Episode 8: Recruit Training / Chapter 129: Establishing Troops (4)
TL: emptycube / ED: Hungry Panda
When selecting new Berserkers, Choi Hyuk didn’t exclude those who were hostile towards him.
“What was your reason for applying?”
“I want to fight without hesitation like Overseer Choi Hyuk!”
He rejected everyone who held hostility towards him that said this while smiling.
Choi Hyuk believed that there was sufficient reason to be hated considering the things he had done.
“Although I hate people like you… I hate monsters more.”
“To kill you one day.”
It was people like them who he would accept after evaluating their skills and checking that they weren’t ‘people to kill’ with his Eyes of the Judge.
The problem wasn’t that they were hostile towards him.
He didn’t need people who spoke differently from their actual thoughts.
The Berserkers were crazy warriors, and those whose inner thoughts differed from their external appearance weren’t crazy.
When Lee Jinhee moved, beads of sweat and blood splattered upwards.
She was unable to endure the backlash as their swords clashed, and her hand had become tattered. Blood dripped down, but she didn’t drop her sword once. Her eyes didn’t lose their determination.
Although her appearance was quite horrible, Baek Seoin didn’t bat an eye while looking at her.
He was, for a completely different reason, grumbling to someone else since wounds like those were normal for Berserkers.
“Leader! Please talk while doing it!”
With blood spewing from her lips, Lee Jinhee was thrown backwards.
Unable to endure Baek Seoin’s urging, Choi Hyuk, who had reflected Lee Jinhee’s sword and kicked her stomach, opened his mouth.
“Director Lee Jinhee’s sword swung in a straight line. That’s why if you hit it, it’ll reflect off with a ‘ba-bang’.”
Baek Seoin held his forehead when he heard his explanation.
‘Who will know what you’re saying with that sort of explanation?!’
Just in case, he glanced behind him, but the students of the Berserker school simply stood there with wide eyes. They didn’t look like they understood at all.
Looking at them, Choi Hyuk tilted his head.
No matter who saw him, it seemed like he was asking, ‘You don’t understand?’
Turning around, Choi Hyuk faced Lee Jinhee, who was rushing towards him with gritted teeth, and kindly added a bit more detail.
“So… Like this. ‘Ba-bang’!”
When Choi Hyuk’s practice sword tapped Lee Jinhee’s short sword, Lee Jinhee’s right hand, which was holding her sword, was pushed upwards.
“Grrr! Damn it!”
Lee Jinhee screamed in anger. She tried her best to endure, but her power wasn’t able to overcome the impact in the end and she rolled on the ground. She got back up as soon as she started rolling and shot towards him at the speed of light.
“I’ll see it! I’ll definitely see it this time!”
However, Choi Hyuk was calm. He once again kindly explained,
“Like this, ‘ba-bang’!”
Due to Choi Hyuk’s downwards swing, Lee Jinhee’s hand slammed onto the ground while still holding her sword.
Swallowing her scream, she quickly dissipated the strength of the swing and escaped from Choi Hyuk’s attack range, but Choi Hyuk followed her this time.
“When attacking first, ‘ba-bang’!”
Lee Jinhee, who had hurriedly retreated, was unable to dissipate the strength behind Choi Hyuk’s sword and spun in midair before collapsing on the ground.
Choi Hyuk, thinking that he had explained enough, turned his back on Lee Jinhee and faced the students.
‘They probably understand now, right?’
His expression soon became one of bewilderment. He tilted his head…
‘… Don’t tell me they still don’t understand?’
His confusion was wholly revealed through his expression without the need for words. The students of the Berserker school avoided his gaze. In the end, Choi Hyuk frowned.
“It’s not like you’re copying my actions. I’m just telling you to look at it and sense it but you can’t even do that…”
The words he had mumbled in disappointment dug into the hearts of the students.
“I get it! I get it! I get it now! You damn leader!”
Lee Jinhee, who had been collapsed on the ground, stood up and charged at him like lightning.
However, Choi Hyuk didn’t even look at her properly and swung his sword in the same way as he did in his examples. Ba-bang!
Yet, the sound which resounded out was lackluster compared to before.
“I get it now!”
Shouting triumphantly, Lee Jinhee let Choi Hyuk’s sword pass her with the gladius in her right hand. In her left hand was another short sword. Imbuing the short sword with karma, she aimed at Choi Hyuk’s neck.
At the same time, Choi Hyuk’s disinterested eyes sharpened.
Choi Hyuk reflected Lee Jinhee’s short sword and simultaneously kicked her.
Lee Jinhee didn’t avoid his kick, instead, blocking his kick by lowering her elbow and continued to charge towards him.
The two clashed in close quarters.
As it was no longer suitable to swing his sword in such close quarters, Choi Hyuk punched Lee Jinhee’s face.
Accompanied by the sound which was quieter compared to the vigor behind the punch, Lee Jinhee’s face tilted backwards. Lee Jinhee had purposely tilted her head back to reduce the impact. With her blue eyes observed Choi Hyuk, she rotated her body and slashed with her sword. The tip of her sword definitely made contact with Choi Hyuk’s forehead.
However, Lee Jinhee’s joy was short-lived.
Choi Hyuk’s sword completely pierced through her body.
A dejected sigh escaped her lips. Choi Hyuk added more strength to his sword, which had pierced through Lee Jinhee’s shoulder, and pushed her down to the ground. Lee Jinhee grabbed his sword with both hands and resisted, but she pushed back slowly and her butt touched the ground in the end.
Choi Hyuk asked,
Yet, Lee Jinhee didn’t reply to his question.
Biting her lips while looking up at him with her blue eyes, she didn’t give up and resisted Choi Hyuk’s sword.
Then it seemed like the blue light from activating Mind’s Eye grew brighter as she flung her body like a spring and attempted to bite Choi Hyuk’s sword-wielding hand. She didn’t care whether the blade in her shoulder dug in further or not. It seemed she even utilized her karma as her teeth were dyed blue as well.
‘I’ll take your hand at least!’
Lee Jinhee only saw Choi Hyuk’s hand. She revealed such a resolute competitiveness that she would wound her opponent even if she died.
Choi Hyuk’s hand approached from a close distance.
Then he smashed Lee Jinhee’s face.
Choi Hyuk threw a punch at Lee Jinhee without the slightest hesitation.
Her teeth, which had been imbued with karma, flew out, and she collapsed rigidly, unconscious.
The students of the Berserker school watched this with horrified expressions. Although their training was tough, it wasn’t this insane. On top of that, wasn’t the Berserker who was collapsed on the ground with swollen eyes Lee Jinhee, one of the top three experts in the Berserkers?
After mercilessly crushing such a great warrior, Choi Hyuk calmly stretched his arms.
“Ah… It was fun.”
He even unintentionally mumbled this.
A drop of red blood dripped down from his forehead. That one drop of blood made him very happy.
“Jinhee nuna, I was surprised this time.”
Although it was only a drop of blood right now, if Lee Jinhee had wielded a karma-weapon, it would have been quite a dangerous situation.
The fact that she accomplished such a feat against Choi Hyuk, who was a high-ranked warrior, was incredible. Even considering how he had matched his karma to her level, there was undoubtedly a wall, which middle-ranked warriors couldn’t overcome, between high-ranked warriors and middle-ranked warriors.
Expressing his admiration, Choi Hyuk flung Lee Jinhee on his shoulder. Looking at this, Baek Seoin said in surprise,
“Wait! You have to finish your lecture!”
Choi Hyuk shrugged his shoulder holding Lee Jinhee and said,
“This is what Berserkers are.”
Choi Hyuk’s lecture had somehow ended well thanks to Lee Jinhee.
As he was walking out after leaving Lee Jinhee in Bae Jinman’s care, a small hand tapped his shoulder. A woman he couldn’t sense.
“It’s been a while.”
Choi Hyuk said as he turned his head slightly. As expected, Flame-Rain was there.
“Hey~ This place looks nice!”
She pretended to look around at her surroundings. Her gaze landed on the territory pyramid erected in the center of the Berserker school then glanced at the various shops and the students discussing and training there.
“It’s because Baek Seoin kept telling me we needed a school. It’s my first time here as well.”
Flame-Rain giggled at Choi Hyuk’s words.
“Good. For this to be your first time. It’s my first time as well.”
Choi Hyuk simply grinned. Choi Hyuk no longer asked Flame-Rain why she came or who she was.
However, this time, it was Flame-Rain who spoke first.
“I came to say my farewell.”
“Yeah. I’m going far away… I don’t know if I’ll be able to return.”
She looked up at Dragonic’s rippling white sky.
“As I thought… Your homeland’s sky was prettier.”
Choi Hyuk stepped towards her, who was immersed in her emotions, and asked,
“Where are you going?”
“The world where monsters live. I have been dispatched to the reconnaissance troops. I leave tomorrow.”
While saying this, her voice didn’t contain any fear or regret.
“… The reconnaissance troops the princess of the Flame Wing Tribe is commanding?”
“Have the rumors spread even here? Well, since you’re a high-ranked warrior, you’re considered an elite of the alliance.”
She looked proud.
That moment, Choi Hyuk impulsively asked,
“It’s you, right?”
She replied as though it was a trivial matter,
Her thoughts seemed to be ‘it might be our last meeting, so why hide anything?’
Choi Hyuk’s insides twisted.
“Is it okay for the princess of the Flame Wing Tribe to be dispatched to a mission like that? Don’t the top 4 avoid stuff like that?”
“Like you already know, there are some people who hate me.”
Flame-Rain really didn’t seem to care and Choi Hyuk bit his lips.
Although anger suddenly surged within him, he was strangely relieved.
‘Is it okay to not consider her my enemy…?”
To be honest, the Flame Wing Tribe was an existence which stood at the top of his list of enemies.
However, Choi Hyuk had already unconsciously considered Flame-Rain to be different. He had simply been unaware of this change.
“Maybe, if they were to send someone other than me… A warrior who wasn’t one of the top 4, I probably would have been angrier.”
Flame-Rain revealed her white teeth and happily burned her hair as she gave a meaningful smile.
“When we have received so much… We need to repay what we can.”
Choi Hyuk could see a faint golden light (sacrificial will) emitting from her through his eyes. The golden light that he wouldn’t see many times during his lifetime he had seen multiple times from her.
He stopped what he was about to say and shut his mouth. As there was a saying ‘What you say will come true’ so he couldn’t bring himself to ask, ‘Are you planning to die?’
With his Eyes of Distinction, he could tell that Flame-Rain was willing to die for the mission. The golden light which indicated a sacrificial will was proof of this. Normally, he would have simply glossed over the golden light even if he saw it, but since he saw the golden light as she prepared for such a dangerous mission, he felt torn by anxiety.
‘I really have no idea what she’s thinking.’
Flame-Rain was always like this. She would suddenly show her sacrificial will to Choi Hyuk. Since she did it back when they weren’t really close, Choi Hyuk could tell that this sacrificial will wasn’t only for him. She wanted to embrace all the small and weak tribes. Choi Hyuk was one amongst them.
Looking back, the first time he met her was in the first mission he went on as a Consumable. A great warrior of the transcendence level wandered onto the battlefield of lowest-ranked warriors and became friends with many people, regardless of their status. Although the majority of them were unaware of Flame-Rain’s status.
“Anyways, now that we’ve become friends that know everything about each other, I’ll give you some inside information… You’re going to be getting busier.”
Suddenly changing the topic, Flame-Rain’s eyes began to fill with sadness.
She had been calm when she said that this might be their final farewell.
“Old Mr. Dragon seems to have taken a liking to you this time… They are assigning you a key duty of the alliance… Recruit training.”
“Yeah. When you guys awakened, the thing you experienced on Earth. It was probably… <Ring of Rebirth>, right?”
Choi Hyuk, who had been hung up on thinking about Flame-Rain’s sacrificial will, suddenly felt as though he was suffocating. The name that felt like a sudden attack, <Ring of Rebirth>.
His voice became heavy.
“… We’re going to do that?”
“Yeah. The method and rules, you guys will be deciding everything.”
He had never trembled in front of any enemy, yet his hands were trembling right now.
“If I were to request something as a friend… Don’t be so harsh on them.”
Flame-Rain lightly held Choi Hyuk’s hand. However, Choi Hyuk was too preoccupied to notice. His mind was churning rapidly.
‘They want us to do it? Are they telling to become a definite part of the alliance? Then do we have to do it? We have to make people kill each other like we were forced to? Do we really have to do it? No, there might be a different method. Since it all depends on what we decide. However… Will we be able to foster warriors who can survive in fights against the monsters by going easy on them?’
Flame-Rain said as if singing,
“Although rage makes a strong warrior… Doing it this way won’t make them my ally.”
Although Flame-Rain’s voice was pleasant to listen to, Choi Hyuk didn’t pay attention to it. Flame-Rain’s words went in one ear and out the other as he was lost in his own thoughts.
Looking at Choi Hyuk’s blank expression, Flame-Rain eventually realized he wasn’t listening to her and became annoyed.
Although Flame-Rain only swung her small fist, Choi Hyuk vomited blood while standing. Her punch possessed a terrifyingly superhuman strength.
However, as a warrior among warriors, Flame-Rain didn’t care about this amount of blood.
“When someone is speaking… I, hmm? Came all the way here, hmm? To see you, hmm? When I’m so busy, hmm? When I have so many friends, hmm? I only came to say farewell to you, hmm?”
Flame-Rain hectored him as though she was trying to fix his manners.
Although the place he was hit hurt, Choi Hyuk smiled when he saw her like that.
Flame-Rain, who had been hopping up and down, eventually let out a sigh when she saw Choi Hyuk’s plain reaction.
After sighing, she changed the mood again. Her eyes turned serious as she said,
“To be honest, I hoped that the earthlings wouldn’t be assigned to this duty… However, it’ll be a chance for you. The fact that you are in charge of training recruits means that you have already been acknowledged. In fact, if the results are good, you’ll even accumulate great merits.”
‘Acknowledgement’. ‘Merits’. Choi Hyuk hadn’t hoped for any of them.
“Whether you pick an easy path… Or a hard one… I hope that you consider it carefully, friend.”
Flame-Rain’s fist lightly touched Choi Hyuk’s chest.
Taking a step away, she waved her hand. Choi Hyuk hurriedly called out to her.
“… Let’s see each other again.”
Flame-Rain grinned. Placing one hand in her pocket, her entire body surged with flames. Flame-Rain disappeared, and cleanly burning flames remained in her place. The flames seemed to be waving, and they disappeared while waving.
For some reason, Choi Hyuk couldn’t easily leave the place Flame-Rain had disappeared.