SSS-Class Suicide Hunter – Chapter 183: Rookie Actor (1)

Rookie Actor (1)

Chapter 183. < Rookie Actor (1) >

Translator: Seven PR: LightBrin

[Mud and Dust] was a theater company with many years of history.

But now, that was all it had left. They used to be quite popular, but that was a thing of the past. After the previous owner disappeared after leaving a suicide note due to financial difficulties, the term ‘historic theater company’ became an insult instead of a compliment.

-Come in.

“I, did I pass?”

-Of course you passed. Ugor. Even if you are just an elf rookie, I wouldn’t deserve to be a theater owner if I didn’t accept you after witnessing such a passionate performance.

Still overflowing with praise, the hobgoblin theater owner led me into the theater. When the door opened, the 130 year old theater entered my sight. The wear on the building showed that it had truly been around for 130 years.

“Wow.”

It was dark inside. There was some light from torches that had been hung on the walls, but it was almost as bad as not having any. Soot covered the walls and ceiling. Goblins liked damp places, so there was liquid accumulated on the floor, but I wasn’t sure if it was stagnant water or something else.

In other words, it was visual and olfactory terrorism.

“This is a bit……”

That wasn’t all.

Spiders, centipedes, and various other insects crawled all over the place.

All the bugs gathered to show their love for dark, wet places. Thanks to this, this small theater overflowed with love, overflowed with life, and above all, overflowed with spider webs.

“Why on earth….”

-You must be moved. I understand. I had a similar reaction when I first saw the theater when I was young.

The hobgoblin looked proud.

It seems he misunderstood my reaction.

-My heart pounded in my chest. It felt like I was falling in love for the first time. Looking back now, that heart pounding feeling that I had at that time is probably what led my life to this point.

My heart was pounding too. The left atrium and right ventricle were pulsating as I witnessed the majesty of the spider webs that seemed to spread out like the Great Wall of China.

“Owner. How long has it been since you cleaned this place?”

-Cleaned?

“……”

I gave up all hope when I saw the hobgoblin make an expression that said ‘what’s that?’.

Right. In the first place, these kids were fond of muddy water from birth. Even if I nagged at them till my throat was sore, they would probably never clean up.

-I, I can’t believe you managed to pass the screening without muscles! It’s unbelievable! As expected of Kekerkker!

The original owner of this body, the aspiring actor Ssonia, had become a mental body that hovered around me. Like Bae Hu-ryeong, he floated in the air like a ghost.

However, it was impossible for him to communicate with Bae Hu-ryeong. I was the only person that could hear their voices. Suddenly, I’d become someone who was followed by two ghosts.

‘It’s like two mosquitoes buzzing in my ear during summer time…’

-Huh?

‘No. It’s nothing. More than that, Ssonia. Why did you risk your life for such a backwater theater company? Since you decided to be an actor, you should’ve picked a good place.’

-I also wanted to join a famous company like the [Flames] or [Blazes]…

Ssonia muttered bitterly.

-But those large theater companies don’t even have interviews. It doesn’t matter if I’m from a rich elf family… This is the only place I had a chance in.

‘Huh.’

Ssonia could be considered a victim of ethnic discrimination, or at the very least, muscle discrimination. How on earth did my kids become a group that only cared about muscles…

-Follow me. I’ll introduce you to our family here at the theater company.

I followed the theater owner deeper into the building until we arrived at a dressing room. There, we found a pile of worn props, in the center of which were two sleeping hobgoblins.

-Wake up! You good for nothings!

The theater owner hit the hobgoblins in the head with his hand that was as large as a pot lid.

-Look at what time it is already!

-Ugo… Ugoo…

The hobgoblins struggled to open their eyes. One of them had one arm while the other only had one eye. The hobgoblins rubbed their green faces with their hands before they finally spotted me.

-Woah. Why is an elf here, boss?

-Did you hire a new ticket clerk?

-You good for nothings. This isn’t a ticket clerk, he is our new rookie actor! I told you about him before. The elf that keeps following me around and asking me to accept him as an actor.

-Ah, so it was that annoying elf…?

Only then did the hobgoblin actors come to their senses.

-Wait, did you really take him on as a rookie actor?

-Why not? He passed the final test.

-Are you crazy? Boss. How can he go on stage with such a trashy body?

He didn’t have to say it like that.

-Don’t worry. I know why I chose him. Even though his body is lacking, this guy’s acting skills…

“My name is Ssonia. Theater Owner.”

-Right, Ssonia. Ssonia’s acting is more sincere than any other actor that I’ve ever seen. These days, the audience only cares about muscles, but they might change their mind when they see Ssonia’s acting.

The theater owner affirmed.

The hobgoblin actors started to get interested.

-Hoh.

-For the boss to say so much…

-In any case, a junior has arrived after a long time. So the seniors should set an example. How long are you going to stay in the dressing room? Hurry up and wash up, then gather on the stage.

-Understood, understood.

The actors got up.

Urrr!

The props collapsed like a tower of legos. Surprisingly, there weren’t just two hobgoblins sleeping in the dressing room, there were three. The last one had been buried in the pile of props. This hobgoblin, who had only one ear, had been sleeping comfortably while hugging a prop lion.

-I said wake up!

-Ack? Aack!

The theater owner grabbed the hobgoblin by his remaining ear and pulled him up. Despite being dragged around, the actor did not let go of the lion till the end. It was cute.

-As you know, the Fire Play we will be performing next week is [The Rampant Fire Sword].

After a while the actors were all gathered.

The theater owner paced back and forth in front of the stage.

-One day, Kekerkker, who was living his life normally, met the Flame Emperor, who he always remembered. The two people met and one person’s life ended while the other began to live an entirely new life. Recently, there have been many cases of it being reinterpreted as ‘Actually, the Flame Emperor wasn’t a bad person.’, but… we will go with the classic interpretation.

-Boss.

The one armed actor raised his hand.

-No matter how you look at it, that is old fashioned. Shouldn’t we keep up with the latest trends?

-Right.The audience wants something new.

The one eyed actor added.

-Even if it’s a bit childish, sometimes it’s necessary to pretend that you agree with something even if you don’t. Sometimes it’s necessary to pander to the audience.

-Ha, that’s ridiculous! True fire doesn’t have to choose firewood!

The theater owner’s eyes went wide.

-If you start following something simply because it’s the trend, then it will never end. The foundations would disappear. The theme for [The Rampant Fire Sword] where a person can look up to another person and how being disappointed by that person can affect their entire life. Other than that, everything else is blasphemy and heresy!

Mm.

The actors grumbled.

-That old fashioned personality of yours won’t change no matter what.

-Won’t we just fail at this rate…

-So noisy! Didn’t I add a few extra lines because you guys were complaining so much? I won’t make any more concessions. Warm up your bodies and throats for 20 minutes. Then we’ll start practicing!

-That’s not good enough… In any case, we’ll do as you say, boss…

As the junior, I sat calmly in the audience and observed the practice of the seniors.

30 minutes passed.

‘Wow.’

I came to a conclusion.

‘Isn’t this total mess?’

In a word, it was terrible.

Fire plays were [plays that used aura]. When acting out a scene, the actor not only had to recite the lines, but also had to create a flame-like aura with their body. To express passion.

If one was proficient at using aura, then they would naturally be good at acting, and if they were good at acting, they would naturally become proficient at using aura. For this reason, the actors of the fire plays became great warriors and excellent aura users.

Or that should be the case…

“Why are they so stiff?”

I muttered subconsciously. They were words that came out unintentionally. Maybe my words reached the ears of the theater owner, because he turned to look at me while instructing the actors.

-What are you talking about?

“Uh. No. I just feel like they’re using their aura in a specific way…”

The scene where Kekerkker recognised the Flame Emperor’s true personality.

The actors in front of me were too focused on [anger]. No, it wasn’t focused at all. If they were really expressing [anger] with their aura, it would be like a forest fire. And if they expressed [sadness], it would dim and droop.

Instead, it was as if they were following a guide for using their aura.

‘But it’s flashy.’

The aura of the people in front of me went on and off repeatedly. It was incredibly flashy.

But that was all.

‘There’s no point to it. Really.’

I opened my mouth.

“Fire Painting is an aura art. And the pattern and power of the aura depends on a specific emotion, will, or image. Emotion comes first. If you focus more on arm movements and lines then your aura will lose its vitality. How should I say this? It, it’s not pulsating. Ah, that’s right. It has no energy. It’s limp.”

The theater owner frowned slightly. From his expression he looked like he used to be a gangster.

-What in the Kekerkker are you barking about?

“Is that some kind of goblin saying?… No. Anyways.”

I went up to a corner of the stage.

The actors had stopped practicing and were looking at me.

“Now then. You have a set motion for anger, and a set motion for sadness. But you can’t do that. Do people always cry when they’re sad? They don’t. It depends on the situation. Being able to react immediately even in completely different situations is one of the advantages of aura.”

The seniors smirked as if they found it interesting.

-The boss said that he brought in a junior, but it’s more like he brought in a teacher.

-Teacher! Show us an example!

“Umm.”

I wondered what I could do to make the actors understand.

I looked around.

“First of all, having all of these torches is not good. Let’s put them out first.”

I bent over and grabbed a handful of dirt from the stage floor. Then, I poured my aura into the dirt before throwing it out. The torches on the walls went out one after the other as small arrows of dirt hit them.

The hobgoblins were surprised.

-What?

-What in the……

The surroundings suddenly became dark.

“Okay.”

All the Fire Painting theaters resembled snail cities. The great caverns. A cave surrounded by walls on all sides, but with a hole in the ceiling. The goblins had long since forgotten their days of slavery, but the traces of it could still be seen in their architecture.

“Please be quiet for a moment, everyone.”

With the torches snuffed, the only source of light was the hole in the ceiling. The light of dawn. The stage was shrouded in bluish shadows.

“You don’t need to do unique actions.”

The quiet carpet of dawn.

“You don’t even need lines. Aura isn’t magic, but… I’ll just show you. Let’s say, for example, you want to express anger.”

I started doing pushups on the stage.

“The more familiar an action, the better the effect. This is an action that anyone could recognize. You don’t even need facial expressions. Hup!”

I slowly lowered my chest and waist. Then raised them. Before lowering them again. Like this, I went up and down in a specific rhythm.

“Now, normally, this is the speed when you do pushups. This is normal, but this.…”

I raised my aura.

It was almost as though red flames had engulfed my body. In the middle of those flames, I began to do pushups faster than before, to the point where it seemed strange.

Quickly.

Mechanically.

Expressionlessly.

“……”

It became extremely quiet.

I continued to look straight ahead. Without the sound of heavy breathing, I continued to do pushups at a high speed. My entire body moved. And around me, blood red aura burned fiercely.

“…Huu.”

30 seconds later, I stood up and brushed the dirt off my hands.

“See? Those were just pushups. It’s a familiar movement. However, how did it feel? It’s the same movement, but if you change the speed, the feeling changes completely.”

-……

“What if I was doing pushups at an unstable speed while sweating profusely? The feeling would change again. If the first was refined anger, then the second is furious rage. That’s what I meant. You don’t need unique movements or special lines in order to express emotion.”

The hobgoblins seemed to have an idea about what I was talking about, but they couldn’t completely understand. It was only then that I realized that I was talking to [kids who might not be very talented at aura] for the first time.

“There, senior.”

I pointed to the one eyed actor.

He was the one who played the role of Flame Emperor in the play.

-A-, are you talking to me?

“Yes. The Flame Emperor was an incredibly narcissistic man. If it were senior, how would you express the Flame Emperor’s narcissism?”

-Uh…

“What kind of aura would you use to express narcissism?”

The one eyed actor seemed to be confused, but he thought about what I said. Then he took out a mirror from the nearby pile of props.

-Probably something like this…

The one eyed actor looked at himself in the mirror. A faint aura slowly rose up from the actor’s body, wriggling like a snake.

Indeed.

“It’s not bad. But it’s weird. It’s not right.”

-It’s weird…?

“Look. The Flame Emperor called himself a real man. Would such a person stare at himself in the mirror? Do you think the Flame Emperor carried around a small mirror? Why would he do that?”

-Uh…

“Senior is too focused on the thought that [narcissistic people often look into mirrors]. On top of that, your idea of narcissism is too shallow, that’s why your aura was so faint and weak. Don’t do that. You’re just copying something. Can’t you have an example from your own feelings, senior?”

-Th-, then how would you do it?

“The same way.”

I took a deep breath and controlled my aura.

I controlled my aura like Uburka had in the past. Virtual muscles. My entire body was covered by my aura, as if my body was filled with bulging muscles.

“Hup…… huu, hup……”

Then I started doing pushups again. Only this time, I was doing them very slowly, as if to appreciate my muscles. I also intentionally added the sound of my breathing.

This wasn’t [an act to make my body better], but [an act to show off how good my body was].

“Get it? It’s simple, right?”

-……no… I wanted to point it out early, but the way you’re using aura…….

“What if I wanted to use this to emphasize the narcissism? It would be good to add small props here. For example if we spread several chairs around. But the Flame Emperor, that crazy bastard would never sit even if there were chairs. Instead, he would keep doing pushups. Without rest.”

-……

“Then, people would recognize you even if you didn’t say any lines. Ah, that bastard is crazy. He’s a crazy bastard who’s only obsessed with himself and doesn’t care about anything around him. Can you feel it a bit better now? I suppose I should show you since I mentioned it.”

I easily picked up a few log chairs and brought them to the stage before placing them randomly.

Then, in the middle of all the chairs, I once again started doing pushups slowly while also breathing as heavily as before. Huff, huff, huff. Of course, I used my aura to give the illusion of burning muscles.

“How is it? Isn’t this easy?”

-……

After a moment of silence, the one eyed hobgoblin opened his mouth.

-Who are you?

“Aren’t I a rookie actor?”

The hobgoblins all looked at me as if I was crazy.

No. Why?

~~~

(TL: Sorry for the delay.)


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