SSS-Class Suicide Hunter – Chapter 167: Rain, Mud, and Fire (4)

Rain, Mud, and Fire (4)

Chapter 167. < Rain, Mud, and Fire (4) >

Translator: Seven PR: LightBrin ED: Sasha

-Rime! I’ll cut off your nose with a single slice!

The noble soldier rushed in without any hesitation.

‘Oh?’

Nevertheless, he looked pretty interesting.

He didn’t use one or two swords like a human would. Instead, as if he were using the Four Swords Style(1), he swung four swords at the same time, slicing towards the top, bottom, left, and right at the same time.

‘Heh.’

This was a feat that could only be performed because he was a snail who had extra tentacles.

I’d been in many battles before, but [this] was my first time seeing [that] kind of swordsmanship.

‘The top and bottom are fake. They’re just bluffs.’

I quickly grasped the intricacies of the opponent’s sword attack with a single glance.

‘The left and right are real… The left is an attack. But the right is the true attack. The sword on the left is faster. Okay. If the left sword is blocked, the right would dig into the other side.’

-Kuh.

Behind me, Bae Hu-ryeong sighed as if he was moved.

-I had heard that even the dog at a street stall could learn to cook ramen after three years. Kim Zombie. You’re finally starting to understand a thing or two.

‘I am the Young Master of the Demonic Sect. Uncle.’

-Who are you calling uncle?

In any case… I had to say…

‘It’s weird that simple race differences led to a completely different swordsmanship.’

-Huh? Isn’t that natural?

‘Yeah. But it’s the fact that it’s natural to develop different arts depending on your body that’s interesting. Hmmm. This reminds me of the Demonic Path’s martial arts. I wonder if it would help me refine my Infernal Heavens Demonic Art…’

-Dude, are you really gonna study snail swordsmanship now?

‘I’m just taking a look.’

I skillfully leaned down and pierced through the opening in the attack pattern. Then I used my feet to gently knock the swords from the snail soldier’s tentacles.

-Rime?!

The snail spread its antennae in shock.

‘I’m sorry, guy.’

This was never going to be a fair fight.

‘There’s a clear difference in skill.’

The snail soldier didn’t know how to use aura, nor did he know how to coat his tentacles and swords with it. I, on the other hand, had received the evaluation of [Having talent for Naegong(2)] from Bae Hu-ryeong. So it was impossible for the soldier to keep up with me.

No matter how amazing a cavalryman’s horsemanship was, it would never be faster than a plane, even if it was piloted by a novice.

Even though I said he was a novice, it wouldn’t be long before he graduated.

-E-, Evil God! Great Rime! Give me strength!

The snail swung his swords with even more enthusiasm, but it didn’t make a difference. He was unable to cut even a single strand of my hair. As though I was playing a rhythm game, I occasionally tapped on the snail’s swords.

-Kerrp?! Ker!

Of course, I was only explaining it leisurely from my perspective.

For Gorke, all he could see were swords flying towards him.

-Spare me! Spare this goblin! Kekerkker, save m-… Isn’t Kekerkker the demon? I’m screwed! Gorke is screwed!

‘Tch.’

It was pathetic.

I’d even given my all to prepare the perfect stage in his dreams. I taught him aura. No matter how scared of death he was, shouldn’t he at least show a bit of bravery at this moment? Let’s say he really was in danger of dying. This was the time when he should be trying to help himself.

-Hey. Zombie.

‘Yeah?’

-The way you treat this goblin is very um…

‘Um? Um what?’

-It reminds me of when someone was teaching someone else… I can’t tell who the someone or the other someone is, but I think I knew the someone and someone, or maybe I’m mistaken? (TL: sentences like this… T~T)

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. If you’re gonna keep reciting nonsensical rhymes, then just watch.’

-Huh… Fine… I just feel sorry for the goblin. I never felt sorry for a human in my entire life, but the day has come when I felt sorry for a goblin…

What the hell was this ghost saying?

“Krrng.”

I focused on defense. I just hit away the snail soldier’s swords with my claws, but I didn’t attack him at all.

It wasn’t me who had to defeat this snail.

It was up to Gorke

‘This is for the Goblins.’

I waited patiently.

-Ker. kerrk…?

I wasn’t sure how much time passed.

But when Gorke seemed to finally realize [there was no threat to his life], he began to relax a little. He stopped begging, and instead looked at what was happening in front of him.

-…gerrp….

‘That’s right.’

Face it.

The first step was to look at what was happening in front of you.

‘That’s it.’

This time, I was more aggressive in hitting the sword of the snail soldier away. My claws pushed the blades back hard.

-Rime?!

In an instant, the snail’s body was full of openings.

If I was to swing my claws again, that would be the end. Without any time to block, the soldier would be directly cut in half.

But I didn’t do it.

I stayed still.

-……!

The snail noble’s face turned red. The skin of the snail race was fairly transparent, so it was obvious that the change of color was because of blood rushing to his head.

The snail swung his swords more fervently.

-Y-, you’re insulting me!

I was not.

-I will not bring disgrace to my family! Rime!

If I had to pick someone here who was being disgraced, it would be me.

‘Gorke was a slave not so long ago, but now he is fighting against a noble. You are a warrior who is bravely fighting against an Evil God. Regardless of the outcome, you deserve to be praised.’

But what about me?

I was like a god in this world, but now, I was toying with a noble soldier.

The act of picking on the weak when you are strong didn’t go against the doctrine of the Demonic Sect, but it still wasn’t very mature.

‘Sorry.’

But it can’t be helped.

‘I’m responsible for these children.’

A good parent didn’t mind being insulted on behalf of their children. A good teacher wasn’t afraid of being mocked for the sake of their students. Those who believed that there were things more precious than themselves wouldn’t hesitate to accept disgrace.

Then what about a god?

‘I am now a Constellation who watches over an entire race.’

I didn’t care if I would be insulted for taking care of these children, and I could tolerate being mocked. I could bear the humiliation of putting down my sword for a while for these little ones who had been imprisoned as slaves.

‘Now, Gorke!’

I would even enjoy being insulted.

‘And the other little goblins as well! Look! These are the snails you were afraid of. He is a member of the nobles who lorded over you. This is all they are.’

With a loud ‘clang!’, I hit the noble’s swords away once again. And again, the snail’s tentacles spread, revealing an opening. It was similar to the opening I’d created before, but Gorke had only stared blankly.

‘Is he not confident that he can face him one on one?’

But this time was different.

‘If you’re not confident, then I’ll make you.’

As if something had possessed him, Gorke swung his arm.

A red aura covered the goblin’s thin arm.

Thud!

-Ah?

An unexpected groan was heard.

The snail noble looked down at his body in confusion, and the young goblin looked at his fist with a blank stare.

A fist mark.

A bright red mark had been engraved on the snail’s body as if it was stamped.

‘Nice shot.’

I smiled inwardly.

‘That’s enough.’

In the next moment, the snail bent over and vomited.

-Kuek! Cough, cough… blek!

Digestive fluids poured onto the head of the hound that carried the snail. Fortunately, the snails’ diets consisted mostly of soups and stews, so there weren’t any solids in the vomit, but the hound wasn’t very pleased nonetheless.

-Wa! Kiking, wahr!

The giant hound struggled to get the slimy vomit off of its head. It shook like a mountain during an earthquake and ran towards the snail army. Clinging tightly to its back, the noble soldier was also carried away.

-Gueeek!

Even as it was carried, the iridescent vomit continued to flow.

Gorke opened and closed his fist with an expression of disbelief.

-Gorrk…

After that, the challengers continued to come.

Not only the nobles of the snail race, but also the private soldiers of the nobles, soldiers who were confident in their fighting ability, and soldiers seeking riches. A total of 11 snails came forward requesting to duel.

But none of them were able to get past my claws.

As I’d said before, it was impossible for them to fight me in the first place.

-……

The longer he fought, the less Gorke spoke.

-Gorke! Gorke! Gorke!

But as his winning streak increased, the goblins behind us went wild.

‘How is it?’

I deliberately paused between each match. Instead of accepting the duels right away, I walked leisurely in front of the goblins.

Like a victorious fighter, Gorke sat proudly on my back.

‘Isn’t he cool?’

He caught the eyes of the other goblins.

‘Aren’t you envious?’

It tickled the hearts of the goblins.

‘You want to be like this too, don’t you?’

It painted their hearts with desire.

‘Fire Painting isn’t the only beautiful thing in the world. Mud isn’t the only thing that smells nice. Achieving victory in a fight. Facing a challenge and overcoming it. These are also as beautiful as Fire Painting and smell as nice as mud.’

It was clear that the goblins had already fallen in love with the beauty of a duel and were intoxicated by the scent of victory.

If that wasn’t the case, their eyes wouldn’t sparkle like that.

It was exactly these smiles and sparkling eyes that I wanted to see the most in this world.

‘Accept your envy as it is. Long for more. Dream of it. Life only becomes vivid when it flows in a direction. Envy will whisper the direction of that flow to you. Be the water that flows to your dreams, not the alcohol that stagnates and rots.’

I’d felt it when I saw them fighting in the colosseum.

Every goblin had fighting spirit sleeping within them.

The goblins considered ‘Gyari’, who’d died in the colosseum as a strange exception in their race. They’d even mentioned her strangeness at her funeral. But if Gyari loved to fight, then there were definitely other goblins who were the same.

“Krrk!”

I slapped away the sword of the eleventh challenger.

‘The White Lion is by your side.’

Although I was only a fake constellation, I wanted to be remembered as the being they believed in.

I hit the twelfth challenger’s sword away.

[The Goblin Race has opened its eyes to the beauty of dueling.]

The tower’s voice sounded in my head.

[The Goblin Race desires the honor of victory.]

[The Goblin Race yearns for the spirit of challenge.]

Perhaps the tower had its own set of aesthetics and procedures, so it always sent notifications, but at least in this case, it was unnecessary.

[The trait of the Goblin Race ‘Greed’ has changed!]

After all, I could tell just by looking at the goblins’ fanatical expressions.

[The Goblin Race has gained the trait ‘Competitive Spirit’!]

Words appeared before my eyes.

+

[Competitive Spirit]

Classification: Guided. Collective Subconscious.

Origin: [Greed(B)]

Description: The Goblin Race is greedy. But this greed does not come from vulgarity, but rather the deficiencies in life. In the eyes of every race, Goblins are ugly, so from the moment they opened their eyes, they were plagued with deficiencies.

‘Life is only life when it flows into the world.’

From now on, the Goblin Race will not blame the world for their deficiencies, but will challenge the world instead.

‘If it must flow, I’d rather it be a stream.’

The Goblin Race believes that they too can become strong. They believe that their desires can be achieved. The sword is a symbol of their faith, dueling is a process of their faith, and victory is the proof of their faith.

‘More vehemently!’

The Goblin Race will be endlessly greedy.

A more honorable duel. A more glorious victory.

The Goblins will constantly try to obtain tokens of their faith, and perhaps this tragedy will never end. But it doesn’t matter. The Goblins are willing to shed tears for this tragedy and applaud those heroes who failed

※However, Aura users might be treated as a privileged class.

※This trait can change depending on how history progresses.

+

Thump.

As the thirteenth challenger was defeated, a drop of liquid fell onto my mane.

-Gorr, krr. Gor.

At first, I thought it was sweat that Gorke had shed. After all, in the first duel of his life, Gorke, who was covered in sweat, had already faced thirteen different opponents. He was slowly reaching the state of mental exhaustion before becoming physically exhausted. He had already been pushed to the point that it was becoming difficult to even use his aura any more.

But it wasn’t sweat.

It was rain.

-Gor?

-Ke?

The goblins looked up at the sky in disbelief.

Tuk, tuk, tuk…

It began to rain. The raindrops fell onto the goblins’ large noses and bounced off. Unable to withstand the force of gravity, the drops that landed on their bodies slowly rolled down.

-Rain.

-It’s kerkke…

-It’s rain.

-It’s really water falling from the sky…

The goblins opened their mouths and drank the rainwater. Compared to when they saw the Fire Painting in the cave, or when they first left the cave and saw the sunset, the goblins were much more excited when they looked up at the rain.

-Gorrup. Gor, Gor!

-Kerkke! Kerkke!

The goblins spread their arms wide as though they wanted to hug the sky. They stomped their feet. The small puddles of water forming beneath their feet splashed, and the mud splattered as well. Some goblins even directly dropped to the ground and rolled in the mud.

It would be wrong to call it sacred.

But it would also be wrong to not call it that.

-……

The snail general picked up his horn.

-This is troublesome. I assembled a unit as quickly as I could in the city and rushed over here but the river will overflow because of the rain. The dirty molds will easily be able to cross the river… But the water is too rough for the hounds to swim. Rime. How can mere mortals stand up to an immortal? Is this the doing of the evil god?

The general muttered as he turned his hound around.

-Or is this the will of Rime?

Then he shouted to the hundreds of cavalrymen behind him.

-We’ll stop chasing the molds here!

-But we’re the tentacles of Canyon City, that…

-Rime. This is my decision. We shouldn’t sacrifice our lives to the immortals here. Instead, we should join White Mountain City in their pursuit of the humans. Soldiers, move out!

Buuuu-

The sound of the horn pierced the rain. The snails patted their hounds with their tentacles, and the hounds kicked their hind legs, soon disappearing behind the curtain of rain and leaving nothing but a long shadow.

Buuuu…

The horn’s sound continued for a little longer than the shadow before finally fading as well.

Now, the only sound they could hear was that of the rain falling.

“……”

I looked in the direction that the dog cavalry had disappeared in for a while. As expected of cavalry, they came like the wind and left just as quickly. Looking at that army, I could see why the Heretic Questioner was so confident, even when it appeared that he was losing to us.

“Grrr.”

I turned back to the goblins.

Those children were happily playing in the rain and rubbing mud on their bodies.

‘I did everything I could.’

After leading them to Guru, I would have fulfilled all of my responsibilities.

‘The time to wrap this stage up is slowly approaching.’

But before that.

I watched the goblins running around in front of me.

‘Cute things.’

And smiled inwardly.

~~~

(Note:

1. The Four Swords Style(四刀流) is the sword technique used by Kaku in One Piece.

2. Naegong, also spelled nei kung, neigung, or neigong, refers to any of a set of Chinese breathing, meditation and spiritual practice disciplines associated with Daoism and especially the Chinese martial arts.)


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