Episode 6 – Judgment Time (4)
A few minutes later, I once again entered Dongdae Station and ate a ground rat. It was in order to heal the skin contaminated by the poisonous fog.
It took a little time but the contamination could be recovered by eating the meat of an underground species.
[...Hey! Are you crazy? What did you do just now?]
I was eating when I heard Bihyung’s voice furiously berating me.
[No, this isn’t an issue you can dismiss. You destroyed a constellation’s idol! Do you want to see my channel fail? Once the ‘Bald General of Justice’ begins to talk...]
The idol of a constellation. Every world had their own constellations, South Korea as well.
By the way, Bihyung said it was the ‘Bald General of Justice.’ He was a great person in South Korea but...
Actually, I wasn’t the type of person to say that.
[A constellation wearing a straw mat is furious at your atrocious actions.]
[The constellation ‘Prisoner of the Golden Headband’ is laughing.]
There was a difference in the degree of all idols, but they had the power of a constellation sealed in them.
If I released the seal of the idol in the right way, I could gain a certain amount of power, such as an item or skill that the constellation used in their lifetime.
However, ‘unlocking the seal’ took a long time and I wasn’t sure if I could get the skill I wanted.
I looked at Ways of Survival on my smartphone.
「 “But if it is sealed in the bronze statue of Samyeongdang, how did you get the skill?”
“There is a saying that if you meet Buddha, kill Buddha.”
“What? Don’t tell me...”
“Haha, I was just trying it out... but it is true. All the statues aren’t just for worship.”
“Hey! This jerk, you should watch your mouth. You might be cursed by the constellation.” 」
At the last gateway to enter Chungmuro, the ‘skill’ of Samyeongdang was essential.
And the most surefire way to get the skill was to destroy the idol. Of course, I could buy something similar from the Dokkaebi Bag but... the more coins I saved, the better.
“Then did you resolve the ‘man’s secret’ well?”
I quickly turned off my smartphone screen. My companions, including Jung Heewon, had gathered.
“Yes. And I have something for you.”
I pulled out the items I gained from the idol. As luck would have it, the Samyeongdang idol contained items and skills.
[Samyeongdang’s Straw Mat]
Rags and old beads. There were questions in the eyes of everyone present. I knew what they were thinking.
But I also knew this. In this world, ‘old’ was more likely to be ‘good.’
“They seem like good items. Because they are souvenirs of a great person.”
“Do you know Samyeongdang?”
[A constellation wearing a straw mat has paused at your actions.]
Jung Heewon asked with a stupid expression.
“...Who is that?”
[A constellation wearing a straw mat wishes to appear before character ‘Jung Heewon’.]
“Ah! I know!”
Fortunately, someone knew. Needless to say, it was Yoo Sangah.
“I remember seeing it when I was studying Korean history! Isn’t he a monk from the Joseon Dynasty?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“When the Korean military was struggling to defend against the Japanese invasion...he fought in the Nowongpyeong battle and Wukwandong battel!”
As expected from Yoo Sangah. I also studied Korean history but I didn’t know this.
[A constellation wearing a straw mat is touched by character ‘Yoo Sangah’.]
I nodded and said.
“Anyway, these items have his strength.”
“Wow, it is real!”
Jung Heewon and Lee Hyunsung were surprised when they confirmed the item information.
“But how did Dokja-ssi know to get this?”
“Just, I put my hands together in front of the Samyeongdang statue and...they fell from the sky.”
“Huh? No way...”
I thought it was ridiculous but there was a reason people said such ridiculous words.
I put on a mock solemn expression as I watched the party.
“I think... it was sent by Samyeongdang for South Korea.”
Their ‘ah’ were filled with many meanings. I ignored them and kept talking. It wasn’t like I was asking for them to listen.
“He might’ve left his belongings to save the country, just like during the Japanese invasion of South Korea. Anyway, now South Korea is a country undergoing turmoil.”
[A constellation wearing a straw mat is moved by your words.]
In times of turmoil, scammers always gained power.
“...In this strange world, it isn’t weird if something like this happens. Maybe Samyeongdang is one of the ‘constellations.’ Isn’t that right?”
Surprisingly, Yoo Sangah seemed convinced first. Maybe she didn’t want me to be embarrassed. The funny thing was that once Yoo Sangah agreed, Lee Hyunsung was immediately convinced.
Lee Hyunsung grew up with patriotism for a long time and looked like he was reminiscing on the principle of military service. Lee Gilyoung also seemed curious.
It was only Jung Heewon who was watching me like it was nonsense.
[A constellation wearing a straw mat likes your revealing words.]
[The constellation ‘Bald General of Justice’ forgives your sins.]
Bihyung looked at the sky with a ‘Is this okay?’ expression before looking dumbfounded.
The power of a constellation was directly linked to their fame. Thus, the constellations loved it when their stories were spread this way. Where was a constellation that hated being praised?
“I will give Samyeongdang’s Beads to Yoo Sangah, since you know him well.”
“Really? Can I accept it?”
“I think Samyeongdang will be delighted if Samyeongdang uses it.”
In fact, the performance of Samyeongdang’s Beads wasn’t good compared to what the sponsor used it for. It wasn’t a sponsor’s star relic so maybe the fact that the Samyeongdang wasn’t a world-recognized figure had an effect.
It was still a B class item so it had a secondary option of boosting magic power to increase magic power recovery.
Jung Heewon watched Yoo Sangah like she was envious and said.
“Yoo Sangah knows a lot of things. I didn’t know about Samyeongdang because I didn’t do very well at school.”
“I’m joking, joking. Don’t make such an expression.”
I spoke to the sulky Jung Heewon.
“I also have something for Jung Heewon-ssi.”
“For me? Is it that straw mat?”
“It’s okay. No matter how urgent, I don’t want to wear such a thing.”
“...Just try it. You won’t regret it.”
Jung Heewon hesitated for a moment before throwing on the straw mat. She was trying to be fashionable but she just looked like a beggar.
[A constellation who likes comradeship condemns your actions.]
[A constellation who praises friendship likes your actions.]
It would be different if the star relic ‘Samyeongdang’s Bamboo Stick and Straw Sandals’ came out, but the other two items weren’t necessary for me right now.
Jung Heewon saw her reflection on the screen door of the subway and made a slightly complicated expression.
“It is hard to explain but...I suddenly feel like I can harness the power of justice.”
Samyeongdang’s Straw Mat was an item that enhanced the justice and willpower of the incarnation. I didn’t need it but it was a pretty good item for Jung Heewon.
“You said Samyeongdang? I feel sorry for some reason. I should study harder.”
[The constellation ‘Bald General of Justice’ is happy at this situation.]
[100 coins have been sponsored.]
I jokingly said.
“Then let’s put our hands together and pray.”
* * *
It was a joke but Jung Heewon really went to pray.
Jung Heewon was contaminated by the poisonous fog and spoke while eating a ground rat.
“...But who broke it? Surely it wasn’t Dokja-ssi?”
“Be prepared. We will be at Chungmuro soon.”
I looked at the dark tunnel.
It had been 20 minutes since Lee Gilyoung used Diverse Communication, allowing them to safely move forward.
Considering the fact that Dongdae to Chungmuro was 1km in a straight line, it was time for ‘that’ to appear.
[A new sub scenario has arrived!]
Indeed, as soon as I thought about it.
“Everybody step back.”
[Sub Scenario – Welcome Prison]
Clear Conditions: Escape from Welcome Prison within the time limit.
Time Limit: 1 hour
Compensation: 300 coins
[Sub scenario – Welcome Prison has begun!]
Perhaps Yoo Jonghyuk had suffered quite a bit in this scenario.
This scenario was one of the most painful traps for a regressor.
Yoo Sangah asked.
“Welcome Prison? What is this?”
She would know without asking.
“It is coming. Everyone, please keep your mind straight.”
Before my words were over, a haze overcame me. The fog that instantly occupied the tunnel blocked their field of view. The party members in the immediate vicinity couldn’t be seen. When I looked around, I could only see a distorted scenery, as if I was on drugs.
“Uwah...I feel bad!”
Jung Heewon screamed. Maybe Jung Heewon was seeing something different from what I saw now.
The voice I didn’t want to hear. That forgotten voice was heard in a drug-like landscape. If I was this way, my other party members would be worse.
“...Something feels strange. Dokja-ssi! Are you there?”
In this distorted vision, the voices of my party members were gradually fading.
A space that led to madness by touching a person’s trauma.
「 Dokja, you didn’t see anything. Understood? 」
The landscape disappeared and the face of a person popped up. I smiled bitterly as I stared into the air. I wanted to deny reality.
[The exclusive skill, ‘Fourth Wall’ is activated!]
[Due to the skill effect, immunity to Welcome Prison has occurred.]
The moment his mind relaxed, the uncomfortable feeling diminished.
[The constellation ‘Secretive Plotter’ admires your spirit.]
[100 coins have been sponsored.]
[The curious constellations are sorry that they can’t peek at your memories.]
As the power of Welcome Prison weakened, I felt a sense of alarm.
“Everyone, calm down and take deep breaths.”
Those trapped in Welcome Prison would lose their minds and unleash their madness around them. Thus, the most dangerous thing in Welcome Prison was the companions around you. Yoo Jonghyuk’s solo behaviour might be because he was worried about this prison.
“S-Soldier Lee Hyunsung. Did you hear wrong?”
“I was wrong. I was wrong Mother!”
“T-This dog bastard!”
...I was too late. I heard the screams of people filled with madness. But it wasn’t everyone.
At this moment, Yoo Sangah’s appearance was revealed in Welcome Prison. Samyeongdang’s Beads around her wrist was glowing brightly. Fortunately, it worked.
I approached Yoo Sangah and said.
“Cover the surroundings. From now on, I will destroy this space.”
Yoo Sangah nodded with a nervous expression.
[The exclusive skill ‘Destroy Evil Lv. 1’ is activated.]
Destroy Evil. It was one level higher than the Repel Evil skill that could be bought with coins. It was a skill that I obtained after breaking the bronze statue of Samyeongdang.
[The exclusive skill ‘Destroy Evil Lv. 1’ has turned off ‘Welcome Prison’.]
Indeed, it was a skill used by Samyeongdang. If I had bought Repel Evil, it would’ve taken a minute to release it.
As the fog retreated and Welcome Prison disappeared, his companions started to appear one by one.
“O-Our resolve! We are the South Korean army, loyal to the nation and the people!”
The trauma could be seen with one glance. Lee Hyunsung was bowing with his head on the ground, while Lee Gilyoung had his head on his knees and was shaking.
Yoo Sangah came forward first.
“Lee Hyunsung-ssi? Gilyoung! Please wake up!”
At this moment, a blade flew from the rear. Fortunately, the blade wasn’t fast and it wasn’t difficult to avoid.
“...I will kill all of you.”
Jung Heewon was waving her sword through the air like a madman.
My heart ached as I watched Jung Heewon’s eyes became gradually redder.
This was dangerous. It was a sign of ‘Demon Slaying.’
I stunned Jung Heewon by strongly hitting her in the back of the neck. Luckily, Jung Heewon was intact.
I thought it wouldn’t be like this with Samyeongdang’s Straw Mat but Jung Heewon’s mental state was more fragile than I expected.
“Yoo Sangah, please look after Jung Heewon-ssi.”
“It isn’t over yet.”
[You have met the conditions to clear the sub scenario!]
[You have earned 300 coins.]
Monsters appeared as soon as the clear message showed up. They were a mass of liquid, reminiscent of ectoplasm.
The 8 grade Specter.
] It was the specters who made Welcome Prison. I used White Pure Star Energy to invoke Blade of Faith.
Fortunately, the battle itself wasn’t difficult. In the first place, the specters weren’t difficult if Welcome Prison was destroyed.
The creepy and weird specters were destroyed.
I put the fallen stones into my pocket. This needed to be picked up. Thanks to Yoo Sangah, the others were recovering quickly.
“A-Are you okay?”
The one who recovered the fastest was Lee Hyunsung. Lee Hyunsung heard the story and bowed his head with surprise.
“...Thank you. I almost got into big trouble. I also want to thank Dokja-ssi.”
“It is nothing.”
“I have a headache...’
Lee Gilyoung’s head was pounding. I stroked Lee Gilyoung’s hair. He pretended to be okay but perhaps the one with the most terrible trauma in this place was this child.
I saw a pale light in the distance. Yoo Sangah said,
“Dokja-ssi, I think it is over.
I worried about it for a short moment. Jung Heewon was stunned and it was difficult for others to exercise their power. Would we be okay to enter Chungmuro at this rate?
But my concerns were resolved by another person.
A blade loomed in the darkness. But it was a pure threat, without the intent to harm.
“Who are you? Don’t you know that this area is our hunting ground?”
In the faint light of the entrance, a girl holding a long sword stood. She looked to be 17 and was wearing a school uniform.
She was wearing a hood like she was trying to hide her name tag, but her appearance was noticeable.
“Ah, this girl...!”
Yoo Sangah had keen eyes and recognized her first. I also knew her. It was because she was one of the main characters of Ways of Survival.
The only survivor of Daepong Girls High School, Lee Jihye. She was one of the reasons why Yoo Jonghyuk went straight to Chungmuro in the shortest time.
“...Did you guys beat the specters?”
Lee Jihye discovered the stone in my hand and was surprised.
“How did you...only Master can catch them?”
I immediately used a skill.
[The exclusive skill, Character List is activated.]
Name: Lee Jihye
Age: 17 years old
Constellation Sponsor: Maritime War God
Private Attribute: Scarred Sword Demon (Rare)
Exclusive Skills: Sword Training Lv. 3, Demon Slaying Lv. 1, Absolute Sense Lv. 2, Ghost Walk Lv. 1.
Stigma: Sea Battle Lv. 1, Large Army Command Lv. 1.
Overall Stats: Stamina Lv. 13, Strength Lv. 12, Agility Lv. 13, Magic Power Lv. 9.
Overall Evaluation: A person who evolved into a ‘scarred sword demon’ after killing her closest friend. The sponsor behind her has an affinity for you and your colleagues.
* ‘Starter Pack’ is currently applied.
There was nothing unusual.
Maritime War God.
As scheduled, it was the sponsor behind Lee Jihye. She was a must in future maritime wars.
[The constellation ‘Bald General of Justice’ is touched at meeting an old comrade.]
[Lee Jihye’s sponsor welcomes the ‘Bald General of Justice.’]
I felt a faint breeze in the subway tunnel where no trains were running. Looking at Lee Jihye’s hair fluttering in the wind, I realized again.
[Main Scenario #2 – Meeting has ended.]
[The compensation will be settled.]
Yes, we finally arrived. This was Chungmuro.
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