SSS-Class Suicide Hunter - Chapter 124

Chapter 124 . < Utopia . (3) >

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Translator: thursdays Editor: Yahiko PR: LightBrin

2 .

A cruel fate awaited those who were bewitched by stories .

I wasn’t talking about people who simply enjoyed them . I was talking about those who were bewitched . Crazed . They fell deeply again and again, and eventually, they gave up half of their lives to stories .

For them, reality was nothing but a world that could not be a story . There were no dramatic plot twists . No shocking endings . People were just people who could not be reborn as [characters] .

Reality was a disappointment .

Humans were contemptible .

And above all else, they worshipped stories .

Disappointment, contempt, and worship made up the true identity of ‘those who were bewitched by stories . ’ That was why they became fanatical when a story unfolded in real life and cheered when real people were reborn as characters .

They hadn’t actually lost the heat in their hearts .

They were just waiting for the right moment .

“……”

The final boss of all readers was standing before me now .

“L-Lefanta Aegim and… your crossover?”

This individual loved stories so much that he built a library himself .

“For certain, that’s… an attractive offer . ”

The library he built was so large and magnificent that it covered a whole world and was called the Great Library of All Things, for it contained the thoughts of all creation .

“However, I can only offer you Apocalypses . It is an inviolable rule for me . All stories have the right to end autonomously, so rashly intervening is…”

His lips were quivering now .

‘He’s wavering . ’

I was certain . In the end, the Librarian would be persuaded . No practical logic could convince the Librarian .

But the words [Don’t you want to see it?], referring to the story, could tempt the Librarian down to hell .

“Ah . You can just drop it if you don’t want to see it . ”

It was an irresistible offer .

“I was just making an indulgent suggestion . I could make a scene where your two favorite characters interact . But if you don’t want it, I won’t force you . ”

“……”

“But you actually want to see it, don’t you?”

The Librarian’s complexion changed visibly . His emotions were transparent . Suffering . Agonizing . Craving for a decadent dessert, a crossover that would never transpire organically .

“I…”

Eventually, the Librarian opened his mouth .

“I signed a contract with the Tower . ”

The breath coming from his lips was hot .

“Not all Constellations make contracts with the Tower . Only the Constellation who sign contracts can enter . We’re tenants, basically . In exchange for renting a floor of the Tower, I have a restriction . ”

“What is the restriction?”

“To provide humans only Apocalypses…”

The Librarian flailed his hand .

Each time his hand sliced the air, the books that orbited around him fell to the floor .

“An Apocalypse can mean many things, but The Epic of Lefanta Aegim is not one of them . ”

These books had the same function as being the Librarian’s guards . When Hunters attacked him the other day, the Librarian used the power of the books to subdue them .

“A contract is a contract… I cannot violate it as I please . The Tower, the Master of the Tower, will be furious . I do not want to anger the Tower Master . Mm . Traditionally, aren’t tenants at the mercy of their landlords…?”

In other words .

The Librarian was stripping himself of his weapons .

“J-just for reference…”

Dozens of books were dropped . Neutralizing all the powers he held, the Librarian looked at me .

“I actually don’t have much power on my own…”

“……”

“It’s not just me . Many Constellations are like that . We have special powers, but surprisingly, we’re not that good at fighting . Without a book, I become but a simple, fragile reader . Well . So… You get it, don’t you, Gongja…?”

I did . I understood completely .

“Yes . You can’t break the contract . ”

I strode toward the Librarian . The distance narrowed . The librarian was primly holding his sleeves together . With a tense expression, he looked up at me .

“Unless it’s an unavoidable situation . ”

I grabbed the Librarian by his neck and lifted him up .

It was easy . [The Corner Librarian] didn’t weigh much .

Though his clothes were long and thick, there was no resistance when I lifted him up .

“Oh…!”

The Librarian exhaled .

“Please be gentle when you take [The Epic of Lefanta Aegim] . ”

“Ah…”

The trembling of the Librarian’s lips increased . Intimidation and coercion . Though he was the master of a world and a Constellation, the Librarian did not fight back at all .

“How rude… I have shown you endless kindness until now . I trusted you . To think you would betray me like this…! Aaah . I’m hurt . This is why so many stories warn against trusting a human…”

This guy was terrible at acting .

I smirked and squeezed his throat a little harder . The Librarian whined .

“Give it to me . ”

“……”

“If you don’t, I’ll kill you . Pervert . ”

The Librarian’s face, looking up at me, began to become shadowed . We were acting . But the Librarian felt the sincerity in my voice .

It was natural .

If we wanted to trick the Tower, the intimidation had to be somewhat realistic .

“P-pervert? Gongja, don’t you think you’re being too harsh…?”

“What else do you call someone who collects a person’s hair and nails? Furthermore, you said that your lifelong dream is to die by Lefanta Aegim’s hand . Your wish… Is it normal to want to be killed by the character you love the most?”

The Librarian shut up .

“Ah, speaking of . If I think about it, I’m also a character you love . ”

The edges of my lips curved up .

“How about it? You don’t need to wait . I can make your wish come true now . ”

“Now…?”

“Do you want to die here by my hand?”

The Librarian flinched, and his shoulders curled in . He spasmed as if he were struck by lightning . Envy and desire oozed from his upturned eyes . Little by little, very slowly, the Librarian pulled something from his bosom with a trembling hand .

[The Epic of Lefanta Aegim] .

It was an old, worn book that had been read hundreds of times and stained by his hands . It was the most cherished book that the Librarian had in his infinite collection, the one that he carried on him .

“I will give it to you…”

The Librarian presented me the treasure he valued over his own life .

“Well done . ”

I didn’t let go of his neck as I grabbed [The Epic of Lefanta Aegim] with one hand . “Ah,” said the Librarian, parting his lips . His face was a mess now . Ecstasy and self-loathing were blurred together .

+

[The Epic of Lefanta Aegim]

Genre: You cannot view this at your current level .

Difficulty Level: You cannot view this at your current level .

Player Limit: You cannot view this at your current level .

※The Serialization is ongoing .

Introduction: You cannot view this at your current level .

+

“Oho . ”

Was it impossible to read anything about a book not authorized by the Librarian? This was new information .

I looked down at the Librarian with interest .

“I can’t see it, though? It’s unreadable . ”

“W-well, you can only see the Apocalypses because I allow it… Normally, all the books here are forbidden texts . Humans cannot just read them…”

“Then explain it with your mouth . Firsthand . ”

“……”

The Librarian could not refuse . It was the character he said he loved most . The Librarian started sharing Lefanta Aegim’s history on his own accord .

“Lefanta Aegim is… The Constellation Killer is from the same region as you . ”

“What?”

“He was born in the same world, same area, and as the same race as you . Not just that, but you have the same family name . ”

Then, the Librarian said something completely expected . He lowered his gaze and murmured, “The surname Aegim was something the Constellation Killer made himself . It’s a simple compound word . Though, he used the language from England instead of the one from where you were born . ”

England? Was it English?

Since it’s ‘Ae’ and ‘gim’—

“…Does it mean ‘I’ and ‘Kim’?”[1]

“Correct . ”

Oh, my god .

“Didn’t I tell you? Once is a coincidence . Twice is a connection . But the third time is an inevitability . The fates of you and the Constellation Killer have intersected at various points, so it can be said that the relationship between you two is inevitable . ”

My eyes widened at the unexpected background of the Constellation Killer .

‘He’s from Korea?’

The only person I’ve met so far from there was the thug with the disgustingly cool ponytail . But the Constellation Killer came from the same place .

‘Does this mean I’m the only sane person from Korea?’

I was starting to doubt the integrity of other people from Korea when the Librarian spoke again .

“The Constellation Killer was summoned to another world as a child,” said the Librarian .

“At the time, the Constellation Killer was just a high school student . Of course, he was extremely confused when he was summoned . However, he awakened an ability in the summoned world and persevered through the perilous world . ”

“…Wait . Just a moment . ”

I was seized by a strange feeling of familiarity . Didn’t I know this plot?

“A high school student being summoned to another world . That’s totally…”

“Correct . ”

The Librarian nodded slightly .

“The genre of [The Epic of Lefanta Aegim] is [High School Student Messes Around in an Isekai] . For short, just [Isekai Student] . Though the Constellation Killer is too old to be called a high school student now…”[2]

My jaw dropped . Isekai?

‘That term was as extinct as a dinosaur when I heard it as a child . ’

Could it be?

Was the Constellation Killer, Lefanta Aegim, an old fossil?

“Of course, it would be unfair to say that he simply messed around . The Constellation Killer suffered countless hardships before he became the first emperor of the Aegim Empire…”

Whenever the Librarian recited the story of Lefanta Aegim, his voice turned into a glowing light that entered [The Epic of Lefanta Aegim] .

The light permeated the book, soaking into it, and settled into readable words in the epic .

-A long time ago .

-There were people who lived on top of the corpse of the ancient Dragon Emperor .

“The Constellation Killer… set foot on the 20th floor that you now own . ”

-They wished for a hero .

-Because there were no heroes among them .

“That’s where he began his journey that would pierce through the world . ”

-They prayed to God .

-God granted their wish .

“It was a journey to found a country…”

Then, the Librarian looked down at the book, which began to emit a white light like the other Apocalypses, as if he were afraid .

“And now, the Constellation Killer is on the 50th floor . ”

The 50th floor .

The Constellation Killer was at the place Bae Hu-ryeong had talked about .

“Here… there’s a problem . You have not yet reached the 50th floor yet . You haven’t gotten out of the [beginners’ area] yet . And the 50th floor is higher up; it’s a special place… It is strictly, seriously forbidden to send beginners to the 50th floor . ”

His words surprised those who had been listening with bated breaths .

“Everything below the 50th floor is the beginners’ area?”

“But we’ve worked so hard to get here…”

I wasn’t surprised .

I knew for a while that the floors before the 10th floor were a tutorial . I also heard from Bae Hu-ryeong that we would be competing with Hunters from other worlds starting on the 50th floor .

‘In other words, it means that not having to compete with Hunters from other worlds until the 50th floor is a measure to protect beginners . ’

Thinking that, I asked, “When you say forbidden, do you mean you cannot send me to the 50th floor under any circumstances?”

The Librarian’s face crumpled again .

“That’s… No . The one who sends you… If the floor administrator pays the price, it’s possible . ”

“Then, it doesn’t matter . Aren’t you going to pay the price?”

“A-at least…”

The Librarian was close to tears .

“At least limit the people to just one, Kim Gongja, please…”

“…All right . ”

Even if the Librarian didn’t make such a desperate plea, I had intended to face Lefanta Aegim alone .

“Send me to the 50th floor . ”

The Librarian closed his eyes tight .

“…Don’t regret it . ”

“I’m going so that I won’t regret it . ”

The Librarian gave up after hearing my resolute reply . His jittering hand smoothed over the cover of [The Epic of Lefanta Aegim] . Then, he whispered in a frail voice .

“Death King . I designate you as a character of [The Epic of Lefanta Aegim]…”

At that moment .

[Warning!]

[Abnormal access has been detected . ]

[A penalty will be given to ‘The Corner Librarian . ’]

A vicious voice slammed into the inside of my head . The Librarian flinched . I probably wasn’t the only one hearing the voice . However, the Librarian didn’t stop talking, even as he shuddered .

“I exercise my power . ”

[Repeating the warning . ]

[A penalty will be given to ‘The Corner Librarian . ’]

The Librarian exhaled .

“I don’t care . Go, Death King… And show me the image of you with the Constellation Killer . ”

Fwooosh!

White light blinded me .

[Abnormal access has been detected . ]

As my vision continued to turn white, the warnings continued to ring .

[Warning!]

[The blessing given to you by the Goddess of Beauty is suspended . ]

[You can no longer observe others’ favorability rating!]

[The blessing given to you by the Goddess of Vitality is suspended . ]

[You can no longer observe others’ psychological states!]

Then .

[A resident of the ‘Tower’ that has not been given a name enters the 50th floor . ]

On a stage where nobody from my world has gone before .

I took my first steps on the ’50th floor’ of the Tower .

~~~

[1]: This might be a little confusing, but basically, Lefanta Aegim’s original last name is “Kim” (김) . ㄱ is a consonant that is sort of a mix of the “k” and “g” sounds .   The “Ae” of Aegim is pronounced “Aye,” or the English first person pronoun “I . ” In other words, Aegim means “I, Kim . ”

[2]: The term “isekai” is used here since that’s what most readers would be familiar with, even though it’s Japanese . The “Isekai Student” genre is referring to a subset of the isekai genre that deals with high school students . If you’re curious, the name of this genre in Korean is 이고깽 (igokkeng) .