SSS-Class Suicide Hunter - Chapter 244 - Era of Heroes(2)
After the two armies retreated, the plain was revealed, upon which the moonlight flowed abundantly. Except, the mountain peak, which was embedded into the middle of the plain, blocked the moonlight.
In the late night, even the stars held their breath.
We walked in the shadow cast at the foot of the mountain peak.
“Is the Venomous Snake really over there?”
Kim Yul nodded his head at my question.
“Are you sure?”
“There is no mistake.”
Kim Yul nodded as he looked down at his notebook. The dim starlight trickled down his silver hair. If I were to say that he had a dignity similar to a veteran detective, it might be said that I was too partial to my family members.
“The location of the barracks has been determined. The lodging of the 7 Heroes was hidden in the heart of the oni camp, but it wasn’t to the extent that phantoms like us couldn’t find them. Family Head. Trust me, and trust the Memorial Squadron that you assigned to assist me.”
Kim Yul was our Family Clan’s Shadow, in other words, he had the role of the Head of the Intelligence Department. And the Memorial Squadron, who was under this Kim Yu had been in charge of the murim’s information since the days of the Demonic Cult.
I was certain that there was no intelligence unit in this world that could defeat our family’s.
Sidestepping the moonlight, we entered the barracks of the oni race.
The path in the barracks was as complicated and winding as a maze. Tents lined both sides of the path, and between those tents, oni who were exhausted from the battle were recovering from their fatigue… snore, snore*… nasal sounds could be heard. (*: Couldn’t think of an onomatopoeia to match, author used ‘pupuhu’ but… well…)
After passing through the barracks and snoring, we finally found a barracks that was a bit more luxurious.
-Cheers! Pour alcohol here too!
That voice was clearly one that had been heard on the battlefield today.
A red drape fluttered, carrying the voices and sounds of drinking from within the barracks
Without a doubt. This was the barracks that the 7 Oni Heroes were staying in, the heart of the enemy camp.
When I asked with my gaze, Kim Yul answered by simply nodding his head.
In that case, there was no reason to hesitate.
“Be right back.”
I stepped into the Venomous Snake’s barracks.
The barracks that the 7 Heroes stayed in was luxurious.
Red silk embroidered the barracks, and wool that was dyed red was placed on the floor like a red carpet. Many soft pillows were scattered here and there, so each of the 7 Heroes could pick a favorite pillow to hug tightly or rest their heads upon.
And they were having a drinking party.
“Hah… you guys seriously like to drink alcohol. Drinking too much is not good for your health— isn’t that a well known fact?”
“Huhu. You’re only complaining because you can’t drink because of your injury. Isn’t that appearance too ugly, Silent Swordsman?”
“Ahhh, I already showed an ugly appearance earlier. Well, I can’t really complain about that.”
While passing and receiving glasses, the 7 Heroes chattered.
They were all the Venomous Snake.
“What the hell are you doing right now…?”
When I muttered that subconsciously, the 7 Oni Heroes, that is to say, the seven Venomous Snakes, shot up like the 7 Dwarves after being fired by Snow White.
“Wh-, what was that!?”
“It’s the enemy!”
“Everyone— Seven Point Star Formation, unfold!”
“Oy oy, hang on… your guys’ heads are full of blood.”
A confused Venomous Snake, a cautious Venomous Snake, a Venomous Snake that calmly grasped the situation and responded promptly, etc. As the various Venomous Snakes all reacted differently, I felt like I was going to lose my mind…
“Ah, please be quiet!”
Eventually, after my shout, the Venomous Snakes all coughed at the same time.
Then, the Sword Princess spoke up as their representative.
“What is it, Death King… why are you here all of sudden so late at night?”
“Why am I here? I came to ask why the war broke out.”
“The reason for the war?”
“Yes. Didn’t you say you’d answer after the fight was over? The fighting has ended. Now answer me.”
The seven Venomous Snakes looked at each other.
Then, one of them scratched the back of his head and answered.
“Well. Basically, it’s a war for dominance.”
“War for dominance?”
“Right. Between the goblin race that you lead, and the oni race that I lead. When you think about it, don’t their attributes overlap?”
I thought about it.
Both were races that were muscular and liked to fight.
“Until now, there was the revival of the arts, the discovery of the New Continent and other things, so they never clashed, but two lions can’t live on the same plain forever, can they? That’s why the King of the Oni decided to determine victory or defeat with the Chairman of the Goblin Council! That’s what was stated in a handwritten letter.”
I didn’t know what to say.
“No. What do you mean two lions… wasn’t that completely covered in the Holy War?”
“Mah! Don’t you know best two out of three?”
“I don’t know… and I don’t want to know. No, in any case. Is that the reason this war broke out?”
“To be honest, the real reason for killing each other is to break their spirit but, well, what can I do? This happened through mutual consent.”
As she spoke, the Sword Princess sharpened her blade on a whetstone with a shuk, ssk sound. Every time the blade brushed against the whetstone, the hem of her clothes fluttered, releasing the faint fragrance of roses.
However, it was the Venomous Snake.
“That’s right. What can I do when it was already agreed upon? Can you understand if you think about it as the brink of life and death of a collective?”
As the Sword Princess spoke, the figure of the tall, slender woman shrugged her shoulders. Her sharp gaze caused the night air to tremble.
However, it was the Venomous Snake.
“In short, the current occurrence can be called a ‘duel war’ where the prides of both races are at stake. We have no right to tear it apart just because the situation doesn’t look too good!”
A girl with pigtails spoke as she bit into an apple. The scene of her intrepid meal which didn’t match her small size was quite cute.
However, it was the Venomous… let’s stop.
“…right. I understand the situation. Then why did you possess seven people at the same time? It’s so distracting I could die.”
“Hmm. The reason is simple.”
This time, it was the sharp young man that replied.
Ever since I had entered the barracks, the young man had been standing with his back against a pillar. Maybe it was just me, but it felt like the angle in which he was covered by the shadow was perfect.
“Possessing several people is much more powerful than possessing one person. It is easier to hold power. We the 7 Heroes are in charge of the oni race. In that way, we can lead the entire oni race however we please.”
The other 7 Heroes nodded their heads one after the other at the calm statement.
“In other words, it is a measure to lead this war in an advantageous manner.”
“As a god who leads a race, don’t you think that’s a good judgment?”
“Ahh, that’s why it’s the 7 Heroes.”
Although it was a fresh and amazing scene, I didn’t dwell on it any more.
With a sigh, I said.
“So, you intend to continue fighting like this in this war? With 7 people?”
“Right. Is there a problem with that?”
I bit my lower lip.
Then I said.
“Questions aside, I have a suggestion.”
“A suggestion? What is it?”
“Please surrender in this war.”
At my words, the mouths of all the Venomous Snakes, who had been laughing and chatting until then, lifted into smiles.
Then, at the same time, they all burst out laughing.
When the seven Venomous Snakes acted as several separate characters, I couldn’t suppress the strange feeling. This was especially so for the more thorough characters.
But now that all of the characters had been abandoned and seven people with different appearances were acting exactly the same, it was no longer ridiculous. Instead, it was grotesque.
I spoke to all of the Venomous Snakes.
“I now understand why the two races are fighting. I also know that I don’t have the authority to stop it.”
“Huh. Is that so?”
“And as a result, I can understand why you said ‘If one side wins overwhelmingly then the damage will be reduced’.”
Since it was a fight that was going to happen anyway and I couldn’t stop it, then, as the Venomous Snake said, if one side won by a landslide, the damage would be much less.
“And to continue along the same logic, it would be the least damaging if one side was to surrender altogether. That’s why I’m telling you this.”
“Wow. This guy knows how to spout such bullshit?”
The seven Venomous Snake spat at the same time.
“How about this, Death King? Your race, not mine, surrenders. Wouldn’t that work? The conclusion would be opposite, but the result would be the same. Wouldn’t it be better to do that?”
“Chun Mu-mun Master. I’m being serious.”
“I’m being serious too, you bastard. Or does it look like I’m playing around?”
Seven pairs of eyes aimed at me like sharp swords.
“I just want to minimize the damage as much as possible.”
“Huh. If that’s the case, the Death King should surrender. Understand?”
“I can’t do that.”
Sighing, I confided in a frank manner.
“The children I lead… the goblins have a pretty bizarre political system. It’s easy for them to unite, but at the same time, it is difficult. And in this current case, it is difficult.”
The Venomous Snakes fiery attitude cooled a bit.
I carried on.
“In order for my children to surrender, I’d first have to possess the strongest child I have. That child also has to agree to my possession. Then, I’d have to put forward the subject of surrendering to the oni and suppress anyone who tries to oppose it.”
And almost every goblin warrior involved in the war would express their opposition to this subject of ‘unconditional surrender’.
The probability that the individual that accepted my possession would be strong enough to take down all of those people was close to zero.
“However, Chun Mu-mun Master. Wouldn’t it be possible for you to easily unite the opinions of the oni?”
I looked at the seven Venomous Snakes one by one.
“You just said it. You can ‘lead the entire oni race however you please’. It would be faster for you to convince the oni than it would be for me to convince the goblins. That’s why I’m asking you.”
“Please, Chun Mu-mun Master. Please listen to me this time. You won’t regret paying that price. You wouldn’t want more of the race you lead to die. So.…”
The Venomous Snake cut me off.
“Lost too much.”
The killing intent in the seven pairs of eyes was subdued.
However, the will in them quietly burned even brighter.
“They lost to the Heretic Questioner, those snails. They had their horns broken off before they reached ten, then they were enslaved with whips.”
That was what occurred in the Tower before we returned.
“After that. The allied army gathered to wash away their resentment. The oni stood on the frontlines. However, your race popped up out of nowhere. Right. As you said, they were completely covered.”
The one who saved the most people in the Tower was the Lord of the Alchemy Castle.
The one who killed the most people in the Tower was the Ten Thousand Temple Master.
“The oni were desperate. Even when other races were reveling in what they called the ‘revival of the arts’, they quietly hid and built up their strength.”
The most feared person in the Tower was the Black Dragon Master, and the noblest person in the Tower was the Crusader.
“Nevertheless, that also backfired. In the end, they ended up being the ones to fall behind in the discovery of the New Continent.”
However, the one who was respected the most by their own guild members— by their own people— was the Chun Mu-mun Master.
There was a story like that.
“Our kids have lost too, too much. They’ve only lost.”
And, it was still happening.
“Nevertheless, you want me to tell those kids to surrender again?”
“I can’t. That’s seriously impossible.”
I understood the Venomous Snake’s words. My suggestion was certainly harsh.
However, I clenched my fist.
“In the end, you will lose again.”
“Because of that big guy Uburka? The one you brought in.”
“It’s a situation where an overwhelming victory is needed to prevent severe damage. Rather than having the seven of you running around on the frontlines and slaughtering my kids, I judged that our kids would die much less if I had Uburka pull out the mountain peak.”
I looked directly at the Venomous Snake as I said that.
However, the seven Venomous Snakes snorted at the same time.
“Death King. Am I a joke to you?”
“Even one of the oni you possessed couldn’t get close to him. It would be the same even if all seven were to rush in at the same time.”
“That’s true. But the thing is, do you really think I don’t have any countermeasures?”
The 7 Oni Heroes, the seven Venomous Snakes, all looked at me with crooked smiles.
“Uhuh. What spoilers should I give… let’s just say… I have a trump card that can turn that muscle pig into class 1 pork…”
“…reality won’t change even if you bluff, Chun Mu-mun Master.”
“Why? Scared? Then you can just die.”
Now that I was in the position of hearing it, I could now understand how the oni felt when they heard it from me.
“In the end, you won’t surrender.”
“Ang. Just like you can’t surrender, this side also ‘can’t’ surrender”
“Then I’ll see you on the battlefield.”
“So it shall be.”
The Venomous Snake and I stared at each other for a while before saying at the same time.
Negotiations broke down.
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