Hunter Academy’s Battle God
[Translator – Bob ]
[Proofreader – ilafy ]
Only the two of them were left in her room.
Sumire kept glancing towards YuSung, anticipation filling her eyes.
‘Yu… YuSung-ssi… is in my room!’
She looked like she was going to die of happiness.
Sumire was the type of person who showed everything she felt on her face. But in contrast to her blissful, frolicking-in-flower-fields musings, YuSung’s head was entirely filled with thoughts regarding the dungeon raid.
“Okay. How about we discuss the raid now?”
Sumire was brought back into reality and sat down in front of YuSung. However, a delighted little laugh would seep out of her mouth whenever she met eyes with the boy across from her.
“Sumire, the Castle of Phantasms’ boss monster is the succubus, who leads an army of minions. Of course, there is a lot of undead among them.”
Sumire had the [Call of the Undead] skill, which let her consume a certain amount of her mana to control undead monsters. Against them, she was basically invincible.
Of course, even among those undead monsters, her skill didn’t work against the strong, boss-level ones. This time, however, her opponents were nothing more than minions.
“Which is why the most important thing in this dungeon raid is how we distribute our team members.”
Sumire nodded at YuSung’s explanation. “Th-that means I have to go somewhere where there’s a lot of undead monsters, right?”
“Mhm. The Castle is a pretty large dungeon, though. It’ll be impossible for us to mark the location and number of every single minion on our Pocket map.”
YuSung touched his Pocket, making it display a hologram of the floorplans of the castle. The hologram map had been created by a preliminary raid group.
He pointed towards the entrance with his finger.
“It’s why we need to choose our starting point carefully. Sumire, I want you to enter from the left passage.”
Sumire’s eyes grew wide. “Oh, me? Got it! The left passage is… a v-very useful one that connects to all locations of the castle, including the basement!”
She was a great student who was incredibly proficient in studying. In fact, she had the highest ability for understanding concepts out of anyone in YuSung’s party.
“Yep. Create a skeleton using one of the hairs I give you and use the artifact and your abilities to call forth the undead.”
YuSung pointed at the middle passage marked on the hologram map with his finger.
“Then, we meet up here.”
Sumire, who had been mostly listening quietly to the plan, glanced towards the other boy’s hair.
“Um, YuSung-ssi. S-speaking of…”
“Hm? Is there a problem?”
YuSung cocked his head to one side. Sumire, in response, waved her hands wildly.
“N-no! It’s not really… I-I mean, that’s… I used up all of your hair during our last raid…”
Sumire had used the last of YuSung’s hair that she had received on the boat on the lake dragon. Even so, she had never picked up any of his fallen hairs without his permission because she was scared that he would hate her and call her creepy for it—much like how others had back in middle school. So she was using quite some courage in order to speak up.
YuSung smiled lightly. “Feel free to tell me this whenever. You told me that the effect is greater the longer the hair is, right?”
Saying so, he pulled the ribbon free from his hair. The long locks cascaded down his back, giving off a different look from usual.
Sumire stared blankly, as if mesmerized, and nodded.
“Yes… y-you’re right. I-is it alright if I comb your hair, then?”
Even YuSung’s hair was precious to her. She didn’t want to pull it out by force.
“Mhm, doesn’t matter to me,” he replied.
Sumire went to her drawer and pulled out a comb. “Y-YuSung-ssi! I-if you feel uncomfortable, o-or if it hurts you… tell me, please!”
She reverently sat on her knees behind YuSung and slowly began to comb his hair from top to bottom.
‘I’m combing YuSung-ssi’s hair…’
Sumire didn’t stop, even when a few brushes had collected more than enough hair for her. YuSung, who she admired, was at her house, and she was combing his hair with her own two hands. She couldn’t stop.
‘This scent. It’s the same shampoo that I use…’
YuSung used the shampoo that all Seven dormitories were equipped with, so the fact that they used the same shampoo was a given. Even so, Sumire’s lips were twitching in glee.
‘I wish time would stop…’
She wasn’t just talking about that moment. She wanted YuSung to stay in her house forever, but that would only be possible if he wasn’t a mere party member or comrade of hers but a ‘member of her family’.
“Sumire, this is enough, right?”
YuSung tied his hair up again with his ribbon.
“Ah… yes!” replied Sumire, mumbling with a disappointed expression on her face. “Th-this much is enough. Thank you, YuSung-ssi.”
But at that moment, her gaze turned towards the boy’s hands. His nails came to her attention; they weren’t long, but they still caught her eye.
Sumire bit her lip for a long moment before gathering her courage and speaking up.
“That’s uh… Y-YuSung-ssi?”
“C-can I…! Cut your fingernails too?!”
A moment of silence.
Cold sweat began to drip from Sumire’s silent form.
“My fingernails?” he repeated, puzzled.
“Ah, that’s!” Embarrassed, she began laying out a plethora of excuses at her feet. “I-it sounds weird, I know, but… fingernails are more effective for summoning skeletons than hair. I can summon a skeleton ten times with ten fingernails, and… the amount of time they’re summoned for is long, as well…”
“Oh, right, you definitely told me about this before, Sumire. Sure, for the raid.”
Thankfully, YuSung’s reaction was favorable. Sumire let out a sigh of relief, an expression of anticipation on her face.
The boy stretched out his hand.
“I’ll cut them and give them to you.”
Meaning… he was the one cutting his nails.
A desperate situation.
Sumire couldn’t hide her disappointment. But still, only for a moment. She quickly gathered up her courage once again.
“S-still… it’s important that the nails are cut… the same length, for the skeleton’s abilities… W-wouldn’t it be better if I cut them for you… since I’m more used to doing… it?”
YuSung nodded, face sincere. “That’s true. It’s your Skill, after all. It makes sense.”
He stretched out his hand towards her. Sumire’s heart began to beat rapidly.
Right when she was about to grab his hand, someone opened the door to her bedroom.
Sumire quickly hid the nail clippers behind her back when the door opened as if she had been caught doing something wrong.
It was her nine-year-old sister.
“Ta-dah~ Mom says you guys should drink some juice~ you like orange juice, right, sis?”
Tsuguha handed Sumire the tray. She stared back at her little sister.
“Ts-Tsuguha? You can go now.”
It seemed like she wanted to chase her out of her room as quickly as possible.
“Ehh? But I wanna talk with oppa, too!”
Sumire pushed her sister out of the room, even as she stubbornly tried to stay in it.
“Ah, hahaha… then, YuSung-ssi. This time, for real…”
She grinned, holding the nail clippers in her hands. However, Tsuguha was not the last of the guests entering her bedroom.
“Oh, my, you haven't drank any of the juice yet? Is it not to your liking?”
Her mother, Suika, opened the door in turn.
Tears welled up in Sumire’s eyes. “Uuu… w-we were going to drink the juice later…!”
“Is that so? Fufu. It’s just that my husband’s come back home, and the preparations for the sukiyaki are finished, as well. Feel free to look forward to it, we bought some quality beef!”
Sumire’s expression seemed to darken.
Hearing that the food was ready, YuSung stood up, holding the bottle of juice in his hand.
Sumire stared blankly up at him.
“Let’s do this later, Sumire.”
“Ah, okay!” She nodded, straining to hide disappointment. “W-we can cut your fingernails any time, after all! …I-I won’t forget, okay?!”
She was fixated on doing it right up until the end.
‘Sumire’s this motivated about the dungeon raid… She really has changed.’
YuSung, clueless about the truth behind her actions, was proud of the positive change that she was undergoing.
* * *
Translator - Bob
Proofreader - ilafy
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* * *
A banquet held for high-ranking officials…
Snow-white tables and chairs, which exuded an aura of luxury at the first glance, were placed all around the hall. In contrast, the dress code was black, the complete opposite.
‘…I hate this place, though.’
The expensive, high-quality formal wear Lee SiWoo had on, despite its value, felt uncomfortable to him. But what bothered him the most was the atmosphere of the party.
There was no special reason as to why those famous, powerful people were spending their precious time attending a banquet. The place had been prepared so that its participants could use their own measuring sticks to compare themselves to each other, solidify connections, and re-establish their positions on the totem pole.
“So this is where you were. Father’s been looking for you for a while, maknae.”
TL/N: Maknae refers to the youngest child of a family, or more generally the youngest member of some sort of group (e.g. a group of businessmen).
The oldest, Lee SiHyuk, placed a hand on his shoulder. SiWoo tried to brush him off with his usual laugh.
“Haha, aw, c’mon, hyung. Just pretend you didn’t see me here.”
Just as he said that, a man silently walked towards SiWoo—he was the sole person at the banquet to wear white clothing.
“That won’t do.”
The source of the solemn voice was Lee SungHwan.
SiWoo’s eyes narrowed, expression stiff. “…Father.”
“I’ve heard the rumors. They say you’ve managed to place yourself under the party leader who arrested the Rebellion member.”
“Haha… I was just lucky.”
“Everything you’re doing is useless.”
Lee SiHyuk stepped back as his father grimaced.
Lee SungHwan was a man with authority in his house. However, it was an authority that was born from his abilities. He was the chief of the city guard in Korea, which oversaw public order and the safety of the entire country. On top of that, he was the man who led the counterterrorism unit, known for being one of the strongest forces among Korea’s agencies.
“With your current capabilities, you’ll be a third-rate hunter at best, no matter how much effort you put into it. All you’ll be able to do for the rest of your life is become someone for others to step on.”
There was no anger in Lee SungHwan’s voice. He genuinely believed what he was saying.
“But that won’t be the case if you listen to me.” He looked down at SiWoo with emotionless eyes. “Didn’t I tell you? That the talent I created in you is… Tch. You should have just followed in your brother’s footsteps and applied for the city guard.”
The second-eldest daughter, Lee SeonAh, approached him from the side while clicking her tongue.
“You really don’t listen, do you?”
She scanned her little brother from head to toe before letting out a small, sharp laugh.
“I hear that you still bring your little toy bow with you to your extracurriculars?”
SiWoo grinned brightly at her sarcastic tone. “Aw~ what’s wrong with my bow? I even entered a competition with it, you know?”
“Why, though? Why are you using a bow instead of the guns you’ve been using since you were a kid?”
Lee SeonAh’s question was laced with annoyance.
SiWoo thought about it for some time before opening his mouth.
But he cut himself off with a sigh. Smile wiped from his face, he took something out of his Pocket.
The blue particles combined to form a rather run-of-the-mill pistol. In fact, the type of gun didn’t matter to SiWoo. There were several dozen different types of guns stored away in SiWoo’s Pocket.
There was a somewhat instinctual reason as to why he refused to use guns.
His emotions cooled.
As SiWoo gripped the pistol in his hand, old memories began to flood back into his head.
Back during his very early childhood…
Lee SiWoo had been forced to use this cold lump of steel… all due to the selfishness of his father.
His Trait, Clairvoyance, may have only been F-rank, but Lee SungHwan knew that it was only rated so low due to the standards of the Hunters’ Association because it lacked lethality or some sort of half-hearted reasoning like that.
The solution the man found was simple: find a way to fill in the gaps in SiWoo’s Trait.
Lee SungHwan said so to his young son with a stern expression on his face:
[…What happens if someone with omnidirectional vision also gains the ability to kill?]
The result of it was guns.
SiWoo began learning how to shoot them when he was seven years old. There was no room in his head for childhood memories, only knowledge about guns.
[Use the backsight and foresight to draw concentric circles.]
[Think of the target as a criminal's head! You need to make them all explode!]
Just as Lee SungHwan had thought, SiWoo’s Trait, [Clairvoyance], was the perfect fit for marksmanship.
At nine, he had even used a rifle to shoot a target over a kilometer away.
TL/N: Around 0.6 miles.
SiWoo was a fantastic marksman, even acknowledged by the head of the city guard, Lee SungHwan. He was confident that he could beat anyone, so long as he used the guns that the counterterrorist unit used to subjugate villains or any firearms used for hunting monsters.
Where to aim for a fatal wound… Where to aim if he didn’t want his prey to lose mobility… It was all knowledge that SiWoo knew.
But he didn’t use guns.
“If I use a gun…”
His voice was subdued, like it belonged to someone completely different.
SiWoo looked at his family with the same emotionless eyes his father had.
“Some real pain-in-the-ass memories start resurfacing.”
SiWoo was no longer smiling, gun in his hand. Even the way he talked was different, almost as if his personality had changed.
“Look closely, noona. You wanted to see my marksmanship? Here, I’ll show you.”
SiWoo aimed towards the ceiling and shot.
A chandelier fell.
The guests were screaming and panicking.
Lee SungHwan creased his forehead, but SiWoo didn’t stop. Instead, he kept shooting, the same emotionless eyes in place.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
He shot the rest of his bullets at regular intervals. By the time he finished, all of the chandeliers had fallen from the ceiling.
His demeanor had completely changed once the gun was in his hand.
SiWoo left the banquet hall and checked his Pocket. The background image was a picture that he had taken with his party members during the picnic they had gone on together.
He blew away the smoke from the muzzle.
‘I knew it.’
It was the first time he had ever felt that much sentimentality, even while wielding a firearm. The pistol in SiWoo’s hand dissolved into particles and vanished into his Pocket.
‘…I should’ve just gone with them to Japan.’
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