To Hell With Being a Hero!

로유진 - Ro Yu-jin

Chapter 21: I Take Refuge (Namu) (4)

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Chapter 21: I Take Refuge (Namu) (4)

Following the guard, Chi-Woo went inside the tent and saw that a grapple was taking place. A girl lay thras.h.i.+ng on a pile of hay as several guards covered her mouth and pinned down her arms and legs.

“Shakira! Quickly!”

The captain desperately tried to put a gag inside the girl’s mouth, while Shakira raised her statue high in the air and prayed ardently. Yet, it seemed to have no effect.

“Kihihihii!” Every time the girl floundered, she pushed the captain’s and the other guards’ arms away. The girl showed unbelievable strength considering her delicate frame. Chi-Woo opened his eyes widely and stared at the screaming and resisting girl. More specifically, he was eyeing the dark energy whirling violently on top of the girl’s body.

‘Possession.’ It was just as he thought. However, the girl’s condition had progressed much further than he had expected. She was at a stage where the being possessing her was flinging her body however it liked, even to the point of injuring her body.

To put it bluntly, this was out of his hands. The girl’s state was beyond severe; she should have died ages ago. Still, Chi-Woo saw a glimpse of hope. ‘How is she still alive?’ In wonder, Chi-Woo observed the girl closely and noticed something.

‘Oh?’ A spiritual energy encompa.s.sed the girl, and he could see a faint ray of light on top of her head. Every time the dark energy surged, the girl’s condition grew precarious, but she endured it somehow; nevertheless, this pivotal resistance was wavering like a candle that was about to die out. There was only one chance now. Chi-Woo moved past the guards and stepped forward.

“Hawa! Come to your senses!” the guard captain shouted while dripping in sweat.

Although he had received permission to intervene, Chi-Woo didn’t step into the scene and instead watched from behind. ‘It’s not a jukgwi.’ He knew because he didn’t see a red energy. Still, that didn’t change much, and he felt a dark energy that was actively causing harm.

“Jeonggueop Jineon[1]—” Chi-Woo stepped away and opened his mouth. “Surisuri mahasuri susuri sabaha—” Everyone reacted to these sudden words. “Surisuri mahasuri—” Shakira stopped praying in surprise. “Obang-newe ahnwhi-jes.h.i.+n-jinuhn—. Namu-samanda.” The guards turned around one after another. “Gaegyeonggye— musangs.h.i.+m-mimyobup baekchun-mangup nanjou ahgum-moongyuk duk-suji wonhye-yeoryejin s.h.i.+leh—.”

The captain looked at Chi-Woo with a conflicted expression.

“Gaebup-janjin-uhn—. Ohm aranam arada—.” Chi-Woo carried on relentlessly. “Chunsu-chunahn-gwanja-jaebosal—. Gw.a.n.gdae—wonmanmu—edaebis.h.i.+m-daedarani gaeychung—.”

Chi-Woo recited The Thousand Hands Sutra continuouslyand moved his feet. “Namudaebi-gwanseum—. wonah-sukji-ilchebup—.”

The captain looked at him like she was wondering what he was chanting, but then realized that she had accidentally loosened her grip on the girl’s mouth from the distraction. The captain immediately tried to exert more pressure; that was when she noticed the girl’s change in condition, and she couldn’t believe her eyes. Just a moment before, the girl had been making a huge ruckus, biting and scratching her. And yet…


The girl suddenly stopped moving. She simply scowled and glared at Chi-Woo. She seemed bothered by him for some reason.

“Namu-suwol-bosal-mahasal—.” Chi-Woo didn’t stop chanting. “Namu-bonsal-ami-tabul…” Finally, Chi-Woo completed his mantra and carefully observed the silver-haired girl called Hawa. The girl’s eyes were blank and rimmed with deep dark circles, giving her the look of a sociopathic murderer. She leveled a glare at Chi-Woo menacingly.

“My goodness.” Chi-Woo met the girl’s eyes and forced a laugh. The girl’s bloodl.u.s.t was almost palpable. If looks could kill, she would have already killed Chi-Woo and more; and the girl’s dark energy, which had spilled all over the place before, was now gathered together, aiming at Chi-Woo.

“Can I ask you all a question?” Chi-Woo asked while warily eyeing Hawa and the being that possessed her. “Does Hawa have an older sister or younger sister who died? Or a cousin, perhaps?”

Everyone looked surprised by these words. “She had one older sister named Hayi. She’s gone missing, but how did you know…?” At Sharkira’s response, Chi-Woo jerked his jaw at Hawa.

“They have the same silver-Hayir and share similar facial features. She also looks too young to be her mother. Anyways, it looks like their relations.h.i.+p wasn’t all that great.”


“She’s sticking onto her.”

Shakira's mouth dropped open. “It can’t be. Are you saying that Hayi became a jukgwi?”

“She isn’t a jukgwi,” Chi-Woo responded instantly. “She isn’t red. It seems she’s just a vengeful spirit—a vicious one at that with more than the ordinary amount of resentment.”

“Are you saying that Hayi…”

Chi-Woo nodded.

“That can’t be. Hayi adored Hawa very much,” Shakira said with confusion.

“If that’s the case, it’s possible that she’s no longer herself due to a curse.”

Chi-Woo loosened his bag and looked through it. Then he turned to the captain and asked, “Could I borrow your dagger please?”


“I won’t pierce anyone with it. I just have to swing it around.”

The captain looked doubtful, but she soon loosened the belt around her waist.


The weapon let out a clear hum as Chi-Woo swung it; it seemed the captain had maintained it well. Chi-Woo took out a few cans from his bag filled with white beans, red beans, and salt. He scattered each of them at Hawa in that order. Then Chi-Woo lifted the dagger above Hawa’s head and twirled it around before throwing it behind him. The dagger fell onto the wet floor. The edge of its blade pointed exactly at Hawa, and Chi-Woo’s eyes narrowed. He picked up the dagger again and repeated the same motions.

The captain looked confused, but with her meticulous eyes, she realized something strange. Whenever Chi-Woo threw the dagger backward, the blade always pointed exactly towards Hawa. It hadn’t pointed outside even once.

“…I don’t think this is going to work.” After repeating the same motions nine times, Chi-Woo shook his head.

“It won’t work?”

“No matter how many times I tell her to leave, she won’t listen.” Chi-Woo clicked his tongue while looking at Hawa. Shakira also turned to her with a disgruntled face. Now that she thought about it, Hawa had been staying still, but she responded strangely to Chi-Woo’s actions. Every time Chi-Woo threw the dagger backwards, she snorted or curled the edge of her lips upwards. It was like she was laughing at him. The Hawa Shakira knew would never smile so snidely.


“I have to return her to nothingness,” Chi-Woo said matter-of-factly, leaving no room for arguments.

“You’re going to make Hayi’s soul…?”

“Yes. There’s no other way,” Chi-Woo cut her short. “She won’t listen no matter how much I implore her to. And she won’t go even when I open a path for her.”

The firmness with which Chi-Woo spoke made Shakira hesitate. Chi-Woo continued, “She’s not even trying to steal her body. She’s the worst type of ghost who tries to inflict the greatest amount of pain onto her victim before killing them. It even makes me want to ask her why she is doing this. It’s a miracle that Hawa has lasted this long. I can’t give you a guarantee, but if we take any longer, there will be no way to save Hawa’s life.”

These words were the decisive factor. After some time, Shakira opened her clenched mouth. “…If it’s for Hawa.”

“I’ll take that as permission. Please hold back even if my actions seem cruel from now on. You must believe in me wholeheartedly.”

“Did you say ‘cruel’?” the captain interrupted.

“Yes.” Chi-Woo took out a talisman from his backpack and gently loosened up his body. “Because I’m going to approach her now,” Chi-Woo rolled the talisman around his hand and arched his neck sideways. “Okay. So, your name is Hawa—no, it’s Hayi, right?” Chi-Woo shook his hand at the silver-haired girl who glared at him like she wanted to kill him.



Hawa looked astounded, and Chi-Woo smirked. “I’m asking you one last time: Do you have any intention of leaving peacefully?”

Hawa’s lips distorted. “…Fu.” Mocking laughter escaped from her mouth. Her strangely twisted lips opened and—


Hawa’s head swished to one side. Everyone was shocked, including Hawa. She widened her eyes, not expecting to get slapped on the cheek.


She twisted her head and looked up.

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Then soon after.

“Uumph-! Hawa began gagging, and her limbs stopped moving one by one like a stringless doll. “Umph—. Blergh—!” She vomited out a dark liquid mixed with white foam.

Only then did Chi-Woo stop hitting her. The energy of the evil spirit that possessed Hawa was flowing out of her mouth. It wriggled on the ground like a bug and slowly faded away. Likewise, the small light on Hawa’s head also began disappearing.

“…Thank you for your help,” Chi-Woo gasped for breath and dropped his hands. “I hope you find peace in the afterlife.”

The light followed the dark energy and slowly disappeared. After this intense time pa.s.sed, silence returned to the tent.

“Please…lay her back down.” Chi-Woo struggled to breathe and lowered his eyes. The talisman in his hand had turned completely black. Chi-Woo took out a new talisman and asked for fire and a cup of water. With the torch fire that the guards quickly brought, Chi-Woo burnt the talisman and mixed its ashes with the water before pouring it into Hawa’s mouth.

Hawa’s eyes looked unfocused like she was just coming out of a deep sleep, but she seemed to have regained her consciousness. Her throat trembled slightly.

“Is…Hawa all right?” Shakira asked with deep concern.

“For now.” Chi-Woo wiped the sweat on his forehead and continued, “A person who was possessed once is much more likely to get possessed in the future. Moreover, her first possession was extremely chaotic, so it’s difficult to tell.”


“But you don’t need to worry too much,” Chi-Woo collected his breath and said. “As long as I’m by her side, I won’t let that happen again.”

Shakira gulped; her mouth moved as if she wanted to say something, but instead, she gathered her hands together and slowly held them up with her head down. This was the highest expression of grat.i.tude and respect that the Shahnaz Tribe only bestowed to their G.o.d.

“Please sleep.” Chi-Woo met his eyes with Hawa’s who was letting out a faint groan. “Miss, you’ll be able to sleep peacefully from now on. The evil spirit that’s been torturing you is forever gone now.”

Hawa’s trembling pupils became slightly more focused.

“So you can now fall asleep in peace.” At Chi-Woo’s soft whispers, Hawa’s fluttering eyelids slowly closed. It did not take long for snores to come out of her sharply shaped nose. The captain stared at Hawa; she had a peaceful expression like she was in a dream. Since the day the captain had first found her collapsed, there had never been a day when Hawa was not tortured or in pain. It felt almost strange to see her like this because it had been so long since the captain last saw her sleep so serenely.


At the captain’s words, Chi-Woo brightly smiled. “Only by words?”

The captain didn’t know what to say. She knew why Chi-Woo had suddenly decided to come forward and help them. “…Please give me some more time to think about it.”

“Yes, that’s fine with me. I also have to rest, but I can’t wait long.”

“Are you saying that you’ll immediately leave?”

“No. How long will it take until the sun rises?”

“In two or three hours, the sun will rise.”

“I’ll really be able to only rest for a bit. Anyway, I’m not going to immediately leave. It’s time for spirits to be the most active right now.” Chi-Woo picked up his bag. He had produced meaningful results. Even though the beings here were not jukgwis, he found out that his abilities still worked. But of course, the being that ambushed Ru Amuh could be completely different from the evil spirit that possessed Hawa, so Chi-Woo couldn’t be completely sure if he would be able to defeat that opponent. However, he did gain a bit of confidence.

“Please make your decision before the sun rises. And tell me when you’re done.” Chi-Woo slung his bag over his shoulders and turned around. He was about to leave but halted his steps. There were three people at the tent’s entrance—Zelit, Eval Sevaru, and Ru Hiana. They were all looking at Chi-Woo in a daze. Chi-Woo was going to simply walk past them, but he stopped in front of one of them.

“Ms. Ru Hiana.”

“Uh, what?”

“Let’s talk for a bit.”

1. The Thousand Hands Sutra (Chun Su-Kyoung) is a mantra that purifies bad karma created by foul speech. It praises the great compa.s.sion of bodhisattvas and reminds one of the evil that comes out of a person’s mouth by stating that one’s mouth could serve as a channel for an evil spirit’s message. Parts of the mantra marvel in the profoundness of Buddha’s teachings; then, it proceeds to say how fortunate one is to have heard these teachings so that they can accept and preserve them. Then, the mantra pleads and begs Buddha to help one realize his true intention and grant them the presence of a bodhisattva with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes, named Avalokiteshvara—the lord of great compa.s.sion. After asking Avalokiteshvara to bless one with an eye of wisdom, they pay homage to various heavenly beings such as the transcendental bodhisattvas, meditational deity, and the Buddha Amitabha. ☜

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