SoJ Episode 5 Chapter 86

Episode 5: Citizenship / Chapter 86: Musical Chairs (9)

TL: emptycube / ED: Obelisk


 

**

The storm swept through the desert and whooshed with an oddly lengthy rhythm. Richard thought that, for some reason, the wind sounded like music. Like slow Lindy{1}, which he occasionally danced back when things were peaceful. The dance where he held his partner’s hand and danced slowly, sweetly… and playfully.

“… Now, shall we dance?”

Richard recited in a quiet voice and advanced.

 

In the end, there was no exchange between Choi Hyuk and Richard. There wasn’t even the process commonly seen in movies where the leaders of both sides came out, scolding each other and justifying their causes.

The Berserkers and the allied forces only shortened the distance between each other within the storm, and then at some point, they rushed forward without even a shout. Blood splattered like always. Corpses flew up in the air. As it had now become such a common occurrence, it didn’t seem out of place.

 

Choi Hyuk momentarily became immersed in his thoughts.

‘Is this the right way?’

He couldn’t tell at this point. Perhaps what laid at the end was the annihilation of everyone. However, he couldn’t stop in the middle either. Richard’s thoughts? What did he care. Choi Hyuk only thought of one thing.

‘Finish this fight as fast as possible.’

He needed to take down his opponent before the casualties became too large. Like always.

“Flaming Wing Dance.”

Accompanied by Choi Hyuk’s mumble, scarlet flames erupted, even burning the storm.

“Guaaah!”

Would hell be like this? The allied forces’ formation burned like dry firewood. The Berserkers poured in after Choi Hyuk, who left everything burning behind him, and the allied forces, who had become flustered at the flames burning their bodies, eventually had their necks sliced off.

The Berserkers collapsed the allied forces’ formation. However, there was another formation behind that. They collapsed that as well. There was still another formation behind that. Even though the Berserkers increased their army by recruiting at each captured city, they were still absolutely outnumbered against the allied forces made up by 30 sovereigns.

However.

Blaze.

Every time Choi Hyuk’s flames burned the sky, the Berserkers and the drafted soldiers following them didn’t doubt their victory. It was always the same pattern. No matter how numerous their opponents were, they were unable to endure their overwhelming military strength and would begin to flee. It would be no different this time as well.

 

Yet, the condition of the fight this time was different from before.

“Flaming Wing Dance!”

Blaaze!

The flames Choi Hyuk erupted-

“Erdbeben-Blitzschlag (Lightning Quake)!”

Zaap!

-were struck by a golden lightning, which had come down from somewhere, and dispersed.

Choi Hyuk’s advance paused. His gazed turned towards Richard, whose face was half-disfigured by the burns.

“It’s that skill again.”

This was the skill which allowed Richard to survive Choi Hyuk’s attack before.

It was a skill that was well suited with Richard’s trait ‘Penetration’. His karma, which struck like lightning, would create vibrations, shattering its target. Even if he didn’t know it well, it was a top-level skill that didn’t fall behind the three skills he was proud of (Heart Injection, Instant Void Annihilation, and Flaming Wing Dance). It also matched Richard well. As Richard possessed a 5-star level Speed, there was no one who could match him in creating intense vibrations with karma.

However, he couldn’t fully block Choi Hyuk’s flames with just that. Choi Hyuk caught a glimpse of ten people who seemed special even amongst Richard’s hundred guards.

“Was it a skill that can be activated as a group?”

Although he didn’t know what methods he had used, Richard was currently strengthening his Lighting Quake with his ten special followers. The result was the complete destruction of his Flaming Wing Dance.

“… It’s fun.”

A smile unknowingly hung on his lips. If he thought about it rationally, this was a frustrating situation. He had resolved himself to end the fight as quickly as possible, yet there was an obstacle that could threaten his resolution. Still, Choi Hyuk couldn’t stop his lips from curling upwards.

This was the first time his Flaming Wing Dance had been completely blocked since he had unleashed his true flames at the dimensional wasps’ nest. His heart thumped with a thrill that he hadn’t felt when he captured those five colonized lands.

“Try to block this.”

All of his emotions seethed more intensely. Choi Hyuk’s flames gradually tinged blood-red before beginning to drip like blood. He was excited.

But, Richard, who had been observing this scene silently, said,

“Okay. Retreat to the left.”

“Retreat!”

Then Richard’s guards retreated like a receding tide.

“Wha… What the?!”

Flustered, Choi Hyuk quickly activated his Flaming Wing Dance, but, since Richard’s guards specialized in speed, they had already retreated out of his range.

“Huh? Euaaack!”

Only random forces who had been advancing forward were burned by his Flaming Wing Dance and turned into ash.

“What is this… What are you planning?”

They retreated when it was starting to become fun. Not only that, but their retreat was well-timed. Because Richard’s troops had retreated abruptly, the troops behind them began to collapse in vain.

“… What is he doing?”

It wasn’t only Choi Hyuk who was experiencing this perplexing situation.

 

“Euack! Where are you running?”

Lee Jinhee attempted but failed to chase Jessie’s troops, who had suddenly retreated after fighting properly. She couldn’t remember how many times this had occurred. She was becoming crazy with irritation. But this didn’t mean the progression of battle was disadvantageous. In fact, it was better for them.

“I mean, why is he doing that? When their side dies if they retreat in this situation?”

The Jessie clan was as skilled as they were famous. They were skilled enough to completely block Lee Jinhee’s troop, which had been able to go in and out of their enemy territory like it was their own home. Obviously, Lee Jinhee’s fighting spirit couldn’t help but surge, and they began to fight a battle staking everything. However, every time they did, the Jessie clan would cop out after fighting well for some time.

If the Jessie clan, who had been resisting the invasion of Lee Jinhee’s troop, suddenly retreated, the troops behind them would be met with a sudden attack. Because of this, Lee Jinhee’s troop was able to run even wilder. That was good… but Lee Jinhee grew irritated since Jessie didn’t face her.

 

This weird phenomenon occurred everywhere. The elites of the allied forces would defend properly before, without any warning, repeatedly acting in a fashion that hurt their formation. Because of this, even though the Berserkers’ advance kept getting blocked, a strange scene, where they still continued to inflict heavy losses on the allied forces, occurred.

After around 30 minutes had passed since the start of the battle, the other sovereigns of the allied forces, who had been focused on fighting, felt that something was strange.

“Sovereign of Balance! What is this? Don’t you know my clan members will all die if you retreat from there?”

Protested the Herculean Strength Sovereign Zakan when Richard suddenly retreated after blocking Choi Hyuk once again.

Richard simply clicked his tongue at Zakan’s cold protest.

“Darn, we were discovered already.”

“What…?”

Richard’s eyes tinged gold. Richard’s fighting style was using long distance attacks, leveraging his outstanding karma control and speed. His golden karma, which shot forward like a lightning bolt, infiltrated the Herculean Strength Sovereign’s body and turned his insides into a paste.

Clench!

“Grrk… You… You… Wha… What…”

Perhaps it was because of his high Recovery stat, but the Herculean Strength Sovereign didn’t die, and instead, endured as he recovered from the internal wounds. His eyes were bloodshot with anger.

Slice.

However, with a silver streak, the Herculean Strength Sovereign had his neck sliced through while his eyes were still open. The one who appeared like a ghost and cut his neck was Richard’s aide, Leah.

“What do you mean ‘what’? It means it’s time to clean up.”

The Herculean Strength Sovereign’s guards, who saw this scene with blank expressions, became surprised and prepared for combat.

“Betrayal…! Ergh!”

No, to be precise, they attempted to prepare for combat. They died before they could. The Herculean Strength Sovereign’s guards had their heads drop to the floor before they could properly express their rage. It was the price they paid for having come deep within Richard’s guards without being alert. The corpses, who had died hopelessly due to the sudden attack, flew up with the wind and disappeared without a trace.

After watching this with cold eyes, Richard spoke into a dimensional slate,

“Team 7, solidify your defenses and slowly retreat to your 6 o’clock direction.”

 

Team 7 was the President of South Korea, Shin Woojin. He followed Richard’s secret command and slowly retreated his troops towards his 6 o’clock direction.

Blaze!

Even from this distance, Shin Woojin could feel the heat from Choi Hyuk’s flames on his cheeks. President Shin Woojin recalled what Richard had said.

“I’m sorry, Mr. President. However, let’s think about this logically. No country can have two overseers. The others won’t sit idly. Sovereign Jessie is the only one from the U.S., and I’m the only one from Germany. At most, there will be one or two from a single continent. If, in this situation, Korea comes out and says they want two overseers, there’s no way the people will accept that. Then, who is the overseer Korea should dispatch? Mr. President, you need to think about this logically. Are you confident in winning against the Demon King Choi Hyuk?”

Shin Woojin shook his head. Even other sovereigns didn’t look easy to beat, let alone Choi Hyuk. Richard nodded his head and said,

“Please pass the seat of the overseer to Choi Hyuk. Instead, I will let you exercise your voting rights through the Sovereign of Opportunity Nasir.”

Shin Woojin had no choice but to accept Richard’s proposal. At the same time, Shin Woojin felt fear towards Richard. Even though he had been inflicted with a burn which disfigured half his face, he wasn’t hostile towards Choi Hyuk. No, it felt as though he was aggressively using his burn. Who could have predicted this? That someone who had been inflicted with such a wound wasn’t hostile to the one who inflicted that wound. Everyone believed in the Anti-Berserker banner Richard put out, and because they did, they would die.

Currently, there were fourteen sovereigns here who knew of Richard’s secret intentions, including himself. Amongst them, there were five who were promised a position as one of the seven overseers, and the remaining nine were promised the next available seats in return for giving up their positions now.

 

These fourteen sovereigns moved strangely within the formation as they killed those who were to be killed and kept those who were to survive alive. They followed the hit list Richard had created beforehand.

The war against the Berserkers was in fact… a purge disguised as a war.

 

**

The battle was fierce.

Even as they endured tremendous losses, the allied forces didn’t retreat. The Berserkers began to tire as it became difficult to move their bodies properly from continuously slashing at the allied forces. The desert became muddy as it was mixed with corpses and blood.

However, Choi Hyuk and the Berserkers’ directors (Baek Seoin, Chu Youngjin, Lee Jinhee, Bae Jinman and others) still stood at the front, alive and well.

The allied forces were the same. While they were being squashed like a well-ripened, soft peach, at some point, as if its hard seed was revealed from within, troops, which were on a different level from before, made their appearance in good condition.

These troops were those who, instead of aggressively taking the lead, had repeatedly attacked and retreated throughout the battle. The fourteen sovereigns. Only they remained and appeared on the frontlines.

Only then were Choi Hyuk and Richard able to face each other from a close distance. There was a short lull.

 

“I don’t know what you’re up to…”

Choi Hyuk looked at Richard and said,

“We need to end this now.”

Richard laughed at Choi Hyuk’s words. Four sovereigns walked up beside him.

Sovereign Jessie, Sovereign of Paradise Camilla, The Queen of England Diana, and the Ethiopian Sovereign Johan.

Richard looked at them and came forward with steady steps.

Then, he suddenly gave a proposal. In a voice only Choi Hyuk could hear.

“Now, how about we call a truce now? If we count Nasir, there are exactly seven people.”

“Ah…”

Choi Hyuk simply opened his mouth. He was sincerely in admiration in this moment.

‘Did he really plan all this?’

If this was true, then it was truly an outstanding tactic. The fact that he had gathered thirty sovereigns in one place was amazing. It was also amazing that he was able to persuade thirteen of them and control the formation during the battle to skillfully purge the remaining sixteen.

Richard did everything he could.

He survived from Choi Hyuk’s hands and laid the groundwork for choosing the seven overseers within a month.

“Amazing…”

“I know, right? Now it’s your turn. Did you think about it?”

Like Richard said, it was now time for Choi Hyuk to decide. Would he accept? Or would he flip the situation on its head?

However, at this point, he no longer had the heart to flip it all over. He felt this way in all aspects. He had admiration and goodwill towards Richard’s abilities, and he also had a practical reason. If both sides were to clash, there was a higher chance it would result in the destruction of either side rather than a safe conclusion. Since the elites of the allied forces were strong enough to hold back Choi Hyuk’s army.

‘Did he do this on purpose as well? To show that they aren’t weak?’

If he did this on purpose, then it was quite successful. Choi Hyuk’s mind leaned towards a truce. It was a choice that was akin to killing two birds with one stone, as they would be able to decide on the overseers earlier than he expected and preserve their forces.

Only, there was something tugging at his mind.

“What about Nasir?”

“Nasir is already detained. Nasir will be the puppet of the nine sovereigns behind me. He will be unable to act on his own intentions and will move according to the decisions these nine people come to.”

This was the future system Richard had prepared. There were 6 overseers and the remaining seat would be shared between the nine sovereigns through Nasir. Anyone who might have become an obstacle to his plan had already been killed in battle.

Choi Hyuk’s tense heart slowly relaxed.

“… Is it a truce?”

“It’s a truce. Since we need some tension.”

As if he felt something from Choi Hyuk’s question, Richard already stretched out his hand for a handshake. Choi Hyuk grinned and grabbed his hand.

Then he politely said with a little respect,

“I look forward to working with you.”

 

An extremely large number of colonizers died. However, the colonizers who had survived were stronger and more robust than before. After the ‘Great Nasari War’ and the truce between the Berserkers and the allied forces, the entire world was reorganized under a new order.

At the same time, the storm in Dragonic died down.

In the desert where the storm ceased, rain-trees, which drew large amounts of blood, occasionally sprayed a blood-red drizzle.

 


{1} I assume that this is some sort of swing dance.

 

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Comments 20

    1. If any of the 9 sovereigns controlling nasir becomes an overseer on their own, they have no reason to listen to the other 8. If all 9 are in control of Nasir, they have a council of sorts, where they each have some amount of power. I imagine that once the sovereigns behind Nasir each have a spot as an overseer, Nasir will be killed. It’s basically a way to make it so some other sovereigns can have a spot at the table.

    2. It’s a 2nd democracy except the 7 overseers. Since 7 isn’t an even number and Nasir isn’t counted, the 6 can be split with 3-3 and the 9 remaining sovereigns will vote, and that will determine Nasir’s vote, which will determine the general vote. And to be honest, killing all the sovereigns except for the overseers would kill too many colonizers, weakening them too much.

  1. ‘Sovereign Jessie, Sovereign of Paradise Camilla, The Queen of England Diana, and the Ethiopian Sovereign Johan.’
    Then Choi Hyuk, Richard, Nasir.

    NA – USA, SA – Brazil(?) , EU – UK , AF – ET, AS – KO, EU – GE, ME – ?

    So they’ve got one from every continent if you exclude Australia . They don’t necessarily have from every religion, but some of the other sovereigns should be from the remaining ones.

    I … didn’t really expect or not expect Diana or Johan among them, but they’re interesting choices.

  2. It is starting to look like an actual government. Choi Hyuk is head of military Jessie is the communication head, Camilla is the head of medicine/recruiting, Richard is the President, and the 9 other sovereigns are kind of like a council of advisors. Too bad we don’t have any information about the other two

    1. Queen of Britain will probably be in charge of colonizing land, most likely 2nd attack force that follows up after Choi Hyuk to clean things up. I’m not sure bout the othrr guy though

    2. Lets be honest, while Richard is “president” Choi Hyuk whose force had 1 sovereign go up against essentially 30 would be the one who would be King. And didn’t the Queen of England originally have a Prime Minister? Heh.

      1. Nah, Choi Hyuk can’t rule. He’s admitted it privately before that he has no aptitude, and isn’t really interested. He is all about his revenge. If he was interested, well, he wouldn’t be the obsessive Choi Hyuk we know, his revenge is what made him what he is. With that said, this is an important step, where the unbending tree finally bent.

  3. Thanks for the chapter, Richard you Lovely Bastard, that was one heck of a gamble that you played rigth there. Kudos for you, you did great.

  4. Haha I love the strategy, knew since the start that they would do something like this. Didn’t know who the 7 sovereigns would be, just knew they would weed the others out.
    I like what they have planned for that 7th seat lol.

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