SSS-Class Suicide Hunter - Chapter 103 - The Way He Loves (1)
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Translator: thursdays Editor: Yahiko PR: LightBrin
The dawn was white.
I woke up and washed my face. I slowly put on the black butler’s uniform I was now accustomed to and stood in front of the mirror.
Reflected in it was still [me].
The Black Dragon guildmaster once said that I gave off a slightly [cunning impression] when I smiled.
The man in the mirror slowly opened his lips.
[The immersion toward the character is deepened.]
[Currently, your immersion rate is 62%.]
I simply whispered the name of my beloved lover. Yet, my heart jumped, I couldn’t breathe, and the face of the man in the mirror blushed. Even I could read my expression with ease.
“…I really love her.”
It was amazing.
Surprised by my own feelings, I did what I had to do next.
Letters crawled in front of my eyes.
Name: Death King
Skill (6/6)I Want To Become Just Like You (S+) Returner’s Clockwork Watch (EX) Sword Constellation (A+) Goblin High Society (F) Hundred Ghosts Reincarnation (SSS) Infernal Heavens Demonic Art (A+)
※ The Goddess of Beauty’s blessing is in effect.
※ The Goddess of Vitality’s blessing is in effect.
Here, the path my life had taken, the path I’d survived, was depicted.
My envy. My secret. My connection. My sense of humor. My will. Even my happiness.
Thus could the life of the human [Kim Gongja] be plainly expressed.
I took in a deep breath.
Then, words I had never seen before were inscribed before my eyes.
Name: Kim Gongja
Favorite Genres: [Martial Arts], [Romance], [Detective], [Adventure]
Disliked Genres: N/A
Favorite Characters: [Master/Teacher], [Virtuous Hero], [Victim], [Hard Worker], [Child], [Good Person], [One Who Reflects On Oneself], [One Who Is Generous To Others], [One Who Acknowledges Me]
Hated Characters: [Psychopaths]
Favorite Plots: [Justice Prevails], [Friendship], [Love]
Hated Plots: [Self-hatred], [Giving Up], [Fleeing], [Forgetting], [Mistrusting], [Monopolizing]
Psychological State: ‘I want to know how I am reflected.’
I swallowed my spit.
I was still Kim Gongja. I hadn’t been swallowed up by my role like the Heretic Questioner. My strategy would go forth smoothly.
It had to.
“Mr. Sword Emperor.”
The ghost who wasn’t reflected in the mirror replied.
“If I become buried in the role of the butler, I have a request for you.”
-What is it?
“When my immersion rate is about to reach 100%, there’s a high possibility I won’t be able to hear your voice. I’ll have my skills, but I’ll probably forget everything about how to use them. No matter what happens, the immersion rate needs to be stopped before it becomes 100%.”
I touched the hilt of my dagger, hidden around my waist.
“99%. That’s the Maginot Line.1 The immersion can never go above 99%. Do you understand? If you have the slightest inkling that I will exceed 99% immersion, please stop me at any cost.”
Bae Hu-ryeong smirked.
-You worry too much. You think a guy with a strong pride and ego like you will get all the way to 99%?
“Yes. I will.”
I put the finishing touches on my outfit.
The mirror captured the image of a perfect butler.
“Because I’m going to push myself there on purpose.”
Bae Hu-ryeong was startled.
-Why? Do you want to flunk this stage and be trapped in this world?
“I can’t tell you why now. No, no one can know but me. I’m going to defeat this stage by digging into the loopholes in the Tower’s system.”
The Tower was still watching over us.
If it figured out my strategy, the Tower would quickly close the loophole. I couldn’t let that happen.
When the Tower has a systematic error, a gap that it hasn’t thought of, an opportunity was made. I had to hurry up and clear [The Tale of Sormwyn Academy].
“Please help me if I am in danger.”
“I believe in you. Since the strongest person of all time said he would become my master.”
I realized then that the Black Dragon guildmaster was right.
The man reflected in the mirror was smiling cunningly like a rascal.
“Then, I shall go help my lover.”
Though the Lady of the Silver Lily and I were together now, we unfortunately could not have fun on a date outside. She was sick in bed.
The Lady of the Silver Lily had always been infirm. She was also weak in the sunlight. Looking at the memories of the [butler], the Lady of the Silver Lily was absent at the academy more often than not.
She had been working all night the past few days, so she couldn’t help but collapse.
“Don’t worry. It’s been like this since the first time around.”
Leaning on the bed, the Lady of the Silver Lily spoke.
“More precisely, I was born this way. I couldn’t play outside, so I almost always stayed in the house. It became worse after my heart disappeared after stabbing it with the sword in the mirror.”
“This is why the emperor gave an epithet to the Lady of the Golden Silk as well. Even if I become the empress, I will die soon. It will be difficult for me to give birth to an heir. I am not suitable as an empress…”
Cough. The Lady of the Silver Lily coughed.
It sounded coarser than it was the previous day.
“Here’s some hot tea. Please drink it.”
I passed her the tea I had prepared in advance. The Lady of the Silver Lily said, “Thank you,” and took a sip. She raised her eyebrows in mild surprise.
“…You put in a lot of honey. It’s exactly as I like it. How did you know?”
“Milady told me before.”
When the Lady of the Silver Lily was teaching me lessons on love, she had said that in her sixth run, an apostle tried to capture her with a strategy guide. It was written in that guide.
+The Lady of the Silver Lily is weak in the sunlight. The Lady of the Silver Lily has dull taste buds, so she likes exciting food.
I just kept that knowledge in mind and acted on it.
“Hmm. Then, isn’t it like you are also using the strategy guide?”
“I can’t say that it’s a strategy guide since you yourself told me about it first. I would appreciate it if you could see it as me using a reference book.”
“I can see now that you’ve a nasty side to you, too.”
The Lady of the Silver Lily tilted her cup.
The sound of her sipping tea quietly resonated in the bedroom.
“So, what is this tactic you’ve come up with? This cozy time we’re sharing now is just a momentary pleasure. Between the two of us, one will forget the time we spent with the other. There is no solution.”
“I bet Your Ladyship has never trusted your life to anyone else before.”
“Please trust me.”
“Even if it’s a fake relationship, the person you’ve decided to date is by no means an incompetent man.”
The Lady of the Silver Lily stared at my face.
“There are times in life when you need help from other people. Right now, Your Ladyship needs help.”
When I saved the Aegim Empire, I also received the help of the Sword Saint and Black Dragon guildmaster. When overcoming the Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon, I had help from the Alchemist, the Venomous Snake, and the Medicine King. And while I would never say it out loud, I always owed much to Bae Hu-ryeong.
I never thought I was alone.
Unlike my lover in front of me.
“You’ve been in charge of too many things alone up till now. [The empire must remain strong even after your death], [the prince needs to be set straight], [the demon of blood must be dealt with]. Isn’t this all you’ve been doing for 140 days?”
“Are you saying that I’m burnt out?”
“Please rest a little.”
I placed the spring flowers I had picked at dawn in a vase and put it beside her bed.
“I don’t like it when the person I love tries to take everything upon herself. No, I hate it. I would want her to step up when I’m tired, and when she’s tired, I’ll bear her troubles.”
“We’re only in a fake relationship.”
“It doesn’t matter. I’m serious.”
“…Don’t you feel insulted?”
“Aha. Your Ladyship doesn’t know me yet.”
How could a person be so lovely? I smiled a little.
“I’m a positive guy. Do you think I’ll be depressed or get an inferiority complex just because we’re in a fake relationship? Far from it; I think of it as an opportunity. Anyway, you will come to love me.”
“My goodness. Where is this confidence coming from?”
“It’s because you’ll spend time with just me. Until you tell me that you’re [tired of me], I won’t give up no matter what.”
No matter what happened.
“I will become your support.”
The Lady of the Silver Lily did not respond. Instead, she quietly drank her tea.
As the days passed, my lover became more gaunt.
The [demons] that appeared every night at midnight grew stronger and stronger over time.
At first, the demons only took the forms of [tongues], [lips] at best. But the next day and the following day, they changed. They grew [arms] and [legs].
I realized it only when they had limbs: The demons resembled the Lady of the Silver Lily. They looked like the result of if the lady was simplified and reduced.
-Are you going to kill us?
-Are you going to kill me?
I wordlessly slaughtered the demons every night. The Lady of the Silver Lily said that she would help, but I refused her firmly. She needed time alone and calm rest now more than anything.
The paperwork that needed her approval? I stopped it all.
Anyway, there were only a few days left before the end of this world. If the empire would collapse just because a duke’s daughter did not watch over it for a few days, it deserved to perish.
A holiday alone.
This was the first gift I gave to the Lady of the Silver Lily.
“…It’s the first time I’ve experienced days like this.”
The Lady of the Silver Lily murmured as if she was troubled.
“Is it really all right to stay still?”
Currently, we were sitting in the shade of a cherry tree and looking leisurely at the lake. I had carried the Lady of the Silver Lily here in my arms.
That was it.
There were no complex documents, no demons made of blood, and no students whispering and treating the lady like a spectacle.
“It’s all right.”
“It’s really all right, milady.”
The Lady of the Silver Lily closed her lips. She seemed unable to cope with her newfound peace.
“I’ll make it all right.”
“I don’t want to rely on you.”
“Did I say that I would help you forever? When I need help, you can help me, too. We can help each other, right? Live and help each other.”
Quietly, the day passed.
It was the ‘tenth day’ that the Lady of the Silver Lily spoke of.
“Are you thirsty? I put some honey in the milk tea for today. I thought it might please you.”
“When the sunlight becomes weaker, let’s ride a boat together. I’ll row.”
For that whole day, the Lady of the Silver Lily did nothing.
In the morning, I woke her up and washed her face. I brought her a light meal. Later in the morning, I read her a collection of poems she liked. In the afternoon, I packed a snack and walked with her to the lake at the academy.
The whistle of spring caused the magnolia and cherry blossoms to shed. The Lady of the Silver Lily softly raised her head to see the white colors scattering in the sky. Cherry blossoms fell on the surface of the lake and were buried by the ripples.
For one hour, she said nothing.
She remained silent even when I carried her to the boat. Quietly, she observed the flowing waves of petals. Splash. Splash. The lake meekly gave way to my rowing.
“The spring is white,” whispered the Lady of the Silver Lily. “In the empire, we call this period [white spring]. There are times when the cherry blossoms bloom before the magnolias fall. One of my favorite classical poets said [As white blooms in white, so does spring blossom fully in spring. The white hue that winter could not finish sowing takes its final breath].”
The speed at which she spoke matched the speed of the cherry petals flying in the sky.
“It’s a beautiful season.”
The sun went down.
“I don’t know how long it has been since I’ve seen this spring.”
A gentle springtide passed.
We were drunk on the season. A pleasant daze. The formless spring air filled our heads.
[The presence of the silver-plated heart becomes more prominent.]
So, when the time came for this world to perish, we were not panicked at all. No, we didn’t even say anything special.
[The silver-plated heart is manifesting.]
The red sunset became redder.
On the other side of the academy, I could dimly hear the students screaming. The blood from the mirror had likely drenched the academy. Then, it flowed to the edge of the lake, dying the water red.
“It feels comfortable to be with you.”
Our boat floated in the middle of the lake.
The red blood that was encroaching from the lakeshore had yet to consume our sanctuary.
“Can I really trust you?”
I let go of the oars in my hands.
“Your Ladyship had said that we are like parallel lines, and the person who dies first will always regress first. That’s why the two of us can’t be together forever.”
“From now on.”
I held the Lady of the Silver Lily’s hand.
“My aura will wrap around your body. And it won’t just be your body; it’ll also be in your mind. And I will do the same to my body and mind at the same time.”
“I will blow up our heads at the exact same instant.”
The Lady of the Silver Lily stopped breathing for a moment.
As her breaths quietened, her eyes grew wider.
“It’s true that the person who dies first will regress first. It’s also true that the person who can’t regress won’t remember the other person. Then, there is only one way we can be together. We have to die at the same time.”
I held her hand a little tighter.
The person I love.
“Please die with me.”
After a while.
And so, we did just that.
1. The Maginot Line was a line of fortifications along the eastern border of France around the WWII era. Unfortunately, the line did not end up providing much defense. The imagery is often used to describe something that gives a false sense of security, but in this context, I believe it refers to a line that, if crossed, would mean devastation.↩To report errors and issues or just talk grammar/language with me, contact me through Discord: https://discord.gg/woopread