Mythic Item Obtained & The Extra's Academy Survival Guide now available on Yonder! Learn more

Solo Swordmaster

REAPER SCANS

 

Solo Swordmaster

[Translator –  woni]

[Proofreader – sharlottle]

 

Chapter 16: Hope

'I still don't understand.'

Limon knew the shadow resembling a one eyed old woman was the apparition of a Constellation.

He knew the starlight was nothing more than an afterimage compared to the real body of the Constellations.

Even if he cut them, the only damage to the Constellations would merely be a severed nail or finger.

Compared to the grievous feeling he'd felt when the Constellations cried in pain before he went back in time, it was too faint. 

What Limon didn't understand was something else. 

It was the blatant look of ridicule and murderous intent in the Constellations' eyes.

'Was it because everyone was trying to kill me…?'

That wouldn't be surprising.

The general consensus was that Constellations were beings who gave blessings to players. Of course they'd be hostile towards Limon together with the players they were contracted with. 

But was that really it?

There are many pet owners who adore their pets, but not many can feel their anger and happiness, and fight for them.

Furthermore, would Constellations— beings above and beyond humans —waste their time on a mere contractor? What about hundreds of them at once?

Limon didn't think so.

And so, he thought the other way around.

'……What if the Constellations used these guys to kill me?'

It was a baseless hypothesis that would make anyone think he was crazy. After all, nothing really changed when he tried to kill the Constellation before the players.

And yet, Limon couldn't shake off the dubious feeling in his chest.

The sight of the snake sneering at Yoo Na-kyung when she died.

The way the players seemed to charge at him in a trance, the exception being the two Grand Dukes who attempted to escape too late.

Limon still had unanswered questions.

What if his suspicions were true?

In his previous life, he couldn't see them. Were the Constellations laughing at him as well when he had sprung the trap then?

And what if this trap in of itself was…

'Well, it wouldn't matter anyways.'

He briefly glanced at Yoo Na-kyung. Among all the horrific corpses all around them, she was the only one who had a peaceful expression on their face.

Taking off his coat to cover her body, he lightly shook his head.

'Nothing's going to change.'

Whether it was of their own will or if they were used. 

Constellations gave their power to players, yes. 

But it didn't change the fact that this was the result of the nation realizing that they didn't need Limon anymore. They had supported Kang Jungsoo's treachery and pushed for sending Yoo Na-kyung to her death.

"Let's see… is it time for the cleanup?"

He, who was once hailed a hero by the masses.

Abandoned as times changed.

And now, disgraced as a traitor. 

Nothing was holding Limon back anymore.

And so, humanity's last Swordmaster put on a dreary smile.

The world would soon come to know that the reason he stepped down from being the Absolute Ruler was not because he was weak, but to make way for the new age.

Once he deemed it necessary, they'd find out his true power. They'd find out just what he could turn into.

And the first one to know this would be the person who maneuvered Kang Jungsoo and liberated Limon.

It was at that moment the faintly glowing bead sprouted on top of the coat he covered Yoo Na-kyung with.

It was the glowing bead the snake had taken from Yoo Na-kyung in her final moments, that Limon took back.

As it shone brightly, something unusual happened.

The shadows started to melt away.

200 fragments of starlight began to perfuse into the beads of light.

As it sucked in the remains, the light shone even brighter, and the bead gradually became thinner as it formed into the shape of a feather.

And as all of the starlight was permeated and the shining bead stopped changing, it became a white feather resembling the wings of an angel. It disappeared after flying off into the night sky like a firecracker, leaving a brilliant, explosive trail of light.

He blankly stared at the unexpected sight for quite some time, and let out a laugh.

"Little brat's excited to the very end, I see."

Limon didn't know.

He didn't know what the bead of light was, why it turned into a white feather, or what just happened.

He was a Swordmaster, not an elementalist or a mage.

But… just vaguely, he could feel it.

It was something he got from cutting the Constellations before going back in time, just like his eyes that could now see the Constellations.

The power the Constellations said they'd give Limon must be…

'…I need to hurry.'

He briefly stared at Yoo Na-kyung, covered by his coat, and shook his thoughts away.

And he turned to leave.

 

***

Reaper Scans

Translator - woni

Proofreader - sharlottle

Join our discord for updates on releases.

https://discord.com/invite/reapercomics

***

 

Sob— 

The way Shia saw it, Hanbit Orphanage wasn't really much.

The facilities were underdeveloped, and they rarely received support or donations.

But it still wasn't too shabby of a place. 

The old caretaker was stingy and naggy. But she had never scolded the children without reason, and she certainly made sure they were fed and dressed.

Plus, their situation had improved ever since a famous guild started sponsoring them a couple years back and various gifts came in.

A washing machine made the laundry easier. They got prettier clothes rather than hand-me-downs. There were more meal menus, and they had enough school supplies.

It may be common things for others, but Shia had lived in the poor orphanage ever since she was a baby. To a child like her, these small changes were more than what her happiness could've asked for.

But what Shia liked more than the gifts, was the unnie* who brought them.

*t/n: Unnie(μ–Έλ‹ˆ), Older sister

"Shh, don't cry."

Shia looked up to her. 

It wasn't just because she was the most successful person to have come out from the orphanage.

She'd also come to volunteer every weekend. 

For Christmas, she had teleported in wearing a Santa costume, only to get scolded by the caretaker for throwing the presents around.

She'd confidently step up to cook, only to return with a bunch of hamburgers because she'd managed to burn the rice.

For the childrens' birthdays, she'd buy a cake and throw a party for them, no matter how busy she was.

To Shia, the way her mere presence lit up a room was just brilliant.

That's why Shia had made up her mind to be a PAB agent when she grew up — that she'd become someone as brilliant as unnie.

"But noona*… The care— Our caretaker…"

*t/n: Noona(λˆ„λ‚˜), another way to say older sister

"She'll be okay."

"Really…?"

"Yeah, really. So, bear with it a little more."

That was why the other children were holding on to Shia in tears.

There were other older children in the orphanage, but Shia was the only one smiling in this situation.

Though, they didn't know that Shia was the one with the gloomiest eyes.

'Lies.'

'Our caretaker is already dead.'

Shia knew.

After the bad adults came to the orphanage, their stingy caretaker resisted until the end to protect them and was ultimately murdered.

She knew the other adults who tried to run away or hide were also dead, that they were the only ones alive.

'We'll end up like them."

Until the bad adults murdered their caretaker and kidnapped the children, Shia still had hope. There must have been a reason they kept alive.

She may not know the reason, but she knew things would be okay as long as they were alive. Their unnie, the PAB agent, would save them no matter what.

She didn't realize how wasted her hopes were.

'……Na-kyung unnie's dead, too.'

Already planning to get rid of them, the bad adults didn't try to hide what they were talking about, and Shia could understand everything. 

They were hostages, bait to maneuver Yoo Na-kyung.

And in trying to rescue them, she did as the bad adults said and died in the process.

It was then that Shia gave up hoping.

With only the empty shell of a smile, Shia asked herself…

'Why is this happening to us?'

Shia asked and pondered, over and over again.

What did they do wrong?

Why did good people like their caretaker and Na-kyung have to die because of bad adults?

And Shia realized.

'……Oh, right.'

'There is no reason.'

This was how the world has always been.

Was there a reason for a child to be abandoned by their parents?

Was there a reason for a child to lose their parents?

Was it because they sinned in their past lives?

Because it's just their fate?

Those weren't reasons.

Having seen plenty of children get abandoned for being born or lose their parents just because they were unlucky, Shia knew very well.

There is never a reason. A reasonable world was just an illusion, and reality was unjust, unfair, without reason.

That's why this is a cruel world.

She'd just forgotten because of Na-kyung.

Recalling the truth that came to mind, Shia waited for her impending death with dull, dead eyes.

Boom—!

The building shook. 

"H-how did you…?!"

"What do you think, huh? You bastards put all sorts of bugs and trackers on Na-kyung and you didn't think you'd be traced?"

"There's no way! That device was impossible to trace!"

"Nah. What's impossible is you staying alive."

"Kyaaah!"

Following a sea of astonishment, disbelief and verbal abuse, screams rang out one after another.

"Eek!"

"Eaaaagh!"

Startled by the commotion outside, the children burst into tears as they clung onto Shia for dear life.

Staying still, Shia only opened her eyes at the sound of the metal door opening.

Bang—!

It only took one kick to bust through the metal door, like it was a cardboard box.

"Damn, those fucking cockroaches put all sorts of shit in this sewer. What's this, a dungeon?"

The children let out a jolting screech at the white-haired man. He looked even scarier than the bad adults because of the blood all over his face and clothes.

They talked among themselves that they were done for, that the bad adults had sold them to this scary man.

But the man didn't care. It was like he was used to these reactions. He simply scanned the children.

"Let's see… Hmm… One, two, three…… 23.  So it seems like no one kicked the bucket. Is anyone hurt— hm?"

Counting them like a human trafficker would, the man suddenly had a strange expression.

He walked past the fussing children to a silent Shia, and looked into her eyes.

"Why does a little kid like you have those rotten, dead eyes?

"……Am I not allowed to?"

"Well, I came to rescue you all, but it doesn't feel nice to see those eyes."

"You came to rescue us?"

"That's right."

Normally she would have been glad to hear those words.

But Shia didn't smile at all. She only looked at the man with her corpse-like dreary eyes.

"Why?"

Why was he, a complete stranger, rescuing them?

She wasn't trying to argue. She wasn't curious, and she definitely wasn't thanking him. She simply found it strange.

The man didn't think Shia was odd for asking. 

Limon simply answered,

"This was Na-kyung's last request."

"Na-kyung unnie's…"

At that moment, Shia's eyes flickered, but only for a moment. Just as throwing a pebble into a lake would only cause a small ripple, her eyes instantly lost its light and became dreary once again.

The man wasn't disappointed.

Instead, he put his bloody hand on Shia's head.

"Yep, so don't give up anymore."

The girl had gone through despair over and over again. Petting the head of the girl who gave up everything to stop feeling despair, Limon quietly spoke on.

"As long as you're with me, no one can hurt you."

 

***

 

"No one can hurt you, my fucking ass."

Maybe it was because they relaxed, or because they hadn't eaten a decent meal.

Watching the children sound asleep after hurriedly downing their meal, Limon let go of a deep sigh.

Of course, he meant 100% what he said. 

Whether it was those incompetent government bastards or the Monarchs with their heads up their asses, Limon was confident he could protect these kids no matter what anyone did.

The problem was that protecting them was the only thing he could do.

'I rummaged through the corpses because I didn't have any money to feed the kids, and yet I said what I said."

It seemed like they had already seized his bank account.

Limon clicked his tongue when he saw the screen go red, when he tried withdrawing some cash out of the ATM.

It was pretty much empty to begin with because of all the pay cuts, but he couldn't help but feel disappointed when even the little bit of money he had was gone too.

He had to use thieves' dropped items(wallets) because he didn't even have the chump change to get the kids a lunchbox.

'I have to find a place for the kids to sleep, too…"

Things appeared even more gloomy when thinking of a place to stay.

He was staying at a pension for now, but even that couldn't last long.

Hanbit Orphanage? That was already getting aired on TV.

Seeing how the news babbled on about how awful the incident was, he could tell murder and human trafficking would be added to his charges by the next day.

And his home was obviously out of the question.

But he couldn't leave the children to the police, either.

There was no reason the people who used children as hostages once, wouldn't use them again.

'Something as irresponsible as that wasn't even on my mind in the first place.'

Whether it was for Yoo Na-kyung, or for the girl with the dead eyes, he was going to take responsibility for the children from the beginning. 

The problem was that the situation had become more complicated than expected.

 

——

Join our discord for updates on releases.

https://discord.com/invite/reapercomics

——

 

Comments