SSS-Class Suicide Hunter - Chapter 90 - Dead Ends are the Norm (3)
Translator: thursdays Editor: Sasha PR: LightBrin
“What a mess……”
I muttered. It was nuts.
In this old warehouse where the moonlight shined through large iron bars, the Heretic Questioner laughed. His face was seriously bright for a situation that was no different from being imprisoned.
“Ah, when I was a child, I was often dressed up as a girl. I didn’t know that I would really get the role of a young lady. This is another life experience!”
“I want a bit of your limitless positive energy….”
“The world is beautiful. Death King! Think positively!”
Did this person ever stop smiling?
Even if a meteorite fell in front of him, he’d probably say, ‘Oh, what a disaster! The world is ending! It can’t be helped. We did our best!’ Then, he would just laugh.
“What makes you so positive?”
“This, right now!”
The Heretic Questioner wiggled his hands and made a hand seal. Then, he whispered quietly.
“Sacred Technique, Transformation.”
Light spilled through his slender fingers. It was the patented sacred technique of the Heretic Questioner. Since he said transformation, it should be a technique that changed something… Firstly, I couldn’t see any changes based on his appearance.
But as soon as the Heretic Questioner opened his mouth, I realized just what the transformation was.
“How is it?”
Immediately, I got goosebumps.
“Do I seem a bit like a young lady?”
“Your voice is……”
“Yes! I changed the structure of my vocal cords slightly.”
The Heretic Questioner smiled.
“People already tell me that my voice is androgynous. A little adjustment makes it more appropriate. Aha, but I can’t judge my own voice objectively! So how is it?”
“It’s wonderful…?” Honest admiration spilled out from my lips. “You have the air of a dignified noble. Uh, well. If you just keep your mouth shut.”
I stroked my chin.
Unexpectedly, we possessed the roles of the [female lead and her butler]. But the Heretic Questioner and I could cope with that. The Heretic Questioner had his holy techniques….
And I had regression skills.
We could challenge this.
The Heretic Questioner peeked up and looked at my face.
“Your expression has relaxed a little.”
“Since you came back from the Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon, your face has been dark. Death King. You must have built up quite a lot of stress when you attacked the Apocalypse.”
For a moment, I was at a loss for words.
“Well, of course—you lost your beloved master! So I was also worried about this team. I was worried that Death King wouldn’t be able to show his skills due to his sadness, but my worry was baseless.”
“…Anyway, are you saying you can guess someone’s emotions by looking at their face?”
“Yes! I don’t know how it feels to be depressed, but I can understand it conceptually! Haha. Machines creak when grease gets stuck. Stress may be humanity’s grease. If it sticks around for a long time, it clumps together and becomes difficult to clean, so take care!”
How fascinating. Was he trying to understand humans in his own way? He was a psycho, but he was a praiseworthy psycho.
“By the way, Death King.”
“Something struck me as strange from earlier.”
“From my understanding, we’re currently being imprisoned unlawfully. Our freedom of movement is suppressed.”
“That is also how I understand our situation.”
“I’m glad we see it the same way! And usually in this sort of case, guards are set up to monitor the prisoners. Otherwise, we can easily try to escape.”
The Heretic Questioner tilted his head.
“Now, I can’t feel any presence outside the door, but I do feel a presence at the window. Hmm. In this world, do they place guards at the windows, not in front of the doors?”
At that moment.
“Damn it! Attack!”
Shadows jumped in from the window as the iron bars fell out.
“It doesn’t matter if you kill the man! Just don’t hurt the woman!”
The shadows were wearing masks on their faces. Their outfit concept was too grim for them to be guests who had come to check on us out of worry. Anybody could see that it was a surprise attack by unwelcome gatecrashers.
I pulled out the Holy Sword. Chaang! My sword clashed against the attacker’s sword.
The back-and-forth wasn’t much different from the attack scenes shown in movies. The conversation could be summarized with: ‘Who are you!’ ‘You don’t need to know! But we have a powerful backer!’ Both my opponent and I were busy swinging our swords.
But I had a cheap trick up my sleeve.
The Holy Sword lit up.
The attacker, whose eyes had become accustomed to the darkness, closed his eyes tightly for an instant. In a battle of swords, an outcome could be decided in an instant.
I blinked alternately with my left and right eyes to secure my sight, and then attacked my opponent’s wrist.
A scream mixed into his voice like it was marbling.
“Death King! You can’t kill them all! We need to figure out the mastermind, so save some!”
I did as he said.
The Heretic Questioner was also playing an active role as the hem of his dress fluttered.
“Impossible! T-this isn’t an ordinary girl!”
The attackers were astonished. They weren’t particularly skilled. No, was it our skills that were too great? Small fry that couldn’t even use Aura couldn’t handle us.
In the end, the four attackers were quickly overpowered. One of them was killed by the Heretic Questioner during the fight.
The Heretic Questioner smoothly wiped off the blood that had gotten on his face with the sleeve of his dress. The attackers looked up at that Heretic Questioner. Their faces were pale with fear.
“I heard she was a weak noble girl… How did this…?”
“Everyone, you have three options!”
The Heretic Questioner beamed, holding a dagger.
“First, if you ask me to kill you right here, you’ll just die! Second, I can torture you in turn and get you to reveal any important information! Third, you can obediently confess everything, and you won’t be tortured or killed! Which option do you choose?”
The person who seemed to be the oldest among the assailants scoffed. It was the man whose wrist I broke.
“Crazy bitch. I’d rather die!”
The Heretic Questioner’s dress turned a little redder.
A dull, percussive sound rang through the warehouse.
His head had fallen to the floor.
Two attackers were left.
“Everyone, have you finished making your choice?”
“P-please spare us. Young Miss. We were just hired to do this!”
“It’s hard to survive in this world. I understand.”
“But just as I understand your situation, you must understand my position! Please tell us why you attacked us. In exchange, I’ll let you go alive. I think I’m making a lot of concessions in this deal.”
The attackers wavered.
“Ah. You seem to be hesitating. I understand! I’ll help you a little so you can make up your mind!”
“That. When you say help us….”
“I’ll whip you into shape.”
As always, the Heretic Questioner was smiling.
“Pain is proof that you are alive. When one’s pain reaches its maximum, one’s survival instinct also peaks. All right. I’ll maximize your desire to live.”
“S, spare us!”
“Please save us!”
This was insane.
I intervened because the genre would change to an R19 romance at this rate.
“Please wait a minute. Heretic Questioner.”
“What is it?”
“You don’t have to do it like that. Please leave it to me.”
The Heretic Questioner made a puzzled expression.
“Death King, are you good at torture? Unless you’re very skilled at it, I recommend that you let me handle this. I am an interrogation specialist.”
“No, there’s no need to torture them. Also, please wipe your face.”
I handed a handkerchief to the Heretic Questioner and stood in front of our attackers.
The attackers sighed in relief. I felt sorry for them, but I wasn’t about to be generous to people who had attacked us first.
“Misters. Let me ask you something.”
“W-what is it?”
“You came through the window when you attacked just now. The iron bars were cut too easily. Did you hear that we would be trapped here and cut the iron bars in advance?”
The attackers did not respond. They only traded glances with each other. However, it didn’t mean there wasn’t a way to figure out the right answer just because they were keeping their mouths shut. ‘Character window.’
I could see their psychological states.
「I heard that a woman would enter the warehouse.」
「Damn it. I heard she was an ordinary girl, but it was a scam!」
The attackers already knew we would be here.
“While you were attacking us, you yelled, [It doesn’t matter if you kill the man, just don’t hurt the woman]. Were you trying to kidnap this young lady here?”
“Well, that…… That is……”
The attackers’ eyes flickered.
「It was a request to kidnap the woman here.」
「The client said firmly to never injure the girl. That’s why we attacked in a group of four, to be safe.」
Yeah. I got it.
I sighed. When I looked back, the Heretic Questioner was working hard to wipe his face with the handkerchief. He looked like a baby hamster gnawing on sunflower seeds.
“I think I know who the culprit is.”
The Heretic Questioner’s ears perked up. “Oh? Do you really know it already?”
“I want to hear Death King’s reasoning.”
The Heretic Questioner’s eyes were sparkling.
I nodded and whispered, “To start with, the culprit is someone very powerful. They need to be able to hire four assassins that can infiltrate the academy, which is impossible without knowing the academy’s security system.”
“Ooh. It makes sense!”
However, the Heretic Questioner raised a counterpoint.
“Does the culprit really need to be [someone very powerful]? It isn’t the royal palace; it seems relatively easy to figure out the academy’s security. Even someone with just a little bit of power to their name can do it!”
“That’s a keen point, but…”
I shook my head.
“There is one more suspicious circumstance. Heretic Questioner. Do you remember what [Villainous Young Lady] shouted when she chased us out?”
The Heretic Questioner contemplated whether he should put the handkerchief in his sleeves or not.
“Yes, I remember. She clearly said [Quickly clean up that master and servant and get them away from my sight. Lock them up]. Why do you ask?”
“She never mentioned where to lock us up.”
“The villainous young lady just said to take us out of the ballroom. But these attackers knew where we were going to be locked, and they cut off the iron bars in advance. And the ones who brought us to this warehouse were the servants of the villainous lady.”
The Heretic Questioner’s eyes narrowed, razor-thin.
“Indeed. It could be that the villainous young lady was the one who hired the attackers. All she had to do was tell the servants where to put us in advance and let the attackers know, too. Aha. And since she’s the daughter of a duke, she has power.”
“But it’s too obvious.”
The Heretic Questioner stroked his chin.
“[I] am the protagonist of this Apocalypse. I’m a noble lady having a fling with the crown prince. If the villainous young lady chased me away and I was attacked at that location? Even as the duke’s daughter, it’ll be a tremendous scandal! The evil act has too much political burden.”
The Heretic Questioner was definitely quick-witted.
He understood this strange story very swiftly.
“In other words, the villainous young lady is not the culprit. The true culprit is the one who wants that lady to appear [as if she were the culprit].”
“And this real culprit cares so much about the Heretic Questioner that he told the attackers to [never hurt the woman]. But they didn’t care whether I, as the male butler, died or not. Finally, the culprit is powerful enough to buy off the servants of a duke.”
The Heretic Questioner smiled with his eyes.
“I’m starting to see who the real culprit is!”
“You probably think the same thing as I do.”
“Mm. I don’t know the feeling of love. But I know about the habits of someone in love! If the real culprit actually cares about [me] as Death King speculated, these attackers can never tell us their personal information.”
“They must be waiting nearby so they can enter anytime.”
It was then that the old door of the warehouse was broken. Dust rose up, and a group of knights poured in.
At the front was a man who looked like he had never dirtied his hand in his life.
“Sylvia! Are you all right, Sylvia?!”
The man ran at us and tightly hugged the Heretic Questioner. Blond hair that looked like uncooked ramen noodles wobbled in the air. He wasn’t as handsome as the Heretic Questioner, but that man was also handsome. His level was around… say, 60% of the Heretic Questioner?
“Good heavens. Your whole body is covered in blood! When I heard that you had been kicked out of the ballroom, I was anxious and came to find you…. How dare this vicious thing happen…….!”
And perhaps his psychopath level was about 60% of the Heretic Questioner as well.
Without blinking once, the man gave an order.
“Look here! Go catch the suspicious men right now! I will interrogate them myself and find out who is behind this! I don’t know what family did it, but I won’t forgive them, no matter what they’ve done for the empire!”
The knights answered in unison.
“Yes! We have received the orders of His Highness, the Crown Prince!”
“Lady Sylvia. Don’t worry. I’ll protect you. No matter how vicious the duke’s daughter is, I, the only heir to the empire, will protect you. You only need to rely on me….”
That man was the male protagonist of [The Tale of Sormwyn Academy].
And he was the crown prince in love with the Heretic Questioner.
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