SoJ Episode 9 Chapter 159

Episode 9: Shackles of Judgment / Chapter 159: Awl (2)

TL: emptycube / ED: Oer


 

She felt cold all of a sudden.

She couldn’t feel her toes.

Blaze!

White flames erupted from her feet.

Psssh.

However, they weren’t able to endure for long.

 

She felt ticklish all of a sudden.

Her back started feeling ticklish, then her palms as well. She wanted to rip her flesh out.

Still, Flame-Rain stood with her sword drawn, unmoving.

Blaze.

Instead, flames burned on her hands and down her back.

Psssh.

They soon went out as well.

 

Flame-Rain couldn’t see anything. She only saw the reddish-brown miasma flowing around her. No, she thought she saw it, but when she looked again, it seemed like black dark matter.

She lost her sense of time. She felt like she was only caught moments ago, but thinking about it again, she felt that she might have been here all her life.

She was dizzy.

However, the ‘Flame-Rain’s Glory’ in her hand didn’t waver in the slightest. The tip of her sword took aim in front of her, and her unblinking eyes looked forward.

‘It’s eating away at me.’

The monster was avoiding a direct battle with Flame-Rain and, instead, chose to slowly kill her. Covering her senses, it suffocated her like a snake constricting the neck of its prey. It was slowly exhausting her and gradually making her fall into despair.

‘But its fangs are weak…’

This was how she figured out that it wasn’t yet complete.

It was probably because they forcefully awakened an underdeveloped monster. At least for now, it was certain that it couldn’t display its full power. If it possessed power befitting a ‘demise-ranked monster’, there was no reason for it to exhaust Flame-Rain to death like this.

Completely hiding its body, it faced Flame-Rain with the safest and most certain method.

‘The problem is that, even knowing that the monster isn’t complete… There’s nothing I can do.’

She smiled bitterly. Suddenly, she couldn’t breathe, as though she was choking. It was the monster’s pressure.

Blaze!

“Haaa…”

Only after breathing in the flames blazing from ‘Flame-Rain’s Glory’ could she breathe again.

She couldn’t relax for an instant. All she could do was endure with all her strength. Without being able to counterattack, she was steadily becoming exhausted.

‘If I could clear away this miasma for a moment… If I could figure out its location…!’

She thought about the conditions required to overcome this situation, but they were all impossible. Her current strength was insufficient, and her subordinates were being pushed back. This might very well be her last battle.

‘No. No.’

Blaze!

Flame-Rain burned away the despair that had covertly entered her heart. Her eyes shined once again.

“I won’t lose.”

Her eyes blazed. Psssck. They blazed again as soon as they were put out.

She stared at the unwavering reddish-brown miasma with her blazing eyes.

 

**

Drip.

Flame-Rain jolted back to her senses when she felt a cold raindrop seep down her nape.

She suddenly heard the sounds of a rain shower.

‘Wh-What?’

Splash. Splash.

Cold water submerged her feet. The pouring rain flowed down her body. She shivered.

‘Rain? Why rain? …Ah!’

Taken aback by this sudden situation, Flame-Rain jolted to her senses when she attempted to wipe away the rain dripping down to her nose and mouth.

Blaze!

‘Flame-Rain’s Glory’ spewed flames. Against the white flames, the pouring shower was swept away. She was still within the darkness, a world covered with reddish-brown miasma.

“Whew…”

She let out a sigh of a relief. If she had moved her sword for even an instant or if she had taken her hand off her sword to wipe the rain away, she might have received a fatal blow.

Just then, she heard a voice from somewhere.

{… It’s useless… No need to feel… depressed…}

Frowning, Flame Rain was about to stare out into the darkness after coming to her senses when she suddenly let out a suppressed groan.

“Heuk…!”

She desperately hid her agitation as she tried her best to keep her sword in position.

She had noticed something when she was about to stare into the darkness. She couldn’t see out of her left eye. The moment she had been dazed by the monster, it had devoured her eye.

Her throat was blocked by a sudden dread.

Blaze. Blaze.

‘Flame-Rain’s Glory’ erupted into flames again, but the monster didn’t stay put either.

Pssh. Pshhh.

The flames kept dying out like fire being lit on damp firewood. Only the acrid smoke filled her chest.

“Get it together. Get it together. It’s okay.”

She tried her best to deny it, but fear devoured her, gradually growing larger.

How much time had passed? Perhaps the warriors, who had rushed all the way here for her, had already been annihilated. Even if she beat this monster, was her fate to inevitably die?

“No. Get it together.”

She wanted to slap her cheeks if she could, but she couldn’t show even the slightest opening. Fear permeated her heart, making it heavier.

It was hard.

If this monster was as strong as the demise-ranked monster that had killed her father, then everything would have already ended without her having to suffer so much.

It might have been easier then…

This monster was slightly stronger than her, and because of this small difference, she couldn’t overturn her current disadvantageous situation. This made it even more agonizing.

“Ha!”

With a shout, ‘Flame-Rain’s Glory’ cut through the reddish-brown miasma.

Pwaaack!

The flames following her swing ferociously ripped and burned the space around it. However, even beyond it, she was still within the reddish-brown miasma.

While her flames were brilliant, she had taken another loss.

Tsss…

The tip of her left pinky turned into ash and scattered.

It had attacked again using the moment her heart wavered. She was lucky to have noticed it when she did or she might have lost her hand instead of just her left pinky joint.

 

“Errk…”

Flame-Rain pondered while gritting her teeth. What would be better: calmly and tenaciously fighting like she had been until now or struggling without looking back?

Thinking logically, there was a better chance of winning if she endured persistently. Waiting for an opportunity, enduring until the monster slipped up.

However, what troubled her was that, if she did drag the fight on, the warriors who had come for her might be annihilated.

 

A long silence continued in the darkness. Like a revolving lantern, she recalled her past. Her childhood, youthhood, and even the time she was alone after becoming a warrior.

The rookie warrior she had discovered then.

At first, she was sorry for the things the alliance had done to his homeland, and later, his figure overcoming those perilous trials despite being so weak grabbed her attention. When he created a ‘Weapon of Vow’ despite being a middle-ranked warrior, she was unable to sleep. The fact that an outstanding warrior could be born from a weak species that the alliance had disregarded was proven by Choi Hyuk alone.

He had proven that the current alliance was wrong and walked a path to change the alliance. It felt like she had finally gotten a comrade to walk the path she had been walking alone until now.

How… wonderful that was.

 

When she thought of Choi Hyuk, her heart became stronger for some reason.

She recalled how he habitually fought reckless battles and won. While Choi Hyuk had a ‘Weapon of Vow’, she possessed a ‘Weapon of Conclusion’. While he was talented, she was the daughter of the man known as the strongest warrior in history.

Looking back at her current disadvantageous situation, it was no different from the countless trials he and she had been through.

Blaze. Her flames erupted more violently.

“Haha.’

As she came to a decision, her heart lightened.

“I was soft.”

She had been riding on the tiger’s back since the beginning.{1} She had already cast the dice the moment she dragged other warriors into this. Although she was scared that they would die due to her failure, from the start, they had gathered here prepared to die. That was also why she had called for them.

To worry knowing this, how absurd.

Her real opponent wasn’t this simple monster. It was the alliance, which itself was a monster that had become too bloated. Wasn’t her ambition to face off against that?

To be scared in a place like this, it was undoubtedly absurd.

“Do whatever you want…! I’ll burn it all.”

Blaaze!

Ttss…!

White flames violently surged from her body. The reddish-brown miasma continuously put them out, but Flame-Rain didn’t stop and continued to emit flames.

She changed her tactic. She would shave off its flesh even if it meant giving up her bones.

‘Flame-Rain’s Glory’, which had only been keeping the darkness in check until now, acted first.

Slowly at first, then becoming faster and faster, Flame-Rain danced.

Her sword sliced the world horizontally then again vertically.

“My fate is glory. However, my glory has yet to begin!”

Flame-Rain’s body blazed with flames.

 

That moment, as if it had been waiting for this, the monster began devouring her piece by piece.

First, her smooth calf, her round shoulder, soft cheek, then glossy hair. It ate them one after another.

Flame-Rain’s body kept disappearing. Her sword didn’t even touch the monster.

‘Just once…’

Flame-Rain gave up on thinking. She focused entirely on her sword. As she ripped apart the space around her, she hoped to find its trace!

However, even her hand had disappeared at some point.

 

The last thing Flame-Rain saw was the darkness.

Then she saw a single sword erasing this darkness.

 

The reddish-brown miasma, which she couldn’t burn no matter what she did, was erased horizontally as if rubbed by an eraser.

Through the erased miasma, the figures of Choi Hyuk and a monster, which looked like a thirteen-year-old boy, were revealed. The monster was glaring at the new perpetrator, Choi Hyuk. However, Choi Hyuk wasn’t very interested in it.

“Flame-Rain?”

He quickly examined the inside of the reddish-brown miasma, but he couldn’t find Flame-Rain. Instead, he felt a murderous intent that made his heart tighten.

‘… This is troublesome.’

The demise-ranked monster that looked like a boy was targeting Choi Hyuk.

 

**

“Dark-Sound had ordered the Berserkers to completely colonize the Shapley and Laniakea Superclusters. However, since the Berserkers are an independent troop, how we go about completing this mission is up to us, right? ‘Knowing that a Kahur Kabkun housing a demise-ranked monster is near us is like an itch at the back of our heads. We can’t proceed without subjugating it. So we determined that we can only complete Dark-Sound’s mission perfectly after we deal with that demise-ranked monster first.’ There you go. Good enough?”

“… Yes.”

Choi Hyuk had made up this excuse since Baek Seoin told him he needed at least one to go off and help Flame-Rain before following after her.

 

The situation on the battlefield wasn’t good by the time he arrived there.

The demise-ranked monster, which had yet to be born, had already awakened, and Flame-Rain was trapped in its reddish-brown miasma for two hours.

Due to the unexpected progress of the battle, the warriors who had gathered for Flame-Rain were agitated. Still, they couldn’t retreat without knowing whether Flame-Rain was alive or not so they continued to fight nervously.

 

Choi Hyuk wanted to save Flame-Rain no matter what.

Thinking about how she was assigned to another dangerous mission after barely surviving her last and about how she might truly die this time, his body moved instinctively.

‘Again? Again? Will someone die regrettably again?’

Like Richard? Like Jung Minji? Although it wasn’t like he directly thought about them, the reason why his chest felt tight was probably because he had experienced their deaths.

Also, since it was Flame-Rain, he couldn’t just wait and see.

However, he couldn’t help but let out a sigh as soon as he looked around the reddish-brown miasma she was trapped in.

 

There was nothing he could do.

Even with the accumulation of experience from the previous fight and the wars he partook in afterwards, as a high-ranked warrior, there was nothing he could do. His body stiffened just from looking at it.

‘As expected… It’s strong.’

He knew that his fate ‘never losing and slashing without fail’ was only starting to be put to the test and was too weak to face the monster known as ‘collapse’.

He was well aware that, even if his nature was to enjoy fights, his outstanding talent allowed him to know the sheer difference between him and his enemy. What Choi Hyuk always possessed was ‘confidence’, not ‘arrogance’. Also, his opponent this time was one he wasn’t ‘confident’ in beating. Despite knowing this, Choi Hyuk still came here.

 

‘Flame-Rain… At least say something.’

But the reason why he came was because he believed in his sword skill called the ‘First Sword’. While Choi Hyuk didn’t possess the ability to create an opening on his own, if Flame-Rain could create an opportunity, then he might be able to properly assist her.

 

‘An opportunity… Just a moment’s opportunity.’

From then on, Choi Hyuk didn’t blink.

Even though the Berserkers who had followed him here had joined the other troops and were fighting intensely, Choi Hyuk observed the distant reddish-brown miasma.

Holding ‘Choi Hyuk’s Imprint’, he gulped down the impatience and nervousness that arrived at his heart one by one.

 

That moment, Flame-Rain changed her mindset and began struggling with all her might, and the reddish-brown miasma, which appeared to be impregnable, began to ripple. Weak points began to appear.

‘Flame-Rain!’

Choi Hyuk, who had been standing still like a rock, waiting for an opening, realized that this was his opportunity.

The nervousness, restlessness, rage, and memories he had swallowed exploded at once. Like a universe being created after a big bang, it erased everything.

Choi Hyuk called this sword strike the ‘First Sword’.

Even sound disappeared with a deafening boom.

Tu-! …!

Like its name implied, ‘First Sword’ erased everything.

The space between Choi Hyuk and the reddish-brown miasma in the distance as well as the reddish-brown miasma itself.

Following the swing of Choi Hyuk’s sword, history itself was erased and only the mark of his sword was recorded as the first and last entry. His sword demolished everything in existence in order to become the first.

 

Since the space between Choi Hyuk and the miasma had been erased, Choi Hyuk was standing in the middle of the miasma, and because the miasma was erased in a horizontal line, he caught a glimpse of the demise-ranked monster that had been inside.

“Flame-Rain?”

However, he didn’t see Flame-Rain.

Only the ill-tempered demise-ranked monster’s murderous intent tightened powerfully around him.

Since he had put everything into his ‘First Sword’, he didn’t have the strength to avoid its attack.

{… Foolish… Death…}

The monster, whose appearance was that of a thirteen-year-old boy, said unpleasantly as it slowly raised its hand at Choi Hyuk. Choi Hyuk squeezed all his remaining karma to try to avoid its attack somehow.

 

Slice.

 

That moment, something flashed past the monster’s neck.

{… Huh…?}

Before the monster could say anything-

Blaaze!

White flames completely burned its sliced head and body.

 

The monster’s small figure had been revealed due to Choi Hyuk’s sword.

And, the moment the monster’s attention was focused on Choi Hyuk, what cut its head off was ‘Flame-Rain’s Glory’ which had been waiting for this opportunity.

 

“…Flame-Rain?”

At first, Choi Hyuk didn’t see her. All he saw was a single sword.

However, soon, her tattered figure materialized starting from the sword handle.

Although she was missing an eye and her body was cut and ripped in various places, she was alive. She had only fainted.

 

Karma was shapeless.

Focusing all her concentration on her sword, she had assimilated with it. Then, like how the monster had hidden itself, she too hid her traces within her sword and, supported by Choi Hyuk’s intrusion, launched a surprise attack on the monster.

That was how Flame-Rain and Choi Hyuk became ‘demise-ranked monster killers’.

The meaning behind this great accomplishment was beyond their expectations.

 

While she might be known as an eccentric despite being the Flame Wing Tribe’s princess, Flame-Rain, who was a transcendent warrior, hadn’t been able to obtain military distinction.

While he was a genius who created a Weapon of Vow despite only being a middle-ranked warrior at the time, Choi Hyuk was undervalued as he was of a weak species from a planet on the border.

In this moment, they had finally come out from the behind the curtains.

 


{1} Riding on the tiger’s back – The moment you got off the tiger’s back, it would eat you. Basically, there was no turning back.

 

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Comments 14

  1. The question is, how many other beings have achieved the same thing, and what are the exact benefits that achievement grants them?

    Fame is guaranteed. Rewards very likely. Position / Status is hard to judge.

  2. ░░░░░░███████ ]▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▃
    ▂▄▅█████████▅▄▃▂
    I███████████████████].
    ◥⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙◤… for the chapter

  3. constricting the neck of its prey > constricting the life out of it’s prey (they don’t just focus the neck) | but fear devoured ㅗㄷㄱ > (think you guys missed this) | The joint in her left pinky > Part of her left pinky (I doubt she kept her pinky past the joint) | possessed was ‘confidence’ not ‘arrogance’ > ‘confidence’, not ‘arrogance’ | Like its name ‘First Sword’, everything was erased > Like it’s name implied, ‘First Sword’ erased everything | All he was a single sword > All he saw | her tattered figure appeared from the sword handle > her tattered figure appeared clutching the sword handle

    Thanks for the chapter.

    1. Post
      Author
      1. Small mistake here
        “Like its name implied, ‘First Sword’ erased erased.”

        Thanks for the chapter 🙂

        And I wish you a happy new year!

        1. Post
          Author
  4. Thanks for the chapter, the author should marry those two already, I think that Flame Rain is the first female that Choi Huyk can actually form a relationship with.

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