Episode 10: Calculations of Revenge / Chapter 171: Each’s Calculations (4)
TL: emptycube / ED: Obelisk
There were two groups who flipped out when they heard that they would be marching off to war the next day.
The first group was comprised of the highest-ranked warriors participating in the subjugation. The seven highest-ranked warriors, who were rushing to meet Choi Hyuk, complained incessantly about the sudden schedule, demanding the specifics of his plan.
In response, Choi Hyuk used Flame-Hell’s name.
‘I understand you are uneasy. However, there is a reason why Exalted Wing Flame-Hell trusts me. You should trust me too. You will know tomorrow.’
He simply said what he wanted and dismissed them.
The one who came to see him next was a bit unexpected. He was Armor-Phantom, the commander-in-chief of the Shapley and Laniakea Superclusters. It was different from when he had arrived in his small, secondary body last time. Choi Hyuk was suppressed by the vigor of Armor-Phantom’s real body. Metallic pieces fluttered like feathers as they reflected light to form Armor-Phantom’s outline. Spreading wings made of metal and light, his splendor made him look like an angel judging the world. At a glance, he seemed to be at the early stages of the transcendent level, similar in strength to Flame-Rain before she grew stronger.
Now that their relationship had gone awry, he gave Choi Hyuk an indifferent look.
“While I don’t really want to see your face… I came because the elders of my tribe sent me.”
Hearing this, Choi Hyuk’s expression couldn’t help but stiffen. Only Exalted Wings were individuals that Armor-Phantom, who was a transcendent warrior and the commander-in-chief of two superclusters, would refer to as ‘elders’. This was the first point of contact he had with other Exalted Wings besides Flame-Hell and Dark-Sound.
Yet, he couldn’t predict the reason for Armor-Phantom’s visit.
“Why is that you are imprisoning a warrior who has awakened as an Armor Soul Tribe member?”
There was no doubt he was referring to Naro when he said ‘a warrior who has awakened as an Armor Soul Tribe member’, but to claim he was imprisoning him?
Choi Hyuk frowned.
“I have never imprisoned Naro.”
“Then why isn’t he answering to his tribe’s calls?”
Releasing the aura of a transcendent warrior without restraint, Armor-Phantom pressured Choi Hyuk.
Choi Hyuk decided to call Naro over and ask him.
After arriving, Naro didn’t know what to do when he saw Armor-Phantom. Seeing his reaction, it seemed Naro did receive a summons from the Armor Soul Tribe.[No… That… I never thought you would come personally.]
To the flustered Naro, Armor-Phantom gently, yet firmly said in an attitude overflowing with affection for Naro,
“Naro, a highest-ranked warrior of the Armor Soul Tribe, it’s great to see you. I came because I was worried. If you’re in a situation against your will, just say it. There’s no need to worry. There is no one who can imprison an Armor Soul Tribe member in this entire universe.”
His voice was filled with pride for his tribe.
Naro flipped out.[That’s not it!]
“Then?”[That’s… I don’t want to leave the Berserkers.]
Armor-Phantom seemed shocked as he was momentarily at a loss for words. He barely managed to speak again.
“Think about it again. It’s not like you’re leaving forever. Those who have awakened as members of the Armor Soul Tribe have to receive our education. Only then can you be a true member of the Armor Soul Tribe. You also have to recreate your body! How long are you going to dwell in that large, heavy spaceship? You can become much stronger than you are now!”[… I like the spaceship.]
Naro avoided Armor-Phantom’s gaze.
Choi Hyuk looked at Naro, and Naro also glanced at Choi Hyuk, telepathically sending the emotions he was feeling right now. Naro didn’t use telepathy much since he learned to speak. However, like the first time they had met, Naro only used telepathy to communicate with him.
Choi Hyuk understood what emotions he was feeling right now.
‘I don’t… want to leave.’
If he helped Armor-Phantom persuade Naro right now, he could probably leave a good impression on the Armor Soul Tribe. He might even be able to get closer to other Exalted Wings faster.
Despite this, Choi Hyuk closed his eyes. He suddenly thought of the executives who had decided to leave, Handke, Leah, and Kim Honghyun, and especially Lee Jinhee, who was still undecided.
Speculation was simply speculation. He didn’t know what path would be best, however, Choi Hyuk decided to walk the path his heart chose. He had already lying to himself enough.
Choi Hyuk used Flame-Hell’s name once again.
“You don’t have to worry about Naro’s education. The expedition this time is being personally supervised by Exalted Wing Flame-Hell. I am certain it’ll be better than any other experience in the world. I think it’s best if you broadened your mind. Aren’t we all members of the alliance either way? I don’t think there’s a need to be educated by one’s own tribe. Like this, Naro will be able to become a great warrior of the ‘alliance’. I will support Naro’s decision.”
Something he said seemed to have rubbed Armor-Phantom the wrong way as his metallic feathers simultaneous stood on end and emitted a ‘Ting!’ sound. While he clearly looked angry, it didn’t seem like he could act out since Flame-Hell was mentioned. He simply glared at Choi Hyuk before leaving.[You don’t even like the alliance much.]
Naro said in a playful voice. The warm feelings Naro felt were transmitted to Choi Hyuk’s heart.
Choi Hyuk couldn’t help but feel sorry for the Berserkers.
This was, in reality, someone else’s war. A war started because Flame-Hell wanted to keep his other competitors in check and strengthen his authority.
While it was for his revenge, Choi Hyuk was pushed into this situation as a puppet, and the Berserkers would die for his ultimate enemy, Flame-Hell.
All this happened because he was powerless.
Choi Hyuk resolved himself.
‘This is the last play.’
The next time… The next time he unsheathed his sword would be for his final revenge. Gritting his teeth, Choi Hyuk swallowed his surging sorrow and rage. These were the sufferings he had to endure and accumulate in order to open the way for a new universe.
Choi Hyuk gathered these sufferings and aimed them at the Blue Manes. His Karma Heart thumped. After he had dealt with those who were in charge of Earth’s recruit training, his Karma Heart kept beating nonstop as though it was sick. It beat nonstop as it squeezed out all of Choi Hyuk’s power and fate. Choi Hyuk already knew that the end was near and that he wouldn’t lose to anything.
“Charge! We target the head of the Blue Manes in the shortest distance possible! We leave behind those who can’t keep up!”
The warriors, who followed Choi Hyuk while wondering what his strategy was, were shocked at his declaration. To suddenly tell them to break through at a single point… this strategy should never be chosen against the Blue Manes, who possessed excellent maneuverability and specialized in guerilla tactics.
Yet, while they were shocked, Choi Hyuk and the Berserkers were rushing towards the Blue Mane Tribe’s border army that had appeared in front of them.
Their charge, which wasn’t even in proper formation, looked unsteady as though they would quickly be blocked by their enemies.
If the other warriors didn’t follow behind them, then the Berserkers would suffer heavy losses. If things progressed like this, it was clear that those who didn’t follow quickly would be reprimanded.
Even if they didn’t follow his order of charging towards the head of the Blue Manes, they had to support his charge first.
“That crazy! Follow after them for now! Once we catch up, we drag that bastard back and retreat!”
The highest-ranked warriors swore at Choi Hyuk as they led their troops and followed after Choi Hyuk.
A war they had never experienced before began.
Grrr![Filthy alliance scum!]
The Blue Manes barked, cursing them. Their claws swung out. A wolf at the front seemed to disappear, and when he reappeared, his jaws were already on a Berserker’s neck.
However, the Berserkers were skilled as well.
Lee Jinhee grabbed a Blue Mane who was targeting the back of her neck, and keeping a firm grip on his neck, she dragged him along. Lee Jinhee stabbed the wolf’s stomach and side before shoving his face into the jaws of another wolf.
Her subordinates followed her example and trampled on the onrushing wolves. Still, their charging speed didn’t drop at all.
While the Blue Manes’ outer appearances were that of wolves, their colorful dyes and tribal ornaments showed that they were somewhat civilized and possessed reason. Yet, the Berserkers killed them indiscriminately one after another as though they were killing beasts.
These scenes exceeded the predictions of the other warriors following after them.
‘The Berserkers and the Blue Manes’ levels aren’t that different? Yet how is it so one-sided?’
Their first prediction of the clash, that it would be even or that the Berserkers would be pushed back, was wrong.
‘Still, I bet it’ll be difficult to break through since the Blue Manes’ maneuverability is excellent. Huh?’
The prediction that the Berserkers would be held back by the Blue Manes and lose to their maneuverability was also proven wrong.
Instead, the ones who lost their maneuverability were the Blue Manes. They tried their best to slow the Berserkers down, but the more they tried, the more pitifully they were slaughtered and thrown back.[Grrr!!]
Along with a fierce roar, a highest-ranked Blue Mane warrior ambushed Choi Hyuk, but by that time, Choi Hyuk’s sword was already passing through the top of his head.[Rrrr…]
While thinking that he was biting Choi Hyuk, the highest-ranked Blue Mane warrior became a corpse.
A crushing force.
Without the slightest delay, the Berserkers pushed through the Blue Mane border army. The other troops, who wanted to save the Berserkers and drag the recklessly charging Choi Hyuk away, simply followed behind them. They couldn’t even catch up to the Berserkers.
Someone shouted, almost screaming. His voice sounded as though he had taken a heavy blow to his pride.
Like how Choi Hyuk’s Karma Heart was beating furiously, the Berserkers’ karma was boiling violently. As their karma, which had grown greatly since their first revenge, still didn’t satiate the Berserkers, it boiled even more violently, swelling in size whenever the Berserkers felt unsatisfied. The Berserkers didn’t suppress their surging karma and simply left their bodies to the flow.
At this moment, even Lee Jinhee, who was withholding her decision on whether or not to continue to follow Choi Hyuk, fought with cruelty and without hesitation, fitting the typical characteristics of a Berserker.
However, her actions couldn’t compare to Ryu Hyunsung’s.
If there was another warrior who shined on this battlefield other than Choi Hyuk, it would be Ryu Hyunsung. The seven highest-ranked warriors following from behind and even Naro, who was assisting the fight, couldn’t match the powerful aura Ryu Hyunsung gave off.
‘Haha! I can kill them! I can kill more!’
Ryu Hyunsung had already cleanly forgotten that the Blue Manes weren’t monsters but a karma species that possessed reason.
His mind was filled with the thought that he could kill to his heart’s content.
The day he awakened was an eternal nightmare imprinted on Ryu Hyunsung’s mind. He felt like the misery he felt when all he could do was watch his friends die powerlessly that day was being erased every time he killed a wolf.
Ryu Hyunsung’s body shivered in ecstasy.
He had always fought dreaming of a better future and, when he was tired of fighting, taught new Berserkers in preparation for the future. Yet, no matter how much he struggled, he would have nightmares at night, and the emptiness in his heart gradually grew. It was only then when he realized,
‘Ah, I already died.’
Only then did Ryu Hyunsung understand Chu Youngjin’s fighting style. The extreme combativeness of someone whose heart had already died. On the other hand, during the recruit training, he had refused to acknowledge that his heart had already died and stubbornly used the sword techniques he had mastered in the past.
Ryu Hyunsung decided to throw away this shell.
‘I’ll entrust the future… to others.’
Ryu Hyunsung thought of Handke, Leah, and Kim Honghyun, who had left the Berserkers. Yes, he just needed to leave the future to them. It was a problem for someone who was already dead to think about those things.
What he had to do now was-
‘Kill and kill!’
Whether it was his enemies or himself.
He felt free.
Shouting, Ryu Hyunsung swung his sword, splitting a Blue Mane’s head and then smashing his eyes with the handle.
“I’ll die! When I die! Let’s see how strong… Huh?!”
As though possessed, he shouted nonsense from his mouth.
His karma weirdly kept swelling, and he could easily kill Blue Mane warriors who were similar or stronger than him.
His heart shuddered.
Ryu Hyunsung was always considered to be half a step to a step lower than Chu Youngjin, but the vigor he was showing right now didn’t lose out to the Chu Youngjin of the past.
Rather than a Berserker, he seemed like a demon.
“How could he fight like that?! … Ah…”
The warriors who couldn’t hide their shock at the Berserkers’ splendor were at a loss for words when they saw Ryu Hyunsung.
He purposefully stretched his neck out to bait the wolves. Then he killed those who approached to chew his neck with a single stab.
He even fought whilst being surrounded by the wolves, inducing them to launch pincer attacks. However, whenever the wolves launched the pincer attacks, they would die in the blink of an eye.
It seemed like nothing could harm him.
Glossing over Choi Hyuk’s contributions as he was rumored to be an exceptional highest-ranked warrior, they were especially shocked seeing Ryu Hyunsung, who they thought was at or below their level, show off his splendor.
The weight of the name ‘Berserkers’ clutched their hearts.
The punitive expedition, which broke through the border army in one go, quickly pushed forward toward the center of the Blue Manes’ territory rather than taking action against the Blue Manes.
Even the troop leaders, who didn’t agree with Choi Hyuk’s strategy of killing the head of the Blue Manes in one go, were currently frantically following the Berserkers as though they were entranced by something.
At the same time, Handke, Leah, and Kim Honghyun, who had left the Berserkers, were meeting with the Sovereign of Paradise Camilla.
Camilla was worried about the Berserkers.
“Overseer Choi Hyuk… wasn’t satisfied with the first revenge? Then where is his revenge directed? If the alliance falls into danger, then we cannot win in the war against the monsters. It’s a problem even if Choi Hyuk fails. All earthlings might be branded as traitors.”
Handke gently shook his head.
“That would only be the case if Leader Choi Hyuk ever lost. However, I can’t imagine the leader losing. Whether it’s against the alliance or the monsters. It’s the same for the Berserkers who follow him. What moves them isn’t logic or reasoning, but their wounded pride and collapsed happiness. The deeper their wounds, the more they can’t stop. Nor will they lose. Of course, those who only rage with revenge can’t be our future. However, after they have flipped the world on its head… No one will be able to look down on earthlings. That is our future.”
Handke grinned before adding,
“Well, to be honest, the reason doesn’t matter. While I left the Berserkers, I have no thoughts on obstructing their path. I feel sorry for and really like them.”
After saying this, Handke looked up at the milk-white skies of Dragonic. Looking for Choi Hyuk and the Berserkers who were fighting nonstop somewhere beyond it, he gave a short prayer for their fortune in battle.