Episode 2: Exodus / Chapter 15: Encounter (2)
Edited: Myoni, Yoni
The three people who came down were the unemployed 31-year-old Kim Chulho, an elderly man and a middle-aged woman. Choi Hyuk listened to their situation.
Unexpectedly, the situation outside the school was completely different. First, there wasn’t anything like the Ring of Rebirth or the Throne Game.
“Ring? I don’t know about that. Just the television didn’t work and some weird words appeared but nothing happened. In the morning.”
“Once it became night, the monsters attacked. Like the one you fought just now.”
“Besides that, there was a re~ally big monster. It only appeared for a second… I’m telling you it was the size of an apartment. I couldn’t see it very well because it was dark… but light shined out from its eyes and mouth… yeah. A dinosaur. It was like a dinosaur.”
“That exaggeration! I didn’t see anything like that!”
“I didn’t see it either…”
“I’m telling you I saw it!”
Choi Hyuk was deep in thought. How many slashes would it take to kill an apartment-sized monster? Would that be enough?
Anyways, that was all the useful information they had.
“I understand. I am going to Shinmyung Middle School. What are you going to do?”
The three looked at each other. In the end, the elderly man decided to stay in the apartment while the middle-aged woman and Kim Chulho followed him. It looked like the middle-aged woman held some expectations that her husband and child might be there.
They were currently imagining Shinmyung Middle School as a refugee shelter.
However, in reality, that place was a war zone.
There were quite a few people who found the message that appeared in front of their eyes unusual. Since it didn’t only appear for them. On top of that, all communication was cut and those who wanted to leave Gangdong district were blocked by a weird wall. A situation they couldn’t understand… That was why people gathered at the assembly area, Shinmyung Middle School.
Those who arrived at Shinmyung Middle School received a message.
——————–[Throne Game + Survive and Escape]
- All of Gangdong district has become a war You cannot go past Gwangjin bridge in the north and the stadium in the south.
- On the 30th day, the location of the escape code will be announced. Only the troops who have obtained the escape code may escape.
- Occasionally, locations of places with living supplies will be announced.
Besides the fact that they had yet to receive the locations of the supplies, the message was the same as the one the students received.
At the same time, they received a message and their bodies filled with strength.[You have arrived at the assembly area. Karma has been distributed.]
At Shinmyung Middle School, there were many supplies necessary for battle. Food, weapons, item scrolls as well as a 3-day ‘Weakening Barrier’.
The ‘Weakening Barrier’ was especially important. While the barrier was in effect, abilities of monsters that entered the school would be reduced to less than half. If that wasn’t the case, with the stats of these people who had just received karma, they would no be able to avoid annihilation on the first monster attack. But, even these weakened monsters were too strong for these people.
When night fell, monsters came while these people were buzzing in confusion and anxiety. That was when hell broke loose.
The battlefield rampant with curses and screams.
The actions of the monsters, Crooks, were similar to wolves. They were shrewd. They never fought humans head-on. First, people blockaded themselves in the school. But the Crooks stepped on each other as they jumped onto the 2nd floor. Although they were distributed karma, the old and the weak who weren’t mentally prepared were located on the 2nd floor.
It resulted in massive losses. As the people at the frontlines hurriedly gathered on the 2nd floor, the Crooks fell back to the field like a receding tide.
The Crooks excelled in psychological warfare. They all disappeared together and once people relaxed due to their absence, they launched a surprise attack. This battle continued on the whole night. Now people no longer set up a blockade in the school building but rather herded them into the field and started a bloodbath. They had realized that instead of fighting in narrow hallways, it was more effective to fight in formation in a large area. One-third of the people died in vain before they realized this. Although it was a fight between around 2000 people and 60 monsters, currently there were 1371 people and 46 monsters left. Luckily, if not for the fact there were many men who had military experience, it wouldn’t have been strange for them to be annihilated that night. An unorganized group was no better than delicious candy for them.
However, such dire situations were opportunities for outstanding individuals to showcase their talent.
“Fucking monster bastards…”
Kang Dongsoo was like that. He who had become acknowledged by everyone for his command felt that it was time to end the fight. Although they obtained a mystical power known as karma, after prolonged skirmishes and brawls, everyone was extremely exhausted. It was obvious that if this was to continue, they would crumble like a sand castle.
So Kang Dongsoo organized a suicide squad.
‘While we still have strength, we need to clear out the Crooks and rest a bit.’
However, that wasn’t easy.
‘The biggest problem is that the Crooks fall back when they are at a disadvantage.’
The Crooks would fall back even if they were slightly disadvantaged. There was nothing they could do. Since they weren’t faster than them nor could they leave the Weakening Barrier. The moment they left the barrier, against the Crooks that regained their true strength, humans would break apart like tofu.
There was another problem. The Crooks recovered much faster than humans. That was why they would run out of the barrier, recover then charge back in. The Crooks would become energetic while the humans became sluggish.
‘I have to stop them from retreating.’
That was why the role of the suicide squad was important. The suicide squad’s mission was simple. Secretly leave and hide and once the Crooks charged into the field, they were to cut off their retreat.
“We will end it with this! Let’s go!”
“Go! Kill those bastards!”
The moment Choi Hyuk’s group arrived at Shinmyung Middle School was when these 300 people of the suicide squad were desperately trying to block the Crooks’ retreat.
“We can’t let them pass!!”
The surround Crooks ferociously lashed out but like their name, the suicide squad blocked their retreat with their lives. Because of that, they were able to kill an additional 7 Crooks. However… the suicide squad was dying at a rate much faster than that.
Choi Hyuk looked at the scene and said one thing.
“…They’re going to break through.”
At the same time, his body shot forward. Kim Chulho and the middle-aged woman who were suddenly left behind in this dangerous place quickly hid.
‘Fuck… This won’t be enough…’
The leader of the suicide squad, Kang Dongsoo, felt nervous. It would be dangerous if this continued. They had to at least reduce them to a single digit for them to be relieved but at this rate, there would be at least ten left.
He put more strength into it. Due to his insufficient Stamina, the karma relaxed but he gritted his teeth as he brought out more power.
Just when the shield user in front of him was pushed away, Kang Dongsoo stabbed the monster’s forehead.
It definitely was an E rank sword made from an ‘item scroll’. If it was an F rank weapon, it wouldn’t have been able to penetrate its skull and would have slipped off… the sword pierced its forehead.
“Dongsoo hyung! Watch out!”
The suicide squad member behind him shouted out. He became startled. He looked and found a Crook charging towards him. It made his blood freeze. Facing a perilous situation, Kang Dongsoo’s cognitive ability exploded into full gear. The oncoming Crook seemed to move in slow motion. What was tragic was… that unlike his cognitive ability, his physical abilities didn’t improve.
Dongsoo tried to avoid it by rolling backwards… his speed couldn’t match that of a Crook’s. In his focused state, Kang Dongsoo looked at the Crook as it slowly came closer.
‘So this is how I die.’
Just when all kinds of thoughts were flashing through his mind, something jumped over Kang Dongsoo. He couldn’t even see him in the slow motion he was seeing the world in, On top of that, he was swiftly wielding a blade. Slowly, the Crook began to split apart.
The Crook that was split in two slipped past both sides of Kang Dongsoo.
Only then did he wake up from his stupor. However, the person, Choi Hyuk, had already moved on to the next Crook.
“What the… I feel lighter than before?”
Choi Hyuk who didn’t know the existence of the Weakening Barrier felt strange. He put a lot of strength into it since he thought they would be as tough as the one he killed at the apartment but if it was like this, he could use less strength.
“Good… Anyways, I should finish this as fast as I can.”
Choi Hyuk started to squeeze out the karma in his body.
One in the apartment, another just now, he had only killed two Crooks but his Control was already at 92. Every time he killed one, his Power would increase by 5, speed by 4 and the rest would increase by 3. Even his stamina that didn’t rise rose by 0.1.
Power: 81 (+5) Speed: 83 (+5) Control: 92
Endurance: 76 Stamina: 0.2 (★) Recovery: 96 (+10)[Before killing monsters]
Power: 71 (+5) Speed: 75 (+5) Control: 86
Endurance: 70 Stamina: 0 (★) Recovery: 90 (+10)
With a Control stat that exceeded his Power and Speed, he was able to freely control the karma in his body. Therefore, it was possible to momentarily squeeze out the karma in his body. He thought of this after seeing Choi Junsung’s [Lightning Strike].
‘If you use Power exceeding that of your Stamina, your muscles will relax and you will have to wait until you can use karma again. And if your Stamina is similar to your Power and Speed, you can only go all out for 5 minutes. So it means that my consumption of Stamina is similar to before. But, Choi Junsung would pant after a single use of [Lightning Strike]. Why was that? Was it that if you used your Control stat to completely control your body, even if it is for one strike, you could bring out enough strength to make your body unable to use karma for a short time?’
Before he knew it, Choi Hyuk was figuring out the basics of the skills ‘they’ received. And that understanding was currently coming to play. Techniques he felt he didn’t need when facing other humans. However, his opponents, this time, were monsters. He had prepared this move to make up for the difference in size.
On top of that, it provided the best impact in reversing the attitudes of people who were being pushed into a corner.
The problem was his Stamina… Choi Hyuk was most confident in his Stamina. And for some reason, they were weaker than the one he encountered at the apartment.
‘7… no, if it’s like this, I can use it 14 times.’
Choi Hyuk relaxed his strength a little more. Even though he said he relaxed, the karma in his body seemed to inflate to an abnormal degree.
Choi Hyuk’s body momentarily exploded out as his blade swung downwards.
The monster’s claw ripped apart. The D rank Predator’s Blade didn’t even chip after ripping apart its claw.
Mumbled Choi Hyuk. By his calculations, he could still kill 12 more but there was a chance that he would in pain until tomorrow if he did that. So.
‘Let’s kill 8 more.’
‘In a single strike.’
Choi Hyuk’s blade seemed as if it was on fire.
 Korean men have mandatory military service.  Sorry I couldn’t resist xD  Honorific. Younger male to older male.