To Hell With Being a Hero!

로유진 - Ro Yu-jin

Chapter 70: Finally a Tutorial (12)

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Chapter 70: Finally a Tutorial (12)

The atmosphere grew heavy, and everyone became too stunned to speak. They were shocked by the serious implications of her words.

“What do you mean…?” Eshnunna stood completely still, and her face was pale as she stuttered, “Why suddenly…I don’t understand…”

“…Did you say that he vomited black blood?” Zelit also broke away from his stillness and spoke.

“Yes. Ru Hiana said she just saw him.” Ru Amuh turned to ask Ru Hiana for confirmation.

“If the blood is black…that means his organs, especially his heart, are not functioning correctly,” Zelit said. Both Ru Hiana and Eshnunna held their breaths and turned to Zelit as he continued, “I had my doubts…but to think his body is already dying.”

“What do you mean?” Ru Hiana was perplexed.

“I’m saying I expected something like this to happen,” Zelit said sharply and looked at Ru Amuh. “He still… hasn’t awakened his powers yet, right?”

“Yes. I confirmed this with G.o.ddess Shahnaz just in case, and the only heroes who had awakened their powers are me and Allen Leonard.”

“As I thought...” Zelit hung his head low and let out a long sigh.

“Yes, that’s probably why…” Ru Amuh gritted his teeth.

“What are you two saying?” Eshnunna looked at the two back and forth and exclaimed tearfully as their responses became more negative. “What are you guys talking about?! Tell me so I’ll understand!”

“…Think about it,” Zelit said weakly. “We all lost our powers when we came to Liber. Besides our trained physique and honed basic skills, we are no different from ordinary people.” It was laughable to call them heroes since any ordinary person could train their bodies and learn swordsmans.h.i.+p like them. “But you know he was different even after he lost his powers as a hero. He was able to defeat enemies that ordinary people couldn’t handle at all on many occasions, and he’d done the same recently.” When he went to save Ru Amuh and later the recruits in the ranch, Chi-Woo had defeated enemies that no ordinary person could ever dream of facing. Furthermore, right before coming to the fortress, Chi-Woo had accomplished the unbelievable feat of breaking a lich in one blow. His condition had worsened after displaying such competence thrice; that couldn’t have been mere coincidences.

“So what? He’s still a hero. He can have inherent skills,” Ru Hiana said.

“Even if he has an innate skill, it doesn’t make sense,” Zelit cut her off. “Did you forget that Liber is pretty much a dead World?”

Ru Hiana immediately closed her mouth.

“The only way an inherent skill can properly work in another World is through the World’s permission and support.”

The best example was Allen Leonard. In the World he grew up in, Allen’s inherent ability had been [Nature’s Blessing], and its rank had been A++. Coming to Liber, though, he no longer had the permission and support of a World, and as a result, his ability degraded to a F-rank [Trees’ and Gra.s.ses’ Blessing]. Not only did the scope of the blessing decrease, the rank of the ability had seen a drastic drop.

“Having an inherent ability doesn’t free someone of this rule. Only G.o.ds may be exempted from the law of the World that applies across the planet.” That was right. There was no way for even an immortal being to overthrow the rule of the universe, let alone a mortal.

Still, everyone in this room knew Chi-Woo as a hero who could be considered top-tier among all mortals. Considering the experiences and knowledge they perceived Chi-Woo to have, even if Chi-Woo couldn’t completely overthrow the laws of this World, he could distort them slightly. Of course, that must have come with a price, and Chi-Woo would have to endure a fitting punishment even if he had made only the slightest change to the natural trajectory of Liber. What could Chi-Woo possibly offer to use a power that wasn’t permitted in this world? There was only one possibility.

“Life force.” If he didn’t have mana or divinity, that was the only thing he could use to supplement them. That would explain the amazing ability they had all witnessed from Chi-Woo. When Ru Hiana heard the explanation, she realized what Zelit was trying to tell her.

“…No.” But she couldn’t accept it immediately. She wanted to deny it. “There’s no way. Senior couldn’t have been using his life force to…” Ru Hiana couldn’t finish her sentence, because in her head, she had already understood.

“In times of danger, one can exhaust their life force to increase their powers momentarily and overcome their current limits. Even if it’s taboo and much less known, it’s not exactly an uncommon practice in all worlds. Furthermore, not only did Chi-Woo show strong leanings to spiritual abilities, but he also seemed especially knowledgeable in the field.” And thus, Zelit concluded that Chi-Woo must also know a spell to use his own life force for specific means.

Although he wished for the speculation to be wrong with all his being, Ru Amuh’s heart sank since his and Zelit’s conclusions were exactly aligned. On the other hand, Ru Hiana couldn’t close her gaping mouth and recalled a conversation she had with Chi-Woo. That time, she had asked Chi-Woo what the yellow papers he carried were, how he brought them to this place, and what their purposes were.

[A talisman?]

[Ugh…Yeah, it’s nothing much. They were pre-made.]

[Haha. It’s not something anyone can just make.]

[The red writing? Ah, this is blood. Blood.]

At that time, Ru Hiana had quickly moved on from the topic, disgusted by the fact that the paper’s writings were made with blood. Zelit’s speculation put the conversation in a new light. She hadn’t thought about the possibility that the blood could have been Chi-Woo’s. Talismans written in blood and a taboo spell—everything fit perfectly. With all these things in mind, Ru Hiana could no longer deny Zelit’s claims. Eshnunna felt the same way. She thought she now knew why Chi-Woo’s shouting had rung through her heart the day they attacked the ranch. It made sense if Chi-Woo had placed his life on the line while battling the broken ones.

“Ah…” Suddenly feeling dizzy, Eshnunna staggered. Ru Hiana also felt weak in her knees and collapsed to the ground. If she had known the truth beforehand, she would’ve stopped him, but Chi-Woo didn’t tell them anything. Thus, she felt even more guilty that she had only depended on him in blissful ignorance. She tried to imagine what Chi-Woo must have felt every time he used his powers…

“I’m sure he couldn’t have helped it. He must have thought it was the only way,” Zelit said in a low voice, “Yet…still…” Zelit continued as his whole face scrunched up like he was in pain. “There’s a limit to how good a person can be.”

Now they realized that those who sacrificed themselves in the ritual weren’t the only ones who had offered themselves; Chi-Woo was doing the same all this time. They believed Chi-Woo must have known his body’s condition even while helping Ru Amuh and Allen Leonard awaken their powers. If they asked him why he had acted in this manner, they were certain that he would give them the same answer he always did.

“…Yeah, it’s because he’s a hero…” Zelit clutched his forehead and hung his head low. Everyone fell silent.

“We have to cancel our plan.” Eshnunna soon broke the heavy silence. “We can’t go on like this.”

“But we can’t cancel it.”

“Are you saying that we should proceed with it even after finding out about him?”

“Canceling the plan will mean the death of all of us. We might be able to delay or amend it, but we can’t cancel it.”

“Then amend it. You have to exclude him from the plan,” Eshnunna firmly stated.

However, Zelit didn’t answer. He chewed on his lip with his head lowered. Eshnunna’s eyes narrowed.

“Are you serious?” Eshnunna asked.

“…There’s no other way,” Zelit spoke like the words pained him physically to utter. “He…can’t be excluded…There’s no hero…who can take his…”

“Are you saying that with your right mind?” Eshnunna raised her voice immediately.

“What do you mean by plan?”

“What? What are you guys talking about now?”

Ru Amuh and Ru Hiana solemnly asked in unison. However, Zelit and Eshnunna paid them no mind and continued with their conversation.

“There’s no more time. And there’s no other way!” Zelit also raised his voice. “I'm not planning to force him. I’ll ask him first. Don’t worry. I’ll be the one to ask!”

“That’s not the problem!”

Just like that, their conversation turned into a shouting match for quite a while.

* * *

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Chi-Woo finished his afternoon run and collapsed onto the ground with a delighted expression. He liked this feeling the best. When he lay down completely still and listened to the sound of his body, it felt like his whole body was beating. As he listened to his pounding heart, he could sense keenly that blood was being vigorously transported throughout his body, and he felt as if he was becoming healthier by the second. He could now understand a little bit why people became addicted to exercise. However, it was still difficult for him.

“Why…” However, she couldn’t ask him why he didn’t tell them of his sacrifice. She hadn’t known—no, she hadn’t even tried to figure it out. She had accepted Chi-Woo’s accomplishments as a result of his inherent abilities without question. She now regretted not prying deeper into this matter; if she had thought just a little bit more, she would have realized how strange it was…

Chi-Woo tilted his head. Eshnunna’s soft, cool hand felt pleasant on his face, so he didn’t move away even though he was startled. At that moment, he heard Zelit sigh. Chi-Woo was shocked when Eshnunna and Ru Hiana looked back at Zelit with fury.

Zelit struggled to speak up, “I have something to tell you.”

“Don’t,” Eshnunna interjected immediately.

Ru Amuh also chimed in, “Sir, I don’t think that’s the right thing to do, either.”

When Zelit was about to speak again despite their opposition—

“Stop!” Ru Hiana shouted. “That’s enough! Leave Senior alone!” She glared at him and continued, “How long are we going to just depend on him? Is Senior our personal problem-solver that’ll magically make all our issues go away? Do we have the right to ask anything of him? He’s not the only hero here, is he? Aren’t we all heroes?!” Ru Hiana could not stop talking once she started. “Especially you! You don’t even do much, but you constantly tell people to do this and that while sitting on your a.s.s..!”

As Ru Hiana spat out words like a machine gun, Zelit, who had been listening silently, slowly grew angry.

“Then what about you?” Zelit couldn’t stand it any longer and growled, “You’re f.u.c.king talking like you’ve done something.”

Ru Hiana fell silent.

“When Ru Amuh was captured…I wondered what you did?”

Ru Hiana blanched.

“Aren’t you embarra.s.sed?” Zelit spoke in a mocking tone. “You’re not in the position to criticize anyone, either.”

Ru Hiana’s eyes blazed with anger. Her face immediately grew red, and her neck throbbed as she bared her teeth.

“Wait, wait! Please stop!” Before Ru Hiana could retaliate in kind, Chi-Woo hurriedly stepped forward. He didn’t know why they were acting like this, but it didn’t sit right with him. “First, the two of you—no, the four of you, please all calm down.”

Chi-Woo looked between Ru Hiana and Zelit and gulped. He needed to first figure out what was going on. He looked at Zelit and said, “Uh…didn’t you say that you had something to tell me? Would it be all right if you do that first?”

Zelit’s expression loosened slightly; he sighed deeply and clutched his head. “If you’d listen…I’ll be thankful.”

“Why don’t we move this conversation inside?”

“Senior!” When they were about to go in, Ru Hiana quickly turned around and held onto Chi-Woo. “There’s no need to listen to Zelit. Why don’t we just go back? Senior?”

“Ms. Ru Hiana, I think there’s been a misunderstanding.”

“Senior! That’s not it!”

“It’s okay. Why don’t we try listening to Mr. Zelit first? Yes?” Chi-Woo consoled her and gently tapped Ru Hiana’s arms, which were tightly clutching onto him.

“But…” Ru Hiana looked up at him with sad puppy eyes and pouted, but she didn’t stop him further.

Chi-Woo smiled and moved toward the door. The four of them followed closely behind Chi-Woo and went into his house.

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