Episode 2: Exodus / Chapter 18: Berserkers (1)
Edited: Myoni, Yoni
Baek Seoin was at the veterans’ hospital when it happened. Due to the sudden assembly announcement, crowds of people were gathering in the hospital parking lot. Though the assembly announcement Baek Seoin received indicated the hospital as well, the reason why he was there was a bit different.
He was in his father’s ward. His father lay there suffering in pain without the ability to speak. The doctors said he couldn’t last for much longer. His father who wasn’t in his right mind. For the first time, Baek Seoin realized how painful the illness known as cancer was.
He had leukemia. The common illness that hit his parent’s generation who worked since young to support their children and their parents- and for the revival of their nation, cancer.
Baek Seoin never liked his father. Because the values of his paternalistic and worldly father and the more free-spirited Baek Seoin were too different, they would always fight at home.
At that time, to Baek Seoin, his father could have been somewhat of an enemy.
An enemy who would never break under his youthful follies. An existence who would last forever strong.
However, his father was currently so thin that he had a hard time speaking.
The insults at the previous president and the participation in rallies that would always become topics of dispute… even if those things happened, his father couldn’t say one word.
He never knew that that would be so painful.
‘Forgetting that my dad was human as well… I acted all cocky in front of him…’
A year after his father was hospitalized. Baek Seoin was in a state of deep depression.
His mother came to substitute for him.
“Oh. Seoin. Go home and rest.”
“No. I want to stay a bit longer.”
“You must be tired, you should rest.”
“No, it’s okay.”
“Okay… but did you also see strange things too?”
“Yes. Hah… whoever they are, aliens or gods, couldn’t they have helped father if they had that much power?”
“Yeah… It did seem a bit scary. A surprise attack and an assembly area… It’s not like it’s the 6/25 incident.”
“Our assembly area is here anyways so it’ll be fine.”
“Yeah… Still, go rest a little.”
“Okay. Then I’ll come back after a drink. Father. I’ll be right back.”
That was how Baek Seoin left the room holding a drink.
Late at night. There were much more people waiting in the parking lot than before. There were even some who wanted to enter the hospital by passing through the security guards. There were even people who were speaking nonsense, something about seeing monsters. Perhaps he would have thought about it more seriously if he had seen the weapons inside the hospital. However, due to the fact they quickly hid them to prevent disorder amongst the doctors, Baek Seoin didn’t think much of it. Instead, he was busy worrying about his father.
Just when he had taken a sip of his drink, Baek Seoin suddenly had an ominous feeling. Cold sweat ran down his back and his heart raced.
It was as if he heard a scream coming from within him. He felt like he would suffocate.
[You have awakened the unique skill ‘Intuition’!]
A message suddenly appeared but due to the fact his heart felt like it was being squeezed, he couldn’t pay it any heed. Baek Seoin was in a panic as he hurriedly left the hospital. His heart was pounding and his vision narrowed. He hid in a building nearby. Immediately, as if it was all a lie, his heart relaxed.
“What was that…?”
Just then. He heard the sound of a large explosion. Flames erupted in various places around the city and he started to hear desperate cries.
A monster the size of an apartment that spewed flames from its eyes and mouth suddenly appeared as if it had dropped down from the sky. The tyrannosaurus-like monster kicked the building right next to the one Baek Seoin was hiding in.
Baek Seoin’s body stood up.
The scenes afterwards passed by as if in slow motion. The monster stomped towards the hospital and people dispersed like a swarm of ants. The monster blew flames and those flames spread out in a circle, completely burning people in its path. The advancing monster swung its tail and bashed its head on the hospital and meticulously burned the people under the wreckage. Behind it was a swarm of monsters that hunted and killed the escapees. People were popped like tomatoes and boiled in flames.
Baek Seoin cried.
Unable to do anything, he stifled his cries and could only let tears drop from his eyes. The monster that smashed the hospital suddenly disappeared. Just then, Baek Seoin received another message.
[You have survived a close call with the Wyvern of Destruction. Additional rule revealed.]
——————–[Additional Rule Revealed]
The Wyvern of Destruction will appear again on the final day. The Wyvern of Destruction will protect the escape code.
That was Baek Seoin’s story.
“My Intuition… It only cared about my safety… It didn’t matter if my parents lived or died as long as I ran for my life.”
Baek Seoin’s eyes were bloodshot to the point as if they would drip blood.
However, he settled his emotions with deep breaths before calmly continuing.
“Currently, most people don’t know that the number of monsters will slowly increase and that the Wyvern of Destruction will appear on the final day. At this rate, everyone will die. The Wyvern of Destruction is already unstoppable, if a million monster underlings charge as well, no one will be able to escape. We need to form a suicide squad that will destroy the monster-spawning portals ahead of time and kill the Wyvern of Destruction. And to do that, I need your help.”
That moment, Choi Hyuk was deep in thought.
‘The Wyvern of Destruction… How can I kill it?’
Was it possible to kill an apartment-sized monster with a sword? Perhaps it was not meant to be a monster to kill. Maybe they were supposed to lure it away and escape.
However, his fighting instincts knew no limits and he had a reason to fight.
‘If I kill that thing, I will definitely catch their attention.’
Choi Hyuk resolved himself to kill the monster. It was fine if he looked for the method starting now.
“First, okay… Then show me the way to the portal. Let’s see if your Intuition is real or not.”
Choi Hyuk suggested. Baek Seoin revealed a slightly hopeless expression.
“… My Intuition tells me that the monsters over there are going to be stronger than the ones here. Wouldn’t it be better to look for more people before then?”
“… What if I told you that, even if you don’t, I get the feeling I will die there?”
However, Choi Hyuk just shrugged his shoulders.
“Let’s just think of it as a test. If you want to stay with me, it’s a bit troublesome if you die facing monsters at that level.”
It was checkmate for Baek Seoin.
The foot of a mountain.
Leaning against an altar split in two, Choi Hyuk and Baek Seoin were drinking a potion next to each other. The almost fatal wounds were washed away.
Around them, the corpses of 20 Crooks and a [Mountain Orc] who rode on a Crook wielding a hammer were sprawled on the ground.
Baek Seoin groaned.
“I almost died…”
However, Choi Hyuk who was still immersed in the pleasant feeling of the fight said nothing. Although it wasn’t a fight he thought he would lose, it was definitely more thrilling than the fight against the Bladed Ghost.
The Crooks were twice as hard to deal with than the Bladed Starving Ghosts. On top of that, there were more of them and Baek Seoin wasn’t helpful as he was wounded. All he did was try not to die.
And riding on the leader of the Crooks, the mid-boss, the Mountain Orc, was terrifyingly fast and strong.
‘If I didn’t upgrade my Retribution Points, I might have had to run away without being able to kill them all…’
If that happened, then perhaps he wouldn’t but Baek Seoin would have died.
Luckily the effect of upgrading his Retribution Points wasn’t only letting him distribute the full karma point instead of 0.1. The moment Choi Hyuk entered the fight, he felt it. A more refined cognitive ability and quicker reflexes. The upgraded Retribution Points changed his neural network that was locked into the limitations of a human’s into that of a superhuman’s. Perhaps the type itself enhanced?
Even before that, Choi Hyuk was already a genius. With the addition of quicker reflexes and a more refined cognitive ability due to the upgrade in Retribution Points, he was like a fish in water. He was able to slaughter 20 Crooks and a Mountain Orc by himself.
The Crook Leather Armor and the Necklace of Protection did their job as well. Due to the attack-intercepting necklace and the impact-reducing armor, he was able to fight even more aggressively. If not for them, even if Choi Hyuk didn’t die, Baek Seoin definitely would have.
Choi Hyuk stretched his arm to stab the Mountain Orc. The Predator’s Blade absorbed the blood of the Mountain Orc. Baek Seoin who watched this mumbled.
“Let’s first secure supplies before fighting next time. What a waste.”
Baek Seoin looked at the corpses of the Crooks that were wasted with regret. Choi Hyuk laughed. He had already somewhat acknowledged Baek Seoin. Although he wasn’t strong, he wasn’t weak either. Even if Choi Hyuk did help him a bit, eventually it all relied on his ability. And didn’t he also have a useful ability called Intuition?
So he decided to confirm a few things.
“You said that your Intuition is only sensitive to your wellbeing.”
“Then how do you know the locations of the portals?”
It was strange when he thought about it. Why would the Intuition that only activated when he was in danger lead him to danger? It was the same when they met. If it wasn’t for Choi Hyuk, he would have died fighting the Bladed Starving Ghosts.
Baek Seoin took a moment to organize his thoughts before explaining.
“It’s because I resolved myself to kill the Wyvern of Destruction. From that moment, I started to fight with my Intuition. I thoroughly ignored my heart that wanted to find and trust a safe group. After a day of looking for information and ignoring my Intuition, a new Intuition formed. It’s probably telling me a way to survive even after fighting the Wyvern of Destruction. I felt that I had to find a portal and fight and that someone would come. And someone really did come. That moment, I realized. That the only chance of surviving while killing the Wyvern of Destruction was you.”
While listening to Baek Seoin’s answer, Choi Hyuk thought about followers. An ability he received once he obtained two Qualifications to be a Sovereign.
Choi Hyuk liked Baek Seoin. He especially liked the ‘crazy’ thought of needing to kill the Wyvern of Destruction.
So he asked another question.
This ‘why?’ was asking why he was trying to kill the Wyvern of Destruction. Baek Seoin knew what he was talking about even without any context.
His face distorted. His calm face was once again filled with an intense emotion.
“… I was always an unfilial son. So I’m planning to be unfilial one last time. Even if I die. That lizard bastard… I will definitely kill it.”
Baek Seoin ground his teeth.
Choi Hyuk was able to understand him better than anyone else.
He liked his thirst for revenge.
The moment Choi Hyuk decided,
a message appeared in front of Baek Seoin.
[The King without Subjects, Choi Hyuk, wants to accept you as his follower. Once you accept, all your karma points will increase by 20%. Do you accept?]
Baek Seoin looked at Choi Hyuk with surprised eyes.
He examined Choi Hyuk’s face, bit his lips once and nodded his head.
Above Baek Seoin’s head, a fluttering flag appeared.
Baek Seoin looked above his head. He was tightly biting his lips.
His eyes were filled with raging flames as he looked at Choi Hyuk and respectfully said.
“If we really hunt the wyvern… I will truly serve you as my king.”
However, Choi Hyuk didn’t care for those formalities and was only interested in his goals.
“You said we needed a suicide squad?”
“Yes. The number of monsters will grow, even tomorrow, it’ll be too difficult for the two of us to clear the portals.”
“Good… Then let’s go fight.”
Choi Hyuk lifted his nearly recovered body. Since it was obvious that if it was going to be harder tomorrow, it was best to destroy more today.
However, Baek Seoin, who had almost died, couldn’t help but forget the seriousness he had just now and groan.
“You said let’s hunt an apartment-sized monster.”
Only then did Baek Seoin stand up.
Choi Hyuk grinned as he walked in front. Baek Seoin hurriedly shouted.
“I… Still, no matter how much of a hurry we’re in, let’s first secure some supplies! And eat!”
Choi Hyuk continued to walk. Baek Seoin hurriedly followed behind him. When he caught up to him, Choi Hyuk’s steps were strangely light. Instead of being nervous, it was like he was happy that he was able to fight more.
Baek Seoin recalled the savage smile Choi Hyuk had during the whole fight.
‘A berserker crazy for battle…’
He somehow naturally came to that thought. A frightening person. However… that was why he trusted him more.
‘I can’t become a hindrance.’
To calm his fear, Baek Seoin raised his fighting aura and rage.
It was still far from night.
 Reference to the start of the Korean War. June 25, 1950.