SoJ Episode 6 Chapter 99

Episode 6: Mafia Game / Chapter 99: At the Ruins (5)

TL: emptycube / ED: Obelisk


 

A dark night. When he got on the elevator, the child tightly held onto his mother’s hand.

“Mom, mom, there’s no ghost, right?”

However, the mother didn’t reply. Her hand was unusually cold.

“Mom!”

The child pulled on his mother’s leg. His mother’s leg was cold and rigid.

“Mom?”

For some reason, he couldn’t see his mother’s face clearly. Like a foggy mirror. The child’s neck suddenly became cold.

The mother said.

{Do I still look like your mom?}

 

This was a moment that made people recall those ghost stories of their childhood.

“… It’s scary.”

A weak-hearted person eventually spat those words as he steadied his shoulders. The doppelgangers were different from any monster they had faced until now. They were scarier than any foe.

It was as if they were standing in the valley of death. They couldn’t see the ground, as it was covered by a thick fog, and if they took a wrong step, they would fall endlessly and die. The hairs covering their bodies were raised. They were suspicious that their comrades, who were protecting their backs, might be monsters. They were dismayed as if the ground they had always walked on had disappeared.

The colonizers were stricken with fear.

Still, they clenched their teeth as they began to question each other.

 

“What monster killed your grandmother?”

 

There were only two points that could be used as clues.

  1. Confusion in their memories.
  2. Reduced ability.

 

“My grandmother? I didn’t personally see it so I don’t remember exactly.”

“… Use all your strength and activate your karma.”

“Why, why are you like this? You know me! I’m not one of them!”

“Be quiet! Quickly activate your karma!”

“Why are you all like this? Are you acting like this because my fighting skills have dropped recently? You know me! It’s a commonly experienced space syndrome!”

“Shut it! Your grandmother wasn’t killed by a monster but passed away from cancer! Much before all this mess!”

“… Wh-what?”

Clang, clang, clang!

A plenitude of weapons aimed at him.

“W-wait! Don’t be like this! You! You’re the one that’s strange! You’re just trying to push me to a corner to kill me! I’m not a doppelganger!”

Panic obstructed one’s ability to make rational decisions.

Paang!

The person who started the questioning activated his karma to his fullest. His karma had become stronger due to the recent battles against monsters. There was no reduction in its capacity.

“You see it, right? Now it’s your turn.”

“Don’t joke with me… There’s no way you can pick out who’s a doppelganger by activating your karma!”

His words were true. The ‘your abilities will drop’ was only a statistic, a common opinion. When looking at specific cases, there were countless exceptions. There was no way they could confirm whether someone was a doppelganger by only questioning them and making them reveal their karma. If it was that easy, then the alliance wouldn’t fear doppelgangers. This was a matter the alliance had already thoroughly investigated and was one that Richard already knew. However, Richard didn’t tell them details like this. The game Richard had started was a cruel tactic where it would be sufficient to sacrifice 5 people to take down 5 doppelgangers.

Yet… It seemed they were right this time.

“Kuaaah!”

He didn’t reveal his karma in the end and slashed his sword at the person next to him. It might have been because of panic, but in this case, it only made the others feel stronger about their suspicion that he was a doppelganger.

Puscht! Slash!

At the same time, the weapons aimed at him stabbed and slashed at his body, turning his body into tatters. Especially his head, which was where a doppelganger would reside, that was sliced into three to four times. Brain matter dripped. Looking at the cross section of his gray brain, which had been split into multiple sections… They saw the appearance of a bug.

“Euwack…”

Someone vomited.

“Lao Min… Lao Min…”

Someone sobbed. Then-

Blink.

Darkness fell. They could hear Richard’s voice in the darkness.

“Be careful of the darkness! Doppelgangers will look for another host within the darkness!”

“Aaack!”

Screams erupted all around them at the same time. Low level people couldn’t even sense anything in the darkness, let alone see, as the doppelgangers attacked those near them.

Some died, and others became infected by the doppelgangers while attempting to block their attacks.

The darkness cleared up. People’s faces were pale.

“Ahh…”

A more intense fear overcame them.

Just now, some were attacked by their comrades standing next to them and had become cold corpses. They didn’t know whether others were infected either.

“Who is it… Who is the doppelganger?”

Their comrade had died after being suspected of being a doppelganger, but the situation didn’t improve in the slightest. The divisions of 10 had instantly turned into 8, but their suspicions only deepened.

 

“I’m… I’m really not one of them! Alexei! Alexei! Split my head and confirm it! I’m not a doppelganger!”

A Berserker grabbed onto Alexei, who was patrolling as a member of the observation team.

“Nuna…”

Alexei looked at her with sad eyes. Although he was at the rank of a team leader, Alexei was still only a middle schooler. There were considerate Berserkers who were like older brothers and sisters to him. Even the currently suspicious Cao Lu was one of them. However, Alexei couldn’t listen to her request.

“Sorry, nuna. Just endure it for a bit longer. There is a limited supply of medicine, so we can only use it during critical moments. It’s not like the group vote is in, and they are only suspicious of you. If we kept using it for situations like these, then the medicine would quickly become scarce. I’m really sorry… It’s a guideline I received from the higher ups.”

He said this to her while tightly holding her hands. However, she shook her head.

“Do it now, Alexei. Look at everyone. They are becoming distant from me.”

The indiscriminate attacks of the doppelgangers when the darkness fell had an effect. The colonizers distanced themselves from those who they were suspicious of being doppelgangers and grouped up with members they could trust.

“If darkness falls again, then I’ll only be prey.”

When Cao Lu said this, Alexei couldn’t help it.

“… I’ll go get the medicine.”

In the end, Alexei bit his lips as he ran towards the observation team that possessed the medicine. Just then-

Blink.

Darkness fell.

“Aaah!”

Once Alexei returned, holding the medicine, and after the darkness passed,

“Nuna…”

He knelt next to Cao Lu’s corpse, who had her throat sliced and whose body had rolled onto the ground.

“Cao Lu died! Cao Lu wasn’t a doppelganger! Who was the bastard who said she was a doppelganger?!”

“Wh… Why are you looking at me?! You agreed to it as well!”

Endless suspicion. He seemed like a doppelganger because of this, and she seemed like a doppelganger because of that.

Grit.

Alexei ground his teeth.

“Shut up! Shut up! Calm down a bit! Slowly confirm their pasts and don’t just blindly accuse people!”

No matter how much they emphasized rationality, the situation kept becoming extreme.

There was a problem even if they caught a doppelganger. If there were two doppelgangers, what would they do if one of the doppelgangers had sacrificed the other to avoid suspicion? Although he doesn’t look like he’s infected, was that true? Could I entrust my back to him? What if I were to suffer because of it? Actually, dying was better. I would not want to have my brain eaten and become a doppelganger.

A game of suspicion with tens of millions of people.

While there were many cases where they had successfully eliminated the doppelgangers, the number of innocent sacrifices was no less.

They were in hell.

 

Blink.

The monster of night continuously blinked its eyes.

The darkness continued to eat away at their minds.

The ‘blinking’ seemed like it would make them neurotic.

However, Choi Hyuk was precisely waiting for this ‘blinking’.

“Yeah… Keep blinking.”

Choi Hyuk’s eyes were dyed blue with karma. He had activated Mind’s Eye to the fullest as he tracked down the monster of night. However, the darkness didn’t come from anywhere. It would suddenly appear as if it was always there. No matter how much he tried to look through his Mind’s Eye, he couldn’t see it. Even when he concentrated so much that he felt as if he could grab the tail of light, which was the fastest thing in the universe, darkness fell without a trace. The speed at which darkness fell was faster than the speed light spread, as darkness would always be there.

Choi Hyuk couldn’t look through the darkness.

“I’m lacking…”

Choi Hyuk clenched his sword, ‘Choi Hyuk’s Imprint’. However, his sword only provided additional beneficial effects on slashing attacks, and it would not strengthen his Mind’s Eye. Although, if Choi Hyuk’s weapon possessed the name ‘Pledge’ instead of ‘Imprint’, it might have been useful when using Mind’s Eye, however, currently it wasn’t of any use.

“I can’t see… it.”

Huuuu…

Choi Hyuk closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths. In this short period of time, many hypotheses and methods for dealing with the monster of night were proposed, compared and rejected in his mind. Although he considered countless solutions, it all took place in an instant. It was an investigation that went on within the boundaries of his instincts rather than logic.

“… I think I know.”

That was Choi Hyuk’s talent. A talent that only strived for victory. He would always find the weakness of any skill, no matter how difficult or complicated it was. If he saw it, he would know how to confront it. Also, if he knew it, then he could execute a method for dealing with it as easy as breathing.

The new method he had come up with was more time consuming, the reason being because Choi Hyuk had to come up with a skill he had never attempted before. But now he knew, and because he knew, he could do it.

 

Choi Hyuk opened his mouth.

“Mind’s Eye.”

Whoosh.

When he opened his closed eyes, his eyes surged with a blue light. Mind’s Eyes was the first karma trait Choi Hyuk had awakened back when he was at the 3-star level. The karma supporting his body became endlessly more sensitive. He received information about the world around him without any distortion.

“Identical Mind.”

Choi Hyuk’s entire body was flooded with a blue light. Identical Mind was the additional karma trait he had awakened when he reached the 4-star level. His karma went beyond being sensitive and stealthily, and naturally invaded into his surroundings. Based on the information he was receiving through his Mind’s Eye, he interfered with the matter, energy, and karma around him. He wasn’t only seeing what could be seen, but he was also unraveling what was ‘inside’ and exposing what was hidden.

However, he still lacked the power.

“Explosive Blood.”

This was precisely the trait Chu Youngjin and Lee Jinhee used as their main.

The moment he activated the trait, his karma, which was softly coiled around his body, began to go berserk. It felt like his blood vessels and muscles would rip apart. However, Choi Hyuk didn’t even blink an eye as he controlled this power.

He activated three traits simultaneously. Choi Hyuk was able to smoothly complete this task, but it definitely wasn’t easy. As ‘Mind’s Eye’ and ‘Identical Mind’ were still interrelated traits, they were comparatively easier to fuse, but ‘Explosive Blood’ was the complete opposite of them, which used Control as a foundation. A wanton result could come about by the clash between these traits when one thoughtlessly activated all of three of them.

Yet, Choi Hyuk harmonized these three traits like it was nothing.

“Ah…”

At the same time, Choi Hyuk felt a sense of self-fulfillment from deep within him. He now felt as though his karma was truly his. He felt a sense of satisfaction that was similar to when clothes, which were close to being a perfect fit, fitted perfectly.

In fact, Choi Hyuk’s karma had been too tame up until now. Mind’s Eye and Identical Mind, which used Control as a foundation to see through and affect his opponents, were more like the traits of a magician than a warrior’s.

However, as soon as Explosive Blood was added, everything fell into place perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle.

Choi Hyuk’s fighting talent was composed of three elements: the ability to see through his opponent’s weakness, no matter who it was,  the ability to perfectly execute any attack he envisioned to pierce his opponent’s weakness, and lastly, a ferocity that could crush his opponents with his vigor alone.  These three talents perfectly suited the three karma traits known as Mind’s Eye, Identical Mind, and Explosive Blood. They literally formed a trinity.

His karma, which was interlinked with these three traits, was like a perfectly fitted item of clothing to Choi Hyuk.

 

Boom!

Choi Hyuk’s karma explosively increased its presence.

His Mind’s Eye would look, and then he would search thoroughly with his Identical Mind. Explosive Blood reinforced these two abilities. It allowed him to look further and deeper.

Just then, Choi Hyuk’s lips curved into a smile.

“Found you.”

 

Choi Hyuk now knew that it wasn’t somewhere far. It was in a four-dimensional space which lifeforms living in three dimensions couldn’t see. Although it was right next to him, it was curled up, hiding in a small, hidden space folded in four dimensions.

Choi Hyuk’s karma permeated into that space. According to his will (Identical Mind), Choi Hyuk’s body was sucked into the folded space.

 

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Comments 12

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  1. It would’ve been easy to tell colonists not to attack suspects, just mark them for the observation squads – and if all the examining groups are disarmed, how do they manage to slash necks of victims during the darkness period? 😮 Just tell people to focus on defense when it gets dark, and they could reduce casualties significantly imho.

    As for Choi Hyuk realizing the monster is in 4D space, shouldn’t knowledge like this have been covered during their orientation?

  2. What they should do is to stay still. They should draw a small circle for each other, and if anyone were to step out of that circle, open that person head immediately. This way, there won’t be unneccesary killings. However, the downside is that Dopplegangers would gain time to fully assimilate with their host, but they still wouldn’t be able to do anything because they can’t move.

    Of course, this requires an ungodly amount of charisma to implement since fear would override any rationality

  3. So cool!
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    ░▀▀── THANK YOU───▀▀
    ░░▀▀-for the chapter-▀▀
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