SoJ Episode 4 Chapter 58

Episode 4: The Great Colonizing Age / Chapter 58: Revolution (3)

TL: emptycube

Editor: Obelisk


 

{Due to the intense battle, free karma points increased by 3.}

The fight against the ground devourer had ended. A message appeared. As even a single karma point was precious these days, Choi Hyuk was extremely happy.

For example, it took him one month to get his Control to reach 3-star. However, it took him 2 full years to get it to the outer limits of 4-star.

When his stats were at 1-star, meaning during in the {Ring of Rebirth} and the beginning of {Survive and Escape}, he was overflowing with karma. All his stats would increase by 1 when he killed a similar ranked opponent. However, when he reached 2-star, it changed so that he would only gain 1 free karma point every time he killed a similar ranked opponent. The level of difficulty had increased greatly.

However, when he looked back at it, those days were still good. They would reward him with tons of karma, claiming his feats as surprising achievements and/or results when they weren’t really all that amazing.

 

When his stats reached 3-star and 4-star, they really became hellish to increase. It was then where it started to get harder to find similar ranked opponents. Of course, his stats would increase when he killed a lot of lower ranked enemies… The fact that he really had to kill a large number was the problem.  Now, however, he wouldn’t even be given any points for doing this anymore. The only thing he could rely on were the karma points he received from the ‘Battle Addict’ fate.

 

However, since last year, even that didn’t satisfy him. Earthlings, who were Consumables (Deferred), usually had cooperative missions with the lowest ranked warriors. The main stats of lowest ranked warriors were at about 3-star. No matter how difficult the mission he chose was, they no longer matched Choi Hyuk’s level. There were occasional large-scale battles with low ranked warriors who were at the 4-star level, but besides them, there weren’t any times where he could ‘fight intensely’. What was more, even if they were recruited for a large-scale battle, the roles of earthlings were mostly supportive so it was hard for Choi Hyuk to play an active part.

This meant that the Consumables fate of earthlings was hindering his growth.

 

Because of this, he couldn’t help but be happy whenever he saw a message stating that his karma increased due to intense battles. He had finally fought with all his strength and he even obtained 3 free karma points… His mood was really good.

On top of that, he finally reunited with Ryu Hyunsung and Chu Youngjin, whom he had sent on a dangerous mission, and hadn’t seen for a long time. How could he not feel elated? Before the obvious curiosity of why they were here in the first place struck him, a welcoming feeling burst out instantly.

“Chu hyung! Ryu hyung! It’s been a while!”

And because of his shout, Baek Seoin, who had flopped on the floor after becoming exhausted from commanding the troops, widened his eyes.

“What?”

Lee Jinhee, who had dropped to the floor, suddenly got up and addressed her pain.

“Oh? Youngjin and Ryu hyung? Owowowow…”

She was a mess. It was the result of getting close to the ground devourer to attract its attention so that Choi Hyuk could land the fatal blow at the final moment. She contributed this time as well. She would always risk her life and survive, and she always had swollen bruises, fractures, and wounds.

Even in this state, Lee Jinhee got up to welcome Chu Youngjin and Ryu Hyunsung, who were staggering over from exhaustion.

 

Everyone survived.

One of the main criteria when Choi Hyuk chose Berserkers: Survivability. And fitting their roles as the top executives of the Berserkers, Chu Youngjin, and Ryu Hyunsung returned.

 

**

That day, they camped at the basin where they slew the ground devourer.

The sky always shined with a milky hue. Although Dragonic didn’t have nights, their surroundings were dark as the night due to the basin. The Berserkers, who had no choice but to sleep in the light, were happy for this darkness.

When everyone was busy getting ready to sleep, the top executives held a meeting. Choi Hyuk, Baek Seoin, Lee Jinhee, Chu Youngjin, Ryu Hyunsung and finally the artillery captain, Handke, had gathered.

“Oh my god. I never thought we’d discover a passage on this expedition.”

It was as Handke said.

They thought that it would take two or three more attempts to see a small progress. They all implicitly believe this. However, they had reached their goal on their first attempt.

Though they were happy, they were just as much taken back.

“It’s difficult to attack the Sovereign of Dark Secrets with our current force. Since it wasn’t a seizing expedition to begin with…”

Baek Seoin’s suggestion was to withdrawal and prepare properly before going to war. It was a rational suggestion, but there was an objection. It was Lee Jinhee.

“I don’t think there will be much difference if we withdrawal and come back. Our numbers are small in the first place. Even if we include everyone, our numbers would be around 20,000? But if we exclude those who have been recruited for missions and those necessary to maintain our cities, wouldn’t the numbers be around 5,000? I don’t think there will be much of a difference between 3,000 and 5,000. Instead, why don’t we go earlier and release the slaves?”

“No. 3,000 and 5,000 are completely different numbers.”

Baek Seoin immediately opposed Lee Jinhee’s words. However, she wasn’t convinced.

“The Sovereign of Dark Secrets has 80,000 soldiers. 80,000 against 5,000 or 80,000 against 3,000, aren’t they similar?”

“Even if we say there are 80,000 colonizers, less than 10,000 of them will have at least 2-star. There’s a big difference between 5,000 and 3,000 against 10,000. And if we are thinking about occupying their territory and not simply going to war, then it makes sense every person counts.”

“Then can’t we strike first and come back again?”

“Why would you do that? We can just finish everything in one go.”

“But what are we going to do about those slaves who are being sold right now? And Youngjin and Ryu hyung suffered like this, and you want to just go back?”

Baek Seoin and Lee Jinhee argued. But, at some point, the discussion didn’t progress, and they simply said what they had already said over and over again.

 

Choi Hyuk wordlessly listened to them before cutting them off when he felt it was getting nowhere and addressed everyone.

“To be honest. My goal wasn’t to occupy them from the start.”

When other sovereign thought of ‘conquests’, they easily thought of ‘conquer and occupy’. Because of this, when Choi Hyuk proposed they ‘attack the Sovereign of Dark Secrets’, his followers all thought this was a ‘conquest’. Yet, Choi Hyuk was thinking much more simplistically than them.

 

“Our first goal is the Sovereign of Dark Secrets himself. If Sovereign Lao Ban dies, his forces will have no choice but to collapse, and their authority over the portal will disappear. Occupy their territory? Of course that’s good, but our first goal is killing Lao Ban.”

Choi Hyuk really hated the Sovereign of Dark Secrets, Lao Ban.

The fact that he used immigrants, who were from Earth like him, as slaves, and that he killed colonizers and used them to increase his strength. He could overlook the fact that Lao Ban’s immoral actions that received the immense hatred of many. What was really unforgivable was that the actions he did habitually ruined the people’s trust in humanity and hindered their unity, which, in turn, obstructed his performance. This was something Choi Hyuk couldn’t endure.

 

During a seemingly normal day, the {Ring of Rebirth} opened. Afterwards, he was able to leave Kangdong District after overcoming a competition of kill or be killed. Everyone had become murderers, and they were also victims.

Then his mother passed away.

That day, Choi Hyuk’s personal world had already collapsed. Afterwards, he felt as if he was simply living in a doomed earth. He was always enraged by this collapse, and he fought and struggled to get revenge on the ones who brought along this collapse. Yet, there was someone who was happy about this and was happily enjoying the ‘fruits’ brought on by this collapse. What was more; their actions left a large scratch on the great cause of those who sought to fight against this collapse. They would say, “Why do you fight so hard in such a great world?” but the pleasure they enjoyed had all come from the blood and sweat of others. Humans would repeatedly become divided the stronger they became, and animosity amongst them would increase. The hearts of those who want to fight against the collapse couldn’t help but become dull.

Starting with Lao Ban, Choi Hyuk wanted to stomp on those who filled their bellies by snacking on this damned world. Those people didn’t have the right to be a ‘sovereign’, who represented humanity.

 

No lamps were lit, so the inside of the tent was dark. Cho Hyuk’s black eyes seemed even darker in this darkness.

“So I don’t think we need to reorganize ourselves. From Ryu hyung and Chu hyung’s reports, it seems that Lao Ban is currently on the outskirts of his territory so there is no better chance. We attack now.”

If his goal was Lao Ban himself, they didn’t need to withdraw. Although Lao Ban was with his main force, his city guards were far away, and he had only brought his elite troops so there was no need to fear their numbers. Since there was no force that could match the Berserkers in terms of elite troops… 3,000 was enough.

“Hmm… Now that I think about it, no one knows what happens when a sovereign kills another sovereign. If everything, such as the authority of the portal, gets transferred over… then we don’t necessarily need reinforcements to occupy their territory. We can just deport resisting forces.”

Everyone nodded their heads at Baek Seoin’s words. If the authority of the sovereign was transferred over, there was nothing to fear. It would be game over the moment they killed Lao Ban.

 

The artillery head Handke asked.

“Then what is our plan of attack? Target the sovereign with a single-point breakthrough? Or annihilation?”

Choi Hyuk didn’t think twice and answered.

“Annihilation. We will not accept their surrender. The ones gathered there will all be Lao Ban’s henchmen. They are ‘plunderers’ who kill others and rob their strength. Although we won’t chase them too far if they run, if possible, it will be total annihilation. Also, we will thoroughly track and take down Lao Ban and his executives.”

It was a resolute action.

Handke continued to ask.

“Then, next, what do you plan to do if the full authority of the sovereign does get transferred to you?”

He paid attention to the chill emanating from Choi Hyuk’s tone. Choi Hyuk wanted the death of the Sovereign of Dark Secrets. Then what would he want afterwards? What kind of decision would he make about the colonizers who cooperated with the Sovereign of Dark Secrets? Deportation? Or punishment?

“If that happens… We advance towards the cities. We will destroy all of Lao Ban’s workshops and free the slaves. And if there are still organizations operating under Lao Ban’s command, then, we will undoubtedly punish them. If these organizations break up and scatter, that’s fine. However, if they are still maintaining their organizations by the time we get there, I will use the authority to ban them from using the portal and sweep them all up. I have no thoughts on clumsily letting them live.”

Choi Hyuk was giving his enemies two small chances. First, he would let those who flee the battlefield, without looking back, live. Second, he would let those who flee after hearing the news from the escapees. He clearly declared he would kill everyone else besides them. A risky, yet powerful method.

 

A silence hung in the air momentarily.

A large-scale slaughter of humans. Their hearts were heavy.

“Mmm… Now that we’re about to kill them, my heart’s a bit…”

It was Lee Jinhee’s gripe, who was naturally kind. Although she was in favor of a war against the Sovereign of Dark Secrets, she was generally thinking of a way to minimize casualties. A rule of accepting their surrender if they did.

However, Choi Hyuk was planning on thoroughly stomping on his enemies.

 

Baek Seoin didn’t say anything. He was psychologically more resistant to the notion of killing humans compared to others. Still, he was inwardly trying to justify this decision.

‘Since it’s a world that’s already out of control… Because it’s a world where humans openly sell other humans as slaves… Since we already gave them a chance to talk. Is it time for them to take responsibility…’

The more chaotic a situation was, the quicker the effect of creating a rule by blood was. Although telling them hundreds of times to not have slave markets had no effect, if they hit them hard once, its effects were clear.

While everyone was judging the necessity of this operation, the artillery head Handke said.

“… It’s already inevitable we will face off against the Sovereign of Dark Secrets’s forces. Then it’s better to properly step on them when we inevitably face them. Since it’s cleaner if we fight them properly once than fighting them multiple times… I think it’s a good idea.”

Everyone else nodded at his words. It was like this ever since humanity first started to record history. There was no easier or cleaner method of dealing with others than killing and removing them. Only…

‘I still wish we could find a better way.’

Lee Jinhee couldn’t let go of this fantasy. She wasn’t scared of fighting them, however, fighting humans was tiring and difficult. Although her worry was an important one that advanced human civilization, but in the current situation, where history had degenerated and humanity had collapsed, it was a powerless worry.

 

The Sovereign of Dark Secrets and the Berserkers were already in a relationship of kill or be killed. They killed Berserkers, and Ryu Hyunsung and Chu Youngjin killed their slave traders. Although there was a difference in scale, they had already killed one another.

Only, the colonizers clashed in local fights, there hasn’t been a case of a full-on battle yet. The war that was about to begin would be the first. They felt a psychological resistance to the fact that this first war would have to be an annihilation, crushing their enemies thoroughly.

However, the fact that if they did this properly this time, it could reduce future losses was a big strength to them.

“I know. It’s just a gripe.”

Lee Jinhee looked somewhat depressed. Choi Hyuk tapped her shoulder. If they were in a different group, then Lee Jinhee, who said these words before a battle, may garner some hate, but Choi Hyuk was already familiar with this side of her. Since she fought the most courageously when they actually went into battle. She was different from Choi Hyuk, but they walked the same path.

 

Eventually, they decided on annihilation. Everyone looked at each other with determined eyes.

The very next morning, the march towards the very first territory war began.

 

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Comments 13

  1. So, wait. Hold on. What stops Lao Bak from ‘banning” Hyuk’s forces after they march right into his face? The outskirts of his territory, is still within the territory, or is Lao Bak technically outside of his territory? Eh?

    1. By reading a chapter ahead, I finally figured how the whole “deportation” method works. Thank god it’s not as stupid as I thought it is, it was just a measure of “I have power over anyone who goes through MY portal. We thought it’s impossible to invade, because the world is seemingly too big to ever find a route from one’s sovereign territory to another.”

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