SoJ Episode 5 Chapter 69

Episode 5: Citizenship / Chapter 69: Advancement Evaluation (3)

TL: emptycube

Editor: Obelisk


 

From afar, it looked like a graveyard. Stones, which looked like gravestones, were erected in a circle. Yet, the closer one came, the clearer it was that they weren’t gravestones. The erected stones were enormous. When one came even closer, they looked to be taller than humans. They may have made one recall the Stonehenge in England. But up close, one would realize that that wasn’t enough. If one stood right next to one of the erected stones and looked up, one would tilt backwards to the point of falling and still not be able to see the end. The erected stones were frighteningly tall, each one the height of the Lotte World Tower{1}.

Beautiful, abstract symbols were carved and engraved onto the surfaces of these stones. The peculiar lights that emerged from within the rocks dyed the symbols in various colors. When closely examined, each erected stone had different patterns of symbols and colors.

This place was the most important location of the Flame Wing Alliance. The place where all matters of the alliance were decided, it was the ‘Brain’. The ‘Exalted Wings’, who were scattered throughout outer space and different dimensions, conducting war, were able to communicate in real time through these erected stones (dimensional stone plates). Each stone plate indicated one Exalted Wing.

They would decide on more matters than there were grains of sands every day. As the war waged at a cosmic-scale, there were countless matters that needed to be decided by the greatest committee, the ‘Brain’. Each decision would decide the fates of planets and entire species.

 

One of the Exalted Wings, who accessed the dimensional stone plate, spoke,

{Earth… Although we decided to put an advancement evaluation in motion in our last meeting, I am still pessimistic about this. Even if they become lowest ranked warriors, the moment they rid themselves of the Consumables judgment, they would be protected by the laws of the alliance. They would become our members. I am worried whether they have the qualifications… We have to conduct the evaluation with great impartiality.}

There was no reply. The Exalted Wings had the ability to process the entire human population’s day’s worth of conversations in the blink of an eye. If they had a different opinion, they would be able to refute with 1,000 different reasons within that time. Due to this trait, the momentary silence was treated as an agreement.

The suggestion of an ‘impartial evaluation’ was unanimously approved.

Another Exalted Wing suggested.

{During the new soldier training, it was judged that the free status earthlings pursued their own safety and that there were many cases where they would become an ill influence on their species. However, their war-fighting abilities aren’t bad. With the representatives of Earth, that is, the sovereigns as a center, there were a few instances where they revealed excellent results. It seems that we need to focus on evaluating the limits and potential of their abilities. We need to use the ‘Dilemma’ evaluation method.}

There weren’t any replies again.

It was decided. The evaluation would be ‘impartial’ and the evaluation method would be ‘Dilemma’.

This only took an extremely short period of time, less than 0.01 seconds. The fate of the Earth was decided in the time it would take light, which could travel around the world 7 times in a second, to reach Busan from Seoul.

 

**

The daily life on Earth was fragmented.

Fragments of reality and unreality, daily life and non-daily life, war and peace all floated without mixing with each other. People’s experiences and their outlook on the world were vastly different from each other.

The gap felt similar to the awkwardness a South Korean soldier would feel when he went on a break. It was similar to the strange feeling a soldier, who suddenly had his breaks and overnight privileges cut due to North Korea’s provocation, and had spent the whole night sitting in a car in full military gear, would feel when he walked out onto the streets filled with couples excited for Christmas once he finally went on his break. No, multiplying that feeling by a hundred would be appropriate.

 

Even though the world had come to this point,

There were undoubtedly people who went on with their lives no different from yesterday. They hadn’t witnessed the common conflicts between colonizers, the bankruptcies of companies, which were commonplace, and their families were safe… There were quite a few lucky people who lived their lives like that.

The colonizers fought endlessly and tirelessly, but there were others who were tired of working overtime and enjoyed watching TV while lying down during the weekends. Because the media didn’t report on grave news to avoid disorder… The world was cozy for those at home. They thought that the warnings that the world was collapsing were instigated by those who were pessimistic about everything. They believed that if people actually tried living, then they would find that the world was quite safe and livable, and as such, they continued on with their daily lives.

To them, Alexei’s Youtube video was an overly aggressive incitement video. This video contained a conversation between the Berserk Sovereign, Choi Hyuk, and the alien artificial intelligence, Naro.

 

Choi Hyuk: So… All this is a war between dimensions?

Naro: Yes. The monsters aren’t from our universe. They are from a different universe, meaning that they are existences who have crossed over from another dimension. Their inborn karma is unable to mix with ours. They move in order to annihilate all our karmalings. Conversation and compromise are impossible.

Choi Hyuk: Karmalings?

Naro: The intelligent beings living in our universe each have their own appearance and physiological function. However, there is one similarity. The retribution we accumulate, in other words, our karma, is the same. Happiness, anger, sadness, joy, love, hate and desire… The accumulation of the world’s energy through these emotions, what we call retribution or karma, is the same. That is why we are able to generalize the intelligent lifeforms in our universe as karmalings despite the vast differences between species.

Choi Hyuk: But the monsters are different from us?

Naro: Yes. That is why it is impossible for karmalings and monsters to coexist. Also… the situation of the war wasn’t good from the start. Because of this, narolings were isolated and annihilated. The alliance had turned their backs against us.

Choi Hyuk: The alliance? The Flame Wing Alliance?

Naro: Is that their name now? Yes. The alliance of the most advanced species in our universe. They traded amongst each other before the war, but once the war broke out, they established an alliance to take joint action. Although the alliance members pledged to help each other… the narolings were eventually cast away and annihilated… The progression of the war was most likely not very good. In fact, there was a gradual increase of species who fled to the dimensional gap like the narolings.

Choi Hyuk: Are they like the naroling’s land which swallowed Seongbuk District this time?

Naro: That is right. They floated around in the dimensional gap and desperately sent out rescue signals, but the alliance was usually silent. They most likely thought that it wasn’t worth the risk. In the case of narolings, although we had advanced scientific technology… that sort of technology was common within the alliance. And they were also not very useful in the war.

Choi Hyuk: Is that why they said you weren’t of much worth even though you are a B rank…

Naro: Is that what they said? Yes, that’s right. That would be the case in their perspective. However, I can be of great help to earthlings. You are aware that the situation on Earth isn’t very good, correct?

Choi Hyuk: Explain in detail.

Naro: You can tell by the fact that they sent the narolings’ land, which they thought was worthless, here. The method of procuring energy necessary for dimensional transmission is like this. They disassembled the earth… and the karma of the people living here to procure energy.

Choi Hyuk: Seongbuk District… was disassembled?

Naro: Yes. But there are a few reserve areas for dimensional transmission on Earth. Even in Seoul, there are two places, Mapo and Kangdong District. They will attempt dimensional transmission at the cost of sacrificing Earth’s land. The dimensional lands transmitted here will all be of little interest to the alliance. The expected worth is low, while the risk of monsters that will follow is large. A land that has been completely destroyed might be transmitted. Earth is getting the short end of the stick.

Choi Hyuk: Why… is the alliance doing this?

Naro: Two reasons. To check if there are any inheritances the alliance missed… And, also, land, which contains the last retribution of the planet, possesses a lot of karma. They benefit if they obtain that. The risk falls onto Earth, which is their throwaway card, and the alliance simply takes everything of substance. I even observed that the karma the last naroling left behind as it died, had disappeared somewhere with the dimensional transmission. The alliance most likely took it.

Choi Hyuk: … That’s unfair. But the Earth is a throwaway card?

Naro: Yes. The problem is ‘Where did the karma earthlings awaken come from?’ From what I observed, karma is being extracted from the planet itself. As more people become awakenees, the Earth is definitely approaching collapse. All that’s left for planets that have expended all its karma is ruin. Earth is already at that point. So Earth is… a sort of a garbage landfill for the alliance. They bring the inheritance of ruined species floating in the dimensional gap, break them open, take everything of substance, and then throw them away…

Choi Hyuk: … Then is colonization the only way left for us?

Naro: Yes. Earth will be destroyed within 3 years. Humanity has no choice but to colonize a new planet. I, Naro, the last inheritance created by the narolings to protect karmalings and oppose monsters, will readily participate in this journey.

 

The conversation ended there. The frame zoomed out and eventually captured the enormous spaceship floating above Seoul. Soon, Alexei’s face appeared.

“Don’t let the world decide your fate. Please get stronger. There is no way back. You have to protect your own life. The enemies we will face from now are monsters that that enormous spaceship couldn’t do anything against. There is only one method to face them, ‘karma’. Awaken. If you aren’t an awakenee, please immediately head to a colonized land and become an awakenee. If you are an awakenee, please awaken non-awakenees around you and fight more intensely for your own growth. Do not fear fighting. If you put your life on the line and fight, there will undoubtedly be Berserkers fighting next to you. … The end is coming.”

That was how the video ended.

 

Some reacted positively to Alexei’s video.

“Wow… A spaceship!”

“Let’s go. If we’re going to die either way, let’s fight to our heart’s content!”

Youths, who didn’t have a proper job or family and only possessed boiling blood, joined the Berserkers. Of course, while they weren’t able to officially join the Berserkers, who stood for elitism, the number of people who became awakenees after entering the Berserkers’ city, Barhaloleun, grew drastically.

However, the majority reacted negatively.

“You can tell this is fabricated just by looking at it. Does it make sense that an alien artificial intelligence can speak Korean? What a joke.”

Naro had reached a level of speaking Korean on the first night, but many people underestimated the abilities of an alien artificial intelligence.

“They say the spaceship only floats there. If you think about it, it might not be all that amazing.”

“Just what is their purpose in aggravating unease?”

“There’s no need for everyone to fight. They will need people to support them from behind, right?”

“I heard those guys are very radical.”

There were many who didn’t want to accept danger as danger. Their desire for safety was so strong that it made them deny obvious changes and evidence.

The awakenees weren’t much different.

“I heard the Berserk Sovereign killed a ton of people?”

“Yeah. It looks like there was an especially large number of casualties in the Korean military. They say there is also internal conflict as well.”

“Not only that, they say the casualties among scouts sent by other forces were also large. The mood isn’t good.”

“It was a situation where a fight would have broken out… but since that spaceship appeared, they are experiencing a headache. They probably can’t decide whether to be in their good books or to go to psychological warfare.”

“The Berserkers used their head well this time. They turned the issue around, saying that our enemies are the monsters. Even displaying it as if they were going to stand at the front when fighting the monsters.”

“I know, right? I thought they were only good at fighting, but they can even play decent political tricks as well.”

Even they were doubtful of the sincerity of the Berserkers’ claims.

 

Of course, there was an exception among them. A very big exception.

“Huh? The Sovereign of Balance, Richard, declared his support of the Berserk Sovereign!”

Worthy of his name, Richard, who was one of the most influential sovereigns in the world, publicly supported Choi Hyuk. It wasn’t simply through words. He clearly showed his support by tracking down active Lao Ban’s followers who were within his group and publicly resisting them. Then, they started a large-scale recruitment of new awakenees.

Once Richard acted this way, the minds of the other sovereigns became even more complicated.

 

One day, while they were divided by their individual thoughts and positions, the advancement evaluation began. Like the ring which appeared in the classroom, an announcement suddenly appeared.

 

______

{First Advancement Evaluation – Dilemma}

The monsters in Dragonic are aware of the invaders, ‘earthlings’. The monsters are planning on sending this information through a relay base to the center. Destroy the relay base before they send this information.

If you are unable to destroy the relay base within the time frame, 1/5 of the population of non-awakenees will be sacrificed to execute a dimensional blow. The relay base will be destroyed, but the selected non-awakenees will die.

 

Participation in this mission is not mandatory. You have a choice. You have 10 seconds.

 

  1. Will go destroy the relay base. (In the case of non-awakenees, they will immediately awaken karma.)
  2. Will not go.

_______

 

It didn’t matter whether one was an awakenee or non-awakenee, they all received the same mission.

It was a simple choice.

 

To go? Or to stay?

 

If they were to go, they would experience fights with their lives on the line. But, they would have the chance of preventing the sacrifice of 1/5 of the non-awakenees.

If they didn’t go, the chance of sacrificing non-awakenees would increase. However, if those who selected to go fought well, they could live comfortably and safely.

 

It was a simple, yet cruel choice.

 


{1} Lotte World Tower is 554m tall.

 

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Comments 10

    1. Are they really an Antagonist group though? I kmagine them being something like Kyuubey for Madoka Magical. Morally wrong by our ethics, but factually correct. It was either get stronger or abandoned in a war, there isn’t any point in wasting resources on a hopeless cause

      1. An excellent point. No matter what in the end the goal will be to get to God of Destruction level as otherwise they will be unable to end the monsters completely. It’d take Beerus to do it. Hell possibly take Zenno to do it. And he just needs to think it and so it is kinda thing.

  1. Altough my meaning in antogonist inclued villainess I refer more of a group that we won’t feel so bad if they calsh with the MC and guet destroyed. But really the MC s not nearly ready to take on 1/10 of their forces

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