SoJ Episode 8 Chapter 133

Episode 8: Recruit Training / Chapter 133: Kundle Tribe (4)

TL: emptycube / ED: Obelisk


 

Baek Seoin nodded his head as he asked,

“How are we going to teach them fear and anger?”

Choi Hyuk looked down at the planet spread beneath Naro’s spaceship. It was incredibly big. It looked to be five times the size of Earth. But since its rotation was quick, its entire surface was being evenly fried by the suns. Since there were three suns, the days were also much longer than the nights on the planet.

Lee Jinhee said that its appearance reminded her of a rotisserie chicken.

Choi Hyuk brought up a topic that seemed to be unrelated to the question.

“Karma is the record of successes and despair lifeforms have accumulated over time. It’s created from happiness, rage, sorrow, joy, love, hate, and greed.”

“That’s true.”

“Earthlings are as greedy as any other species, but the Kundle Tribe awakened karma by themselves while we hadn’t been able to.”

“That’s right. Well, I understand why. They have three suns, and it’s not like the lifeforms on the planet are completely immune to heat… It must have been hell before they awakened karma. It was probably difficult to breathe in such a hellish environment. They should have been emotionally sensitive- Ah, don’t tell me?!”

Baek Seoin’s eyes shined. Choi Hyuk nodded.

“Yeah. Although it seems like they lost their sense of pain entirely thanks to their recovery ability, there will definitely be traces of that period remaining deep within them. Fear of the suns. Also, there is the rage from being unable to do anything but watch as their comrades burned to death.”

“Wow… Leader, when did you think that far?!”

Baek Seoin looked sincerely impressed. With a happy expression that said, ‘Our leader has changed’{1}, he looked at Choi Hyuk as he asked,

“Then, how do we drag out their true nature?”

Choi Hyuk leaned back and replied dully,

“That I don’t know. Figuring that out is Baek hyung’s job.”

“Ah…?”

Baek hyung looked at Choi Hyuk with his mouth agape, like a developer looking at his company’s CEO.

 

**

Although the majority of the buildings created by the Kundle Tribe were so weirdly shaped that it was difficult to guess their use, they still had a practical part to them. It was the minimal trait for something to be called a ‘building’. Which was also why it had previously been glossed over.

It was that they had roofs. Even if they didn’t have walls, they all had roofs. This was very significant.

“I always felt this, but their buildings are really dark. Their roofs are so long that they darken the streets. It was already looking a lot like an antique store with all the junk… But doesn’t it feel gloomier?”

Lee Jinhee mumbled.

Currently, Choi Hyuk, Lee Jinhee, and Baek Seoin were disguised as Kundle Tribe members and were on the surface of the planet. While the Sur and Jangkok Troops were busy mining the planet, the Berserkers, who had yet to set a training plan, were wandering around the planet and diligently collecting information about the Kundle Tribe. Although this looked pathetic in Hashishi and Manta’s eyes, they didn’t care.

 

The Kundle Tribe’s city had especially long roofs and an unnecessarily abundant number of outdoor structures, and the shadows from these structures covered all corners of their city. Due to the substances that evaporated under the sunlight and crumbled dust, the weather was hazy and suffocating as though there was a thick fog regardless of night or day.

The group, who had been walking down these streets which were so dark and gloomy that it felt like ghosts would pop out, soon entered a market.

Markets in Korea would be filled with clothes, household items, and food, but the Kundle Tribe’s market was a bit different.

“Is this really a market?”

It was to the point where Lee Jinhee even asked this question.

First, this place wasn’t a long passageway but a wide plaza.

While there were market stalls, there weren’t a lot of them. Also, they didn’t have clothes or food.

“Due to the Kundle Tribe’s regenerative ability, they don’t wear clothes. Also, as they evolved to digest the overabundant solar energy, evaporated substances, and airborne dust, they don’t really need food… but this is strange.”

Baek Seoin shook his head beside her.

Rather than a market, it was more like a workshop. Various materials were spread amongst the stalls, and the Kundle Tribe members gathered together and chatted while they made unidentifiable objects. These objects didn’t look practical. Seeing as how they chatting noisily, it seemed like they were objects purely created out of interest.

Rather than a market, it was more like a playground where they made objects on the spot, enjoyed them, and then made more.

“Now that I think about it, I received a report about this. I heard that there was an area where the Kundle Tribe members were especially absorbed in creating things. It seems this is the place. But, apparently, even if they are enjoying it, they will immediately leave elsewhere with disinterested expressions if Berserkers start to cause a fuss.”

“… How tiresome.”

Choi Hyuk said with a tired expression. The Kundle Tribe members here looked to be having more fun than anywhere else. It was clear that they were having fun as their sausage-like bodies rippled, but to not get angry when they were bothered… They were matchlessly tiresome lifeforms.

However, not everyone here was creating objects. There were also ‘feats of strength shows’.

Some of them spat hard bubbles from their mouths and others melted their bodies into what seemed like mud and were creating weird sculptures. Spectators gathered around them and were chattering noisily.

“Look at this. This. It’s a new gene we discovered.”

The ‘feats of strength performers’ shouted before scooping parts of their bodies and passing them amongst the spectators.

As they didn’t have a concept of currency, everything was free. To them, who had no worries of eating or surviving, everything they did was for fun.

The spectators, who implanted themselves with parts of the feats of strength performers’ bodies, trembled before performing strange acts like spitting out solid bubbles, covering their bodies with needles or even grow fur like the feats of strength performers.

Looking at this, Baek Seoin sincerely admired them.

“Wow… It’s even possible to do this with the regenerative ability of karma?”

Extreme heat, noxious sunlight, and a regenerative ability that exceeded the laws of science. With these combined, the Kundle Tribe members could function as gene factories. The ability to artificially increase the mutations within their genes and only cultivate the traits they liked. They also had a regenerative ability that went ‘outside the laws’ and could make them return to their original forms.

The Kundle Tribe members used their bodies like blackboards, repeatedly sharing various genes and erasing them. The aim of all this was for ‘fun’ as well. Since the traits of the shared genes created couldn’t be maintained for a long time due to karma.

 

Baek Seoin, whose eyes were shining as he looked at them with an interested expression, sighed,

“Haa… They are a species who are more carefree than we thought. I wonder if there really is fear deeply ingrained in their true nature…”

Unlike Lee Jinhee, who was enjoying herself as if she were on a trip, Baek Seoin was constantly thinking about the work Choi Hyuk had given him… the training plan to teach them fear and rage.

Since Manta and Hashishi were focused on mining, they needed to quickly obtain results as well.

Although the mining of this enormous planet wouldn’t end in a year or two, if they didn’t obtain any results within a certain period of time, they would be deprived of their right to use the alliance resources, which included the ‘environment control system’.

“Baek hyung, why is your expression so dark?”

However, Choi Hyuk, the culprit of his headache, was acting in a leisurely fashion. Looking at him like that, Baek Seoin felt like a hole might form in his stomach due to stress.

‘Ah… really. Should I just start by capturing the Kundle Tribe members and dissecting them?’

Although he even considered such extreme thoughts, this method was useless against karmalings. Bodies fused with karma couldn’t be analyzed by scientific means.

 

‘Well, nothing else I can do.’

In the end, Baek Seoin compromised. Even though he wanted to go on with more concrete evidence, he didn’t have any more time.

To be honest, there was a method he wanted to test as soon as he heard Choi Hyuk’s words. Since it was so simple and imprecise, he had hoped to find a better method, but there was nothing more he could do in his current situation.

‘Please… I hope they react to this at least.’

While hoping earnestly, Baek Seoin requested Choi Hyuk who was beside him,

“Umm, leader. Why don’t you light some flames?”

“… Like this?”

Choi Hyuk followed Baek Seoin’s request and lit some flames. As soon as he did, the Kundle Tribe members on the streets were shocked as they murmured amongst themselves.

“Ah, damn! That shocked me! Why the hell would you light flames on the streets like that?”

“I know, right? There are too many rude people these days.”

“Haa, there isn’t much time before the day ends either, this sucks… I guess I’ll go home, purify mud and shake off liquid.”

“I mean, wasn’t it just too rude?”

The Kundle Tribe members showed a more intense reaction than when their arms or heads were cut off. Of course, all they did was pass by while murmuring to each other, but they couldn’t hide their displeasure as their thick, brown necks folded three times.

Only then did Baek Seoin reveal a smile of relief.

“They react to this at least… Ah… What a relief. Their true nature of fearing the sun remains in their culture.”

Although their bodies had already developed to the point where it was no longer necessary to fear fire or the suns, the Kundle Tribe members still held fire and the suns in contempt.

They had found a minimal amount of evidence. As pitiful as it was, this was all Baek Seoin had. They no longer had time to gather more data. Even if they repeatedly underwent trial and error, they had to push forward with this.

‘Ah, damn. I’ll take the risk.’

The moment he decided to run with it, the scenes Baek Seoin had observed during his investigation arranged themselves in an orderly manner in his mind.

The especially long roofs, the shadows cast over the city, the game where they gave and received genes, and their nature of holding fire in contempt… When these things gathered together, they formed a single picture.

Baek Seoin decided to bet on it.

‘Well, if it fails, the leader will have to take responsibility for it.’

 

**

Five days since the Sur and Jangkok Troops commenced their training (mining).

Baek Seoin finally briefed Choi Hyuk on the training plan.

“The aim of this training is to awaken the Kundle Tribe as outstanding warriors and create a positive relationship between them and the Berserkers.”

Although having them awaken as warriors was obvious, the ‘positive relationship’ was Baek Seoin’s greed. Knowing this, Baek Seoin subtly attempted to read Choi Hyuk’s mood. Choi Hyuk wordlessly nodded his head. Slightly relieved, Baek Seoin continued his report.

“First, we will use Guardian Bae Jinman to expand and arouse their hostility towards sunlight and fire. So that it can apply to other targets as well.”

Choi Hyuk tilted his head.

“The guardian can do something like that?”

“Yes. It seems it’ll be possible. In the past, we used his buff to incite madness amongst the Berserkers when we fought against the eyeless observers. It looks like it’ll be possible if we combine the knowledge related to the mind we obtained when we joined the alliance and the guardian’s abilities.”

“However, isn’t it just temporary?”

“We have no choice but to leave that part somewhat up to chance. As the Kundle Tribe members start to learn how to fight… We can only hope they create aggressive genes and actively share it among each other…”

As he said this, Baek Seoin hunched his shoulders slightly.

It was because there were too many jumps in logic. He wasn’t even sure if Guardian Bae Jinman could make the Kundle Tribe fight. On top of that, whether the Kundle Tribe members shared their aggressive genes or not was an issue he had no control over.

If he could, he wanted to use the alliance’s technology to personally change their genes. However, that was impossible. This was because there was no doubt the Kundle Tribe’s karma, which was fused with their bodies, would reject artificial gene segments. In reality, the genetic changes they accepted by trading genes would return to ‘normal’ after a while due to their karma. It wasn’t some lasting, repetitive evolution. It didn’t go beyond being a game.

Which was why sharing the altered genes relied entirely on the Kundle Tribe’s ‘willingness’. It wasn’t once or twice either, they needed to be continuously willing, like a game of baseball or soccer. This was something Baek Seoin could do nothing about.

 

While Baek Seoin was feeling intimidated after losing confidence during his report, Choi Hyuk coolly nodded his head.

“Okay. Since it was me who decided to look for another method from the start, this much risk is expected. Anything else? What are we going to do afterwards?”

Brightening up at Choi Hyuk’s positive reaction, Baek Seoin quickly replied,

“We need one approval and two preparations.”

“What?”

“First, we need the approval to reveal our identities to the Kundle Tribe. This is something you need to personally request to the center. Only when we get this approval can we consider establishing a good relationship with the Kundle Tribe or not.”

Choi Hyuk nodded.

“And? The preparations?”

“There are two preparations. As human resources… I want the assistance of Overseer Jessie and Overseer Camilla.”

At the unexpected reply, Choi Hyuk’s eyebrows twitched. Yet, he didn’t immediately ask for the reason and accepted it.

“And?”

“Monsters. We need an army of monster powerful enough to give the Berserkers a hard time.”

“Hmmm…”

Choi Hyuk began to become interested in Baek Seoin’s plan.

A monster army that could give even the Berserkers a hard time… Although he wasn’t sure what it was about, it was a preparation that would inevitably lead to a battle.

Just thinking about it made his heart race. Choi Hyuk, who had inwardly been bored since this was a mission that didn’t involve a lot of fighting, brightened for a change.

‘Ah, jeez. He really likes anything to do with fighting.’

While Baek Seoin was inwardly clicking his tongue as he saw this, Choi Hyuk suddenly said,

“Ah, also, I came up with another method.”

“What kind of method?”

“A method to help the Kundle Tribe revive their sense of fear and rage. It’ll probably be of great help to Baek hyung’s plan.”

“So what is it?”

“Wait a moment.”

 

Still sitting down, Choi Hyuk called for the environment control system.

{Welcome to the environment control system. It has been 5 days since training has commenced. The leader of the Berserkers, Choi Hyuk, has yet to distinguish himself. What additional environment would you like to control?}

Without the slightest hesitation, Choi Hyuk said,

“Seal all the Kundle Tribe members’ karma.”

“What?!”

Shocked, Baek Seoin looked at Choi Hyuk.

{It is impossible as your contribution is too low.}

“Then as many as possible.”

{… Environment control complete. The karma of a hundred million Kundle Tribe members has been sealed.}

“Leader! We decided to get in a good relationship with the Kundle Tribe!”

Baek Seoin protested with wide eyes. However, Choi Hyuk replied without any change in his expression,

“They won’t know we did it anyways.”

Shiver.

Baek Seoin felt shivers run down his spine again.

He looked at Choi Hyuk, who was still sitting in front of him, in a new light.

The demon king was there.

 

“Euaah!”

On the Kundle Planet, the Kundle Tribe members who had been walking outside screamed as they fainted. Their flesh slowly burned under the hot heat.

 


{1} A play on ‘Our children have changed’ – A show about the difficulties of raising children.

 

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