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Chapter 399

SSS-Class Hunter who Dies to Live


Translator: Ryuu

Editor: Abstract

Discord: https://dsc.gg/wetried


Chapter 399: SSS-Class Hunter who Lives to Die (1)

-Breaking news.

-The King of Death, who ventured to conquer the 100th floor of the tower, has been out of contact for some time, hasn't he? There was speculation that he might have failed, and there were rumors that the Black Dragon Guild, along with the other four major guilds and the King of Death family, would send search parties. But now, it seems all those rumors can be put to rest.

-The top rank in the hunter ranking!

-The King of Death has conquered the zenith!

Roars of cheers echoed throughout Tam's Square.

-As you can see, Babylon's squares are now a cauldron of festivity. Everyone probably heard through Tam's messages even before we could report it. Did you hear, announcer?

-Yes. From what we've checked, it seems everyone in the tower heard that announcement.

-This reminds me of when the Celestial Martial Guild Master and the Constellation [Ruin-Harvesting Cow] created an unranked item before.

-Right. Back then, there were prophecies that the Ruin-Harvesting Cow would block the King of Death's path, causing quite a stir in the tower. There were debates about whether all the worlds within our tower should band together to form a large hunting party, or whether we should wait and see.

-The controversy only settled after the Celestial Martial Guild Master returned and explained what had happened.

The announcer wiped his forehead.

-Compared to that time, the current situation is practically calm. The biggest chaos we're seeing across the worlds of the tower is probably the shortage of liquor and chicken.

-Yes. It's undeniably good news, with no room for misunderstanding.

-Those opposing the King of Death, like the [Group Demanding Truth from the King of Death], seem eager to misconstrue it, but what do you think?

-We'll connect to the scene.

Masked individuals gathered, raising placards reading [King of Death(X) King of Lies(O)], [The Manufactured King of Death], [The Dark Connection between the King of Death and the Aegim Empire], [The Traitor of Earth - Puppet of Sormewin], and more.

The leading figures raised their voices.

-We, the [Group Demanding Truth from the King of Death], colloquially known as [KingTruth], have gathered here today to point out the high likelihood that the message, which is claimed to have been broadcasted throughout the tower, has been manipulated.

Listening to our expert (......) In essence, they say the King of Death has bribed the tower. Observations have been made of the tower's administrators showing favoritism towards the King of Death (......)

Or the message itself could be the result of a skill. Even if it's not a skill, our group suspects the very fact that the King of Death ascended to the throne of a Constellation is questionable. But look, if it's true that the King of Death has become a Constellation, it's possible for him to send the same message to countless people simultaneously.

(......) Up until his early twenties, he lived a life as aimless as a drawn picture; how could such a person become the tower's representative hunter and conquer the 100th floor? Anyone with even elementary school-level common sense could immediately tell this doesn't make sense......

The announcer narrowed his eyes.

-What are these people talking about?

-I'm not quite sure either. Essentially, they're saying it's manipulation, it's a scam, and even if by any chance it's true, it's still a conspiracy cooked up with the tower, so the King of Death has achieved nothing. Even if he's reached the 100th floor, does it improve people's lives by even a gram?

-Seems like we don't need to pay attention to such words. It's been a while since the message about the 100th floor was sent, have you heard anything from the King of Death himself?

-We've been continuously in touch with the wide-area communicators, the five major guilds, the House of Ivansia, and the apostles of the King of Death's family, but still... Ah.

The announcer's expression changed suddenly.

-We've just received a message from the King of Death!

-Really! Which side?

-It's from the Black Dragon Guild.

The people conducting the broadcast understood what that meant. The fact that it was the Black Dragon Guild, not any other place, that announced receiving a message from the King of Death meant all private contacts with him had concluded, and what to announce and what to keep secret had been perfectly decided.

In that case, the broadcasting station felt less burdened. The announcer said:

-Please connect us to the scene.

The screen shifted. The hall of the Black Dragon Guild appeared.

Previously, there was a vote regarding the fate of the tower.

Whether to be pioneers or to settle, the people of the World of the Lone Child chose to move forward.

No one would dispute that it was the King of Death's speech that decided the direction of the vote.

The hall of the Black Dragon Guild on the screen was the very place where that legendary speech was made. Likely, the Black Dragon Witch had orchestrated even the associative effect.

Kim Gong-Ja, the protagonist who stirred the tower, stood in the same spot he had been during that speech.

-Ladies and gentlemen, the King of Death!

-After announcing his departure to the 90th floor 16 years ago, the King of Death reveals himself for the first time in 16 years!

The announcer exclaimed excitedly.

Beyond the screen, in the hall of the Black Dragon Guild, a chaotic noise could be heard.

[Everyone, there's no need to rush; the King of Death will soon return to your side...]

[Journalists, please maintain order for entry...]

Members of the Black Dragon Guild were managing the chaos and ushering in the journalists.

Meanwhile, the announcer commented on the situation inside the hall.

-Ah, the King of Death isn't actually standing there! It's a hologram.

-There's the Wide-Area Communicator standing right next to it. Seeing the King of Inventions there as well, it seems like a real-time connection is guaranteed.

-Just now, the [KingTruth] claimed that if the actual King of Death doesn't appear, it would be a scheme by the Black Dragon Guild. What do you think?

-As I've said repeatedly, we don't need to listen to their words. I was a bit disappointed myself when I realized it wasn't actually the King of Death appearing, but just a hologram. However, just having a similar thought to them makes me feel completely unworried about that alone, which I appreciate.

-While we're discussing this, it seems the hall has been somewhat organized. I'll move on to the press conference...

Soon, journalists gathered in front of the projected Kim Gong-Ja.

They asked.

-Hello, King of Death! Or should we now call you the Wailing Heaven?

The first question was thrown at him upon his return.

The King of Death smiled.

-You can call me whatever you like. It seems members of [KingTruth] are also here; you too can call me whatever you prefer. Even Flame Retard is fine, but I do prefer being called Kim Gong-Ja. Calling me 'Sir Gong-Ja' makes me feel more at ease.

That was his first response.

The journalists threw the next question.

-We received the message about your conquering the 100th floor. Congratulations. What was beyond it?

-What rewards did you receive?

-What happened there?

-What are your plans now?

Despite the Black Dragon Guild members' best efforts to control the order, the questions almost burst out simultaneously, like a serpent with many heads. It didn't matter.

They were all stories that needed to be told.

Kim Gong-Ja took a deep breath.

“I am—"

I met with the Tower Master. Became a Pillar. Parted ways with the Sword Emperor. Talked with my comrades.

I accepted the first event calmly. Or rather, when the Tower Master appeared in the collapsed world after the final key was turned, neither I nor the Sword Emperor were in any state to kick up a fuss.

The Tower Master described it like this:

"You two look like a pair of sergeants who've collapsed in the middle of a soccer field after a hard game."

Lying spread-eagled on the ground and gasping for breath, I didn't even turn to look at where that amethyst voice came from and said.

“Isn’t soccer... a game you play with eleven people, not just two?"

“You revealing that you're from a generation that never served in the military is quite the plot twist, Gong-Ja."

I had no idea what she was on about.

I then looked up at the Tower Master.

Just as the summit of a mountain is merely a white dot when seen from afar, so too was the Tower Master just a lone figure standing on that white dot, looking down at the Sword Emperor and me.

The Sword Emperor raised a hand in greeting.

“Hello, Aunty."

“Hey there, Uncle."

The Tower Master also raised a hand in return.

I laughed.

“Isn’t this where you're supposed to go 'Who, who are you calling aunty?!' while blushing, or shadow your eyes with darkness and ask 'What... did you just say?'?"

“Wailing Heaven, please be aware that the term 'ordinary' cannot encapsulate what you just said. Are you trying to cast me in what role?"

Indeed, fitting for the goddess of fertility with twenty-four children. Even though I was motherless, I imagined that's how it would feel if my mother found a manga I was reading.

The Tower Master sighed and fluttered his sleeve.

"If you insist on using 'ordinary,' you should say it like this: 'Don't people usually meet in a more sacred and impactful atmosphere?'"

“That response, I already know. Because originally, we should have met here for the first time."

But I had already faced the Tower Master several times. Compared to my first encounter with the Sword Emperor, the impact was inevitably less.

Even so, a greeting more formal than "Hi, nice to see you" might have been possible. As I thought this, the source of that atmosphere-less meeting scratched his cheek.

“This is our first time meeting, right? I'm the reason why the Pillar meetings were convened several times. There's no need to censor it; I remember."

"If we don't count the time I encountered your avatar on the 29th floor of the World of the Lone Child, and if we don't count the times you've always been by our sides, if we only count the times we've met face-to-face, then yes, that's correct."

“How about a drink?"

“For the first proposal to come from those who've just crossed the 100th floor, overcoming the zenith, to be this…"

The Tower Master snapped her fingers with a smile.

“Not a bad idea at all."

A holographic summoning circle appeared in the empty world.

The Sword Emperor pulled a porcelain liquor bottle from his belongings. I was incredulous.

“Isn't that alcohol at least 140 years old?"

“Probably even older? You know, time flies where I stayed."

“Sword Emperor, sir... Have you heard of something called an expiration date? When I lived alone, I used to open cans of tuna that were years old and add them to expired ramen, but that's really not good. It kind of... makes life feel barren..."

“Don't you know that alcohol gets better with age? Stop your nonsense and prepare some side dishes."

The Sword Emperor, still seated, pushed my back with his foot.

Ah, such a hassle, I grumbled, but stood up anyway.

“Didn't you bring the Pillars?"

“I didn't."

“Why not?"

“Because most of the Pillars wouldn't welcome you. Especially you, Wailing Heaven."

I recalled the attitudes of the Pillars, excluding the Princess, towards me when the Staff of Time Immemorial was revealed.

Laughing while igniting aura instead of fire, I said.

“I like provoking those kinds of people."

The Sword Emperor also snickered.

“This guy really has a knack for that."

“And you seem like you'd be good at fanning the flames beside him, don't you think?"

"Should I hang around and play by your side for a while, like I used to?"

“I'll appoint you as the official consultant of sarcasm for the King of Death family."

I cooked fried rice with the aura ignited. Come to think of it, these eggs and rice were also pretty old, but since I had kept them in the all-too-convenient magical bag, they should be fine. It's not like these folks here would suffer food poisoning.

Meanwhile, the Tower Master had prepared cups and dishes.

“I didn't come here just for you. Now that there's finally a pioneer, shouldn't I get to enjoy something too?"

“Watching the Pillars suffer from the banter between me and the Sword Emperor from a distance... Tower Master, you seem like you'd really enjoy that."

“Of course, I'll enjoy it, and I'll continue to enjoy it thoroughly, but still."

The Tower Master smiled as she placed a cup in front of each of us.

“I want to enjoy this peaceful atmosphere for now."

I finished the cooking.

I shaped the fried rice into rice balls and topped them off with a touch of oyster sauce.

The Tower Master seemed taken aback by the egg fried rice.

“Wailing Heaven, do you consider rice a side dish?"

“Egg fried rice with oyster sauce is delicious."

"Wailing Heaven, do you consider rice a side dish? I asked again because I wasn't sure if you heard me correctly the first time."

"It's salty, so it goes well with alcohol. Especially with slightly sweet makgeolli or fruit wine, it's a perfect match. The Sword Emperor's drink is makgeolli, right?"

"It's distilled liquor."

"Sword Emperor, sir, even outside of the Guardian Spirit, you're still the Sword Emperor... At crucial moments, you're utterly useless..."

The Sword Emperor shot a drop of alcohol imbued with aura at me, nearly piercing my heart and sending me into regression.

The Tower Master scolded us.

"How can it be that before and after breaking through the zenith, it's still nothing but fighting and mischief?"

"Oh, dear. Tower Master, life is a series of [struggles], isn't it?"

"Wailing Heaven, please don't try to compete with Viper in that regard. Have a drink instead."

So, the Sword Emperor and I did just that.

The Tower Master first poured liquor into my cup.

"You've worked hard."



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