Chapter 27: Female President (3)
Ru Hiana was a hero who had ascended to the Celestial Realm with her companion. She was also a newbie who hadnt proven her skills until recently like Ru Amuh. Before arriving at the Celestial Realm, Ru Hiana had a fantasy about the place. She imagined a meeting of heroes from many different worlds. As someone who had grown up with Ru Amuh as his childhood friend and learned to become a hero in that manner, she thought other heroes would be like him. Unfortunately, it didnt take long for her imagination to be shattered, and she soon learned that pure and just heroes like Ru Amuh were very rare. Most heroes didnt think of doing heroic acts without getting recognition in return and were selfish and greedy. There were plenty of immature blokes who thought the whole universe revolved around them.
It was understandable, of course, since heroes were people, too. Nevertheless, when she heard heroes badmouth the princesses or princes they had met or complained about the perks a god had given them, she thought she was hearing things. She, who thought no sacrifice was unwarranted in the name of saving a world, was severely disappointed. The angel in charge of Ru Hiana told her that it couldnt be helped. Since too many dangers were popping out all over the universe, they had lowered some of the criteria to become a hero to fulfill their quota.
“Things were different during my time. Its true that todays heroes are much lower in quality compared to the previous generations,” the angel told her, and Ru Hiana could only nod in agreement to these statements. She had the same reaction when she met Chi-Woo for the first time. She wondered how a person like him could be a hero. However, when she now thought back to that moment, Chi-Woo had been the most experienced and collected person among them. What he did after things settled surprised her, too. Not only did he know to share and give, but he also recognized the value of making sacrifices without being seen, and didnt boast about himself. It was her first time seeing a true, experienced hero who was even a step above Ru Amuh; he was the kind of hero who persevered and walked a road of hardships for the well-being of others even when he wasnt recognized. He was the epitome of a hero.
“…So cool.” Ru Hiana muttered, unable to tear her eyes away from the tent that Chi-Woo had entered. That was the kind of light a newbie hero like her would see Chi-Woo in. Not long afterward, Ru Hiana got up from her seat. Chi-Woo was now her hero. He wasnt just someone who had become a hero before her, but an admirable senior from whom she had a lot to learn.
“Ruahu. Just now, I…” As she lay down next to Ru Amuh, she started talking with an excited expression. She blabbered for a long time in a quiet voice and eventually fell asleep.
* * *
The next morning, Chi-Woo woke up and stretched out his arms. He was in quite a good mood. Although his future was still unclear, he was in a better situation than when he was running away, soaking wet in the heavy downpour.
“Are you awake?” Having felt his movements, Zelit asked. As if he hadnt been able to have a wink of sleep, his face looked haggard. Chi-Woo was about to ask him what was going on with him when he stopped himself.
‘On that note. It seemed he had been pulled into these past events because of Zelit. Rather than getting mixed into some unexpected situation, he thought it would be better for him to not get involved at all.
“Yes, the weather is good today.”
“The weather? Hm.” That was all Zelit said before he got up from his seat and went outside the tent.
What? It bothered Chi-Woo that Zelit was acting in this manner with such a distressed face. After walking out without saying anything, Zelit soon returned with four others following behind him.
“Good morning, senior! I slept well like you told me to. How about—”
“Did you sleep well? Was there anything uncomfortable about your accommodations—?”
Ru Hiana and Shakira talked at the same time and turned to each other in surprise. It seemed they hadnt expected each other to share the same sentiment.
“Both of them asked me to let them know once you woke up,” Zelit said calmly.
‘This Zealot head. Chi-Woo insulted Zelit inside his mind but couldnt complain outright. Then from behind Ru Hiana and Shakora each came a handsome, respectable blonde man and a mystical-looking, silver-haired woman who had one of her eyes closed.
“Ru Amuh…and you are Hawa, right?”
Both were saved by Chi-Woo. It seemed they had come to meet him after they gained consciousness and recovered to the point that they could move.
‘If they came to thank me, then… Chi-Woo felt a sense of worry as he stared at them.
The two of them snuck glances at each other like they were battling to see who would talk first. Thus, Chi-Woo decided to take the initiative.
“Are you both feeling well?”
“Ah, yes,” Ru Amuh replied first. “I heard from Ru Hiana that not only did you grant my request, but you also saved my life. Thank you so much, sir.” Ru Amuh bowed deeply.
‘He really is good looking. Chi-Woo rolled his tongue. Ru Amuh was a handsome man with neat blond hair and blue eyes reminiscent of a calm lake. He looked like a comic book character in real life.
“Youre acting like we were meeting for the first time,” Chi-Woo answered with a smile.
“Yes, ” Ru Amuh said with a slightly nervous face. “It is as you say, sir,”
“You seemed more relaxed then.”
“Ah, that time…”
“Im also thankful to you. Thanks to your guidance, I was able to leave the place quickly.”
“No. Truthfully, my mind was in a mess at that time, and I was half awake…” Ru Amuh made a bitter smile and continued, “I dont know why, but I kept remembering your words that you would at least save my soul. I think thats how I was able to endure the situation. Thank you very much.” He bowed again so deeply that his head almost touched the ground.
‘Hm. I suppose it was the dies doing. Chi-Woo carefully studied Ru Amuh. Ru Amuh was handsome, had a good voice, and was mild-tempered. He was a hero with no faults. Since the World had also wanted to save him, Chi-Woo looked forward to Ru Amuhs future actions.
At that moment, Shakira let out a small cough.
“Im Shahnaz Hawa. Thank you for saving me.” The silver-haired girl revealed her name with a calm voice and slightly bowed.
“Yes, nice to meet you. How are you feeling?”
“Thats great to hear. But you still have to take good care of yourself. Please eat well and get a lot of sunlight.”
“…Yes.” Hawa closed her eyes, and after brushing her silver hair back, she slightly nodded. Even though she appeared cold, it seemed to be her natural disposition rather than her trying to be rude.
“Anyway, senior.” Ru Hiana suddenly intervened. “Rest assured, I already told Ru Amuh everything.”
Chi-Woo tilted his head. Now that he thought about it, he heard her calling him something strange. What did she just say?
“Even though hes just a beginner, Ru Amuh is a hero who has resolved a star-cluster event. Im sure hell be of great help to you, senior. You can look forward to it.”
“Ru Hiana? If you suddenly say something like that…” Ru Amuh tackled Ru Hianas words, visibly flustered.
Chi-Woo felt like he got struck by lightning. Why was she suddenly calling him senior, and what was she talking about? Chi-Woo didnt even know where to begin contradicting her statements.
“Hawa is the successor to the Shahnaz tribe,” Shakira also spoke up. “She also received Rawiyas and my teachings.”
“Shes intelligent, and she can take care of herself. I can also say with full confidence that shell be very helpful to you in the future.”
Chi-Woo looked taken aback. ‘Why are they talking as if they are competing with each other? Their attitude seemed to indicate that he was someone of great importance, which Chi-Woo found extremely burdensome; it felt like someone brought a child and told him,this is yours. Resolving something troublesome ended up bringing entirely different trouble to his door, and they kept popping up one after another.
‘What do they want from me? Chi-Woo gulped with an awkward expression, struggling to come up with something to say. Then several people near the entrance suddenly looked back to check the commotion outside.
“What? Whats happening?” Ru Hiana flipped the tents entrance open and stuck her head outside. Then she took two steps back because someone had quickly come inside.
“Shakira?” Rawiya looked for Shakira as soon as she entered the tent. “They have arrived.”
“Just come out first.”
After excusing herself, Shakira quickly went out of the tent. While everyone was confused, Chi-Woo quickly got up. This was a godsend; a once in a lifetime opportunity for him to get out of this uncomfortable situation.
“Lets follow her.”
“I didnt have the chance to ask you this before, but why do you call me senior, Ms. Ru Hiana?”
“Sir, you must have become a hero earlier than I did, so its only right that I address you as my senior.” Ru Hiana spoke nicely and took the lead by opening the tents entrance.
When most people were out, Zelit grabbed Chi-Woos shoulder. “I also have something to tell you.”
Chi-Woo turned around to look at him with wariness.
“Not right now, but later. I want to talk to you when were alone. Will you be able to spare some of your time?”
“Whats the matter?”
“Im curious about your opinion on something.”
“Hmm. Yes. Well, if I can…” Chi-Woo purposely trailed off.
“Thanks. Then lets head out. I hope its nothing serious.” Zelit also exited the tent.
Whats happening. Chi-Woo clicked his tongue and sighed before following them. When he stepped out of the tent, he saw Shakira conversing with another person. Surprisingly, Shakira was bowing to the woman despite being the one with the highest authority in this camp, and the woman was young and beautiful.
“I understand. Ill get a total of five people—” The woman stopped mid-sentence, her dark obsidian eyes widening and sparkling when she saw them approach. “Those people are…?”
“Yes, theyre the seventh recruits that our guard captain, Rawiya, brought in.”
“Ah…!” the woman exclaimed softly. “Theres our hope, at least. How very fortunate for us.”
Chi-Woo tilted his head because of the slight disappointment coloring her voice. And what did she mean by fortunate? The woman fixed her clothes and posture, like she had felt Chi-Woos gaze. Then she gathered her hands together and politely bowed to the heroes. “Nice to meet you. If I may briefly introduce myself, my name is Salem Eshnunna. I manage the camps here, and I used to be the princess of the Salem Kingdom.”
Ru Hiana asked, “Used to be…?”
“Since the Salem Kingdom has collapsed, its just an empty title now.”
Chi-Woo observed Eshnunnas face as she smiled bitterly in response to Ru Hianas question. He was able to finally meet one of the royals, who were usually among the representative figures that met and assisted heroes in stories.
‘There really does seem to be something different about her. Her silky hair was as black as her eyes, and it was braided neatly to one side. The navy blue shift dress she wore was simple but neat, and the way she greeted them showed the strict education she must have received since she was young. Moreover, her soft smile immediately gave off a pleasant and friendly vibe. The first impression she left on people was very different from Shahnaz Hawa in many ways.
“Did you say you manage the camps here?” Zelit asked.
“Did you not hear this from Shakira?”
“Well, its the first time Im hearing that therere multiple camps.”
“I wasnt able to get that far yet. I apologize.” Shakira lowered her head in apology.
“No, its all right. Would you allow me to give you an explanation, then?” Eshnunna smiled kindly, and Zelit nodded.
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