Chapter 9 – The Monologuing Identity(2)
-Can’t you return me to the old man now?
Bae Hu-ryeong was raging. In the cramped room, it was inhumane for more than a single person to be in it, though, he was a ghost so he was a blind spot in human rights. Could you take it if you had a 3 meter mosquito buzzing?
“Ah, really! Even if I wanted to do it, I can’t!”
-You copied me with your skill. Then you should be able to cancel it. Don’t you know how to give a refund? Refund! What kind of world is it these days with no refund!
“I can’t cancel it!”
I’d explained how the skill was copied. But even after hearing the explanation, the ghost still bothered me in vain. Wanting me to send it back to the Sword Saint.
-Ugh. Old man Marcus! Disciple! Master Lee has been kidnapped! Your one and only teacher has been kidnapped by a child!
Even then, this ghost turned in the air and began to shout.
-Geez, you ugly student. This all happened because you ignored your precious Master! I was afraid of this happening, that’s why I told you to treat your teacher like the heavens.
He was giving me a hard time. I’d lost the fear of seeing a ghost in real life for the first time. Fear? That was something. No matter how scary it was, it would give anyone a headache if this was how it acted.
“Let’s just live quietly, please. Okay?”
-What do you mean live? I’m already dead.
“Ah, then please die quietly.”
-No. Do I look like a fucking dog? You’re scolding a ghost that’s already dead and afraid to die another time. Everyone in the neighborhood, look at this bastard! From the beginning, there’s nothing I couldn’t say!
I opened my mouth in shock. What the?
This was my first time seeing a ghost in real life but it talked too much…no it’s the first time seeing someone talk too fucking much.
And then I realized. I could understand why the Sword Saint was talking to himself at the bar. That…Come to think of it, the Sword Saint kept mumbling, but the content that he talked about was pretty monotonous.
‘Don’t be so noisy.’
‘You’re too loud. I’ll take care of it so leave it alone.’
99% of what he said was about noise.
He’d been babbling at the side like he had a mental illness.
“That constant muttering. If it was a ghost-like this…”
-Huh? What the. Did you just talk to me? At your age. You dare to speak up to me?
My shoulders sagged subconsciously. My future looked bleak.
“I’ll have to avoid the Sword Saint for the rest of my life. No matter what skill I got, I didn’t expect a ghost to come out.”
-Huh? I have to live away from that old man. What kind of bullshit is that?
Bae Hu-ryeong shook his head.
-Where’s a hunter as good as old man Marcus? He’s my disciple, but he’s still a good old man. Oh, but never talk about his grandkids. He’s usually pretty nice, but when it comes to his grandkids, he gets crazy.
“I already know that.”
“There is a skill that the Sword Saint has. What is it called? The one that tells the number of people a person has killed.”
Ah. Detective’s Insight? It’s a fucking crap skill.
Bae Hu-ryeong responded quite quickly indeed. So that was the name of the kill counting skill? [Detective’s Insight]? The ghost seemed to know all of the Sword Saint’s skills.
-What about it? It’s only useful to find out if someone is an assassin or not. Besides, there’s no guarantee that someone is an assassin simply because they killed a lot of people.
“The number is 4091.”
“The kill count floating above my head. The number is 4091.”
Bae Hu-ryeong looked dumbfounded. He frowned. Somehow, the facial expressions of this ghost was better than many living people.
-What. This guy. Are you crazy?
“I think I will really be crazy if I have to spend one more day with you. You’re so noisy.”
-No…you’re a complete beginner.
Bae Hu-ryeong’s facial expression became serious.
-A beginner among beginners. Looking at you, I don’t get it. How does a guy like you kill 4091 people? I couldn’t have done that even while reaching the 99th floor in my lifetime.
“That’s because I didn’t kill 4091 people.”
I shrugged and began to explain.
“This is what happened. The only person I really murdered was a really bad guy who would later be known as the Flame Emperor…”
That I was murdered by the Flame Emperor. That luck allowed me to copy his regression skill. That if I stayed there, there would be no hope for revenge. That I made a decision to go back over 4000 days.
Bae Hu-ryeong who was listening, had his mouth wide open.
-You committed suicide more than 4000 times? Just to get revenge on the Flame Emperor?
Bae Hu-ryeong became silent. He had looked dumbfounded at first, but now his expression changed. He looked straight at my face with eyes that seemed to be struggling with something. He was so serious that I wondered if he was the same ghost that was just making a fuss in my 2 pyung room.
After a long period of silence, Bae Hu-ryeong opened his mouth.
“What is it?”
-What is your name?
“I’m Kim Gong-ja”
Bae Hu-ryeong let out a groan.
-Why did you choose the old man?
-After you got revenge on that Flame Emperor guy, why did you decide to copy a skill from the old man?
“Isn’t it obvious?”
I felt uneasy. I couldn’t understand why he’d asked that question.
“He is the hunter ranked 1st in this era. He’s the strongest so he must have strong skills.”
-That way, you’ll get stronger faster?
-…you can honestly answer my questions as there is no fear of the information leaking anyway. It says on the skill card that no one else but you can see me. It’s totally safe is it not?
Silence fell in the room once again.
Floating, Bae Hu-ryeong wandered through the air around me. He came to the left and stared at my face, then to my right and measured my height. All of it with a serious expression.
I frowned, it felt like he wanted to do something weird.
-Let’s see. Um. The physique wouldn’t be too bad once it’s refined. The willpower is amazing. Sense of improvement is moderate. Knows how to keep his sanity but still unpredictable…Ahem, indeed. Um. If it’s this much…
Bae Hu-ryeong kept muttering to himself.
‘What is he talking about now?’
From what I’d heard, this ghost seemed to be the Sword Saint’s master. And now this master was talking to himself while moving side to side.
-Hey, Kim Gong-ja.
Suddenly Bae Hu-ryeong flew to my face and called my name.
-Show me how you hunt monsters.
So I hunted a few mobs.
“Are you satisfied?”
I didn’t have anything to do in my room anyway. As soon as dawn came, I headed to the hunting ground. Actually, since I’d died to the Sword Saint and returned to the day before, it meant I had to kill Yoo Soo-ha one more time. So it was necessary to go out anyway.
Bae Hu-ryeong nodded.
-My expectations were indeed correct.
“What did you expect?”
-Well. In my past life, I was called Sword Emperor(劍帝).
As dawn broke, Bae Hu-ryeong’s voice seemed to echo across the hunting ground.
-My hometown is not here. You can think of it as a different world. Anyway, just like it did here, the tower appeared in my hometown, and I conquered faster than any other hunter there.
“I was wondering what you were doing, turns out you were bragging about yourself.”
Bae Hu-ryeong snickered.
-So what. Eventually, our world failed to clear the 100th floor. This was written on your skill card right?
>A ghost from another world. Cleared the 99th floor but failed the 100th floor and died.The resentment remained, causing him to become a ghost. He cannot interfere with the physical world, but it is possible to tamper with the owner’s mind. Seek advice from his rich experience and amazing skills!
>However no one can see the ghost except for the owner.
>This skill was copied from Hunter Marcus Calenbury.
Come to think of it, it was pretty amazing.
Before I’d returned, the Flame Emperor had only broken through the 40th floor and was considered a legend. What about the 99th floor? The ghost before me was truly incredible.
-I can tell if you’re good or not. How talented a hunter is. I can tell immediately. That’s why I asked you, Kim Gong-ja to show me how you hunt monsters.
I laughed bitterly.
“Are you trying to see if I have talent for swordsmanship?”
Why. There are many stories like this. A story where the main character lives without realizing their talent then they suddenly fall down a cliff or meet a great master and awaken their true power. A meeting of fate(奇緣).
“Tut. You worked in vain.” (TL: Tut is like the sound made by clicking your tongue.)
Unfortunately, such luck didn’t come to me.
“I don’t have any talent for combat. It’s all luck of the draw. But now when I die, I can at least copy the skills of other hunters. If I had talent I would’ve been out of the F class long ago. Why would I want to live like that?”
Bae Hu-ryeong frowned.
-What are you talking about? You’re talented.
Huh. That wasn’t the response I’d expected.
“Hey, jokes too. Are you making fun of me?”
-I’m not joking.
Bae Hu-ryeong quietly shook his head.
-Of course, you have no martial arts talent. Your coordination is poor. Your physique is lackluster and it would take a long time to learn to use aura. But regardless of that, you have a very rare talent. (TL: This was so harsh, I cringed, poor Gong-ja)
Bae Hu-ryeong’s eyes became serious.
-You’re not afraid of death.
-You just don’t have it. Surprisingly, nothing at all.
Bae Hu-ryeong stroked his chin.
-Probably, after dying over 4000 times, the fear of death disappeared without you knowing. This is also what I expected. You don’t realise it, but you’re completely reckless when you face monsters. People usually hesitate a little because they’re afraid of dying or getting hurt, but you don’t have that.
“Uh. Is that a talent?”
I got an immediate answer.
-Innate talents are not the only type of talent. People can awaken talents one by one in their lives. The most difficult of these, is the talent to overcome the fear of death. But you have already learned the most difficult thing.
I was a bit embarrassed.
So far, no one had ever talked to me like this. (TL: Awwww Gong-ja is getting shy) I had never thought of myself in this way either. It was just because I’d been treated like a worm by the Flame Emperor so…I was so angry that I surpassed 4000 deaths. (TL: I think he should get to 5000 deaths, it’s a whole number after all, who agrees?)
That was my talent.
-I just have one question.
“What is it?”
-When old man Marcus killed you. What were you thinking then?
I recalled what had happened in my last death. Only a few hours had passed, so I was able to vividly recall the memories and my emotions. (TL:I can’t even remember how I felt 10 minutes ago…ㅠㅠ)
The night sky, the moon and the wind that was blowing so quietly that no sound could be heard.
“…I thought it was beautiful.”
It was then.
Bae Hu-ryeong raised his head and laughed heartily. The sound of the laughter was magnificent and it spread through the empty plains.
-That was funny.
Bae Hu-ryeong’s eyes twinkled as he looked toward me.
-You don’t rob skills, you just copy them. In other words [Another Me] is still attached to old man Marcus. The Old man and you. I wonder which of you will be the greater hunter? I’m a bit curious.
-I’ll help you.
Sword Constellation. The ghost that once conquered 99 floors in the tower and was known by the name Sword Emperor, looked directly at me.
-To the extent that you can get rid of old man Marcus. No, to be much stronger than that old man!
Then he reached out his hand.
-Let’s conquer the tower.
It was the moment my partner was born.
(TL: Not gonna lie, this last part gave me goosebumps, I can’t wait.)
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