SSS-Class Suicide Hunter - Chapter 226 - If (4)
Chapter 226. < If (4) >
The next explosion occurred a bit closer, causing the entire building to shake.
The Guild Priests of the Ten Thousand Temple used their aura together to create a shield. Inside the shield, the Heretic Questioner, Kim Gong-ja and Ja Soo-jung struggled to remain standing.
-As expected, the products of America are impressive!
Despite the terrorism, the Heretic Questioner’s expression was still bright.
-It’s a good thing this facility wasn’t destroyed!
-I’m grateful. Mr. Heretic Questioner.
Ja Soo-jung brushed dust off of her face.
She was as calm as usual.
-However, this situation won’t just end here. The number of followers in the organisation that planned this terrorism is above 5 million. The number of explosions could increase.
-Did you say they have 5 million followers!? How many of them are believers, and how many of them would be willing to take action? Ahaha. Faith is an abstract concept, but death is real.
-Nevertheless, even if it’s one in a thousand. No, even if only one in ten thousand takes action, that’s still 500 people. 500 explosions.
The man in charge of the Tower’s religion fixed his cap.
-And 500 is a number we [can afford].
-It would be nice if we could have identified the terrorists and wipe them out in advance. But it’s already too late. So, since I’m the one who made the mistake, I will take charge of the clean up!
Ja Soo-jung hesitated for a moment.
For her, this was unusual.
-The clean up.
-Of course, I will kill all of the suspicious individuals. It might be difficult to reduce 5 million to 250 thousand, but it wouldn’t be hard to reduce 500 to 250, again to 125, and again to less than 50.
-The Black Dragon Master will declare martial law again! It’s been seven years. Aha, we had peace for a long time.
Kim Gong-ja was at a loss for words.
The walls shook again.
That was also a bomb.
Kim Gong-ja spoke without realizing it.
-How can you say something like that?
The Heretic Questioner turned to look at Kim Gong-ja.
As he asked this, Kim Gong-ja looked at those eyes that could be described as ‘innocent’. Reptilian eyes could also be called innocent. The Heretic Questioner was smiling with the innocence of a beast.
-Why can’t I say it?
-Thinking, speaking and acting in this manner leads to quicker and clearer conclusions. So why shouldn’t I talk like this? Is it because it offends Mr. Part-timer?
-That’s not the problem…
-No, that is the problem. Someone has to do it anyway. If it’s something that needs to be done anyway, it would be better to do it without the unnecessary rhetoric. It is the virtue of a politician to carry about the mood of the public, but we all agreed to leave [that] to the Black Dragon Master a long time ago!
Kim Gong-ja grit his teeth.
A small hand rested on his shoulder as he was about to shout.
It was Ja Soo-jung.
-Don’t try to change him. There is no time now. Instead, it would be better to use him.
-Although it’s surprising, the person in front of Mr. Gong-ja now is [someone who can be persuaded].
After hearing those words, Kim Gong-ja thought hard.
‘We need to reduce the number of bombing victims as much as possible. However, we can’t just sacrifice innocent people because they appear suspicious. What can I do? How can I persuade the Heretic Questioner, and use him…’
Kim Gong-ja realized something.
-It’s the Ten Thousand Temple.
The Heretic Questioner paused.
-It’s the Ten Thousand Temple.
Kim Gong-ja spoke urgently.
-You’re the ones that captured the Vice Religious Leader. He died. But he didn’t just die in the Ten Thousand Temple, you killed him personally!
Until a short while ago, the Heretic Questioner’s left hand had been covered in blood.
The Heretic Question tilted his head to the side.
-Yes. That’s right?
-But how did the [young man who streamed the video from the square] find out that the Vice Religious Leader was dead so quickly?! He couldn’t have used clairvoyance, nor could he have looked into the Ten Thousand Temple’s torture chamber,
Kim Gong-ja saw the Heretic Questioner’s eyes shake.
-That means a traitor within the Ten Thousand Temple relayed the information about the Vice Religious Leader’s death! To his comrades!
The Heretic Questioner tried to make a cross sign. It was unclear if he intended to increase the power of the shield, or if he was trying to kill the aides present, or the Ten Thousand Temple’s officers.
It remained unknown.
Because with the roar of an explosion.
The world seemed to flip upside down.
It became upright again before flipping over once again.
Before he knew what was happening, Kim Gong-ja found himself lying on the ground. Except for the feeling of something covering his back, something very warm, Kim Gong-ja couldn’t feel anything.
It also felt like he could hear the cries of cicadas inside his ears.
Then, through his broken hearing, he heard someone mutter.
-There was an unnecessarily quick witted bastard here.
Kim Gong-ja didn’t know who it was.
But he knew it was not the voice of the Heretic Questioner, and definitely not the voice of Ja Soo-jung. In that case, it could only be one of the Ten Thousand Temple Priests that had been there.
The footsteps of the owner of the voice could be heard as they walked somewhere.
-It’s a pity. We could have used you for a long time.
Who were they talking to?
-All you had to do was act like a doll and move like a doll. Ten Thousand Temple Master.
-However, we can’t do anything with a broken doll. Except throw it away. Fortunately, today’s a big day, so this loss shouldn’t be too bad…
And Kim Gong-ja forever lost the chance to see the traitor’s face.
There was a flash, then a scream.
Then, the man who had been reveling in the success of his betrayal could no longer make a sound. Although he’d been able to betray his boss, his boss hadn’t fully trusted him. No, the traitor had failed to realize the fact that his boss had never fully trusted anyone in the first place.
A small hand patted Kim Gong-ja’s cheek.
-Are you alright? Are you alive?
-Well, seeing as the first thing you did was swear, I guess you really are the Flame Emperor’s subordinate. What is your name?
-If you can swear and say your name, then you are at least half alive. Can you open your eyes, Mr. Kim Gong-ja?
Kim Gong-ja opened his eyes.
Through his red tinted vision, he saw the Heretic Questioner was smiling at him.
Kim Gong-ja realized that his red vision wasn’t just because he himself was bleeding.
-Good. That’s a relief. At least there is one person who knows what’s going on left.
The Heretic Questioner was also covered in blood.
There was also the stench of blood on his breath.
-Ten Thousand Temple, Master….
-What about Manager Ja Soo-jung…?
Kim Gong-ja opened his mouth with difficulty. What about Ja Soo-jung. The Heretic Questioner just said [at least there is one person left]. Kim Gong-ja hoped that was just an error in his arithmetic.
-Now is not the time to care about others.
The Heretic Questioner coughed up a mouthful of blood.
It was excessively bright blood.
It wasn’t just blood, there were also bits of flesh mixed in with it.
Kim Gong-ja finally spoke.
The Heretic Questioner raised one hand to stop him. 0 -There’s no need. It wouldn’t be in time. I can’t survive.
-If you don’t try…
-I don’t need to try to know. Rather, it’s more efficient to just do what I can now…
The Heretic Questioner coughed up some more blood.
Blood splashed on Kim Gong-ja’s cheek.
Almost subconsciously, Kim Gong-ja got to his feet. He was reminded of when he went to the amusement park with the Director when he was much younger, and the way the world spun when he came off of the rollercoaster.
When he got up, the thing clinging to his back slipped down and fell to the ground, but he refused to pay any attention to it.
Kim Gong-ja was finally able to get a proper look at the Heretic Questioner.
He had been sitting in front of Kim Gong-ja. However, Kim Gong-ja wasn’t sure whether he could call this posture sitting.
The Heretic Questioner, who had been torn in half at the waist, opened his mouth.
-As Mr. Kim Gong-ja implied, I believe this terrorist attack was more prepared than I expected. It was my mistake.
-Don’t talk about that… now, your body.
-It’s the opposite. I have to talk about this now that I’m in this state,
The blood and cough.
-Ahh, so this is what it looks like when America’s proud products explode inside… It must look like this in the other places too, urp.
-Ten Thousand Temple Master, don’t talk, those people…
-Instead of bringing the others, here.
The Heretic Questioner pulled something out of his pocket.
A small doll, and a hand mirror with a black dragon around the border.
The Heretic Questioner smiled at Kim Gong-ja who accepted it subconsciously.
-The first one is called an idol. It represents my proxy. For the time being, the Ten Thousand Temple is now yours.
Kim Gong-ja froze.
-As I said before. Mr. Kim Gong-ja is the only one here who can move.
Kim Gong-ja grit his teeth.
He didn’t turn around or look back.
The Heretic Questioner continued.
-However, to be honest, I don’t know if this symbol has any meaning… I don’t know if the system I created will continue to work after my death. Nevertheless, it’s better than nothing. For now, it’s the second item that’s the most important. This mirror.
-It’s called the Black Dragon Mirror. It is used to communicate with the other guild leaders… They are emergency tools given to us by the Black Dragon Master. Tell them you’re my proxy…
The Heretic Questioner stopped speaking.
Kim Gong-ja waited for him to continue.
It took him a while to realize it wouldn’t come.
Kim Gong-ja opened his mouth.
-Ten Thousand Temple Master?
There was no answer.
There would no longer be any answer.
-Ten Thousand Temple Master.
Life carried on mercilessly, and disappeared without warning.
Kim Gong-ja stood quietly in the ruined room, looking down at the two relics in his hands.
It wasn’t too long after.
Determination spread across his face.
-I have to move…
He was an unknown E Rank Hunter, but fortunately, the Heretic Questioner wasn’t the only one who’d died. And Kim Gong-ja wasn’t the only survivor. People were moving around desperately, and as a result of that, he could hear their voices.
A sound came from the mirror in his hand.
-Children. Are you alive, children? Answer me if you are.
Kim Gong-ja knew the owner of the voice.
There was probably no one in the Tower who didn’t know.
-Black Dragon Guild Master?
-Huh? What the… Who are you?
Kim Gong-ja took a deep breath.
Then, he briefly explained the situation.
For a moment, there was silence on the other side of the mirror, then the voice spoke.
-Right. Well. I guess that child is no longer living.
-…You believe me?
-Mhm. I received a skill from the Crusader in the past. It roughly… Ah, shit.
The Black Dragon Master murmured for a while.
Her voice wasn’t just thick with saliva, it was thick with blood.
-Are you injured?
-A bit. It’s been a while since I was stabbed by an assassin…
The 2nd Ranked Hunter.
A being who held the greatest authority in the Tower both in name and in reality.
Kim Gong-ja was still able to reason his composure despite hearing that such a figure had almost been assassinated. Perhaps his reason had just been paralyzed by the series of major incidents.
No other voices sounded apart from the voices of Kim Gong-ja and the Black Dragon Master. Even after Kim Gong-ja had taken a while to explain the entire situation, no one joined the communication. The Black Dragon Master quietly said what this implied
-This is a major hit. Perhaps the second largest since the Tower was built.
-Well, there were a lot of grudges…
-The guys who tried to kill me were the Chief and Deputy Chief of the American Foreign Affairs Office. I thought it was just another power play, but, fuck… those CIA bastards… They are even using fake bastards to fuck with us now…?
-Where are you, Black Dragon Master? I’ll come see you.
A laugh joined the coughing.
-What could you do after coming here? You’re not Miss Secretary or your Master.
This was something that Kim Gong-ja knew better than anyone else.
-But I can’t stay still either.
There was a hint of sorrow in the Black Dragon Master’s voice.
And a very brief sigh.
But the sorrow soon gave way to cold calculation.
-However, you have no power. I don’t need that.
Before Kim Gong-ja could react, the Black Dragon Master continued.
-Usually, in situations like this, the guild leaders would hold a meeting to decide a leader. But in this situation…
-Black Dragon Master….
-I will take command.
The Black Dragon Master took a deep breath.
-From this moment onward.
The owner of the city said.
Her voice didn’t just flow out of the Black Dragon Mirror.
Instead, it flowed through the already ruined Babylon Square, the streets, the slums. Her voice flowed from the street lights installed on every street, and the speakers that were attached to them.
-I declare martial law. I am the leader of the Black Dragon Guild, the Black Dragon Master. I will say it again. I hereby declare martial law as of this time.
The sound of blood flowing could be heard between the Black Dragon Master’s words.
-Currently, the outside world has mobilized an unknown number of enemies and caused several explosions in the Tower. I have lost contact with the other Guild Leaders. The casualties might be anywhere from the thousands to the tens of thousands.
The sound of a cough.
-Anyway. The Tower hasn’t belonged to anyone since it was built. There were those who killed people while claiming that the Tower belonged to God, there were those who killed people while claiming the Tower belonged to the Federation*, and there are those who killed people while claiming that the Tower belonged to the underground. (*: This could be ‘federation-합중국’ or it could be a mistake and should instead be ‘The United States-미합중국’. There have been enough errors in the raws that I can’t be sure.)
The fact that the person in authority who was issuing the orders was bleeding, could be clearly heard in the crumbling Babylon Square.
-However, decades later, we can bluntly say that this Tower is ours. It is our territory. We are the Tower’s humans. The sky in the Tower is our airspace. The rivers in the Tower are our waterways. The land in the Tower is our land. And we call those who invade our sky, water and land our enemies.
The Black Dragon Master swallowed her saliva.
Perhaps she was swallowing blood.
Carrying that bloody scent, the Black Dragon Master’s cry burst through the speakers.
-This is war.
The sound echoed simultaneously through all the streets where the speakers were installed.
-This… is war.
It echoed even from the back of a mother, who was cradling her child beneath a speaker.
-In this situation where the security of the Tower has been compromised, the Black Dragon declares martial law and declares that we will win this war as quickly as possible. And I promise. I will grant revenge without mercy to the enemies who dared to rock the Tower.
(TL: One more ‘IF’ to go)
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