To Hell With Being a Hero!

로유진 - Ro Yu-jin

Chapter 28: Female President (4)

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Chapter 28: Female President (4)

According to Eshnunna, the place they were at was the southernmost area of the Liber Empire’s northern province and currently served as the frontier of the now lost and fallen Salem kingdom. Furthermore, it was also a place where those who dreamed of the revival of the kingdom resided.

“Of course, restoring the kingdom is still nothing more than a distant dream.” It was more accurate to say that they were a gathering of people who had been chased away from their homeland and struggled to live day by day.

“Even though we call ourselves The Restoration Army, we have no power to resist. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that we are hunted like livestock.”

As the saying went, though, there was always a way out in any crisis. “Thanks to you all who have come to this planet to help, we have some hope now.” Eshnunna’s gaze looked extremely grateful. “I wish I could give you all the support you need, but…it’s simply impossible given our current resources.”

That came as no surprise. As Laguel said, the connection between the Celestial Realm and Liber was very one-sided; the Celestial Realm had been sending people to the planet, but even this connection was extremely unstable—A case in point was the way all the recruits got scattered all over the place although exact coordinates had been set for the transfer.

“We need all of you for Liber’s salvation. Our number one goal is to find and guide the rest of the recruits before they get into any danger.”

“In short,” Zelit spoke, “You are saying this camp exists to ensure our safety, and you guys have prepared not only this place but several other camps for the same purpose.”

“Yes. It’s not that we doubt you all’s skills. However, the situation on Liber is too…” Eshnunna trailed off. It seemed she was very careful to not offend the heroes.

“Don’t worry about it!” the kind Ru Hiana shouted brightly when she noticed the fl.u.s.tered look on Eshnunna’s face. Staring at Chi-Woo, she continued to say, “You might not know about it, but we have already—”

“Ru Hiana,” Ru Amuh cut her short. Furthermore, he stepped between Ru Hiana and Chi-Woo to block her view.

“They are in the midst of talking,” Ru Amuh said.

“Huh?”

“You can’t just interrupt them like that. Didn’t I warn you about this habit before?”

“Uh…I’m sorry.”

Ru Hiana looked stunned, but Ru Amuh simply bowed while looking at Eshnunna and apologized, “Sorry for interrupting you.”

“No, you may go on,” Eshnunna spoke softly. However, Ru Hiana first glanced at Ru Amuh before opening her mouth again, looking a bit more nervous.

“No…I just wanted to…tell you to believe in us.”

“You can relax when you speak to me.” Eshnunna smiled gently.

Chi-Woo tilted his head at Ru Amuh. Wasn’t he overreacting given how little Eshnunna seemed to care about the interruption?

‘Is he perhaps jealous?’ Was it because Ru Hiana was showing an interest in him? Or did it have something to do with a hero’s pride? Or did Ru Amuh fall in love at first sight with Eshnunna and didn’t want her attention to be stolen by another hero?

‘I didn’t think he was a person like that,’ Chi-Woo thought. Still, since it wasn’t a serious matter right now, he decided not to bother himself about it.

“Thank you. Naturally, we’ve always believed in all of you.”

“You people seem to know our situation quite well,” Zelit asked.

“Well, you are the only ones we can believe in,” Eshnunna responded calmly.

“I see. But is that all? Even if it’s to ensure our safety, isn’t it too dangerous to scatter us to different places?”

“You’re right, but we can’t help it. First of all, we don’t know what day and time you will be teleported here. Secondly, we have to check if all of you are recruited to save us. And…” Eshnunna hesitated. Her lips twitched and she let out a deep sigh.

“It’s because we have a shortage of supplies.”

“…Ah.” Zelit seemed to have gained some insights from her simple words. “I expected as much since we couldn’t even get a meal after coming to this camp, but the situation seems quite dire.”

“I apologize. We expect all the camps to run self-sufficiently…In the first place, we have moved people away to save supplies for the main base camp…” Eshnunna said with slight embarra.s.sment and hung her head low.

“That can’t be helped. Anyways, does that mean you guys try to find all the recruits first before sending them to the main camp and gathering them in one place?”

“Yes. It’s not a perfect method, but it’s a place comparably safer than the other camps.”

“How far is the main camp? Is there a way to contact them?”

“It's an hour away on foot. Unfortunately, there’s no way to contact them from a distance.”

“Then how did you know that this camp had found us?” It seemed Zelit was curious about many things, as he continued to fire questions. Even Chi-Woo thought he was being too much. However, Eshnunna’s expression didn’t even falter as she replied to each question dutifully.

“We have a designated guide in each camp to take the recruits to the main base, but this time, I’ve personally made my way here for a special reason.”

“What is it?”

“We’ve successfully secured some recruits at the main base, and some of them had repeatedly requested for me to personally come here.”

Chi-Woo opened his eyes widely. He knew Giant Fist and Mua Janya would be worrying about him like how Ru Hiana had worried about Ru Amuh.

“Hm…So there are already recruits you have gathered…” Zelit stopped his rapid questioning to collect his thoughts before speaking up again. “Well, for now, it seems like there’s no reason for us to refuse going.” Zelit’s gaze was about to land on Chi-Woo before he abruptly s.h.i.+fted his eyes to Ru Amuh.

“I think so too,” Ru Amuh said immediately. Ru Hiana nodded, and everyone else agreed.

“Shall we get going at once, then? I’ll lead the way.”

“What about the other camps?”

“We have already sent people to other camps, too,” Eshnunna replied as she turned away from Zelit. The rest of the group left one by one and returned to their tent to pack their belongings. However, Chi-Woo remained in his spot because he had something he wanted to ask. Before he could ask his question, though, Shakira had already spoken up.

“Lady Eshnunna. Could I ask you something?”

“Yes, what is it, Shakira?”

“I want to ask if you could also take Shahunaz Hawa,” Shakira spoke quite straightforwardly for someone making a request.

“…Sorry?” The seemingly perpetual smile on Eshunna’s face was replaced by an expression of surprise. “But Shahaunaz Hawa is…”

“Several days ago, she had miraculously regained her sanity.”

“Is that really true?”

“Yes.”

“But how?”

“She was always a strong-willed child, but I think it’s also proof that G.o.ddess Elephthalia has not abandoned us yet.”

Eshnunna still looked like she didn’t understand the situation, but she soon put on a bright smile. “I see. That’s great! How wonderful! You have my grat.i.tude, G.o.ddess Elephthalia! Ah, ah…!” Eshnunna rejoiced like she herself had received the G.o.ddess’ favor, but it soon gave way to a troubled look. “That’s something worthy of a proper celebration, but…as you know, the situation at the camp base isn’t great, either…”

“I am aware that this is a difficult request, but I have truly realized from this event that…” Shakira spoke with great conviction. “That we don’t have the capabilities to protect this child. The Heavens may have favored her this time, but if something similar happens to her again…”

Chi-Woo listened to this conversation without intending to. He was the one who saved Hawa, and he had no intention of revealing that unless necessary. But why was Shakira skirting away from the truth? Especially when he was standing next to her?

‘I should just keep observing for now.’ Even though he was curious, Chi-Woo decided to keep his silence. When you didn’t know something, it was best not to say anything.

“Lady Eshnunna, Hawa is a smart child. If you accept her under your wing, she’ll be very useful to you.”

“Hmm…” Eshnunna still looked conflicted. After a while, she quietly sighed and said, “I guess it can’t be helped. I understand. I’ll bring her with me for your sake.”

“Thank you. I’ll never forget this favor.” Shakira bowed so deeply that her head almost touched the ground.

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“No, not at all. I should be apologizing to you. If I had done a bit better…” Eshnunna smiled wryly, unable to continue.

“Take it. It’s just one meal, and I’m not sure if they’re still edible.”

“It’s all right.” Chi-Woo opened his bag. It was also to check if anything was missing. ‘Everything’s still there.’

“It’s fine for you to have it. That’s a gift given from the bottom of our hearts. I don’t want to get reprimanded by those in the main camp.” Rawiya stopped Chi-Woo from taking out the food and forcibly closed the bag.

“I really am fine.”

“You should just leave it. But anyway, it’s disappointing. You’re leaving when we were just getting to know each other.”

“You made it sound like we would never see each other again.”

Rawiya smiled in lieu of a response. Then, apropos of nothing, she asked, “What’s your name?” It was a sudden question. Rawiya continued, “Now that I think about it, I haven’t gotten your name.”

Chi-Woo pretended to not hear her. He couldn’t reveal his real name. He wanted to give her a cool fake name, but Ru Amuh was here now. If he gave her a different name, Ru Amuh might get suspicious of him. On the other hand, he really didn’t want to give her that fake name. It wasn’t so bad to remain nameless like this.

“I’ll be heading out. Until we meet next time, I hope you stay healthy.”

“Hmm? What? Hey!” While Rawiya was confused, Chi-Woo tried to quickly leave, but—

“Sir Chichibbong!” Coincidentally, Ru Amuh called out to him at that exact moment. Chi-Woo immediately froze. “I apologize for what happened before, sir. I don’t want you to misunderstand, but…?”

Ru Amuh stopped mid-sentence and hesitated because Chi-Woo was glaring at him as if he wanted to kill him.

“Chichi…bbong?” Ru Hiana blinked. “That’s Senior’s name?”

“Yep,” Ru Amuh replied calmly. “While I was guiding him out of the cave, he told me his name before he left. Since the name left a deep impression on me, I remember it.”

“Aha~” Ru Hiana nodded. “That’s his name~ Chichi…” However, she wasn’t able to continue, and she lowered her head.

“Hmmmhm. Is that…so!” Rawiya also looked down and seemed to be having a hard time speaking. A short silence followed. Rawiya gulped and her lips twitched as she continued, “Your name is Chichibb…ha-ong…”

While Rawiya almost managed to say his name.

“Heeheaumph.”

Chi-Woo heard the sound of suppressed laughter escaping someone’s mouth.

“Ru Hiana? Why are you…” Ru Amuh tried to warn Ru Hiana but…

“No-hee! It’s not bb-ha-ong! But bboong-haahahaha!” In the end, Ru Hiana was unable to keep it together and burst into loud laughter. And that was the start of it all.

“Bbuuuuugh—!” Rawiya gritted her teeth and strained her eyes to stop laughing, while Zelit quickly turned away and stared at a far scenery that didn’t even exist.

“Why are you laughing? It’s rude!” Only Ru Amuh was fl.u.s.tered and got angry.

There was a saying that the sister-in-law who pretended to help was more annoying than a fussy mother-in-law; Chi-Woo could now completely understand the daughter-in-law’s sentiments. Chi-Woo stared blankly inside the tent that had fallen into fits of laughter and helplessly walked out.

“No! Senior! I’m sorry! I wasn’t laughing because your name was funny!”

“I-I’m sorry! It’s because your name is so different from your image that I couldn’t stop myself!”

Ru Hiana and Rawiya apologized later on, but Chi-Woo didn’t listen to them. Instead, he shed tears inside his mind. Yes, there was no one to blame but himself. Why did he pick Chichibbong of all names?

‘Among all the names I could’ve picked…’

Why Chichibbong!?

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