SoJ Episode 8 Chapter 127

Episode 8: Recruit Training / Chapter 127: Establishing Troops (2)

TL: emptycube / ED: Hungry Panda


 

{We grant the earthlings the right to establish troops. We also accept the El Tribes as members of the alliance as they are already under the protection of the alliance. Unlike the earthlings, there are no restrictions on the civil rights of the El Tribes. However, we do not grant the El Tribes with the right to establish troops.}

 

This short announcement made waves throughout Dragonic. The earthlings and the El Tribes separately racked their brains at this great change.

The right to establish troops was a new opportunity for the minor clans. If they could exercise this right and establish independent troops, they would be able to request resources from the alliance depending on their military merits, which would weaken the authority of ‘overseers’. Until now, the overseers were their only window in trading with the alliance so they held enormous authority, but there now was a method to go around this exclusivity.

The El Tribes had their own share of headaches. In their position, they couldn’t openly welcome the news of joining the alliance as this meant the El Tribes would have to participate in the war as part of the alliance from now on. Their best option was to get a free ride under the earthlings and peacefully live on Dragonic, but the earthlings and the alliance weren’t such easy organizations. Whether this turned out to be a glass of poison or not, they would have to drink it. To reduce their losses even by a little, each tribe went around looking for colonizer clans to ally with. As they had no experience in space missions, they undoubtedly needed the earthlings’ experience and power.

Also, Richard’s clan, which boasted of being the most powerful and prosperous, completely disbanded due to Richard’s passing.

Dragonic’s power scene was facing an extreme change.

 

**

Choi Hyuk was still lying in bed.

The war ended while he was still lying down.

In fact, he was very surprised.

‘They protected Dragonic without me?’

Perhaps it was arrogance, but Choi Hyuk thought that they wouldn’t be able to protect Dragonic without him. However, the result was different from his expectations. Without Choi Hyuk, the earthlings and the El Tribes were able to completely chase the monsters out of Dragonic. Although Richard died in battle during this process, either way, it was a complete victory.

The earthlings became stronger through this process.

‘… Maybe I underestimated them too much.’

Choi Hyuk smiled. This was a happy miscalculation.

 

A few people visited him.

The first ones to visit were Camilla and Jessie, both who suffered hardships with him during the expedition.

“I heard you slashed a highest-ranked monster? I was busy running away from hellhounds, which were only high-ranked monsters… Haaa, to think I raised my sword against someone like you… When I think about it now, it sends shivers down my spine. I was crazy… From now on, let’s get along as friends! I’ll be good!”

Sovereign Jessie gave an amiable, crafty smile as he stretched out his hand. Choi Hyuk didn’t hold his hand and blankly stared at him for a moment.

He saw the white light (goodwill) Jessie was emitting and the vivid shield symbol above his head.

‘A person to keep alive.’

Because Choi Hyuk was blankly staring at him, Jessie awkwardly pulled back his hand. That moment, Choi Hyuk calmly grasped his retreating hand.

“Please take care of me.”

Jessie smiled like a child.

“Yeah. Let’s do our best!”

Jessie harbored respect for Choi Hyuk after this incident.

Jessie, who had been heralded as a hero in the extreme sports industry before awakening karma, shared similar qualities with Lee Jinhee. They both possessed endless passion towards challenges. Of course, there was also an important difference. Lee Jinhee was the type who kept truer to herself while Jessie had outstanding showmanship and a disposition of wanting to be the center of attention. Because of this, Jessie had been envious and competitive towards Choi Hyuk rather than admiring him until now. However, the incident this time was on another level. Jessie couldn’t envy him, not when he slashed a highest-ranked monster. On top of that, he wasn’t so immature to feel envious of this fact either.

Jessie now admired Choi Hyuk.

‘I want to be strong like him.’

 

On the other hand, Camilla placed her hand out with an ambiguous expression. She was smiling, but it wasn’t a smile that couldn’t keep itself contained like Jessie’s.

“Thank you. It’s thanks to you that we were able to return quickly and defend Dragonic.”

Choi Hyuk carefully examined Camilla before holding her hand.

She emitted a faint black light (hostility), and there wasn’t any symbol above her head.

‘She has her guard up against me. And I can’t tell if it will be better to kill her or keep her alive at this moment.’

Choi Hyuk nodded and held her hand.

Camilla, like her title ‘Sovereign of Paradise’, was sensitive to ‘justice’

She would willingly endure sacrifices if it was for the weak, and she would willingly raise her sword at ‘injustice’ even in disadvantageous situations. Because of this, she was someone who could be hostile to Choi Hyuk and the Berserkers at any moment since, if they were to classify them, Choi Hyuk and the Berserkers were closer to the side of ‘evil’ than of justice.

That was why she was uneasy right now. In the current political landscape without Richard, there was no one who could keep Choi Hyuk and the Berserkers in check.

Although she smiled outwardly, inwardly, she was very wary of Choi Hyuk.

And Choi Hyuk was estimating her value.

‘In Richard’s eyes, she was probably considered ‘someone to keep alive’ since his goal was humanity’s survival and prosperity. However, my goal is… revenge. I don’t know if she was a necessary existence for the survival of humans, but she could be an obstacle in my path for revenge.’

One thing was clear. She and her clan were people who could raise their swords against the Exalted Wings without hesitation. If that was justice, then they would be willing to fight even a hopeless battle. The problem was whether they would classify the alliance as ‘evil’ or not.

Also, another point of importance to Choi Hyuk was whether the Camilla Clan possessed the strength to attain justice. There was a likely chance she would obstruct Choi Hyuk’s actions at every step in times of chaos in the future. When facing her obstruction, how useful she and her clan were as troops would determine if he acknowledged her obstruction or not. If it was more beneficial to go against her than to accept her, then he would deal with her without any hesitation, though he currently wasn’t sure how things would progress.

Choi Hyuk strengthened his grip on her hand as he told her,

“Get stronger. At least as strong as Richard.”

Camilla bit her lips at the terrifying feeling she felt from those words.

‘… Damn it… Is he really injured?’

Choi Hyuk had lost his lower body and his karma wasn’t in a good condition. Yet, Camilla became discouraged like a mouse standing in front of a snake. It was so upsetting.

Drip.

As blood dripped from her lips since she bit on them too hard, Camilla replied,

“Definitely.”

Her eyes gleamed with resolve. They contained a madness-laced belief which asked who would save the world if not her and an animosity which indicated that she wouldn’t lose to him. Pleased with her demeanor, Choi Hyuk’s lips curved up into a smile.

 

Richard’s aide, Leah, and the head of ‘der Schatten’, Zero, visited after them.

They brought over another one of Richard’s wills.

“… You want to join the Berserkers?”

“Yes, that was Overseer Richard’s final order.”

Leah said while showing his will. Zero was silent.

“Overseer Richard entrusted his dream to you along with his Eyes of the Judge.”

At Leah’s words, Choi Hyuk tilted his head.

“Yeah, he did, but my dream is different from Richard’s. You know that, right?”

“I don’t know, but Overseer Richard believed that it would be fine if it was you.”

“Why?”

“… He said he had a hunch.”

Leah stared directly into Choi Hyuk’s eyes.

Choi Hyuk smiled bitterly.

Richard too placed the Exalted Wings as his final goal. He was similar to Choi Hyuk in this respect. However, he was someone who dreamed of the earthlings’ survival and prosperity in the end. He was different from Choi Hyuk as the only thing important to him was revenge. Contained in his heart wasn’t survival or prosperity. To him, the world had already fallen into ruin. Even if he dropped all the earthlings into the depths of hell, it didn’t matter as long as he could realize his revenge.

Because of this, Choi Hyuk was uncomfortable with Leah and Zero. Even though they were outstanding warriors, they weren’t as simple as the Berserkers. Also, it wasn’t like their relationship wasn’t built upon comradery like it was for Ryu Hyunsung, Lee Jinhee, Baek Seoin, Bae Jinman, and Handke. It was uncomfortable to use them as he wished.

“My path will probably be different from what you think.”

Choi Hyuk distanced himself from them. No matter how outstanding a troop was, it was dangerous for distinctive entities to join a united army.

It was Zero who answered this time.

“That doesn’t matter. Der Schatten doesn’t ask questions. We do not think. We only follow the orders given by Overseer Richard.”

Since Richard’s final order was to follow Choi Hyuk, they wouldn’t hesitate to follow him. That was what he was saying. Zero was ‘colorless’ in Choi Hyuk’s eyes. He was indifferent towards Choi Hyuk to a surprising degree, similar to how Jung Minji was in the past.

On the other hand, Leah was slightly different.

“… I don’t really know. However, if there was anyone else who could make the world move besides Overseer Richard, it would be you. That’s why I plan on realizing Richard’s dream even if it means using you.”

Leah was emotional. Her color was gray, a mixture of white and black light. Yet, if he were to strictly classify it, it would be closer to black. She was more hostile towards Choi Hyuk. ‘How was it that Richard died and Choi Hyuk survived?’  It seemed she held this sort of resentment. She didn’t hide her intentions. Her eyes currently burned, seemingly in anger.

She calmly said,

“I will do my best to assist you. Der Schatten, as a secret organization, will be your eyes and ears. Also, I am in command of the Richard Clan’s most elite troop. It won’t be lacking compared to the Berserkers. We will definitely show you our usefulness.”

She meant that they would persuade him with their skill.

‘I will do my utmost to serve you so that you will lend us your ear.’

She didn’t hide her intentions.

Choi Hyuk now began to become interested in them.

Looking at their self-control, Choi Hyuk recalled how talented of an overseer Richard was. Now that he thought about it, he was curious about something.

“I have something to ask.”

Leah raised her head at Choi Hyuk’s question.

“How did I look in Richard’s eyes? Was I someone to keep alive? Or someone to kill?”

He felt that he was probably someone to keep alive considering what he did for him, but he was somehow doubtful.

‘I was necessary for the survival and prosperity of humanity?’

Even Choi Hyuk had difficulty believing that.

Leah gave him an unexpected answer.

“… I heard it was both. He said that both a blue shield symbol, indicating you were someone to keep alive, as well as a red blade symbol, indicating you were someone to kill, were clearly above your head.”

“There are cases like that?”

“You were the only one. When I asked if that was dangerous, he said it was fine, that you were needed, and that he had a hunch. Overseer Richard had high hopes for you, saying that you were, without a doubt, someone who would accomplish the impossible. Although I didn’t really understand, Overseer Richard interpreted the information in front of his eyes his own way. And he was never wrong. In fact, in this incident, he didn’t kill those labeled as someone to kill and only locked them up, which produced a better result in the end.”

She was referring to those, like Penelope of the Camilla Clan, who would have obstructed the decision to launch a pre-emptive attack. In the end, the decision to launch a pre-emptive attack was achieved smoothly, and they, who joined the war later, achieved brilliant military merits.

“Overseer Richard requested that we work hard for your unknown fate.”

Choi Hyuk shook his head at Leah’s words.

To trust someone he didn’t know was an ally or foe? Unless he possessed tremendous confidence in himself, it was impossible. Yet, Richard always proved his confidence was correct.

‘Admirable.’

This was why Leah and Zero showed such loyalty for him even when he was dead.

However, he was already dead.

If Choi Hyuk accepted Leah and Zero, he couldn’t depend on Richard’s order. Choi Hyuk didn’t need two troops. He only needed the Berserkers.

Choi Hyuk met eyes with Leah then Zero.

“Remember. I’m not Richard. I can’t promise big things like him. I can only promise you one thing. Victory. The power of never losing that won’t allow anything or anyone to play around with our fates. Can you follow that?”

Choi Hyuk’s words meant that he would accept Leah and Zero.

Leah nodded his head and Zero smiled faintly.

“That’s enough.”

The two replied simultaneously.

 

**

While welcoming visitors lying down, Choi Hyuk felt frustrated. The situation in Dragonic was rapidly changing, yet he was still bedridden. Since his body was like this, he couldn’t even analyze the enlightenment he had obtained.

Even though he tried not to, he kept feeling a sense of urgency. When he welcomed visitors, he showed off an imposing and confident appearance, but he didn’t feel well when he was alone as he kept feeling powerless.

 

It was Commander Mack who came to visit this time. She, who had been fighting at the forefront until recently, was dirty as though she didn’t wash before coming here.

“How have you been? Sorry, I’m late. My duty in Dark City finally ended.”

“What is there to be sorry for?”

“No, no, still, you saved my life.”

Although she looked very exhausted, she really seemed to be in a good mood. She smiled like a child without worries.

“You saved me from Narci’s grasp and… You revived my race.”

“You’re right about Narci, but I wasn’t the one who revived the Dragon Tribe.”

“I know. It was Overseer Richard. He chose to sacrifice himself, believing in you. You were handed his dying wish, right?”

“…”

Although he wasn’t thinking of accomplishing Richard’s dying wish, since it was true he received everything, Choi Hyuk simply kept his mouth shut.

“So I thought about your reward.”

Mack sat next to Choi Hyuk. Choi Hyuk didn’t refuse.

“A reward would be nice.”

“Ehh, be happier about it.”

“Although I want to stand up and dance, it’s difficult since I don’t have legs.”

Mack revealed a meaningful smile at Choi Hyuk’s truthful words.

“You will be able to.”

“Pardon?”

Mack raised her left arm.

Thud.

As her hand brushed past it, her left horn fell with a thud. A brilliantly shining golden horn. It was the only dragon trait she possessed on her beautiful, human-like body.

“Although I’m from the dragon race, as you can see, I’m quite far off from them. Still, the reason why I can be considered a part of the dragon race are these horns.”

She placed her horn on Choi Hyuk’s chest.

“Absorb it.”

“…”

Choi Hyuk blankly stared at Mack.

“Will it be okay if I do?”

“Ahh, all it is is me dropping to the experienced stage of high-ranked warriors. Even though it will take me a while to recover, it’s not long from the perspective of the dragon race. Since I was at a loss in trying to become a highest-ranked warrior, I’ll just think of it as relearning the basics.”

Commander Mack was a powerful warrior who had reached the peak of high-ranked warriors. Dropping down to the experienced stage of high-ranked warriors was a huge loss. Yet, she didn’t hesitate in the slightest.

“This is also a bribe as well as repaying you for saving my life. The baby dragons who were born recently absolutely need the El Tribes and Dragonic. If it’s you, you should be able to take good care of them. I entrust you to take care of the baby dragons from now on.”

“… Understood.”

Choi Hyuk didn’t refuse. If it was Commander Mack’s horn, he would be able to not only recover from his injuries but step forth onto a higher stage. Fragment-Light definitely said that he would be able to recover if a warrior that was at or above his level were to pass down a part of their body to him.

“Good thinking. The bed isn’t a place where a hero should be.”

Mack smiled brightly.

 

Mack’s horned scattered and was absorbed into Choi Hyuk’s heart.

 

Whoooo.

A karma that overwhelmed Choi Hyuk’s power swarmed into him. This was an inheritance of fate. The retribution which Commander Mack, a descendant of the dragon race, had accumulated her entire life was passed down to Choi Hyuk.

Thump. Thump.

His heart thumped crazily, and every time, a strong karma surged from his heart.

The karma spreading from his heart pushed down towards Choi Hyuk’s lower body.

His bones formed with golden light. His nerves and muscles formed as well. A body composed of pure karma.

Then the remaining karma began to fuse with his own. The power of dragons, which could fundamentally manipulate flames, suited Choi Hyuk very well. Not only that, but their unique karma, which could communicate with the universe since they were born, awakened an entirely new sense in Choi Hyuk.

Choi Hyuk felt an extreme sense of transcendence.

Never losing and slashing without fail.

The fate he had engraved onto the universe shined in a more brilliant light and became larger and more resilient.

From a bent tree trunk grew roots which were thicker and tougher than before. Golden leaves scattered.

 

Although the time he spent lying down powerlessly in bed was long, his recovery was instantaneous.

“Ah…”

Choi Hyuk shot up from the spring water he had been lying in. His entire body overflowed with power.

“Congratulations on becoming a high-ranked warrior.”

Commander Mack smiled meaningfully as she tidied her remaining horn.

 

Prev / ToC / Next

Comments 17

    1. Post
      Author
  1. Sigh, Hopefully things start looking better for humans in this upcoming arc…
    Tbh, its kinda depressing watching them get kicked down over and over again

    1. And I know that they are slowly getting stronger every time they get back up, but I feel like for every small success, there was a bigger setback.

        1. Post
          Author
    2. The problem for humanity isn’t the alliance rigth now is humanity itself, with Richard gone, the frail unity they had will crumble, we already saw that Camilla isn’t goign to cooperated, and Leia well she will be a doubleedge sword for MC.

    1. Post
      Author
    1. Post
      Author
    1. Post
      Author
    1. Post
      Author
  2. seemingly in angry > in anger | I’ll just think of it was > of it as | The retribution Commander Mack > The retribution of Commander Mack | had accumulated her entire life was passed down to Choi Hyuk > that she had accumulated

    Thanks for the chapter.

    1. Post
      Author

Leave a Reply (No Spoilers)