SoJ Episode 11 Chapter 184

Episode 11: The Grand Scheme / Chapter 184: Fate (3)

TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir


 

{Ahh, there’s no need to be nervous. I’m also on your side. I wanted to bring Flame-Hell to ruin long before you did. That is why… I’m thinking about conducting our grand plan before this war ends.}

Dark-Sound’s voice was exaggerated like a musical actor’s. He seemed excited.

On the other hand, the others were silent. This wasn’t a silence of agreement. The Exalted Wings, who possessed the most outstanding minds in the universe, were momentarily at a loss for words.

After a long silence, Armor-Desert spat with a suppressed voice.

{Exalted Wing Dark-Resentment, what is the meaning of this?}

Armor-Desert believed that Dark-Resentment ignored their worry in the end and invited Dark-Sound.

Dark-Resentment firmly denied it with a low voice.

{It wasn’t me-}

Dark-Sound cut in.

{Haha, there’s no need to find fault with the wrong people. I was simply much more competent than you thought.}

Was Dark-Sound’s personality always like this? He was different from before when he had a quiet, cold appearance. While they didn’t know why he was so excited, as people who gathered as members of the ‘Anti-Flame Wing Faction’, they couldn’t help but feel uneasy.

As if he read their thoughts, Dark-Sound said.

{Ah… It seems I was too excited. However, please understand. I have lived my entire life to say these words. So please listen carefully. Now, before this war ends, we will execute the grand plan. I’ll say it once more. Execute! The grand plan!}

It seemed he couldn’t contain his excitement.

 

{… While I don’t know what this grand plan is, I still don’t know why you, Dark-Sound, are here. Isn’t accessing a private communication without an invite not simply rude but criminal?}

Nervousness was clearly present in Armor-Desert’s voice. Since Dark-Sound, Flame-Hell’s second in command, joined this gathering, whose goal was to topple Flame-Hell, without permission, it was true that, no matter what he said, it would be difficult to take his words at face value.

On top of that, how did he access this communication device that was created with the Armor Soul Tribe’s innate skill? There might even be an informant in the tribe. If he knew this much, then he…

‘Did Flame-Hell know as well?’

Armor-Desert’s blood ran cold. However, if he noticed, then he noticed, why did he appear now? To warn them? No way.

Though everyone had fallen into a state of confusion, only Dark-Sound sounded completely calm.

{Well, I understand that you can’t trust me. However, a guest who can vouch for me will soon arrive.}

As soon as he said this, a new voice joined their discussion.

{… I am Flame-Rain, the Fourteenth Exalted Wing. Thank you for inviting me. Also… I can vouch for Exalted Wing Dark-Sound.}

{Flame-Rain… It was you?}

Light-Step said in exasperation.

To be honest, the goal of this meeting was to bring Flame-Rain over to the ‘Anti-Flame Wing Faction’. When they were wondering where the information leaked, to think it was Flame-Rain.

The truth was different. Dark-Sound already knew before Flame-Rain vouched for him. However, Flame-Rain didn’t correct this fact.

{What’s important is that I have long since discussed with Dark-Sound about means to drive Flame-Hell out and the order of things after. Meaning, his goal is similar to yours. Also… You probably understand from my words, but you don’t need to persuade me. I am already on your side. I believe that we need to stop Flame-Hell and do not think that the Flame Wing Tribe should hold a special position in this universe.}

She went straight to the point as though she didn’t find this gathering very comfortable.

When Flame-Rain said this, it was difficult for the others to be suspicious of Dark-Sound.

While one couldn’t trust a person’s heart, there were also things they had no choice but to believe. Among those was that Flame-Rain was hostile towards Flame-Hell. The two couldn’t coexist.

A short silence hung in the air. This silence indicated agreement.

 

Armor-Desert stopped feigning ignorance and bluntly asked.

{So Exalted Wing Dark-Sound, what exactly is this grand plan you mentioned?}

{First, I’ll personally take action soon.}

{Take action?}

{Yes. Since the monsters’ force is too strong, it’s better for Exalted Wings to participate than simply holding onto the Net of Fate. We will be victorious once we personally raise our weapons and fight. At that point! Please set the mood. So that Flame-Hell, who’s practically the alliance’s chairperson, can participate too. It doesn’t matter if you give him a hard time or praise me and make him jealous. Anyways, we’ll send him to the battlefield. However, since he’s someone who is very concerned with his safety, he’ll probably bring along his trustworthy guards… Then, when he’s exhausted from the intense battle, his trusty guard will stab him. While Exalted Wing Flame-Rain nobly said to drive him out… I want him dead.}

There was even madness present in his voice.

{…}

The other Exalted Wings showed their agreement with a short silence. If they could kill Flame-Hell with the method he mentioned, then it would be easy to cover it up him dying in battle instead of being assassinated. There was no need to worry about political backlash either.

At the end of their short silence, Armor-Desert indirectly asked.

{… It’ll be best if we killed him like that. However, is that guard Choi Hyuk?}

{That’s right. However, since I’ve already prepared a plan B and C, you don’t need to worry about the plan not being executed. You just need to set the mood.}

{… Understood.}

Though Armor-Desert had already plotted to assassinate Choi Hyuk, he didn’t bring it up here. There wouldn’t be a problem since Dark-Sound had already prepared a plan B and C.

 

{Then do we only need to set the mood?}

When Light-Step asked, checking if this really was all they had to do, Dark-Sound cheerfully replied.

{There’s no way that’s it. The grand plan doesn’t simply end with Flame-Hell’s death. If killing him was our goal, then there would be no need to use cumbersome schemes or wait until now. What’s really important is how we are going to structure the alliance’s new order after Flame-Hell’s death. The reason why I had endured this long was because of this, and this is precisely why I have come to you all today.}

 

This was the start of the real meeting.

How were they going to reorganize the alliance’s order after they purged it of Flame-Hell? If there were others to purge, who were they? How would they block the monsters’ attack during this confusion?

No one believed that everyone would keep the promises made here. Nonetheless, this was an opportunity to set up safety measures so that the plan wouldn’t fail and to judge each other’s capabilities before this drastic change.

 

That was how they prepared for the future.

 

**

Blaaze!

Black flames spread at a dangerous rate. They ran along the corpuscles that connected the monsters together to spread even further. The corpuscles, which were their weapons, had now become shackles that snared them together.

As the dark universe blended with the black flames, it was difficult to tell where the flames ended and the universe began. It seemed like the entire universe was on fire.

{Kiiyyeeeeh!}

The monsters’ screams as they burned together shook the space enough that the insides of low leveled warriors were a mess from just hearing them.

‘A living hell.’

Even Lee Jinhee, who brought up the Battle of the Red Cliffs, felt her blood run cold.

 

Even though there were warriors from the Flame Wing Tribe amongst the struggling warriors, the monsters’ net, which endured their flames well, was currently being burnt into ashes.

There was no need for the Flame Army to act.

“I-I’m alive.”

The warriors, who barely managed to escape the monsters’ chase, joined the Flame Army. Choi Hyuk’s flames only burnt the monsters and didn’t hurt the alliance’s warriors in any way.

Seeing this, Lee Jinhee sighed.

‘Can I protect him like this?’

Looking at the situation, it seemed like she didn’t need to act.

‘I need to always stay alert.’

She exerted strength into her ankles. Space folded at the end of her feet.

Whoosh!

She stepped forward. She jumped over the folded space as she rushed forward.

Srring.

She unsheathed and raised ‘Lee Jinhee’s Vow’.

Her vow was to not let Choi Hyuk die before her. Whether she was of help or not, the place she had to be was in front of Choi Hyuk or at least beside him.

However, when Lee Jinhee arrived at the location where she guessed Choi Hyuk was, she felt that something wasn’t right.

 

**

It introduced itself as ‘Kwe’{1}.

Though the monster looked like a human, it was a midget the size of a forearm. Yet, the vigor the monster emitted was at least on the level of Exalted Wings.

Indeed, it was probably because of a monster like it was running amok that 3 superclusters were instantly annihilated and the Laniakea and Shapley superclusters were driven into a corner.

 

It was different from any monster Choi Hyuk had encountered until now. Unlike other monsters that, while possessing reasoning, couldn’t hide their instinctive killing intent, the monster didn’t show any such intent.

The monster was happy.

“Black flames… There’s no doubt. Nice to meet you! To think that I’d encounter you, my luck is really good.”

The monster even talked a lot.

“Did you know? You’re really famous among us. You played a significant part in monsters like me being born.”

Of course, Choi Hyuk didn’t listen idly. Mouth shut, he advanced in order to slash the monster.

However, other weird things obstructed his path.

Grrrng.

When he heard this low wailing sound, monsters that looked like boxes made of dark metal appeared. Like bricks, they stacked themselves in front of ‘Kwe’ and blocked Choi Hyuk’s path. While they looked easy to deal with, from the aura they released, they seemed to be monsters at the high or highest-rank. It looked like they had no offensive strength and maximized their defenses as flame or slashes were very effective. Of course, he could steadily kill them. However, because another one flew out from somewhere as soon as one died, it was difficult to advance.

Crush! Smash!

Choi Hyuk, who had swept his surroundings with his flames and attacks, advanced slowly, killing them one by one, as though he was making his way through a dense jungle.

 

‘Kwe’ didn’t care whether its subordinates died or not as it continued to speak what was on its mind.

“Apparently, a case like your universe is a first. While it’s the universe that is the most persistent on resisting… The queen seems to be very shocked that you invaded us. We’ve only invaded and have never been invaded before.”

The monster seemed to be talking about when Choi Hyuk crossed over to the monsters’ universe, wiped out an area densely packed with Kahur Kabkuns, and killed a demise-ranked monster.

“You even made a fortress on top of that… The queen’s temper isn’t good. That’s why… We decided to properly study you. That was how someone like me was born. A woman that spewed transparent flames and a man that spewed black ones! So I heard about you since the day I was born. It’s really nice to meet you. Ah, right. I heard that you were the one who killed all those wolves as well? Wow… I’m the one who negotiated with them. So you ruined our first negotiations like that, eh? Haha, how amusing.”

Clang! Crush!

Blaaze!

Even while the monster talked, Choi Hyuk steadily advanced forward as he ripped and burned the square monsters in his path.

‘So noisy.’

This was to clash swords with the monster.

Yet, when he came close enough to touch the monster, it giggled.

“Anyways, it was impressive. Even though I made them quite resistant to flames, you slaughtered those kids with your flames. On top of that, your slashes are fearsome. Good. I get it now. Then how about this tactic?”

Red light slowly seeped out from the monster’s body, which at shown no light previously. It no longer hid its killing intent.

 

A thin corpuscle came out of Kwe’s body and attached itself to a monster that was being burnt into ash. Then, as if the corpuscles transmitted something, with this monster as the start, all the monsters’ bodies began to change. Their metallic skin that was burning from the flames became runny and created bubbles as it boiled from the flames.

Tsss.

Smoke began to rise.

Before, Choi Hyuk’s flames had cleanly burnt its target without leaving a whiff of smoke, yet the monsters now created a thick, heavy smoke as they boiled and melted.

Choi Hyuk was instantly surrounded by this smoke.

Before the smoke could completely cover Choi Hyuk’s sight, he saw Kwe’s body also undergo a change. The monster became more slender, sharper, and darker.

Seeing this, Choi Hyuk unconsciously thought of the word ‘executioner’.

 

Soon, the smoke completely covered Choi Hyuk’s eyes.

‘… I can’t feel anything?’

His five senses were completely sealed. Even Dark-Sound’s darkness wasn’t this thick.

“You can’t see anything, right? Aren’t you curious how this is happening?”

‘Where is it?’

While he heard the monster’s voice, he couldn’t figure out where it came from.

“Do you know how many kids were sacrificed to defeat you? You just need to think that my kids’ resentment runs this deep.”

This meant that the monster manipulated the dying monsters to obscure Choi Hyuk’s senses. This was actually an amazing feat.

However, this wasn’t what annoyed Choi Hyuk.

Grit.

He grounded his teeth.

He couldn’t tell where the voice had been coming from, yet he could clearly tell where it came from now.

 

As if taunting him, the voice was whispering straight into his left ear.

 


{1} Means odd, strange, peculiar, etc. The character is also used in the word ‘괴물’ or monster.

 

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