Chapter 395: Episode 75 – A certain heart (2)
“We can do this. We won’t know it until we actually start fighting,” said Jeong Hui-Won exactly three hours ago. “Doesn’t matter whether they are Demon Kings or not, tell them to come. We aren’t that weak anymore, right?”
The ones listening to her were the Reincarnators; the ones that chose ‘Good’ during the past regional conflicts, as well as the lucky few that survived the battlefields invalidated by <Kim Dok-Ja’s Company>.
These were people who had lost their worldview.
[117th regional conflict is commencing!]
[Your affiliated camp is ‘Good’.]
“If I knew this might happen, I wouldn’t have come….”
“….Can’t we return to our old world?”
A few people began muttering in fear and the turmoil spread among the crowd in an instant.
“H-how can we fight against something like that?!”
A ship of ‘Evil’ was surging in from the distance. It was massive. Without a doubt, it was a Fable weapon equipped with incredible functionalities.
The waves supporting the massive ship and flooding in were actually a great army consisting of 7th-grade demonkind, Dark Warriors. There were so many that it was near-impossible to count them all. At a casual glance, there had to be several tens of thousands.
It was a spectacle that couldn’t be described as a mere regional conflict.
Jeong Hui-Won saw the eyes of the Reincarnators filled with fear and thought to herself.
She couldn’t demand everyone to be brave here.
It was only obvious that they would be scared.
They lived their whole lives inside the cages of their worldview, only to be used by the invaders from the outside. Demanding such people to be brave was the very act of violence itself.
Jeong Hui-Won wanted to tell them; tell them that they didn’t have to fight, that she’d do something to resolve this by herself, somehow.
“Everyone, hide behind me.”
There was one man who spoke up for her heart, though.
“I shall block them.”
He was one of her oldest comrades, as well as a man who bravely met the adversity <Kim Dok-Ja Company> ran into from the forefront.
“Can you stop that all by yourself?”
“Of course, that’ll be impossible.”
Seeing Yi Hyeon-Seong’s generous smile, her frustrated heart seemed to loosen up just a little. He used to have a seizure just from a simple touch of a fingertip, but at this moment, she sensed that they had grown really close.
“Let’s decide on our roles. I’ll be in charge of taking on all the attacks. Hui-Won-ssi, you should….”
“It’s to attack, yes? Just like back in Kaixenix.”
Back in the Kaixenix Archipelago, there were times when they fought alongside each other like this. They shared memories of fighting against the marauding invaders.
The toughest shield and the sharpest sword of <Kim Dok-Ja Company>. Although simple, this tactic best optimised their individual strengths and weaknesses.
“Shall we get going?”
[Fable, ‘Sword and Shield’, has begun its storytelling.]
The first one to dash forward was Yi Hyeon-Seong.
As befitting of a man believing in the superstition of ‘the louder the roar, the stronger one gets’, he yelled out loudly enough to shake the world and clashed against the dark waves.
[Incarnation Yi Hyeon-Seong is activating Stigma ‘Steel Transformation Lv.10’!]
The steel carapace that had reached their maturity now covered his entire body. The Dark Warriors colliding with the steel outer layer gleaming in the bright white glare fell down like bowling pins and got crushed to death.
[Incarnation Yi Hyeon-Seong is activating Stigma ‘Great Mountain Smash Lv.10’!]
His fist of steel rising up into the air powerfully slammed down on the ground – the waves created by Dark Warriors wobbled about precariously, causing the ship’s movement to become dull, as well.
Not missing that opportunity, Yi Hyeon-Seong activated his final Stigma.
[Incarnation Yi Hyeon-Seong is activating Stigma ‘Great Mountain Push Lv.10’!]
It was a Stigma that could only pry open the stuck door of a subway in the beginning. But now, that very Stigma was allowing him to push back against a vessel the size of a battleship.
Both of his hands currently covered in [Steel Transformation] were dyeing in a pitch-black colour, and a portion of the carapace covering his body was stripped away. However, Yi Hyeon-Seong spat out another loud yell and endured the pain.
He didn’t back off even when subjected to the deluge of sparks.
His back leg dug deep into the ground below, and from afar, he resembled a small nail stuck to the ground. But that small nail was successfully stopping the forward movement of that battleship.
“It, it stopped!”
“Yi Hyeon-Seong-nim has stopped the warship!”
The Reincarnators cheered on at this unbelievable miracle.
Unfortunately, the real battle would only begin from now on. The shield had done its job, so it’s now time for the sword to do hers.
Jeong Hui-Won soared high into the air after stepping on Yi Hyeon-Seong’s shoulders and landed on the ship’s deck, before swinging the [Sword of Judgement] around.
She unleashed the combination of [Demon Slaying] and [Hellfire]. She didn’t hold back at all, and a Historical Figure-grade Constellation caught off guard was killed off instantly, its Incarnation Body blowing up completely.
Jeong Hui-Won scattering the bluish ghostly flames and emitting pure-white light looked utterly noble, virtuous.
[A portion of Constellations like the ‘Sword and Shield’ story.]
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for her sword to be stopped.
The culprit was a hand seemingly draped in a dreary black hue. A being cackling ominously had grabbed onto her sword, before throwing her away in the air.
She stepped on the air and spun around to land back on the deck safely.
Before her stood Constellations that already had created a battle formation.
No, they weren’t Constellations.
[Looking at the accursed Stigma, you must be the Incarnation of that ‘Archangel’.]
[You must’ve known that this was a trap, yet…. How foolish. To think that you’d willingly step forward towards your own demise.]
They were completely enveloped in the pitch-black demonic aura; the beings that occupied the darkness within the skies of the <Star Stream>.
Jeong Hui-Won studied the five Demon Kings standing before her.
– This is a list of beings that you should be able to fight, as well as those you should never, Hui-Won-ssi. Please, you must memorise their appearances no matter what.
She desperately recalled the contents of Kim Dok-Ja’s explanation.
The first Demon King her eyes shifted over to was the creature holding a flaming spear and a head of a person.
– This guy is someone you can fight. If it’s the current you, Hui-Won-ssi, activating [Hour of Judgement] should suffice.
The master of the 58th Demon World, ‘President of Flames’, Amy. (TL: Pronounced as “Ah-me”)
– As for this guy…. it’ll be fine. However, if he suddenly raises up his horn and pounces on you, things will get dangerous, so attack him first without hesitation.
The master of the 48th Demon World, ‘Golden-horned Ox’, Haagenti.
– It’ll get dangerous from this guy onwards. When you’re at your peak condition, and when you can fight one on one, only then try to fight it.
The master of the 36th Demon World, ‘Silver-clawed Owl’, Stolas.
Judging from the leaking Status, she could feel it – up until this guy, she could somehow fight them.
The problem was with the other two staring at her from behind the front three. First of all, the handsome Demon King looking at her, wearing red armour and a limp in one leg.
– Honestly speaking, your chances of winning are slim when we enter the top 20s. If Uriel was to perform ‘Advent of Half-God’, then things might be different, but….
The master of the 16th Demon World, ‘Demon King of Seduction and Infertility’, Zepar.
– And from here onwards, you must unconditionally avoid these guys.
She didn’t need a reminder to understand it – the very last being at the back of the formation of the five Demon Kings, silently observing the unfolding situation. That was a being that the current her could never win against.
The master of the 8th Demon World, ‘Merciless Hunter Against the Will of Heavens’, Barbatos.
The Demon King with a cowboy-style hat and carrying a rifle was smiling at her through its cascading blonde hair.
[The tastiest despair is the ‘impossible hope’, indeed.]
Jeong Hui-Won burned her fighting spirit and tightened her grip on the sword.
She had already fought against Demon Kings. Back then, she was not in a condition to exhibit all of her abilities, but… What would it be like now?
[Exclusive skill, ‘Hour of Judgement’, is getting ready to activate!]
Her Attribute was ‘Judge of Evil’.
It was the power of the Archangel that led the Valkyries in the past ‘Great War of Saints and Demons’.
No matter how powerful her opponents were, she’d still not lose as long as they were ‘Evil’.
[Majority of the Absolute Good-type Constellations are opposing the activation of the skill.]
[Skill activation has been cancelled.]
Barbatos began laughing as if it already knew what was happening to her.
[How naïve, oh, Incarnation of Uriel. Do you still not understand what your current situation is?]
Kim Dok-Ja said that this ‘regional conflict’ was a trap.
He said that, even if they knew, they still had to participate in it.
[Angels enjoy the concept of the ‘sacrificial lamb’. And it seems that you’ll be it this time.]
The goal of <Eden> was to win the ‘Great War of Saints and Demons’.
And to achieve that goal, <Kim Dok-Ja Company> must not exist. Whether Jeong Hui-Won was ‘Good’ or ‘Evil’, she was simply someone to dispose of from their perspective.
She already knew all of that. That didn’t mean it felt real to her even now, though.
‘….I don’t know about other angels, but even Uriel betrayed me?’
[I shall send you away peacefully.]
She heard Barbatos’s rifle being cocked. Just as she sensed the back of her neck suddenly grow cold, Jeong Hui-Won threw herself outside the ship.
The bullet fired in the air tore through the fabric of time and space to puncture a black hole in the sky.
Her hand gripping the sword trembled slightly. She was about to throw herself into a fight against such a monster just now.
– Regardless of what, you must never try to fight a Demon King ranked tenth or higher one-on-one. You must run away without hesitation. And wait for the rest of your companions to arrive. You must remember this.
In any other normal circumstances, she’d have gone against his words. However, it was a different story right now.
Yi Hyeon-Seong, busy smacking away the Dark Warriors to death at the front of the pack, looked up at her falling body. That quick exchange of their gazes was enough for him to figure out the current situation of the battle.
The ridiculing voices of the Demon Kings resounded out.
[Hahahaha! You made a wise decision.]
[Indeed, this battlefield is vast. However, how long will you be able to run away?]
A violent tempest of demonic aura raged on in the sky.
The sword and the shield ran.
It was impossible to fight against the enemies they couldn’t even stand against. And they also couldn’t afford to die here.
“Dok-Ja-ssi and Yu Jung-Hyeok-ssi will arrive soon. Let’s hold out until then.”
Jeong Hui-Won nodded her head. No matter how powerful their enemies were, as long as the company had gathered in one place, they should be able to overcome them. They had broken past battles even worse than this one before. <Kim Dok-Ja Company> would not crumble in this place.
The two of them took care of the injured Reincarnators and continued to crush the advancing ‘Dark Warriors’ while withdrawing their battle lines.
[Influence of your sponsor is weakening.]
To make matters worse, even Uriel’s blessing had weakened. Her mind cooked up only the worst-case scenarios, but Jeong Hui-Won shook her head to get rid of them. Most likely, Uriel must’ve been fighting in a different regional conflict; there was simply no way that her sponsor would betray her.
A frenzied true voice of a Demon King swept across the battlefield next.
[Get out of the way, trash!]
Reincarnators that lost their chance to run away were slaughtered in droves everywhere.
The brave ones trying to fight back were the first to lose their heads, while those backing away in terror had their hearts pierced through.
However, there were still some who could endure against the power of a Demon King to put up a fight.
[Hoh-oh, a Swordmaster, is it? You’re a pretty good fighter.]
Someone was defending against Haagenti’s golden horn.
The Ether Blade coated this man’s sword. The old man holding this weapon was someone Jeong Hui-Won knew very well.
He was the top-ranked guardian knight that accompanied her during ‘Kaixenix Archipelago’.
⸢Captain, it’s been my honour to serve you.⸥
⸢Actually, I’m too old to step into the outside world, but…⸥
⸢I sincerely wish that my measly strength can become at least some kind of aid to you in that place.⸥
Kyle fought well. He managed to deflect Haagenti’s horn several times, and he even inflicted a small nick on the arm of the bovine Demon King.
But, that was as far as he could go.
The Swordmaster’s blade broke, and he went down on his knees. From the beginning, his opponent was not someone an aged Swordmaster could fight against.
His throat was captured and he was lifted up like a toy.
[Character, ‘Erich Striker’, is getting agitated.]
Erich’s emotions rose up within Jeong Hui-Won.
At this rate, Kyle would die. Her thoughts moved lethargically; the names of <Kim Dok-Ja Company> members brushed past her mind.
The first one she thought of was Yu Jung-Hyeok.
⸢”Reincarnators will revive even if they die.”⸥
He’d not have tried to save Kyle. The ‘Isle of Reincarnators’ didn’t permit death, after all. One might lose their memories and become a different existence, but nevertheless, the soul would carry on. So, he’d let Kyle die for the sake of the bigger picture.
The next one to pop up in her head was Kim Dok-Ja.
⸢We should save him. But, if you do that, you’ll die instead, Hui-Won-ssi.⸥
Kim Dok-Ja might say the right things, but because he was worried about her life, he’d turn a blind eye to Kyle’s plight.
⸢Why are you in a dilemma? Use that guy to smack the Demon King to death. Simple.⸥
Han Su-Yeong would say something similar to that. Well, she never was all that interested in saving people’s lives from the beginning, anyway. In order to end the absolute-worst situation in the best possible circumstances, she’d directly aim for the Demon King’s neck by now.
And then, the dying Kyle’s lips were mouthing the following words.
‘Please, run away.’
However, his eyes were saying something else.
⸢Please…. Save me.⸥
She heard Yi Hyeon-Seong’s voice next.
She and he were the most similar out of everyone in <Kim Dok-Ja Company>.
Sure, their personalities and adaptabilities might be different, but at least when it came to a certain type of situation, they would always come to the exact same decision.
[Exclusive skill, ‘Hellfire Lv.10’ is activating!]
There was no need to even hesitate here.
Because they too, were saved in the same manner in the past.
<Episode 75: A certain heart (2)> Fin.