Episode 4: The Great Colonizing Age / Chapter 56: Revolution (1)
“When were we expected to return?”
After a brief exchange, Ryu Hyunsung and Chu Youngjin tightly closed their mouths once again. Heavy breaths leaked out from the gaps of their lips.
Red and yellow fireworks were exploding behind them.
They exploded next to them as well.
This time, one exploded in front of them. They were quite pretty.
Ryu Hyunsung’s eyes were tightly closed. He activated ‘Mind’s Eye’ to its limits which dyed his whole body in a blue tinge before disappearing. The reason why his lips were blue wasn’t due to Mind’s Eye but because of extreme exhaustion. It was also due to the fact they were being pushed to a corner.
Ryu Hyunsung suddenly changed his direction.
Chu Youngjin let out a rumbling sound and followed behind him. Chu Youngjin’s face was haggard as well.
“This won’t work. We have to give up escaping through the gate.”
Ryu Hyunsung explained as he tried to calm his haggard breathing. Chu Youngjin only listened.
“Even those who are based in the cities are coming after us. Breaking through that is impossible with our current Stamina. Instead, we support each other and head for the targeted whirlpool.”
“… You want to pass through unexplored lands? Is there even a chance of us meeting our main troops?”
“That, no one knows. We don’t even know whether it’s a traversable distance or whether we’re even going in the right direction in the first place. Still, if we continue like this, it’s certain death. We need to look at other possibilities.”
“Well… It might be better to die by the hands of monsters than by those bastards.”
Chu Youngjin agreed coolly.
“Okay… If we succeed, we make history, if we fail, it’ll still be better than dying here.”
When he thought of it that way, he felt a little better.
A day had passed since they started their escape. Yet, the encirclement was only getting tighter. An endless number of enemies appeared and blocked their path, making them run in circles, unable to advance any further. To be honest, individually the enemies were lacking and it was possible for them to pass them in a pinch, but the real problem was something else.
The one who was known to be the strongest under the Sovereign of Dark Secrets’s command, the Cruel Killing Sword Ye Long, and his personal guards.
As they were truly strong, Chu Youngjin and Ryu Hyunsung didn’t have confidence facing them. If they were slightly delayed by small fries, Ye Long and the personal guards would be right on their tail, and thus, they even had to flee from opponents who were weaker than them.
This time, a signal flare was shot near them. Ryu Hyunsung looked back and sighed.
“Haa… It’s them again.”
If the Berserker’s unique method of utilizing karma was added to their 3-star stats, they could run with the speed of sportscars. However, Ye Long and the personal guards weren’t any slower. Currently, they were even faster because of the superiority in Stamina. They who were quite distant from them had, at some point, almost caught up to them.
“Just where did they get those… Sovereign of Dark Secrets. He’s quite a skilled fellow.”
The object that Ryu Hyunsung was complaining about were the ankle brackets Ye Long and the personal guards had.
The karma resonated with the clear sound of xylophones as the object allowed them to fly as if they were on hoverboards. As it had a device that would change the karma that you injected into it into energy that was specialized for transportation, it allowed you to reduce your karma consumption while maximizing your speed. It even possessed a separate ability that could store a bit of your karma as well.
Since they caught up to Ryu Hyunsung and Chu Youngjin, who simply relied on their skills for their speed, with equipment, Ryu Hyunsung and Chu Youngjin would obviously tire faster. They were already in a disadvantageous situation as they were being chased… This was really a difficult difference to make up for.
If they didn’t have Void Wave, they would have already been captured.
“… We’ll attack them first!”
Since they were already near them, they had no way to break apart from them with simply speed. Ryu Hyunsung turned at the right moment. Due to his rotation, he was able to instantly reduce his forward momentum.
He kicked the ground and shot between the ones who were chasing him. Ryu Hyunsung went left while Chu Youngjin went right.
“Gak! Spread out!”
As they had already fallen for this a few times, the enemies began to scatter after understanding Ryu Hyunsung’s intentions. However, since Ryu Hyunsung and Chu Youngjin relied on their bodies instead of equipment, they were able to change their direction faster than them.
Void Wave had now become a representative skill of the Berserkers. When this resonance swept past the enemies’ equipment, they would momentarily stop functioning.
Their momentum suddenly vanished, but, like the elites they were, none of them rolled on the floor.
They lightly kicked the ground and once again targeted Ryu Hyunsung and Chu Youngjin. Of course-
-The two didn’t face them. If they ran at full speed, they couldn’t catch up without the help of the devices.
Ye Long clicked his tongue as he saw them get further and further away. How many times had it been… He couldn’t help but acknowledge their swiftness that made them suffer over and over again even when they knew they were coming.
“These slippery bastards… We’ll chase them by running until the ‘Flying Rings’ become normal. They are probably starting to get exhausted by now.”
Ye Long looked in the direction Chu Youngjin and Ryu Hyunsung disappeared to and commanded. Then, suddenly, his eyes shined.
‘Isn’t that direction towards the unexplored lands?’
‘It’s finally time to slowly end this.’
They couldn’t enter the unexplored lands. They didn’t know anything about these lands, what kind of monsters lived there and how many. Rashly entering unexplored lands would only result in their deaths. Because of this, the encirclement had been set up to trap them towards these lands.
The ones who attempted to return through the portal they came through had completely changed directions for the first time. It meant they were cornered. They would soon find themselves in a situation where they were caught between the hunting group and monsters.
The finale of a hunt was always pleasant. Ye Long smiled as he ran.
The direction his enemies headed towards was the unexplored lands. No more fireworks were shot into the sky.
Every sovereign created a map of Dragonic, since maps were important. It was important and essential for maintaining their territory, to understand and disrupt the distribution of monsters, and when they wanted to expand their territory.
There were 40 different maps of Dragonic. The number was exactly the number of sovereigns. Each sovereign created his own map. And not a single map overlapped with each other. Dragonic was expressed through 40 different maps, these maps were never connected.
During the Age of Exploration, Europeans firmly believed that India was to their east. That was why they thought that traveling through the Atlantic Ocean, which was to west, to get to India was ridiculous. However, the well-known truth was that Columbus’s voyage shattered their prejudice. Of course, the place he arrived wasn’t India but the Americas, his belief was still correct in the end. As the Earth was round.
And the current colonized state of Dragonic was similar to then. If they were on the same planet, then there was no doubt that the territories each sovereign colonized would be interconnected. However, there weren’t many who believed that was true. First, it was difficult to estimate their direction with the starless Dragonic sky. While there were some suggestions about using the whirlpools in the sky to approximate direction, but because each whirlpool looked similar, there was a lot of room for error.
Even if the direction was correct, there was a problem. It was difficult to approximate the distance between colonized lands and there was no guarantee they wouldn’t meet a monster that was impossible to fight. Although Dragonic was the hope of humanity, the speed at which they colonized was pitifully slow because of the monsters. It was hard enough to expand their colonized lands, but to try to create a passage between territories? The predominant view was that it was impossible.
However, the Berserk Sovereign Choi Hyuk was in the middle of carrying out this reckless challenge.
“So Lantz… You’re telling me you have a bit of information on the humans living in that direction?”
“Yeah, there was information sent through the leaves. If I’m being honest with you, it wasn’t good information. They said they were a bunch who killed their own kind.”
Currently, Choi Hyuk and Lantz were at the lowest level of the inverted tree, the ‘nest’. This place was the heart of where the branches of the inverted tree spread out. Thick leaves grew from the branches that stretched into the ground. Because the tree was so large, each of its leaves was the size of townhouses.
The leaves of the inverted tree were metallic with a very unusual property. It was durable enough that it could grow while penetrating the ground and bullets couldn’t pierce through it, but at the same time, it was flexible enough to flow through the gaps in the ground.
A special magic was cast in the nest, allowing them to see the branches and leaves spread out from the tree. Just beyond the table Lantz and Choi Hyuk were sitting at, they could see branches that stretched out like mountain ranges and thick green leaves hanging from the branches. Occasionally a leaf would fall and disappear through the gaps in the ground. These leaves that fell would spread throughout the world through an underground passage. By engraving special characters and magic on these leaves, the El tribes were able to communicate with one another.
Because of this, Lantz already learned that humans were coming to Dragonic. Of the information he heard, some were positive and neutral while others were negative. Lantz had no choice but to be wary of humans entering his territory because of this information. Yet, a friendly atmosphere covered Lantz and Choi Hyuk.
They had only stayed in the El tribe’s territory for a day, but the Berserkers and the El tribe really hit it off. In one night, they had exchanged their various battle techniques and had acknowledged one another.
“Existences who hunt their own kind… Then there’s a high chance that they are the ones I’m looking for.”
Choi Hyuk was pleased with the information Lantz provided him. The expedition others thought was too early was an expedition forging a path to another territory.
However, Choi Hyuk daringly led this expedition banking on this small possibility.
A reason? Of course, there was one.
“This Sovereign of Dark Secrets… He killed your comrades?”
“Yes. Not just once or twice. Though he himself will never admit it, there have been countless times we’ve been stabbed in the back. We need to get revenge. Some say that he’s contributing to humanity, that he’s speeding up the rate of colonization, but I don’t think so. He’s cancerous. He’s cutting down our potential in the long run.”
Choi Hyuk coolly conveyed his thoughts.
“We humans still haven’t gotten rid of our Consumables (Deferred) circumstances. There are only 3 years left to the grace period. Although there are optimistic views that we would be able to get rid of this deferred state within 3 years because we are continuously colonizing and getting stronger, I’m pessimistic. First, we probably didn’t receive the Consumables judgment simply because we are weak. My friend in the past, Jung Minji, said this to me once. That they watched and judged each of our actions. They are not simply looking at individual strength but our organizational power and unity. We became Consumables after they evaluated how far we could go as an organized army and handle the missions. Meaning, the Sovereign of Dark Secrets is simply cancer who is bringing down our evaluation.”
Choi Hyuk stopped momentarily before continuing.
“And, I have no thoughts on taking 3 years to get rid of our deferred state. I need to get much stronger than I am now.”
In some ways, this could be Choi Hyuk’s true goal. To open a path between territories to accelerate their colonizing speed. Once one person started it, it would only accelerate afterwards.
In Choi Hyuk’s perspective, the progression of humanity was too slow. This slow progression had once again become a handicap on Choi Hyuk’s own growth.
Lantz showed a serious expression as he listened to Choi Hyuk’s words.
“… Okay. I still can’t believe it. Do those god-like existences truly exist?”
Lantz, who was the great warrior of the El tribe, didn’t know anything about the ‘Flame Wing Alliance’ who created the system. Because he had only heard of this yesterday, he would show a bewildered expression every time they talked about them.
Choi Hyuk grinned. He would naturally learn about them when the time came. There was no need to explain any further right now. Instead, it was time to resume their expedition.
“Thanks for the information. We don’t have any more time so we need to get going. Let’s see each other often from now on.”
Choi Hyuk wanted to confirm this information even a second faster. If there really was a colonized land if they continued in that direction. And if the owner of that territory was the Sovereign of Dark Secrets.
He learned that it wasn’t far from their talks. It would take them no more than 5 days if they ran at full speed. Of course, there was another problem.
“Are you really planning on going? A monster that is the peak of Dragonian ranked monsters lives in that direction. I know you’re strong… but it’s almost a Dragon rank. Sorry, but your strength falls short.”
Lantz wanted to stop Choi Hyuk.
And these kinds of impossible-to-handle monsters were the main factor that made colonizing difficult. This was also the reason why the predominant opinion was it would be difficult to create a passage between territories.
Yet, Choi Hyuk simply laughed.
“That’s welcoming news. I haven’t been able to fight with my life on the line these days.”
That was how Choi Hyuk and 3,000 Berserkers resumed their march towards the unexplored lands.
At the same time, Chu Youngjin and Ryu Hyunsung were already passing through the unexplored lands.