SSS-Class Suicide Hunter - Chapter 207 - Easter Egg(3)
(TL: I really should start reading ahead. The Tower Master is female. Or at least in this instance they are)
After I said ‘I want to talk to you’, the Tower Master stared at my face.
Then, after a few minutes.
The Tower Master nodded and turned around.
“Understood. Follow me.”
I walked behind the Tower Master.
A dilapidated alleyway.
Old houses with tiled roofs lined both sides of the alleyway.
But the atmosphere was not as tidy as Hanok Village(1).
The tiles were old and covered in weeds. Stone walls, which had already collapsed in the past, had never been repaired, and endured the gravity of time in that collapsed state.
‘What kind of hanoks are these?’
Just as I had an uncomfortable feeling and opened my mouth to ask.
“These houses were built during the Japanese Colonial Era(2).”
The Tower Master muttered softly as she walked ahead.
“When the war broke out, this city was wiped out almost instantly. Because of that, there are more traces of the past here than in other places.”
“The Korean War(6·25 War).”
The smell of summer rot drifted up from the sewer.
“These are houses that missed their time to die.”
The procession of tile roofed houses with years of history looked down upon us.
Rather than antiques, it was more like looking faces covered in age spots.
We walked along the stone path to one of the stone walls, opened a lacquered gate, and stepped into a yard where even weeds didn’t seem to grow.
“Please wait here for a moment.”
I sat on the wooden floor and waited.
Not to mention an air conditioner, there wasn’t even a fan, so the only place to cool off was in the shade of the eaves.
Chirp, chirp, chiiirp… irp…
The cicadas chirped in the sunlight.
After a while, the Tower Master returned with a tray.
“I don’t have anything to serve to guests.”
“No, I’m sorry for dropping in so suddenly.”
I politely accepted the cup with both hands.
It was water in a stainless steel cup that was often seen in school cafeterias.
“This might be my first time seeing you.”
The Tower Master sat in front of me and bowed her head.
“I am Ja Soo-jung, a third year from Shinseo Middle School.”
Now that I thought about it, I hadn’t introduced myself.
“I am Kim Gong-ja.”
“Right, Mr. Kim Gong-ja. What did you want to talk to me about?”
I wondered how I should say it.
‘I think you are the Tower Master and I’m wondering why you’re here’?
‘Can you tell me how you made the Tower’?
The question that came out of my mouth was completely different.
“You said your name was Ja Soo-jung…”
“May I ask what it means?”
“I’ll write the characters.”
The Tower Master took a notebook out of her briefcase.
The sharpened pencil scratched black onto the white paper.
‘This is the Tower Master’s name.’
Perhaps that was just the name that she used in this world.
Nevertheless, it was the first name I learned for the Tower Master.
I repeated the pronunciation in my head.
I wouldn’t forget.
“Do you have any other family members living here?”
“I lived with my uncle until last year, but now I live alone.”
“I’m sorry, but may I ask…”
“A robber broke into the house and killed my uncle. The three men who were with my uncle were also killed. The case hasn’t been solved yet, so I can’t really tell you much.”
There were no emotions on the Tower Master’s face when she said those words.
No. There hadn’t been any emotion from the start.
Since the first time we met.
“By chance, do you know anything about the [Tower]?”
“What tower are you talking about?”
“The Tower of Babel. It suddenly appeared in our world one day, and if you just thought that you wanted to enter it, you could get in after going through some procedures. if you entered, you would see a new world… um.”
I got a little embarrassed after saying so much.
It was almost like I was advertising a cult.
I coughed into my hand.
“Anyways, do you really not know?”
The Tower Master shook her head slowly.
“Yes. I don’t know.”
“What about the word [Pillar]? Have you ever heard of [Hunters]?”
“I’m going to guess that the words Mr. Kim Gong-ja is saying have a different meaning from their normal meanings. I only understand the normal meanings of hunter and pillar.”
I wasn’t sure how to say it.
But as the conversation progressed, my strange feeling intensified.
‘She has no memories of being the Tower Master.’
This girl in front of me really didn’t know about the tower.
‘The voice is the same, but the tone is completely different.’
A god who lost their memories.
I’m not sure what information and circumstances were hidden, but the child in front of me didn’t have the memory or authority of the Tower Master.
She was just living the life assigned to her.
It would be pointless to ask her about the Tower now.
I shifted my curiosity.
“You’ve been answering all my questions since early, is that okay? You even said that someone broke in. Mm. What if I was a criminal who is targeting Ms. Ja Soo-jung?”
The Tower Master slowly opened her mouth.
“If Mr. Kim Gong-ja was a criminal, then you wouldn’t have tried to contact me at the intersection, you would have picked somewhere else.”
“I pass under two underpasses on my way home from school. One of them is abandoned. Because the lights there are broken, it’s very dark, and there are many hidden spots. A criminal who planned to attack me would either do so at that underpass, or they would come in the cover of night.”
The Tower Master spoke quietly.
“And when I saw Mr. Kim Gong-ja’s face, I didn’t see any intentions of committing a crime. Mr. Kim Gong-ja’s gaze remained on my face the entire time. Particularly on my eyes. If you were aiming for me, you would have looked at my body, if you were worried I would run away, you would have paid attention to my lower body, and if you thought I would fight back, you would have paid attention to my hands. But Mr. Kim Gong-ja only looked at my face. That is usually how people act when they’re trying to figure out if they know someone.”
“The first thing that Mr. Kim Gong-ja paid attention to was my name. This proves that you were curious about my personal information. Even when I went to get the water, Mr. Kim Gong-ja didn’t try to look around the house. If you were a criminal, you would need to ensure there wasn’t a third party inside the house and how it was structured.”
The Tower Master held the stainless steel cup with both hands.
She took a sip to moisten her throat.
“None of Mr. Kim Gong-ja’s actions are that of a criminal. Therefore, I don’t believe that Mr. Kim Gong-ja is a criminal who harbors ill intentions towards me.”
“So to answer Mr. Kim Gong-ja’s question. Yes, it’s fine.”
The sound of the cicadas echoed throughout the house.
In a daze, I just listened to the sounds of summer.
My mind was blown.
“Y-, you’re very articulate. And smart.”
The Tower Master calmly affirmed my words.
“I am smart.”
That was when I realised.
Even if she had lost her memories, the girl in front of me was not normal.
“That… I’m sorry, but do you mind if I used the restroom…?” 0 “It’s around the back of the house. Be careful when you come back.”
After going to the squat-style toilet, I later realized why the Tower Master said ‘be careful when you come’ and not just ‘come back safely’.
It was as I left the restroom.
I felt a faint presence in a warehouse built on the other side of the backyard.
I couldn’t feel any signs of them moving.
It was as if someone was hiding in the warehouse.
What was it?
Even though it was a hot summer, the back of my neck still felt a bit cold.
As I looked at the warehouse door, the presence remained silent, as if it was trying to avoid my gaze.
‘What really is it?’
I took a step closer.
With each step, the presence became stronger.
And the cold feeling on the back of my neck became more pronounced.
‘Hey. No, what are you doing?’
I tried shooting some of my aura forward just in case, but there was no response.
The presence didn’t fade, and instead continued to grow stronger as I got closer.
I gulped slightly.
Just as I was about to grab the handle of the warehouse door.
Someone grabbed my clothes from behind.
“Don’t go in.”
When I turned around, the Tower Master was looking at me with her expressionless face.
I didn’t notice when she arrived.
“Mr. Kim Gong-ja will scare [those children] if you enter.”
“Uh, children… What do you mean by children…?”
“Please wait here for a moment.”
The Tower Master opened the warehouse door.
When the door opened, the presence increased sharply.
Until now, it felt like someone was stroking the back of my neck, but now, the sensation felt more like someone was scratching it with their nails.
“I’m sorry. A guest came to visit.”
There were a number of curtains scattered around the warehouse.
When the Tower Master pulled one of the curtains aside, all I could see was a full length mirror.
As soon as the mirror was revealed, the sharp presence disappeared as if it had been washed away.
The Tower Master picked up a nearby towel and began to wipe the surface of the mirror.
I couldn’t help but watch the Tower Master from behind.
“Th-, that mirror. Isn’t there something strange about it?”
“Yes. It’s a strange child.”
“I think it might hurt people…”
“This child won’t hurt anyone anymore.”
The Tower Master took back the rag and once again covered the mirror with the curtain.
I felt the presence again, but it wasn’t as harsh as before.
It felt like it was acting more obedient now.
“Isn’t it possible that it may cause harm in the future?”
“Humans are the same.”
I heard a cat’s cry from my feet.
Without me realizing it, a [puppy doll] had climbed onto my feet.
Without a doubt, the sound of a cat’s meow was coming from this puppy doll which had no mouth or vocal chords.
“Th-, this is?”
It was a name that shouldn’t have been given to a puppy doll.
“Never pet his head just because you think it’s cute.”
“What would happen if I pet it?”
“Until he finds his next owner, Mr. Kim Gong-ja would make a meowing sound every 6 seconds.”
“For now, I put him in a puppy doll and he’s calm. He’s still wondering if he’s a cat or a dog, so he’s been putting off finding an owner. He’s a child who worries about his own identity first before relying on others.”
“This… isn’t this a bit dangerous?”
“It’s fine. Once he has established his identity, I’ll move him to a squirrel doll.”
“Then he’ll start wondering if he’s a squirrel or not for about a year. It’s safe as long as I change his body every 10 to 13 months. No, Mr. Meow. Don’t bother the guest. Please come over here.”
The Tower Master grabbed the puppy doll by the neck.
The doll who was contemplating its identity was placed on a shelf.
“Oh my god…”
In shock, I looked around the warehouse.
Countless items were displayed on similar shelves.
A frame hung on the wall, and when I looked at it, the picture changed to Raviel.
“…what is that?”
“Whoever looks at that child will see the one they love the most.”
The Tower Master spoke calmly as if that wasn’t a big deal.
“Don’t look at it for too long. The more you look, the more you forget about the one you love the most. And in contrast to your fading memories, the image will become more and more alive. Eventually, when all the memories of the person you love the most disappears, the image of the person you love the second most will take its place.”
I quickly looked away.
“Wh-, why do you collect these things?”
“If they were in another place, they would bother people.”
“B-, but aren’t you scared? After all, they’re like ghosts.”
“That’s a strange question.”
The Tower Master tilted her head to the side.
“If we’re talking about ghosts, Mr. Kim Gong-ja also has one”
The Tower Master pointed her finger behind me.
“There is a rugged muscular ghost behind Mr. Kim Gong-ja.”
Where her finger was pointing, Bae Hu-ryeong was floating.
Bae Hu-ryeon was startled.
-What the hell? You can see me?
An expression that only I could see and a voice that only I could hear.
However, the Tower Master responded to Bae Hu-ryeongs question as if it was natural
She was the first person other than me who could see Bae Hu-ryeong.
1.Hanoks are traditional Korean-style houses.
2.In 1910, Korea was annexed by the Empire of Japan. After years of war(and other factors), the country was considered a part of Japan until 1945.)
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