SoJ Episode 6 Chapter 103

Episode 6: Mafia Game / Chapter 103: Someone (3)

TL: emptycube / ED: Obelisk


 

A group of people carefully jumped over the roof of a building. Although they were in a group, they all kept a wide distance from each other. They were using their karma-reinforced sight to stalk their target from afar.

However, when their target entered an alley, she disappeared without a trace.

“…!”

Although they were taken aback, they didn’t let out a sound. The leader gave a hand signal to his team members and ordered them to look for their target again.

“What are you doing?”

The voice of their target, Lee Jinhee, was heard behind him. Flinch! Before the leader could even turn around, he heard her voice right next to his ear.

“Well, not that I need to ask.”

Crack!

It was instantaneous. The building and sky reversed in an instant. He only felt a pain from his leg afterwards. A cute, pretty face abruptly appeared before his face, which had been smashed into the floor. She was their VIP target, Lee Jinhee.

“Who sent you?”

“…”

“You’re not going to tell me?”

“Why… Why are you doing this?”

“What do you mean why? You guys stalked me.”

“Pardon?”

The man sneakily acted like that wasn’t the case. Lee Jinhee let out a sigh.

“Haa. Fine. Naro! Find out where they are from.”

{Yes. I’ll check all the CCTVs registered on the computer network… Here is the result. They are executives of the Lee Jungmin Clan. His name is Min Chunsu.}

“So this time it’s the Lee Jungmin Clan…? Haa… Do you guys want to die? Why are you constantly stalking me?”

Min Chunsu showed no signs of being flustered when he heard Naro’s voice. However, his expression turned resolute as he ground his teeth.

“What do you mean stalking you? It’s just a justified surveillance.”

“Ah, really? Is it justified even though you’re stalking me? Well, I mean it’s not like it’s a DUI when you drink, right?”

Slap!

Lee Jinhee slapped Min Chunsu’s cheek. Even though his body was reinforced with karma, the impact was enough to shake his teeth.

Yet, Min Chunsu glared at her fiercely. Instead of becoming downhearted, he stated his justifications for stalking her more vigorously.

“Are you acting like this because you really don’t know? Isn’t it the Berserkers who are ransacking everything, saying that a doppelganger queen has invaded us? You said there was around a month remaining. Yet, it’s already become a mess within 3 days of investigations. Subordinate clans like us are even showing their underwear to you guys! But what about the Berserkers themselves? Aren’t the Berserkers supposed to conduct an internal investigation as well? But are you doing that properly? Even when it’s risking the fate of Earth?! Aren’t you guys busy covering for your own family? Even when the situation is like this, aren’t you just helping yourselves?”

“… What are you talking about? Although I don’t know where you heard these rumors, but of course we conducted an internal investigation before we investigated you.”

“Ah, so the answer to this problem is that we simply retreat just because you said you investigated internally? In the presence of the Berserkers, every damn one of us has to disarm their karma barrier and let you look around our every nook and cranny with your karma. However, how do we know you guys are investigating each other? Honestly, since Overseer Choi Hyuk was the one who fought the monster of night, isn’t there a likely chance that one of the Berserkers was infected by the doppelganger queen? Can you say with 100% certainty that none of the Berserkers conducting investigations right now are doppelgangers?”

“Hey. What are you saying? We told you the doppelganger queen isn’t like that. Since it’s still immature and in a spirit form, it’s difficult to see and doesn’t have the power to make doppelganger larvae. And we are the ones carrying the doppelganger identification devices, yet you think we’d be the doppelgangers? You sound like the Berserkers are already being controlled by the doppelgangers. Huh? Do you think I’m a doppelganger too?”

“Hmmp! Do all Berserkers carry around an identification device? When we don’t even know the whereabouts of Director Chu Youngjin!”

“Hey! He has his own circumstances!”

“Circumstances? Have you even considered our circumstances? This is what’s not transparent. If you find this unfair, why don’t you have an open investigation! If you guys are doppelgangers, then we’re the ones who die, yet you’re telling us to suck our thumbs and just blindly trust you?”

Lee Jinhee was at loss of words at Min Chunsu’s constant counterarguments. The most fearful thing about doppelgangers was that they planted suspicion amongst the people. All kinds of groundless rumors were running rampant, and those who had been traumatized by suspecting and killing their comrades couldn’t take those groundless rumors as simply rumors. They would turn into ‘likely possibilities’ as they spread among them.

Within this mess, the attempts of trying to keep the Berserkers, who wielded absolute power, in check never ceased.

Of the major groundless rumors, one was about the victory reward. An enormous amount of Mission Points was given to Choi Hyuk as a reward, and he possessed the sole authority of distributing the reward. After a lot of consideration, Choi Hyuk decided to distribute it depending on their contributions, yet there was a groundless rumor that the Berserkers received a much higher reward. Dissatisfaction surged, asking how he could do this when they all risked their lives together.

 

Lee Jinhee grabbed Min Chunsu by his collar.

“Is that all? If you want proof, then I’ll show you proof. All executive-level Berserkers are going to partake in an open investigation soon. I suggested it and the leader approved it. We even announced it. But are you truly so nervous that you’re continuously acting this way? Or is this your trick in trying to find the Berserkers’ weakness and increase your influence?”

Lee Jinhee harshly interrogated him. Yet, Min Chunsu became even more vigorous. He was acting too righteously for someone who had been caught stalking.

“What do you mean influence! This isn’t a problem of influence but of whether humanity survives or not! All of us have to unite under Overseer Choi Hyuk’s command! All procedures must be conducted with transparency! In a situation like this, aren’t the Berserkers the ones who are clinging to their vested interests? Aren’t you fulfilling your selfish interests and desires by using Overseer Choi Hyuk’s favor and covering his eyes and ears?!”

Lee Jinhee became startled. She didn’t expect him to express his loyalty for Choi Hyuk.

It was like this. This was all nothing more than a mess. The content and aspect of these groundless rumors were too extensive and various. Using the power struggle was clever.

The power and authority Choi Hyuk possessed were already stable. Sensible people didn’t go against Choi Hyuk. They thoroughly proclaimed themselves as ‘Pro-Choi Hyuk’. Instead, their enemy was Choi Hyuk’s followers, the Berserkers. They competed for loyalty and targeted those who had traditionally been near Choi Hyuk. After highlighting the Berserkers’ weakness, they would shout, ‘How can you advise Choi Hyuk like that?! Screw off! We’ll do it!’

Although this attitude hadn’t been explicitly expressed, practical people were progressing with this thought in secret. They would gather information about the Berserkers and distinguish who to cooperate with and who to push aside before picking an objective, finding their weakness, and building a public opinion… They were very hard-working.

They used plausible words to package their motives. Since their words made sense, there were many who simply agreed with their cause. Also, Lee Jinhee was a simple person. She was someone who believed in the goodwill of people. She was someone who would listen and think about the words of others even if only 1 person was truly innocent and the remaining 99 were bastards.

It was the trait of a hero. However, if she didn’t have the compassion to match it, then she would simply be a ‘pushover’.

Although Lee Jinhee felt repelled by his words, she couldn’t reject them. She simply flinched and expressed her dissatisfaction.

“Do you think the leader will be happy if you guys act this way?”

“An authority without checks or balances will rot. Director Lee Jinhee, although I deeply respect your valor and contributions, don’t think that you are always right. If you truly care for Earth and Choi Hyuk, then do not think about simply pushing us small and middle-sized clans aside, and instead think about coexisting with us! Do not fear being kept in check!”

“Heu…”

Lee Jinhee simply clicked her tongue. She had thought this Min Chunsu specialized in stalking, but it turned out that he specialized in using his silver tongue. Although she didn’t like it, he made her think about it again.

So Lee Jinhee’s decision was her fist.

Punch!

“Keuk!”

Lee Jinhee’s fist collided with Min Chunsu’s stomach. Min Chunsu felt a pain that even sent shivers down his spine. He couldn’t breathe. He was crushed by the aggressive karma in Lee Jinhee’s fist, and the karma in his body shrank.

Lee Jinhee shook her hands and got up.

“I’ve never seen an honest person amongst those with a silver tongue. If you really do care for the leader, then don’t do this and polish your fighting skills.”

Although she felt unpleasant, she had no reason to kill him. Although Min Chunsu himself disgusted her, there were a few points she agreed with him on. If it was some other Berserker, they might have killed Min Chunsu without reason, simply because they felt irritated. However, Lee Jinhee thought differently.

‘Those idiots…It’s because of them they are trying to keep us in check.’

Although she held affection for those Berserkers, who risked their lives and fought alongside her, to be honest, it was difficult for her to cover up their violent acts and nonsensical killings.

‘Yeah. To make a bigger, stronger force, won’t Berserkers also need to reflect on themselves? Ah… I don’t know.’

While thinking this, Lee Jinhee said,

“Go. And don’t try to stalk me again. If you try it again, it won’t end with just a punch to your stomach.”

“Gue… Guak…”

Lee Jinhee raised another fist at Min Chunsu, who couldn’t get up.

“You’re not going to leave? You want another hit?”

“Hiek! Hiiek!”

Pale-faced, Min Chunsu immediately got up and forced himself to jump over the building and run. Due to his shrunken karma, his running figure looked unstable.

Staring at his figure, Lee Jinhee let out a sigh and continued on her way. She was on her way to meet Chu Youngjin.

 

**

‘Just what is that?’

Chu Youngjin was stuck repeatedly thinking about this.

The ‘thing’ that started following him one day. At first, it was hazy, but now, it had become more and more distinct. It was as if Lee Hyejin had returned alive. Although it seemed like others still couldn’t see her, to Chu Youngjin, it was identical to when Lee Hyejin was still alive. Even its expression and trivial gestures were identical.

The ‘thing’, that was quietly following him, suddenly became surprised and took off, examining its shoes. Chu Youngjin was almost about to cry. Lee Hyejin did the same thing. She couldn’t handle a single drop of blood and had an abnormal aversion to killing things. Like its current actions, she would carefully check her shoes in case she stepped on an ant.

Although others would call Lee Hyejin’s actions foolish, Chu Youngjin loved her every action. No, he was crazy about her. He even had the heart to put the ant on a piece of A4 paper and move it somewhere else if she was worried she might step on it. Although Chu Youngjin’s personality was unhesitant and aggressive, in front of her, he was a fool.

Chu Youngjin and Lee Hyejin were completely different. That was why there were many people who had directly asked,

‘Do you like her that much? Why? Do you have some sort of reason?’

To Chu Youngjin, there was no question more foolish than that. A reason? There was no way there was one. Lee Hyejin was in every moment of his memories. She was his childhood friend. It wasn’t a normal relationship either. They would always spend time together and rely on each other. Who was the person who had saved him when he was about to die after he had fallen in water? Surprisingly, it was Lee Hyejin. The cowardly Lee Hyejin had been so courageous at that moment. Who was the person who had saved Lee Hyejin who was being fiercely chased by a dog? That was Chu Youngjin. And who was the one who called for an adult when Chu Youngjin was, in turn, chased by the dog? Lee Hyejin. The person who cried along with him when he was in pain was Lee Hyejin. The person who stopped crying and joked for the crying Lee Hyejin was Chu Youngjin, and the person who stopped crying and laughed with him was Lee Hyejin.

The moment Lee Hyejin died, Chu Youngjin had lost most of his life.

 

That was why Chu Youngjin couldn’t take his eyes of ‘that’, which looked identical to Lee Hyejin.

‘Am I seeing illusions after going crazy? Is this what people called schizophrenia?’

‘No, is that really an illusion? Maybe it’s the doppelganger queen people have been talking about recently?’

‘No. Doppelgangers kill living people and imitate them. Hyejin died without even leaving a corpse… Fuck…’

‘No… But it’s not simply a doppelganger, but a queen. They said that, unlike normal doppelgangers, the queen is currently in a spirit form. Since the monster of night could read people’s pasts, it could know of Hyejin’s appearance. It may be because it’s the queen that it can imitate Hyejin’s appearance with just information.’

‘No. No… There’s no way a measly doppelganger can perfectly imitate Hyejin.’

‘I might just be crazy.’

While Chu Youngjin’s gaze was fixed on ‘that’, he was thinking all sorts of conflicting thoughts and was fighting in his head. Then he eventually pushed those thoughts aside.

‘Whatever it is, it’s fine. Just a little… Just a little bit more…’

Swish.

Just then, the ‘thing’, that had been walking a few steps away from him, suddenly became surprised, and came close to Chu Youngjin, hiding behind him. It clung onto Chu Youngjin’s arm.

His body trembled. Even its surprised and scared reactions were identical to Lee Hyejin’s.

 

“What the? Why are you spacing out?”

Chu Youngjin became surprised at the sudden voice.

“Ah… Ah! Jinhee nuna?”

He didn’t know when she came next to him, but Lee Jinhee was standing there with a frown on her face. Chu Youngjin glanced at the ‘thing’ hiding behind him. He hid her behind him and asked,

“Why are you here?”

“What do you mean why am I here? I came because I was worried.”

Lee Jinhee stepped towards Chu Youngjin and placed her hand on his forehead. Her hand was small and soft, however, Chu Youngjin only stood there blankly.

“No fever. You’re completely absent-minded. Haa… You’re having a hard time, right? As expected… Did you think of her?”

Lee Jinhee thought Chu Youngjin was having a hard time because of the doppelganger clean-up operation. There were colonizers who had thrown their lives away to protect their then doppelganger lovers. She assumed that Chu Youngjin had recalled his past lover and was suffering after seeing them like that.

Her assumption was only half-correct.

“I’m fine.”

Chu Youngjin avoided her gaze and replied half-heartedly. Lee Jinhee simply made an expression showing she felt bad for him.

“I already told the leader. Since you’re going to continue not participating in missions like now, don’t worry and rest. Still, there will be an open investigation of the Berserkers a week from now, so even if it’s hard, come out for that.”

“… Yes.”

Ironically, the only reason why Chu Youngjin could avoid being investigated was because of Lee Jinhee’s consideration for him. All the Berserkers had participated in the doppelganger queen search at least once, and because of this, they were naturally able to know that they hadn’t been infected by the doppelganger queen. However, Lee Jinhee, who noticed peculiar symptoms from Chu Youngjin right after returning to Earth, gave him a break, unintentionally allowing Chu Youngjin to avoid the first round of inspections.

The majority weren’t aware of this hole. However, Chu Youngjin himself was well aware of this, yet, he didn’t come forward and point it out. Which was how he was able to come up with this last excuse.

‘The inspection… is in a week…? Yeah, if it a week, then nothing will happen. Everything will be clear then… Yeah. Until then.’

He didn’t want to think about this anymore. His rationality had become paralyzed due to the fact that the person he wanted to see the most was right in front of him. ‘Even if… she was a doppelganger.’ Even though his heart was terrified of that thought, Chu Youngjin tried his best to suppress it. Even if he were to rage then… Chu Youngjin only wanted to see her for a while longer.

 

Lee Jinhee let out a sigh as she looked at the spaced-out Chu Youngjin.

“Haa… Chu Youngjin. Even still, keep yourself together. Look at your appearance. Even though you picked ‘Explosive Heart’ instead of ‘Mind’s Eye’ for your second trait, how does it make sense that you didn’t know I was right next to you?”

Like how Choi Hyuk chose Mind’s Eye at the 3-star level, Identical Mind at the 4-star level, and Explosive Blood at the 5-star level, they could pick another trait every time they increased a level after reaching the 3-star level. At the 4-star level, Lee Jinhee chose ‘Mind’s Eye’ to expand her control and strengthen her detection abilities, while Chu Youngjin chose ‘Explosive Heart’, which was an advanced version of ‘Explosive Blood’.

“There were people stalking me today. If you’re like this, you might not be able to detect whether you’re being stalked or not. Hmm?”

Lee Jinhee, who had placed her hand on his shoulder as she spoke, suddenly frowned. It seemed something had been detected with her Mind’s Eye.

“Huh? Just now, something…”

As if finding it weird, she looked around Chu Youngjin. At the same time, Chu Youngjin felt ‘that’ as it pressed closer to him. ‘It’ burrowed into Chu Youngjin’s karma and hid its existence.

‘Ah…’

An ominous premonition ran down his spine. Just what was this premonition? A premonition that ‘it’ might be a doppelganger? No, the uneasiness that he might not be able to see her any longer? He couldn’t figure out which one it was. Although his heart tightened at the uneasiness, he turned his back on it once again.

‘Yeah. A little longer. Either way, it’s only a week.’

Chu Youngjin smiled awkwardly.

“Yes. I’ll be careful.”

Lee Jinhee, who ended up not finding anything through her search, looked at Chu Youngjin. His face was haggard. She felt sorry for him, but she eventually let out a sigh and withdrew.

“Yeah. Then let’s see each other in a week. Pull yourself together by then.”

 

When Lee Jinhee left, that ‘thing’ came out and motionlessly stood next to him. Chu Youngjin looked at ‘it’.

‘It’ lightly stretched and sat down next to a wall. Then it exercised its knees by squatting up and down. Even though it had been scared just a moment ago, it acted bravely as if it wasn’t scared.

… No matter how he looked at it, it was Lee Hyejin. Chu Youngjin’s cold, tense heart relaxed.

 

‘A week…’

 

Chu Youngjin mumbled again as he turned around and headed home.

 

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Comments 18

  1. Thanks!

    Yep, it takes just one idiot to break a quarantine. In thise case, we have two, but at least one of them has the excuse of being dellusional. The other one is just stupid.

  2. I don’t think chu youngjin has the doppleganger. Him seeing Lee hyejin might be due to his new trait “Explosive Mind” which is mentioned as an advanced trait when compared to CHoi Hyuk’s “Explosive blood” and we still don’t know what “Explosive mind” does but given from the name I assume these frequent appearances of Lee Hyejin are somehow related to his new trait.

  3. Hmmmm, this could go either way where the doppelganger becomes an ally (presumably after seeing his memories and turning ‘good’) or he gets controlled and at the open inspection becomes known and destroys the beserkers reputation to the point where everything goes down the drain… Hopefully not lol

  4. They both should die for being stupid. One guy has a mental problem because his gf died in front of him. No one thinks to check him, the most berserk and easily taken over in the higher ranks. She actually decides ti give hin a break. I thibk even choi hyuk was examined but this loony wasn’t.

    Then we have a guy just ignoring the fact some parasite is eating his brain away.

    So both should die and won’t be missed. Even if it’s not the queen, they would find that out through examination. Choi hyuk wouldn’t kill it or him without knowing for sure it’s the queen and not something else.

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      Author
  5. Thanks for the chapter, no matter how you cut it I am seeing a dead in the upper scalons of the berserkers, hope I am wrong though!!!!!!

  6. Lee Jinhee dun fukd up. And Chu Younjin has failed miserably at his post. Those two will die soon I have no doubt.

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