Sovereign of Judgment

 
 

Sovereign of Judgment Chapter 144


Episode 9: Shackles of Judgment / Chapter 144: Radical Reform (3)

TL: emptycube / ED: Obelisk


The Kundle Tribe members learned from this war.

Sorrow.

Rage.

Despair and hope. Comradery and passion. Even sacrifice.

The Kundle Tribe had lived lethargically because eternal life was guaranteed. To them, the war was a day of rebirth. After obtaining the assistance of the warrior training system, the Kundle Tribe, which hadn't reached the 1-star level, grew at an explosive rate. The entire tribe reached the 1-star level, many reached the 2-star level and a portion even reached the 3-star level. This growth had been achieved by fighting countless monsters beyond their level under the influence of their surging emotions.

Their hearts were as complicated as their explosive growth. This growth could even be considered as an evolution of their species. Unlike when they simply fell asleep whenever something slightly bad occurred, they were intensely conflicted.

This was all because of Choi Hyuk's announcement.

"… So, in the end, it was because of Leader Choi Hyuk that Mingming and Dundun died."

There were Kundle Tribe members who couldn't hide their discontent.

"… However, the Berserkers also died fighting alongside us. Also, if his words are true, then this was a war we could have encountered one day. Rather, if we didn't have the Berserkers, we might have faced extinction."

However, there were also Kundle Tribe members who understood the Berserkers and Choi Hyuk's position. While they hated the Berserkers for using them, it was difficult to hate comrades they had shed blood with.

"…"

They hated them, but the Berserkers were reassuring. They were reassuring, but they hated them.

The Kundle Tribe was swept with conflicting emotions. It wasn't planned, but the majority of the Kundle Tribe members delayed their decision, unable to do this or that.

Just then, the awnings that hung between the buildings vibrated. The awnings vibrated like speakers and relayed a message.

{Leader Choi Hyuk appeared outside the city!}

Although they didn't know what was going on, the Kundle Tribe members looked at one another before running outside the city. Thanks to their growth in karma, their movements were incomparable to the past.

The Berserkers were lined up in black clothing and large tombstones they hadn't seen before were lined up outside the city.

Beyond the frontlines of the concluded war, body parts of fallen Kundle Tribe members floated up and made their way towards this direction. The Berserkers stood beside this line of corpses, and the Kundle Tribe, unaware of when they joined, accompanied them with dazed expressions.

Wearing black clothes, Choi Hyuk stood in front of the tombstones. Standing beside him, also wearing black clothes, was Lee Jinhee.

Lee Jinhee looked at Choi Hyuk and nodded her head.

"Let's start, leader."

Choi Hyuk lowered his head at Lee Jinhee.

Because of her overflowing affection, Lee Jinhee didn't match the Berserkers.

Because of this, Lee Jinhee always thought of things none of the Berserkers would ever come up with. Choi Hyuk recalled the conversation he had with her.

'Leader, this isn't atonement.'

'Then?'

'It's etiquette. This is the most basic and only etiquette someone who will die one day can show to those who have already fallen. It's a time we spend in front of those whose stories have already ended… since we aren't monsters.'

After listening to her words, Choi Hyuk nodded.

Choi Hyuk blankly gazed at the corpses of the Kundle Tribe members that were making their way towards him. It was strange. The feelings he didn't feel from the living he felt instead from the dead. Like Jung Minji and his mother, who had died suddenly, when he looked at those who would lie forever, unable to smile anymore, his heart murmured that life was short but death was long. He disliked those who used any method to survive and felt pain when looking at those who died.

'What is this…'

An emotion he hadn't thought he had unraveled itself. The karma in his body was agitated on its own. A blue light, which was like the light of dawn, was being emitted from Choi Hyuk.

Choi Hyuk unconsciously took a step forward. The line of corpses reached where he stood.

Choi Hyuk saw an illusion.

The dead corpses stood up. At first, their faces contained resentment.

'I heard that this was all planned by you?'

'Although I did live a long time… I didn't think it would end like this…'

'To be honest, I hate you.'

As the dead Kundle Tribe members stood up and passed Choi Hyuk, they each said a word. However, the moment they passed Choi Hyuk, the resentment disappeared from their faces.

'However… What can we do now? It's already passed.'

'Yeah, it's all in the past.'

The dead had nothing they could do. No matter how deep their resentment was or how much they regretted, their lives had already ended. Their songs had already concluded.

The dead Kundle Tribe members simply disappeared after passing Choi Hyuk. They melted into the vast universe and scattered.

'This is the end. They can't change anymore. Only those who remain will change.'

The dead passed him. Choi Hyuk unconsciously said,

"You… worked hard."

The expressions of the souls in the illusion became slightly profound.

'What's the point in saying that now? We've already died,'

Someone laughed blandly.

'Yeah… Thanks,'

Someone patted his shoulder.

'… Hypocrite,'

Someone passed him with an icy face. However, since they were already dead, no matter what they said or how they reacted, nothing changed. There was only the 'end.'

This wasn't atonement. Without wishing or aiming for anything, it was a moment of acceptance and etiquette.

Choi Hyuk suddenly called out a name,

"Mingming."

His hands moved swiftly. He engraved the names of those who had fallen on the tall tombstones.

"Dundun."

He said another name. The shoulders of the Kundle Tribe members, who had come to watch, flinched. Lee Jinhee, who had been examining the list, looked at Choi Hyuk with surprised eyes. They had already completed the list of those who had died. Of course, they couldn't figure out the names of all who had died. However, Choi Hyuk called names out one after the other without the assistance of the list.

He didn't know why, but he saw the names of the dead.

The blue karma light Choi Hyuk emitted began to change color. As darker colors kept mixing in with it, it became a dark navy color before finally turning black.

As soon as it turned black, the color didn't change anymore.

As he wrote the names, filling the tombstones, Choi Hyuk realized,

'I'm looking for the end.'

The end.

Choi Hyuk's goal was the end. Eternity and immortality wasn't his goal. For the story that had already ended, Choi Hyuk looked for another end. Choi Hyuk wished and wished for the end of those who ended his happiness. Of those that ended his happiness only so that they could prolong their end. The war, the alliance, and revenge, perhaps he wished for the end of everything, including himself. To end things. This was what Choi Hyuk was the best at. Always.

Perhaps this was the reason why Choi Hyuk was unusually strong. Since his goal was doomed even after obtaining the godly power of engraving his fate on the universe. While he wasn't aware of it, he always intended to die one day. Because he did, he could kill those who were stronger than him. Perhaps it was because he was prepared to die that he could kill those who did whatever they could to live.

Choi Hyuk's fate of 'never losing' and 'slashing without fail' might also be so strong because he had set an end, like how a star created a supernova, shining brighter than anything, upon its death.

Because of this, Choi Hyuk didn't hate the defeated who had died while fighting. Instead, he felt at peace amongst them. He ridiculed and hated those who considered themselves as victors and those who were certain they wouldn't die because they were strong.

'I'll slash them. I'll end them. I'll turn them into nothing.'

Every time he mumbled these words, Choi Hyuk's karma pulsed slowly. Only at this moment did Choi Hyuk realize his karma had turned black. He realized that he somehow knew the names he didn't know and had engraved them into the tombstones. Before he felt curious about what this was, he felt peaceful.

'Now to stop.'

He had filled all the tombstones with names. Choi Hyuk cleanly cut away his sentiments. All he had to do was slowly unravel the remaining questions.

He saw the Kundle Tribe members who were looking at him with perplexed eyes. Choi Hyuk didn't say anything to them. He simply bowed his head once at the tombstones and left.

In the place Choi Hyuk left, the Kundle Tribe members were stupefied. Choi Hyuk hadn't specially made them gather nor did he address them. Lee Jinhee and the Berserkers were the same. After completing their duties, they bowed their heads at the tombstones and left.

After the Berserkers had all left, the environment control system Choi Hyuk activated went to work. The perfectly fine ground outside the city sunk and freezing cold water filled it to the brim. It was a cool lake that couldn't exist on the hot Kundle Planet. Choi Hyuk made this impossible cemetery with the contributions provided to train the Kundle Tribe members. The grisly corpses of the Kundle Tribe members were submerged in this freezing cold water one after the other. Even after being filled with so many corpses, the lake wasn't contaminated at all. It was crystal clear.

The Kundle Tribe members stood there blankly.

The Kundle Tribe, which had never seen a member of their race die, didn't possess any funeral customs. It was their first time seeing something like this. Although they didn't know what the point of doing this for those who had already died was, their hearts murmured.

A Kundle Tribe member brought the corpse of a Berserker from the distance. The corpse had been left alone due to Lee Jinhee's proposal of collecting them after the Kundle Tribe's funeral. The Kundle Tribe member submerged the corpse, which had white bones protruding out from it, in the lake.

This was the start. They brought the corpses of earthlings and El Tribe members, who had died after coming all the way to the Kundle Planet, and submerged them into the lake one after the other. Also, the Kundle Tribe members erected nameless tombstones.

This occurred in all of the Kundle Tribe's cities.

When they woke up, it seemed like someone had passed by as the nameless tombstones were filled with the names of earthlings and El Tribe members.

It wasn't as though the Kundle Tribe's animosity towards Choi Hyuk had disappeared. However, at the same time, they understood. Although Choi Hyuk didn't say a word, they all just knew. 'He will die one day.' Choi Hyuk wasn't someone who would live forever and laugh above their heads. They simply knew that, even if he wasn't killed, he would face death one day. They just knew this like how Choi Hyuk just knew the names of the fallen.

It was okay. Still hating what they hated and understanding what they understood, this was how the deaths of a third of the Kundle Tribe concluded. Like how things didn't have to end with revenge or forgiveness just because they hated someone and like how people didn't need to reconcile just because they fought, still hating and still thankful, the Kundle Tribe decided to accept the Berserkers and Dragonic.

The funeral occurred throughout the Kundle Planet for three days.

Camilla, who watched it unfold, said,

"When will these wounds and ruin heal…"

When Choi Hyuk saw an 'end', Camilla thought of 'revival'.

Jessie said,

"Haa… How sad. Let's go gravity diving!"

The Extremers washed away the icky feeling of death with electrifying thrills.

Then, when asked what they thought about the funeral, the Berserkers slowly nodded their heads and said,

"I don't know. It just felt… good."

**

The contract between the Berserkers, Valkyries, and Extremers concluded with the end of the first evaluation. This was because the Berserkers no longer needed the other two troops' assistance now that they were fully in charge of the recruit training. As repayment for the early termination, they decided to divide all the Mission Points they obtained from this mission between the Valkyries and the Extremers rather than the 6:2:2 distribution they had decided on beforehand. In the Berserkers' perspective, this wasn't a loss because they had obtained a lot besides this and still had a lot more to obtain. In the Valkyries and Extremers' perspectives, this wasn't a loss considering that they had, within a month, earned multiple times the amount of Mission Points they had invested.

The ones who suffered heavy losses, however, were the Jangkok and Sur Troops. Although they filed a claim to the alliance that the Berserkers needed to compensate them, the alliance dismissed it.

The alliance, which was always operating on the basis of war, was magnanimous to victors and was so strict towards losers that it was shameless.

{While their process was somewhat excessive, as the Berserkers' training method has been acknowledged as a legal training method and has received rewards, you cannot request compensation from the Berserkers who are not at fault. Also, the recruit training this time was a competition between three independent troops. Since there would be a big benefit to the ones who succeeded and survived this competition and a disciplinary action against those who fell behind and lost, the Sur and Jangkok Troops, who lost in the battle against monsters during the recruit training and incurred damages afterwards, must justly take responsibility for their defeat.}

It meant that they would have to take responsibility for their defeat. The alliance wasn't considerate, especially towards independent troops, who took on as much responsibility as the freedom they had in their operations. Results were more important than the process.

{Only, considering that the Berserkers' training method was unprecedented and was very extreme, we will transfer a portion of the karma mined from the Kundle Planet to the Sur and Jangkok Troops to sustain their losses.}

The Sur and Jangkok Troops had no choice but to be satisfied that they now had enough power, albeit small, to deal with their losses. Defeats in the alliance were incredibly severe to the point that well-off troops and species could falter.

A wind of change blew.

Faced with the second evaluation period, the Kundle Tribe could go back and forth from Dragonic relatively freely. As a by-product of Armor-Phantom installing the military gate, it didn't cost much for the Kundle Tribe members to travel.

Like how the alliance did to the earthlings, the Berserkers gave missions to the Kundle Tribe. Following these missions, the Kundle Tribe members worked as hired soldiers on Dragonic, explored uncolonized lands around the Kundle Planet, and even went on expeditions with the Berserkers. The difficulty of the missions was very diverse and the nature of each mission was different. Naro steadily classified and recorded data regarding which Kundle Tribe member went on which missions, their personalities, and their fighting methods.

Armor-Phantom's invitation he had been waiting for finally arrived.

{I made you wait a long time, didn't I? It took a while to finish the preparations due to the number of people and because I was trying to get you the best options. Now, come over to create your karma weapons!}

His tone was still very lively.

Although Choi Hyuk already knew that he was actually a very calculating person, he really liked him at this moment.

Finally, the time for other warriors to obtain karma weapons had come.

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