To Hell With Being a Hero!

Chapter 10: A Change (2)

Chapter 9: A Change (1)

The angel who was flying toward Giant Fist and Chi-Woo was Periel.

“Periel? What is it?” Giant Fist asked the cautiously approaching Periel.

“Sir Gripping Giant Fist and Rising.” Periel sounded slightly nervous as he spoke. “Its just that…I wanted to ask if youve come to take the test again.”

“Yeah, why?” Giant Fist asked in surprise, and Periel looked taken back. “I heard that when you applied for the sixth recruitment last time, you created quite the fuss…”

Laughter erupted all around them.

“A fuss? What fuss?” Giant Fists shouted angrily, his face turning beet-red now. “I applied to take the test whenever I saw an announcement for it! But whenever I did, I was told to get out with no warning. At least tell me your reason for kicking me out!”

“We thank you for your willingness to participate,” Periel said as sweat poured down his face. “Because of an issue that happened during the sixth recruitment, I heard that you got a penalty, disallowing you from participating in any more recruitments in the future.”

“What? Who told you that?”

“Okay. Lets calm down, please.” Periel glanced at Chi-Woo over Giant Fists shoulders before looking back at Giant Fist. “Lets move since there are many people waiting around us. We can continue our conversation elsewhere.”

“Ha! Ridiculous!” Giant Fist grumbled furiously, but he didnt resist. “I cant believe it. Are you guys even allowed to treat me like this?” He turned to Chi-Woo and scrunched up his face. “Please wait a bit, sir. Ill come back after a short chat with this guy.

“Lets go together,” Chi-Woo replied immediately.

“Uh…Are you sure?”

“Yes. I can just stand in line again, and its boring for me to be alone. Lets go together.”

“This way, please.” Periel stretched out his arms, and a faint portal appeared in the air.

Giant Fist entered first, and Chi-Woo followed him. As soon as Chi-Woo stepped out of the portal, he saw a familiar scene; he had been here before—the special waiting place for the Choi family. Before Chi-Woo could ask why he had been brought to this place, Periel opened his mouth.

“Thank you for your cooperation.”

“Okay. Why dont you speak now,” said Giant Fist. He seemed to have calmed down a great deal.

“Truthfully…” Periel let out a deep sigh with a conflicted look on his face. “We hope that you two—no, sir Chi-Woo will wait to take the test last.”

“Take the test last? Why are you giving him an order like that?”

“I dont know either, sir. But its more of a request than an order.”

“Who was it? And they didnt even give any explanation.” Giant Fists eyebrows furrowed. “Im curious. Who would make a request like that?” He narrowed his eyes, glaring at Periel and asked, “Is it that Laguel—”

“No, its not Ms. Laguel, sir,” Periel firmly cut him off. “Its Archangel Raphael.”

Giant Fist became lost in thought. Raphael was the highest authoritative figure here, and she had granted permission for Chi-Woos entrance. Although he didnt like the fact that she was making a request without any explanation, he couldnt simply disobey it.

“What do you think, sir?” Not knowing what to do, Giant Fist turned to Chi-Woo to make the decision.

“It doesnt matter to me.” Chi-Woo shrugged. “As long as I can take the test, Ill wait.”

“Thank you!” Periels complexion brightened, and he left while saying, “Please rest in the meantime. Ill come to pick you up when its your turn, sir.”

The waiting room became quiet after the angels departure. While waiting, Chi-Woo sat and fell deep into contemplation. Giant Fist had looked nervous for a while, but soon, he stood in front of a window and quietly stared down from it. Some time later, Periel came knocking on the door. It was finally Chi-Woos turn. Although Giant Fist looked like he wanted to ask some questions, Periel had immediately made a portal.

“I like how comfortable this arrangement is, but I have no idea whats going on.” While Giant Fist grumbled his complaints, Chi-Woo passed the portal. He tried to calm down his racing heart and soon found himself facing a surreal scene. Surprisingly, the space wasnt as big as he thought it would be. It was as big as a schools soccer field, but not much bigger than the waiting room he had been in. Marble pillars lined from side to side, and between the two pillars at the end stood a tall altar, on top of which was a round, transparent crystal orb that shone brightly. Standing next to it was a familiar-looking angel.

“Here you are.” Raphael, who had her hair tied up, smiled up at them. “Thank you for waiting. Although you didnt have to wait.” The last part was directed to Giant Fist.

Giant Fist said annoyedly, “I want to ask what you are thinking, but I suppose you wont answer.”

“Why are you asking then?” Raphael said in a sing-song voice and placed the fist-sized crystal orb onto her hand. “Since youre here, quickly take the test. Today, Im overseeing this particular test, so dont think about making a fuss like last time.”

“The fact that youre suddenly overseeing this test makes me curious too,” Giant Fist said in surprise, but Raphael simply smiled.

Giant Fist grumbled and stomped towards the orb. With a decisiveness of someone who had done it many times before, he placed his hand on the marble and stared down at it with wide eyes.

–Not suitable.

A flat voice clearly flowed out of the marble.

“Damn it.”

Giant Fist frowned and pulled back his hands.

“Why!”

“Of course.” Raphael laughed. “Even if you have the conviction to save the world, you still might not be chosen. But your first priority is finding your master. Did you really expect to pass?” At Raphaels words, Giant Fists face reddened. “Anyways, your test is over! Next person in line~” Raphael pointed at the air, and a faint portal appeared out of thin air. “You can leave through that. Wait there.”

“I have to wait?” Giant Fist stopped turning around mid-way. “Why?”

“Ill tell you later.”

“This is really strange.” Giant Fist looked back suspiciously. “Whenever I failed the test, I was told to just go back. Ive never been told to wait.” Giant Fist folded his arms. “And I was looking at the line the whole time, but I didnt see a single person return back. Theres no way that everyone passed…Perhaps, is everyone waiting?”

Raphaels smile deepened. “Dont make it so obvious that youve been doing this for a long time. 5-time test taker—no, are you making a fuss as a 6-time test taker?” Raphael spoke with a cheery voice and lifted her index and middle finger before Giant Fist could start yelling. “Time is gold! Since youve been declared as unsuitable, you only have two options from here on.” Raphael continued while folding each of her fingers. “The first is to quietly get out of the portal and wait. The second is to quietly go back. Regardless of your choice, I wont stop you.”

Giant Fist stared at Raphael, who hadnt stopped smiling since they met. “…Ill wait.” Unlike his usual self, Giant Fist easily agreed and disappeared into the portal after a bow towards Chi-Woo.

“Good. Lets now…” After making sure that Giant Fist was gone, Raphael turned back towards Chi-Woo. “Shall we start the test for the protagonist weve all been waiting for?” Raphael gave him a wink and a bright smile.

Chi-Woo slowly moved towards the orb as Giant Fist did and stared intently at it. The bright light inside the orb turned cloudy.

“…”

It would be a lie to say he wasnt nervous. The test wasnt hard; he just had to put his hand on top of the orb. It was a task that even someone who had lived the life of an ordinary person like Chi-Woo could do. However, those who were revered as heroes were judged to beunsuitable without any room for negotiation. If even those heroes were considered unfit, was there any point for an ordinary person like him to try? Chi-Woo began to doubt himself, but he breathed several times and firmed his heart. Now that he had come all the way here, he couldnt turn back. Whether he made it or died trying, he needed to do something. Chi-Woo lifted his hand.

Raphael didnt say anything. Even though she had tried to make Giant Fist take the test as fast as possible, she didnt try to rush Chi-Woo. She merely looked at him with eyes full of curiosity. Even though he felt pressured by her attentive eyes, Chi-Woo stretched out his hand towards the transparent light. When he was about to put his hand on the orb—

—Stop. Stop.

A voice suddenly rang out of the orb, and its light quickly flickered.

—I request a suspension.

Chi-Woo stopped before his hand could touch the orb. A short silence followed. The orb continued to flash, and Chi-Woo stood frozen. When he turned around because his eyes hurt, he saw his feeling reflected on Raphaels face. Her mouth was still smiling, but her eyes widened.

“Whats the matter?” Raphael soon recovered and tilted her head. “Why…No, thats not it.” After organizing her thoughts for a bit, she asked, “Did you ask for a suspension because theres no need for him to take the test?”

—Thats half of it.

“Interesting. Whats the other half?”

—Its because theres a risk that I will stop functioning.

The smile on Raphaels face was completely wiped away. Chi-Woo, who had been standing still while looking confused, stared carefully at Raphael. It was the first time he saw her real expression rather than her perpetually smiling face.

Raphael intently stared at the orb and slightly lifted the corners of her mouth. “…Yeah. I was wondering why I felt compelled to come today.” She glanced at Chi-Woo and murmured to herself, “Even though Ive stood at the top of the Celestial Realm, rolled down to the abyss, and tried all my might to climb back up—this universe is still full of things I cant understand.”

She pushed back her hair with both hands and stretched out her arms. “This is why I cant quit working here.”

If Chi-Woo wasnt mistaken, Raphael seemed to find this incomprehensible situation extremely enjoyable. “Anyway, we need to hear the results, right? So what?” She was smiling again. “What is the reason why our cutie pie, Ms. Prophecy, decided that there was no need to test our earthling Choi Chi-Woo?” Raphael asked while staring at the orb straight-on.

“Because hes suitable to go?” Or. “Unsuitable?”

—His existence there is inevitable.

The orb—or Ms. Prophecy, as the angel called it—continued without an ounce of hesitation.

—Inescapable.

—And indispensable.

The orb replied as if it had been waiting to say these words out loud.

“…Indeed.”

According to the orb, Chi-Woo could not avoid or resist going to where his brother was, and he was an indispensable being there.

“An existence that cannot be stopped and is also indispensable,” Raphael stared at Chi-Woo with curiosity and said. “Good. You passed.” She smiled brightly and splayed her hand. A portal appeared in the opposite direction of where Giant Fist had left.

Chi-Woo looked perplexed as he asked, “So did it mean that I was suitable?”

“No.” Raphael bent her thumb. “Youre not a suitable candidate, but a successful candidate. Congratulations. Even your older brother wasnt able to get accepted as a successful candidate. For this matter, youre the first irregular.” After correcting Chi-Woo, Raphael pointed towards the portal. “Ill explain later. I dont fully understand the situation, either.”

Since Raphael was basically telling him to get out, Chi-Woo moved towards the portal. He had achieved what he wanted. Even though he had some questions, there was no reason for him to stay any longer. Soon after, Chi-Woo disappeared into the portal.

“Good.” After turning off the portal, Raphael folded her arms. “Now tell me, why did you say that your function would stop?”

—Before I reply, I request two corrections.

Raphael was unable to hide the surprise in her eyes again.

“Corrections?”

There was a change in the prophecy orb. The orb on top of the altar was not a machine, but an intelligent life form with its own consciousness. However, it had only been replying to the questions they asked, and it had always searched for the best path with the information given to it. But now, the orb revealed its will. A change had, for the first time, happened to a flow that had been repeating itself like a turning wheel. What could possibly explain such a phenomenon?

“…Ill decide after hearing what you have to say,” Raphael responded while she tapped the orb.

—First, I request a change in the composition of the number of suitable persons that were selected earlier.

“What?”

—Second, I request a change in the transmission point of the 7th recruits and the first achievement goal for this mission.

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