Villain Hides His True Colors
[Translator – Yasi ]
[Proofreader – Karane ]
"I'm warning you. Drop your weapon now. Otherwise, I'll consider it as an act of aggression and restrain you."
Shin Cheonho's somber voice spread through the gym.
Meanwhile, around him blue sparks crackled and an oppressive energy began to weigh down in the air.
In order to finish his mission as soon as possible he had put pressure into his voice with mana.
But contrary to his wish, Noah simply stood still and showed no signs of movement.
Tsk, is his body frozen in fear?
He inwardly clicked his tongue.
No matter how talented Noah was, Shin Cheonho was already an active S-Rank hero at the peak of the world.
If an analogy was to be drawn, the gap was like comparing a grown eagle to a baby chick.
However, that didn't mean he was going to kindly wait for Noah to compose himself.
Afterall, there was no telling when the people who had fainted would wake up.
He urgently shouted again.
"So! What are you waiting for? Hurry up and throw away your weapon!"
He would have no choice but to use force if Noah didn't cooperate.
From the start he neither wanted to take this mission nor did he wanted to swing his sword at a child.
Furthermore, didn't Noah belong in the same class as his daughter at the institute?
Although he had killed countless people in the dark, now even the blood of someone in his precious daughter's life will be spilled.
So please. Don't make me commit another sin.
After an unknown time.
Noah, who had been standing still, finally sighed and slowly lowered his sword to his waist.
Fortunately, he seemed to have made up his mind to surrender.
"Good! You've made the right decision. If you cooperate well, I'll guarantee your safety under my name. So you don't have to worry too much..."
Shin Cheonho's words were cut off when he felt a wicked sword aura.
At the end of his gaze was Noah's figure raising his sword toward him.
What did the boy just say? Maybe he had heard wrong?
Shin Cheonho's mind was dazed by such an unexpected answer. He stared at Noah's face with a lost expression.
Soon, his thoughts that came a step slower finally understood the current situation.
The arrogant boy in front of him dared to go against him.
Deep wrinkles formed between his forehead.
"You fool! Is that your answer?"
Unlike a moment ago, not only was Shin Cheonho's body releasing an incomparable amount of sparks but the mana emanating from his body was causing the space around him to distort.
The terrifying pressure that was surging was enough to kill just from being near.
On the contrary, Noah seemed fine amidst the pressure and even asked back with a nonchalant expression.
"Huh, if ahjussi was in my shoes, would you obediently listen if you haven't done anything wrong?"
"Everything will be revealed during the investigation process if you're innocent. So stop the pointless resistance!"
Noah suddenly raised his left arm as if to tell Shin Cheonho to stop speaking. Then, he pointed his sword to the side of the gym and spoke.
"How about you take a look at that first?"
"What are you trying to say?"
When Shin Cheonho casted a glance sideways, the body of a man who was lying on the floor with his neck cut off caught his eyes. For some reason the silhouette looked familiar.
Lying there was one of the three members of Eighth Layer Hell he had seen when the venue was first attacked.
The monster was at least peak A-Rank. And assuming that he had hidden his strength, he might have been closer to S-Rank.
I didn't see him, so I had even thought he had run away...Who the hell took care of him?
He had spent a considerable amount of time dealing with one of the other monsters earlier. However, there was someone who had handled one of the monsters faster than him.
"Who took care of him? Was it the Director of the institute?"
Noah pointed at the body and smirked.
"No? Wasn't it me?"
A child who was still a trainee killed such a monster?
That was absolutely incomprehensible to Shin Cheonho. However, Noah spoke confidently.
"If you don't believe me, ask everyone later when they wake up. They all witnessed it."
Shin Cheonho stared at Noah's face.
Noah was smiling immaturely as if ignorant of the situation and to boast of his achievements.
Seeing that, Shin Cheonho's hot head slowly cooled down. What replaced it was a bitter feeling in his stomach.
I lost my composure for a second. The results won't change anyway...
In fact, it didn't matter who had killed the monster in this situation.
Maybe the child had really helped in subduing the monster.
Rumors of his exceptional talent had already spread widely in the hero industry.
However, now such a child was ignorant of the situation.
Because of his talent the only outcome was to be arrested.
"...The situation doesn't change even if you had really killed that monster."
"Even with such clear evidence?"
"Yes. I'm just following orders to arrest you. It's not for me to judge whether you're guilty or not."
"Hmm...In other words, ahjussi is going to arrest me whether I did something wrong or not. Right?"
The child's words had pierced Shin Cheonho's heart. He felt his face burning for the first time in a long time.
In fact, he knew better than anyone else that Noah was innocent. What had been said was just for the sake of justification.
The real purpose behind his mission was for the World Government to control Noah in advance.
They have long hated 'irregulars' that they couldn't control.
S-Rank heroes, people from murim who had reached the pinnacle, mythical beasts, etc...
Transcendents with powers beyond common sense were all sealed in the name of world peace or were under special management like himself.
Therefore, he could easily guess the absurdity and injustice that Noah must be feeling now. It was feelings he had felt in the past too.
I eventually realized that everything was useless in front of them.
No matter how strong a person was, in front of the World Government, the ruler of the world, they were just feeble existences.
Even transcendents who had come from other dimensions, didn't they also conform to this mammoth system?
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[ Translator - Yasi ]
[ Proofreader - Karane ]
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In particular, as long as the World Government had the absolute prediction of 'Oracle,' it could be said that their decisions were 'fate' itself.
As such, Shin Cheonho had to let this talented but inexperienced child see the reality.
That was what an adult like himself should do.
It might seem very unreasonable and unacceptable now, but in life there were things you had to accept regardless of your will.
He cursed inside and then spoke bitterly.
"Fine. Now that it's like this, I'll be honest with you. Your connection with EIghth Layer Hell is just a pretense."
"What, I thought so."
"But, just know that all of this is for world peace and was never personal."
"What does that have to do with me? I'm not even a villain."
"...That's because you're too strong. I'm sure it's hard to understand what I'm saying now. But one day you'll understand. No, you might even thank me. Also, this wouldn't be bad for you."
As long as Noah dreamed of working as a hero, it could be said that it was beneficial to be under the control of the World Government.
Hasn't he also received a lot of support since he went under their control?
The image of him that everyone knew and respected wouldn't be as it was now if the World Government hadn't moved the media.
Right...this shouldn't be a bad thing for him either.
Shin Cheonho rationalized to himself while persuading Noah. Maybe he could finish this mission smoothly without any trouble.
And, if a hero with a promising future was nurtured, maintaining world peace would also be smoother.
I'm not wrong...
Just then, Noah who had been quietly listening suddenly sat down as his shoulders trembled.
Shin Cheonho simply thought that Noah was feeling angry and unjust at first.
However, on closer look, Noah had an incredulous expression as if he was holding himself back from laughing.
Shin Cheonho's eyebrows rose.
"...Was there something funny about what I just said? Why are you laughing?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I tried to keep listening...But ahjussi looked so unsightly right now that I couldn't help but laugh."
Noah took a deep breath and slowly stood up.
He looked at Shin Cheonho with a smile.
"No matter how I look at it, it's just a loser who has already given up."
"What did you say?! What do you know? You're nothing but a clueless child! If you've met them in person, you would never say this..."
"No. Let me make myself clear. It's just because ahjussi is weak."
"Hmm...I think I've recovered enough mana thanks to ahjussi, so stop saying useless things and come."
Noah raised one hand and flicked it.
How he had acted so far was to buy time to recover his mana?
Shin Cheonho's anger surged at the thought of being played by such a child.
Positive and negative charges spread and collided in the air as dozens of fierce electric arcs stretched out around Shin Cheonho's body.
"I'll fix that arrogant thinking."
A low-pitched voice spread out in the gym.
Between the electric currents discharging like flames, Shin Cheonho's deep blue eyes were emitting light.
And...The moment his piercing eyes faced his target,
< Lightning Bolt >
In no time he became a streak of lightning.
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A shockwave erupted. Shin Cheonho shot straight at me like a bullet from a rail gun.
It was hard to even follow with my eyes.
I was sure I would be overpowered without even knowing what had hit me if I was to look away even a little.
As expected, it was like that.
Maybe for someone like him it was unthinkable, but I had already guessed his technique from his stance.
That was because it was none other than me who had cut his throat in the first round.
So this time again there was a chance if I just focused.
Naturally, it was true that my growth was lacking in many ways compared to then. In addition, Shin Cheonho was a physical hero famous among S-Ranks.
To be honest, it could be said that he was a very daunting opponent in a situation where I haven't gone through my metamorphosis.
The current me had new skills to make up for that difference.
I used one of my skills without delay.
< Wolf Hour >
My vision was dyed blood-red and my consciousness accelerated faster than ever.
A world stretching like taffy.
The strange sense of living in a different time zone surrounded my whole body.
Even in such a world, Shin Cheonho's movements were still fast. However, it was only now that his attacks could be seen.
His figure swirling in lightning and wielding a sword was clearly visible.
Well, that much speed was worth a try.
I planted my feet firmly on the floor of the gym.Then, I began to madly circulate mana into the Red Velvet Curse in my hand.
Explosive mana wrapped around the blade, creating a crimson sword. The air around me burned and a buzzing sound rang out.
I finally swung my blade at Shin Cheonho who was right in front of me.
A sword slash beyond the speed of sound spread from my fingertips.
In that short moment a look of shock flashed across his face.
But contrary to his expression, he responded to my attack with superhuman reflex and blocked it.
A fearsome explosion rang following the sound of metal colliding.
In a single collision, the surrounding area was devastated as if it had been bombarded.
A long groove formed as I was pushed back. I felt nauseous from the impact that was much stronger than expected.
However, Shin Cheonho wasn't unscathed either.
Unlike me who had my feet planted in advance, his body flew far away and crashed into the floor in an unseemly way.
Shin Cheonho staggered to his feet before uttering in a trembling voice.
"Impossible. I can't believe you stopped my attack...You've been hiding your skills!"
"But I never hid it?"
"Well...now I understand why the World Government has put so much attention on you. I was told you were going to be irregular one day, but the information was wrong. You were already close to the ranks of transcendents."
Shin Cheonho fixed his disheveled clothes and raised his sword. With a more serious expression than before, he spoke.
"I apologize for underestimating you until now. I still can't believe it...I have to admit that you're an opponent who can never be taken lightly."
"Then, let's end it here?"
"No. That's why I can't leave you alone. Actually, it's too much to use this twice a day, but...It can't be helped now."
Shin Cheonho showed an ominous expression.
Damn it, I have to finish it now.
I rushed straight at him. However, there was something moving faster than me.
At that moment, along with a shrill cry, a huge shadow flew in from behind Shin Cheonho.
It was a bird whose entire body was enveloped in lightning.
Wasn't this the so-called 'Thunderbird' from Native American mythology?
The inconceivable creature transformed into a streak of lightning and permeated into Shin Cheonho's body.
Soon, he gave off a presence incomparable to before.
The most menacing and ferocious energy I had ever felt in the second round.
"What, it wasn't like this originally!"
Where the hell did that unknown bird come from? Did he have this ability?
Perhaps the same guy I had fought in the past was considerably weakened.
Assuming that was the case...
"It's hard to control my strength now that I've become like this, so please don't die."
Maybe this moment today will be my last day of the second round.
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