Episode 4 – Line of Hypocrisy (2)
I often thought about it.
Why did so many ‘predictable villains’ appear in post-apocalyptic stories. It must be the laziness of the authors to think that crimes such as rape or theft would occur indiscriminately in such a situation. If the real ‘destruction’ came, wouldn’t humans act more rationally than they thought?
“It looks like he won’t give it. Hey, go ahead and kill him!”
The answer was now right in front of me. I observed the men coming towards me, as well as the man watching from the rear.
[The constellation ‘Demon-like Judge of Fire’ expects a fair judgment.]
I once again realized it. The human imagination was cliché, yet real humans were more cliché than the imagination.
The trajectory of the iron pipe moved in a funny manner through the air. It wasn’t a strike with the intent to kill. In fact, it didn’t hurt that much.
“I-If you don’t run away then you really will die. Get lost!”
The four men surrounded me. One was trembling but the others looked more relaxed than before. It was probably due to the advantage in numbers.
“What are these brats doing?”
Waaaah! Along with the shout, one man rushed forward. It was clearly a defenseless posture. I moved the thorn.
“Aaaaack! My leg! My leg!”
“Hit him together!”
The agitated men rushed simultaneously but I wasn’t afraid. Their strength level was just above 5. I endured the incoming attacks and silently stabbed the thorn.
The men had their thighs successively pierced and fell to their knees with a scream. But I didn’t kill them. It was because the scenario clear condition was to ‘neutralize’ them.
[The constellations of the absolute good system nod at your judgment.]
[A few constellations laugh at your humanity.]
[The constellations have sponsored you 100 coins.]
If I became a murderer, I might be able to attract the attention of the constellations for a while. However, it was only a while. Instantly raising the threshold of stimulation wasn’t good in the long run.
[There are three minutes to the end of the scenario.]
Two minutes had passed. Time calculation was important in time attack scenarios.
“W-What the hell is this bastard? Why won’t you die?”
At this time, their leader who was watching the situation from the back came forward.
“You are a fairly tough guy. Everyone back off. I will deal with him.”
“Cheolsoo hyung-nim! This guy seems to have a pretty strong sponsor!”
“Good. It looks like he has a lot of coins.”
Knuckles shining with a black gloss. They weren’t ordinary iron knuckles. Did he receive it from his sponsor?
There was the relaxed sound of bones cracking from the knuckled hands.
[The character ‘Cheolsoo’ has used Threaten.]
[Threaten doesn’t work because the overall capabilities gap is too big.]
“Hoh, aren’t you quite good? You aren’t getting scared at all.”
The man’s fist moved before he finished talking. The attack was aimed exactly at my jaw. I quickly stepped back. That guy smiled.
“Aren’t you quite good? Do you exercise?”
Even if I didn’t have a footwork skill, anyone could do this if their agility exceeded level 10. Since I previously invested most of my remaining coins after buying items, the total sum of my body stats now reached 33.
Should I look at this guy?
[The exclusive skill, Character List is activated.]
Name: Bang Cheolsoo.
Age: 34 years old.
Constellation Sponsor: Monarch of the Small Fries.
Private Attribute: Assault Force Captain (General)
Exclusive skills: Dogfight Lv. 2, Bluff Lv. 2.
Stigmata: [Threaten Lv.1]
Overall Stats: Stamina Lv. 6, Strength Lv. 7, Agility Lv. 6, Magic Power Lv. 2.
Overall Evaluation: A common small fry who was lucky to obtain a sponsor. He has a tendency to overstate his abilities compared to his actual combat strength.
Ah...right. Now I remembered.
“Bang Cheolsoo of the Cheoldoo Group.”
“What, you know me?”
My memory was dim because he disappeared like the wind at the beginning of the work, but I fuzzily recalled there was a character called Bang Cheolsoo.
He was the stupidest guy in the group at Gumho Station.
As far as I knew, these guys should’ve been killed by Yoo Jonghyuk. Why were they still alive?
“Ohu, perhaps you are of ‘that’ category? You must’ve killed people. Isn’t that right? Yes, I feel that we are somewhat alike.”
[The character ‘Bang Cheolsoo’ has used Bluff.]
Bluff. It was a skill that anyone who was a thug possessed. It was a good debuff that could weaken the opponent’s attack power, but this case was different.
[Fourth Wall has blocked the bluff of the character Bang Cheolsoo.]
[The confidence of the character Bang Cheolsoo is rapidly falling.]
“Are you ignoring me? You really want to die.”
Bang Cheolsoo took a threatening Greco-Roman wrestling posture and rushed towards me. But that was only a bluff. It was because he didn’t have the ‘wrestling’ skill.
“Stop beating around the bush and come on.”
“Son of a bitch!”
The key skill that Bang Cheolsoo had was Dogfight Lv. 2. His combat power was insignificant unless he got into a melee.
The agility difference was so high that his attacks rarely hit me. I looked at him with a bit of sympathy.
Not all constellations had a desire to raise their incarnations as the ‘protagonist’ of the scenario.
For example, his constellation ‘Monarch of the Small Fries’ was famous for being thrifty with his incarnations. A masochist who enjoyed using idiots as his incarnation, enjoying watching them be crushed by other incarnations.
That was the ‘Monarch of the Small Fries.’
[The constellation ‘Monarch of the Small Fries’ is delighted.]
[The constellation ‘Monarch of the Small Fries’ has sponsored you 100 coins.]
Despite his incarnation being smashed, he was supporting the enemy. Originally, I was thinking about ending the time attack in one blow but now the story was a bit different.
[There are two minutes to the end of the sub scenario.]
Then I should make the most of the remaining time.
“You rat bastard!”
All of his lines were in the style of the Monarch of the Small Fries. How pitiful.
“Haha! I hit you!”
His attack luckily hit but there was little damage. The spot where I was hit just stung a bit.
How? My stamina was Lv. 12. His strength was only Lv. 7. The difference in the overall stats gap created a huge combat power gap.
“Is it my turn now?”
I touched the cheek of the stupefied Bang Cheolsoo before hitting it as hard as I could. A few teeth flew out as Bang Cheolsoo screamed. I didn’t hesitate and pierced his arm precisely with the thorn.
I fixed one of his arms to the wall with the thorn and started the indiscriminate assault. I chose the areas that were the most painful without knocking him out, such as the back, thigh, femur and side.
[The constellation ‘Monarch of the Small Fries’ is delighted.]
[The constellation ‘Monarch of the Small Fries’ has requested an extension of the sub scenario time.]
[The sub scenario is extended by one minute.]
I also paid attention to the parts where the woman had been injured.
“Cough! Kuheok! Kuheeok!”
Blood and flesh were scattered. Broken teeth fell to the ground and the broken bones twisted abnormally. However, I didn’t stop kicking.
“S-Stop! Please! Let Hyung-nim go!”
The men standing to the side exclaimed with panic. I looked over at them once in a while. Then he looked at the half naked woman lying on the ground.
Humans were weak. How could such weak humans do such cruel things? They used the excuse of the world being destroyed. They killed, raped women and stole from others.
Was it because of instincts?
I was suddenly curious as I saw Bang Cheolsoo’s eyes stained with fear in front of a stronger violence?
“Why did you do it?”
It was a question out of nowhere. In fact, I didn’t expect an answer to this question. But the moment I was about to kick him again, Bang Cheolsoo opened his eyes.
“Fuck...just kill me you son of a bitch.”
The moment I saw his eyes, I knew he had answered my question in his own way. A look that didn’t show any lingering attachment to life. Yes. It wasn’t because of instincts.
Bang Cheolsoo talked in a voice that was subsiding.
“Dog, this dog-like world...”
This guy was a human who had been despairing long before this world was destroyed. Just like me.
[There are 10 seconds left to the end of the sub scenario.]
I didn’t delay any further and gave a strong kick to his neck.
The breath was knocked out of him and Bang Cheolsoo finally fainted.
[You have met the conditions to clear the sub scenario.]
[You have earned 300 coins.]
I hope all of you are happy.
[The constellation ‘Monarch of the Small Fries’ is satisfied and has sponsored you 100 coins.]
The other men crawled and approached me one by one.
They looked at Bang Cheolsoo, who had been turned into a rag, and then up at me with fear. It was like they were dogs waiting to be disposed of at a slaughterhouse.
I picked up the collapsed woman and the convenience store bags. In any case, the world had been destroyed and I had to live a new life.
“Take me to where the group is.
* * *
Gumho Station was originally a place that would grow into the region’s base after it was organized by Yoo Jonghyuk.
In his first regression, Yoo Jonghyuk broke through the second main scenario with the Gumho Station group, allowing the people of the group to occupy a place in the new era.
But that was the first story. By the third round of regression, Yoo Jonghyuk was different.
The 3rd turn Yoo Jonghyuk was a monster who monopolized everything.
“...Even so, he was someone who would do the basic clean up.”
The man guiding me was surprised.
“I’m just talking to myself. It is a habit.”
[The constellation Secretive Plotter likes your monologues.]
“Yes...anyway, this way.”
The men of the Cheoldoo Group, who were supporting each other, stopped moving. We descended to the bottom of the dark platform and found a place where there was still light.
I heard the buzzing sound of people as we went down the stairs.
“The Cheoldoo Group! People are hurt!”
Some people rushed over to support Bang Cheolsoo’s group. There was more of a system then I thought since people were moving in an orderly fashion.
In the meantime, I saw familiar faces run over.
“Oh my god. Dokja-ssi! Dokja-ssi!”
Fortunately, it looks like nothing happened.
“I’m glad. Really, I’m really glad!”
Yoo Sangah stood in front of me with a happy expression. I was startled and asked for an awkward handshake. There were a lot of scrapes on the back of Yoo Sangah’s hand, showing she had suffered quite a hard time in the past four days.
I heard a sound and something became attached to my leg.
It was Lee Gilyoung. I stroked the boy’s head.
“Have you been well?”
Lee Gilyoung nodded. He must be hungry since his cheeks were really thin. I pulled out a chocolate bar from the bag and placed it in Lee Gilyoung’s hand.
“I knew you were alive, Dokja-ssi. Hah...”
Finally, I looked at Lee Hyunsung. The muscles of his upper half seemed to have become more solid. Maybe Lee Hyunsung had protected these two.
“I’m really sorry. At that time, I left Dojka-ssi...”
“It was an unavoidable situation.”
“Phew, I’m glad that Yoo Jonghyuk-ssi was right.”
...Yoo Jonghyuk? Why was that name heard here?
Lee Hyunsung noticed after a moment and said.
“That, Yoo Jonghyuk said that Dokja-ssi was probably alive...”
“...Where is Yoo Jonghyuk now?”
“He isn’t here now.”
“Yoo Jonghyuk-ssi left the station yesterday. So...”
I could determine many things before Lee Hyunsung finished speaking. I see. It was truly like that. He was a person in a rush.
“That reminds me, there is one more person.”
“Ah, the department head.”
Yoo Sangah didn’t finish speaking because a group of men suddenly intruded. But it was a good thing.
“Everybody, out of the way!”
I didn’t have to hear the explanation to see what happened straight away. Three or four men armed with a hammer or pipe started to surround me. There was a familiar face among them.
Han Myungoh abandoned me on the Even Bridge and now he looked like he had seen a ghost. Han Myungoh must’ve joined this group.
“G-Get rid of that guy! He is a very bad person! He shouldn’t be here!”
A thief was always the one who felt pins and needles. Han Myungoh started exclaiming wildly.
However, I noticed that the other men looked at each other and didn’t easily move. There was something weird. Han Myungoh was placed in the centre yet they didn’t listen to him?
“Haha, Han hyung. Everyone should get along so why don’t you stop?”
“You are a new person.”
The men split apart to the sides and a path was formed. A slim man appeared among them. I could tell just by looking in his eyes. This guy had a sponsor.
“Nice to meet you. Can I ask what your name is?”
“Dokja-ssi. I see. I am Cheon Inho.”
Cheon Inho? It felt like a name I should remember. I inserted strength to the hand holding the thorn. It looked like this guy was the leader of the Cheoldoo Group. He lost half of his men to me so he came here to make trouble.
“I heard the story from those you came with. You fought a monster and saved my group members.”
“Everyone, please gather! We have a brave new group member!”
After Cheon Inho’s words, people started to turn this way one by one.
It was at this time that I knew. It was impossible for the charisma of Han Myungoh to gather this much power. Cheon Inho was the real leader of this bunch.
“Wah! It is food!”
Hungry eyes fell on the convenience store bags. Then Cheon Inho spoke as if he had been waiting.
“He delivered it exactly to us. He is a rare good person.”
The words made all the eyes look at me like I was a savior. The mother holding the child and the elderly man who hurt his leg were looking at me earnestly.
Cheon Inho...I seemed to remember. Yes, there was this guy in the Gumho station group.
[The constellation ‘Secretive Plotter’ is excited.]
In this ruined world, the real danger wasn’t people like Bang Cheolsoo. Humans moving while feeling despair weren’t the least bit dangerous to me.
The really dangerous people were those who used the despair of others as a fertilizer for power. Just like this guy.
“Welcome to Gumho Station, Kim Dokja-ssi.”
Cheon Inho were laughing deeply while gazing at me. He inwardly laughed while shaking my hand.
Cheon Inho would never know. At this moment, his future had been decided.
Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter