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The World After the Fall 49

by Sing-Shong


Translated by mushroom

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The Final Romance (7)


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The game they all expected to be climatic was anything but. It ended in an instant, with such an unexpected outcome.

[Player Jae Hwan wins!]

Jae Gal Myong was spacing out in front of that message.

‘….’

Just ten minutes ago, he was assured of his victory. When Jae Hwan chose ‘human’ as his race, among the three races in the game - the deceased, humans, and Gaksu - Jae Gal Myong had laughed. Human was known to be the weakest race in the game.

‘Well…. This is his first time.’

Jae Gal Myong himself selected ‘deceased’. Deceased was a race that got stronger as the game progressed, and also a superior race from the start; the most favored selection between players.

But Jae Hwan had a reason why he chose humans. 

‘As expected… the motif of this game is….’

Jae Hwan would never have let this game begin if he had not read the manual beforehand, or read the game’s system using [doubt]. Because it was a bother, and he could end things easily by sending Jae Gal Myong flying again. But when he read the game, he wanted to continue.

It reminded him of his home world. Although it was brief, Jae Hwan could immerse in the memory of his past.

‘Was there a Nightmare connected with earth?’

The unit productions, resource collection, troop deployment, and the game in general was exactly the same as that game from earth. The only different thing was the races, and the story.

For a Master Nightmare from the Great Lands to plagiarize something from earth. Nightmares might not be the kind of beings Jae Hwan thought they were.

‘…. Has it been 30 years… It’s not so easy.’

Jae Hwan used farmers to gather resources and constructed a camp.

‘Its surprising that I still remember it.’

The controls were difficult, as they were not simple mouse and keyboards. The players had to use their spirit powers to control each unit. This was not familiar to Jae Hwan.

‘Whatever. I don’t plan to drag this on.’

About 5 minutes after the start of the game, Jae Hwan sent out an impulsive attack. His troops consisted of the few farmers he had, and two 1st order adapters he had produced. The ones who were watching, and who knew a bit about this game, were bewildered by this brash invasion.

“What kind of attack is that?!”

Jae Gal Myong was oblivious to the reaction of the spectators; there was a barrier erected to prevent sound and image. He was busy building various buildings and producing more workers. He had disregarded the possibility of an invasion, and that was why he had no defense units. And that was also why his units were slaughtered by the human workers carrying shovels or pickaxes, and the two first order adapters.

‘W, What kind of attack is this?!’

Tactics, strategies, and battles always occured after a proper foundation and base was established. This attack style of Jae Hwan’s was wholly unexpected and unheard of.

‘Using farmers to attack?!’

That was not all. Jae Hwan started to erect buildings in the middle of Jae Gal Myong’s base, as if it was his own. Those buildings were called ‘watchtower’, and they were defense structures for the human race. Jae Gal Myong attempted to hinder the building of watch towers with his deceased, but it was already too late. New reinforcements of 1st order adapters moved in to his base, and occupied the watchtower, relentlessly firing arrows upon the nearby units. The deceased tried to collapse the tower, but died without inflicting much damage. 

The amounts of watch towers increased as time went on, and it was only when there were 3 towers in his base, attacking his town hall, that Jae Gal Myong realized that he lost.

“Y, you call this a strategy….!”

Jae Hwan smiled bitterly.

‘So the humans here don’t know this.’

“Woooooo!!”

As the barrier that blocked sounds was lifted at the same time as the result screen was displayed, the cheers from the crowd was heard. Jae Gal Myong looked enraged.

“What was that! Its proper manners to wait at least 10 minutes before invading!”

“Manners?”

“N, normally, it’s formality to give each player 10 minutes to collect resources and build structures…!”

“Is that a rule?”

Jae Gal Myong shut his mouth. There was no such rule.

“Then it doesn’t matter does it.”

He couldn't reply.

‘What is this guy.’

This person in front of him escaped all his standards. He was on the other plane of logic and reasoning. That was why his limits were unfathomable.

‘Haha...’

Jae Gal Myong accepted defeat for the first time in his life. Strangely, his heart became tranquil. 

“It’s my loss.”


Jae Gal Myong reverently bowed his head.


*

After the first match of the quarter finals, they had a quick respite. Shin and Chung Heo had a chance to approach Jae Hwan at that time.

“How scary. Not even a drop of sweat after all that.”

“Why would I sweat?”

“When did you learn how to play that game? I thought the only thing you could do was thrust at things.”

“The game was similar to something in my own world.”

His tone explained his unwillingness to have a long conversation with Chung Heo. Jae Hwan’s eyes gazed at Shin.

“You, gramps, you look quite strong.”

There was no one in Chaos who dared to talk to Shin in that way. 

Shin chuckled in amusement.

“Who do you thing is stronger? Me or him?”

“Hard to say.”

Chung Heo was, except for King Catastrophe, the strongest Jae Hwan had met in Chaos. But this old man beside him exuded a power on par with Chung Heo.

“Wanna fight?” Jae Hwan said.

“How extreme on our first meeting.”

Chung Heo laughed at Shin.

“I told you. He doesn’t respect his elders, he assaults them.”

Jae Hwan retorted.

“The gramps in this place are all uselessly strong. No need be considerate of them.”

“You have to win arguments too, do you?”

His words voice was full of complaints, but his eyes were smiling. Shin noted that, and regarded Chung Hoe with curiosity. It was the first time he saw Chung Heo truly have fun since 900 years ago.

‘Abyss expedition you say.’

That phrase also gave Shin bitter memories. He was one of the members, after all.

‘Reminds me of him.’

The leader of the team, Myullock. He was the prime example of the beast of despair that Jae Gal Myong was trying to rid of today. Shin looked at Jae Hwan.

‘Is this man capable of substituting him?’

Myullock was the force that allowed the team to collect the [fruits]. His courage, wisdom, and strength was what made it possible for them to even get close to the fruits in the first place. Shin had been able to vaguely calculate Jae Hwan’s abilities from the match he watched.

‘Like Jae Gal Myong said, high rank warriors might be too much for him, but mid rank soldiers….’

Generals, high rank, and mid rank. They were the lords who were under the immediate supervision of the 12 Great Sovereigns who controlled the 12 lands.

They were monsters who destroyed mountains and split the earth. Also, from high rank up, they could use the heaven skills.

They were only subordinates of the Sovereigns in name, but in truth, they were beings who reached the level of sovereigns already. They could establish their own legion separate from the 12 sovereign’s if they tried. They did not often come to Chaos, and it was close to impossible to find any higher ranks than high in the palace of revival. 

But being strong enough to face a mid-rank was nothing to laugh at either. Mid ranks were those who could destroy a fort by themselves as if it was child’s play. And Jae Hwan was being compared to one of them.

He was only 50 years old.

As souls aged, their growth slowed, and their thoughts froze. The man in front of Shin was yet young.

‘His intelligence is also outstanding.’

Jae Hwan won against Jae Gal Myong, who was known as the smartest in Chaos. No one had managed that.

‘But what about personality?’

Jae Hwan did not give off a sense of justice. Shin could see it by the way he treated others. He was the opposite of Myullock, who was mature and benevolent.

‘And this oppressing hatred.’

The hatred coming off of Jae Hwan sent shivers down his spine. It was not simply an emotion anymore, but an occurrence. 

It was pointed at this world. It was not aimed at anyone, but rather because of that, it aimed at everyone.

Shin, who had been carefully watching the shape of that contempt, suddenly felt faint dizziness and saw the scenery distort for a moment. 

He was surprised because he knew what this was. He sent Chung Heo a message.

[Chung Heo, is he also an awakened?]

[Huhu, took you long enough.]

Shin was silent for a brief moment.

[.... To think that there would be another awakened in Chaos other than you.]

[Actually, he's on a different level than me.]

It was the first time Shin had hear Chung Heo, who had immense pride, talk like this.

[He is a complete awakened.]

[Complete? Then you mean he passed the 3rd stage?]

[Yes.]

Shin turned solem. It was not only because he was surprised by Jae Hwan’s strength. It was because awakened, or more specifically awakens who surpassed the 3rd stage, all had certain problems. Shin knew that the reason Chung Heo did not pass the 2nd stage was not because he lacked training. It was because he chose not to.

[Then…. It's highly possible that he already threw away his humanity….]

The continuation of the quarterfinals was announced. Jae Hwan moved towards the stage once again.

“Where are you going? It’s not your turn yet?” Chung Heo asked.

“To fight.”

“Fight?”

“Now that I think about it, waiting for the quarter finals to end is a waste of time.”

The contestants who are left are all nearly equal in skill. Excluding Jae Hwan, there was a total of six left, including Kaiman and Yun Yong. 

Jae Hwan checked the levels of the 6 using [doubt].


‘The ones that look strong is that woman, that woman, and that woman.

Other than Kaiman and Yun Yong, the woman with a veil who Jae Hwan guessed was the Ark of Holy maid, the woman who won against Kang Hwang, and the ponytailed woman with a chain around her waist were the only strong ones left. The vice-Ark of holy maid was also left, but she was woefully lacking compared to those five.

And among them, the woman with chains attracted Jae Hwan’s attention the most. She entered using the seperate wild card contest for late comers, and she was hiding something that Jae Hwan’s doubt could not read.

‘Most of them are females.’

This world did not discriminate against gender or age. Strong were strong regardless who they were. The Great Lands might have an aspect that was more fair than Earth. 

Jae Hwan peeked at Shin.

‘For now, I want that old man.’

He wanted to delay the contest and fight that old man first. The power exuded from Shin was that strong. But Jae Hwan couldn't make someone who didn't want to fight him.

‘When the tournament is over….’

Jae Hwan walked towards the Security squad leader and snatched the mike.

-Everyone listen.

-I’ve seen enough of all the contestant’s skills.

The crown rumbled with the unexpected entrance of the Lord. The lord was someone who caused trouble and discord wherever he went, left and right. But there was no one who could stop him. Yulewen might have been able to, but he was currently busy dealing with the paperworks regarding this very tournament.

“Hey, he about to say something. Start recording!”

There was a sound of shutters. They were the reporters from <<This month in Chaos>>. They were doubtlessly going to cause another propaganda and uproar from their articles.

Someone on the stage interrupted Jae Hwan at this moment.

“Wait, what do you mean?”

She was the Ark of the Holy maid sect who had been waiting for her next match. She was originally selected to go against the woman with chains, but the Lord seemed to be obstructing that. 

Jae Hwan opened his mouth.

-I’m getting bored watching this, so im thinking about changing things around a bit.

“Wait, wait, according to whose rule are you doing this?”

-Mine.

From inside her veil, silent wrath was burning.

“Your words are conceited to the point of insanity.”

-Yup.

She tried to reason with him.

“The match is already in the quarterfinals. How do you even plan to change it?”

-It won't be a duel anymore.

Not a duel anymore? She could not understand what he was thinking. Did he suddenly get a cold feet about losing his seat as the Lord? 

She asked,

“Then you want a team battle?”

There were 7 left in the quarter finals. It was not an appropriate number to make teams out of.

-Team…. Well, something like that.

“There's a problem with that tho.”

-What problem?

“The problem of how we will divide the teams, and….”

Her tone changed as she dragged her words on.

“How to determine the winner.”

Basically, the problem of who would become the lord. In a team, there should be at least 2 contestants. Only 1 can be the lord. 

Jae Hwan laughed.

-You misunderstand. I don’t mean to say we will have a team battle.

“Then what…”

-There will be only one team: The six of you.

She did not understand. How can there be one team? Then what about the Lord?

-I am by myself.

The Holy maid’s Ark got shivers down her arm. She finally got what Jae Hwan was saying.

-Basically, me, against all of you.

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