SoJ Episode 8 Chapter 140

Episode 8: Recruit Training / Chapter 140: Species Bloom and Wilt (6)

TL: emptycube / ED: Obelisk


‘I will win.’

Choi Hyuk resolved himself just once.

He could sense the Punisher’s movements. He could sense its large two hands swaying in the air, its pupils examining him, its horns and its body odor.

Choi Hyuk could sense all of it.

“Now really…”

As if it found this entertaining, the monster, who was observing Choi Hyuk, rolled its black eyes.

Their surroundings became silent.

The silence between Choi Hyuk and the Punisher was so thick that they could almost hear the stifled judgments of the warriors watching.

‘It’s a monster whose level is between the high and highest rank. There’s no way Choi Hyuk, who has only recently become a high-ranked warrior, can win!’

‘If it’s our leader, he’ll win. We only need to focus on our own fight.’

‘Will the monster attack first? Or Leader Choi Hyuk?’

The moment right before a fight, when all possibilities were up in the air.

Choi Hyuk deeply liked this moment. It was the starting point where the unknown would turn into a victory.

In this moment, which was like taking his final breath before diving deep into the water, the Punisher suddenly said,

“That sword looks quite tough?”

It clenched its fist.


Choi Hyuk felt as though a mountain was pressing down on his body.

The monster’s eyes rolled.

As expected, it wanted to break ‘Choi Hyuk’s Imprint’. Choi Hyuk watched its eyes roll around.


He couldn’t see it. Its attack was too fast. However, Choi Hyuk, in that moment, noticed its motive through its eyes and blocked it with his sword. Receiving its attack, Choi Hyuk’s shoulder groaned. An electrifying pain ran through his body.

“Doesn’t even bend?”

Unlike Manta and Hashishi’s weapons, Choi Hyuk’s sword didn’t bend nor did it make a cracking sound. Displeasure was evident in the monster’s voice.

{Imprinted with his will, it will not break or dull.}

That was precisely what was said in the description of the Sword of Vow. It was born as a Sword of Vow the moment the ‘Vow’ inside it was acknowledged by the great universe. This was the reason why the Sword of Vow could be so special. Even if it was the Punisher, who was armed with a new weapon, it couldn’t break the Sword of Vow.

However, it seemed the monster didn’t want to admit it.

The monster attempted to grab ‘Choi Hyuk’s Imprint’ with its outstretched hand. Under extreme concentration, Choi Hyuk noticed its motive, turned his blade upwards and pulled it back. He even added the principles of ‘Instant Void Annihilation’, which could even cut the air, into this move. The monster’s hand, which attempted to grab ‘Choi Hyuk’s Imprint’, was struck by his blade.


A sharp metallic sound rang out. This time, it was Choi Hyuk’s turn to be surprised.

“Not even a scratch?”

The monster rolled its black eyes. It giggled.

“Why would it scratch?”

It mercilessly swung its fist down.

Every time its fist swung down, thunder rang throughout the sky. The heavy ground of the Kundle Planet shook as though it was met with a storm.


“Euaaah… We’re all going to die…”

“What if we went to sleep now? Then we might wake up on a cool day?”

The appearance of the Punisher greatly shook the mentality of the Kundle Tribe members, who had been fighting diligently. ‘We are gradually getting stronger. We can beat those monsters which we originally felt despair towards.’ The hope they maintained was wiped out the moment the Punisher appeared. The Punisher felt like a monster on a completely different level, something they couldn’t beat even if they trained for all of eternity.

Wasn’t even the leader of the Berserkers, Choi Hyuk, being powerlessly pushed back?

Their hearts were wavering. However, the seeds of resolve the Berserkers had worked hard to implant weren’t weak.

“Did you already forget?! If we need saving, I will become salvation itself! If we die, I will be the first to die!”

A Kundle Tribe member shouted as if struggling. He dug out his flesh and spread it everywhere. It was the ‘Berserker Gene’. Spreading his flesh, the Kundle Tribe member’s eyes reddened. All the distracting thoughts that complicated his heart began to burn away.

Only resolve remained in his heart.

‘Advance, advance, kill, kill!’

The hearts of the Kundle Tribe members around him, who were covered in the Berserker Gene, were influenced as well.

“What’s the point of sleeping? Will the monsters retreat on their own? Instead, use the Berserker Gene! Isn’t that losing our minds anyways?!{1} Let’s fight as though we’re going to die! When we come to our senses… A refreshing sky might be waiting for us!”



The surrounding Kundle Tribe members erupted in heavy breathing.

The Kundle Tribe members, after manifesting the Berserker Gene, rushed towards the monsters without the slightest hesitation.


“We’re screwed… Fuck… That fucking Choi Hyuk bastard… He went completely insane on Earth and now here… Bastard…”

Around the time the Kundle Tribe members had pulled themselves together and began fighting again, there were existences who had fallen into a deeper state of despair.

They were the earthlings. The earthlings who were employed by Manta to mine. Their current situation was actually impending.

“Take us with you! Take us! You fucking bastards!”

While the military gate system was down, the only way they could escape the Kundle Planet was on the Sur and Jangkok Troops’ spaceships.

However, they were left behind.

After narrowly escaping death, Manta and Hashishi hurriedly boarded their spaceships and attempted to evacuate.

‘We don’t know when Choi Hyuk will lose!’

The moment their karma weapons were broken, their resolve to fight was completely crushed as well. Suppressing the curses and screams that attempted to surge out their mouths, they urgently evacuated.

“Let’s leave immediately!”

“But leader! There are still a lot of members who haven’t boarded!”

“Why aren’t you quickly teleporting them in?!”

“Due to the waves emitted by the monsters, it is taking time to track all our members’ signals!”

“Ah, damn… Ack! Damn it! I don’t know anymore! Evacuate first! Let’s search for survivors when support from the alliance arrives!”

Shouted Hashishi eventually.

“…! But…!”

Hashishi completely lost his temper at his adjutant, who kept questioning him.


He grabbed the adjutant’s throat and shoved his face forward.

“You amoeba-looking motherfucker! Do you want to die? Shouldn’t those, who can live, live? Or, if you’re still caught up about them, do you want me to throw you on that planet as well?”

The Sur Troops’ situation wasn’t much different either. After surviving, Manta first objectively calculated his gains and losses.

‘I was able to survive thanks to Choi Hyuk somehow. Hashishi and I, rather than the two of us dying, it’s better for the alliance if Choi Hyuk alone dies. For Choi Hyuk’s death to not go to waste, we need to preserve our key forces and let the alliance know as soon as possible. We don’t have time. Throw away what we can… Also, I should reduce the compensation I was going to charge the Berserkers. Even though Choi Hyuk was the one who brought this shit along, a debt’s a debt.’


{The Sur and Jangkok Troops are urgently evacuating. Troop members left behind are to wait for support.}


“Left behind?! What ‘left behind’?! You didn’t have any plans on taking us with you from the beginning!!!”

The earthlings shouted.

The warriors who were left behind despite being official members of the Sur and Jangkok Troops stood beside them with bitter expressions.

Just how did things come to this…

Leader Luy of the ‘Luy Troops’, an independent troop from Dragonic, felt like he would die from rage.

Was it wrong to have been charmed by the Sur Troops’ mission, which paid more than the regional troops’ missions? It was true that the missions which the independent troops took on were riskier than the alliance’s official missions, which had a solid backing…

‘No, this is all that bastard Choi Hyuk’s fault.’

No matter how much he thought about it, Luy wasn’t at fault. He had looked into it the best he could. As he had established independent troops later than other large clans, he had fiercely looked for work that they could do to catch up, and during this time, Manta approached him. Although he felt pressure in having to walk a different path from Choi Hyuk’s Berserkers and the labor price had, without a doubt, been slashed to much lower than the market price, but as independent troops without any experience, they even had to be thankful for that. On top of that, this mission regarding recruit training was rumored to be safe.

However, what was their state now?

He was about to collapse due to his hatred for Choi Hyuk.

“Leader! If it’s like this, will we have to fight alongside the Berserkers as well?”

A member of the Luy Troops shouted.

Clan Leader Luy frowned.

“What do you mean fight?! Don’t you see Choi Hyuk being pushed back powerlessly over there? We retreat as far back as we can and hide! We’ll somehow survive until support from the alliance arrives!”

It was as he said. Choi Hyuk, who was fighting against the Punisher in the sky, looked shaky as though he would fall at any moment.


The Punisher’s attacks were heavy and tenacious.

Bang! Baang!

Choi Hyuk didn’t want to clash his sword against its fists if possible, but the monster stubbornly smashed down onto ‘Choi Hyuk’s Imprint’. It was to the point where Choi Hyuk wondered if it was more focused on breaking ‘Choi Hyuk’s Imprint’ than striking him.

Thanks to this, the burden of his injuries lessened. Even in the worst of situations, the only thing he could do was raise his sword and block. He didn’t allow a single strike to land on him.

He didn’t even have to worry about his weapon breaking like Manta and Hashishi did. ‘Choi Hyuk’s Imprint’ had no problems enduring its punches.


‘My sword isn’t the problem, my body is…’

Ironically, while ‘Choi Hyuk’s Imprint’ could easily endure its terrifying attacks, he couldn’t.

Every time his sword and its fist clashed, the karma in his entire body jolted as though it was convulsing. His back, shoulders, and calves, there wasn’t a single place on his body not affected by it.

‘Instant Void Annihilation’, which could cut through the air, didn’t work, and even ‘Flaming Wing Dance’, which burned everything and rapidly improved his physical abilities, was useless.


Every time it clenched its fists, Choi Hyuk’s flames shook dangerously.


When it punched out, it became difficult to move, almost as if he had fallen into a swamp. Space itself was crumbling and shattering towards the monster at the center. Like a star caught in a black hole, Choi Hyuk couldn’t get away from it. All he could do was raise his sword and endure.

Thump! Bang!

“Endure a bit longer. It’ll be hilarious if you broke faster than your sword, won’t it?”

The monster mocked.

Every time he heard those words, Choi Hyuk’s heart growled fiercely.

‘Am I simply going to listen to those words?’

‘Will it be able to take that? Will it be able to mock me after taking that?’

Flames surged in his belly. Choi Hyuk had never lost in his entire life and possessed a particular destructiveness since birth.

Choi Hyuk swallowed it back. The flames in his heart died down and returned to a cool calm.


When its fist and his sword clashed once more, blood spurted inside him. Unable to endure the pressure, blood dripped from his eyes and ears.

“Yeah, keep enduring like that. Won’t those insects below be able to live for a second more if you do?”

The Punisher continued to ramble on like a madman. His eyes contained an obsession. An obsession that he would shatter his Sword of Vow no matter what.

Rage surged inside Choi Hyuk. The will created by a single lifeform. Karma weapons were the crystallization of these wills. The monsters wanted to utterly shatter them. The monsters were always like this.

‘The strong will trample on the weak.’

This was always the case in nature. However, the principles behind the monsters’ actions weren’t so. They just wanted to make lifeforms despair. Shattering what lifeforms desperately accumulated was their happiness.

Perhaps… this was why the alliance’s recruit training was like this as well.

The method of training warriors who could polish their swords despite having everything they considered precious and representative of ‘themselves’ smashed apart. Did they, perhaps, think that they couldn’t face the monsters, which pressed down on them with their power, without such determination?

And, ironically, one of the greatest warriors created from this brutal method was Choi Hyuk.

Weak ones. Poor humans.

Although Choi Hyuk looked like he was indifferent to everything besides revenge, he was also someone who knew what they had lost better than anyone else. Choi Hyuk’s mother had wanted to create a peaceful, healthy family despite being a single mother, and Choi Hyuk, influenced by her, also wanted to create his own peaceful family one day. The rule he upheld even if he was beaten up like an idiot. ‘Do not kill other people.’ Why? Because people were precious. Humans were existences who dreamed.

This was why those who lived their shitty school lives and those who lived their shitty work lives endured and endured. It was for the small peace and sanctuary they might someday grasp in their hands, hoping to step forth on the shadow of paradise called a ‘dream’.

However, where did that all go?

Where did those children who shut themselves in study rooms and cram schools to get good results on their midterms, those examinees who intended to pass their exams this time, and those business owners who opened their stores with fluttering hearts go? Where did they all go? They all died. Their dreams? Became trash. Their dreams, which they had dedicated their entire lives to, had turned into nothing.

Because they were abominably weak.

Because those abominably strong monsters wanted to end them.


When he recalled his wonderful past, Choi Hyuk’s happiness turned into rage and this rage turned into sorrow, and this sorrow then turned into hopelessness, and if he drew his karma out like this, a brilliant flame exploded from Choi Hyuk’s body. A true flame that even Flame-Rain would admire. A flame belonging only to Choi Hyuk.


On top of this flame, the flame of dragons, which Commander Mack had passed down to him, blazed. The dragons who had raised their heads up high even when facing the Flame Wing Alliance. Their pride burned alongside their flames.

Choi Hyuk’s ferocious heart whispered,

‘How is it? Don’t you think it’ll be possible with this new flame? If it’s a flame that combines yours and the dragons’, won’t it be taken aback? Don’t you want to see its face?’



Choi Hyuk swallowed his flame down this time as well.

Choi Hyuk didn’t explode forth with anything. He scrunched his body up and endured the downpour of attacks.

Endurance. This was the inheritance his mother had passed down to him.

Also, Choi Hyuk’s innate talent was ‘achieving victory in fights’.

The moment Choi Hyuk blocked its fist, he instinctively knew.

‘I can’t beat it with a normal capacity for victory.’

Looking at stats, the monster was above him in all aspects. Skills could only be used once one had a basic foundation. If Choi Hyuk fought while hastily revealing his power in this current situation, then he would be the first to fall. The new flame would undoubtedly be able to surprise it. However, he wasn’t confident that he could take its life.

In the end, Choi Hyuk only had one method. It was the single strike he had used to deal a fatal blow to the highest-ranked monster Narci. The transcendent strike where he poured all his strength into his Sword of Vow. That was why he had to wait and wait. For the moment it revealed an opening. For the moment he could hold its life in his hands.

Choi Hyuk calmly waited.


There was a time limit to the Kundle Tribe’s ‘Berserker Gene’.

Even if they fought crazily, once time was up, they would return to their senses. When they regained their senses, they looked up at the sky. They looked at Choi Hyuk who was still being beaten up in the sky.

At first, the Kundle Tribe members were depressed.

‘When I regain my senses next time… Will I be able to see the world?’

To forget this depressing premonition, they quickly fell back into the Berserker state.

However, they were still alive the next time they reached the time limit. When they looked up at the sky, Choi Hyuk was still being beaten up.

It was the same the next and the next.

‘He’s still taking hits?’

They returned to the Berserker state, thinking that it would be the last time, but they always opened their eyes again under the sky. Their advances were slowly but steadily progressing, and Choi Hyuk, even though he looked like he would die at any moment, was always there in the sky.

In front of them, the Berserkers, Valkyries, and Extremers were foaming at their mouths as they slashed at the monsters.


Something surged within their hearts.


Even if we aren’t victorious,

We won’t break.

We won’t lose so easily.


This unyielding will wrapped around their hearts.


Although the monsters’ vigor felt like a storm, they endured and endured like deep-rooted trees.



Choi Hyuk swallowed down the flames surging in his heart once more. He swallowed down the audacity of wanting to explode forth with his entire strength and wipe the sky and the earth away.

The flames he swallowed again and again condensed deep within his Karma Heart. Like the singularity before the Big Bang, although it was nothing but a single dot right now, he was waiting for it to become the light that would establish a new universe when the time came.

He was waiting to open his eyes.


{1} Double meaning: You ‘lose consciousness’ when you sleep. They also lose their minds when they use the Berserker Gene.


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