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SSS-Class Suicide Hunter - Chapter 146

Published at 28th of July 2021 07:23:39 AM


Chapter 146

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Chapter 146. < Friend. (2) >




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Translator: thursdays Editor: Yahiko

‘Yeah. There’s no rule saying I have to roll over and die!’

Misfortunes can turn into blessings.

I thought this was the first time I felt true friendship since I entered high school.

‘They say that the person who reaches out to you in tough times is your true friend.’

Yup. Looking back, I had been too arrogant.

People could make mistakes as they lived. As for me, I trusted the other kids too much! One of my friends stole the audio file of the recording, and I didn’t consider how they could fuck me over.

‘It’s fine. I still have many days left in my life.’

I was only a second-year in high school. I would live another 60 years after this. I would continue to make mistakes in the future, and each time, I would face a frustrating crisis.

‘But there is always a chance to turn things around.’

So I didn’t have to be so discouraged. I shouldn’t give up on everything too soon. I should believe in myself. I should believe in my friend! Unlike trash-like livestock, I was strong! I was a strong person!

‘Life is made of experiences.’

And I should count this instance as a [good experience].


 

‘I’m actually lucky that this happened before I entered society. Right, let’s think like that. It isn’t as if my business plan failed, either. I haven’t been caught by the police. I’m just being bullied a little by the other kids. This will end once the election is over.’

It really was a good life experience.

‘I’ll also slip in an apology to my girlfriend. She won’t like it if I say it upfront, so I’ll do it subtly so that only people close to us will understand.’

Mm. I could also say sorry to my customers for involving them in the problem.

‘The ones I really need to apologize to are the customers. Not Kim Yul. With Kim Yul, things will end with an apology whether or not he accepts it, but the customers could always become my clients again. I’ll apologize to them sincerely.’

On the day of the student council elections—

I finally finished my magnum opus.

+

Greetings, everyone.

I’m Hwang Eunseo from Grade 2, Class 5.

(Bow head.)

The reason I’ve come up to the podium today even though I’m not running in the election is because I have something to confess to everyone.

Students of Shinseo High School!

I’ve made a grave mistake.

I, Hwang Eunseo, participated in the bullying of a classmate.


 

(Pause for 2 seconds.)

When I saw my classmate being bullied, I didn’t do anything to stop it. Instead, I joined the other kids in bullying him. I hit him while saying that we were just goofing around. I belittled him while claiming I was just joking.

(Sigh.)

Shinseo High students.

Until now, I didn’t realize it was wrong. I thought we were just goofing around and joking between friends. But goofing around shouldn’t hurt people, and you shouldn’t mock people with jokes.

The fact that I didn’t recognize it was wrong.

That I hurt him and laughed at him unknowingly.

These were my gravest mistakes.

One of the candidates who is running for student council president helped me realize my mistakes. At first, I didn’t listen to him. I said I did nothing wrong, that it wasn’t wrong to joke around. But for two weeks, this candidate stayed in the classroom after school to talk with me.

‘You have to apologize.’

‘You can apologize.’

‘If you apologize sincerely, your friend will forgive you…’

I’m grateful.

(Look toward Class Pres.)

Thanks to this candidate’s efforts and encouragement, I am able to confess my mistakes to my classmates and all students in this spot today.

Of course, my apology today will not heal the wounds my friend endured.

(Scan the audience.)

And all this time, I’ve caused trouble for not just that friend but also for my other friends and many people at school. I spoke without thinking. I think there are many people who feel disappointed with me.




(Bow head to the audience.)

I did wrong.

(Say this while my head is still bowed.)

I’m sorry.

(Put aside the speech notes here.)

(To show sincerity, stop reading from the paper!)

(Memorize this line by line! This is important!!)

From now on, I will never ‘goof’ or ‘joke’ around lightly again.

I will always think and think again.

I will not base my thoughts upon just myself but upon my friends and others.

(Reinforce the story. Evoke a setting.)

The friend that I bullied comes to school early every morning to go to the farm in the back. At the farm, he takes care of the chicks and rabbits that nobody else cares for.

He’s an earnest person. A truly kind person.

I feel deeply guilty for harassing such a sincere and kindhearted person.

(Promise to do something that shows my sincerity.)

After today, instead of this friend—no, with this friend…

I will go to school every morning at 6:30 to look after the animals. I will not skip a single day from today until the day I graduate. I won’t take a break just because it’s a weekend or a holiday.

(Why? Give them a good reason.)

This isn’t just an apology to my friend but also a reminder to reflect on my mistakes every day.

(Lol.)

Apologizing once here won’t erase my sin. As it shouldn’t. Students of Shinseo High School! If I miss a single day, please rebuke me.

I haven’t changed yet. But I want to change. I want to thank Candidate 2 for helping to change me.

(It should be better to refer to his number than his name, I think??)

Students of Shinseo High School.

Candidate 2 made me come up here today. He convinced me. It took him two weeks to do it, but he spent that time persuading one student.

(Emphasize the two.)

This isn’t mere verbal communication but true communication, true understanding. Communication takes effort. Communication takes time. Communication is changing the people around you.

(Never look down at the speech, and don’t falter.)

(Make eye contact with each and every person.)

Candidate 2 is a candidate who puts in the effort.

A candidate who will lend you time.

A candidate who changes those around him.

(Wrap it up.)

I don’t know how you all will remember your school days.

But for me, I want you to remember your school days as happily as possible. I wish for you to remember them fondly. But for all of us to be happy and enjoy ourselves, we can’t make anyone else suffer.

For an even slightly better school life.

For our school days to be even a little more enjoyable.

Please vote for Candidate 2.

(Step away from the microphone.)

(With my raw voice. Loudly.)

Kim Yul!

I’m sorry for all this time!

I’m really sorry!

I wish you the best in the future!

(Bow my head to apologize and end.)

(Exit.)

+

It was perfect.

“Mm. Good. It’s fine…” the class president commented. 

Fine? Was this level just fine? His eyes must have been strained. Very strained. This wasn’t fine. It was a masterpiece. Couldn’t he see how many psychological techniques I put into this?!


But I’m a generous person, so I let this slide. Whew.

“There’s quite a lot of things that you have to memorize. Can you do it?”

“Of course. I memorized it all last night. I can do it with my eyes closed.”

“How reliable, Hwang Eunseo. I’ve made one good friend.”

The class president patted my shoulder. Bastard.

“Then let’s do the rehearsal check first…”

The class president was planning to present his campaign promises and visions in a slideshow. That meant that the auditorium had to be darkened. Luckily, the auditorium could turn dark after you pressed a button and waited for a while for the curtains to fall.

During the rehearsal, my girlfriend met my eyes.

“…Hmph.”

She pretended not to know me, but I bowed my head deliberately. I was making this pose to apologize to her. Then, her eyes rose up like she was surprised.

‘Just wait.’

In my mind, I smiled.

‘I’m making a comeback today.’

It was time for the election speeches.

All students gathered in the auditorium. The room was teeming with them. My girlfriend seemed anxious. She paced around in the back of the auditorium.

The class president, on the other hand, was stoic. He sat upright in his chair like he wasn’t nervous at all. Even I was a little nervous; his nerves had to be crazy strong.

“Hey. Aren’t you nervous?”

“No,” murmured the class president.

“Nervousness is for the unprepared. For today, I’ve… I’ve prepared so much. How often did I dream of a stage and a day like this? I won’t let nerves ruin it.”

His voice was chilly.

“…….”

For a moment, the back of my neck felt cold. That was how frosty the class president’s voice was. We had hung out together after school for a few days, but this was the first time the class president used this sort of tone.

‘What’s up with him? Even though he’s also acting different from usual.’

Weirdly, I felt like I’d been rebuked, so I just stood around awkwardly. That was when someone approached us.

“Y-you there.”

It was a familiar face.

“It’s about time to start… Hand over the USB…”

The broadcasting club president who had tried to threaten me not long ago looked jumpy. He cowered back when he met our eyes. Ha. Maybe he felt guilty for treating me so poorly.

“Yeah. Here you go.”

The class president handed a USB to the broadcasting club president.

He received it with trembling hands.

“I-I just have to open the file in this, right…?”

“Yes. Just do it like we did in [rehearsal].”

“Like we did in rehearsal… Then…”

“Then, your part will be over.”

The class president looked straight up at the broadcasting club president.

“What? Is there anything else I need to take care of?”

“No! T-there isn’t! I was just asking. Sorry! Good luck!”

The broadcasting club president scrambled down the stage platform. Below the platform, there was a mess of broadcasting equipment such as laptops and projectors.

‘……Huh?’

The broadcasting club president’s behavior was totally suspicious. He had always been a weirdo, but he hadn’t stuttered like that.

“Now, a word from the principal.”

But there wasn’t time to investigate his weird behavior. The principal and the chair of the election committee (the president of last year’s student council came out as the representative) spoke one after the other. The auditorium, which had been noisy because of all the students, soon became quiet.

“Then, Candidate 1, please come forward.”

My girlfriend gave her speech first.

As the class president predicted, she went all out on the promises. Her whole speech was about costly pledges. But my girlfriend was rich enough to keep her word, and most of the students knew it well.

‘It’s simple but powerful.’

She exited the stage to thunderous applause.

‘It’s fine. We’ll win as long as I can act well. No, actually, the class president doesn’t need to win. It’s fine so long as I do well. The important thing is to apologize to Kim Yul in front of the student body. Then, the kids will say [that’s enough] and…’

I took a deep breath.


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“Candidate 2, please come forward.”

“…….”

I looked back.

The class president was watching.

He nodded at me.

‘Good.’

Let’s go.

‘I’ll act my heart out.’

I stepped up to the podium. With each step I took, I felt the weight of the gazes on my body increase. Thump. Thump. I desperately quenched my racing heart.

Whirrr—

Thick curtains moved to block out the sunlight. The auditorium was shrouded in darkness. As the broadcasting club president adjusted the projector, a bright light illuminated the stage. Dust particles glistened in the air where the rays of light passed.

Hundreds of eyes.

Hundreds of breathing sounds.

“Greetings, everyone.”

I.

Slowly opened my mouth.

“I’m Hwang Eunseo from Grade 2, Class 5.”

Then.

“The reason I’ve come up to the podium today even though I’m not running in the election is because I have something to confess to everyone.”

I followed up with a masterful speech.

‘Oh.’

Once I set the mood, my nerves washed away. No. The tension was still there. But my excitement for acting overcame my nervousness, allowing my tongue to move freely.

‘This will work.’

My voice became louder and quieter as I willed it.

‘This will work!’

My expression wasn’t stiff, either.

I could feel my facial muscles moving naturally.

‘Fuck! It’s working!’

Come to think of it, I produced countless videos. I acted as the director and producer of the Kim Yul game. That was also indubitably art and a stage. I had become the greatest actor at Shinseo Middle and High School.

“Shinseo High students! Until now, I didn’t know it was wrong…!”

Bullying was a sensational topic. Combined with my acting skills, even the third-year students who were uninterested in the speeches were looking at me.

“I did wrong.”

All of the students were looking at me.

“I’m sorry.”

I could grasp the sounds of their breathing in my hands like they became a stream.

“I haven’t changed yet. But I want to change!”

Look. Look at me. Hwang Eunseo is not dead yet. I won’t die.

The sound recording was strangely leaked, but that was a mistake. I could easily cover up a mistake like this. I was a magnificent person. If I look back, wouldn’t my girlfriend also look at me in wonder?

“Please, please vote for Candidate 2.”

I took three steps back from the microphone and shouted.

“Kim Yul!”

I was confident in my victory.

“I’m sorry for all this time! I’m really sorry!”

I bowed my head to where the students of Grade 2, Class 5 were sitting.

“I wish you the best in the future!”

There was silence.

Then, a small sound that broke the silence in the auditorium.

Clap.

Applause came from the direction I bowed my head to.

Clap clap, clap, clap.

Kim Yul was standing up, clapping his hands. Yup. It was Kim Yul. The person to whom I was supposed to apologize and by whom I was supposed to be forgiven was giving me a standing ovation. Though Kim Yul’s expression was blank and his applause was unenthusiastic, his standing ovation could mean only one thing.


Forgiveness!

Thanks to Kim Yul taking the lead, the other students also started to applaud. Clapping was contagious. The students clapped their hands like they had seen a good performance, like it was all right to stop what they had been doing. Even the teachers were clapping.

‘Kugh…!’

Tears streamed down my face.

‘Thank you!’

It wasn’t that I was grateful for Kim Yul’s forgiveness. Who cared if Recycling forgave me or not? It was me. I fell from grace, but I was proud to have crawled back up with my own power.

‘Thank you, me! Thank you for not giving up! Well done!”

Clap clap clap clap—

‘Thank you all, too!’

Clap clap clap, clap, clap clap—

‘Thank you for getting swept away in the atmosphere! Thank you! Please continue to be sheeple! Even after you graduate and enter society as an adult, please stay as livestock forever!’

I was grateful to everything in this world.

-Uh.

A sound flowed out of the auditorium speakers.

-Sunbae-nim.

The applause did not let up. The sound coming from the speakers was initially buried by the noise. However, the broadcasting club president adjusted the volume, and the sound became louder.

“Is it okay to take pictures of this?”

I wiped away my tears. I wasn’t sure, but it seemed like the broadcasting club president was playing a video. I turned around, and I saw a certain video being projected on the dark walls of the auditorium.

-Don’t worry about it.

A familiar face appeared in the video.

-I’m just gonna show a few people and delete it.

It was me.

“…….”

Huh?

-Hello, dear guests. Today is the return of the long-awaited Kim Yul TV. Ah, but I’ve received many notes saying that Kim Yul TV is tacky. I agree!

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

In the video, I was holding my camcorder and recording my face. I was filming Kim Yul. It was from before the [game] had begun in earnest. The kids were having fun, messing around with Kim Yul.

-But I don’t have a good sense for naming things. Haha. Everyone! I would be grateful if you could submit a name for the series directly with a note!

What?

-Now, let’s keep the introduction short. How will we play with Kim Yul today? Many people made suggestions. Among those who put in an entry today, the one who won the honor is… Tada!

All of the students gathered in the auditorium were buzzing.

-Queen!

The teachers stared at the video.

-Congratulations! Ah, let’s announce Queen’s request. Quickly moving. Quickly. A-ha. Prepare two banana milk drinks. Put a centipede in one of them, and in the other…

I was turning white.

“Hwang Eunseo, you crazy bastard!” someone shouted.

It was my girlfriend’s voice.

My girlfriend, who had gone back to her seat after her speech, stood up and screamed.

“You crazy bastard! Nutjob! You bitch—”

I couldn’t hear my girlfriend’s voice very well.

My head was simply blank.

Instinctively, I turned my head to look at the broadcasting club president.

“…….”

He had his head bowed low and was holding a mouse connected to a laptop.

I turned away again.

This time, I looked at the class president.

“…….”

The class president was smiling.

“…….”

It was a very kind smile.

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