SoJ Episode 8 Chapter 139

Episode 8: Recruit Training / Chapter 139: Species Bloom and Wilt (6)

TL: emptycube / ED: Obelisk


 

The leader of the Jangkok Troops, Hashishi, held a sword in each hand and a spear with his tail.

“Monster bastard, doesn’t even know its place…”

His pride scratched, his eyes trembled. He acknowledged that the newly appeared monster was strong.

‘But you attack not the Berserkers, but us first?’

When facing multiple enemies, it was the basics of fighting to hit the weakest one first. Whether they looked at it in terms of seniority, average troop level, exhaustion from fighting, or numbers, the weakest in this situation was clearly the Berserkers. However, the newly appeared monster targeted the Jangkok and Sur Troops first solely because it found them an eyesore. Precisely speaking, it targeted Hashishi and Manta first. It was evident that it was looking down on them.

“Fine. I’ll rip your face to shreds.”

Hashishi’s eyes narrowed. As the whiskers on the bridge of his fox-like nose trembled, he shouted.

{Choi Hyuk, you bastard! Don’t even think about joining in! You just stay there and be prepared to be arrested!}

Since their proper communication channels were blocked, he announced this to the entire planet. Next to him, Manta shook his head with an expression that read, ‘Did you really have to go that far?’ but he didn’t go out of his way to restrain or correct him.

Instead, he ordered his subordinates through a planet-wide announcement.

{The Jangkok and Sur Troops will leave their current positions and form a field formation. Those below the middle rank are requested to not join in the fight. The elites are requested to keep the enormous monster it’s riding in check.}

Afterwards, Manta stretched his large shoulders by swinging his arms in a circular motion as he gathered his fighting spirit. Although his rage was surging because of Choi Hyuk’s outrageous behavior, he wasn’t the type to become agitated before a fight. He calmed his rage as he prepared to fight.

Thuuud!

A gigantic hemispherical shield appeared around him as it filled the space around it. The shield could move freely without him touching it.

“Although it would have been good if we could give Choi Hyuk a beating first… This isn’t bad. Let’s first take down the monster before reporting Choi Hyuk to the alliance.”

Manta calmly composed a plan. The monster was displaying waves of power that well exceeded that of a high-ranked monster, which was why he was nervous. However, he didn’t think he would lose.

‘Fortunately, my compatibility with Hashishi is pretty good.’

Hashishi was extremely powerful when attacking and Manta’s defense was outstanding. He believed that this would be enough to take down the monster. Of course, while there would be unexpected losses, they could simply seize compensation from the Berserkers.

“Come.”

Manta quietly chanted after erasing all traces of being flustered and finishing his preparations for battle. No matter what, they were still high-ranked warriors of the alliance. They were great, experienced warriors.

 

Thud!

It was at this time when the monster appeared in front of them. Compared to the vigor it emitted, it was exceedingly calm and at ease.

“Ah? Were you planning on fighting my friend as well? Ehh? It’s too boring if we start off like that. Friend, you go over there and play.”

It patted the enormous monster like a dog before sending it off towards the Sur and Jangkok Troops who had started their retreat. Then it turned towards Manta and Hashishi and said,

“I hope you will entertain me.”

The monster gave a bright yet brutal smile.

 

**

{Choi Hyuk, you bastard! Don’t even think about joining in! You just stay there and be prepared to be arrested!}

Hashishi’s warning rang loud and clear. Choi Hyuk, who had unsheathed his sword and was preparing for battle, scratched his chin. He looked like he was in a bit of a predicament.

“Don’t tell me… that’s all?”

He looked at Lee Jinhee with a questioning gaze.

Naro replied in her stead.

{Yes. The Kahur Kabkun that is connected to the gate doesn’t have the energy to send more high-ranked monsters than this.}

At its words, Lee Jinhee was flustered.

“Uhhh… That’s strange.”

The current situation was unbearable for her. It was because Choi Hyuk was questioning her from the front while Baek Seoin was glaring at her from behind.

“Are you hoping that that isn’t all?”

Baek Seoin asked with a dumbfounded voice. Choi Hyuk nodded.

“I told her to gather three or four high-ranked monsters if possible.”

At Choi Hyuk’s absurd remark, Baek Seoin’s mouth opened agape.

However, this was within Choi Hyuk’s calculations. Since there were three high-ranked warriors here, to make it a real mess, they needed at least three high-ranked monsters as well. It would have been perfect if there were four.

But only one high-ranked monster appeared after they opened the gate.

“No, is it two if we consider the monster it’s riding…?”

The rider seemed strangely strong for a high-ranked monster and the monster that appeared to be its steed seemed strangely weak for a high-ranked monster.

“Eh…? I definitely stuck four Kahur Kabkuns that could summon high-ranked monsters together. I almost died because of it…!”

Lee Jinhee’s expression showed that she felt falsely accused. After going through all that hardship, only one appeared. Even if they considered the one being ridden on, there were only two.

Listening to their conversation, Baek Seoin shouted, almost screaming,

“It’s already a huge mess! What more are you hoping for? We’ve already reached a level where we can’t avoid being charged by the alliance!”

Yet, Choi Hyuk’s expression showed that he still found this troublesome. The one who came to his defense was Richard’s former aide, Leah.

“No. We’re already on the tiger’s back.{1} In our current situation, it is better if the monsters are stronger.”

Listening to her, Baek Seoin was about to throw a fit, but he suppressed it. When he thought about it, her words weren’t wrong.

“Since the situation has already come to this… You’re saying that the Kundle Tribe and the Berserkers should achieve a brilliant merit while Manta and Hashishi’s troops get trampled on, right…?”

Baek Seoin calmed his agitation while Leah nodded at his words. It seemed she felt that the current situation wasn’t good as well since she was biting her lip.

“Yes. If Manta and Hashishi suppress the monsters first because the level of the monsters is poor, then only us Berserkers will be to blame.”

Choi Hyuk had overturned the playing field. This meant that the protagonists of this overturned field had to be Choi Hyuk and the Berserkers. This was the only way they could recover from this situation that had gone too far. This was Choi Hyuk’s original plan as well. If there were three or four monsters, then Manta and Hashishi would take care of one each and Choi Hyuk would take care of the rest. Then he would suppress the monsters before anyone else. His Sword of Vow, the power of dragons he received from Commander Mack, and the absolute confidence he had in himself… this plan was created for the sake of this confidence.

However, his plans went awry from the start. When they opened the gate, only one high-ranked monster appeared. If Manta and Hashishi took it down before him, then Choi Hyuk wouldn’t have any opportunity to gain contributions and would be labeled as a traitor.

As if troubled, he fiddled with his Sword of Vow.

“Then I guess I need to hope that it’s strong enough…”

-Bzzt

Due to the monster’s obstruction, they couldn’t see the battle situation. Choi Hyuk crossed his arms as he looked at the static-filled screen.

 

Then.

Thuud!

The Kundle Planet shook.

Baaang!!

Like an eruption, the surface of the planet exploded, and from it shot out two warriors and a monster tangled together.

The high-ranked monster and the high-ranked warriors’ fight was great enough to have an effect on the entire planet. In the end, it was a fight that couldn’t be hidden even if they tried.

“We’ll know by watching.”

Choi Hyuk’s voice lowered.

 

**

The monster called itself the ‘Punisher’.

It introduced itself as so while saying that it came to ‘punish’ the warriors of the Flame Wing Alliance who didn’t know their place.

Also, it was as strong as its name suggested.

“Kuaaah!!!”

Hashishi shouted while vomiting blood.

Every time he swung the swords in his hands, the Kundle Planet was sliced like tofu. However, the small monster leisurely avoided his attacks.

“Is that all?”

Although they were all high-ranked, the ‘Punisher’ was on a different level than Manta and Hashishi. Their attacks couldn’t touch it, and they also had difficulty dealing with the counterattacks it skillfully launched.

Even still, Manta and Hashishi didn’t think they would lose.

‘Looking at how it talks, it’s a newly born monster. It lacks experience. Also, above all, we have karma weapons.’

From an outside perspective, it looked like Manta and Hashishi were in a one-sided predicament, but in reality, the fight until now was simply them testing each other. Manta and Hashishi had yet to use their karma weapons properly. Against the inexperienced ‘Punisher’ who looked down on them, they planned on making use of a moment’s opportunity to deal it a fatal blow.

“Like this, I’m disappointed… Go and bring the other one too.”

Hashishi gritted his teeth at the ‘Punisher’s provocation.

He thought that this was the time to use his karma weapon. The swords in each of his hands were supplementary weapons anyways. The real weapon he possessed was the Spear of Sentiment ‘Hashishi’s Cruelty’. It was a Weapon of Sentiment that was considered a masterpiece amongst karma weapons.

Hashishi aimed for the leisure the Punisher displayed.

“Euaaah!!”

Hashishi screamed as if he had abandoned himself to despair. This was a calculated move. While the swords in his hands swung exaggeratedly to express rage, his tail holding the spear trembled.

Piing!

His trembling spear, which had been hiding behind Hashishi’s back and waiting for an opportunity like a venomous snake, stopped moving suddenly. Although Hashishi’s body moved forward, his tail, holding the spear, didn’t move as though it was nailed in place. Looking at it from afar, it was a strange scene that reminded one of a mime.

Hashishi’s reckless attacks were all blocked by the Punisher as expected. Hashishi’s momentum naturally came to a halt. The Punisher looked like it was still bored.

“Done?”

It looked disappointed as its hand swung towards Hashishi. The timing was precise. It subtly avoided Hashishi’s final attack, and at the same time, it launched its counterattack.

However, its attack was blocked by Manta’s shield.

Goong!

Manta drove himself between Hashishi and the Punisher and reflected the monster’s attack with his hemispherical shield. Even though he blocked it with his shield, his body trembled from the monster’s lingering power.

The Punisher’s eyes were filled with irritation.

“This pattern is boring.”

This pattern of Manta blocking and Hashishi attacking had repeated constantly within this short period of time. The monster was already sick of it. While yawning widely, it gathered its strength in its fist. Although its fist was small compared to Manta’s fist, when it clenched its fist, Manta felt like he was being drawn in along with it. This was simply the degree of power gathered in its fist.

‘Hashishi, now!’

Manta, who didn’t want to take its attack head-on, shouted inwardly.

Fortunately, Hashishi’s thoughts aligned with Manta’s.

Hashishi’s tail, which had been taught like a bow, moved. His spear, which seemed to have been nailed in midair, shot forward. It was the instantaneous attack he had been preparing for!

Hashishi’s tail drew a strange line as it went over Manta’s shield. It was a completely astonishing attack. The Spear of Sentiment pierced through its mouth, which had been yawning.

“Yeah, it’s the end. You asshole.”

Drrk!

Hashishi felt the tip of his spear pierce through something.

At the same time, Manta resolutely launched a physical attack at the monster.

Kwiiing!

His hemispherical shield, which had been focused on defending until now, rotated like lightning. It was the karma weapon Manta possessed, the Shield of Sentiment ‘Manta’s Selfishness’.

Jjoong!

The rotating shield hit the top of the monster’s head.

Crack!

Manta’s kettle-lid-sized knuckle slammed into its chin.

‘We did it!’

Manta cheered. It received two proper blows. They weren’t normal blows either but attacks launched with karma weapons.

Karma weapons. While their appearances were that of ‘weapons’, they were, in fact, similar to lifeforms, existences that were like companions to one’s soul. Although they were merely weapons, they were existences that possessed karma like living beings. Objects that confidently displayed their names within the fate of the universe. Because of this, warriors who possessed karma weapons were able to display abilities beyond their capacity. As long as one had a karma weapon, it was no different from fighting as two instead of one.

Even if it was a monster that had reached the peak of high rank, there was no way it was fine after taking two blows from karma weapons. This was because it was not a highest-ranked monster but only a high-ranked one.

‘We were able to easily finish the battle due to its carelessness.’

Manta became happy. Since the fight ended quickly, the losses to their troops would be small without a doubt. When he thought about the contributions he obtained from dealing with the high-ranked monster that invaded and the compensation he would rip off from the Berserkers… Choi Hyuk bringing over the monsters was actually beneficial to him.

However, Manta’s expression quickly stiffened.

“Uh… Hey. Something’s off.”

Hashishi’s voice was bitter as well.

Ssaaaaa….

The monster’s pierced throat and cracked head became hazy like smoke before they began returning to their original state.

Manta was shocked.

“It immediately recovered wounds inflicted by karma weapons?”

This was impossible unless it was a highest-ranked monster. However, the monster, which had turned to smoke, healed its wound as though they were nothing.

“Look over there.”

While Hashishi had fallen into a state of confusion, Manta quickly comprehended the situation.

“Uh? That… That monster is disappearing?”

What Manta was pointing at was the enormous monster that had accompanied the ‘Punisher’ here. That monster, which had been facing the elites of the Sur and Jangkok Troops, was currently scattering like a fog and gathering towards the ‘Punisher’.

The monster, which had scattered like a fog, mixed with the ‘Punisher’ and healed its wounds. It was a scene they had never seen or heard about. However, the change didn’t end there. Even after all its wounds were treated, the monster and the Punisher’s body continued to mix together before combining into a single entity.

An exoskeleton comprised of bone and leather covered the Punisher’s body, which had originally looked like it was on a stroll, and it now possessed large hands that had sharp blades around them like teeth. An enormous horn sprouted from its head.

It looked like it was wearing the enormous monster… It was an armament that reminded them of karma weapons.

After concluding the change, the Punisher shook its body.

“Woohaa… That hurt a little. Yeah. So were they the karma weapons you guys brag about?”

It aimed its now more brutal looking fists at Manta and Hashishi.

“So that’s why we made something similar to them.”

Shiver.

An unknown chill swept across Manta and Hashishi’s skin.

 

“Protect the leader!!”

The Sur and Jangkok Troops, who felt an ominous feeling, rushed towards the monster like a swarm. Manta and Hashishi didn’t stop them. Although there was no way middle-ranked warriors could be a match against the Punisher, if they could create even a slight opening, they could use it to try and land an effective blow.

However-

Bang!

The elites who ran towards it exploded before they could touch it. Their blood formed into a fog, and their shattered bones fell down in every direction like hail.

“Kekek, they just smash apart?”

It seemed the Punisher was happy as it began laughing. Manta was shocked.

“Unbelievable. That isn’t a power a high-ranked monster can use…”

As if it heard Manta’s astonishment, the monster’s eyes curved into a mocking smile.

“That’s why I told you. It’s similar to the karma weapons you guys have.”

Karma weapons allowed them to overcome their own limits. This was the same.

“After combining with my friend, should I say I’ve now become destruction itself? I came here to smash your worthless weapons.”

The Punisher’s eyes were filled with a hatred mixed with ridicule.

 

Clench!

As soon as it clenched its fist, Hashishi and Manta felt a pain that felt like their arms and legs were being ripped off.

‘Its fist hasn’t even connected yet!’

This suppression occurred even before their karma could clash. It was similar to the pressure Choi Hyuk felt when facing the highest-ranked monster Narci. At the very least, it was a sensation that Manta and Hashishi shouldn’t feel from a monster that was the same rank as them.

Still, Manta and Hashishi didn’t lose their will to fight.

“Keah!”

Shouting, Manta raised his shield. Behind him, Hashishi coiled his tail around his spear again, tightly holding it.

Looking at them, a smile hung on the monster’s lips.

“Try to block it.”

At the same, its brutal fist swung towards them.

Thuud!!

The Shield of Sentiment ‘Manta’s Selfishness’ was powerlessly pushed back. It was no use even though Manta supported it with his body.

“Do you think we’ll lose?!”

Hashishi, who had been waiting for an opportunity behind Manta, launched a lethal attack. ‘Hashishi’s Cruelty’ revealed its strength as it shot forward like lightning.

Thump.

However, the Punisher easily grabbed the spear with its left hand. The muscles in its arm bulged as ‘Hashishi’s Cruelty’ creaked as though it would snap at any moment.

“W-what?”

Hashishi’s face was distorted in confusion. However, that wasn’t all.

Bang! Baang!!

It wielded its enormous left hand to grip both Hashishi’s spear and Manta’s shield before beginning to smash the shield with its right fist.

“Euaaah!”

Manta and Hashishi struggled, but the situation continued one-sidedly. With their spear and shield in its clutches, they were beaten one-sidedly. Manta was busy enduring its attacks, and Hashishi, whose spear was held by it, crazily swung his swords at it but was unable to deal an effective strike.

Gong! Gong!

Manta’s shield gradually began to dent after receiving the Punisher’s continuous punches.

Ggooong!

With a spine-chilling sound, a fine crack appeared on his shield.

Manta’s eyes shook.

“You can break Weapons of Sentiment?”

At the very least, this didn’t happen in fights between warriors and monsters of the same rank. This rule was wavering in this moment.

Creeeeak!

Even Hashishi’s spear, held in its left hand, was emitting an ominous sound. As soon as they heard this sound, Hashishi and Manta realized.

‘We can’t win!’

 

Grinding his teeth, Hashishi shouted. It was an announcement that rang throughout the entire planet this time as well.

{God damn it! Damn! Damn!! Choi Hyuk, you dumb bastard! Retreat immediately! Retreat then report the situation and call for support!!}

Hashishi wanted to devour Choi Hyuk right now for making the situation like this. However, he judged that it was better if Choi Hyuk brought support rather than dying here. It was a completely new type of monster. If information about it didn’t get relayed to the alliance, then the alliance would undoubtedly suffer heavy losses. No matter how much he hated Choi Hyuk, his resentment towards the monsters was obviously deeper than towards Choi Hyuk, who he had only recently met. This was the obvious action a warrior of the alliance should take.

Hashishi and Manta gave up on living. They only thought to keep the Punisher here somehow until support arrived.

Bang! Bang! Clang!

Just then, Manta’s shield let out a terrifying sound as it shattered.

Manta’s hopeless expression which had been covered by his shield was clearly revealed.

“Toys like this should…”

The Punisher smiled teasingly as it grabbed Hashishi’s spear with its now free hand and instantly broke it with a crack.

Its expression showed it was quite refreshed.

“It’s now been confirmed. Ours are stronger than your toys.”

After brushing its hands, it clenched them into fists.

“Keu…”

“Euk…”

Manta and Hashishi felt pain as if they were being clenched by its fists.

“It’s now time for you to die.”

Its fist swung towards Manta. Manta rotated his body like a windmill so that he wouldn’t be hit by the attack head-on. Although he would die anyways, he needed to somehow endure until support from the alliance arrived.

“Huh?”

However, the face of the Punisher, who had been vigorously swinging its fist at Manta, suddenly changed. It hastily retracted his fist and pulled its body back.

It was a close call. A chilling sword slashed down at the place its arm had been.

Swish.

While devouring the space around it, the blade rang like a living creature. Manta and Hashishi felt goosebumps run across their skin once more.

“I’m in trouble if those two die.”

Choi Hyuk was standing in front of the Punisher. The Sword of Vow ‘Choi Hyuk’s Imprint’ in his hand gave off a chilling light.

“You didn’t flee?”

As if entertained, the Punisher examined Choi Hyuk.

Choi Hyuk didn’t reply as he raised his left hand.

In response to his signal, they heard Camilla’s shout from afar.

“All forces! Advance!!!”

Choi Hyuk turned around to look at Hashishi and Manta, who were completely dazed.

“I’ll handle things here, so you two go down and assist in the war or return to the alliance. Do whatever you want.”

Then, looking at the Punisher, he gave his thanks.

“Thanks for being stronger than I thought.”

Thanks to that, Choi Hyuk was able to conduct his real plan. There was only one thing remaining, killing all the monsters in a desperate battle. During this, the Kundle Tribe would learn what a real war was like right down to their bones.

Gazing at the Punisher, a ferocious smile hung on Choi Hyuk’s lips.

‘Are you stronger than me?’

His smile asked.

 


{1} A desperate situation where you can’t get off a tiger’s back in the middle in fear of getting eaten by it.

 

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Comments 3

  1. and spear in his tail > and a spear with his tail | When facing multiple enemies > When facing multiple groups | power that well exceed > exceeded | Are you hoping that that isn’t all > Are you hoping this isn’t all | this plan was created for this confidence > from this confidence | filled with a ridicule-mixed hatred > filled with ridicule mixed with hatred | In the very least > At the very least | towards the monsters was obvious deeper > obviously

    Thanks for the chapter.

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