TRAIGS (Novel) Chapter 337

N/T: Translation made by our friend 'Irving'. A big round of applause for him :)

C 337


Merlin elongated her tail like cheese.

"It shouldn't be too difficult for you."

Raon nodded at Merlin, looking her in the eyes.

"Well, that's..."

Merlin gently stroked her long ears.

"Of course, I'll listen."

The red eyes of the rabbit looking in their direction were cute yet eerie.

"So, what's the request? Just tell me."

Merlin flicked her paw, indicating she'd help with anything.


Wrath tasted Merlin with a thoughtful look.

It seems you have found yourself a messenger who can handle any task. It's a bit unsettling, though...

'I don't plan to abuse her like that.'

It was only because of an unexpected situation with many children to protect that he turned to Merlin for help. If it weren't for the kids, he would never have called her.

You're usually like an emotionless ghost, but you're surprisingly gentle in strange situations.

Wrath shook his head in disbelief.

Raon chuckled as she watched Wrath sticking his tongue out.

'It's definitely advantageous to use Merlin, but…'

He would never manipulate someone's emotions like Derus Robert, who had put a mental collar on him in a past life.

He didn't want to become like him.

"Can you deliver a letter I wrote to someone else?"

"A letter? Is that all?"

Merlin tilted her head in surprise.

"Yeah. That's enough."

"You're going to rescue the children there, right? I can help with that."

"No, I don't want you to get your hands dirty with blood on my request."


Merlin let out an excited whimper and tapped the ground with her four paws. Her shoulders trembled slightly.

"That was creepy..."

"Just your imagination."

"I haven't felt like this in a while."


Raon sighed deeply. Merlin seemed to be firmly in her own world of imagination, and explaining wouldn't make a difference.

"I appreciate your concern, but I can help with anything you ask. Just name it."

"All I need is for you to deliver these letters."

Raon extended his hand, handing Merlin two folded sheets of paper with different contents that he had prepared in advance.

"The square-folded letter is to be delivered to the Saint Doctor Frederick in the house Yonaan. He's researching mind control, and he might be able to undo the brainwashing on those children."

"Ah, the Saint Doctor. Right, I remember seeing you there for the second time."

Merlin recalled, blushing as the memory resurfaced. Normally, it might have given him the chills, but seeing the young rabbit made it somewhat more bearable.

"The triangular-folded letter is to be delivered to Borini Kitten in the Owen Kingdom."

"Borini Kitten? Isn't that someone close to you?"


Raon nodded calmly.

"Then I can trust them."

Taking the children to Zieghart directly was risky since they needed to keep their identities hidden. Trusting Borini Kitten, who was nearby and reliable, was the best option. As a knight's mentor, Borini would personally ensure everything was taken care of.

He does seem like quite a decent fellow, to be honest.

Wrath thought of Borini Kitten and nodded.

Quite the opposite of a demon like you.

'That's why I'm entrusting them to him.'

Raon chuckled.

"It really isn't a difficult task."

Merlin seemed disappointed at something so easy, and he huffed in displeasure.

"I can really take care of anything... that could be killed."

"Alright then. When can you send them?"

Raon waved it off as unnecessary.

"I can do it right away."

"Then send them now."


Merlin smiled and stretched his front paw, and the letters he held seemed to melt away like spring snow. It appeared he had transported them to his actual location.

"I've done your favor, so now you need to do mine."

Merlin lowered his front paw and rolled up his sleeves.

"As long as it doesn't harm me or others and falls within my capabilities and preferences."

As a precaution, he had set several conditions.

"You're quite demanding."

Merlin chuckled. She seemed to genuinely enjoy this time conversing with Raon.

"But it'll be something you're willing to do."

She continued to wag her front paw without losing her smile.

"Alright then, until next time. No need to explain the details, right? By the way, this one likes parsley, right?"

"Don't tell me to do that for you. You should've..."

Raon approached Merlin and shouted, but the rabbit's eyes were already fixed on something wild.


The rabbit approached, scrunching up his nose as if asking for food.


Raon swallowed dryly and bent his waist.

"I don't have any parsley..."

Just in case, he had received various types of food from Dorian: grains, nuts, strawberries, dried insects, but parsley was naturally not among them.

"You choose."

With an awkward expression, Raon placed the food on the ground.


The rabbit stared blankly at the food on the ground, then kicked the grains and nuts with his paw, crushed the insects, ate one strawberry, and put the other two in his mouth.


Then he kicked his own pelvis with his hind leg and ran into the bushes.


Wrath laughed heartily as he watched Raon freeze in place.

The rabbit got you! How pitiful!

He couldn't stop laughing, finding it quite amusing.


Raon let out a deep sigh and sat down on the floor.

'I'm tired.'

His head felt foggy, as if he had fought with all his might. He didn't want to encounter Merlin if he could avoid it.

You have an adversary too!

Wrath laughed as if he had finally found a weakness.

'Please, just cut it out.'

He lowered his head and looked down at the orphanage. A middle-aged man with blue hair had just walked out of the orphanage. His face looked gentle, but his eyes were cold, and there was a thin scar on his left cheek.

'Was it him?'

The aura he felt here, the master from his past life and one of Martio' followers, was Lisbon.

'You've climbed up the ranks, haven't you, Responsible One?'

Is this what they call destiny?

Raon gazed down at Lisbon with a chilling smile.

'Today, You'll have nightmares.'

*     *      *

My life was like hell.

I was kidnapped before I even lost my baby teeth and imprisoned in an unknown underground place.

There were caretakers there.

They called kids like me "dogs" and taught us how to survive and how to kill.

I endured skin-tearing, bone-scratching torture, learned patience, felt the sting of a sword myself, learned where human vital points were as I was stabbed by it, and fought in real battles while being chased by monsters and beasts.

I wanted to cry, but I had to smile; I wanted to die, but I had to live.

Thoughts of escaping or running away never crossed my mind.

I thought it was natural for me to be here, like the rising and setting of the sun.

Later, I found out it was due to brainwashing. The suggestion that the option to escape was entirely erased from our minds.

Even if I rebelled, failed, or fell short of expectations, I was disposed of in that hell where I balanced between life and death.

Consciousness barely remained, but all human desires were trampled upon. However, there was one ray of light.


The existence of friends who shared the same room as me, kidnapped and imprisoned underground just like I was.

He was called Number 9.

With a round face and a cute demeanor, Number 9 was older than me, although I didn't know how old exactly.

We had only about four hours to meet while we slept, but during that time, talking to him made the overwhelming desire to die that had built up throughout the day dissipate.

He listened to what I had to say and assured me that if we held on a little longer, good things would come our way.

Not recalling anything about life outside, I didn't know what was good, but I trusted him when he said so.

We smiled at each other in the space where there was no food or entertainment.

That was the only light in my life in that place.

As several years passed and our education neared its end, all the children were summoned to the communal area underground.

The caretakers called upon children who shared the same rooms from now on.

And they made us fight each other. No, they made us kill each other.

Of course, no one fought.

People who shared the same room in this hellish place were each other's only friends.

I felt the same way, and so did Number 9.

We picked up the daggers in our hands and raised our arms. It was our determination not to swing the weapon at our friend even if we died at the hands of the caretakers.

But as soon as the mouth of the caretaker with the thin scar on his left cheek opened, such thoughts disappeared.

"Kill each other."

At that command, my head and body acted beyond my control.

I picked up the dagger that had fallen to the ground and rushed toward Number 9.

Number 9 also raised his dagger, his eyes gleaming with life, and struck down.

We used all the assassination techniques we had learned, trying to strangle each other's throats. Until the early hours of the morning, when we had mended each other's wounds, now our hands aimed the knife at each other's vital spots.

Number 9 and I were evenly matched.

Skin tore apart, and white bones protruded from the skin.

It hurt. It hurt terribly, but I didn't care about the pain.

I just didn't want to fight my friend.

I'd rather die at Number 9's hands, but the dagger I held had already pierced his heart.


Number 9 didn't leave any words behind. He gently patted my shoulder, smiled, and died.

My only friend sank into death without even revealing his real name.

The last tears of his life flowed from my eyes.

That day, my emotions were buried in darkness.




"Young master!"

I woke up to cheerful voices. Dorian's round face was in front of me.


It was a rare sight to see Dorian, who had a similar atmosphere to Number 9 I hadn't seen in a long time, grinning and looking at me.

"You're sleeping at a time like this, and there's so much going on. It's time to start."

Dorian pointed to the sky, which had become gloomy.


Wrath watched quietly for a change.


Raon nodded and got up.

'Dreaming this...'

Was it because I saw Lisbon? Not only did I fall asleep before the attack, but I even dreamed of my past life. It was indeed a strange occurrence.

"Are you ready?"

"Yes. I'll protect the children even if it costs me my life!"

Dorian nodded with a determined expression.

"Even if I die, it won't matter."


"I'll accept your resolve. Just make sure to stay alive."

Darkness filled Raon's eyes as he looked towards the orphanage.

"Let's go."

* * *


Number 45, who worked as a guide under the name Pine, held Number 86's hand and squinted his eyes.

"Isn't today a bit strange?"

"Yeah, they haven't given us any tasks or training."

Despite enduring lightning strikes, earthquakes, and non-stop training, today was unusual as they weren't assigned any tasks or given any food. It was highly irregular compared to the usual actions of the caretakers.

"I hope it continues like this."

Number 86 smiled faintly, looking hopeful.

"I'm a bit uneasy."

Number 45 let out a short sigh. Those who kidnapped them and trained them as assassins wouldn't do something like this for no reason. He trembled with fear at the thought of what might happen.

"Let's try to think positively."

Number 86 nodded and held Number 45's hand firmly.

"They've been educating us for several years. They won't just dispose of us."

"That's true."

Number 45 nodded. After all the time spent educating them, they wouldn't just throw them away. He decided to think of it as a day of rest, just as Number 86 suggested.

"Alright then, let's go to bed."

As they were about to lie down in their beds, the door opened, and a masked figure gestured for them to come out.

"Both of you, come out."



There was no refusal. Upon hearing the voice, they had no choice but to obey.

Number 45 and Number 86 walked out together. Other children were already lined up and in their positions.

When the two of them took their positions behind the other children, four caretakers walked out to the platform.

"Starting now, we'll begin combat. Number 45 and Number 86, step forward."


At the caretaker's signal, Number 45 and Number 86 nervously stepped forward. The other children seemed to feel the tension as well, as they shifted uncomfortably.

"Hold a dagger in your hands."

Following the caretaker's command, Number 45 and Number 86 each took hold of a gleaming dagger.

Number 45 narrowed his eyes when he saw the sharp gleam of the dagger.

"Something feels off."

While they had trained extensively with real weapons and fought countless duels, the eerie atmosphere today was unprecedented.

"Now, fight."

As Number 45 held the dagger, he watched Number 86's trembling pupils. The caretaker continued.

"Until your opponent is dead."


Number 45 turned his head, his eyes wide. However, the fourth caretaker didn't say anything more. He simply gestured as if to hurry them along.

"Kill each other."

"It means exactly what it sounds like. Fight until the person in front of you stops breathing."


The cold voice made their hearts sink.


Number 45 clenched his teeth and looked ahead. Number 86's complexion had turned ashen, as if she shared the same sentiment.

Seeing their reactions, memories of the time they had spent together resurfaced in Number 45's mind.

The times they had comforted each other, taken care of each other – memories that had become their only source of light in this underground filled with malice. His hands hesitated to move under the weight of these memories.

"It's okay."

Number 45 squeezed his eyes shut and let the dagger he was holding fall to the ground. He was willing to die if it meant not having to fight against Number 86.


However, the sound of the dagger hitting the ground echoed twice. When he opened his eyes, he saw that a dagger had fallen at Number 86's feet as well. She didn't want to fight either.


It was as if their hearts were connected. The realization that they were both thinking the same thing brought a mixture of happiness and sadness. Emotions that had been suppressed for so long threatened to burst forth as tears.

"I... I can't fight."

Number 45 raised his hand, signaling that he had no intention to fight. He looked at the caretaker as if to convey his unwillingness to participate. The gazes of Number 86 and the other children behind her gave him strength.

"It seems to be going as expected."

The voice of the fourth caretaker lowered. His cold tone sent shivers down their spines.

"...Then kill each other."

Kill each other.

The moment the words rang in his head, Number 45's hand moved to pick up the dagger that had fallen to the ground without his control. Number 86 also gripped her dagger.


Number 45 grasped the dagger in reverse and lunged forward.

"What is this?"

What was happening?

His body was moving on its own, faster than ever before. He thrust the dagger toward Number 86's throat.


But something had changed. Number 86, too, had unleashed a newfound, vicious energy, targeting his throat.

Both children, who had shared the same room and become each other's only support in this dreadful place, were like possessed marionettes, unable to control their own actions. They thrust their daggers into each other mercilessly.

Spurts of blood!

A gush of blood erupted from Number 45's chest, and flesh was torn from Number 86's shoulder.

Yet, the two of them showed no signs of pain. They lunged at each other once more, thrusting their daggers.


Amidst the chilling noise, Number 45's bones shattered as he bit into Number 86's throat.

Desperate cries filled the air, but it was impossible to discern whose voice was whose.

Number 45 tried to plead with the fourth caretaker with eyes that begged him to end this horrifying battle.

"Please, stop it!"

He silently implored him to stop this cruel fight.

"This battle won't end until one of you is dead."

The caretaker's lips curled into a thin smile, and a sinister excitement infused his voice.

"Rejoice. Through the death of the person you cherish the most, you will be born as true shadows."

"Kill them."

At the word, their bodies, which had been resisting, began to move faster once more.


Anyone would do. Please, make it stop!

A silent plea erupted from within, but their hands continued to move relentlessly toward ending the life of their dearest friend.


The dagger in Number 86's hand was unable to withstand the force, and it bounced into the empty air.


Number 45's hand, contrary to his heart's desperate wishes, continued to thrust the dagger toward Number 86's throat.

"That's enough."

The caretaker's eyes glinted coldly.

"Now you, too, are part of the shadows... Kuh!"

His cry cut short, his eyes suddenly cleared. The dagger, having barely scratched Number 86's skin, stopped in its tracks.


"Shut up and disappear."

With a murmured command, the fourth caretaker's lifeline dripped blood.


Behind the slumping caretaker, a tall man appeared. He seemed similar to them in some inexplicable way yet exuded a completely different aura.

"You're safe now."

He took the bloodied dagger from their trembling hands, a faint smile on his calm face.

"I'll help you find your names again."


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