To Hell With Being a Hero!

로유진 - Ro Yu-jin

Chapter 19: I take Refuge (Namu) (2)

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Chapter 19: I take Refuge (Namu) (2)

At Chi-Woo’s sudden announcement, everyone’s eyes darted to him.

“A juk?[1]” Zelit asked.

“Ah, I don’t mean an enemy…How do I put it? Is the translation off? Or does it have trouble pa.s.sing on its meaning because it’s a h.o.m.ophone?”

“No, that’s not it.” Zelit’s eyes shone. There was only one reason why Zelit came to this camp; it was because Chi-Woo said that he would go. Like how Zelit saw Ru Amuh’s potential and joined him as a companion, Zelit had felt Chi-Woo’s. If he had to compare, in fact, Zelit felt a greater curiosity towards Chi-Woo than he did towards Ru Amuh, especially since there seemed to be a connection between the prophecy’s change and Chi-Woo’s entrance into the recruitment process.

“Although we are unfamiliar with the term, I can’t say the automatic translation device is perfect. Could you give us a detailed explanation please?” Zelit asked.

Chi-Woo scratched his head. All he did was mutter a word, and now, everyone’s attention was on him. They were all looking at him like they were seeing a raft in a rough current. Thus, he felt a great need to correct the situation.

“It describes a ghost that died and became a ghost again.”

“So, is it a soul that has died more than once?”

“Yes. These beings are called red ghosts or jukgwi.”

Zelit looked lost, so Chi-Woo felt the need to explain more. “Those who have become jukgwis are always like that. They try to stir up trouble and inflict harm to others whenever they can.”

“To living people?” Shakira asked.

“No.” Chi-Woo shook his head. “They not only harm living people, but also the dead. That’s why ghosts are also afraid of jukgwis.”

“Even ghosts are afraid…?” It seemed from Shakira’s surprised expression that it was her first time hearing this piece of information. The heavy atmosphere inside the tent slightly changed. According to Shakira, they had been looking for ways to defeat those beings for a long time, but failed to come up with even an accurate description of it. All their attempts and plans had been completely futile and resulted in meaningless losses. Eventually, they gave up on confronting the beings head-to-head and were forced to be always on the run. But now, a man—a hero who had been to high places that no ordinary person could even imagine—spoke as if he knew what the beings were. No matter how dire and hopeless their situation was, she couldn’t help but hope again.

“It’s an ingenious interpretation,” Shakira said. “And it sounds like you have fought these jukgwis before.”

“Well, yes.” Chi-Woo agreed hesitantly. Jukgwis were rarer than common ghosts or evil spirits, but it wasn’t like he had never seen one. While following various masters and teachers, he had encountered several and saw how they handled these beings.

“Then.” Shakira’s weak voice had more power to it now. “Do you know how to deal with them too?” This was the most important point. This could finally be the end of their miserable days, where they only strived for survival because they couldn’t die.

“Uh…” No one was making even a sound, and Chi-Woo had a hard time opening his mouth in the silence. No, he simply couldn’t. A part of him even regretted bringing up the topic. This was because his Earth was a completely different World from Liber. There was no guarantee that this being was a jukgwi.

“I see. Now that I think about it, you were different.” While Chi-Woo was trying to find the right words to wiggle out of this situation, Zelit suddenly interrupted. “When you met Ru Hiana and explained what happened, you told her you heard a suspicious sound when you were transmitted into a storage room. You then hid in the corner as the sound approached, and the door suddenly broke. After the sound disappeared, you went outside and met Ru Amuh’s spirit.”

‘This d.a.m.n Zealot head.’ Chi-Woo cursed that Zelit had a uselessly good memory.

“What? You saw a spirit?” Shakira said with great shock.

“Oh, that’s right,” Eval Sevaru added. He had been listening to the conversation indifferently, but now he looked at Chi-Woo with interest. “When I first heard how a spirit guided him, I thought he was just some crazy b.a.s.t.a.r.d. Hm.”

Chi-Woo glared at Zelit with exasperation, feeling the urge to demand why he was saying such unnecessary things and pierce a nail through his long head to spin it around. However, Zelit simply smiled at him.

“Is that true?” Shakira asked. “Can you really see spirits?”

“No. That’s not it.” Chi-Woo quickly tried to backtrack from the conversation. “I didn’t see what that broken spirit looked like since I was hiding.”

“But didn’t you say that you saw your companion’s spirit?”

“…”

Chi-Woo closed his mouth. ‘Ha.’ He didn’t expect that story to bite him in the neck like this. It almost made him think that he shouldn’t have granted another person a favor. ‘This is why you can’t just blabber about stuff. You might regret it later.’

“How surprising. I suppose that means you’ll be able to see the spirits who have been broken and eaten.”

“Give it up,” someone sharply cut in while Shakira was speaking pa.s.sionately. Surprisingly, it was the guard captain. “What if the same thing happens as last time? What are you going to do then?”

“That time…” Shakira trailed off as if she was coming to a realization.

“What do you mean by ‘last time’?’ Zelit asked.

“It’s not a big deal…no, I suppose I can’t say that,” Shakira continued hesitantly, “Actually, there was another person who saw the broken beings’ real form.”

“Hm? Didn’t you say that no one had ever seen them before?”

“That’s the case for us, but a sorcerer of the fifth recruitment said that he spotted the broken spirits.”

“Ah, the fifth recruitment.” Since all kinds of heroes gathered for the recruitment, it was understandable that at least one of them could see spirits.

“What did that sorcerer say? No, where is that person?”

“I don’t know. From what I heard from the sidelines, the sorcerer said that there was no way of handling the broken beings, and we should avoid them rather than try to fight them. However, they also said that if another hero that could see spirits came, things could be different…” Shakira then explained that the sorcerer had lived quietly for the next couple of days until they disappeared, never to be seen again.

‘Went missing, huh?’ Perhaps the sorcerer had been bewitched. Chi-Woo wetted his dried-up lips; his face had burned some time ago.

“Help us!” It was Ru Hiana who broke and crawled towards Chi-Woo, clinging to him. “Please. You know! You said you fought them before! Please!”

Chi-Woo averted his gaze.

“Please, it can be anything. I’ll do as you say. No, just tell me the method. Even if things go wrong, I’ll never blame you.”

Seeing Ru Hiana, Chi-Woo became ashamed of his past self. He supposed this must have been how Laguel had felt. Chi-Woo wanted her to stop, but Ru Hiana was even kneeling and bowing to him now. “Please. Tell me…” Her voice trembled. “I’m willing to do anything, however crazy, if I could just save Ruahu.” Her eyes were watery with tears. “I swear by the Ru family’s name. Please help, please—”

Chi-Woo understood her state of mind. It seemed Ru Amuh was a companion she treasured more than her own life, but the problem was that Chi-Woo wasn’t a hero. He had come to Liber not to save it, but for his own personal reasons.

‘It’s not a difficult thing to tell her.’ However, it wouldn’t even make a difference. Chi-Woo could only imitate the method after learning it for many years; there was no way that Ru Hiana would be able to do it in a few days. Irresponsibly telling her the method when it clearly meant her death would probably give him nightmares in his sleep. At the same time, Chi-Woo didn’t want to go in her place at all, either.

If their enemy was really a jukgwi, there was a method to deal with them. But what if he died while trying to confirm its nature? He didn’t want to die at an early age after coming all the way here. Since Chi-Woo was just human, he wanted to meet his brother in the safest way possible.

‘I can’t…deny this part of myself.’

Even though Chi-Woo could differentiate between right and wrong, he put his safety and life first.

(Neutral)

Chi-Woo recalled this word on his user information and made a bitter smile. “No, I can’t.” With a deep sigh, he rejected her. “Even if I tell you the method, you won’t be able to do it, Ms. Ru Hiana. And I’m not sure if it’ll even work.”

“I’m—!”

“To say it more precisely, it’s not like you can’t do it, but even if you do, it won’t work for you.”

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“Then—”

“Great Seer!” someone suddenly came running in and shouted. “We’re in big trouble! Again, Lady Hawa has…!”

“What?

“I-it’s a bit different this time. Please….!”

Eeeeeeeeahhhhhh!

Before they even finished talking, a chilling scream rang outside.

“Tch. Shakira?”

At the captain’s words, Shakira turned around and said, “I apologize. I’ll come back soon. Please rest for now.” She then left the tent with the captain.

“Hmm…It doesn’t seem like they intend to let you borrow that statue,” Zelit grumbled in a regretful tone and turned around towards Chi-Woo as soon as they left. “Do you need it?”

“I do. It’s the bare minimum to ensure my safety. I can use it to protect myself.”

“So, you’re saying that we definitely need it.” Zelit glanced at Ru Hiana.

Ru Hiana was still on her knees with her head on the ground towards Chi-Woo.

“I guess it can’t be helped.” Zelit said, and Ru Hiana released her hands.

“Ugh…” They heard Ru Hiana loudly gulp her breath. “Ugh. Heuk…Uaaaaaaaah. Wahhhhh—!” She began crying; it was not a soft cry but a loud wailing.

Zelit sighed, and Chi-Woo closed his eyes.

“Hey, really. Why are you being like this? Ah? Do you think we don’t want to go save him? It can’t be helped. Don’t cry. Didn’t you hear that we can’t make loud noises? Come on, get up. Get up. If you act like this, it’ll become uncomfortable for all of us.” Eval Sevaru supported Ru Hiana and lifted her up. He made her sit down after consoling and trying to convince her to settle down.

Chi-Woo suppressed the bitterness in his mouth and laid down on dry hay. In order to calm his uneasy heart, he pointlessly rummaged through his pockets when something caught his hand.

‘This is…’

It was the seven-sided die. It remained intriguing to him no matter how many times he looked at it. He had seen a cube or hexagon die, but he’d never even heard of a die with seven sides. Even though it could technically be made, it was not geometrically equal, since it was mathematically impossible to make a perfectly equal-sized seven-sided die.

However, this die was different. It had 7 sides, and yet all sides looked equal like a cube. It wasn’t something that should exist in the three-dimensional world. At that moment, the image of that mysterious girl he saw in the library suddenly overlapped with Ru Hiana. That child he saw had also been crying; however, she had reached out her hand and smiled at him.

‘Why did she give me this die? I wonder what this is…’

Chi-Woo fell into contemplation while touching the die. He threw it onto the ground.

Tap! Rooooll…

The die rolled and slowed down; it looked like it was about to turn over one more time.

…Uh?

Then, it stopped.

1. juk means enemy in Korean or less commonly, ‘death of a disembodied spirit’ ☜

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