SoJ Episode 5 Chapter 76

Episode 5: Citizenship / Chapter 76: Advancement Evaluation (10)

TL: emptycube

Editor: Obelisk


 

**

The second extinction occurred. What was especially shocking was that the meaning behind the extinction of 1/5 was not of the ‘surviving ones’ but 1/5 of the ‘initial population’. People who were already aware of game design style of the alliance reacted with an ‘Of course,’ however, those who were inwardly optimistic received a huge shock. If it was like this, probability-wise, it would become more and more difficult to survive.

The number of non-awakenees sharply dropped to 60% in two days. All this happened while they were still bewildered. From 80% to 60%, the difference they experienced was drastic.

Up until yesterday morning, many people still went to work.

Although they were able to see who lived and who died by the scattered desks of the absentees. Although there were many people who held onto their phones, calling their family and friends instead of working. Although the break rooms were filled with people, who broke out sobbing, as they watched the news of missing people and the government’s response. Although arguments broke out on whether Choi Hyuk’s countermeasures were right or wrong…

Up until yesterday, people still went to the places they would normally go.

Up until yesterday, there were still quite a few lucky people who hadn’t had any of their friends or family die.

However, after failing another advancement evaluation last night, by morning, the world had completely changed.

Some woke up this morning to see that their wife or husband had disappeared. Parents, who went out last night, looking for their children who had gone missing from their rooms, and came home with the sliver of hope that their child would be home when they returned, despaired once more. Although there were still people who went to work, they were met with an empty office. Amongst them, directors and section chiefs attempted to call their subordinates. The majority of them didn’t answer. Occasionally, when someone answered, they were met with curses and swears when they asked whether they were coming to work or not.

The extinction felt too unreal. Although they didn’t feel it yesterday, they felt it today. What if they failed another advancement evaluation? Only 40% would survive. Not even half. And if they failed again? 20% would remain. While the remaining 20% may be thankful for the first successful advancement evaluation… The remaining 80% would forever be dead. Even if they didn’t die, their loved ones would most definitely die.

For the first time, people’s blood began to boil. Liquid didn’t change its state until it hit a boiling point. If 100 degrees was the boiling point, 10 degrees or 99, there wasn’t a big difference to the naked eye. However, if the temperature increased by 1, the true nature of what had been calm at 99 degrees would be revealed. It was the critical point. The change was dramatic. If it was 99 degrees yesterday, it was 100 degrees today. No, it was at 150 degrees. If it was a liquid state yesterday, it was gaseous today.

These people didn’t know what to do as their blood boiled. They wanted a method. What did they have to do in order to recover from this crisis? And one answer spread out like wildfire. Although it was unknown who spoke it first, through the web and through speech, it was transmitted to everyone.

{Let’s gather at the Berserk Sovereign’s colonized land!}

The Berserk Sovereign.

When they looked back, he was the only person who gave a responsible statement to this situation. When they looked back, he was the only person who had the will to resolve this problem.

In a single day, people’s opinion of Choi Hyuk had changed. What was thoughtless yesterday was a hope today.

 

**

By lunch time, the portal in Yeouido was crowded with waves of non-awakenees… It had come to the point where it was useless to count them all.

A hundred thousand? No, a million, no, 10 million. The numbers grew minute by minute. It seemed like all the non-awakenees in South Korea had gathered here. People suddenly showed up in Seoul. They gathered in Yeouido. Traffic was frozen. As Yeouido Park was too small, the waves of people were pushed as far back as the 63 Building and the National Assembly building. People pushed and entered into the buildings lining the streets. They took their spots in offices which barely had any employees in them. They sat near the windows and looked outside. They sat on roofs and looked out.

Global reporters, who loyally did their job even in this situation, rode on helicopters, flew above Yeouido and live broadcasted this bizarre sight to the world. Foreigners who saw the broadcast were of the same mind. They too, like the Koreans, went out into the streets to find their country’s sovereign, or they gathered in front of a large screen and watched the broadcast relaying the situation in Korea.

It was the largest gathering since Dangun{1}. During the June Democracy Movement{2} or the 2002 World Cup, there were, at most, hundreds of thousands of people gathered at one location. There was never a time during any revolution when the number of people gathered in one location exceeded the millionth scale. Just looking at this sight was magnificent, frightening and exciting. It was something that awakened all the senses a human could feel.

There were times when someone would suddenly ask,

“But why are we gathered here?”

“To change the world!”

The shock from the fact that they gathered was already surpassing its cause.

People had gathered with the thought that they had to do something. What would they do once they were gathered?

There was only a single person who could answer this. It was the Berserk Sovereign, Choi Hyuk.

 

During this time, Choi Hyuk was in Naro’s spaceship. He normally spent his time in Naro’s spaceship these days. It was the same for the other Berserkers as well. They would either be in the spaceship or in the colonized land.

“How unpleasant…”

Choi Hyuk wet his lips as he stared down at the endless crowd below his feet. The spaceship was currently in stealth mode. From the outside, they would only see the blue sky. On the other hand, the inner walls of the spaceship were transparent like glass, and he could clearly see the outside. It was normally a metallic wall, but depending on the situation, he could switch it as he pleased.

“… Really, I never imagined that it would turn out like this. As expected, you can’t predict the future in politics.”

Baek Seoin stood in front of him with his hand placed on his thumping chest.

Tens of millions of people were gathered to see Choi Hyuk.

Just the fact that they had gathered made Baek Seoin, Lee Jinhee, Ryu Hyunsung… and all of the Berserkers, including Choi Hyuk, become embroiled in an incomprehensible worry.

Gatherings had that sort of strength. Green migratory locusts were normally cute. However, when they started to gather, their bodies would rapidly produce serotonin and change their shape. They would grow and their color would change into a reddish-brown. They would devastate people’s fields as they traveled in swarms. A cute insect would turn into a fearful locust swarm. Gatherings weren’t simply a quantitative change, but also brought a qualitative change in the individuals.

Humans, who were social animals, were the same. With the simple action of gathering together, they were becoming completely different from normal. They hadn’t done anything yet, but they were already immersed in this feeling of having accomplished everything. If Choi Hyuk showed up now, it would be like the second coming of Christ.

 

However, Naro warned,

“Please be careful. You cannot leave them alone to be intoxicated by this feeling.”

Choi Hyuk, who had been about to leave, halted and asked,

“Why?”

“From my deductions, the chance that the fourth advancement evaluation will not happen soon is high. They are going to test the humans. From when I’ve investigated, humans are outstanding at gathering, but at the same time, have the characteristic of being unable to maintain such a large gathering for a long time. In a short while, the crowd will disperse. Also, the more intoxicated they become from this feeling, the greater the dejectedness would be once they disperse.”

“… Ah…”

Choi Hyuk let out a sigh. There was a break period of a day between the first and second advancement evaluations. There was no break between the second and third advancement evaluation as they commenced the day after each other. Then, it was obvious he would expect the fourth evaluation to take place within the next two days. The reason why over 10 million people gathered in a cramped Yeouido within half a day was because they were nervous that there would be another evaluation soon.

However, what if the evaluation didn’t occur right away? No, since when was it guaranteed that it would occur right away?

Naro pushed its hands out and did a pressing down gesture as if telling him to calm down.

“The message master has to give now is to actually calm the crowd down.”

“… Calm the crowd down?”

“Yes. So that this passion can continue to persevere like a charcoal fire.”

“…”

Choi Hyuk acknowledged its words.

 

Choi Hyuk discussed general ideas on what to say with his top executives and Naro as ‘calming them down’ was something he wasn’t confident in. However, that didn’t mean he wanted to send a follower out to say memorized words without sincerity in this current mood.

Once he finished his preparations, Choi Hyuk exited the spaceship.

Naro prepared the effects.

The blue sky rippled like waves. Its stealth mode had been deactivated. The enormous fortress-type spaceship, covered in white metal, was revealed in the sky above Yeouido. Yeouido became dark, almost as if it was about to rain.

<<<Woah…>>>

Shouts of admiration. The people, who covered the ground, made a commotion. It felt as though the ground itself was shouting.

A ray of light, piercing through the darkness, came down, and Choi Hyuk walked down the path of light.

Cheers erupted. Their shouts shook the buildings.

Choi Hyuk, who had been walking slowly, stopped in midair. They could clearly see his silhouette from afar. It was like the descent of a god.

Yeouido, which had been shaking from the cheers, instantly became silent. Worried they might miss even a word of Choi Hyuk’s speech, they shut their mouths and perked their ears. The whole world perked their ears for Choi Hyuk.

Choi Hyuk opened his mouth. Due to the application of Naro’s telepathic skill, his voice was as clear as if he was speaking right next to them.

To the people who were awaiting his words, like the voice of god, he said,

{Are you happy?}

What did this mean? Their brains couldn’t easily interpret the words they had heard. Only silence. Choi Hyuk continued,

{Now that you’re gathered like this, do you feel that you’ve accomplished something?}

His voice was filled with criticism.

{Dream on. 40% of the population has died already. We are halfway to losing. What were you people doing while 40% of the population died, and why have you come crawling out now? I don’t trust you people. Nor do I care about you. It’s your job. Do what you want. If you don’t want to die, fight or don’t. Do you want me to compliment you? But, you all probably won’t fight then either. If there was an evaluation now, maybe the majority of you will fight. Because you are intoxicated with the mood. However, 2 weeks from now, a month from now, the majority of you will not fight. Since the mood will have cooled. I hate you all. I hate the people who haven’t fought until now and will hate the people who do not fight from now even more. I will definitely find a way to make you pay the price. Now then… Since you’re disrupting the traffic, break it up.}

 

It was as though cold water had been poured on them. Rage, as well as a sense of crisis, burrowed into their hearts.

Only then did the people realize the gazes of colonizers looking at them. The ones who died were the non-awakenees. To the colonizers, this was someone else’s concern. This tendency was especially strong in the first generation awakenees, who had lost all their family and friends. They had long since become disgusted with the non-awakenees, who didn’t even fight for themselves.

This was the major reason why they returned from the third advancement evaluation in failure. To attack the queen wasp in the 3rd stage, they needed to pierce through the strong guardian wasps which were at 2-3-star level. It was during this time that they needed more experienced colonizers than beginner warriors. However, as they progressed with advancement evaluations, the number of participating colonizers gradually decreased. Even if each sovereign and the Camilla clan fought with all they had, it was insufficient. From the start, there were many followers under sovereigns who didn’t participate, and there were even more colonizers not affiliated with sovereigns.

The number of experienced colonizers, that was the key.

Even during the first advancement evaluation, the Berserkers, who were the first team to attack, didn’t face too many losses. If the teams following behind them didn’t separate the guardian wasps, even Choi Hyuk wouldn’t have been able to target the queen wasp.

 

Also, there were still many colonizers who were skeptical.

“Isn’t it obvious we’re going to be consumables anyways? Let’s enjoy the rest of our lives.”

It had come to a point where words like these were openly circulated amongst colonizers.

The effort the non-awakenees showed was still disappointing. To ensure their lives for the time being, they spent enormous sums of money to head to the colonized lands and become awakenees. The meaning behind it was clear. ‘I won’t participate in the advancement evaluation after becoming an awakenee.’ It was because they wouldn’t cease to exist even if they failed the advancement evaluations.

Looking at this, someone said,

“Look, typical of humans.”

 

Two weeks passed like this. Nothing happened.

 

Two weeks was an iffy timing. Although the shock didn’t recede, it didn’t mean they couldn’t do anything during this time. They still needed to continue production to live. Like that, one by one, their minds changed. It changed from an emergency crisis to normal life. And at that point, the fourth advancement evaluation began, burrowing into the cracks in their hearts.

 

{Participate? Or not?}

 

When the announcement appeared and the opportunity arose, people suddenly remembered Choi Hyuk’s cynical remarks. There were people who chose to participate due to the sudden surge of rage.

Yet, there were still many who did not.

Their tense hearts had become soft, and 10 seconds was too short.

“Wha… What do I do?”

During the short time they were indecisive of their decision, 10 seconds had passed. Only then did they dejectedly say,

“… Fuck… It’s just as that bastard, the Berserk Sovereign, said…”

 

Still, there were at least ten times the number of non-awakenees who participated in the fourth evaluation than the third. Some said it was because of Choi Hyuk’s speech, and others said to stop spouting bullshit.

However, the number of colonizers who participated was actually less than the third evaluation. The colonizers, who received the announcement this time, didn’t want to fight for the non-awakenees. At least the followers affiliated with sovereigns followed their sovereigns and participated, but the majority of those who weren’t affiliated chose not to participate. It was more so because the colonizers, who were willing to fight for the non-awakenees, had already fought during the first, second, and third evaluations, and so the ones remaining were those who had consistently chosen to not participate.

In the fourth advancement evaluation, the one known as the strongest, Choi Hyuk, participated. Even still, many predicted they would fail.

“What’s the point if there are a lot of non-awakenees? No matter how berserk the Demon King runs around, they won’t be able to attack the 3rd stage with that many colonizers.”

“If they attempted the 3rd stage with a noticeably smaller number of colonizers… Then well, the beginner warriors will just be annihilated. How can no-star awakenees fight 2-3-star monsters?”

 

However, that evening, people witnessed a countless number of survivors. Many beginner warriors survived and returned. Also, no one ceased to exist that day.

The keywords, ‘Berserk Sovereign, Demon King, Choi Hyuk, Flames,’ were plastered on portal sites.

 

2 wins, 2 losses. It was a dramatic draw.

 


{1} Dangun – the legendary founding father of Gojoseon, the first ever Korean kingdom. This is basically saying that it was the largest gathering since the inception of Korea.

{2} June Democratic Movement was a nationwide democracy movement in South Korea in 1987.

 

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Comments 11

  1. If the 5th one will still be exactly the same, then I guess pretty many of the non-awakenees and hopefully they’ll allow enough Sovereigns as well.

    On the other hand, it would possibly only be for all the current non-awakenees and all the ones who awakened during the earlier examinations, just to see if a new mob can possibly win by themselves.

  2. Wooohoooo. Now kneel and beg for the salvation to your god, Choi Hyuk vich. They should’ve change cho hyuk nickname from demon king to demon god. It’ll be better if there’s a fanatic that create religion, where the god is choi hyuk.

  3. Damn this chapter had the feels In all the right places, I don’t even care about how long they are taking for this part because that was just too epic

  4. Well I hope they advance the next one, now those that didn’t participate, I dread to think what that Demon King will do to them.

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