SoJ Episode 5 Chapter 70

Episode 5: Citizenship / Chapter 70: Advancement Evaluation (4)

TL: emptycube

Editor: Obelisk

Sponsors: Tyler and tom555j


 

Someone said,

“I’m not going. Why would I go?”

He had chosen the ‘Not going’ option before the 10 seconds were up and laid back down, covered in a blanket.

It was a lonely world anyways. What did it matter to him if 1/5 of the non-awakenees died or not?

 

Another person said,

“What can I do even if I go…”

He was a non-awakenee. He trembled as the 10 seconds passed.

It was better this way. Since he had never fought before in his life, wasn’t it obvious he wouldn’t be of help even if he did go and would die a dog’s death?

“People better than me probably went. It’ll be okay…”

Even if they did fail, it was only a 1/5 probability.

“It’s fine. It’ll be fine.”

The hole he could self-justify himself inside was large and wide.

 

Another was like this.

“Huh? Huh? What? What should I do?”

He troubled over the decision until 10 seconds had passed.

10 seconds was too short of a time to think about it. Like whether one would jump in before a child was hit by a car, they only had enough time to choose with their deeply-imbedded instincts, without thinking.

It was very difficult to choose ‘to go’.

 

The moment the message appeared, Choi Hyuk felt his vision and the surrounding noises fade away. Similar to how it felt when one stared into their white phone screen in the dark, the message window stood out in front of him, and his surroundings became dark. It meant that they were unable to discuss it with others, and people wouldn’t know what decision others made.

The decision to go or not solely rested on each individual.

The ‘Dilemma’ had already started. They could choose to go out of goodwill. However, if the majority of people selfishly chose to ‘not go’, their goodwill would only lead to a dog’s death. It didn’t only depend on their own intentions. It was a problem whether they could trust others. 10 seconds was short, and the decision was difficult.

But, those, who evaluated without taking others into consideration, could easily decide.

“I’ll go.”

Choi Hyuk immediately answered when he read the announcement.

What did he care whether others came or not? If he went, he could get stronger. He could obtain the opportunity for revenge. But, if he didn’t go, he wouldn’t be able to get stronger and would forever remain as a Consumable, unable to dream of revenge. To him, it was a choice he didn’t need to think about.

Even if he was by himself, he had to go and smash them apart.

The moment he decided, the dimensional teleportation began. Space inverted and swallowed him.

Crunch.

“Hmm…”

He felt his stomach being inverted. Choi Hyuk swallowed down the acid coming up. No matter how many times he experienced dimensional teleportation, it didn’t get any more comfortable.

 

When his vision returned, he was inside a white room. It was the size of a classroom, and the walls were smooth and cold like metal.

The wall rippled and a message was engraved.

 

______

{Dimensional Wasps’ Lair}

The most commonly used relay base between dimensions by monsters. Using the unusual secretion of the dimensional wasp queen, they are able to exchange information with other nests far away. The speed of information transmission is slow, but it is hard to target.

 

Dimensional wasps’ nest replicate and multiply within the dimension.

Because of an endless line of identical looking rooms, it is difficult for invaders to locate the path to the queen’s room.

The wasps, that guard the queen, replicate and multiply in each room. Every time you take them out and clear a room, the growing nest collapses and slowly becomes smaller, revealing a path to the queen’s room. On the other hand, the guardian wasps become stronger and more numerous.

 

This place is a ‘dimensional wedge’ created by the alliance to find the path to the queen’s room and to protect and support their allies. In this place, allies can take a break or receive support, and they are also transported to the next path they will enter.

 

Take out the queen within 10 hours.

 

  1. In order to deteriorate the growth of the dimensional wasps’ nest and search for the path that leads to the queen’s room, each member will enter different rooms.
  2. You are able to return to the dimensional wedge once you are done clearing your assigned room of dimensional wasps.
  3. Warriors, who have weak karma and are able to disguise themselves, are given a camouflage incense pouch and an awl.

_______

 

There were eight people inside the room. There was no way only 8 people came from Earth, so he could simply tell that there were countless dimensional wedges.

On a whole, the mood of the eight people was stiff.

There were five who were trembling. He could tell they were non-awakenees with a single glance. The mission this time was given to all earthlings. Since awakenees made up less than 10% of the total population, probability-wise, it was normal for there to be more non-awakenees than awakenees. They raised the ‘camouflage incense pouch’ and the ‘wasp-hunting awl’ which appeared in mid-air. They held the two items in their hands and broke out into a cold sweat. They each had their own reasons for courageously choosing ‘Go’, but now that they were about to fight, they were unable to steady their nerves.

Besides them, the other three, including Choi Hyuk, had their own weapons. Since it was common sense for colonizers to sleep with their weapons next to their heads, they had all brought their weapons even though it was unexpected. However, the only person who had also brought their defensive gear was a South American woman with large eyes.

“Wow… Still, it’s nice to see people gathered here for a good cause.”

She said so refreshingly and comfortably as she blinked her large eyes. Seeing as he could easily understand her even though she was South American, she possessed a ‘Language Resonance Device’. The defensive equipment she wore was decent… Unlike her innocent face, she was an expert.

“Really… I feel a strange sense of hope seeing the people gathered here. Haha.”

A youth chimed in.

The South American woman looked in each person’s eyes as she greeted them, starting with that youth. It seemed she was trying to make them relax. She looked like she was trying to make the novice fighters relax by telling them some things they should be aware of. She was unbelievably kind.

“What is your name? I’m Penelope.”

Eventually, she attempted to introduce herself to Choi Hyuk.

However, Choi Hyuk didn’t give her the slightest attention. He simply approached the wall and shouted,

“We enter.”

Then, the metallic wall ripped and turned into a transparent membrane. Choi Hyuk entered inside without hesitation. “Hehe…” Penelope awkwardly laughed behind him.

 

**

The dimensional wasp’s room was a throbbing purple. It pulsed as if it was alive.

Psshhh.

The dimensional wasp was sort of…. It was more like a skeleton angel or devil than a wasp. Tough, black exoskeleton and pulsating muscular fibers. A sharp stinger hung at the end of its tail. The reason why it gave off an angelic impression despite these features was due to its wings that distorted their surroundings into a haze. Its wings weren’t made of film but energy. Its wings spread out splendidly in the room.

Psssh.

Though, unlike its cool exoskeleton, its wings let out a vibrating sound which got on his nerves.

The wasp shook its wings once and the space around it agitated as it flew towards Choi Hyuk. Its head, which seemed to be a bundle of bones, opened to reveal rows of blades as it tried to bite Choi Hyuk’s head.

Crunch!

Then Choi Hyuk used his fist to shatter the wasp’s head. It didn’t matter whether it was its blades or exoskeleton, it was completely smashed.

“… Weak.”

Dimensional wasps could multiply at incredible speeds, alongside their nest, inside a parallel dimension. However, every time they multiplied, their individual power would drop greatly. It was the same as how beer could be fermented with very small bubbles, where the density of each bubble would be small.

The wasp in front of him wasn’t as tough as it looked. If he considered its strength, it was on the lower end amongst 1-star monsters. It wasn’t even as strong as the crook, which was the first monster he saw. It was an insignificant opponent for Choi Hyuk.

 

As the wasp died, the purple room rippled and turned black. The black wall split on one side, and the door to the white metallic room, the dimensional wedge, opened.

Choi Hyuk returned to the dimensional wedge in less than 10 seconds. In the white metallic room, the colonizers, who had yet to start, awkwardly stared at Choi Hyuk. Perhaps it was to be expected since he returned in less than 10 seconds.

Looking at their figures, it looked like they were surrounding Penelope and were in the middle of learning fighting tricks.

Choi Hyuk indifferently passed them and shouted at the wall.

“Next!”

As Choi Hyuk shouted, the wall swayed and a new notice appeared.

 

______

{Dimensional Wasps’ Lair 1st Stage Boundary Region}

Attack progression rate: 0.000001% -> No idea where the queen’s room is.

 

<Possible Actions>

  1. Return (Locked)
  2. Food Supply (Attack)
  3. Continue to attack

_______

 

From the start, there was only one choice he could choose.

“Continue to attack.”

The door opened again. Afterwards, it was simple repetition. The wasps were still weak, and Choi Hyuk returned to the dimensional wedge every 5 seconds. Every time he returned, he saw the beginner warriors listening to what Penelope was saying. When he returned for the fifth time, there finally was no one in the dimensional wedge. On his seventh, he saw Penelope who had returned from a wasp room. With her ever innocent face, she greeted him friendlily with round eyes. Choi Hyuk passed by and re-entered the wasp room. Returned after slicing through the weak wasp inside. He repeated these actions twenty times.

“How boring…”

This was one of the reasons why it was difficult to attack the dimensional wasps’ nest. The nest, which multiplied like bubbles, wasn’t something he could instantly smash apart simply because he was strong. Even if a strong warrior invaded, he would be unable to make any progress within the endlessly multiplying wasp rooms. Even if he killed and killed, it was difficult to clear the multiplying rooms.

Because of this, they needed an absolutely large number of warriors to attack the wasps’ nest. They needed to attack the wasps’ nest together and deteriorate its multiplication.

Just then, when he finished his twenty-seventh repetitive attack and returned, there was a change. A new announcement had appeared on the wall.

 

{Waiting for the 1st Stage Boundary Region Attack to complete…}

The announcement flickered. It was impossible to attack anymore. Choi Hyuk stood inside the room and waited.

Soon, other warriors, who had finished their attack, returned. As they returned one by one, a total of seven people gathered, including Choi Hyuk. The last remaining person didn’t return. During the waiting time, the six, excluding Choi Hyuk, whispered to each other.

“How was it?”

It was Penelope’s gentle voice. It was lively and filled with concern.

“Yes… Maybe it was because of the camouflage incense pouch, but they thought I was a larva and didn’t attack… When I waited and precisely stabbed its neck with the awl, it squirmed then died… However, there was an incident where I was almost cut apart by its teeth as it squirmed…”

The left arm of the man who was speaking was mutilated as blood flowed out. His face distorted in pain when he glanced at his arm. Penelope quickly covered his face, taking his eyes off his wound, and comforted him.

“Shh… Calm down. Don’t look at your wound. That sort of wound will heal by itself if you rest. Because we are awakenees.”

Choi Hyuk began to slowly find her interesting. ‘Are those actions truly out of sincerity?’ Choi Hyuk, who had spent his time amongst Berserkers, found it hard to believe that a colonizer could be so kind.

 

After passing time like this, the announcement changed.

 

{1st Stage Boundary Region Attack complete. The dimensional wasps’ lair is deteriorating.}

“Ah… Mr. Kimura…”

The moment the announcement popped up, Penelope let out a sad sigh. There were eight people gathered at the start. There were now seven. It seemed that the one known as Kimura had died. Although they were very easy opponents for Choi Hyuk, if he considered that the five were beginners who didn’t even possess 1-star stats but no-star, many more had survived than Choi Hyuk expected. Perhaps it was because of Penelope.

The announcement continued.

 

______

{Dimensional Wasps’ Lair 2nd Stage Outer Region}

Attack progression rate: 0% -> Barely started to deduce the location of the queen’s room.

 

<Possible Actions>

  1. Return to Earth
  2. Food Supply
  3. Continue to attack

 

*Warning. If you choose to return, someone in another dimensional wedge will have to face your opponents in your place.

_______

 

The attack progression rate had changed from 1st stage to 2nd stage. They had skimmed off the bubbles of the boundary region created through multiplying and had taken a step forward.

Then the possible options they could choose in the dimensional wedge were unlocked.

As expected, the most eye-catching option was ‘Return to Earth’. Then the warning below it. That was the problem.

 

“… If I choose to return, someone else would have to fight my opponents as well? … Then, in reverse, doesn’t it mean I might have to face double the opponents?”

It was the man who Penelope had sincerely taken care of just now. He said it in a completely exhausted voice. He glanced at his arm which was now barely starting to stanch.

“… I can’t. I suffered from just one, I’ll die for sure against two.”

His voice seemed like he had come to a decision.

Penelope hurriedly grabbed him.

“You can’t. Mr. Alberto. If you give up here, someone else will face even more danger!”

Alberto’s eyes trembled. He looked at Penelope with a tearful face.

“But… Reversely, the other side might give up.”

He was stricken with fear.

“Don’t… Don’t criticize me. There… There are people who haven’t even come here. Why… Why do I…”

He avoided Penelope’s eyes and said,

“Sorry… Return!”

 

Crunch!

The special effect of dimensional teleportation… Space erased his body as if swallowing him.

“Ah…”

Penelope sighed in regret and the remaining beginners murmured. Like how Alberto had given up, others would have given up as well. They may possibly face double the opponents in this fight. To them, who had only now awakened, this was too cruel.

 

“Sorry… Return!”:

Another shouted his return.

Although the rest didn’t shout to return… their eyes were wavering.

They may have possibly held good intentions. They chose to fight a battle they could have avoided without hesitation.

However, the problem now wasn’t their intentions but others’. ‘Just because I don’t betray them doesn’t mean that the other side, who I’ve never seen before, can’t betray me. Why is it that I need to be this scared, and why is that I need to die like this?’

A cruel test.

 

The second dilemma, the game was about to begin.

 

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Comments 14

  1. Ah… Hope Choi Hyuk order a kill order or that South American would send assassins after those who quit as a warning for the future once they are done.

    1. That would be a tremendous waste. They’re still warriors with decent resolve after all, they just hadn’t transitioned out of being ordinary people quickly enough. From the numbers, you’d probably be killing over half of all awakened, considering people will continue to leave after every round as it gets more difficult.

      If an example must be made, reduce living conditions of those who didn’t fight and introduce preferential treatment in tiers based on your retribution level. They simply aren’t an army yet, there’s no such thing as a deserter. That’s for later.

  2. Read this the other day, but something popped into my head. Couldn’t Choi Hyuk just used the eyes of distinction on Penelope?

    Thanks for the chapter.

  3. I like how they don’t think at all about the fact that if more leave then that leaves more lower level opponents for them to grow off of. It would mean they would have a better chance to grow stronger and do it faster. Silly rabbits.

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