Episode 2: Exodus / Chapter 28: Wyvern of Destruction (4)
The Slave King Song Simin and Yoon Girim.
Jung Minji had rescued Yoon Girim who was about to become an item during the Bonus Game, but even afterwards, Yoon Girim had trouble getting used to fighting. However, these days, she was very bright.
Jung Minji found Song Simin and Yoon Girim talking in the hallway. They were so affectionate that they didn’t even notice Jung Minji approach them. Jung Minji briefly looked at Yoon Girim’s smiling face. It was the same smile she remembered. It was very beautiful… so unpleasant.
Yoon Girim was surprised when Jung Minji called out to her. Song Simin awkwardly greeted Jung Minji. “Ahahaha, hello.” Jung Minji lightly nodded and replied, “Yes. Hello.” And then, she immediately turned her gaze towards Yoon Girim.
Yoon Girim was afraid of her. She couldn’t even meet her eye and kept her head lowered.
At her actions, Jung Minji became even more uncomfortable. She said in a strict voice.
“Yoon Girim, lift your head.”
Yoon Girim opened her eyes from nervousness. Jung Minji stared into her eyes. Yoon Girim didn’t know what to do. Just as Yoon Girim was about to break out into cold sweat, Jung Minji said,
“You doing well?”
“Huh? Yeah… because of you…”
“You say you’re doing well?… You’re doing well, huh…”
Jung Minji briefly thought over those words. And then, she coldly said,
“I heard you ran away last battle but you’re doing well?”
Yoon Girim’s gaze once again fell to the floor. However, Jung Minji didn’t have the slightest thought of letting her go.
“Yoon Girim, look up. Are you going to look away when you face monsters?”
Yoon Girim couldn’t lift her head at Jung Minji’s words. Her chin was trembling. Tears were welling up in her big eyes. Jung Minji only silently looked at her.
Yoon Girim and Jung Minji were in the same class three times. Although they weren’t best friends, Jung Minji had quite detailed memories of her. During peaceful times, she was such a lovely girl with no shadows.
One summer day, during middle school, Yoon Girim told Jung Minji,
“Minji, you must be happy that you’re so pretty.”
With an expression void of any jealousy. No, instead, as if she thought, ‘for such a pretty girl to be my friend!’ she showed a boastful expression as she looked at her with a bright smile.
That damn friendly smile.
Jung Minji was endlessly jealous of her beautiful smile.
Even though she possessed such a smile, currently she was in a trembling state where she couldn’t even meet her eyes… Because she was so absurdly weak, Jung Minji felt angry.
Jung Minji clasped Yoon Girim’s cheeks with her palms. Yoon Girim trembled like a chick. A beautiful yet pitifully weak life that received endless amounts of love. Jung Minji pushed her face together so Yoon Girim’s eyes had gathered.
“Yoon Girim. If you don’t kill, you’ll die. Are you scared? If there’s something you’re scared of, kill it. Don’t just tremble like a bitch. Do you think they are going leave you alone just because you smile friendly or because you tremble?”
Unlike her usual cold self, she poured her emotions.
“Girim. Nice Girim. You have to live. Right? You have to make those damn things unable to kill you. Right? How long are you going to lean on others? Do you think men are going to help you until the end? Hmm?”
Every time Jung Minji said, “Right?” her voice would get louder. Yoon Girim only trembled.
What was she apologizing for? However, Yoon Girim apologized with a mosquito-like voice.
Jung Minji bit her lips once before moving back.
“You shouldn’t apologize to me… Haa… Whatever.”
Then Song Simin closely stuck to Yoon Girim’s side.
“Haha, don’t worry too much. I will protect Girim.”
However, the moment Song Simin approached, Jung Minji reflexively took a step back. Chu Youngjin who was behind her like a shadow stepped forward with a sword in his hand.
An awkward moment passed by.
However, Jung Minji acted as if nothing happened as her face returned to its cold appearance. Song Simin smiled even brighter to get rid of the awkwardness.
Jung Minji looked at Song Simin before nodding with an expressionless face.
“It’s a relief that the Slave King will protect her. I am always thankful.”
“No need. Instead, it is me who is able to live safely because of you.”
“I’m glad then.”
Jung Minji nodded her head and passed by the two. Even the moment she was passing them, she kept an appropriate distance.
As she was Jung Minji who had taken the throne through spilling blood, besides Chu Youngjin and a few elites, she didn’t give anyone her full trust. Especially if they were other groups and even Song Simin who was her long-time ally wasn’t an exception.
“I say, she’s one sassy queen.”
Song Simin shrugged his shoulders before comforting the crying Yoon Girim.
“Whew… Girim. It was scary, right? The Knight King was saying that because she was worried about you. Still, it was scary. Even I was about to piss myself. Still, it’s okay.”
Song Simin hugged Yoon Girim as he patted her back whilst Yoon Girim tried to hold back her tears.
“Ah, yes. Hello.”
Baek Seoin passed by them after giving them an awkward greeting. Song Simin smiled with an embarrassed expression as he pulled Yoon Girim closer to cover her tears.
Baek Seoin started to move seriously on the 24th day. There were only 6 days before the game would end. He chose a time when it wasn’t too relaxed yet not too constrained. It would be difficult if someone changed their decision but there was enough time to adjust. It was a time Baek Seoin carefully chose.
Though he boasted in front of Choi Hyuk, in reality, he had a lot of worries.
Of course, he decided to leave it to his analysis. He believed that he could definitely persuade Jung Minji. However, weren’t people unpredictable? Even his Intuition was useless. As his Intuition only activated when his life was in danger.
So Baek Seoin’s heart was beating furiously on his way to meet Jung Minji.
It was good that he coincidentally watched Jung Minji and Yoon Girim’s conversation. Baek Seoin became more confident in his plans.
“Why should I?”
So when Jung Minji said these words, he was able to keep his calm.
“Because we are able to save more people.”
Baek Seoin smiled calmly whilst Jung Minji frowned.
“Do I have to save people?”
A faint ridicule was blended in her voice. However, Baek Seoin replied with confidence.
“The number of people who haven’t joined Hyunhae Department Store must not be small, correct?”
“Have you ever… thought about this? As to where all the preschoolers and elementary schoolers are?”
Jung Minji closed her mouth. A chilly expression appeared. He couldn’t tell what she was thinking right now.
But Baek Seoin recalled the fussy reaction she showed Yoon Girim. Wasn’t she unable to simply watch these weak people she despised? Even when she acted coldly in real life, he heard that she was always giving Yoon Girim preferential treatment.
And another thing. He remembered that she ordered to ‘exclude those who were less than 14 years old’ during the slaughter she led. He had dug up a lot of rumors related to that incident.
So Baek Seoin believed his words would get through to her.
“The proportion of adults in this assembly area is unusually high. There are barely any children. However, there were originally over 50,000 children in Kangdong District. When the game started, these children were at their preschool or elementary schools, and the majority say that they never returned home. Though there were a few who returned home or were left alone but… most of them never returned. Now, where do you think these children went? Did they all die?”
“… What is it you’re trying to say?”
“Lee Jinhee discovered this when she went out for reconnaissance. There was a group that protected many elementary schoolers and preschoolers. Their leader said different rules were given to the children. Meaning, there was a way for these children to live. Though the detailed rules were different, anyways, the majority of the children hid in the sewers before the monsters started their attack. That leader was trying his best to find and protect these children, as they had all scattered, there wasn’t a suitable method to find them all. These children will probably hide in the sewers until the end of the game. Now, let me ask you this. Would these children, these children who are living in the sewers eating rats, be able to obtain the escape code on the last day?”
Jung Minji was silent. With this, he smoothly connected the ‘ki’ and the ‘seung’. Then, with a sense of surprise, he would introduce the ‘jeon’.
“But, didn’t we find a new rule? [On the final day, anyone can transmit a rescue signal.]”
Jung Minji immediately refuted.
“… At the same time, [On the final day, the monsters will start a large-scale invasion.]”
Baek Seoin shrugged his shoulders.
“Then, I guess it’ll be hard for these children to live. They might pitifully send a rescue signal but who would even care?”
That moment, Jung Minji inwardly thought.
If Baek Seoin didn’t say that then Jung Minji would have been able to keep her calm. However, when he involved ‘children’ in this, her imagination had already pictured children getting slaughtered by monsters.
Her heart tugged as if a rough blade was pushing its way between her ribs. However, when she thought of how to rescue these children, she didn’t know where to start. How many more did she need to kill? What did she have to do and what did she have to sacrifice to persuade the other kings? Jung Minji bit her lips. She replied mixed with bitterness.
“… The children were distributed karma as well. There is no reason for them to be weak. They are no different from adults.”
Baek Seoin stared into Jung Minji’s eyes. He could see her pupils trembling. Checkmate. He completed ‘kiseungjeon’. And Baek Seoin was setting up ‘kyul’.
“Really? Do you think that simply because children received karma that they would be able to fight like us? Hmmm… Maybe they will. Perhaps they will lift their shields and swords that are bigger than them and organize an army to fight the monsters. Since kids these days are scary.”
Baek Seoin’s lips revealed traces of ridicule.
Jung Minji was silent for a while.
Her mind was picturing the final day. Rescue signals shooting up from everywhere. Groups who ignored them and retreated with the escape code in their hands. Rescue signals shooting up behind them… those damn rescue signals… and the children… a scene where the children were being slaughtered by the monsters.
Jung Minji closed her eyes. Baek Seoin was suggesting that they should fight longer instead of escaping.
If they were to rescue on top of escape, they had to keep the Wyvern of Destruction busy longer. And didn’t that responsibility fall onto Choi Hyuk and the suicide squad?
‘Why are they putting themselves in danger? Don’t tell me they really want to save the children? No way.’
No matter how she thought about it, Choi Hyuk wasn’t such a kind-hearted person.
Jung Minji’s mind became filled with confusion. However, the thing that was greater than the confusion…
The pain in her chest.
Baek Seoin could hear Jung Minji grind her teeth. And at that moment she opened her mouth.
“…So what is your plan?”
A smile appeared on Baek Seoin’s lips. It was his victory.
 기승전결 ki-seung-jeon-kyul –Ki is the start of your story. Seung is the progression your story by increasing the listener’s immersion. Jeon is the change and reversal. Kyul is the end.