To Hell With Being a Hero!

Chapter 11: Special Privilege (1)

Chapter 10: A Change (2)

Chi-Woo escaped the cluster of lights. His chest heaved when he got a clear look at the new scene before him; not because of what he saw, but because of the heavy atmosphere pressing down his stomach like a big boulder. He saw a spacious, oval-shaped stage that shone faintly with rows of audience seats surrounding it. The place resembled open-air theaters from the Middle Ages. Its stage was completely empty, but a majority of the seats were filled. There were at least a couple hundred people in the area, and it wasnt difficult to guess that they were participants of the seventh recruitment.

Some turned their heads when they heard Chi-Woos footsteps. Most of them scanned him from head to toe but turned back again indifferently. Chi-Woo sat down in one of the seats. Trying not to make it obvious how nervous he was, he looked around the space.

‘There sure are many heroes of all kinds here, thought Chi-Woo. He had made a similar observation when he was in the Celestial Realm, but now there were certainly a great variety of different beings around him. Perhaps it was because every one of them was a hero who had saved at least one world, they all exuded a special aura and had a fittingly unique appearance. Most of them looked human-like, but there were many who looked like animals, demons, and even sea creatures. Chi-Woo thought his eyes were playing tricks on him when he saw a creature with a jellyfish body and seaweed hair.

Pop!

Light burst out, and a portal appeared at the center of the stage. As white sparkles glittered in the air, a foot stepped out from the exploding cluster of lights. Seeing the emerging figures neatly brushed long golden hair and four fluttering pairs of wings, Chi-Woo narrowed his eyes.

“Im sorry for making you all wait,” her beautiful voice rang across the silent space. “A slight change has been made during the selection process,” the angel Laguel said in a business-like tone. “Before I give you the details, we will respond to the change that has been made. We ask for your understanding in this matter…” Chi-Woo felt like she made eye-contact with him briefly. “When I call out your name, please come to the stage and enter the portal.” Laguel quickly looked away and began to call out several names, “Lucia Delenka, Bob Vilora, Diblaru Pilat, DDiddiri DDiddi…”

At the fourth name, one of the giant jellyfishes that Chi-Woo had stared at got up while grumbling. Chi-Woo watched from afar, nervous and worried that his name would get called. From time to time, there were some who asked why they had to go, but Laguel simply responded that Archangel Raphael would explain the reason to them in person. She didnt say more than that.

Some time passed. When Laguel stopped calling out names, only about half of the heroes present remained. Her silence was broken when a crowd of footsteps came from the far side of the staircase. Chi-Woo was relieved that his name wasnt called, but soon, his eyes widened at the newcomers coming out of the portal. Giant Fist was among them.

‘What happened? Why did Giant Fist come back after failing the selection process?

“As I expected, youre already here, sir,” Giant Fist said in a low voice when he noticed Chi-Woo. Surprisingly, he wasnt the only one in the group Chi-Woo had seen before.

“Um…Hello.” There was even the beret-wearing woman whom Chi-Woo had seen in the café where he first met Giant Fist. Chi-Woo looked up at her in surprise, and the woman awkwardly bowed her head and cautiously sat beside him. Giant Fist looked like he wanted to ask her why she was sitting there, but simply snorted and sat on Chi-Woos other side.

“What happened?” Chi-Woo whispered to Giant Fist.

“I dont really know, sir.” Giant Fist shrugged. “I was waiting patiently like they told me to when they suddenly said that there had been a change. Then they called people into a portal…”

Hearing his story, it seemed like the event that had taken place on Giant Fists side wasnt much different to what had happened on his side.

‘Something is going on. Chi-Woo thought, but he didnt know what it could be. He was also concerned about the fact that the change had happened right after he came in.

‘Theres also that prophecy I heard with Raphael. Chi-Woo hoped his worries were unfounded.

“Anyways, sir, I thought I was going to die laughing when we were all called to go back to the portal again,” Giant Fist said in a cheery voice. It seemed that he was just happy about becoming a participant again. “Its because of her. She took the test in secret, and when I saw her, she tried to avoid my gaze…huhuhu!”

“Shut up,” snapped the woman wearing a beret. “Do you think Im like you…!” She was about to say something, but decided against it when she felt Chi-Woos penetrating gaze. She glared intently at Giant Fist and pressed down her hat. Nevertheless, more and more beings were coming through the portal until they replaced everyone who had left, and they reached the original number of participants.

“Ill resume my announcement,” Laguel said once everyone had taken their seats. “First of all, Id like to thank all of you for participating in this selection.” Following the words of formalities, she said, “Before explaining the situation to all of you…” She went on to warn everyone, “Know that you must keep what Im about to say to yourselves with utmost secrecy, and you wont be able to pull out once you hear the explanation.”

Pointing at the yet unclosed portal, Laguel said, “You may go now if you wish to.” Her unspoken message was clear: this would be their last opportunity to leave. No one would be allowed to give up or return home should they choose to stay now.

Even after a long period of waiting, however, not a single hero had gotten up.

“…Okay.” Laguels gaze lingered on Chi-Woo before she let out a sigh. “I hereby announce that the seventh recruitment process has officially ended.” Now that the recruitment process was over, the couple hundreds of heroes would leave for a planet they had never seen before to save it. It sounded heroic, but that was simply the official story. Nobody knew what was going through each persons or creatures mind. For example, the thought of saving a world from danger wasnt on Chi-Woos mind at all.

“If thats everything you needed to say, please tell us about the situation,” a low voice rang. It belonged to an arrogant face with a lions mane hanging on their chin. By their appearance and voice, it seemed likely the being was a male. He looked down the stage and glared as he said, “Im going mad with curiosity. You people have held seven selection processes for this single mission. Furthermore, I heard that Choi Chi-Hyun went in after the first selection.”

Chi-Woo flinched. He hadnt expected to hear his brothers name here.

“That bastard! How dare he address Sir Choi Chi-Hyun so informally?” Giant Fist shot an angry look at the lion-maned man, who simply continued, “What the hell is happening on that planet that its still in such trouble?”

This was the question people were most curious about. Everyone looked at Laguel, but she didnt speak.

“Trouble that great couldnt have been limited to the planet itself.” The lion-maned man seemed to be enjoying himself. “Is the danger at least on the scale of a stellar system?”

‘What does he mean? Chi-Woo tilted his head in confusion. The man continued, “What about its danger level? Is it around a disaster or catastrophe level?”

Chi-Woo briefly glanced at Giant Fist, but Giant Fist was too focused on Laguel to notice him staring.

“Hes talking about a ranking system that sorts the level of dangers that appear,” The woman wearing a beret whispered like she had been waiting for this moment. “The ranking system takes into account not only the harm the event would cause in the present, but also the potential danger it may bring about in the future.” She seemed to be much more quick-witted than Giant Fist, and Chi-Woo began to have a better opinion of her. He slightly smiled, which encouraged the woman to explain more passionately, “The range the danger would occur and influence is also considered. All potential futures are factored in to determine its danger level.”

“Why arent you saying anything? Is it greater than the stellar system level?” the lion-maned man continued to ask, and the woman wearing a beret added to what he said.

“You heard him, right, sir? That guy is talking about the scale of the danger. The scale system starts with Planet and continues to the Stellar System –ah, the solar system is a stellar system, for example. Then it continues to Star Clusters, Galaxy, and Galaxy Cluster.”

The explanation gave Chi-Woo a better understanding of the situation, and he nodded. In the meantime, the lion-maned man continued to ask, “Even more than a Catastrophe? Is it a Doom level event?”

“The danger levels start with Crisis and go up to Disaster, Catastrophe, Doom, and Mass Destruction.” The beret woman had explained that the scale and danger of an event are measured by a system of 5 scales and 5 levels; thus, an event could be described in twenty-five variations of scales and levels.

In other words, the scale of an event was ranked in this order:

Planet < Stellar system < Star cluster < Galaxy < Galaxy clusters

As for its level of danger:

Crisis < Disaster < Catastrophe < Doom < Mass Destruction

In other words, the scale of an event was ranked in the order of Planet, Stellar System, Star Cluster, Galaxy, and Galaxy Cluster; and its level of danger in the order of Crisis, Disaster, Catastrophe, Doom, and Mass Destruction.

After organizing his thoughts, Chi-Woo opened his mouth to say, “I suppose even if two events are on the same danger level, if one is at planet scale and the other at a galaxy cluster scale, they will be completely different from one another.”

“Yes, thats right. As expected, you are very bright, sir!” The woman wearing a beret smiled brightly when Chi-Woo caught up immediately. “If we are to give a number to represent an events difficulty, a planet-scale event, the first rank of the scale system, will be 1, while a stellar system event is at least ten times more difficult. And a star cluster event is at least 1000 times more difficult than a stellar system event.”

The beret-wearing woman cleared her throat. “You can think of scales from galaxy and onwards as merely there for nominal purposes. Throughout the history of time, there has only been one galaxy-scale event and never a galaxy cluster event.” She quickly added, “Its honestly the same for star cluster. In comparison to the scales above it, it happened much more frequently; but the number of events on a star cluster level amounts to less than ten, and they have been a big issue whenever they happened.”

So that was why the lion-maned man had used the planet scale as his basis. Chi-Woo asked, “The danger levels are also divided in five. What is the difference between Doom and Mass Destruction?”

“The meaning of the two terms is similar, but the Celestial Realm uses them differently,” the beret woman eagerly answered. Chi-Woo felt a sense of goodwill the woman wanted to show him that he had felt from Giant Fist. “When a Doom level event occurs, things disappear. For example, a planet is doomed when the majority of its creatures are erased.”

In other words, if a planet was doomed, the planet might remain, but most of its surface would be devoid of life.

“Its more intense when a Mass Destruction occurs. For example, if a planet goes through Mass Destruction, the whole planet itself would be destroyed…”

It was then that Laguel broke the silence and spoke, “N-S-2-L. It is the name code of the planet you all will be going to. The planet is called Liber.” Chi-Woo and the beret woman looked back to the stage. “When Sir Choi Chi-Hyun went to the planet as part of the first recruits, the Celestial Realm had deemed Libre to be in a stellar-system-scale Disaster.”

Beings all over the room held their breath. Giant Fist opened his eyes intently, and the look on the beret womans eyes also underwent a slight change. The lion-maned mans face darkened. He had asked for the scale of the danger boldly, but in reality, the difference between each scale was so large that it was difficult to wrap ones head around. Each stellar system had at least a thousand suns, and an uncountable number of planets.

“After that, we sent the second team. Then the third. And finally, the sixth,” Laguel continued in a monotonous voice. “While we were sending the fourth recruits, we made a decision after several internal discussions. At that time, the danger level of Planet Liber was—” Unlike before, Laguel didnt pause and calmly relayed the shocking information, “—upgraded from star-cluster-scale Crisis to star-cluster-scale Mass Destruction.”

“And currently,” Laguel wasnt yet finished, “Since the fifth and sixth recruits were sent…” Laguel continued while looking at Chi-Woo, who stood between a giant man and a woman wearing a beret, “We would like to inform all of you that the event is at least a galaxy-scale Crisis, and we are currently discussing whether or not we should further raise it to an event of galaxy-scale Doom.”

The hallway became engulfed in silence. The universe was infinite; planets orbited around the sun, and thousands of those suns formed clusters, and a collection of star clusters formed a galaxy. But according to Laguel, a galaxy was in danger and could possibly collapse?

Everyone completely froze with their eyes wide open. They had expected the worst, but this had gone way beyond their expectations.

“If things are that bad, rather than us, shouldnt heroes that fit…ah.” Someone murmured to themselves in a daze but did a double take as they realized that Choi Chi-Hyun, who was considered the best hero, had already gone to Liber.

“Can we even save it?” a clear voice rang out.

Laguel simply replied, “Well, first, the flow of the prophecy has not stopped.” Since the prophecy was still functioning, it meant that there was still a future left where Liber was saved.

“A planets crisis is leading to the death of a galaxy?” another hero asked out loud. “How the hell did that happen?”

Laguel shook her head and replied, “Sir, we dont know.”

“What?”

“There is very little information in the Celestial Realm about Libers present status.”

The hall became noisy for a bit. The angels didnt know the cause of the situation, and they didnt know the current situation in Liber, either.

“How can you say theres hardly any information…If youve sent six groups of recruits, you should still have some connections with them. Is the information being blocked or interrupted?”

“No,” Laguel continued. “We ran into this problem because Libers connection with the Celestial Realm is random and unstable.”

The hero who asked the question frowned. “Random? Unstable?”

“We have tried to communicate with Liber several times, but we werent able to find Libers signal.”

“Wait. Perhaps…”

The heroes stopped scowling, and their eyes grew bigger in shock.

“Yes,” Laguel continued to speak with a soft voice. “According to our speculation, theWorld of Planet Liber has disappeared.”

The murmuring became more intense than ever before.

“Fuck! How does that make sense?” Giant Fist even jumped from his position and shouted his condemnations. “If the World got fucked, youre basically asking us to throw our lives away!”

Chi-Woos eyes quickly moved.What does it mean that the World had disappeared?

“Simply put…it means were on the same boat as you.” The woman with the beret made a bitter smile. “Heroes—on Earth, people also call them champions, right?”

Heroes, champions, saviors who saved the world in danger—these were all words that Chi-Woo had frequently heard before. People were born mortal, and thus no one was born omnipotent. Everyone had their limits since birth. However, from among these humans, sometimes, very occasionally, special individuals who could surpass their limits were born. Humans usually called these people heroes, and what made people heroes was not just their mental and physical abilities. Heroes didnt die easily, and even if they did die, they could be revived. They could also turn back time and become a regressor, retain knowledge of the future that other people dont know about, or possess various other perks. In dangerous situations, unexpected allies always appeared, and miraculous coincidences occurred as often as eating a meal for heroes. With the various forms of support provided by their World, heroes could always break through difficult circumstances and become even stronger. It was not an exaggeration to say that the World revolved around its heroes. Heroes were truly overpowering in every way, and they had no one who could compete with them.

However, all of this was only true when the prerequisite of “to save the world” was attached to them. Heroes were existences that theWorld chose and wanted, and in exchange, these heroes saved the World. However, in this case—

“The World disappeared…” Someone muttered in a dejected voice. If a World died, this basically meant that the existence of heroes had also disappeared. Rather than gaining any perks, they would arrive at Planet Liber and die easily like an extra, an expendable soldier without a proper name. Moreover, rather than breaking through difficulties in times of crisis like heroes, theyd have to worry about their lives first. As the woman with the beret said, they would really just become ordinary human beings.

“I didnt expect to keep the power I got from a different World, but I cant believe that we arent even able to get support from Libers World. This is a bit…” The lion-maned man, who had spoken confidently in the beginning, slightly slurred his words. He even looked a bit scared.

“Miss, I have a question,” a woman who had been quietly listening spoke up. She was a priestess who had been praying with her eyes closed. “What will we be doing when we arrive there?”

With her question, a small hologram appeared in front of everyone. In the hologram, Chi-Woo saw what looked like the Earths world map.

“Sir Chi-Hyun, who entered Planet Liber as one of the first recruits, succeeded in securing a relatively stable transmission point.”

Someone laughed in vain. In other words, before Chi-Hyun went to Planet Liber, there hadnt even been a proper transmission space there. For heroes who were used to being summoned under a large-scale ritual or an oracle held by the natives of respective planets, this method was completely foreign to them.

“Since then, we have been continuously dispatching new teams and expanding our domain little by little.” One part of the hologram map blinked and lit up. And with this area as the center, parts of its eastern, western, southern, and northern areas began to light up one by one. However, the rest of the map was still gray.

“The goal of the fifth recruits was to recapture the northern part of the previously secured transmission point. They were able to achieve some success, but—” The light in the northern area turned from white to bright red. “Not even a few days after its recapture, all communications from the fifth team suddenly stopped.” And then the bright red area turned gray like the rest of the map.

“Since then, the sixth recruits had been dispatched to the outpost in the northern area, but our contact with them has also been lost. Its hard for us to even figure out whats going on,” Laguel continued with a blank voice. “The seventh recruits were originally going to be dispatched to the center outpost, and their goal was going to be re-entering the northern base while cooperating with the existing teams there.”

A couple of heroes nodded. Even though they couldnt do anything right away, this was a realistic goal.

But there was a twist in Laguels following words. “However, the prophecy changed our goal.”

Those who were nodding stopped.

“The seventh recruits are going to be dispatched right here.” The northern part of the center, which had lost its light, began blinking again. “You will be sent here to investigate and re-occupy the northern outpost.” In other words, the seventh team had to find out what happened to the fifth and sixth recruits who they lost contact with and recapture the northern area of the central territory. This was the purpose and goal of the seventh recruit team.

“I will take the liberty to say that we dont expect you or the previous recruits to save Liber,” Laguel looked back at the audience and said. “You just need to create the conditions for salvation to be possible.” In short, they were going to sacrifice Liber to save the galaxy.

Nobody knew what to say in response. They were completely lost. Everyone knew that the number of applicants had decreased as more recruit teams were sent out. For example, there were much fewer heroes in the seventh recruitment than the fifth recruitment, and the quality of heroes had also decreased. However, Laguel had announced that they were going to be dispatched to where the Celestial Realm had lost contact with the two previous teams. The administrators were basically telling them to go on a suicide mission. Moreover, they couldnt even get aid from the Celestial Realm or support and protection from a World.

“I have a question.” After a short silence, someone spoke up. It was a hero with an alien head and a thick book. “Are you sure that the goal you just announced was given by the prophecy?”

“Yes, of course,” Laguel replied without an ounce of hesitation.

“Then there should still be a future where Liber can be saved.” The hero tilted his long head and closed his book. “There must be a reason why the prophecy has changed. Am I correct to say that the change is related to what had happened earlier?”

Laguels eyes slightly narrowed, but she fixed her expression before anyone could notice. “That—sir, what do you mean by that question?”

“Many of those who were originally judged to be suitable were sent away, and many of those who were judged to be unsuitable came in here,” the long-headed hero calmly continued, “After that hero came in.” He turned his head back and looked at Chi-Woo. “Am I not right?”

The long-headed hero (that Chi-Woo judged to be a male) slightly raised his chin towards him. “Right now, we are in an unprecedented and ridiculous situation in which a World has disappeared. On top of that, the prophecy had set an even more ridiculous goal, while also correcting its past decisions.” The long-headed man looked even more intently at Chi-Woo. “Am I correct to assume that there is something or someone that can completely flip these terrible conditions among the seventh recruits?”

As soon as he finished talking, a large number of heroes stared at Chi-Woo. Giant Fist blinked in surprise, and the woman with the beret glared at the long-headed man.

“Sir, I understand what youre saying,” Laguel calmly said. “We dont know when the prophecy was revised, and Im merely relaying the information I was given.” Her words were very vague.

“…Yeah, thats your stance.” The long-headed man smirked and looked away. Only then did the heroes gazes shift from Chi-Woos face. Even though he still felt some intense stares, Chi-Woo forced himself to ignore them and focused on the stage.

“Everyone, please stand up from your position now.” As if to draw the attention from Chi-Woo, Laguels beautiful voice resonated in the air.

Those who were seated began standing up one by one. Laguel waved her hand. The portal that had disappeared at the stages center reappeared. “Since this is a very urgent matter, well prepare to transport you as soon as you enter this portal.” Laguel had said everything there was to say. It was now time for them to go.

“But,” Laguel added before anyone could move, “We will give you one more chance to change your mind.” Laguels words took an unexpected turn. “Im sure none of you expected this, and its reasonable to think that this is too much for us to ask.”

Previously, Laguel had said that once they heard about the current situation, no one would be allowed to turn back, but she now changed her tune. Her motives were clear as she continued, “If you swore to keep all of this information confidential at the price of your qualifications—” Laguel pointed her thumb at the portal again. “—We wont stop you from turning back.”

In a way, Laguels words were very compelling. “Now, those who wish to enter despite all the risks, please move to the portal on the stage.” She then turned to Chi-Woo with an earnest gaze and continued, “And the rest of you, please exit through the portal at the end of the stairs.”

As soon as she finished, everyone in the hall began moving at the same time as if they had all planned it beforehand. Every single hero, without fail, moved towards the portal at the center of the stage.

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like