SSS-Class Suicide Hunter - Chapter 209 - Cheat(2)
“…my lover always forces me to make difficult choices.”
Raviel paused to take a deep breath.
But then stopped the breath halfway.
Afterward, she just stroked my earlobe gently. I knew that she’d been about to sigh before the thought [I don’t want to sigh in the face of my beloved] popped into her mind.
“I understand that it’s worth it. If I were in your shoes, I would have wanted the same. I understand that in my head, but… my heart doesn’t want to allow it.”
It was natural.
Raviel’s words applied to me as well.
If my role had been reversed with Raviel, I wouldn’t have wanted to allow it either.
“Have you thought of a way to persuade that child?”
Raviel looked at Ja Soo-jung’s back.
“All I’ve seen until now was a person with a strong will. No, rather than being someone with a strong will, she’s more like will that took human form.”
Ja Soo-jung’s eyes were able to see Raviel and Uburka [as they were].
For others, Raviel’s silver hair shined black, and Uburka’s green skin just looked like a darker skin tone. Their perceptions were deceived.
However, that change in perception did not work for Ja Soo-jung.
“The day before, she didn’t even bat an eye when she saw Uburka. She’s that kind of person. I don’t think she’d accept it just because you tell her you want to die.”
That point was where our thoughts differed.
However, I asked Raviel for her consent first.
“Then will Raviel allow me to act?”
Raviel revealed her condition.
“As long as you die in front of my eyes.”
“If you die in front of me, I’ll allow it.”
“I’ll do it.”
“It’s time to eat, everyone.”
Ja Soo-jung walked in with a tray. Uburka also brought bowls in both hands. Chogye Guksu(*). The noodles were rolled up in the bowl and ice floated around them. (*: Noodles(국수-guksu) in Chilled Chicken Soup(초계-chogye)
“Thank you for the food.”
With a slurp, I took a mouthful of the soup.
The cool dongchimi(*) broth filled my mouth. (*: Radish water Kimchi)
“…isn’t this really delicious?”
Unknowingly, I made an expression of amazement.
“Wow, it’s so delicious. It seems you’re really good at cooking.”
“It’s a hot day, so I made Chogye Guksu.”
Ja Soo-jung spoke.
“The gem that Miss Raviel gave me was quite expensive, so the table won’t be lacking for a while.”
“It was a worthwhile gift.”
Two days before, Raviel had given her an emerald, claiming that it was in return for letting us stay.
Even someone like me, who knew nothing about gemology, could tell that it was ridiculously expensive.
At first, Ja Soo-jung refused, saying it was [excessive], but she finally acquiesced when Raviel said [I’m the one who decides whether it’s excessive or not. Or does the landlady intend to treat me as a beggar instead of a guest?].
As expected of the Ivansia Duchy. The richest family in the empire.
Although that family was my family.
“…Daddy. Your face is really ugly right now. Can you not smile while you’re eating? As your son, it’s really embarrassing.”
“By the way. What did you do with the gem?”
I changed the subject.
“It probably isn’t easy for a student to easily turn a gem into money.”
“One of my classmates is Lee Mi-ho. She’s the third daughter of one of the largest groups in the secondary finance and construction industries. Since she’s the daughter of one of the local bigshots, I asked her to take care of it.”
Local bigshot + secondary finance + construction… uhh.
‘Is it a gangster!?’
Did she ask her classmate from a gangster family to get rid of the gem?
I looked at Ja Soo-jun who was eating her noodles. There was no telling what kind of life hid behind that expressionless face, but it was definitely not ordinary.
Ja Soo-jun tilted her head to the side.
“Is something wrong?”
“N-, n-, no. I was just thinking that your friendship was very interesting… Is it really okay to say all of that to an outsider like me?”
Ja Soo-jung’s answer was short.
“Because Mr. Kim Gong-ja asked.”
“…to clarify your meaning. You’re not saying it’s because I’m a special person, but because you were asked a question, right?”
“Yes. That’s right.”
I closed my mouth.
I’d felt this since we first met two days ago.
‘This person. Has no barriers.’
She responded to anyone’s requests and questions.
At least up to now, she hadn’t refused anything. Not even once.
When I said I wanted to talk to her, and when I asked if it would be okay for Raviel and Uburka to stay here, Ja Soo-jung said [yes] without any hesitation.
“Excuse me. Miss Ja Soo-jung.”
After dinner was over.
I decided to test that theory.
“I’m sorry, but can I ask you a favor?”
“Yes. Anything I can do to help.”
“Please sit on the table.”
Ja Soo-jung tilted her head to the side.
Her blonde hair slipped to one side.
“The table is not a place to sit, Mr. Kim Gong-ja.”
“Yes. I know that. But please.”
Ja Soo-jung slowly climbed onto the table and sat down.
Raviel, who was watching the two of us, furrowed her eyebrows slightly, and Uburka’s eyes widened.
I made another request, already believing that my judgment was correct.
“Can you please put your hand on my head?”
Ja Soo-jung put her hand on my bangs.
I continued asking.
“I’m hungry. I’d like to eat some yakitori as a late night snack. Please make it.”
“…Mr. Kim Gong-ja.”
Ja Soo-jung scolded me gently.
“Using me for your convenience might end up adversely affecting Mr. Kim Gong-ja in the future. Also, late night snacks are bad for your health. As far as I can tell, you’re not actually hungry, you’re just making these requests to understand my behavior.”
“Yes. You’re right. So please.”
Ja Soo-jung nodded before going to get the shopping basket.
She was really going to leave the house to buy the ingredients for yakitori.
“Wait a minute.”
Raviel grabbed Ja Soo-jung’s shoulder. With the situation progressing this far, Raviel couldn’t help but step in.
“Miss Ja Soo-jung. Just to be clear, if a stranger on the street asks you for help and tells you to follow them, would you?”
Ja Soo-jung agreed without hesitation.
“Anything I can do to help.”
“This might be a bit of an extreme example, but what if someone requested to hold you captive in an abandoned facility for a year?”
“Yes. Anything I can do to help.”
Raviel closed her mouth.
After a while, she muttered ‘indeed’.
“This… is dangerous.”
Raviel and I met each other’s eyes.
I showed my agreement by nodding my head.
“Right. It’s dangerous, Raviel.”
“…she’s smart, so she can see the other party’s true intentions. She can grasp what their goal is. However, if the other party asks her something sincerely, she will never refuse. No, it should be more like it’s impossible for her to refuse.”
Raviel furrowed her eyebrows.
“I’m convinced by what just happened. As Gong-ja said, this child is the Tower Master. At the very least, she’s not a human who was born and raised in a normal manner.”
“Yeah. It would be better to say her personality was [entered] instead of [formed].”
Just like an AI that responded to conditions.
She was a person who answered requests.
“Miss Ja Soo-jung.”
I knelt in front of the little blond child.
It was only then that our eyes met.
Ja Soo-jung, who was still holding the shopping basket, looked at me.
“I am from another world. Raviel and Uburka are also travelers from other worlds.”
Ja Soo-jung’s expression didn’t change even after hearing those absurd words.
Instead, she just nodded her head slightly as if she expected it.
“Skill card, open.”
I took out a gold card.
[Returner’s Clockwork Watch]
Effect: Activates automatically upon death. Returns to 24 hours before death. Even after returning, all memories and stats are retained.
※However, the higher the Hunter’s rank, the more the penalty will increase.
※This skill was copied from Hunter Yoo Soo-ha.
I showed my trump card as proof.
“There are skills in our worlds. Skills that allow us to move through space and even turn back time.”
“As you can see, I have a skill that would stop me from dying even if I die. By showing you this skill, I would like to ask Miss Ja Soo-jung a favor. Please kill me one time.”
“For what reason?”
“I believe that you are the god that rules over our worlds.”
I looked Ja Soo-jung straight in the eyes.
“Our god implants terminals in every world on behalf of himself. The person who lives the unhappiest life becomes the candidate to become one of those terminals.”
“Are you saying that I am a terminal?”
Then I started talking.
The story of how I came into the Tower. The story of the Director and Kim Yul. The things I experienced in the Tower, when I met Master, when I met Raviel. I dedicated my life as proof to the child in front of me.
The story continued for an hour and a half, but Ja Soo-jung silently looked at me the entire time.
Finally, I closed my lips and waited for her reaction.
“…according to Mr. Kim Gong-ja, there is a chance that I am a terminal of the Tower Master. The idea of using a contradiction to bring out the administrator and learn the truth about the administrator makes sense.” 0 Ja Soo-jung stretched out a hand.
“You are a diligent person, Mr. Kim Gong-ja.”
Slim fingers brushed my bangs aside.
“Not too long ago, senior Kim Yul suddenly disappeared.” (TL: Would you guys prefer ‘senior’ or ‘sunbae’. E.g Kim Yul sunbae)
“Not just senior Kim Yul, but also many other people disappeared. The ones who bullied senior Kim Yul. No one seemed to notice their disappearance except me. I thought that it was pretty strange, but Mr. Kim Gong-ja’s story explained it.”
Ja Soo-jun stroked my hair.
“If you do meet the Tower Master, I’d appreciate it if you could pass on a message for me.”
“What is it?”
Ja Soo-jung spoke softly.
But those words made me numb for a moment.
“I love this city, and I love the children who live in it. I love the sound of the radio that drifts through the old window next door, and I love the chirps of the cicadas in the summer.”
And I realized I’d misunderstood something.
The child in front of me was never like an AI.
Without emotions of her own, it would have been even more difficult to listen to the questions and requests of others.
‘She sees all of us as [children].’
She just saw us as children to look after.
Even the strange monsters sleeping in the warehouse.
From the way she was talking now.
It showed that even if she knew it was wrong, she wouldn’t refuse a request.
In short, this child was a ‘mommy’.
“So please tell them not to worry about me.”
“I’ll definitely tell them.”
“Give me a knife.”
I handed over a dagger holstered at my waist.
Ja Soo-jun took the dagger and swung it a few times.
As soon as she got the hang of it, she turned to me.
Raviel looked at me without saying a word.
“Mr. Kim Gong-ja, I might not be able to do it in one shot since I’m weak.”
“I’m prepared. This isn’t my first time experiencing this…”
“I’m sorry if it’s painful. I apologize in advance.”
Cold iron pierced my throat before I could finish my sentence.
My vision split into pieces like a broken window.
As pain spread through the cracks, I couldn’t help but feel shock in the corner of my brain that was still working.
‘No, no matter how you look at it. She’s a student, but she still stabbed me in the throat without hesitation…’
My body swayed.
If I wasn’t mistaken, Ja Soo-jung swung the dagger one more time.
In my broken vision, I could see that Ja Soo-jung’s face was still expressionless.
But her lips were moving.
“I wish you luck.”
My consciousness faded.
Accompanied by the sound of my death.
[You have died.]
[Your Hunter Rank is now B rank.]
[The trauma of the enemy who killed you is being materialized.]
[The data necessary for materialization will be extracted from your memories.]
[The data to materialize the trauma has been rejected.]
[Requesting data from Zrakua… Failed. Rejected.]
[Unable to materialize trauma.]
[Requesting approval from Zrakua.]
[Approval from Zrakua has been denied.]
[This issue is not on Zrakua’s agenda.]
[Unable to deal with this issue.]
[Manifesting ‘Lord of Manseng’.]
“ —Oh my god.”
No, ‘something’ grabbed my chin.
“You can be so mean.”
It was a voice like red silk soaked in peach juice for several days before finally being pulled out and wrung dry, causing sweet juice to splash everywhere.
“As much as This One(*) enjoys sowing coincidences in spring and harvesting them in the fall, this one was unexpected.”(*: This One represents an ancient(humble) way of addressing oneself. I couldn’t think of a better alternative)
It was also a voice like a hundred vipers sticking out their long, thin tongues and digging them into my ears.
“How dare you try to peek into This One’s past.”
I opened my eyes.
In a dark space, a young girl smiled at me.
The girl looked exactly like Ja Soo-jung that had just been in front of me. Except for one thing.
“The first time, I was persuaded by logic, and the second time I pretended not to notice. The third time, I admired your spirit so I went easy on you. Foolishly.”
“Finally, today is the fourth time, so I guess it can be considered This One’s mistake.”
The [Lord of Manseng] had purple eyes.
“Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that the side road is straight, or that cheating is accepted as a standard. Death King. You really did something interesting this time.”
A dark color like purple couldn’t really illuminate anything.
But the Tower Master’s purple shined in the darkness.
It was a light that shined not on someone’s face, but directly on their heart.
“How should I scold this cute, naughty boy?”
“I don’t recommend you keep your mouth shut like a mute. If you know what This One can do to you, then you’ll realize that the most foolish thing you could do is stay quiet. So speak up.”
I opened my mouth.
“Nice to officially meet you.”
And smiled brightly.
For the first time, I looked at the face of the being who created this Tower.
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