SoJ Episode 4 Chapter 52

Episode: The Great Colonizing Age / Chapter 52: Investigation (3)

TL: emptycube

Editor: Obelisk


 

“It’s here?”

Choi Hyun ran here after hearing Baek Seoin’s call, and the Berserkers gathered here all had puzzled expressions.

The place Baek Seoin said was the entrance looked no different from any other place. It was flat with lots of grass. They didn’t see anything that resembled a tunnel entrance and even when they heightened their perception ability, they didn’t feel anything that felt like a tunnel.

“This is the place. Try to feel the karma here rather than the surrounding terrain.”

Even when Baek Seoin explained, the others were still puzzled. Only Choi Hyuk felt something was weird.

“Now that I think about it, karma only ripples here?”

Natural karma changed unpredictably. There were times when the density of karma would increase and even ripple. However, it was rare to see only a specific part move completely differently from its surroundings.

Other Berserkers had a hard time comprehending what the natural state of karma was so they were slow in realizing it, but Choi Hyuk instinctively felt what was wrong.

“Yes, leader. It looks like the natives are much better at using karma than we expected. There’s no doubt they used karma to hide the entrance.”

“Like illusionary magic…”

“Maybe.”

Choi Hyuk nodded.

“Okay, I know what to do.”

Whether it was magic or not, as long as it was created with karma, the solution was simple.

 

Choi Hyuk gathered a karma storm in his right hand.

“Void Wave!”

Booooom!

Void Wave had the effect of blowing away karma near its vicinity. As the storm of karma rampaged on its surroundings, tree roots started to appear from the ground which was only filled with grass previously.

“Huh? There?”

People became surprised when they saw the tree roots. However, once the effect of Void Wave was over, the tree roots were concealed, turning into a grassy area once again.

“As expected, it’s not enough with just this.”

Choi Hyuk had controlled his strength to test it out.

Huuu.

This time he took a deep breath and became serious. He created another karma storm. Unlike last time, he created three storms and repulsed them in his hand. This was the critical skill that allowed the Void Wave to be recorded in the supply store. A resonance and explosion utilizing repulsion. It required precise control but, with it, it was possible to bring forth a large effect without using a lot of power. The storm of karma resonated above Choi Hyuk’s hand and exploded.

A silent explosion. The karma that blocked their vision was blasted away.

 

As if snow had melted to reveal the world’s true self, tree roots appeared above the grassy ground. The ground they had thought was a shallow furrow was, in fact, all tree roots. The scale was quite significant as well. To the point that they filled the whole area the Void Wave affected. This most likely extended beyond the Void Wave’s range.

Something was strange. They saw tree roots, yet they didn’t see any trees. They didn’t even see a single trunk or branch, only tree roots covered the ground.

 

“Wow… It’s like magic.”

Lee Jinhee admired as she walked on a tree root that was stuck in the ground. Half the area was dirt while the other half was made up of roots. She, who was plodding along, suddenly stopped. At her feet lay a door made of carved roots.

“This looks like the entrance? For us to not notice it even though it was right here.”

 

There didn’t seem to be other security measures on the door either. When Choi Hyuk nodded, Lee Jinhee opened the door. She was able to easily open the door that seemed to be four times larger than regular doors.

Creaak. Thud!

The door opened wide.

“Wahhh…”

The door led to the inside of a tree root. The roots on the surface were only a small portion. The giant hollow tree root formed a long underground tunnel.

Lee Jinhee jumped in and brushed her hand against the walls. It was smooth like wooden furniture. The tunnel wasn’t dark as light flowed from the wood grain.

 

“This is no joke. The groups found until now were from small-scale villages of 100 natives… Looking at the illusionary magic… and this amazing tree, we might actually meet a city of natives instead of a village.”

Baek Seoin said in a voice filled with wonder and suspense. He jumped into the wood tunnel and looked around before carefully suggesting to Choi Hyuk.

“The natives might feel threatened by us and try to attack. Wouldn’t it be best if we sent an envoy first?”

Those with good intentions do not come and those who come do not come with good intentions{1}. To humans, this may be an exciting adventure in a mysterious world, but there was no guarantee that the natives didn’t see them as invading plunderers who had deactivated their defense system. There are no good men among those who trespass.

However, Choi Hyuk shook his head.

“No. Everyone will enter except for 1,000 who will stay up here. And Baek hyung, how do you feel?”

“Well… Calm now. Actually, I’m a bit excited.”

Just in case, he checked Baek Seoin’s Intuition. There wasn’t any problem.

“Good, enter!”

They began their march inside the long tree root. The wood tunnel slowly kept going deeper.

 

At first, the tunnel was wide enough for 3 people to walk side by side, but as more and more tunnels joined together, it became wide enough for 6, then 12, then 24 and so on the deeper they went.

“This… feels like an upside down tree.”

Baek Seoin noted as he gazed at the faint light that wrapped around them.

A tree where the roots led to the surface, and the trunk and branches reached deep into the ground. A faint scent of wood wafted in the air, and they would occasionally see unidentifiable green ores. Every time they came across a green ore, Baek Seoin would crack off a portion and collected them.

“But why are you collecting those unknown rocks every time we see them?”

When Lee Jinhee asked, Baek Seoin clicked his tongue.

“You call yourself an executive and you still don’t know? I’m making a map. As there are no constellations here, we are only able to roughly approximate our location using the whirlpools in the sky and the distribution of ores.”

“Ah, a map… So, if we find rocks similar to those ores found near other portals, we might be nearby… like that?”

“Something like that. We can even use this directly as a resource as well.”

 

As they continued down the tunnel while investigating their surroundings, a large gate blocked their path.

It was a fortress built with dark wood and a yellowish-green mineral. The fortress walls seemed to be 30 meters tall. It was like a terrifyingly tall dam.

 

“Wow… Look at that.”

Lee Jinhee exclaimed.

“Do we finally get to trade with natives? But the size is no joke? Considering the illusionary magic as well, it seems like this civilization is more advanced than the other natives who have been discovered already. The scale is large too.”

Baek Seoin couldn’t contain his excitement. Sovereigns who had traded with the natives had all developed significantly. If they traded with them, how many benefits could they gain?

“Heh… But it looks like they even have an alarm device. It looks like they knew we were coming?”

Lee Jinhee whistled as she looked at the native’s solemnity.

 

“Halt!{2}

Just then, they heard a familiar language.

“English?”

Up on top of the fortress, they saw the silhouette of a relatively small earthling.

“… I think he might be an immigrant. It seems they sent him as an interpreter.”

Baek Seoin narrowed his eyes as he observed the top of the fortress. Either he was dimensionally teleported here in the first place or he was discovered as he wandered around Dragonic, either way, he was a lucky immigrant. As the city would be safer than the surface.

 

“Is he an interpreter? Not needed. I’ll speak directly.”

Choi Hyuk raised his voice. He had already undergone a language resonance procedure at the supply store. The general idea of his words would appear in the other’s head. Also, the words of the other party would be translated and appear in his head. It was because of this language resonance that he was able to converse with the other aliens he met on missions.

 

They seemed to be surprised by Choi Hyuk’s language resonance. A small commotion erupted before the immigrant was replaced by a native behind him.

{For what purpose did you bring an army here?}

The language of the natives seemed similar to whistling and bird calls… Even from afar, he could hear it clearly. Choi Hyuk silently observed them.

He saw two colors with his ‘Eyes of Distinction’. Black (ill will) and white (goodwill). It seemed that there was a bit of ill will because they came as an army. Then, what was the goodwill?

‘Are they happy to see intelligent beings instead of monsters? It also looks as though their treatment of immigrants is good.’

If his guess was right, then they were a good group to trade with. However, was it really like that?

‘I just need to confirm it.’

Choi Hyuk decided to not bother weighing every detail and to rather face them head on.

 

“To ally with you.”

{Do earthlings bring armies when they come to ally with someone?}

Choi Hyuk happily brought it up, but the reaction was blunt. It was an expected reaction. This was why Baek Seoin warned him from the beginning.

However, bringing an army wasn’t a completely bad idea either. During the days of imperialism, Westerners established diplomatic relations by revealing their firepower, as it was sometimes necessary to demonstrate your military strength when trading with others. This was why Baek Seoin didn’t really oppose it either.

‘But… for them to have such a strong fortress… Maybe I should have stopped him a bit.’

Baek Seoin licked his lips. It was because their opponents weren’t weak enough to show a military demonstration. Instead, it seemed to have been a negative factor.

 

Yet, Choi Hyuk was composed.

“That’s because I don’t want a simple alliance. I want a strong alliance where it’s okay to post each other’s troops in either of our cities.”

Even Baek Seoin was surprised at his words. He thought that they were going to simply do what the sovereigns from Germany and Thailand did. Was he trying to create a semi-colonial state like the sovereigns from Israel by bringing an army? He thought about it briefly. But what did he mean by an alliance where it was okay to post each other’s armies?

 

Like birds twittering and the rustling of leaves, whistling sounds erupted from everywhere. It seemed the natives were dumbfounded, wondering what he was talking about. When Choi Hyuk examined them with his ‘Eyes of Distinction’, he saw that both white and black lights had disappeared. They seemed to be unsure of how to take his words.

Just then, the representative of the natives said.

{Ridiculous… Why must we?}

“Because you’re tight on time. Don’t you have to rid the monsters off this land?”

{…}

At his reply, the surrounding commotion died down. ‘Get rid of monsters.’ Was there any task above this for these natives whose land had been snatched by monsters?

Choi Hyuk continued.

“This will be an opportunity for you. You might not know this, but currently, my species is conducting a large-scale migration to Dragonic. In the future, all earthlings will migrate here. There are only two futures for this planet. One, where the earthlings lose and it continues to be occupied by monsters. Or two, earthlings are victorious and it becomes occupied by us. Then, a question. How many of your ‘descendants of dragonics’ will remain? There are currently millions of earthlings. Even if we consider earthlings successfully getting rid of all the monsters, do you think you can compete and survive against us?”

Choi Hyuk’s speech had improved over the past two years he spent being a sovereign of tens of thousands of people.

{… What is it you want to say?}

“If we combine our strength, we don’t need to needlessly come in conflict with each other and can prosper together. Let’s start with the premise we will one day join together and first create a strong alliance. I will get rid of the monsters and let you live on the surface.”

{… How can I trust in a species I’ve seen for the first time… No, even if I exclude that, you’ll let us live on the surface? Do you even have the power to?}

 

Choi Hyuk was continuously looking at them with his Eyes of Distinction. It was interesting. The white (goodwill) and black (ill will) in the beginning had disappeared with the commotion, but now a dim white light remained. They held a bit of expectation after being taken aback by the unexpected proposal.

A picturesque smile formed on Choi Hyuk’s lips.

“Of course. Want to confirm it for yourself?”

{How?}

“Let’s have a light spar.”

{… What?}

 

Looking at Choi Hyuk smiling like a devil, Baek Seoin face palmed.

‘You want to get friendly with the aliens by fighting them?’

Now that 2 years had passed, Choi Hyuk was an adult by Korean standards. Through many experiences, he was now quite a good talker and his judgment had become better… but he was still a ‘Battle Addict’.

 

 


{1} 善者不來 來者不善

{2} This is actually written in English in the raws.

 

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