SSS-Class Suicide Hunter – Chapter 234: Death King (1)

Death King (1)

Chapter 234.

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Translator: Seven ED: Sei

(TL: Minor correction in the from ‘Estel’ to ‘Estelle’.)

1.

I put my hand on Preta’s shoulder.

Chwaaaak!

A black whirlpool engulfed Preta. The whirlpool was fierce at first, but it gradually died down. From the size of Preta’s body, to the size of Preta’s head, to the size… of her eye.

After growing smaller for a while, at some point, the whirlpool compressed into a small bead.

This. This little bead was the [Earth Bone Dragon’s Box].

Preta’s memories were stored here.

In this little box… An unnamed doppelganger that was a small village girl became a Saintess, fell to a Witch, cultivated a Paradise, then disappeared without a trace… all of those things. All of those things were contained in this little box.

“…”

Soul.

That was probably the most accurate word to describe it.

I looked down at Preta’s soul in my palm.

“Preta. Can you hear me?”

Very slightly, the bead in the palm of my hand moved.

“From now on, I’m going to eat your memories. I don’t understand the principles behind it, but… The box isn’t stored in my body. Instead, it becomes black water that my heart is submerged in.”

The sound of rain could be heard in the distance. In this neighborhood. Or in the next neighborhood over. The dark clouds that were passing overhead would soon reach this old hanok.

“Preta.”

The pitch black bead glimmered.

“A little while ago, Ms. Ja Soo-jung said something important.”

The bead wasn’t moving.

“If I use my skill to give someone else a body, it should be that person’s decision.”

Within the black bead, there was still a spinning whirlpool.

“No one in this world chose to be born. No one can choose their parents. It’s not just the people who are usually unhappy. Even the most extraordinary geniuses, the rarest beauties, and the greatest Saints have no say in their birth. Seven billion people all have the disadvantage of being born when they didn’t want to and couldn’t want to.”

The bead.

“That’s why I think this moment [where you can decide if you want to receive a living form or not] is extremely, extremely special.”

I raised the swirling whirlpool to my face.

“Preta.”

“…”

“Would you be my daughter?”

Silence.

Without me realizing, the summer rain had passed through the next neighborhood and reached Hanok Street. The drainage system on Hanok Street was no different from the one built during the period of Japanese occupation, and the people here had no choice but to pray it didn’t flood when it rained.

The rain poured down the old street.

“…”

Rain fell on my palm too. Tuk! Tuk, tuk… dudu. The raindrops splashed off of my palms into the air before settling on the old wooden floor. Although most of them were deserters like that, there was a bit of rainwater that stayed in my palm, causing the small bead to be half submerged.

“Preta.”

To this submerged being.

I said with a begging expression.

“Be my daughter.”

The bead shook as if it wanted to swim forward. Communicating beyond that was impossible. However, I could see that the bead had nodded.

“Right.”

I lifted my left hand and slowly held the submerged bead in my right hand. And just as slowly — put Preta’s soul into my mouth.

I closed my mouth.

Kuk, and swallowed.

“…”

The bead became black liquid that flowed over my tongue. As it flowed, the black liquid seemed to spread into tens and hundreds of branches that pierced my internal organs.

It was a shadow. As if finding its target, the shadow, which had been procrastinating and eroding my internal organs, began to flow to one specific spot in my body.

It was rushing towards my heart.

Tens of hundreds of branches wrapped around my heart. My heart was covered, trapped. There were no problems with the functions of my heart, however, there were now shadows, and each shadow corresponded to someone’s memory.

“Earth Bone Dragon’s Skull.”

[Skill activated.]

Chwaak!

In an instant, the shadows wrapped around my heart released. Then from my esophagus to my mouth to my tongue before finally escaping my body, flowed hundreds of black remnants.

“..!”

When it came out, it was just a small bead again.

Tong, tong, tong, the bead rolled across the rainy wooden floor. And with every bounce, tong, tong, tong, the bead became exponentially larger.

Finally, the bead became so large that it took up the entire floor—

“…”

And just as the giant bead broke…

-Meow!

Meow howled. Meow! Meeoow! Meow! The cat with a dog’s body let out a long cry as the outside of the bead melted in the rain and became a shadow.

And she was standing on the shadow.

“…”

Estelle.

In a comfortable dress that a country girl would wear. She looked like she would wander round a farm all day with a small basket in her hand, picking any vegetables she wanted to use.

A girl who looked like she should have been in the middle of a rice field, was born after the shadow egg broke.

“Ah…”

As Preta looked around dazedly, I remembered a scene I’d seen before.

Ahh.

I see.

Those who enter the Tower, do so with nothing. Money. Identification. Even clothes and socks. Just as if they’d been born, they entered the Tower with just their naked body. They would go through a long tunnel before arriving at the square known as Babylon.

And get a new title, a new name.

All of this was just a metaphor, a device to say [You have been born anew].

As if to say [All of you are now This One’s new children].

The Tower Master’s words.

“Preta.”

Just like.

“What name would you like to have?”

Like I was doing now.

“…”

For a while, the Devil King of Fall Rain didn’t respond. However, it wasn’t because she had no answer to give, she had already prepared an answer, she simply didn’t know if she should say it… She didn’t know if such a luxury, such a miracle, was something someone like her should be allowed to have, so she couldn’t open her mouth.

“Es… telle…”

She cried.

“Estelle… My name… Estelle……Please let it be Estelle…….”

I nodded.

I could guess why she used the name of the first human she killed to be her new name. She intended to live a life to replace that person. That was what she’d decided.

“Right.”

Guessing her thoughts, I gave her the name.

“Estelle.”

“Yes. Yes… my Lord.”

“I’m no longer your Lord, I’m your Father.”

In front of the avatar of a certain Goddess who wanted to be the mother of everyone, I spoke to the life I’d created.

“There will be a lot of work ahead. Always treat the people in front of you with respect. You have returned to the days when you had the power of a [Constellation], so there is little that you cannot accomplish with your sword. But there is still a lot for you to see.”

“Yeees, yes… huk. yes…”

“For the time being, you will be working part time at the Planetarium Cafe. Meet people, serve guests, calculate change, get tips, talk to coworkers, have talking fights, then take responsibility for fighting. Learn what it means to be a person there.”

“Yes…”

As she cried, I called out her name.

“Estelle.”

I said.

“Learn a lot.”

2.

It was a rainy day when ‘It’ opened its eyes.

It didn’t have a name. It didn’t have a form. It could only be called a shadow. On a rainy day, the shadow opened its eyes, and as soon as it opened its eyes, it saw the first creature that appeared in front of it.

-Frog.

It didn’t know what the creature was. There were a lot of things it didn’t know. Except a sound… the sound of rain. A roaring sound that came from every direction. The rain also had a sweet scent.

Like now.

When it went from an unnamed monster to Estelle, it was allowed to live a normal human life. When Estelle was called a Saintess, she seemed to have an honorable and sacred future shining ahead of her. When the Saintess fell to become a Witch, she became the Devil King and destroyed a world.

However, there was never a time when she felt [I was born].

It was just a life she’d been given, and she lived as it was given. She became a Saintess not because she was holy, but because she had replaced a dead child. When they saw that, people around her called her an angel or Saintess… She wasn’t. She was just living.

She just wanted to live.

– Estelle.

It wasn’t until this moment

– Learn a lot.

That Estelle was born.

“…”

Estelle was holding a gigantic pitch black sword. The sword had appeared from the same bead she was born from. It was the red sword that had made her the strongest and undefeated when she had been called the Devil King.

Estelle held that red sword*. Compared to her small body, the sword was far too big. But for Estelle this sword was nothing short of her soul. (*: Not sure if it’s black or red anymore…)

It was incredibly easy to attract the soul, and Estelle simply held the sword high.

“Pitiful life.”

Estelle’s face darkened.

It was as if she was reciting a prayer for herself.

“This is all I can do to prove myself in this place.”

The red sword moved slowly.

“Today, I look up to the sky and let out my vagitus*.” (*: The first cry of a newborn baby.)

Then.

The swung sword let out a wail.

A red beam of light from the sword split the world.

All at once, the raindrops split, the dark cloud scattered, and the sunset that was hidden behind them was torn apart.

“…”

Hudududu, the split raindrops fell, reflecting the brilliant colors of sunset. As if every drop was filled with gold, the old hanok was suddenly covered in gold.

[The Devil King of Fall Rain has manifested.]

Ja Soo-jung looked at the golden shower in the middle of the backyard.

Raviel and Uburka, who were sitting on the floor, quietly watched this mysterious rain.

“Beautiful…”

Smiling, Ja Soo-jung turned to Kim Gong-ja. (TL: Sudden third person switch)

“Mr. Gong-ja, you have so many beautiful things.”

“…”

Kim Gong-ja nodded.

“Yes.”

Kim Gong-ja said.

“This is the day Estelle was born.”

3.

And it wasn’t just Estelle that was born that day.

In the yard of the old hanok, countless members of the Demonic Cult prostrated themselves. There were so many people that some of them had to prostrate themself from the shoulders of their fellow members.

499 people.

With the exception of one, the Demonic Cult did not lose their mind after losing their old master.

“Blood Demon(血魔).”

I called the name of the strongest among them.

“Yes, Young Master!”

“You obeyed the Heavenly Demon and took care of all the small tasks. If there were evil people to deal with, you dealt with them, and if you had to build a house for a cult member, you built it. Not only did you punish evil, you also served the people, you are worthy of being called the assistant among assistants, and the worker among workers.”

“Thank you! Young Master!”

I nodded.

“Ghost Flame Demon(鬼魂炎魔).”

“Yes.”

“You utilized your strategic prowess and resourcefulness to achieve whatever the Heavenly Demon willed. Even if the entire world was buried in snow, and your strategies and resourcefulness were frozen beneath the snow, you remained devoted to accomplishing the Heavenly Demon’s wishes.”

“…”

I nodded.

“Moon Shadow Demon Lord”

“First rank, Commander of the Shadow Corps, Moon Shadow Demon Lord, responds to the Young Master’s call.”

“You planted spies in the world and knew the snow would arrive before anyone else. You worked hard to guide the elites of the Murim and summon the Demonic Cult’s last warriors. Without you, it would have been impossible for any of the leaders to differentiate among themselves.”

“…”

I nodded.

“Sword Demon.”

“Tell me! Young Master!”

“You are strong. In the final battle, you won against the Murim. If you weren’t strong, it wouldn’t have mattered how beautiful the battle was, or how good of a story it would be to tell. You remained focused and won.”

“Kuhahaha! My Young Master’s words are so right it makes me want to hug you to my chest!”

“You all.”

I turned and looked at the 499 gathered there.

“It is thanks to you all that we were able to win. No, it is thanks to us that my Master was able to win.”

A quiet fire burned in the eyes of the cult members.

“Did Master just defeat the Murim?”

“No!”

The cult members answered together.

“Did Master just win over Namgong Un, the leader of the Murim?”

“No!”

The cult members screaming at the top of their lungs.

“Then what did our great leader triumph over?!”

Beneath the evening sky that had been cut by Estelle, the people of the destroyed snow, cried.

“The world!”

That’s right.

“The Heavenly Demon conquered the world!”

I nodded.

“Even if the snow fell eternally and covered the world. Even if everyone died in the snow. Master didn’t give up or doubt the sword even once. That was why Master could cut the snowfield.”

“For the Demonic Cult!”

“For the common man!”

“But there are still many worlds for us to challenge.”

I raised my finger and pointed towards the sky.

There was just a split sunset there, but my finger was pointing to the Tower beyond it and everyone here knew it.

“The world that Master couldn’t cut is still, still overflowing with blood!”

The bloodthirst of the Demonic Cult members reached the peak.

“We will follow the teachings of the Demonic Cult!”

“Baraya!”

“Even if there are many worlds to cut, we are determined to fulfill our task!”

“Baraya!”

“Then live”

“Agabaraya!”

“Our hearts are flames.”

“We will burn the world!”

So I melted 499 boxes into my heart.

The resurrected Demonic Cult members were still reveling in the feeling of being alive.

But they didn’t just speak about living.

“For the Demonic Cult.”

At my murmur, 499 members of the Demonic Cult drew their swords at once.

“For the common man!”

Their blades were marked by their dark experience.

“We will conquer the Tower!”

The hundred ghosts tied to the [Hundred Ghosts Reincarnation] were released.

They were reborn in my heart and regained the power of their glory days.

The strongest army had been born.

~~~


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