Episode 177 The 99 Hits With 100 Shots (2)

In a tense atmosphere.

With all eyes on them.


Vikir’s bow released an arrow.

It flew in a near-straight parabolic arc, and soon hit the target.


The sound of it hitting is a little strange.

Bianca narrowed her eyes in disbelief.

“……6 points?”

The words came out of her mouth in surprise.

Bianca’s face flushed red as she realized that she had been thinking of Vikir the whole time.

Luckily, she didn’t get caught, as everyone else in the crowd had a similar reaction.

“Eh? What, did you miss?”

“Well…… 6 points is still a point…….”

“Oh, that’s too bad, you must have made a mistake!”

“Aww, this could’ve been a record-breaker, but you screwed up at the last second.”

Everyone chattered in unison.

Vikir quietly lays down his bow, seemingly not paying attention.

There’s no need to retrieve the arrows; there will be someone to collect them later, when night falls.

That’s it.


Vikir’s record is displayed in real time on the mana board in front of me.

143 10-point shots and one 6-point shot at the very end.

This brings Vikir’s total to 144 arrows and his score to 1436 out of 1440.

This was only one point less than Bianca’s score of 1437, which included 141 10-point shots and three 9-point shots.

After winning by one point, Bianca was more dumbfounded than happy.

‘What’s with the 6 at the end? He’s been shooting 10s the whole time, what happened at the end? Did he get distracted?’

Honestly, even when I shot the last X10, I didn’t think I had a chance to win.

Vikir’s momentum was just too much.

But after such a hollow victory, it only raised my doubts.

The crowd dispersed as easily as it had gathered.

“Come on, it’s getting cold. Let’s go practice.”

“Still, that’s quite a feat for a commoner.”

“But a record is hard to break.”

“Wasn’t he just lucky in the first place? The bull’s-eye was a little closer.”

People who don’t know much about bows pick them up and go their separate ways.



Bianca waited patiently until Vikir was gone, and until all the curious onlookers were gone.

Then, when all eyes were on her, she moved to the end of the lane, where there was no one around.

She could see the bull’s-eye targets were littered with numerous arrows. They were supposed to be picked up by the staff after curfew every night.

Bianca looked at Vikir’s bullseye and stuck her tongue out.

” ……I was just wondering how he got into the Academy with such a small mana pool.”

They say a slug can roll, and Vikir certainly wasn’t a scribe.

However, Bianca did not harbor the jealousy or envy typical of nobles over the fact that people from commoners achieved as much success as a noble.

It only fuels her pride and competitive spirit.

‘Hey, when I saw you take off your clothes after Naphtali, your muscles were so taut, It’s a sign of harsh training.’

When it comes to bows, this is a method that allows you to fully demonstrate your skills even with a small amount of mana.

As long as you can at least distribute your mana well, you’ll be able to do a lot of good for your allies.

‘Well, I’m not into guys, but…… he’s definitely a bit unusual.’

Bianca set her jaw and analyzed the arrows in the bull’s-eye.

A single, thick pillar rose from the center of Vikir’s bullseye.

It only looked like a pillar because so many arrows were packed tightly together in one place.

All arrows are stuck within 10 points.

Several of them were splintered into pieces by arrows from behind.

But they weren’t Bianca’s concern.

Just one misfire.

Bianca focused on the single arrow lodged in the blue line near the edge of Vikir’s bullseye.

The last 6-point shot. Because of this, Vikir lost as many as 4 points and cost him the match by one point.

Of course, he didn’t seem to mind, but Bianca couldn’t help but wonder.

‘Why did he shoot a 6 point at the end?’

She doubted it was a lapse in concentration or stamina. His previous scores had been so good.

“I mean, I know bows are supposed to be split-second weapons…… but still, that’s a bit much at the end, isn’t it?

But that doesn’t explain it.

The only explanation is that Vikir’s concentration and stamina didn’t hold up until the very end.

“Sheesh, it ended on a dull note. He was a pretty good opponent.”

Bianca clicked her tongue and turned away.

…… If it weren’t for something that caught her eye just before she turned around.


Bianca, who had good eyesight, stopped dead in her tracks just before she took her gaze off Vikir’s bullseye.

It was the last arrow Vikir had shot, a six-pointed arrow, lodged in the blue line.

Bianca’s gaze lingers on the tip of the arrow and she shudders.

A small solid line sticking out of the hole made by the arrow.

It was clearly the leg of an insect, a tiny, tiny bug like a mosquito.

‘…… This can’t be it. It can’t be?’

Bianca’s throat burned.

Her eyes were alternately focused on the group of arrows that were stuck in the 10-point box of the area, forming a thick pillar, and on the single arrow that had fallen out of the group and was stuck in the 6-point area.

A single, isolated misfire.

Is it a coincidence that there is a dead mosquito in that spot?

* * *

As soon as Vikir finished firing his arrows, he left the training grounds.

‘Physical training without using mana is real.’

His entire upper body was stiff from the constant use of his arm muscles.

The archery skills he had learned from Balak’s warriors were improving day by day.

He hadn’t stopped practicing since leaving the depths.

‘You can’t go anywhere and get pushed around with a bow.’

Even if the opponent was a powerful late-stage member of the Divine Archer Family.

That’s what it takes to uphold the pride of the warrior tribe of Balak, even in a foreign land.

Vikir had come from the hunting grounds of the Balak.

‘So, how’s everyone doing?’

I’ve heard rumors that the Balak have abandoned their original base and moved deeper into the depths.

I had heard of the Balak through Sindiwendi recently, but it had been several months.

I felt refreshed after shooting my bow for the first time in a while.

Chief Aquila the night fox, Ahun the ever-grumpy one, his adorable little sister Ahul, and Vakira, now a father…….

It’s a night when I miss my native friends, the ones I’ve spent the last two years sleeping, crying, and laughing with.

‘And one more.’

Vikir’s mind naturally flashes back to that rainy night.

‘…… See you.’

The Imperial language that I still had difficulty understanding..

Aiyen. The woman who’d kissed him the day he’d left the jungle, right after she’d punched him in the stomach.

Vikir stroked the choker around her neck.

The tough collar she’d stuffed herself, made from the hide of the first oxbear Vikir and Aiyen had hunted together.


Vikir smiled faintly as he recalled the nostalgic faces in his mind, then froze in place.

Thud, thud, thud.

Footsteps in front of him.

Vikir, whose senses were exceptionally sensitive, recognized with a haunting certainty that it was Dolores.

‘You’re bothering me.’

Dolores doesn’t like him much. If she saw him, there was a risk of nagging me about various things.

There wasn’t much of a place to hide on the trail, which was lined with nothing but tall ash trees.

Vikir paused for a moment to consider his options. Vikir searched his pack.

<Mask of the Depths ‘Picaresque’> / Mask

-Fratricide (同族相殘) +0

-Human Face – Beast Heart (人面獸心) -Off

A bandana that looks like the skin of a black dog.

Vikir pulled it over his head.

A moment.


Vikir’s body transformed into a dog.

A black puppy, not quite big enough for his age.

Hack, hack, hack.

Tucking his tattered clothes roughly into the bushes, Vikir sat still on the ground and waited for Dolores to pass by on the mountain path.

Finally, Dolores appeared from across the path.

Vikir realized what was going on, and with a brisk pace, Dolores was walking diligently towards the archery range.

‘Is there business at the training grounds? There are few people there.’

As far as Vikir could recall, there weren’t many people left at the training grounds, and even fewer of them that Dolores would be looking for.

Bianca, perhaps?

‘Yes. You’re going to see Bianca. Hurry up.’

Vikir remained meekly on the floor, clicking his tongue that kept slipping out of his mouth.

It’s a similar reaction to the baby madame who left it in the room.

At that very moment.


Dolores stopped in her tracks.

She looks down, her almost innocent eyes opening even more innocently.

It was the floor, where Vikir was lying face down.

“My dear. Who are you?”

Dolores’s affectionate call startled Vikir slightly.

Is that why? Even the ever-quick Vikir was not prepared for Dolores’ surprise touch.

“Wow, look at your soft fur. Ooohhhh!”

Dolores stroked Vikir’s head with her hand and scratched his cheek and chin.

With her other hand, she massaged Vikir’s back and buttocks.

“Wow, really…… you’re shockingly cute, I’ve never seen anyone as cute as you. What’s your name, where are you from, and if you don’t have anyone else living with you, do you want to come live with sis?”


Before Vikir could react, Dolores reached out and slipped her hands under both of Vikir’s armpits and lifted him up.

“Youngcha~ Huh? I see it’s (noona) the older sister, not (unnie) the older sister?”


The moment.

Vikir felt an unexplained sense of shame that he had never felt before, not even during the Age of Destruction.

Dolores, despite her meek and sweet exterior, was actually quite the dog lover.

I’d heard that she donated money out of her meager income to a shelter for stray dogs and cats every year and volunteered every other month.


A truly horrifying statement came out of Dolores’ mouth.

“Oh, by the way. If you’re going to live with your sister, you’re going to have to be neutered…….”

Vikir realized that there was no reason for him to stay and listen to this creepy remark, so he made a quick getaway.


A black fur ball that quickly escapes from Dolores’ arms.

His pink tongue hanging out of his mouth.

“‘C’mon, cutie, come with me, I’ll buy you some pork cutlets, chocolate!”

Dolores gave him a wistful look, calling him by the name he’d already made up, but Vikir didn’t look back for a second.

note : 언니 (unnie, “older sister”), used by females to address a slightly elder female. 누나 (noona, “older sister”), used by males to address a slightly elder female.