Episode 5: Citizenship / Chapter 81: Musical Chairs (4)
Freeman’s colonized land was connected to a portal in the middle of New York Central Park.
The U.S. blocked off and surrounded the entire Central Park area. Tens of thousands of soldiers from the infantry regiment, artillery regiment, mechanized infantry brigade, special forces brigade, as well as others, gathered here. At the same time, they were also awakenees. Although the soldiers were approximately at the 1-star level, and although they may not possess the ability to threaten people at the 3-star level, their equipment surely possessed enough firepower to threaten those with 2-stars.
Even though they were on full alert as they assumed an all-out war against the Berserkers, the leaders didn’t believe that the Berserkers would make such a crazy move like passing through the portal. This was simply a state of alertness just in case.
Because of this, when someone came through the portal which had been idle until now, the U.S. army thought that he was an ally who had escaped late. However, the tall man with black hair and a resilient figure was strikingly similar to someone who had become incredibly famous recently.
Their confusion was short-lived. The commanding officers recognized that the most dangerous person in the world had passed through the portal.
The command to fire was given before even 3 seconds had passed since Choi Hyuk had come through. It was a response following the rules of engagement issued beforehand. However, 3 seconds was too late. No, whether it was 0.3 or 3 seconds, from the start, this didn’t make much difference to Choi Hyuk.
The barrage of bullets, shells, and even the long-distance attacks by the so-called ‘magicians’ all-
“Flaming Wing Dance.”
-Turned to ash along with Choi Hyuk’s words.
‘Scarlet flames vividly licked their surroundings.’ Even if this description was a bit comical, it was well-suited. The first line of the encirclement turned into ash where they stood. A slaughter without the slightest mercy.
The blood-red flames fluttered like feathers of an angel. They burned in the air and devoured the soldiers’ fear-stricken pupils, open mouths and their blackened throats were revealed within. Depressing fireworks…
The Predator’s Blade’s body distorted as it came out of its sheath.
Choi Hyuk blinked his eyes once before running in a certain direction. He clearly recalled the location of the Clown Sovereign Freeman in his head.
The first line had fallen, but there were still the second and third. Yet…
“How can we block that…”
The scarlet flames devoured everything. The infantry regiment fell into a state of confusion. The artillery regiment was powerless. The armored brigade collapsed. The special forces brigade was annihilated. The awe-inspiring encirclement became desolate.
The Berserkers went through the portal following closely behind Choi Hyuk. There was more confusion. Each team leader ordered and the directors emphasized it once more.
“Push! Push! Secure some room!”
“Completely fuck them up! Make a solid retreat route!”
“Don’t go easy and kill them!”
The U.S. army, which had focused on Choi Hyuk, was easily wiped out by the Berserkers’ charge.
The U.S. army’s tactics were to use quick 1-star awakenees to target their enemies with powerful firearms from afar. That was why the moment they let the Berserkers rush in close without suffering any damage, they couldn’t help but collapse hopelessly.
Before one could even shudder from flesh-boiling heat, wet blood spilled and seeped into the ground. The Berserkers weren’t merciful in the slightest. Their mercy was, on the contrary, inflicting them with the greatest possible fear. ‘Watch and shiver. Flee in fear. If you don’t flee, you’ll most definitely die.’ They clearly engraved this certainty into their hearts. They made it so that they would flee to the ends of the Earth, unable to raise their swords again. That was their mercy.
They were torn apart. When they thought a soldier was being taken out, a squad had been torn apart. Platoons, no, companies were massacred. Regiments defeated. The U.S. was routed.
The Berserkers were like a wedge splitting a rock. They drove into the cracks of the U.S. army and split them into small pieces.
Choi Hyuk left Central Park. Following his steps, the park, which used to be the resting area for New Yorkers, was erased. The grass turned into ash and the lakes evaporated.
Choi Hyuk was simply taking the shortest distance to reach his target, the Clown Sovereign Freeman. He didn’t care about what was happening behind him. It was because he had the Berserkers. He didn’t conserve any karma. Freeman was currently in the underground bunker of the White House and was attending a national security conference. Choi Hyuk didn’t plan on giving him the opportunity to escape. By the time he received a report about how Choi Hyuk was terrorizing the White House and that he should escape, Choi Hyuk would already be there.
The ‘Karma Characteristic-Changing Mobilization Device TYPE A’, also known as the Shoes of Hermes, which Naro had shown off, were burning red due to the excessive amount of karma being injected into them.
There was around 360 km between New York and the White House, yet Choi Hyuk was planning on covering that distance in 30 minutes.
Choi Hyuk passed through while the Berserkers cleaned up after him.
“Secure a retreat route from New York to Washington! Guardian, artillery captain, and Hyunsung, stay here, Chu Youngjin and Lee Jinhee, follow me!”
Ordered Baek Seoin. Approximately 8,000 out of the over 10,000 Berserkers remained in New York to completely crush the U.S. army. The remaining 2,000 elites charged towards Washington, following behind Choi Hyuk.
No matter how strong Choi Hyuk was, because there was a limit to his stamina, the existence of the Berserkers, who cleared a safe retreat route, was indispensable.
The Clown Sovereign Freeman was someone who made very quick decisions. However, even he would make mistakes. Like how he didn’t immediately flee the moment he heard the news that Choi Hyuk had pierced through the encirclement in Central Park and was on his way to Washington.
Of course, he was quite busy at the time.
“Sorry. Mr. President.”
The president of the United States, Frank, was dying in the security meeting room, which was meant for his safety, in the underground bunker of the White House.
The Chief Officer of the Presidential Security was filled with rage. Although he was a well-known expert in the U.S., he was currently unable to move even a finger. With his eyes glaring, he could only tremble as his whole body stood rigidly.
“You traitor worse than a dog! You…”
“Ah, stop there.”
When Freeman waved his hand, the chief officer couldn’t let out a voice.
He tried so hard to speak that the veins on his face were bulging, yet like a person who was being choked, he couldn’t let out a proper sound.
“Ah… Still, as the Chief Officer of the President, do you have one stat at the 4-star level? Quite bothersome.”
Freeman leisurely leaned against the sofa and waved his hand a few times.
Then the security guards and government cabinet members, who had been won over by Freeman, stabbed their swords into the chief officer’s body.
As he had a high Endurance stat, the chief officer’s body let out metallic sounds, however, he was unable to block the attacks covered with karma blades. His arms fell, then his legs; his body fell in pieces and dirtied the floor of the security meeting room. Like that, corpses and puddles of blood littered the floor like garbage. This was treason.
As if the meeting room, which was filled with the stench of blood, had become his own, he sat comfortably with a dull smile.
“When I thought about it, it was too much of a waste to give you 50%.”
Only after that commotion had passed did Freeman recall the report that Choi Hyuk was charging towards Washington. He laughed like a child.
“That, that Berserk Sovereign. So bad, how could he kill the president of the United States?”
Freeman believed that he would live and that the Berserk Sovereign would become humanity’s enemy. He believed in the troops guarding Washington, his clan members who were second to none, and the volunteer troops who had come from various places enraged that their mainland, the U.S., had been invaded.
Freeman thought that, even if half the rumors about the Berserk Sovereign were true, he would be able to push towards the White House. However, that was it. He would have simply fled to the back by then. If anything, he needed him to push towards the White House so that he could accuse the Berserk Sovereign of assassinating the president.
“Work hard. So you don’t disappoint me.”
That was when an urgent message was sent to Freeman, who had been sitting comfortably.
“The Berserk Sovereign pierced through Washington’s border!”
Even until then, Freeman was relaxed.
“Already? He’s faster than I thought.”
However, urgent messages followed one after another, almost simultaneously.
“The Berserk Sovereign entered Washington!”
“He will soon enter the White House! He’s too fast. Sovereign, you need to escape!”
Freeman was taken aback as he said,
Just when Freeman was about to leave, sunlight entered the underground bunker.
Whoosh. Ashes fell. Even the metal didn’t melt but instead burned, turning into ash and smoke. This was something that wouldn’t happen in the bunker even if a nuclear bomb had been dropped. Yet, in front of the ability of karma, which approached a superhuman level, material protection was of no use.
A man fell, accompanying the pouring sunlight.
Said the man.
The events of that day were an unparalleled humiliation in U.S. history.
A one-sided defeat. The number of dead soldiers approached the thousands, Central Park, which was one of the symbols of the U.S., had turned to ash, the White House had collapsed, and President Frank and the Clown Sovereign Freeman had been killed in the middle of the White House. The Berserk Sovereign, who had stomped on the U.S., leisurely went back through the portal while receiving the protection of the Berserkers.
The citizens of the U.S. were furious.
And the only U.S. sovereign who could answer their rage was Jessie. The sovereign who had uploaded lectures on fighting techniques on Youtube and had gained great popularity. The sovereign who some had thought was the strongest before Choi Hyuk revealed his true worth. That was Jessie. The sovereign who opened the fate ‘Superstar’, which increased his karma the more compliments he received from people and the more influential he became. Unlike the others who had nicknames, he was simply a celebrity known as ‘Sovereign Jessie’.
Jessie who was visiting the place of the incident, the White House, smiled awkwardly.
“… So. You’re saying you think it was one-sided?”
Asserted his follower, who had gained a perception-type trait. Even though Jessie had never doubted his insight… it was difficult to accept this time.
“Does that make sense? You know it as well. How strong that old snake, Freeman, was.”
Even when everyone praised him, saying he was the strongest, he never once thought he was. Since there was Freeman. Although he had never directly fought against Freeman, Jessie always anticipated that Freeman’s karma stats was either at the same level as or above his. He expected that Freeman would likely have had around three of his important stats at the 3-star level. Of course, fights weren’t fully determined by this, but either way, looking at the indicators objectively, he always believed he wasn’t the strongest. Because of Freeman… the one who had just been one-sidedly killed.
“Does that even make sense? I admit that the Berserk Sovereign is strong. I admit that. But Freeman was killed one-sidedly? And that’s even when President Frank was with him as well?”
“From what traces are left, that seems to be the case.”
To be honest, it wasn’t the traces but the situation. The only trace left here was the enormous pile of ashes. Not even corpses remained. Only, the fact that Freeman and Frank were killed was definite, and the problem was that the time Choi Hyuk took to rush into the White House and leave wasn’t even 10 minutes. It was hard to accept that time unless they were one-sidedly killed.
Although he couldn’t believe it, he had no choice but to.
Jessie became momentarily silent.
Currently, the entire U.S. was requesting him for revenge in blood. Against the Berserkers who invaded their mainland and against the Berserk Sovereign who made soldiers and innocent civilians lose their lives. As their last remaining U.S. sovereign, they called for him to take revenge.
Because the compliments of others and their influence were important to the Jessie clan, who had the fate ‘Superstar’, this request was hard to refuse. However… The enemy they would have to face may be much stronger than they thought. An opponent who may have been strong enough to kill that Freeman with ease…
When Jessie’s thoughts reached that point, he suddenly became delighted.
“Wow… This will be quite the picture. What do you think of the concept of a hero challenging the demon king?”
They spread this material everywhere. Ridiculously strong. Ruthless without hesitation. If they used this, they could definitely make a picture. This fact delighted Jessie as the driving force which made him stronger was fame after all.
There was another meaning behind this fact… It was that the Jessie clan possessed excellent ‘directing’ skills.