Episode 10: Calculations of Revenge / Chapter 169: Each’s Calculations (2)
TL: emptycube / ED: Obelisk
On the endlessly expanding blue sand desert of the Blue Ocean Planet, which was the homeland of the glass crabs, Choi Hyuk reunited with Chu Youngjin.
“Uhh, leader. I heard you’re doing well these days.”
Smiling blandly, Chu Youngjin raised his hand up.
Because he was happier to see him than he expected, Choi Hyuk felt a little embarrassed.
“Nice to see you, Chu hyung! But what’s this whole ‘leader’ thing…? You aren’t an official member of my troop anymore.”
“Really? Then I’ll talk casually. If we think about it, weren’t you my junior at school?”
Chu Youngjin spoke casually as though he had been waiting for those words. Choi Hyuk’s eyes widened before he laughed out loud. A peaceful smile hung on Chu Youngjin’s lips as well. As he also felt happier to see Choi Hyuk than he thought, his heart beat faster.
‘Is he the only person who remembers Lee Hyejin and was present at that moment…?’
While they didn’t know each other during school, still, Choi Hyuk was the only person who he shared memories of that time with.
The slaughter in high school. The students who survived that had scattered. At least, those Chu Youngjin was close with had all died the day Jung Minji had died, and there was no way to know how many besides them were still alive. Perhaps they had all been annihilated since the lives the earthlings lived since then weren’t easy.
Yeah. That was why Choi Hyuk was the only one. The only one who knew and witnessed her final moment. This was meaningful to him. Especially now, when he was living amongst aliens without any connections.
‘Proof that there was such a time.’
Chu Youngjin stretched out his hand and firmly held Choi Hyuk’s. Choi Hyuk also firmly held onto his.
“Congrats. You’re already a highest-ranked warrior?”
Chu Youngjin smiled bitterly at Choi Hyuk’s congratulations.
“It’s funny hearing the word ‘already’ from you. The places you used to beat me still ache when it rains, bastard.”
“If you don’t like it, why don’t you get stronger and hit me.”
“You monstrous bastard.”
They separated soon after chatting and laughing.
Choi Hyuk stared directly into Chu Youngjin’s eyes and asked,
“How are things going? Have you successfully infiltrated the enemy camp?”
“It’s shit… Still, because I became a highest-ranked warrior, I think I can now see the true nature of this troop. There is definitely something going on. Though we’ll have to wait and see if it’s an opportunity or not.”
“Really? Since you can’t see anything yet… Hmm, did you make any new friends?”
At Choi Hyuk’s question, Chu Youngjin recalled Shiro, who he had gotten quite close to lately. She was a highest-ranked warrior of the Armored Soul Tribe. While she possessed a cold gear heart, she occasionally became flustered when dealing with him.
After thinking about her for a bit, Chu Youngjin smiled bitterly.
“Not a lot, just a few. Well… Will there be a time when those relationships are useful?”
“We have to do everything we can right now.”
‘Have to do everything we can.’ These words contained Choi Hyuk’s frustrations.
They were finally almost there. The true nature of the alliance, which had toyed with Earth, had come to light, and their targets for revenge were decided. Now, they might be able to successfully get their revenge if they took one more step. However, they didn’t know where to take this one step.
“Do everything we can… Yeah, now that you’ve brought it up, let’s be clear. I wanted to ask you before. What is your revenge and what is mine? To be honest, we’ve never discussed it in detail before. Since we don’t know when we’ll meet again, why don’t you tell me today.”
Determined, Chu Youngjin asked with calm eyes.
Choi Hyuk looked around at his surroundings. Endlessly expanding blue sand. There was no one who could hear their conversation. On top of that, Choi Hyuk’s strength, which had erased the monsters’ universe’s Net of Fate, could be used here as well. Even Exalted Wings shouldn’t be able to know what they discussed here. He also met with Chu Youngjin here because he was confident in this.
Choi Hyuk stared directly at Chu Youngjin and replied in a snappy tone,
“All? Does that mean all 13 Exalted Wings?”
“… The troop I’m in is famous for being hostile towards the Exalted Wings’ policies, but there could be an Exalted Wing behind them. There should other people who can assist our cause besides them since we can’t ignore the competitiveness between the Exalted Wings… Even still, all 13, you’re not going to change your mind?”
Choi Hyuk didn’t nod and firmly answered,
“Yeah. Will you join me?”
Why was it? That moment, even though it was only for a moment, Chu Youngjin thought of Shiro. However, that was it.
Chu Youngjin quickly forgot about her and nodded his head.
“I’ll join you since I don’t really have anything else to do.”
Chu Youngjin thought that Choi Hyuk’s plan wasn’t bad. His own world had collapsed with Lee Hyejin’s death… Yet the world still continued on as though nothing happened. Under the logic that those who survived needed to live…
If all 13 Exalted Wings died and the alliance collapsed… Maybe then, people would realize how frightening their actions were. That it was something they shouldn’t have glossed over and forgotten… With regret. It wasn’t a bad thought.
Choi Hyuk didn’t go out of his way to thank Chu Youngjin. He simply patted his shoulder once and requested,
“Then… Work hard. I can’t think of a way to have them all gather in one place. There hasn’t been any recorded instance of them gathering in one place since the founding of the alliance. Since it’ll be too difficult to take them out one by one, we need to gather them in one place. We also need to become strong enough to kill them… I’ll work hard, so you as well.”
This was, in fact, the real reason why he called Chu Youngjin here. No matter how much he thought about it, he was stuck on this final step. Because he thought that they could come up with a method if they worked together, he took the risk to call him here.
Fortunately, Chu Youngjin nodded.
“If I learn something about my troop and gain some influence… I might be able to help you out with your plan.”
While it was only a supposition, right now, he earnestly held onto even this uncertain hope.
Choi Hyuk shook Chu Youngjin’s hand.
After their handshake, Choi Hyuk took a step back. While he was happy to see him and wanted to stay longer, their meetings were best kept short since Chu Youngjin could be Choi Hyuk’s hidden sword.
‘It’ll be best to refrain from contacting him.’
He was about to say goodbye when Chu Youngjin quickly asked him,
“What did the others say?”
Choi Hyuk momentarily flinched at those words before calmly turning around and saying,
“Leah, Handke, Kim Honghyun are leaving… Jinhee nuna is still thinking about it.”
“Lee Jinhee… I hope she can be happy…”
“My thoughts are the same. Half my mind wishes she leaves the Berserkers and finds happiness…”
Choi Hyuk didn’t mention the other half.
“Then let’s meet next time when we’re more certain of things. Also, let’s not contact each other unless there is a drastic change.”
Choi Hyuk left after waving his hand. Chu Youngjin raised his hand once as a send-off.
Then he later realized,
‘Now that I think about it… There aren’t 13 Exalted Wings anymore, but 14… What is he planning on doing about Flame-Rain?’
Chu Youngjin temporarily observed the place Choi Hyuk had left before shaking his head and returning to his troop.
“You grew stronger… Did you enjoy your revenge?”
Wherever he met Dark-Sound, he was always covered in a pitch-black darkness. His senses lost their sense of direction, and he felt like he was in a dream when he was in reality.
If he didn’t want to lose himself in this darkness, he had no choice but to erect a sharp sword in his heart.
Erecting a sword in his heart, Choi Hyuk gave a short bow.
“… Thanks to you.”
Dark-Sound asked while laughing,
“Of course, that isn’t all?”
Choi Hyuk silently looked at Dark-Sound.
‘Of course, that’s not all.’
While he didn’t know if Dark-Sound read something from his eyes, he seemed satisfied.
“You need to plot a bigger revenge scheme! For example… Flame-Hell! The main culprit who created the current unfair and cruel system! An elitist to his bones! I’ve flattered him for a long time which is why I can stand next to him. Now it’s your turn. It’ll be easier for you since I’ve made a path. However, you need proof. Proof that will make Flame-Hell trust you. If you do well… It won’t be long before you can take out the person who stands at the top of the alliance.”
Dark-Sound’s voice was excessively sweet as he knew very well what Choi Hyuk wanted.
Before, when Dark-Sound met Choi Hyuk for the first time, he could see that he had a grudge on some ‘ambiguous target’. While he possessed uncontrollable rage, at that time, Choi Hyuk didn’t know how and to whom he should vent his rage on. While he kept thinking about getting revenge, his target and plan were uncertain.
That was why Dark-Sound was confident that, if he provided this pitiful warrior with a certain target and plan, he would be able to control him.
What he had overlooked was simply the amount of rage Choi Hyuk possessed.
However, hiding the sword in his heart, Choi Hyuk asked in a clear manner,
“What is it that I need to do?”
“You need to give Flame-Hell what he wants. What he wants are the circumstances to spread his wings.”
Flame-Hell was suddenly in competition with Flame-Rain.
He wasn’t pleased with Flame-Rain becoming the symbol of victory nor could he identify with how she indiscriminately appointed warriors.
While there wouldn’t be any immediate clashes as Flame-Rain had gone to the monsters’ universe, if she returned after a hundred or even a thousand years, he might have to hand his power over to her without a single fight.
Because of this, Flame-Hell also needed victory and a way to appeal to the youths. He needed a leader that could assemble young warriors around him.
“That’s why I recommended you. The Kundle Tribe that you trained recently and the glass crabs you saved. That was decisive. They all follow you, right? That’s something amazing. Warriors gather around you without reward, drunk on your victories… Of course, there are people who’ve left you recently, but seeing as there are still many left, you possess a certain charisma. Flame-Hell wants that. He hopes that you will go out to war with the young warriors of the top four tribes and the new generation of rookies. He wants you to make them stronger and entrance them to embed a strong image of Flame-Hell in their minds.”
Dark-Sound suddenly grabbed Choi Hyuk’s two shoulders. His touch was so cold that it felt like his shoulders were freezing.
“Take this to heart. On the outside, you need to make it seem like all your victories and glory is because of Flame-Hell’s decisions and wisdom. However… You understand, right? For the grand plan, it’s not bad to keep a few on your side. You also need to quickly reach the transcendent stage.”
When Choi Hyuk came to his senses, Dark-Sound was nowhere in sight. The darkness that covered his surroundings was gone as well. He was at his residence in the Tower of Warriors, where illusions of karma weapons swayed.
Dark-Sound hummed after his conversation with Choi Hyuk.
Flame-Rain grabbed his shoulder.
The suddenly surging darkness and flames fought each other, creating a whirlwind, before dying down.
Dark-Sound didn’t seem surprised as he craftily asked,
“Woah, woah, princess. Why are you so angry? What about the monsters’ universe?”
“There’s no problem if I leave for a bit… But… Are you really going to push Choi Hyuk into this?”
Unlike Flame-Rain’s serious expression, Dark-Sound’s expression was calm.
“What reason is there not to? You would have done the same if he joined you.”
“Don’t make me laugh. I’m different from you. While I’m cooperating with you right now, this doesn’t mean I’m your comrade.”
“Wow, how hurtful.”
Dark-Sound dryly rubbed his chest.
Flame-Rain gritted her teeth and growled,
“Remember this. It’ll be best if you don’t think about using Choi Hyuk for a bit before throwing him away. This is a warning.”
“Yes, yes, princess. I understand. Don’t worry and go back to the monsters’ universe. While it’s okay for a bit… That ‘bit’ shouldn’t be more than a minute.”
Dark-Sound replied as he leisurely met her gaze. Even as her blazing eyes disappeared while staring at him, she warned,
“Don’t misjudge my ability.”
Flame-Rain disappeared, and Dark-Sound glanced at his shoulder. The place Flame-Rain grabbed had burnt up and become transparent.
Dark-Sound chuckled as he mumbled,
“What a charming princess. For a Flame Wing bitch, that is.”