SoJ Episode 9 Chapter 145

Episode 9: Shackles of Judgment / Chapter 145: Radical Reform (4)

TL: emptycube / ED: Obelisk


 

Choi Hyuk had left Dragonic for at most two months.

During this short period of time, Dragonic had undergone drastic changes.

After the monster tidal wave, Dragonic had become completely colonized. Richard, who had controlled the world from the dark, had died. Many clans became free from the control of the overseers after they received the right to establish independent troops. The Berserkers also didn’t show any interest in the order of Dragonic, simply traveling the universe after the past advancement evaluation. With the addition of these factors, the world seethed with disputes like during the Warring States Period.

Now that they had started gaining strength from trading alien techniques, it became a popular saying that a day on Dragonic was more than ten years on Earth.

Whoosh.

Choi Hyuk looked out the window when he perceived a sudden spreading of light and sound. It was currently night outside. Because of the always milk-white sky, there was originally no night on Dragonic, but a dark night always covered the red-light district of the Jessie Clan’s city, ‘New Washington’. The Al Pacino Clan was famous for profiting immensely by importing an alien technology that created night and selling the usage of it.

“… How surprising.”

The surging pillar of light soon faded to reveal an extreme high-rise building that wasn’t there previously. It was an alien technology that allowed the simultaneous summoning of materials and 3D printing of them into buildings. That was how the landscape of Dragonic changed every day.

A tall building. A dark sky. Brilliantly lit streets. Alcohol, women, and men.

All of this stimulated the nostalgia of earthlings.

On these brilliantly lit streets, warriors, exhausted from fighting, squandered the Mission Points they had saved up as they unwound. Warriors that should be focusing on fighting were rotting in red-light districts? Although it sounded absurd, it was somewhat reasonable.

‘As they couldn’t recover from their exhaustion from fighting, many warriors were suffering from depression.’

‘Although it might only be for one night of pleasure, the warriors gained the determination to fight and save up Mission Points.’

This was also a type of reward mentality. The earthlings, who had suffered until now, wanted to free themselves of the struggle to survive. Like what the Commander-in-chief Armor-Phantom had said, they wanted to ‘live grandly’.

That was how the earthlings slowly lost their edge and earnestness.

Some said that the earthlings would become more solid and rigid through this, but the person who brought the earthlings their riches and safety, Choi Hyuk, didn’t like this.

Riches and safety, if they were to develop into the best this way, all they could amount to was being an important species in the alliance. It didn’t suit Choi Hyuk’s goal of wanting to overthrow the alliance.

In a luxurious bar rented by the Al Pacino Clan to entertain the Berserkers and Extremers, Choi Hyuk drank delicious alcohol. Beside him were beautiful women and each Berserker and clan executive had men or women suiting their preferences. They were entertainers who would constantly meet their gaze, laugh at whatever they said, and fulfill any request.

However, in Choi Hyuk’s eyes, even these entertainers had the possibility of being warriors. Also, the Mission Points warrior used for alcohol and tips was money that could be used to buy better equipment.

Not long ago, after the great war where countless people died, the world seemed like it would result into barbarism where only the warriors were acknowledged. However, as the status of Dragonic strengthened, the alliance provided the earthlings with more comforts. Barbarism didn’t come. The humans, who had lived in a modern consumeristic society, couldn’t forget the glories of their past.

They still needed military power, yet those with quick thinking realized that those with power were simply humans who needed something else. Providing pleasure to some or art to others, they took advantage of the warriors, and with the power they obtained, they established other businesses. Occasionally, warriors would obtain what they wanted with their own power, but their methods were either a crime or resulted in exploiting other warriors once again.

Normal warriors were primary industry workers, in other words, peasants of ancient times. They were the ones earning Mission Points, but the ones who were sucking their Mission Points dry were businessmen and executives of large organizations. The warriors who risked their lives fighting were considered quite rich, but the truly rich ones were the businessmen who operated extravagant bars, distributed equipment, or acted as intermediate agencies that provided warriors with decent missions.

Choi Hyuk, who had accepted their invitation because he was curious of the atmosphere of the much-changed Dragonic, didn’t like this new reality.

He ignored the entertainers who kept showing interest in him and looked outside.

In his heart, the world had already fallen into ruin, yet people constantly kept looking for a new life, a new excitement, and a new safety. The warriors who risked their lives became the arms and legs of cunning businessmen.

Choi Hyuk hated this.

“I wish I could kill them all.”

Without letting anyone hear him, Choi Hyuk repeated this inwardly.

He closed his eyes.

He recalled the ‘Sharp Sword’ he had thought of while talking to Nasir.

 

**

‘What can I give?’

To obtain good results in the game known as reality, one had to always be attentive. What kind of cards one held, and how one could obtain new cards with the ones they already had.

The alliance waged war against the monsters.

“The strongest card here should be, without a doubt, military strength… It has to be.”

Jung Chanmin mumbled as he drank the Water Fog{1} in his glass.

“Hey, hey.”

Chanmin’s older cousin, Min Jungshik, took his bottle away. Inside the bottle was ‘Water Fog’, which paralyzed people’s internal karma and gave them the feeling of being drunk. This Water Fog was less addictive and gave its drinkers an alcohol-like buzz. This was the only source of relief to poor warriors.

Chanmin slumped his head.

“Hyungnim… Maybe… Just maybe. What if I was wrong?”

Chanmin, who had always been confident, was showing a weak appearance today. This was all because he met someone he had gone to school with. He was wearing a suit made from alien materials, and a rifle made by the Seo Tribe, who were renown in the Laniakea Supercluster for their outstanding engineering, hung from his waist. They were all expensive equipment Chanmin and Jungshik didn’t dare buy. With that equipment, a warrior who had just reached the 3-star level could toy with any 3-star monster.

Surrounded by equipment that gave off a halo effect, he said,

‘What? You’re attending the Berserker School? At your age, it must be tough… You have it hard, man.’

Then he said, ‘Ah, I’m busy so I’ll be leaving first,’ before disappearing using short-distance teleportation.

His equipment was so good that Chanmin and Jungshik, who were finally able to go out for a change after enduring hard training, didn’t even dare dream of being able to get it.

“I thought that things would get easier once I reached the 3-star level…”

Thump. Thump. Chanmin slammed his head on the table.

Chanmin and Jungshik. They were the so-called third-generation warriors.

The first-generation warriors were those who became warriors after experiencing the alliance’s cruel training.

The second-generation warriors were the ‘immigrants’ who were suddenly sucked into Dragonic one day and those who willingly went to Dragonic to colonize because they dreamed of being warriors.

Finally, the ones who chose to become warriors after being shocked by the advancement evaluation were considered third-generation warriors.

Although they clearly started later than the first and second generations, Chanmin and Jungshik tried harder than anyone. When others looked for a slightly more comfortable and safer path, they walked a more dangerous one. They followed Demon King Choi Hyuk rather than President Shin Woojin and even enrolled in the Berserker School. There were many times when his cousin, Jungshik, didn’t like Chanmin’s suggestions, but he was persuaded and walked alongside him on a path more dangerous and full of hardship than anyone else.

Why?

It was because Chanmin was confident that all of it would garner greater returns in the end.

The alliance considered human lives like insects, and the monsters invaded constantly. In this situation, the only way to succeed was to ‘become stronger’. It would have been the case…

“Fuck… I’m sorry, hyungnim… Should we change paths now? Before we take any more losses. Like working as a manager in a good red-light district business. Like that bastard.”

Bang, bang.

Looking like he could die of frustration, Chanmin slammed his head on the table. His cousin, Jungshik, clicked his tongue from looking at him.

“Hey, man… Hey. Even if that’s true, a man needs to see what he started to the end.”

The one who proposed they take risks was Chanmin, but the one who persevered through difficult times was always Jungshik.

“Still, hyungnim… After learning from the Berserker School, our fighting techniques are outstanding. We are confident in beating others at our level in a fight without equipment. But our situation is…”

Chanmin’s eyes kept trembling. Jungshik clicked his tongue.

“Did we suffer all those hardships just to lick the asses of bastards like him? Endure a bit more.”

“Hyungnim, you saw it too… That bastard already became a lowest-ranked warrior even though he has less combat experience than us. His equipment! I bet we can’t win even if we teamed up against him? Playing around to his heart’s content and gradually growing on a safe path, yet he’s stronger than us… Does that make sense?!”

Bang! Bang!

Changmin slammed his head on the table once more. It seemed he couldn’t control his strength as the table made of tough lumber from Dragonic cracked.

Jungshik checked if the owner was looking this way as he grabbed Chanmin’s arm.

“Pull yourself together, man.”

“No, I wouldn’t be like this if it wasn’t so severe… ‘One man sows and another man reaps.’ It’s not like this is going on for a day or two. But, but… Ah, damn it! I thought that we would have more breathing room once we reached the 3-star level at the Berserker School! But the Kundle Tribe…”

The problem was that the number of warriors wasn’t small, and for warriors to advance quickly and safely, they needed their organization’s support.

‘The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.’ Late 3-star warriors and 4-star warriors were treated well wherever they went, yet the worth of those who had just reached the 3-star level, like Chanmin and Jungshik, fell drastically. Still, if one reached this level, organizations could develop and use them, however, every organization avoided worn-out middle-aged men like Chanmin and Jungshik. This was because it was better to recruit someone at the same level who was younger as they were less likely to be aware of the ways of the world. Like this, they could use the carrot-and-stick method to brainwash them and make them loyal to the organization.

During this period, the Kundle Tribe began trading with Dragonic. Billions of Kundle Tribe members, much more than Dragonic’s population, entered Dragonic to do missions and earn Mission Points. This resulted in cheap, one-time hired soldiers flooding the market.

At the same time, the war against the monsters had come to a temporary lull. Since there weren’t a lot of missions, warriors who didn’t belong to an organization, like Chanmin and Jungshik, were hit the hardest. There were fewer missions, and among those missions, their quality and rewards had completely tanked.

“Really… At this rate, even if we worked our entire lives, we won’t be able to obtain karma weapons… What’s the point in suffering hardship and becoming middle-ranked warriors? A Weapon of Calling costs over a billion Mission Points. A billion… It’s not like we are overflowing with talent like Chu Youngjin… How can we save up that much by ourselves? The one card we had has turned to crap. Crap…”

Chanmin’s goal was becoming a middle-ranked warrior with a karma weapon since, after reaching this level, he would be treated well no matter where he went in the alliance.

However, the path towards his goal was full of hardship. While others quickly and safely became stronger thanks to their equipment or organization, Chanmin and Jungshik constantly had to fight with their lives on the line. Even if they spent all the Mission Points they had worked hard to save up, the equipment wouldn’t meet their satisfaction. The more they advanced, the harder it became to advance. Could they survive until they reached the 5-star level? Even if they did, when would they ever be able to obtain karma weapons? They were expensive, and there was no guarantee that they would succeed in creating one on their first try. Instead, it seemed it would be better to save up Mission Points by getting employed by a red-light district business, sucking up to their superiors and occasionally doing their dirty work.

Chanmin felt his future was bleak.

Jungshik patted Chanmin’s shoulder.

“Just wait. Overseer Choi Hyuk, that idiot, he’s not someone who will let things be like this. With his personality, do you think he’ll let those who don’t fight stand above warriors? If we just let this continue, the Berserkers will shake things up on their own. Even if they are crazy, they are still human in the end. Just wait. The era we are waiting for will come.”

Chanmin nodded his head miserably.

“Will it, hyungnim?”

“Yeah. That’s why we should leave now. If we’re caught for breaking the table, our already difficult lives will become even more difficult.”

Jungshik quickly paid for their drinks and helped Chanmin out.

 

**

Earth used to be a pale, blue dot within the dark universe.

This Earth was now an ash-colored rock.

It wasn’t like they scheduled to meet here, but the seven overseers appeared above the orbit of their dead homeland.

“You guys obtained karma weapons as well.”

Lee Jinhee examined the Camilla and Jessie Clan. It looked like they had each bought karma weapons with the Missions Points they earned from the recruit training. Each clan possessed two karma weapons.

It wasn’t only them. Yohan and Diana also possessed their own karma weapons. It looked like they had used the growth of the service industry and increase in taxes to buy karma weapons.

“Still, you probably don’t have a weapon like this guy?”

Lee Jinhee boasted while tapping the 40cm short sword hanging from her waist. It was her Sword of Sentiment, ‘Lee Jinhee’s Dream’. As expected of a Weapon of Sentiment, which was considered a masterpiece even amongst other karma weapons, it wasn’t a weapon anyone could make.

Thanks to Armor-Phantom, the Berserkers’ eight executives each had the opportunity to create a karma weapon at the level of a Weapon of Sentiment, which would have cost over five billion Mission Points, for free. As expected of the Berserkers’ talented executives, they all succeed on their first try. However, there weren’t many who created a Weapon of Sentiment.

This was why Lee Jinhee’s weapon was worth boasting about. However, no one responded to her.

“… It’s starting.”

Baek Seoin said in a low voice. The mood became tense.

Even Lee Jinhee, who had been boasting, turned her gaze towards the dead Earth in surprise.

“Ahh…”

Her eyes drooped sorrowfully and a miserable sigh escaped her lips.

 

Thud!

 

Earth was crumbling.

It was the end planets faced when they no longer had a fate after losing all their karma.

Earth crumbled like a paper ball that was empty inside. Then, as dust, it scattered into the universe with a bang.

That was how the third planet of their solar system, Earth, disappeared.

Its end was so pitiful that the realization they had lost their homeland didn’t sink in.

 

Blankly looking at it, Choi Hyuk said,

“This is our reality. Species that are no longer useful can disappear at any moment. That is the universe and the alliance. It’s… not yet time to celebrate.”

Choi Hyuk turned around and, while gazing into the eyes of each of his executives, said,

“There’s a need to improve the structure of Dragonic.”

The one whose eyes shined especially bright at Choi Hyuk’s words was Zero, the former leader of Richard’s assassination troop.

 


{1} The drug that worked on those with karma. Lee Kangjin was addicted to it. Chapter 61.

 

Prev / ToC / Next

Comments 6

  1. Thanks for the chapter, so we finally learn the name of the most funny pair of the series Chanmin and Jungshik, hope the Demon King Choi Hyuk leas them to the bloody path. Is time to go on a killing rampage!!!!!!!!!!

  2. the Mission Points warrior used for alcohol > warriors’ used | They were all expensive equipment > It was all expensive | they all succeed on their first try > succeeded

    Thanks for the chapter.

Leave a Reply (No Spoilers)