SoJ Episode 4 Chapter 53

Episode 4: The Great Colonizing Age / Chapter 53: Investigation (4)

TL: emptycube

Editor: Obelisk


 

“So what do you call yourselves? We call ourselves earthlings.”

{… A tribe of the El race{1}. Other inhabitants of Dragonic call us ‘els’.}

What was unexpected was that they were els. The moment Choi Hyuk said, ‘Let’s spar’, their initial confusion had disappeared. They tensed themselves and observed Choi Hyuk and the Berserkers. They were experienced fighters.

‘Good.’

Choi Hyuk felt cheerful.

“Everyone back off.”

The Berserkers stepped back, and Choi Hyuk’s stretching figure stood out to the els.

“I’m Choi Hyuk.”

Remember it. No, I will make you remember it. Though he didn’t speak those words, his immediate charge forward seemed to emphasize them.

 

Whoosh!

Choi Hyuk’s charge was strange. He wasn’t kicking the ground physically, but rather, it seemed as though the ground was pushing him forward and the fortress was pushing him upwards.

When they were still going, ‘What the?’ Choi Hyuk had already climbed to the top of the fortress.

 

Bang!

Choi Hyuk’s palm thumped into an El Tribe soldier’s chest. Several soldiers behind the el rolled on the ground in an instant.

Boooo.

Vibrations that sounded like daegeums{2} erupted. It seemed to be the els’ special groaning sound.

{…}

The el, who looked like the leader, didn’t give them any orders. Even still, as if it was engraved in their bodies, the El Tribe’s soldiers got into formation and started to fight back.

 

Cold air fogged up the swords of Choi Hyuk and the nearby soldiers. An aura that felt as if the blood and flesh of nearby enemies would freeze and pop. If there were only one or two, it would have been fine, but as ten soldiers surrounded him, it was quite menacing.

Choi Hyuk utilized his karma trait, Mind’s Eye, to its limits. He could clearly see the thrashing karma, and he could also see its weak point. He skillfully hit away the oncoming karma that attempted to freeze his flesh. Then he punched the weakest point of the karma, where the blade and handle of a sword connected.

Gong!

The magic was broken and the sword itself was shattered as a result.

 

{What!}

The El Tribe soldiers became baffled. Booo. He heard the sounds of daegeums once again.

Bang!

He struck the soldier whose sword had been shattered.

Thump.

His Karma Heart thumped loudly. Karma rode his body and accelerated. Previously, only the pathway on his right arm was open, but now, pathways were open on all four of his limbs. His karma had become even faster and stronger.

 

Goong!

The shattering swords were like snow, flying everywhere, and the soldiers looked like they had experienced an avalanche. The els, who attempted to face him in close combat, had scattered like withered leaves.

“This is boring.”

Choi Hyuk’s provocation.

Bang! Shhhhhriek!

At this moment, an unexpected attack flew towards him. Choi Hyuk felt something approaching with great speed and dodged it. He first heard the projectile smashing against the fortress and only then heard a sharp whistling sound.

Choi Hyuk looked at the watchtower the projectile flew from. He was surprised.

“Guns?”

He could only think of them that way.

On top of a tall watchtower sprouting from the fortress, El Tribe soldiers were shooting with human-length wooden guns.

{The opponent’s senses are extremely good! Treat him as a monster that is at least Draco ranked! Platoon 1 to 3! Open fire!}

 

Bang, bang, bang! Shhhhhhriek!

Sounds of gunfire rang out rhythmically.

To fool Choi Hyuk’s senses, they shot bullets immediately behind one another and changed the bullets’ trajectories. Sometimes, one bullet would even split into 3-4 pieces like magic baseball throws in comics.

“Wow…”

The guns didn’t use gunpowder. The bullets were shot with the power of karma. As these bullets were filled with hostile karma, if he tried to defend himself sloppily, his Karma Barrier, or anything in their way, would be ripped to shreds.

3-star monsters weren’t affected by human guns. However, if they had those guns, they would be effective against 3-star and early 4-star monsters. Unfortunately, their opponent was the wrong match.

Choi Hyuk’s Endurance was currently at 3-star, but his fighting style was to use his Control, which was on at the extreme limits of 4-star, and his senses to cover his other stats. This wasn’t a problem.

When he pushed his Mind’s Eye even further, Choi Hyuk’s eyes were dyed with a bluish tinge. The bullets flying from everywhere flowed like leaves and their tips were pointed. Choi Hyuk was even able to clearly distinguish the shapes and it wasn’t hard for him to dodge them.

{Oh my god…}

The els murmured amongst themselves with sounds of daegeums. If he had endured the bullets with his body, they wouldn’t have been so surprised, but he avoided them all?

‘Wouldn’t this be impossible for the great warriors?’

Buds of respect began to sprout in the hearts of the els.

At the same time,

Goong!

As if trying to firmly brand him into their hearts, he pushed his palm at the chests of the El Tribe soldiers.

The els shrieked as they flew away and fainted.

 

{Don’t get cocky!}

This time, an el wearing a smooth robe made of intertwined leaves instead of armor appeared. Karma gathered on the arm-length branch in his hand in a strange way. The karma surrounding Choi Hyuk seemed to synchronize with him as it started to roll around strangely.

{Restrict him!}

Whoosh!

When the el waved his branch, roots grew out from everywhere and started to bind Choi Hyuk’s arms and legs.

“Huh?”

Choi Hyuk became surprised at the fact he wasn’t able to avoid being bound by the roots. His body felt strangely heavy.

“What is this? Now I see, there wasn’t only one of you…”

While the el wearing a robe had grabbed Choi Hyuk’s attention, other magicians hidden amongst the soldiers had cast magic that numbed Choi Hyuk’s body and made him feel a strong pressure from his surroundings.

Choi Hyuk’s eyes shined blue. He analyzed the karma near him. It was quite elaborate. It wasn’t to the point of being unable to free himself, but he would either take a long time or have to push himself.

Unfortunately, the situation didn’t allow for him to take his time.

{Squadron 1 and 2! Volley!}

Many more soldiers than before simultaneously shot at him.

 

The Berserkers were spectating this scene.

“Wow… They’re strong. What would happen if we fought them? Would we lose?”

Individually they were weaker than the Berserkers when they compared fighting skills and the strength of their karma. However, if they considered their extraordinary weapons, skills, and tactics, it wouldn’t be an easy fight.

“I dunno. We’ll probably have to fight to be sure…”

Baek Seoin answered in a serious voice. The Berserkers prided themselves in never losing against opponents of equal numbers. Yet, when they saw how the els fought, it was difficult to guarantee this.

“That… Anyways, I bet the leader won’t lose.”

“That’s for sure.”

Baek Seoin nodded at Lee Jinhee’s words.

 

——————–

{Choi Hyuk}

Power: 365 (+213)  (4★)   Speed: 371 (+201) (4★)  Control: 453 (4★)

Endurance: 100 (3★)  Stamina: 359 (3★)  Recovery: 371 (3★)

Retribution: 400 (4★)

*Free karma points: 0

 

{Innate Skill}

-Eyes of Distinction

 

{Skills}

-Instant Void Annihilation (Deteriorated)

-Flaming Wing Dance (Deteriorated)

-Heart Injection (Deteriorated)

 

{Achievements}

-You have killed someone with karma before it was distributed to you!

-First to kill a monster one-on-one!

-Sovereign (King without Subjects, First to kill a 2-star monster, Killed the Wyvern of Destruction)

-First Colonizer of Humanity

-First Human to reach 4-star stats

——————–

 

Choi Hyuk admired. It was difficult to free himself of the magic that restrained his body. If a monster took his place, it would have used all its stamina trying to escape by brute force. That would be fatal.

 

It was essential for Choi Hyuk to watch his Stamina. He increased his Power and Speed with enchants and items to exceed the midrange of 4-star, yet his Stamina was still at 3-star. An unstable state.

 

If he accidentally overworked himself and his karma relaxed, then no matter how extraordinary his Control was, it was of no use. Afterwards, it would be a domino effect. If his Control collapsed due to his Stamina, then the next to fall would be his Endurance.

‘Endurance’ didn’t only resist enemy attacks, but it was also important in enduring your own strength. When you simultaneously used your karma and body in a physical fight, the more strength you used, the harder it was on your body, unless you expelled karma outside your body and used it like the El Tribe. However, Choi Hyuk’s Endurance was only in the early stages of 3-star. The only reason he was able to endure his 4-star strength with that Endurance was because of his precise Control. If that Control fell, then his bones and joints would undoubtedly collapse. Even if he dodged his enemy’s attacks, his own strength would crush his body.

 

Of course, he did have a skill to account for this. Over the past 2 years, Choi Hyuk had diligently sold useless skills and only possessed skills useful to him.

‘However, it’s not the right time to use it.’

There was a way to free himself without overworking his Endurance to waste.

 

Woong.

The blue light that gathered at his eyes turned into streams of light and spread to his surroundings.

 

——————–

{Trait Mind’s Eye, Second Level: Identical Mind}

Karma becomes easier to control and easily penetrates objects.

——————–

When you broke through 200 (4★) Retribution, you had an opportunity to awaken another trait. There were two methods. One was choosing a completely different trait, such as ‘Resilience’ which granted resilience to your karma or ‘Explosive Blood’ which sharply increased your strength but was also painful. In other words, it was like becoming a dual-class. However, Choi Hyuk chose the other method. He had opened the next level of Mind’s Eye, Identical Mind.

Identical Mind, like its meaning, specialized in ‘manipulation’ rather than ‘sense’. Like Mind’s Eye, it didn’t have a direct affect on combat, however, depending on who used it, the results would change completely.

 

Choi Hyuk’s karma penetrated through the magic restraining him and destroyed its structure from the inside. The restraining magic untangled like kalguksu{3} noodles in boiling water.

{What the…?}

Bang, bang, bang! Shhriek!

The bullets fired by the second squadron definitely possessed a lot of power, but that was useless if they didn’t hit. Choi Hyuk had already disappeared from that spot. He was dashing forward. As ‘Identical Mind’ naturally spread out, the environment surrounding him moved according to his will. The ground and fortress pushed him forward while his target pulled him in.

 

Baang!

{Kyak!}

Even as he swung his fist down at the magician’s chest, he didn’t slow down. Choi Hyuk was heading towards the great warrior of the El Tribe, who he talked with in the beginning.

 

The great warrior regarded Choi Hyuk as he swept towards him. He was like a blizzard and a landslide. To be honest, he was amazing. That was what all the els thought.

{That’s enough. I acknowledge you are a splendid warrior. Now let’s talk. I can’t guarantee your life if the fight intensifies even further.}

Choi Hyuk looked at the figure of the great warrior. The white (goodwill) light emitted from him became a shade brighter. Either the great warrior thought of him as an equal or he gained a bit of respect for Choi Hyuk.

That didn’t satisfy Choi Hyuk. Equals? How could his equal liberate him? Choi Hyuk definitely said, ‘I will bring you to the surface.’ To prove that his words were true, ‘equality’ or ‘respect’ wasn’t enough.

That was what he thought after 2 years of experience.

‘Fear over half-baked respect. Awe is much better.’

A faint ill will due to fear. Yet, he needed a goodwill that well exceeded that fear, a desire to be seen in a good light.

Choi Hyuk shouted loudly.

“Then fight me with your life on the line! Don’t worry about losing your life. I have no thoughts of killing you!”

{… Huh.}

The great chieftain’s eyelashes fluttered. He had good feelings towards Choi Hyuk because he was a superb warrior but his current remark was extremely rude. Didn’t it mean that even if the El Tribe came at him with all their strength, they wouldn’t be able to beat him?

{Don’t regret it. First Regiment! The enemy is a Dragonian ranked monster! Focus on restraining him and send in the elite troops!}

The moment the great chieftain’s command sounded out, the restraining magic on Choi Hyuk increased heavily. Not only that, soldiers with freezing swords immediately attacked him. Chilling air covered his surroundings, roots shot up and bounded themselves onto his arms and legs and the atmosphere became heavier, slowing his movements. They also bombarded him with bullets.

Cho Hyuk’s whole body surged with blue karma as he tried to use ‘Identical Mind’ to his utmost limits in an attempt to destroy the attacks, however, his steps towards the great chieftain slowed significantly. The elite troops, who targeted the slowed Choi Hyuk, rushed in.

 

Swish!

A wound appeared on Choi Hyuk’s body for the first time. His Stamina was starting to drop.

{You should stop now.}

The great warrior suggested again. Choi Hyuk smiled.

“Screw that.”

Choi Hyuk activated a skill. The karma in his body automatically rearranged itself. A high-level skill that Choi Hyuk couldn’t even create with his Control and senses, no, it was a skill he didn’t even fully understand. One of the strongest skills Choi Hyuk found in the past 2 years exploded out.

“Heart Injection!”

Thump!

His heart starting beating explosively. His karma that had become lax after using up all his Stamina forcefully became taut again and bulged.

 

——————–

{Heart Injection (Deteriorated)}

Instantly recovers your karma that is currently on cooldown. Stamina and Recovery increase sharply. After the skill effect has ended, you will be in an exhausted state for an hour. You are unable to recover any karma during this exhausted state.

This was originally a top skill that could only be used by 5-star and above. Someone had deteriorated and supplied this skill so lower levels could use it.

——————–

 

Bbabang!

Choi Hyuk still didn’t unsheathe his sword. However, the elbows and ankles of the elite troops charging at Choi Hyuk were smashed, and they fell on the floor.

“Checkmate!”

Choi Hyuk left the El Tribe soldiers behind and charged towards the great warrior. With a stiffened face, the great warrior unsheathed his sword.

 

**

“Haa… Haa… Mister, you’re amazing. Haa…”

Choi Hyuk was gasping for breath as his left hand pressed against his neck, trying to stanch the bleeding. Even though he attacked him suddenly, the great warrior’s counterattack was sharp. He dodged and dodged and blocked and blocked, and yet he almost had his neck cut off.

{… It’s not mister, it’s Lantz. But what was that attack just now? I blocked it with the blessing of the inverted tree…}

The Great Warrior Lantz was on the ground, blood spilling from his lips. His speech was fine, but because he had been hit in the chest multiple times, the damage to his insides was severe. It would take approximately a month of rest to heal.

However, Choi Hyuk changed the topic.

 

“I’ll tell you later. First, let us in the fortress to rest.”

He once again requested to let his 3,000 soldiers into the city as if it was nothing. Even if one didn’t read the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, even a child would know how absurd this request was. Yet, Choi Hyuk stood tall.

{…}

“Quickly! If I was planning on fighting, I would have already infiltrated and opened it! If you don’t open it up, I’m going to!”

He was now being stubborn. If Baek Seoin had seen this, he would have face-palmed.

Unexpectedly, this attitude actually worked. Was it due to their long experience in cooperating with other surface dwellers to fight their common enemy, the ‘monsters’? The great warrior held up his hand.

{Okay.}

Grinning as he lay on the ground, he raised his trembling hand and ordered his subordinates.

{Open the door and let’s welcome the grand warriors!}

 

“You should have done that from the start.”

Choi Hyuk relaxed as he grinned.

His legs kept trembling so he put his strength into it. Even though he had activated Heart Injection, he had consumed all his Stamina while fighting the great warrior. He was simply that strong of an opponent.

Choi Hyuk stood up while leaning against the El Tribe soldiers and looked at the great warrior. Looking at how a smile crept up his face by itself… It seemed he had obtained a good ally.

 


{1} Not too sure what els are. I found something similar to it. In a Korean game called DK Online, there was a race called diels whose power came from contracts with ancient dragons.

{2} Korean instrument: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daegeum

{3} Just in case you forgot what kalguksu was: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalguksu

 

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Comments 9

  1. I might be a bit slow, could someone help me out and explain “Identical Mind” regarding manipulation, am I correct in thinking it gives him more control Karma and somehow makes it more potent?

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