Chapter 53 – The Obsessed Final King (1)
Translator: WH Editor: Sasha
-All of you are now watching an amazing video right now!
-A witch, more popularly known as the Black Dragon Witch is leading the 11th floor raid team. This is the latest video we just got from BBS. Oh! Let me zoom in on this part.
-Yes, this is the part! Let’s pause the video for a second.
A quiet waiting room.
I was watching TV mindlessly.
– To all our viewers, can you see it? The Black Dragon Witch is holding hands with another Hunter. This Hunter is presumed to be Death King(死王).
-If the video wasn’t fabricated, it would mean that Death King hunted the 11th floor stage boss in a single stroke. It’s often called a one-shot one-kill among Hunters. But until now, there was never a precedence where the boss monster was defeated in one-shot.
The caster and commentator were in a commotion.
-So you’re saying this is the first time?
-Yes, it is. Of course, the Black Dragon Witch helped, but the Hunter who faced the boss monster by himself seemed to be Death King.
Underneath the screen was a breaking news caption, “[Death King’s Press Conference This Afternoon].
-Everyone, let’s watch the next video together.
-Death King who has been under the veil all this while had finally showed up yesterday afternoon. He came back to Babylon on the transfer gate. As you can see, the Black Dragon Witch and Sword Saint were with him.
-It looks like they’re escorting Death King though?
-Yes. To properly convey the vibe of the scene, I’ll raise my voice for a bit.
There was a video that seemed to be taken by someone on their cell phone.
In the middle of the screen, I was expressionlessly walking.
-Please look this way for a while!
-Please don’t push me away! Please say something!
-Black Dragon Witch, when can we hear the official announcements?!
-What kind of relationship are you two….
I couldn’t stand watching it anymore and pressed the remote control.
I frowned at Bae Hu-ryeong who was watching the TV with me side by side.
-Ahhh, why did you turn it off? I was enjoying it for quite a while.
I opened my mouth.
“Because I’m so embarrassed that I could just die!”
This place is the waiting room.
A day has passed since I received the recognition of Sword Saint.
Today was the day where the press conference regarding the progress of clearing the tower will be held.
Originally, it was supposed to be taken care of by the top guild masters, but this time, I was invited as a special guest. After a while, the interview will start.
-Why don’t you just kill yourself? You’re not going to die anyway.
“But I don’t want to!”
I didn’t have anything to do until the conference was held, so I thought I’d watch TV, but it was a mistake.
-Ahhh. Fuc-. I got it. Then switch to another channel.
“All channels talk about me anyway!”
Whether it was the news channel or the others, almost all the broadcasts were talking about the raid from the 10th to 20th floors. And TV shows weren’t the only ones. Things were the same even when I looked on the Internet.
I had become a celebrity after a night’s sleep.
That’s what I feel like right now.
[The Goddess of Protection points out that it was just how exceptional your achievement was.]
The Holy Sword quivered on my waist.
[Fame is like the taxes a hero has to pay, day by day. The Goddess of Protection advises that you must get used to the position of Hero.]
I felt so burdened that I lowered the Holy Sword.
“I was so tired yesterday that I fell asleep and couldn’t talk much…Ms. Goddess, you there? Aren’t you thinking too highly of me?”
[You are the light!]
The Holy Sword quivered more.
I don’t know if it was just me, but it felt like she was an idol’s obsessed fan.
[The Goddess of Protection whispered that she still remembers as clear as day. When you climbed up the Empire’s castle and gave that roaring speech. And the imposing stance when you declared ‘Leave the Empire to us from now on’, you were so dashing then.]
I covered my ears.
“Stop! Stop it! That was what I uttered when I was completely excited!”
But it was to no avail. The Sword’s voice was not heard by my ear but transmitted directly to my head.
The Holy Sword whispered endlessly about my dark history.
[Goddess of Protection expressed. It’s an unwritten law that a hero must love himself! The words of a hero without self-love are always miserable, and it would make even the people around him unhappy. In that sense, your confidence is very likable! It’s really quite amazing!]
I was right.
The Goddess of Protection was just my huge fan.
“Stop… please just stop……!”
Just like me who was once an obsessed fan of Flame Emperor, the Holy Sword had been a fan of mine.
I wouldn’t mind if she expressed the burning desire of a fan somewhere I couldn’t see. But the Sword’s voice was broadcasted live to me 24 hours a day.
[The Goddess of Protection Confesses.]
[I am happy to serve someone like you as my second master!]
Oh my God.
Have I ever heard someone sincerely praising me continuously and been in their company for this long? Someone, that praised me so incessantly, that it made me think about my dark past which I wanted to forget as soon as possible.
Just kill me instead.
[Especially when you brought the Devil King of Fall Rain under your reign, and the moment when you muttered, ‘The Lord has the responsibility to protect his own people’, that was truly a great scene…]
This was really too much.
I took out the Odo Oil(御油) from my backpack. Odo Oil was an oil used to clean a blade. I poured some of the oil on a cloth and glared at the Holy Sword.
“You started it first. This thing.”
My hand reached closer to the blade of the sword.
A flicker of white light burst out from the Holy Sword.
[The Goddess of Protection feels threatened.]
[The Goddess of Protection begs you to stop what you’re doing.]
[The Goddess of Protection…]
10 minutes later.
[The Goddess of Protection apologizes to you for her blunder.]
Thanks to my sincere towel skills, the Holy Sword became clean. The blade became as transparent as a mirror and reflected my face. But the Holy Sword trembled with shame.
“Phew, it’s finally a little quiet now.”
I lowered the Holy Sword which had become more silent.
“So I get that you’re a Constellation but why a sword? Did you possess the sword from the very beginning?”
As far as my understanding goes, the Constellation(星座) was like the administrator of the stage.
Like the vengeful ghost, the Constellation may have been a monster at first. I couldn’t even imagine how the ‘Sword’ became a Constellation.
As I muttered that question, the Holy Sword gave off a subtle white glow.
[The Goddess of Protection shakes her head.]
[It’s easier to just understand that the Constellation is ‘Something that Represents’ the world.]
A representative of the world.
[The Goddess of Protection muttered.]
[I was originally a Holy Spirit who was revered as a god. But the Empire’s founder ‘Lefanta Aegim’, split me into five swords and sealed me.]
[You are the first possessor of the Holy Swords, ‘Idol’.]
I bat my eyes.
“Is the name of the sword Idol?”
And then the Goddess of Protection named the five swords.
[First Sword, Idol (偶像).]
[Second Sword, Pity (懷惑).]
[Third Sword, Prayer (祈願).]
[Fourth Sword, Sacrifice (樣姓).]
[Fifth Sword, Salvation (救援).]
[These are the swords of the five sisters.]
[The goddess of Protection bragged that if you gather all the sister swords, she will regain the strength from her prime.]
In short, the sword that was shining in front of my eyes was really just a fragment of the Holy Sword.
In other words, the other four swords must be found to draw out its real power.
“Interesting. So where are the sister swords?”
She did not answer.
An awkward silence filled the waiting room.
“Hello? Goddess? I’m asking you where your sisters are?”
[T/N: Original text is묵묵부답 (默默不答), which means when someone is not answering even after asking about it numerous times.]
My eyes sharpened.
“… By any chance, even you don’t know?”
After a while, a voice murmured.
[The Goddess of Protection pleads the Fifth.]
“In the end, that just means you don’t know.”
[The Goddess of Protection argues that she can feel the presence of the sister swords if they are close by.]
“Well, I’m not in a hurry to find them right now. Anyway, you must have at least a fifth of the power. Mr. Idol Sword. What can you do?”
[I can get absolute support from the citizens of the Aegim Empire.]
“I know that better than anyone. Anything else?”
As if the Holy Sword was waiting for it, it emitted light at its maximum output.
“Aackk! My eyes?! My eyesss?!”
I rolled around the floor while covering my eyes.
I could hear the Holy Sword snarling in my head.
[The Goddess of Protection boasts that she is confident in emitting light.]
“I’ve seen it to the point where I’m sick of it, so of course I know it!”
What in the world??? I was lucky that I protected my eyes with Aura in an instant. I almost lost my eyesight!
“No, what else can you do besides getting the support of the Aegim Empire’s citizens and shining!”
The Holy Sword’s glow dimmed. In human terms, it was as if she was stuttering.
[I’m confident in manipulating monsters.]
[Hurriedly, The Goddess of Protection adds that she is also confident in manipulating humans.]
Knock knock knock.
Amid the silence, where I was dumbfounded, someone knocked on the waiting room door. I quickly sheathed the Holy Sword. From someone else’s point of view, I would look like a madman if I was seen talking to the sword.
The Witch’s voice could be heard from outside the door.
“You’ve been noisy since a while ago. Is something wrong?”
“I’m alright. Nothing’s going on!”
“Is that so…?”
The Witch seemed suspicious but did not question me further.
“The press conference will start in five minutes. The reporters will probably shoot you loads of questions frantically. And the 21st floor will be open by the end of the press conference. We’re gonna answer the reporters in moderation and then head straight to the 21st floor. Do you understand?”
“What a great reply… Don’t come out late.”
I heard footsteps beyond the door. Tack tack. I pulled the Holy Sword out only after I properly checked that the Witch’s steps were far away.
And glared silently at the blade.
“Basically, besides being able to shine, there’s nothing else you’re useful for at all.”
[The Goddess of Protection is protesting against your biased opinions…]
“Alright then. From now on, you’re not the Goddess of Protection, I’ll call you Shiny. It’s a waste for you to have the name Holy Sword!”
Come to think of it, this Constellation was pathetic!
Didn’t she fail to protect her world and got devoured by the Devil King of Fall Rain? In the end, I had to ‘carry’ this Constellation and protect her world. Like the vengeful ghost, this Constellation was not in a position to raise its head against me.
“And it’s too noisy. My head’s already overloaded with one of that Sword Emperor. I’m losing my mind because you keep going ‘Goddess of Protection’ this, ‘Goddess of Protection’ that! From now on, don’t talk to me unless you really have to.”
[The Goddess of Protection…]
“Ohh hoh! Don’t make me return you to the Aegim Empire. Do you understand, Shiny?”
Silence hung around for a while.
After a moment, the Holy Sword quivered.
[My Lord, Shiny agrees.]
It was at this moment that I acquired the Constellation.
The press conference was held in the square.
Not only the central square but also the alleys were packed. A crowd that looked like it easily exceeded tens of thousands. As we walked onto the stage set up in the middle of the plaza, cameras flashed all around us.
The Witch, Sword Saint, Me.
The three of us sat side by side at the table that was prepared beforehand.
“-Thank you for welcoming us.”
It was the Witch who spoke into the microphone. As the Witch’s calm voice flowed, cheers soared from the corners of the plaza.
“Black Dragon Witch-nim!”
“Please look here, Black Dragon Witch-nim! Just once will do!”
A group of people waved their placards around. There was even a person who brought a picture of a magazine cover that the Witch modelled for.
Was it because the Saintess(聖女) had not appeared yet? As a female Hunter, Black Dragon Witch was enjoying incomparable popularity.
After bowing her head as a sign of greeting, the Witch started the conference in all seriousness.
“As you all may know, we’ve cleared the 10th to 20th floor. It was a splendid achievement as featured by the various media outlets, broadcasts, and even small media outlets. We’ve been wondering how to announce this joyous news…. But it seems like we didn’t have to worry about it as you all promoted it well. Yes, that’s right. Thank you all very much for letting us save the advertising expenses.”
There was a slight laugh from the press corps that occupied the front row of the stage.
“But there’s something else that we’re very proud of this time.”
The plaza gradually quieted down.
“It isn’t about the fact that the 10th floor that we’ve been longing to clear over the years has finally come true. And neither is it related to the event of us having cleared up to the 20th floor at an unexpected speed. Zero casualties. The fact that not a single person died… Of all things, this was what made us happy the most.”
After a little humour, she expressed her sincere feelings.
Even to me, an outsider, I could see that the Black Dragon Witch skilfully led the conference with her speech.
‘As expected, she has to be at this level to be the biggest guild’s leader.’
I wondered if she was really the same person who dressed me up yesterday and acted like a fool.
“Everyone. Please look down for a moment.”
Said the Witch.
“Look at the ground of Babylon’s plaza that you are stepping on. You will be able to see each stone engraved with a name. The names of the fallen warriors thus far. The names of our seniors who devoted their lives to clear the tower.”
The cameras of the press corps flashed across the floor in unison.
“When we raided the 2nd floor, when we raided the 3rd floor, countless names were engraved on the floor. It is because of their sacrifices that we can be here today. In front of all these people… I’m really happy to be able to announce this.”
The Witch’s voice resonated throughout the plaza.
“Today, we didn’t engrave anyone’s name on the plaza.”
Reporters snapped photos alternately between the tiles on the plaza’s floor and the Witch. This would determine the photos that will be published in the newspaper, and also decide the atmosphere and mood of today’s conference. The crowd shouted the Witch’s name and cheered.
‘There’s no need for me to even butt in.’
I watched the conference unfold with an expressionless face.
I felt gratified for no reason.
‘As expected, siding with the right people is important.’
Feeling at ease, I glanced at the sky.
It was the same as when the 11th floor was opened. Even now, there was a clock of light in the sky. When the number indicates 0:0:00, the 21st floor will be opened.
‘I can’t wait to finish the press conference and go to the 21st floor…’
When the press conference was proceeding smoothly.
During the session of the reporters’ questions and the Witch’s replies.
“This is Reporter John Evans from Babylon Daily News!”
A reporter sprang on his feet.
“I have a question for Death King, the new 3rd rank.”
I stared at the reporter.
Naturally, the eyes of the people who gathered in the plaza were also on me.
“There are a lot of rumours about your sudden rise in the ranking, Death King-nim. Especially the speculation that you are the [the Big Rookie that the big guilds have been secretly raising from a long time ago]. It sounds extremely convincing!”
“If this is really true, then it would mean that Death King-nim is a hero intentionally created by the big guilds. What do you think of these suspicions?”
There was a commotion at the plaza.
“There are also many voices of concerns that the top guilds may unite and monopolize the 10th to 20th floors. In particular, I heard that Death King-nim has been given the exclusive rights to the 20th floor! Is that true!”
A commotion was stirred up even further.
The Witch sitting next to me was expressionless, but she clicked her tongue so soft that only I could hear it. She turned off the microphone and murmured.
“He’s trying to aggro you. Don’t answer him. I’ll take care of it.”
[T/N: aggro is like aggravating you, i.e. making you lose your cool.]
I shook my head.
“These kinds of people will keep popping out anyway. I’ll have to make myself clear at least once.”
“It’s all right.”
I reached out my hand to the Witch.
“Please hand me the microphone.”
My determination was resolute.
Before climbing the 21st floor, I have to make sure to nip this kind of aggro in the bud.
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