SoJ Episode 5 Chapter 71

Episode 5: Citizenship / Chapter 71: Advancement Evaluation (5)

TL: emptycube

Editor: Obelisk

Sponsors: tom555j and boop


 

 

The first decision was somewhat easy. Whether they were going to fight to save 1/5 of the non-awakenees or not, one single decision. If they had just closed their eyes and chose, that would have been the end of it. It was a decision emotional people could have chosen romantically, thinking ‘I’ll do something good for a change!’

However, the second decision they had to make was one based in reality. Because they had already experienced fighting, they could clearly imagine, in frightening detail, the events that would happen later.

Didn’t beginner warriors only have one technique anyways?

 

  1. Use the camouflage incense pouch to get close to the dimensional wasp.
  2. When the dimensional wasp lets down its guard after smelling the scent of a larva, use the wasp-hunting awl to deal a fatal blow.

 

This method would work quite well against one wasp. However, what if there were two? Would one stay still even after seeing the other die?

The answer that popped up burrowed into their minds.

‘I’ll die!’

There was a big difference between ‘I might die’ and ‘I will die’. The moment they thought this, they were stricken with fear.

The crossroads of life and death made their heads spin.

 

  1. If I continue to attack? If someone else doesn’t give up, I have a 50% chance of surviving. However, if someone else does give up, I have a high chance of dying. But there is no guarantee that this mission will be successful just because I die. Also, even if the mission was successful, what’s the point if I’m dead? I, who bore a sacrifice, will die, while the one who gave up cowardly will live instead.
  2. If I give up on attacking? I have a 100% chance of surviving for the moment. If someone else doesn’t give up and fights well, the chances of successfully completing the mission will greatly increase as well. If the other person gives up as well, although the chances of successfully completely the mission will drop, I, at least, avoid the situation where I alone bear the sacrifice. It was fair.

 

For those who thought of their life first, there wasn’t a need to trouble themselves over the decision. Giving up on attacking was the answer. Those who fought in case they would be part of the 1/5 non-awakenees to die quickly chose to return. They were now awakenees anyways and wouldn’t be part of the 1/5 to die.

Those who still remained were those who had other things that tugged on their minds besides that. Whether it was family, principle, or their natural personality.

… Or worry about Earth’s future. Those who were quick witted already felt it. That the annihilation of 1/5 non-awakenees wouldn’t be all. That if they all gave up and failed this mission, it might somehow result in the collapse of Earth. However, it was also a reason that held no weight right now.

‘When I’m about to die right now?’

What filled their vision wasn’t of what was far away, but what was right in front of their eyes.

One thought came up repeatedly in some people’s heads.

‘Ah… I shouldn’t have come from the beginning.’

 

Choi Hyuk passed through the middle of that hesitation and pain as if it was nothing.

Dilemma was being indecisive between two choices. Because of this, those who had already thrown away the alternatives didn’t fall into a dilemma.

“A waste of time.”

Choi Hyuk thought, ‘It’s better to kill another monster in the time you thought about it.’

“Resume.”

Choi Hyuk walked out of the dimensional wedge with surefooted steps.

 

“Puha… That fellow, he has a straightforward personality. He’s him, right? The person who’s famous these days. The Demon King, Choi Hyuk.”

The man who had been silent until now said as he jingled the sword which hung at his waist. He looked around at the beginner warriors who had fallen into a state of confusion.

“Don’t feel so dejected. The first awakenees were thrown into this fight without a choice. From my perspective, this is an opportunity to get stronger comfortably. Crying already… Anyways, take care.”

Then, he walked out of the dimensional wedge, swinging his arms.

Looking at him from behind, Penelope thought that it was time for her to leave as well. The more deserters there were, the greater the experts needed to try their best. In her sweet voice, she said to the beginner warriors,

“Don’t worry or blame yourself too much. It’s normal for you to be scared. Then… Please take good care of yourselves.”

Penelope prepared to risk her life as she told others that being scared was normal. Although she looked soft and innocent, she too was a tenacious person who had already thrown away all of the other alternatives.

 

**

There wasn’t much of a difference between the 1st and 2nd stage. Although the monsters became a bit stronger, this made no difference to Choi Hyuk. The wasps had still not reached the 2-star level. Occasionally, another wasp would be added, becoming two, but they still only took one strike anyways…

The bigger difference was the dimensional wedge he returned to after attacking a room. In the 1st stage, he always returned to the same dimensional wedge, but this time, it was always different.

Thanks to this, Choi Hyuk was able to see all sorts of different groups.

While Choi Hyuk repeatedly attacked 10 rooms, there were dimensional wedges filled with agonizing beginner fighters. Perhaps it was because of this, but the attack rate went up at a ridiculously slow rate.

 

______

{Dimensional Wasps’ Lair 1st Stage Outer Region}

Attack progression rate: 0.00001% -> Barely started to deduce the location of the queen’s room.

 

<Possible Actions>

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

_______

 

When he had returned after attacking by himself during the 1st stage, the attack rate was 0.000001%. It was a percentage with five 0s after the decimal… As a fraction, it was 1 out of 100 million. That meant there were at least 100 million rooms. He was also able to infer that at least tens of millions of warriors participated in the 1st stage from this. So, although Choi Hyuk attacked 27 rooms by himself, his level of contribution was insignificant.

It was the same this time as well. Choi Hyuk alone attacked 10 times, but the 2nd stage attack rate was now only 0.00001%. Four 0s after the decimal… As a fraction, it was 1 out of 10 million. Because the majority of the recruited warriors were beginner fighters, and since they didn’t act, the attack rate had barely risen.

Still, Choi Hyuk didn’t mind. As he silently continued to attack and clear away the dimensional wasps, the dimensional wedge had, at some point, become completely empty. The ones who had decided to give up had given up, and those who decided to attack had gone to attack.

Only then did the attack rate start to move.

 

Even though many gave up, since there still were a lot of people who continued, the attack began to rise quickly.

{Attack progression rate: 3.78577% -> Barely started to deduce the location of the queen’s room.}

However, it was clear that the risk for beginner warriors was higher compared to the 1st stage. Choi Hyuk met people with all sorts of hesitation and pain.

After finishing his attack and returning to the dimensional wedge, Choi Hyuk was met with a shivering woman. Her arm had been completely cut off. She sat still, unable to select ‘Return to Earth’ or ‘Continue to attack’. Perhaps she was waiting for the wound on her arm to stanch.

Choi Hyuk simply passed by. She too didn’t look at Choi Hyuk.

 

{Attack progression rate: 11.57325% -> Barely started to deduce the location of the queen’s room.}

Choi Hyuk finished his attack again and entered a dimensional wedge.

This time, there was a man. He was a beginner warrior. He mumbled to himself,

“Fight? Return? Fight? Return?”

When Choi Hyuk walked past him, he hurriedly called out to Choi Hyuk,

“Hey! Please wait!”

But Choi Hyuk passed by as if he couldn’t hear him.

 

{Attack progression rate: 51.35781% -> Barely started to deduce the location of the queen’s room.}

The beginner warriors were definitely doing their share. Nonetheless, at some point, the attack progression rate gradually started to slow down. They were fatigued from fighting, and the casualties were growing. Once these beginner warriors narrowly returned to the dimensional wedge, the continuous choice of whether to return or attack unceasingly corroded their will. They were exhausted and scared. The thought of ‘I did my share,’ slowly bared its head.

It was more than understandable. But, for the success of the mission, they couldn’t admit it. When they considered the dimensional wasps’ nest that could endlessly replicate itself, a decline in their attack rate could be fatal.

Choi Hyuk was clearly aware of this. ‘The attack rate can’t slow down.’ Yet, this wasn’t something he could do by himself. There were 10 million from the start. Even if Choi Hyuk alone attacked 100 or 1000 times, it wouldn’t make a noticeable difference. So… A special action was required. He didn’t have time to think intricately.

‘Now’s not the time to be picky.’

Choi Hyuk resolved himself. The advancement evaluation was a key point he had to pass for his revenge. For his revenge, he was literally willing to do ‘anything’.

Just in time, the environment was becoming more advantageous for him. The dimensional wedges which had been scattered everywhere to destroy the expanding dimensional wasps’ nest came together and grew larger. The dimensional wedges, which fitted 8 people at the start, had now become large enough for tens of people to access it. That meant… that it was now possible to control the crowds.

Choi Hyuk tested something before acting.

‘Continue to attack.’

He didn’t say it out loud, but only repeated the command in his mind.

Fortunately, nothing happened.

 

There were a few beginner warriors gathered in the dimensional wedge Choi Hyuk was in.

They were in the middle of taking a break, talking to each other while waiting for their trifling wounds to stanch.

“I have a 3-year-old daughter. So I can’t give up. If my daughter somehow becomes part of the 1/5 and dies, I will probably never forgive myself.”

“But what happen to your daughter if you die?”

“Since she has a great dad, she’ll be fine.”

From the beginning, these people had chosen to take the challenge instead of running away within the 10 seconds given to them. Although others gave up and left, they didn’t flee even though they may have had to fight twice the number of enemies. The ones who were still alive until now were, in general, out of the ordinary. They had resolved their will.

But, even still, it wasn’t as though everyone was of the same mind.

While people exchanged their resolutions and words of encouragement, someone slumped his head and mumbled,

“… Sorry… I’m sorry… This is it for me. Re…!”

Smack!

The word he wanted to say was ‘Return’. However, he was unable to say it. Choi Hyuk appeared as if he had sprouted from the ground and blocked his mouth with his right hand.

‘As expected, since he can’t talk, the return won’t activate.’

Things went as he planned.

 

“No, what is this!”

The surprised crowd stood up from Choi Hyuk’s sudden use of violence. Yet, Choi Hyuk ignored them. He blocked the squirming man’s mouth and pushed him towards the metallic wall.

Then he warned him.

In a quiet voice only he could hear.

“If you bring up ‘Re’ of ‘Return’ again, I’ll cut your right arm. And if you say it again, I’m going to slit your throat. Now, the only thing you can say is that you will attack.”

After his warning, Choi Hyuk let go of the man he had his hand on. The man shook Choi Hyuk off and furiously expressed his protest. Although, it didn’t last long.

“This crazy…! Gaack!”

The man was about to swear at Choi Hyuk. Suddenly, his right arm was rolling on the cold, metallic floor. He didn’t even see Choi Hyuk unsheathe his sword, but his arm was already cut off.

Choi Hyuk calmly warned him,

“There’s not much time. Go attack.”

The man, filled with pain, was unknowingly about to curse again.

But, Choi Hyuk was a step faster as he cut him off and warned him again,

“This time is your neck.”

The man’s voice, which was on the verge of sounding out, miraculously halted. Choi Hyuk simply stared hard at the man, who had broken out into a cold sweat due to pain, and ordered,

“Go.”

Feeling fear, the man opened his mouth.

“Con… Continue to attack.”

A path to the dimensional wasps’ nest appeared. The man’s face became pale white. The man, whose arm had been cut off, looked back and forth between Choi Hyuk and the pathway as he showed a desperate expression.

“Please… Please don’t do this.”

Yet, there was no change in Choi Hyuk’s expression.

“Go.”

The man, in a state of panic, shouted,

“Why me! What did I do wrong?! I… I… risked my life and came here to take responsibility… I fought as much as I could! However, I’m scared now… I want to live… Is that wrong?! Huh? I should have ignored the announcement and slept like others! Then, I wouldn’t have met a crazy bastard like…”

Smack.

Choi Hyuk wordlessly kicked the man and pushed him through the pathway. As soon as the man entered, the pathway disappeared, and the smooth, metallic wall reappeared.

 

“…”

Choi Hyuk, who had been silent for a moment, only then turned his gaze towards the people gathered in the dimensional wedge. They were all beginner warriors. They were dumbstruck at Choi Hyuk’s sudden act of violence. However, because he looked undoubtedly stronger than them, they didn’t dare attempt to restrain him.

Choi Hyuk looked at them as he gripped his sword. Then he sincerely thought,

‘Should I kill them all?’

 

Grip.

 

The moment Choi Hyuk made up his mind, the inside of the dimensional wedge became chaotic.

‘Mon… Monster… A real monster!’

A monster that was incomparable to the dimensional wasps was here with them. The senses all over their body began to give off warnings. Their hair stood up. Their animalistic instincts shouted, ‘Danger! Flee!’

“Co… Continue to attack!”

“Continue to attack!”

Beginner warriors chose to attack in order leave the dimensional wedge like scattering grasshoppers. Danger also made them unconsciously reveal their inner thoughts.

“Re… Gaahk!”

“Ret… Kyak!”

Those who attempted to flee by choosing ‘return’ instead of ‘attack’ all had their arms cut off. Choi Hyuk’s ears didn’t miss even the smallest whispers, and his Karma Blade pierced through the air as he didn’t give them even the slightest opportunity.

“Devil! Devil!!!”

“Don’t do this, please! Please? Don’t do this!”

Choi Hyuk pushed the ones who were trembling in fear into the pathways leading to attack.

As they cried, cursed Choi Hyuk, or even cursed themselves, who had chosen to fight… they all passed through the pathways leading to attack and disappeared.

 

To be honest, they weren’t people who should have been treated like such. When others didn’t even come to fight, they were the ones who willingly chose to fight. When others gave up on the first choice and returned, they were the ones who fought at least one more time. Although their hearts eventually broke, they were still more courageous than anyone.

Unfortunately, for the completion of this mission, they didn’t have any other alternatives and were cruelly required to change their attitudes at this moment. Although their will in coming to the battlefield may have been noble, there was nothing noble in this place. It was simply hell. The abode of devils, who would do anything for victory.

Choi Hyuk was one of those devils. He desperately wanted the successful completion of the mission, but he wasn’t good-natured and his method of handling people wasn’t good. To them, this was a tragedy.

 

Choi Hyuk’s actions had now changed. When he finished his attack and entered a dimensional wedge, he would emit a murderous aura and make everyone inside the dimensional wedge flee. He left those who fled into the attack pathways but forcefully pushed those who tried to flee into the attack pathways.

He himself became an entity of irrationality and forcefully erased people’s freedom of choice.

“You… will one day pay the price,”

Was what someone said. Choi Hyuk admitted it as well. That all the curses and verbal abuse that they poured onto him were reasonable. However, he still continued.

It wasn’t like he was 100% certain.

‘Would there be an effect just because I do this myself?’

Tens of millions of people had to act. Just because Choi Hyuk was doing this, didn’t mean that the progression rate would increase significantly. It could very well be possible he was making others die or get wounded in vain.

But, even still,

‘This is more effective than me repeatedly attacking alone… And it won’t be just me.’

He was simply doing what he could right at this moment. Choi Hyuk even used the resentment and curses directed at him to fuel his burning revenge. His rage gradually increased.

 

Fortunately for Choi Hyuk, it wasn’t only him who acted after feeling a sense of crisis.

The majority of sovereigns also had similar realizations as Choi Hyuk.

‘We can’t succeed unless the beginner warriors act.’

They orchestrated or threatened the beginner warriors in their own way.

Once these actions accumulated, a clear change appeared in the progression rate, which had slowed down.

{Attack progression rate: 78.11852% -> The deduced location of the queen’s room is very imprecise.}

 

Although they were each in a place where they couldn’t see one another, because their individual methods of increasing the progression rate accumulated and accumulated, they had finally created an immense result.

 

{Attack progression rate: 100%}

 

{2nd Stage Outer Region Attack complete. Dimensional wasps’ lair is deteriorating.}

 

Some used cruel and irrational methods, while others used touching methods to make people act. Either way, they felt as if a sudden shower had passed, leaving them feeling clammy and downcast. People despaired, prayed and bit their lips in front of the dimensional wedge, where they had to choose either to ‘give up’ or ‘attack’. The 2nd stage attack, which felt as if it would never end, was complete.

It was all due to the gruesome fight of the beginner warriors who survived until the end, whether it was by their own volition, because they were influenced by others or were threatened.

 

Rumble!

With the completion of the 2nd stage, the dimensional wedge shook heavily.

 

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Comments 15

  1. Well, for people who think this method is ruthless and merciless, think about it from MC’s perspective. He knows that humanity must complete this trial because if they don’t just losing 1/5 of the unawakened population won’t even be anything big compared to what they will have to go through after they are decided as consumable after this advancement avaluation. That time will be complete annihilation, no matter how strong MC becomes he simply won’t be able to go against a whole planet full of monsters. And there is also the fact that its their cowardness that keeps ‘him’ away from his goal. Just because they are too afraid to fight he has to do everything for them and save their asses forever? I don’t think so. There is a price for everything. Mc pays this price every time there is a strong foe, by putting his life in danger to kill that enemy and protect as many as possible. But these guys are like, “meh, its not like I’m gonna be one of the 1/5 who are gonna die so they can do whatever da fak they want”. they aren’t much better then that Luo something sovereign mc just killed a few chapters ago

    1. It’s the similar to the observers when someone is being bullied. Even though they don’t participate in the bullying, by not helping they’re also at fault. Especially when here where everyone’s/humanity’s lives is on the line.

  2. So Choi Hyuk pushes beginner warriors into fighting regardless of their choice – what stops them from immediately choosing Return after that fight, unless they have the misfortune to run into him or the other pushy people in the next wedge?

    If I was a newbie who wasn’t even considering to give up, seeing this sort of actions would be more likely to make me give up when I could – since otherwise, there will be no freedom of choice when you encounter wasps at your limit but come across a bully who forces you into battle.

    As for those trying to equate newbies who still fought several rounds with Lao Ban’s followers or onlookers of bullying; how can you even compare them? Even if you want to call them ‘guilty by reason of ignoring others’, that applies to those who passed up the chance to fight altogether. I’m hoping that this ‘selection’ ends with a twist where those who chose No or ran away after 1st round are left as consumables while only the ones who made some progress get to advance to remove the consumable status.

  3. Jack is a LOW charisma leader and might do the same…I would prefer to use influence rather than force though…

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