Hunter Academy’s Battle God
[Translator – Bob ]
[Proofreader – ilafy ]
A dungeon used for training…
Isshin, after leaving Choten, aimlessly wandered throughout the long mountain range.
“Bark, bark! Grr!”
Wild dogs the size of bears swarmed him, lured by his scent.
They made their move and pounced on him. Isshin placed his hand on his scabbard.
The dog’s teeth bit the boy square on the arm… Except that wasn’t his actual body.
His form scattered as an afterimage. The giant dogs scanned the area, drool dripping out of their mouths.
Only then did his body become visible.
All of the monsters were cut clean in half. Blood sprayed everywhere. Isshin stared at their corpses with a cold gaze before flicking the blood off his blade.
He clicked his tongue and sat on a nearby boulder.
Isshin couldn’t focus on his training. It felt odd.
‘This is all because of Hanajima. That stupid girl…’
He thought back to his middle school years.
Sumire had been her quiet, introverted self for as long as he’d known her. She was the sort of person who would grin like an idiot even as the people around her used her. The only impression he had of her back then was nothing more than an ‘annoying woman’.
Perhaps that was the reason why he had been so pissed off when they had been paired off by coincidence for a test. Middle-school Isshin treated her even more coldly than he had before.
[…Just why did it have to be you, of all people?]
[I’m screwed… I hate idiotic, frustrating women like you.]
But the one who made a mistake during the actual test had been Isshin. He had stepped on a trap that shot an arrow towards him from his side. Thankfully, it had only grazed his forearm.
Blood had begun to flow from the wound.
Isshin may have been in middle school back then, but he had been living his entire life for the sake of becoming a hunter. He wasn’t the sort of person who was sensitive enough to be thrown off by the sight of blood.
In fact, Sumire was the one who made a big deal about the wound.
[K-Kirishima-ssi! Th-there’s blood!]
#TL/N: it says -ssi in the korean but since she's in japan she should technically be using japanese honorifics.
[…A wound of this caliber is nothing.]
[Th-that’s no good!]
It was the first time Isshin had seen her angry. She had endured every insult he had thrown at her without complaint, yet the first time she had blown up was because he had been hurt.
Dumbfounded, Isshin let out a snort, amused.
[Okay, then. What are you gonna do about it? Do you wanna give up on the test just for a cut of this size?]
[No! I-I’ll treat it! I brought a first-aid kit and everything!]
Right then and there, Sumire sat down and gave him first aid. She cleaned up all of the blood flowing out of the wound and disinfected it with a cotton ball soaked with alcohol. And in order to stop the bleeding, she placed a piece of gauze with ointment on the wound and wrapped it tightly on with compression bandages.
Only after finishing the entire process did Sumire’s serious expression clear up. Her usual smile returned back to her face.
Isshin thought she was an idiot. Why would she worry about someone who had insulted her and called her an idiot to the point where she got angry in order to give him proper treatment?
He couldn’t understand Sumire, no matter how hard he tried. He didn’t want to.
[…You really are a weirdo, aren’t you?]
And that’s how the test ended.
Isshin and Sumire were in different classes, so they didn’t have many opportunities to interact with each other. Still, she bothered him.
Why did looking at the blooming violets in their schoolyard make her smile so happily?
Why did she dazedly stare outside the window for long periods of time on rainy days?
Why did she constantly let herself be used like an idiot by others who foisted work they didn't want to do off of her?
Watching Sumire made Isshin angry. He felt frustrated. He felt like an idiot. His emotions towards her flipped on a dime, though he himself didn’t know why.
[Hanajima. Join my party.]
[…I’ll let you borrow my hair whenever you take a test.]
[No one in this school will be able to carelessly bother you. Whoever messes with you, messes with me.]
Sumire, stunned, could do nothing but nod at his proposal.
She knew the boy hated her, so she had no idea why he had invited her to his party. The only reason she had accepted was because she didn’t have another party to join.
With Isshin’s help, Sumire grew stronger, bit by bit.
‘…And you run off to Korea without even a single word to me, Hanajima?’
He gritted his teeth.
While attending Choten, he had managed to gain the strongest party members—Seiji and Sakura. He still felt angry, however.
To Isshin, the reason as to why was obvious: it was because someone like Sumire had betrayed him.
As his thoughts reached this conclusion, YuSung’s face suddenly appeared in his head.
‘…Korea’s Shin YuSung.’
It just so happened that Korea was slated to be Japan’s first opponent during the International Competition. Isshin made a face and sheathed his sword.
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Translator - Bob
Proofreader - ilafy
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Kunigami district on Okinawa island…
Sumire glanced towards YuSung as the two of them arrived at her house.
“Th-the portal…! So useful! We came here really fast, didn’t we?”
It was a regular, two-story house one could find anywhere, even if it looked a little worn down. Sumire sucked in a breath right in front of the door.
In a sudden burst of courage, she pressed the doorbell.
The bell rang throughout the house. Not too long after, the window on the second floor opened up.
“来た (She’s here)!”
”お姉ちゃんだ (It’s onee-chan!)
#TL/N: “big sis” in japanese.
Sumire’s younger siblings greeted her in Japanese. She waved back, a bright grin on her face—quite different from her usual expressions.
The front door slowly opened, and a woman stepped out of the house. With a smile on her face, she waved as well.
Sumire turned her attention towards her, and, with a bright grin on her face, ran towards the woman.
She was Hanajima Suika, Sumire’s mother.
“Fufu. Welcome home.”
The two held hands and stared into one another’s eyes. To YuSung, it felt like a warm energy was radiating off them.
“You’re Shin YuSung-ssi… right?”
Suika turned towards YuSung and addressed him in Korean. He smiled lightly and nodded.
“Yes, I am.”
“I’m Hanajima Suika. You’ve been taking quite good care of my daughter, I’ve heard. Fufu, my child is just~ like how I was when I was her age. So shy! We only call every once in a while, and most of it is dedicated to her talking about you! Geez~”
Sumire’s ears became redder and redder as her mother went on.
“S-stop it! Talk about that stuff… i-inside the house!”
Suika quietly smiled as she watched her daughter panic.
“Fufu, well, then. Shin YuSung-ssi… I hope you continue to look after her.”
She covered her mouth with a hand and laughed.
Sumire slowly shook her head, embarrassed.
“P-Party Leader-nim… already treats me much too kindly…”
Saying that, she threw a glance towards YuSung.
“Oho~ is that so?” Suika asked. There was a certain pressure coming off of her despite her kind eyes and smile.
“I’m also rather curious to know~ just how you’re treating my Sumire well! How about I hear all~ about that while we eat?”
Saying that, Suika gave YuSung one last greeting before heading back inside the house to finish preparations for the meal.
And just like that, a hurricane had come and gone by.
“They’re… a little rowdy, aren’t they?”
Sumire seemed to be embarrassed about introducing her family to YuSung.
“I think that’s what’s good about them.”
YuSung wasn’t just spouting platitudes. Until recently, he had spent his life a distance away from other people while training on Martial Spirits’ Mountain. And of course, he had never gotten to see what a warm, loving family looked like from the Shin-oh household.
The ironclad rule of that family was competition. His parents… His older sister, Shin HaYoon… And his other relatives—the presence they exuded was completely different from Sumire’s own family.
He always felt like he was treading on thin ice among them. The Shin-oh family did not accept failure and wanted nothing less than perfection. His father, the head of the household, had always said that the tiniest fraction of elites were the ones who ruled over the world.
YuSung had only been four years old when he had been told that. But when he thought about it, he realized just how distanced that philosophy was from everyday life.
‘For example, this place…’
He slowly entered the house.
Sugoro, Sumire’s five-year-old little brother, cocked his head in confusion.
“お兄ちゃんは、…誰 (Who’s he)?”
Tsuguha, Sumire’s nine-year-old sister, checked the new visit rover, then responded in Korean:
“Idiot! Onee-chan brought over her Korean boyfriend.”
It wasn’t clear whether a child of Sugoro’s age understood what that meant. In his stead, another brother of Sumire’s, twelve-year-old Suito, poked his head out from the second-floor staircase towards the front door.
“えっ?! お姉ちゃんボーイフレンド連れて来た (Ehh?! Onee-chan brought a boyfriend back home)?!”
Somehow, the situation had turned into a misunderstanding about YuSung and Sumire’s relationship. The girl in question quickly waved both of her arms back in forth in denial, her face heating up.
“Eh? N-no! YuSung-ssi is j-just… just… the leader of my party!” she stuttered. “He came over to my house as my party leader, that’s it…”
Tsuguha leered in a manner rather unbefitting for a kid of her age. “Aw, sis, you’re so cute~”
“Yeah, sis,” added Suito, jumping on the bandwagon and also making fun of her in Korean. “You’re adorable~”
“Y-you guys!” Sumire, the eldest daughter, scrunched her forehead up rather angrily. “If you keep making fun of your elders, you’re gonna get it!”
“Waah~ you’re so scary, Big Sis!”
Seito was giggling, and Tsuguha was snickering. Sumire’s attempt at scaring them did not work out one bit.
“YuSung-ssi? I-I’ll… show you to my room, then.”
And she did so, leading him to her room.
It was quite large, but the furniture inside was rather frugal. Everything was neatly arranged and clean, despite the fact that Sumire hadn’t come over in a long while.
Sumire placed her arms on her thighs and performed a deep bow towards YuSung.
“Th-the dungeon raid will only be for a short time, but… I’ll be in your care!”
Living in Japan, they say, felt like it went both too fast and too slow. It would be a new experience for YuSung, who had never done anything of that sort before.
He smiled. “I’ll also be in your care, Sumire.”
After exchanging greetings, the two looked each other in the eyes and grinned.
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