Episode 2: Exodus / Chapter 20: Berserkers (3)
Edited: Myoni, Yoni
Four days later.
Jung Minji and Lee Jinhee were sitting down across from each other.
Chu Youngjin was silently standing behind Jung Minji.
“So… You’re saying that the rumor about the enormous monster wasn’t a rumor.”
“Yes. There are two conditions to win. One is destroying all the portals and suppressing the monsters. And the second is to either kill the Wyvern of Destruction when it appears on the final day or at least keep it busy. If we fail to do either of the two, it is impossible to obtain the escape code.”
Lee Jinhee’s explanation. Jung Minji tapped the table with her finger. Her troops had already destroyed a portal nearby. However, that was it. She feared that the number of monsters would grow and wanted to destroy more portals but she was met with opposition so she put it on hold for now.
‘So that wasn’t a completely wrong choice. Since we are able to penetrate past the growing number of monsters. However, if the Wyvern of Destruction shows up on top of that, it becomes too difficult… So it’s not a situation where we can’t survive just by staying put.’
Jung Minji had almost decided. She asked her last question to confirm.
“You said that the King without Subjects sent you? Can you prove that?”
The same time she asked.
A black flag fluttered above Lee Jinhee’s head. It was without a doubt Choi Hyuk’s symbol. Jung Minji smiled.
“I have heard about the prestige of the Berserkers. Anyways… A King without Subjects having followers, how ironic. I understand. I will accept your offer. From now on, our troops will try our best to destroy the portals. And we will dispatch our elite troops in a week. The assembly area was…”
“Hyunhae Department Store. We looked around and currently they have the most power. There are a few troops gathered there.”
“Not far. Good.”
Jung Minji held out her hand. The two shook hands.
Lee Jinhee left Doonchon High School with light steps. Jung Minji’s troops who have distinguished themselves recently would be of great help.
In a week, Jung Minji, who had left Hanyoung High School, took over Doonchon High School as well as the shopping center across from the Olympic Park Station where Lee Jinhee was at previously.
“Hmmm… I wonder if that shitty man is still there?”
She didn’t care as she looked around Doonchon High School before running off to the next location.
A week after the game had started.
During that time, they destroyed 12 portals but the fight was becoming more and more difficult. Tens of thousands of monsters started to pour in each day and the number of monsters they didn’t kill grew. Currently, it was almost too much to destroy one portal in a day. Choi Hyuk became much stronger than Baek Seoin’s expectations but one hand couldn’t fend off ten.
To do away with this situation, like Baek Seoin suggested previously, Choi Hyuk decided to form a suicide squad and had dispatched Lee Jinhee as a messenger.
“She runs fast…”
Jung Minji stared at the Lee Jinhee who easily jumped over buildings. Her movements didn’t waste any energy. She was able to jump over a 4 or 5 story building with just two steps on the wall and she would overcome or brush past obstacles like the wind. This wasn’t something one could do just because they had karma. Others wouldn’t have been able to control their strength properly and would have smashed into walls but she controlled her movements flawlessly. Lee Jinhee disappeared from her sight in an instant. A speed even monsters wouldn’t be able to follow.
“… Good, I decided. Youngjin senior. Call the kings please.”
Jung Minji’s troops currently consisted of students from their alma mater, Hanyoung High School, students from Doonchon High School and the people who assembled at the shopping center across from the Olympic Park Station.
She was able to become the leader of these three groups with her daring, precise decisions and reckless show of power. However, it wasn’t like her position was stable.
Currently, at Doonchon High School, there were three people who had the title of a king besides her.
First, the Slave King Song Simin who had allied with her since Hanyoung High School.
And Doonchon High School’s student body president, the Student King Min Kyungchul.
Lastly, from the shopping center, the Pig King Ma Dongshik who obtained a Qualification to be a Sovereign and became king after habitually forcing people to take sides.
Ma Dongshik was the man Lee Jinhee previously fought with.
Jung Minji sat down in a circle with the three kings.
She announced her plans on dispatching troops to destroy portals and forming a suicide squad to support Choi Hyuk.
“Sure, why not.”
The Slave King Song Simin, like his reputation of being Jung Minji’s yes man, immediately agreed. When others asked him why he would always agree to Jung Minji’s plans, he would half-jokingly say that he was not the Slave King for nothing and smile. He was insulted, saying that he had no guts but he had lots of friends and was equally well-known for being a good-natured person who took great care of his people.
On one hand, the Student King Min Kyungchul was quite cooperative with Jung Minji but there were many times when he couldn’t understand her.
“I understand that there will be a huge loss… but how much are you thinking of…”
“As many portals as we can. And dispatching all available elite troops. The goal is to minimize the casualties on the last day.”
Jung Minji already wholeheartedly decided to cooperate. Even if there were losses on her side, it was to reduce the number of casualties overall.
This kind of decision was made because of her personality. If the door to hell opened on the final day and countless people were slaughtered by monsters and the Wyvern of Destruction, she had no doubt that she wouldn’t be able to endure her (fucking) sensitivity to others’ pain. If her troops who had power could do something, then she believed a weight would lift from her shoulders. From a broad perspective, her decision could seem selfless but, on the other hand, it was also selfish.
Min Kyungchul couldn’t understand her. Even if he believed it was for a great cause, wasn’t it natural to make sure your forces were safe first?
He couldn’t oppose her outright but he showed a disgruntled expression in silence.
“How about, instead of that, we act like we are doing it? It’s not like we’re the only ones doing it.”
It was the Pig King Ma Dongshik who wanted to oppose her.
“We’re not the only ones… wouldn’t everyone have the same thought? If it’s like that, even a possible plan will fail. If that’s the case, everyone might die. Among them could be lost family members. Someone has to actively take the lead.”
“That’s why… Why does that someone have to be us… If we want to take the lead, then everyone should… That’s my thought.”
While he talked, Ma Dongshik read at Jung Minji’s mood. Jung Minji was a bitch younger than Lee Jinhee who fiercely talked back at him a few days ago… His insides squirmed at the fact he had to treat her with respect, however, she wasn’t someone he could handle. When the people in the shopping center endured saying that they wouldn’t fight the Shadow Teeths, she raised her sword. ‘Then instead of the Shadow Teeths, will you fight with us?’ she calmly asked with eyes overflowing with bloodthirst. She seemed experienced in killing people. After that, Ma Dongshik only watched out for Jung Minji’s mood.
‘However, no matter how I think about it, this is wrong.’
It wasn’t like they were playing hero, there was no need to take the lead and fight a bloody battle with the monsters.
Jung Minji motionlessly stared at Ma Dongshik. In her mind, she already looked down on him. He wasn’t someone who would listen to words.
Also, she didn’t think that she could beat him with logic. Since, from the start, this was a decision she made for herself. She never once thought that she was righteous. If she did, then she wouldn’t have killed people without hesitation. She couldn’t help but simply act on her irrational emotions and nature.
Since she had power, she decided to use it. For her wellbeing.
She, who was motionlessly staring at Ma Donshik, opened her mouth.
“I didn’t call you all for a meeting…”
With her words, the atmosphere grew cold. She had gathered the kings not to discuss these matters but to announce it. At least, it was different from her original demeanor of listening to their opinions after their groups merged.
The Slave King Song Simin only rolled his eyes. The Student King Min Kyungchul frowned and tightly sealed his lips.
Ma Dongshik froze momentarily before finally opening his mouth.
“… I… understand. However, please think over the number of dispatched people. There are families who were finally able to reunite with each other, we can’t have them go into mourning so suddenly, can we? Let’s have it so that only one person from each family be dispatched.”
Ma Dongshik spoke out for the adults who were his main supporters.
And that was the reason why Jung Minji was so passive all this time.
When the survivors of Hanyoung High School and Doonchon High School gathered at the shopping center with the adults, there were quite a few people who found their family members among them.
Those with families couldn’t help but act more protective. They were able to unite their strength to destroy the portal near them but that was all, nothing more.
Also, unlike the naïve students who were used to announcements and regulations, the adults were much more self-assertive and were able to laugh their way out of proposed regulations and moved only for benefits. It was hard to control them at her will.
That was the reason why Jung Minji, who wanted to fight the monsters more aggressively, couldn’t help but accept the opposition and endure until now.
However, now that she had heard about the Wyvern of Destruction, Jung Minji resolved herself to no longer care about their circumstances.
Though it seemed it was complicated and time-consuming to make people act according to your will, sometimes it was very easy. Even if there was a resistance, if you pushed it hard enough, it would eventually fall. Only 3 weeks were left. She was confident in suppressing all resistance during that time.
“No. Then what about the students who couldn’t find their families? We won’t treat those with families any differently. With strong karma, even the elderly can run around. Haven’t you observed this in the past few days?”
Ma Dongshik’s face distorted at her words. Jung Minji used this chance to pour more cold water.
“Don’t be mistaken. If you’re weak, you die. It’s that kind of game. It means that not fighting won’t be great forever.”
Ma Dongshik wanted to let out his anger and slam the table but he desperately endured it. He was barely able to suppress his anger and force a smile.
He lowered his head.
“Haha… Yes… You’re right. I understand.”
The first thing he did after being absorbed into Jung Minji’s troops was take out the hidden stash of alcohol for the students from Hanyoung High School. During the drinking session, he clearly heard what happened to Kim Hyunbaek who opposed her. Ma Dongshik would always remember that example.
Jung Minji carefully examined Ma Dongshik’s expression. Ma Dongshik was barely able to squeeze out a smile as cold sweat dripped down his back. Finally, Jung Minji nodded her head.
“I look forward to working with you.”
And that was how the troops assembled at Doonchon High School started their preparations for war.
As time passed, the fact that the rules of the first game were quite varied were revealed.
The places with the most numbers would usually be assembly areas that were normally targeted at adults.
After them were all the high schools, middle school and the library where the [Ring of Rebirth] appeared. Places with a high density of people and people who weren’t too young. These two things could be seen as the conditions for the [Ring of Rebirth].
Besides them, there were more customized rules.
Such as the modified assembly area method applied to the students of the Korean National Sport University next to the Olympic Park.
They were given the option to choose a weapon and goblins appeared inside their school. They were monsters who had the fighting ability of an average adult. Only after they disposed of them was karma distributed to them. [Qualifications to be a Sovereign 1/3] and [Knight Captain] was given to the person who had the most kills.
There were even rules that only applied to veterans of the Korean War and the Vietnam War. They were given weapons and distributed karma with no strings attached and there was an assembly area just for them. They even received a friendly announcement, [When you hunt monsters, karma will increase].
Although the veterans weren’t all familiar with each other, once they gathered together, they looked like an army. Veterans who knew better than anyone else what a real battle was like, when these grandpas learned of the pleasure in becoming as strong as superhumans, exceeding their former physical prowess, they fought even more vigorously than the monsters.
They became a prominent force that controlled Kangdong District.
However, there was a group composed of only three members who were equally famous.
Warriors who went around the entire Kangdong District and fought at the very front. While everyone was fighting to defend their assembly area, with only three members, this group smashed apart monsters’ headquarters. Crazy warriors soaked with blood that wouldn’t dry.
People called them, ‘Berserkers’.
Especially the leader of the Berserkers who wielded a pitch black sword, Choi Hyuk. He became the center of an unbelievable rumor that he could smash apart most groups by himself.
“Hooo…. I feel like I’m really going to die without Jinhee here.”
“Did you ever feel like you were going to live?”
Baek Seoin who complained and Choi Hyuk who nonchalantly accepted them were once again wading through a forest of monsters to destroy a portal today.[Kuakk!] [Giik!]
Choi Hyuk had memorized the different vital points for each monster and now monsters were unable to endure a single attack.
However, Choi Hyuk’s expression wasn’t good.
‘… We aren’t able to catch up the speed at which the monsters are growing. There’s a limit to killing one monster at a time.’
No matter how much he tried, the best he could do was kill one monster with a single strike. A restriction that felt like a natural limit. However, he wouldn’t be able to break through the growing number of monsters with that speed. What was more,
‘It’s completely illogical to try to hunt the Wyvern of Destruction.’
No matter much stronger he became, it was impossible to slay an apartment-sized monster with a blade that was slightly longer than a meter.
‘As expected… I have to try it.’
Choi Hyuk recalled the skill he obtained recently. A skill he couldn’t currently use.
‘… Soaring Slash.’
Choi Hyuk tightly grasped the hand of his blade.