|Author: The Sole Survivor||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
(NAME CHANGE: Clear Water Mirror to Aques Lumen. Because Clear Water Mirror is a horrible name…)
The Kingdom of Tarnia, the Western Human Realm.
Demon Hunter Branch Division, Azure City.
Nicole knocked and pushed open the door to Aques Lumen’s office. Even when faced with a powerful figure like Aques Lumen, this teenager’s face remained cold and expressionless. In truth, had it not been for that staff at the reception desk informing her right when she returned from her mission that Aques Lumen was looking for her, she would have already gone off to take on another mission.
“Mhm. The mission proceeded smoothly?” The man gave his favourite disciple a warm smile then eyed her up and down. Seeing that she was unharmed and immaculate, he nodded his head. “You’ve been completing your missions rather fast recently, how about a break every once in a while?”
“There’s no need.” She coldly spat out those words.
“Sigh. You’re too uptight.” Aques Lumen sighed before continuing, “Normal Demon Hunters require a month to complete each mission, but you’ve at least completed three already… I’m afraid you will collapse…”
“Teacher.” She suddenly interrupted him, body just about ready to turn around and leave. “If there’s nothing else you wish to talk about, I’ll be off.”
“Weren’t you very sure that your younger brother was consumed by a Devil?”
The information she gained from Chaik Village had nearly caused a mental collapse. The only way she could deal with that shock was to push herself to the point of mental abuse in order to cope. Whenever she had free time, she would be haunted by that same unending nightmare. Mo Ke’s cries for help would resound thunderously in her eyes as he was chewed to pieces by a Devil. Then, he was gone… and she was helpless to stop that. At that point, she would wake up in tears.
Being the caring sister that she was, her first thought was that his departure was caused by her negligence.
From the very beginning, Nicole and Roscar knew that Mo Ke was a child who was mature for his age. He knew more than he should have for a child, and the look he gave her was never one of a sibling’s. Had it not been for me… was what she always told herself as she wept. But there were no ifs in this world. Mo Ke wasn’t coming back -he had been eaten by a Devil. Even more egregious was that the Devil who ate him actually thought of himself as her younger brother… unforgivable!
Aques Lumen’s words made her whip her head around, eyes sharp as daggers as she stared at her teacher. Her rosy red lips were slightly ajar, but she chose not to say a word in the end.
Seeing Nicole push herself like this made his heart ache, but all he could do was shake his head in resignation. This student of his was perfect in every way -talent, intelligence, there was nothing she wasn’t the best at – except that her heart had been filled to brim with vengeance. At this rate, a day would come when she would completely destroy herself.
All that was sustaining her now was her need for vengeance. Yet such hatred only made a person’s heart narrower. The more hate she had, the more painful it got, and the more lost as well. Once one fell into the endless void that was vengeance, there was no one coming out of that self-imposed imprisonment.
“Honestly, I still have my doubts. Your younger brother… in other words, that Devil you met at your home… might just be your…”
“Teacher!” Nicole interrupted the man once more. Her crystal-like eyes shone with a barely disguised anger that seemed directed at this handsome young man. “Devils all deserve to die!”
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“…” Aques Lumen immediately grimaced to himself. “Alright then, that’s enough therapy for now. However, I do in fact have an important matter for you. This time, I hope you won’t interrupt me.”
Having interrupted her teacher twice now, even she felt she was being a little rude to her teacher, thus that request went smoothly.
“The situation is like this: I need you to bring a newcomer…”
“…” Aques Lumen’s handsome face almost fell apart at that point. “I know you’re really busy, but we already agreed just now, you will let me finish.”
“…please continue, teacher.”
“Ahem.” Aques Lumen cleared his throat before continuing, albeit a little more exasperated than before. “Her talent with Fighter’s Aura is top-rate, and she’s even a few years younger than her classmates. But in terms of other matters, she’s just a hot mess… Even if her prowess are formidable for her age, I don’t feel secure letting her out. That’s why I hope you will help out with this matter.”
“I…” Nicole nearly said to just let such an unreliable student fail, but before she could even finish, she was immediately interrupted.
“This is an order! It would be a shame to not let her graduate, and even if you wanted to reject this mission, you should at least see her first.”
“The outcome will still be the same.” She coldly replied.
“Don’t be so certain.” As he said that, Aques Lumen stood up and waved at Nicole. “Come, we’ll see that child now. I’m sure you will agree once you see her.”
Nicole really wanted to say no, but she gave up in the end and just followed him out of the office. The two of them ended up entering one of the training ground’s sections. It was built with a spectator’s stand surrounding a circular fighting arena. As one got higher up the stands, the more prestigious that seat was. It was basically a colosseum from Roman times.
Behind the fences of this spectator stand were a bunch of seventeen to eighteen year old kids who were screaming at the top of their lungs, seemingly cheering for their classmate in the ring.
“This semester’s Trainee Demon Hunters are all about to graduate. Once this final exam is over, those who pass it will have completed their training to become a Beginner Demon Hunter.” Their arrival was a nondescript one that escaped the radar of the cheering youngsters below, mostly because they were fully focused on the ring in the center. As they continued walking around the ring, Aque Lumen explained to her, “every semester’s final exam will have a Senior Demon Hunter leading one of the trainees on a mission. Even though you’re just a Journeyman Demon Hunter, but just in terms of combat strength alone, you’re already a top Senior Demon Hunter, so it’s time for you to take on some responsibilities as well.”
No matter how Aque Lumen tried to persuade her, she remained as tight-lipped as before. Such a cold treatment by his favourite disciple was truly giving him a headache, but he still couldn’t bring himself to scold her. In that case, he could only endure it for now. As the saying went, a daughter was her father’s lover in the past life. And a teacher for a day, but a father for life. In some sense, he felt he was already half a father to her. Yet why did she never seem to reciprocate this affection?
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I’m such a failure, Aques Lumen sighed to himself. “Alright then. I won’t say anymore for now. How about you have a look at the match below first.”
Hearing that, Nicole turned around to observe the young girl below who was about to engage in a fight in the ring. The moment she did that however, her icy cold expression cracked apart. All that happened in just one second.
“Neneth!” Nicole reflexively called out to the girl in the ring.
The girl in the ring was thirteen to fourteen years of age, and had a blue head of long hair that reached up to her waist. She wore the simple leather armor given to her by the school while her hands wielded a gigantic sword that was even bigger than herself. With its massive width, it could even function as a door. With a slightly rounded face like an adorable cherub, it was Nicole’s only friend from the academy, Neneth!
“Ah. Sister Nicole!”
Hearing her name yelled out like that, Neneth reflexively turned her head around to find a shocked Nicole staring right back at her. Finally. After all this time, she was able to meet her favourite big sister! Right hand still gripping down on her giant sword, she raised her left arm and began waving at Nicole, completely oblivious to the fact that she was still in an exam…
“It’s the Branch Leader!”
“Isn’t that the Frigid War Goddess?! Ah, what a day this is. No matter how many times I look at her, she’s still that beautiful and moving…”
Following the sound of her voice, the rest of the young Trainee Demon Hunters quickly locked onto where the pair were. A number of girls were already squealing at the handsome Branch Leader while the rest were just awed by the beauty that was Nicole. With how excited their screams were, the scene threatened to spill out of control.
Thankfully, their teacher was nearby and, with a simple few words, brought them all back to reality. No matter how much they complained, the exam had already started.
Down below in the combat ring, a slightly strange looking humanoid slowly walked out from the shadows of the stands towards Neneth…
This strange humanoid was topless and wore a ragged set of trousers. From the looks of things, he was a human male. However, his skin was deathly pale, as if there was no blood flowing in his veins at all. Furthermore, this man seemed to be dragging his body along as he walked forward. His dirty black hair clung to his face, blocking out half of its features, leaving behind only a pair of red eyes that glowed with hunger. He seemed rather frail, but his nails were exceptionally long, and spit practically rained from his hanging mouth full of fangs. His ragged breath was a sure sign that he was about to pounce on the adorable girl in front of him.
“A Blood Ghoul.”
As Nicole stared at the humanoid below, her eyes could barely contain the disgust she felt right now.
Blood Ghouls were the slaves raised by Vampires, and were an existence that straddled the line between a Vampire and a human. Their main purpose was to provide blood for the Vampire. Because of how many times they had been bitten, their bodies had begun to mutate. Yet such a mutation didn’t mean that they were no longer human. Because these Blood Ghouls had never received the Embrace, they weren’t Vampires either.
“Your results were excellent in the past so you received some special treatment from me. Normal students, however, have to face such a graduation exam.
Clearly overtaken by worry, Nicole immediately asked, “and if they fail?”
“There’s usually an invigilator nearby so nothing usually happens.”
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Even though he said that, this was still an actual fight. It couldn’t be helped if accidents happened from time to time…
(TL: I’m quite sure I never named Neneth in the past. If you guys remember what I called her in the past, drop me a PM on Discord or leave a comment.)
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