Episode 1: New World / Chapter 13: Evening and Dinner
Edited: Myoni, Yoni
Since the corpses turned into ash, the gym was cleaner than he thought. Not only did the Recovery stat decreased the time it took to use Karma again but it was excellent for wounds as well. Most wounds would slowly close up. The seriously wounded would die of shock and turn into ash. As expected, didn’t leave a single trace.
If not for the blood stained clothes, he would have thought that everything was a dream.
The sudden peace actually made people nervous.
The one who took the lead was Jung Minji. Although the rule about absolutely following a king’s orders disappeared, no one could question Jung Minji’s leadership skills. Out of the 483 people, Jung Minji had gathered 258. Due to the actions of the ethics teacher Park Solam, who was her follower, there were an especially large number of teachers in her group.
Jung Minji stood in front of the teachers and brought order.
[You cannot leave the school until nightfall.]
First, she checked that this included the surrounding school field as well. Then she divided everyone into teams and let everyone use the washrooms to wash themselves off. Afterwards, she raided the cafeteria and the snack store and ordered the distribution of food. The Slave King Song Simin followed Jung Minji’s commands as well. Choi Hyuk didn’t line up for food but took it directly, however, he didn’t take more than the distributed amount.
But the Heckler King Kim Hyunbaek was worried his leadership would be stolen.
“You don’t know when things will happen and you want to mix together like this?”
“There’s no need to do everything yourself. Just fairly divide the goods and let each group decide how to distribute it.”
Jung Minji glared at Kim Hyunbaek before giving him provisions and supplies. Kim Hyunbaek smiled. He thought that Jung Minji was definitely a pushover. Even if she was like a ghost in the battlefield, she couldn’t be heartless in situations like these.
‘If it was me, I would have never divided it. Tsk, tsk. What’s the point in having power? When you don’t even know how to use it.’
Kim Hyunbaek secretly looked down on Jung Minji. Because of her, he was able to obtain several things. First, he understood Jung Minji’s personality and he could show off his ability to his group. Since his orders weren’t absolute, creating a public image was important. Unlike Jung Minji who distributed supplies sparingly, Kim Hyunbaek let his followers eat as much as they wanted that day.
After washing, changing clothes in the locker and eating, it was break time. As there was nothing to do, people suddenly felt everything was new. Everything happened in only a day.
“I can’t believe it… We killed people?”
They were all normal teachers and students this morning but now there wasn’t anyone here who hadn’t murdered before. It was scary. The shock came after everything had happened. They didn’t know during that time but the mushy feeling when a sword sliced into someone, the warmth they felt when blood splattered on their sleeves and the last breath of their victims were now coming back to them.
The thing they couldn’t handle.
“Don’t tell me, it’ll be like this tomorrow?”
“…Fuck. It might even be tonight.”
If they had something to do, it might not have been so overwhelming. But since they weren’t allowed to leave the school until night, their anxiety couldn’t help but rise.
When they were endlessly beaten, it was natural they would become desperate. The real moment their hearts felt like they were being scraped was when it was peaceful. Sobs sounded out around them. There were some looking for their dead friends and some who entered an empty classroom and wept.
It was night.
The student who waited at the school entrance let out a shout.
“The wall is gone! We can go out!”
People swarmed towards the entrance once they heard the shout. However, at that moment, a separate message was given to the kings.
[All troops are to standby until tomorrow morning.]
Choi Hyuk mumbled.
“Fuck… just what are they planning now?”
The message to standby wasn’t given to everyone but only to the kings.
A female voice resonated out from the school. It was Jung Minji. She ran as fast as she could and blocked the entrance with Chu Youngjin. Luckily, no one had left yet. It could be because the streetlights were all off. It would be scary to walk by yourself in a dark night. Too many people had already died.
“A message was sent only to the kings. ‘Standby until morning, those that leave will perish.
Jung Minji lied outright. There was nothing about ‘perishing’. It only said to standby. However, Choi Hyuk couldn’t help but be amazed at her quick thinking. They wouldn’t be well off if they refused the message anyways.
People were agitated.
“Why did only the kings receive it?”
They were suspicious. No, they didn’t want to believe it. The person who came out afterwards was the Slave King Song Simin.
“I got it too. It’s true.”
A heavy silence came over the noisy people. If another king came out and confirmed it, it would be almost certain. The person who messed it up was the Heckler King Kim Hyunbaek.
“I got it as well. But perishing is a lie. It just said to ‘standby’.”
Everyone became noisy once again. Jung Minji gave a death stare to Kim Hyunbaek. He only shrugged his shoulders.
“There really wasn’t anything about perishing?”
Those with foolish expectations asked. Jung Minji said strictly.
“No. It definitely said perish. Kim Hyunbaek, why are you lying?”
Kim Hyunbaek showed a speechless expression at Jung Minji’s question before raising his voice.
“What? Why would I lie?”
Kim Hyunbaek felt dejected. Because it wasn’t a lie. Because his reaction really showed that, some even thought, ‘It looks like he’s right?’
“I got it too. It said perish.”
As soon as three of the four kings said they would perish, the mood that felt like they would jump out at any moment died down. When Jung Minji said, “Let’s go in,” everyone started to make their way back. However, it wasn’t like there weren’t any more doubts.
“Ha! It’s easy to make someone a fool! I get it! I do! I’m sorry!”
It might have been partly because of the loudly shouting Kim Hyunbaek who made his way back to the classroom.
As the night deepened, Jung Minji came to Choi Hyuk,
“Can we gather for a second?”
The Jung Minji reflected in his eyes still continued to be colorless. No good or bad intentions.
“What is it?”
“I want to discuss just what kind of fucked up situation we’re in.”
For Choi Hyuk who wanted to know the mastermind behind this, it wasn’t a bad offer. He went to a classroom. The core members of Jung Minji’s group were already gathered. Even Song Simin and Kim Hyunbaek brought the core members of their groups.
Jung Minji spoke first.
“Two things caught my attention. First, the words written in the Ring of Rebirth. Kill. Only then will you kill.”
Some people nodded at Jung Minji’s words while others showed expressions that they didn’t understand.
“Why is it not ‘will you live’ but ‘will you kill’?
Jung Minji didn’t stop there.
“One more thing. Today’s message. All ‘troops’ are to standby. They called us troops.”
Choi Hyuk nodded his head. He had even seen the message on the window. The words that passed by like an illusion were ‘get angry’.
“They… I don’t know if they are gods or devils. Anyways, I think they are trying to make us into an army.”
She had already come to a conclusion.
“The Ring of Rebirth was for individuals. And they tested one’s talent for killing. They made us fight in groups and pick leaders in the Throne Game. Then what would be next? Just what would we fight against as an army?”
It was silent. Tomorrow… yes, just what would happen tomorrow?
Just then, Kim Hyunbaek’s voice sounded out. It seemed like he was drunk as he had a slight slur when he talked. The ones who searched the night duty room and found alcohol after hearing they had to wait until morning were Kim Hyunbaek’s group.
“Ah~ you really are a headache. I was wondering why you gathered us here at night. We will find out tomorrow morning so why are you in a panic already.”
Kim Hyunbaek swayed as he got up from his seat. Jung Minji asked.
“Kim Hyunbaek. You’re drunk?”
“Fuck. Kim Hyunbaek… Am I your friend? Even if I don’t expect to hear ‘senior’, this is a bit too much.”
He was already drunk. And the events today were so alien they already felt remote. Kim Hyunbaek started to show his real personality.
But Jung Minji didn’t blink an eye and demanded.
“Everyone’s sensitive. If you piss people off in your drunken stupor, they might really pull out their swords. Go out right now and stop the drinking party and sleep.”
Kim Hyunbaek who heard her words only lifted his middle finger before leaving.
“I’m leaving~ You guys can chat til morning!”
Jung Minji’s face became cold.
The gathering didn’t produce any real results. There was Jung Minji’s plausible conclusion but that was it. They lacked information. The meeting ended with an agreement they would gather again once they had more information.
Choi Hyuk returned to the classroom. Students had grouped up with their friends and spread out into different classrooms. Choi Hyuk was alone. He sat by himself as he recalled the events that occurred today. First, his status.
Power: 71 (+5) Speed: 75 (+5) Control: 86
Endurance: 70 Stamina: 0 (★) Recovery: 90 (+10)
*Free Karma Points: 10 *Retribution Point: 59
- Eyes of Distinction
- You have killed someone with karma before it was distributed to you
- Qualifications of a Sovereign 1/3
A long time had passed since his body filled with karma exceeded the human limit. He was curious what would happen if a stat hit 100 but it just returned to being a single digit and a star appeared next to it. It wasn’t simply an increase in stats. It felt like a qualitative change in karma. Afterwards, even if he killed someone, the stat wouldn’t rise. Was it because they weren’t his match anymore?
And in the accomplishments section, a part about qualifications of a sovereign appeared. It was the reward for taking a throne.[You have received a part of the Qualifications of a Sovereign.]
Like always, he couldn’t figure out anything else about it. Just he felt a stronger belief in Jung Minji’s words about an army.
He also received a weapon. His F rank estoc eventually broke during the fight and now he only had the Fang Saber and the new sword, Predator’s Blade, left.
Choi Hyuk raised the pitch black blade. The dirty blade looked crude but it was very sharp. It was the reward he received from one of the hidden rules.
Rank: D (Unique, Growth-type)
Sharp and sturdy. The more blood it spills of strong foes, the stronger it will get.
Just looking at the rank, it was iffy. The reward was a weapon that was D rank or above but he received the lowest rank weapon he could get. On top of that, he didn’t receive any boosts in stats either. It was a blade that looked to be worse than the E rank Fang Saber. However, Choi Hyuk was completely happy with the weapon.
‘A sword just needs to be sharp and sturdy.’
And as it could get stronger by cutting down foes, it was first-rate.
Choi Hyuk recalled the feeling of killing a countless number of people. It was unpleasant. It was a conflicting feeling. It was great that he could fight to his heart’s content but, at the same time, there was a psychological resistance. He felt guilty when he remembered his mother’s crying face pleading him to not hit people.
No… because of that, he became even angrier. Like the creator of this game wanted.
‘I can’t change the past.’
Choi Hyuk ground his teeth. His mother could already be dead. Although she could be alive… it didn’t matter as he needed to become powerful enough to resist. Only then could he save or take revenge for her. He couldn’t just become a pawn on a chessboard and suffer without knowing. If that was the case…
‘Does that mean I need to become a killer? Do I just need to become an indiscriminate killing machine after discarding my previous self?’
Choi Hyuk shook his head. He would definitely get his revenge. However, a minimum rule, he needed one. It was hypocritical. But that was the mark his mother left on him. He couldn’t give it up.
Choi Hyuk then made a few simple rules. The minimum to remember his past self.
Who to kill?
‘Those who try to kill me. And those who brag about their strength in front of me.’
Luckily there was an overflowing amount of these people. To distinguish himself from others, he had no choice but to kill many… Even today, there was a countless number of candidates.
Now, who to save?
‘This… I don’t know. Those who are useful to me? First… Jung Minji?’
It was hard to set a clear standard.
Choi Hyuk closed his eyes.
‘Let’s do this slowly. Slowly.’
Since it seemed like his rule about who to kill would be enough for a while anyways.
The night was peaceful and sounds of chatter and laughter could be heard from various places. A person couldn’t cry for 24 hours just because something shocking happened to him. The functions of laughter were various and sadness would come and go like a wave. Even in the saddest funeral, the chief mourner would occasionally laugh before crying suddenly.
Perhaps it was because of that, the night after a day of slaughtering was surprising filled with laughter. And there was a commotion that exceeded those noises. Choi Hyuk frowned.
The loud singing of Kim Hyunbaek’s drunk group.
‘There’s no need to kill those trash.’
Although he was pissed, the uncomfortable feeling that would come after killing them would be greater. Choi Hyuk stopped paying attention and turned his body away. At that moment, someone knocked on the classroom door. When he opened it, he found Jung Minji had come with Chu Youngjin. They were completely armed.
Jung Minji suddenly asked.
“We are on our way to Kim Hyunbaek.”
Then she read Choi Hyuk’s mood. To see if he was displeased or not. Choi Hyuk shrugged his shoulders.
“That has nothing to do with me.”
Jung Minji nodded her head and left. Chu Youngjin followed behind her. Chu Youngjin emitted out a savage aura after Lee Hyejin died and showed absolute loyalty to Jung Minji who helped him get his revenge.
Jung Minji ran in the hallway with that. Behind her, followed the elite unit in Jung Minji’s troops.
“Huh? What’s this!”
The members of Kim Hyunbaek’s group who were drinking and singing suddenly became noisy. Crash! The sound of someone jumping over something. The groan of someone who was stabbed. A scream. And…
“Save me! I’m sorry! Minji! Okay!! Ah!! Ahhhhhh!!!”
Kim Hyunbaek’s desperate scream.
It became silent soon after. The sounds of the occasional chatter or laughter disappeared. A night filled with terror.
Choi Hyuk looked out his window. He saw students who couldn’t face reality and decided to defy the order to [standby] and run towards their homes. Choi Hyuk only guessed it then but he really never saw them again.
Choi Hyuk looked up at the moon.
A moon no different from yesterday’s. A classroom no different from yesterday’s.
However, what was in front of them was completely different from yesterday.
A new world.
Episode 1: New World (End)