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Chapter 55 – Take My Life In Exchange For His Life

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Author: Cherish the World Original Source: SFACG
Translator: raltzero English Source: Re:Library

How does one cultivate an outstanding assassin?

Every family has its own methods.

The Overlord of Huaiwang believes in “even heroes have a weakness for the charms of a beautiful woman”, so his Secret Division Organization【Nocturne】is filled with graceful and charming femme fatales skilled in the art of assassination. The Overlord of Zixuan feels that one should “learn from the foreigners in order to take control of them”, so she searched for many big-time thieves in the underworld who are experts of the nighttime to pad her Secret Division Organization【Setting Morning】. Using Yun Hai’s Bai Feng as another example, he defers to the rule of “using virtue to convince others” no matter whose domain he’s in, so he’s cultivated very few assassins himself. When he raises his hand and issues a rallying call, there will be an innumerable amount of famous scholars coming from all over the world to seek asylum.

As one of the three major Secret Division Organizations specializing in assassinations, Lingwu’s【Hidden Guard】has always believed in these three words.

“Cold and ruthless.”

In Lingwu’s view, these are the most basic prerequisites for an assassin. Cold and ruthless to the point where one’s senses become sluggish and are able to suffer hardships that an ordinary person wouldn’t be able to bear. Even if they’re captures and interrogated through torture, they will not divulge any information.

So how does one achieve this point?

Hidden Guard possesses its own Hidden Guard ways.

Take a three to four year-old child and pierce the back of their heads with a silver needle. The needle tip must be inserted into the skull less than one inch so as to destroy a portion of their brain’s function and make them unable to experience the emotions that humans should have. This process is very painful and is a very high risk procedure. It’s a lucky thing if one child out of ten survives the process. The great majority of the children die instantly upon having the needle inserted into their brain.

As for the children who do survive, they become very obedient.

Their seven emotional states: joy, anger, anxiety, thought, grief, fear, and fright are all erased; their six desires, eyes, ears, tongue, body, and desires are all numb and stone-like. Cold and ruthless, apathetic and desireless, these are the qualities that make up a true assassin qualified to inherit Hidden Guard’s【Major Command】position.

When Shiloh was a child, she didn’t know if it was because that silver needle had missed its mark by several millimeters or some other reason, but she hadn’t lost all of her emotions; she retained a very small, miniscule portion of them. That bit of emotion was like a firefly in the dark of the night; unable to illuminate anything. But because of its existence, Shiloh was never able to fully blend into the darkness.

Compared to the assassins in the same age group as her, she was like a defective product.

When those assassins of her age group were able to kill people as if they were butchering a cow, Shiloh wasn’t able to set out and act.

Shiloh was able to do everything else fine, though. She was able to obtain a very high ranking in the training and her theoretical knowledge wouldn’t lose out to anyone.

She grew up wearing flimsy clothes and using her body to weather the winds and snow; she grew up having to pinch her nose and chew and crunch on all sorts of poisonous insects; she grew up having to stand up expressionlessly while her body’s filled with cuts all over, forced to allow her blood to flow down and melt the snow and ice beneath her feet. She’s had to motionlessly stand on a wooden stake several meters in the sky with one leg balancing her; she’s had to submerge herself in even colder lake water and hold her breath for several hours; she’s had to use her own sharp canines to tear into raw meat and devour it, with blood to slake her thirst; she’s had to stay in the wilderness alone on a night filled with stars and crawl on the ground so as to train her aura concealment technique.

All of these, she’s accomplished to the extent that she surpasses all of the assassins in her cohort.

In those days, Major Command also placed high hopes on her and said in private that she was worthy of being placed into a powerful position.

The only shortcoming was that Shiloh was, and still is, very resistant to killing people.

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In the beginning, everyone thought that it was merely because she was unaccustomed to it, so they believed that getting her accustomed to killing would be all it would take to fix that issue. As an assassin, who doesn’t have dozens or hundreds of lives under their belt? Nobody’s used to killing at first, but now, everyone is used to killing and some even regard it as something to be joyful about. Why are the Ten Temple Hell Kings strong? It’s because when they kill, they’ll frequently hold a killing competition and have discussions on how to kill more efficiently and how to do so in a more exciting fashion. So everyone thought that it would be no different for Shiloh, that this was definitely the reason for her reluctance.

But gradually, they found out that Shiloh was indeed an outlier, the only outlier among the forty-nine people.

One of her teachers, Second Temple: Monarch of Clear River of the【Ten Temple Hell Kings】 once asked her:

“Is this a joke? How are you fine when killing fierce beasts, yet unable to kill people? Stab with your blade, gouge out the heart, slice it up, and down it with alcohol! It’s both tender and tasty; you’ll fall in love with killing people once you’ve tasted such a delicacy.”

To which Shiloh responded:

“Human life is different from a fierce beasts’ life.”

Second Temple: Monarch of Clear River had despise written all over his face as he sneered:

“How is it any different? Killing people and killing fierce beasts are in essence just killing! When you kill enough, you’ll naturally become used to it. If you don’t kill people, people will surely come to kill you. No mercy is followed by no worry, which is followed by no pain. Remember this properly.”

Shiloh lowered her head in silence.

From a young age, she was taught too many ‘proper’ duties:

Killing people is proper, being despicable is proper, winning by hook or crook is proper.

And when necessary, using one’s life in exchange for another’s is proper.

Dying for Hidden Guard is also proper.

Everyone was taught this way and everyone did as such.

These were all ‘proper’ duties, but she was unsure of how it was ‘proper’.

Every time she thought about these things, she always felt this bone-penetrating chill wrack her body. The frost and snow covering the earth and floating in the skies clearly was unable to pierce into her heart, yet the indifference from the world seemed to always be able to penetrate deep into her bones.

Gradually, nobody treated Shiloh as a genius and instead, they started to view her as an object of ridicule.

If an assassin isn’t even able to kill people, why even work as an assassin? That person may as well go back home and suckle their mother’s breast.

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In reality, there were countless occasions where even Shiloh was fed up with this remaining emotion of hers: why am I the only one different from everyone else, why am I the only one that has to bear such suffering——if I were just as apathetic as the people around me, wouldn’t it be better?

Most people abandon the better side of their character when growing up, but it’s all classified as the pressure from the world and society grinding their edges and corners. But when they actually look back in reminiscence, each one of them will loathe the world and society, yet they all also embrace it. Just because doing so led them to such a worry-free lifestyle. Rather than becoming the same as everyone else, it’s more like everyone has no choice but to find a compromise.

Then if you don’t compromise, what will happen?

There’s no ‘what will happen’, only the transformation of your status into being an unpromising waste in other people’s mouths.

When other people were travelling to all parts of the world to gain experience, Shiloh also received a command at long last.

Go to that city in the distant west, hide yourself, and obstruct its development.

It was work that didn’t require her to kill.

Shiloh let out a small sigh of relief.

Then, in that place, everything changed.

When she went to commit arson, that esteemed City Lord went to secretly snatch her mask and hugged her tight in his embrace when she went to assassinate him. Even though she was the one who took the initiative, she had inexplicably given away her first kiss. Since then, countless attempts at assassinating him all failed and her assassin’s dignity was shattered into fragments. That along with his constant feeding of various kinds of delicious foods caused her to unconsciously fall into a cloud of tenderness without a way to extricate herself. In the beginning, she used the excuse of ‘I can’t kill him in any case’ to comfort herself, but as time passed by, Shiloh realized that it wasn’t that she wasn’t able to kill him. Rather, it was because she already had no thoughts of killing him.

After meeting Li De, she suddenly felt fortunate that she stood out from the masses, that she was fortunate to be an outlier. The long years that she had endured had finally repaid themselves; in an instant, it felt like all the pain she went through in the past became insignificant.

“This feeling, would other people be able to obtain such a thing?”

Every time she thought to herself like this, Shiloh would feel a bit of pride as if she were a competitive child that had won in something. Though, such a mood would never be revealed on her face.

It was Li De’s fortune that the assassin who came to West-Resisting City turned out to be Shiloh, otherwise he would have lost Fang Thirteen at the very least.

And it was Shiloh’s fortune that she was the one sent to West-Resisting City, otherwise she would’ve never found another such altruistic person in the world who would spoil her.

This belonged to the fortune of the duo.

Therefore, Shiloh made a decision.

She left West-Resisting City alone with heavy steps.

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She followed the marks to that gloomy room alone.

It was in one of the wide buildings inside Rivet City that originally was the residence of some large family. But with Fang Thirteen’s near-conquering of Rivet City, many large families were so frightened that they sold all their buildings and land so that they could move eastwards. The unoccupied houses were rented by several foreigners, so it was unlikely to arouse any suspicion.

Inside the room were several lamp lights flickering gently, causing the dark room to be mottled with light.

Missions official Frost had both her hands inside her sleeves as she stood on the side quietly. A trio made up of two men and one woman sat on chairs with one leg over the other as they rocked back and forth on them. First Temple: Monarch of Qin Guang, Second Temple: Monarch of Clear River, Ninth Temple: Monarch of Equality; this trio didn’t have the slightest appearance of being an assassin and calmly resembled any other person on the street.

Of course, this was only in the eyes of ordinary people.

As far as Shiloh, who was kneeling in the middle of the room, was concerned, her cold sweat wouldn’t stop dripping onto the ground. It was clearly winter, yet she felt as if she were experiencing blistering summer heat.

Before her was the only female amongst the three assassins——Ninth Temple: Monarch of Equality raised an eyebrow and asked:

“What did you say you wanted to do? Say it one more time, I didn’t hear it clearly.”

Shiloh swallowed a mouthful of saliva and repeated the words that had just come out of her mouth:

“……Take my life in exchange for his life.”

Ninth Temple: Monarch of Equality burst into loud laughter as if she had heard the funniest joke in the world. Her slim shoulders shivered as she pointed at Shiloh and shot at her:

“Your life? Do you think your life is worth anything? You truly think of yourself as the young family head? You haven’t even sat on the position of Major Command for a single day; you’re just an assassin with the lowest ranking in Hidden Guard! Your life is OURS, so what ‘exchange’ do you think you’re talking about?!”

Second Temple: Monarch of Clear River, a big-bodied person with winding sideburns, looked at Shiloh with a complex expression in his eyes and said:

“You also understand Ruler’s conduct. That Li De didn’t need to die, but he’s already tried to incite rebellion in you several times and has violated Hidden Guard’s taboo. This command is one that Ruler personally passed on, so even Major Command wouldn’t be able to protect you.”

First Temple: Monarch of Qin Guang had a gloomy complexion and an indifferent voice:

“It’s about time, let’s set off. We still have a lot of people to kill later.”

Ninth Temple: Monarch of Equality laughed with a voice as ear-piercing as an owl’s:

“Kill people? I like that the most, especially a young woman’s blood; it’s the best thing for making myself more beautiful and maintaining a youthful appearance, you two better not snatch this from me!”

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Second Temple: Monarch of Clear River sighed, stood up, and told Shiloh:

“As teacher once asked you, ‘do you wish to be an assassin or saint’; does the current you have an answer?”

Shiloh lifted up her head and opened her mouth to reply:

“Assassins also have feelings and admittedly, the seven emotional states and six desires are a burden. But I don’t want to give them up……and I don’t regret it.”

As soon as her voice fell, killing intent gushed out like a tide. A snow-white dagger slipped out of her cuff and she went to face the three people standing on the apex of the Assassin Path.

Yes, she was scared. She had personally witnessed her teachers strength and personally witnessed the scenes of her teachers killing people. Those bloody and terrifying scenes were already carved into her mind and soul. This fear was a deep-rooted one, but courage had filled her body from some unknown source, allowing her to dare pick up her dagger to go assassinate a far stronger assassin.

But after she barely took two steps, daggers had already pierced through her four limbs and pinned her onto the ground, blood sprinkling onto the azure bricks under her feet. Ninth Temple: Monarch of Equality made a “cheh” sound and said:

“Silly little girl, still thinking of deceiving her teachers and wiping out her ancestors. Those small skills of yours are our leftover toys.”

First Temple: Monarch of Qin Guang nodded and indifferently commented:

“Shiloh’s betrayal to Hidden Guard is already a fact and acting against us worsens her sin. Monarch of Equality, carry out the execution.”

“There’s no need for you to say something that I also know.”

The young wife-looking woman stretched out her hand with a turquoise dagger now in the palm of her hand. Monarch of Equality approached Shiloh with a nasty grin and while she was gesturing with the space between her eyebrows——

Suddenly, her dagger sharply slammed downwards.



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