Hunter Academy’s Battle God
[Translator – Daniel Shin]
[Proofreader – ilafy]
Within the hallway of the sky hotel, Lee SiWoo gulped and was nervously dripping sweat.
YuSung smiled and spoke, "Then, I'll be counting on you, SiWoo."
Lee SiWoo mirrored YuSung’s bright smile.
"Huh, yes. YuSung… But is that really okay? To be honest, compared to EunAh, I'm…"
"It's okay, you just have to do your best…"
Lee SiWoo scratched his head while making a nervous expression.
"R-right? I'll have to do my best. After all, it's a huge opportunity…"
Even while saying that, SiWoo felt that something wasn't right. Shin YuSung spoke in a calm voice while looking at him.
"Thank you. SiWoo, let's do our best."
With that, YuSung left to go somewhere else.
Although he was nodding, Lee SiWoo was still nervously sweating.
'To think that I'd really… participate in the International Competition…'
Would he be able to win with his half-assessed mindset? As Lee SiWoo fell into thought, his expression became serious.
'Can I win with the arrow…?'
For Lee SiWoo, using a gun was like accepting his father's and his family's way of teaching. Just thinking about that made him feel unpleasant.
When he held a gun, he felt his mind grow colder. He felt he became more aware of everything happening around him; he could even feel his own heartbeat.
Lee SiWoo hated everything related to that.
If he went to the International Competition, he would have to feel that in front of the whole world.
Lee SiWoo's father had forced him to run with a gun at just 10 years of age. He said it was to train his breath.
His body froze in the cold numerous times.
There was no way he'd be able to shoot in the middle of extreme cold and breathe correctly.
'I never asked them to teach me something like shooting… Damn it.'
Using a gun in the International Competition would be like submitting to his family in front of the whole world.
[See? This is all because I recognized your talent!]
Every time Lee SiWoo remembered his father's authoritative way of speaking, he couldn't help but clench his teeth.
* * *
Translator - Daniel Shin
Proofreader - ilafy
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* * *
Within the charnel house, a place where the remains of the deceased were kept, Seiji rubbed his nose while looking at a box with a paper crane and flowers.
"Long time no see, Ryuko!"
There was no reply.
Seiji thought it was good that there wasn't anyone else at the charnel house. He sat on a chair and looked at the box.
"As expected, you won't reply today, either~"
Seiji lowered his head while making a playful gesture.
"You used to say that ghosts were real~ but in reality, they don't exist, right?"
Seiji sighed and then smiled brightly again.
"Maybe that's better. You would get tired of me if you could hear my words."
Seiji smiled kindly, as usual, while looking at the box.
"After all~ It's already been five years."
Seiji cleaned his nose again and looked at the picture behind the glass. A girl with short hair was smiling confidently while clenching her fists.
Seiji's only childhood friend. Her life had been cut short in the summer when she was 12 years old.
"How weird… Maybe ghosts do exist? I feel like I can hear something."
Within the silent charnel house, Seiji focused on what he was hearing. He thought about what Ryuko always used to say. Just by thinking about that, he felt like he could really hear her voice.
[…an! … ry!]
A sunny summer day…
A very familiar voice coming from within a hideout deep within the mountains.
[You're a man! Don't cry!]
He'd met Ryuko for the first time when he was five.
They became friends just because they lived close to each other. After that, Seiji spent seven years hanging out with Ryuko.
[Hey! Let's go training!]
[Me? Okay, but… Ryuko, I'm afraid of the mountains.]
He was a lot smaller back then.
When Seiji was 12, his body seemed even weaker than Ryuko's.
[Scared? Haa, to think that you'd cry from a test of courage! You're a man, so stop crying all the time!]
Ryuko clenched her fists and punched the air while shouting.
[A hunter is all about ambition! Your mental strength is very important! You need the courage to not be afraid, even when a monster appears!]
Seiji looked at Ryuko talking while making an impressed expression.
[As expected. You're cool, Ryuko… I also want to become brave like you.]
[Me? You can also become like me if you become braver! That's why you should stop crying all the time. Okay?]
As Ryuko patted his back, Seiji nodded and smiled.
[Yes! Okay! Ryuko!]
Unlike his timid self, Ryuko was the complete opposite of him. Seiji really admired her.
Not only that, but Ryuko was also strong.
At 12 years old, she wasn't pushed back by middle-school students when she was still in elementary school. Not only that, but she had a huge talent for becoming a hunter. She could face a rank 1 or even a rank 2 monster.
[Ryuko! You're cool!]
Seiji was really proud of his friend. He didn't care about other people, but he at least wanted to look good in front of her.
She was probably his first love.
[I'm going to become Japan's strongest hunter! After that, the world's strongest!]
Ryuko always used to smile confidently while talking about her dreams, but Seiji's dream was Ryuko. He wanted to stay next to her until she became a shining star. He'd sworn since he was little that he would stay with her.
[Ryuko, you'll be able to do it!]
Unfortunately, the world was a cruel place and held no mercy, even for 12-year-old kids.
[Becoming… the world’s strongest might be too hard for me…]
It was an unknown disease.
The Ryuko that had been shining until a few days before greeted Seiji in the hospital. Her eyes had lost their brightness in just a few days.
[Seiji. They said that I don't have much time left. If I want to live… they need a stone called a… circulation stone? I think.]
The star had fallen.
Someone who used to shine had lost her light. The only thing a kid could do in such a situation was cry.
Seiji screamed and told Ryuko not to die.
[I… I'll… buy it for you! Ryuko! Th-that's why, please… d-don't die!]
[Stupid… Not even adults can buy it. It's something that costs as much as 100 houses…]
Seiji got angry at Ryuko's parents, who were just crying. He also became angry at his powerless self, but no matter how angry he was, the only thing that he could do was cry.
[You're a man… don't cry…]
And the next day…
Seiji saw Ryuko crying for the first time.
He used to be afraid of the mountain, even when he climbed it with her, but Seiji climbed the mountain alone that day. The only things in front of him were the night sky and light.
There were numerous stars in the sky, but Seiji's star had fallen.
The day Ryuko died, Seiji also died.
The only thing left was the dream.
Silence reigned in the charnel house.
Seiji got up and smiled brightly, just like the bright smile he used to show when he was a kid.
"As expected, I can't hear anything!"
He began laughing alone.
After making up his mind, Seiji turned around and made a promise to his childhood friend.
"Ryuko! I'll come back after becoming the world's strongest!"
Seiji's goal was to win the International Competition. His first opponent was favored to win the competition…
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