After Ru Amuh shot another round at such an opponent, he got up from his spot.

The Indigenous Monsters Alliance was also in a frenzy.

“What happened?” A figure who appeared to be one of the commanders of the alliance came into view, and many rushed to him to report. They had lost contact with the left guard post in charge of spying on the Demon Empire territory. It seemed they had been taken over by the enemy’s surprise attack. Hearing this, the commander hurriedly climbed up the hill and saw demons rus.h.i.+ng toward them from the darkness at a distance.

“Those d.a.m.n b.a.s.t.a.r.ds…!”

Crunch! The commander gritted his teeth and immediately gave out orders.

“Inform the headquarters now! And what are you all doing? They’re crawling out from all over the place—shoot them until the canons turn red!”

In no time the two groups broke into an all-out clash, while the rescue team had already left the battlefield. The remaining members on the hill retreated after making sure that the detachment had reached the forefront of the city. And after drawing attention from the two enemy groups, the detachment escaped out of the trench and ran to the city. Because the response from the demon empire was more intense than they had expected, they could safely make it straight to the entrance of the castle walls.

Although the castle walls had long been broken, there were many wooden planks blocking their entry. And while they ventured further in carefully, mindful of traps they might run into, Philip murmured.

—Fine, I give you guys credit for reaching all this way…

He looked at the noisy scenery behind him and asked.

—But what are you going to do from here on out?

It wasn’t over just because they had pa.s.sed through their enemy’s campground and entered the city. Instead, it was the beginning and start of a battle in its center. Of course, there were much fewer people here than on the outside, but each building would be guarded by a small number of snipers or other enemies, which was trickier. Furthermore, even if they managed to go further inward, they still had to find the eighth recruits, whose location was unknown. Despite all these disadvantages, though, the detachment continued to venture through the wooden fences and pa.s.s the castle gates.

They entered a city so in ruins that it would be difficult to spot even one place that was in fine condition. After pa.s.sing the gates, Ru Amuh ran quickly and suddenly scowled. He looked around and made several sharp turns.

“This way!” He whizzed across the city and arrived at a building, sticking close to one of its corners with his back arched. Chi-Woo wasn’t that tired, but he heaved hard out of nervousness. Ha, ha— Chi-Woo was gathering his breaths when his body suddenly felt tense.

“…Ugh.” His synesthesia was ringing madly like a siren. There was bloodl.u.s.t flowing all around the area. Chi-Woo understood why Ru Amuh had suddenly changed directions, and it was impressive how Ru Amuh had managed to find a blind spot in that short amount of time.

“What are you going to do now?” Hodamaru asked. Although he didn’t have synesthesia like Ru Amuh, he was an archer and possessed keen senses. Thus, he could feel the periphery that would allow them safe pa.s.sage decreasing significantly. A single misstep could now lead to an arrow in their heads.

“n.o.body can guarantee how much attention the commotion outside could draw. We have to reach the inner parts of the city as fast as possible,” Hodamaru said. Ru Amuh nodded in agreement.

After a moment of concentration, Ru Amuh opened his eyes and asked his teammates, “Is there anyone among you who can pull off a counter-sniper attack?”

Two people raised their hands while clutching onto their arrows: Adali Avery and Hodamaru.

“There are holes in the second building on the left side of this corner–on the fifth floor, the second and fourth windows from the left. I don’t know if the holes had been caused by the breakage of the walls though.”

Seeing Ru Amuh go on so knowledgeably about the situation, Hodamaru looked a bit dumbfounded.

“…Really?” If Ru Amuh was right, that meant he had zeroed in on their enemy without even looking at them. It was only understandable that Hodamaru would be so doubtful with no knowledge of Ru Amuh’s abilities. Chi-Woo was also surprised. Although he had synesthesia as well thanks to the sharing effect he had, he wasn’t at Ru Amuh’s level. It dawned on him then that a S rank ability was truly one that surpa.s.sed human limits.

“Even if it’s true...” Hodamaru licked his lips, “There must be more snipers besides them.”

“Yes.” Ru Amuh continued after agreeing. “So I’m planning to go out and draw some attention away.”

Hodamaru looked instantly reluctant. He understood that it was impossible for them to go in further like this. Their location had already been found out, and their enemy must be looking intently at where they were at. Thus, they needed to wait for their enemies to at least use up the arrow or bullet they had loaded before counterattacking. In other words, they needed a bait to take these shots so that they could move in the gap between the loading times—and Ru Amuh had volunteered to be this bait.

“I can evade the attacks,” Ru Amuh said.

“Hey, say things that make more sense.”

“I am confident. Please believe in me.”

“We should occupy this building as a base instead—”

“We don’t have much time. We have to move before our enemy troops arrive.”

Hodamaru looked conflicted at Ru Amuh’s words. The discussion was nevertheless derailed when someone suddenly moved away from the detachment, looking around and making a turn at the corner before anyone could stop her.

“Ah—” It was too late when Chi-Woo realized what was happening, and he looked dumbfoundedly as the girl dressed in a robe strolled forward leisurely like she was on a nice walk.

“No—!”

“Senior!”

Chi-Woo instinctively got up, but Ru Hiana hurriedly grabbed him and pulled him back. Chi-Woo clenched his eyes shut. He hadn’t been able to pay attention to the girl because of the hectic situation. She had already made an unexpectedly long distance. It seemed the snipers were taken aback that their enemies would just come out, and were thus made wary. Unfortunately, the unbearable silence didn’t last long. Ping! A sharp sound pierced through the air, and the girl’s body tilted a bit before simply collapsing. Hodamaru looked bewildered, but quickly turned the corner—

“!”

And looped right back. Almost simultaneously, another arrow flew past him.

“s.h.i.+t, s.h.i.+t. There really are two of them,” Hodamaru cursed and shuddered. Although one sniper had taken aim at the girl, the other one continued to aim at them. He had almost died.

“I shot one.” Avery had taken a shot with his arrow lying flat on the ground, raising only his face and arms. He got to his feet again. He had seized the opportunity as soon as he saw the arrows flying toward the girl and Hodamaru. Even though they had taken one enemy down, however, the situation worsened rather than turning for the better. The bloodl.u.s.t in the air was spreading faster, and it seemed the snipers in the surroundings had begun to move to where they were.

“She’s still alive,” Nangnang said while looking at the girl.

“They aimed for her left thigh.” In other words, the sniper had purposefully shot the girl in a place that wouldn’t jeopardize her life.

Ping! There was another piercing sound, and they heard the girl shriek.

“The right ankle this time! d.a.m.n it!” Nangnang said nervously.

“Just leave her behind,” Dulia said in an agitated tone. Ru Amuh tried to maintain his calm and turned to Chi-Woo. There was nothing wrong with what Dulia said. The sniper hadn’t killed the girl yet so that they would come out—come out and save the girl instead of watching her die. But if they went out like this, they would simply be easy prey.

“…” Ru Amuh didn’t know who this girl was, but he had accepted her joining because his teacher had requested it; he thought there must be a reason for that.

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“Teacher,” Ru Amuh said. They couldn’t afford to wait a moment longer, and Ru Amuh had offered to be bait in the first place. Ru Amuh was about to open his mouth again when Chi-Woo spoke up first.

“…Amazing,” Dulia looked at Chi-Woo and murmured blankly. Every shot had been precisely calculated to hit Chi-Woo. With their enemies aiming properly with the determination to shoot Chi-Woo down, it should have been impossible for him to avoid every attack. Despite a few dangerous moments, however, Chi-Woo managed to save the girl and escape. And thanks to his efforts, they now knew where every archer was.

Ru Amuh was also amazed. Since he had S-rank synesthesia and was more talented than anyone else, he knew best that Chi-Woo had achieved something beyond what he could do with synesthesia. What if someone told him to avoid all those attacks while relying only on synesthesia? Ru Amuh shook his head. He didn’t think he could do it, especially not that mysterious attack at the end. And he was right on the mark.

[Innate ability ‘Extrasensory Perception (F)’ awakens…!]

[Special ability ‘Synesthesia (A+)’ responds…]

[Special ability ‘Insight into the Unknown (C)’ responds…]

Meanwhile, Chi-Woo continued running with no knowledge of what abilities he was using. However, he did sense—no, felt multiple senses that he hadn’t felt before. It felt as if his body was reading the future by itself and automatically reacting. Whatever the case, his enemies seemed fl.u.s.tered, and their murderous auras wavered. Chi-Woo seized that opportunity to find a blind spot and throw his body over the outer wall of a building. He laid the girl down and took out two bottles of potion that Shadia had given him.

“Clench your teeth.” Chi-Woo extracted the arrows from her left thigh and right ankle.

“Aghhh-!” The girl’s half-closed eyes widened in shock. Chi-Woo quickly sprinkled the potion on both injuries. Shadia had told him that it couldn’t restore whole body parts, but could at least immediately heal lesser injuries. True to her words, the girl’s wounds began to react, and new flesh formed on top of it.

“Ugh—! Ah…?” When the piercing pain subsided, the girl let out the breath she had been holding in.

“Are you alright? Can you recognize me?”

The girl, who had been steadying her breath, suddenly sat up. Then she sprang to her feet and began moving again with unsteady steps as if she was a magnetic compa.s.s getting pulled by an opposite pole. Then the girl stopped and turned around, meeting Chi-Woo’s complicated gaze.

‘How did things become like this…?’ Chi-Woo thought. Then he suddenly recalled what Philip had said before.

[You’re already ready, and you’re in the process of completion. The whole process is at least arranged under the influence of transcendental beings.]

[From that point of view, if you think of your ability as an extension of that process…]

Chi-Woo said, “I saved you at the academy, right?”

Their first meeting happened at the academy. He had used up his precious holy water to save her when she was dying, but she had tried to run away immediately after she regained consciousness. Then, she followed him all the way here and fell into danger because of her unexpected behavior. Chi-Woo had saved her once again. As Philip said, if his mysterious innate ability had led to this situation, and if this was part of a transcendental being’s plan, he had to wonder what the purpose of the girl’s actions was.

“…Honestly, I don’t really understand all this.” Chi-Woo had no idea what she was pulling him towards, but he would probably find the answer at the end of this path. “So—” He vaguely felt a presence approaching quickly from behind him. Their opponent seemed to have sent troops after him since they realized they couldn’t defeat him with only archers.

Chi-Woo stepped closer to the girl, lifting her into a princess carry with his hands supporting her neck and waist. Then, he said, “Please let me know the reason why I saved you.”

A drop of red blood fell on top of the girl’s eyes, which were blinking in surprise. The girl’s gaze s.h.i.+fted to Chi-Woo’s shoulder. Blood was streaming out from his shoulder. Her eyes wavered for a moment, s.h.i.+fting between Chi-Woo’s face and the wound.

“…Ah—” Then she relaxed. Her flailing left hand dropped and gently held onto Chi-Woo’s collar. Then she softly buried her head into his arms before carefully pointing towards a specific direction. Chi-Woo looked over and saw messages popping up in the air.

[Innate ability ‘Extrasensory Perception’ has evolved…]

[‘7 Ways to Become a Great and Respected Parent’ has been opened…]

[…Measuring trust level…]

“What the f.u.c.k.” There was no time for him to leisurely read the messages. Chi-Woo turned it all off and began running while carrying the girl. As he usually did when he got scared, he began uttering scripture.

“Hear us, Shephard, you who lead us like a flock—” Chi-Woo murmured to the best of his memory and headed towards an unknown location.

“Restore us, make your face s.h.i.+ne on us—that we may be saved.” Then the necklace on the girl’s neck started glowing. The pure, bright light shone upon Chi-Woo’s face as if by coincidence.

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