Episode 3: Age of Ghosts / Chapter 42: Consumables (5)
Each alien had their own way of trembling.
The skin of an alien with transparent skin, allowing you to see his insides, would turn red. His actions would also become larger and awkward.
On the other hand, a short, chubby alien without a single hair on his body would stop where he stood and stiffen like a rock. He looked exactly like a rock in Baek Seoin’s eyes.
That was until the rock crumbled and white juice spilled out. He really did look like a rock though.
The thing that smashed the alien, who had transformed into a rock, was telekinesis. A silver-eyed alien didn’t even use a finger as he lifted the alien and kneaded him like dough before gently spreading him on the ground like jam.
Baek Seoin, who saw this from a distance, gulped his saliva.
“Now, this way.”
His back was dripping with cold sweat as he led the way while running at full speed. Danger lurked everywhere.
‘Why is it like this? If we’re soldiers, aren’t they not supposed to let us die like this?’
Rage boiled in his chest, however, at the same time, he knew.
‘Because they can. Because the ones who die so easily aren’t needed in war.’
The battle humans were caught up in was on an unimaginable scale. It was so large that humans wouldn’t be able to understand with their small brains for their whole life.
‘If this war is like a bindaetteok, the tens of thousands of aliens here are only a small piece of onion on top, no, a single cell of that onion, no, an atom that makes up that cell. A war… where the deaths of hundreds of millions of aliens are insignificant… that sort of scale…’
Baek Seoin imagined himself dying, buried inside a bindaetteok. He tried to shout for help but the bindaetteok blocked his throat. He died of suffocation.
It wasn’t even funny. It was a miserable thought. However, it could be how those above, the ones who actually commanded this war, saw him. No, he wouldn’t even be seen. He was an existence who didn’t even have enough value for them to look back and see him.
A thoroughly ignored existence.
And the only way for such an existence to prove himself was to survive again and again.
Baek Seoin pointed at a cocoon. None of the ranked warriors, who were slaughtering the others, were there. Baek Seoin utilized his Intuition to the best of his abilities to find the safest path. That was how they had obtained 2 return codes already. Now, he only needed to find his.
Lee Jinhee ran forward. She swiftly leaped up and sliced the cocoon along with a thud.
Screamed the monster inside. When the monster spread its legs, Chu Youngjin cut them off.
Baek Seoin would jump afterwards. He pierced his longsword into its head.
[Cleared target. Transforming the corpse into return energy. Remaining Time: 5 minutes]
That was how he activated his return code. He could escape if he endured for 5 minutes. He let out a sigh. As he didn’t feel as though he was in immediate danger, he took this chance to examine the battlefield.
Humans and aliens were flying about everywhere. Some flew off as they were hit and others leaped up in an attempt to flee. In the basin, which was now void of monsters, they became each other’s monsters.
However, even so, there was a fight that caught his eye – Choi Hyuk and Keushisuit’s.
Usually, Choi Hyuk would dodge while the alien with antlers would charge at him. It was to the point that Choi Hyuk hadn’t even used any attacks yet. However, the moment Keushisuit, who was enraged even further, stepped in one more time, Choi Hyuk dyed the Predator’s Blade blue and stabbed at Keushisuit’s weak point. The alien was frightened out of his wits and fell back. His arm, which was unable to avoid the blade in time, had a long cut sliced by the blade with yellow blood flowing from it.
When he had suffered a wound, Keushisuit became concerned about his body. However, as his center of gravity was tilted forwards, his main advantage was his swift charge. When he started to get concerned over his body, he had lost his advantage and, on the other hand, Choi Hyuk’s attacks became even fiercer. Keushisuit became more and more confused as he blocked Choi Hyuk’s skilled swordsmanship with his sloppy defense.
Eventually, he was unable to come up with a solution and started to charge again. Choi Hyuk immediately switched strategies and started to avoid him again. Then he would counterattack at a crucial moment and slice off another portion of his antlers.
It was checkmate. Keushisuit was getting beat up.
“He’s our leader but… haa. Is he even human?”
Baek Seoin, who was watching the fight, shook his head and mumbled. On the other hand, Lee Jinhee’s odd competitive spirit started to burn.
“Kyahh. Our hyung. He’s good at fighting. Watch out, I’m going to surpass him one day.”
Chu Youngjin heard her words and revealed a strange expression.
“Hey wait. Jinhee. You’re human.”
“Ha? Then is our leader a monster? If he can do it, so can I.”
Baek Seoin, who was squabbling with Lee Jinhee, suddenly became serious.
“Wha… what? Are my words that shocking?”
Lee Jinhee became a little disappointed. However, he wasn’t looking at her. He had already turned his back away from her.
Baek Seoin started to run before a shout that was like a scream escaped his lips. Both Chu Youngjin and Lee Jinhee became nervous and followed behind him.
“Damn! Damn it!”
He swore as he ran. No matter which direction he ran towards, he couldn’t get rid of the imminent feeling of danger. He felt this way even though he couldn’t see any ranked warrior nearby, which was why it felt all the more frightening.
‘We’ve been targeted…’
He was sure of it. Someone among the crazy slaughterers, who were prideful that they were the lowest ranked monsters, had targeted them. Though Choi Hyuk was able to beat them up, to others, these lowest ranked monsters were nothing short of a natural disaster.
The fleeing Baek Seoin saw other aliens fleeing and falling into despair. He also saw other humans mixed in the crowd. Though they all looked different and were from different galaxies, in this moment, they experienced the same fate. Horror and despair. A desperate escape.
‘Around 4 minutes. The rest… are done.’
There was a [4 minutes 17 seconds] above Baek Seoin’s head while Lee Jinhee and Chu Youngjin both had [Complete]. Because he was the last one to activate his return code, only Baek Seoin had 4 minutes left.
“Chu Youngjin! Lee Jinhee! Return right now!”
“I’m not joking! Return for now!”
“I know. I guess an enemy is coming?”
Baek Seoin stiffened at her calm reply. She punched his shoulder.
“You want us to leave you and flee? Just how do you think of us?”
“… You’ll die!”
“What is our final goal? Isn’t it even higher than the sky above us? But you’re scared of a damn lowest warrior? If you have a big goal, you need to take bigger risks.”
She briefly glanced at Choi Hyuk, who was fighting in the distance.
“And just watch me; I’m going to surpass our leader one day.”
Chu Youngjin unsheathed his sword.
“Jinhee nuna’s words are right. If your ‘revenge’ wasn’t a joke, then you need to at least overcome this.”
Baek Seoin was about to go crazy.
‘You damn people! You wouldn’t be saying that if you had my Intuition! You want to fight with that? Fi… huh?’
It was strange. He placed his hand on his chest. His heart that was screaming like a siren had become silent as if submerged in water. Instead of cold sweat, his hair stood up and his body became heated.
It was his first time experiencing something like this. The moment he thought about ‘fighting’, the anxiety he felt from his Intuition had died down. Of course, the feeling of danger was still strong, however, it wasn’t as strong as before. His anxiety dropped from a ‘We will definitely die’ level to a ‘We might die’.
‘Does this mean that if we were to run, we would have definitely died but if we fight, our chances of survival are quite high?’
However, his Intuition was only related to his safety. He didn’t know what to do as his enemy wouldn’t simply wait.
Lee Jinhee spoke. Baek Seoin replied with a desperate heart.
“… If it gets dangerous, immediately return.”
She replied nonchalantly.
A disgusting looking alien dropped down from above. His reason for targeting Baek Seoin’s group was simple.
[You’re in the same group as him?]
He was referring to Choi Hyuk, who was pushing back the antlered alien.
“He’s our leader.”
She replied.[I’m the Lowest Ranked Warrior Keken. Don’t disappoint me.]
“Okay. I’ll turn you into a blood splatter.”
Baek Seoin felt like sewing up both Keken’s repulsive mouth and Lee Jinhee’s glib mouth.
Keken looked like a human who had his skin removed. As if his muscle fibers were connected in long strands, muscle tissue seemed to tangle together to make up his body. His muscle tissues were crawling like a den of snakes, while his processes  were writhing and the surface of his body wiggled endlessly.
The tentacles and processes that made up Keken’s body stood up. Then, shining silver threads scattered. Keken manipulated silver threads with the tentacles and processes around his body.
[I am also known as the Puppet Sorcerer.]
His body opened up disgustingly and each process was manipulating the threads.
The silver threads piled up to cover the sky. Almost like a metal rainbow or large snowflakes. Keken possessed a horrifying appearance but his weapon was beautiful.
Baek Seoin activated his skill, swung his shield and got rid of the silver threads.
The light threads seemed to possess quite a bit of power as they sparked each time they hit Baek Seoin’s shield.
Chu Youngjin had already activated Berserker and used his slash skill with bloodshot eyes. The moment he swung his sword, a shadow of karma seemed to appear in a blur.
As if it was hair that had just been cut, the silver threads fluttered in the air.
Baek Seoin was busy clearing away the fatal silver threads. Unless he crazily swung his shield to create a wall, he wouldn’t be able to completely block them all.
‘Oh, my god. It’s like fighting against a downpour.’
[Kikiki! That’s not all~!]
From the beginning, Keken didn’t think Baek Seoin’s group was as strong as Choi Hyuk.
He only wanted to use them to mock the idiot, Keushisuit, who was struggling with Choi Hyuk.
Keken became a bit happier.
‘There’s no need to kill them all at once. I’ll torment them. Little by little. So they can squirm like the bugs they are.’
Lee Jinhee noticed Keken’s demeanor.
‘Now’s my chance!’
“Chu Youngjin! Give me a lift!”
Lee Jinhee rushed through the area Baek Seoin had cleared towards Chu Youngjin.
“What are you going to do?”
Baek Seoin became horrified.
Lee Jinhee, who was rushing forward at an incredible speed, lifted her foot up. Chu Youngjin instinctively caught her foot with his hands.
She stood on his hands, ready to jump at any time. If he didn’t throw her right then they would lose balance and fall into more danger. They were at the point of no return. Chu Youngjin looked in the direction she was pointing at.
Baek Seoin despaired.
Chu Youngjin, whose enhanced stats were 168 (★★) Power and 196 (★★) Speed, threw Lee Jinhee with all his might.
She activated her skill. It was an outstanding skill that doubled her Speed in that moment, which translated directly into Power. It was a skill that specialized in bringing out incredible effects from 2-star karma.
Her Speed was at 122 (★★) and that number was directly applied to her Power.
She looked at her target, seeing an opening in between the silver threads that covered the sky. That opening clearly reflected in her eyes.
If she made even a small mistake, she would become a blood splatter. She was afraid. However, she wasn’t scared of being afraid.
She was like that even before she awakened karma. Not only as a normal human but as someone who possessed a woman’s body, she was able to scale buildings and even did stunts like jumping off the roof of a building into a small gap in the building in front of her.
She didn’t want to lose to any man, building or even nature. Fear was good as it kept a suitable amount of tension. That tension was good. So, she jumped into the fear.
She flew in the air.
Flutter. The layers of thread missed her by a hair’s breadth. Everything seemed to be in slow motion.
Baek Seoin had his mouth agape.
It was to the point that the silver lines that were there to scratch her looked as if they were protecting her. Nothing blocked her path. Nothing could escape her eyes.
Keken was taken back. Due to the trait of these silver lines, the closer an opponent came, the harder it was to fight them. On top of that, her Speed, which was increased by Chu Youngjin’s throw and her [Speeding Blade] skill, was much faster than Keken imagined.
She utilized her athletic ability to stab her gladius into his right eye.
There was no need for a translation. ‘Ah, you’re in pain.’
Though she didn’t have the ability to freely manipulate her karma like Choi Hyuk, she had experimented by herself as well. She gathered all her karma into her blade. The short, 30cm blade instantly shined. Its cutting ability was enhanced.
She used the momentum to slide the gladius away and pop his other eye as well.
Processes crazily came up all over his body. Nothing good would happen from getting hit.
As if a bomb had exploded, her body bounced away with a bang. Baek Seoin hastily ran towards her with his shield and grabbed hold of her sliding body.
[Kuaahh! You fucking bugs!!]
Keken went insane. Unfortunately, he couldn’t see so his attacks were pathetic. He couldn’t aim properly. It would take some time for him to recover his vision.
It was their chance.
“Good job, Jinhee! Now let’s run!”
Baek Seoin shouted as he helped her up. He was thinking about running away.
She grumpily replied.
“What are you talking about, Baek hyung. Let’s kill him.”
She believed it was their chance to win.
Choi Hyuk, who had embedded the Predator’s Blade into Keushisuit’s neck, spectated Lee Jinhee stabbing Keken’s eye.
“She fights well.”
He said in a prideful voice.
 Korean pancake-like food.
 Nuna – what a younger male would call an older female
 Process – projection or outgrowth of tissue, in this case, muscle tissue.