SoJ Episode 4 Chapter 54

Episode 4: The Great Colonizing Age / Chapter 54: Investigation (5)

TL: emptycube

Editor: Obelisk


 

 

Chu Youngjin and Ryu Hyunsung, who had left the hot springs city ‘Pyungryu’ which had a slave market, had escaped to the outskirts of the Sovereign of Dark Secrets Lao Ban’s territory. They checked the whirlpool in the sky and examined the terrain.

“Ha… What a beautiful scene.”

Ryu Hyunsung took pictures as they explored a hilly region that seemed to have been cut cleanly by a sword, plains that seemed to have experienced a drought as the ground was split into deep cracks, and tens of lakes which seemed as though the ground had been punched to make uniform holes.

He held an expensive item in his hands, a transparent tablet. He used an application on this tablet that could analyze the pictures he took and automatically create a map. Electronics from Earth couldn’t function properly in outer space, but this tablet was originally created by alien technology and therefore worked anywhere. It was said to be an essential item for each faction. Choi Hyuk’s group only had two tablets. One was in Baek Seoin’s possession while Ryu Hyunsung brought the other one with him.

“Well… There are unexplainable terrains on Earth as well… But this is really amazing. Is it even possible for these to form naturally?”

Ryu Hyunsung held the transparent tablet in his hands as he admired the scene in front of him, while Chu Youngjin picked up a white rock that was rolling on the ground.

“This rock is strangely warm.”

It was warm. Its warmth seemed to exceed 40 degrees. When he heard those words, Ryu Hyunsung placed his hand on the ground. The ground itself was warm.

“Is it because we’re in a hot springs region?”

He recalled Pyungryu, the hot springs city not far from here. He then compared their location and Pyungryu as he examined the map that had been automatically created by the tablet. Ryu Hyunsung left a memo, ‘the ground is warm’.

“Done. Let’s go to the next place.”

After he finished recording, the two continued to their next destination. Ryu Hyunsung’s map already included the territory of the Sovereign of Dark Secrets, but they were extending even beyond that.

 

The land was split like rice paddies. However, the scale was a hundred times larger than a rice paddy. When they saw it from afar, it looked like a rice paddy, but as they approached, the crevices between the pieces of land were as wide as the gaps between buildings. When they dropped a rock to figure out how deep it was, they didn’t hear a sound. Hot air that seemed to come from the depths of hell would occasionally blow from the cracks.

Here, Chu Youngjin discovered some traces.

“This… looks like traces of humans?”

On one side of the crack, there was a cave. Wooden tools that looked like lamps rolled in front of the cave. Since it was two stories below, it was a great place to hide from monsters. They jumped into the gap and entered the cave.

“This stench…”

Chu Youngjin took immediate notice of the blood and flesh on the walls as well as the sickening stench.

“Seeing as how there is a stench, it doesn’t seem like it’s been very long.”

Ryu Hyunsung agreed with him. He examined his surroundings and said,

“Yeah, even though we don’t know when or how this cave was made, immigrants definitely used to live here. That corpse is wearing jeans.”

The upper and lower body of that corpse had been separated. Chu Youngjin frowned and asked.

“… Why were they annihilated? Monsters?”

“What monsters. In my perspective, it’s Lao Ban, that bastard. They probably only took those who could have been used as slaves and killed the rest.”

Ryu Hyunsung took out the tablet and took pictures. Even though it was obvious, they hadn’t had visible evidence of slave hunting and immigrant slaughter until now… Well, it wasn’t as though evidence like this meant anything nowadays.

 

“The world really is strange. Even when a sovereign pulls this kind of shit, we can’t do anything, right? Because it’s impossible to enter Dragonic without the sovereign’s permission… And the future of Earth lies with Dragonic. Same with the law. It collapsed the moment the military and police became awakenees.”

Ryu Hyunsung complained while taking pictures of the cave. The cave was quite deep. When they went deeper, they saw places that seemed to be sleeping quarters and a kitchen. Though they didn’t know who first dug this cave, they were quite functional.

“Our leader contributed to that as well.”

Didn’t Choi Hyuk kill someone in front of the president? From that point onwards, at least to the awakenees, it was no different from having no laws.

Ryu Hyunsung shrugged. He had been present then.

“Well, at least the leader was discussing the relationship between favor and spite. This, this is just killing people unrelated to him for greed. It’s very different. No matter how low the morals of the strong have fallen…”

Chu Youngjin nodded at his words. His gazed turned towards a couple who had been stabbed by a spear and had died alongside each other.

Chu Youngjin felt jealousy, pain and rage all at the same time. A pain that was incomparable to the pain he experienced from Explosive Blood.

“… That’s true… It’d be nice if we met a slave hunting troop.”

His eyes reddened as though he had unknowingly activated Explosive Blood. If any slave hunters met with Chu Youngjin now, it would the day of their calamity.

Ryu Hyunsung seconded Chu Youngjin’s wish.

“It’d be nice. We can give them another warning as well.”

After they finished recording, they left the cave. And they checked a distant whirlpool in the sky. It was a dented whirlpool that looked like stirred milk.

Chu Youngjin observed the familiar whirlpool and said,

“Is that really… the whirlpool we saw in our territory? It’s really small…”

“Even if it’s small, the shape is almost identical. There’s a high chance they are the same whirlpool.”

“If that really is the case, then they must be colonizing in that direction.”

“Yeah. So let’s quickly finish our mission and return.”

They were almost done. The two set that whirlpool as their target and started to walk.

 

**

Had Chu Youngjin’s words about wanting to meet a group of slave hunters come true? They really did meet them. It was at a place that was about three days away from Pyungryu. A place that seemed to be slightly closer to the dented whirlpool.

They were in a terrain where blue boulders emitted a thick fog. When seen from a distance, the combination of the blue rocks and fog looked like a mysterious ocean. While Ryu Hyunsung was taking pictures, he spotted fleeing immigrants making their way through the fog. Immigrants who couldn’t receive supplies were easily identifiable as they wore tattered clothes from Earth or covered themselves up with a cloth.

“We’re quite lucky. Immigrants are being chased.”

To be able to meet slave traders, whom they wanted to teach a lesson to, and find skilled immigrants, it was like killing two birds with one stone.

Immigrants who survived here for a long time were of great help to Chu Youngjin and Ryu Hyunsung’s mission as they would undoubtedly know the terrain, infestation of monsters, and the distribution of the native population better than anyone else. Due to the increased sightings of monsters, it was about time for them to leave as well. If they could obtain the immigrants’ cooperation, they could even leave with information about a place they hadn’t scouted yet.

“Do we charge in?”

Chu Youngjin, who was spectating the fleeing immigrants, asked Ryu Hyunsung as if informing him. Ryu Hyunsung nodded.

“Explosive Blood.”

The next instant, Chu Youngjin dashed forward after activating Explosive Blood.

Crash!

His transformed figure kicked the ground and dashed towards the distant foggy area. Ryu Hyunsung followed behind him.

 

“Huh?”

Although Chu Youngjin’s explosive movements were loud, the enemies were late in discovering him. It was because Chu Youngjin’s speed was as fast as the sound was loud. By the time they figured out it was him, blood had splattered into the air.

Rumble! Rumble!

Chu Youngjin’s special karma usage emitted loud thundering sounds. His movements accelerated and decelerated, matching the erratic thundering sounds. Unable to follow his tempo, the eight slave hunters were cut into pieces one after another.

 

Using this opportunity, Ryu Hyunsung blocked the immigrants’ path.

“Please wait. We are on the same side.”

Two male and three female immigrants. They were black and white foreigners, however, as long as he had language resonance, there was no problem communicating with them. Ryu Hyunsung held up his hands and showed with his words and actions that he didn’t intend to fight.

Of course, the immigrants didn’t trust him.

{Bullshit!}

A black man, out of the blue, swung his large sword. Not only him, the rest did so as well. They spread out as quick as lightning and wielded their swords and spears, flanking him on either side. ‘Ha~ They are better than most colonizers.’ They were very experienced movements. They seemed to have been immigrants for quite a while. Veterans who survived more than a year against monsters.

Unfortunately, their attacks were easily seen through by Ryu Hyunsung’s ‘Mind’s Eye’. After experiencing hellish wars under the ‘Battle Addict’ Choi Hyuk, this much was a given. Ryu Hyunsung retreated precisely three steps. As he retreated,

Clink! Clink, clink, clank! Woong!

Then, he wielded his sword three times and cleared their attacks. Their spears embedded into the ground and their swords flew up into the air. All five of them simultaneously staggered and lost their balance.

{Ack!}

However, they weren’t easy opponents. They rebalanced themselves with force and once again, targeted Ryu Hyunsung. Despite this, Ryu Hyunsung was faster.

{Kahk!}

The black swordsman was struck with the handle of his sword and rolled on the ground. A spear wielding white woman fell to the floor when he kicked her shin. Ryu Hyunsung’s restrained actions instantly left them lying on the ground.

{Eu…}

They weren’t simple hits but ones reinforced with karma. The immigrants groaned and were unable to get up easily.

“Are you now ready to talk?”

{Bull… shit…}

The black swordsman’s spirit was unbending. But, he shut his mouth when he heard the screams.

{Euahhh! You bastard! Do you know who we are?!}

They were the screams of the slave traders. Chu Youngjin was already cutting the neck of the fourth one. Ryu Hyunsung shrugged his shoulders.

Looking at Chu Youngjin’s figure as he fought the slave traders, the captured immigrants’ eyes moved quickly. Ryu Hyunsung thought that they would finally be able to talk. He thought that they had let down their guard a little after seeing Chu Youngjin fighting for them.

Unfortunately… He was mistaken.

The reaction he wanted was ‘… What business do you have with us?’, but he didn’t receive such a calm reaction.

 

The immigrants, who had stared at Ryu Hyunsung with killing intent, quickly changed their attitude and revealed their impatience.

{Quickly! We need to leave quickly!}

It seemed as though they judged they weren’t enemies, but they showed extreme anxiousness. They had no hint of thanks and looked as if they were in big trouble due to being delayed by Ryu Hyunsung.

“Wait, wait. Calm down. We are dealing with the enemies.”

Ryu Hyunsung attempted to calm them down, but he was met with a strong opposition.

{No! They aren’t all!}

It looked as if he was screaming.

Then a low pulsating sound passed Ryu Hyunsung’s ears. Ryu Hyunsung turned around without thinking.

 

The fog suddenly started to sway like waves in the ocean. As it did, the immigrants fell into a state of panic.

{Ahh! Escape!}

They hurriedly got up, pushed Ryu Hyunsung aside and started to flee. ‘Just what is happening?’ Ryu Hyunsung was taken back.

“Hey!”

Ryu Hyunsung was about to follow after them, but he hastily stopped in his tracks.

 

Shrrieeeek! Thud!

{Kahk…}

A spear appeared out of nowhere and pierced the black swordsman’s back. That wasn’t all.

“Just when did they…”

Ryu Hyunsung’s voice was strained. Cold sweat dripped down his back. The enemy was stealthy. Just when did they arrive? Enemies appeared from everywhere. They had already been encircled.

 

It was a complete miscalculation. This was a remote area beyond the Sovereign of Dark Secrets’s territory. They believed the enemy’s power would only be a small scale slave hunter group. They never dreamed to be caught in this sort of situation.

“This much… Isn’t this at the level of the Sovereign of Dark Secrets’s most elite troops…? Why would the main force be here?”

The situation reversed in an instant. The fleeing immigrants had all been captured, and Ryu Hyunsung and Chu Youngjin were isolated in the middle of the enemy camp.

Chu Youngjin, who had been fighting the slave traders, retreated back to Ryu Hyunsung. His back against Ryu Hyunsung’s. The heat from his body was transmitted through Ryu Hyunsung’s back.

 

“Which direction should we break through?”

 

However, Chu Youngjin didn’t seem discouraged in the slightest.

 

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