Hunter Academy’s Battle God
[Translator – SCM]
[Proofreader – ilafy]
The mountains and clouds meeting in the distance were like a scene from paradise, but the student wearing priest’s robes didn’t seem moved by the beautiful view.
Instead, he ground his teeth and looked to be in utter despair.
"Damn it… do I have to be stuck in a place like this when the game's tomorrow?" he asked himself. Every minute and second were precious, but he was stuck there. "Ah, it's not like I can kill that lazy bastard…"
Above being a student at Ireland's Blin Academy, Ackman was a devout follower of Deus. In other words, he valued his priest's robes more than he valued understanding a thrown-together party’s members.
"Tsk… My clothing is all messed up." Ackman looked down at his robe and sighed. It was a special piece of clothing called a ‘Blue Robe’ that was only given to those who reached the ‘Blue Apostle’ rank among the Church of Deus.
He’d become the youngest ‘Blue Apostle’ in history at the age of 17 and was the personification of the word ‘elite’.
"Hey! Are you ignoring me? he shouted. He wasn't the kind of man who’d climb a mountain without proper equipment and suffer for no reason.
"Look at me before I smash your head!" He angrily jumped around and shouted.
A man with long, silvery hair relaxed in a folding chair in front of him and scratched his beard. "Ah, you're… Ahh… I'm sorry, I fell asleep for a moment. When did you get here…?"
The silver-haired man had just woken up. Naturally, that infuriated Ackman even more. "Agh! Is that what's important right now?! You even turned off your Pocket! What are you doing?!"
"You came all the way here just to ask that? Fascinating… I didn't know you were so interested in me."
"Haa…" Ackman found Elan very strange—the man had a knack for aggravating people with everything he said. "Think about it rationally. Do you think I’m here out of pure curiosity? I came looking for you because you disappeared before the game."
Ackman let out a deep sigh, propped his hand against his forehead, and gave Elan a narrow-eyed glare. "Didn't you see that Gaon monster? Shouldn't you at least make their team members drop out to ensure victory?"
He was a legend to those around him, and his nickname, ‘Nagging Ackman’, was bestowed upon him in admiration of his nagging abilities.
Sure enough, Ackman continued with his nagging. "Why do you think we allied with other EU teams? We need to increase our chances of winning. Aren't you ashamed to be playing around?"
Ackman only saw the fishing rod after he took a few more steps toward Elan. "Wh-what are you doing…? Why use a fishing rod in a pond with no fish? There's nothing here…" he gave Elan a confused look.
Elan spoke with utmost seriousness as he said, "How foolish… I’m not trying to get a fish—I’m going for this place’s master.”
"This place’s master…?" That made no sense to Ackman, and he thought the other man must’ve been off his rocker. Who would play around on a mountain rather than practice with a match just around the corner?
'I guess it would be stranger if he wasn’t insane…'
Elan suddenly shivered under Ackman’s glare. "Wait! Is it here…? It seems that the master of this place likes you more than me."
"What are you talking about? Shouldn't we be analyzing Gaon and preparing for our win…?"
"Ackman, I came to this mountain because our only chance at victory is hidden here." Elan stood up.
"The only way to beat Gaon?" Ackman asked. With the man’s full 190cm height towering over his height of just over 160cm, he had to strain his neck to look up at him. He turned his eyes away for a moment to glance around, but all he saw were the overwhelming mountains and the distant clouds over the peaks.
"Yes! That's right, Ackman!” Elan said with confidence. “Now, trust me, and close your eyes!"
"You crazy…" Ackman grumbled as he obediently closed his eyes.
"Ah, it's coming! The master of this place is approaching us!"
"Haa, you crazy…" Ackman couldn't believe he was wasting time at the mountain peak with that psycho when it was almost time for prayer. Then, with his eyes closed, he felt a sensation beyond ‘mana’.
"Ackman, can you feel it? The presence that’s approaching? The gaze watching over you?"
Ackman frowned at Elan's almost insane shouting. ‘It feels like there's something here, but its presence isn’t concrete…' It was almost as if something was watching him, and an overwhelming pressure almost made it hard to breathe.
"Ackman," Elan called out, "open your eyes."
When Ackman opened his eyes…
A fierce wind parted the clouds, and the hidden landscape shone in the sunlight, revealing the source of the pressure.
"Can you see it…?" Elan calmly asked.
In contrast to the other man’s calmness, Ackman stepped back in shock and disbelief.
"It’s Kanina… The true master of this mountain."
Red shining eyes…
Glossy fur and a pure white body…
"This is…" Ackman said in shock upon seeing Karina's huge body. "It's just a huge rabbit…"
Kanina, Spirit Master Elan’s secret weapon, was just an incredibly huge rabbit spirit.
* * *
Translator - SCM
Proofreader - ilafy
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* * *
On the day of the International Competition's sub-game team match, Italy and Greece, who were the first to play, won without a single member being eliminated. It was an incredible record, considering the fact that their party leader, Adela, was absent.
"I'm relieved it was so easy… By the way, we thought the Romanian members had a high chance of airlifting the artifacts, but their party leader was the only one they permitted due to political issues.
"I heard that story twice before the match even started, Sophia." Leo tried to stop her from talking too much.
Embarrassed, Sophia fiddled with her glasses. "Ah… Did I explain it to Adela as well? I'm sorry…" She bowed her head.
Leo glanced at Adela. Although he and Sophia were there to announce their victory, Adela remained emotionless.
"It's okay," she coldly said.
She was a bit hard to deal with, but he more or less understood her character. 'She's simply not interested.' It wasn't that she had any malice; it was just that she genuinely wasn’t interested in her fellow party members. Maybe she didn’t think the outcome was important.
Simply put, he and Sophia were just chess pieces for her, and she was the one who determined victory or defeat. That was also why she was chosen as the leader of the temporary inter-party EU alliance.
Leo sat opposite Adela while maintaining a smirk. Initially, he thought the distance she maintained was due to their unfamiliarity, but his thoughts had changed.
'This person's broken…' He wasn't trying to slander her. He was skilled at reading other people’s emotions because winning favor was easy once you understood what made someone happy or not, but he couldn’t figure her out.
She hadn't told him why she suddenly changed her mind and returned to Italy, and she hadn’t explained why she decided to participate in the competition. It was impossible to read her emotions, let alone figure out what she liked or disliked.
'There's no way to figure out her preferences.' According to Leo's experience so far, such emotions didn't seem to exist for her—she seemed like an emotionless doll, devoid of any joy or sorrow.
'Such a beauty… It would be great if I could see her smile.' He believed it was probably impossible, though. Maybe that was only natural. There wasn’t anyone in Italy who hadn’t heard of what happened to Arden’s granddaughter. Her coming out of it unharmed was a miracle in itself.
'I guess she's a pitiful person…' Leo's conclusions wouldn't have been entirely wrong before the events of Louin Castle, but…
"Sophia, which team is up next?" Adela asked.
"It will be broadcast soon. It's South Korea's Gaon Academy and…"
"Gaon?" Adela, who'd remained emotionless thus far, suddenly reacted.
[Ah, the participants are coming out! From the left, Japan's Sakura and Isshin! From the South, Korea's Lee SiWoo and the rising star, Sumire!]
After the broadcast showed Gaon and the other participating teams, Adela leaned forward with her hands on her knees and watched in interest.
[Look at Sumire… Who's that little kid next to her?]
What shocked Leo the most was when Velvet appeared on the broadcast.
"Velvet!" Adela called out to Velvet in a tone she didn’t usually use.
She suddenly stood up, and Leo and Sophia looked at her in shock.
"Adela… Is something wrong?" Leo asked, startled by the girl’s sudden intensity.
Adela's eyes widened in joy, and she proudly pointed at Velvet as she exclaimed, "That child is my daughter!"
"A-ah… I see."
Her reaction at least made a bit of sense, but he wasn’t sure whether to be more shocked over her reaction or her sudden news of having a child; then there was something even more absurd than that…
"Wait a moment…" Adela said, and she hurriedly left the waiting room.
[What's happening? Adela intruded on the field!]
She suddenly appeared on the broadcast.
[She hugged the child next to Sumire. What's going on?]
[Ah, is it for the game to progress? Adela took the child and left!]
"Kyahang! Hello, everyone! I'm Velvet!"
What shocked him most was when Adela returned to the waiting room with her 'alleged' daughter.
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