Episode 2: Exodus / Chapter 32: The King without Subjects
“What? Just what happened?”
“Just shut up and follow. We’re all fucked.”
“Jung Minji died? Why?”
“I mean it doesn’t make sense.”
“Haa… Song Simin betrayed her.”
“Song Simin? But, what about her guards? He went passed them?”
“Yoon Girim backstabbed her.”
“Ah geez…! Don’t talk so loud. Can’t you read the mood?”
“… But how does that make sense? Why would Yoon Girim? No, is that even possible? Jung Minji’s Endurance was pierced?”
“Yoon Girim’s always around Song Simin these days. She probably reached 1-star and Jung Minji’s Endurance probably didn’t hit 2-star yet… With stat buffs from items, do you think she won’t be able to pierce that? You can’t even endure D rank (2-star) weapons with 1-star Endurance.”
“But still… What about her Recovery stat?”
“She specifically cut her throat. Blood was gushing out. The speed of her brain shutting down was probably faster than her recovery.”
“It’s not like it’s a game… If your vitals are pierced, no matter how strong you are, you’re dead. Because Jung Minji knew that, she always brought guards with her… Chu Youngjin going to the suicide squad probably had a lot to do with it. If it was Chu Youngjin, he wouldn’t have taken his eyes away even if it was Yoon Girim.”
“Fuck… Her death was so sudden.”
“Shut up and get your mind straight. We don’t have the escape code anymore. That was granted to those with the symbols of the kings.”
“That’s why, let’s quickly follow them!”
“You… Don’t tell me you’re going to stick to Song Simin?”
“It’s fucked upbut what can I do? Other troops are full and I don’t know any of them. Song Simin is probably the best choice.”
“Hey! Geez! If you’re going to be like that, why don’t you just go to Kang Dongsoo!”
With Jung Minji’s death, 5,000 people had lost the escape code. Jung Minji’s former followers had no choice but to defect to other troops and around 3,000 followed Song Simin. People he had secretly planted beforehand had persuaded others. From the start, the majority didn’t know what exactly happened and those who did justified themselves.
“I gave you a chance. Didn’t I tell you? That she wouldn’t listen to the whole ‘half of the district’ shit.”
Song Simin said while looking at the Student King Min Kyungchul.
Min Kyungchul bitterly nodded his head.
Jung Minji’s troops dispersed and many groups followed Song Simin’s lead and broke away from the war.
This scene made other forces fall into a state of confusion.
“What the? What’s happening in the front? Did something happen to the Crazy Knight King?”
“Was it an ambush? Monsters? There’s a hole in the spearhead!”
To the forces who were behind them, it looked like the spearhead was ambushed and had become chaotic.
Just then, hordes of monsters appeared. Few tens of thousands. This many wasn’t a big deal but with the chaotic spearhead, the hordes of monsters seemed larger and more overwhelming. They believed that what they saw wasn’t everything.
The solders fell into a state of fear. Their karma was almost spent, the ranks were disordered and their spirits had hit rock bottom.
A frightened army was no army. Just like the times when a few hundred soldiers armed with cannons and guns defeats an army of tens of thousands with melee weapons.
Even if they considered that the fact they became stronger over the past 30 days, they were still ordinary civilians who had never killed not too long ago. They weren’t able to calm themselves after becoming panicked. They just couldn’t muster up the courage to fight.
Commanders were also unable to understand the situation.
“Damn… just what the hell happened? Just what happened for them to be routed? Shit… if we take a wrong step, we’ll all die. Let’s retreat!”
The Alliance of Comrades in Arms were the quickest to come to a decision. Once they decided to retreat, other forces started to follow suit. A long line of groups started their retreat.
“No! If we retreat, what happens to the suicide squad?!”
Bae Jinman proposed they help the suicide squad, however, the forces under his command refused.
“Right now, we need worry about ourselves. Other troops are leaving. We can’t be the only ones who go back!”
The group of humans couldn’t come back after falling into a state of confusion. Like flames, chaos bred more chaos. There wasn’t even a chance to do anything. It all happened in an instant.
‘How did it become like this so suddenly?’
Even among Bae Jinman’s troops, there were some who fled from the ranks. They had already obtained the escape code. They didn’t fear becoming outcasts. If people fled, others would flee as well. Kangdong District was already bustling with monsters. Mass panic spread rapidly.
However, Bae Jinman didn’t give up. It was his personality.
“We still need to go back! I’ll even go back by myself!”
The person who directed Bae Jinman’s guards crammed Bae Jinman under his armpit. Bae Jinman, who had lost all his strength after Karma Grant, couldn’t resist.
Eventually, even Bae Jinman’s troops retreated. If they properly understood what was going on, they would have gone to the suicide squad… but the situation had progressed so ridiculously.
The support battalion who pushed back the surrounding monsters, the support troops who shot the Extraordinary Dragon Cannons and the suicide squad all fell into state of confusion. As the main army retreated, more and more monsters gathered nearby. Of course, they didn’t know why.
“Block them! If the monsters reach the support troops, we’re done!”
The distinction between troops began to fade.
It was a free-for-all. The support troops started to shoot cannonballs at the oncoming monsters and not the wyvern. Even some suicide squad members turned around to block the monsters.
“Fuck! We have to retreat! Call the King without Subjects!”
“He won’t listen! That bastard’s done for!”
There were even some troops who left Choi Hyuk who was fighting the Wyvern of Destruction behind and retreated.
“Hey! What the fuck! You can’t leave in the middle of a fight! What about the King without Subjects?!”
“I called him but what can I do if he doesn’t listen?”
“Let him be! He said he’ll hold the wyvern back!”
Among the suicide squad, a portion stood next to Choi Hyuk until the end and another portion, due to them holding the wyvern back, hurriedly retreated.
It was utter chaos, however, that didn’t affect Choi Hyuk as he became more immersed into the fight.
‘If I want to create an opportunity to attack, I need to move one step faster.’
Just as he thought this, Choi Hyuk discovered a new method. He tossed away his method of using karma like muscles. He shot a string of karma at a target and contracted it like a rubber band.
[After endless consideration, you have realized a new way to use karma. Retribution Points increased by 10.]
Choi Hyuk didn’t even read the message.
Following the contracting karma, his body shot forward and his vision instantly shifted. His body was so fast that it left afterimages.
The wyvern’s foot stomped down too late. Choi Hyuk sliced into the wyvern’s ankle.
‘I need to be faster.’
This time, Choi Hyuk elongated all the karma in his body and coiled it up. The coiled karma circulated his body.
[After endless consideration, you have realized a new way to use karma. Retribution Points increased by 30.]
The coiled karma gathered below his feet and, like a spring, bounced Choi Hyuk high up into the air.
He released karma around the Predator’s Blade and formed a blade of karma.
His 3-star Control stat let him freely manipulate karma. Choi Hyuk’s movements slowly broke past his physical limits.
He wasn’t an existence who moved with his arms and legs anymore and had became one who moved with karma. Karma wasn’t supporting his body anymore, instead, his body was supporting his karma. The karma in his body continuously changed its form.
At some point, Choi Hyuk had forgotten the world. His eyes didn’t see the escaping suicide squad members nor the ones who staked their lives to fight the monsters. His ears didn’t hear the shouts of Baek Seoin. Choi Hyuk had completely erased everything besides himself and the Wyvern of Destruction.
Choi Hyuk’s movements kept getting quicker. Just when you thought he jumped up into the air, he was already on the ground and when you thought he slashed the wyvern’s left ankle, he was already hanging onto its right thigh.
The wyvern’s black blood continuously dropped onto the ground. It was a black rain.
However, the wyvern’s stamina and recovery abilities were incredible so the rate it was wounded and the rate it healed were similar.
The Wyvern of Destruction blew flames and Choi Hyuk actually headed into the flames. The fog-like karma that was released from the Predator’s Blade protected him from the flames.
Choi Hyuk pierced through the flames and had jumped up to the wyvern’s head which was lowered to blow flames. He stabbed its eye with a transparent blade made of karma.
A frightening cry. Blue flames surged out of its wounded eye. Choi Hyuk who had been shaken of by the wyvern’s shaking head landed on the ground and immediate drank a Karma Recovery Potion. The karma that had become heavy and sluggish became taut once more.
Just like how Choi Hyuk’s eyes only saw the Wyvern of Destruction, the wyvern only concentrated on Choi Hyuk. It vented its rage and resentment. The moment Choi Hyuk was hit, the fight would end but Choi Hyuk wouldn’t give it the chance.
Black rain continued to fall. The asphalt dissolved and the dirt beneath melted into glass.
How many hours or days they fought, Choi Hyuk had forgotten everything.
The more he fought, the more he admired the wyvern’s strength. The bastard didn’t fall. The wounds he inflicted had all healed. Its attacks were so swift and precise that his hair would stand on end even as he dodged it.
So Choi Hyuk realized his own strength. His strength that was able to go toe to toe with the wyvern.
A fierce joy wrapped his body. For a fight be this exciting.
Choi Hyuk fully demonstrated his abilities. He found new ways to fight as he fought. He developed and utilized better methods of manipulating karma in real time.
Fight! Let’s fight more!
Thump! Thump! His heart beat rapidly. The Predator’s Blade sliced into its flesh. The blood that flowed from the wound was absorbed by the Predator’s Blade. The already black sword became darker.
As it absorbed the blood, the burden on his body and the exhaustion of his karma were relieved. Adding to that, Choi Hyuk drank another Karma Recovery Potion. Ping! Then, he once again shot forward and carved the wyvern’s thigh.
A heightened excitement that made him feel as though he could fight for days! The cells in his body seemed to awaken.
After a time, the wyvern’s recovery started to slow. More and more wounds accumulated on the wyvern. Its blood flowed out like waterfalls. The clothes Choi Hyuk wore had become destroyed and a portion of his hair and brows had been burnt to crisp.
The wyvern became sluggish but that was the same for Choi Hyuk. The Predator’s Blade’s bloodsucking ability and potions were maintaining his karma and body but their effect was slowly decreasing due to possible overuse.
‘I have to cut its bones.’
Choi Hyuk felt it was time to win. Now, when the karma that filled the wyvern’s body had weakened.
Could he cut it? No, he had to. If they continued to draw out this fight, the one to collapse first would be Choi Hyuk.
Choi Hyuk calmed his breath.
As he resolved himself, he discovered a different method.
He compressed his karma into his lower abdomen, the so-called dantian. He coiled and twisted all his karma and placed it where the dantian was located. The centrifugal and centripetal forces created by his karma opposed each other in his dantian. His karma wriggled like a newborn star. A beating heart of karma!
[You have discovered the fundamentals of the karma organ yourself! Retribution Points increased by 50!]
Choi Hyuk was unaware how ridiculous his current actions were. His mind was only filled up with thoughts on how to take down the wyvern.
Choi Hyuk released a small portion of his condensed karma. The thinly stretched karma attached itself onto the wyvern’s right leg. Its left leg was in the air, ready to stomp on Choi Hyuk.
The moment he was about to recall the release karma, he leaned his body forward.
He disappeared, leaving an afterimage. It was like short-distance teleportation. Choi Hyuk’s body closed in on the wyvern’s right foot. He manipulated the karma in his dantian again.
The karma released from his dantian was like compressed gas as it shot past his arms and out his sword. It returned the instant it shot out.
Unlike the previous blade of karma that flowed slowly, this one was like a torrent, it accelerated as it shot out.
The ligament of the wyvern’s right leg was cut.
The wyvern let out a cry. As if an enormous mountain was falling, it fell to its knees. Stepping on its thigh and back, Choi Hyuk jumped up to its neck. As it had already consumed a huge amount of karma, the karma that had protected its skin and bones had become faint.
Choi Hyuk pushed the karma that was gathered in his dantian towards his wrist.
As he endured the pain erupting from his wrists, he swung his sword at the wyvern’s neck. The moment he swung, a tempest broke out from his hands. The blade of karma spread out like the rays of a morning sun.
The wyvern’s head was as large as a 3-story building.
Its head fell to the ground. Its flesh was ripped and bones were shattered.
[An unbelievable achievement! Granted 200 Retribution Points. Granted 100 free karma points. Obtained Qualifications to be a Sovereign 3/3. Granted Sovereign Trait.]
——————–[Congratulations to the King without Subjects for his Sovereign Awakening]
A sovereign is originally a position for those who command a massive army and leads a nation.
However, the path of a sovereign is also reserved for those who overturn situations as a one-man army.
This is the rule of the King without Subjects.
The most difficult trial the King without Subject faces to obtain his Qualifications to be a Sovereign.
We pay our respects to you who has tread that hardship.
-You are able to accept an unlimited number of followers.
-You have obtained the qualifications to be the representative of humans
[As a reward for the corpse of the Wyvern of Destruction, the [Flaming Wing Tribe’s Karma Heart Discipline’ has been passed down.]
A constant flow of messages. They weren’t the frightening messages of the past. In fact, the sovereign awakening message was even courteous.
Choi Hyuk couldn’t contain his laughter. He flopped onto the ground laughing. A black hill was collapsed in front of him. Choi Hyuk had personally taken down that mountain, that enormous dragon. He laughed again.
He was happy.
It was the first time he had such an enjoyable fight and it was also the first time he felt such a happy victory.
Choi Hyuk looked up at the sky. The rain-stained curtain that covered the sky. The gradually fading wyvern corpse. Everything was pleasant.
‘I won! I beat my opponent who I thought I would lose to! I was stronger!’
Choi Hyuk had never truly felt danger his whole life.
When he fought 5 middle schoolers as an elementary schooler and when he received a blow from Kang Minho before he was distributed karma, even when he first fought a crook, he never thought he would lose.
However, this time was different. He fought desperately and won.
Choi Hyuk himself didn’t know that he was this strong.
Ecstasy surged out from deep within him as he let out a roar. He wanted to boast and only then did he look at his surroundings. He wanted to share this joy. He was proud of and felt close to the suicide squad just because they had fought with him. He felt like he could even bombard them with kisses on their foreheads.
‘A trait of the sovereign is that I can accept an unlimited number of followers, right?’
If it was possible, he wanted to accept them all as followers. He just wanted to. Since he was just so happy.
He couldn’t see anyone no matter where he looked.
Everyone had died. Corpses of monsters and members of the suicide squad were scattered everywhere. Besides the panicked members of the suicide squad, support battalion and support troops who retreated, the remaining loyal members had all died in battle.
However, it was hard for Choi Hyuk who had forgotten his surroundings and was immersed in the fight to figure out what happened. He only thought everyone had died.
“… Everyone’s dead? Lee Jinhee!! Baek Seoin!!!”
Choi Hyuk called out for his followers. As expected, there was no reply.
All of a sudden, Choi Hyuk felt lonely. This was very unfamiliar feeling.
Though he was victorious and had awakened as a true sovereign…
He was still the ‘King without Subjects’.
“… Everyone’s so weak…”
His bitter words echoed out through the corpse-filled ruins.
Just then, a woman fell from the disappearing wyvern corpse.
“Cough! Cough! Cough! Wh… what the?”
The woman who seemed to have passed out and had stood up while coughing was Lee Jinhee. She had continuously chopped the wyvern’s flesh inside its thigh.
Choi Hyuk vacantly looked at her. Then,
“Whoa! Looks like you won?”
Baek Seoin ran towards them from afar. As Choi Hyuk stared at him,
“I got a bad feeling and hid in the middle of the fight. Just in case you misunderstand, it wasn’t just me! Did you know because of your fierce battle, even the nearby monsters fled?”
The master of survival, Baek Seoin, laughed awkwardly.
Choi Hyuk’s lips reeled up to reveal a smile.
Finally, there was one more survivor.
Though Choi Hyuk didn’t remember, there was a warrior who hung onto the wyvern’s leg until the end, Chu Youngjin. Although his organs were injured after getting kicked by the wyvern, he was able to survived with the power of [Berserker]’s ‘regenerative’ ability. Choi Youngjin slowly lifted his body.
Choi Hyuk laughed. He didn’t know what happened. He didn’t know why the suicide squad was annihilated but, in any case, he wasn’t alone. This fact alone made him happy.
Choi Hyuk said with an embarrassed expression.
It was a voice filled with pride, like the ones of his fellow high schoolers.
The King without Subjects who everyone thought would die had survived. Stronger than before.
I am sorry I am late. It was hard to cut it into parts so it became longer. It’s 8,500 characters. T^T
There were a lot of comments yesterday. I would like to think that it is because of the affection you have for my work. Looking at the comments about the setting, I came to the conclusion that my explanations were lacking. I elaborated a bit in this chapter but I am unsure if how well it came out.
There is one thing I would like to request.
I would like my readers to refrain from using crude words. It is because there is no phrase more frightening to a writer than “Don’t read if you don’t like it.”
Since I am quite mentally strong, I don’t get very depressed from criticism. This is because I know that I won’t be able write beyond my writing skills even if I torment myself. Only if I can improve, I will try to do so even if it is one step at a time. Thank you for all your suggestions and advice.
I slightly change the motif of each episode.
New World’s was ‘Battle Royale’ and Exodus’s were ‘The Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ and ‘Game of Thrones’.
The next episode is planned to be of the martial arts genre. Please look forward to some cool action scenes.
However, this work will eventually be a story of a sovereign. Please look forward to that as well.
Once again, I am sorry for releasing this chapter late.