SSS-Class Suicide Hunter - Chapter 112 - Holy War (1)
Chapter 112. < Holy War. (1) >
Translator: thursdays Editor: Yahiko PR: LightBrin
[TN] 4/3/2021 After reader feedback, we’ve decided to go with Gongja = wife and Raviel = husband, as God the author intended.
Romance Fantasy Trope 999
『You don’t need something like tropes for love.』
In life, you occasionally receive gifts by chance.
“Lady of the Golden Silk. I need to tell you something important.”
“Gee, it’s been a while since you called me [Lady of the Golden Silk] instead of [milady], butler. Each time, it’s for something unfortunate. Let me deduce what happened this time.”
The Lady of the Golden Silk slowly raised her teacup.
It was truly an elegant motion.
“Do I have a secret half-sister?”
“You do not.”
“Really? Then, was my mother secretly an illegitimate child of the former emperor, thereby meaning that my blood is intertwined with the imperial family’s? Thus, the love between the crown prince and I can never come to fruition?”
“That isn’t it.”
“Or do I have both a hidden half-sister and a hidden bloodline, meaning that I have a lot of potential to be the protagonist of a story?”
“Then what is it, you bastard?”
“I’m getting married soon.”
“Oho. Marriage. So it was marriage. Marriage—”
The Lady of the Golden Silk sprayed the tea she had been drinking. Mostly on my face.
There was no trace of elegance to be found.
“If that’s a joke, it’s a really bad one, butler! Do you want me to hit you again?!”
“It isn’t a joke.”
I wiped my face with a handkerchief.
“There’s no way I would joke about this to milady, is there? I really am getting married. You can’t stop me. I’ve already set a date for next month.”
“W-who’s your partner?”
“That would be the esteemed Lady of the Silver Lily.”
“Oh, come on. You’re definitely fibbing.”
The Lady of the Golden Silk sighed. Phew.
Her face looked relieved. Her expression showed that she didn’t think Raviel would marry me even if the world was ending. Oh, well. That was a normal reaction.
“Do you think I’m lying?”
“Yeah. It’s a poorly spun lie at that. Please come up with a more plausible tale if you want to trick me. I’m giving you a failing mark in creativity.”
“If it’s for real, will you allow me to marry her?”
“Ahaha. Sure, sure. I’ll let you marry or whatever, butler. Rather, if it’s real, it would be very advantageous for me to have my servant marry into the noblest family in the empire. Wouldn’t the value of my family soar at once?”
“Please stamp this.”
I held out some papers I had prepared in advance.
“What is this, butler?”
“This document states that you, my original master, will allow the marriage between myself and Lady Raviel Ivansia. I’ll step out of your shadow and become a consort in the Ivansia family.”
The Lady of the Golden Silk held her stomach and laughed.
“C-consort of the Ivansias… Pffft! What’s that supposed to be, a joke? A prank? Are you saying that my butler will be called [Duke Consort of Ivansia]? It’s hilarious just to imagine. Me becoming the empress is more likely than that.”
The Lady of the Golden Silk’s grin changed into a different sort of style.
“Well, that is what will happen this time.”
I remembered the summary I had read before entering this Apocalypse.
‘It’s her second try.’
Since the Heretic Questioner hadn’t possessed her yet, I could guess at the Lady of the Golden Silk’s true nature and thought about many things regarding her.
For now, I buried all these thoughts and said, “Will you please stamp it?”
The Lady of the Golden Silk grabbed her stomach again and laughed.
“Oh, gladly. This will become a piece of your dark history, butler. As your generous master, I can’t look away from this amazing farce.”
“Thank you. Then, I’ll call over my fiancée tomorrow.”
“Yes, yes. Heiress Ivansia. The second brightest moon in the empire. Dream on.”
The next day, I stood with Raviel before the Lady of the Golden Silk.
“I brought her over, milady.”
The Lady of the Golden Silk’s jaw dropped.
“We already know each other, but I shall greet you again,” Raviel said, holding a fan.
“I am Raviel Ivansia, daughter and successor to the Duke of Ivansia. I received the epithet of the Silver Lily from His Majesty the Emperor.”
“Huh? Ah. Yes, of course we know each other. Your Ladyship…?”
“It is a joyous occasion for me to marry your butler. The butler is bound to you. Getting married would be difficult without your permission, but you have easily granted it. Truly, thank you.”
“This is a wedding invitation.”
Raviel curtly handed her a letter. The border was decorated with a thread of silver, and in the center of the envelope was the red wax seal of the duchy. The Lady of the Golden Silk accepted the letter with a dull face.
“Rejoice. You are the first person to receive an invitation. I hope you know what an honor it is. Well, it is but a small gift to you as you have cared for him until now.”
“B-butler…? This is a joke, right…?”
“How impudent. As of today, this man is my fiancé, not your butler. You don’t possibly believe that the Ivansia family is inferior to your barony? From now on, treat my fiancé politely.”
The Lady of the Golden Silk stared at me like the world had flipped over. Her gaze was desperately asking me to deny the title she just spoke.
I bowed politely.
“It was an honor to serve you, milady.”
“But from now on, please call me Duke Consort. Respectfully.”
“Then, shall we go, Raviel?”
“Hmph. I told you to call me ‘Husband’ in front of others.”
“Ahh, pardon me. Husband. My mouth isn’t used to calling you that yet…”
“My wife is so silly. But I like everything about you, including that part.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.”
We left, side by side.
A while after, we heard a faint scream behind us.
“What is thiiiisss—?!”
A spring with falling magnolias.
Our marriage was drawing near.
My lover, Raviel Ivansia, was a person who followed through on her words.
If Raviel said our wedding would take place within a month, it really would.
“I’ve detained my father in our villa,” Raviel said, casually and calmly.
“There is a group of people in my family who still follow my father, but their numbers are few. We can ignore them. I negotiated with the emperor for my succession to be recognized, and I’ve already become the Duchess of Ivansia. Now, I shall be called the Silver Lily Duchess, not the Lady of the Silver Lily.”
My father-in-law was incarcerated overnight.
‘Is this all right?’
While I was feeling uneasy for an in-law I had never met, Raviel looked at me.
“You are now the fiancé of the Duchess of Ivansia. You are the host of the second highest-ranking family.”
“Other than the emperor, the empress, and the prince, there is no one you must bow your head to. At least, not in this empire. All citizens of the empire, regardless of status, must bow to you. In the absence of the imperial family, you will be treated with the highest regard.”
Raviel was serious.
It was only after I heard her words that I felt that [something huge] was happening.
Until now, I thought of our wedding only in terms of my love for Raviel. Our love was sweet. It was romantic. But for Raviel, marriage was more than just romance.
The immense truth of the matter dawning on me, I opened my mouth.
“But I’m only a commoner…”
“Of course, the socialite biddies will gossip. Gongja. Your past is like the train of an uncomfortable dress, and it will follow you wherever you go. But I’ve taken what measures we could.”
“What did you plan?”
“You will become the adopted son of the grand chamberlain of the imperial palace.”
Raviel handed me a sheet of paper.
“The grand chamberlain has served the imperial family for a long time. He was awarded a noble rank; his personal record is clean; and his honor is regarded highly. Most importantly, he has no children. Becoming the son of this old chamberlain will raise your status immediately.”
Oh, my god.
No, really. Oh, my god.
“I-is that allowed?”
“It is. If I want it to be.”
Even now, Raviel was working through a mountain of files. Swipe! Raviel’s quill never stopped moving. It was hard for me to guess the contents of those documents and the political repercussions they would have.
“I omitted all the annoying steps. Just sign that paper. Then, you’ll be recognized as the son of the grand chamberlain.”
It was like this.
The reality of marriage.
The father-in-law I had never seen was confined in a villa. I also became the adopted son of someone I never met. Many things were happening that I didn’t know about.
I realized belatedly as I signed the adoption papers how momentous it was to become [the wife of the Duchess of Ivansia].
It was clearly demonstrated by the scenes that I faced a few days later.
“Greetings to the second brightest moon in the empire.”
Even if I was just passing by the academy, the noble ladies and gentlemen recognized me and yielded to me. They were utterly courteous. The rumors had spread to the academy at some point.
“I pay my respects to the lord of the house of Ivansia.”
“Ah. All right…”
“Congratulations on your betrothal. May there be eternal glory to the Ivansias.”
The students stopped talking whenever I walked by. They stopped whatever they were doing and remained silent and polite until I left. The academy’s guards, including the knights, saluted respectfully when they saw me.
There were no exceptions.
Even the academy teachers bowed as if it were natural.
Even when I reached rank 3 in the Tower, even when I became a popular celebrity and was surrounded by crowds… I’d never felt the same way.
‘This is the thing called status.’
I wasn’t a star. I wasn’t an entertainer. These people weren’t surrounding me or using their smartphones to take a picture of my face.
They merely kneeled.
They probably only acted like this in front of me. I would bet that as soon as I left, they would spread all sorts of dirty rumors about my origin and about Raviel and the prince’s unconventional breakup.
However, nobody dared to gossip in front of me.
One day, an academy servant broke a jug of water while moving it. I was just passing by. I wanted to ask, [Are you OK?], but at that moment, six servants prostrated themselves at once.
“We deserve to die!”
“Please. We have gravely erred in our foolishness, so please forgive…!”
I was speechless.
I hadn’t become dumbfounded for some other reason.
No, it was that they seemed to be asking me for forgiveness like it was expected. The fact that I had the [right to forgive them] paralyzed me.
In other words, I could decide to punish them and not forgive them.
It was crazy.
This was definitely crazy.
-What’s the problem? It’s obvious things would turn out like this.
Bae Hu-ryeong said while swimming in the air.
-It’s your Tower, which cares about status and class in name only, that’s weird. Didn’t you know? If you go up to the 50th floor, you’ll find that most towers are defined by hierarchical societies.
I think Bae Hu-ryeong mentioned we would compete with towers from other worlds after the 50th floor.
Bae Hu-ryeong picked his ear with his pinky and blew away the earwax.
-Your husband’s family, Ivansy or whatever, is second only to the imperial family in this world. That means that you’re pretty much a queen, Zombie.
-Congratulations on becoming Cinderella, bro.
The shoulders of the servants lying prostrate in the hallway were trembling.
Suddenly, what Raviel said came to my mind.
『Every citizen of the empire must accept you.』
『My world and my nation need to recognize my marriage.』
This was exactly what she was talking about.
In just a few days, I had risen to the top of the pyramid.
I had reached the pinnacle of power.
‘This is… Raviel’s world.’
‘How should I act?’
Not just as [Kim Gongja]…
Not as the Hunter [Death King]…
But as the [spouse] of the noblest family in this land.
I bent over.
Then, I picked up a fragment of the broken jug.
I quietly placed a fragment in the palm of the servant who had erred.
“Make this into a necklace and wear it on your body.”
I opened my mouth.
“The necklace is the accessory closest to one’s heart. Keep your mistake close to heart. Reflect and repent for it.”
“Don’t wait for me to forgive you. When you yourself think and feel that it is enough, you may forgive yourself. Do you understand?”
I turned and walked away.
That evening, Raviel said to me, “My wife responded thoughtfully.”
I cut some meat with a knife and fork. I was learning table manners over dinner. Raviel moved her hands deliberately and slowly on the other side of the table so that I could watch and learn.
“Um. Well. Did I do well?”
“You were excellent. If you forgave the servant too easily, people would have said, [He isn’t strict because of his humble background. How can he manage the duchy with that attitude?] If you punished them too sternly, the rumor that [He’s getting full of himself when he climbed ranks overnight] would have spread.”
Either way would have struck out.
“People would have cursed you whether you forgave the servants or punished them, wife. In this case, the event itself is not important; the presentation is. You wisely wrapped up the situation by creating a moving story.”
“What happened today has already been disseminated throughout the empire’s social circles. Those with a pure curiosity will admire your heart, and those with thick heads will admire your sagacity. I thought you were an amateur at politics. What magic did my beloved use?”
“…I just thought of you, Raviel.”
My knife split the egg yolk.
The color of a young chick deflated.
“I knew you were working hard in spots that I can’t see.”
“I thought of how much you think of me, and naturally, I thought about you, too.”
I had thought from Raviel’s perspective.
『How should I act to best help my husband?』
“If I forgave the servants, I would have been seen as a soft-hearted duke consort. If I punished them, I would be seen as a strict one. However, I thought that being perceived as a [wise consort] would be the most helpful for you.”
“Why is that?”
“People won’t think that my husband is generous just because her wife acts kindly. Similarly, my strictness doesn’t affect your image.”
The candle on the table went out.
“However, if I am wise, Raviel must also be wise. Choosing a [sensible spouse] is wise in itself.”
Raviel covered her lips with a white napkin.
“You thought of me.”
“Gongja. You’ve already helped me. The people of the world won’t know this, but you’ve saved this world from destruction. You’ll continue to save it in the future. Isn’t it all right for you to do what you wish, even a little?”
I shook my head firmly.
“I’ll be with you all my life, Raviel. For the rest of our lives. I don’t want to obsess over [what I’ve done for Raviel]. I don’t even want to think about it. I want to give you more things, things that are more precious than anything I’ve done for you before.”
“I want it so that meeting me would be the greatest fortune in your life. I hope that being beside me will be your greatest happiness. I want to mean the most to you, Raviel.”
“…It’s not a matter of fortune or happiness.”
Raviel stood up from the table.
She slowly approached me and bent down.
“You are my one miracle.”
Our lips met.
* * *
Of course, not everyone succumbed to the Ivansia name.
“I am! Against! This marriage!”
The Lady of the Golden Silk came to me every day to complain. Since the prince was called away by the emperor, the Lady of the Golden Silk only had me to lament to since she couldn’t speak directly against Raviel.
“But haven’t you already stamped the document?”
“It’s invalid. Invalid! I stamped it because I thought it was a joke!”
“Regardless of what you thought, the papers are legally valid.”
The Lady of the Golden Silk chewed on her fingernails.
“It’s strange. Very strange. Nothing like this happened last time… Did I cause a butterfly effect? No, this is too much for that… Aah, Lord Ox that Harvests Ruins, what is this…?”
The Ox that Harvests Ruins.
I tilted my head as if I was hearing that keyword for the first time.
“What does that mean?”
The Lady on the Golden Silk clamped her mouth shut.
“Whatever. This is probably one of the Lady of the Silver Lily’s schemes!”
“She isn’t the Lady of the Silver Lily. She is to be the duchess soon. Be respectful.”
“Oof. Butler, I really hate you! I’ll never forgive you!”
The Lady of the Golden Silk glared at me and left the room. Slam! The door shut violently, making the hinges creak. She was showing that she would not let this marriage pass by idly. The Lady of the Golden Silk would probably be the biggest obstacle regarding the wedding.
However, I wasn’t worried at all.
There were only ten days left before the wedding.
Someone wearing the costume of the Lady of the Golden Silk burst through the door.
“I think I’ve turned into the heroine of this Apocalypse!”
Sitting in a chair, I smiled.
“Yes! Death King!”
“In ten days, the Constellations of the other worlds will attack.”
I said to my colleague, who had turned from the greatest obstacle to the greatest assistant.
“Please prepare for a holy war, SSS-class zealot.”
To report errors and issues or simp over the Silver Lily Duchess with me, contact me through Discord: https://discord.gg/woopread